Actual Freedom ~ Commonly Raised Objections

Commonly Raised Objections

Richard is not the First to be Free from the Human Condition

RESPONDENT No. 19: Do you recognize the possibility of some things you do not know about?

RICHARD: Yes ... it became strikingly obvious the very first time I walked into a public library about half a century ago. Which is but one of the reasons why I suggest that it is advisable to emotionally accept that which is intellectually unacceptable so that one’s native intelligence can emerge into full view of its own accord. Intelligence will thus no longer be crippled.

RESPONDENT No. 19: Are you saying that the only possible things to know that you don’t know lie within the information that other human beings have already discovered?

RICHARD: No ... most definitely not. And, as an example of this, I have discovered something that no other human being has discovered thus far in human history (peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body).

RESPONDENT: Is that so? Are you really the first and only one ... so far?

RICHARD: I have travelled the country – and overseas – talking with many and varied peoples from all walks of life; I have been watching TV, videos, films, whatever media is available; I have been reading about other people’s experiences in books, journals, magazines, newspapers (and latterly on the internet) for twenty years now, for information on an actual freedom from the human condition, but to no avail.

I would be delighted to hear about/meet such a person or such peoples ... so as to compare notes, as it were.

I have a question for Richard. I find your claims that you were the first to attain an actual freedom from the human condition a little hard to take. My question is how do you know this to be true without having met every single person alive or dead?

What difference does it make whether Richard is the first to find actual freedom and why do people spend so much time debating it? Why make the statement about the pristine newness in the first place?

Richard claims to be the first one on the planet to experience Actual Freedom: How can he or anyone know this to be a fact?

I have previously read the link supplied and the proof that you offer is not a proof for the uniqueness of your actual freedom it tells me that you have attained actual freedom but does not tell me about anyone else.

You offer a method to attain actual freedom and that does allow for verifiable results – but again this cannot prove that no else has previously attained actual freedom before you – how can it?

Richard ... why the obsession with proving you are the only one to be in a state of ‘actual freedom’ as you put it? Humans have been on this planet for how long, no doubt in search of the ultimate or freedom or whatever name one chooses to give it: Do you actually think no one has succeeded before you?

Just checked your website and bio. It’s all nice enough, but I don’t get how you think what you’re talking about is unique. To me, you seem to be on a well-trodden path. ... Anyway, you can assert all you want ... the plain fact is, you’re saying nothing different from what Zen, Dzogchen, Advaita and several other systems, Eastern AND Western, say.

All manner of crimes have been committed throughout history by people claiming to know the one true way. I don’t believe for a minute that what you have on offer would turn out the kind of drones that kill for their religion. I say it for the reason that it is very off-putting to hear you claim that you were the one and only. It sounds like aggrandised nonsense and seems very deluded.

I don’t understand why you claim to know the experience of every individual that has existed bearing in mind that not everybody that has come to ‘actual freedom’ would have necessarily ‘gone public’ anyway. Surely it would be more accurate to say that with the current evidence available to you it appears (to you) that nobody has succeeded?

I can take what you have generously given and not feel obliged to buy into your unverifiable (i.e. by anyone but Richard) and inflated claims of uniqueness.

Please bear with me. Looking at the long list of CRO’s, you will find this one at the top: ‘Richard is not the first to be free from the human condition’. A niggling point to some ... (including me at first) but it became more important as I examined it more completely. <snipped quote> Now I found something troublesome about his ‘extraordinary’ proof. He says he ‘knew even before becoming actually free that this condition was entirely new to human experience while still alive’. And he knew this because as he travelled deeper and deeper into ‘spiritual enlightenment’, he found himself in ‘virgin territory wherever the (psychic) eye would look’. While in other places on the Actual Freedom website Richard rails against the cunning entity that inhabits human beings here he takes the insight of his own cunning entity as a fact. Moreover he admits the basis of this fact lies in the perception of his (the cunning entity) own ‘psychic’ eye.

How did you ascertain that [you are the only one]?

... the belief you have that you are somehow the only one who is actually free ... Of course; I also have never met anyone who experiences life as I do. But that does not make me the first to experience actual freedom anymore than it makes you. Simple really.

And ... you are the only person on the planet doing that?

How many have you taught successfully? How did you ascertain that? So you are the only one? You need more than one case to prove your claims. By the way, it wasn’t a request of proof for you.

Richard, this is well said. It’s why I am unsatisfied with your claims of being historically unique in being actually free from the human condition.

