Actual Freedom ~ Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Meaning of Life

RESPONDENT: Can you tell me how we came in to being? (Did the chicken come first or the egg ?)

RICHARD: We came into being through sexual intercourse, which unites the ova and the spermatozoa. The embryo thus formed by the rapid doubling of this first cell spends nine months being nourished in the womb. Then one is born into the physical world of sensual pleasure and delight.

As for the hoary question of the chicken and the egg scenario so beloved of pedants ... it is predicated upon there being a beginning to the universe. The universe, being infinite, had no beginning and has no end. This means that there is no middle either. Thus we are already here in space and it is always now in time.

RESPONDENT: Thank you for long, patient feedback on my reflections. Can I have your views on what is the purpose of this life on earth as a human being?

RICHARD: The purpose of life on earth as a human being is to understand that I, as this body, am not separate from the universe. One is, after all, made up of the very stuff of the universe ... and I mean this as a physical actuality. The very material that this body is constituted of is the material of the universe – one did not come from ‘outside’ of it and be randomly placed ‘in’ here by some god for some mysterious purpose that is not up to humans to fathom. It is possible to fully know the ‘Mystery of Life’ to such an extent that one is completely satisfied and fulfilled. Nothing more needs to be done other than to live it each moment again and to enjoy and appreciate it all fully and totally. The utter purity of this perfect understanding – and the living of it – defies imagination and is impossible to believe. All of ones wishes and dreams are answered ... and more. It is the adventure of a lifetime to embark upon a voyage of exploration and discovery; to not only seek but to find. And once found, it is here for the term of one’s natural life – it is an irreversible mutation in consciousness. Once launched it is impossible to turn back and resume one’s normal life ... one has to be absolutely sure that this is what one truly wants.

The reward for going to the very end of illusion and delusion is to emerge unscathed and to find oneself actually being here for the very first time. The benefits of doing all this are beyond price ... the immediate bestowal of universal peace upon oneself – resulting in thus ushering in the possibility for a global peace-on-earth – is the benefit most worthy of acknowledgment. Yet, rewards and benefits notwithstanding, to have reached one’s destiny is to be of the ultimate service possible – the universe has been able to fulfil itself in me, a human being. Finally there is an intelligence operating unimpeded ... blind nature has been superseded. There is, most assuredly, not an ‘Intelligence’ behind the universe, as is commonly supposed. To entertain such a notion is to commit the vulgar error of anthropomorphism. Intelligence abides only in humans – and the free operation of this intelligence is constantly being thwarted by the parasitical psychological entity known as ‘me’. ‘I’ am an identity, a ‘being’, a ‘presence’ that interferes with the smooth running of life. ‘I’ create everyday reality – and it is a grim business to live in this reality, with only scant moments of reprieve. With the dissolution of ‘I’ – the self in its entirety – reality vanishes and this actual world of perfection and excellence becomes apparent.

Actual perfection and excellence is free. It is the freely available bonus of daring to be me. Freeing myself of ‘Self-Realisation’, which manifests as ‘me’ being ‘The Self’ that exists for all eternity in a ‘Timeless and Spaceless’ realm – the ‘Greater Reality’ – was the last step into actuality. Everyday reality was an illusion and the ‘Greater Reality’ was a delusion born out of the illusion. Unadorned I stand on my own; more free than a bird on the wing and cleaner than a sea-breeze on a sweltering summer’s day. To be me is to be fresh, each moment again. Owing nothing to no one I am free from corruption – perversity has vanished forever. Unpolluted as I am by any alien entity, my thoughts and my deeds are automatically graceful. Goodwill, freed of social morality, comes effortlessly to me for all internal conflict is over. I am gentle and peaceful in character. All this comes as no surprise for it is what humans have all long suspected to be the case. This universe, this physical world humans all live in, is too big in its grandeur, too neatly complex in its arrangement, and too perfectly organised in its structure for humans to be eternally doomed to perpetual misery. Surely, no one can believe for a moment that it is all fated to be forever wrong. This is a tremendous universe in all its workings – this physical world humans live in is magnificent, to say the least.

RESPONDENT: Richard, are you saying that the ultimate meaning of the universe is to experience itself as a sentient creature? ... and do that by purposely creating reproductive organisms and then sentient creatures out of hard stone and energy? Else why say that life is not a random, chance event in an otherwise empty and meaningless universe?

RICHARD: The reason why I said that is because it is what materialism, as a generalisation, typically holds – that life is a chance, random event in an otherwise empty (meaningless) universe – in contrast to spiritualism (which, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a purposeful manifestation by or of a supreme being who created or creates the universe) ... and, furthermore, because the extreme version of the materialist position is nihilism where, as a generalisation, it is typically held 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.

