Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’
with Respondent No. 34
RESPONDENT: What you say, the way you say it, seems true. I agree basically with what you are expounding here. But I sense that something is not quite ‘right’. Sorry for saying this ... maybe I am not being fair. It’s just that somehow you seem to deny the ‘transcendentality’, the intangibility, that which is not touched by thought, by the senses. You say ‘what a happening it is!’ so I remain here wondering ... maybe you changed your view, maybe you are able to share the unknowable. After all, this what is happening is indeed beyond anything thought could touch ... it is beyond anything any concept could brush, grasp. Something is beyond the flesh and blood – the flesh and blood brain – which is after all just another sense object. And, somehow, I feel that the ‘mind’ as you define it – a function of the brain – does not encompass that, this other ‘mind’, from what the brain is just a partial ‘external’ manifestation.
RICHARD: I am somewhat nonplussed at the way you are proceeding here ... may I remind you of your first post to me that started this exchange? Vis.: [Respondent]: ‘Richard, you seem to be positing a ‘mind’ ... would not this imply in a separate ‘mind’ being aware of itself ‘and’ a content in this mind?’ [endquote]. Yet it is you who is ‘positing a ‘mind’’ ... and an ‘other ‘mind’’ into the bargain from which all the flesh and blood human brains in all the flesh and blood human skulls are a ‘manifestation’ of.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I am and I was aware of the presumed contradiction.
RICHARD: There is nothing ‘presumed’ about it ... it is indeed a contradiction. And mysticism is packed full of contradictions ... its raison d’être (‘transcendence of duality’) and resultant ineffability is supposedly verified by its very contradictiousness.
RESPONDENT: I just avoided explanations and clarifications about those meanings in order to abbreviate the post’s length.
RICHARD: Please ... take no notice of those dilettantes who cast aspersions on ‘wordiness’ or ‘lengthy posts’ or any other ‘short is beautiful’ dimwitacisms. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti himself produced millions upon millions of words – hour-long discourses by the bucket-load, year after year, all carefully recorded and meticulously transcribed – and latter-day Krishnamurtiites haughtily dictate that all the ills of humankind should be resolved with a few pithy one-liners à la Mr. Bob Hope.
RESPONDENT: But let’s see ... the expression ‘mind’ is used in several different manners, with different connotations. Mind may be – as you say – the brain’s function. That would be the most obvious meaning, it would be the effect of the material movement of the material brain, the dynamics of the brain. Now ... with a bit of meditative introspection into the nature of the brain, and the consequent perception, understanding, that all we see, all we perceive as humans – including the brain – is the ‘nature’ of the human ‘field’, the human ‘dimension’, we touch a ‘mind’ that is more encompassing then the ‘flesh and blood’ brain’s functions. For example, a person may act in the astral plane, and look at his own body, sleeping and snoring in bed. The flesh and blood brain is left with the body.
RICHARD: I would not deny that many, many peoples have had both spontaneous and self-induced ‘out of body experiences’ (OBE’s) and ‘near death experiences’ (NDE’s) as their reports have been painstakingly detailed and closely examined by many people ... the epiphenomenon of an emergent consciousness is a fascinating study that I followed closely for years. One obvious point stands out clearly:
OBE’s and NDE’s have been initiated by religionists, spiritualists and mystics over the centuries via meditative trances, sleep deprivation, fasting, self-flagellation (or any other stoic submission to a multitude of self-inflicted pain), mindless chanting of mantras (or any other form of self-hypnosis), tantric sexual ecstasy (the etymological root of ‘ecstasy’ is ‘put out of place’ as in ‘beside oneself’) and so on through every conceivable means in every culture in all eras. Today, the same effect can be initiated in ultra high-speed jet-fighter pilot’s brains when banking too swiftly (or in centrifugal force flight simulators), causing the brain to be drained of sustenance, and thus the OBE or NDE occurs as a result of the brain shutting down as the pilot goes ‘unconscious’ to observers. Surgeons have known of the emergent consciousness effect for some time ... a less commonly used anaesthesia these days is the dissociative drug ‘ketamine’ because of its OBE and NDE side-effect. Thus there has recently been the ability to make conclusive studies in controlled circumstances that shows the mechanisms involved at what may be loosely called the mind-brain interface ... OBE’s and NDE’s are due to what occurs in the brain receptors (the drug binding sites) for the neurotransmitter glutamate. These binding sites are called the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Conditions which precipitate OBE’s and NDE’s (and which can cause low oxygen, low blood flow, low blood sugar and so on) have been shown to release a flood of glutamate which over-activate the NMDA receptors in the process (and which can even kill brain cells in an event known as ‘excitotoxicity). The glutamate flood triggers an array of ketamine-like brain chemicals which bind to NMDA receptors, leading to an altered state of consciousness like that produced by ketamine.
