Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On The Universe


RESPONDENT: (By the way, it was the discussion of matter, mass, and energy that made it clear to me that matter and mass were not synonymous terms which maybe made this realization possible).

RICHARD: Also as an aside: I use the word ‘matter’ (a thirteenth century word from the Latin ‘matteria’) as an all-inclusive word to refer to both its mass phase (‘mass’ is a fifteenth century word from the Latin ‘massa’) and its energy phase (‘energy’ is a sixteenth century word from the Latin ‘energia’).


RESPONDENT: Where is the star light of the universe going?

RICHARD: Nowhere (the universe is a veritable perpetuus mobilis).


RESPONDENT: If we’re in an infinite universe, were there an infinite number of planets before ours?

RICHARD: Not only is this actual universe spatially infinite it is temporally eternal and materially perdurable ... therefore it is possible that somewhere and somewhen planets other than those in this particular solar system have existed, do currently exist, and will be existent.

RESPONDENT: Were there an infinite number of life-forms before us?

RICHARD: As this actual universe is spatially infinite, temporally eternal, and materially perdurable, it is possible that somewhere and somewhen animate matter other than that on this particular planet has existed, does currently exist, and will be existent.

RESPONDENT: Were there an infinite number of highly evolved intelligent space-travelling life forms before us?

RICHARD: As this actual universe is spatially infinite, temporally eternal, and materially perdurable, it is possible that somewhere and somewhen animate matter with a developed ability to judiciously think, reflect, appraise, plan, and implement considered activity for beneficial reasons (and be thus capable of travelling some distance away from and returning to the planet of origin) has existed, does currently exist, and will be existent.

RESPONDENT: Are there an infinite number of super-intelligent life-forms flying around the universe?

RICHARD: As this actual universe is spatially infinite it is simply not possible for any animate matter with a developed ability to judiciously think, reflect, appraise, plan, and implement considered activity for beneficial reasons (and being thus capable of travelling some distance away from and returning to the planet of origin) to be travelling around it.

For instance: it would take something like 100 years or so to travel to the nearest star to the one this planet orbits.

RESPONDENT: They’ve had a long time to evolve.

RICHARD: As this particular planet is estimated to have formed 4.0 billion or so years ago (and is estimated to cease existing 4.0 billion or so years hence), and as the ability to judiciously think, reflect, appraise, plan, and implement considered activity for beneficial reasons developed in one particular form of animate matter about 100,000 years ago (and as the capacity to travel some distance away from and return to the planet of origin came about a little more than 30 years ago) it is not very long at all ... indeed it is quite infinitesimal when compared with eternity.

As a matter of related interest: one of the major stumbling-blocks to interplanetary travel is the human condition itself – as is evidenced by the difficulties peoples can have getting-on with both each other and themselves when wintering-over in Antarctica for example – such as to render a mere 3-year trip to Mars quite problematic.


RESPONDENT: I have noticed that you apply many of the traditional attributes of spirit to matter: infinite, eternal, benevolent, benign, even, I believe, intelligent in a non-anthropomorphic way.

RICHARD: Not ‘applying’, no ... these ‘attributes’ are actually properties (infinite and eternal) and qualities (immaculate and consummate) and values (benevolent and benign) and are my direct experience, each moment again, and those words are my description of what is actually happening (properties plus qualities equals values). It is that peoples for millennia have been ‘stealing’ the properties and qualities and values of this physical universe and attributing them to their particular metaphysical fantasy (whichever god or goddess that is the ‘flavour of the month’) ... and anthropocentrically adding a few (power-based) properties and qualities and values while they at it in order to make him/her into a supreme being. I am simply bringing those properties and qualities and values back where they have belonged all along ... to this infinite and eternal universe (stripping the power-based extraneities along the way).

But the universe itself is not intelligent (even in a ‘non-anthropomorphic way’) ... this universe, being infinite and eternal, is much, much more than merely intelligent. Intelligence, which is the ability to think, reflect, compare, evaluate and implement considered action for benevolent reasons, cannot comprehend infinity and eternity (as infinitude has no opposite there is none of the cause and effect relationship which is what intelligence needs in order to operate). Only apperceptive awareness can perceive and/or apprehend infinitude (thus I am this universe experiencing its own infinitude apperceptively). And, as a human being, I am this universe experiencing itself intelligently (just as the universe experiences itself as a cat or a dog or whatever: as a cat, this universe experiences itself miaowing and as a dog this universe experiences itself barking and so on).

Thus this universe is not consciousness per se (nor capital ‘C’ Consciousness).

*

RESPONDENT: There was a time in my life when I bought into some of that at least partly as a way to make sense out of my life. But, for some reason I could never rest long in the consoling absolutes. That worldview may have been the obvious next step thousands of years ago, but its demise has been imminent since the [Age of] Enlightenment (not of the spiritual kind, the historical era) when science began to tease itself out of the clutches of religion. However, science that doesn’t see the full, amazing wonder of the universe is not an adequate substitute. And, the universe existing in time, takes time to know itself. Yes?

RICHARD: No ... the universe per se, being perfect, is not evolving. But this particular aspect called the solar system (which is but a current phase in a cycle of eternal cycles) takes time to know itself ... yes. As matter arranges and rearranges itself endlessly (through all eternity and infinity) there are infinite cycles with infinite variety of existence. This current configuration of matter known as planet earth is the first and last time that this particular configuration will happen (nothing is ever the same twice). Whatever has happened prior to this solar system and this planet becoming habitable to human beings, being no longer existent, is simply extinct.

Oblivion.

When this solar system burns out (or swells and/or collapses and/or whatever latest theory becomes popular) then everything experienced and known to human beings so far will be obliterated as before. It is what is happening in this cycle which is relevant and important ... not the wild fantasies of dissociated self-realised ‘beings’ who conjure up whatever their intuitive/ imaginative facility will allow about other realms and other life-times and other planes of existence and so on.

Needless to say, the passage of time (past, present, future) is a localised phenomenon ... only this moment in eternal time actually exists.


MARK: I was ‘putting under the microscope’ yesterday my previous attempts (and their seeming importance at the time) at discovering the ‘meaning of life’ and upon reflection of my most memorable PCE I saw that the only meaning was simply that it (life, the universe and everything) is happening and the ensuing wonder at it’s glorious perpetuity was in fact, it’s meaning, no more or less.

RICHARD: Yes, the put-down of the universe goes on ad nauseam, wherever one travels throughout the world. This universe is so enormous in size – infinity being as enormous as it can get – and so immense in its scope – eternity being as immense as it can get – how on earth could anyone believe for a minute that it is all here for humans to be forever miserable in? It is foolishness of the highest order to believe it to be so ... one can have confidence in a universe so grandly complex, so marvellously intricate, so wonderfully excellent. How could all this be some ‘ghastly mistake’? To believe it all to be some ‘sick joke’ is preposterous, for such an attitude cuts one off from the perfection of this pure moment of being alive here in this fantastic actual universe. When one takes one’s mental ability back from the decrees of the real world – to which one has surrendered – one has taken a courageous step. For here in the actual, this miraculous world as-it-is, is the secret to life. Here lies a healthy mind, for here only sagacity exists. Living here, where perfection and purity abounds, one experiences what is precious in living itself. Something beyond compare. Something more valuable than any ‘King’s ransom’. It is not rare gemstones; it is not singular works of art; it is not the much-prized bags of money; it is not the treasured loving relationships; it is not the highly esteemed blissful states of ‘Being’ ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. Here is something ultimately precious. It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe ... which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. The limpid and lucid perfection and purity of being here now, as-I-am, is akin to the crystalline perfection and purity seen in a dew-drop hanging from the tip of a leaf in the early-morning sunshine; the sunrise strikes the transparent dew-drop with its warming rays, highlighting the flawless correctness of the tear-drop shape with its bellied form. One is left almost breathless with wonder at the immaculate simplicity so exemplified.

When one lives the magical perfection of this purity twenty-four-hours-a-day; when one has ceased being ‘me’ and is being what one genuinely is, one directly experiences that there is no separation from this something which is precious. The purity of life emerges from the perfection that wells up constantly due to a boundless stillness which is utterly immeasurable in its scope and magnitude. This stillness of infinitude is this something which is precious. It is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. This stillness happens as me. This stillness is my essential disposition, for it is the principle character, the intrinsic basis of everything. It is life at its genesis. It is not, as it might commonly be supposed, at the centre of everything ... there is no centre here. This stillness, which is everywhere all at once, is the be all and end all of life itself. I am the universe experiencing itself as a sensate, reflective human being.


