Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On The Universe


RICHARD: Because there is no good or evil in the actual world of sensual delight – where I live as this flesh and blood body – one then lives freely in the magical paradise that this verdant earth floating in the infinitude of the universe actually is. Being here at this moment in time and this place in space is to be living in a fairy-tale-like ambience that is never-ending.

RESPONDENT: Does this fairy-tale-like ambience of yours have any borders?

RICHARD: None whatsoever ... the physical space of this universe is infinite and its time is eternal ... thus the infinitude of this very material universe has no beginning and no ending ... and therefore no middle. There are no edges to this universe, which means that there is no centre, either. You see, what one is as this body is this material universe experiencing itself as a sensate, reflective human being. We are all coming from nowhere and are not going anywhere for there is nowhere to come from nor anywhere to go to. We are nowhere in particular ... which means we are anywhere at all. In the infinitude of the universe one finds oneself to be already here, and as it is always now, one can not get away from this place in space and this moment in time. By being here as-this-body one finds that this moment in time has no duration as in now and then – because the immediate is the ultimate – and that this place in space has no distance as in here and there – for the relative is the absolute.

In other words: I am always here and it is already now.


RESPONDENT: Correspondent No. 30 is a wonderful example of brainwashing.

RICHARD: Just so there is no misunderstanding of what you are referring to I will provide the following examples of what that word can mean:

1. ‘brainwashing: intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person’s basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs’. (American Heritage® Dictionary).
2. ‘brainwashing: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas’. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
3. ‘brainwash: systematically and often forcibly replace established ideas in the mind of (a person) by new (usu. political) ideas’. (Oxford Dictionary).
4. ‘brainwash: to make (someone) believe only what you want them to believe by continually telling them that it is true and preventing any other information from reaching them’. (Cambridge Dictionary).
5. ‘brainwash: to impose a set of usually political or religious beliefs on somebody by the use of various coercive methods of indoctrination, including destruction of the victim’s prior beliefs’. (Encarta Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: I wonder how he did it. While on the first page he asks some very sensible questions about AF and science – knowing the usual popularized canon ...

RICHARD: For an example, from that page, of the first definition (enumerated, for convenience, as No. 1 above):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘If the theory that universe is finite is found to be true (backed up with evidences, predictions etc. using scientific method), and a spaceship that leaves in one direction comes back from the other direction after some time, won’t we be in a position but to accept it?
• [Richard]: ‘You seem to be talking about Mr. Albert Einstein’s curved space here ... whatever you do, do not hold your breath waiting for that to be demonstrated (24 to 28 billions years of travelling at the speed of light is too long a journey for any human being to make and come back alive so as to provide a factual report)’.

As an example of an intensive and forcible indoctrination aimed at destroying my co-respondent’s basic convictions and attitudes, and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs, my technique does appear to need a lot of polishing, non?

For an example of definition No. 2 (also from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Deductive logic works like a chain; if you agree that each ring of the chain to be valid, you reach the last piece of the chain which is not apparent if you did not follow the process. (...)’.
• [Richard]: ‘The validity of each link in a deductive chain is dependent upon the initial premise being correct’.

As an example of a forcible indoctrination to induce my co-respondent to give up their basic beliefs and attitudes, and to accept contrasting regimented ideas, my methodology does seem to leave a lot to be desired, eh?

For an example of definition No. 3 (again from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘They [Quantum cosmogony/ Einsteinian relativity] are not commonsensical at all, agreed. But experimentation (please refer to: Michelson Morley kind of experiments for relativity, double hole experiments for quantum mechanics) has shown that the common sense understandings do not carry well in very high speeds as well as very small scales, and one is forced to theorize with the set of facts, and predict from the theory, and verify, and verify and verify, till the theory is found to be useful (like nuclear reactors, space ships, cosmic rays).
• [Richard]: ‘History shows that a model can be found to be useful without it necessarily being correct ... and such a model is later discarded when another model can be found to correspond more accurately to the facts.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Then the philosophical or metaphysical question arises: this is the theory that is arrived through scientific method to explain certain idiosyncrasies of nature, and works quite well, what does it mean?
• [Richard]: ‘It means what you just said ... it ‘works quite well’.

As an example of systematically and forcibly replacing established ideas in the mind of my co-respondent by new ideas my performance does look to be severely lacking in efficacity, does it not?

For an example of definition No. 4 (yet again from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘A question for you: what subset of modern science you are willing to admit?
• [Richard]: ‘That which is sensible, practical and in accord with the facts ... I am also willing to be wrong in the many areas which lie beyond my expertise. I am a lay-person when it comes to physics as I am a high-school drop-out. I started working for a living at age fifteen and have never pursued these matters beyond what is available in the popular press ... if you are looking for an advanced discussion you are talking to the wrong person.
My expertise lies in the area of human consciousness only (via self-observation)’.

As an example of making my co-respondent believe only what I want them to believe, by continually telling them that it is true and preventing any other information from reaching them, would it be fair to say that my modus operandi does give the impression of being far from perfect?

For an example of definition No. 5 (still from that first page):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... [what subset of modern science you are willing to admit]. Darwinian theory if not big bang?
• [Richard]: ‘The science of evolution fits well with the facts ... the ‘big bang’ theory is shot full of holes.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Expanding universe?
• [Richard]: ‘No.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Black holes?
• [Richard]: ‘No.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Atomic theory (Bohr’s atomic model with nucleus and protons and electrons)?
• [Richard]: ‘The jury is still out on this issue ... as a model it works well enough for now’.

As an example of imposing a set of beliefs on my co-respondent by the use of various coercive methods of indoctrination, including destruction of their prior beliefs, it could be said that my tactics could do with a major overhaul, could it not?

RESPONDENT: ... he then goes on, after 4 years, to write: [Co-Respondent]: ‘Just thought I should express my appreciation for these discussions on modern science ... Richard’s answers and Respondent No. 60 & Respondent No. 27’s questions throw a lot of light on these matters. Very stimulating. What I understood (from Richard’s mails mainly) so far is that: a direct experience is the final arbiter and while logic/ mathematics can sharpen the directly experienced, they are subservient to the direct experience. This is in contrast to the theoretical physicist/ mathematician’s viewpoint which is: logic/ mathematics is the final arbiter – direct experience is prone to error. Please correct this appraisal if necessary’. [Richard]: ‘No correction necessary ... you have hit the nail right on the head’. [endquote].

RICHARD: As you seem to have overlooked the inclusion of my clarifying postscript I will re-post it here for reasons of integrity in communication:

• [Richard]: ‘... the empiricism/ rationalism debate has a long history. [quote] ‘empiricism: the doctrine or theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience; the doctrine or theory that concepts and statements have meaning only in relation to sense-experience; (opp. rationalism)’. And: [quote] ‘rationalism: the doctrine or theory that reason rather than sense-experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge; (opp. empiricism). (Oxford Dictionary)’.

RESPONDENT: Correction is indeed necessary.

RICHARD: Perhaps it might be handy to first ascertain just what my co-respondent made of my full response? Here are the relevant portions of what they wrote 26 days later (they wrote the above on Friday, January 23 2004 AEDST) to another:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I had realized long ago [two years previously] when I corresponded to Richard that I was defending science based on my strong belief in scientists (no other discipline relies on objectivity and explicitly stated goals and experiment as the final arbiter) and decided to step out of my defence till I understand them myself to a great detail (I have good mathematical and scientific training and I have the toolkit to expand my knowledge if I find it necessary).
(...)
One can divide one’s experience into everyday stuff where one uses common sense and when it comes to subatomic world one says: oh I can’t use my common sense, it is beyond my understanding, here is some mathematical model explaining and predicting stuff that goes as far as creating an atomic bomb, sending space crafts: so I give up my common sense and use logic and mathematics here.
And then comes a stage where one says: Logic and Mathematics have succeeded where a common sense approach have not (in explaining subatomic stuff and fast moving stuff). Therefore I will buy the consequences of Logic and Mathematics even if it means that I have to lay down my common sense. I will use the same principles that helped me to get beyond in the subatomic and fast moving universe and extrapolate and apply to this everyday world (and probably justify my spiritual fantasies).
This is where Richard says (I think): Direct experience of the everyday world [sic] if you are willing to lay down in favour of your success in micro-worlds, you land up in imaginary world justified by mathematics and logic. The current models may be great in predictions but they are useful models ... that’s all ... do not justify one to jump to imagination sacrificing the common sense. Moreover these models that are based on logic and mathematics themselves use common sense at some level and nothing is just a standalone ‘logic and mathematics’ (as in there is no God that is running the world according to ‘logic and mathematics’)’. (Wednesday, February 18 2004 AEDST).

