This Moment of Being Alive
Before applying the actualism method – the ongoing enjoyment and appreciation of this moment of being alive – it is essential for success to grasp the fact that this very moment which is happening now is your only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. Yesterday’s happiness and harmlessness does not mean a thing if one is miserable and malicious now and a hoped-for happiness and harmlessness tomorrow is to but waste this moment of being alive in waiting. All one gets by waiting is more waiting. Thus any ‘change’ can only happen now. The jumping in point is always here; it is at this moment in time and this place in space. Thus, if one misses it this time around, hey presto, one has another chance immediately. Life is excellent at providing opportunities like this.
What ‘I’ did, all those years ago, was to devise a remarkably effective way to be able to enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive each moment again (I know that methods are to be actively discouraged, in some people’s eyes, but this one worked). It does take some doing to start off with but, as success after success starts to multiply exponentially, it becomes progressively easier to enjoy and appreciate being here each moment again. One begins by asking, each moment again, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?
Note: asking how one is experiencing this moment of being alive is not the actualism method; consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive is what the actualism method is. And this is because the actualism method is all about consciously and knowingly imitating life in the actual world. Also, by virtue of proceeding in this manner the means to the end – an ongoing enjoyment and appreciation – are no different to the end itself.
This perpetual enjoyment and appreciation is facilitated by feeling as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible. And this (affective) felicity/ innocuity is potently enabled via minimisation of both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings. An affective awareness is the key to maximising felicity and innocuity over all those alternate feelings inasmuch the slightest diminishment of enjoyment and appreciation automatically activates attentiveness.
Attentiveness to the cause of diminished enjoyment and appreciation restores felicity and innocuity. The habituation of actualistic awareness and attentiveness requires a persistent initialisation; persistent initialisation segues into a wordless approach, a non-verbal attitude towards life. It delivers the goods just here, right now, and not off into some indeterminate future. Plus the successes are repeatable – virtually on demand – and thus satisfy the ‘scientific method’.
As one knows from the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s), which are moments of perfection everybody has at some stage in their life, that it is possible to experience this moment in time and this place in space as perfection personified, ‘I’ set the minimum standard of experience for myself: feeling good. If ‘I’ am not feeling good then ‘I’ have something to look at to find out why. What has happened, between the last time ‘I’ felt good and now? When did ‘I’ feel good last? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end those felicitous feelings? Ahh ... yes: ‘He said that and I ...’. Or: ‘She didn’t do this and I ...’. Or: ‘What I wanted was ...’. Or: ‘I didn’t do ...’. And so on and so on ... one does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most (‘feeling good’ is an unambiguous term – it is a general sense of well-being – and if anyone wants to argue about what feeling good means ... then do not even bother trying to do this at all).
Once the specific moment of ceasing to feel good is pin-pointed, and the silliness of having such an incident as that (no matter what it is) take away one’s enjoyment and appreciation of this only moment of being alive is seen for what it is – usually some habitual reactive response – one is once more feeling good ... but with a pin-pointed cue to watch out for next time so as to not have that trigger off yet another bout of the same-old same-old. This is called nipping it in the bud before it gets out of hand ... with application and diligence and patience and perseverance one soon gets the knack of this and more and more time is spent enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. And, of course, once one does get the knack of this, one up-levels ‘feeling good’, as a bottom line each moment again, to ‘feeling happy and harmless’ ... and after that to ‘feeling perfect’.
The more one enjoys and appreciates being just here right now – to the point of excellence being the norm – the greater the likelihood of a PCE happening ... a grim and/or glum person has no chance whatsoever of allowing the magical event, which indubitably shows where everyone has being going awry, to occur. Plus any analysing and/or psychologising and/or philosophising whilst one is in the grip of debilitating feelings usually does not achieve much (other than spiralling around and around in varying degrees of despair and despondency or whatever) anyway.
The wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is marked by enjoyment and appreciation – the sheer delight of being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible whilst remaining a ‘self’ – and the slightest diminishment of such felicity/ innocuity is a warning signal (a flashing red light as it were) that one has inadvertently wandered off the way.
Thus, by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive,’ the reward is immediate; by finding out what triggered off the loss of the felicitous feeling, one commences another period of enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. It is all about being here at this moment in time and this place in space ... and if you are not feeling happy and harmless you have no chance whatsoever of being here in this actual world (a glum and/or grumpy person locks themselves out of the perfect purity of this moment and place). And by having already established feeling good (a general sense of well-being) as the bottom line for moment-to-moment experiencing then if, or when, feeling happy and harmless fades there is that comfortable baseline from which to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the feeling of being happy and harmless ceased happening ... and all the while feeling good whilst going about it.