RICHARD: As a child I remember seeing the moon as a flat circle ... and I was told that it was a globe. I puzzled over this until I could see it as globular ... just. When I first looked through a powerful telescope it was patently and immediately obvious ... it took my breath away, I remember.

RESPONDENT: Well, I guess anything can trigger an epiphany of understanding, but I’m sorry to say, you seem to have a memory of a childhood experience of parental power of suggestion and not the powerful magnification of a telescope.

RICHARD: Actually I first looked at the moon with a powerful telescope for the first time only thirteen years ago ... so it had nothing to do with ‘a memory of a childhood experience of parental power of suggestion’ at all. I did say that I puzzled over the notion that it was not a flat circle as a child ... that is my memory of childhood experience. And, of course I had seen the NASA movies of the moon landing twenty nine years ago ... so the telescope experience was not an ‘epiphany of understanding’ at all. I just saw why people – like of Mr. Galileo Galilei’s era – could know with a certainty that the moon was globular ... that is all.

It was seeing the craters with such clarity that took my breath away.


RESPONDENT: If you have arrived at your ‘destiny’ you should know that you have arrived at the height of your self-invented illusion.

RICHARD: May I ask? Are you of that school of thought that says that the journey is the thing ... that one never arrives?

RESPONDENT: Destiny? What is that?

RICHARD: Destination, of course. Which is here ... now. Where one is living at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space one is experiencing the purity and perfection of the infinitude of this very actual universe. One is this universe’s experience of itself as a sensate and reflective human being. This is one’s destiny.

RESPONDENT: Somebody in charge has created a state of being especially for you?

RICHARD: Contrary to popular belief, there is no one in charge of the universe. It is perfectly capable of looking after itself. There is no disembodied ‘intelligence’ that is creating anything. This universe is already here ... and it is always now.


RESPONDENT: Or is it the inevitable result of insight into what is, i.e.: intelligence?

RICHARD: The only thing ‘what is’ is this physical universe ... the actual world of the senses. There is no ‘intelligence’ that is running this universe, that is to commit the all too common error of anthropomorphism. As a human being, the universe is able to be intelligent, but that is all. An insight into the infinite and eternal character of this universe and the implications of that in regards to one’s situation in the scheme of things can indeed set something profound in motion.

Speaking personally, I have no boundaries.


RESPONDENT: So there is an ultimately precious infinitude of the universe that is when ‘I’ cease to exist. What are the qualities of the infinitude of the universe? Creativity? Timelessness? Bliss? Intelligence? Boundlessness?

RICHARD: The qualities of the infinitude of the universe?

1. Creativity: No ... the universe is already always here endlessly rearranging itself. This universe is capable of an infinite complexity of form. Have you seen those Hubble Telescope photographs of the Horse Nebula?

2. Timelessness: No ... time is actual and can never stop. Subjectively, time can appear to stop, stand still, go backwards ... do all kinds of things. Yet all this while the clock keeps ticking and the sun still moves through the sky. Time is eternal ... eternal as physically without beginning and without end. Now I know that the word ‘timeless’ can mean eternal, but it is a metaphysical use of the word because it implies time stopping or vanishing. In that context, the mystics use it in conjunction with ‘spaceless’ ... ‘I am Timeless and Spaceless; Unborn and Undying; Birthless and Deathless’ ... and so on. As this physical body has a limited life-span, they can only be referring to a psychic entity receiving its post-mortem reward of immortality. There is no ‘timelessness’ here, in actuality. Living here, at this moment in time, there is only this moment that is actual. As it is already always this moment, to the unaware it appears to be ‘timeless’. It is not. This moment is hanging in time like this planet is hanging in space. Just as the universe’s space is infinite, so too is this universe’s time eternal. There is no beginning or end to the infinitude of this universe’s space and time, therefore there is no middle, no centre. Thus, one is always here and it is already now. And here and now is nowhere in particular.

3. Bliss: No ... bliss is an affective state of being that is born of the instincts blind nature gratuitously endows us with at birth. Bliss and ecstasy and euphoria are all self-enhancing, self-endorsing, self-preserving passions.

4. Intelligence: No ... the universe is not intelligent. That is anthropomorphism ... intelligence resides only in human beings.

5. Boundlessness: Yes ... without beginning or end. Which means, of course, no centre. Thus infinitude does not just mean endless space and endless time. It means that the planet earth is situated nowhere in particular in space ... which means we are anywhere at all. Similarly, this moment is situated nowhere in particular in time and we are also ‘anywhen’ at all. This means that infinitude is everywhere and anywhere all at once. Thus, any place and any time is whatever one arbitrarily chooses to make it be.

An actual freedom is an enormous freedom.


RICHARD: What I am saying is that there is nothing prior to this tangible universe ... nothing that is ‘primary’ or ‘formless’ or ‘inchoate’ that gives rise to this palpable universe. In other words ‘noumenon’ is a fantasy ... there is only phenomenon in actuality (and it is a phenomenal actuality ... if I may pun a little!) The ‘everyday reality’ of the ‘real world’ is an illusion. The ‘Greater Reality’ of the ‘Mystical World’ is a delusion. There is an actual world that lies under one’s very nose ... I interact with the same kind of people, things and events that you do, yet it is as if I am in another dimension.


RICHARD: When ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which is the end of ‘being’ itself – then the answer to the ‘Mystery Of Life’ becomes evident as an on-going existential experiencing; I am this physical universe experiencing itself as a reflective, sensate human being; as me, the universe is intelligent (there is no anthropomorphic ‘Intelligence’ that is creating or running existence).

RESPONDENT: Would you not say a tree or an animal or our solar system are put together remarkably and intelligently?

RICHARD: Remarkably ... yes. Intelligently ... no.

RESPONDENT: Everything seems to fit together perfectly, so complicated and yet so perfect that to me it does indeed seem almost as if a great intelligence, an intelligence greater than the one I use to solve math problems, put it together.

RICHARD: It has taken countless aeons for carbon-based life-forms to evolve through to being intelligent in one species alone: the human animal. Of course the human animal values intelligence highly – it is what separates humans from other animals – and allows the ability to reflect, plan and implement considered activity (which other animals cannot do) in the environment about for beneficial reasons. But to take this faculty which humans value highly and seek to impose it upon this marvellous, amazing, wondrous and magical universe is to commit the vulgar error of anthropocentricism. Be that as it may, because of this evolved intelligence the human animal can ask: why are we here?

Which means: Why am I [Respondent] here?

RESPONDENT: Indeed, it seems my own intelligence can do practically nothing. How do I walk?

RICHARD: Walking takes much more than intelligence ... just ask the AI people.

RESPONDENT: I have no idea which particular muscles I use, at what times, at what strength. How do I think?

RICHARD: Intelligence did not produce thinking ... intelligence is a property of thought

RESPONDENT: I do not consciously create thoughts – they appear fully formed, I do not construct them that I know of (although it does seem I can attract certain kinds of thoughts by being open to them). Nor does my intellect operate my circulatory system, the construction of blood cells, my breathing, my limbic system, my nervous system, my organs & their reproduction and replenishment.

RICHARD: There ... you have virtually said it yourself: ‘nor does my intellect operate ...’. The intellect (the cerebral faculty) is the source of intelligence.

RESPONDENT: And who or what invented the marvellous sense organs?

RICHARD: There never is an ‘inventor’ of these things that you mention.

RESPONDENT: How was it decided how these senses would be perceived?

RICHARD: The circumstances dictated ... organisms responding to the environment.

RESPONDENT: Such differences of kind in perception! The amazing distinction between blue and b-minor. Can you even imagine another kind of sense?

RICHARD: No ... and I do not wish for more. Somewhere I read that there is something like 150,000 impulses travelling into the brain each second ... enough is enough, eh?

RESPONDENT: I cannot – when I try, what I imagine is in terms of the existing senses.

RICHARD: Yes, many, many years ago when I made a living as a practising artist I tried to imagine a colour that is not yet another derivation of the three primary colours ... I could not. I pondered it for months, if I recall.

RESPONDENT: Yet whatever amazing creative force fashioned sight, I have no doubt, can fashion a dozen more ways of perceiving, each as different from my present five senses as my touch is different from my sight.

RICHARD: I have no need for the hypothesis of any ‘creator’ ... this universe has always been here and always will be.

RESPONDENT: It seems that almost everything of any real importance has been handled /for/ me, since before I was born!

RICHARD: Yes ... we live in a veritable playground. All that is required is to enjoy and appreciate being here each moment again.

RESPONDENT: By whom?

RICHARD: I have no need for the hypothesis of any ‘creator’ ... this universe has always been here and always will be.

RESPONDENT: How? If I started at birth and will end at death, what force arranged for absolutely everything I need, missing no detail?

