Actual Freedom ~ Frequently Flogged Misconceptions

Frequently Flogged Misconceptions

Actualism is Materialistic Reductionism / Naive Realism

RESPONDENT: All I can say is that you seem to have taken a totally empiricist’s materialism and somehow mixed it up with spiritual realization, which is a very odd combination, if you ask me.

RICHARD: Yet what I experience is neither materialism nor spiritualism; I experience actualism. I am neither materialistic nor spiritualistic; I am actualistic. I am neither a materialist nor a spiritualist; I am an actualist. An actualist is a person who, unlike a spiritualist, does not believe that matter is passive (as in inactive, inert, quiescent, stagnant, static, torpid, supine, idle, moribund or dormant) and, unlike a materialist, does not believe that nature and/or life is a random, futile event in an empty, aimless, universe. Actualism is the direct experiencing of the meaningful, vibrant, dynamic, effervescent, sparkling, pulsating, amazing, marvellous, wondrous and magical happening that is this very physical universe in action.

To be actualistic is to be living the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity: where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence ... the actualness of everything and everyone. We do not live in an inert universe ... but one cannot experience this whilst clinging to immortality.

I am mortal.

 RESPONDENT: As far as I see it you freed yourself from what is called ‘Satan’ or ‘Dragon’ or ‘Soul’ in the different traditions, that is, the passionate instincts. That’s great.

RICHARD: As all it is you are graciously commending is but what is only as far as you see then what you are being congratulatory about is your own myopia.

RESPONDENT: But now you get stuck in a totally materialistic reductionism.

RICHARD: As only a person envisaging complexification as being the order of the day would see a report of the utter simplicity of the actual world to be reductionism I took particular notice of what you wrote in an earlier post:

• [Respondent]: ‘Paradox is a manifestation of Infinity in the world.
Unfortunately the actualists are reductionists. They offer easy solutions for complex problems’. (Sunday 10/04/2005 AEST).

It is your use of ‘unfortunately’ which caught my attention as it follows, then, that it be fortunate the spiritualists are expansionists, offering uneasy solutions for otherwise elementary problems and, when all else fails, invoking nonsensical, implausible, irreconcilability so as to render thoughtful consideration mute. Vis.:

• ‘paradox: a statement or proposition which, despite sound reasoning from an acceptable premise, leads to a conclusion that is against sense, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory’. (Oxford Dictionary).

Put succinctly: you are on a hiding to nowhere running the reductionist line with me ... and, as for being materialistic as well, I see you have written the following elsewhere:

• [Respondent]: ‘I have sufficient indication that Richard’s ‘experiences’ are not ‘new’ but his interpretations of these ‘experiences’ are new in such a way that he puts any notion of ‘Christ’ or ‘Brahma’ or creative ‘Principle’ in the bin and postulates blind ‘materialism’, that is, life as a derivative of some blind physical processes. While the others try to understand their ‘experience’ by ‘syntheses’ he goes the opposite way of ‘reductionism’. There is just no way how you can demonstrate to me that ‘life’ is a derivative of some blind physical processes (theory of evolution). That is just ‘stupid’ to me. That I don’t believe for one second’. (Sunday 8/05/2005 12:30 AM).

As nowhere on either The Actual Freedom Trust web site or this mailing list have I ever postulated that actualism – the direct experience that matter is not merely passive –  is materialism then what is just stupid to you is what you are saying ... and not what I am saying. For example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘As I see AF is a mix of materialism, spirituality (in a good way, no nonsense), atheism, and nihilism.
• [Richard]: ‘Hmm ... materialism, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a chance, random event in an otherwise empty (meaningless) universe; spirituality, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a purposeful manifestation by or of the supreme being who created or creates the universe; atheism, as a generalisation, typically holds that, as there is no such supreme being, ethical considerations and human love and/or compassion – instead of moral dictates and divine love and/or compassion – are the way to live (somewhat) peacefully and harmoniously; and nihilism, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is whatever one makes of it and, as it is all pointless anyway, the only true philosophical question is whether to commit suicide, or not, and if so, then whether now or later.
As *actualism is none of the above* (bearing in mind that they are all generalisations) then whatever ‘mix’ it is that you are seeing it has nothing to do with what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site’. [emphasis added].

Quite frankly, your avowal as to having read vast amounts of the web site is starting to take on the appearance of being a somewhat hollow assertion.

