Richard’s Selected Correspondence
RESPONDENT: My question to you is that a Korean meditation teacher published a book claiming a first ever interview with Jesus Christ in 2000 years. The book is titled ‘Messiah? Oh No!!’. She asked 100 questions about his birth, life, teachings and plans etc.
RICHARD: And here are a few sample answers from that book:
The author of that book states that, through deep meditation, everyone can meet whomever he or she wants.
RESPONDENT: She (Moon Hwa Young) has many foreign disciples and the book will be published in English as well, I guess. According to her, Jesus learned Buddhism and many other teachings at the age of 15 and there was no physical resurrection and he remained single as well. She is claiming to have achieved the highest level of enlightenment possible so far.
RICHARD: She also claims to have visited the (supposedly) man-made planet Herodotus, in the Andromeda galaxy, whose inhabitants sport pointy tails and ears.
RESPONDENT: She teaches ‘Seon-gye’ the perfect energy realm in the Universe. It is the place where Seon-ins, or enlightened Beings, and the Creators, the highest level of Seon-ins reside and govern the Universe!!??
RICHARD: Speaking of levels ... the following is quite explicit:
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that there are real war is going on in other spirit worlds as well.
RICHARD: Aye, that is because the spiritual world – the word spiritual means ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul’ (Oxford Dictionary) – is peopled by the self-same spirit/ soul as the human world is ... just as it is on earth so is it in heaven (or any other after-death realm).
RESPONDENT: I discovered the actual freedom site a few days ago and find it compelling. It seems from my investigations so far to really actually and in fact offer something new.
RICHARD: Just what is it, from your investigations so far, that is new?
RESPONDENT: Good question. I suppose ... er... I don’t know. I really don’t.
RICHARD: Okay ... here are the very first words on The Actual Freedom Trust home page (immediately below the ‘Actual Freedom’ logo):
From that very succinct heading (which is not placed in such a key position merely for decoration) three key aspects of the freedom referred to can be readily ascertained ... and without inference:
And not to forget, of course, from the logo itself:
RESPONDENT: I mean, it seems like perhaps I can sort it out, sort out ‘the problem’, by doing/being/not being what you say?
RICHARD: As there are many peoples other than myself saying all manner of things about doing/being/not being many different things just what is new about doing/being/not being what I have to say?
RESPONDENT: I’ve got no idea, but I’ve tried a lot and nothing comes up with the goods – me not being unhappy and trapped and lonely and frustrated and all of that.
RICHARD: Well now ... it was obviously high time that somebody came up with something new, then, and yet the question remains as to just what that something new is, eh?
RESPONDENT: This site seems to be something different from other alternatives.
RICHARD: Aye ... just for starters it is (a) non-spiritual ... and (b) down-to-earth ... and (c) actual.
RESPONDENT: I don’t know yet. I just don’t.
RICHARD: Okay ... this is what a dictionary has to say about the word ‘spiritual’:
The term ‘non-spiritual’, then, means not of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit – thus the freedom being referred to is not the freedom spiritualism has to offer – and by way of practical example the following is what you wrote (in part) much further below:
If (note ‘if’) the new and non-spiritual down-to-earth actual freedom was none other than the same freedom which spiritualism has to offer, only expressed in words which have not been rejected, then it would not be:
Instead it would be:
RESPONDENT: I was attracted to Barry Long for a while because he offers a very practical method. But that seemed not to have delivered either. I’ve got no idea. I’m utterly confused! When he said that ‘love is not a feeling’, he claimed not to be referring to psychic or emotive love. Is this the same love as the actualist rejects?
RICHARD: The love which Mr. Barry Long was the embodiment of is the same love as what I use the term ‘Love Agapé’ for.
RESPONDENT: Is Barry Long’s divine love the actualist’s apperceptive thrill by another name?
RICHARD: Nothing in the actualism writings is love by another name ... nothing whatsoever.
RESPONDENT: Barry Long offered more of a path than the last teacher to hold my attention, Tony Parsons, who said that there is no path to that which evidently is and all meditations, techniques and processes are completely besides the point. That rang very true at the time, how indeed could anything at all not be the totality I strive to lose myself in. Thus total acceptance of what is. But I still seem to be left with wretched feelings and lack of brilliance, the only two things I really want to get rid of. Where am I going wrong???
RESPONDENT: Wherever else I may diverge with AF, I am 100% with the non-spiritual plank.
RICHARD: Oh? How do you classify the following divergence, then? Vis.:
First and foremost, the ‘doer’ is not a ‘mere construct or concept, fabricated by several forms of conditioning’ that spiritualists and their ilk make it out to be as it is writ large all over The Actual Freedom Trust web site that conditioning is but the tip of the iceberg and that the rudimentary animal self the instinctual passions automatically form themselves into is the root cause of all the misery and mayhem ... which self is that which is realised upon self-realisation.
Second, words are not ‘merely concepts themselves’ ... they are referential (as in the words ‘computer monitor’, for example, referring to the actual glass and plastic object you are reading these words on).
Third, getting hung up on thinking words are more than merely concepts themselves is not ‘a common error in this list’ as words are certainly more than merely that ... indeed if it were not for the efficacy of words’ ability to convey information there would be no point in this mailing list existing.
Fourth, actualists are not ‘a jnana bunch’ ... actualism is experiential, not intellectual, and has nowt to do with reductionism whatsoever.
