Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Sorrow


RICHARD: As a broad generalised categorisation, ‘sorrow’ (the desire to hurt oneself; active grief, suffering or melancholy; a deep sadness) is used here as a ‘catch-all’ word for what one does to oneself (sadness, loneliness, melancholy, grief, masochism and so on through all the variations such as agony; angst; anguish; anxiety; apprehension; bereavement; bleakness; crestfallen; deflated; dejected; depression; desolation; despondency; disappointment; disconcerted; disconsolate; discontented; discouraged; disenchanted; disillusioned; displeased; disquiet; dissatisfied; distress; dismay; downhearted; dreariness; edginess; fear; fed-up; flustered; foreboding; fretfulness; frustrated; gloominess; glum; grief; heartache; horror; lament; melancholic; miserable; misery; morose; mourning; nervousness; panic; perturbed; regret; sad; sadness; sorrow; sorrowfulness; suffering; tenseness; terror; thwarted; torment; trepidation; troubled; uneasiness; upset; woe; worry; wretchedness).


RESPONDENT: Something that has helped me recently was reading (List B, Feb., 2003, Respondent #19) about going around approving and disapproving of the universe happening. That’s me! I have been disapproving of the universe happening! Not that I am now approving of it happening (I never did approve of it happening that I know of) but now it’s more neutral. Life is easier. It’s like I have a less adverse effect on people and things.

RICHARD: I was unable to find anything at the reference you provide ... but I did find this:

• [Richard]: ‘Back in 1980 ‘I’ looked at the stars one night and temporarily came to my senses: there are galaxies exploding/ imploding (or whatever) all throughout the physical infinitude where an immeasurable quantity of matter is perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time and ‘I’ – puny, pathetic ‘I’ in an ant-like-in-comparison and very vulnerable 6’2’’ flesh and blood body – disapprove of all this? That is, ‘I’ call all this a ‘sick joke’, or whatever depreciative assessment? And further: so what if ‘I’ were to do an about-face and graciously approve? What difference would that make to the universe?
Zilch.
Ergo: ‘I’, with all my abysmal opinions, theories, concepts, values, principles, judgements and so on, am not required at all ... ‘I’ am a supernumerary. ‘I’ am redundant; ‘I’ can retire; fold ‘my’ hand; pack in the game, die, dissolve, disappear, disintegrate, depart, vamoose, vanish – whatever – and life would manage quite well, thank you, without ‘me’ ... a whole lot better, in fact, as ‘I’ am holding up the works from functioning smoothly.
‘I’ am not needed ... ‘my’ services are no longer required.

What is at the bottom of all this disapproving business is a basic resentment at having to be here in the first place (as in ‘I didn’t ask to be born’ for example) and that fundamental grievance gets taken out on the universe at large.

And for as long as ‘I’ am out to prove that life sucks (by being miserable and malicious) and that being here is the pits there is no way ‘I’ am going to be happy and harmless as to do so would be to betray ‘my’ most basic feeling about it all.

I kid you not – it was one of the first things ‘I’ realised all those years ago – yet there is a simple way to be done with such nonsense forever. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘In 1980, ‘I’ , the persona that I was, looked at the natural world and just knew that this enormous construct called the world – and the universe itself – was not ‘set up’ for us humans to be forever forlorn in with only scant moments of reprieve. ‘I’ realised there and then that it was not and could not ever be some ‘sick cosmic joke’ that humans all had to endure and ‘make the best of’. ‘I’ felt foolish that ‘I’ had believed for thirty two years that the ‘wisdom’ of the world ‘I’ had inherited – the real world that ‘I’ was born into – was set in stone. This foolish feeling allowed ‘me’ to get in touch with ‘my’ dormant naiveté, which is the closest thing one has that resembles actual innocence, and activate it with a naive enthusiasm to undo all the conditioning and brainwashing that ‘I’ had been subject to. Then when ‘I’ looked into myself and at all the people around and saw the sorrow of humankind ‘I’ could not stop. ‘I’ knew that ‘I’ had just devoted myself to the task of setting ‘myself’ and ‘humanity’ free ... ‘I’ willingly dedicated my life to this most worthy cause. It is so exquisite to devote oneself to something whole-heartedly ... the ‘boots and all’ approach ‘I’ called it then! (pages 240-41, ‘Richard’s Journal’; ©The Actual Freedom Trust 1997).

You will see that this is a far cry from being ‘more neutral’ about it all.


RICHARD: (...) as I was able to locate and identify that basic resentment which all people I had spoken to have – to wit: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ – the first thing I did was to unconditionally say !YES! to being here on earth. Remembering the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) I had experienced was vitally important for success because they showed me, first hand, that an actual freedom from the human condition is already always just here ... right now. With the memory of that crystal-clear perfection held firmly in mind that basic resentment went, of course, never to return again.

RESPONDENT: Is this basic resentment the source of all depression and sorrow?

RICHARD: No, that basic resentment is what hampers sincere investigation and hinders genuine progress ... the source of sorrow itself, and thus depression and all the rest, is not being what one actually is. For instance:

• [Richard]: ‘There is only one person in this whole wide world that one can change ... myself. This is the most important point to understand thoroughly, otherwise one endlessly tries to change the other ... and as there are billions of ‘others’ it would be a life-time task with still no success at the end. If one grasps that the way to peace-on-earth is by changing oneself – and oneself only – then all of one’s interactions with others will undergo a radical transformation. You set them free of your graceless demands ... your endless neediness born out of being alone in the world. The cause of sadness and loneliness [aka sorrow] is not, as is commonly believed, alienation from others. The single reason for being alone and lonely is from not being what-I-am. By not being this flesh and blood body just brimming with sensory organs, but being, instead, an identity within ‘I’ am doomed to perpetual loneliness and aloneness. ‘I’ am fated to ever pursue an elusive ‘Someone’ or ‘Something’ that will fill that aching void.
When I am what-I-am, there is no void. By being what I actually am – this body only – I have no need for others; hence I also have no need to place the burden upon them to fulfil that what was lacking. Not only do I free myself from that perpetual pursuit, but I also free others in my company from the task ‘I’ impose upon them. Being this sensual body is actual fulfilment, each moment again. Nevermore will I be needy, greedy and grasping. Nevermore will I plot and plan and manipulate others. Nevermore will I have to prostitute myself to others to assuage those main attributes of the identity within: being lost, lonely, frightened and cunning. Being what-I-am is to be free-flowing, spontaneous, delightful ... and it is fun, for one can never be hurt again’.


RICHARD: ‘I’ cannot experience the actuality of being caring ... ‘I’ can only experience the feeling of being caring. For example, the last time I visited my biological parents (1984) I was told ‘we worry about you’ ... which fretful feeling of apprehension/ anxiety is, to them, being caring. They mean well, of course, as do most people.

RESPONDENT: So, all affective caring stems from separation – the need to ‘solve’ isolation and loneliness.

RICHARD: Yes, it does stem from separation – from being a separative identity – and it does have the effect of ‘solving’ (not dissolving) isolation and loneliness, albeit temporarily, but further to the point affective caring verifies, endorses, and consolidates ‘me’.

Not only am ‘I’ thus authenticated, sanctioned, and substantiated ... ‘my’ presence has meaning.

*

RESPONDENT: Are you saying this [taking care of other people and things] only happens in a selfish sort of way? That all feeling caring is selfish – therefore not really caring at all?