Very true. Have no problem with that – just Richard’s claims of uniqueness.

Do you think it is possible to successfully apply oneself to the path of actual freedom and still hold reservations as to whether or not Richard was the first identity to ever self-immolate?

Let’s say that Peter did not suggested you to make this site. Then you die and another one rediscover the AF. He claims to be the first because nobody here in Europe for example have ever heard about Richard in Byron Bay. So the same situation might happen with someone before you he gained AF but did not made it public. Why is this impossible?

I don’t yet accept that this is a ‘now for the first time’ kind of a deal. We’ve got some people exiting Plato’s Cave here, and claiming that ‘now for the first time’ the sun is shining. They haven’t yet made an exhaustive investigation of all the other places it might have been shining up until now (though they might THINK they have). I mentioned some places to look above, for starters

... how can Richard or anyone know whether there was not some American Indian, Mayan, Incan, Aboriginal or any other from such an uprooted, extinct or rubbed-out indigenous culture and peoples who hadn’t accomplished the very same thing? The onus is not on me to disprove Richard’s claim. How could I or he prove this? It boggles the mind to think that one could possibly know. Really, it doesn’t matter to me whether he is the first or not or what condition he is or isn’t in. Clearly the writings of Carlos Castaneda point to the Indians of the Mexican peninsula devoting their entire existence to such goals. One is not likely to find such evidence scouring the internet.

I haven’t a clue whether a particular entity was indeed the first ... You are pathetic Richard ... just pathetic.

As you may have gotten from my reply in the ‘imagination post’ I’m with you and for that matter on a more mature level. One had to be the first and why not Richard. That seems to be so logical from where I am right now ...

Richard, knowing that you say you are the first to live an actual freedom, do you admit that it is at least possible, no matter how unlikely, that someone else before you lived an irreversible actual freedom for some indeterminate time in their life?

Just discovered the web page today and was browsing through some of the correspondence when Vineeto’s statement to Gary, in so many words, pronounced Richard as the discoverer to the method of attaining actual freedom ... what? The non-believer in me finds this hard to believe! (grin). None of what is on the web page is a surprise to me ... I will just say that my life’s journey has brought me to this point ... I am in no disagreement at all ... Richard’s experiences and findings mirror my own; my reaction is, ‘Yeah! Way to go!!’ So, is Richard the ‘first’??

Richard, for now I have one question that comes to my mind many times: It seems to me that you think it very important that you are the single and only one on this planet that is and ever has been Actually Free. At least, you stress it time and again, in your writings, and in your ‘defences’ or explanations. Why is this aspect so important?

Richard, are the terms ‘mahasamadhi’/‘parinirvana’ used in the ancient texts describing a state and/or condition identical to what you’re living now? Was the condition described by the terms ‘parinirvana’/‘mahasamadhi’ actually based on the gleamings/ flashes of an enlightened one into the ‘Great Beyond’ or are these terms based on speculation rather than experience? They haven’t followed fully on the trail of these flashes because it would have meant physical death (exactly as it seemed to you), maybe that’s why they said it is only attainable at physical death as a permanent state (condition). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they haven’t lived without the Self (the known unknown) for brief periods, no? Isn’t the resulting state identical to a PCE (the unknowable)? How can one become free from the insidious grip of the ‘unknown’ if one doesn’t first begin to know himself in ‘his’ totality? But to know oneself in one’s totality is enlightenment, no? You say that there’s a possible route by-passing enlightenment ...

Richard (...) one quick question: How do you KNOW that a tribesman of Papua New Guinea twelve thousand years ago didn’t become actually free? It’s just that (I think) you claim to be the only person ever yet to be actually free. I mean, yes, my hypothetical person is an intellectual creation (etc), but it seems clear to me that there were many, many people in the past (let’s say the remote past), who had no access to written records and who lived and died far from any kind of civilisation. I don’t think all these people were or are pure inventions of my mind (at least not in the same way that, say, Martians are). It seems to me that you are saying for sure that none of them were ever actually free. Are you? If you are, how do you know? Is it through strange and extraordinary knowledge ... to which I have no access? Unless you can provide suitably referenced information which unambiguously demonstrates that a tribesman of Papua New Guinea twelve thousand years ago did not become actually free from the human condition I’ll have to assume that it was possible that he may have.