Fifth, ‘the ‘seeker’ is not the very thing interfering with the ‘sought’’ such as spiritualists maintain ... an actualist on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is a person no longer seeking – they experientially know where the already always existing peace-on-earth lies – and is actively involved in enabling that to be apparent.
Sixth, it is not just the ‘psychological’ which is attended to ... it is the focus on the psychical/instinctual as well which sets actualism apart from the ‘Tried and True’.
Seventh, one does not ‘stumble into awareness’ ... it is with knowledge aforethought – from a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – that apperceptive awareness is facilitated (and ‘mental clap-trap’ by any description is not a feature of apperception as thought may or may not be operating).
Lastly, as it is made abundantly clear on The Actual Freedom Trust web site that a ‘self’ cannot eliminate itself, but can set a process in motion that will do the trick, your ‘yeah, right’ comment is misplaced to say the least.
It would appear that you have brought the self-same fish back with you that you departed this list with a while back ... which are those very-same fish you brought with you to this list the first time around.
RESPONDENT: ... I did look up the word [‘spiritual’] in the actualist glossary and found a few noteworthy statements: [quote] ‘As this is being written, only a handful of people have managed to become free of the Human Condition ...’ [endquote]. As it has recently been established that the number is 1 – that hardly constitutes a ‘handful’. Also, [quote] ‘... everyone – and I do mean everyone – has a spiritual outlook on life’ [endquote]. I’m curious what definition of ‘spiritual’ you are working with, Richard. Do you include all of ‘humanity’ as having a ‘spiritual’ outlook on life? So that even if someone says they are a ‘materialist’ or ‘atheist’ – they are actually ‘spiritualists’ in disguise?
RICHARD: As I did not write the glossary article you are referring to – unless otherwise notated only the web pages with my name in the URL are written by me – your comment and queries would be better directed to Peter.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps they would be better directed to Peter ...
RICHARD: As I did not write the glossary article you are referring to there is no ‘perhaps’ about it ... your comment and queries would indeed be better directed to Peter.
RESPONDENT: ... yet when I wrote the above questions I was aware of the fact that you did not write the actualist entry for ‘spiritual.’ I was, and still am interested in your response to the above questions if you care to reply.
RICHARD: Sure ... in regards to what definition of the word ‘spiritual’ I was working with when I said to another ‘you are not the first to be sucked into thinking that Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti is non-spiritual and, presumably, will not be the last’ I was not referring to what Peter wrote about in the glossary article you quoted from. Vis.:
I was clearly referring to a person who actively sought – and attained – the spiritual solution to all the ills of humankind ... not someone whose ‘spiritual viewpoint permeates philosophy, science, medicine, education, psychology, law, etc.’
In regards to me including all of humanity as having a spiritual outlook on life when I said to another ‘you are not the first to be sucked into thinking that Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti is non-spiritual and, presumably, will not be the last’ I was, once again, clearly referring to a person who actively sought – and attained – the spiritual solution to all the ills of humankind and not to such persons as Peter wrote about in the glossary article you quoted from.
RESPONDENT: OK, I see that you are saying that Peter was using ‘spiritual’ in a different, broader sense of the word than when you were referring to Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti. So even though most everyone on the planet is ‘spiritual’ in the sense of being under the illusion of being an identity – thus metaphysical, not everyone is ‘spiritual’ in the sense of believing in somebody or something supernatural. Correct?
RICHARD: What Peter realised very early in the piece was that, as long as the flesh and blood body hosted an affective ‘being’, an intuitive ‘presence’ which is the instinctual passions in action, there was no way that anyone – and he means anyone – can actually be non-spiritual ... even though they do not believe either in a god or truth (by whatever name) or a post-mortem soul or spirit (by whatever name).
This may be an apt moment to re-post something I wrote early last year:
Not only is Buddhism known, in some quarters at least, as an atheistic philosophy so too is Jainism – the tradition that Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain was brought up in – thus not only do some Buddhists classify themselves as atheists so too do more than a few people known nowadays as ‘Friends of Osho’ (neé ‘Rajneeshee’).
As do some of those who read about/ listen to what Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti has to say.
RICHARD: In regards to someone saying they are a materialist or atheist actually being spiritualists in disguise: I am not aware that Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti has ever said he is a materialist or an atheist ... as we have discussed before. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: I do recall bringing some information outside of his texts to them when I first read them – that was that I met of of UG’s friends on a weekend retreat about 4 years ago with Bernadette Roberts. UG’s friend (if my memory is correct) stated pretty strongly that UG is an atheist, so it is entirely possible that I read his words with that in mind.
RICHARD: It could be possible that the person who stated it strongly may have meant ‘atheist’ in the same way that those of a certain buddhistic persuasion (as described further above) mean it ... whatever the case may be it certainly does look like that is where you gained that impression from because it is not borne out anywhere in what he has to describe/explain about himself.
RESPONDENT: What I am mainly uncertain of is whether his references to not questioning the existence of God and reticence at accepting the label of an atheist is due to not wanting to be labelled, or rather as it sometimes seems that maybe he is agnostic – or even spiritual as you say.
RICHARD: Perhaps this may be of some assistance:
What he is explaining, both before and after that passage, is that the questioner has to come to an end – that it is the questioner who creates the answer, and the questioner comes into being from the answer, otherwise there is no questioner – therefore he rejects all questions/ answers whether he agrees with the statements or experiences of others or not ... not because they are not true but because they are not valid, as far as he is concerned.