Incidentally, it is not an interpretation of experiences which puts notions of a creative ‘Absolute’ (by any name) into the trash bin of history ... the direct experience of infinitude automatically precludes any notion of creation (or destruction) in that it be patently obvious that this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe is a veritable perpetuus mobilis.

Here is an example (from the same e-mail as the above quote) of what that direct experience looks like when spelled-out for my fellow human being to consider:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What difference does it make to say God was existing always and created the universe, or if we go one step further and say the universe was existing since ever?
• [Richard]: ‘Try putting it the other way around: why go one step further, than the universe being always existent, and propose an always existent god/goddess creating/ destroying the universe?
I suggest this because what cosmogony does (not to be confused with what cosmology does) is shift the issue of infinitude into the realm of creation/ discreation fantasies ... such as believing in a ‘Creation’ ex nihilo/‘Destruction’ ad nihil, if one is a religious cosmogonist, or believing in a ‘Big Bang’ ex nihilo/‘Big Crunch’ ad nihil, if one is a scientific cosmogonist, for example.
In other words (‘ex nihilo’ is Latin for ‘out of nothing’ and ‘ad nihil’ is Latin for ‘to nothing’) the issue of infinitude has been shifted onto a non-temporal (timeless) and non-spatial (spaceless) and non-material (formless) and therefore non-existent, and thus metaphysical, nothing or nothingness ... which posited nothingness, or non-existing void, is further proposed as being both the source, or origin, of all things physical (all time, all space, all form) and the eventual destiny for all its (supposed) manifestations.
In short: it bespeaks of credulity stretched to the max’.

All I am doing there is advising another to think for themself ... the direct experience renders any such consideration unnecessary.


RICHARD: No flesh and blood body apperceptively aware of being a conscious, thinking flesh and blood body would ever say such a thing ...

RESPONDENT: What you basically do is you turn an object [the body] into a subject [presence] and let this object make statements about itself.

RICHARD: No, what happened was that the subject (the presence) parasitically inhabiting its host object (the body) self-immolated in its entirety ... and this actual world became apparent (which, being a world sans subjectivity, is not the objective world of that presence). For instance:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘In what way is the experience of watching TV different then mine?
• [Richard]: ‘Put simply: as there is no (subjective) experiencer there is no separation ... no ‘inner world’/‘outer world’.


• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Why is it that it [this moment] cannot be measured (as in duration) and only experientially (which can be another name for subjectivity) understood?
• [Richard]: ‘This (beginningless and endless) moment cannot be measured as measurement requires a reference point – a beginning and/or an ending – to measure against.
Incidentally, where there is no identity (no subject) experiencing can never be subjective (as opposed to objective)’.

RESPONDENT: Then, of course, it will not state that it is ‘present to itself’ but it will say that it is ‘a conscious body’ BUT the ‘presence’ is a presupposition to make such a statement. And that’s the Catch-22.

RICHARD: Presumably you are referring to something like this:

• ‘catch-22 (f. a novel (1961) by J. Heller): a condition or consequence that precludes success, a dilemma where the victim cannot win’. (Oxford Dictionary).

As there is no such condition as you propose – a subjective presence being present-to-itself – there is no dilemma.

RESPONDENT: A stone [object] cannot say ‘I am a stone’ BECAUSE a stone is not conscious.

RICHARD: As a stone, being inanimate, is not even sentient your analogy is a non-sequitur.

RESPONDENT: If the stone was conscious the stone could say ‘I am a conscious stone’ BUT that is an epistemological mistake BECAUSE the stone’s presence to itself is a precondition of such a statement AND therefore the only true statement is ‘I am presence’ or ‘I am present to myself’ AND think ‘I am a stone’.

RICHARD: As your basic premise (that a reflexive intuition of subjectivity is a precondition to experiencing in actuality) is invalid your sub-conclusion – that it is an epistemological mistake to report being a conscious (sentient) creature – is equally invalid: therefore your final conclusion, that the only faithful report is what you automorphically ascribe to a creature sans subject, is flagrantly incorrect.

RESPONDENT: Otherwise it happens like in your case that one falls for materialistic reductionism and holds that ‘I am the conscious body’ and leaves totally out of the equation the ‘presence’ which preconditions the very statement.

RICHARD: As the [quote] ‘presence’ [endquote] you are constantly referring to is totally out of the equation, in actuality, is it any wonder that such a report is not contingent upon such a precondition?