RICHARD: I would rather say ‘self’-centred than ‘selfish’ ... when someone is touched by another’s suffering, as in being moved sufficiently to stimulate caring action, it is their own suffering which is being kindled and quickened. Thus feelings are being aroused, which motivate the activity of caring, and taking care of the other works to assuage the aroused feelings (as well as working to help the other of course). Shall I put it this way? They are missing-out on experiencing the actuality of the caring action, the helpful activity itself, which is taking place.

RESPONDENT: OK, so ‘self’-centred caring (feeling caring) actually works to eliminate one’s own suffering?

RICHARD: Not ‘eliminate’ ... mitigate, alleviate, lessen, diminish.

RESPONDENT: Even so, the other person suffering is getting cared for.

RICHARD: Aye ... the other person does get physically taken care of but both persons miss out on the direct experience of the caring action, the helpful activity itself, which is taking place.

RESPONDENT: So properly caring for the other person is a prerequisite for ‘assuaging’ one’s own aroused feelings.

RICHARD: Yes ... else there be feelings of guilt, compunction, shame, ignominy and so on.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t this actually caring about the other person?

RICHARD: The physical act of caring – the helpful activity itself – is certainly happening but actually caring (an inseparate regard) is not ... there is only feeling caring (a unifying solicitude) occurring.

RESPONDENT: Admittedly, it is caring via one’s own feeling, but one actually does care about the other, since it is only through proper care of the other that one’s own feelings are ‘assuaged’.

RICHARD: No, one does not actually care about the other – one feels that one cares about the other – which is not to deny that ‘proper care’ does occur ... it is remarkable what physical assistance is achieved despite all the hindrances.

RESPONDENT: I’m never quite sure how to take the word, ‘actually’ when you use it – whether it’s sometimes the normal usage – or whether it’s always the ‘actualism’ usage. For example, I am tempted to say that even when one is empathetic and works to resolve another’s suffering – then one actually cared about their suffering – about the other person – again admittedly, via one’s own suffering, yet there is caring taking place – but it’s not actual caring (in the ‘actualism’ usage).

RICHARD: When empathy works to resolve another’s suffering an empathetic caring occurs – this is not under dispute – but it is occurring as a feeling activity ... in the form of affective vibes and/or psychic currents. However, it is only occurring in the real world – there is no empathetic caring here in this actual world – which is a salutary point few comprehend.

For instance, some ‘born-again’ people bailed me up in the street some time ago in order to save me from their devil (only they called it ‘The Devil’ so as to make their fantasy universal): as the conversation waxed they grew more and more intense, their words became loving words, their eyes became radiant eyes, their faces became soft and suffused with a glowing shade of pink, and if my companion had been with me at the time she could have verified, as she has on other occasions, that feeling vibes and psychic currents were swirling and eddying all about.

Eventually they gave up as they could not ‘reach’ me (aka establish a feeling connection).

RESPONDENT: I’m still trying to pin down exactly how feeling caring is an ‘illusion’ of caring. I’m still tempted to think that one does care even in empathy – though not in the actualist sense. Does the illusion come in where one thinks that that sort of caring is (or can be) not self-centred?

RICHARD: That is partly so – an unselfish ‘self’ is still a ‘self’ nevertheless and is perforce ‘self’-centred in all its activities – but there is also the factor of just who it is that is caring for who it is that is being cared for to take into account. In other words: it is an illusory identity inside one body which is caring for an illusory identity in another body. Which is what the born-again people in the above example were (futilely) attempting to do ... and I say ‘futilely’ because there is no entity inside this flesh and blood body to be stroked by their blandishments.

Or to be goaded by intimations of perdition, of course.


RESPONDENT: ... Would you say that an addiction is the ‘me’ trying to cling to or recreate a ‘good’ feeling?

RICHARD: Indeed ... but there possibly is more to it than that (I was involved in a verbal discussion about this only a couple of days ago) as what may become obvious, upon closer investigation, is that ‘I’ can be as much addicted to the suffering, which ensues as the eventual result of the high evaporating, as ‘I’ am addicted to the high in the first place. Arguably more so, perhaps, despite how perverse the notion may sound at first hearing.

RESPONDENT: I can see this in others although it is not readily apparent in myself. For example, I have heard gamblers say that they are just as addicted to losing as they are to winning. The only way I can relate this to myself is that it is the action I am addicted to and the action includes winning as well as the risk of losing.

RICHARD: I was not referring to whatever suffering may be caused by losing in gambling ... but to the suffering which ensues as the eventual result of the high evaporating (no matter what particular addiction it is). Therefore I presume that the ‘action’ you refer to is what provides the high ... and if so then I further presume that when this action-induced high evaporates then suffering ensues.

If this is the case then it is this suffering which is well worth investigating for its addictive properties.

*

RICHARD: ... I presume that the ‘action’ you refer to is what provides the high ... and if so then I further presume that when this action-induced high evaporates then suffering ensues. If this is the case then it is this suffering which is well worth investigating for its addictive properties.

RESPONDENT: Ok, there is suffering now. I just lost the last of the money in my online poker account. After a nice winning streak the last week or so suddenly the worm turned today and it was my worst nightmare. I didn’t play bad. It was just that my hands kept getting beat. I am shell shocked. I plan on quitting again by paying my friend a nice sum if I don’t. I hear what you are saying about investigating the suffering for its addictive properties. However, I don’t see how I am addicted to the suffering. It is the winning that seems to provide the high which evaporates upon losing and then there is suffering. The reason I can’t see how I am addicted to the suffering is because I never intend to lose. I never know if or when I am going to lose so suffering is not assured. If I am addicted to the suffering I don’t know it. I will keep looking at it. However, I will go ahead and send the email now while I am in the midst of the suffering. It looks like if one is addicted to suffering they will want to cause the suffering and I can’t see how this is the case with me. The truth is I want to play some more now.

RICHARD: Okay ... I will come at it from another direction then: the bottom line of ‘me’ is suffering (obviously there are times when ‘I’ feel happy, when ‘I’ feel glad, when ‘I’ feel cheerful and so on but whenever those moments pass ‘I’ inevitably revert to ‘my’ default setting).

So, essentially ‘I’ am suffering and, as ‘I’ am addicted to being ‘me’ and being ‘me’ is suffering, ‘I’ am addicted to suffering ... it is ‘my’ very nature. What you are (presumably) experiencing right now is ‘me’ as ‘I’ really am when all of the external causes of happiness, gladness, cheerfulness and so on are stripped away ... and of course ‘I’ want to ‘play some more now’ because ‘I’ do not like being ‘me’.

Yet, perversely, ‘I’ am addicted to being ‘me’ ... and it is this addiction which is why there is no peace on earth.


RICHARD: ... 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: I don’t know if the unknown path delivers the goods because I don’t know what it is.

RICHARD: Is not the reason why ‘I’ do not know if the unknown path delivers the goods – or why ‘I’ do not know what the unknown path is – none other than because ‘I’ will not abandon the known path, the familiar path, the path that does not deliver the goods?

RESPONDENT: I only know that the known path does not deliver the goods.

RICHARD: And why will ‘I’ not abandon the known path that does not deliver the goods ... even when ‘I’ know that the known path does not deliver the goods?

RESPONDENT: The known path is ‘me’. That is who ‘I’ am.

RICHARD: As ‘I’ am suffering and suffering is ‘me’ then ‘my’ path is the path of suffering ... which is humanity’s path is it not? And, as humanity is suffering and suffering is humanity, is it not equally true that humanity is also addicted to suffering?

