Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Soul and Being
RICHARD: In the perceptive process sensory perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary. Given that the ego-self is ‘the thinker’ and the soul-self is ‘the feeler’ then the ego thinks it is doing the experience of what is happening (as an operant) whilst the soul feels that it is being the experience of what is happening (as in ‘I am That’) ... whereas the body is the experiencing of what is happening.
RESPONDENT: I am somehow reminded of that song of Sade, Smooth Operator ... ‘I’ do not consider myself as being the ‘doer’ of what is happening, it’s clear to me that what is happening in this moment is (mostly) sourced in the people, things and events around me. I can sometimes influence these ‘people’ to behave in a certain way, make some ‘things’ work (like driving a car) and thus initiate various ‘events’, but I’m in no way the doer of everything that happens in a certain moment.
RICHARD: Indeed not ... as you had asked how the world is experienced by the ego – [quote] ‘does it take a different ‘process’/ route for the sensory data then that of the soul’ [endquote] – I was, of course, responding in terms of the thinking self being the doer (aka the operant) of the experience of what is happening and not in terms of that half of identity being ‘the doer of what is happening’.
Thus in the perceptive process, where sensory perception is primary (the direct experience of what is happening), and where affective perception is secondary (being the experience of what is happening), and where cognitive perception is tertiary (doing the experience of what is happening), the ego-self – being twice-removed from what is happening – is the ‘doer’ of the affective experience of what is happening (which is once-removed from what is happening) and not the doer of what is happening.
RESPONDENT: But how am ‘I’ doing the experience of what is happening (as an operant)?
RICHARD: Bearing in mind that ‘I’ as ego is not just a cognitive self (a mental illusion) but an affective-cognitive self (an emotional/passional-cognitive construct) ‘I’ have arrogated the job of steering the ship, so to speak, so that it will not run onto the rocks.
RESPONDENT: What I understand is that the ego-self controls the ship via its morals, ethical programming.
RICHARD: The socialising process – the instilling of culturally approved values, principles, standards, morals/ethics, mores, and so on – is essential in order to provide some level of control over the wilful/wayward self within, lest one run amok, and results in the creation of the social identity (aka the conscience).
However, what I was referring to – in response to your query ‘how am ‘I’ doing the experience of what is happening (as an operant)’ – is the ego-self proper (an emotional/passional-mental construct) who arises out of the soul-self (an inchoate affective ‘being’/ amorphous ‘presence’ the instinctual passions automatically form themselves into) somewhere around age two as the doer of the affective experience of what is happening ... as opposed to the beer of the affective experience of what is happening.
And how ‘I’ am doing this (affective) experience of what is happening as an operant, in contrast to being the affective experience, is by arrogating the decision-making process (aka sensibly, and thus judiciously, thinking, reflecting, appraising, planning, and so on, in order to implement considered activity for beneficial reasons).
RESPONDENT: I find it funny that although people publicly extol the virtues of marriage for instance, they nevertheless would very much like to have all sorts of sexual adventures. So, nurture comes in direct conflict with desire, the respective person feeling split in two, the result being emotional turmoil either way he/she decides and thus no peace in the respective relationship. ‘I’ have to dissociate and identify with either of the two due to ‘my’ ethical program or reach a compromise and become a swinger. The best deal within the Human Condition is the compromise. which preserves the ‘status-quo’.
RICHARD: This compromise is oft-times described (with words to the effect) as ‘a well-adjusted ego balancing the conflicting demands of self and society’.
RESPONDENT: It’s not clear to me what do you mean by ‘doing the experience’ ... am ‘I’ actively colouring the world so as to get the experience ‘I’ expect, altering the sensory information in order to suit ‘my’ world’s prejudices, and thus transforming it into an experience that would not constitute a threat to ‘my’ worldview and thus existence?
RICHARD: ‘I’ as ego am not colouring the world per se – ‘me’ as soul is doing that by ‘my’ very presence – but am colouring the affective world ... it being the only world ‘I’ know.
There is no ‘inner world’/‘outer world’ in actuality ... the ‘outer world’ is ‘my’ (affective) creation.
RESPONDENT: ‘I’ cannot ‘do’ in the sense of changing/expecting the world/people/myself to behave the way ‘I’ want/idealize them, so that I can have the experience that I want (e.g. in a relationship). This was a clear realization in my spiritual years, people often begin by trying to change the world (counselling drug-addicts, peace movements, finding the ideal partner etc.) only to realize that the world falls back into the same-old patterns of behaviour, then try to change themselves (psychotherapy, spirituality, being the ideal partner) so as to alter ‘their’ experience of the world (those rosy glasses and ASC’s).
‘I’ am very busy altering the experience of the world after I’ve realized that I couldn’t change it so as to suit my worldview by creating a different ‘I’... isn’t that cunning and funny?
RICHARD: Are you referring to what is (currently) popularly known as re-inventing oneself?
RESPONDENT: Gurdjieff made a big deal out of the realization that ‘we’ cannot do ... that everything happens to ‘us’. I guess he was referring to the ‘ego’ and the illusion ‘he’ is under that ‘he’ can do things the way ‘he’ wants (and thus by extension deriving the notion of free will and freedom).
RICHARD: Are you referring to what is commonly known as fatalism?
RESPONDENT: I’m referring to the spiritual strivings to become free, to become enlightened, etc. George said that this is an important realization on the path, that ‘I’ can do nothing. If out of this comes fatalism and ‘Make Thy Will’ and all sorts of other truisms is a side issue. What I’m interested is whether this is a fact or not and it seems that it is as long as ‘I’ (the ego-self) am only reactive to what happens. I’m a puppet on the strings believing myself to be the ‘operant’ of those strings.
RICHARD: The realisation – ‘that ‘I’ can do nothing’ – in the context you are speaking of is the precursor to having ‘I’ as ego surrender/dissolve/die/whatever so that ‘me’ as soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) can regain its rightful place on the throne which the ego-self has usurped.
