Richard’s Selected Correspondence
RESPONDENT: Solipsism is one of these ‘reds under the bed’ kind of deals.
RICHARD: As nondualism (aka advaita) is just one of the many and various forms of solipsism which the east has exported to the west/ the west has imported from the east then just what is it, specifically, that occasions you to say that?
RESPONDENT: I thought you must be a masochist when you first went down that path ... but a real masochist could have derived weeks of delight from it.
RICHARD: It has nothing to do with masochism, real or otherwise, and everything to do with fellowship regard. And, by way of example, the following extract from my response to a fellow human being’s request for information/ explanation, on Friday the twenty-fourth of March 2000, should be quite self-explanatory:
There were three more responses, of similar ilk, to three more requests for information/ explanation over the next four days ... and then, a scant two months later (Friday the twenty-third of June 2000), the following mass-circulated e-mail arrived in my mail-box:
I accessed an appropriate URL and, sure enough, there was indeed one more massively deluded human being strutting the world stage, giving of their bronze age wisdom to a benighted humanity, and (unless something truly remarkable has happened in the meanwhile) is still suckering the gullible into their particular manifestation of a culturally-revered insanity to this very day.
RESPONDENT: I dare say they are.
RICHARD: Good ... I am pleased that your [quote] ‘solipsism is one of these ‘reds under the bed’ kind of deals’ [endquote] has been cleared up to your satisfaction and that you no longer think of me as a masochist (real or otherwise) for going down that path.
RESPONDENT: But the irony of all this, Richard, is that you yourself are a solipsist turned inside out.
RICHARD: Here is what a dictionary has to say about that word:
As only [quote] ‘the self’ [endquote] can be solipsistic – and as there is no such entity whatsoever extant in this flesh and blood body – just how you can think for a moment that Richard is a solipsist turned inside out simply defies sensibility.
RESPONDENT: You have lost the means by which you can ever perceive this.
RICHARD: Maybe, just maybe, that is because this flesh and blood body lost [quote] ‘the self’ [endquote] who would have the means to perceive what you perceive.
RESPONDENT: For an extreme solipsist, all that exists is the arena/ medium of self/ consciousness in which phenomena arises.
RICHARD: As the identity (aka ‘the self’) who inhabited this flesh and blood body all those years ago was such a solipsist for eleven years, night and day, the expression ‘teach one’s grandmother to suck eggs’ somehow seems rather apt.
RESPONDENT: For you, all that exists is matter/ energy (that which they call phenomena).
RICHARD: No, what a solipsist calls ‘phenomena’ is not, in any way whatsoever, what is [quote] ‘all that exists’ [endquote] for me.
RESPONDENT: They know the glass is half empty. You know the glass is half full.
RICHARD: What I know is that both the glass and its half-empty/ half-full contents you are referring to (both ‘the self’ and its ‘phenomena’) have no existence in actuality.
RESPONDENT: And because you’re saying something 180 degrees opposite, only one of you can be right, right?
RICHARD: How on earth can an illusory/ delusory identity (aka ‘the self’) even begin to be right about what the nature of actuality is when the actual, being totally obscured as it is by their ‘phenomena’, is forever beyond their ken?
RESPONDENT: And because it’s you, it’s you.
RICHARD: No, because it is actual, it is actuality.
RESPONDENT: The first thing you and the solipsists have in common is the supreme arrogance of thinking that you live in/as the only direct experience of the only thing that actually exists.
RICHARD: As no thing has any actual existence for a solipsist – they know that all their ‘phenomena’ only has an apparent existence – there is no way they would even begin to think any such thing (either with supreme arrogance or otherwise); as I intimately know, by living here in this actual world directly experiencing actuality as-it-is, that this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe is all that exists there is no reason for me to have to think of such a thing (either with supreme arrogance or otherwise).
Put succinctly: as only an identity (aka ‘the self’) can ever be a solipsist, and as an identity (aka ‘the self’) can never be a flesh and blood body, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, a solipsist can have in common with me.
Just by-the-by (and please correct me if I am mistaken) it is beginning to appear as if you are coming from what could be called an agnostic’s position ... for surely you would not be so ... um ... so supremely arrogant as to think you are the one who is right about what the nature of actuality is.
RESPONDENT: The next thing you have in common ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? In order to say that you do have to have established a prior thing in common.
RESPONDENT: ... is your complete inability to step outside your fixed frame of reference ...
RICHARD: As I obviously do not have ‘a set of standards governing perceptual or logical evaluation’ (Oxford Dictionary), in regards the direct experience of actuality, your assertion about such a thing being fixed, and thus unable to be stepped outside off, is meaningless.
RESPONDENT: (which you both regard as an impossibility even in principle).
RICHARD: Please correct me if I am mistaken but it is again appearing as if you are coming from what could be called an agnostic’s position (wherein, in principle, nobody can be right about what the nature of actuality is).
RESPONDENT: There are several advantages to being insane ... but this is one of the down sides.
RICHARD: As you go on to refer to [quote] ‘certainty’ [endquote] does the obverse also apply ... that one of the up sides of sanity is uncertainty?
RESPONDENT: Not to you, but to the people you interact with.
RICHARD: I will draw your attention to the following:
And, even more pertinently, to this:
Could it be that you take more notice of what your brother has to say than what I do? Vis.:
For here is but one instance of an oft-repeated phrase of mine:
RESPONDENT: Some of them anyway.
RICHARD: I am well aware that some peoples I interact with favour uncertainty ... peoples with an intellectual stance, for instance, that could be called an agnostic’s position.
RESPONDENT: Others find your certainty so attractive that they’ll try to shoehorn their way into that borrowed certainty for all they’re worth.
RICHARD: As it is the pure consciousness experience (PCE) which provides certainty, and not me or my words, you are simply grasping at straws.
RESPONDENT: For you, the world is the way you experience it because you experience it that way.
RICHARD: Here is a ‘word for the day’ for you to ponder:
RESPONDENT: Everything you say about the world is circular and self-validating because, just like a solipsist, you think you have the only direct access to the only thing that actually exists.
RICHARD: Please correct me if I am mistaken but it is more than ever appearing as if you are coming what could be called an agnostic’s position (for surely you would not be thinking that you have the only direct access to the only thing that actually exists).
RESPONDENT: It is final ... and its self-validating nature is invisible to you because you have divested yourself of the means by which you might step outside that loop.
RICHARD: Ah ... and would that means, by which that loop might be stepped outside off, be what could be called agnosticism by any chance?
RESPONDENT: There is no way for anything new to get in, or anything old to get out.
RICHARD: Hmm ... something new as in a new theory about the composition, extent, duration, and origin, of a universe (aka ‘phenomena’) which exists only in the human psyche (per favour its intuitive/ imaginative facility), perhaps?