Furthermore if, or when, there is a sinking below the bottom line, and feeling bad (a general sense of ill-being) is the moment-to-moment experiencing then, rather than trying to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the general sense of well-being (feeling good) ceased occurring, it is far more useful to first get to a stage of being neutral, because, when in the feeling bad position, feeling good can appear to be so, so far away ... indeed, at times, feeling good can seem to be but a dream, a fancy, a chimera, a will-o’-the-wisp, from that position, and what’s the point anyway, that method didn’t work either (of course), it’s all stupid, life sucks, and ... and all the rest of those self-pitying, self-justifying, defeatist assertions. As the step from being neutral to feeling good is not such a big step then one is soon back on track again.
It is important to comprehend that the aim, the goal, of actualism practice is the enjoyment and appreciation of being alive right now – at this very moment of being alive and not indefinitely postponed off into some indeterminate future – via the minimisation of both the malicious/ sorrowful feelings (the ‘bad’ feelings) and their antidotal loving/ compassionate feelings (the ‘good’ feelings) in concert with the maximisation of the felicitous/ innocuous feelings, and how that (affective) enjoyment and appreciation *is* the very actualist awareness in action (as distinct from the buddhistic mindfulness, for instance, which requires cognitive engagement). What this means in effect is that, because one cannot help but be aware, each moment again, of even the slightest diminution of that experiential awareness (of that very enjoyment and appreciation of *feeling* as felicitous/ innocuous as is humanly possible) via *feeling* it diminish, cognitive attentiveness can be freely applied to whatever one is engaged in doing, in one’s moment-to-moment daily life, be it earning a living, reading/ watching various media, studying for examinations, and so on, and so forth.
There is only one person in this whole wide world that one can change ... myself. This is the most important point to understand thoroughly, otherwise one endlessly tries to change the other ... and as there are billions of ‘others’ it would be a life-time task with still no success at the end. If one grasps that the way to peace-on-earth is by changing oneself – and oneself only – then all of one’s interactions with others will undergo a radical transformation. You set them free of your graceless demands ... your endless neediness born out of being alone in the world. The cause of sadness and loneliness is not, as is commonly believed, alienation from others. The single reason for being alone and lonely is from not being what-I-am. By not being this flesh and blood body just brimming with sensory organs, but being, instead, an identity within ‘I’ am doomed to perpetual loneliness and aloneness. ‘I’ am fated to ever pursue an elusive ‘Someone’ or ‘Something’ that will fill that aching void.
When I am what-I-am, there is no void. By being what I actually am – this body only – I have no need for others; hence I also have no need to place the burden upon them to fulfil that what was lacking. Not only do I free myself from that perpetual pursuit, but I also free others in my company from the task ‘I’ impose upon them. Being this sensual body is actual fulfilment, each moment again. Nevermore will I be needy, greedy and grasping. Nevermore will I plot and plan and manipulate others. Nevermore will I have to prostitute myself to others to assuage those main attributes of the identity within: being lost, lonely, frightened and cunning. Being what-I-am is to be free-flowing, spontaneous, delightful ... and it is fun, for one can never be hurt again.
One can free the heart and mind of hurts and slights ... and from succour and compliments as well. This is important, for the positive is as insidious as the negative when it comes to holding on to whatever from the past and the future. There must be an attainment of freedom from the past and the future in whatever form it takes, for ‘I’ am these hurts and compliments ... it is, in part, what ‘I’ am made up of. ‘I’ have a vested interest in taking offence, for it endorses the very nature of ‘me’ as soul. ‘I’ also thrive on receiving praise for it feeds what ‘I’ am as an ego. Both hurts and compliments give both ‘I’ and ‘me’ the nourishment ‘I’ need for ‘my’ survival. By not taking offence or receiving praise, ‘I’ have made a good start in undoing ‘me’. Thus the past and the future become less and less real as the sense of identity, as an enduring entity continuing over time, is dependent upon an emotion-backed memory and passionate imagination fuelling the fires of malice and sorrow. ‘I’ am a product of the emotional and passionate ‘real-world’ affective time-span.
Another part of what ‘I’ am made up of is beliefs: one’s sense of being a social identity is largely made up of beliefs ... beliefs as well as feelings. In fact, a belief is an emotion-backed thought ... passionate imagination. The vast majority of the beliefs that one carries are not invented by oneself; they were imbibed with the mother’s milk and added to thereupon up to the present day. They are inherited beliefs, put into the child with love and fear – reward and punishment – and added to as an adult out of awe and dread – the carrot and the stick – that power and authority engenders and thrives upon. It behoves one to examine each and every belief – especially those that pass for ‘truths’ – and watch them disappear out of one’s life forever. It is no wonder human beings are such a desperate lot. Beliefs and feelings are the bane of humankind ... they have been so instrumental in killing, maiming, torturing and otherwise causing such pain and suffering since the dawn of human history, that one wonders that they are given any credence at all these days. It is so liberating to be free of beliefs – of the action of believing itself – and feelings that I cannot recommend their elimination highly enough.