RESPONDENT: In my conversation with Peter it became clear that ‘I’ wasn’t free in the course of my life and that my choices were based mainly on the predispositions/needs and the degree of attraction towards certain opportunities that promised to fulfil those needs.
RICHARD: This may be of assistance: I can recall, back in 1981, explaining to another that ‘I’ had realised – via pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) – that ‘I’ was not needed to run the show (‘steer the ship’) because all decisions were already made deeper down anyway and that any decision ‘I’ appeared to make was an after-the-event usurpation ... albeit a split-second after-the-event arrogation of the decision-making process.
In other words ‘I’ was the last person, as it were, who got to know what direction the vessel would take ... ‘I’ only had the appearance of being in charge.
RESPONDENT: Yes, but it seems to me from what you say that ‘I’, the ego, is very necessary after all: to give direction, to orientate the ship, to react in the appropriate way when the situation demands it. Even if it’s a split second after the event but am ‘I’ not improving the situation/ event to which I’m reacting?
RICHARD: I was speaking in the context of normal, everyday people in normal, everyday society, of course, when I wrote that (further above) ... else the gaols would be full to overflowing.
Unless one has the pure intent to be happy and harmless (free from malice and sorrow) one is well-advised to not let go of the controls.
RESPONDENT: I ask this [does the ‘ego’ take a different ‘process’/route for the sensory data then that of the ‘soul’] as you and I experience the same world of the senses, but in my case ‘someone’ is hijacking that experience. Sensory information is received by the bodily senses and then ...what happens?
RICHARD: Then it is affectively assessed by ‘the feeler’ micro-seconds (12-14 milliseconds) before being cognitively appraised, if it gets through, by ‘the thinker’ (another 12-14 milliseconds) ... and even then it is coloured by the affections.
RESPONDENT: So, if it gets through ‘the feeler’ without being contaminated with affective contents and gets to ‘the thinker’ ... is it still coloured by the affections?
RICHARD: What I meant by ‘if it gets through’ is that a vast amount of sensation never makes it to conscious attention ... it is all dealt with at a subconscious level.
RESPONDENT: Can it escape ‘clean’ and further be processed by ‘the thinker’?
RESPONDENT: I am blissfully happy in this moment now, I am not aware of a soul in this body now or at any time in the past. I am an atheist through and through. I am however aware of an ego – albeit a weak one, which seems to give me no trouble in my day to day blissful existence. Your website strikes a chord within me and I find myself comparing my experience of living in this world with yours. I see common sense in what you say but I don’t have the need to change what I am in any way shape or form. I will continue to read your web site and will consider your words regarding the ego in an attempt to understand the one within this body.
RICHARD: Okay ... the word ‘soul’, as described on The Actual Freedom Trust web site as ‘me’ as soul, refers to ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – which is ‘being’ itself – out of which passionate identity (the feeler) ‘I’ as ego (the thinker) arises. It is just not possible for an ego-self (no matter how weak) to exist in a flesh and blood body sans soul-self ... the extinction of ‘being’ itself is the extinction of identity in toto. Also, there is no bliss here in this actual world ... I am incapable of feeling happy.
RESPONDENT: Richard, firstly thank you for taking time to reply to me.
RICHARD: You are very welcome ... I am somewhat behind in all my correspondence, as out-of-town matters have my attention lately, and it may be some time before I catch up (if I ever do).
RESPONDENT: I see your point. Your journey to enlightenment required that you as ‘ego’ disappeared leaving you as ‘Soul’ to live in ultimate bliss for 11 years. I understand that ego is the result of ‘me’ as soul – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being and that therefore me as ‘ego’ can not exist without ‘me’ as soul.
I was interpreting ‘soul’ with a religious understanding as in a ‘soul’ that leaves the body after death and moves to some mystical plane were it is reunited with the souls of others who have since passed away. A sort of spirit that lives within the physical body but that is separate from it. This ‘religious’ connotation of the soul is in my opinion palpable nonsense.
To take the dictionary definition of soul; [quote] ‘The principle of life in humans or animals; animate existence. The principle of thought and action in a person, regarded as an entity distinct from the body; a person’s spiritual as opp. to corporeal nature. The spiritual part of a human being considered in its moral aspect or in relation to God and his precepts, spec. regarded as immortal and as being capable of redemption or damnation in a future state. The disembodied spirit of a dead person, regarded as invested with some degree of personality and form. The seat of the emotions or sentiments; the emotional part of human nature. [Oxford Dictionary]. I have no awareness of this ‘soul’ within me.
RICHARD: Hmm ... no ‘seat of the emotions or sentiments; the emotional part of human nature’ exists within the flesh and blood body known as ‘Respondent’, then?
I chose to use the word ‘soul’, when I first went public, as it has both the secular and spiritual meaning – the Oxford Dictionary is my preferred source of reference for most words – as actualism is the third alternative to both materialism and spiritualism ... the main difference between those two is materialists maintain that such an emotional/ passional/ intuitive self (sometimes referred to as one’s spirit) dies with the body and spiritualists maintain it does not.
RESPONDENT: However to come back to your clarification the word ‘soul’ as ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – out of which passionate identity (the feeler) ‘I’ as ego (the thinker) arises. As I understand it you are saying that ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul both arise out of the basic instinctual self that all sentient beings are born with ...
RICHARD: Yes ... a rudimentary animal self, as it were, however inchoate it may be.
RESPONDENT: ... and that you went beyond enlightenment by ridding yourself of this instinctual self by psychological self-immolation.
RICHARD: By psychic ‘self’-immolation ... psychological ‘self’-immolation rids the flesh and blood body of the ego-self only.
RESPONDENT: What I am having difficulty with is forming a distinction between ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul ...
RICHARD: And does describing the distinction as being ‘the thinker’ (ego-self) as opposed to ‘the feeler’ (soul-self) not go at least some way towards ending such difficulty?