RESPONDENT: (Nothing dirty can get in ... heh ... like not even the slightest hint of uncertainty about the composition, extent, duration, origin of the universe itself!). In this respect, you are still as self-centred as can be ...
RICHARD: Do you realise that you have now set yourself up for the self-same criticism to be levelled against you were you ever to depart from what could be called an agnostic’s position ... inasmuch that, if on the off-chance you were to ever come across certainty yourself, by virtue of your own reckoning you too could be classified as being [quote] ‘still as self-centred as can be’ [endquote]?
Put bluntly: unless you are prepared to eat crow (which preparedness immediately negates your above criticism) you have now henceforth effectively locked yourself into uncertainty for ever and a day.
RESPONDENT: ... only now your self is actual/ physical, not psychic.
RESPONDENT: You talk about solipsism later – as if this is evil or bad. Yet being beyond all desires means that one will not care about peace on earth – that one will not get involved with the suffering or happiness of anyone – knowing there is a higher purpose. I would say that true and final enlightenment is beyond all desires and includes amorality.
RICHARD: But I did not indicate that solipsism was ‘evil or bad’ ... I noted that your paragraph displayed ‘a very, very sick attitude towards the pain and suffering of 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 and the such-like’ (particularly the ‘no desire for world peace’ observation and the ‘who cares if is was a nightmare ... it was not real’ head-in-the-sand statement that cavalierly dismisses all pain and suffering). As you have repeated it above (‘one will not care about peace on earth’) it was obviously not an hastily-written or casual statement ... but a central part of your philosophy of life.
Look well at what you say further below (‘none of this is really happening – it is the dream – and there is nothing to do here’) ... try telling that to someone who has just been raped; try telling that to someone who is in a trench on the front-line; try telling that to someone being tortured; try telling that to the person on the receiving end of domestic violence; try telling that to the recipient of child abuse; try telling that to someone sliding down the slippery-slope of sadness to loneliness to melancholy to depression and then suicide. More specifically, try saying that to the Buddhist woman who is being raped by a Hindu soldier; try saying that to the Hindu mother whose son has been brutally tortured by Muslim terrorists; try saying that to a Jewish grandmother whose entire family has been wiped out by zealous Christians; try saying that to a Taoist girl whose life has been violated and ruined by Buddhist/Shinto soldiers; try saying that a Zen monk whose whole city has been razed by an atomic explosion.
If your wife and/or daughter and/or mother and/or grandmother and/or sister was being brutally raped, would you really stand by saying to her: ‘None of this is really happening – it is the dream – and there is nothing to do here’?
RESPONDENT: In Enlightenment there can be no more desires, no more teaching, no desire for world peace – just nothing. Ultimate Enlightenment is realising that none of this is happening. It is all a dream. You and I do not exist. We are just a lower form of reality – like a dream. It doesn’t matter what happens in a dream – in the end the dream is over and none of it matters. Who cares if is was a nightmare? It was not real. Even though it seemed to be real at the time. You see there is a DILEMMA within awakening. AWAKENING, for me, is knowing that this is a dream – My Dream, God’s Dream. He (or what I REALLY am) is the DOER. Just like in a dream the dreamer (asleep on the bed) is the real doer. There is only one dreamer (doer) but there may be many people in the dream. The dream people are not real. It is the same here. You do not exist even though you appear to. It is all a game – the game of maya – the play of God. God playing his own game with himself. Only he cannot play the game unless he becomes many – creation is God becoming many. God is SIMULTANEOUSLY separate from the creation and playing the game. BOTH are true. The Dreamer is really asleep on the bed but he is also engaged in the dream. Now morality and amorality takes on a new light. The question of morality only exists in duality – where there is more than one. But in REALITY there is ONLY ONE ... there is ONLY GOD, there is ONLY YOU. So, the question of morality disappears. There are no other being alive – they are just a dream. In an existence where there is ONLY ONE PERSON – no morality exists. Further, nothing happens – there is no time or space. Now ULTIMATE ENLIGHTENMENT is KNOWING this. So then, when you teach – WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO AWAKEN? There is ONLY YOU. It is all different forms of YOU. Once YOU are awake it is over ... no more teaching, no more desires, just nothingness or everythingness.
RICHARD: Hmm ... this is solipsism (and displays a very, very sick attitude towards the pain and suffering of 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 and the such-like).
RESPONDENT: Again – we have the same dilemma. In awakening the awakened one will care deeply and will selflessly offer help – he cares deeply. However in the ultimate enlightenment it changes – one becomes ‘god-like’ and detached.
RICHARD: I realise that being ‘detached’ is highly prized in some disciplines ... but it amounts to nothing more and nothing less than dissociation. Peoples everywhere are already detached – that is the very problem – and anyone who consciously practices ‘detachment’ is twice-removed from actuality.
RESPONDENT: No more desires as one comes to the profound realisation that none of this is really happening – it is the dream – and there is nothing to do here. I the awakening one wants to help others – he may become a teacher. In the final stages of enlightenment he has nothing more to say – he has no desire even to awaken others – as he recognises that it is all happening perfectly from the elevated viewpoint.
RICHARD: As I have asked before: if your wife and/or daughter and/or mother and/or grandmother and/or sister was being brutally raped, would you really stand by saying to her: ‘this is all happening perfectly from the elevated viewpoint’?
RESPONDENT: Something just occurred to me. Maybe, just maybe, the ultimate enlightenment cannot happen until everyone awakens; maybe that is why the awakened ones try to awaken others. Because I have heard it said that it is an on-going journey ... maybe it ends when everyone becomes enlightened. Just a thought.
RICHARD: Are you saying that peace-on-earth is not possible until every single man, woman and child becomes enlightened?
RESPONDENT: Yeah – maybe that is it. If everyone became enlightened – then we would have peace on earth. So – get busy and enlighten everyone.
RICHARD: Uh huh ... surely you must have gathered by now that I am no fan of ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’?
RESPONDENT: OKAY – here goes. FULL ENLIGHTENMENT means KNOWING that there is ONLY ME HERE. It is SEEING beyond the illusion of many. Once you EXPERIENCE this – there is no more blame.
RICHARD: As I have experienced this (that there is only ‘Me’) I intimately know what you speak of ... it is a sickness.
RESPONDENT: The actions of someone who is awakened are very different from someone who is fully enlightened.
RICHARD: May I ask? Why are you so ready to exonerate anyone, and anything that does not support your case, with lame-duck excuses?
RESPONDENT: By the way, inconsistencies and apparent hypocrisy are the hallmark of awakening and enlightenment.
RICHARD: I am well aware of the ‘inconsistencies’ ... any irrational ‘from the heart’ system must needs be inconsistent (which is why the ‘Tried and True’ is the ‘tried and failed’). And there is nothing ‘apparent’ about the hypocrisies ... they are indisputable hypocrisies.