I am not saying that the ultimate meaning of the universe is to experience itself as a sentient creature by purposely creating reproductive organisms and then sentient creatures out of hard stone and energy – such a teleological matter is something for teleologists to muse over in lieu of actually doing something about the human condition – as I make it abundantly clear on many an occasion elsewhere that it is the answer to the ubiquitous human quest for the meaning of life which is already always out-in-the-open here in this actual world.

And what I mean by the ‘quest for the meaning of life’ might perhaps be best summarised by the title of a large painting (5’ x 12’) Mr. Paul Gauguin executed in Tahiti – after vowing he would commit suicide following its completion – on sized burlap in 1897-98 ... to wit: ‘Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’ (D’oů venons-nous ? Que sommes-nous ? Oů allons-nous ?).

For what it is worth ... the blue idol in the centre-left background apparently represents what he described as ‘The Beyond’.

RESPONDENT: What are the differences between ‘universe’ and ‘life’?

RICHARD: Here is what a dictionary has to say about the word ‘life’:

• ‘life: the condition, quality, or fact of being a living organism; the condition that characterises animals and plants (when alive) and distinguishes them from inanimate matter, being marked by a capacity for growth and development and by continued functional activity; the activities and phenomena by which this is manifested’. (Oxford Dictionary).

The word ‘universe’, of course, refers to all time and all space and all matter (aka mass and energy).

PETER: As an actualist, I always put the aim to be harmless towards my fellow human beings first and my aim for happiness second, because it is impossible for me be happy unless I am harmless. For anyone who is sincere about peace on earth it is essential to put becoming harmless first … and then increased happiness invariably follows. In the case in point, if one stops being sarcastic, as in expressing bitter or wounding remarks to others, then one has more chance of being happy … which in turn means that one has less reason to feel cynical …which in turn means one is less prone to be sarcastic and so on … until both cynicism and sarcasm eventually disappear as if by magic. It’s a fascinating business to see, and experientially understand, how feelings are interlinked, how they produce an endless cycle of ups and downs, how there is a continuous tendency to wound and then feel wounded, how there is a seesaw sequence of excitement and boredom … and so on.

RESPONDENT: It’s not so much that I want more of that type of experience, as much as I don’t want the pain, sorrow, depression. It’s more important for me to get rid of the negative than to seek the positive. Eliminating the negative is positive enough for me.

PETER: I can see why you have been attracted to U.G. Krishnamurti. He eliminated what he saw as the negative aspects of spiritualism and ended up in some type of permanent nihilistic state. Aiming to get rid of the negative was never enough for me because I had a positive aim – to find the meaning of life.

RESPONDENT: What meaning could be found?

PETER: Aren’t you looking for the meaning of life or are you content with your life as-it-is?

I remember when I left home and school, I was bewildered by what could be termed the mainstream of life. I remember wondering to myself – is having a wife, two kids and two cars the meaning of life? The same thing happened when I left the materialistic world and threw myself into the spiritual world. I remember wondering to myself – is becoming an Enlightened Guru and having my ‘money for nothing and my chicks for free’ the meaning of life?

Neither meaning stacked up as far as I was concerned.

RESPONDENT: If there is any must it not be found in the moment to moment living? If not there, then where?

PETER: The phrase moment to moment living implies ‘me’ having a ‘life’ that starts at birth and continues as an unchanging feeling-fed continuity until death.

If ‘I’ seek meaning for ‘my’ life then narcissism can be the only result – and the long history of the famed spiritual search attests to this fact. If ‘I’ simply reject the traditional meanings of life then meaninglessness aka nihilism can be the only result and this seems to be where U.G. Krishnamurti has ended up.

The meaning to life is not to be found in the feeling-fed continuity ‘I’ call ‘my life’, for a PCE confirms that the meaning of life is to be found only when ‘I’ exit the stage as it were.

RESPONDENT: What do you suppose is the meaning to life?

RICHARD: I do not have to ‘suppose’ what the meaning to life is: it is a direct experience each moment again that, as this flesh and blood body only, I am this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is wonderful.

RESPONDENT: What is the ‘free’ mind of which you speak?

RICHARD: The free mind is the neuronal activity of a human brain in a human skull sans both the ‘arising mind’ (‘I’ as ego) and the ‘shining mind’ (‘me’ as soul). The free mind, which is already always just here right now, becomes apparent when ‘I’/‘me’ altruistically self-immolates for the benefit of this body and that body and every body.