RICHARD: I have no need for the hypothesis of any ‘creator’ ... this universe has always been here and always will be.

RESPONDENT: If the universe is 10 billion years old as scientists suggest ...

RICHARD: Scientists have made mistakes before ... and will do so again.

RESPONDENT: Surely the odds of all this happening purely by random chance, without the introduction of any ordering principle whatsoever, would require a period of time a million times longer to produce such a thing!

RICHARD: Yep ... eternal time, in fact.

RESPONDENT: Or so it seems to me. What are your thoughts?

RICHARD: Everything is a magical delight ... I live in constant wonder and marvel.

*

RICHARD: To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations.

RESPONDENT: I do see your point that I am the sensations. But how does this affect the metaphysical construct of an objective physical universe? If you ARE the sensations, and sensations are all you know, upon what basis do you posit an objective physical universe?

RICHARD: Because this brain has memory ... and memory is a record of a series of yesterdays, that were packed full of sensations, going all the way back to one’s earliest memory. Before that one can refer to the reports given by one’s parents (for example) back to one’s birth. Unless one is paranoid – thinking that there is a conspiracy by one’s parents to deceive one – then it is obvious that this universe has been here for all those years. Unless one wishes to be solipsistic and believe that this universe came into being when one was born (complete with 6.0 billion people whose sole aim in life is to convince you that it was here before you were born when it was not) then it is equally obvious that this universe has been here throughout human history.

As for before human history ... unless one is anthropocentric (and egocentric people often are) it is obvious that this universe does not require verification from human beings in order to exist. Palaeontology evidences this. Before that? Unless one is a religious cosmogonist (believing in a ‘Creation’) or a scientific cosmogonist (believing in a ‘Big Bang’) then it is obvious that this universe has always been here. As it has always been here ... it always will be here.

This then is an objectively infinite and eternal universe.

*

RICHARD: I am this infinite and eternal universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being ... and this is marvellous.

RESPONDENT: You say ‘I am this infinite and eternal universe’. Does this mean that you feel you and this universe are one and the same thing? If so, how is this different from solipsism?

RICHARD: It is ‘different from solipsism’ because I do not snip the other half of the sentence off so as to make it sound like a grandiose claim. Vis.: ‘experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being’. There are 6.0 billion sensate and reflective human beings ... and the universe is also experiencing itself as cats and dogs and so on. Just the same as any other sensate being, I am the carrots and the beans and the cheese (or whatever food) eaten and the air breathed and the water drunk. There is no separation whatsoever betwixt this body and anything or anyone else. Everything and everyone is the very self-same stuff that this physical world – and this material universe – is. I did not come from outside this universe – there being no outside to infinity – nor was I put here by some metaphysical god for some inscrutable reason. We all come out of the ground ... and this earth is the very stuff that this universe is. We are as infinite and eternal as the universe that we are made up of ... and we can be conscious of this as an actuality.

All human beings are discrete (physically distinct) flesh and blood bodies which, being the very stuff that is this entire universe, are not separate from anything at all. It is the feeling of identity (which has its origins in the common ancestry of the animal instincts and takes on the feeling of being separate because of being manifest in individual flesh and blood bodies) that has the desire to regain ‘oneness’ with all sentient beings via relationship. ‘I’ am alone and lonely and long for the ‘connection’ that is evidenced in a relationship ... especially in a loving relationship. When ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ become extinct there is no need – and no capacity – for a relationship, for who is there to need to unite? Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was hopelessly wrong in his oft-repeated ‘Teaching’ that ‘Life is a movement in relationship’. Only a psychological and/or psychic entity needs the connection of relationship in order to create a synthetic intimacy – usually via the bridge of love and compassion – and manifest the delusion that separation has ended. And if human relationship does not produce the desired result, then ‘I’ will project a god or a goddess – a ‘super-friend’ not dissimilar to the imaginary playmates of childhood – to love and be loved by.

Apperception is something that brings the facticity born out of a direct experience of the actual. Then what one is (‘what’ not ‘who’) is these sense organs in operation: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me. Whereas ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain. Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the actual world – the world as-it-is – by ‘my’ very presence.

Thus I say: I am this infinite and eternal universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being ... and this is marvellous.

*

RICHARD: I have no need for the hypothesis of any ‘creator’ ... this universe has always been here and always will be.

RESPONDENT: How do you know?

RICHARD: Because this brain has memory ... and memory is a record of a series of yesterdays going all the way back to one’s earliest memory. Before that one can refer to the reports given by one’s parents (for example) back to one’s birth. Unless one is paranoid – thinking that there is a conspiracy by one’s parents to deceive one – then it is obvious that this universe has been here for all those years. Unless one wishes to be solipsistic and believe that this universe came into being when one was born (complete with 6.0 billion people whose sole aim in life is to convince you that it was here before you were born when it was not) then it is equally obvious that this universe has been here throughout human history. As for before human history ... unless one is anthropocentric (and egocentric people often are) it is obvious that this universe does not require verification from human beings in order to exist. Palaeontology evidences this. Before that? Unless one is a religious cosmogonist (believing in a ‘Creation’) or a scientific cosmogonist (believing in a ‘Big Bang’) then it is obvious that this universe has always been here. As it has always been here ... it always will be here. This then is but one way that I know that this is an objectively infinite and eternal universe.

*

RESPONDENT: If the universe is 10 billion years old as scientists suggest ...

RICHARD: Scientists have made mistakes before ... and will do so again.

RESPONDENT: Do you have any proof which contradicts their claims?

RICHARD: I am no mathematician and have no intention of doing the requisite study just to contradict their fantastical claims ... there are other mathematicians who are already doing so (the theories of Mr. R. S. Hall, for example). Most scientists like to say that in their mathematical model of the universe it all started twelve to fifteen billion years ago (Big Bang) and has about another ten to fifteen to go before it ends (Big Crunch). They say it came out of nothing and will go back into nothing. This is not scientific talk ... it is metaphysical talk (abstract mathematics). Spiritual people also say that the we came out of nothingness and will go back into nothingness. Virtually nobody is willing to see that this physical universe is already ‘it’ ... because to do so is the ending of not only ‘I’ as ego, but ‘me’ as soul. Blind nature’s survival instinct persuades them to seek immortality – and deny physical death’s oblivion – thus their universe has to die. As I said before: There has been many people who have tried to convince me that I am arrogant ... yet I do not equate my end as being of the same-same magnitude as the imagined end of this humungous universe!

Therefore there never was a ‘Big Bang’ outside of the venerable halls of academia (other than in popular imagination) ... nor a ‘Creation’ outside of venerated holy scriptures (other than in popular imagination). This material universe is already always right here ... and just now.


RESPONDENT: Physical time and space are not in question.

RICHARD: I beg to differ ... you have just written (above) ‘what is perceived as the physical world’. In the previous post you wrote: ‘the body is like the movement of a wave ... [it] has a appearance of a thing’. You are clearly saying that this physical world is not actual.

RESPONDENT: But is psychological time and space actual?

RICHARD: The everyday real-world affectively-created time and space is not actual, no (that is, the normal world that 5.8 billion people live in).

RESPONDENT: There is a changing physical body but is that body ‘me’?

RICHARD: No ... ‘me’ is a psychological/ psychic entity residing within the flesh and blood body creating an ‘inner’ world. Any identity is not this body.

RESPONDENT: Or is identity in time just a projection of thought through memory, i.e.: programming?

RICHARD: Yes ... but no just ‘thought through memory’. Such an investigation is too shallow ... one needs to dive deeper. For starters, ‘I’ am an emotional-mental construct ... not just a mental construct. Why is there this reluctance to examine feelings?

RESPONDENT: Timeless refers to what is not of thought and memory so obviously it can not possibly be pictured.

RICHARD: If you are talking of the beginningless and endless duration in which physical bodies move through physical space then it would be handy if you used some other word ... like ‘eternal’. Eternity is the name for the infinitude of all time ... in all eastern mystical literature and experience the word ‘timeless’ means what it says: no time. That is, no movement of physical bodies through physical space ... no physical movement in any physical space at all. Meaning no actual time for any actual universe as in: no actual universe.

RESPONDENT: The ‘known’ physical universe is a construction of thought through memory.

RICHARD: Unless you are indulging in solipsism, this physical universe was here before the physical body called No. 12 was physically born ... there are more people than just you on this planet. Unless one is paranoid about a gigantic conspiracy to deceive one then their report that this is so is valid. Thus this physical universe will be here after the physical body called No. 12 physically dies. Consequently, this planet – and other planets and stars – are not thought constructions based upon your memory.