And again 4 days later (also to somebody else):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... all the mathematical models I was positing exists only in the mind not in actuality ... if human beings don’t think about them, they don’t exist’. (Sunday, February 22 2004 AEDST).

Bearing in mind that English is not my co-respondent’s first language is it nevertheless clear enough that they grasped what was conveyed (that mathematical models have no existence in actuality) by the comparison of empiricism with rationalism ... as exemplified by their usage of the word ‘standalone’?

Furthermore, as the topics being specifically referred to – the subjects which the co-respondents numbered as 60 and 27 were querying – were, respectively, the origin of the Einsteinian relativity theory (and, thus, the ‘Big Bang’ ex nihilo/ ’Big Crunch’ ad nihil’ theory) and the situation that, facts being rather thin on the ground, it is mainly the hypothesis/ theory which gets most of the attention, are you so sure a correction regarding what was plainly categorised for convenience as the rationalist position, that reason is the foundation of certainty in knowledge (rather than concepts and statements having meaning only in relation to sense-experience), is indeed necessary?

RESPONDENT: While theoretical physicists aim for elegance and simplicity and let themselves guide by intuition, these are by no way the final arbiters.

RICHARD: Here is what those questions and answers being referred to – the subjects which the co-respondents numbered as 60 and 27 were querying – more or less revolve around:

• [Richard]: ‘Mr. Albert Einstein (well-known for his ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ quote) had this to say, in 1920, when reminiscing about the birth of his relativity theory in 1907: [quote] ‘There occurred to me the ‘glücklichste Gedanke meines Leben’, the happiest thought of my life ... for an observer falling freely from the roof of a house there exists – at least in his immediate surroundings – no gravitational field. Indeed, if the observer drops some bodies then those remain relative to him in a state of rest or uniform motion, independent of their particular chemical or physical nature (in this consideration the air resistance is, of course, ignored). The observer therefore has the right to interpret his state as ‘at rest’. [italics by Mr. Albert Einstein]. (page 178, ‘Subtle Is The Lord’, by Abraham Pais; ©1982 Oxford University Press).
The observer (irregardless of the ... um ... the ‘right’ to subjectively interpret what is actually occurring as being a state of rest) is, of course, objectively falling at a rate of thirty two feet per second per second because of the very gravitational field Mr. Albert Einstein somewhat solipsistically intuited/ imagined did not exist for such a person’.

RESPONDENT: Every theory strives to make a prediction which can be empirically measured.

RICHARD: Whereas what I was pointing out, in those questions and answers being referred to, is epitomised by a particular query and response (re-posted further above):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Deductive logic works like a chain; if you agree that each ring of the chain to be valid, you reach the last piece of the chain which is not apparent if you did not follow the process. (...)’.
• [Richard]: ‘The validity of each link in a deductive chain is dependent upon the initial premise being correct’. [endquote].

The initial premise in question is, of course, that happiest thought which Mr. Albert Einstein ever had in his life ... because an edifice erected on quicksand, no matter how ornately adorned, is bound to eventually sink without a trace.

RESPONDENT: The science game involves the promise that when the prediction is not in accord with reality, the theory will be regarded as ‘refuted’ and dismissed.

RICHARD: I will draw your attention to something else re-posted further above (from that first page on which, you claim, some very sensible questions were asked):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘They [Quantum cosmogony/ Einsteinian relativity] are not commonsensical at all, agreed. But experimentation (please refer to: Michelson Morley kind of experiments for relativity, double hole experiments for quantum mechanics) has shown that the common sense understandings do not carry well in very high speeds as well as very small scales, and one is forced to theorize with the set of facts, and predict from the theory, and verify, and verify and verify, till the theory is found to be useful (like nuclear reactors, space ships, cosmic rays).
• [Richard]: ‘History shows that a model can be found to be useful without it necessarily being correct ... and such a model is later discarded when another model can be found to correspond more accurately to the facts’.

And the reason why I draw your attention to it (if it be not already blatantly obvious that there is a vast difference between a theory being useful and being in accord with the facts) is also because of what you go on to say immediately below.

RESPONDENT: To use No. 60’s story of the poor dogs, metaphorically: At the beginning, in 2001, correspondent No. 30 still could distinguish a circle from an ellipse. In 2005, he can’t anymore. Woof, woof!

RICHARD: Presumably you are referring to this article:

• [Mr. Duen Hsi Yen]: ‘Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) also had dog troubles of his own, as described by one group of researchers working in his lab: [quote] ‘In a famous experiment by Shenger-Krestovnika, published in 1921, a dog was trained to salivate to a circle but not to an ellipse. The ellipse was then made progressively more like a circle. When the ratio of the axes of the ellipse was reduced to 9:8, the dog could discriminate it from a circle only with great difficulty. It showed some signs of success on this problem for about three weeks, but then its behaviour was disrupted. It was unable to respond correctly not only on this difficult task, but also when presented with obvious ellipses and circles that had given it no trouble in the earlier part of the experiment. What is more, instead of coming to stand quietly in the apparatus of the past, the animal now showed extreme excitement, struggling and howling’. [pp.119-120, ‘Ivan Pavlov’ by Jeffrey Gray; ©1979 NY: Viking]. This work was brought to my attention by a University professor/ psychotherapist, who also informed me that this dog eventually had to be put to sleep! It never was able to recover from the ‘experimental neurosis’, induced by Pavlov. This result is even more amazing because the conditioning did not involve punishment! The dog was merely trained to perform a discrimination. When it couldn’t do it, it went crazy! Later, he and his co-workers discovered lots of other ways to create neurotic dogs. These results were so remarkable, that at the age of eighty, Pavlov launched himself into an entirely new career in a different field, to understand psychopathology. He soon was visiting psychiatric wards several times a week, discussing the various cases with the psychiatrists! What is even more insidious, is that our entire educational system, as it exists today, is based on this type of learning! Children daily are asked by teachers to make discriminations that they cannot make, and when they make a mistake, they are punished! (The process is often referred to as ‘operant conditioning’ or instrumental learning)’. (www.noogenesis.com/malama/punishment.html).

How that example of operant conditioning/ instrumental learning even remotely relates to my co-respondent comprehending that mathematical models do not describe the universe/ have no existence outside of the ratiocinative process simply defies sensibility.

Perhaps a personal anecdote may be of assistance: when I was but a lad in high school (at 12-15 years of age), when learning about atomic theory, it was expressly explained that the model then being taught – a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons – was just that (a model) and was not, repeat not, to be taken as really being the case.

And then came, thick and fast, in the ensuing years a bewildering array of sub-atomic postulates with peculiar names and properties wherein they were sometimes matter and sometimes energy – which otherwise causeless state apparently depended upon the human observer – only to be followed by the ‘String Theory’ ... a ‘string’ of energy so tiny that if it were to be compared with the magnitude of the known universe it would be but the size of a tree (if it had form). Predictably, it was being posited as being the smallest ... um ... ‘thingamajig’ beyond which there is no smaller and it, too, was to be the ultimate source of all things (if only it were real).

Your commentitious allegation regarding ‘a wonderful example of brainwashing’ (not to forget your distinctly pointed operant conditioning/ instrumental learning allusion) rather begs the question as to who it is indeed that is thus brainwashed/ conditioned – and by whom and how and when – rather than anything else.


RESPONDENT: I would like to ask you something about the universe and our world and our instinctual passions. Humans have survived and are beginning to flourish. In our world. But what about other planets, if there are other civilizations. If people would leave in a utopia without instinctual passions, in peace, and an alien powerful instinct-driven race would attack our planet, we won’t have any military to defend ourselves as a first defence.

So how would we survive then? Maybe that is the reason humanity won’t give up its instincts because such an attack is a possibility, and there’s no way to survive it without being constantly not in peace as a race, for the fire to be on, for the heat to be up, as we simply won’t have any weapons.

I understand that what I’m saying is the survival projection of survival of the species and the fear to examine passions. But isn’t there any validity to this question, as the big scheme picture might not be just the humanity, animals and this planets, but other planets and other raging species?

Thanks for your time.

RICHARD: The nearest star (Proxima Centauri) is over forty trillion kilometres away and the US space shuttle, which travels at about eight kilometres per second, would take a hundred and sixty thousand years to reach it. The fastest spacecraft to date (Helios II), which set a speed record of seventy kilometres per second, would take eighteen thousand years to travel that distance ... far, far beyond the lifespan of both the crew and the craft.