RESPONDENT: What does a ‘free’ mind do once it is freed?

RICHARD: The free mind is the doing and the experiencing of the happening of this business called being alive here on this earth in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body now ... and it is all happening currently as only this moment is occurring wherein the doing of the event is happening of its own accord.

And this is wonderful.

RESPONDENT: All that aside, what is it like to be so free (and wonderfully different)?

RICHARD: It is a freedom well worth living indeed, for in actual freedom lies not only an actual peace but an actual innocence. One is pure innocence personified, for one is literally free from sin and guilt. One is untouched by evil; no malice or sorrow exists anywhere in this body. One is utterly innocent ... innocence, that much abused word, can come to its full flowering and one is easily able to be freely ingenuous – noble in character – without any effort at all. The integrity of an actual freedom is so unlike the strictures of morality – whereupon the psychological and psychic identity within the body struggles in vain to resemble the purity of the actual – inasmuch as probity is bestowed gratuitously. One can live unequivocally, endowed with an actual gracefulness and dignity, in a magical wonderland. To thus live candidly, in arrant innocence, is a remarkable condition of excellence.

I have no furious urges, no instinctive anger, no impulsive rages, no inveterate hostilities, no evil disposition ... no malicious or sorrowful tendencies whatsoever. The blind animal instinctual passions, which some neuro-scientists have tentatively located toward the top of the brain-stem in what is popularly called the ‘reptilian brain’, have under-gone a radical mutation. I am free to be me as-I-am; benign and benevolent and beneficial in character. I am able to be a model citizen, fulfilling all the intentions of the idealistic and unattainable moral strictures of ‘The Good’: being humane, being philanthropic, being altruistic, being magnanimous, being considerate and so on. All this is achieved in a manner ‘I’ could never foresee, for it comes effortlessly and spontaneously, doing away with the necessity for virtue completely.

This all happens in an actual world that lies under one’s very nose ... I interact with the same kind of people, things and events that you do, yet it is as if I am in another dimension altogether. There is no good or evil here where I live. I live in a veritable paradise ... this very earth I live on is so vastly superior to any fabled Arcadian Utopia that it would be impossible to believe if I was not living it twenty four hours a day ... there is no use for belief here. It is so perfectly pure and clear here that there is no need for Love or Compassion or Bliss or Euphoria or Ecstasy or Truth or Goodness or Beauty or Oneness or Unity or Wholeness or ... or any of those baubles. They all pale into pathetic insignificance ... and I lived them for eleven years.

RESPONDENT: And do you think there is any hope for the rest of us?

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

It is all in your hands.

RESPONDENT: From your perspective, is anything vitally important in the ‘big picture’, or do we humans make a mountain out of our mole-hill?

RICHARD: Yes ... a new way to live life on this verdant planet has been discovered which eliminates the need to humble oneself in a degrading surrender and servitude to some imagined deity. One eliminates the sense of identity that has been overlaid – from birth to the present day – over the self. With cheerful diligence and application born out of pure intent, one whittles away at the persistent social identity, abandoning the desire for unity, until one arrives at a virtual freedom. In virtual freedom one is ninety nine percent free and the other one percent causes very little trouble – if any – and with virtual freedom operating in every human being there could be a global peace-on-earth. Finally the day of destiny dawns wherein one is catapulted into actual freedom ... one has escaped one’s fate and universal peace and tranquillity emerges. Being free from malice and sorrow, innocence and benignity are one’s constant condition. In consummate purity and perfection, which wells up from the utter stillness of the infinitude of this material universe, one is this very actual universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being.

It is all possible.

RESPONDENT: Mother nature has figured out that more complex beings are more likely to breed and bring to viability the young. Which, of course, is the only purpose/meaning of life. If any find that last statement disturbing, prove to me otherwise pls.

RICHARD: It may very well be the only purpose, if that is the right word, of what you call ‘mother nature’ yet there is more to life than bringing to viability the young (for the young in turn similarly bring to viability another generation of young who in turn do likewise and so on and so on) ... much, much more.

Incidentally, the ‘being’ who possessed this flesh and blood body all those years ago found it quite disturbing when he realised, one fine afternoon after the birth of ‘his’ fourth and last child, that to be born, to learn to walk, talk, and so on, to go to school, to get a job/obtain a career, to get married/be in a relationship, to acquire a home, to have children, to teach them to walk, talk, and so on, to send them to school, to have them get a job/obtain a career, to ensure they get married/have a relationship, to have them acquire a home, to encourage them have children, to see them teach their children to walk, talk, and so on – and so on and so on almost ad infinitum – was nothing other than an instinctual treadmill, an inborn/inherent conveyor belt which carried generation after generation inexorably from birth to death, stretching all the way back from an indeterminate inception and heading towards an open-ended conclusion ... and all for what?