RESPONDENT: It cannot be any other way.
RICHARD: I beg to differ ... it can. The genuine article (peace-on-earth) is entirely consistent and contains no hypocrisies whatsoever.
RESPONDENT: An awakened person is in fact a walking contradiction.
RICHARD: Indeed ... does this fact not make you just the teensiest bit suss?
RESPONDENT: Of course you will not be able to make sense of him.
RICHARD: Yet I can ... I know this delusion intimately.
RESPONDENT: If you could – then you could understand enlightenment.
RICHARD: Oh, I understand it very, very well ... experientially, from the inside. I was gullible enough to fall victim of that massive delusion for eleven narcissistic years.
RESPONDENT: I am not saying there is no danger here – there clearly is – because anyone can pretend to be enlightened and misuse the trust they are given.
RICHARD: Yet only the gullible trust ... and only a fool accepts someone’s trust.
RESPONDENT: However this does take away from the fact that an enlightened person will be beyond your comprehension.
RICHARD: Maybe it would be best to only speak for yourself ... an ‘enlightened person’ is not beyond my comprehension.
RESPONDENT: In order to teach, the awakened one has to do whatever is necessary to show you the truth about yourself.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I loved your last post. Your knowledge of philosophy is impressive. Would you like to write some articles for www.4DPortal.com ? I’m planning to start introducing some formal philosophy/science of consciousness stuff to the site. What I want to do is find some common ground between the academics and the mystics.
RICHARD: Oh, there is ‘common ground between the academics and the mystics’ alright ... it is just that the mystics do it and the academics study it. Also, an ‘academic’ is not necessarily a philosopher ... the ‘academics’ study philosophers as much as they do the ‘mystics’. This is because the ‘Truth’ of the philosophers is but a nom de guerre for ‘God’ ... when all is said and done.
RESPONDENT: At the moment they seem to be off in different camps using completely different words to discuss the same things and not really paying any attention to what the other camp is doing/saying. For example, I didn’t know that all us enlightenment people where solipsists – my Webster’s defines solipsism as ‘the theory that nothing but the self exists and therefore that the self is the only object of real knowledge’. Do they mean the Universal Self or the personal self?
RICHARD: Both. A solipsistic ‘personal self’ has the choice of withdrawing into neurotic self-isolation or expanding into psychotic self-aggrandisement ... usually the latter. Energised by the ‘will to survive’, that grew out of the bodily survival instinct, the self-aggrandising tendency – narcissism – born of the dominance and submission which instinctual aggression and fear brings (exemplified by the ‘Alpha Male’ prototype found in many animals) means that power and authority runs rampage when transformed into the ultimate ‘Power and Authority’ or ‘Cosmic Energy’ through sublimation and transcendence.
RESPONDENT: ... [but] based on my theoretical understanding I have just found myriads of quotes which indicate that they clearly taught the overcoming of the affective faculty.
RICHARD: Hmm ... eradicating is vastly different to overcoming, non?
RESPONDENT: First quote: ‘[Un]-self-ishness, from the Indian point of view is an amoral state, in which no question of ‘Altruism’ can present itself, liberation being as much from the notion of ‘others’ as it is form the notion of ‘self’, and not in any sense a psychological state, but a liberation from all that is implied by the ‘psyche’ in the word ‘psychology’. [Ananda Coomaraswamy, Hinduism and Buddhism].
RICHARD: The experiential state which lies behind those words is (initially) one of union – a state of oneness as expressed in ‘We are all One’ for instance – and (ultimately) one of solipsism – a state of aloneness as expressed in ‘There is only That’ for example – so of course there is liberation from the notion of ‘others’ as well as ‘self’.
Whereas in actuality there is no separation in the first place such as to necessitate such self-absorbed narcissism ... there is an actual intimacy with every body, every thing, and every event, here.
In regards to altruism: the word altruism can be used in two distinctly different ways – in a virtuous sense (as in being unselfish), such as the author you quoted is using it, or in a zoological/biological sense (as in being diametrically opposite to selfism) – and it is the latter which is of particular interest to a person wanting to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to being apparent, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, as it takes a powerful instinctive impulse (altruism) to overcome a powerful instinctive impulse (selfism) ... blind nature endows each and every human being with the selfish instinct for individual survival and the clannish instinct for group survival (be it the familial group, the tribal group, or the national group).
By and large the instinct for survival of the group is the more powerful – as is epitomised in the honey-bee (when it stings to protect/defend the hive it dies) – and it is the utilisation of this once-in-a-lifetime gregarian action which is referred to in my oft-repeated ‘an altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice/‘self’-immolation, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body’.
As for amorality ... the following links may throw some light upon that:
RESPONDENT: [Mr. Ananda Coomaraswamy]: ‘I call him a Brahman indeed’, the Buddha says, ‘who has passed beyond attachment both to good and evil; one who is clean, to whom no dust attaches, a-pathetic’. [endquote]. Not: ‘apathetic’, i.e. ‘not pathological’, as are those who are subject to their on passions or sym-pathise with those of others.
RICHARD: Being utterly apathetic myself I do understand that word (from the Greek ‘apethēs’ which literally means ‘without feeling’) properly refers to a passionless existence/ not feeling emotion – and not just to the popular usage (as in stolid indifference/stoic disinterest) – yet what must be comprehended, when speaking of the buddhistic goal, is that the ultimate state (‘jhana’) is one in which not only does the affectional ability cease but also the sensorial, the cognitional and the motorial functions as well ... plus consciousness itself (more on this further below).
Incidentally, I would be quite suss of someone translating Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s (Pali) title for such a person – an Arahant – into him really meaning a ‘Brahman’.
RESPONDENT: Second quote: ‘The affective system, Roberts says, is the cause of all suffering. Out of it arises all fear, anxiety, and psychological suffering. It would follow, she suggests, that those who have lost the affective system, are free of psychological disorders and would have no reason to seek professional help, and that is why the psychiatric literature has no description of those who have gone beyond the self’. [Book review ‘The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey’; author: Bernadette Roberts].
RICHARD: There is no point in providing quotes about Ms. Bernadette Roberts as her experience has been presented several times before and responses are available to be read (free of charge) on The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... and, by the way, as you say you have [quote] ‘just found myriads of quotes’ [endquote] it would save a lot of time and bandwidth to do a search of The Actual Freedom Trust web site before reaching for the keyboard again.
More to the point, however, were you to actually read that book (and not just quote a reviewer’s understanding drawn from it) you would find passages such as the following:
Thus if her experience is anything to go by, and there is no reason why it should not, it does throw considerable light on that hoary topic of what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan meant by the word ‘anatta’ (often translated as ‘no-self’).
RESPONDENT: These are just two quotes of many possible quotes which show that the masters’ teaching is very well beyond ‘Love Agape’ and ‘Compassion’.