There is a wealth of information on the subject ... if you are at all interested I would suggest www.lycaeum.org/drugs/Cyclohexamines/Ketamine/ as being a useful starting point. Vis.:
Thus the transcendental non-temporal and non-spatial and non-material entirely other ‘otherness’ (as is indicated by your ‘other ‘mind’’ and ‘without another’ description), that is self-existent in its own right (so beloved by mystics and others), is dependent upon the very material human brain-mind they scorn and the ‘materiality’ that they spurn.
RESPONDENT: So in this respect we seem to separate in our understanding ... but then, when you say that ‘this’ is the direct experiencing of what is happening – we meet again – there is not any mind after all. So what can I say? Something beyond understanding ... and without another ... is happening. It is absolutely real, actual, present, totally transcendental, totally incomprehensible and unknowable. To say that it is sacred may sound too ‘biblical’... but it is indeed ... inexpressible.
RICHARD: Where you say ‘totally transcendental’ and ‘the ‘transcendentality’’ (qualified with ‘the intangibility’ and ‘totally incomprehensible and unknowable’) you are conveying ‘transcendental’ in its ‘beyond the range or grasp of human experience, reason, belief, etc.’ meaning (Oxford Dictionary) and, in view of your use of ‘sacred’, in its ‘of, pertaining to, or belonging to, the divine as opposed to the natural world’ meaning’ (Oxford Dictionary). Now on a forum like this, the words ‘sacred’ or ‘divine’ do not mean the god of the temples, churches, synagogues, mosques, holy place, shrine, sanctuary or any place of worship whatsoever ... and this ‘non-biblical’ usage becomes more evident as you say ‘not touched by thought, by the senses’ and ‘beyond the flesh and blood brain’ and ‘beyond anything thought could touch’ and ‘beyond understanding ... and without another’ which indicates a non-temporal and non-spatial and non-material entirely other ‘otherness’ that is self-existent in its own right (Webster’s Dictionary: otherness: ‘the quality or state of being other or different; Oxford Dictionary: other: ‘existing distinct from that or those already specified or implied’) as is also evidenced by your use of ‘other’ in ‘this other ‘mind’, from what the brain is just a partial ‘external’ manifestation’ sentence. Then you go on to say that ‘this other ‘mind’’ is evident in my sentence (‘the direct experiencing of what is happening’) which, you say, is when ‘there is not any mind after all’ (presumably meaning the human mind which, on a forum like this, generally means ‘ego-mind’ as in thought and thinking).
RESPONDENT: No, no. There is not any separate parameter that some could call a ‘mind’, subtly conveying the idea of a separate observer, or a separate ‘processing entity, or centre’ that receives outside inputs. But beware!! Be attentive to the fact that I am not denying the existence of a ‘human dimension’, a ‘human world’, that some people call ‘human mind as a whole’. In this last sense, mind means ‘field’. But there is that perspective, that dimension, where these ‘minds’ – meaning human mind/field and eventually other mind/fields – are understood for what they are: different worlds in this non-divided universe. So the human field/world is one particular interpretation of the universe.