[Richard]: ‘In 1985 I had the first of many experiences of going beyond spiritual enlightenment (as described in ‘A Brief Personal History’ on my part of The Actual Freedom Trust web site) and it had the character of the ‘Great Beyond’ – which I deliberately put in capitals because that is how it was experienced at the time – and it was of the nature of being ‘That’ which is attained to at physical death when an Enlightened One ‘quits the body’ ... which attainment is known as ‘Mahasamadhi’ (Hinduism) or ‘Parinirvana’ (Buddhism). Thus I knew even before becoming actually free that this condition was entirely new to human experience while still alive ...’. [endquote]. It is your ‘thus’ which I do not grasp. How does entering the Great Beyond equal knowing that nobody has ever been there before? I am quite willing to accept that you entered a state where the whole history of human experience revealed itself to you (‘extraordinary proof’), but as I am not in that state I cannot be sure if you are right. Can you explain, in greater depth, how you knew that no enlightened (or unenlightened) being had ever been there? You say that ‘it was manifestly obvious that what the human race had made of such (PCE) experiences was a degradation of the actual’. If you were able to pick up on the ‘psychic footprints’ of those who entered or nearly entered or did not enter the state of actual freedom, are you able to still do that? One respondent says that your ‘proof’ (‘no one had ventured into this terrain before’) does not tell him/her about anyone else. I do not require proof from you, rather I would like to be sure, of what you are reporting, I can and cannot currently know.

[Richard]: ‘... furthermore, in the ensuing years, as I proceeded to penetrate deeper and deeper into the state of being known as spiritual enlightenment, the psychic footprints, as it were, of those who had explored some of the further reaches of ‘Being’ itself gradually became less and less in number and finally petered out altogether leaving only virgin territory wherever the (psychic) eye would look’. [endquote]. What did these psychic footprints ‘look’ like? I do not understand what your metaphor refers to. Did you enter some kind of mystic state where residues were left of former experiences? Did you become one with a kind of psychic field that you saw was unbreached? What you say above is that ‘death is the end’ and that your condition was that. Hm. Still doesn’t answer my question, at least to my (quite possibly imperfect and misguided) satisfaction. Far too cryptic. What I don’t comprehend is how entering the great beyond informs you of whether anyone, alive or dead, having left a record or not, has ever been actually free from the human condition. What am I missing? So you were still alive when you entered what had previously been thought of as unattainable before death. How does that reveal that nobody had been there before?

Richard, I have been following your explication of why you know without a shadow of a doubt why you are the only person to have experienced what you call actual freedom. It isn’t just the circularity of the argument that grates. ‘I know because I know’. You use ancient texts that speak of what can only be experienced beyond death. You experienced these things in a living breathing body, therefore you are the only one. Doesn’t it occur to you that any information about that which is beyond death is suspect? After all if bodily death is the end period, there is hardly any way a dead person can relate the ‘truth’ to the living. If the ‘new’ state was accurately known, then it had to have been gleaned in this world of sensibility. Maybe just maybe the death spoken of was the death of the Self. Meaning that the old spiritual texts reveal that the transformation was known in antiquity. I am quite sure that when you were making the transition you were traversing the ‘unknown’. That is, the unknown-to-the-self. Alone in the wilderness it would be very easy to think that no one had been here before. Especially if you misunderstood the original texts to be speaking of a literal after-death state. Another sad situation with you is that you link ‘acknowledgement of your singularity’ as necessary to use the methodology you have developed. Questioning your ‘priority’ of discovery is tantamount to rejecting ‘peace on earth’. Why can’t your techniques stand alone as methods to help diminish suffering?

So you were still alive when you entered what had previously been thought of as unattainable before death. How does that reveal that nobody had been there before? [Richard]: ‘As there is no such ‘Being’ in actuality it is patently obvious that physical death is the end, finish. Kaput. [endquote]. Er. Nope. Why is it ‘patently obvious’. It’s not at all patently obvious to me. It’s not patently obvious that nothing which in some way I am does not continue after death. It is not patently obvious to me that, without mind, body and spirit I am still, somehow, That.