RICHARD: ... and to ascribe to a flesh and blood body the way a feeling ‘being’ (an affective presence, a feeler/intuiter) experiences itself is to commit the vulgar error of automorphism.

RESPONDENT: I am not doing this.

RICHARD: Here is a question for you, then ... when you say that the only thing you really know is that you are present to yourself (and that is the only real knowledge you have) just how, exactly do you know that?

In other words: by what means is that knowing ascertained (in what way is that knowledge obtained)?

And the reason I ask is that even Mr. René Descartes acknowledged that ‘cogito ergo sum’ was not a deductive axiom ... he said that the statement ‘I am’ (‘sum’) expresses an immediate intuition – and was not the conclusion of reasoning from ‘I think (‘cogito’) – and is thus indubitable because it is intuitive: ‘Whatever I know’, he stated, ‘I know intuitively that I am’.

And, just for the record, it is in ‘Objections and Replies’ (1642) that Mr. René Descartes explicitly says that the certainty of ‘I am’ is based upon intuition.

RESPONDENT: Wherever else I may diverge with AF, I am 100% with the non-spiritual plank.

RICHARD: Oh? How do you classify the following divergence, then? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘When I departed [this list a while back because of frustration with the status quo], I suspected that there was something to this actualism business (or at least my interpretation), and that I needed to learn more. This effort led me to advaita-land, and I read much interesting material by both traditional and modern sages. I’m a logical kind of guy and when presented with the kinds of questions presented by this bunch [the traditional and modern sages], I have a hard time not coming to the same conclusions. I defy anyone to honestly answer ‘show me the doer’ and not realize that the doer is a mere construct or concept, fabricated by several forms of conditioning. I also recognize that words/dialog attempting to describe this are merely concepts themselves, and that we shouldn’t get too hung up on them. In fact, we have to be very careful not to think that the words are any more than that ... a common error in this list. It is after all a very jnana bunch, and I know I have made the mistake of thinking that intellectual reductionism can possibly result in real freedom of any sort.
So, if all this is true, and that the ‘seeker’ is the very thing interfering with the ‘sought’, what do we do (if we ‘choose’ to) in the meantime with all this psychological hoo-ha? Even if one does stumble into awareness, it’s not like the mental claptrap disappears. And, you really can’t do much about it anyways ... the ‘self’ trying to eliminate the ‘self’ ... yeah, right’.
(Mon 23/02/04 AEST).

First and foremost, the ‘doer’ is not a ‘mere construct or concept, fabricated by several forms of conditioning’ that spiritualists and their ilk make it out to be as it is writ large all over The Actual Freedom Trust web site that conditioning is but the tip of the iceberg and that the rudimentary animal self the instinctual passions automatically form themselves into is the root cause of all the misery and mayhem ... which self is that which is realised upon self-realisation.

Second, words are not ‘merely concepts themselves’ ... they are referential (as in the words ‘computer monitor’, for example, referring to the actual glass and plastic object you are reading these words on).

Third, getting hung up on thinking words are more than merely concepts themselves is not ‘a common error in this list’ as words are certainly more than merely that ... indeed if it were not for the efficacy of words’ ability to convey information there would be no point in this mailing list existing.

Fourth, actualists are not ‘a jnana bunch’ ... actualism is experiential, not intellectual, and has nowt to do with reductionism whatsoever.

Fifth, ‘the ‘seeker’ is not the very thing interfering with the ‘sought’’ such as spiritualists maintain ... an actualist on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is a person no longer seeking – they experientially know where the already always existing peace-on-earth lies – and is actively involved in enabling that to be apparent.

Sixth, it is not just the ‘psychological’ which is attended to ... it is the focus on the psychical/instinctual as well which sets actualism apart from the ‘Tried and True’.

Seventh, one does not ‘stumble into awareness’ ... it is with knowledge aforethought – from a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – that apperceptive awareness is facilitated (and ‘mental clap-trap’ by any description is not a feature of apperception as thought may or may not be operating).

Lastly, as it is made abundantly clear on The Actual Freedom Trust web site that a ‘self’ cannot eliminate itself, but can set a process in motion that will do the trick, your ‘yeah, right’ comment is misplaced to say the least.

