Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘B’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’

with Respondent No. 13

Some Of The Topics Covered

self – instinctual passions – feelings – how to become free – Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti – time – detachment – Mr. Gotama the Sakyan on feelings – why am I here

February 12 1998:

RESPONDENT: There is no argument on my part that there is any such thing as an independent, separated self that functions autonomously.

RESPONDENT No. 40: Just received this quote, which kind of links to what you said: ‘Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to’. (Soygal Rinpoche)

RICHARD: Somewhat optimistically, I have searched the written word throughout the world wondering if I will ever find, when the ‘self’ is referred to, that it is a reference to an identity in its totality, not just an ego. But apparently this is not to be the case. Just as it is generally agreed that there is no substantive ego, equally there is no argument on my part that there is any such fundamental thing as a ‘hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to’, either.

In my experience I have found that the self is made up of two parts: the ego and the soul. In a valiant effort to right the wrongs that beset oneself and all of humankind, one can dissolve the ego and realise oneself as a ‘centre-less being’, in unity with that which is sacred and holy. However, upon closer inspection one finds that one has jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. ‘I’ still exist – now disguised as a timeless and eternal ‘being’ – and continue to wreak ‘my’ havoc upon an unsuspecting public ... albeit now a blissful ‘being’ emanating Love Agapé and Divine Compassion to all and sundry.

All the wars, murders, tortures, rapes and destruction that has eventually followed the emergence of any specially hallowed master attests to this. All the sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide that has ensued as a result of following any specifically revered master’s teaching also testifies to this. All the Saints and the Sages; all the Masters and the Messiahs; all the Saviours and the Avatars have not been able to bring about their much-touted Peace On Earth. This has been the sorry lot of humankind since time immemorial.

The ‘Teachers’ – and their ‘Teachings’ – have been at fault all along, for they still had an identity. However, all is not lost: just as the ego can dissolve, so too can the soul disappear. ‘I’, as an ‘identity’, as a ‘being’, must become extinct. Then, and only then, is there a chance for global peace. With ‘I’ in ‘my’ entirety extinguished, the instinctual fear and aggression that blind nature endows all creatures with at birth vanishes ... along with the malice and sorrow engendered. One is then spontaneously happy and harmless; one is automatically blithe and benevolent; one is candidly carefree and considerate. Thus, for the one who dares to go all the way, individual peace on earth for the remainder of one’s life is immediate and actual. This peace-on-earth is immediate and actual.

This ongoing experience is ambrosial, to say the least.

February 22 1998:

RESPONDENT No. 31: Oh God, Richard, now you might motivate our friend to figure out a way to write even more stuff using the ‘compressed format’ of yours!!

RICHARD: What’s with the ‘compressed format’ dig? Hasn’t No. 57 asked us all to be succinct!

RESPONDENT: I thought you appreciated a ‘subtle sense of humour’?

RICHARD: Oh dear ... was it that abstruse? That was supposed to be a prime example of my subtle sense of humour!

RESPONDENT: Not that you were too abstruse ... I’ll have to confess to being obtuse.

RICHARD: No, you may not be all that obtuse after all ... it was more of a private joke I was having with myself, I guess, and I put it out onto the List. Just because someone’s post is short, it does not necessarily make it succinct. Succinct means concise, pithy, to the point. I was amused by the use of the word ‘succinct’ when seen in the context of who made the request, that is all ... and I capitalised on it.

I happen to like the English language, you see.

May 26 1999:

RICHARD (to Respondent No. 31): I consistently delineate the nature of human beings with the term ‘Human Condition’ ... which 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.

RESPONDENT: Yes. This is a very concise and accurate description of the ‘Human Condition’ as I, too, understand it.

RICHARD: Good ... speaking personally, my questioning of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being all started in a war-torn country in June 1966 at age nineteen – when there was an identity inhabiting this body complete with a full suite of feelings – and a Buddhist monk killed himself in a most gruesome way. There was I, a callow youth dressed in a jungle-green uniform and with a loaded rifle in my hand, representing the secular way to peace. There was a fellow human being, dressed in religious robes dowsed with petrol and with a cigarette lighter in hand, representing the spiritual way to peace.

I was aghast at what we were both doing ... and I sought to find a third alternative to being either ‘human’ or ‘divine’.

This was to be the turning point of my life, for up until then I was a typical western youth, raised to believe in God, Queen and Country. Humanity’s inhumanity to humanity – society’s treatment of its subject citizens – was driven home to me, there and then, in a way that left me appalled, horrified, terrified and repulsed to the core of my being with a sick revulsion. I saw that no one knew what was going on and – most importantly – that no one was ‘in charge’ of the world. There was nobody to ‘save’ the human race ... all gods were but a figment of a feverish imagination. Out of a despairing desperation, which was collectively shared by my fellow humans, I saw and understood that I was as ‘guilty’ as any one else. For in me – as is in everyone – was both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ... it was that some people were better than others at controlling their ‘dark side’. However, in a war, there is no way anyone can consistently control any longer ... ‘evil’ ran rampant. I saw that fear and aggression and nurture and desire ruled the world ... and that these were instincts one was born with. Thus started my search for freedom from the ‘Human Condition’ ... and my attitude, all those years ago was this:

I was only interested in changing myself fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly.

*

RICHARD (to Respondent No. 31): The ending of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides requires the ending of malice and sorrow ... which 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, the solution to all the ills of humankind can only be found here in space and now in time. The Gurus and God-men have had 3,000 to 5,000 years to produce the goods with their ‘Timeless and Spaceless and Formless’ solution ... their ‘Tried and True’ is the ‘Tried and Failed’. So, 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?

RESPONDENT: I agree with what you say here, with some differences. Perhaps we can get back to this in another post.

RICHARD: Please do ... as the problem of ‘The Human Condition’ is happening here on earth (in space) each moment again (in time) in these flesh and blood bodies (as form) called human beings, then the solution to ‘The Human Condition’ quite obviously can only be found here in space and now in time as form. Thus far in human history one has had only two choices: being human or being divine. Neither option has brought about peace on earth.

There is a third alternative

*

RICHARD (to Respondent No. 31): Which means: How on earth can I live happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst I nurse malice and sorrow in my bosom?

RESPONDENT: Yes, this is the essential question. This indicates a balanced and undistorted view from one’s ‘sense of responsibility’ (If you care to go into what I mean by this term I will be happy to oblige).

RICHARD: Please do ... because nobody is responsible for being born with the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... it is nothing but a rather clumsy software package genetically inherited by all sentient beings as a rough and ready start to life. The Guru’s and the God-Men’s solution to the ‘The Human Condition’ of sublimation and transcendence of these base passions has had 3,000 to 5,000 years to be tested out in ‘real time’... how much longer must the experiment go on before people will ditch their failed solution and do something different? Must another 160,000,000 human beings be killed by their fellow human being in the coming century before anyone gets their heads out of the clouds – and beyond – where the Gurus and the God-Men say that the solution lies and actually do something substantial ... here on earth? Their failure to eliminate the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire is the only place where ‘taking responsibility’ has any meaning.

Whereas an actual freedom from the human condition is the ending of responsibility.

*

RICHARD (to Respondent No. 34): Both the ‘dark side’ and ‘light side’ of all human beings are primarily born of the instinctual passions ... the ‘moral or ethical order’, being the socialised effort to control the wayward self that lurks deep within the human breast is, as you say, an effect. Self-centredness is a feeling-fed ‘self’, born of the survival instincts bestowed by blind nature, doing what it is charged to do ... staying in existence.

RESPONDENT: I have read your post in the past where you have talked about ‘rooting out’ the ‘instinctual passions’. I must admit that I usually read this as ‘rooting out’ the instincts (which seems absurd to me) and want to see if what you mean by ‘instinctual passions’ is the same as my own understanding of this issue. Please take the time to read over what I presented in another post and offer your comments: [Respondent]: ‘The human problem lies in the fact that we are both instinctual and intellectual by nature. This would not present a problem except that the intellect is ill equipped (inherently divisive) for the proper integration of the instinctual nature. Thus, instinctual drives are misinterpreted and misapplied by the intellect giving rise to the illusions that cloud our perception. And setting in motion the psychological dynamics that have evolved into the dominant human condition. The propositions that we must rid ourselves or either instincts or the intellect are laughable. Neither one is possible nor desirable and are only attempts to escape the reality of our being. This only continues the current battle on another front and the violence continues, internally and externally. The solution lies not in struggle, a propensity of both instinct and intellect, but in an unmoving awareness that allows our full nature to come into view and a third source of understanding to come into play, the intuition. Please note, I am not talking about the confused notion of intuition that is rampant in new age circles, which is most often a mistaken attempt to return to a dependence on instincts. I am speaking about accessing an innate ‘intelligence’ that is already always functioning in the each of us and the universe as a whole’. (From a post to No. 33, from the thread ‘Beyond Logic’).

RICHARD: May I respond step-by-step? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘The human problem lies in the fact that we are both instinctual and intellectual by nature’.