Also, if there were to be a planet hospitable to life-forms orbiting that star, and if an alien species were to be inhabiting that hypothetical planet, and if that hypothetical species inhabiting that hypothetical planet were to be of the opinion that planet earth was worth attacking, then the ‘alien condition’ (to coin a phrase) would render any such interstellar voyage of aggression and domination untenable as they would be at each other’s hypothetical throats long before they arrived.

Indeed, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to long-distance human space travel is the human condition itself (as is evidenced by wintering over in the Antarctica for instance).

As for the intergalactic voyages so ubiquitous in the sci-fi genre: the nearest major galaxy (the Andromeda galaxy) is located at a distance of two million light-years away and, as a light-year is about nine and a half trillion kilometres in length, one does not even have to do the maths in order to gain sufficient comprehension of the sheer impracticability of any voyage of that magnitude.

Incidentally, if there were to be an alien species sufficiently advanced technologically to have developed a super-fast means of transport then their weaponry would be so far in advance of the current human arsenal anyway that it is pointless to even contemplate any such scenario as needing to continue being a [quote] ‘raging species’ [endquote] in order to defend planet earth from any such hypothetical attack.

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P.S.: You may find the following helpful.

• [Mr. Donald Scott]: ‘It is very difficult, if not impossible, for us to relate conceptually to how far something is from us when we are told its distance is, say 14 light years. We know that is a long way – but HOW long?

In his ‘Celestial Handbook’, Robert Burnham, Jr. presents a model that offers us a way to get an intuitive feel for some of these tremendous distances. The distance from the Sun to Earth is called an Astronomical Unit (AU); it is approximately 93 million miles. The model is based on the coincidental fact that the number of inches in a statute mile is approximately equal to the number of astronomical units in one light year. So, in our model, we sketch the orbit of the Earth around the Sun as a circle, two inches in diameter. That sets the scale of the model. One light year is one mile in the model.

The Sun is approximately 880,000 miles in diameter. In the model that scales to 880,000/93,000,000 = 0.009 inches; (Approximately 1/100 of an inch in diameter). A very fine pencil point is needed to place it at the centre of the (one inch radius) circle that represents the Earth’s orbit.

In this model, Pluto is an invisibly small speck approximately three and a half feet from the Sun. All the other planets follow almost circular paths inside of this 3.5 foot orbit. If a person is quite tall, he or she may just be able to spread their hands far enough apart to encompass the orbit of this outer planet. That is the size of our model of our solar system. We can just about hold it in our extended arms.

The nearest star to us is over four light-years away.

In our model, a light year is scaled down to one mile. So the nearest star to us is four and a half MILES away in our model. So when we model our Sun and the nearest star to us, we have two specks of dust, each 1/100 inch in diameter, four and a half miles apart from one another. And this is in a moderately densely packed arm of our galaxy!

To quote Burnham, ‘All the stars are, on the average, as far from each other as the nearest ones are from us. Imagine, then, several hundred billion stars scattered throughout space, each one another Sun, each one separated by a distance of several light years (several miles in our model) from its nearest neighbour. Comprehend, if you can, the almost terrifying isolation of any one star in space’ because each star is the size of a speck of dust, about 1/100 inch in diameter – and is miles from its nearest neighbour.

When viewing a photographic image of a galaxy or globular star cluster, we must remember that the stars that make up those objects are not as close together as they appear. A bright star will ‘bloom’ on a photographic plate or CCD chip. Remember the two specks of dust, miles apart.

Even in our model, the collection of stars that makes up our Milky Way galaxy is about one hundred thousand miles in diameter. This is surrounded by many hundreds of thousand of miles of empty space, before we get to the next galaxy. And on a larger scale, we find that galaxies seem to be found in groups – galaxy clusters. On this gigantic scale even our model fails to give us an intuitive feeling for the vastness of those distances’. (http://www.electric-cosmos.org/localspace.htm).

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RICHARD: ... [my co-respondent’s point of view was that]: 16. Richard asserts a steady state universe.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t that true?

RICHARD: No, the steady-state postulation is an extension of something called the perfect cosmological principle (which holds that the universe looks essentially the same from every spot in it and at every time) inasmuch it was argued that, for the universe to look the same at all times, there could be no beginning or no end.

RESPONDENT: ‘Steady state Universe’ is a well-defined term in which the universe is not considered to have had a beginning or an end.

RICHARD: Aye, yet a postulate which is an extension of a principle (which proposition is itself an extension of another principle) is in no way the same thing as the direct experience of infinitude ... as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE).


RESPONDENT: Is the universe being infinite in all directions a theory, not a fact?

RICHARD: First of all, it is physically impossible to empirically establish the extended attributes of space, time and matter ... one cannot, ever, hop into some ultra high speed spacecraft and travel to some ‘where’ or ‘when’ or ‘that’ and show or demonstrate or exhibit infinitude. Needless is it to say, for those who propose a caused universe, that no one has journeyed to where they can witness such a creation of material ex nihilo? Needless is it to say, for those who propose a temporary universe, that no one has travelled to when that limited time began? Needless is it to say, for those who propose a finite universe, that no one has voyaged to the edge of that bounded universe?

Similarly, if (note ‘if’) one could roam forever throughout the physical infinitude of immeasurable matter perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time ... one would never ‘prove’ anything.

Apart from the current passionate preoccupation by academia with Quantum Theory (which gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician) modern astronomy is showing the universe to be immensely vast. For example, in 1986 a huge conglomeration of galaxies that is 1,000,000,000 light years long, 300,000,000 light years wide and 100,000,000 light years thick were found (which finding was confirmed in 1990). This ‘wall of galaxies’, as it became known, would have taken 100,000,000,000 years to form under the workings of the ‘Big Bang’ theory ... which makes the mathematically estimated ‘age’ of the universe – 12 to 14 billion years – simply look sillier than it already did.

Obviously then, the entire question revolves around being sensible ... and I always plunk for a rational or reasonable approach – the judicious approach – from the word go.

RESPONDENT: If the theory that universe is finite is found to be true (backed up with evidences, predictions etc. using scientific method), and a spaceship that leaves in one direction comes back from the other direction after some time, won’t we be in a position but to accept it?

RICHARD: You seem to be talking about Mr. Albert Einstein’s curved space here ... whatever you do, do not hold your breath waiting for that to be demonstrated (24 to 28 billions years of travelling at the speed of light is too long a journey for any human being to make and come back alive so as to provide a factual report).

RESPONDENT: Just as the humans (including church, eventually) had to give up the more obvious ‘geocentric’ to the ‘heliocentric’?

RICHARD: Hmm ... it is up to those who propose an edge, a boundary, a beginning, a duration, an ending, a depletion to demonstrate the veracity of their claim. Until then, the universe will go on being what it is: a boundless, limitless, immeasurable infinitude.

Furthermore, they need to satisfactorily explain why they are unnecessarily complicating what is actually a simple issue: they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing a finite space ... and where it came from and out of what and how and why; they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing a limited time ... and when it came and from what and how and why; they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing depletable matter ... and where it came from and out of what and how and why. They also need to satisfactorily explain just what constitutes their timeless and spaceless nothingness which this immense universe (supposedly) arose out of.

Apperception reveals that identity (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) creates a centre to consciousness – and thus a boundary (or circumference) – which is then projected onto this universe’s properties ... the ending of identity is the ending of such boundaries.

In an apperceptive awareness it is patently obvious that one is the universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being ... as such the universe is stunningly conscious of its own infinitude.


RESPONDENT: To insist that one absolute is different than another (and also better) is to be caught in the Web of dualistic Maya, wherefrom all sorrow, violence, domestic and child abuse, etc., emanate.

RICHARD: It is this simple: you are speaking of a metaphysical absolute and I am speaking of a physical absolute – two obviously different absolutes – and as all suffering happens in time and space as form then surely any solution must be found in time and space as form ...

RESPONDENT: ‘Physical absolute’ is an oxymoron ...

RICHARD: Ahh ... this statement throws some light upon what you mean by ‘all existence is relative’ and that ‘only Brahma or Void is absolute’ . And, as I am saying that all existence is absolute ...

RESPONDENT: This is non-sense.

RICHARD: But if you had not snipped off the qualifier it would have made sense. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘I am saying that all existence is absolute ... that there is only time and space and form’.

You will see that this is entirely in keeping with the dictionary definition of the word ‘absolute’. Vis.:

• [Dictionary Definition]: ‘absolute: existing, or able to be thought of, without relation to other things’. (© 1998 Oxford Dictionary).

Contrary to Hinduism’s ancient wisdom this universe is quite capable of existing by itself ... it needs no timeless and spaceless and formless ‘Brahma’ to create/maintain it.

RESPONDENT: Existence changes all the time.

RICHARD: Aye ... and such novelty is what keeps all existence from being boring (as expressed so well in the cliché ‘variety is the spice of life’).

