Actual Freedom ~ Frequently Flogged Misconceptions

Frequently Flogged Misconceptions

Feelings Are Actual

CO-RESPONDENT: Can one feel other’s feelings?

RICHARD: Only if one is a feeling being.


RICHARD: Only if one is a feeling being with developed psychic abilities.

CO-RESPONDENT: From a distance?

RICHARD: In the first instance ... yes, from a near-distance; in the latter instance ... yes, from a far-distance.

CO-RESPONDENT: In that case is it not that the ‘connection’ is actual?

RICHARD: As the connection is between feeling beings – affective entities within bodies – it is not actual (in the sense that bodies, trees and rocks, are actual) but is quite real (in the sense that the affections, the affective entity and the psychic abilities formed thereof, are real) nevertheless.

CO-RESPONDENT: If somebody can feel the thoughts and feelings of the other from a far distance, does it not mean that there is some kind of ‘actual’ transmission or connection going on?

RICHARD: There is an affective/ psychic transmission/ connection going on ... but only between the feeling beings within bodies (there is no such thing going on between bodies).

RESPONDENT: So if feeling being in body A affectively/ psychically affects feeling being in body B, such as feeling being A experiences anger and body A has the resulting hormonal secretions, and being B experiences fear, and body B has the result hormonal secretions, isn’t it so that those hormonal secretions are actual?

RICHARD: Hormones – such as the adrenaline an angry and/or fearful identity psychosomatically induces a body to secrete – are indeed actual. Vis.:

• adrenaline: a hormone, (HO)2C6H3rCHOHrCH2NHCH3, secreted by the adrenal medulla of people and animals under stress, which has a range of physiological effects, e.g. on circulation, breathing, muscular activity, and carbohydrate metabolism’. (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: And regardless of the affective nature of the emotions that cause them, doesn’t that mean that the hormonal secretions are not only actual, but also actually linked (transmitted, connected)?

RICHARD: As the link – the transmission (from the feeling being in body A), the connection (betwixt the two feeling beings) – which causes the feeling being in body B to psychosomatically induce its hapless host to secrete hormones is an emotional and/or passional link (transmission, connection) there is no way its affective nature can be disregarded.

Just so there is no misunderstanding: to say that the hormonal secretions are actually transmitted, as you did (in parenthesises) there, is to be saying that body A is emitting adrenaline, for example, and that body B is absorbing it.

RESPONDENT: Also, why do you say emotions are not factual?

RICHARD: I copy-pasted ‘emotions are not factual’ into my search-engine and sent it through all the words I have ever written only to return nil hits; a search for ‘not factual’ returned 20 hits but none of them referred to emotions (the majority were for ‘beliefs are not factual’) ... so I can only presume you are referring to me oft-times saying ‘a feeling is not a fact’.

If so, what I mean by this is that neither a feeling about something – as in ‘it feels right’ for example – makes it factual nor does a feeling of something – as in the feeling of ‘being’ for instance – make it a fact (hence ‘a feeling is not a fact’).

Also the word ‘sense’ – as in ‘a sense of identity’ for example – is often used as a surrogate for the word ‘feeling’ ... as it is more accurate to say ‘a feeling of identity’ then, obviously, that feeling is not a fact.

RESPONDENT: They are chemicals, what is not factual about that?

RICHARD: Chemicals are, of course, factual.


RESPONDENT: Now regarding ‘a feeling is not a fact’. This is so tricky. The amygdale identifies various sense data with the need for certain chemicals: for a tiger you need this chemical, for a baby you need that chemical. But no, that would mean identification (thought) comes first. So that means that prior to identification happening, we get chemicals, based on unidentified sense data?

RICHARD: Yes (if by ‘unidentified’ you mean cognitive identification): the raison d’être for the instinctual passions, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, genetically endowed by blind nature is that a split-second reaction occurs in situations where survival depends upon instant action.

In addition to this basic programming, from birth onwards (thus prior to thought developing), an affective memory forms as the baby experiences itself and its world ... and even when cognition develops the circuitry is such that sense impressions go first to the affective memory (which colours the cognitive memory).

Thus when there a tiger is pouncing (to use your example), and there is no time for any leisurely appraisal of the situation before taking appropriate action, there is what has been called a ‘quick and dirty’ emotional/passional scanning of danger, and a near-instantaneous affective-based response.

In a blind rage, for instance, where one instinctually lashes out it is common to later on reflect and say ‘I don’t know what came over me’ (or words to that effect).