RICHARD: You may find the following informative in this regard:
In other words, in full-blown spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment, there is only ‘That’ (the unmanifest by whatever name) and the manifest – all time and all space and all form – is but a dream/ an illusion/ an appearance ... meaning that in reality there is neither creation nor destruction, and thus, neither bondage nor liberation/neither a seeker after liberation nor the liberated.
RESPONDENT: They taught the loss of the ‘psyche’ and that’s only possible without the ‘affective faculty’ and without the ‘affective faculty’ there are no ‘passions’, without passions no attachment ‘good’ [love] and ‘evil’ [hate], no difference between ‘self’ and ‘others’, no ‘altruism’, no morals. That’s the core teachings of the metaphysical doctrine and that’s pretty close to what you report.
RICHARD: It is not at all close to what I report (let alone pretty close): what you have, rather loosely, detailed there can only occur in what is best described in western terms as a cataleptic state ... ‘condition of trance or seizure with loss of sensation or consciousness and abnormal maintenance of posture’ (Oxford Dictionary). Vis.:
RESPONDENT: How are you beyond them?
RICHARD: By actually hosting no affective faculty (and all which inheres with that) whatsoever.
RESPONDENT: Can it actually be that you experience the same they refer to but you interpret it differently?
RICHARD: No, not at all ... not even a remote possibility.
RESPONDENT: Did you find similar quotes like the one above ...
RICHARD: I was not at all interested in second-hand analyses, from pundits and reviewers like those you provided, as it was first-hand accounts of the experiencing itself which was of vital importance to me at the time.
RESPONDENT: ... while you were doing your research or were you only able to find references to ‘Love Agape’ in the spiritual literature of the different traditions?
RICHARD: As your query comes presupposed out of the misconception that essentially all Richard has to report about that eleven-year period is Love Agapé I would suggest you do with actualism what you say you did for seventeen years with spiritualism ... to wit: actually read what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site.
RESPONDENT: What that ‘something else’ happens to be is arbitrary.
RICHARD: Not so: if it were not for a mass, from which to measure ‘the motion of one object’ being attracted/pulled (aka ‘falling’) by the force it exerts, which force is known as gravity, there would be no falling (no motion) to measure in the first place ... and there is nothing ‘arbitrary’ about any such mass, any such attraction, and any such motion it occasions.
RESPONDENT: Nothing arbitrary about the mass, nor the actual interactions between masses. What is arbitrary is the observer’s location when he takes a measurement. (Again, bearing in mind that his measurement says nothing about the actual nature or cause of the motion – which remains precisely what it is, regardless of how it seems to the observer).
RICHARD: As the falling observer’s location is somewhere between the roof of a house and the earth it is built upon – the mass you say there is nothing arbitrary about – why do you say that the observer’s location is arbitrary when they take a measurement whilst moving in the non-arbitrary direction of that non-arbitrary mass which is occasioning the non-arbitrary motion in the first place?
Perhaps if I were to ask the obvious question: why is the observer falling if not because of that which goes by the name ‘gravity’?
RESPONDENT: To take a very down-to-earth example: suppose one man is standing in a field watching the rain fall.
RICHARD: If I may interject? Do you see that, when you set the scene by using the word ‘fall’, you are describing droplets of water moving from a cloud to the surface of the earth in a gravitational field?
If so, do you further see that to then say that for those falling droplets of water (known as ‘rain’) there exists – at least in their immediate surroundings – no gravitational field you would not be making an observation in accord with the fact?
RESPONDENT: [To take a very down-to-earth example: suppose one man is standing in a field watching the rain fall]. From his perspective, with face upturned to the sky, the rain droplets are falling perpendicular to his face. The same rain seen from a passing car travelling at high speed, would not seem to be falling straight down, it would seem to be slanting toward him at an angle approaching horizontal. In actual fact, relative to his (moving) frame of reference (the car), each droplet of rain does not merely seem to be slanting across his car at an angle, it actually is moving thus, relative to him rather than relative to the fixed position on the earth.
RICHARD: A gale-force wind can deflect rain from the perpendicular to the near-horizontal ... yet in either scenario the very gravitational field which occasions rain to fall (to be in motion from a cloud to the surface of the earth) does not cease to exist just because an observer has [quote] ‘the right to interpret’ [endquote] the state of being ‘in motion’ to be a state of ‘at rest’.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me you are reading solipsism into this, but there is no solipsism here as far as I can see.
RICHARD: I am, of course, using the word ‘solipsism’ in its ‘self-centredness’ meaning (and not its more usual ‘the view or theory that only the self really exists or can be known’ meaning) ... as in ‘she/he thinks the universe revolves around him/her’.
Surely it is somewhat solipsistic to intuit/imagine that, just because one has [quote] ‘the right to interpret’ [endquote] the state of being ‘in motion’ to be a state of ‘at rest’ that it is then so in actuality? One could interpret the state of motion known as ‘falling’ as being a state of motion called ‘flying’, for instance, yet interpretation does not miraculously turn fantasy into fact ... unless one be a theoretical physicist in the hallowed halls of modern-day academia, of course, where causality is no longer applied. Vis.: www.sciencecartoonsplus.com/gallery.htm
RESPONDENT: The person in the field and the person in the passing car are seeing the same rain, which is behaving precisely as it is behaving, being acted upon by precisely the same actual forces, regardless of the observers’ different experience of its motion relative to themselves.
RICHARD: To say the rain is ‘behaving precisely as it is behaving’ is to say nothing (whilst appearing to say something): are the droplets of water in the vicinity of the car, just as the droplets of water in the vicinity of the field are, moving towards the surface of the earth in a gravitational field or not?
RESPONDENT: The perspective of the observer does not change anything in actuality except his own experience of actuality.
RICHARD: Do you realise you are saying, in effect, that Mr. Albert Einstein was not making an observation in accord with the fact – that which is so ‘in actuality’ – when he had the happiest thought in his life?
What if I were to insert what the words ‘falling freely from the roof of a house’ refer to – moving freely towards the surface of the earth in a gravitational field – into the happiest thought of Mr. Albert Einstein’s life for the sake of illustration? For example.:
RESPONDENT: (Of course, the arbitrariness of the fixed point of measurement says nothing whatsoever about the cause of an object’s motion. It would be absurd to say that a falling object is in fact stationary, and the earth is rushing up to meet it for reasons unknown. But that obviously isn’t what Einstein is saying. Neither is he saying that two objects that are stationary relative to each other are not actually moving relative to something else). So what’s your disagreement with Einstein?
RICHARD: Simply this: an observer falling freely from the roof of a house (irregardless of the ... um ... the ‘right’ to subjectively interpret what is actually occurring as being a state of rest) is, of course, objectively in a state of motion because of the very gravitational field Mr. Albert Einstein (well-known for his ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ quote) somewhat solipsistically intuited/imagined did not exist for such a person.