RESPONDENT: That which changes can not be absolute.

RICHARD: Nevertheless, however much it changes it still remains the universe ... it does not become something else even though it is always new and thus ever fresh.

RESPONDENT: Sorry.

RICHARD: I am sure I would be ‘sorry’ too if I had given my heart to a ‘truth’ which never changes. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘My truth is right here, in my own heart’.

Yet for all the years you have been nursing this static ‘truth’ in your heart the perfect purity of this actual world has been right under your nose ... all it requires is that you come to your senses (both literally and metaphorically).

And this pristine actuality is coruscating ... scintillating.


RICHARD: ... all flora and fauna, stripped of any imposed illusion, actually exist then?

RESPONDENT: Define existence.

RICHARD: This physical universe (time and space and form) as an objective actuality and not as a concept.

RESPONDENT: What is the extent of the universe (existence) as you define it?

RICHARD: It is immeasurably vast: spatially it is infinite; temporally it is eternal; materially it is perpetual. This universe is absolute ... it is not relative to anything.

RESPONDENT: In other words, how big, how large, is this physical universe?

RICHARD: In astronomical terms it is immense beyond human (earthly) comparison: the better the telescope the larger the known universe is ... the Next Generation Space Telescope (expected to be launched in 2009 when the Hubble Space Telescope ends its useful life) will collect light in the infrared band rather than the optical band and will push the present boundaries past the range of current human visibility. However, what has been discovered thus far is colossal: for an example, in 1986 an enormous conglomeration of galaxies 1,000,000,000 light years long, 300,000,000 light years wide and 100,000,000 light years thick was found (which finding was confirmed in 1990). This ‘wall of galaxies’, as it became known, would have taken 100,000,000,000 years to form under the workings of the ‘Big Bang’ theory ... which makes the mathematically estimated ‘age’ of the universe (12 to 14 billion years) simply look sillier than it already did. There is a rather cute answer to your question at this URL (http://web.archive.org/web/20000816095531/http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry//ask/a10568.html). Infinitude cannot be grasped by either thought or feeling.

RESPONDENT: Agreed.

RICHARD: Good ... I take it, therefore, that your previous statements regarding the relativity of all existence are no longer valid? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘I guarantee, all existence is relative.
• [Richard]: ‘What is this universe ‘relative’ to (as an actuality and not as a concept)?
• [Respondent]: ‘So, within that relativity, yes, stripped of illusion, flora and fauna exist.
• [Richard]: ‘What ‘relativity’ are you talking about (other than the mathematician’s relativity)?

RESPONDENT: The universe, as you define it, is absolute.

RICHARD: Aye ... and as the universe is all existence (all time, all space and all matter) what is called the ‘relative’ is actually the absolute.

RESPONDENT: All other existence is relative to that absolute.

RICHARD: What ‘other existence’ are you talking about? There is nothing else other than this eternal, infinite and perpetual universe.

RESPONDENT: For example, flora and fauna are born, grow, and die.

RICHARD: Yes ... this is matter arranging and rearranging itself perpetually (matter as either mass or energy).

RESPONDENT: All three activities need a reference point, which is provided by the universe (the absolute).

RICHARD: As all flora and fauna are as much the universe as all the stars are (which are born, grow, age and die) where is there a ‘reference point’ ?

All of the universe is in a constate state of flux.

*

RESPONDENT: It matters not if someone else calls this universe Brahma, Void, Otherness, foo, or Coca-Cola.

RICHARD: It matters inasmuch as it informs the listener where the speaker is speaking from ... to call this physical universe ‘Brahma’ indicates a Hindu conditioning; to call this physical universe ‘Void’ indicates a poor quality Buddhist understanding; to call this physical universe ‘Otherness’ indicates a generalised religio-spiritual comprehension; to call this physical universe ‘foo’ indicates ignorance; to call this physical universe ‘Coca-Cola’ indicates a cleverness operating. Therefore, in the interests of clarity of communication, I prefer to call it by its proper name.

RESPONDENT: That is fine. Let us call it universe in our future discussions.

RICHARD: Good.

RESPONDENT: Here are a few attributes of universe, as I see them: 1. Universe is the absolute against which all change is perceived.

RICHARD: You are aware, of course, that the universe is as much the building you are sitting in reading these words as it is ‘out there’ in the far reaches of galactic distance?

RESPONDENT: 2. All existence (other than that of universe itself) is relative to universe itself.

RICHARD: What existence ‘other than that of the universe itself’ are you talking about? For example: these pixels on this computer screen are as much the universe as anything else is ... there is no thing that is not the universe.

RESPONDENT: 3. Universe itself is neither born nor it dies.

RICHARD: Yet the universe is constantly arranging and rearranging itself everywhere and everywhen as everything ... that something is born and dies is but a local event (‘local’ as viewed by an observer).

RESPONDENT: 4. All time, past, present, and future is contained in the universe, but universe itself doesn’t have a dimension of it.

RICHARD: As this universe is eternal it is ‘all time’ (be it ‘past, present and future’ ) ... it is already always this moment in eternal time whenever you go anywhere.

RESPONDENT: 5. Universe neither grows nor shrinks.

RICHARD: Yes, infinitude (infinite space, eternal time, perpetual matter) does not and can not have that characteristic ... there is nothing else other than this universe for it to be able to grow into or to shrink out of.

RESPONDENT: 6. All space is contained in universe, but space is not a dimension of universe.

RICHARD: As this universe is infinite it is ‘all space’ ... it is already always this place in infinite space whenever you go anywhere.

RESPONDENT: 7. All forms are perceived against the backdrop of the universe, but universe itself is formless.

RICHARD: Yet ‘all forms’ are as much the universe as any ‘backdrop’ is: the universe is as much form (matter) as it is time and space ... time and space and matter are seamless. The attribute called ‘formless’ (along with ‘timeless’ and ‘spaceless’) are abstract concepts and have no existence outside of human imagination.

Logic (which depends upon opposites) cannot encompass infinitude.

RESPONDENT: Right?

RICHARD: Shall I put it this way? The stuff of this flesh and blood body is the very stuff of the universe ... the stuff of this flesh and blood body has been virtually everywhere and everything at everywhen. As this flesh and blood body only I am this universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

Now do you comprehend what ‘absolute’ means in actuality?


RICHARD: ... as this flesh and blood body only (which means sans ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) I am this universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being: as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude. And if you gaze deeply into the inky darkness betwixt the stars you will be standing naked before infinitude.

(snip discussion about Mr. Rabindranath Tagore).

RICHARD: Incidentally ... have you ever looked deeply into the inky darkness betwixt the stars (or did you miss that bit)?

RESPONDENT: I have looked at it and considered it to be endless space but I am not sure what you mean.

RICHARD: What I mean is this: have you ever seen the actual infinitude of the universe ... or only your god’s universe? There is an amazing difference.

RESPONDENT: There is no universe other than God’s universe so that does not make sense.

RICHARD: Ahh ... so you have never seen the actual infinitude of the universe, then.

RESPONDENT: The actual infinitude of the universe would end in a moment if God wills it.

RICHARD: No ... your god’s universe would end in a moment if you came to your senses one night whilst gazing deeply into the inky darkness betwixt the stars.

RESPONDENT: It seems to are involved in an elaborate and glorified form of idolatry ... worshipping the infinite creation instead of the Creator.

RICHARD: I worship no one and no thing ... in 1980, ‘I’/‘me’, the persona that was, looked out deep into the inky darkness betwixt the twinkling stars and actually saw this vastness called the universe for the very first time ... and temporarily disappeared; in 1980, this flesh and blood body experienced that this universe is magically capable of bringing this flesh and blood body into existence, is wondrously competent at keeping this flesh and blood body alive, and is amazingly able to bring this flesh and blood body to an end; in 1980, this flesh and blood body experienced that this universe was packed full of meaning and that the ‘I’/‘me’ had been searching everywhere for meaning in vain ... it had already always been just here, right now, all along.

There is an unimaginable purity that is born out of the stillness of the infinitude as manifest at this moment in time and this place in space ... but one will not come upon it by thinking about or feeling out its character. It is most definitely not a matter to be pursued in the rarefied atmosphere of the most refined mind or the evocative milieu of the most impassioned heart. To proceed thus is to become involved in a fruitless endeavour to make life fit into one’s own petty demands and desires.

In 1980, ‘I’/‘me’, the persona that was, saw that this universe is so enormous in its scope, so grand in its arrangement, so exquisite in its structure, that it was sheer vanity and utter insolence to presume that ‘his’ paltry demands and desires had any significance whatsoever.