If it were not for that ‘being’ having that realisation then the actual purpose/meaning of life may quite possibly not be apparent today.

RESPONDENT: So ... what is it (the purpose/meaning/complexity to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?

RICHARD: If you were to hold a hand up before the eyes, palm towards the face, and rotate it slowly through space (all the while considering that the very stuff the hand is comprised of is as old as the universe) whilst looking from the front of the eyes, as it were (and not through the eyes), it may very well become apparent that, as this flesh and blood body only, one is perfection personified ... the perfection of the purity, welling in perpetuum mobilis, that the infinitude this material universe actually is.

In short: this ambrosial paradise I refer to as ‘this actual world’ has been no further away, all the while, than coming to your senses.

RESPONDENT: By the way, being happy and harmless is not the meaning of life ...

RICHARD: I have never said it is ... I have said that peace-on-earth is a side-effect of living the meaning of life each moment again. For example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘If the many are reduced to one, what is the one reduced to?
• [Richard]: ‘When it is understood that the one is the epitome of the many and that ‘I’ am the ‘many’ and the ‘many’ is ‘me’ ... ‘I’ self-immolate at the core of ‘being’. Then I am this material universe’s infinitude experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being.
A desirable side-effect is peace-on-earth.

And for another instance:

• [Richard]: ‘The main side-effect of an actual freedom from the human condition is peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body only.

RESPONDENT: ... and it is not what was intended for you.

RICHARD: As your god has no existence outside of the human psyche it matters not what such a vainglorious entity intends.

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

RICHARD: Yes, the put-down of the universe goes on ad nauseam, wherever one travels throughout the world. This universe is so enormous in size – infinity being as enormous as it can get – and so immense in its scope – eternity being as immense as it can get – how on earth could anyone believe for a minute that it is all here for humans to be forever miserable in? It is foolishness of the highest order to believe it to be so ... one can have confidence in a universe so grandly complex, so marvellously intricate, so wonderfully excellent. How could all this be some ‘ghastly mistake’? To believe it all to be some ‘sick joke’ is preposterous, for such an attitude cuts one off from the perfection of this pure moment of being alive here in this fantastic actual universe. When one takes one’s mental ability back from the decrees of the real world – to which one has surrendered – one has taken a courageous step. For here in the actual, this miraculous world as-it-is, is the secret to life. Here lies a healthy mind, for here only sagacity exists. Living here, where perfection and purity abounds, one experiences what is precious in living itself. Something beyond compare.

Something more valuable than any ‘King’s ransom’. It is not rare gemstones; it is not singular works of art; it is not the much-prized bags of money; it is not the treasured loving relationships; it is not the highly esteemed blissful states of ‘Being’ ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. Here is something ultimately precious. It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe ... which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. The limpid and lucid perfection and purity of being here now, as-I-am, is akin to the crystalline perfection and purity seen in a dew-drop hanging from the tip of a leaf in the early-morning sunshine; the sunrise strikes the transparent dew-drop with its warming rays, highlighting the flawless correctness of the tear-drop shape with its bellied form. One is left almost breathless with wonder at the immaculate simplicity so exemplified.

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

RESPONDENT No 27: It almost seems to me that you are claiming that life cannot be ‘meaningful’ as long as there is an ‘I’ around – if ‘I’ stand in the way of meaning. Does the ‘I’ completely obliterate meaning?

RICHARD: Yes ... ‘I’ am forever locked-out of this actual world.

RESPONDENT: So Richard your answers are affirmative to the questions [life cannot be ‘meaningful’ as long as there is an ‘I’ around – if ‘I’ stand in the way of meaning?] [Does the ‘I’ completely obliterate meaning?].

RICHARD: I see that I answered in the affirmative to the above questions too quickly. A more accurate answer – and a clearer answer – is that the meaning of life cannot be evident as long as there is an ‘I’ around because the ‘I’ completely blocks the meaning of life from being apparent ... the ‘I’ cannot, of course, ‘obliterate’ (destroy, demolish, eliminate, eradicate, annihilate) the meaning of life.

Life can indeed be ‘meaningful’ (significant, important, worthwhile, valuable, noteworthy) whilst there is an ‘I’ around ... on the off-chance you may have missed it I will repeat here what I wrote recently in another post: sustaining oneself (and one’s family if there is one) is certainly not pointless. Furthermore there are many meaningful experiences in everyday life: providing shelter (building, buying or renting a home); being married (aka being in a relationship); raising a family (preparing children for adult life); having a career (job satisfaction); achieving something (successfully pursuing a hobby) and so on.