Being ‘intellectual by nature’ is what sets the human animal apart from other animals ... the intellect is our most valuable asset in considering and communicating and is perhaps the most useful tool ever to emerge on this planet. It is an amazing thing that not only are we humans able to be here experiencing this business of being alive ... on top of that we can think about and reflect upon what is entailed in words. In addition to this ability, we can communicate our discoveries to one another – comparing notes as it were – and further our understanding with this communal input. One does not have to rely only upon one’s own findings; it is possible, as one man famous in history put it, to reach beyond the current knowledge by standing upon the shoulders of those that went before.

Without being ‘intellectual by nature’ there would never be peace-on-earth.

• [Respondent]: ‘This would not present a problem except that the intellect is ill equipped (inherently divisive) for the proper integration of the instinctual nature’.

I do demur ... the intellect is not ‘ill equipped (inherently divisive)’ at all. It is the feelings (emotions, passions and calentures) that infiltrate the intellect and cripple its clarity.

The Gurus and God-Men advocate sublimation and transcendence of ‘the instinctual nature’ (being divine) ... and it has failed. Psychiatrists and psychologists have proposed ‘the proper integration of the instinctual nature’ as being the way to go (being human) ... and it has failed.
There is a third alternative.

• [Respondent]: ‘Thus, instinctual drives are misinterpreted and misapplied by the intellect giving rise to the illusions that cloud our perception. And setting in motion the psychological dynamics that have evolved into the dominant human condition’.

Yes, the study of the ‘instinctual drives’ is largely over-looked and any information on the subject is surprisingly scant. The ‘Tabula Rasa’ doctrine still holds sway in many circles and other schools of thought cannot agree among themselves as to what is instinctual and what is not ... as epitomised in the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate. However, in all of my ad hoc reading on the subject over many years, there is some basic agreement as in regards the ‘freeze or flight or fight’ instincts (what I call ‘fear and aggression), the ‘propagation of the species’ instincts as epitomised by the sexual impulse (what I call ‘desire’) and the ‘protecting and nurturing’ instincts as epitomised by bonding (what I call ‘nurture). There are others like ‘territoriality’, ‘gregariousness’, ‘homing’ and so on, but for purposes of focussing on the nub of the issue I consistently keep to the four basic passions: fear and aggression (savage) and nurture and desire (tender).

And yes, ‘the illusions that cloud our perception’ reign supreme ... yet I am constantly amazed at what has been achieved despite the ‘Human Condition’, sometimes more sardonically referred to as the ‘Human Folly’. It is always a joy to go shopping, for example, so prolific is the supply of food available to all and sundry, at a reasonable cost. The shelves are stacked, from end to end, with a staggering array of viands from everywhere throughout the country ... indeed, from all over the world. Food-stuffs virtually tumble into my basket, so loaded are the shelves, and I am always extremely happy to be here, partaking of the goods that are the result of human endeavour. Now I fully realise that I, personally, live in a western society – a consumer society it is belittlingly called – but even the developing countries, with assistance from the west, are usually able to feed themselves these days ... when they are not at war, that is. With this proviso in mind, it is heartening to reflect upon the great strides humankind has made this century in terms of material well-being, compared with what transpired over the tens of thousands of years that humans have been inhabiting this planet.

Long gone are the days of the hunter-gatherer; days wherein the human race was at the mercy of the elements for their physical survival. Long gone are the times when humans had to eke out an animal-like existence; full bellies in a time of plenty, and starvation in a famine. Nowadays, when famine strikes one part of the world, aid in the form of basic provisions comes in from other areas experiencing plenty. In terms of the supply of goodies, I find that I am literally living in a veritable ‘Garden of Eden’. My every physical need is met with a bewildering array of abundance; it is a time of cornucopia, of which I am pleased to take full benefit as is my due.

I am astonished at the lack of appreciation displayed so vehemently by peoples I meet and articles I read about in the press. Why do the peoples of this country not realise that they are well-off, luxuriating in the freedom from want? Why are there looks of dissatisfaction on the faces of my fellow shoppers? Why do they have the temerity to complain when they are living in the land of plenty? Is there no way of pleasing these people? Fancy complaining about ‘having to do the shopping’ when it is such a delight to share in the benefits of human inventiveness; ingenuity in the face of the vagaries of the natural world. I am immensely appreciative of being alive now and not at some other age in which I would have had to struggle for my ‘daily bread’... those dreadful times one reads about in the history books and literary works. It is amazing what has been achieved despite the ‘Human Folly’.

Herein lies the clue to the lack of appreciation. Nothing can satisfy the discontent of a hubristic soul ... and all souls suffer from insolent contemptuousness towards the universe. People resent having to be here; they could be given whatever they demanded and they would still be not satisfied. Nothing, but nothing, can assuage the troubled identity, the psychological or psychic entity that has taken up a parasitical residence within the body of all the peoples inhabiting this planet. This alien entity – sometimes known as the ego and the soul – will spoil any enterprise, sabotage every endeavour and breed discontent and misery throughout its domain. It is the single reason for the ‘Human Condition’. Everyone I meet, every printed word I read, states that ‘you can’t change human nature’ and set about fiddling with the levers and controls in an ultimately useless attempt to ameliorate the human situation within the ‘Human Condition’ ... with less than perfect results.

Any action within ‘humanity’ as it is, is doomed to failure. Unless this fact can be grasped with both hands and taken on board to such an extent that it hits home deeply, nothing will change, radically. There will be changes around the edges; variations upon a familiar theme, but nothing structurally new, nothing even approaching the mutation-like change that is essential for the human race to fully appreciate the fullness and prosperity of being alive on this earth, in this era. To remain ‘human’ is to be a failure ... and to become ‘divine’ is to be a massive failure.

There is a third alternative.

• [Respondent]: ‘The propositions that we must rid ourselves or either instincts or the intellect are laughable. Neither one is possible nor desirable and are only attempts to escape the reality of our being. This only continues the current battle on another front and the violence continues, internally and externally’.

I can easily agree about the intellect ... but I obviously differ as in regards your view on instincts.

• [Respondent]: ‘The solution lies not in struggle, a propensity of both instinct and intellect, but in an unmoving awareness that allows our full nature to come into view and a third source of understanding to come into play, the intuition’.

Speaking personally, I have no intuition whatsoever ... that faculty disappeared in 1992 and I mourn not its departure. Nor have I the imaginative faculty ... I could not form an image if my life depended upon it.

• [Respondent]: ‘Please note, I am not talking about the confused notion of intuition that is rampant in new age circles, which is most often a mistaken attempt to return to a dependence on instincts. I am speaking about accessing an innate ‘intelligence’ that is already always functioning in the each of us and the universe as a whole’.

There is indeed an ‘innate ‘intelligence’ that is already always functioning in the each of us’ which I consistently call ‘native intelligence’. Its sagacity filters through despite the best attempts of the passions to swamp it with feeling-fed notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ... and is known in the ‘real world’ as ‘commonsense’. Thus ‘commonsense’, when freed of the grip of the instinctual passions, is what I call ‘native intelligence’.
There is no ‘Intelligence’ that is running the universe, however. Only the human animal is intelligent.

*

RICHARD (to Respondent No. 34): Self-centredness is a feeling-fed ‘self’ born of the survival instincts bestowed by blind nature doing what it is charged to do ... staying in existence. Being thus passionate, it is a powerful illusion and must, perforce, have a powerful motivation to betray its very nature and end itself.

RESPONDENT: Could you clarify what you mean by the above. It appears that you are saying that ‘it’ (‘self-centredness’) must have a powerful motivation to bring an end to itself. If I do understand this correctly then please explain further this ‘powerful motivation’. Specifically I am referring to what this motivation is (and its goals, if any) and from where does it come?

RICHARD: The ‘motivation’? Actually coming face-to-face – as a visceral experiencing – with the reality of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides that are endemic to the human condition.

The ‘goal’? To bring to an end all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides that are endemic to the human condition.

Where does the ‘motivation’ come from? There is an intrinsic trait common to all sentient beings: self-sacrifice. This trait can be observed in almost all animals – it is especially easy to see in the ‘higher-order’ animals – mainly with the parental defending of the young to the point of fatal injury leading to death. Defending the group against another group is also simple to observe ... it manifests in humans in the way that one will passionately defend oneself and one’s group to the death if it is deemed necessary. Speaking personally, as a youth this self-sacrificing trait impelled me to go to war for ‘my’ country ... to ‘willingly lay down my life for kith and kin’. It is a very powerful passion indeed ... Christianity, to give just one example, values it very highly: ‘No greater love hath he that lay down his life for another’. However, all of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival. Nevertheless, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality.

This trait is called altruism ... albeit misplaced.

What is a feeling-fed ‘self’? A ‘self’ is not something ‘you’ have ... being an identity in whatever way, shape or form is what ‘you’ are and is an inevitable result of being born. Thus any blame is pointless – and worse – it creates resentment. Being an identity is because the only way into this world of people, things and events is via the human spermatozoa fertilising the human ova ... thus every human being is endowed, by blind nature, with the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. These passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to think and reflect upon its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary ‘self’ into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. This process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born ... which is conditioning and programming. It is part and parcel of the socialising process. Thus ‘dissolving the ego’ is not sufficient ... there is a ‘me’ lurking in the heart to take over the wheel.