They were consigned to the dust-bin of history.

RESPONDENT: What is the meaning it was packed full of? What is the meaning of the universe?

RICHARD: When one walks naked (sans ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) in the infinitude of this actual universe there is the direct experiencing that there is something 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 and rapturous ‘States Of Being’ ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. There is something ultimately precious that makes the ‘sacred’ a mere bauble.

It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe – which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent – as a physical actuality. The limpid and lucid purity and perfection of actually being just here at this place in infinite space right now at this moment in eternal time 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 bead of moisture 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 ... and everyone I have spoken with at length has experienced this impeccable integrity and excellence in some way or another at varying stages in their life.

This preciosity is what one is as-one-is – me as I am in actuality as distinct from ‘me’ as ‘I’ am in reality – for one is the universe’s experience of itself. Is it not impossible to conceive – and just too difficult to imagine – that this is one’s essential character? One has to be daring enough to live it – for it is both one’s audacious birth-right and one’s adventurous destiny – thus the pure consciousness experience (PCE) is but the harbinger of the potential made actual

As I said earlier: there is an unimaginable purity which is born out of the stillness of the infinitude as manifest at this moment in time and this place in space ... but one will not come upon it by thinking about or feeling out its character. It is most definitely not a matter to be pursued in the rarefied atmosphere of the most refined mind or the evocative milieu of the most impassioned heart.

One must come to one’s senses ... both literally and metaphorically.


RICHARD: The stuff of this body is the very self-same stuff as the stuff of this infinite and eternal physical universe, in that I come out of the ground as a variety of carrots and lettuce and milk and cheese and whatever, combined with the air that I breath and the water that I drink and the sunlight that I absorb. As such there is no ‘isolation’ or ‘division’ whatsoever and as this flesh and blood body I am this very material universe experiencing its own infinitude as a sensate and reflective human. This very physical universe is also experiencing itself as cats and dogs and all other sentient beings.

ALAN: Of course it is! I had read the same, or similar, many times and had never quite ‘got it’. Suddenly, it ‘clicked’ – and, as I was about to start writing this mail, my wife asked me what I was doing, so I had the opportunity to really explore what it meant, by explaining it to her. And it is so obvious – as any fact is, of course. What a delight to be this material universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood body, which can not only appreciate itself through the magnificent sense organs with which it is equipped, but to then be able to ponder and reflect upon its magnificence and convey it to another is quite something else!

RICHARD: Yes, although you may recall, upon reflection, that in a PCE one is the universe enjoying and appreciating itself as ‘the magnificent sense organs’ and not ‘through the magnificent sense organs’ ... and the difference in perception is startling in its intimacy, to say the least. This direct perception (the senses are the brain on stalks as it were) is known as apperception. I am this body; I am these sense organs: 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 psychological and/or psychic entity, 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 immediacy of the actual world – the world as-it-is – and the propinquity of ‘my’ fellow human being – people as-they-are – by ‘my’ very presence.

I am this brain being aware of itself – consciousness being conscious of being consciousness – instead of ‘I’ being conscious of ‘me’ being consciousness.

ALAN: Along with the realisation that I am (almost) this universe experiencing itself – and only that – came a tinge of fear, with the knowing that when I am actually this universe experiencing itself, ‘I’ will no longer exist.

RICHARD: True ... the apprehension of the end of ‘being’ – which is all ‘I’ know and all ‘I’ have known and all ‘I’ can know – automatically produces fear. This is because ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ – the instinctual passions are ‘being’ itself – and fear is perhaps the most fundamental of all the instinctual passions. Fear rules the world (both the animal world and the human world) and as terror it stalks its prey maliciously ... only to convulse in upon itself in horror.

Interestingly enough, the Christians have transmogrified this psychic energy into being their devil (they say ‘The Devil’ rules the world) and some of these peoples, meeting me face-to-face, have convinced themselves that I am in league with their institutionalised phantasm.

ALAN: Am ‘I’ really willing to sacrifice ‘my’ self to allow this to happen?

RICHARD: The question that the ‘I’ that was inhabiting this body back in 1981 asked was: ‘what am I saving myself for’?

ALAN: And yet, ‘I’ know it is inevitable, if I am to fulfil my destiny.

RICHARD: Aye, to escape one’s fate and achieve one’s destiny is what one is alive for: being here – now – is the very reason one was born.

ALAN: As you said in one of your posts (approximately), it is an irresistible pull, a momentum and impetus which is not of ‘my’ doing.

RICHARD: Yes, once altruistically set in motion, a momentum happens of its own accord. One knows, from the perfection of freedom from the human condition as evidenced in the PCE, that it is possible to live the actuality that is already always here. What ‘I’ do is unreservedly allow ‘my’ eventual demise to occur ... pure intent, born out of the connection between one’s inherent naiveté and the perfection of the infinitude of this physical universe, will provide one with the necessary intestinal fortitude. And once embarked upon the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom, you are not on your own: this perfection is with you all the way ... but if you waver, you are indeed doing it on your own. It is a matter of having the courage of your convictions and letting nothing stand in your way; determination and perseverance are the essential prerequisites to ensure success ... coupled with application and diligence. One finds one must – one needs must actually do it – for no one else will do it for you as no one else can do it for you. And although one may think and feel that it would be a lonely journey to take on one’s own it is not ... it is the most joyous escapade one can ever enter into.

It is the jaunt of a lifetime.

ALAN: It is like being on the outer edge of a massive whirlpool, being dragged closer and closer, and faster and faster, to the inevitable moment of entering the vortex – and ‘popping’ out the other side – I see I have not yet quite lost the imaginative faculty!

RICHARD: Yet this is so correct, for I am talking of nothing else but extirpation ... annihilation ... extinction ... the non-existence of any identity whatsoever. All of one’s precious ‘being’ will disappear ... not only the ego but the soul as well. ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ will cease to exist in any way, shape or form.

What you are calling ‘the vortex’ is blessed oblivion ... the same-same as physical death.

ALAN: So, as I sit here watching another sun rise, with the crescent moon and Venus still visible, and the clouds turning a delightful shade of pink, I glory in the opportunity of being able to be the universe experiencing itself. What a gas!

RICHARD: I am constantly amazed at the colour of this world ... and I am particularly struck by the sheer exuberance of it all. To put it in the lingo: this universe surely is flamboyant in its expressiveness!

It is impossible to take it seriously.


RICHARD: One is always here and it is already now ... there can be nothing more permanent, more perpetual a continuity, than this very place here in infinite space now at this very moment in eternal time. What ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul was searching for in the ‘timeless and spaceless and formless’ dimension was already always here in time and space as form ... for there is nothing else than this actual world. And this actual world is an ambrosial paradise.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying that form is realized as formless, or that there is no formlessness to be realized?

RICHARD: There is no ‘formless’ outside of a person’s intuitive/imaginative faculty.

RESPONDENT: You said above that what I was searching for in the formless was always here in time and space as form. That seems to be saying form is emptiness. But then you clarify that you mean there is no actual formlessness.

RICHARD: Yes, ‘formlessness’ resides only in the intuitive/imaginative faculty ... for where else could it reside? As the physical infinitude that this very material universe actually is, is comprised of an unlimited amount of matter perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the unbounded reaches of infinite space throughout the immeasurable extent of eternal time, then one must posit another realm other than actuality. Therefore it can only be fantasy and not fact ... and from whence comes fantasy?

The intuitive/imaginative faculty.

RESPONDENT: Form relates to division, isolation.

RICHARD: Not so ... the stuff of this body (form) is the very same-same stuff as the stuff of this infinite and eternal physical universe (form), in that I come out of the ground (form) as a variety of carrots and lettuce and milk and cheese and whatever (form), combined with the air (form) that I breath and the water (form) that I drink and the sunlight (form) that I absorb. As such there is no ‘isolation’ or ‘division’ whatsoever and as this flesh and blood body (form) I am this very material universe experiencing its own infinitude as a sensate and reflective human (form). This very physical universe is also experiencing itself as cats and dogs and all other sentient beings (form).


RESPONDENT: My reasoning is that there must be an absolute with reference to which the relative, the transitory, the dependent, can even be talked about. The world cannot be recurrently illusionary.

RICHARD: Pure reasoning insists that one must start reasoning from the known (the basic premise) which, in this case, is time and space and form. To say that time and space and form are relative there must be an absolute to define them against and one cannot conceive of the reality of an absolute ‘nothing’ unless one acknowledges the reality of a relative ‘something’ first to contrast it against in order to posit it. Thus if someone says that the ‘something’ – time and space and form – are an illusion then their ‘nothing’ – timeless and spaceless and formless – must also be an illusion. Otherwise reasoning falls flat. Is this not what you mean by ‘the world cannot be recurrently illusionary’?