RICHARD: You have gone way, way past the meaning of the word <mind> here ... you are talking of a ‘perspective’ or a ‘dimension’ or a ‘field’ which the mind seemingly distinguishes, ostensibly recognises, presumably has access to, allegedly is touched by, or in any other way assumes that it perceives, to the extent that it then lovingly imagines that this ‘other’ is what it (the human mind which is the brain in action) is ‘just a partial ‘external’ manifestation’ of. To then identify and empower this phantasm, that an imaginative/intuitive human mind ‘perceives’ (miscalled), to the extent of saying that this (miscalled) ‘perception’ is the source of the mind that (miscalled) ‘perceives’, is an astonishing reversal of that perceiver’s (miscalled) ‘perception’. Some mystics even go so far as to then disallow, not only the flesh and blood brain-mind that (miscalled) ‘perceived’ the ‘otherness’ in the first place, but dismisses the entire world and the universe to boot ... as being a ‘dream’ or ‘an illusion’ or ‘Maya’ or ‘Samsara’ and so on (which is sort of like ‘biting the hand that feeds you’). At least you do not deny materiality ... yet you deny the human mind (‘there is not any mind after all’) which is the material human brain in action that produces this ‘something beyond understanding ... and without another’, which, you say in a context that implies that the human mind is not producing it, ‘is happening’. Whereas it is this infinite and eternal universe that is happening ... its material infinitude is what is apperceived when the ‘perceiver’, complete with its dissociative and inversely self-aggrandising predisposition (transcendence through sublimation), is no longer extant.
The emergent consciousness (be it known as ‘Self’ and/or ‘Non-Self’) is a result of the ‘survival at all costs’ genetic imperative that blind nature endows on all sentient beings at conception. It is the fear of death as oblivion, extinction, the end of ‘being’, that produces first the dread then the awe necessary to trigger the flood of glutamate that precipitates the ultimate escape hatch ... then beatified gratitude does the rest.
RICHARD: It is no wonder that you say ‘I sense that something is not quite ‘right’’ when you read what I have to say ... I am a thorough-going atheist through and through; there is not the slightest trace of religiosity, spirituality or mysticality in me whatsoever. To be actually free of the human condition is to be sans ‘I’ as ego (the ‘thinker’) and ‘me’ as soul (the ‘feeler’) which is to be this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. And where there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (no psyche) there is no imaginative/intuitive faculty ... hence no ‘this other ‘mind’’ metaphysical projection. It is all so simple here in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: Why do you say that there is no imaginative faculty?
RICHARD: Because it is my on-going experience, night and day since 1992, that the entire imaginative/intuitive faculty has vanished. I literally cannot visualise, form images, envision, ‘see in my mind’s eye’, envisage, picture, intuit, feel, fall into a reverie, daydream or in any way, shape or form imaginatively access anything other than directly apprehending what is happening just here right now. I could not form a mental picture of something ‘other’ if my life depended upon it. I literally cannot make images ... whereas in my earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my mind’s eye’ of ‘my’ absent mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take in ‘my’ car or whatever. If I were to close my eyes and ‘visualise’ now, what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal space of the universe at night – that has been the case for all these years now. I cannot visualise, imagine, conceptualise ... when I recall my childhood, my young manhood, my middle ages or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of someone else’s life.
It is the affective content that makes memories ‘real’ – the entire psyche itself – and it is the self-same process that makes imagining a past or a future ‘real’ that makes an ‘otherness’ even more ‘real’ than everyday reality.
RESPONDENT: To ‘imagine’ is a sane faculty of this multi-media-brain-mind.
RICHARD: I have not been sane for many, many years. It is pertinent to acknowledge that sane people killed 160,000,000 of their sane fellow human beings in wars this century alone ... and then there is all the murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides to further give pause to reconsider whether sanity is such a desirable state of being as sane peoples make out.
Sanity is personally insalubrious and socially reprehensible.
RESPONDENT: I can imagine a cow right now – with or without an I or ‘me’.
RICHARD: I cannot ... I can intellectually know what a cow is like in that I can draw a reasonable facsimile; yet as I am drawing I cannot visualise what the finished drawing will be like ... it becomes apparent as the drawing progresses.
RESPONDENT: And when I say ‘this other mind’, I mean that I am not referring to the brain function, but to this dimension here – the human dimension. Blood and flesh are just particular contents of this dimension, it is not correct to posit it the other way around – meaning that the human dimension is a product of the brain.