He gives a very faithful description/ explanation of this process, in regards a clock pendulum, in the longer quote I posted recently in another thread ... perhaps if you were to re-read it bearing in mind what he says above it may become more clear.
And this should help as well:
RESPONDENT: Let me rephrase my query: Do you agree with the entry that everyone on the planet (excepting actualists) are ‘spiritualists?’
RICHARD: In order to understand what Peter is referring to it is essential to comprehend that he is using the word ‘spiritual’ as a catch-all word to describe that which is not material – the primary antonym for the word ‘spiritual’ in a dictionary is the word ‘material’ – and is best explained by his observation in his journal (page 86) that, when he met me, he realised that ‘Richard was the only atheist I had met and seemingly the only one that has ever been’.
It is the same for a person who does not believe in the spiritualist’s soul, either (and no materialist does believe in one): not believing in a soul does not mean that ‘me’ as soul (aka ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) has become extinct ... and that includes an actualist on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition.
RESPONDENT: I am getting a much better idea why you call UG ‘spiritual’. Not only does he share some ideas with ‘spiritualists’ like thought is the enemy, the ‘search’ is the problem, Buddha was in a state of undivided awareness, etc. – but ‘being’ is still operating, which means that his experience is still metaphysical – not actual – thus in some sense ‘spiritual’.
RICHARD: Exactly ... and, as he says in the latter quote I posted (further above), that his understanding, his seeing, is a state of being (and thus not intellectual/cognitive but affective/intuitive) it can only be some variation of an altered state of consciousness (ASC).
RESPONDENT: And ... if you agree with that statement, are ‘materialists’ and ‘atheists’ actually ‘spiritualists’ in disguise?
RICHARD: I have been unable to find where Peter ever said that ... if you could provide the passage (or passages) it would be appreciated.
RESPONDENT: I do not mean to imply that Peter said that. It is a natural inference ...
1) Everyone but Richard is ‘spiritual.’
2) There are ‘materialists’ other than Richard.
3) ‘Spiritualists’ and ‘materialists’ are normally mutually exclusive.
4) Therefore, ‘materialists’ are actually ‘spiritualists’ in disguise.
I do understand after your explanation of Peter’s usage of the word ‘spiritual’ though that it would not necessarily be exclusive of being a ‘materialist’ – since his usage was a broader sense – more likely a synonym for ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: I cannot say I follow your points 1-4 (especially No. 2) but it does not really matter as the issue now seems to be satisfactorily clarified ... I could add, however, that because of ‘being’ itself an atheistic materialist cannot help but be, to some degree at least, metaphysical in outlook (to use the more likely synonym).
Just as a matter of related interest: has all this thrown some more light upon the topic of atheistic and/or materialistic physicists and/or mathematicians and their cosmogonical and/or cosmological theories?
RESPONDENT: Just as a matter of interest – how do you normally use the word ‘materialist’? Do you use it to mean ‘someone who believes there is only matter’ – or ‘someone who pursues ‘worldly’ possessions and concerns as their highest value in life’? I find that the word normally straddles those two meanings (the second blending 2 and 3 from the above definition) – yet those two meanings can mean 2 quite different things. For example, you cannot have ‘someone who believes there is only matter’ who also ‘believes in the divine’. (A spiritual materialist). But you can have ‘someone who believes in the divine’ who ‘pursues worldly possessions and concerns as their highest value in life.’ (A materialistic spiritualist).
RICHARD: I have located the following exchange:
As well as that I also favour the following definition:
RESPONDENT: IF that were the case, it would seem that actualism might best be referred to as the 2nd alternative – as there really is no such thing as materialism. [quote] ‘materialism, n.: 1. Philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. 2. The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life. 3. A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns. [endquote].
RICHARD: Ha ... I have already been down this path with another:
RESPONDENT: I do understand after your explanation of Peter’s usage of the word ‘spiritual’ though that it would not necessarily be exclusive of being a ‘materialist’ – since his usage was a broader sense – more likely a synonym for ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: ... I could add, however, that because of ‘being’ itself an atheistic materialist cannot help but be, to some degree at least, metaphysical in outlook (to use the more likely synonym). Just as a matter of related interest: has all this thrown some more light upon the topic of atheistic and/or materialistic physicists and/or mathematicians and their cosmogonical and/or cosmological theories?
RESPONDENT: Yes, very much so. Mainly – by clarifying that ‘spiritual’ is sometimes used synonymously with ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: As the word ‘metaphysical’ can mean, for example, ‘of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) it is not all that remarkable it is sometimes used synonymously with the word ‘spiritual’.
RESPONDENT: Mostly, though it clarifies much of what Peter has written about what it is to be ‘spiritual’ – that I thought [at the time] would be better called ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: The word ‘metaphysical’ (of, belonging to, or of the nature of metaphysics) comes from the Greek phrase ‘ta meta ta phusika’ – literally ‘the (works) after the physical (works)’ – which is derived from the title of Mr. Aristotle’s treatise on the subject (from its position in his collected works) and refers to the fundamental nature of reality and being.