RESPONDENT: Second, I have been following this thread and find easy agreement with much of what you are on about. What though is to be made of the idea of morality being raised up to an exercise in relative functionality? It seems from here that if it is sensibility and silliness that are to be the pans of balance on which actions are weighed, where then would the scale fall when the entire enterprise of ‘being alive’ is put to it. What sense is there in being alive at all?

RICHARD: Oh, every sense in the universe ... which means infinite sense. You cannot get bigger than that, now, can you? You see, I am this very material universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being ... that is the sense of being alive. Also, as me, this universe can be intelligent ... and that is very sensible in view of the proliferation of solipsists these days.

RESPONDENT: Is then the knowledge that this is so material?

RICHARD: There is nothing but this material universe ... and with it being infinite and eternal then how much bigger and better than the best can you get, eh? It takes a super-charged imagination – born of discontent – to fantasise about something better than this perfection which is already always here now.


RICHARD: The use of the phrase ‘rational fear’ is nothing but the self-centred justification for the continued existence of ‘me’. Because, as long as fear exists, ‘I’ exist. And as long as ‘I’ exist, fear exists. The elimination of self in its entirety is the elimination of those instincts. It is possible to be entirely free from all instinctive impulses ... one has no furious urges, no inherent anger, no impulsive rages, no inveterate hostilities, no evil disposition ... no malicious tendencies whatsoever. Now that a thinking, reflective brain has developed over the top of the primitive ‘lizard brain’, one has the ability to trace back through the emotional-mental line to the rudimentary instinctual self ... and eliminate it along with its instincts. One does not need instincts to function and operate in this world of people, things and events ... they may have been necessary in the wild but with a now civilised world they are detrimental to peaceful and harmonious co-existence. The 160,000,000 people killed in wars this century alone testify to this. Until then, humanity’s inhumanity will continue to flourish.

RESPONDENT: Too many people and too much greed may cause earth to give one last sigh and rid itself of these nobodies. Peace.

RICHARD: I do not think the earth will ‘give one last sigh and rid itself of these nobodies’ ... that is an anthropomorphic view-point that does not jell with the facts. The ‘too many people’ come out of this very earth – in the form of food – so why should the earth sigh (if it could) as it is the self-same earth that produces us. Why do humans like to blame themselves for being here? It is as if we have done something wrong by being born ... and this is not so.

This is not too say that there is nothing we can do about our situation – there is plenty we can do. We can start by examining just what it is that drives us to destructive urges and impulses.

People you go around just saying things like ‘Peace’ do not do a single thing about achieving peace-on-earth.


RESPONDENT No. 18: Too many people and too much greed may cause earth to give one last sigh and rid itself of these nobodies. Peace.

RESPONDENT: All nature has to do is give one good ‘burp’ and we could all disappear. My dad used to say, ‘no telling how many times we’ve come this far before and wiped ourselves out’. I remember Carl Sagan’s ‘time line’ in which his graph showed man’s numbers from his appearance on Earth to the late 19th century as almost a flat line, and then we had a population explosion that caused the line to go straight up. War was given as one of the most common devices of population control of ancient. So if we do not thin ourselves out, Mother Nature may have to do it for us.

RICHARD: Whilst not wishing to be overly optimistic, I find that peoples around the world are beginning to wake up to this recent exponential population growth and are gradually putting practices into place to slow the rise until it reaches some kind of equilibrium. I freely acknowledge that this is being done mostly out of desperation – as in China and increasingly in India – but it is happening anyway, for whatever reason. A glimmer of light is that a few Western countries are even dipping below Z. P. G. already.

War was but one of many factors controlling the population growth of old. One could add rampant disease, poor hygiene, insoluble famine, childbirth mortality ... not to mention infanticide, patricide, fratricide and cannibalism. I consider that the human race has come a long way with improving on blind nature in the area of technology, animal husbandry and plant cultivation. I have the utmost confidence that the human race will solve this problem too.

But because of the momentum of generational growth, global Z. P. G. may not be reached in my lifetime.

RESPONDENT: Nevertheless, Mother Nature has been around too long to let a few billion ‘mealy mouth’ human beings come along and destroy her. The Earth has become nothing but a garbage dump anyway, and a good house cleaning is in order. So for those who have no plans to leave on a space ship, it might be wise to work harder at uncovering the root of all problems – the self.

RICHARD: The earth has not ‘become’ a garbage dump, as you so quaintly put it; it always has been so. Every human that has ever lived has discarded their refuse onto the earth – there just were not so many people back then to have enough waste material accumulate to call it pollution. Pollution has everything to do with massive population ... and a good start has already been made on becoming aware of the issue. It only was talked about in the fifties – now something is being done ... a good start has been made.

‘Mother Nature’ is a concept that has no bearing on facts and actuality. Nature is not caring or nurturing – which is what the concept so fondly conveys – it has not the slightest consideration for you or me or any other individual. Blind nature is only intent on the survival of the most fitted to survive ... and as the human being has a thinking, reflective brain, we will improve on nature even more than we have already done ... and are doing. And we do this because we humans alone care about ourselves.

And yes, by all means let us uncover the self ... so as to put an end to the wars, the murders, the tortures, the rapes, the domestic violence, the corruptions, the sadness, the loneliness, the sorrows, the depressions and the suicides. Then we can truly work together to turn this earth into a paradise garden. Yet there is a lot we have done, are doing and will do, whilst we are busy doing the uncovering.

Life is not all gloom and doom.

*

RICHARD: It all depends upon what you mean by ‘memory’ ... atoms cannot remember their childhood, for example. One needs to watch out for anthropomorphism in all these matters.

RESPONDENT: Is there something eternal in these atoms?

RICHARD: Yes, but not ‘in’ ... ‘as’. This physical universe is both eternal and infinite ... and this universe is made up of these ‘atoms’.

RESPONDENT: Do atoms have a half life?

RICHARD: Actually, I am not a physicist ... but as I understand it, in radioactivity, ‘half-life’ is the interval of time required for one half of the atomic nuclei of the radioactive sample to decay ... which is to change spontaneously into other nuclear species by emitting other particles and energy. Which is another way of saying: matter rearranges itself, endlessly ... a simplistic view, I know, but I left school at fifteen years of age.

RESPONDENT: Is constant awareness in the constant movement of atoms?

RICHARD: No, awareness is a faculty available to this universe where it arranges itself as sentient beings.

RESPONDENT: Is there anything other than atoms?

RICHARD: The microcosm is as infinite and eternal as the macrocosm. Physicists mutter and mumble about particles and things infinitesimally smaller than that, but just like the cosmologists, they are looking for a beginning or an ending. Such a search will keep them all in steady employment for ever.

RESPONDENT: Are atoms real?

RICHARD: Real as in actual? That is: Do they exist in their own right, independent of being seen? Yes.

RESPONDENT: Are there actually atoms?

RICHARD: Yes, they have been photographed.

RESPONDENT: I am enquiring. I know nothing about atoms.

RICHARD: It is a fascinating study, there is no doubt about that. Look, if you see the wonder and marvel of it all – actually see it – you will be being here at this moment in time and this place in space as this flesh and blood body only. You will be automatically happy and harmless ... which is to be free of malice and sorrow. Then you can not be bothered by what physicists and cosmologists say.

Step out of the real world – as this flesh and blood body – and leave your ‘self’ behind in the Land of Lament where ‘you’ belong.


RESPONDENT: The fact that you have escaped from suffering does not mean that others have or will.

RICHARD: Indeed ... the universe does not force anyone to be happy and harmless, to live in peace and ease, to be free of sorrow and malice. It is a matter of personal choice as to which way one will travel. Most human beings, being contumelious as they are, will probably continue to tread the ‘tried and true’ paths, little realising that they are the tried and failed ways. There is none so contumacious as a self-righteous soul who is convinced that they know the way to live ... as revealed in their revered scriptures or in their cherished secular philosophy.

It is all in your hands.


RESPONDENT: What truly existing ‘thing’ was your example supposed to illustrate?

RICHARD: Air ... as I wrote above ‘that oh-so-sweet and actual air’. Air is mixture of gases comprising the Earth’s atmosphere. The mixture contains a group of gases of nearly constant concentrations and a group with concentrations that are variable in both space and time.

RESPONDENT: It sounds like you have illustrated that there is no real independent body, since it is dependent on air (as well as sun, earth, food, water etc) and that there is no real independent thing called air since it is comprised of many other things (elements).