These are all feelings, this is not perfection personified yet ... but then again, feeling perfect for twenty three hours and fifty nine minutes a day (a virtual freedom) is way beyond normal human expectations anyway. Also, it is a very tricky way of both getting men fully into their feelings for the first time in their life and getting women to examine their feelings one by one instead of being run by a basketful of them all at once. One starts to feel ‘alive’. Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space. This attention becomes fascination ... and fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur. An apperceptive awareness can be evoked by paying exclusive attention to being fully alive right now. This moment is your only moment of being alive ... one is never alive at any other time than now. And, wherever you are, one is always here ... even if you start walking over to ‘there’, along the way to ‘there’ you are always here ... and when you arrive ‘there’, it too is here. Thus attention becomes a fascination with the fact that one is always here ... and it is already now. Fascination leads to reflective contemplation. As one is already here, and it is always now ... then one has arrived before one starts.
The potent combination of attention, fascination, reflection and contemplation produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself. Apperception – a way of seeing that can be arrived at by reflective and fascinating contemplative thought – is when ‘I’ cease thinking and thinking takes place of its own accord ... and ‘me’ disappears along with all the feelings. Such a mind, being free of the thinker and the feeler – ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul – is capable of immense clarity and purity ... as a sensate body only, one is automatically benevolent and benign.
It is really important to understand about the soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself) ... getting into feelings like this – ‘perfect’ feelings – leaves one in imminent danger of the seductive snare of Love and Beauty, and, conveniently ignoring their opposites, becoming enlightened, or at least illuminated. ‘Me’ – that intuition of ‘being’ that I call the soul – sugar coats itself with Love and Compassion and Beauty and Truth and swans along in a state of Blissful Euphoria. Thus one then goes off into some mystical State of Being in some metaphysical world and misses out on the clean and clear and pure perfection of this actual world. It is very, very difficult to get out of the enlightened state and go ‘beyond it’ into this actual world of the senses.
I found out for myself how difficult it was as I lived enlightenment for eleven years ... the same as the ‘Tried and True’ teachings that all the Saints and the Sages and the Seers, the Messiahs and the Masters, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Gurus and the God-men have been touting as being the cure-all for the ill of humankind for millennia. I found these solutions to be the ‘Tried and Failed’. I found that, in an altered state of consciousness such as spiritual enlightenment which results when the ego dissolves, the sense of identity does a quantum leap from the head to the heart. One realises oneself as being ‘Me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... one becomes ‘pure being’ (usually capitalised as ‘Being’ upon Realisation). The resultant oceanic state of unitary perception – called by some choiceless awareness – creates the delusion that the illusion of ‘self’ is ended. There is an on-going experience of oneness and wholeness which expresses itself as: ‘I am everything and everything is Me’. For those who go all the way into this delusion, they realise that ‘I am The Self’ or ‘I am Buddha’ or ‘I am God’ or ‘I am That’ and so on.
It is possible to extinguish this identity – this ‘Me’ which is the second ‘I’ of Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer (aka Ramana) fame – and go beyond enlightenment into an actual freedom. One then lives in this actual world of sensual delight that under-pins both the illusory grim and glum ‘everyday reality’ experienced by 5.8 billion people and the delusory loving and compassionate ‘Greater Reality’ experienced by 0.0000001 of the population. Then one is both happy and harmless automatically.
You need to have a keen sense of humour. This business of becoming free is not – contrary to popular opinion – a serious business at all. Be totally sincere ... most definitely utterly sincere, as genuineness is essential. But serious ... no way. An actual freedom is all about having fun; about enjoying being here; about delighting in being alive. All that ‘being serious’ stuff actively works against peace-on-earth. One has to want to be here on this planet ... most people resent being here and wish to escape. This method will bring one into being more fully here than anyone has ever been before. If you do not want to be here, then forget it.
Your feeling of being – the real ‘me’ – is what is evidenced when one says: ‘But what about me, nobody loves me for me’! For a woman it is: ‘You only want me for my body ... and not for me’. For a man it is: ‘You only want me for my money ... and not for me’. For a child it is: ‘You only want to be my friend because of my toys (or sweets or whatever)’. This intuitive sense of ‘me’ – this being – arises out of the basic instinctual passions that blind nature endowed us all with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life. These passions – mainly fear and aggression and nurture and desire – appear as a rudimentary animal ‘self’. This is why it is felt to be one’s ‘Original Face’ – to use the Zen terminology – if one is open to ‘what is’.
Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen hundreds of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future. Biologically all sentient beings are – very fundamentally only – identical. The survival instincts (fear and aggression and nurture and desire in some form or another) are more or less common to all creatures and have been essential to get sentient life to this point in the earth’s history ... it is what got this body and that body and every body here in the first place. All peoples living today are the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes ... every body is the product of the ‘success story’ of fear and aggression and nurture and desire.
Is one really going to abandon that which produced one ... that which (apparently) keeps one alive?
‘I’ am not alone in this endeavour because ‘I’ can tap into the purity and perfection of the infinitude of this physical universe with a pure intent born out of the PCE that one has during a peak experience. Pure intent is a palpable life-force; an actually occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the vast and utter stillness that is the essential character of the universe itself. Once set in motion, it is no longer a matter of choice: it is an irresistible pull. 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.
One simply needs to look at the physical world and just know that this enormous construct called the universe is not ‘set up’ for us humans to be forever forlorn and feisty in with only scant moments of reprieve. ‘I’ can realise here and now that it is not and can never be some ‘sick cosmic joke’ that humans all have to endure and ‘make the best of’. ‘I’ will feel foolish that ‘I’ have believed for all these years that the ‘wisdom of the real-world’ that ‘I’ have inherited – the world that ‘I’ was born into – is set in stone. This foolish feeling allows ‘me’ to get in touch with ‘my’ dormant naiveté, which is the closest thing one has that resembles actual innocence, and activate it with a naive enthusiasm to undo all the conditioning and brainwashing that ‘I’ have been subject to. When ‘I’ look into myself and at all the people around and see the sorrow and malice in every human being, ‘I’ can not stop. ‘I’ know that ‘I’ have just devoted myself to the task of setting ‘myself’ and ‘humanity’ free ... ‘I’ willingly dedicate my life to this most worthy cause. It is so delicious to devote oneself to something whole-heartedly – the ‘boots and all’ approach!
‘I’ become obsessed with changing ‘myself’ fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly.
This entails finding the source of ‘myself’ ... and ‘I’ discover that a ‘being’ arises out of the instinctual passions that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth. This ‘being’ – the rudimentary self – is the root cause of all the malice and sorrow that besets humankind, and to eliminate malice and sorrow ‘I’ have to eliminate the fear and aggression and nurture and desire that this ‘being’ is made up of ... the instinctual passions. But as this ‘being’ is the instinctual passions – there is no differentiation betwixt the two – then the elimination of one is the elimination of the other. In fact, with the elimination of these passions, ‘I’ cease to exist as ‘me’, a ‘being’ in the body, period.
Psychological/ psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ as ‘me’ being can make in order to reveal that which is actual. And that which is actual is a clear and clean and pure perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’/‘me’ are no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’/‘me’ stand in the way of the clarity and purity of the clean perfection of the actual being apparent. ‘My’ very presence prohibits this ever-present perfection being evident. ‘I’ as ‘me’ being prevents the very purity of life, that ‘I’ am searching for, from coming into plain view. With ‘my’ demise, this ever-fresh perfection is now manifest. Peace-on-earth was here in this actual world all the time.
The day finally dawns where the definitive moment of being here, right now, conclusively arrives; something irrevocable takes place and every thing and every body and every event is different, somehow, although the same physically; something immutable occurs and every thing and every body and every event is all-of-a-sudden undeniably actual, in and of itself, as a fact; something irreversible happens and an immaculate perfection and a pristine purity permeates every thing and every body and every event; something has changed forever, although it is as if nothing has happened, except that the entire world is a magical fairytale-like playground full of incredible gladness and a delight which is never-ending.
‘My’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence. I have always been here, I realise, it was that ‘I’ only imagined that ‘I’ existed. It was all an emotional play in a fertile imagination ... which was, however, fuelled by an actual hormonal substance triggered off from within the brain-stem because of the instinctual passions bestowed by blind nature. Thus the psyche – the entire affective faculty born of the instincts itself – is wiped out forever and one is finally what one actually is: this thinking and reflective flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs, delighting in this very sensual world of actual experience.
Thus the search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes comes to its timely end. With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and the sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clean and clear and pure awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, one is the sensations. The entire affective faculty vanishes ... blind nature’s software package of instinctual passions is deleted.
Then there is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not happening to an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To live life as these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and magic. It is all so peaceful, in this actual world; one is living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. It never goes away – nor has it ever been away – it was just that ‘I’/‘me’ was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent. The answer to everything that has puzzled humankind for all of human history is readily elucidated when one is actually free.
The ‘Mystery of Life’ has been penetrated and laid open for all those with the eyes to see.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust:1997-. All Rights Reserved.