Here is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica has to say, in its article on metaphysics, on the origins of the term:
The use of the term ‘Being’ in metaphysics – popularly used to indicate any absolute or supreme being held to be the uncaused/uncreated source of everything/underlying reality – may also have its beginnings per favour of Mr. Parmenides, of the Eleatic School in the Greek colony of Elea in southern Italy in the fifth century BCE, as the Encyclopaedia Britannica has this to say:
Even though metaphysics has been spiritual from the very beginning, and in the long run it really does not matter which term is used to describe the instinctive/intuitive outlook of ‘me’ as soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself), the usage of the word ‘spiritual’ as Peter means it – ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul’ (Oxford Dictionary) – it is more direct and to the point.
RESPONDENT: It also goes a long way towards understanding how someone can be an atheist, yet ‘spiritual’ at the same time.
RICHARD: Yes ... which is why I have classified myself in the following way on many an occasion:
Here is another instance:
RESPONDENT No. 27 (to Peter): By the way, my recent conversation with Richard regarding ‘spiritual’ has cleared up much of the misunderstanding I have had regarding your statement that Richard is (was) the only atheist on the planet. What I see now is that you have not only applied the word ‘spiritual’ to religious belief, but also to ‘being’ itself. In other words, to ‘be’ is to be ‘spiritual.’ Personally, I think that usage is ripe for misunderstanding. From here, it would seem better to apply the word ‘spiritual’ to ‘spiritual’ belief as in religious belief and practice, etc. then possibly ‘metaphysical’ (or some other word?) could cover better what it means to simply be a ‘being.’
RESPONDENT: I’d second this. It takes some time for a newcomer to really understand the implications of ‘beinglessness’. I don’t think it is the kind of thing that can sink in immediately. In the interim, while people are trying to come to terms with the startling novelty of this aspect of actualism, it is confusing for people to find themselves described as spiritualists, or to hear their views described as ‘spiritual’ beliefs when, in real world terms, they are not spiritual at all.
RICHARD: Here is the passage which your co-respondent asked me (twice) to respond to a line extracted from it ... with the extracted quote highlighted in bold:
As you have replied as if Peter had said ‘spiritual beliefs’ – and not ‘spiritual outlook’ (and ‘spiritual viewpoint’) – you are really conducting what is known as a ‘straw man argument’ (wherein something someone never said is critiqued as if it were what they actually said).
Here is the critical part of my response/ explanation mentioned further above:
And again just recently:
RESPONDENT: And when they suggested I had ‘spiritual’ beliefs, it seemed very much a case of them being crazy and/or stupid.
RICHARD: I see that you have just recently written the following:
As you will be cognisant by now the ‘certain way of using the word ‘spiritual’’ which (supposedly) invites misunderstanding is ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul’ (Oxford Dictionary) which, when used in conjunction with the word ‘outlook’ (or ‘viewpoint’), looks something like this:
RESPONDENT: The main point I have been driving at all along is this: outside actualist circles, the feeling of being someone is not regarded as having a spiritual belief/ outlook/ viewpoint.
RICHARD: If I may point out? This is the first time you have even mentioned the word ‘outlook’ (or ‘viewpoint’) in this exchange ... let alone what you do not regard it as being.
Moreover, you are further compounding the problem you have created by now lumping ‘belief’ and ‘outlook’ together (along with ‘viewpoint’) as I have already explained what Peter is not saying in an earlier e-mail. Vis.:
This may be an apt moment to remind you of something I often warn about:
Has it never occurred to you how come Richard, a reasonably intelligent and well-read person with a tertiary education – and agnostic if not atheistic from early childhood into the bargain – could inadvertently become enlightened along the way to an actual freedom from the human condition? Here is a clue:
Put briefly: I was staggered as to how deep the Judaic/ Christian environment I was raised in was embedded ... to the point that I then realised that humanism was the secular religion, so to speak, that British/European Colonialism had foisted onto the world at large (via countries like the USA for instance) as it underpins the UN Charter and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Breaking free from the tenacious grip of their humanitarian principles was difficult to say the least.
RESPONDENT: To describe the feeling of being someone as ‘spiritual’ is to invite unnecessary confusion.
RICHARD: Just what is unnecessarily confusing about describing the feeling of ‘being’ as generating an outlook on life ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul’ (Oxford Dictionary)?
RESPONDENT: (There is plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that this is the case).
RICHARD: As this is the first time this issue has ever cropped up since publishing the website in 1997 this is news to me ... which could very well be because Peter makes quite clear the association between the adjective ‘spiritual’ and the noun ‘spirit’ it is descriptive of (even to the point of many times hyphenating the word). Vis.:
RESPONDENT: As this observation/opinion is not specific to spiritual belief (as opposed to viewpoint and/or outlook), it is not a straw man.
RICHARD: As this is the first time you have acknowledged, albeit in a circuitous manner, that the glossary entry in question was not about spiritual belief, but about a spiritual outlook on life (and, by extension, a spiritual viewpoint permeating various disciplines) I do look askance at your asserverance.
RICHARD: Here is the critical part of my response/ explanation mentioned further above:
RESPONDENT: *Metaphysical* in outlook. [emphasis added] ;-)
RICHARD: I had figured, as this was such an important issue for you (inasmuch you would have Peter choke on the shards of those front teeth of his you would like to break), that you would have already read what I wrote in response to being asked (twice) to respond to Peter’s entry in the actualism glossary, before responding to me, such that I could simply provide a truncated version in this thread.