And further to that point ... have you ever noticed that humanity reveres its addiction so much that escape is taboo?

*

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’?

RESPONDENT: The addiction to being ‘me’ is stronger because it always wins out.

RICHARD: If ‘I’ am to be honest ‘I’ will have to acknowledge that the addiction to being ‘me’ has only always won out so far because so far ‘I’ have always sought escape from being ‘me’ via a path that ‘I’ know will not deliver the goods.

RESPONDENT: I always revert back to ‘me’ (suffering).

RICHARD: But now ‘I’ know why ‘I’ always revert back to being ‘me’, to being the very suffering ‘I’ am, do ‘I’ not?

*

RICHARD: 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).

RESPONDENT: Actually, the known is ‘me’. That is what I know. I don’t know how to not tread the same path.

RICHARD: Is the reason why ‘I’ do not know how to not tread the same path none other than because 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)?

In other words: do ‘I’ not continue to temporarily escape from being ‘me’ because permanent escape from being ‘me’ is the last thing ‘I’ am looking for?

*

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

RESPONDENT: The same escapes are also ‘me’. They are the known.

RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to put it like this: somehow, somewhere deep in the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself), ‘I’ already know, as ‘I’ always have known and ‘I’ always will know, just what it is that is to happen. In fact, all ‘I’ have been able to do, and all ‘I’ am able to do, and all ‘I’ will be able to do, is to keep on putting it off for another time ... any other time will do, in all reality, provided that it not be now.

Yet when the time comes it will be now ... because there is only now in all actuality.


RICHARD: Is not the reason why ‘I’ do not know if the unknown path delivers the goods – or why ‘I’ do not know what the unknown path is – none other than because ‘I’ will not abandon the known path, the familiar path, the path that does not deliver the goods?

RESPONDENT: Yes, ‘I’ am not willing to abandon the known path. ‘I’ am the known path. ‘I’ cannot abandon ‘I’.

RICHARD: Are you not saying, in effect, that ‘I’ am not willing to abandon the path of suffering (‘the known path’) because ‘I’ am suffering and suffering is ‘me’ (‘I’ am the known path’)? Vis.:

• [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.

In other words: ‘I’ cannot abandon the path of suffering (‘I’ cannot abandon ‘I’) because of ‘my’ addiction to suffering (‘I am addicted to being me’).

*

RICHARD: And why will ‘I’ not abandon the known path that does not deliver the goods ... even when ‘I’ know that the known path does not deliver the goods?

RESPONDENT: ‘I’ know that ‘I’ can survive on the known path because that is who ‘I’ am. There is fear of not surviving if I abandon the known path.

RICHARD: Is this not another way of saying that, because of ‘my’ fear of death, ‘I’ will carry on suffering for the rest of ‘my’ life?

*

RICHARD: As ‘I’ am suffering and suffering is ‘me’ then ‘my’ path is the path of suffering ... which is humanity’s path is it not? And, as humanity is suffering and suffering is humanity, is it not equally true that humanity is also addicted to suffering? And further to that point ... have you ever noticed that humanity reveres its addiction so much that escape is taboo?

RESPONDENT: Interesting. It does make sense that humanity is addicted to suffering but I am still not sure if it is addiction to suffering or if it is fear of not surviving. The fear of ‘me’ not surviving could be causing the addiction to ‘me’ suffering.

RICHARD: I should have put scare quotes around the word humanity as the word itself can refer to two different things: in its all-humankind meaning it is a more comprehensive word for what the word group refers to (which ranges through family, band, clan, tribe, race, nation and species) and, just as the group’s survival traditionally takes precedence over an individual’s survival, the group’s fears of not surviving have priority over an individual’s fears of not surviving. When fear comes into the picture, however, the word humanity no longer refers to all people collectively but takes on a life of its own, as it were, and becomes an entity in its own right in the same way ‘I’ am an entity inside the flesh and blood body.

And just as ‘I’ suffer because ‘I’ exist (suffering is ‘my’ very nature) ‘humanity’ suffers because it exists (suffering is very nature of ‘humanity’) and thus a virtue is made out of suffering because the survival of ‘humanity’ is at risk ... hence the taboo on escape

Yet ‘humanity’ has no existence outside of the human psyche.

*

RESPONDENT: The addiction to being ‘me’ is stronger because it always wins out.

RICHARD: If ‘I’ am to be honest ‘I’ will have to acknowledge that the addiction to being ‘me’ has only always won out so far because so far ‘I’ have always sought escape from being ‘me’ via a path that ‘I’ know will not deliver the goods.

RESPONDENT: My current thinking is that no path will deliver the goods. Any path I take is more of ‘me’ trying to escape from ‘me’.

RICHARD: Ahh ... but what about the path of no return? So far you have only ever travelled on the path that carries a return ticket. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘However, since ‘me’ is essentially suffering ‘I’ try to escape through various highs. Once these highs evaporate I am back to being ‘me’ suffering.

Given that the price of the return ticket is yet more suffering – a life-time of suffering in fact – why is it that the price of a one-way ticket is considered too high a price to pay?

What price the end of suffering, eh?

*

RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to put it like this: somehow, somewhere deep in the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself), ‘I’ already know, as ‘I’ always have known and ‘I’ always will know, just what it is that is to happen. In fact, all ‘I’ have been able to do, and all ‘I’ am able to do, and all ‘I’ will be able to do, is to keep on putting it off for another time ... any other time will do, in all reality, provided that it not be now. Yet when the time comes it will be now ... because there is only now in all actuality.

RESPONDENT: Yes, there is only now in actuality and ‘I’ can’t do it now because I am not ready.

RICHARD: As not being ready implies getting ready, in all reality, then what is your plan?

RESPONDENT: The fear of ‘me’ not surviving is keeping me from doing it now.

RICHARD: Which is another way of saying that ‘my’ fear of death keeps ‘me’ alive.

RESPONDENT: Fear is holding ‘me’ in place. ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’.

RICHARD: Which is another way of saying that ‘I’ am holding ‘me’ in place.

RESPONDENT: Fear of not surviving is making ‘me’ addicted to being ‘me’.

RICHARD: Which is another way of saying that ‘my’ fear of death makes ‘me’ addicted to suffering.

In short: it is all in ‘my’ hands and ‘my’ hands alone.


RESPONDENT: Richard, would you mind commenting on your usage of the word ‘pathetic?’ In some contexts, it’s quite clear that you are using the word ‘pathetic’ as synonymous with ‘puny’, ‘tiny’, or even almost scornful. You remarked to me once how fantasy movies remind you of how ‘pathetic’ life is in the ‘real’ world. You also have described ‘real world’ interest in art and music as ‘pathetic’. I read you as saying they are ‘pathetic’ in the sense of ‘marked by sorrow’, or by ‘pathos’. Also there seems to be a comparison with life in the ‘real’ world compared to life in the actual world. Do you see that it could be difficult for one in the ‘real’ world to see their life as ‘pathetic’ from within? Or their interest in music or art? I take it you aren’t trying to ‘scorn’ life in the ‘real’ world, rather point out that it’s ohhh soo much better in the actual world.

RICHARD: Yes, life in the actual world is much, much better indeed ... and there is no way that I am being ‘almost scornful’ as the ability for derision/disdain/contempt is non-existent here in this actual world. As a rough estimate I would say that probably nine times out of ten I use the word ‘pathetic’ in the Oxford Dictionary meaning of ‘pertaining to the emotions’ (and passions) with its etymological ‘liable to suffer’ connotation ... for example:

• [Richard]: ‘Love is actually a pathetic substitute for the perfection of actual intimacy’. (lista01).