In the perceptive process the sensations are primary, the affections are secondary, and the cognitions are tertiary:
RESPONDENT: ... and indeed whether that distinction is necessary in order to rid oneself of the basic rudimentary instinctual ‘self’?
RICHARD: That distinction is mainly necessary in order to obviate the only danger on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition ... to wit: one may inadvertently become an enlightened being instead.
RESPONDENT: Firstly let me clear up some confusion – when I wrote [quote]: ‘I am assuming that actual freedom is the perceptive process without the secondary affections but with the cognitive process. To clarify; there is a direct sensate experience with the world now in this moment but with no affective feelings. And there is an intelligence that then reflects upon this using empirical factual knowledge’. [end quote] I wasn’t implying that I experience the world in this way – I was looking for clarification that this is the way that it is experienced in actual freedom (apologies if I didn’t make myself clear). I do acknowledge that I have feelings such as excitement and satisfaction and that I don’t have a direct experience of actuality.
RICHARD: As they were queries, then, it might be more useful to start again rather than patch an amended response onto your explanatory note above ... here is the original exchange (only with question marks inserted as appropriate this time around):
The reason why I wrote the sentence you commented on was because you were having difficulty forming a distinction between ‘the thinker’ and ‘the feeler’ ... and the best way to understand these matters is empirically (meaning that if you were to experience-observe the perceptive process as it is happening it will become obvious).
You may find the following helpful in this regard:
As for your follow-up clarification queries: an actual freedom from the human condition is epitomised by the perceptive process being apperceptive (unmediated perception) in that there is a total absence of both ‘the feeler’ (the primal feeling being/ self) and ‘the thinker’ (the derivative thinking being/ self) – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – wherein thought may or may not be operating as required by the situation and the circumstances.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I should like to ask the simple question ‘In which way one person that lost his being and ego, is different than a robot?’
RICHARD: Just because a person actually free of the human condition has no identity whatsoever (neither ego-self nor soul-self/spirit-self) parasitically residing inside the flesh and blood body – and therefore no affective feelings – this absence of identity and its precious feelings does not thus make that person a machine, an automaton, an android (a robot somewhat resembling a human being in appearance designed to function in place of a living organism and carrying out a variety of tasks mechanically in accord with a pre-programmed circuitry).
I do not read/watch science fiction but as I get these type of questions from time to time I have gradually been made aware of various ‘Star Trek’ characters, for instance, and it is pertinent to point out that the stuff of science fiction (creations of imagination) is entirely different to actuality ... a writer replete with identity/ feelings trying to visualise life sans identity/ feelings can, apparently, only conceive of a robotic-like creature speaking in a flat, monotone voice, and devoid of a sense of humour.
I am yet to hear of a robot that experiences life like this, for example:
In fact a robot, being a machine, does not experience anything at all.
RESPONDENT: Richard you define the being as soul.
RICHARD: I variously use words such a ‘soul’, ‘spirit’, ‘presence’, ‘being’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself) to refer to the feeling-self as distinct from the thinking-self ... and by ‘feeling’ I am meaning the affective feelings (the emotional, passional, and calentural feelings) and not the sensitive feelings (the sensorial, sensual, and sensuous feelings).
As a generalisation the feeling-self is that which is commonly believed to animate the body (quite often misleadingly called consciousness) ... sometimes held to predate birth and oft-times held to survive physical death.
RESPONDENT: I don’t know nothing about soul.
RICHARD: It is a commonly-used English word which, according to the Oxford Dictionary, corresponds formally to the Greek word ‘aiolos’ (‘quick-moving’ or ‘easily moved’) and refers to an entity distinct from the body; a person’s spiritual as opposed to corporeal nature; specifically regarded as immortal and as being capable of redemption or damnation in a future state; the disembodied spirit of a dead person, regarded as invested with some degree of personality and form, and also the seat of the emotions or sentiments ... the emotional part of human nature.
RESPONDENT: For me being is to exist.
RICHARD: To exist is to be here, in space and time, *as* a flesh and blood body ... yet further below you say that after the death of this body the ‘being’ you speak of here will continue in another baby (only you call it ‘this sense of existence’ further below) and that you are born *in* every baby. Vis.:
As for your ‘NO REINCARNATION’ qualifier: the Buddhists, for example, use the word ‘rebirth’ rather than the word ‘reincarnation’ so as to emphasise their no-Atman (no-soul) to incarnate and thus no-Brahman (no-god) to realise doctrine ... yet highly revere the after-death state (Parinirvana) of an enlightened being and strive for enlightenment themselves so as to attain to their own salvation in the place where the sun don’t shine (the ‘Deathless State’).
RESPONDENT: In the moment you speaks about oblivion after death ...
RICHARD: First and foremost: I report the identity in toto going into blessed oblivion whilst this flesh and blood body was still alive.
Second, with no identity in situ it is patently obvious that there be nothing whatsoever to survive physical death.
Third, hence there was, similarly, nothing which predated birth.
Lastly, physical death is, just as being anaesthetised or even each night upon going to sleep is, the oblivion of consciousness (the state or condition of a body being conscious) as well as the awareness of consciousness (the state or condition of a body being aware of being conscious) ... only never coming to or waking up again.
In other words, physical death is the end, finish.
RESPONDENT: ... this means that now you are in another state, because you are alive.
RICHARD: No, because to say ‘another’ state is to imply that physical death is also a state to exist in when it is not.
RESPONDENT: You are in a state of existence.
RICHARD: I exist *as* a flesh and blood body, in time and space, being apperceptively aware.
RESPONDENT: How you know that you exist?
RICHARD: Sensately ... I have written about this to you before. Here is an excerpt:
RESPONDENT: You must have a sense of existence.