What will become of ‘self-centredness’? To put it bluntly: ‘you’ in ‘your’ totality, who are but a passionate illusion, must die a dramatic illusory death commensurate to ‘your’ pernicious existence. The drama must be played out to the end ... there are no short-cuts here. The doorway to an actual freedom has the word ‘extinction’ written on it. This extinction is an irrevocable , which eliminates the psyche itself. When this is all over there will be no ‘being’ at all. Thus when ‘I’ willingly self-immolate – psychologically and psychically – then ‘I’ am making the most noble sacrifice that ‘I’ can make for oneself and all humankind ... for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear. It is ‘my’ moment of glory. It is ‘my’ crowning achievement ... it makes ‘my’ petty life all worth while. It is not an event to be missed ... to physically die without having experienced what it is like to become dead is such a waste of a life.

What will ‘I’ do? Now, it is ‘I’ that is responsible for an action that results in ‘my’ own demise ... without really doing the expunging itself (and I am not being tricky here). It is ‘I’ that is the cause of bringing about this sacrifice in that ‘I’ deliberately and consciously and with knowledge aforethought set in motion a ‘process’ that will ensure ‘my’ demise. (‘I’ do not really end ‘myself’ in that ‘I’ do not do the deed itself for an ‘I’ cannot end itself). What ‘I’ do, voluntarily and willingly, is to press the button which precipitates an oft-times alarming but always thrilling momentum that will result in ‘my’ inevitable self-immolation. What one does is that one dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here as the universe’s experience of itself ... now. Peace-on-earth is the inevitable result because it is already here ... it is always now. ‘I’ was merely standing in the way of this already always existing peace-on-earth from becoming apparent.

The act of initiating this ‘process’ is altruism, pure and simple.

June 05 1999:

RESPONDENT: Richard, as the response you submitted was ten pages in length, for the sake of efficiency I have decided not to include the entire text in my reply. But, I have included the reference above for anyone wishing to check the archives for background. It appeared to me that you were using some stock answers for most of your writing. The wording varied little, if at all, from much I have read in your other posts. This is not a criticism. I simply note this to explain that since I wanted some clarification I decided to go to your web-site and read it all, rather than submit more questions to you.

RICHARD: I am pleased that your interest is sufficient to take you to my web site ... it saves me a lot of copying and pasting. Because yes, I do say the same thing over and again ... and only varying it slightly in the process. There is only a certain number of ways to put something well and once it is well said (according to one’s own standard) it is silly to use a less explicit – a less clear – way of saying the same thing just for the novelty of those who usually do not read with both eyes anyway.

RESPONDENT: After reading and assimilating this information I would like to offer some observations. First and foremost, I would say that essentially I am in agreement with your propositions.

RICHARD: Good ... can you detail just which of my propositions it is that you are essentially in agreement with (so as there is no misunderstanding)?

1. There are essentially three ways of experiencing the world of people, things and events: 1. sensate (senses); 2. cerebral (thoughts); 3. affective (feelings). The feelings include both the affectionate and desirable emotions/ passions (those that are loving and trusting) and hostile and invidious emotions/passions (those that are hateful and fearful).

2. All sentient beings are born with instinctual passions like fear and aggression and nurture and desire genetically bestowed by blind nature which give rise to a rudimentary animal ‘self’ – which is ‘being’ itself – that human beings with their ability to think and reflect upon their mortality have transformed into a ‘me’ as soul (a ‘feeler’ in the heart) and an ‘I’ as ego (a ‘thinker’ in the head).

3. Thus there are three I’s altogether but only one is actual (sensate) and not an identity; I am this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. The primary cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and so on is the instinctual passions which give rise to malice and sorrow and the antidotally generated pacifiers of love and compassion which, if sublimated and transcended, give rise to Love Agapé and Divine Compassion. This ‘Tried and True’ solution to all the ills of humankind lies within the ‘Human Condition’ and, as it has had 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate its efficacy, can be discarded as being the ‘Tried and Failed’.

4. I am mortal in that I was born, I live for a period of years, then I die and death is the end, finish. The material universe is infinite and eternal and was here before I was born and will be here after I die.

5. There are three worlds altogether but only one is actual; there is nothing other than this actual, physical universe (the normal ‘reality’ as experienced by 6.0 billion human beings is an illusion and the abnormal ‘Reality’ as experienced by 0.0000001 of the population is a delusion born out of the illusion because of the self-aggrandising tendency of the narcissism born of the survival instincts).

6. Peace-on-earth can become apparent to anyone at all irregardless of gender, age or race because the perfection of the infinitude of this spatial and temporal universe is already always here at this place in infinite space ... now at this moment in eternal time.

7. When ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which is the end of ‘being’ itself – then the answer to the ‘Mystery Of Life’ becomes evident as an on-going existential experiencing; I am this physical universe experiencing itself as a reflective, sensate human being; as me, the universe is intelligent (there is no anthropomorphic ‘Intelligence’ that is creating or running existence).

8. There is a wide and wondrous path to actual freedom: One asks oneself, each moment again, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’? This gives rise to apperception. Apperception is the outcome of the exclusive attention paid to being alive right here and now. Apperception is to be the senses as a bare awareness, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is, 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.

9. 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.
Put succinctly: ‘my’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence; I have always been here, in this actual world of sensorial delight, one realises, for it was that ‘I’ only imagined ‘I’ existed; ‘my’ presence had been but an emotional/ passional play in a fertile imagination; an emotional/ passional play which fuelled actual hormonal substances, however, triggered off from within the brain-stem by the instinctual emotions/ passions bestowed per favour blind nature. Thus the psyche – the entire affective faculty born of the survival instincts themselves – is wiped out forever and one is finally what one has actually been all along: a sensitive and reflective flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs revelling in this sensuous world of immediate experience. As this flesh-and-blood body only one is this infinite, eternal, and perdurable universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude. And this is truly wonderful.

RESPONDENT: However, I do question some of the assertions that adorn your essential message. I am speaking about some conclusions that, to me, indicate a rather incomplete and perhaps biased view. To begin with there is what appears to be a blanket condemnation of all religious approaches. You say, ‘The Gurus and God-men have had 3,000 to 5,000 years to produce the goods with their ‘Timeless and Spaceless and Formless’ solution ... their ‘Tried and True’ is the ‘Tried and Failed’. I have also noted through some of your other posts on this forum and from implications in your web publishings that you regard the teachings of Krishnamurti in the same manner, even though K essentially took the same stance.

RICHARD: Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti certainly expressed himself on the subject of gurus. There is more to all this than just ‘guru-bashing’, though.

RESPONDENT: To me this is the most serious flaw in both your teachings and Krishnamurti’s. I will not go into why I consider it serious now, only why I consider it a flaw. The fact is that essentially what you say differs only in emphasis from the essential and/or deeper teachings that are at the root of the major spiritual traditions.

RICHARD: Could you expand upon what is ‘the essential and/or deeper teachings that are at the root of the major spiritual traditions’? No major spiritual tradition (‘major spiritual tradition’ meaning Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism) that I am aware of posits that the ultimate condition is attainable only here on earth – and only in this life-time – and that death is the end. Finish.

RESPONDENT: Furthermore, it is almost exactly what the Buddha taught, as was Krishnamurti’s teaching. The Buddha and Krishnamurti were both emphatic that there is ‘NO SELF’ to be found (higher, lower or whatever) and that it is the holding on to this ‘illusion of self’ that is at the root of all suffering!

RICHARD: Yet Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti did urge ‘realisation of the self’, did he not ... and an ‘unconditioned realisation of the self’ at that? Vis.:

• ‘I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned realisation of the self. Because I am free, unconditioned, whole – not the part, not the relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal – I desire those, who seek to understand me, to be free’. (Truth is a Pathless Land; August 2, 1929; The Dissolution of the Order of the Star).

He goes on to say that this self that one realises is ‘incorruptible’. Vis.:

• ‘As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self which is eternal’. (Truth is a Pathless Land; August 2, 1929; The Dissolution of the Order of the Star).

As for Mr. Gotama the Sakyan, there has been considerable dissention amongst Buddhists (of different schools) about Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s doctrine of ‘Anatta’ (No-Self). However, if the Pali scriptures (held by some to be the most original) are examined, one will find that what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan expressly stated was that no ‘self’ was to be found in this physical world, in this physical body’s sensations, in this physical body’s feelings, in this physical body’s thoughts, in this physical body’s perceptions or in this physical body’s consciousness. He never stated that there was ‘NO SELF’ at all and, in fact, when expressly asked about the self in the after death state he declined to answer instead of giving an emphatic and unambiguous ‘No’. Then there is the hoary subject of re-incarnation which has kept Buddhists busy for centuries, discussing scripture after scripture and endeavouring to do the impossible: explain how reincarnation can happen if there is no ‘self’ to reincarnate. (And to say that it is a bundle of memories and desires reincarnating is rather disingenuous to say the least).