Nevertheless ... here is the sequence (with the above extract highlighted in bold):
Do you see, this time around, that I specifically mentioned I was using the synonym my co-respondent had said was [quote] ‘more likely’ [endquote] the way Peter was using the word ‘spiritual’ (even though he was not specifically doing so) so as to shed some more light on the topic of atheistic and/or materialistic physicists and/or mathematicians and their cosmogonical and/or cosmological theories in a previous (and unfinished) thread?
I deliberately phrased it that way as a lead-in for a much-needed discussion on what the word ‘metaphysical’ can mean and the implications thereof: in short it is the non-theistic spiritual outlook, generated by the instinctive/ intuitive spirit/ soul, which occasions atheistic and/or materialistic physicists and/or mathematicians to postulate metaphysical cosmogonies/cosmologies ... when all the while this actual universe is out-in-the-open with no uncaused/ uncreated source/ underlying reality at all.
To apprehend this latter point the atheistic and/or materialistic physicists and/or mathematicians would, of course, have to be out-in-the-open as well ... but that is a matter of them coming to their senses (both literally and metaphorically).
RICHARD: And again just recently:
RESPONDENT: You say it does not matter.
RICHARD: No, I say that, even though it does not really matter in the long run, Peter’s usage of the word ‘spiritual’ is more direct and to the point.
RESPONDENT: I think it does matter if you are interested in sparing people unnecessary confusion when they begin to investigate actualism.
RICHARD: What I am interested in is explicating why human beings project metaphysical realities and/or metaphysical beings onto and/or existing prior to the universe ... and Peter’s usage of the word ‘spiritual’ is direct and to this very point.
RESPONDENT: Metaphysics and spirituality are by no means equivalent.
RICHARD: I never said they were ... I specifically said that metaphysics – ‘a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) – has been spiritual from the very beginning (per favour Mr. Parmenides, of the Eleatic School in the Greek colony of Elea in southern Italy in the fifth century BCE, who held that the only true reality is Eon ... pure, eternal, immutable, and indestructible Being, without any other qualification).
RESPONDENT: Euclidean geometry, for instance, is entirely metaphysical – but few people would describe it as ‘spiritual’.
RICHARD: Surely you are not suggesting that Peter should have written that he was amazed to discover that everyone – and he does mean everyone – has a metaphysical outlook on life such as to be found, for instance, in Euclidean geometry?
Quite frankly what you are trying to do just does not make sense to me ... to try and tell Peter what he should have been amazed about, back when he was leaving the spiritual world and beginning to really investigate what others had to say about the human condition, and what permeates philosophy, science, medicine, education, psychology, law, and so on, is but an exercise in futility..
RESPONDENT: As a matter of interest, would you [describe Euclidean geometry, for instance, as ‘spiritual’]? I doubt it, but you do tend to surprise me sometimes.
RICHARD: Of course not ... and, being a particular system of a branch of mathematics which deals with the properties and relations of magnitudes, as lines, surfaces and solids in space, it barely even qualifies for the title ‘metaphysics’.
But, then again, I am not a geometrician.
RESPONDENT No 37: Of course, this is all new territory, so actualists are free to adapt or create whatever vocabulary they please.
RESPONDENT: Sure, but if the intent is to communicate clearly with the ‘real world’, why invite these misunderstandings? Personally, I was very nearly driven away by this issue. It seemed to me that actualists could not distinguish between the metaphysicality of God and the metaphysicality of Euclid’s Elements.
RICHARD: I copy-pasted the phrase <Euclid’s Elements> into this computer’s search engine and sent it through every e-mail you have posted to this mailing list ... only to return nil hits; a search for <Euclid> similarly drew a blank.
If you could provide the relevant passage it would be most appreciated.
RESPONDENT: Righto. I haven’t specifically mentioned Euclid before ...
RICHARD: Then why say it seems to you that actualists cannot make such a distinction? I do understand that the word ‘metaphysical’ can mean ‘highly abstract or abstruse; also theoretical’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). For example:
RESPONDENT: ... but I have on numerous occasions raised the difference between ‘metaphysical’ and ‘supernatural’.
RICHARD: I copy-pasted the word <supernatural> into this computer’s search engine and sent it through every e-mail you have posted to this mailing list and have been unable to locate those numerous occasions you refer to (where you say you raised the difference between ‘metaphysical’ and ‘supernatural’).
If you could provide the relevant passages it would be most appreciated.
RESPONDENT: I think Euclidean geometry is one good example of the usefulness of drawing a distinction between metaphysical and spiritual (because ‘spiritual’ connotes ‘supernatural’, whereas ‘metaphysical’ does not (necessarily)).
RICHARD: As this – ‘‘spiritual’ connotes ‘supernatural’’ – is a red-herring (when I specifically gave the ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul’ definition in the part of this e-mail you said you trimmed for brevity) I will pass without any further comment other than adding that the trimmed part could well do with a re-read.
RICHARD: As the word ‘soul’ has both a spiritualistic and materialistic meaning in the Oxford Dictionary it was the word I chose to use when I first went public as the main difference between those two meanings 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 ... a distinction which somebody relatively new to this mailing list had no difficulty comprehending a few weeks ago when this fact was elucidated. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: I also have no difficulty comprehending this distinction.
RICHARD: Good ... the difficulty you seem to be having appears to lie in applying the distinction, eh?