RICHARD: You will see, upon re-reading my response (above) that I clearly say ‘the sense of being here, in space, as a body’ – which is another way of saying ‘the sense of existing, in space, as a body’ – which is most certainly not the same thing as the ‘feeling of existence’ you speak of in a recent e-mail. Vis.:
The ‘sense of existence’ you are enquiring about is intuitive, or instinctive, and thus affective, not sensitive.
RESPONDENT: Or you must make a logical process, for example I am walking etc.
RICHARD: No, it is a sensible process to observe ambulation ... no logic is required.
RESPONDENT: Even in a PCE, how one knows that a PCE took place?
RICHARD: Apperceptively ... and I have written to you about this before also:
In short: apperception, or pure conscious experiencing, is unmediated perception.
RESPONDENT: Means that thought (even subconscious thought) was in operation and so recording was taking place.
RICHARD: No, apperception happens all the time irregardless whether thought is operating or not (and there is no subconscious thought at any time) ... thought, thoughts, and thinking happens spontaneously if and when required by the circumstances.
RESPONDENT: And to go on with the god thing. I went into a PCE from an extremely rough and materialistic point of view. At that time I knew nothing of pantheism, only monotheism, which I had rejected, thinking of myself as an atheist. So when I saw what I saw I thought that if they want to call this fabulous existence God then that’s okay, because that’s a way of making it special. Now after reading you all I see that it doesn’t require to be given the name of God to make it special, it’s special in and of itself, and that calling it God is a way to confusion.
RICHARD: Yes, basically they have taken the experiential properties of the material universe – infinite and eternal and perpetual – and ascribed them to a supernatural deity.
RESPONDENT: When I saw the sparkling magical eternity and beneficence of the universe, so much more real than my previous cognition, I thought that this was the experience that caused people to talk about god. They have this experience, and then later, trying to explain it from the usual restricted point of view it gets embellished with personal limited perspectives and voila! Different religions. What I experience as a beneficent conscious universe others give the name of God. That’s what I thought for a long time. The explanation that it’s another grab by the ego to immortalize itself by aligning with an all powerful immortal God makes even more sense.
RICHARD: Yes, though in reality it is the soul (the deeper aspect of identity) which the ego aligns itself to. The realised soul (the spiritual Self) is nothing more and nothing less than the rudimentary animal self of the affective feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – still in operation ... only in a sublimated and transcended form.
This is because the affective feelings input a bias towards preserving ‘self’ (particularly ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ which is ‘being’ itself) – because of their instinctual survival nature – which leads to a switch in identification from ‘I’ as ego (in the head) to ‘me’ as soul (in the heart) via humble ‘self’-surrender ... only blown-up all out of proportion into a grandiose identity (‘Self’, ‘Being’, ‘God’, ‘Goddess’, ‘That’, ‘Isness’ and so on).
RESPONDENT: For myself I could reinterpret the experience as first I died an agonizing death by having revealed to me the stupid games I was playing in my life, then I experienced everything as clear and luminous and benevolent, then I classified this everything as a beautiful, loving and ferocious God (is this pantheism?) and identified myself as unified with it and thus immortal.
RICHARD: Aye, to be in union with one’s eternal self is the goal of all mysticism ... ‘tis but narcissism writ large.
RESPONDENT: Next I had the dreadful sensation that immortality was worse than death because I would have to keep on being this grandiose deity for all eternity.
RICHARD: Well said ... I have often remarked that if it were not for death one could not be happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: So I take this to be the danger of enlightenment.
RICHARD: The main ‘danger of enlightenment’ (apart from missing out on the meaning of life) lies in its blatant disregard for peace-on-earth and its wilful retardation of human progress: western civilisation, which has struggled to get out of superstition and medieval ignorance, is in danger of slipping back into the supernatural as the eastern mystical wisdom, that is beginning to have its strangle-hold upon otherwise intelligent people, is becoming more and more widespread.
RESPONDENT: Richard, the other week ‘you’ answered a question from me about the dynamics of the ‘self’. You explained, or I think you explained, that the self is a vortex for psychic energies and that that vortex – which we call ‘I’ (or is it ‘me’?) – largely runs on automatic just being pushed around within the psychic web. Is that a fair enough approximation of what you said??
RICHARD: Yes (apart from the fact that there is no ‘you’ (‘me’) extant in this flesh and blood body to have answered) ... and a ‘vortex’ of psychic currents, as in an eddy or a whirlpool of affective energies, is an apt description of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself). Yet not only ‘being pushed around’ but also ‘pushing others around’ (the psychic currents are the most effective power plays for they are the most insidious). It is just as important to be aware of what ‘I’ do to others as it is to be aware of what others do to ‘me’.
Interestingly enough, when ‘I’ cease taking offence (being hurt) it is nigh-on impossible to be offensive (being hurtful).
RESPONDENT: So ... assuming it is, am I to understand: a) a person like you who seems to believe only in the tangible actual stuff ... believes (is that the right word) in the psychic world as well??
RICHARD: Oh no, there is no psychic world here in the actual ... I am talking from remembered prior experience and other people’s reports regarding the psyche, the psychic and the psychical. Also, there is no need to believe ‘only in the tangible actual stuff’ where one is free of the human condition ... there is nothing else happening but the direct experience of the actual 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 sky by day and the stars by night.
RESPONDENT: And that this self you refer to has in the past been called the soul?
RICHARD: Yes. The word ‘soul’ is a commonly used English word corresponding to ‘psyche’, ‘self’, ‘spirit’, ‘being’, ‘atman’ and so on (when not getting hung-up on doctrinal distinctions and cultural characteristics).
RESPONDENT: b) when you say you have no self I take it that means that ‘you’ are no longer effected by the psychic energy field that we are all creating together on the planet. Is that how it is?