RESPONDENT: There’s nothing contradictory here, AFAICT.
RICHARD: If an observer is in motion due to a gravitational field then that very gravitational field does not cease to exist just because the observer subjectively interprets their state of motion as being a state of rest and concludes there exists – at least in their immediate surroundings – no gravitational field.
RESPONDENT: Whatever actual forces are operating upon and between large masses are unaffected by the observer’s frame of reference. They remain the precisely what they are, regardless of where the observer is and how he measures them.
Solipsism is justified with regard to measurement of actual phenomena, relative to the observer. This is not the same as solipsistic conclusions about the actual nature of the forces operating upon and between masses, based on the observer’s subjective experience of same. (At least that’s how I understand it).
RICHARD: Yet Mr. Albert Einstein went on to propose all manner of ‘solipsistic conclusions about the actual nature of the forces operating upon and between masses’ (such as proposing there be a curved ‘space-time’ so as to accommodate his subjectivity theory) ... and many otherwise intelligent peoples from many parts of the world concurred with his conclusions.
RICHARD: Perhaps the relativity theory might be more appropriately named the subjectivity theory?
RESPONDENT: Aye, but with regard to measurement only.
RICHARD: Oh? Why not with regard to, for instance, his curved ‘space-time’ (which, apparently, bends right back upon itself ... so much so that an observer pointing a powerful enough torch to their front will have the beam shine upon the back of their head)?
It puts a whole new dimension to the expression ‘he thinks the universe revolves around him’, eh?
RESPONDENT: Measurement of motion and cause of motion are completely orthogonal concepts.
RICHARD: Yet Mr. Albert Einstein said that the ‘cause of motion’ – the [quote] ‘gravitational field’ [endquote] – does not exist (at least in their immediate surroundings) for an observer in motion due to the very same gravitational field as the observer has the ... um ... the ‘right’ to interpret the state of being ‘in motion’ as being a state of ‘at rest’.
RESPONDENT: The very same actual phenomena yield different measurements from different frames of reference. That’s all.
RICHARD: Since when has a ‘right to interpret’ been classified as a valid measurement?
Perhaps a real-life situation might demonstrate: in the late fifties/early sixties the United States Air Force conducted an operation called ‘Project Manhigh’ and on August 16, 1960, Mr. Joseph Kittinger stepped out of an open gondola, suspended beneath a helium balloon named Excelsior III, at a height of 102,800 feet (almost 20 miles away from the earth’s surface) where he was at the edge of space with 99% of the earth’s atmosphere below him. With only a five foot wide stabilising drogue deployed, so as to prevent uncontrollable spinning and tumbling in such an ultra-thin atmosphere (the centrifugal force of a flat spin, up to 200 revolutions per minute, would have rendered him unconscious), he virtually free-fell for 4 minutes 36 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 714 miles per hour (exceeding the speed of sound) in temperatures as low as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. The 28-foot main parachute did not open until he reached the much thicker atmosphere at 17,500 feet and he landed safely after a 13 minute 45 second descent.
When he first stepped out of the gondola, face down with arms and legs akimbo, his immediate thought was that something had gone wrong in their calculations about the extent of the effect of the gravitational field and that he would be suspended in space forever as he had absolutely no sense of speed for he could not hear any of the whooshing or whistling of the wind of his descent, so familiar from previous free-falling experiences at a lower altitude, nor see or feel any buffeting of his pressure suit. And when he flipped over and looked back at the balloon – and the space above it was black as night whilst he and it were bathed in sunshine – he initially took it to be streaking away from him at hundreds of miles per hour (whereas it had been ascending at less than ten miles an hour while he was on board) but he quickly realised that it was he who was streaking away from the balloon.
In other words he (objectively) knew he was falling – moving towards the surface of the earth in a gravitational field – even though his (subjective) interpretation of what was actually occurring had been that he was suspended in space ... which objectivity was certainly justified because 13 minutes 45 seconds later he landed on the surface of the earth.
RESPONDENT: You many want to reread the quotes you provide about time and space – replace ‘thought’ with ‘conceptual thinking happening in the brain only’ (received from culture of course) – rather than ‘thought’ in some omnipresent Mind sense.
RICHARD: I did and I see that it would have been far better, as I have already commented, if he had said that thought creates conceptual time and conceptual space and conceptual matter ... can you point me towards some quotes where he makes it unambiguously clear that he is speaking of thought creating a conceptual universe?
RESPONDENT: ‘Conceptual universe’ was my term ...
RICHARD: So he does not unambiguously say that thought creates conceptual time and conceptual space and conceptual matter after all ... that was your interpolation.
I will stay with taking his words literally then.
RESPONDENT: ... and probably a clumsy one. He does not speak in that manner, but I think my previous quote lends credibility to just that regarding matter, space, and time.
RICHARD: I will repeat here an observation I made in a previous post (which you may have overlooked): palaeontology evidences that time and space and matter existed long before human beings and the human mind and human thought appeared on the scene.
Thus we do not even have to get into a discussion about whether dogs can think or not to ascertain that time and space and matter exist in their own right (independent of thought) ... and long before Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti was born.
RICHARD: You see, it is that bit about ‘direct sense experience’ being impossible that makes me wonder if that is what he means.
RESPONDENT: It seems clear to me why he says that ‘direct sense experience’ is impossible. His idea is that ALL experience is mediated by thought. Thus, there is no such thing as ‘direct sense experience’. That is a contradiction in terms for him.
RICHARD: Yes, and he makes this explicit in the first of the initial quotes I provided in order to demonstrate that he was basically spiritual ... I will re-post it here as you may be inclined to take notice of it this time around:
It is quite clear that for him the physical world – the world of this body and that body and every body; the world of the mountains and the streams; the world of the trees and the flowers; the world of the clouds in the sky by day and the stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum – does not exist outside of his mind.
RESPONDENT: You had also called me the maximum of egocentricity.
RICHARD: No, I specifically said that what you were saying was ‘self-centred’ ... and for a very good reason. Vis.:
Here is what I mean by the word solipsism:
The ego, or ego-self, is only one half of identity (the other half being the soul/spirit or soul-self/spirit-self) and it takes far more than ‘egocentricity’ to be solipsistic as soul-centricity is a vital component of such ‘self’-aggrandisement ... it being just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the full-blown ‘I am God’ delusion.
RESPONDENT: So your above statement proves that everybody’s brains is forming the world that it experiences.
RICHARD: It does nothing of the kind ... the ‘above statement’ you are referring to is expressive prose (such as ‘fairy-tale-like’ for instance) deliberately designed to convey the direct experience that matter is not merely passive. Vis.:
The actualism writings on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site – the third alternative to either materialism or spiritualism – are an invitation for the reader to directly experience for themself that they do not live in an inert universe.