RESPONDENT: Richard (and list subscribers): After reviewing yet more of the website material, I see Richard is deeply mistaken and confused about the nature of apperception. This confusion stems chiefly from the mistaken and then systematised interpretations he has made of his experience of and his alleged ‘extinguishing’ of ‘affective feelings (emotions and passions and calentures)’. (...) Richard gives a couple of good reasons for his particular attention to the affective. First, he’s basically drilling down through the cognitive to the most substrate and bodily level: (...) Second, and most significantly, this drill-down locates for Richard a central proposition of ‘Actualism’ a neurological freedom, posited in surprising detail: (...) Under this eliminative reduction, Richard is compelled to say things like: ‘[Apperceptive awareness] is bodily awareness ... as the senses (and not through the senses)’. (...)

RICHARD: If you consider that a person sans the affective feelings (emotions, passions and calentures) should write robotically (‘the robotic words we would expect of one who has ‘extinguished’ the affective’ ) then I guess that decides the matter for you inasmuch as you then have to read affective feelings (‘some real underlying feeling, at least, and downright anger, at most’ ) into a humorous exchange such as the example you have quoted just above. (...)

In regards to your critique of my writings: you start by saying that I am deeply mistaken and confused about the nature of apperception and then set out the reasons why you have come to this conclusion ... and more than a little of what you say revolves around what the word ‘qualitativeness’ means. Until I hear from you what it does mean – or rather what it means to you – I cannot respond adequately ... so far, going by what you write and have written previously, it starts to look as if it is somehow related to or synonymous with the affective faculty. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘... in the process of finding the affective to be sourced in the senses (drilling down), instead of simply noting that affect, at the higher level, has roots (or causes) in the senses, at the lower level – a causal reduction – Richard *eliminates*, or rather just ignores, all the higher level aspects of the affective (qualitativeness) and simply reduces it all to the ‘sensate-only’. There is no sublating language of one qualitativeness to the next, as in the cognitive and the conative. All qualitativeness is simply eliminated, but, as we shall see, only in word’.

In this paragraph you bracket the word immediately after talking about the affective (‘all the higher level aspects of the affective (qualitativeness)’ ) ... which is what indicates to me the relatedness or synonymity of the two words for you (but I will await your clarification before proceeding).

Also, I cannot help but notice that you say, in the above paragraph, that the affective is sourced in the senses (‘finding the affective to be sourced in the senses’ and ‘affect, at the higher level, has roots (or causes) in the senses’ ) whereas the affective faculty is innate – all sentient beings are born with basic survival passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire – and while it is certainly the case that sense impressions can trigger the affective feelings, just as thought can, this is not the same as saying the affective feelings are sourced in the senses ... or sourced in thought as some people say.

You even posted a quote of mine (much further above) which speaks of the source – the origin – of the affective faculty in very clear terms ... maybe you overlooked the import of it even though you provided the quote? Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘In my investigations I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. I found ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ ... which is the instinctual rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings (otherwise mistakenly known as the ‘original face’ and is what gives rise to the feeling of ‘oneness’ with all other sentient beings). This is a very ancient genetic memory’.

Do you see where I say that when I stumbled across the instincts I found the origin of the affective faculty? Nowhere do I say that the affective is sourced, or has its roots, in the senses as you say in your paragraph. And I am drawing it to your attention because this is a very important point to comprehend when you seek to understand what I am saying in all my descriptions and explanations of an actual freedom ... thus the affective faculty can indeed be eliminated while leaving the qualitative nature of consciousness intact.

Incidentally, I am not indulging in reductionism when I talk of elimination ... the extirpation of the affective faculty is an experiential occurrence and not an analytical, philosophical, intellectual or academic issue to be dealt with conceptually or by the stroke of a pen.

In other words: the altruistic ‘self’-immolation is a real-time event.

RESPONDENT: 2. Richard is confused about the use of ‘eliminative reduction’. He says: ‘Incidentally, I am not indulging in reductionism when I talk of elimination ... the extirpation of the affective faculty is an experiential occurrence and not an analytical, philosophical, intellectual or academic issue to be dealt with conceptually or by the stroke of a pen’. It should be clear that by ‘eliminative reduction’ I’m not focusing on the simple fact that Richard is eliminating the affective faculty.

RICHARD: Yet I am not ‘eliminating the affective faculty’ (present tense) as it is already eliminated (past tense) ... it has gone, ended, finished, kaput.

It is extinct.

RESPONDENT: I’m talking about a wrong course of reasoning which simply ignores higher level features of a phenomenon while ostensibly trying to arrive at the foundational causes.