RICHARD: There is no ‘you’ (‘me’) to either be affected or to affect others when one is free from the human condition. The affective energies are a two-way street ... mostly peoples initially overlook the ‘harmless’ part of my oft-used ‘happy and harmless’ phrase. In other words: how can I live freely in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst ‘I’ nurse malice and sorrow to ‘my’ bosom? One cannot be happy unless one is first harmless ... and one cannot be harmless unless one is first happy. This is because all sentient beings, to a greater or lesser extent, are connected via a psychic web ... a network of energies or currents that range from ‘good’ to ‘bad’. To be actually free one abandons ‘humanity’ in oneself – one cuts the umbilical cord – which means that the ability to connect or relate vanishes ... life is not ‘a movement in relationship’ (as one enlightened being was wont to say) here in this actual world.
RICHARD: It is not thought that imputes a thinker. It is the passion engendered by the instinctual self in the reptilian brain that remains the real culprit.
RESPONDENT: Well I guess that simplifies things. What does this instinctual self look like?
RICHARD: You have asked me a similar question before and I let it pass by. [Respondent]: ‘What does the soul look like?’ I might as well respond to both questions now ... as well as what the ego looks like, just to complete the description.
RICHARD: Suffering is psychological ... only the entities suffer. Thus they forever seek consolation, commiseration and solace. Hence the neediness for the whole gamut of pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love. When one is actually free, none of these products of pathos are necessary ... in fact, with the ego and soul’s demise, they cease to exist. They, too, are bogus.
RESPONDENT: Wonderful to say it so clearly. It comes from this freedom, no doubt.
RICHARD: As I said above, ‘I’ can cease identifying as the ego and identify as the soul ... a shift in consciousness which manifests Love Agapé and Divine Compassion. Unfortunately for its success, Love Agapé is born out of malice and is dependent upon hatred to sustain itself ... and therefore can not provide the ultimate solution: freedom from animosity. Also, Divine Compassion – which has its roots in sorrow and is dependent upon resentment to sustain itself – is unable to provide freedom from anguish. Love and compassion actually perpetuate malice and sorrow, for these deep-seated passions are their essential progenitors. Yet no one questions the efficacy of Love Agapé and Divine Compassion as a means of resolving malice and sorrow once and for all. As a palliative for suffering they are beyond compare – they superseded pity, sympathy and empathy by a mile – but they remain forever a panacea only. Consolation and solace for all the malice and sorrow, no matter how Divine that solace and consolation may be, are not cures that last.
KONRAD: This existential awareness includes our own body. We experience, not on an intellectual, but on an existential level, ‘facts’. This includes the fact of our own understanding. And if this principle only is present, the world can be seen ‘as it is’. This is what you call ‘apperception’.
RICHARD: It is not apperception, Konrad, because there is still ‘being’.
KONRAD: This third identity is able to observe the other two identities, namely ‘I’ and ‘Self’ whenever they operate. But if it is totally dominant, it has integrated and incorporated the both the ‘I’ and the ‘Self’, for now every action comes from this Parmenidean principle. All this has become clear to me, now. Now that I have an understanding of consciousness itself, I can see where exactly you stand, and I can see what you see.
RICHARD: Are you so sure of that now that you have read what I have written?
KONRAD: This deepest ontological principle is itself a form of ‘Is’. It is an identity, like both the ‘I’ and the ‘Self’. Only, it is not an ‘I’, and it is also not an ‘Self’, but it is an identity in the form of an ‘IS’.
RICHARD: Aye ... the Buddhists call it ‘isness’. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti called it ‘what is’. This is still in the state of being called enlightenment.
KONRAD: Its action consists of becoming conscious of existence in the form of ‘IS’ – awareness, and IS – awareness alone. Its action are responses to the senses, and making ‘sense’ of them in the form of ‘facts’, or, as Ayn Rand puts it, ‘percepts’. It is cognition in the form of identity, but without identification in the sense of subclassing. For identification is a form of understanding. And that is NOT what this principle results in. It only generates the material our thought and thinking can use, the other two identities, to ‘get a grip on’, or ‘to give meaning and use to’. Meaning being the response of the logical ‘I’, and ‘use’ being the response of the social ‘self’. This is also an explanation of your distinction between reality and actuality.
RICHARD: I very much doubt it as ‘isness’ and ‘what is’ is metaphysical and not physical ... but do go on, please.
KONRAD: Reality is the response of the principle of logic to awareness. And actuality is the response of the principle of existence to awareness.
RICHARD: Not so ... it cannot be actuality because for you the ‘principle of existence’ is ‘BEING’. Look, reality is an illusion pasted over actuality by ‘me’ busily ‘being’ (and ‘being’ is affective whereas logic is cerebral) and is not a product of logic (non-logical peoples experience reality too). Actuality is what becomes apparent when one’s identity in its totality ceases ‘being’ ... and logic can operate unimpeded as required by the circumstances.
KONRAD: The first leads to truths, and the second leads to facts. So there is a defendable distinction between reality and actuality. If we are aware of existence in the form of facts, we observe percepts, identities. And if we are aware of existence in the form of logic, we observe concepts, identifications.
RICHARD: It is perception that leads to ‘observing percepts’, yes ... but it is apperception that reveals actuality.
KONRAD: Now what I want to tell you, is that you can even move beyond ‘Is’.
RICHARD: Oh, good ... now we are getting somewhere in these dialogues. An actual freedom lies beyond enlightenment.
KONRAD: And even to recognise this ontological ‘Is’ identificator. Beyond this ‘It is what it is’ sayer, this ‘existence exist’ principle, which is a itself a form of ‘IS’, albeit its most general form. And when your consciousness is able to become aware of the fact, that this ‘fact admitter’ itself is an identity, that what I call ‘the process’ becomes visible. What then happens, is that the fourth domain, that of consciousness, takes complete control. For consciousness itself has then become conscious, and it reacts to itself.
RICHARD: May I ask? Where you say ‘consciousness itself has then become conscious’ do you mean the brain being aware of itself being conscious? That is, not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious ... but awareness of itself? A pure awareness? In other words: apperception?
