Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 89

May 13 2005

RICHARD: ... this may be an apt moment to point out that you are not dealing with a mere tyro, here, in these matters and, furthermore (just in case you have not noticed), that you are way, way out of your depth on this mailing list.

RESPONDENT: What do you suggest with this statement?

RICHARD: Simply that ... (1) there is eleven years of intimate experiencing, night and day, of that which the masters of the different traditions speak of for this flesh and blood body to recall (as contrasted to your book-learnt understanding) ... and (2) as what this flesh and blood body has to report/describe/explain is beyond that (that which the masters of the different traditions speak of) then all of your book-learnt understanding is about as useful as the teats on a bull are when it comes to participating in the discussions on this mailing list.

RESPONDENT: Ok Richard. If you have the practical experience regards the core teaching of the different traditions then (...) In what particular initiatic ‘chain’ were you initiated and by whom?

RICHARD: I will first draw your attention to the following: [Respondent]: ‘Just to give you two quotes what is meant with ‘Self’ by the Masters: [snip quotes]. From: ‘The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi’, 1985’. [endquote]. Here is my first question: in what particular [quote] initiatic ‘chain’ [endquote] was Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer initiated and by whom?

RESPONDENT: Ramana Maharshi got what is called spontaneous initiation at the age of 17, then he left home and went to Arunachala and behaved like any other sannyasin.

RICHARD: Okay then ... here is my response to your query (couched in your terminology): Richard had what could also be called a spontaneous initiation at the age of 34; twelve months after giving notice he left his marital home; he went homeless for five years behaving (more or less) like any other sadhu ... a single, celibate, itinerant, barefooted, unshaven/unshorn sarong-clad holy man, with all his worldly possessions in a small lidded-bucket, wandering aimlessly in nature. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘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 ...’.

RESPONDENT: Here his self-report: [quote] ‘I knew nothing, had learned nothing before I came here. Some mysterious power took possession of me and effected a thorough transformation. I knew nothing and planned nothing. When I left home in my 17th year, I was like a speck swept on by a tremendous flood. I knew not my body or the world, whether it was day or night. It was difficult even to open my eyes. The eyelids seemed to be glued down. My body became a mere skeleton. Visitors pitied my plight as they were not aware how blissful I was. It was after years that I came across the term Brahman when I happened to look into some books on Vedanta brought to me. Amused, I said to myself, ‘Is this known as Brahman!?!’ [endquote].

RICHARD: Okay then ... here is my (equivalent) self-report:

• [Respondent]: ‘By which way the first ‘I’ (ego or self) can expand and create the second ‘I’ (‘I’ as soul/‘I’ as ‘Self’ as ‘me’)?
• [Richard]: ‘As a generalisation it has been traditionally held that there are three ways: 1. Jnani (cognitive realisation as epitomised by the ‘neti-neti’ or ‘not this; not this’ approach). 2. Bhakti (affective realisation as epitomised by devotional worship and surrender of will). 3. Yoga (bodily realisation as epitomised by the raising of ‘kundalini’ and the opening of ‘chakras’).
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, I’ve been following this discussion with interest and have a couple of questions for you: Which of the 3 ways did you use to achieve spiritual enlightenment in 1981?
• [Richard]: ‘Well, none of those 3 ways, actually ... I inadvertently ‘discovered’ another way: ignorance. I was aiming for the pure consciousness experience (PCE) and landed short of my goal ... and it took another 11 years to get here.
To explain: I have never followed anyone; I have never been part of any religious, spiritual, mystical or metaphysical group; I have never done any disciplines, practices or exercises at all; I have never done any meditation, any yoga, any chanting of mantras, any tai chi, any breathing exercises, any praying, any fasting, any flagellations, any ... any of those ‘Tried and True’ inanities; nor did I endlessly analyse my childhood for ever and a day; nor did I do never-ending therapies wherein one expresses oneself again and again ... and again and again.
By being born and raised in the West I was not steeped in the mystical religious tradition of the East and was thus able to escape the trap of centuries of eastern spiritual conditioning. I had never heard the words ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Nirvana’ and so on until 1982 when talking to a man about my breakthrough, into what I called an ‘Absolute Freedom’ via the death of ‘myself’, in September 1981. He listened – he questioned me rigorously until well after midnight – and then declared me to be ‘Enlightened’. I had to ask him what that was, such was my ignorance of all things spiritual. He – being a nine-year spiritual seeker fresh from his latest trip to India – gave me a book to read by someone called Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti. That was to be the beginning of what was to become a long learning curve of all things religious, spiritual, mystical and metaphysical for me. I studied all this because I sought to understand what other peoples had made of such spontaneous experiences and to find out where human endeavour had been going wrong.
I found out where I had been going wrong for eleven years ... self-aggrandisement is so seductive’.