Because all Buddhists know that ‘Parinirvana’ (after-death) is the ‘Deathless State’ ... a cursory glance at Buddhist Scriptures will show you that ‘amata dhatu’ (the unconditioned, the deathless principle) is what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan enjoined his Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis to strive for unceasingly. Vis.:

• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction (...) persistence (...) mindfulness (...) concentration (...) discernment, when developed and pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal and consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized and attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction (...) persistence (...) mindfulness (...) concentration (...) discernment, when developed and pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal and consummation’. (SN 48.44; PTS: SN v.220; Pubbakotthaka Sutta; ‘Eastern Gatehouse’).

RESPONDENT: Now, as to your conclusion that the error of the religious approach lay with the promotion of finding a solution in the ‘Timeless and Spaceless and Formless’ I both agree and disagree. I agree insofar as these words have been subjected to much distortion because they are misunderstood.

RICHARD: I do say that this physical universe’s time is eternal and it’s space is infinite ... this is what ‘infinitude’ means (I am using the word ‘infinitude’ in its ‘a boundless expanse and an unlimited time’ meaning). However, there is a distinct difference between the word ‘eternal’ and the word ‘timeless’. The word ‘timeless’ is very explicit ... no time (just like ‘selfless’ means no self) as in not subject to time, not affected by the passage of time, out of time, without reference to time and independent of the passage of time ... like the state to which time has no application (the condition into which the soul enters at death) called the afterlife. Would this be a valid description?

Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti states that ‘timeless’ means ‘no time’ (and ‘no space’). Vis.:

• ‘You will find, if you have gone that far, that there is a movement of the unknown which is not recognised, which is not translatable, which cannot be put into words – then you will find that there is a movement which is of the immense. That movement is of the timeless because in that there is no time, nor is there space’. (The December Chapter; December 29: ‘The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with J. Krishnamurti’; Published by HarperSanFrancisco. ©1999 Krishnamurti Foundation of America).

• ‘Thought can never be tranquil; thought, which is the product of time, can never find that which is timeless, can never know that which is beyond time’. (‘The First and Last Freedom’; by J. Krishnamurti, 1954: pp. 71-75).

• ‘Knowledge is destructive to discovery. Knowledge is always in time (...) this emptiness has no measurement; it’s the centre that measures, weighs, calculates. This emptiness is beyond time and space’. (‘Krishnamurti’s Notebook’; by J Krishnamurti; ISBN 0-06064795-7; published by KFI).

Whereas the word ‘eternal’ means all time, as in that which will always exist, that which has always existed, that which is without a beginning or an end in time, that which is everlasting time; enduring, persistent, recurring, incessant, constant, continuous and unbroken time; ageless and thus interminable and valid for all time ... like this physical, material universe is. Would this be a valid description? Shall we ask Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti himself? Vis.:

• K: ‘What we are trying to do is to penetrate into something beyond death’.
• B: ‘Beyond death?’
• K: ‘We three are trying to find to find out that which is beyond death’.
• S: ‘Right’.
• B: ‘There is that which is beyond death?’
• K: ‘Ah, absolutely’.
• B: ‘Would you say that is eternal, or ...’
• K: ‘I don’t want to use that word’.
• B: ‘I mean is it in some sense beyond time?’
• K: ‘Beyond time’.
• B: ‘Therefore eternal is not the best word’.
• K: ‘There is something beyond the superficial death, a movement that has no beginning and no ending’.
• B: ‘But it is a movement?’
• K: ‘It is a movement. Movement, not in time’.
• S: ‘What is the difference between a movement in time and a movement out of time?’
• K: ‘Sir, that which is constantly renewing, constantly – new isn’t the word – constantly fresh, endlessly flowering, that is timeless. But this word ‘flowering’ implies time’.
• B: ‘I think we can see the point’.
(‘The Wholeness of Life’; J. Krishnamurti; Copyright © 1979 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust; Publishers: HarperCollins, New York).

Yea verily ... I can easily ‘see the point’ too! Just as there are those who water down ‘selfless’ (no self) into meaning ‘unselfish’ (a not selfish self), there are those who corrupt ‘timeless’ (no time) into meaning ‘eternity’ (unlimited time). Even dictionaries do this. However, when viewed honestly, the word ‘timeless’ selfishly means ‘immortal or deathless’. Even modern physicists, when they posit their ‘nothingness’ prior to their mathematical ‘Big Bang’, have enough intellectual rigour to use the word ‘timeless’ to refer to that ‘before time began’ fantasy of theirs ... they never say ‘eternal’ because ‘eternal’ is a time-word.

The same applies to ‘spacelessness’ (no space) and ‘formlessness’ (no form). So, have the words ‘Timeless and Spaceless and Formless’ really been misunderstood? Because these words are actually quite clear ... there is something else going on in the human psyche about ‘misunderstanding’ these very apt and descriptive words ... and why is there all this disingenuousness? It is the avoidance of mortality and desire for immortality born out of the instinct for survival at all costs. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti says that there is ‘something immortal’ and that it is located ‘beyond time’. Vis.:

• ‘To be completely alone implies that the mind is free of every kind of influence and is therefore uncontaminated by society; and it must be alone to understand what is religion – which is to find out for oneself whether there is something immortal, beyond time’. (December 2: ‘The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with J. Krishnamurti’; Published by HarperSanFrancisco. ©1999 Krishnamurti Foundation of America).

Whereas I clearly and unambiguously say that it is this universe that is immortal, ageless, ceaseless, undying, deathless, immutable and indestructible ... not me. I am mortal.

RESPONDENT: As such they form the basis for the overindulgence and dependence on Samadhi (an altered state of consciousness.) And end up serving as an ‘escape’ mechanism for many and fuel for an inflated and glorified sense of self for others. One way takes them out of the actual world where they only imagine they are free of the ‘Human Condition’.

RICHARD: Yes ... way, way out of this actual world of people, things and events. Outside of all time and all space and all form, in fact. Yet Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti said one must discover ‘Samadhi’ ... and one must discover it as the thing itself and not just the word ‘Samadhi’. Vis.:

• ‘If you have followed this inquiry into what is meditation, and have understood the whole process of thinking, you will find that the mind is completely still (...) don’t say, ‘That is Samadhi’ – which is all nonsense, because you have only read of it in some book and have not discovered it for yourself. There is a vast difference between the word and the thing. The word is not the thing’. (December 29: ‘The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with J. Krishnamurti’. Published by HarperSanFrancisco. ©1999 Krishnamurti Foundation of America).

RESPONDENT: The other takes them on a mission into the actual world to save and serve, but unable to really help as they are in denial of one half of their ‘Condition’.

RICHARD: Could you elaborate on what you mean by ‘one half of their ‘Condition’’ please?

RESPONDENT: I disagree because ‘Timeless, Spaceless and Formless’ has nothing to do with an other worldly experience. Rather, it is the here and now experience of the ‘actual world’ when one is free of excess emotional and intellectual baggage and able to be simply aware.

RICHARD: Yet the ‘here and now’ of the God-Men and Gurus is a metaphysical ‘here and now’ that has nothing to do with literally being here now in actual space and actual time. Indeed, there is oft-times the use the metaphysical word ‘herenow’ to distinguish it from the spatial and temporal location ... and it is anywhere but here as this place in infinite space and anywhere but now as this moment in eternal time. When the mystics say: ‘I am Timeless and Spaceless; Unborn and Undying; Birthless and Deathless’ and so on, what do you take it that they mean? Because, as this physical body has a limited life-span, they can only be referring to themselves as being a non-physical ‘whatever’ receiving its post-mortem reward of immortality. Thus the reality of their immaterial ‘here and now’ is vastly different to the physical actuality of sensately being here now.

RESPONDENT: As you say, in your own words, when describing apperceptive awareness: [quote]: ‘This physical universe is infinite and eternal. It has no beginning and no ending ... and therefore no middle. There are no edges to this universe, which means that there is no centre, either. We are all coming from nowhere and are not going anywhere for there is nowhere to come from nor anywhere to go to. We are nowhere in particular ... which means we are anywhere at all. In the infinitude of the universe one finds oneself to be already here, and as it is always now, one can not get away from this place in space and this moment in time. By being here as-this-body one finds that this moment in time has no duration as in now and then – because the immediate is the ultimate – and that this place in space has no distance as in here and there ... for the relative is the absolute. I am always here and it is already now’. [endquote]. Sounds ‘timeless, spaceless and formless’ to me.

RICHARD: Aye, but maybe by now you will be aware of what ‘timeless’ (time-less equals ‘no time’) and ‘spaceless’ (space-less equals ‘no space’) and ‘formless’ (form-less equals ‘no body’) really means to peoples. With this in mind you will easily observe in the above paragraph that I state clearly ‘this moment in time’ and ‘this place in space’ and ‘as-this-body’.