RESPONDENT: As I was speaking about the potential confusion surrounding the word ‘spiritual’, not the meaning of the word ‘soul’, your observation is – according to your definition above – a straw man. Addendum: Sorry, that’s wrong, it isn’t a straw man. The dictionary definition of ‘spirit’ includes the word ‘soul’, and the word ‘soul’ has a non-supernatural meaning as well as a supernatural one. Therefore, one aspect of the word ‘spiritual’ has a non-supernatural meaning.
RICHARD: Okay ... I am pleased that this is now clear.
RESPONDENT: I do see your point.
RICHARD: It is Peter’s point, actually, as he wrote the glossary entry and not me ... all I did was to respond as (twice) asked.
RESPONDENT: It does seem to be clutching at straws somewhat though.
RICHARD: As Peter wrote that glossary entry circa 1997-98 you are but wasting your time making this comment.
RESPONDENT: The confusion that results from describing the feeling of ‘being’ as ‘spiritual’ rather than, say, ‘metaphysical’ is unnecessary.
RICHARD: This is what you are saying, in effect, when spelled out in full:
As Peter was not (repeat ‘not’) amazed to discover that everyone – and he does mean everyone – has a metaphysical outlook on life (and that the metaphysical viewpoint permeates philosophy, science, medicine, education, psychology, law, etc.), but that it was a spiritual outlook/viewpoint (as in the association of the adjective ‘spiritual’ with the noun ‘spirit’) he was amazed to discover, to then go back and rewrite history with what did not happen would be to (a) deny his experience ... and (b) falsify his account ... and (c) no longer convey what he was amazed to discover.
Maybe this will be of assistance:
RESPONDENT: Reading the link you gave me, I still think that you are mixing dodgy Spiritual claims with descriptions of freedom (or actual freedom if you prefer) into one category and dismissing them all. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
RICHARD: If I were to use your analogy then this is the ‘baby’ that got thrown out:
In other words all spiritual claims are ‘dodgy’ as there is no ‘spirit’ or ‘presence’ or ‘being’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself) in actuality ... there are no gods or goddesses of any description in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps you are making the statement as an antidote to the view held by ‘spiritualists’ that ‘I’ am a permanent ‘cloud’ or bubble containing the entire universe in it?
RICHARD: Also, but most specifically it came about experientially in late 1992 when the identity in toto vanished forever: previously I could look into a mirror, for example, and ask ‘who am I’ (and get all manner of inconclusive answers) whereas now the question itself simply made no sense at all ... and the only valid question was ‘what am I’ for the answer was patently obvious.
To wit: I am this flesh and blood body only (sans identity/affections in toto).
RESPONDENT: However the statement ‘I am not the body’ as claimed by some you would no doubt describe as ‘spiritualists’ does not necessarily mean that ‘I’ am something else either (as in a soul, or God etc).
RICHARD: Indeed not ... not all the mystics (that is, spiritualists who are self-realised) say ‘I am God’ or ‘I am That’ and so on as the deeper enlightenment goes the more apparent it becomes that ‘There is only God’ or ‘There is only That’ and so on.
Speaking personally I would say ‘There is only The Absolute’.
RESPONDENT: I don’t understand why you say ‘I am the physical body’. Why not just say ‘there is a physical body’?
RICHARD: Well, I quite often do actually – especially when some peoples ask me who the first person pronoun refers to – and this is an example (from further above) of how that would look if done all the time:
RESPONDENT: Richard, have you heard of the American Werner Erhard?
RICHARD: I first heard of him 15-16 years ago when his ‘Erhard Seminar Training’ course (commonly known as ‘est’ from the Latin for ‘it is’) was at the height of its popularity.
RESPONDENT: His transformation is detailed in a book entitled Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, by William Bartley.
RICHARD: As I have not read the book, nor have any intention of doing so, I do not know of the specific details ... here is what he said, in response to a reporter’s question in 1988, about his ‘transformation’ in 1971 and what it has done for him:
From what I have been able to glean in that article and elsewhere it seems to have been more of a flash of insight into his modus operandi – maybe a revelation, even, that all he knew amounted to nothing – rather than a transformation into what is popularly known as spiritual enlightenment.
RESPONDENT: From reading it I guess he is only enlightened but he has this method in it called ‘getting off it’ (meaning your emotion or point of view or attitude) so as to ‘experience aliveness’. That sounds a little like using HAIETMOBA? for virtual freedom so I just wondered if you know what he’s about.
RICHARD: In brief: the consciousness-raising/personal empowerment ... um ... marketing strategies of the behavioural-psychology/personal-growth movement that grew out of the Beat Generation/Hippie Generation of the ‘sixties and ‘seventies and which became known as the Me Generation.
Perhaps best epitomised by phrases such as ‘there is nothing to get so you got it’ and ‘you are perfect the way you are’, for example.
RESPONDENT: I have been using HAIETMOBA? for about three mos. now and have had one PCE brought on by the words ‘this moment’. It is the fourth PCE I have had in the last five years, all lasting about one minute. Don’t get mad (ha) but the three others came while reading Alan Watts. During them I am always safely locked in this eternal moment of infinity. I have lots of questions I’d like to ask you but will send this first to see if it flies.
RESPONDENT: Regarding Werner Erhard: point taken. I’ve had more than a passing encounter with his organization and I am going to tell them about AF because I think they ought to know.