Put succinctly: it is experiential.
RESPONDENT No. 00: Would you say ‘I think therefore I am’ to be the ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious?
RICHARD: Yes. That infamous theorem ‘I think, therefore I am’ is fatally flawed. It is predicated upon the initial surmise – ‘I think’ – being a fact in order to produce the conclusion ... ‘I am’. The premise is faulty ... it should read only the fact that ‘there is thinking happening’. Thus the rewritten axiom now looks like this: ‘There is thinking happening, therefore I am’ ... which is, of course, nothing but twaddle dressed up as sagacity. Tacit assumptions expose the lie of philosophy.
RESPONDENT: This is a misunderstanding of the axiom. The translation from Latin of the axiom is flawed. It is actually ‘thinking therefore I am’.
RICHARD: Are you sure? As I understand it, the axiom ‘cogito, ergo sum’ translates literally into English as: ‘I think, therefore I am’.
Maybe you were thinking of ‘cogitat, ergo sum’?
RESPONDENT: Descartes’ point is that in that there is thinking going on there must be a subject doing that thinking, that is ‘I’ the thinker exists.
RICHARD: Indeed ... the Cartesian proposition is purportedly self-reinstating: deny that you think, and in so doing you think (implying that to deny that you exist then the very fact of denial gives proof of your existence). This still gives lie to ‘I’ being ‘proved’ by thinking ... the ‘I’ is pre-supposed to exist by virtue of what may be merely thinking happening. Nevertheless, Mr. René Descartes took this axiom as a first step in demonstrating the attainability of certain knowledge. The statement is indubitable, he argued: ‘because even if an all-powerful demon were to try to deceive me into thinking that I exist when I do not, I would have to exist for the demon to deceive me. Therefore, whenever I think, I exist’. Even so, he argued that the statement ‘I am’ (‘sum’) expresses an immediate intuition, not the conclusion of dubious reasoning, and is thus indubitable: ‘Whatever I know’, he stated, ‘I know intuitively that I am’. Therefore it is not a deductive axiom anyway – whilst looking like one – but is drawn from intuition ... according to him. The question is: what is intuition for him ... and why does he consider it indubitable?
Incidentally, why not ‘sufferre, ergo sum’ ... which is a fortiori for ‘my’ existence.
RESPONDENT: The proof has nothing to do with tacit assumptions. That is actually its point.
RICHARD: If I may point out? This ‘cogito’ (‘I think’) premise is nothing but a subjective ‘a posteriori-like’ supposition (he called it ‘immediate intuition’) masquerading as an ‘a priori’ philosophical presentation ... which makes it a tacit assumption. His ‘proof’ for his premise (‘I think’) is therefore ‘proved’ by the intuition (‘I am’) ... which makes it an circular argument. It may look impressive, yet all he is trying to do is ‘mathematically’ formalise intuition. The question is: what is intuition for him ... and why does he consider it indubitable?
RESPONDENT: Perhaps you have to understand the context of the axiom, to fully appreciate what Descartes meant.
RICHARD: The context, as I understand it, is that Mr. René Descartes’ philosophical method is predicated upon a single process designed to pursue certitude about the nature of knowledge by means of his ‘Method of Doubt’. He found knowledge from tradition to be dubitable because authorities disagree; knowledge from empirical knowledge dubitable because of illusions, hallucinations and dreams; and even mathematical knowledge dubitable because people make errors in calculating. His ‘Method of Doubt’ works by suspending judgement on any belief until it can be shown to be systematically derived from more certain beliefs. The aim of the ‘Method’ is to reach a belief which cannot be doubted, and then to build up knowledge from that basis. In this way scepticism can be refuted. In his ‘Discours de la Methode’, Mr. René Descartes claimed that the intuitive ‘a priori’ belief in his own existence, ‘cogito ergo sum’ (‘I think therefore I am’), was immune to doubt and could, therefore, serve as the basic belief. On this basis he came to hold a dualist philosophy of mind; believing the essence of the ‘I’ to be thinking, and of the physical body to be extension. He is usually credited with having provided the most significant articulation of dualism, according to which the world is composed of a single material substance (nature), which is extended and divisible, and a plurality of mental or immaterial substances (God and the minds of individual persons), each of which is unextended and indivisible. The question once more is: what is intuition for him ... and why does he consider it indubitable?
Of course, dualism in all of its forms leads to the notorious problem of interaction: namely, of understanding how substances of different kinds can affect one another. Mr. René Descartes sought to resolve this problem in the case of human beings by claiming that a particular part of the brain (the pineal gland) is responsible for coordinating the relations of mind and body. His solution depends, however, upon the role of God in instituting this arrangement, and a frequent objection of modern, secular dualists is that they have no alternative way of explaining the relation of mind and body. His is an extreme position in the philosophy of dualism, wherein he claimed that minds are utterly distinct substances. An important part of his argument for this position is the claim that mental states are known in a special way: they are directly given, transparent to their owner, and known infallibly. The question again is: what is intuition for him ... and why does he consider it infallible? However, he could be said to be the first modern Rationalist in that, being an original mathematician, his ambition was to introduce into philosophy the rigour and clearness that appealed to him in mathematics. He set out to doubt everything in the hope of arriving in the end at something indubitable. This he reached in his famous axiom ... for to doubt one’s own doubting would be absurd, he reasoned. Here then was a fact of absolute certitude, rendered such by the distinctness with which it presented itself to reason. His task was to build on this as a foundation, to deduce from it a series of other propositions, each following with the same self-evidence. He hoped thus to produce a philosophical system on which people could agree as completely as they do on the geometry of Mr. Euclid. The main cause of error, he held, lay in the impulsive desire to believe before the mind is clear. The distinctness upon which he insisted was not that of perception but of conception, the clearness with which the intellect grasps an abstract idea, such as the number three being greater than the number two.
So, why does he consider intuition indubitable? Mr. René Descartes distinguished two sources of knowledge: intuition and deduction. Intuition, to him, is an unmediated mental seeing or direct apprehension of something experienced. The truth of the proposition ‘I think’ is guaranteed by the intuition one has of one’s own experience of thinking. One might think that the proposition ‘I am’ is guaranteed by deduction, as is suggested by the ‘ergo’. In ‘Objections and Replies’ (1642), however, Mr. René Descartes explicitly says that the certainty of ‘I am’ is also based upon intuition. He finds certainty in the intuition that when he is thinking, even if deceived, he exists: The cogito of ‘cogito, ergo sum’ is a logically self-evident truth that gives certain knowledge of a particular thing’s existence – that is, one’s self – but the cogito justifies accepting as certain only the existence of the person who thinks it. Because if all one ever knew for certain was that one exists – and if one adhered to Mr. René Descartes’ method of doubting all that is uncertain – then one would be reduced to solipsism, the view that nothing exists but one’s individual self and thoughts. To escape this, he argues that all ideas that are as clear and distinct as the cogito must be true, for, if they were not, the cogito also, as a member of the class of clear and distinct ideas, could be doubted. Since ‘I think, therefore I am’ cannot be doubted, all clear and distinct ideas must be true!