Hence my oft-repeated refrain: ‘I am the material universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being’ or ‘I am the experience of the infinitude of this universe as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware’. The infinite character of physical space, coupled with the eternal character of time, produces a here and now infinitude that can be understood experientially by one who is apperceptive. To grasp the character of infinitude with certainty, the reasoning mind must forsake its favoured process of intellectual understanding through logical and/or intuitive imagination and enter into the realm of a pure consciousness experience (apperception). In a PCE – which is where there is no ‘I’ or ‘me’ extant – the essential characteristics of infinitude are transparently obvious, lucidly self-evident, clearly apparent and open to view.

This is a direct experiencing of the actual.

June 08 1999:

RICHARD: Do you practice detachment (you are twice-removed from actuality)?

RESPONDENT No. 25: Alas, I do not practice much (please define detachment). Do you have a method which you endorse?

RICHARD: I am using ‘detachment’ in the Buddhist meaning of ‘withdrawal from the world of the senses’. I would never endorse any such method.

RESPONDENT: While there may indeed be some who proclaim to be Buddhist who hold to this definition of detachment it is by no means ‘the Buddhist meaning’ as Richard would have us believe.

RICHARD: Methinks upon closer examination you will find that it is indeed ‘the Buddhist meaning’ of the word. Contrary to popular belief, Buddhists are not actively pursuing peace-on-earth per se.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘Ultimate Reality’ in Buddhism is called ‘Parinirvana’ (Complete Nirvana) or the freedom of spirit (by whatever name) brought about by release from the body. In the Buddhist analysis of the human condition, delusions of egocentricity and their resultant desires bind humans to a continuous round of rebirths and its consequent ‘dukkha’. It is release from these bonds that constitutes ‘Nirvana’, or the experience of Enlightenment. ‘Nirvana’ – in Buddhist religious thought and spiritual philosophy – is but the initial goal of the mindfulness disciplines and practice in that it signifies the transcendent state of freedom achieved by the extinction of desire and of individual consciousness. That this is only the inaugural objective is very clear to the discerning eye because – while liberation from rebirth does not imply immediate death and thus release into the ‘Ultimate Reality’ – the physical death of a ‘Perfect One’ (an Arhat or a Buddha) does. Thus while the immediate aim of the Buddhist path is release from the round of phenomenal existence with its inherent dukkha by attaining Nirvana (the enlightened state in which the fires of greed, hatred, and ignorance have been quenched), Nirvana is not to be confused with total annihilation because, after attaining Nirvana, the enlightened individual will continue to live, burning off any remaining karma until the state of ‘Final Nirvana’ (Parinirvana) is attained at the moment of physical death. It may be noted that, during the early centuries of Buddhist history, not only were there the three major pilgrimage centres – the place of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s birth at Lumbini, the place of his Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, the Deer Park in Varanasi where he preached his first sermon – but particularly the village of Kusinara, (or Kushinagara) located in the eastern district of Deoria, which is the place of his Parinirvana.

Quite obviously, this is a very self-seeking approach to life on earth ... something that all metaphysical peoples are guilty of. The quest to secure one’s immortality (by whatever name) in some spurious ‘After-Life’ (by whatever name) is unambiguously selfish ... peace-on-earth is readily sacrificed for the supposed continuation of the imagined spirit (by whatever name) after physical death. So much for their humanitarian ideals of peace, goodness, altruism, philanthropy and humaneness. All religious and spiritual and mystical quests amount to nothing more than a self-centred urge to perpetuate oneself for ever and a day. All metaphysicists fall foul of this existential dilemma. They pay lip-service to the notion of self-sacrifice – weeping crocodile tears at noble martyrdom – whilst selfishly pursuing the timeless ‘State of Being’ ... the ‘Deathless State’. The root cause of all the ills of humankind can be sheeted home to this single, basic fact: the overriding importance of the survival of ‘self’ by whatever name.

RESPONDENT: Rather, detachment (properly understood in the context of the teachings of Buddha) is regarded on one level as an ending of the identification process; identifying with possessions, beliefs, titles, jobs, status, etc.

RICHARD: The word ‘detachment’ is a common English rendering of the mental absorption deemed necessary for the removal of what the Buddhists conceive of as being the cause of birth in the first place (in Pali ‘nirodha’ more properly means ‘cessation’). It refers to the ‘mindfulness’ that leads to the cessation of ‘dukkha’ through the cessation of craving. In Buddhism, ‘craving’ (Pali ‘tanha’ or Sanskrit ‘trishna’) is said to draw creatures on through greed – and drives them on through hate – while ignorance prevents their seeing the truth of how things are or where they are going (ignorance is regarded as a basic factor in the continuity of existence). Therefore the Buddhist ‘detachment’ (‘nirodha’) is seen as the removal of a poison, the curing of a disease, not as the mere denial of it (opposed to the assertion of it) or the obstruction of it (in conflict with the favouring of it) since both assertion and denial confirm and maintain alike the basic idea or state that is required to be cured ... which state is known as ‘clinging’ (Pali ‘upadana’). The word ‘upadana’ means literally ‘taking up’ (‘upa’ plus ‘adana’) and is used for what the Buddhists maintain is the assumption and consumption that satisfies craving and produces existence. As craving pre-dates birth, such upadana is the condition sine qua non for ‘being’. And, as clinging’s ending is Nirvana, the Buddhist detachment (as ‘cessation’) is not to be confounded with mere negativism or nihilism ... it is a total disassociation of self from the world of people, things and events. Mr. Gotama the Sakyan expressly states that the self is not to be found anywhere in phenomenal existence ... as he so clearly enunciates to compliant monks in the ‘Anatta-Lakkhana’ Sutta (The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic, SN 22.59; PTS: SN iii.66). Vis.:

• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Form, monks, is not self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease (...) But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease (...) ‘Feeling is not self (...) ‘Perception is not self (...) ‘Mental fabrications are not self (...) ‘Consciousness is not self. If consciousness were the self, this consciousness would not lend itself to dis-ease (...) ‘What do you think, monks: Is form constant or inconstant?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Inconstant, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Stressful, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘No, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Is feeling constant or inconstant (...)?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Inconstant Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Is perception constant or inconstant (...)?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Inconstant, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Are fabrications constant or inconstant(...)?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Inconstant, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘What do you think, monks: Is consciousness constant or inconstant (...)?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Inconstant, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘Stressful, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?’
• [Messrs. Monks]: ‘No, Lord’.
• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Thus, monks, any body whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every body is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am’. Any feeling whatsoever (...) Any perception whatsoever (...) Any fabrications whatsoever (...) Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am’. (...) Seeing thus, the instructed noble disciple grows disenchanted with the body, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, ‘Fully released’. He discerns that ‘Birth is depleted, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world’. (http://world.std.com/~metta/canon/samyutta/sn22-59.html).

Hence my use of ‘detachment’ in the post quoted (at the top of this post) was indeed in the full Buddhist meaning of ‘withdrawal from the world of the senses’ and, as I further wrote, I would never, ever endorse any such method because it promotes the fantasy that the ‘Real Self’ (by whatever name) is to be found in the ‘Timeless and Spaceless and Formless’ dimension that is not of this temporal and spatial world of matter ... this physical world of the senses.

RESPONDENT: We depend on these things to define who we are, to give substance to our self image. Therefore we are attached to them, because to lose them is to lose a part of our ‘self’. The practice of detachment in this context would be to pay attention to these ‘things’ and the fact of the identification process. Detachment itself (not its practice) arises from an awareness of the truth of the matter; the confusion, conflict and harm inherent in the identification process. With awareness of the truth comes an end to the matter; one is no longer attached by identification. One is now ‘detached’ (so to speak).

RICHARD: The ‘end to the matter’ only comes with the psychological and psychic extinction of self in any way, shape or form. One’s very identity is felt and thought to be a ‘being’ inside this flesh and blood body ... busily identifying with people, things and events ‘outside’ the body. To become detached from the superficial ‘outer’ identification (self-image as presented to self and others) only endorses and perpetuates the delusion that who ‘I’ feel and think ‘I’ am is a psychological and psychic entity inhabiting this body.

RESPONDENT: On another level detachment is regarded as an end to the bias and prejudice of past conditioning. It is freedom from partiality. It is seeing clearly. The practice of detachment in this context is to be attentive to the process of bias and prejudice as they manifest. Once again, it is awareness of the truth of the matter that ends the matter and detachment is then actualised, not practiced. In all matters it is this way. To practice is to be attentive to what is happening now. Attention is the seed. Returning again and again to attentiveness is caring for the seed. Awareness is the flowering plant that naturally arises from the seed of its own accord.

RICHARD: May I ask? What is the constitution of this ‘seed’ that you are letting flower into awareness? To say that the seed is ‘attention’ (and say nothing else) does not convey that this seed is, in itself, innocent.

RESPONDENT: To return to the ‘Buddhist meaning’ of detachment. I have never come across a ‘Buddhist’ definition as presented by Richard.