However, to rely upon transient experience to provide an enduring meaning to life is to invite disappointment.

RICHARD: For something like twenty five years I was an agnostic ... and it is an apparently satisfying position to be in as it makes one feel both intellectually comfortable and intellectually superior at the same time (whilst appearing humble) until one day I realised just what I was doing to myself ... and to others. I was cleverly shuffling all the ‘hard questions’ about consciousness under the rug and going around deftly cutting other people down to size (which is all so easy to do simply by saying ‘well that is your belief/truth/idea/philosophy/whatever’). But I had nothing to offer in its place – other than the smug ‘nobody knows’ agnosticism – and I puzzled as to why this was so. Finally, I ceased procrastinating and equivocating. I wanted to know. I wanted to find out – for myself – about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. I now know. In short: there is a third alternative to either agnosticism or fideism.

RESPONDENT: So ... what is it (the purpose/ meaning/ complexity to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?

RICHARD: As this flesh and blood body only one is this material universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is truly wonderful.

RESPONDENT: To me this person or that person is as much as I am a phenomenon that appears to be as a fragment of the multitude of appearances.

RICHARD: As this flesh and blood body only one is not ‘a fragment’ ... one *is* this material universe experiencing itself *as* an apperceptive human being.

RESPONDENT: This brain does not differ much from other brains as it is clearly perceived that whatever cunning/clever/smart/complex projection that brain overlays on that what is being perceived, in actuality it has no existence other then this being a projection.

RICHARD: The human brain per se neither overlays nor projects ... it is the identity within who does such things (as in feeling itself to be ‘a fragment’ for instance).

RESPONDENT: In other words, that grey matter inside of the skull my skull your skull everybody’s skull is not merely passive.

RICHARD: In other words the identity within intuits that its activity is the activity of the brain itself.

RESPONDENT: Not just brains, but the stuff the universe is made of.

RICHARD: Not just the identity’s activity, of course, but the activity of the instinctual passions it is made of.

RESPONDENT: So ... what is it (the purpose/ meaning/ complexity to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?

RICHARD: If you were to hold a hand up before the eyes, palm towards the face, and rotate it slowly through space (all the while considering that the very stuff the hand is comprised of is as old as the universe) whilst looking from the front of the eyes, as it were (and not through the eyes), it may very well become apparent that, as this flesh and blood body only, one is perfection personified ... the perfection of the purity, welling in perpetuum mobilis, that the infinitude this material universe actually is.

In short: this ambrosial paradise I refer to as ‘this actual world’ has been no further away, all the while, than coming to your senses.

RESPONDENT: Finally if you really are free from all the things you say then that is amazing.

RICHARD: It is indeed ... there is such a pristine purity and peerless perfection here in this actual world that it is inconceivable/incomprehensible and unimaginable/unbelievable to a denizen of the real world.

Or, as the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago would say, it is beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

RESPONDENT: But can you tell me what really matters per se?

RICHARD: Certainly: the meaning of life (peace on earth is but a fringe-benefit).

RESPONDENT: It looks like there are different modes of me ... sometimes I find that the ‘me’ is not willing to investigate or it is doing a fake job. My question is that can the ‘me’ ever have a goal to be happy and harmless...? It seems to have its own agenda. The present person that is typing this mail doesn’t have any agenda but clearly acknowledge that happy and harmless is a sensible goal to have. But then when there is this inner ‘me’ (a different mode) starts working, it is either spoiling the moment in its worst and in its best, it is trying to conflict with itself in the name of actualism ... distorting everything and just mechanically fighting with its own projection. Was this ever your experience? Vineeto said once (in a mail to No 60?) that she integrated different parts of her ‘self’ in the very beginning.

IOW. can the ‘me’ have a clear purpose of becoming happy and harmless? Or it will be always a lip service and there is some other part of oneself which becomes manifest when the ‘me’ (feeling part) becomes minimized that has to go about it?

PETER: My immediate response would be … what better purpose in life but to find the meaning of life?

You might have noticed that I recently had a conversation with No 86 about the fact that by about my mid-twenties I discovered that for me the meaning to life was not to be had in materialism. Finding no meaning there, I was ripe for searching for the meaning of life in spiritualism and after a long and in-depth investigation I eventually found not meaning but non-sense. Then, as you know, I serendipitously came across actualism, which offers a third alternate to both materialism and spiritualism.