RICHARD: Which is why I say that I am not separate from the universe ... I am made of the very stuff of the universe. Literally, I am the universe experiencing itself as a sensate, reflective human being. I have written before that I come out of the ground in the form of carrots and beans and rice and so on and so on ... which is the very stuff of this universe. We do not come from ‘outside’ of the universe ... we are not placed ‘in’ here for some unknown reason by some inscrutable god.

RESPONDENT: Now you are suggesting some permanent, unborn and undying thing called ‘this universe’ or ‘matter’?

RICHARD: Yes. Most scientists like to say that the universe started twelve to fifteen billion years ago (Big Bang) and has about another ten to fifteen to go before it ends (Big Crunch). They say it came out of nothing and will go back into nothing. This is not scientific talk ... it is metaphysical talk. Spiritual people say that the we came out of nothingness and will go back into nothingness. Virtually nobody is willing to see that this physical universe is already ‘it’ ... because to do so is the ending of not only ‘I’ as ego, but ‘me’ as soul. Blind nature’s survival instinct persuades them to seek immortality ... and deny physical death’s oblivion.

RESPONDENT: How can the physical universe be unborn?

RICHARD: There never was a ‘Big Bang’ ... nor a ‘Creation’. This material universe is already always here now.

RESPONDENT: Is that like saying the physical body is unborn?

RICHARD: No. The physical body was born ... and will die. As there is no separation between me and this physical body – I am this body – then I did not exist until physical birth and I will cease to exist at physical death. I am only here now.

RESPONDENT: How is a permanent, unborn nature of all forms any different from the essential nature of all forms?

RICHARD: It is an enormous – and vital – difference. In actuality, physical nature – ‘things’ – is the ultimate ... and is in no way metaphysical. Your ultimate ‘essential nature’ is nothingness ... no ‘things’.

RESPONDENT: Essential nature doesn’t deny things apparent existence, they just lack any independent existence. How can a physical body be an ultimate anything when it is characterised by birth and death, dependency on air, sun, earth, water and made up of many changing smaller molecules?

RICHARD: Quite simply. It is because all those things – ‘air, sun, earth, water and ... many changing smaller molecules’ – are the ultimate. Look, I am the food I eat. This food comes out of the ground ... food is the very earth. The earth is this planet and – with all the other objects in space and the space itself – this planet is the universe. This planet is not separate from the universe, now, is it ... so why would I be? Literally, I am not separate from the universe ... and the universe is the ultimate.

*

RESPONDENT No. 18: You are trapped in a universe of your own belief.

RICHARD: Since when has seeing the actual – observing the obvious – become a belief? This physical universe exists in its own right and does not require belief from me to bring it into being or sustain its existence. It was here before I was born and will be here after I die. Just how does that constitute it being a product of my – or anyone’s – belief system?

RESPONDENT: One belief is that there is something outside this momentary flashing (of sensations) labelled ‘universe’ that continues to exist.

RICHARD: No belief is required ... not being a Krishnamurtiite I have not crippled my native intelligence by having to scorn memory. Memory is a record of a series of yesterdays, that were packed full of ‘momentary flashing (of sensations)’, going all the way back to one’s earliest memory. Before that, one can refer to the reports given by one’s parents (for example) back to one’s birth. Unless one is paranoid – thinking that there is a conspiracy by one’s parents to deceive one – then it is obvious that this universe has been here for all those years. Unless one wishes to be solipsistic and believe that this universe came into being when one was born (complete with 5.8 billion people whose sole aim in life is to convince you that it was here before you were born when it was not) then it is equally obvious that this universe has been here throughout human history.

As for before human history ... unless one is anthropocentric (and egocentric people often are) it is obvious that this universe does not require verification from human beings in order to exist. Palaeontology evidences this. Before that? Unless one is a religious cosmogonist (believing in a ‘Creation’) or a scientific cosmogonist (believing in a ‘Big Bang’) then it is obvious that this universe has always been here. As it has always been here ... it always will be here.

Observation renders belief redundant.


RICHARD: Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the world as-it-is (the actual world) by ‘my’ very presence. Unable as ‘I’ am to be the direct experiencing of actuality as-it-happens ‘I’ can only conclude ‘that the ‘real’ nature of things are unavailable to the brain, because it only deals with the senses’. Whereas I am the direct sensate experiencing of what is happening right here at this place in infinite space right now at this moment in eternal time. Which is the experiencing of infinitude.

RESPONDENT: This seems to be OK. But the word ‘space’ is too tridimensional, no?

RICHARD: Yet space is three-dimensional as an actuality ... are you saying that actuality is too much?

RESPONDENT: I would rather remain with infinitude.

RICHARD: I am using the word ‘infinitude’ in its ‘boundless time and space’ meaning ... not some metaphysical ‘timeless and spaceless’ meaning.

RESPONDENT: So the brain is aware of things and events and is aware of itself. There is no ‘me’, no ‘I’.

RICHARD: Yes ... is it not an amazing faculty to not only be able to be consciousness being aware but to be consciousness being aware of being consciousness without an ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious? In other words: as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware, I am the experiencing of the doing of what is happening

RESPONDENT: So all existence ... all life ... all of creation, is ‘concentrated’ upon ... is issuing from, a flesh and blood brain?

RICHARD: No ... that is a solipsistic view-point known in some disciplines as ‘I Am That’. There is no other ‘existence’ than this infinite and eternal universe which already always is ... it was happening long before this particular flesh and blood body was born and will be happening long after this particular flesh and blood body is dead ... for ever, in fact. Whilst this particular flesh and blood body is alive the universe can experience its own infinitude as a sensate and reflective human being.

There is no ‘creation’ ... the universe is already and always has been and always will be.


RESPONDENT: A globular earth is a three dimensional object. That is to say it has dimensions along three axes: left and right, front and back, up and down. This means that the globular earth exists in space. And where there is space, there is time. An inhabitant of a globular earth is a prisoner of a space-time reality.

RICHARD: If by ‘prisoner’ you mean that one has no choice but to be here on earth ... then one can always commit suicide. If one stays alive it means one wants to be alive. This is important for it establishes a basis for being a human being on planet earth. To wit: ‘I want to be here’. Now that one knows that one chooses to stay here on earth voluntarily ... one is no longer a prisoner. Now one is free to find out about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being.

Have you ever had any intimations of your destiny?

RESPONDENT: Is this reality an illusion – a product of thought – or is it the absolute, immutable truth in which man lives?

RICHARD: Space and time are actual ... all this is being alive business is genuinely happening. Physical earth – and this material universe – is not some dream, as some religions would have us believe. However, if you are suffering – if you experience sorrow and malice – then there is an alien ‘you’ inside the flesh and blood body that creates a grim and glum reality over the top over the pristine actuality that this physical planet and material universe actually is. This ‘everyday reality’ is not just ‘a product of thought’ ... its genesis is in the instinctual passions one is born with. These passions – which are both savage and tender – infiltrate thought and turn thinking into passionate imagination, emotional belief and calentural hallucinations. Being here in ‘reality’s space and time’ thus becomes a dreadful nightmare one longs to escape from ... and being in the ‘Greater Reality’s timelessness and spacelessness’ becomes an awesome dream one longs to be in.

The ending of this alien ‘you’ – which is what you think and feel yourself to be as an identity – releases you, as this body only, into the pure and perfect actuality that the grim and glum ‘reality’ is but a veneer over. This ambrosial actuality easily qualifies for your description: ‘the absolute, immutable truth in which [Richard] lives’ ... only I avoid words such as ‘the truth’ like the plague.

RESPONDENT: If the earth is globular, so is the moon. A two-dimension lunar form can be perceived as a round disc. How is the third dimension – depth – visually perceived? Is it not through the inference of thought that the moon (or the earth) assumes its globular form?

RICHARD: The physical eye faithfully receives whatever data impinges upon the retina. It is the brain that sorts it into two or three dimensionality according to experience. Thus a person blind from birth who is given sight by modern surgical procedures has to learn how to make sense of what is seen. Initially they see indeterminate shapes and colours ... and have to move around touching things as they did when blind so as to translate that what they felt into what they now see. A person born with sight goes through this process from birth onwards until everything becomes familiar. Then the process is automatic and thought plays no part in it at all ... until something unfamiliar is encountered. (Like those drawings of water running uphill by Mr. Maurits Escher.)

As a child I remember seeing the moon as a flat circle ... and I was told that it was a globe. I puzzled over this until I could see it as globular ... just. When I first looked through a powerful telescope it was patently and immediately obvious ... it took my breath away, I remember.