In short: I was not even religious before it all started – I did not even know that there was a difference between a Christian monk and a Buddhist monk, for example, other than that one wore brown robes and the other saffron robes – as I had lumped all religion under the category of superstitious clap-trap way back in childhood and lived a totally secular life.


RESPONDENT: Who was your guru?

RICHARD: Here is my second question: who was Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer’s guru?

RESPONDENT: He had an ‘upaguru’ for initiation, that is, the ‘Self’ itself was his guru. A spontaneous process had taken over in him as he testifies himself.

RICHARD: Okay then ... here is my response to your query (couched in your terminology): Richard had ‘The Absolute’ for initiation, that is, the Parabrahman itself was his guru. A spontaneous process had taken over in him as he testifies himself.


RESPONDENT: What was the teaching you were told by your master ...

RICHARD: Here is my third question: what was the teaching Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer was told by his master?

RESPONDENT: He was told no teaching.

RICHARD: Okay then ... here is my response to your query (couched in your terminology): Richard was told no teaching.


RESPONDENT: ... and what was the meditation techniques you were instructed by him to exercise?

RICHARD: Here is my fourth question: what were the meditation techniques Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer was instructed by his master to exercise?

RESPONDENT: None. No meditation techniques are necessary anyway as he said himself.

RICHARD: Okay then ... here is my response to your query (couched in your terminology): Richard had none. No meditation techniques were necessary anyway as he said himself. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘(...) I spoke of love as being ‘the way; the means and the end’.


RICHARD (Postscript): Here is a supplementary question: have you ever heard the term ‘come in spinner’?

RESPONDENT: No, I haven’t.

RICHARD: The term ‘come in spinner’ typically refers to the verbal art of the wind-up – ‘a deliberate attempt to provoke someone by misleading or hoaxing; a trick, a tease, a practical joke’ (Oxford Dictionary) – in that it marks the moment when the narrator, the trickster spinning the yarn (aka telling the tale), tells the hapless listener they have been conned (duped, tricked, cheated, swindled). The stakes in this game are not, however, just the small change of little truths but the status of truths themselves. In order to arrive at that moment when the narrator can say ‘come in spinner’ to the gulled listener, they have to give away those little truths that will be recognised, picked up, and followed ... followed right up the garden path. In fact, in order to mislead, the narrator must tell the truth. In order to produce difference, to put the listener in a another place from where they think the narrator is, the narrator has to convince them they are in the same place.

Needless is it to add that a suitably motivated listener/ reader can self-administer such a wind-up, deliberately conning themselves into fancying they are at the same place as the speaker/writer despite many clear warnings to the contrary, until the pivotal point arrives when the penny drops (aka understanding dawns) and they are left with nothing but egg on their face ... ‘a condition of looking foolish or being embarrassed or humiliated by the turn of events’ (Oxford Dictionary)?

RESPONDENT: I just checked the dictionary.

RICHARD: It did not occur to you to access an internet search-engine?

RESPONDENT: Does it mean that you put me in the spinner ...

RICHARD: No, I never put my fellow human being in the spinner – more than a few of them do that all of their own accord by attempting the impossible (endeavouring to comprehend the new paradigm in terms of the old paradigm) – and neither was I indulging in the verbal art of the wind-up, as described above, either.

On the contrary, I am entirely sincere ... what another does with my words is, however, something else entirely. For classic example, of someone doing just that, the first half of what the following URL links to is worth a read:

As the words [quote] ‘come in spinner’ [endquote] appear towards the end of quite a long exchange over several e-mails a fuller comprehension might require some back-tracking through the very detailed, to the point of being laboured, sequence.

RESPONDENT: ... by asking me questions back to demonstrate that Ramana Maharshi obviously had no more qualification than his ‘experiences’, that is, no personal guru, no teaching, no meditation techniques? Which would demonstrate that your ‘experiences’ (11 years of enlightenment) are as valid as Ramana Maharshi’s?

RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to put it this way? You not only say you found The Actual Freedom Trust web site a year before you first wrote anything to this, its associated mailing list, you also say you have read vast amounts of it over that year ... so surely you must be well aware that you are not dealing with a mere tyro, here, in these matters and that there have been many who have already come and gone before you, on both this and other mailing lists, having tried in vain to outsmart/ outwit me.

I have touched upon this before:

• [Richard]: ‘(...) I really do wonder, at times, why person after person would consider they can try out smart-aleckry on me, and get away with it, when the evidence of so many e-mails in the archives demonstrates that any such attempt has invariably resulted in them coming off a pathetic second-best (if that)’.

Why on earth someone would even think for a moment – let alone actually put the thought into action – that for a person to be able to speak competently about matters transcendent they have to be an initiate of an existing lineage (when it stands to reason, if nothing else, that in order for those lineages to exist in the first place there has to be, ipso facto, a pioneer who was not) is simply beyond sensible comprehension.

Hence my cautionary postscript – ‘have you ever heard the term ‘come in spinner’’ – as there were all the hall-marks of a person hell-bent upon self-administering the art of the wind-up come what may.

Not that it stopped you, of course, as you (unnecessarily) went ahead and typed-out answers to those (patently obvious) questions, anyway ... and clicked ‘send’.


RESPONDENT: In this case, yes, this reasoning makes sense. Though ...

RICHARD: If I may interject (before that subjunctive modifier puts you into another place and thus has you lose the import of what you just acknowledged)? There is more to it than just that ... much, much more: Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer’s state, being one of those mystical states you so easily disparage, is but a recent manifestation of that which makes the very spirituality you so readily praise possible in the first place ... to wit: the experiential understanding which can only come about upon self-realisation ... and which wisdom metaphysicians have fed-off for centuries.

RESPONDENT: ... [Though] from a purely doctrinal point of view Ramana Maharshi associated himself with one tradition, that is, with Brahmanism.

RICHARD: Whereas Richard, having sufficient integrity such as to be capable of keeping his wits about him, neither associated himself with any tradition nor became a public spectacle ... and was thus able to (eventually) break free from that highly-prized state, that much-venerated summum bonum of human experience.

RESPONDENT: Now you go on and say your ‘experiences’ after the 11 years of enlightenment is ‘beyond that (that which the masters of the different traditions speak of)’. I, of course, cannot dispute that but ...

RICHARD: If I might stop you just there, before the headiness which the dismissive power a negative conjunction can invoke puts you into another place, so as to ask the outstanding question? Why do you immediately (or maybe even automatically) want to dispute that?

Is there not sufficient information on The Actual Freedom Trust web site to establish a prima facie case worthy of further investigation (rather than capricious dismissal)? Is it really beyond the stretch of credibility to even entertain the possibility that spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment/ self-realisation not only can be gone beyond but needs to be? Has not the evidence of the aeons abundantly demonstrated that the religious/ spiritual/ mystical/ metaphysical solution to all the ills of humankind has not, is not, and will not deliver peace on earth? Have not the millions upon millions – if not billions – of earnest, decent, and otherwise intelligent, peoples assiduously practicing same amply shown that those tried and true solutions are the tried and failed?

There is as much anguish and animosity, as much misery and mayhem, nowadays as there was back then ... when is enough enough? Intelligence in action is the acknowledgement that something which has not produced the goods, despite at least 3,000-5,000 years for it to work its wisdom in, is never going to deliver on its spurious promise and that it is high time to clear the work-bench and start afresh ... to learn from those that have gone before and move on.

Just for starters: one needs to fully acknowledge the biological imperative (the instinctual passions) which are the root cause of all the ills of humankind. The genetically inherited passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) give rise to malice and sorrow and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion: these negative and positive feelings are intrinsically connected and constitute what is known as ‘The Human Condition’.

The term ‘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.

The ending of malice and sorrow, and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, involves getting one’s head out of the clouds – and beyond – and coming down-to-earth where the flesh and blood bodies called human beings actually live. Obviously, peace on earth can only be found here in space and now in time as this material body. Then the question is: is it possible to be free of the human condition, here on earth, in this life-time, as this flesh and blood body?