RESPONDENT: So that means I am anger waiting to happen, that the sense data that triggers it is not even really relevant.

RICHARD: Well, not always relevant but, at the very least, sometimes so ... it is only a rough and ready software package, which blind nature endows, when all is said and done.

RESPONDENT: I am love waiting to happen, etc. This looks too random.

RICHARD: Whilst nature may be blind it is not necessarily haphazard, arbitrary ... it, being cause-and-effect based, is pragmatic (as opposed to principled) in an adventitious way. The phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ means those best fitted to the environment survive to propagate the species (and not necessarily survival of the most muscular as it is sometimes taken to mean).

RESPONDENT: Am ‘I’ a constant chemical (emotional) combination waiting to focus as one or the other at the sight, smell, touch, of just about anything?

RICHARD: At root, or at ‘my’ most basic ... yes: a hair-trigger entity genetically programmed to thoughtlessly (aka passionately) spring into action at the slightest hint of danger ... as is evidenced in trampling one’s fellow human beings to death at the exits in the blind panic for survival in a fire at a theatre or cinema, for example.

RESPONDENT: You said in your email that the feelings are creating the feeler.

RICHARD: Yes, from birth onwards, if not before (thus prior to thought developing), an affective ‘self’ forms as the baby feels itself and its world ... and even when cognition develops the circuitry is such that sense impressions go first to the affective faculty (which colours the cognitive faculty) and perpetuates/reinforces that feeling of ‘being’ or ‘presence’. Thus the feeling ‘self’ (‘me’ as soul) exists prior to and underpins the thinking ‘self’ (‘I’ as ego) ... the thinker arises out of the feeler.

RESPONDENT: So it seems logical to me that the feelings, must exist prior of the feeler, because the creator must exist prior to its creation, right?

RICHARD: I would not put it that way – ‘the creator’ and ‘its creation’ – as it conjures up an impression of a cause separate from its effect whereas, if you were to intimately examine this, feeling it out for yourself, you will find that you are your feelings (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings) and your feelings are you (‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

In hindsight it probably would have been better if I had never baldly said that the feelings *create* the feeler in the e-mail you refer to (further above) as I usually say the feelings *form* themselves into the feeler (as a feeling of ‘being’ or ‘presence’) as that better describes the process. For example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘And from what stuff are we made of (our identities) anyhow that it cannot be determined by any magnetic scanning?
• [Richard]: ‘Primarily the identity within is the affections (the affective feelings) – ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ – as *the instinctual passions form themselves into* a ‘presence’, a ‘spirit’, a ‘being’ ... ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself. MRI scans, and all the rest, cannot detect a phantom being, the ghost in the machine. (...) Put expressively the affective feelings swirl around forming a whirlpool or an eddy (which vortex is the ‘presence’, the ‘spirit’, the ‘being’): mostly peoples experience ‘self’ as being a centre, around which the affective feelings form a barrier, which centre could be graphically likened to a dot in a circle (the circle being the affective feelings) which is what gives rise to the admonitions to break down the walls, the barriers, with which the centre protects itself.
Those people who are self-realised have realised that there is no ‘dot’ in the centre of the circle ... hence the word ‘void’. [emphasis added].

I put it in that expressive way because it is not possible to separate out the feeler from the feelings it is ... just as it is impossible to separate the whirlpool or the eddy – the vortex – from the swirling stuff which is the cause of it (a whirlpool or an eddy – a vortex – of water or air, for example, is the very swirling water or air as the one is not distinct from the other) ... hence ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’.

RESPONDENT: So the feelings are innative to the human being, that means they are actual. Instead the feeler is a real entity, but not actual.

RICHARD: Again I would not put it that way ... just because the genetic-inheritance of the instinctual passions is actual – deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), being a nucleic acid in which the sugar component is deoxyribose, is a chemical substance – does not necessarily mean that a feeling engendered by that genetic software programme, such as the feeling of fear for example, is actual – any more than the fearer it automatically forms itself into by its very occurrence is actual – especially as you go on to say that the feeler is a real entity but not actual (which implies that the fearer is not the fear – as in ‘I’ am *not* ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are *not* ‘me’ – which, at the very least, smacks of denial if not detachment/disassociation or even full-blown disidentification from one’s roots).