I discussed this very subject – about twenty-five years ago – with a Swiss artist working in the centre of Australia. He was drawing and painting Aboriginal people and went to the more remote areas where the desert Aborigines lived to get a more authentic picture of them in their traditional landscape. The people he came to draw and paint had had minimal contact with the European settlers ... especially the children. When he showed them the drawings and paintings – even photographs – that he had done of them they could not see anything recognisable ... and he was a realistic artist of considerable skill. It took him a while to get one of them – a child – to see the illusion of three-dimensionality on paper and canvas. When the child ‘got it’ she broke into an enormous grin ... and proceeded to teach her peers and elders how to ‘see it’ ... to see their own image.

Then it became automatic.

RESPONDENT: If one is very still, without any movement of thought to shape perception, all visual forms become two dimensional because depth, and therefore space, is an illusion – which is conceptual interpretation of sensate phenomena.

RICHARD: I made a living as a practising artist myself for a number of years in my twenties and thirties. To successfully render the three-dimensional scene in the world about on the two-dimensional canvas and paper required me to learn how to see the physical scene in two-dimensions ... and then draw or paint that. I can still do this ‘two-dimensional’ seeing today if I try too. One way to get an idea of this is to cover one eye and look at something. Until the brain compensates – usually quite quickly – one sees somewhat two dimensionally.

However, I know – as a fact – that the physical scene is three-dimensional because I can walk about in it ... behind the table and chair or tree or fence or whatever. Therefore space is not an illusion. Thus I can extrapolate from this experience when I look at the moon ... and I can know that it is three-dimensional. For final verification that I was not still fooling myself, I have looked long and hard at those NASA photographs and movies!

And these words that you are reading are written by a living, breathing fellow human being.


RESPONDENT: Time and space are perceivable and have measurable limits and boundaries.

RICHARD: Oh? Pray tell me then, as you have perceived and measured both time and space, just how big the universe is ... and how long it has been here and how much longer will it be? Also, just where do you perceive the boundaries of the universe’s space are located ... and what lies beyond it? And just when do you perceive that the limits of the universe’s time are located ... and what was here when it was not? And please, do not tell me ‘nothing’ is or was – which is what you did before when you were rattling on about ‘timelessness’ and ‘spacelessness’ – as if it means something profoundly real. You cannot conceive of a ‘nothing’ unless you acknowledge the actuality of a ‘something’ first to contrast it against ... and you say that the ‘something’ – time and space – are an illusion. And last, but not least, how do you perceive and measure the limits and boundaries of an illusion? Who did you say cannot think clearly?

RESPONDENT: I still say you cannot think clearly. What you have adopted as the actual universe is the product of the scientist’s speculation.

RICHARD: Not so ... most of the scientific speculation these days is about a universe (with boundaries) expanding out of a ‘Big Bang’ some twelve to fifteen billion years ago. Before that, they theorise, time and space either did not exist or were contained in a particle so dense that it had to expand. They hypothesise that this expansion will go on for another ten to fourteen billion years and then there will be a ‘Big Crunch’. They think that this mathematically derived cosmogony is cosmology ... such is their religious-like faith in ‘The Truth’ of mathematics. (Indeed I watched one world-renowned mathematician solemnly saying to the television cameras that ‘God must be a mathematician’ ... it is a wonder that he and his wheelchair were not zapped on the spot with a bolt from above!).


RICHARD: Whereas ‘I’ cannot ever perfect ‘myself’ because ‘I’ cannot ever be perfection ... I can only die (psychologically and psychically self-immolate). Indeed, that is all ‘I’ need to do so that the already always existing perfection can become apparent ... as evidenced in a PCE. Fantasising about refining the base is to but procrastinate and perpetuate all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides for ever and a day.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I suppose there is a connection between a proud butterfly and Richard with his PCE(s).

RICHARD: There is no connection whatsoever betwixt the metaphor of a butterfly (be it proud or not) and what Richard is on about. And as Richard does not have PCE’s, then this sentence is simply silly twice over.

RESPONDENT: But forgive me if I am (just) imagining it. The difference is that the caterpillar is not interested in becoming a butterfly; the transformation is a by-product of simply being.

RICHARD: A ‘transformation’ into what? Into a butterfly that flits about, maybe sipping nectar here and there, and finding a suitable host plant to lay its eggs on before dying. The eggs hatch out into voracious caterpillars who, just simply by being, will strip the host plant of its life-giving leaves causing it to die so that they can transform into butterflies? Thus the butterfly, as gorgeous as it may look, perpetuates the status quo for ever and a day by ‘simply being’.

Whereas the human animal, being intelligent, can do something about the ‘transformation’ that ‘is a by-product of simply being’ and enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent ... which a butterfly can not.

RESPONDENT: Funny of ‘blind’ Nature to have ‘put’ such a fragile creature here, no?

RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘blind nature’ does not ‘put’ anything anywhere because ‘blind nature’ is not a ‘being’. The phrase ‘blind nature’ is but a description of a process ... a process of development over time wherein the organism most fitted to the environment survives and passes its genes onto the next generation. Thus, having made a description of a process into an anthropomorphic entity by capitalising it (as in ‘‘blind’ Nature’ above) you impose an egocentric view upon a natural process and read all kinds of fantasies into it ... like it (‘Nature’) being intelligent, and so on.

RESPONDENT: We are a ‘subset’ of Nature – are we not?

RICHARD: The human animal is nature in action ... and nature is nothing more or less than carbon-based life-forms. The process of evolution is such that the species most fitted to their environment prosper and those no longer fitted languish. This process of nature is such that if the human animal does not mutate – which mutation is a process of nature – there is a fair chance that the human species will kill itself off after many more abysmal trials and tribulations.

The future is yours for the choosing.

RESPONDENT: I would not underestimate the intelligence of Nature by imagining ‘it’ in an anthropomorphic sense.

RICHARD: The carbon-based life-form called human beings are the only aspect of nature to so far evolve intelligence ... and if the intelligence thus bestowed is not used appropriately then all the long evolutionary process will have come to naught. Not that this is of any concern to nature ... another carbon-based life-form will eventually evolve intelligence in the fullness of time and maybe that carbon-based life-form will not be so stupefied as the carbon-based life-form as epitomised by yourself. Nature has all the time in the universe to manifest perfection ... and that is infinite time.

Whereas you have perhaps eighty or so years.


RESPONDENT No. 25: The instinctual passions are our base.

RICHARD: The very earth beneath our feet is ‘our base’ ... this planet grows human beings just as it grows the trees and the grasses and the flowers (although in the final analysis, of course, it is the universe itself which is ‘our base’ as it ‘grows’ the suns and planets ... and I am putting ‘grows’ in scare quotes deliberately as it is an analogous term).

RESPONDENT: ‘Creation’ is the word Krishnamurti used to describe the state of being not in time.

RICHARD: Aye, he certainly did. Whereas, in actuality, this planet grows human beings in time (and space), just as it grows the trees and the grasses and the flowers in time (and space), although in the final analysis, of course, it is the universe itself which is our base as it ‘grows’ the suns and the planets in time (and space) ... and I am putting ‘grows’ in scare quotes deliberately as it is an analogous term. There is no ‘Creation’ here in time (and space) ... this universe is perpetuus mobilis.

RESPONDENT: What do you think creation is if not ‘perpetuus mobilis’ when there is not time? Of course, we’re talking of psychological time, not actual time.

RICHARD: First, the phrase ‘psychological time’ is obviously a sop to the intellect, a paying of lip-service to rationality.

Second, I do not need to ‘think’ what ‘creation is if not ‘perpetuus mobilis’ when there is not [psychological] time’ as I know what it is (I lived it/was it for eleven years): it is a disassociated delusion, a massive hallucination.

In other words: human vanity writ large.


RESPONDENT: Try studying a tree, a butterfly, or a firefly ... look at a river, listen to the wind, go for a walk in the rain; feel the world around you with every cell of your being. Look at the way diseases attack the human immune system; look at the way the human immune system responds to such organisms.

RICHARD: Aye ... ’tis marvellous, is it not, that all this is happening? Truly amazing ... wondrous ... why do you wish to make this magic small by insisting that it is all a product of something metaphysical ‘existing in/as the uni-verse’ having the faculty of understanding (as in intellect) and with the quickness or superiority of understanding (as in sagacity) or the action or fact of understanding something (as in knowledge and/or comprehension of something)? Can you not experience the magic that it all is and be here now in infinite space and eternal time as the universe’s experience of its infinitude as a sensate and reflective human being?

It will blow your mind away, man!

RESPONDENT: Look at the way death nourishes life and look at the way such ‘survival’ masters as T-Rex and the cockroach are contrasted by the butterfly-flower relationship or the way the wolf keeps the deer population strong and healthy. Look at the way the predator and the prey are involved in a mutually beneficial harmonious relationship from the larger perspective.