RICHARD: Well then, I am not confused after all as it is that very ‘course of reasoning’ approach that I was referring to when I said that I was not indulging in reductionism.

The elimination of the affective faculty is an irrevocable event ... then there are no ‘higher level features’ (no rarefied affective feelings) to necessitate such reasoning as you propose (there is neither higher level features nor lower level features here in this actual world).

It is all actually very simple and you are making it unnecessarily complex ... and then finding fault in my non-engagement in your complexity.

RESPONDENT: I’ll reprint this from my post:

‘No so with feeling, however. Here, Richard, probably unwittingly, makes the all-too-common mistake of substituting a *eliminative* reduction for a *causal* reduction. That is, in the process of finding the affective to be sourced in the senses (drilling down), instead of simply noting that affect, at the higher level, has roots (or causes) in the senses, at the lower level – a causal reduction – Richard *eliminates*, or rather just ignores, all the higher level aspects of the affective (qualitativeness) and simply reduces it all to the ‘sensate-only’. There is no sublating language of one qualitativeness to the next, as in the cognitive and the conative. All qualitativeness is simply eliminated, but, as we shall see, only in word. [endquote].

3. There can be no question that Richard’s drill-down through the affective (feeling) is an eliminative reduction to the senses.

RICHARD: Why do you have to say that it is an ‘eliminative reduction’ and not simply an elimination of the affective component which usually floods the sensory experience with feelings? With the affective faculty non-existent (excised at its root) there are, of course, no ‘higher level aspects of the affective (qualitativeness)’ extant, which you say I am ignoring in a drilling down course of reasoning, which means that your ‘eliminative reduction’ diagnosis is a non-sequitur.

In other words: I cannot ignore something that is simply not there.

It just does not make sense to insist on putting an affective component into my descriptions of apperception when there is none and then tell me that I am ignoring it ... it is your affective component you are talking about and not mine.


RESPONDENT: Feeling cannot be dismissed, only penetrated.

RICHARD: Again you are talking about dismissal (which is perhaps what causes you to see reductionism in my words) whereas I have made it clear, again and again, that the entire affective faculty is non-existent.

RESPONDENT: And Richard has given us not a short-cut, but a quagmire, substituting denial of feeling for the penetration of its highest aspects, which, with others, subsist as none other than consciousness itself.

RICHARD: I will say it again: I am not into a ‘denial of feeling’ ... how can I be in denial of something that just does not exist?

With that said we now come to the nub of the issue: the penetration of the highest aspects of feeling, which you say that with other aspects subsist as none other than consciousness itself, is apparently what is important for you ... and not the extirpation of the entire affective faculty (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation) so that pure consciousness can become apparent. ‘Tis no wonder that you are at odds with what I write ... it could very well be the case that your agenda is to preserve the highest aspects of feeling (after all that is where spiritual enlightenment lies) at all costs.

Which may include the cost of presenting a sincere appraisal of my writings.

RESPONDENT: You have no right to announce that your Third way is the only way and that all other ways fit into your simplistic categorisation scheme as normal or spiritual and thus FALSE.

RICHARD: It is not a question of having ‘no right’ (or having the ‘right’) ... a fact just sits there making your ‘no right’ (or ‘right’) look silly. It is a fact that there has been only two ways thus far in human history – materialism and spiritualism – and it is a fact that there is now a third alternative. Facts can not be legislated out of existence.

RESPONDENT: I am interested, however, in where telepathy fits into your materialistic belief system?

RICHARD: It is not a belief system because the ability to believe disappears along with the identity. Thus all of the psychic world – including prescience – disappears also. There are no gods or demons outside of passionate human fantasy. There is no good and evil here in this actual world. Look, the Human Condition is a well-established philosophical term that refers to the situation that all human beings find themselves in when they emerge here as babies. The term refers to the contrary and perverse nature of all peoples of all races and all cultures. There is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in everyone ... all humans have a ‘dark side’ to their nature and a ‘light side’. The battle betwixt ‘Good and Evil’ has raged down through the centuries and it requires constant vigilance lest evil gets the upper hand. Morals and ethics seek to control the wayward self that lurks deep within the human breast ... and some semblance of what is called ‘peace’ prevails for the main. Where morality and ethicality fails to curb the ‘savage beast’, law and order is maintained ... at the point of a gun.