RICHARD: I beg to differ. Mr. Gunaratana Mahathera (the ‘Venerable H. Gunaratana Mahathera’ of the Bhavana Society; Rt. 1 Box 218-3 High View, WV 26808. USA.), for just one example, said on December 7, 1990:

• [quote]: ‘Vipassana is the oldest of Buddhist meditation practices. The method comes directly from the Sitipatthana Sutta, a discourse attributed to Buddha himself. Vipassana is a direct and gradual cultivation of mindfulness or awareness. It proceeds piece by piece over a period of years (...) this Sutta offers comprehensive practical instructions on the practice of mindfulness meditation’. [endquote].

An examination of this core Sutta shows a pronounced and deliberate withdrawal from the world of the senses and this flesh and blood body itself. Vis.:

The Satipatthana Sutta’ (MN 10; PTS: MN i.55):

• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and distress, for the attainment of the right method, and for the realisation of Unbinding – in other words, the four frames of reference ... remain focused on the body in and of itself – ardent, alert, and mindful – putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world (...) remain focused on feelings (...) mind (...) mental qualities in and of themselves – ardent, alert, and mindful – putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world’.

A. (Body) [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: [1] ‘There is the case where a monk – having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building – sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out (...) He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication. (...) He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication, and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication. In this way he remains focused internally on the body in and of itself, or externally on the body in and of itself, or both internally and externally on the body in and of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself. [2] ‘Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns that he is walking. When standing, he discerns that he is standing. When sitting, he discerns that he is sitting. When lying down, he discerns that he is lying down. Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it. In this way he remains focused internally on the body in and of itself, or focused externally (...) unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself. [3] ‘Furthermore, when going forward and returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward and looking away (...) when bending and extending his limbs (...) when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe and his bowl (...) when eating, drinking, chewing, and savouring (...) when urinating and defecating (...) when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert. In this way he remains focused internally on the body in and of itself, or focused externally (...) unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself. [4] ‘Furthermore (...) a monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: ‘In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine’. In this way he remains focused internally on the body in and of itself, or focused externally ... unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself. [5] ‘Furthermore (...) the monk contemplates this very body – however it stands, however it is disposed – in terms of properties: ‘In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property’. In this way he remains focused internally on the body in and of itself, or focused externally (...) unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself. [6] ‘Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground – one day, two days, three days dead – bloated, livid, and festering, he applies it to this very body, ‘This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate’. Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, and hawks, by dogs, hyenas, and various other creatures (...) a skeleton smeared with flesh and blood, connected with tendons (...) a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons (...) a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons (...) bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions – here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a chest bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull (...) the bones whitened, somewhat like the colour of shells (...) piled up, more than a year old (...) decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, ‘This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate’. In this way he remains focused internally on the body in and of itself, or externally on the body in and of itself, or both internally and externally on the body in and of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself.

B. (Feelings) [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan ]: [1] ‘There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns that he is feeling a painful feeling. When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns that he is feeling a pleasant feeling. When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns that he is feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a painful feeling of the flesh. When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh. When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh. When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh. When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh. When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns that he is feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh. In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in and of themselves, or externally on feelings in and of themselves, or both internally and externally on feelings in and of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are feelings’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in and of themselves.

C. (Mind) [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: [1] ‘There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns that the mind has passion. When the mind is without passion, he discerns that the mind is without passion. When the mind has aversion, he discerns that the mind has aversion. When the mind is without aversion, he discerns that the mind is without aversion. When the mind has delusion, he discerns that the mind has delusion. When the mind is without delusion, he discerns that the mind is without delusion. When the mind is restricted, he discerns that the mind is restricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed. When the mind is concentrated, he discerns that the mind is concentrated. When the mind is not concentrated, he discerns that the mind is not concentrated. When the mind is released, he discerns that the mind is released. When the mind is not released, he discerns that the mind is not released. In this way he remains focused internally on the mind in and of itself, or externally on the mind in and of itself, or both internally and externally on the mind in and of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the mind, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the mind, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to the mind. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a mind’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the mind in and of itself.

D. (Mental Qualities) [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: [1] ‘There is the case where a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the five hindrances. And how does a monk remain focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the five hindrances? There is the case where, there being sensual desire present within, a monk discerns that ‘There is sensual desire present within me’. Or, there being no sensual desire present within, he discerns that ‘There is no sensual desire present within me’. He discerns how there is the arising of unrisen sensual desire. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of sensual desire once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no further appearance in the future of sensual desire that has been abandoned. A monk discerns that (...) ill will (...) sloth (...) drowsiness (...) restlessness (...) anxiety (...) and uncertainty. In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or externally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or both internally and externally on mental qualities in and of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to mental qualities, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to mental qualities, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to mental qualities. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are mental qualities’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the five hindrances. [2] ‘Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the five aggregates for clinging/sustenance. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the five aggregates for clinging/sustenance? There is the case where a monk discerns: ‘Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling (...) Such is perception (...) Such are fabrications (...) Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance’. In this way he remains focused internally on the mental qualities in and of themselves, or focused externally (...) unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the five aggregates for clinging/sustenance. [3] ‘Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal and external sense media. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal and external sense media? There is the case where he discerns the eye, he discerns forms, he discerns the fetter that arises dependent on both. He discerns how there is the arising of an unrisen fetter. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of a fetter once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no further appearance in the future of a fetter that has been abandoned. There is the case where he discerns the (...) ear (...) nose (...) tongue (...) body (...) and intellect. In this way he remains focused internally on the mental qualities in and of themselves, or focused externally (...) unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal and external sense media. [4] ‘Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the seven factors of awakening. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the seven factors of awakening? There is the case where, there being mindfulness as a factor of awakening present within, he discerns that ‘Mindfulness as a factor of awakening is present within me’. Or, there being no mindfulness as a factor of awakening present within, he discerns that ‘Mindfulness as a factor of awakening is not present within me’. He discerns how there is the arising of unrisen mindfulness as a factor of awakening. And he discerns how there is the culmination of the development of mindfulness as a factor of awakening once it has arisen. He discerns how there is the arising of unrisen analysis of qualities (...) persistence (...) rapture (...) serenity (...) concentration (...) and equanimity. In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or externally ... unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the seven factors of awakening. [5] ‘Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the four noble truths. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the four noble truths? There is the case where he discerns, as it is actually present, that ‘This is stress ... This is the origination of stress ... This is the cessation of stress ... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress’. In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or externally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or both internally and externally on mental qualities in and of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to mental qualities, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to mental qualities, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to mental qualities. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are mental qualities’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the four noble truths’. (MN 10; PTS: MN i.55; http://world.std.com/~metta/canon/majjhima/mn10.html).

The ‘Mahasatipatthana Sutta (DN 22; PTS: DN ii.290) elaborates on the practice of mindfulness meditation with a more detailed exposition of [D. Mental Qualities 5] in the Satipatthana Sutta (above). Vis:

• (D. Mental Qualities) [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: [5] ‘Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the four noble truths. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the four noble truths? There is the case where he discerns, as it is actually present, that ‘This is stress (...) This is the origination of stress (...) This is the cessation of stress (...) This is the way leading to the cessation of stress’. [a] ‘Now what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stress, aging is stress, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair are stress; association with the unbeloved is stress; separation from the loved is stress; not getting what is wanted is stress; not getting what is wanted is stress. In short, the five aggregates for clinging/sustenance are stress. And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, and acquisition of sense spheres of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth. And what is aging? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, greying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. And what is death? Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death. And what is sorrow? Whatever sorrow, sorrowing, sadness, inward sorrow, inward sadness of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called sorrow. And what is lamentation? Whatever crying, grieving, lamenting, weeping, wailing, lamentation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called lamentation. And what is pain? Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain. And what is distress? Whatever is experienced as mental pain, mental discomfort, pain or discomfort born of mental contact, that is called distress. And what is despair? Whatever despair, despondency, desperation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called despair. And what is the stress of not getting what one wants? In beings subject to birth, the wish arises, ‘O, may we not be subject to birth, and may birth not come to us’. But this is not be achieved by wishing. This is the stress of not getting what one wants. In beings subject to aging (...) illness (...) death (...) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair, the wish arises, ‘O, may we not be subject to aging (...) illness (...) death (...) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair, and may aging (...) illness (...) death (...) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair not come to us’. But this is not be achieved by wishing. This is the stress of not getting what one wants. And what is the stress of association with the unbeloved? There is the case where undesirable, unpleasing, unattractive sights, sounds, aromas, flavours, or tactile sensations occur to one; or one has connection, contact, relationship, interaction with those who wish one ill, who wish for one’s harm, who wish for one’s discomfort, who wish one no security from the yoke. This is called the stress of association with the unbeloved. And what is the stress of separation from the loved? There is the case where desirable, pleasing, attractive sights, sounds, aromas, flavours, or tactile sensations do not occur to one; or one has no connection, no contact, no relationship, no interaction with those who wish one well, who wish for one’s benefit, who wish for one’s comfort, who wish one security from the yoke, nor with one’s mother, father, brother, sister, friends, companions, or relatives. This is called the stress of separation from the loved. And what is the stress of not getting what is wanted? In beings subject to birth, the wish arises, ‘O, may we not be subject to birth, and may birth not come to us’. But this is not be achieved by wishing. This is the stress of not getting what one wants. In beings subject to aging (...) illness (...) death (...) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair, the wish arises, ‘O, may we not be subject to aging (...) illness (...) death (...) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair, and may aging (...) illness (...) death (...) sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair not come to us’. But this is not be achieved by wishing. This is the stress of not getting what is wanted. And what are the five aggregates for clinging/sustenance that, in short, are stress? Form as an aggregate for clinging/sustenance, feeling as an aggregate for clinging/sustenance, perception as an aggregate for clinging/sustenance, fabrications as an aggregate for clinging/sustenance, consciousness as an aggregate for clinging/sustenance: These are called the five aggregates for clinging/sustenance that, in short, are stress. This is called the noble truth of stress. [b] ‘And what is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming – accompanied by passion and delight, relishing now here and now there – i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. And where does this craving, when arising, arise? And where, when dwelling, does it dwell? Whatever is endearing and alluring in terms of the world: that is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells. And what is endearing and alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells. The ear (...) The nose (...) The tongue (...) The body (...) The intellect (...) Forms (...) Sounds (...) Smells (...) Tastes (...) Tactile sensations (...) Ideas (...) Eye-consciousness (...) Ear-consciousness (...) Nose-consciousness (...) Tongue-consciousness (...) Body-consciousness (...) Intellect-consciousness (...) Eye-contact (...) Ear-contact (...) Nose-contact (...) Tongue-contact (...) Body-contact (...) Intellect-contact (...) Feeling born of eye-contact (...) Feeling born of ear-contact (...) Feeling born of nose-contact (...) Feeling born of tongue-contact (...) Feeling born of body-contact (...) Feeling born of intellect-contact (...) Perception of forms (...) Perception of sounds (...) Perception of smells (...) Perception of tastes (...) Perception of tactile sensations (...) Perception of ideas (...) Intention for forms (...) Intention for sounds (...) Intention for smells (...) Intention for tastes (...) Intention for tactile sensations (...) Intention for ideas (...) Craving for forms (...) Craving for sounds (...) Craving for smells (...) Craving for tastes (...) Craving for tactile sensations (...) Craving for ideas (...) Thought directed at forms (...) Thought directed at sounds (...) Thought directed at smells (...) Thought directed at tastes (...) Thought directed at tactile sensations (...) Thought directed at ideas (...) ‘Evaluation of forms (...) Evaluation of sounds (...) Evaluation of smells (...) Evaluation of tastes (...) Evaluation of tactile sensations (...) Evaluation of ideas is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells. This is called the noble truth of the origination of stress. [c] ‘And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainder-less fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving. And where, when being abandoned, is this craving abandoned? And where, when ceasing, does it cease? Whatever is endearing and alluring in terms of the world: that is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases. And what is endearing and alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases. The ear (...) The nose (...) The tongue (...) The body (...) The intellect (...) Forms (...) Sounds (...) Smells (...) Tastes (...) Tactile sensations (...) Ideas (...) Eye-consciousness (...) Ear-consciousness (...) Nose-consciousness (...) Tongue-consciousness (...) Body-consciousness (...) Intellect-consciousness (...) Eye-contact (...) Ear-contact (...) Nose-contact (...) Tongue-contact (...) Body-contact (...) Intellect-contact (...) Feeling born of eye-contact (...) Feeling born of ear-contact (...) Feeling born of nose-contact (...) Feeling born of tongue-contact (...) Feeling born of body-contact (...) Feeling born of intellect-contact (...) Perception of forms (...) Perception of sounds (...) Perception of smells (...) Perception of tastes (...) Perception of tactile sensations (...) Perception of ideas (...) Intention for forms (...) Intention for sounds (...) Intention for smells (...) Intention for tastes (...) Intention for tactile sensations (...) Intention for ideas (...) Craving for forms (...) Craving for sounds (...) Craving for smells (...) Craving for tastes (...) Craving for tactile sensations (...) Craving for ideas (...) Thought directed at forms (...) Thought directed at sounds (...) Thought directed at smells (...) Thought directed at tastes (...) Thought directed at tactile sensations (...) Thought directed at ideas (...) Evaluation of forms (...) Evaluation of sounds (...) Evaluation of smells (...) Evaluation of tastes (...) Evaluation of tactile sensations (...) Evaluation of ideas is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases. This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress. [d] ‘And what is the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress? Just this very noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view. And what is right resolve? Aspiring to renunciation, to freedom from ill will, to harmlessness: This is called right resolve. And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter: This is called right speech. And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, from stealing, and from sexual intercourse. This is called right action. And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a noble disciple, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This is called right livelihood. And what is right effort? There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavours, arouses persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskilful qualities that have not yet arisen (...) for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskilful qualities that have arisen (...) for the sake of the arising of skilful qualities that have not yet arisen (...) (and) for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, and culmination of skilful qualities that have arisen: This is called right effort. And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself – ardent, alert, and mindful – putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in and of themselves (...) the mind in and of itself (...) mental qualities in and of themselves – ardent, alert, and mindful – putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. This is called right mindfulness. And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk – quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskilful (mental) qualities – enters and remains in the first Jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, he enters and remains in the second Jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation – internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful and alert, physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters and remains in the third Jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding’. With the abandoning of pleasure and pain – as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress – he enters and remains in the fourth Jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration. This is called the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress. In this way he remains focused internally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or externally on mental qualities in and of themselves, or both internally and externally on mental qualities in and of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to mental qualities, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to mental qualities, or on the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to mental qualities. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are mental qualities’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge and remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves with reference to the four noble truths.

E. (Conclusion) [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here and now, or – if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance – non-return. Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years (...) five (...) four (...) three (...) two years (...) one year (...) seven months (...) six months (...) five (...) four (...) three (...) two months (...) one month (...) half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here and now, or – if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance – non-return. Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here and now, or – if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance – non-return. This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and distress, for the attainment of the right method, and for the realisation of Unbinding – in other words, the four frames of reference’. (DN 22; PTS: DN ii.290; http://world.std.com/~metta/canon/digha/dn22.html).

RESPONDENT: Nor is detachment (in the context of the teachings of Buddha) ever presented as a ‘non-feeling’ state; indifferent, not caring, or without compassion.

RICHARD: I have no notion of who you are talking to here as I have never said that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan or Buddhists are ‘non-feeling’. Indeed, I ask people to examine their feelings (instead of examining only thought) so as to ascertain that thought alone is not the source of all the ills of humankind. Thought is a very useful tool in undoing the well-meant but uninformed peer-group conditioning, parental conditioning and social conditioning that one receives from the moment one first emerges as a baby into the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. To be at all effectual one must dig deep into one’s affective feelings, deep down past the superficial emotions into the depths of one’s being and see that malice and sorrow antidotally generates love and compassion. Because if one does not, one may find oneself as malice and sorrow sublimating oneself into Love and Compassion – one will cease having one’s feelings happen to oneself and instead became those sublimated feelings as an on-going transcendent State Of Being – one will be Love Agapé and Divine Compassion. In other words: an infinitely expanded identity that is ‘Timeless’ and ‘Spaceless’ and ‘Formless’. To become free of the human condition requires the elimination of the instinctual passions ... not merely a transcendence of malice and sorrow.

It does mean the end of ‘me’, however, as an identity in ‘my’ totality ... and not just ‘I’ as ego.

RESPONDENT: On the contrary, the capacity to feel is enhanced and is able to convey meaningful and valuable information when it is not obscured by our personal, emotional attachments.

RICHARD: And therein lies the nub of the problem that is the root cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides being perpetuated for ever and a day: the ‘capacity to feel is enhanced’.

Thus feelings rule the world.

June 14 1999:

RESPONDENT: Richard, I’ll get back on topic here this time. The main focus of my questions to you were about your view concerning the instincts, intellect and intuition. Specifically, how your view meshed or did not mesh with mine. As to the intellect we are partially in agreement. It is that which ‘sets the human animal apart from other animals’ and it is a ‘valuable asset’ as perhaps one of the ‘most useful tool (s) ever to emerge on this planet’. However, where I maintain that the divisive nature of the intellect makes it ill suited ‘for the proper integration of the instinctual nature’, you ‘demur’ saying: ‘the intellect is not ‘ill-equipped (inherently divisive)’ at all’. This comes right after you have referred to the intellect as a ‘useful tool’. Is it inappropriate for me to point out that this ‘tool’s’ primary function is to conceptually separate the objects of our world so that we can investigate and manipulate them?

RICHARD: The intellect, thought operating with memory, gives the human animal the ability to reflect, plan and implement considered activity (which other animals cannot do) in the environment about for beneficial reasons. And 6.0 billion people can do this, with varying degrees of effectiveness, because the intellect is a human phenomenon. When this intellect is crippled by the emotional-mental ‘self’ born of the instinctual passions, what is otherwise known as ‘conceptualising’ about what is happening in the very physical world of people, things and events, becomes problematic. It is ‘I’ that is forever separate from ‘the objects of our world’ and any attempt to ‘conceptually separate the objects of our world so that we can investigate and manipulate them’ from a position of separation only enhances the pre-existing separate self’s isolation.