What I am conveying by this usage looks like this when spelled out in full:

• Love is actually an emotional or passional (liable to suffer) substitute for the perfection of actual intimacy.

In keeping with my rough estimate, probably one time out of ten I use the word ‘pathetic’ in the Oxford Dictionary meaning of ‘miserably inadequate, feeble, useless (colloq.)’ ... for example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘We don’t have a ‘Tooth Fairy’ or ‘Santa Claus’ in The Netherlands so your example is not valid.
• [Richard]: ‘Seeing as The Netherlands have Sinterklaas, it is a rather pathetic response from you, isn’t it?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Ahh, you know about Sinterklaas. (listb17b).

What I am conveying by this usage could have been expressed this way:

• Seeing as The Netherlands have Sinterklaas, it is a miserably inadequate and/or feeble and/or useless response from you, isn’t it?

As in regards to fantasy movies you must be referring to this exchange:

• [Respondent]: ‘I’m wondering how you experience that sort of thing [a fantasy movie].
• [Richard]: ‘Usually it reminds me of how pathetic life in the real world is such that it requires fantasy to make life bearable.

What I am conveying by this usage looks like this when spelled out in full:

• Usually it reminds me of how emotional or passional (liable to suffer) life in the real world is such that it requires fantasy to make life bearable.

As in regards to art and music you must be referring to this exchange:

• [Respondent]: ‘I remember Richard remarking that he is not interested in ‘beautiful music’ or even artistic ‘beauty’. Does that then eliminate any interest in ‘music’ or ‘art’ all together?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... but the interest is far removed from the pathetic interest one previously had.

What I am conveying by this usage looks like this when spelled out in full:

• No ... but the interest is far removed from the emotional or passional (liable to suffer) interest one previously had.

As for seeing that it could be difficult for one in the ‘real’ world to see their life as pathetic from within: from what I recall the entity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago could see – albeit dimly – that ‘his’ existence was indeed pathetic (as in emotional and passional and liable to suffer) and that, therefore, it was indeed pathetic (as in either miserably inadequate, feeble or useless) ... and my conversations with various peoples these days show that mostly they too can see it (even if also somewhat dimly to start off with) although there are those who decline to acknowledge it for whatever reason.

As for it being difficult for one in the ‘real’ world to see that their interest in music or art is pathetic: the people that I converse with in regards to this matter usually acknowledge fairly readily that most music tugs on the heart-strings, or in some way stirs the emotions and passions, so that one is liable to suffer – even if only a ‘sweet sorrow’ or a ‘gentle melancholy’ – or be liable to suffer from being filled with patriotism and pride, if it be martial music, and so on ... and that art in general (which includes not only the fine arts but the performing arts as well) can act upon them in similar ways.

There is such a thing as aesthetic appreciation, of course, yet even there I recall that the entity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago could see that there was an affective component which coloured ‘his’ otherwise pure appreciation (as in unadulterated sensate delight) such that it persuaded ‘him’ to seek the actual and no longer be liable to suffer.

As for your comment regarding comparison: whenever I discuss these matters with my fellow human beings there is indeed always a comparison with life in the ‘real’ world as contrasted to life in the actual world ... it is what I came onto the internet for.

Just as a matter of interest ... here is the etymological root of the word:

• ‘pathetic: pert. to (esp. arousing) the emotions. – F. pathetique – late L. patheticus – Gr. patheticos (sensitive) – f. pathetos (liable to suffer), f. pathe of pathos (exciting pity or sadness) – related to paskhein (suffer), penthos (grief)’. (Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology).


RICHARD: This is my position: we are all fellow human beings who find ourselves here in the world as it was when we were born. We find war, murder, torture, rape, domestic violence and corruption to be endemic ... we notice that it is intrinsic to the human condition ... we set out to discover why this is so. We find sadness, loneliness, sorrow, grief, depression and suicide to be a global incidence ... and we gather that it is also inherent to the human condition ... and we want to know why. We report to each other as to the nature of our discoveries for we are all well-meaning and seek to find a way out of this mess that we have landed in. Whether one believes in re-incarnation or not, we are all living this particular life for the very first time, and we wish to make sense of it. It is a challenge and the adventure of a life-time to enquire and to uncover, to seek and to find, to explore and to discover. All this being alive business is actually happening and we are totally involved in living it out ... whether we take the back seat or not, we are all still doing it.

I, for one, am not taking the back seat.


RICHARD: Indeed it is so where each and every person continues to do nothing about their ‘pathology’, other than glorifying the ‘nightmare’ and the ‘stench of our history’, does one merit the full fruits of one’s culpability. And with reference to this accountability I take particular note of the following sentence: ‘I’m well aware that the process grinds up a lot of innocent people ... one could, of course, ask God why he has arranged things in this blatantly unfair way ... furthermore, hasn’t he hidden the miracle of love in the deepest sorrow?’ ... for herein lies the key to understanding both the origin of the glorification of sorrow (‘comforting the self’) and the perpetuation of suffering. Incidentally, the ‘innocent’ do not suffer ... innocence is something totally new to human experience.

RESPONDENT: Richard, are sorrows and sufferings the same? If not, what is the difference? If so, why are they the same?

RICHARD: The two terms can be – and are – used interchangeably dependent upon context (as in ‘to live is to suffer’ and ‘all existence is sorrow’) although ‘sorrow’ is solely an affective feeling (an emotional or passionate mood) whilst ‘suffering’ can be either an affective feeling (emotional hurt or pain) or a sensate feeling (physical hurt or pain). However, strictly speaking, ‘suffering’ means ‘bear’ as in ‘undergo’, ‘endure’ ... hence it can be said ‘one is suffering from deep sorrow’.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying, that sorrow is inevitable, but suffering is not necessary (based on choice)?

RICHARD: No ... this proposition smacks of stoicism.

RESPONDENT: I mean is suffering a choice available to everyone whatever may be the sorrow in the world? By suffering I am referring to the affective feeling and not the sensate feeling.

RICHARD: Where you say ‘the sorrow in the world’ I presume you are referring to the ‘inner’ human world ... because there is no sorrow whatsoever in the actual world. If you are, then yes ‘sorrow is inevitable’ in that world ... and so is ‘suffering’ (the affective feeling).

*

RICHARD: It is helpful to draw a distinction betwixt physical pain and emotional/ mental pain. Physical pain is essential, else one could be sitting on a hot-plate and not know that one’s bum was on fire until one saw the smoke rising. Emotional/ mental pain (which is what I always indicate by using ‘malice’ and ‘sorrow’) is totally unnecessary ... an impediment preventing salubrity. The same affective/ sensate distinction also applies to pleasure (in the ‘pleasure/pain’ context).

RESPONDENT: ‘Not necessary’ is based on choice?

RICHARD: Where there is only the one option there is no choice ... there is immediate and irreversible action.

RESPONDENT: Or on understanding the mechanics of emotional pain/pleasure?

RICHARD: It is helpful to understand ‘the mechanics of emotional pain/pleasure’ ... provided it does not become a life-time study in lieu of action.

RESPONDENT: If it is the former, what is that process behind the ‘choice’?

RICHARD: Seeing the utter necessity of (unilateral) action ... now.