Which means: how on earth can one live happily and harmlessly, in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, whilst one nurses malice and sorrow, and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, in one’s bosom?


RESPONDENT: ... [but] based on my theoretical understanding I have just found myriads of quotes which indicate that they clearly taught the overcoming of the affective faculty.

RICHARD: Hmm ... eradicating is vastly different to overcoming, non?

RESPONDENT: First quote: ‘[Un]-self-ishness, from the Indian point of view is an amoral state, in which no question of ‘Altruism’ can present itself, liberation being as much from the notion of ‘others’ as it is form the notion of ‘self’, and not in any sense a psychological state, but a liberation from all that is implied by the ‘psyche’ in the word ‘psychology’. [Ananda Coomaraswamy, Hinduism and Buddhism].

RICHARD: The experiential state which lies behind those words is (initially) one of union – a state of oneness as expressed in ‘We are all One’ for instance – and (ultimately) one of solipsism – a state of aloneness as expressed in ‘There is only That’ for example – so of course there is liberation from the notion of ‘others’ as well as ‘self’.

Whereas in actuality there is no separation in the first place such as to necessitate such self-absorbed narcissism ... there is an actual intimacy with every body, every thing, and every event, here.

In regards to altruism: the word altruism can be used in two distinctly different ways – in a virtuous sense (as in being unselfish), such as the author you quoted is using it, or in a zoological/ biological sense (as in being diametrically opposite to selfism) – and it is the latter which is of particular interest to a person wanting to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to being apparent, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, as it takes a powerful instinctive impulse (altruism) to overcome a powerful instinctive impulse (selfism) ... blind nature endows each and every human being with the selfish instinct for individual survival and the clannish instinct for group survival (be it the familial group, the tribal group, or the national group).

By and large the instinct for survival of the group is the more powerful – as is epitomised in the honey-bee (when it stings to protect/ defend the hive it dies) – and it is the utilisation of this once-in-a-lifetime gregarian action which is referred to in my oft-repeated ‘an altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice/ ‘self’-immolation, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body’.

As for amorality ... the following links may throw some light upon that:

RESPONDENT: [Mr. Ananda Coomaraswamy]: ‘I call him a Brahman indeed’, the Buddha says, ‘who has passed beyond attachment both to good and evil; one who is clean, to whom no dust attaches, a-pathetic’. [endquote]. Not: ‘apathetic’, i.e. ‘not pathological’, as are those who are subject to their on passions or sym-pathise with those of others.

RICHARD: Being utterly apathetic myself I do understand that word (from the Greek ‘apethēs’ which literally means ‘without feeling’) properly refers to a passionless existence/ not feeling emotion – and not just to the popular usage (as in stolid indifference/ stoic disinterest) – yet what must be comprehended, when speaking of the buddhistic goal, is that the ultimate state (‘jhana’) is one in which not only does the affectional ability cease but also the sensorial, the cognitional and the motorial functions as well ... plus consciousness itself (more on this further below).

Incidentally, I would be quite suss of someone translating Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s (Pali) title for such a person – an Arahant – into him really meaning a ‘Brahman’ [the Pali word ‘brahmana’ refers to that which is; which is not what the Sankrit word ‘Brahman’ refers to].

RESPONDENT: Second quote: ‘The affective system, Roberts says, is the cause of all suffering. Out of it arises all fear, anxiety, and psychological suffering. It would follow, she suggests, that those who have lost the affective system, are free of psychological disorders and would have no reason to seek professional help, and that is why the psychiatric literature has no description of those who have gone beyond the self’. [Book review ‘The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey’; author: Bernadette Roberts].

RICHARD: There is no point in providing quotes about Ms. Bernadette Roberts as her experience has been presented several times before and responses are available to be read (free of charge) on The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... and, by the way, as you say you have [quote] ‘just found myriads of quotes’ [endquote] it would save a lot of time and bandwidth to do a search of The Actual Freedom Trust web site before reaching for the keyboard again.