Now, I could go on from this to say that the feeling is a movement, a motion, and not a thing, as there is no such happening as a stationary (static) feeling and that it is this very movement or motion of the feeling in action when it occurs which automatically forms the feeler (such as in the whirlpool of water/air analogy above) but, again, it would be far more fruitful if you were to intimately examine all this, by feeling it out for yourself rather than just thinking about it, and if you were to actually do so – literally feel it for yourself – you will surely find out, just as ‘I’ did all those years ago, that you are your feelings (as in ‘I’ *am* ‘my’ feelings) and your feelings are you (as in ‘my’ feelings *are* ‘me’).

The actualism method is an experiential method ... not an intellectual method (an analytical method, a psychological method, a philosophical method) or any other self-preserving method of inaction.

RESPONDENT: So we have reality and actuality. Reality comes from the Latin word ‘res’, which means thing. A thing is manmade.

RICHARD: Not necessarily ... the word ‘thing’ is a generic word and can refer to any object/entity whether geological/biological or manufactured/fabricated ... whatever has a discrete, independent existence (whether it be material or immaterial as in concrete or abstract/physical or metaphysical) and is not a relation or a function, and so on, is a thing.

It is a very wide-ranging word.

RESPONDENT: And man can not do anything without thought and feelings. Right?

RICHARD: No, I have been doing everything for over a decade now sans feelings ... and, just like anybody else, do many things without thought (scratching an itch, for instance, or walking).

A case could probably be made that the majority of things one does are done on auto-pilot.

RESPONDENT: A tree is not man made, so is a tree a thing or a no-thing?

RICHARD: A tree is a thing ... all objects/entities are things.

RESPONDENT: To make a thing we use ingredients from nature, like wood, iron, etc., but we put them together with factual thought. So a table, a chair, a car are things. Trees, mountains, animals, are not. Right?

RICHARD: No, trees, mountains, animals are things ... just as pieces of wood, lumps of iron, and so on, are.

RICHARD: It is the belief about ‘loving all creatures and the environment’ that is insidious, for this is how you are manipulated by those who seek to control you.

RESPONDENT: I agree with you that belief is insidious. We ARE the beliefs. We like the control of the belief, for then we can just ‘kick’ back and live by what we ‘believe’, think, and the most insidious of these beliefs is the belief in our own knowledge. It is on the soft, comforting pillow of knowledge that we lay our heads, hearts, feelings.

RICHARD: From the way you write the rest of your post, it does not sound all that comforting to me.

RESPONDENT: I have no belief in my feelings.

RICHARD: If you say so ... if I were you I would re-examine this statement, however.

RESPONDENT: These are ‘actual’. There are feelings of ‘sadness’; ‘pleasure’, the labels, but these are actually emotions, not feelings.

RICHARD: The word ‘feelings’ covers the whole gamut of the affective faculties: emotions, passions and calenture (and the word ‘calenture’ is deliberately used because it means a feverish, burning and zealous ardour that results in delirium and hallucinations).

RESPONDENT: By feelings I – mean something ‘deeper’ than thought, than emotion ... something connected to something more real ... like insight.

RICHARD: ‘More real’ ? Are there gradations of reality? It must be a hassle trying to determine what is more or less real ... I am glad that I stick to facts and actuality. A fact is obvious ... never ‘more or less’ a fact. Actuality is self-evident ... there is no need to ascertain if some thing is more or less actual.

And an insight is seeing the fact ... direct seeing. It is not a feeling ... be it ‘deep’ or otherwise. You are interchanging ‘insight’ (awareness, discernment, understanding, penetration, acumen, perspicacity, discrimination) with ‘intuition’ (sixth sense, divination, presentiment, clairvoyance, second sight, extrasensory perception, instinct). And intuition has a poor track record for veracity. The best that intuition has ever done when tested exactly is a 53.4% accuracy ... which is only marginally above guess-work anyway (and that was the best result ... the rest are 50/50).

RESPONDENT: By ‘no belief in them’, I mean that they do not offer security, do not offer something from which I derive comfort, are not something lasting.

RICHARD: Then why defend them so? The only thing that offers ‘security’ is ceasing to exist as an ego ‘I’ and a soul ‘me’; the only thing that offers ‘comfort’ is the utter safety of being here now; the only thing that is lasting is the infinitude of this physical universe ... and by ‘infinitude’ I am referring to being where this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space intersect. In the jargon it is called: ‘being here now’ ... only I mean it as this flesh and blood body and not as some ‘Immortal Self’.

RESPONDENT: They are what they are, from moment to moment.

RICHARD: Just what does that mean: ‘they are what they are’ ? It sounds like a platitude to me. Anyway, feelings are downright destructive: 160,000,000 million people killed in wars this century alone, according to the most recent estimate I have heard.