[Co-Respondent]: This seems to me to be this; Me: How does entering the great beyond equal knowing that nobody had been there before. Richard; Entering into the great beyond equals knowing that nobody had been there before because nobody had been there before. [endquote] I am interested in the answer to the gist of what I think No. 90 is asking. If you were able to enter the ‘Great Beyond’ without dying, then it is clearly within the realm of human experience to enter the ‘Great Beyond’ while still alive. The problem I have with such a categorical (in the sense of ‘being without exception or qualification; absolute’) statement is that you do not have factual knowledge of all people prior to 1992. Also, recorded human history tends to be a subjective record rather than a factual one, and it is by no means a complete record at that. Based on the incomplete set of facts available, it remains entirely possible that before 1992 people entered the ‘Great Beyond’ prior to their physical death by employing the same or a similar method to your own previous identity’s. My reasoning is given that (1) your previous identity was able to come up with the method simply by devising it (2) the set of recorded human history, while large, is partly subjective, partly erroneous (due to translation) and definitely incomplete (3) the set of all human history not recorded factually is likely to be far more vast in depth if not breadth than the set of human history recorded factually (4) the number of practitioners of actualism is still quite small despite global communications, it is not inconceivable to me that someone, somewhere devised the same or a similar method which could allow them to enter the ‘Great Beyond’ prior to their physical death, but which did not enter into recorded human history.

I had grown concerned that might be making a categorical statement on a topic [of Richard being the first to be free from the human condition] which, as far as I understand, can only be theoretical. My concern is not so great having read your response to my previous email, eg from your unwillingness to be drawn into a theoretical discussion, and your statement of an entirely different gist to the one I was interpreting from your diary. But in the quote below, you have stated that it was an experiential determination, which I am interested in exploring if you are willing.

... you say you have no identity, yet you insist on having the identity of the 1st, last & only free person ... Are you not the first? Are there others? You may come clean here and now. You are avoiding the questions. You are being evasive. You are avoiding the questions. You are being evasive.

[Co-Respondent]: Are you not the first? Are there others? You may come clean here and now. [endquote]. I’m guessing here, but I think what No. 53 is trying to ask is ‘are you the first and only flesh and blood human body to be without any identity whatsoever?’ ... and I thought its already clear that you’ve said ‘yes’ about that. How he thinks ‘first and only’ also implies ‘last’ though, I have no idea.

I do want to write to the readers here a truism I have found in life. That being that Richard is not the first nor the last to understand actualism, that being the knowledge that one has only this moment and that at death, the ceasing of brain function and heart pumping that indeed the individual who’s brain and heart I just referred to ceases to function that indeed that being will cease to be. It is as it always has been and always will be, our individual experiences of the eternal have no impact on the eternal. We are here but for a moment, and if one looks around oneself and witnesses the absurdity of what we as a society have become then hopefully it will fall on one to make a change. The absurdity I am speaking of here is that which leads one to believe that he/she is so important, or more so than anyone one else. No biggy man, kick back and relax, and don’t sweat it ...

Including, of course, the pathetic one-upmanship of ‘I have discovered truths no one else knows’. What I would like to understand is why all the self-proclaimed enlightened (I use that term loosely to include you Richard, though you don’t use it yourself) folk on this list are so all-fired certain that they are the only ones on the surface of the earth who have ever experienced what they experience? And why are y’all so arrogant that you can say things like ‘nowhere in the revered and sacred scripts, anywhere in history’ – as if you personally had studied each one? It is actually your attitude of smug disdain that most convincingly argues against your having achieved anything resembling equanimity, never mind true understanding of reality.

Here we have a man retired and on a pension, living comfortably in Byron Bay, and he cannot understand why someone else experiencing actual freedom might not be able to get the word out. Maybe someone spent five years writing a book, and then got buried in an earthquake, book and all.

Later he goes right back into asserting that he KNOWS he is the first, as you will see in subsequent emails on this subject. When a person KNOWS something, they don’t have to set a very high standard of proof. Why would they? Talk to any garden variety Christian or religious zealot who says they have some proof that God exists. Usually for their ‘proof’ they will just point out some flaws or gaps in evolutionary theory. It does not really prove the existence of God to anyone but the person who already wants to believe it.

I remember reading on the AFT, Richard mentions the general mood of the 1960’s and has good things to say about it. The focus on peace, adventure, challenging social order, an optimistic view that change was possible. Is it possible that [No. 49] indeed did practice a proto-version of “actualism” before Richard discovered just how far it can go, and as such, is non-plussed about labels and terminology for that reason? Richard makes the point of how much research he did to find a precedent of “an actual freedom from the human condition”, but not so much the actualism method itself which when you separate it out, has many parallels with the types of naive optimism that spawned such phrases as “if it feels good, do it”, “make love, not war”, “give peace a chance”. This is only a possibility, [No. 49] though, seems to have implied such in the posts quoted by Richard.

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