Peace-on-earth is possible only when there is freedom from the Human Condition. Freedom from the Human Condition is the ending of the ‘self’. The elimination of the ‘self’ is simultaneously the demise of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ within oneself. Then ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ vanish forever along with the dissolution of the psyche itself ... which is the only place they can live in. 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 that 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.

I can heartily recommend committing both psychological and psychic suicide.

RESPONDENT: This is a Grand Statement you have made!

RICHARD: Aye ... it means an actual peace-on-earth in this life-time if acted upon.

RESPONDENT: You want to believe that materiality is eternal – ‘beginningless’ and ‘endless’: the ultimate materialistic, atheistic trip.

RICHARD: Where is my belief? It is up to those who propose an edge or a boundary to space, a beginning, a duration and an ending to time and a depletion of matter, to demonstrate the veracity of their hypothesis. Until then, the universe will go on being what it is: an immeasurable vastness. It is those people, who attempt to disallow this observation of the universe being an immeasurable vastness, that 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 how they can posit a timeless, spaceless 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 matter – are a dream, an illusion or only apparently so). Or, as you put it, time and space and matter are ‘real but not actual’ and the timeless, non-material energy is not only ‘actual’ ... but is the ‘non-material consciousness forever unmanifest, non-existent, creative’ energy that this physical universe ‘stands out’ of.

Just which one of us is the one that wants to believe?

RESPONDENT No. 60 (to No. 87): So many of us see the same thing, and have for years. I’m sure we’ve all wondered many times whether it was just us, or whether there was really something there to see. How could we all be imagining this? This was my take on it after a particularly shitful episode back in January ‘04 ... and as far as I can see nothing has changed since then. Just another dozen or so correspondents have come and gone in apparent disgust or disillusionment. (

RICHARD: Here is my response to your [quote] ‘take on it’ [endquote]:

And here is what your co-respondent was replying to:

Finally, here is my response to that reply:

If you could explain how any of that demonstrates [quote] ‘the same thing’ [endquote] as what my co-respondent interprets – that Richard corresponds with just about every correspondent with verbal attacks/ that peace on earth is nowhere to be found in Richard’s correspondence/that Richard is just another vain ego up on his pedestal imagining his own subjective interpretation – such as to justify you saying, that as far as you can see, nothing has changed since then (January 2004) it would be most appreciated.

RESPONDENT No. 60: If you can’t see it already, you never will.

RICHARD: If you cannot explain it, it never happened.

CO-RESPONDENT: Give it up No. 60, it’s hopeless. In all these years not one person has elicited a ^you may have a point there^ or even a ^the words dribbling from your mouth may, given a stiff breeze from the SE and proper’ alignment of the stars, be construed to contain a semblance of sense^. I don’t know if deep down inside there is any merit at all to what he says, but to try to wade through the verbal swamp that issues forth just ain’t worth it. The man is a textbook sociopath. Nice freedom on offer, kinda like Sam’s at the end of Brazil.

RESPONDENT: Don’t give it up, No. 60. Eliciting anything in particular from Richard is not the point. Exposure of Richard’s character to an audience is where it’s at. Watching Richard’s attempts to control audience perception is fascinating and revealing.

RICHARD: So, you have effectively reduced yourself to sniping away at Richard from the sidelines, exhorting another subscriber on like some frilly-decked cheerleader, and throwing peanuts from the gallery where assorted malcontents have gathered together for mutual support, eh?

RESPONDENT: How could I possibly snipe away at Richard?

RICHARD: As you are one who is doing it – as in your ‘Richard’s attempts to control audience perception’ misconception – why ask me?

RESPONDENT: There’s nothing to shoot at, remember?

RICHARD: So why do it, then?

RESPONDENT: It’s all water off a ducks back, remember?

RICHARD: You are not the first person to take the absence of any feeling ‘being’ whatsoever to be licence ... and you will most probably not be the last.


RICHARD: And all because Richard has the audacity, the unmitigated intrepidity, to fly in the face of a popular wisdom (that nothing can ever be known for sure).

RESPONDENT: ‘Fly in the face of popular wisdom’?

RICHARD: No ... fly in the face of [quote] ‘a’ [endquote] popular wisdom (that nothing can ever be known for sure) as popularised by Mr. Karl Popper.

RESPONDENT: Not likely.

RICHARD: Ha ... you either have a short memory or that is just silliness masquerading as a meaningful comment. Vis.:

• [Respondent to Richard]: ‘... there may well be solid facts in reality but I don’t believe we can be completely certain we know the facts’. (Thursday, 12/01/2006 12:13 PM AEDST).