RESPONDENT: They are never the same.

RICHARD: Oh, yes they are ... they are tediously repetitious.

RESPONDENT: Sometimes they are. Those are the emotions.

RICHARD: Not only the emotions ... also the passions and calenture. And from the way you are leaning toward having faith in intuition ... so to is the psychic. It is all the same-same stuff that human beings have fallen prey to for millennia ... with disastrous results.

RESPONDENT: They are always new.

RICHARD: Oh, no they are not ... they are the same old same old.

RESPONDENT: These are the insights. They just come to one ‘out of the blue’. This is what I mean by ‘true feelings’, the sixth sense. You are a firm adherent to the five senses; haven’t you come in contact with the sixth one yet?

RICHARD: Yes ... many years ago. You are not talking to a beginner here ... I have already been down that path. The ‘sixth sense’ is where one enters into the psychic world of prescience and clairvoyance and all that stuff. Also notoriously unreliable ... and down-right dangerous into the bargain.

RESPONDENT: Don’t you ever just ‘know things’ without any reason or rhyme? Do you listen to this sixth sense?

RICHARD: No ... I no longer have it. Intuition (and the imaginative faculty that it is born of) disappeared completely in 1992 when the soul ‘me’ vanished entirely from this body. Thus I know as a fact that it is all born of the affective faculties, as I have had no feelings at all since then.

RESPONDENT: For instance, a couple of years ago some numbers came to me, in my ‘feelings’. I knew they were ‘magic’ numbers, but I didn’t know what to do with them ... we don’t have a lottery in Arkansas, and I have no idea how a lottery works anyway ... something to do with numbers. Anyway, we were driving through a state where gambling was legal, and when we sat down to eat, the waitress brought us a card to play keno on. I had a certificate to play the game, but I didn’t know how. It was worth a two dollar bet, so I used all of my numbers, and they came up sequentially on the game board and I won a hundred dollars. (Now I know that if I had played only my numbers, I would have won about $50,000). I knew I was wasting the numbers because I just knew (felt) they were worth a lot of money, but I had been carrying them around in my head for a long time, and I was ready to get rid of them. This is not the only instance of ‘feelings’ I have had ... when you just know things that have happened or are going to happen.

RICHARD: This is a subject that I have examined with great interest over the years ... it is not something that I have discarded capriciously. These days, when someone sits in my living room and makes these kind of statements – detailing their case-history – I always ask them to remember when their much-treasured intuition did not work ... and eventually they come to see that it works out at about 50/50. As this equals guess-work, they invariably leave much more soberly – and wiser – than when they came in. Intuition cannot survive scrutiny.

RESPONDENT: Over the years I learned not to listen to this sixth sense. It was always uncomfortable for me being around people because I could ‘feel’ what they were feeling. That was no fun, and when I was younger I couldn’t differentiate between who was feeling what. I thought the feelings were mine, and they weren’t.

RICHARD: Yes ... this is the psychic connection between normal human beings and it is born of the affective faculties. In particular: fear. Hence group highs can turn into mob riots, as fear is an unstable affective state.

RESPONDENT: So by feelings, Richard, I mean something more than the feelings that cause wars and hunger and great disparities, emotions.

RICHARD: Not so ... these are the very feelings that ‘cause wars and hunger and great disparities’ . Maybe a case may be made that they are not emotions ... but they are certainly passions and calenture. Added to the psychic dimension, they are a volatile mixture.

RESPONDENT: It takes a lot of patience; a lot of love and care; and an absence of judgement to live through the feelings. I don’t mean living ‘through’ feelings, but without attachment to the feelings.

RICHARD: Who is the person that is ‘without attachment to the feelings’ ?

RESPONDENT: And who would be the one to dispense with them?

RICHARD: You are not Jewish, by any chance, are you ... answering a question with a counter-question? Yet I find it easy to answer, nevertheless: The ego ‘I’ can self-immolate psychologically. The soul ‘me’ can self-immolate psychically. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ and ‘me’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ and ‘me’ are no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ and ‘me’ stand in the way of that purity being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ and ‘me’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ and ‘me’ are searching for, from coming into plain view. The main trouble is that ‘I’ and ‘me’ wish to remain in existence to savour the meaning; ‘I’ and ‘me’ mistakenly think that meaning is the product of the mind and the heart. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Apperceptive awareness makes self-immolation possible.