RESPONDENT: Yes. Relative can only be postulated with reference to a permanent.

RICHARD: As this physical universe’s space is infinite and its time is eternal it is already always permanent ... hence this material universe is absolute. What some peoples call ‘relative’ (the time and space on this planet) may be easier understood if the word ‘local’ is used (as in local time and local space). When I arise from this chair and walk to the coffee-pot on the bar, it takes three-four seconds of time to move through the intervening two-three metres of space. Yet close observation shows, anywhere throughout this journey through ‘local’ time and ‘local’ space, that each moment again I am here and each place again it is now. Thus I am already always here now in the infinitude that this flesh and blood body has been existing in for fifty-two years ... it was only ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ that was forever separated from the magnificence of the actual by ‘my’ sheer presence, ‘my’ very ‘being’.

‘I’ can never, ever be here, now, for ‘I’ am not actual, and here – now – is actual.


RICHARD: The primary cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and so on is the instinctual passions which give rise to malice and sorrow and the antidotally generated pacifiers of love and compassion which, if sublimated and transcended, give rise to Love Agapé and Divine Compassion.

RESPONDENT: But the Universe is a harsh place even without humans.

RICHARD: It is only when the universe is experienced with the ‘real world’ veneer pasted over it is it ‘harsh’. It is the harshness of the ‘real world’ reality that is being experienced ... not the actuality of the universe. In actuality this universe is beneficent, friendly, benevolent.


RESPONDENT: In regard to the term universe in your glossary: ‘The universe, all existing matter, space, and other phenomena regarded collectively and especially as constituting a systematic or ordered whole’.

RICHARD: In the glossary on the Actual Freedom Web Page, each article is headed with a selected dictionary definition as an established starting point – this sentence you have quoted is word for word from the Oxford Dictionary – and the text following it, written by Peter, expands upon the standard meaning insofar as it relates to actualism.

RESPONDENT: 1) In your previous writings you state that the universe is both infinite and eternal. On what do you base that? 2) In one of your definitions of universe (sorry I can’t find the exact source) you include time as another component of the universe. If the universe has no beginning or end, how does the time element fit in? Is it the objects that are ‘timed’, you mention an endless recombining or recycling or reworking of matter? The universe seems to produce increasingly complex and conscious entities, at least on our planet. What accounts for this seeming evolution? 3) What is space? If the universe is material is space a form of matter?

RICHARD: First of all, it is physically impossible to empirically establish the extended attributes of space, time and form ... one cannot, ever, hop into some ultra high speed spacecraft and travel to some ‘where’ or ‘when’ or ‘that’ and show or demonstrate or exhibit the universe’s ultimate properties. For those who propose a caused universe: no one has journeyed to where they can witness such a creation of material ex nihilo. For those who propose a temporary universe: no one has travelled to when that limited time began. For those who propose a finite universe: no one has voyaged to the edge of that bounded universe. Similarly, if one could roam forever throughout the physical infinitude of immeasurable matter perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time ... one would never ‘prove’ anything.

Apart from the current passionate preoccupation by academia with Quantum Theory (which gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician) modern astronomy is showing the universe to be immensely vast. For example, in 1986 a huge conglomerations of galaxies that are 1,000,000,000 light years long, 300,000,000 light years wide and 100,000,000 light years thick were found (which finding was confirmed in 1990). This ‘wall of galaxies’, as it became known, would have taken 100,000,000,000 years to form under the workings of the ‘Big Bang’ theory ... which makes the mathematically estimated ‘age’ of the universe – 12 to 14 billion years – simply look sillier than it already did. Obviously then, the entire question revolves around sensible subjective experience ... and I always plunk for a rational or reasonable – the judicious – approach from the word go.

I tend to define ‘the universe’ (actuality) as time and space and form mainly because the mystics define ‘The Unknowable’ (Reality) as Timeless and Spaceless and Formless. I say unambiguously and definitively that time is actual, that space is actual, and that form is actual; the mystics state that time is a dream, an illusion or only apparently so, that space is a dream, an illusion or only apparently so, and that form is a dream, an illusion or only apparently so. I say unambiguously and definitively that the Timeless is an illusion, a delusion, or an hallucination, that the Spaceless is an illusion, a delusion, or an hallucination, and that the Formless is an illusion, a delusion, or an hallucination; the mystics state that the Timeless is the only Reality, the Truth, or God, that the Spaceless is the only Reality, the Truth, or God, and the Formless is the only Reality, the Truth, or God. Thus actualism is diametrically opposite or 180 degrees in the other direction to mysticism.

Actualism:

• Time: time is eternal – as in beginningless and endless time – which means only now is actual.
• Space: space is infinite – as in limitless and boundless space – which means only here is actual.
• Form: form is perpetual – as in continuously rearranging itself – which means only this is actual.

Mysticism:

• Timeless: time-less equals no time – as in time does not exist – which means time’s eternity is not actual.
• Spaceless: space-less equals no space – as in space does not exist – which means space’s infinity is not actual.
• Formless: form-less equals no form – as in form does not exist – which means form’s perpetuity is not actual.

1. The third question first:

All time and space and form are physical as opposed to the Timeless and Spaceless and Formless being metaphysical. That is, time and space and form are material inasmuch as material means physical (corporeal), or substance (existing), or concrete (tangible), or objective (perceptible), or substantial (palpable) ... in a word: actual. Therefore the words material and form are interchangeable words given that I am mainly directing my discussions in relation to the claims of religiosity, spirituality, mysticality and metaphysicality wherein time and space and form have no inherent existence. The properties of time and space are that they are material (actually existing) and the property of form is that it is material (matter) in its specific meaning as actual things (solid stuff) or active force (energetic stuff).

Which means that time is the measure of the movement of form through space and the periodicity of its rearrangement; space is an arena in which form can exist, move and rearrange itself endlessly; form is matter (either in its solid aspect or energetic phase) occupying space and taking time to reconfigure itself perpetually. The properties of time and space designate a vast and utter stillness and the properties of form specify liveliness; a scintillating, sparkling vitality. Needless to say, time and space and form are seamless in that they do not and cannot operate as separate or disparate units.

2. In regard to the first question: I primarily base the infinity, eternity and perpetuity (collectively known as infinitude) of the universe on my direct experience of the actual, of course, but that is of little use to another person who is not living in this actual world or not currently having a pure consciousness experience (PCE). Therefore, one initially needs to approach the question rationally – through inductive and/or deductive reasoning – so as to dispel the oh-so-persistent feeling of finiteness, temporariness and transitoriness which the psychological and psychic entity manifests over the actual (the centre in consciousness creates the boundary in awareness) thus producing everyday reality’s spatial, temporal and material finiteness.

Intellectual rationale:

• Space: as a normal person I could not directly experience the actuality of the infinitude ... at age eight or nine I was first made aware of the infinity of space by my father one night whilst gazing at the stars: I could not grasp the concept but could comprehend the existence of infinity when he gave me his version of the Ancient Greek ‘throwing a spear into what’ question regarding the supposed boundary to space (he asked me what lay at the end of the universe ... a brick wall/wire fence/whatever ... if one leans on the brick wall and looks over what would one looking at or into). The actual knowing of this infinity (as opposed to intellectually knowing) lodged itself there and then in me as a demand to be met one day.

• Time: I first became aware of the issue of the eternity of time at about age six or seven via a brief and abortive essay into ‘Sunday School’ Christianity (the nonsensical notion their god started time by creating the universe ex nihilo) which did nothing but shift the question of time’s beginnings onto a timeless deity’s caprice. By age thirteen or fourteen, in high school physics, the notion of the universe arising out of a nothingness (the ‘Big Bang’ theory) that existed before time began did nothing but shift the question of time’s beginnings into a timelessness without properties. Both the spiritualist and materialist ‘answers’ begged of an agnosticism (not knowable) elevated to a high art form of disingenuousness. Time, perforce, had to be eternal.

• Form: the notion of ‘perpetuus mobilis’ (a perpetual motion machine) around about the same time intrigued me enough to turn to astronomical science ... telescopic observation provided the clue in regards to matter and energy being interchangeable and evident in the transformation of nebulae generating stars and stars exploding/imploding into energy as whirling clouds of gas and dust which in turn coalesced into nebulae and so on. The universe was the ultimate ‘perpetual motion machine’!