RESPONDENT: If it is the latter, what is the process behind the pain/pleasure?

RICHARD: The physical (sensate) ‘pain/pleasure’ is, as I remarked before, essential in negotiating the physical world ... the ‘process’ of it is a straightforward cause/effect feedback system. The ‘process’ of the emotional (affective) ‘pain/pleasure’ has to do with the instinctual survival passions ... which have become superannuated (they reached their ‘use-by date’ long ago) and are now a dead-weight around the neck of humankind.

RESPONDENT: Or are these irrelevant questions?

RICHARD: Only if peace-on-earth, in this life-time, is ‘irrelevant’ .


RESPONDENT: But, for some time I’ve simply accepted the occasional appearance of suffering as a part of being alive.

RICHARD: Ahh ... ‘accepted’, eh? Thereby hangs a tale: the word ‘acceptance’ has a lot of currency these days and popular usage has given it somewhat the same meaning as ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ or ‘tolerate’ ... as I have remarked in an earlier E-Mail, nineteen years ago ‘I’, the persona that I was, looked at the physical world and just knew that this enormous construct called the universe was not ‘set up’ for us humans to be forever forlorn in with only scant moments of reprieve. ‘I’ the persona realised there and then that it was not and could not ever be some ‘sick cosmic joke’ that humans all had to endure and ‘make the best of’. ‘I’ the persona felt foolish that ‘I’ had believed for thirty two years that the wisdom of the ‘real-world’ that ‘I’ had inherited – the world that ‘I’ was born into – was set in stone. I ceased accepting, allowing, permitting or tolerating suffering there and then. Which is why I say to people to ‘embrace death’ (as in unreservedly saying !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body) as a full-blooded approval and endorsement. Those peoples who say that they ‘accept’ ... um ... a rapist, for just one example, never for one moment are approving and endorsing ... let alone unreservedly saying !YES! to the rapist.

So much for ‘acceptance’ as a viable modus operandi.


IRENE to Vineeto: It does not mean though, that I could ever go back to seeing all people who are not following Richard’s way as basically malicious and sorrowful. They are not, at least not all the people I have contact with, on the contrary!

RICHARD: As you have introduced me to more than a few of the people you have contact with, I know from first-hand experience that they are not free of the human condition. They still have intact the instincts that blind nature endows on all sentient beings at conception ... fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Consequently, they have malice and sorrow nestled firmly in their bosom ... even when you choose to not see it as you so clearly indicate above.

Be that as it may – and even that I am wrong and that the people that you meet do not have malice and sorrow at all – then why do you object so strongly when I report that I have none? Why do you stoutly maintain that I am just repressing them ... and that your contacts do not have to as they are rid of them?


IRENE to Vineeto: Compassion is not what is understood by Richard – [he calls it] the hopeless game of compassion – at least I don’t have that view at all. To me compassion is the full understanding through experiencing all the accompanying emotions of a particularly testing aspect of life, that this is what it is to be grieving, or to be angry or to intensely hate or to be desolate, lonely, utterly discouraged in all of life etc. and to accept it as belonging to the all-round human experience in order to become wise. Not that only the so-called negative feelings will grant wisdom; the positive ones can be even more important in that respect! The richness, the depth of each human feeling reveals the understanding of what it is to be a human being in such an empirical, intimate way that it is later instantly recognised in a fellow human being who is going through the same emotional, human experience and who can then be met by compassion, that very kind understanding that you will have enjoyed with another, not only when life was being particularly difficult or sad, but also when you wanted to share your utmost joy or love. It is indeed such comfort to talk to someone who doesn’t lecture you, but who is right with you in your deepest pain or your exquisite happiness and doesn’t condemn you or suggests all kind of predictable therapies. The reward is first of all in the understanding of being human and secondly it is a privilege to be of genuine help with a person who feels alone, confused and abandoned in their circumstances. Or to be invited by someone who wants to share their most precious feelings with you.

RICHARD: Hmm ... you have well described the trap of compassion – as I call it – for the giver and the receiver thus remain firmly locked into the piquant and seductive snare of the beauty of pathos. Literally the word ‘compassion’ means pathos in common ... and actually starts out as nothing more impelling than a coping-mechanism designed to alleviate – not eliminate – the existential pain and distress of being human. For to be human is to be suffering and to be suffering is to be in sorrow. Indeed, all sentient beings suffer – not only the human animal – and one can travel deeply into the depths of ‘being’ itself ... and come upon Universal Sorrow. The piquancy of one’s personal sorrow pales into insignificance when confronted with the pungency of all the sorrow of anyone who has ever lived or who is living now or who is yet to be born ... for one is indulging oneself in self-justifying grief. There the beauty of this universal pathos reveals what lies eternally silent at the heart of the mystique ... a god or a goddess that is The Truth.

There is an excellent description of what is possible to realise when one travels deeper and deeper into Universal Sorrow in a book called: ‘The Wholeness Of Life’ (Published by The Krishnamurti Foundation). In Dialogue VII May 20 1976 – Monday Afternoon, the conversations between Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, Mr David Bohm and Mr. David Shainburg are particularly illuminating in this respect. Vis.:

• ‘Aren’t you aware of a much deeper sorrow than the sorrow of thought, of self-pity, the sorrow of the image? ... Deep sorrow. Yes, that is the deep sorrow of mankind. For centuries upon centuries it has been like that – you know, like a vast reservoir of sorrow ... You know, sir, there is universal sorrow ... Then there is compassion. Is that the result of the ending of sorrow, universal sorrow? ... is there compassion which is not related to thought? Or is that compassion born of sorrow? Born in the sense that when sorrow ends there is compassion? ... When the organism dies [the organism] is finished ... if I don’t end the image, the stream of image-making goes on ... it is there, it manifests in people ... it is universal ... it is the effect of all the brains and it manifests itself in people as they are born ... there is something beyond compassion ... To penetrate into this, the mind must be completely silent ... Now in that silence there is the sense of something beyond all time, all death ... nothing ... not a thing ... and therefore empty and therefore tremendous energy. This energy is ... There is something beyond compassion which is sacred, holy ... What is the relationship between that which is sacred, holy, and reality? ... Relationship comes through insight, intelligence and compassion ... You have an insight into the image ... into the movement of thought ... which is self-pity ... which creates sorrow. Now isn’t that insight intelligence? ... Which is not the intelligence of a clever man ... now work with that intelligence ... that insight is universal intelligence, global or cosmic intelligence ... now move further into it ... an insight into sorrow ... out of that insight compassion ... an insight into compassion ... and there is something sacred ... and that may be the origin of everything ... everything ... all matter, all nature.’

And thus is a new religion born – and another sect to wage their vicious wars – which is why I call the alluring beauty of pathos ‘The Trap Of Compassion’.

There is, however, a third alternative to being human or divine.


RESPONDENT: [Rajneesh quote]: ‘You have become such addicted chasers of shadows that any word, any hint will do, and you are on the track, running. Chasing has become your life. Chase something. Money, Moksha – it makes no difference, but chase. Power, prestige, meditation – it makes no difference, but chase’.