Then the search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes has come to its timely end. With the end of ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘my’ senses – and thus the external world – disappears. To be the senses as a bare awareness is apperception, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as an observer – a little person inside one’s head – or ‘me’ as a feeler – a little person inside one’s heart – to have sensations, I am the sensations. There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not to ‘I’ or ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To be these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. Consequently, I am living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it as I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away ... nor has it ever been away. ‘I’ and ‘me’ were standing in the way of meaning.

So, again: ‘Who is the person that is ‘without attachment to the feelings’?

RESPONDENT: I wonder Richard, why folks confuse ‘feelings’ which are not real and are removable with ‘emotions’ why are of the humanness, real and non removable?

RICHARD: The word <feeling> serves two faculties (sensate and affective) as in ‘I feel the sun on my face’ or ‘I feel the wind in my hair (sensate feeling) and ‘I feel hateful’ or ‘I feel loving’ (affective feeling). Thus when I write about the affective feelings I am meaning it as all the emotions and passions and calentures ... it is an all-inclusive term. The affective feelings include both the affectionate and desirable emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are loving and trusting) and hostile and invidious emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are hateful and fearful). This means the entire ‘software package’ of malice and sorrow along with its antidotal love and compassion in its totality ... all which are born of the instincts: the fear and aggression (savage) and nurture and desire (tender) genetically encoded by blind nature as a ‘rough and ready’ survival package. As it is ‘software’ and not ‘hardware’ it can be deleted in its totality when it is no longer needed. And as intelligence (the ability to think, to reflect and plan and implement considered action for beneficial reasons) has evolved in one carbon-based life-form – the human species – it is no longer needed. This ‘quick and dirty’ reactionary package is now a hindrance – a liability rather than an asset – and the 160,000,000 human beings killed in wars this century by their fellow human beings bears stark testimony to this observation.

In my experience the whole lot are ‘removable’ – but only when the rudimentary animal self lurking around in the centre of these feelings psychologically and psychically self-immolates – and not just the so-called ‘bad’ ones (the savage instincts). That is, both the ‘good’ feelings, the affectionate and desirable emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are loving and trusting) and the ‘bad’ feelings, the hostile and invidious emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are hateful and fearful) are no longer extant. The result is an individual peace-on-earth.

Which ones is it that you are saying are ‘humaneness’ and therefore ‘non removable’?

RESPONDENT: One thing about actualism that has never been explained to my satisfaction is why thought is classified as actual, whereas feeling is not.

RICHARD: Put succinctly: thought operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – whereas feelings do not.

RESPONDENT: Actualists say that thought is simply the human brain in operation.

RICHARD: They only say that to counter the religio-spiritual/ mystico-metaphysical notion, which some peoples espouse, that thought is not of the human brain.

RESPONDENT: Why shouldn’t feeling have the same ontological status?

RICHARD: Simply because actualism is experiential and not ontological ... ‘of or pertaining to ontology [the science or study of being; that part of metaphysics which relates to the nature or essence of being or existence]; metaphysical’ (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: Why should the thought of the number 42 be considered actual, while the feeling of hunger is not?

RICHARD: For no other reason than because the thought of the number 42 operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a PCE – whereas the feeling of hunger does not.

RESPONDENT: In both cases, the only actuality is the human brain in operation.

RICHARD: Nope ... in the latter case the affective faculty in its entirety/the identity in toto is also in operation.

RESPONDENT: I did say ‘the only actuality’ so I question your answer here. Whatever thinking and feeling is going on, the only actuality (in your terms) is the neuro-chemical activity in the brain (etc.).

RICHARD: I am only too happy to rephrase my answer:

• [Respondent]: ‘Why should the thought of the number 42 be considered actual, while the feeling of hunger is not?
• [Richard]: ‘For no other reason than because the thought of the number 42 operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a PCE – whereas the feeling of hunger does not.
• [Respondent]: ‘In both cases, the only actuality is the human brain in operation.
• [Richard]: ‘Nope ... the latter case does not operate here in this actual world (it has no actuality whatsoever).

RESPONDENT: In other words, an actual brain in the process of thinking has the same ontological status as an actual brain in the process of feeling ... does it not?

RICHARD: As I am not an ontologist I am unable to answer meaningfully in either the affirmative or the negative ... what I can do, however, is point out that by only ascribing actuality to neuro-chemical activity in the brain (and not to thought, thoughts and thinking as well) you are effectively ignoring my succinct response at the top of this page.

I did wonder at your characterisation of a prosaic reason as being an astonishing one.

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