I have no idea what your aspirations in life are, let alone your life experiences but what you want to do with your life is ultimately your own decision. I have often looked at others and been amazed at what they choose to do with their lives – for instance I have always been impressed with the single-mindedness and dedication of medical researchers who literally devote their lives to finding a way of eradicating one particular disease from the many that cause illness or even death to the human body. Whilst I admire such endeavours, I never had the interest to do such things.

My interest has always laid in the reasons for the persistent inability of human beings to live together in peace and harmony and it would seem in hindsight that this abiding interest meant that I could not ignore the intrinsic challenge that is at the core of actualism – can I prove by living example that it is possible, in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, to live with my fellow human beings in utter peace and harmony?

Needless to say the first step I had to take was to get my head out of the clouds and start to become aware of the world as-it-is and people as-they-are … in order to gather sufficient motivation to begin to become aware of ‘me’ as-I-am. The reason I am saying this is that I recently had a conversation with a woman who is just beginning to pay attention to many of the feelings and emotions that she had in the past either glossed over, denied, suppressed, detached from, dis-identified from or attempted to transcend. She was starting to come across some very unpleasant things to say the least but – for whatever reason – she does seem to have both the motivation and the determination needed to push on.

I do realize that I haven’t answered the specific question you raised simply because it is a question that only you can answer. I remember realizing at some stage that nobody can make me happy and harmless – only I can do that. Curiously with this realization came the requisite impetus to really stand on my own two feet for the first time in my life. As I thought about the fact that my happiness and my being harmless is totally in my hands alone I came to understand that this also meant that nobody could make me unhappy or antagonistic – only I can do that.

These series of realizations led on to one of the essential things that I needed to fully understand – that the only person I need to change is me. And when I say fully understand I don’t mean an intellectual understanding, nor do I mean change as in turning away from the world and adopting a cynical attitude to life or cultivating a spiritual goody-two-shoes persona – I mean radically changing as in setting about eradicating ‘I’ as ego as well as ‘me’ as soul.

RESPONDENT: I have two questions: Firstly, Why is the universe here? Why do I exist? Is there a reason?

RICHARD: If what you are referring to is that which has been called ‘the meaning of life’ (or ‘the riddle of existence’ or ‘the purpose of the universe’ and so on) then, yes, there is indeed an actual meaning to life ... the latest exchange on this subject occurred only a few weeks ago:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What you are in effect saying is that the Bible, Koran, Gita, Jesus, are all wrong and you are right and that this physical world is just an accident with no meaning.
• [Richard]: ‘Where have I ever said, in effect or otherwise, that this physical world is just an accident with no meaning? And before you respond I would suggest copy-pasting the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google:
meaning of life site:www.actualfreedom.com.au
Then left-click ‘search’ ... you should get about 4,310 hits’.

* (...)

RESPONDENT: Yes, that’s literally more than two questions, but the ‘spirit’ of the questions are singular.

RICHARD: As far as can be ascertained the singular spirit of your queries appears to revolve around whether there is a meaning of life to be found and if so why inform one’s fellow human beings upon making that discovery.

RESPONDENT: There are two gaps. Can they be filled please.

RICHARD: Sure ... (1) there is indeed a meaning of life to be found ... and (2) it is fellowship regard which occasions public disclosure of same.

RESPONDENT: Thanks.

RICHARD: You are very welcome.

RESPONDENT: God is a word, a label, just like the word spirit.

RICHARD: Aye ... yet what the word, the label, god (or goddess), just like the word spirit (or soul), refers to – which is that very presence or being itself – is not a word, a label.

RESPONDENT: Forgetting the ‘meaningless’ evaluation: why is life not a random, chance event aided by the process of natural selection?

RICHARD: As both the word random – ‘that which is haphazard [occurring, put together, etc., casually or without design] or without definite aim or purpose’ (Oxford Dictionary) – and the word chance – ‘the absence of design or discoverable cause; an event that is without apparent cause or unexpected; a casual circumstance; an accident’ (Oxford Dictionary) – more or less revolve around meaninglessness and purposelessness it is well-nigh impossible to forget that evaluation as what you are asking, in effect, is why life is not a meaningless/ purposeless event.

Be that as it may ... life is not a haphazard/ casual and causeless/ accidental event because, given the situation and circumstances conducive to same, it is inevitable that otherwise inanimate matter be animate.

RESPONDENT: True.