RICHARD: As his organisation (now called ‘Landmark Educational Forum’ and run by his brother Mr. Harry Rosenberg since 1985 when he left the country) makes around US$50,000,000.00 a year there are 50 million reasons why they probably will not be interested.
Furthermore, as I understand it the course/programme he started is what is sometimes known as a ‘Large Group Awareness Training’ (LGAT) programme – in which a considerable number of people take a seminar together aimed at helping them realize what is purportedly their true potential – whereas an actual freedom from the human condition is an individual matter ... and the actualism method is a moment-by-moment method whereby the normal events of day-to-day life are what ensures success.
Another well-known LGAT programme is the ‘Neuro-linguistic Programming’ (NLP) ... and the seminars run by Mr. Anthony Robbins (who is perhaps the most successful ‘graduate’ of NLP) is yet another.
RESPONDENT: I didn’t mention my ASC in my last post because I thought you would access my previous posts (I think I’ve had about 3 previous posts) if you needed to.
RICHARD: I did read your earlier posts before responding ... my comment about being none too sure your communication even taxied down the runway had nothing to do with the topic of the distinctions between the pure consciousness experience (PCE’s) and the altered state of consciousness (ASC) you had as it only referred to you first likening a method for personal-empowerment/consciousness-raising, devised by one of the leading lights of the behavioural-psychology/ personal-growth movement of the ‘seventies and ‘eighties, to the actualism method of becoming actually free of the human condition and then going on to say that you have had four PCE’s in the last five years in which you were always safely locked in the eternal moment of infinity.
RESPONDENT: Richard, O.K. – about Landmark – I know about the money – I’ll tell them anyway. They claim to be committed to people, not money. We’ll see.
RICHARD: Oh, I do not question their commitment to people – most self-help/motivational/whatever therapists are committed to their work – as the vast majority of human beings are well-meaning in their endeavour to help, to be of assistance.
I just cannot see how actualism would fit into the weekend workshop/group therapy transaction genre wherein a coincidental transaction which always seems to take place is the movement of large amounts of dosh from wallets and purses into the ever-ringing till of the originator/facilitator (meaning that, somewhere along the line, the initial intent to help others has become over-ridden by having others help oneself become either rich, famous, powerful, or all three) ... whereas actualism is about helping the only person one can ever change do just that (change oneself).
Put simply: the actualism method, being a moment-by-moment method whereby the normal events of day-to-day life are what ensures success, is a do-it-yourself method which simply cannot be co-opted by entrepreneurs and, thus, would not be of interest to them.
RESPONDENT: Emaho doesn’t appear to fit Richard’s profile of a spiritual leader ... albeit an enlightened one. And to this day I don’t know if Emaho is enlightened or actual ... maybe I will know when I begin to have PCE’s or begin to be actually living an actualist’s life.
RICHARD: You do not have to wait until you begin anything ... the following quotes are freely available on the internet:
There are at least 30 video-taped talks available ... here are some representative examples of their contents:
RESPONDENT: Douglass Harding, Byron Katie, Maximillian Sandor, bunches of folks in the ex-scientology camp (put ‘freezone’ into your search engine) are all, in their various ways, about using INSIGHT to deconstruct to iron grip of ego-self without getting caught up in the big SELF spiritualist experience of Ramana Maharshi, Bernadette Roberts, et al.
RICHARD: The following quotes may very well throw some light upon the matter:
RESPONDENT: There are hints pointing towards your actual state in the 4th way system as well (one of its major sources are esoteric Sufi teachings), but it is said that it can only be achieved when ‘enjoying’ a fully operational Self already in place, not before.
RICHARD: If you could provide the hints about achieving an actual freedom from the human condition, which you say are in the 4th way system and/or esoteric Sufi teachings, I would be only too happy to read them.
RESPONDENT: So this being an already difficult thing to achieve for most people, it probably seemed pointless to develop the idea even further or to convey/design any specific method when there was no case.
RICHARD: Let me see if I comprehend what you are saying here: Mr. Georges Gurdjieff and/or Mr. Petyr Ouspensky, and some un-named esoteric Sufi teachers, achieved an actual freedom from the human condition, whilst ‘enjoying’ a fully operational Self already in place, but it probably seemed to them pointless to convey to other human beings how they achieved it (let alone developing/designing anything else) as being a fully operational Self was already a difficult thing to achieve for most people.
Am I understanding you correctly?
RESPONDENT: Your case seems to prove that ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? It would help considerably to read the hints, about achieving an actual freedom from the human condition which you state are in the 4th way system and/or esoteric Sufi teachings, that say such a condition can only be achieved when ‘enjoying’ a fully operational Self already in place, not before, before coming to the conclusion that my case seems to prove that it probably seemed pointless to Mr. Georges Gurdjieff and/or Mr. Petyr Ouspensky, and some un-named esoteric Sufi teachers, to tell other human beings about how they achieved it – let alone developing/ designing anything else – as being a fully operational Self was already a difficult thing to achieve for most people.
RESPONDENT: I guess I must separate the teaching from the teacher ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? I do not either have a ‘teaching’ nor am I a ‘teacher’ ... what I do is offer a do-it-yourself method with a proven track-record, plus an unambiguous report of my experience, clear descriptions of life here in this actual world, lucid explanations of how and why, and clarifications of misunderstandings.