I have no problem with, for example, acknowledging the passage of time (as the varying positions of the sun in the sky throughout the day and the varying positions of stars at night evidence) as being actual whereas knowledge of the passage of time as a clock face divided into twelve or twenty-four segments – being an arbitrary human agreement – is not. Nevertheless, the concept of time as represented by the clock is certainly about actual time in the same way that a map is definitely about actual terrain inasmuch as it is being described accurately. The dotted lines defining the boundaries of ‘Switzerland’ are not actual, however ... they are an arbitrary human agreement imposed upon the actual earth for human convenience and commerce. Such a concept (a concept is a product of the faculty of the mental processes of conceiving an idea of a class of objects, a general notion; a theme or a design; and conceiving is to take or admit into the mind and form a mental representation of or devise a purpose, an idea or a plan and grasp mentally or be of the opinion about) presents no difficulties to one who is free from the human condition.

RESPONDENT: I did not say the intellect is simply ‘ill equipped’. I said it was ‘ill equipped for the proper integration of the instinctual nature!’ Which your next sentence illustrates. ‘It is the feelings (emotions, passions and calentures) that infiltrate the intellect and cripple its clarity’. I know from your other writings that you relate (if not equate) the emotional nature and the instincts. I too understand this strong connection. But, what you say above is what I am talking about. The intellect working alone is confused and contaminated by the sensations and impulses of the emotional/instinctual nature.

RICHARD: Okay ... what I was responding to was your use of ‘proper integration’ as if what humans have been doing for 5,000 years of recorded history and maybe 50,000 years of pre-history has been an ‘improper integration’. What I am saying loud and clear that no integration whatsoever is possible ... they have to go.

RESPONDENT: This could not happen if the intellect were ‘properly equipped for the integration of the instincts’. And now, because of this clouded vision it is certainly impossible for the intellect alone to put things in order. That is why the approach of psychiatry and psychology has failed to help anyone ‘integrate the instinctual nature’.

RICHARD: How will the intellect become ‘properly equipped for the integration of the instincts’? How on earth can one ‘properly integrate’ fear and aggression and nurture and desire? It is malice and sorrow that ‘cloud the vision’ and as malice and sorrow are born of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire one cannot dispense of the one (malice and sorrow) without dispensing of the other (fear and aggression and nurture and desire).

Unless you are proposing to keep malice and sorrow in this ‘proper integration’?

RESPONDENT: You do appear to agree that it is this combination of the instincts and intellect that has resulted in the ‘Human Condition’, as we both understand that term. And I agree with you that even under this kind of handicap there has been a lot of ‘achievements’ in regards to improving the average living conditions of human beings. But, I suspect you will agree that the cost imposed by the burden of a confused and conflicted human psychology has been great.

RICHARD: An enormous and an appalling cost ... and all unnecessary.

RESPONDENT: Now, you say the instincts must and can be removed. I say this is impossible. You say you have done it. I say what you have done is to unravel the intertwined drives/thoughts that resulted in a confused feeling and mental capacity. It is the emotional confusion that has been cleared away, not the instincts.

RICHARD: Hmm ... the emotional confusion comes, of course, primarily from the emotions; the emotions come from the instinctual passions all sentient beings are born with. Ergo: eliminate the instinctual passions and there are no emotions to cause confusion. As it is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of emotions – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ emotions and ‘my’ emotions are ‘me’, then anyone who attempts this absurdity would wind up being somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly know as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has emotions – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ – and has repressed the others. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire psyche itself is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the affective faculty is no more. Then – and only then – are there no emotions ... just as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) where, with the self in abeyance, the emotions play no part at all.

Unless you are proposing that emotions can be ‘clean’ and ‘pure’ and ‘clear’?

RESPONDENT: I expect you still eat when you are hungry.

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: You seek shelter or other safety in physically threatening conditions.

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: Do you still have sexual relations?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: You certainly seem to have the capacity to care for others.

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: Do you take actions to protect your property from theft?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: Have you a copy right on your published materials?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: Would you knowingly walk into a life threatening situation for no good cause?

RICHARD: No ... and probably not for a ‘good cause’ either.

RESPONDENT: You may call these the actions of ‘native intelligence’ and I would agree ... but they are actions that stem from the instincts as they have been properly integrated through understanding.

RICHARD: How on earth can one ‘properly integrate’ fear and aggression (savage) and nurture and desire (tender)?

RESPONDENT: I see the intuition as the key to the proper integration of the intellect and instincts. And I am very clear and pointing out that I am not talking about the common use of the word. Rather, I relate it to an ‘innate intelligence’ that is already always functioning in each of us and the universe. You then quickly point out that you ‘have no intuition whatsoever ...’.

RICHARD: Indeed ... the intuitive/ imaginative faculty disappeared when the entire psyche became extinct.

RESPONDENT: On exploring your web site it was clear to me that what you call ‘intuition’ is precisely the so called intuition of many new age circles. That was certainly best left behind, but it is not what I am talking about. I suspect what I call ‘intuition’ relates very well to what you call ‘native intelligence’ and we would agree that this sense if mostly distorted as long as the intellect’s capacity to clearly reflect it is diminished by emotional confusions.

RICHARD: One’s native intelligence cannot operate and function cleanly and clearly whilst ‘I’ am in there trying to run the show. The nearest thing to what I call native intelligence is known as commonsense in the ‘real world’. Intuition, be it of the NDA variety, or any other variety is affectively-based ... thus you would be relying on the notoriously unreliable feelings to be the arbiter of what is appropriate or inappropriate action.

RESPONDENT: I’m not sure even this distorted ‘filtering through’ is what is normally called ‘common sense’ (the term is so poorly applied these days. It is also this faculty, (‘native intelligence’ to you; ‘intuition’ to me) that I am referring to when I speak of one’s ‘sense of responsibility’.

RICHARD: I use the phrase native intelligence in the meaning of ‘autochthonous acumen’ or ‘indigenous prudence’ or ‘congenital judicity’. I am meaning a down-to-earth and matter-of-fact practicality ... an innate sensibility. Intuition is not sensible.

I have no sense of responsibility whatsoever ... the ‘I’ that was took full responsibility and an action that was not of ‘his’ doing resulted.

RESPONDENT: Finally, while agreeing that this ‘innate intelligence is already always functioning in each of us’ you seem to take exception in regards to the universe. You say ‘there is no intelligence that is running the universe, however. Only the human animal is intelligent’. I demur. First, let’s be clear, I did not say that there is an intelligence ‘running the universe’. Rather, I said there is an innate intelligence ‘functioning in ... the universe’. To clarify, an innate intelligence functioning in and as the universe.

RICHARD: Hokey-dokey ... there is no ‘innate intelligence functioning in and as the universe’. Only the human animal is innately intelligent ... and this universe is much, much more than merely intelligent.

RESPONDENT: If you still want to maintain that only ‘the human animal is intelligent’ I would refer you to your own writings again. You say, ‘Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away ... nor has it ever been away. ‘I’ was standing in the way of meaning’.

RICHARD: Yes ... this ‘meaning to life’, this ‘purpose of living’, this ‘reason for existence’ is innate to carbon-based life-forms that have evolved intelligence (and ask why): as me the universe can experience it’s infinitude as a sensate and reflective human being. This is an infinite and eternal meaning to life; this is an infinite and eternal purpose of living; this is an infinite and eternal reason for existence.

It don’t come bigger that that!

RESPONDENT: You also say elsewhere how everything seems to share in this life. So, please consider this. For there to be purpose and meaning to Life there must be an intelligent function to Life.

RICHARD: First, I notice you capitalising life – ‘Life’ – as if you are making it to be something more than carbon-based life-forms. Until space exploration is such that life is found elsewhere in this universe, then this verdant planet is the only known place where life is. Secondly, it has taken countless aeons for this carbon-based life-form to evolve through to being intelligent in one species alone: the human animal. Of course the human animal values intelligence highly – it is what separates humans from other animals – and allows the ability to reflect, plan and implement considered activity (which other animals cannot do) in the environment about for beneficial reasons. But to take this faculty which humans value highly and seek to impose it upon this marvellous, amazing, wondrous and magical universe is to commit the vulgar error of anthropocentricism. Be that as it may, because of this evolved intelligence the human animal can ask: why are we here?

Which means: why am I (No. 13) here?

RESPONDENT: Second, for all of the intelligence of our species, can we create anything that compares to the marvel of our own nature? Or are you going to tell me that ‘dumb’ luck brought this all together?

RICHARD: There is no such thing as ‘luck’ (be it dumb or otherwise) outside of human imagination. This universe, being infinite and eternal has no opposite ... and is thus infinitely and eternally perfect. In such utter perfection, whatever happens, happens of its own perfect accord and thus needs nothing so prosaic as reflecting, planning and implementation. Ultimately, nothing is ‘going wrong’ because nothing can ‘go wrong’ in such absolute perfection.

But we humans can ‘tidy up our act’ and create a human paradise.


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The Third Alternative

(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)

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