RICHARD: Speaking of the situation and circumstances conducive to life: the discovery late last century of microbes known as archaea, in and around out-gassing deep-ocean vents where no photosynthesis whatsoever can take place, has thrown considerable light upon questions as to the possible origin of life itself inasmuch it might indeed be that both the microfauna/ microflora and the macrofauna/ macroflora living on this planet’s surface, and thus drawing their nourishment primarily from the sun’s radiant energy, originally stem from the subsurface life which sustains itself with the chemical energy resulting from an out-flowing of hydrocarbons (principally methane) formed deep within the planet under great pressure and heat reacting chemically with metal sulphides and thus dissociating carbon.

And, as hydrocarbons have been identified on various other bodies in the solar system, there could also be (microbial) life under the surface in those places as well.

RESPONDENT: I suppose the point of saying ‘random’ and ‘chance’ is to separate it from a designer god who had a purpose in mind.

RICHARD: As the entire meaningful/ meaningless and/or purposeful/ purposeless debate betwixt materialists and spiritualists revolves around spiritualists contending that their god/ goddess (an immaterial creative being, force, or energy, by whatever name) provides meaning/ purpose, whereas life absent same means that everything is meaningless/ purposeless, then the entering into such a discussion, about a dichotomy which has no existence in actuality, is but an exercise in futility.

RESPONDENT: The mind’s desire for meaning may be satisfied by experiencing actuality, but I think this is far from saying there is a ‘meaning of life’.

RICHARD: What the phrase ‘the meaning of life’ more generally refers to, in asking whether there is any, is significance (as in whether life has any significance or whether it of no consequence) ... needless is it to add that, here in this actual world, life is bursting with significance?

RESPONDENT: The closest thing I can think of to a ‘meaning of life’ is nature’s imperative to reproduce.

RICHARD: In which case the following exchange will surely be of interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Mother nature has figured out that more complex beings are more likely to breed and bring to viability the young. Which, of course, is the only purpose/ meaning of life. If any find that last statement disturbing, prove to me otherwise pls.
• [Richard]: ‘It may very well be the only purpose, if that is the right word, of what you call ‘mother nature’ yet there is more to life than bringing to viability the young (for the young in turn similarly bring to viability another generation of young who in turn do likewise and so on and so on) ... much, much more.
Incidentally, the ‘being’ who possessed this flesh and blood body all those years ago found it quite disturbing when ‘he’ realised, one fine afternoon after the birth of ‘his’ fourth and last child, that to be born, to learn to walk, talk, and so on, to go to school, to get a job/ obtain a career, to get married/ be in a relationship, to acquire a home, to have children, to teach them to walk, talk, and so on, to send them to school, to have them get a job/ obtain a career, to ensure they get married/ have a relationship, to have them acquire a home, to encourage them have children, to see them teach their children to walk, talk, and so on – and so on and so on almost ad infinitum – was nothing other than an instinctual treadmill, an inborn/ inherent conveyor belt which carried generation after generation inexorably from birth to death, stretching all the way back from an indeterminate inception and heading towards an open-ended conclusion ... and all for what?
If it were not for that ‘being’ having that realisation then the actual purpose/ meaning of life may quite possibly not be apparent today’.

RESPONDENT: Richard, you have written somewhere that life is neither purposeful nor purposeless. Could you explain that?

RICHARD: Yes ... that is a spiritualist/ materialist dichotomy which has no existence in actuality.

RESPONDENT: Can you elaborate on the following: the question of life being purposeful or purposeless ‘is a spiritualist/ materialist dichotomy which has no existence in actuality?

RICHARD: The very notion of purpose presupposes a purposer – ‘a person who purposes something; esp. a person who has a particular object or intention’ (Oxford Dictionary) – and the entire purposeful/ purposeless debate betwixt spiritualists and materialists revolves around spiritualists contending that their god/ goddess (an immaterial creative being, force, or energy, by whatever name) has a purpose for creating/ manifesting the universe and that life without such a timeless and spaceless and formless entity in it means that everything is purposeless ... which, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means ‘done or made without purpose or design; having no purpose, plan, or aim’.

The direct experience of infinitude – ‘a boundless expanse; an unlimited time’ (Oxford Dictionary) – here in this actual world renders both notions null and void ... it is a spiritualist/ materialist dichotomy which has no existence in actuality.

RESPONDENT: I can clearly and vividly remember a few PCE’s and I also remember thinking during those PCE’s that this (that) was the only moment I could experience being alive and that there wasn’t any inherent meaning in life.

RICHARD: What the phrase ‘meaning in life’ more generally refers to – rather than being equated with purposeful/ purposeless – when asking whether there is any is significance ... as in whether life has any significance or whether it of no consequence.