RICHARD: Aye ... and look how ‘T-Rex’ and the ‘cockroach’ and the ‘butterfly’ and the ‘wolf’ and the ‘deer’ and so on are all unable to free themselves from their instinctual passions – and the sense of self bestowed – and thus be the universe’s experience of itself because the intelligence has not evolved in them yet that will enable then to be here, now, where peace-on-earth already always is. They have no intelligence yet to use ... whereas you have. What are you doing with it? Wishing to remain involved in the ‘mutually beneficial harmonious relationship’ of ‘the predator and the prey’ relationship that has resulted in 160,000,000 peoples being killed by their fellow human beings in wars this century alone?

What ‘larger perspective’ does your metaphysical ‘intelligence existing in/as the uni-verse’ come from that makes it oblivious to such animosity and anguish on such a large scale?

RESPONDENT: And look at how all the life-forms of Earth, in apparent conflict with one another when viewed from a narrow ‘survival of the fittest’ ‘grade school’ paradigm are in fact all mutually continuous with one another.

RICHARD: There is no ‘apparent’ about their ‘conflict with one another’ at all ... it is actual conflict (just like the human animal’s conflict with one another). It matters not what ‘paradigm’ one views it through ... fear and aggression and nurture and desire run rampant in all sentient beings. And so what if all are ‘mutually continuous with one another’ (interdependent) ... why is all this interdependence happening? Which means: what are we here for?

Which means: why am I (No. 25) here?


Re: Humanity: My God

RICK: (...) Feelings of duty, responsibility, obligation, loyalty, shame, pride, superiority, inferiority, security, insecurity, lust, beauty, anger, fear, tenderness, family, friendship, community, love, union, terror, terror, and more terror ... can be traced to the relation- ship I have with my fellow human beings. I also suffer from the pining and longing for and missing those beautiful feelings that are the result of relationship. I want to end, for good and totally and completely, this relation-ship. This relationship with my fellow human beings is not and has never been a healthy one. (why this pervading need/instinct to maintain at all costs this relationship?) My relationship with my fellow humans is the cause of so much strife, and conflict, and disharmony. (I have to go now for powerful feelings of duty, responsibility, and obligation are welling up inside me ... driving my every move). [Addendum]: While it is fresh in my head, there are a couple other very related aspects of Humanity that really fucks with me: The power or authority and submission or surrender aspect of humanity as well as the offense and insult and flattery and adulation aspect.

Are those directly tied to my relationship with humanity ... or do those go deeper? To put it another way, if I were to release myself from the psychic ties that bond our species, would power and submission and flattery and offense disappear? I am tired of the power plays that I submit to and I am tired of the feeling of compassion I have for others submitting to power plays brought on from myself and/or others. I am tired of being an adulation-fiend and am tired of the fear of and pain of insult and offense and the resulting hurt to my ego. I am tired of being superior or inferior to my fellow human being. I am tired of submitting to this Powerful Force that rules with fear yet soothes with its lying security. All this psychic shit has just got to go ... Got to go. I can’t enjoy and delight in my surroundings when I have this God Authority pushing me around with it’s iron fist.

Am I making any sense? Humanity has got me by the balls and it’s not letting go. I can’t, as of now, find a successful way to abandon this abusive relationship (a relationship where I am both the abused and the abusing). There is a vague fear of being tortured and/or killed or institutionalized for psychically turning my back on Humanity and its inhabitants ... Not to mention ostracized (I won’t get to eat those yummy, addictive carrots no more). Maybe I am too crazy, too human, too animal, too evil, too immature to break free yet from Big Daddy and Mommy and go off on my own. All are welcome to comment, add, or share ... and all are welcome to ignore and discard without compassion and/ or sympathy.

RICHARD: G’day Rick, As the operative-word in all the above is ‘self-worth’ (and self- worth as derived from others’ opinion at that) perhaps a personal anecdote may be of assistance.

(If nothing else it will provide some light relief/ entertainment).

Many years ago, back when I was a normal bloke and making my living as a practising artist, a minor art gallery in a major city approached me with a proposition to stage a one-man exhibition of my idiosyncratic ceramic work – with the selection to be entirely of my own choice – complete with metropolis-wide advertising, an opening night with the usual razzamatazz (wine and cheese, etc.), invitations to various art-critics, quite liberal terms of commission, and a guaranteed-to-be-exclusive three-week run.

I was a big frog in a small provincial pond, at the time, and this was an opportunity to be a small frog in a large urban pond – to put one foot on the bottom rung of a potential ladder of national success – so the rather generous offer with its opportune entrée into the inner-city art establishment was readily accepted and a firm date was set for three months hence.

Without any thought at all it was obvious to me the exhibition would comprise entirely of fresh pieces – even though there was already more than enough high quality items at hand (which the art gallery had in mind) – as that way a cohesive body of work, with a yet to be discovered theme, would bring about the integrity necessary to carry the day.

Now, with ceramics there is normally a five-to-six week lead-in time (due to the process of making, carving, drying, first-firing, glazing, decorating, and second-firing) yet the days became weeks until, despite the frequent reminders and promptings of my then-wife, only three weeks remained before the big night.

And three weeks was the absolute minimum time-span; if the eighty-odd pieces were not formed today then the afore- mentioned hodgepodge stock-at-hand would have to be pressed into service.

Not that the art-gallery would mind, of course, but I would.

For most of the morning I wedged, kneaded and balled the highest quality (the most-aged and ripened) clay from my extensive stocks of hand-dug and hand-mixed local clays; it was one of those quite marvellous days of lightly overcast skies and a gentle, misty rain; there was no wind at all, not even the slightest zephyr of a breeze; the quietly gleaming hand-made copper kettle was sitting, steaming gently atop the cheery pot-bellied stove in my studio; music from a nowadays-superseded four-track cartridge player was piping through all its strategically placed speakers; the dank, swampy aroma of the well-matured clay was filling the nostrils as it began to bounce elastically beneath my well-practiced kneading hands; and soon all was well, within my world, as any and all stress from time-pressure softly ebbed away.

Settling myself onto my home-made pottery wheel, and kicking it into action, I swiftly and easily formed a few small throwaway pieces so as to get my hand in.

Then, without any further ado, I reached for the first of the eighty- odd different-sized balls of finely-prepared clay; dropping it onto the still slowing-turning wheel-head I kicked up the momentum of the heavy wheel beneath my feet; moistening my hands in the bowls of warm, muddy water to either side I then centred the clay ball and began throwing the first of the many individual pieces which would eventually comprise the whole.

Being well-dug, well-prepared, well-aged, well-wedged and well- kneaded the clay, whilst supremely elastic, was taut and springy beneath the hands; there would be no slumping, no sagging, no bulging, just this easy pulling up to maximum height; just this graceful setting of bellied form; just this elegant rolling of lip just this effortless forming of the base; just this ready pass of the cutting thread detaching it from the wheel-head; just this gentle placing of it on the ready-to-hand shelf-tray nearby; just this regular reaching for the next ball; just this easy kicking keeping the momentum rolling.

Upon placing the third or fourth newly-formed piece alongside its predecessors, and whilst reaching for the next ball, it is evident the clouds are clearing a trifle; the sun is shining fitfully through a gap onto the translucent full-height screens immediately to the front; some chickens are clucking and scratching around in the ground just beyond them; ducks are quacking and nosing into the mud of the small pond nearby; off in the near-distance the pigs are snorting and snuffling for roots; one of the goats is bleating; a couple of the geese are honking; and ... and a by-now-familiar and oh-so-subtle shift is occurring in the brain-stem.

All-of-a-sudden there is a vast stillness – there is absolutely no movement of time – and in that perfect peace the piece of pottery is making itself.

The foot is kicking the massive wheel of its own accord; the hands are dipping themselves into the warm, muddy water; the eyes are eying the bellied form all on their own; the hands, one on the inside and the other on the outside just below the former, are gently coaxing the perfect shape without command (or is the perfect form gently coaxing the hands to its bidding); and the whole world – nay, the entire universe, itself – is a magical fairytale-like wonder- land where nothing, but nothing, ever ultimately goes wrong.

*

And then, with the sun sinking spectacularly in the west behind banked clouds, the one-hundredth pot has made itself (so much for the planned eighty-odd) and the one-man exhibition is in the bag ... guaranteed to be a fantastic success.

*

It is now three weeks later: all the pieces have been carved, dried, first-fired, glazed, decorated, second-fired, packed, transported, unpacked and selectively placed upon their pedestals in the major city art gallery.