More to the point, however, were you to actually read that book (and not just quote a reviewer’s understanding drawn from it) you would find passages such as the following:

• [Ms. Bernadette Roberts]: ‘It is quite possible that at some time or other everyone has made contact with the self-as-subject [as distinct from self-as-object]. All that is required for such an encounter is the cessation of the reflexive movement of the mind bending back on itself. Without this reflexive (or pre-reflexive) movement, we are no longer aware of our own awareness, our own feelings and thoughts, and thus we have encountered self-as-subject. But since this subjective self is as nothing to the mind, we cannot stay in this condition for long and soon fall back into self-consciousness or self-as-object. To remain in this un-reflexive condition for any length of time would mean encountering an emptiness, a void, a nothingness that is *the subjective self* – which I have called no-self’. [bracketed insert and emphasis added]. (‘Pure Subjectivity’, from the book ‘The Experience of No-Self’, by Bernadette Roberts; 1982;

Thus if her experience is anything to go by, and there is no reason why it should not, it does throw considerable light on that hoary topic of what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan meant by the word ‘anatta’ (often translated as ‘no-self’).


RESPONDENT: These are just two quotes of many possible quotes which show that the masters’ teaching is very well beyond ‘Love Agape’ and ‘Compassion’.

RICHARD: You may find the following informative in this regard:
• [Co-Respondent]: “What do You understand by being enlightenment?”
• [Richard]: “There is nothing other than The Absolute”. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 25, 30 July 2001).
And this:
• [Co-Respondent]: “Richard, what is your description of enlightenment as you experienced it 20 years ago? (My understanding of the same event can be found in an earlier post)”.
• [Richard]: “And my answer is to be found in response to that earlier post: there was only The Absolute (God by whatever name) and nothing else existed. Howsoever, I can flesh it out a little ... my experience, for eleven years in the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’, was an on-going ecstatic state of rapturous, ineffable and sacred bliss: unconditional Love Agapé and Divine Compassion poured forth for all suffering sentient beings twenty four hours of the day. It was a truly euphoric state of being”. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 25, 9 January 2002).
And this:
• [Co-Respondent]: “I invite all of you who have had a Self experience to try describing it”.
• [Richard]: “Sure ... there was only The Absolute (the Self by whatever name) and nothing else existed”.
• [Co-Respondent]: “I question if actual freedom from Human Condition is attainable without surpassing the last psychic Archetype, the Self, our Creator, out of which everything has begun?”
• [Richard]: “My experience is that an actual freedom is attainable by going beyond spiritual enlightenment ... however I do not advise going that route (via enlightenment) as it is too traumatic. Also it is just plain silly”. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 25, 6 August 2002).
And this:
• [Co-Respondent]: “As an example [of a description of ‘Self’], is the description ‘a very old child’ valid in your case?”
• [Richard]: “No, the description “there is nothing other than The Absolute” is what is valid in my case (...)”.
• [Co-Respondent]: “If you can provide a brief description for your particular Self image, so as to compare notes, I would be pleased to read it”.
• [Richard]: “Sure ... there was only The Absolute (the Self by whatever name) and nothing else existed”.
• [Co-Respondent]: “Or is it indescribable?”
• [Richard]: “No, it is easily described: there was nothing other than The Absolute”. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 25c, 25 August 2003).
In other words, in full-blown spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment, there is only ‘That’ (the unmanifest by whatever name) and the manifest – all time and all space and all form – is but a dream/an illusion/an appearance ... meaning that in reality there is neither creation nor destruction, and thus, neither bondage nor liberation/ neither a seeker after liberation nor the liberated.

RESPONDENT: They taught the loss of the ‘psyche’ and that’s only possible without the ‘affective faculty’ and without the ‘affective faculty’ there are no ‘passions’, without passions no attachment ‘good’ [love] and ‘evil’ [hate], no difference between ‘self’ and ‘others’, no ‘altruism’, no morals. That’s the core teachings of the metaphysical doctrine and that’s pretty close to what you report.