Needless is it to add that life is bursting with significance in actuality?

RESPONDENT: Meaning is to be found in experiencing each moment to its fullest and clearly experiencing the perfection inherent to the universe.

RICHARD: Here in this actual world, where it is never not this moment (time has no duration in actuality), life is intrinsically meaningful due to that very perfection.

RICHARD to No. 5: [...] Simply because both an actual and a virtual freedom from the human condition are such a radical departure from anything preceding it the publication of the long-awaited discovery of the meaning-of-life and peace-on-earth means that any and all contemporaneous words – both written and recorded – will be increasingly subject to intense public scrutiny as the years go by.

RESPONDENT: [...] Richard, Is the purpose of life an arbitrary invention?

RICHARD: No.

RESPONDENT: Or is the purpose of life to get action?

RICHARD: No.

RESPONDENT: To explore and to discover if you will.

RICHARD: No.

RESPONDENT: SO then what do you think is the purpose of life?

RICHARD: I must acknowledge how I just sat here, simply looking at your query, as the implications and ramifications of the full extent of your ignoration became obvious.

For what is the point of responding to someone – someone who first wrote to me over six years ago – who has all that while ignored the very raison d’ętre for The Actual Freedom Trust’s web site?

To explain: the question of the meaning of life has been the greatest quest of all time, for philosophers and metaphysicians alike, and even artists (such as Mr. Paul Gauguin for instance) have pondered that hoary puzzle: D’oů venons-nous ? Que sommes-nous ? Oů allons-nous ? (Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?).

But what it took was a naďve boy from the farm to discover the answer to that most basic question of the millenniums: does life have significance (aka meaning) or is it all just a chance, random event in an empty (meaningless) universe?

The theologians, on the one hand, maintained that their god gave life meaning (purpose) – albeit enigmatically and from behind a veil – and the existentialists, on the other hand, argued that humans had to give life meaning (reason) else the only true option be suicide.

Yet all the while the actual meaning of life is already always out in the open, plain to view for those with the eyes to see, as it has never been hidden and never will be. I have written of this on umpteen occasions, of course, and here is one instance:

• [Richard]: ‘Where there are no affections/ no identity this actual world is experienced directly: what one is, as a flesh and blood body only, is this physical universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude/ absoluteness.

And this is truly wonderful’. (Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No. 110a, 25 May 2006).

Here is another version:

• [Richard]: ‘(...) life is neither a random, chance event in an otherwise empty and meaningless universe (the materialist experience) nor the deliberate, determined expression of a malicious/ loving and sorrowful/ compassionate divinity (the spiritualist experience). Rather it is due to the inevitable emergence of its intrinsic character that this physical universe is spontaneously personifying itself as a sensate, reflective and apperceptively aware human being: as such the universe is stunningly conscious of its own infinitude’. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing List at Large, 10 Apr 2001)

Lastly, and relating to the wording of your query (‘the purpose of life’), the following is quite explicatory:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, you have written somewhere that life is neither purposeful nor purposeless. Could you explain that?

• [Richard]: ‘Yes ... that is a spiritualist/ materialist dichotomy which has no existence in actuality.

The very notion of purpose presupposes a purposer – ‘a person who purposes something; esp. a person who has a particular object or intention’ (Oxford Dictionary) and the entire purposeful/ purposeless debate betwixt spiritualists and materialists revolves around spiritualists contending that their god/ goddess (an immaterial creative being, force, or energy, by whatever name) has a purpose for creating/ manifesting the universe and that life without such a timeless and spaceless and formless entity in it means that everything is purposeless ... which, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means ‘done or made without purpose or design; having no purpose, plan, or aim’.

The direct experience of infinitude – ‘a boundless expanse; an unlimited time’ (Oxford Dictionary) – here in this actual world renders both notions null and void ... it is a spiritualist/ materialist dichotomy which has no existence in actuality.

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I can clearly and vividly remember a few PCE’s and I also remember thinking during those PCE’s that this (that) was the only moment I could experience being alive and that there wasn’t any inherent meaning in life.

• [Richard]: ‘What the phrase ‘meaning in life’ more generally refers to – rather than being equated with purposeful/ purposeless – when asking whether there is any is significance ... as in whether life has any significance or whether it of no consequence.

Needless is it to add that life is bursting with significance in actuality?

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Meaning is to be found in experiencing each moment to its fullest and clearly experiencing the perfection inherent to the universe.

• [Richard]: ‘Here in this actual world, where it is never not this moment (time has no duration in actuality), life is intrinsically meaningful due to that very perfection’. (Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No.118, 16 Jun 2006)


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