RICHARD: Ah well ... he could be right, you know. There have only been 0.000001 of the population enlightened ... all the other billions must have been going wrong somewhere. You may be well on your way to becoming enlightened with this ‘do nothing about eliminating malice and sorrow’ approach of yours. After all, one does not become enlightened by eliminating sorrow and malice ... one sublimates them by enhancing their antidotes. That is: without malice and sorrow there can be no love and compassion ... and love and compassion is what is ‘happening at close quarters’. Love and compassion is what is ‘already happening near your heart’. Indeed, it is ‘where your heart is beating’ that love and compassion is ‘what is already happening’. Thus, all you have to do is to fondly imagine that this product of the tender side of the instinctual passions is god’s grace and be totally available and ... Bingo! You are no longer ‘becoming’ but are ‘being’ ... being love ... being compassion ... being god.

Yet ... is it fair to say that this discourse could be summed up as teaching you to simply stop idealising, stop waiting and just relax ... after all: you ARE perfect, eh?

If so, would you say that many sannyasins have adopted this approach?


ALAN: The ‘me’ which considers itself to be ‘Alan’ thinks it is individual and separate – and so we are back to the fact that ‘I’ can only ever be a lonely and separate ‘being’.

RICHARD: Which is where the attraction to the Gurus and God-Men can take over ... they promise to end your individuality and separateness by reconnecting you to your roots.

ALAN: Is this not fascinating? ‘I’ imagine myself to actually exist – and by that very act of imagining ‘I’ am forever doomed to a life of misery and loneliness. Yet it is a fictitious misery and loneliness – it does not actually exist. What a hoot! Now I have almost ‘got it’. I can see that ‘I’ am all that is standing in the way – and ‘I’ do not actually exist!! It is so ridiculous, it is ludicrous! All of the misery, all of the pain and sorrow do not actually exist! They are a figment of ‘my’ imagination. How amazing! And what a waste, what a shame, what a pity. All of the suffering is ‘my’ doing, ‘my’ responsibility.

RICHARD: I cannot resist inserting an exchange I had some time ago on another Mailing List. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: You are living on a planet scorched by misery.

• [Richard]: Five point eight billion human beings are living on a planet ‘scorched by misery’ ... and scorched by malice, too, do not forget. Yet all malice and misery are feelings and are not, therefore, actual. They may be real – very real at times – but they are not actual. The direct results of having these feelings – these emotions and passions – are acted out in this actual world in the form of wars, murders, rapes, domestic violence, child abuse, suicides and so on ... but all these actions are unnecessary. They all stem from feelings and feelings – emotions and passions – are self-induced (‘I’ am passion and passion is ‘me’) and, as such, can be eliminated. Then there is peace-on-earth.

• [Respondent]: Reality is painful but we have got to hang in there and deal with it.

• [Richard]: You have the choice to ‘hang in there’ if that is what you want to do ... but you do not ‘have to’ . Who told you that furphy? Only sadomasochists wish to prolong suffering ... are you saying that five point eight billion human beings are sadomasochists? And are you suggesting – or demanding – that I come back and join you all? What would that achieve? One more unhappy and malicious person would simply be more fuel for the fires of hatred and pain.

• [Respondent]: Behaving like a trauma-stricken kid withdrawn into a paradisiacal state of fantasy is dementia.

• [Richard]: Behaving like a sulky child and refusing to give up your animosity and anguish is not only personally silly ... but is socially reprehensible. Do you want to perpetuate all these wars, murders, rapes, domestic violence, child abuse, suicides and so on for ever and a day? What is your investment in prolonging suffering?


RESPONDENT: The real suffering arises when people are drawn away from their self generated contentment and lead into relying on certain standards of external environment for happiness.

RICHARD: You say: ‘real suffering arises when ...’. May I ask – just out of curiosity – what is unreal suffering then? Every single man woman and child on this planet suffers from malice and sorrow – which is born out of the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows all sentient beings with. This is a fact ... this is real suffering. Which is why most peoples seek some form of self generated contentment and rely upon certain standards of external environment for happiness. However, such happiness is spasmodic, intermittent, random, unreliable and ultimately unsatisfying. Which is why people seek the ultimate satisfaction and fulfilment, that they are assured by Saints and Sages, lies in accessing the divine love and compassion that lies within.

This has been going on for century after century ... and there is still no peace on earth. A recent estimate that I read about demonstrates that only .000001 of the population throughout recorded history have ever become enlightened.

Hardly an encouraging success rate, to my mind. Maybe – just maybe – it is because it is extremely difficult to be deluded enough live in an hallucination permanently.


KONRAD: They have succeeded, but only up to a point. The greatest thing the East could achieve was total peace of mind by finding a way to ending all suffering. This ending of all suffering can be achieved by igniting the process of enlightenment, as discovered by Buddha.

RICHARD: Oh, no way is this historically correct ... spiritual enlightenment was around long before Mr. Gotama the Sakyan came on to the scene. His contribution (if he actually existed as an historical figure) was to do away with gods and a personal soul. Buddhism arose out of Hinduism (the same as Christianity arose out Judaism) and later came back to Hinduism in the form of Advaita Vedanta. He did not discount life after death, though.

KONRAD: But is ending of all suffering identical with happiness? Or, to say it differently, is the ending of a negative itself a positive? My answer to this question is: No, it is not. Therefore, let us take a look how well the West, with its orientation on existence, has done in that respect.

RICHARD: Firstly, before we do look at the West ... Buddhism does not profess to totally eliminate suffering, only personal sorrow. Their ultimate condition exists after physical death ... it is called Parinirvana. Buddhism maintains that because of the intrinsic duality of being manifested in a body, then universal sorrow continues to exist after Nirvana is attained ... for as long as the physical body is still alive. And, secondly, the bliss of Nirvana is not because of the ending of what you call a negative (suffering) it is because of the ending of the ego that causes the suffering (personal sorrow).

Anyway, the bliss of Nirvana is nothing but a gloss pasted over the top of universal sorrow in order to make physical life bearable ... eliminate ‘me’ totally (which means the end of universal sorrow) and the need for bliss ends too. And the need for love and compassion too ... but that is another story.


RESPONDENT: I agree that the suffering in the world is caused by malice and the resulting sorrow.

RICHARD: Good ... do you see it as clearly as you see the nose on your face? It needs to be that obvious in order to begin. Also, sorrow is not the result of malice ... it is because ‘you’ are – by ‘your’ very nature – forever cut-off from the magnificence of being here now at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space. That is, ‘you’ cannot know the purity of the perfection of the infinitude of this very material universe. This is called, in the jargon, separation. Because of this separation, ‘you’ desire union ... oneness, wholeness and so on. In a word: love.

RESPONDENT: If by malice you mean anger, resentment and hostility, I believe it is the root of sorrow and misery.

RICHARD: Sorrow is not the result of malice ... it is because ‘you’ are – by ‘your’ very nature – forever cut-off from the magnificence of being here now at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space. That is, ‘you’ cannot know the purity of the perfection of the infinitude of this very material universe. This is called, in the jargon, separation. Because of this separation, ‘you’ desire union ... oneness, wholeness and so on. In a word: love.

RESPONDENT: It is through these emotions that we take on a foreign entity, becoming like our persecutors.

RICHARD: Not so ... ‘you’ are already like your persecutors. All human beings are born with the self-same instinctual passions ... no one is exempt.

RESPONDENT: This the main mode of transmission whereby we become corrupted by the beast in other men.

RICHARD: Not so ... ‘you’ are already corrupted. All human beings are born with the self-same instinctual passions ... no one is exempt.

RESPONDENT: This is the hole in the boat whereby the leakage takes place, and the ectoplasm of the beast enters.

RICHARD: Not so ... all sentient beings are born with the self-same instinctual passions ... no one is exempt.