Experiential disorientation:

• This intellectual knowing provided the basis for experiments in experiential knowing: in my formal study of art at college in my twenties and with the daily practise of art thereafter as a living I experientially became aware of the human tendency toward ... um ... ‘frontal-ness’ (the face, the eyes, the nostrils, the mouth, faces forwards) which defines the typical human viewpoint and determines the classic world-view (forward/backward; up/down; left/right; in/out; top/bottom; front/back). By physically lying on one’s back one is no longer looking ‘up’ into space but ‘out’ into space ... all the while intellectually knowing that people on the opposite point on the globe are looking ‘down’ into space whilst standing and ‘out’ into space whilst laying. Thus ‘out’ into space becomes as nonsensical as ‘up’ or ‘down’ ... and this disorientating of the habitual mindset can be extended to other physical experiments: paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space as this form. This experiential attention becomes fascination ... and fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur.

Apperceptive awareness:

• Apperception can be evoked by paying exclusive attention to being fully alive just here right now as this form. This moment is one’s only moment of being alive ... one is never alive at any other time than now. And, wherever one is, one is always here ... even if one starts walking over to ‘there’, along the way to ‘there’ one is always here ... and when one arrives ‘there’, it too is here. All the while and wherever one is it always is this form and one always is this form. Thus attention becomes a fascination with the fact that one is always here and it is already now ... and one already is this form experiencing this that always is. Fascination leads to reflective contemplation. As one is already here, and it is always now, and one is always this form already throughout whatever ... then one has arrived before one starts. The potent combination of attention, fascination, reflection and contemplation produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself.

Apperception – a way of seeing that is arrived at by reflective and fascinating contemplative thought – is when ‘I’ cease thinking and thinking takes place of its own accord ... and ‘me’ disappears along with all the feelings. Such a mind, being free of the thinker and the feeler – ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul – is capable of immense clarity and purity ... and one is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being; as such the universe is aware of its own infinitude. One is living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this universe actually is.

And at 33 years of age I had a four hour PCE wherein the direct experience of infinitude provided the actual knowing I had desired from childhood ... and I wanted this actuality twenty four hours of the day. Consequently – after an eleven year interlude in an altered state of consciousness wherein God aka Truth arrogated the universe’s infinitude – I entered into the actual world at age 45 and have directly known ever since, each moment again, infinitude as an actually. It is ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ who creates the impression of ‘finite’, ‘duration’ and ‘transience’ ... and then challenges others to prove them wrong. There is no such thing as a physically finite, timed and depletable universe; it is ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ who creates this impression with ‘my’ instinct-driven feelings which cripple an otherwise intelligent mind ... ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ can only think in terms of duality. To think logically is to think in terms of opposites ... and logic is limited inasmuch as it cannot encompass infinitude (infinitude has no duality).

When a person says that all of time, all of space and all of form are relative, then any absolute posited must needs be not only ‘no time’, ‘no space’ and ‘no form’ (the unknown negative of the known positive) but also include or enclose all of time, all of space and all of form ‘within it’, so to speak, in order to be the ‘Absolute’ (thus more than a mere negative). Therefore, starting from the known, through some sleight of hand (sleight of mind) the unknown assumes greater importance and, for some people at least, the known is diminished to the point of being seen as an illusion (a spurning not unlike the ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ exercise). Is it that if one can somehow comprehend how a negative can come to both include and surpass the positive that spawns it (perhaps with the logical copula breathlessly gripping the steering wheel) then one is a pundit! When it comes to comprehending infinitude, logic falls flat on its face ... as infinitude has no opposite there is no comparison to enable logic’s seductive ways. Thus, logically, the known is relegated to being the negative (by categorising it as ‘relative’) and the unknown is boosted to being the positive (by categorising it as ‘absolute’) in a process of narcissistic self-aggrandisement (identifying as being the ‘Absolute’).

It is the instinctual desire for immortality that fuels punditry.

Therefore, it is up to those who propose an edge, a boundary, a beginning, a duration, an ending, a depletion to demonstrate the veracity of their belief. Until then, the universe will go on being what it is: a boundless, limitless, immeasurable infinitude. For those people who attempt to disallow this actual knowing on the grounds of subjectivity I can only say that their knowing is not only subjective as well but a self-centred subjectivity into the bargain. Furthermore, they need to satisfactorily explain why they are unnecessarily complicating what is actually a simple issue: they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing a finite space ... and where it came from and out of what and how and why; they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing a limited time ... and when it came and from what and how and why; they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing depletable form ... and where it came from and out of what and how and why. They also need to satisfactorily explain how they can posit a timeless and empty nothingness ... because one cannot conceive of a ‘nothing’ unless one acknowledges the actuality of a ‘something’ first to contrast it against (and they say that the ‘something’ – time and space and form – are a dream, an illusion or only apparently so).

3. The second question: the universe per se, being infinite, eternal and perpetual is not evolving (infinitude, having no opposite, is perfect). But this particular aspect called the solar system (which is but a current phase in a cycle of perpetual cycles) is evolving carbon-based life-forms. As matter perpetually arranges and rearranges itself (through all eternity and throughout infinity) there are innumerable cycles with countless variety of existence. This current configuration of matter known as planet earth is the first and last time that this particular arrangement will happen (nothing is ever the same twice). Whatever has happened prior to this solar system and this planet becoming habitable to carbon-based life-forms known as human beings, being no longer existent, is simply extinct. Oblivion. When this solar system’s specific composition ends then everything experienced and known to human beings so far will be obliterated as before.

Needless to say, the passage of time (past, present, future) is a localised phenomenon: only this moment in eternal time actually exists ... just as only this configuration in perpetuity actually exists here at this place in infinite space. Time has no duration when the immediate is the ultimate and when the relative is the absolute. This moment takes no interval at all to be here: as this form this happening is already always occurring now. Thus it is as if nothing has occurred – nor will occur – for not only is the future not here, but the past does not exist either. If there is no beginning and no end there is no middle: there are things happening, but nothing may well have happened or will happen ... in actuality. Only this moment and this place and this form actually exists right here just now.

To summarise:

• Space: given space’s boundlessness, this actual universe has no ‘inside’ as there is no ‘outside’ to infinity. Therefore there is no centre (no middle) and thus, with infinity, somewhere as a place is no ‘where’ (nowhere) in particular. There is no measurement possible with infinite space, for there is no reference point (an edge) to compare against. Living on planet earth, humans measure space in comparison to the localised distance between here and there. It is this measurement that is relative, not the universe. ‘Here’ is, as a fact, anywhere in infinity.

• Time: as with space so too is it with time. Given time’s limitlessness (there is no beginning and end to time) there is no middle. ‘Now’ as a fixed point has no ‘when’ (nowhen) in particular (it is whenever we humans agree to make it). There is no measurement possible in eternity, for there is no reference point (before a beginning) to compare against. Living on the planet earth in localised daylight and darkness, humans measure time in comparison to the period between now and then. It is this measurement that is relative, not time. Just as ‘here’ is anywhere in infinity, so too is ‘now’ anywhen in eternity.

• Form: given form’s perpetuity (as imperishable matter), none of us are coming from somewhere or going someplace for we are already here as this form and it is always now as this form. Just as we are never not here and it is never not now it is never not this form . Where else could we be but right here, just now exactly as this form is? When we move from ‘here’ to ‘there’ to ‘that’ ... as we are moving we are always here – now – as this; and when we arrive ‘there’ we are here – now – as this. Similarly when else could form be? As we wait for ‘then’ to become ‘now’ and ‘that’ to become ‘this’ ... while we are waiting it is always now – as this – and when ‘then’ arrives – with ‘that’ – it is now as this.

Thus, just as we humans living on this planet are moving from nowhere to anywhere in infinite space as this form, so too are we coming from nowhen and proceeding to anywhen in time as this form. As it is any measurement that is relative and not the substance of space and time and form, consequently, when ‘I’ and/or ‘me’, the psychological and/or psychic entity called the ‘self’ or the ontological and/or autological ‘Self’, disappears as a measurer (a reference point), measurement ceases to be a reality and the actual becomes apparent. Then, and only then, is one being alive here as an actuality at this place in infinite space and living now as an actuality at this moment in eternal time as an actuality as this particular arrangement of the perpetuity of form.

Then one directly ascertains the properties of infinitude: infinite and eternal and perpetual ... and the qualities of infinitude (derived from the properties): pristine and consummate and impeccable ... and the values of infinitude (derived from the qualities): benevolent and benign and blithe.

Being alive is ambrosial, to say the least.


RESPONDENT: Do atoms, being the foundation of life, ever die, or do they just transform?

RICHARD: The matter of the universe (either in its solid aspect or energetic phase) is perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of myriad form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t this an expanding universe, as scientists say?