What persuades him to reason like this? It is pertinent that he repeated the ontological argument first presented by Mr. Anselm (1033-1109), claiming to establish the existence of God ‘a priori’, that is, in a way that depends only on the concept of God, and draws on no factual premise. The ontological argument is thus contrasted with various cosmological arguments, which seek to demonstrate the existence of God as creator from the existence or order of the natural world. Mr. Anselm’s argument held that God is the most perfect conceivable being; that a God who exists in reality is of greater perfection than one who exists only as a conception in man’s mind; and that therefore God, as maximally perfect, must exist in reality. Thus Mr. René Descartes begins with the statement that he has an innate idea of God as a perfect being and then intuits that God necessarily exists, because, if he did not, he would not be perfect. This ontological proof for the existence of God is at the heart of Mr. René Descartes’ rationalism, for it establishes certain knowledge about an existing thing solely on the basis of reasoning from innate ideas, with no help from sensory experience. This is the source of his intuition – which now starts to resemble faith – because he then argues that, because God is perfect, he does not deceive human beings; therefore the world exists. Thus Mr. René Descartes claims to have given metaphysical foundations for the existence of his own mind, of God, and of the world. Mr. René Descartes then establishes that each mind is a spiritual substance and each body a part of one material substance. The mind or soul is immortal because it is unextended and cannot be broken into parts, as can extended bodies ... and on and on he goes. The persistence of identity even unto immortality in an immaterial after-life is legendary, by now. So much for his ‘intuition’ being indubitable, eh?
There is a circularity inherent in Mr. René Descartes’ reasoning: To know that God exists, one must trust the clear and distinct idea of God; but, to know that clear and distinct ideas are true, one must know that God exists and does not deceive man. Mr. René Descartes, the rationalist, failed to see that his ontologically-inspired ‘intuitional’ proof is word-magic based on the superstition that a metaphysical reality can be determined – and validated as being fact – by ideas and thoughts.
RICHARD: Mr. René Descartes, the rationalist, failed to see that his ontologically-inspired ‘intuitional’ proof is word-magic based on the superstition that a metaphysical reality can be determined – and validated as being fact – by ideas and thoughts. It is, as I said before, nothing but twaddle dressed up as sagacity.
RESPONDENT: Dear Richard, no reason to expand on the original opinion. It is neither twaddle nor sagacity.
RICHARD: Dear No. 20, no reason to pretend to be agnostic on this issue ... what you say (below) gives lie to your statement that it is ‘neither twaddle nor sagacity’.
RESPONDENT: But you have now brought into our purview the entire argument, whereas I wanted you to focus on the original maxim, for it is a striking one.
RICHARD: What is so striking about it? It is but a valiant – though ultimately futile – and vainglorious attempt to prop up selfish idealism.
RESPONDENT: And I felt and still feel that you have not given this maxim its due.
RICHARD: Yet the maxim attempts to validate the alien entity – self – and build a metaphysics on a lie!
RESPONDENT: If you are interested in giving the maxim its full force, then don’t get lost in the rest of the Cartesian metaphysics.
RICHARD: Oh, I am not lost in ‘Cartesian metaphysics’ ... I merely presented it so as to show the context that he derived his maxim from.
RESPONDENT: It strikes me (and I have wondered about this before) – that there is a kind of solipsism of experience going on here – as in much of the spiritual literature on enlightenment and non-duality.
Douglas Harding expresses it quite well in his idea of ‘having no head’. I heard Bernadette Roberts put it exactly that way – and I also see it in UG’s statements about not being aware of his body. The ‘experience’ might be characterized by a consciousness being unable to reflect upon itself as to have ‘self’-consciousness – which is why they make so much of it being a non-experience.
Ludwig Wittgenstein made this a dominant theme in his life and writing as well. It is an extreme scepticism about thought and knowledge that J Krishnamurti shares to some extent with UG, Wittgenstein, Bernadette Roberts, Douglas Harding, and probably most spiritualists – which is why the limits of knowledge is so important to them. JK talked about intelligence awakening when it discovers it’s limits – UG has similar themes, BR identifies greatly with the ‘Cloud of Unknowing’ and makes much of unknowing, and Wittgenstein was instrumental in giving birth to the current spirit of postmodernism where doubt and scepticism are trusted more highly than common sense knowledge.
I’m going on here, but I’m just writing as it occurs to me. The common theme is that reflective consciousness no longer comes into play in this state. The world doesn’t really have a past or future (only timelessness), there is no ‘self’, objects appear flat (no-3D), no ‘attachment’ to the past or future since they don’t exist, all that exists is what is given to present experience – everything else is ‘unknown’.
Take that formula and turn in into a life and you get UG’s undivided consciousness.
RICHARD: Yes ... an ‘undivided consciousness’ means there is, literally, no observer and the observed (aka subject and object) – the observer is the observed (aka ‘Tat Tvam Asi’/ ‘Thou Art That’) – wherein there is only observation (aka witnessing).
RESPONDENT: Could it be this easy? Undivided Consciousness = Solipsism of Present (non-reflexive) Consciousness?
RICHARD: It is indeed that easy (although even the word ‘Present’ becomes nonsensical as it is a timeless state).
RESPONDENT: I don’t know if you understand what I’m getting at, but I’m beginning to wonder whether you have a big smile of recognition on your face indicating that you understand it all too well – as in what you lived through?
RICHARD: Indeed so ... and it is why I am responding to this e-mail ahead of the others awaiting my attention.
RESPONDENT: Is this also be the reason why you sniff out solipsism wherever it rears it’s ugly head, because of the relationship between solipsism and spiritual realization?
RICHARD: Yes, phrases such as ‘we are all one’ (as in an oceanic feeling of oneness) are meant to be taken literally (as in ‘there is no other’) ... as is ‘I Am That’ (not the ego-‘I’ though) or ‘Thou Art That’ meant to be taken literally.
And if the mystic is really coy (which I was) they say ‘There is only That’ – hence the ‘Anatta’ (‘No-Self’) doctrine of Buddhism – and either decline to comment on after-death states or declare there is no such thing as death (such as I did).
RESPONDENT: I am going to go back and read some of the commonly raised objections concerning this matter but anything you can offer would be appreciated.
RICHARD: Okay ... given that you agree the goal of the actualism method just seems contrived then here is a question for you: what is the difference between solipsism and nondualism (aka advaita)?
RESPONDENT: I am not familiar with advaita.
RICHARD: In which case ... essentially there is no difference between solipsism and nondualism as they are both totally, completely and utterly self-centred.