It is opening night and the place is packed with peoples from many walks of life; all milling around, glasses in hand, seeing and being seen. Being the star of the show I am, accordingly, a trifle late in arriving (as is the fashion). With orange juice in hand I mix and mingle; a word or two here; a tilt of the head there; a small chat here; a wink and a grin there; a murmured response here; and all the while noticing those little red stickers appearing, first on this piece, then on that piece, more on those pieces, until almost every single piece is snapped-up.

It is shaping up to be a sell-out ... and all on opening night!

The curator is tapping on his glass, calling for attention, and the speechifying begins; soon it is my turn to speak and every eye is turned toward me, every ear is listening to me, everybody’s rapt attention is directed towards the ... well, towards the star of the show, of course.

But I am not the star of the show – the pieces made themselves, remember, back in that magical wonderland – and yet all of the accolades, all of the applause, all of the (yes) adulation, is centred solely upon me.

It was at that moment I understood something so profound it is permanently etched into the memory banks ... to wit: I did not and could not value their collective/ individual opinions one iota, one jot, for they knew not of what they spoke.

And even if they were to be told, that the pieces magically made themselves, they would lavish praise for being so gifted/ so blessed/ so whatever.

Moreover, they did not, and would not ever, comprehend that the esteem they bestowed so lavishly slid straight off me like that proverbial water off a duck’s back ... as, at that very moment, self-esteem and all its associated vanity and humility vanished out of my life forever, never to return, even unto this very day.

*

And so, Rick, as we come to the end of this quaint little wonder-land tale, just what value is self-esteem, eh?


RESPONDENT: You suggest asking oneself ‘how am I experiencing this moment?’

RICHARD: More specifically ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ (as this moment is the only moment one is ever alive).

RESPONDENT: When I ask myself this, firstly there is the mental question; ‘how am I experiencing this moment?’ Then there is the attempt to answer it. The results are as follows: Experiencing the sensory world around me to some extent (there does seem to be levels of experiencing – I find I can ‘let in’ more if I sort of relax, get more sound more vision more feeling), experiencing the inner world to some extent (the light buzzy sensation in the body, perhaps a feeling in there; and again I can ‘go into it’) and then thinking about it or other things (which I can also do endlessly). Is one of these things more genuine than another?

RICHARD: Nothing in the real-world is genuine (as in actually authentic, true, pure, bona fide, veritable, valid, non-counterfeit, non-fake, original, unadulterated, unalloyed, the real McCoy, and so on).

RESPONDENT: I have no idea. It all seems to give me pleasure or pain depending on what’s going on. I’d say that thinking, imagining and feeling give me less pleasure than anything sensory, but then some thoughts I find ‘interesting’ (which is pleasurable) and some feelings I find ‘nice’ (like when I’m really happy). It’s all very confusing. What needs to go?

RICHARD: Eventually ... everything.

RESPONDENT: What needs to stay?

RICHARD: Ultimately ... nothing.

RESPONDENT: If the whole lot is to go, then how is it done?

RICHARD: By asking oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever alive) until it becomes a non-verbal attitude towards life, a wordless approach to being alive, so that the slightest deviation from the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition – a way epitomised by a felicitous and innocuous naïve sensuousness – is not only automatically noticed almost immediately but the instance whereby the deviation occurred is readily ascertained such as to enable the resumption of one’s habituated blithesome and benign way again ... sooner rather than later.

RESPONDENT: If it is asking yourself the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment?’ how does one let go of the answers, or the wrong answers?

RICHARD: The whole point of asking oneself, each moment again until it becomes a non-verbal attitude or a wordless approach to life, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever alive) is to experientially ascertain just exactly what way or manner it is in which one is personally participating in the events which are occurring at this particular moment that one is alive.

Thus the answers you would obtain are experiential answers ... and are dependent on, on each occasion again, just exactly what the way or manner it is that you are personally participating in the occurrences which are currently happening.

RESPONDENT: Why doesn’t the universe want to experience my pain, my thoughts, my boredom, my pleasure, etc?

RICHARD: Or, more to the point, why do you want to?

RESPONDENT: Or does it?

RICHARD: No.


RESPONDENT: (...) But the thing is that infinity cannot evolve/ improve and that’s why I’m sticking with this actual-list thing (more the actual than the list). Richard’s experience of life and my clouded glimpses of it, is superior to that of any dead or alive human ... not sure about all would-be humans. Hey Richard, if you state that as a fact or at least as an educated guess, you’ll become more than outrageous ... I’ll invent a new word to describe your claim: orgioutrageous.

RICHARD: As the word ‘outrageous’ has the connotations of extraordinary, extreme, extravagant, and so on, and as your ‘orgi-’ prefix bespeaks of an intemperance characterised by or of the nature of excessive indulgence, it would appear that you do not fully grasp what a truly wonderful thing it is that infinitude is not subject to evolution or that perfection has no better.

Both evolution and improvement are purely local events.

RESPONDENT: Infinitude and perfection ... intrinsic characteristics of the universe.

RICHARD: This universe, having the properties of being infinite and eternal, has no opposite ... hence the quality of perfection (no comparison).

RESPONDENT: There’s no evolution for infinitude ...

RICHARD: Aye ... a boundless expanse/ an unlimited time is not subject to growth, development, progression.

RESPONDENT: ... [there’s no evolution for infinitude], but continuous transformation (matter-energy) ...

RICHARD: No, the perdurable matter of this boundless expanse/ unlimited time can be either in its mass phase or energy phase ... the radiant energy (heat/ light) of the nearest star to this planet transforms into mass (woody material) in the process of impingement upon the chlorophyll-impregnated leaves of a tree, for instance, and that woody material (aka stored energy) transforms into heat/ light (aka released energy) upon ignition.

The consumption of edible material (food), for another example, transforms mass into (calorific) energy ... in the form of (bodily) heat and (muscular) power.

RESPONDENT: ... [but continuous transformation (matter-energy)] and propensity to evolve to the best possible ...

RICHARD: I presume you are referring to a passage such as this:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What is it about the PCE that holds the ‘me’ in abeyance?
• [Richard]: ‘It is a two-way street ... it is both the perfection of the universe, as evidenced in the PCE, and the sincerity of ‘me’, as is evidenced by the PCE occurring, which does the trick. *This universe has a built-in propensity for the best to emerge*, so it is inevitable that the best will happen ... given ‘my’ concurrence.
We do not live in an inert [a passive] universe’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: ... [and propensity to evolve to the best possible] ... locally?

RICHARD: No ... the perdurable matter of this boundless expanse/ unlimited time has a built-in propensity for the best form to emerge anywhere and everywhere (as far as space exploration has been able to ascertain).

Thus, your sentence would now look something like this:

• [example only]: ‘There is no evolution for the perdurable matter of this boundless expanse/ unlimited time, but continuous transformation (mass-energy) and a built-in propensity for the best form to emerge ... anywhere and everywhere (for as far as is currently ascertainable)’. [end example].

Put succinctly: matter itself, the very stuff of the universe, does not change, transmute, metamorphose or grow, develop, progress (or any other word of that ilk) ... it is the form, the shape or configuration, it takes which does.

RESPONDENT: The universe, being infinite and perfect, still aims for betterment ...

RICHARD: No ... the perfection of infinitude, being incomparable, has no better.

RESPONDENT: ... [The universe, being infinite and perfect, still aims for betterment] but not on the scale of infinitude, yet everywhere locally. But everywhere locally means infinitude. This just does not make sense, a perfect and infinite universe trying to improve itself and thus evolve on a purely local level ... which in fact is universal level.

RICHARD: As I never said that the perpetuum mobilis, which this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe is, is ‘trying to improve itself’ or ‘and thus evolve’ it is what you are proposing/ inferring which just does not make sense.

RESPONDENT: How local is local according to you?

RICHARD: In this instance I was referring to planet earth ... in accord with your choice of subject matter (the form known as human beings be they now dead, currently alive, or yet to be born). Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘Richard’s experience of life and my clouded glimpses of it, is superior to that of any dead or alive human ... not sure about all would-be humans’. [endquote].

As there is no mass-energy in the form of human beings elsewhere in the universe (as far as space exploration has been able to ascertain) that is quite local indeed.

Meanwhile, back to the subject to hand: do you now see why it need not be so extraordinary, extreme, extravagant, and so on, as to require a new word, that bespeaks of an intemperance characterised by or of the nature of excessive indulgence, were Richard to opine, as an informed hypothesis, that the on-going experience of being actually free from the human condition is superior to that of any human being within the human condition be they now dead, currently alive, or yet to be born?

Here is a clue: to have reached the zenith, so to speak, in a universe where matter is not merely passive (inert), does not in any way, shape or form, imply stagnation.


SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE ON THE UNIVERSE (Part Two)

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