For an example: I always make it clear that I am a fellow human being (albeit sans identity/affections in toto) providing a report of what I have discovered and not some latter-day ‘teacher’ (aka sage or seer, god-man or guru, master or messiah, saviour or saint, and so on) with yet another bodiless ‘teaching’.
What another does with the method, my report, my descriptions, my explanations, and my clarifications is their business, of course, yet it goes almost without saying, surely, that if what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site is indeed read as being yet another unliveable ‘teaching’ from yet another bodiless ‘teacher’ then that person will be but pissing into the wind each and every time they write to me.
RESPONDENT: ... just like your oft criticized punching bag, Jiddu Krishnamurti, said to his followers after screwing his best friends wife.
RICHARD: So, just because you experienced your worthless opinion being knocked down a peg or two by a worthless opinion, or your neither-correct-nor-incorrect statement being knocked down a peg or two by a neither-correct-nor-incorrect statement, or your preposterous statement being knocked down a peg or two by a preposterous statement, and despite not putting yourself on a plane with me nor putting me above or below you or another, still experienced being knocked down a peg or two by a person you do not put yourself on a plane with nor put above or below you or another, you somehow manage to liken me to a bodiless ‘teacher’ notorious for distancing themselves from their unliveable ‘teaching’ wherever and whenever the tyre met the road, eh?
O what a tangled web they weave when first they practise to deceive.
RESPONDENT: And thus does all the games and gamesmanship of the supposedly Enlightened or those in a ‘state vastly superior to Enlightenment’ amongst us mere mortals, continue unabated.
RICHARD: Ha ... you will find this to be of interest then:
When I typed ‘I am mortal’ into my search engine and sent it through all my correspondence it returned 71 hits ... which can only mean we are on the same plane after all and that I am, in fact, a fellow human being (albeit sans identity/ affections in toto) providing a report of what I have discovered and not some latter-day ‘teacher’ (aka sage or seer, god-man or guru, master or messiah, saviour or saint, and so on) with yet another bodiless ‘teaching’.
RICHARD: ... in short: the entire universe is a perpetuus mobilis.
RESPONDENT: What is wrong with saying: there are no permanent conditioned things?
RICHARD: Because nowhere have I ever come across a [quote] ‘teaching’ [endquote] which says that ‘being’ itself (aka God, Truth, That, Nirvana, Suchness, Isness, and so on), or ‘presence’, is an impermanent conditioned thing ... on the contrary, all the sages, seers, god-men/god-women, gurus, masters, messiahs, saviours, saints, and so on, over the centuries have been saying that it is a permanent unconditioned thing (and, more often than not, the only permanent unconditioned thing into the bargain).
RESPONDENT: Is this statement at odds with actuality/ your above statement?
RICHARD: What is at odds with actuality/ my above statement is that any [quote] ‘teaching’ [endquote] has ever said that ... spirituality is all about the permanence (aka immortality) and unconditionality (aka absoluteness) of ‘being’ itself.
RESPONDENT: How about: all conditioned things are impermanent.
RICHARD: If your phraseology ‘all conditioned things’ includes ‘being’ itself (aka God, Truth, That, Nirvana, Suchness, Isness, and so on), or ‘presence’ (quite often capitalised as Being or Presence upon self-realisation) then there is no problem with putting it that way ...
RESPONDENT: Thanks. I like putting it that way.
RICHARD: Are you aware this implies you like putting it that the unconditioned permanence all the sages, seers, god-men/ god-women, gurus, masters, messiahs, saviours, saints, and so on, over the centuries have found is, in fact, a conditioned impermanent thing ... when all the while the only permanent (aka immortal) unconditioned (aka absolute) thing has been this physical universe they erroneously took to be an impermanent conditioned thing?
RICHARD: And on and on you go with more of your borrowed Hindu religious belief system. Have you ever been to India to see for yourself the results of what they claim are tens of thousands of years of spiritual living? I have.
RESPONDENT: Yes, and I didn’t think much of it. East and West is not that great an analysis really. It is just a historical fact that much spiritual science has come from the so called East. Of course there is the same in other cultures, e.g. Aboriginal, Maori, native American Indians – I don’t have any problems with that – but it hasn’t been brought to the front-line as much as it could in terms of global awareness, but probably will in due course – albeit much of it now changed with other influences – that’s fine – its not a problem either. it doesn’t matter where it comes from – that’s irrelevant – the point is whether its useful, intuitionally, scientific and practical.
RICHARD: The point is that it (‘spiritual science’) is not useful at all ... it is practically and demonstrably deleterious to both individual and communal well-being. That is why one only needs to look at where this ‘spiritual science’ has been practiced for thousands of years to see how badly it has failed to live up to its promise of peace and harmony and prosperity for all. India is an excellent example of this ... but if you wish to bring other cultures into the discussion, the same holds true for all native cultures such as the few you mentioned. The Australian Aborigines had their inter-tribal wars ... as did the New Zealand Maoris and the American Indians.
Spiritual science indeed! It is all clap-trap, hocus-pocus, mumbo-jumbo, superstitious religious stuff dressed up to appeal to the jaded Western mind desperate for some answers that abstract logical speculation and analytic deduction just can not provide. Both the spiritual and the secular methods of producing peace on earth have each failed miserably ... it is high time for a third alternative to hove into view ... something new that has never been tried before. Why repeat the mistakes of the past when the results of doing so are plain to view in such cultures as we have just discussed?
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.