KONRAD: How? Totally in the form of ‘process’. For when consciousness itself responds to itself, it no longer responds neither from an identity, a being, nor from an identificator, an ‘I’, nor from a social ‘Self’. No, there is only ‘total awareness’, ‘total, effortless awareness’, for it sustains itself. In other words, you can move beyond ‘IS’, beyond ‘apperception’, beyond ‘identity’. And if this happens, no identity is left any more, and the potentiality itself of us, human beings, becomes conscious. For what happens then is that consciousness itself becomes conscious. THAT is what ‘enlightenment’, ‘IS’ (forgive me the use of the word).
RICHARD: Sure ... look, I could not help but notice the throwaway line ‘beyond apperception’ in there. Are you sure that you do not mean ‘beyond perception’ (which requires a ‘perceiver’)? When the ‘perceiver’ is not ... there is apperception.
KONRAD: You probably will not believe me, for you believe that you already have achieved everything that is humanly possible. Still, consider this mail very carefully. For you will probably be aware of the fact, that my description of the ‘actual’ domain indeed does conform to your description, and even of your experience. And this was clearly not the case in the past. I also apologise if I have insulted you in any way. I simply did not understand your position. But this is something, you already knew, of course. Thanks for your efforts to make me see what you see, for you can see that I really have learnt from you. The above formulations would not have been possible, if I had not have such a very intensive dialogue with you. Since you did not respond to this mail before, I have decided to send it both to you and your (ex) followers, so that at least THEY can see, that your vision has some merit, but your claim that you really understand my position is wrong.
RICHARD: Konrad, I do not ‘claim’ to understand your position ... I can only go on what you write. And what you write changes daily ... sometimes even within the same E-Mail. I doubt that anyone can understand your position ... you do not have one!
KONRAD: I did not understand you, but now I do.
RICHARD: Let us wait and see about that, eh? After all, you have said before that you do understand me. But ... there is some chance of progress here.
KONRAD: You, however, clearly do not understand me. Are you able to do that now? Or, at least, to admit that there is something that escaped you up till now?
RICHARD: And what exactly is it ... this ‘something’ that has ‘escaped’ me, eh? This third identity that you call ‘BEING’? May I suggest that you look through my writing and see how many times the word ‘being’ (in small quotes) appears. You are still stuck in understanding the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’.
KONRAD: If that is so, you might go through a totally new transformation that enables you to see, that your act of excluding the potential is a violation of Man.
RICHARD: I make no secret that I have ceased being human ... if that is what you mean by ‘Man’. And given that ‘being human’ means being driven to kill one’s fellow human being ... then I am well-pleased to be no longer ‘human’. Being free from malice and sorrow means that I am automatically happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: You have also dispensed with the idea of soul, and that is good, for it was also part of the ego. I don’t why you have divided the ego into a soul that also must die. You have divided death.
RICHARD: The soul is not a part of the ego, it is part of the identity. To dissolve the ego is to only go half way into the complete and utter extinction of the identity ... it means the end of the psyche itself. Hence no good or evil roams about here, in this actual world where I live. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti is on record a saying something like: ‘I have always felt protected ... there is a repository of ‘Good’ into which the ‘Bad’ is always trying to enter and one has to be on one’s guard lest evil gets in’. (This is not a direct quote).
My experience of being enlightened is that ‘I’, as a soul was sheltered and protected from sorrow and malice by a cocoon of Divine Compassion and Love Agapé ... and my experience was affirmed by what I read in various books, one of which was written by Ms. Pupil Jayakar about Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti wherein she describes how the people around him were not to mention the word ‘evil’ as it would send him ‘shrinking’ ... if my memory serves me correct. Mr. Barry Long is reported to have said: ‘The silver-tongued Devil is Eternal’.
RESPONDENT: As for Krishnamurti’s soul, or theory of dying, I don’t think he ever mentioned the word soul. He never divided death into the death of ego and the death of the soul. Death was death, complete. I think you have just added a step within your transformation which was formed from your admitted delusion.
RICHARD: He would never have used the word ‘soul’ ... yet when Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was a few days short of his physical death, he reputedly said (something like) ‘I am going up to that mountain top and then I will find out for myself’. I take it from this that he bethought of himself to possess something that would survive physical death. He would also talk about a ‘stream of thought’ or a ‘river of consciousness’ (I am going by memory here) that was not affected by physical death. Then there was that rather peculiar conversation with Mr. Alain Naudé and Mrs. Zimbalist after Mr. John Fields death where he effectively hedged the question of reincarnation with talk about ‘echoes’ lasting ten years or ten thousand years or a million years before coming to an end ... and again that ‘stream of consciousness’ thing.
Personally, I cut to the chase. I call it a soul. The word ‘soul’ can be a generic term for all those other words that indicate something insubstantial surviving physical death. It is a product of the psyche, and – as I have indicated already – it can vanish whilst this body is alive and breathing.
RICHARD: It is not enlightenment that I am speaking of ... it is all about going beyond enlightenment into the actuality of being here on this very physical planet that is meandering about in a very actual universe. Not only must the ego dissolve (like his did) but the soul must die as well (which his did not). Then one is here in this actual world – not the real world that five point eight billion people are living in – but the actual world that is accessible only when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul become extinct.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I’m understanding what you are saying and I find little confusion with the exception of the ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul. The way I understand the self is that it is all that I am, and then you come along and divide the self into an ego and a soul.
RICHARD: It is the identity that has two parts to it, not the self. The ‘self’ equates with ego (which is one half of the identity) and the ‘Self’ equates with soul (which is the other half of the identity). They go by so many different names according the school one subscribes to or the culture one is born into or whose practices one adopts. I am merely using the standard English terminology that is generally accepted in the West.
The self (ego) is mortal; the Self (soul) is immortal.
RESPONDENT: This is the extra step that you have put in that one must take to be free, and then assign that assumption that others who did not take the final step of the ‘death of the soul’ were merely metaphysical because they did not solve the ‘problem’.