RICHARD: Apart from the current passionate preoccupation by academia with Quantum Theory (which gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician) modern astronomy is showing the universe to be immensely vast. For example, in 1986 a huge conglomeration of galaxies that are 1,000,000,000 light years long, 300,000,000 light years wide and 100,000,000 light years thick were found (which finding was confirmed in 1990). This ‘wall of galaxies’, as it became known, would have taken 100,000,000,000 years to form under the workings of the ‘Big Bang’ theory ... which makes the mathematically estimated ‘age’ of the universe – 12 to 14 billion years – simply look sillier than it already did.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps you can enlighten me about the chemistry of this. In one instance, I can see where you are coming from, and in another instance, I’m not sure.

RICHARD: This universe’s space is infinite, its time is eternal and its matter is perpetual ... in a word: infinitude. It is possible to experience, each moment again, infinitude as an actuality: apperceptive awareness. There is no such thing as a finite, timed and depletable universe; it is ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ who creates the impression of ‘terminal’, ‘duration’ and ‘transience’ with ‘my’ instinct-driven feelings which cripple an otherwise intelligent mind ... ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ can only think in terms of duality (the centre in consciousness creates the boundary in awareness). To think logically is to think in terms of duality ... and logic is limited inasmuch as it cannot encompass infinitude (infinitude has no opposite).

RESPONDENT: Of course, fear of oblivion makes us want to believe in something other than oblivion; and if oblivion is freedom, is not the universe oblivious too?

RICHARD: This universe is boundless and limitless ... infinitude is freedom.


RESPONDENT: The movement could then be seen as a movement of infinite potential, yet not defined or limited by any of its creations. A movement not bound by any logic concerning self-contradiction. I kind of like that one, the outlaw in me likes it. Isn’t creation a kind of outlaw among the laws of nature?

RICHARD: What if there were no ‘creation’ ... that the universe always was, already is, and always will be?

RESPONDENT: I’m using ‘creation’ not in the sense of ‘caused by a creator’.

RICHARD: So am I ... I never bought that myth even when just a lad in short pants in grade-school.

RESPONDENT: Maybe creation is that original movement.

RICHARD: As the universe already always is where is the need for any ‘original movement’ ?

RESPONDENT: Time and space could be part of some vast chaotic creation, which can play by the rules, but then break the rules in a manner incomprehensible to reason.

RICHARD: I never bought the chaos theory either ... each time someone brought that subject up I would simply ask what chaos they were referring to.

Chaos only exists in a chaotic mind ... this universe is simply marvellous.


RESPONDENT: How do the qualities of ‘splendour and brilliance’ present themselves AS splendour and brilliance?

RICHARD: Directly ... as splendour and brilliance are intrinsic to the properties of this actual world they present themselves openly where apperception is operating: everything is literally bright, shining, vivid, intense, sparkling, luminous, lustrous, scintillating and coruscating in all its vitality here in this actual world.

RESPONDENT: Thank you very much for taking the time for your thoughtful reply. If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep trying to get it more clear for me. I’d like to organize this around your answer to my last question: Earlier in your reply, you said: ‘Any object has native properties and intrinsic qualities are sourced in – not attributed to – these indigenous properties (and inherent values are derived from – not ascribed to – these congenital qualities)’. Using this approach in an example: If it is a *property* of water to be liquid and of a certain molecular activity at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and typical atmospheric pressures, then one might say the *quality* of coolness of such water is ‘sourced in’ this property.

Quite. Now, ‘sourced in’ also means a property does not simply *equal* a quality. The latter proceeds or is derived from the former (I think I have that right this time). So, in the case of coolness, one is not in direct contact with ‘coolness’, but rather with water at 50 degrees.

RICHARD: Yet one is in direct contact with cool water (if it be 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and not cold water or warm water or hot water ... otherwise the words ‘50 degrees Fahrenheit’ refer to nothing substantial.

If an elbow were to be placed in the water it will be directly experienced sensately whether the water is cold, cool, warm or hot (as a measurement of its temperature) ... one can then talk about the coldness, coolness, warmness or hotness of the water if one wishes to convey to another what one is experiencing.

Due to the invention of thermometers (which, along with microscopes and telescopes and the suchlike, is known as an extension of the senses) one can now place a thermometer in the water and more precisely, reliably, and universally measure whether the water is cold, cool, warm or hot – or any degree in between or beyond – and the 50 degrees Fahrenheit in your example is but another way than the age-old sensate way of determining by measurement that the water is cool (and not cold, warm or hot).

RESPONDENT: While coolness, indeed, is ‘sourced in’ the property of water as it is at that temperature, it does not follow that coolness is perceived directly.

RICHARD: Why not? In water at 50 degrees Fahrenheit the elbow is certainly not feeling coldness or warmness or hotness ... the elbow is feeling coolness as it is indeed cool water (and not cold water or warm water or hot water) that the elbow is feeling.

RESPONDENT: Coolness is the report of a subjective state of direct contact with water at 50 degrees.

RICHARD: I would rather say that coolness is the report of the elbow’s direct contact with cool water – or whatever part of the body – because in this instance saying ‘50 degrees Fahrenheit’ is but another way, albeit a more scientific way, of saying ‘cool’.

RESPONDENT: Now, ‘splendour and brilliance’ are not properties. They may be qualities ‘sourced in’ properties – what you call ‘intrinsic’ – but they are not the properties themselves.

RICHARD: I never meant to convey that splendour and brilliance were properties as I specifically wrote that they are [quote] intrinsic to the properties of this actual world [endquote] ... which is in keeping with my earlier observation that qualities are sourced in (or are intrinsic to) the properties.

RESPONDENT: There is nothing in liquid water of 50 degrees that it must *necessarily* present as ‘cool’.

RICHARD: I demur. There is something intrinsic to water at 50 degrees Fahrenheit (otherwise known as cool) which necessarily differentiates it from what is intrinsic to water at, say, 200 degrees Fahrenheit (otherwise known as hot) ... perhaps it is the ‘certain molecular activity’ you referred to, towards the beginning of this e-mail, when you were discussing the properties of water?

RESPONDENT: Similarly, there is nothing *necessary* in the presentation of ‘splendour and brilliance’.

RICHARD: As I understand it (I am not a scientist nor have any scientific training) a photometer can measure how bright or brilliant something is in a more precise, reliable and universal way than the eye can sensately determine ... and one can then talk about the brilliance of that something if one wishes to convey to another what one is experiencing (the word comes from the French ‘briller’ meaning ‘shine’).

• ‘brilliance: brilliant quality; intense or sparkling brightness, radiance, or splendour; an instance of this’. (© Oxford Dictionary).

As for the splendour of something (the word comes from the Latin ‘spendere’ meaning ‘be bright; shine’) ... it is related to a brilliant display:

• ‘splendour: 1. great or dazzling brightness, brilliance. 2. magnificence; sumptuous or ornate display; impressive or imposing character; a magnificent feature, object, etc. 3. distinction, eminence, glory’. (© Oxford Dictionary).

Therefore, when I wrote that ‘as [the qualities of] splendour and brilliance are intrinsic to the properties of this actual world’ and that ‘they present themselves openly where apperception is operating’ I am reporting that literally everything is ‘bright, shining, vivid, intense, sparkling, luminous, lustrous, scintillating and coruscating in all its vitality here in this actual world’ ... thus it is not the imposition of subjective attributes (which phrase may very well equate to what you called ‘internal percepts’ in the previous e-mail) that I am talking about.

Rather it is the absence of such subjectively imposed attributes – due to the absence of identity – which reveals the world as-it-is.

RESPONDENT: Hence, ‘splendour and brilliance’ refer to a qualitative state.

RICHARD: I can agree that they are qualities but I look askance at your ‘hence’ (which directly follows from your ‘there is nothing *necessary* in the presentation of ‘splendour and brilliance’ statement) because by so doing you seem to be indicating that qualities are an imposition onto properties and not sourced in those properties.

Whereas I am saying that there is indeed something necessary (such as the ‘certain molecular activity’ already referred to).

RESPONDENT: After all, what is any descriptor when applied, but evidence of qualitative evidencing going on?

RICHARD: If by ‘qualitative evidencing’ you mean the experiencing of the intrinsic qualities, which are sourced in the properties, then I can agree ... and this also applies to anything experienced via extensions to the senses.

RESPONDENT: This is what I meant in my question ‘present themselves AS splendour and brilliance?’

RICHARD: Okay ... incidentally, I do not go about seeing things in terms of their properties, qualities or values (such classifications never occur to me other than when having a discussion such as this) ... I simply delight in the wonder of it all and marvel in the amazing display.

Once experienced apperceptively – as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – one will never again settle for second-best.


SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE ON THE UNIVERSE (Part Three)

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