RESPONDENT: The question is how we will overcome it?

RICHARD: It is not a matter of overcoming it at all ... only elimination will do the trick. Any notion of overcoming is but ‘the beast’ being tricky by getting in on the act and saying: ‘Okay, ‘I’ will do this ... how do ‘I’ overcome malice and sorrow?’ Do you see this? This is because ‘I’ am malice and sorrow ... they are not accessories that ‘I’ have.

RESPONDENT: The malice becomes us as we identify with it.

RICHARD: Not so ... ‘you’ are that already as an identity. All human beings are born with the self-same instinctual passions ... no one is exempt.

RESPONDENT: It is a borrowed identity.

RICHARD: Not so ... it is an intrinsic identity. All human beings are born with the self-same instinctual passions ... no one is exempt.

RESPONDENT: Here is the bottom line. How do you propose that this beast will be eliminated?

RICHARD: By asking yourself this question each moment again: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’

RESPONDENT: By observing what is and seeing the negative objectively.

RICHARD: Not only the negative ... the positive is equally pernicious.

RESPONDENT: Acknowledging the nature of the problem.

RICHARD: Aye ... it is the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire that all sentient beings are born with.

RESPONDENT: And giving up what needs given up as it is seen clearly as harmful and self destructive.

RICHARD: It is not a matter of ‘giving-up what needs to be given-up’ at all ... only elimination will do the trick. Any notion of ‘giving-up’ is but ‘the beast’ being tricky by getting in on the act and saying: ‘Okay, ‘I’ will do this ... how do ‘I’ overcome give-up what needs to be given-up’? Do you see this? This is because ‘I’ am malice and sorrow ... they are not accessories that ‘I’ have.

RESPONDENT: The beast lives in darkness. Only light dispels darkness.

RICHARD: Not so ... the ‘light’ is born out of the ‘darkness’. It is but ‘the beast’ in disguise. Only apperceptive awareness will do the trick.

RESPONDENT: The beast is seen in the light.

RICHARD: Not so ... ‘the beast’ is ‘the light’.

RESPONDENT: I do not believe we originate light any more than we originate the beast.

RICHARD: Methinks, as you dig deeper into your psyche – which is the human psyche – you will find that you do.


RESPONDENT: The Bowing Buddha is Peace-On-Earth. And both of you are living on a planet scorched by misery.

RICHARD: Five point eight billion human beings are living on a planet ‘scorched by misery’ ... and scorched by malice, too, do not forget. Yet all malice and misery are feelings and are not, therefore, actual. They may be real – very real at times – but they are not actual. The direct results of having these feelings – these emotions and passions – are acted out in this actual world in the form of wars, murders, rapes, domestic violence, child abuse, suicides and so on ... but all these actions are unnecessary. They all stem from feelings and feelings – emotions and passions – are self-induced (‘I’ am passion and passion is ‘me’) and, as such, can be eliminated.

Then there is peace-on-earth.

RESPONDENT: Reality is painful but we have got to hang in there and deal with it.

RICHARD: You have the choice to ‘hang in there’ if that is what you want to do ... but you do not ‘have to’. Who told you that furphy?

Only sadomasochists wish to prolong suffering ... are you saying that five point eight billion human beings are sadomasochists? And are you suggesting – or demanding – that I ‘come back’ and join you all? What would that achieve? One more unhappy and malicious person would simply be more fuel for the fires of hatred and pain.

RESPONDENT: Behaving like trauma-stricken kids withdrawn into paradisiacal states of fantasy is dementia.

RICHARD: Behaving like a sulky child and refusing to give up your animosity and anguish is not only personally silly ... but is socially reprehensible. Do you want to perpetuate all these wars, murders, rapes, domestic violence, child abuse, suicides and so on for ever and a day? What is your investment in prolonging suffering? Job security?

*

RESPONDENT: The drive behind my inquiry is human sorrow and its ending. I am not here to compare notes or to strike up a conversation. Krishnamurti had passed away for more than 18 years and we are still here talking about transformation. If I were concerned about the state of my life and the suffering that goes on out there in the world, I would be most interested in this total change that Krishnamurti talked about. Maybe there is no such thing but I would want to find out as a matter of urgency. If I don’t know what transformation is – the kind that takes the pain out of living completely not just for me but for all human beings – I would listen to what others have to say if they think they know.

RICHARD: Again this is a conditional enquiry because you say ‘if I were concerned’ instead of ‘I am concerned’. If I am not concerned then I know that I am indulging in an intellectual exercise. Then you go on to say ‘maybe there is no such thing but I would want to find out’. Do you? Actually? Are you vitally interested? Is this ‘matter of urgency’ of such an intensity that it consumes the whole of your being – without exception – for the twenty four hours of every day? Because you do say at the beginning of the paragraph that the drive behind your enquiry is ‘human sorrow’. Can you look unconditionally – which is what ‘choicelessly’ means – into the face of human sorrow? If so ... what do you see?

RESPONDENT: I would listen carefully like Socrates in his search for the wise man. He didn’t find any but discovered a lot of fools. That is why we are still stuck here talking about transformation.

RICHARD: Once again you say that you ‘would’ listen carefully ... but will you? That is: Do you? As an actuality ... which means with the intensity of all of your being?

RESPONDENT: So, the criterion is the ending of sorrow. If you know what transformation implies, then I want to listen to you with my whole being and to ask you everything about it.

RICHARD: The criterion is not only the ending of sorrow but the ending of malice as well ... the two are inextricably linked. But again you say ‘I want to listen’ rather than ‘I will listen’ ... or even better: ‘I am listening’. For I do know what transformation implies ... it means that ‘I’ go on in a different guise as sorrow and malice transform into compassion and love.

RESPONDENT: If you don’t know the truth about transformation, then you should be honest about it, shut up and listen to me in the same attentive way. We are talking about human sorrow, an all-important matter. Mankind is caught in sorrow, a predicament that is getting worse with each passing day.

RICHARD: Not so ... there is as much sorrow now as then. Neither more nor less ... human sorrow is the same human sorrow in whatever era and in whatever age-group.

RESPONDENT: We are like a group of people trapped in a sealed cave and the air is running out. Breaking out of our predicament is a matter of grave urgency. The one who knows the way out must tell the others.

RICHARD: Indeed ... but will the others listen? Yet, more importantly than them listening, will you listen? Do you listen? Are you listening?

RESPONDENT: And unless we all cooperate, there is no getting out. To waste each other’s time and energy bantering over nothing is to commit a heinous crime against everybody in the cave.

RICHARD: This is intriguing ... why do you assume that the ending of sorrow is dependant upon the cooperation of the six billion plus 180,000? Does this not put you at the mercy of even just one person who is not going to cooperate? Look, the whole matter of the ending of sorrow appears to be a near-impossible endeavour anyway ... why unnecessarily complicate it by requiring the cooperation of everyone? Why not act unilaterally ... and then look back and see if the others will take notice of your results? Running around gingering up the laggard’s enthusiasm only serves to make it look like you are doing something about human sorrow ... it makes it appear that you really care. If you genuinely cared ... there would be action ... and now.

RESPONDENT: Do you know that Christians believe that the good go to Heaven? It is a comforting thought. But the sad bug is no one ever gets to go to Heaven. Everyone just dies and disappears. It is a terribly sad thought. To live and die without ever coming upon the truth about what life is.