RICHARD: As the Self (soul) is immortal it is, by definition, metaphysical.
RESPONDENT: What is the problem, Richard? Is it not the self? Please don’t try to divide that self into ego and soul. It just doesn’t work for me – unless you can come up with some real concrete evidence that there is a soul to die.
RICHARD: That is just it ... because it is supposed to be immortal it cannot die. I challenged this passionate and fervently held belief ... and the Self (soul) died. It was not so immortal after all.
RESPONDENT: You say it is also freedom from the soul, and I don’t know no thing about no soul.
RICHARD: But you do know ... there is no need to be so coy. Or are you being disingenuous? For only a few paragraphs further down this page you wax eloquent about your soul ... allow me to copy and paste some of it here for your benefit:
RESPONDENT: So we won’t get into that again.
RICHARD: That is okay by me.
RESPONDENT: I think that it’s just a further label you have stuck on the ‘self’.
RICHARD: Oh ... so you do want to get into it then. Okay ... it is not ‘just a further label Richard has stuck on the ‘self’’ for it is the enlightened masters who promote the notion that the soul is the ‘Real Self’ and that the dissolution of ‘I’ as ego and realise one’s ‘True Nature’ is all one has to do to fix up the ills of humankind. It is any sense of identity whatsoever that is the root cause of all misery and mayhem ... so I merely use the convention that they have already established and point out that their soul is the other half of their identity.
RICHARD: ‘Being’ is only extinguished with the ‘death’ of the soul ... not at the dissolution of the ego. This has been the cause of all the ills of humankind remaining unresolved despite thousands of years of Enlightened Beings being on this planet.
RESPONDENT: So you are saying now that there is a soul, that it is not an idea.
RICHARD: There is a soul ... as an idea. There is not a soul ... as an actuality.
RESPONDENT: So you are saying give it up? Give up the search for the ultimate condition? Is that it? That is an important point. To give up all those ideas of enlightenment. Yes. They are a problem for world peace, peace in our relationships, and inner peace.
RICHARD: Give up the search for the ultimate condition? No, not at all ... I am saying that the Saints and the Sages, the Messiahs and the Masters, the Avatars and the Saviours gave up the search for the ultimate condition. They settled for second best ... and humankind has suffered enormously as a result. Enlightenment is not the ultimate condition.
RESPONDENT: But why search for what must be an idea?
RICHARD: An actual freedom – living the perfection and purity of this moment in time and this place in space – is not an idea, it is a fact. It exists right here and just now irrespective of whether one experiences it or not. It is only ‘I’ who is forever cut off from being here in this purity and perfection by ‘my’ very existence.
To embark upon a search is to take a journey through the human psyche – which is what ‘my’ psyche is. ‘I’ am ‘humanity’ and ‘humanity’ is ‘me’. Both ‘I’ and ‘humanity’ are the ideas – not freedom. An actual freedom, here on earth, in this life-time, as this body is not an idea – it is an actuality. This can be ascertained apperceptively via a pure consciousness experience (PCE) which can occur in a peak experience.
RESPONDENT: Are you saying that it is up to the victim whether there is the experience of pain and loss?
RESPONDENT: Thank you for your clear responses. You are being sent a good deal of mail from the participants on the list, and so I will keep this reply brief. If I understand your response and can simplify it, you are saying that the soul does exist (at least usually), and that in your case it is extinguished completely.
RESPONDENT: If this captures what you are saying, then I would appreciate your comments on what you find to be the evidence for the existence of the soul in yourself (looking at your past) or in others.
RICHARD: First and foremost, as I am a human being – and being born and raised in what is called the normal way – after allowing for idiosyncrasies any study of one’s own psyche is a study of the human psyche. Therefore, any verifiably common discoveries are valid for all peoples, given due allowance for gender, racial and era variance. Through face-to-face interaction and through reading and watching media it is entirely reasonable to deduce that that the three ways of experiencing the world of people, things and events (1. sensate; 2. cerebral; 3. affective) is common to all human beings. And, essentially, there is no difference between English malice and sorrow and African malice and sorrow and Indian malice and sorrow and so on and so on.
(I use the generally accepted convention of ‘malice’ and ‘sorrow’ as delineated by most religions and/or philosophies, that fall under the umbrella term ‘The Human Condition’, purely for convenience. In Christianity, for example, the word ‘suffering’ means the same affective feelings as the word ‘sorrow’ does. Similarly, the ‘Golden Rule’ (found in all religions) known in English as ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ points to the feelings covered under the catch-all word ‘malice’. Basically, ‘malice’ is what one does to others (resentment, anger, hatred, rage, sadism and so on) and ‘sorrow’ (sadness, loneliness, melancholy, grief, masochism and so on) is what one does to oneself ... as a broad generalisation).
In my investigations I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. Thus when I refer to ‘soul’ I am meaning ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ ... which is the instinctual rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings (which ‘original face’ is what gives rise to the feeling of ‘oneness’ with all other sentient beings). This is a very ancient genetic memory; being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future.
RESPONDENT: ... although I know that the concept of soul is and has been a so called spiritual concept, I am tempted to reintroduce it (the soul) into Actualism as this Magical aspect.
RICHARD: Why on earth would you want to do that ... souls do not have the corner on the magical aspect do they?
Incidentally, I was using the word ‘magical’ in its stage-magician sense of prestidigitation. Vis.:
Also, this actual world is rather magical in the way it is all just here right now of its own accord (without any cause).
RESPONDENT: As to [why on earth would you want to do that ... souls do not have the corner on the magical aspect do they] I was not using soul in that way that it can be used in a plural (souls) but rather to point to this implicit magical quality of the universe. How it is continuously seamlessly rearranging itself by itself through itself; indeed how it does so on various levels interacting with itself [just here right now of its own accord].