RESPONDENT: You’d like to be special ...

RICHARD: No, I *am* special.

RESPONDENT: ... but your particular brand of naive realism* is the most common wisdom of all. (*

RICHARD: All you are doing is displaying your ignorance in public for the sake of a cheap shot: actualism – the direct experience that matter is not merely passive – is experiential, and not philosophical, and that unmediated perception of this actual world (the sensate world where flesh and blood bodies live) only occurs where identity in toto is either in abeyance (as during a PCE) or extinct (as upon an actual freedom from the human condition) ... naive realism (aka direct realism) is nothing of the sort. Vis.:

• [Wikipedia]: ‘Naïve Realism: In the philosophy of perception naïve realism is the belief that the world is exactly as it appears’. [endquote].

In short: any identity can be a naïve realist ... all they have to do is adopt that philosophy.

RESPONDENT: Regression is actualism second name ...

RICHARD: It is nothing of the sort.

RESPONDENT: ... and some people don’t like to grow-up, taking decisions on their own.

RICHARD: Those moments of perfection referred to further above are an exception in childhood ... not the norm.

RESPONDENT: I bet that Richard’s mother was a very possessive person, over caring for him.

RICHARD: ‘Tis just as well I am not a betting person (I never gamble) as you could very well end up losing the shirt off your back with such amateur psychologising. For instance:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you come from an unusual family?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... I was born and raised in a normal family; I was educated in a normal state-run school; I took a normal occupation at age fifteen (full-time farming) and joined the military at age seventeen. My parents were farmers ... pioneer settlers carving a farm by hand out of virgin forest (I personally used axes and hand saws to help cut down the trees to make pasture land). I was involved in the fencing and ploughing and sowing and harvesting; I hunted game in the forest and helped raise domesticated animals; I tended the gardens and orchards and crops; I assisted in building sheds (barns) and outhouses from forest timber and learned improvisation from the ingenuity required in ‘making do’ with minimal commercial supplies. There was no plumbing; no sewage, no telephone; no electricity ... I went to bed with a candle and to the outdoor latrine with a kerosene lamp. No computer; no television; no videos; no record players; no freezer; no electric kitchen gadgets ... and so on and so on.
A regular rural childhood ... there was no ‘wounded child’ *nor any ‘dysfunctional family’ background* beyond the norm’. [emphasis added]. (

RESPONDENT: Btw, nature is a substitute for mother ...

RICHARD: Only for those believing in that whole ‘Mother Nature’ fantasy (conveniently ignoring that nature is truly ‘red in tooth and claw’).

RESPONDENT: ... and Richard had an enduring love affair with mother nature ...

RICHARD: You can only be referring to this:

• [Richard]: ‘... for eleven years I was what is classified a ‘Nature Mystic’ (I am not asking anyone to believe me as I am simply telling my story) so I have intimate experience of having a total love affair with nature ... and being fully absorbed in beauty. After all, I had been a practicing artist – plus being a qualified art teacher for private schools – and thus had made my living out of beauty ... and an admiration of and a love for beauty are the primary requisites of being an independent artist. People bought my work because they loved it – literally they fell in love with its beauty – and not because it was ascetically agreeable or met some scholarly criterion for art (shape, form, texture, hue, proportion, balance and so on).
With the death of ‘I’ as ego, in 1981, I abandoned my flourishing career, my alternate life-style, my self-sufficiency property in the country and commenced a barefooted, itinerant, homeless, celibate lifestyle of aimless wandering in nature: I lived and slept in forests; I lived and slept in the hills; I lived and slept in the valleys; I lived and slept beside streams; I lived and slept on the beaches; I lived and slept on uninhabited islands ... and so on. No woman could entice me as the allure of the love and beauty of nature was unsurpassable ... I had no need for a vow of celibacy. Just being in nature, totally, fully, completely, would transport me into the unknowable ... so I know full well what I talk of via personal experience as well as an, admittedly ad hoc, reading on the subject’.

Nowhere there, or anywhere else for that matter, do I use the term [quote] ‘mother nature’ [endquote] ... the word ‘mother’ is your interpolation.

RESPONDENT: ... not to mention his fascination with the ocean.

RICHARD: Just so as to inject some semblance of commonsense into this epic saga you are spinning ... are you saying that PCE’s were more common in my childhood because the identity in residence back then had a fascination with the ocean (else why bring it up)?

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