RICHARD: This is worthy of reflection and fascinated contemplation, would you not say? Because if this observation does not strike deep into the core of your being and evoke action ... then what will? You are but a missed heart-beat or two away from death every moment again ... that is how urgent it is.

RESPONDENT: I understand that it [a separate psychic entity that exists in memory] is an abstraction, that there is no separate psychic entity that exists. I see that, not logically and intellectually but actually. Is that what is meant by transformation?

RICHARD: You may say that you see it ‘not logically and intellectually but actually’ ... but then go on to ask: Is this transformation? And there is your answer ... but it is not the answer to the question you asked. However, now that you have the answer there can be action ... wherein the illusory psychic entity dies an illusory death commensurate to its pernicious existence. There are no short-cuts ... the drama is to be played out to completion.

RESPONDENT: A born again Christian sees himself as a separate psychic entity with a separate soul. A good many people in the world see the same thing as that Christian. But I don’t have that delusion. I see the abstraction as only a useful image. Am I transformed? Transformation is a radical change in consciousness, human consciousness. It is not the change in the way an individual perceives himself and the world. It is much more than just a point of view, no matter how profound.

RICHARD: Is a transformation really the ending of ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety? If ‘I’ am transformed, then it is not an ending at all ... which is why sorrow and malice go on under a different disguise. Hence the persistence of human suffering – there being as much sorrow and malice now as then – after thousands of years of the Saints and Sages parading their stuff on the world’s stage.


RICHARD: So, why dwell on suffering ... for that is what the questioning of suffering amounts to. Unless one is a masochist, where is the need to wallow in suffering? For there is nothing to question about suffering ... suffering sucks ... it is the bane of both your existence and all of humankind. The only good thing about suffering is when it ends ... and permanently. And saying that ‘the knowledge that suffering will return’ only indicates the degree to which you have settled for second-rate living ... being human is to suffer. Any temporary easing of miserable suffering colours the current moment with the knowledge of misery’s inevitable return ... thus one is never free from suffering even when feeling good.

RESPONDENT: Good point. In the absence of a resolution though, some forms of suffering will return.

RICHARD: The point I was making was that while extreme suffering – misery – comes and goes, suffering is constant. To be a human is to suffer. As I said ‘saying that ‘the knowledge that suffering will return’ only indicates the degree to which you have settled for second-rate living ... being human is to suffer. Any temporary easing of miserable suffering colours the current moment with the knowledge of misery’s inevitable return ... thus one is never free from suffering even when feeling good’. Do you see this?

RESPONDENT: That [some forms of suffering returns] is a basic fact, which seems to me like good motivation to resolve if possible, the whole issue of suffering.

RICHARD: Why are you searching around for motivation? Do you not feel it? Have you become so accustomed to suffering that you are de-sensitised?

*

RICHARD: While extreme suffering – misery – comes and goes, suffering is constant. To be a human is to suffer. Any temporary easing of miserable suffering colours the current moment with the knowledge of misery’s inevitable return ... thus one is never free from suffering even when feeling good’. Do you see this?

RESPONDENT: Yes, I hadn’t realised that I was affirming the inevitable return of suffering.

RICHARD: No, no, no ... not ‘the inevitable return of suffering’ ... the inevitable return of miserable suffering. To be human is to suffer. That is, ‘I’ am suffering and suffering is ‘me’ ... even when ‘I’ am feeling good. Have you become so accustomed to suffering that you are de-sensitised?

RESPONDENT: Yes of course. All the ways of avoidance ensure that. Obviously avoidance denies the basic fact.

RICHARD: Why is this? Is it because it is too painful?


RICHARD: Malice and sorrow are intrinsically connected and constitute what is known as ‘The Human Condition’. The term ‘Human Condition’ is a well-established philosophical term that refers to the situation that 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 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. Then the question is: is it possible to be free of the human condition, here on earth, in this life-time, as this flesh and blood body? Which means: How on earth can I live happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst I nurse malice and sorrow in my bosom?

RESPONDENT: The ending of sorrow is love.

RICHARD: If I may point out? The ending of sorrow is not love ... sorrow is essential for compassion to flourish; without compassion, love has no genesis. Therefore, the ending of sorrow would result in love being stillborn ... and love is the antidote for malice.

Without malice, love has no raison d’être.

RESPONDENT: From a conversation on Mailing List ‘B’: [Respondent]: ‘I hear him [Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti] saying that when there is actual observation of the entire movement of thought, thought, as a centre of selfishness, ends. Now if that is so, what could be there BUT compassion?’ [Richard]: ‘Aye ... when thought stops the affective faculty rushes in to fill the gap. It is but being ruled by one’s feelings ... albeit ‘good’ feelings’. Why only good?

RICHARD: Because that is the intent of the spiritual aspirant ... if the intent was to be a manifestation of evil then, when thought stops and the affective faculty rushes in to fill the gap, it is also to be but ruled by one’s feelings ... albeit ‘bad’ feelings.

RESPONDENT: I asked a question related to this many months back but did not get a response.

RICHARD: Presumably you are referring to the following:

• [Respondent]: ‘(...) If the animal instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire exist at the deeper level, then why is it that only ‘love agape’, silence and peace remain as the predominant/only states after a long period of meditation (as personally experienced by me)? (‘Spiritualism versus Actualism’; Tuesday 14/09/2004 9:48 PM AEST).

If that is the related question you are referring to then you did indeed get a response ... and only a little over twelve hours later at that. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘(...) As I understand it, fear, aggression, and the rest of the instinctual passions are still there in the background – only sublimated and transcended – otherwise, what’s the need for love or compassion, as love needs sorrow in order to exist at all’. (Wednesday 15/09/2004 9:51 AM AEST).

RESPONDENT: The question is: Why is that when the mind is silent, the predominant feeling is that of love and compassion and gentleness?

RICHARD: Because their polar opposites – malice and sorrow and aggressiveness – have been sublimated (refined/ redirected); with sublimation there is transmutation, transformation ... hence transcended (risen above/ gone beyond).

RESPONDENT: What happens to the negative instincts in that state?

RICHARD: The (affective) energy of the negative, or savage, instinctual passions, having no other outlet, is covertly fuelling the positive, or tender, instinctual passions.

The following is quite explicit about how sorrow, when thoughtlessly and thus deeply felt with all of one’s being, is energised into transforming itself into being a ‘strange flame of passion’ ... out of which compassion can be created:

• [Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti]: ‘There is this thing called sorrow, which is pain, grief, loneliness, a sense of total isolation, no hope, no sense of relationship or communication, total isolation. Mankind has lived with this great thing and perhaps cultivated it because he does not know how to resolve it. (...) Now if you don’t escape, that is if there is no rationalising, no avoiding, no justifying, just remaining with that totality of suffering, without the movement of thought, then you have all the energy to comprehend the thing you call sorrow. If you remain without a single movement of thought, with that which you have called sorrow, there comes a transformation in that which you have called sorrow. That becomes passion. The root meaning of sorrow is passion. When you escape from it, you lose that quality which comes from sorrow, which is complete passion, which is totally different from lust and desire. When you have an insight into sorrow and remain with that thing completely, without a single movement of thought, out of that comes this strange flame of passion. And you must have passion, otherwise you can’t create anything. Out of passion comes compassion. Compassion means passion for all things, for all human beings. So there is an ending to sorrow, and only then you will begin to understand what it means to love’. (‘A Relationship with the World’, Public Talks; Ojai, California; April 11 1976; ©1976/1996 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd.).


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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.

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