RESPONDENT: What does the question have to do with the actualism method being contrived?
RICHARD: It does not have anything to do with [quote] ‘the actualism method being contrived’ [endquote] ... it has to do with you agreeing that [quote] ‘the goal’ [endquote] of the actualism method just seems contrived. Vis.:
Put succinctly: as the goal of a nondualist (even for a dilettante) is not peace-on-earth then, of course, the goal of the actualism method must seem contrived.
RESPONDENT: [Richard]: What actualism – the wide and wondrous path to actual freedom – is on about is a ‘virtual freedom’ (which is not to be confused with cyber-space’s ‘virtual reality’) 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 feel good, feel happy and feel perfect for 99% of the time. I make this very clear in my writing: [snip]. What I am reading here is, ‘good feelings along with bad feelings are minimized so that one is free to feel good feelings and thereby make a PCE more likely. Could you clarify?
RICHARD: Sure ... the [quote] ‘good’ [endquote] feelings mentioned are the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) and the [quote] ‘bad’ [endquote] feelings mentioned are the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) whereas feeling good/ feeling happy/ feeling perfect are the felicitous and innocuous feelings (those that are delightful and harmonious).
RESPONDENT: So the meditation practices blow the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions up larger than life?
RICHARD: That is one way of putting it ... the spiritualisation process involved is essentially one of sublimation and transcendence.
RESPONDENT: What do they do with the felicitous ones?
RICHARD: As a generalisation: the felicitous (and innocuous) feelings are not experienced in their own right but are subsumed under the ‘good’ feelings ... felicity (and innocuity), rather than being the delightful experience of sensuosity and sensuality, then comes from feeling loving and compassionate (for instance).
RESPONDENT: This [the ‘dogmatic assertions’ variation on earlier similar speculations] all shows only one thing too clearly: If you thought yourself to be the Absolute before self-immolation, you will still think yourself to be the Absolute after self-immolation – just in ‘physical’ disguise.
RICHARD: It does no such thing ... what it does show, however, is the lengths you will go to (up to and including shooting yourself in the foot) in order to think/ hope you can rather explain and reduce my experience to fit into an unnamed psychiatric condition by likening it to religiosity and/or spirituality and/or mysticality and/or metaphysicality. For example: the many and various realised/ enlightened/ awakened beings report that the observer is the observed/the seer is the seen ... thereby, according to your rationale, immunising themselves from criticism by equating their report with what they report.
RICHARD: There is no how – that entire ‘dogmatic assertions’ variation on your earlier similar speculations is a flight of fancy from beginning to end – as the timeless and spaceless and formless (and thus metaphysical) absolute, which the aggrandised identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago experienced, perished simultaneous to ‘his’ expiration ... revealing, as it were, that it was this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe which had been absolute (as in not contingent/existing without any other and thus without compare/incomparable as in peerless/matchless) all along.
RESPONDENT: (1) Immunize yourself by equating the report with the reported.
RICHARD: Here is a scenario for you: supposing one were to say that the plastic and silicon object these words appear as pixels on is a computer monitor, and not a wheelbarrow, then in what way is that statement of what is patently obvious an equating of the report (that the plastic and silicon object these words appear as pixels on is a computer monitor and not a wheelbarrow) with what is being reported (the fact that the plastic and silicon object these words appear as pixels on is a computer monitor and not a wheelbarrow)?
Furthermore, in what way is that statement of fact (that the plastic and silicon object these words appear as pixels on is a computer monitor and not a wheelbarrow) an immunisation from criticism?
RESPONDENT: (2) Attach the attributes of the Absolute to the reports.
RICHARD: As the primary attributes, as you call them, of a metaphysical absolute are that it be an immaterial/incorporeal (as in timeless and spaceless and formless) absoluteness there is no way that anybody can attach, as you claim, those characteristics to either the reports of that which is physically absolute or to that physically absolute which is being reported (this spatially infinite and temporally eternal and materially perpetual universe).
RESPONDENT: And you will be reporting about the Absolute – just in ‘physical’ disguise – and nobody will be able to do anything about it.
RICHARD: Au contraire, anybody with sufficient nous can (a) intellectually discern the marked distinction between that which is reported as being timelessly and spacelessly and formlessly (immaterially/ incorporeally) absolute and that which is reported as being materially/ corporeally (of infinite spatiality and eternal temporality and perdurable materiality) absolute ... and (b) intellectually comprehend that a metaphysical absolute is contingent upon time and space and form existing in the first place (were it not for physicality no such thing as a metaphysical proposition could even begin to be postulated) ... and (c) experientially ascertain the startlingly obvious difference betwixt the two absolutes via an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and a pure consciousness experience (PCE).
RESPONDENT: The only one who could uncover our ‘Absolute in disguise’ is someone who is entity-free ...
RICHARD: Sure ... but not somebody that is free of identity in toto, though.
RESPONDENT: ... [The only one who could uncover our ‘Absolute in disguise’ is someone who is entity-free] but such a person (like BR for example) will not be acknowledged as an ‘authority’ by Richard for the very reason that s/he wouldn’t make the same dogmatic assertions about sense perceptions ...
RICHARD: No ... such a person as Ms. Bernadette Roberts, for example, whilst being acknowledged as having the experiential authority (as in the intimate investigational expertise) to report knowledgably about a metaphysical absolute will not be acknowledged as having the experiential authority (as in the intimate investigational expertise) to report knowledgably about the physical absolute.
RESPONDENT: ... hence, so prescribes the perverse logic (based on the immunising fallacy: report = reported) ...
RICHARD: It is indeed perverse ... but as what you are referring to (the report being the reported) is your rationale, and not mine, then that perversion is yours and yours alone.
RESPONDENT: ... [hence], s/he cannot be entity-free and must be in ASC!
RICHARD: No, such a person is indeed [quote] ‘entity-free’ [endquote] – else they cannot have the experiential authority (as in the intimate investigational expertise) to report knowledgably about a metaphysical absolute (as evidenced in an ASC) – as distinct from being free of identity in toto (as evidenced in a PCE).
RESPONDENT: As to his ‘followers’ (Vineeto, Peter, others) they cannot help but must believe him ...
RICHARD: On the contrary, such persons as you mention can, and do, verify for themselves experientially (via PCE’s or even via both PCE’s and ASC’s) that what Richard has to report/ describe/ explain is in accord with fact and actuality.
Incidentally, experience over many years has shown that it is usually religionists and/or spiritualists and/or mystics and/or metaphysicalists who gratuitously toss in epithets like [quote] ‘followers’ [endquote] and other pejorative words of that ilk ... such as, for instance, ‘disciples’.
RESPONDENT: ... [they cannot help but must believe him] and reiterate – like good disciples used to do – their ‘Absolute in disguise’s dogmatic assertions. It is indeed a sad story.
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.