RICHARD: It is not at all close to what I report (let alone pretty close): what you have, rather loosely, detailed there can only occur in what is best described in western terms as a cataleptic state ... ‘condition of trance or seizure with loss of sensation or consciousness and abnormal maintenance of posture’ (Oxford Dictionary). Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘It is quite common to have heightened sensory perception in an ASC (provided it be an extroversive ASC as contrasted to an introversive ASC) ... the nature mystics have written extensively about such experience: ( However, the introversive ASC is generally held to be both superior and more significant as it is exemplified by (a) the disappearance of all the physical and mental objects of ordinary consciousness and, in their place, the emergence of a unitary and undifferentiated consciousness and thus (b) the event is non-temporal (timeless), non-spatial (spaceless), and non-material (formless).
Mr. Robert Forman, on page 131 of the ‘Journal of Consciousness Studies Volume 5, Issue 2, 1998’, (in a paper called ‘What Does Mysticism Have To Teach Us About Consciousness?’), described the introversive ASC as a pure consciousness *event* so as to emphasise the absence of any experienced object – it is pure subjectivity in other words – which is also why such terminology as ‘Consciousness Without An Object’ is used to describe the totally senseless and thoughtless trance state known as ‘dhyana’ in Sanskrit (Hinduism) and as ‘jhana’ in Pali (Buddhism).
In the West such a state can only be described as catalepsy ... apart from Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer, in his early years, possibly the best-known example could be Mr. Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (aka Ramakrishna): onlookers can see the body is totally inward-looking, totally self-absorbed, totally immobile, and totally functionless (the body cannot and does not talk, walk, eat, drink, wake, sleep ... or type e-mails to mailing lists).
A never-ending ‘dhyana’ or ‘jhana’ would result in the body wasting away until its inevitable physical death ... as a means of obtaining peace-on-earth it is completely useless’.

RESPONDENT: How are you beyond them?

RICHARD: By actually hosting no affective faculty (and all which inheres with that) whatsoever.

RESPONDENT: Can it actually be that you experience the same they refer to but you interpret it differently?

RICHARD: No, not at all ... not even a remote possibility.

RESPONDENT: Did you find similar quotes like the one above ...

RICHARD: I was not at all interested in second-hand analyses, from pundits and reviewers like those you provided, as it was first-hand accounts of the experiencing itself which was of vital importance to me at the time.

RESPONDENT: ... while you were doing your research or were you only able to find references to ‘Love Agape’ in the spiritual literature of the different traditions?

RICHARD: As your query comes presupposed out of the misconception that essentially all Richard has to report about that eleven-year period is Love Agapé I would suggest you do with actualism what you say you did for seventeen years with spiritualism ... to wit: actually read what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site.

‘Tis only a suggestion, mind you.

May 13 2005

RESPONDENT No. 84: These instinctual passions (which have physical causes) create the rudimentary feeling of ‘being’.

RESPONDENT: Not exactly of ‘being’ but of ‘being a psychological/psychic entity’.

RICHARD: No, your co-respondent was right on the nose: the instinctual passions, in action, automatically form themselves into a rudimentary feeling ‘being’ or, in other words, into an amorphous affective presence ... an inchoate feeler/ incipient intuiter.

RESPONDENT: I don’t dispute that.

(... snip remainder of e-mail ...)

RESPONDENT No. 87: Seems Richard simply cannot comprehend that with or without instinctual feelings the body remains consciously present. In other words apperceptively aware of itself as a conscious thinking body.

RESPONDENT: Yes, that is exactly the point.

RICHARD: Given you do not dispute that the instinctual passions automatically form themselves into a rudimentary feeling ‘being’ (an amorphous affective presence, an inchoate feeler/ incipient intuiter) then what you are saying [quote] ‘is exactly the point’ [endquote] is, in effect, that with or without that feeling ‘being’ (that affective presence, that feeler/ intuiter) in situ a flesh and blood body remains conscious of currently existing ... unless, of course, asleep, anaesthetised, in a faint, knocked out (or in any other way rendered comatose).

In other words, what you are saying [quote] ‘is exactly the point’ [endquote] is, in effect, that either with or without a feeling ‘being’ (an affective presence, a feeler/ intuiter) in situ a flesh and blood body is apperceptively aware of being a conscious, thinking flesh and blood body ... unless, of course, asleep, anaesthetised, in a faint, knocked out (or in any other way rendered comatose).


RICHARD: In which case it is not [quote] ‘exactly the point’ [endquote] that you were making in the (now-snipped) remainder of the e-mail at all because nowhere in that which you have just said yes to is anything relating to the following to be found:

• [Respondent]: ‘The only thing I really know is that *I am present to myself*. That is the only real knowledge I have!’ [emphasis added]. (‘Re: Actual & Spiritual Freedom’; Thursday 21/04/2005 10:53 PM AEST).