RICHARD: Ahh ... you mean ‘soul’ as in vital energy or driving force – the essential or animating element or quality of something – I take it. Fair enough ... as my use of the word magical was confusing without an explanation then the same applies to your use of the word soul.
RICHARD: [quote]: ‘Then you find out that the outside is the inside, then you find out that the observer is the observed’. (p 36; ‘Krishnamurti on Education’; published by Krishnamurti Foundation India, ISBN 81-87326-00-X).
RESPONDENT: Is the observer, then also, the outside?
RICHARD: First of all there is a point which needs to be cleared up: you have titled the subject of this e-mail as being ‘is the thinker the outside’ which indicates that what your ‘is the observer, then also, the outside’ query really conveys is the question as to whether the thinker is, then also, the outside ... or not.
As you obtained the quote which you start this thread with from the bottom of an e-mail in which three paragraphs were quoted I would draw your attention to the third one:
As you can see Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti specifically says [quote] ‘do not think’ [endquote] which indicates there being no thinker when the outside is the inside ... meaning that there is no thinker when the observer is the observed.
Thus the ‘observer’ being referred to is the feeler, not the thinker ... for example (also from the same e-mail):
RICHARD: Here is my question: if the thinking self can get such rigorous scrutiny as the mailing list gives it ... why not the feeling self? Is the feeling self sacrosanct?
RESPONDENT: Are you using the terms ‘thinking self’ and ‘feeling self’ in the k sense where they seem be extensions of one another or do you see them as different in substance? If it’s the latter, what is their substance?
RICHARD: The feeling self (‘me’ as soul) is primal and the thinking self (‘I’ as ego) is derivative and both are, fundamentally, affective in substance: as the essential affective feelings are in situ before thought first arises in infancy – a baby is born already feeling – the feeler, as an embryonic feeling being, is innate in the species ... it is an hereditarily programmed, or genetically encoded, instinctually passionate inchoate presence, a rudimentary survival ‘self’ as it were.
Any and all imprinting which happens after birth imprints itself onto, into, and as, this already existing basic set of survival passions that form themselves into being the intuitive presence which, at root, is what any ‘me’ ultimately is ... as does any and all societal, familial, and peer-group conditioning.
Both imprinting and conditioning need substance to latch onto, sink into, and be ... it all washes off a clean slate like water off a duck’s back.
RESPONDENT: Your second question, how I test k’s words: my trying to understand, or to make sense of them, is the only test that makes any sense to me.
RICHARD: Similarly, when I read this in the framework of your response to Respondent No. 39 (which is where this related query stems from), so as to better understand what you are saying, it looks like this:
Again I am sure you will appreciate that this does not make it any clearer to me how you try to understand, or to make sense of, what Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti presents as being the solution for all the ills of humankind?
The reason why I am interested in what way it is that you try to test, understand, or make sense of, where my experiencing deviates from Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s is because when I write and explain that it differs in regards to the matter of ‘being’ itself – an impersonalised ‘presence’ by whatever name – which remains in place in spiritual enlightenment, and that it is only when identity in toto (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) is not that there is peace-on-earth, I am somewhat handicapped by not knowing how to otherwise phrase these words ... to put then in a way that might very well make them clear to you.
For example, in regards the matter of ‘being’ itself: when Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti talks of ‘being’ instead of ‘becoming’, and implies that there is no ego-self in ‘being’ (whereas there is in ‘becoming’), does this then not speak to you of being an impersonalised ‘presence’ (a soul-self by whatever name) ... rather than being an everyday ‘personality’ (ego-self) such as maybe 6.0 billion people are?
And when I write of ‘being’ itself ceasing to be as well (meaning no soul-self whatsoever remains) does this then not speak to you of being a flesh and blood body only living freely in the actual world of sensory experiencing – there is no inner or outer in actuality – rather than being either a ‘personality’ (‘I’ as ego) or an impersonalised ‘presence’ (‘me’ as soul) by whatever name?
What if I were to say that it is only by going beyond enlightenment (which means that there is no longer any god or goddess – the truth by whatever description – energetically meddling in human affairs) that there is peace-on-earth ... and that peace-on-earth has been here all along anyway?
RICHARD: For example, in regards the matter of ‘being’ itself: when Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti talks of ‘being’ instead of ‘becoming’, and implies that there is no ego-self in ‘being’ (whereas there is in ‘becoming’), does this then not speak to you of being an impersonalised ‘presence’ (a soul-self by whatever name) ... rather than being an everyday ‘personality’ (ego-self) such as maybe 6.0 billion people are?
RESPONDENT: Yes, except for your term ‘soul-self’, which to me is identical with ‘ego-self’.
RICHARD: As the term soul-self refers to a spiritual identity, as in spirit-self for example, as distinct from ego-self which refers to a corporeal identity, as in body-self for example, are you saying that there is no spiritual dimension at all ... that everything is material including consciousness? For example:
Is this what you mean, when you say that soul-self is identical with ego-self, that any ‘otherness’ (that which is other than matter) is also material, a construct of thought operating as imagination?
RICHARD: And when I write of ‘being’ itself ceasing to be as well (meaning no soul-self whatsoever remains) does this then not speak to you of being a flesh and blood body only living freely in the actual world of sensory experiencing – there is no inner or outer in actuality – rather than being either a ‘personality’ (‘I’ as ego) or an impersonalised ‘presence’ (‘me’ as soul) by whatever name? What if I were to say that it is only by going beyond enlightenment (which means that there is no longer any god or goddess – the truth by whatever description – energetically meddling in human affairs) that there is peace-on-earth ... and that peace-on-earth has been here all along anyway? All the tumult and turmoil has never been anything other than the playing out of the human psyche.
RESPONDENT: I agree with your broad map, but see no reason for the extra step you seem to be adding between the self and truth-beauty.
RICHARD: What if I were to say that there are no instinctual passions in this actual world – 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 – and that they only have their existence in the animal world ... in sentient beings?
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.