It would appear that your co-respondent slipped one past you when you were not paying attention, eh?


RICHARD: You may find the following useful:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What is free by its very nature does not seek to become free.
• [Richard]: ‘Of course what is already free does not seek to become free – I have been free all along and never sought otherwise – it was the identity in parasitical residence who sought ‘self’-liberation ... and attained it for eleven years. ‘Twas only when the ‘self’-liberated identity finally ‘self’-immolated that I became apparent. (...) I am this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. I have been here all along ... it was just that there was this loudmouth parasitically inhabiting this body who dominated so totally that I could barely get a word in edgeways ... except in a pure consciousness experience (PCE). And when both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul finally ceased to exist (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation) I became apparent. It took eleven years from when ‘I’ as ego died (resulting in spiritual enlightenment) for ‘me’ as soul to die as well (resulting in actual freedom)’.

RESPONDENT: I tend to agree.

RICHARD: You do not even do that ... for when the loudmouth in toto became extinct so too did the ‘Absolute’ (by whatever name).

RESPONDENT: What remains when freed from the parasite is the conscious body ...

RICHARD: Unless, of course, asleep, anaesthetised, in a faint, knocked out, or in any other way rendered comatose, as what remains then is the unconscious body ... and an unconscious body is a body that remains existent (is still existing/is still being) or, in other words, is still present, still currently alive.

RESPONDENT: ... BUT that doesn’t effect the metaphysical doctrine that there is the ‘Principle’ ...

RICHARD: Au contraire ... when the loudmouth in toto became extinct so too did the ‘Principle’ (by whatever name).

RESPONDENT: ... (which has nothing to do with instincts, feelings, emotions etc.)

RICHARD: On the contrary ... where there is no affective faculty/identity in toto there is, correspondingly, no transcendent ‘Absolute’ (by whatever name).

RESPONDENT: ... and that from a supra-individual point of view, everything is, principally, the Principle [or ‘Self’ but I use the word ‘Principle’ because you use the ‘Self’ to denote the passionate instincts].

RICHARD: It makes no difference what name you use ... when the loudmouth in toto became extinct so too did That (by whatever name).

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.


RESPONDENT (to Respondent No. 87): I am again thankful that you understand this simple observation.

RICHARD: If I may point out? That [quote] ‘simple observation’ [endquote] is not the same thing as this report of yours:

• [Respondent]: ‘The only thing I really know is that I am present to myself. That is the only real knowledge I have!’ [endquote]. (‘Re: Actual & Spiritual Freedom’; Thursday 21/04/2005 10:53 PM AEST).

RESPONDENT: I don’t see a conflict here.

RICHARD: Or, rather, you are not interested in seeing a conflict there. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘Either I am badly misunderstood or I badly misunderstand or this is just a confusion about words. Please tell me how it is possible to be ‘conscious’ but not to be ‘present’? If you guys are not present in your flesh and blood bodies how is it possible that you know what you are doing? How do you write emails for example if you are not present? And I am not talking about ‘me’ and ‘I’ being ‘present’. I am talking about being here, being conscious. You know that you are Richard (...) How can this be if you were not ‘present’? How can you know anything without being ‘present’, being ‘conscious’? A stone doesn’t know anything because it is not ‘present’ not ‘conscious’. There must be something going in your body which makes you ‘conscious’ and ‘present’. Maybe it is a language problem. You are saying ‘I am the conscious body’. That’s fine. But how can you possibly say this if you were not ‘present’??? I simply don’t understand your objections.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘(...) If you will not word your sentences to even hypothesize a body sans identity then how can I listen to your claim about ‘How often do I have to repeat that I am not talking about ‘I’, an entity, an object, a thing being ‘present’? You contradict yourself very strongly here.
• [Respondent]: ‘There is no contradiction at all here. It merely sounds like a contradiction to you because for you the absence of an entity in a body equates to ‘I am the conscious body’. But *I am not interested to talk about this any further*’. [emphasis added]. (Monday 9/05/2005 12:31 AM AEST).

RESPONDENT: This is an epistemological statement and holds true.

RICHARD: I am in no way saying that it does not hold epistemologically true for any normal person – indeed that reflexive intuition is endemic in the real world – yet it is not epistemologically true in actuality.


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.

CORRESPONDENT No. 89 (Part Four)




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.

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