RICHARD: Why? Mystics are notorious for doing what you talk of ... fervently imagining something awesome, projected from the flesh and blood brain, that they then adoringly say is the source of the flesh and blood brain that is hallucinating the source’s ‘reality’. This material universe is the source of this flesh and blood brain – it is this flesh and blood brain itself – and this infinite and eternal universe is already always here ... now.
I am this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being.
RESPONDENT: Now ... I don’t deny materiality. I don’t deny blood or flesh. I don’t try to ‘see’ these things as something else. But I do see a more ample perspective, where materiality, blood and flesh, are contents.
RICHARD: Okay ... this what you are speaking of was experienced by a wannabe grandiose entity inside this flesh and blood body, night and day, for eleven years (1981 – 1992). I understand religiosity, spirituality, mysticality and all metaphysicality from the inside – experientially – because for eleven years I was in an altered state of consciousness as fits the general description of what is known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ ... complete with gnostic experience; timelessness, spacelessness, deathless, unborn and undying and so on ... there was an ‘Absolute’ which is what ‘Me’ was and which would be the ‘Non-Me’ after physical death. The whole kit and caboodle ... the ‘I’ that was in this body bought the entire package hook, line and sinker. It was the dickens of a job getting out of that institutionalised insanity ... to arrive here in this actual world where – surprise-surprise – I have already always been for 52 years. The problem was that there was a ‘walk-in’ (an ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) that dominated the body so much that I could not get a word in edgeways for all those early years.
Which, from what I hear, read and see, is how it is for 6.0 billion people.
RESPONDENT: But I still don’t understand, with which faculty you perceive a blood and flesh brain ...
RICHARD: This flesh and blood brain apperceives itself ... it is amazing to not only be able to be consciousness being aware ... but to be consciousness being aware of being consciousness (without an ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious). In other words: as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware, I am the experiencing of what is happening.
And it is this infinite and eternal universe that is happening ... its material infinitude is what is apperceived.
RESPONDENT: ... and deny the fact that a piece of flesh on the table is the result of photons hitting your blood and flesh retina.
RICHARD: Yet I do not deny light photons and the action of the retina ... you asked me: ‘through the sense inputs the brain is able to interpret that data, and in a indirect way, call it as ‘material’. The sense organs themselves are interpretations of the brain in a very analogous manner – sense inputs, electrical impulses. This leads us to say, according to this model, that the ‘real’ nature of things are unavailable to the brain, because it only deals with the senses’ ... to which I replied:
Therefore, the activity that happens (photons stimulating the flesh and blood retina and the flesh and blood retina exciting the photons) is the experiencing which ‘this seeing is me’ describes.
[Editorial note: The use of the word ‘photons’ here refers to actual light (The American Heritage Dictionary: 2. ‘photon: a unit of retinal illumination, equal to the amount of light that reaches the retina through 1 square millimetre of pupil area from a surface having a brightness of 1 candela per square meter’) and not mathematical ‘light waves’ and/or ‘light particles’ (The American Heritage Dictionary: 1. ‘photon: the quantum of electromagnetic energy, generally regarded as a discrete particle having zero mass, no electric charge, and an indefinitely long lifetime’)].
RESPONDENT: Is not the vision of that piece of flesh a result of brain processing of electronic impulses?
RICHARD: Indeed ... and I am that process, I am that experiencing. This ‘processing of electronic impulses’ is the brain in action ... the mind, in other words. As the Oxford Dictionary states: apperception is the mind’s perception of itself.
RESPONDENT: Is not the perception of you own brain (in order to be apperceptive) another brain processing – according to your own model?
RICHARD: This brain, which is what I am (‘what’ not ‘who’) has this amazing ability to not only be able to be consciousness being aware but to simultaneously be consciousness being aware of being consciousness (without an ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious).
This actual world is truly wondrous ... no need for any imaginative/intuitive metaphysical mystique whatsoever.
RESPONDENT No. 00: In sum, our approaches to violence and sorrow are completely different. You say ‘all is IT, what is the problem?’ and I say ‘it leads to aberrations, why are there violence and sorrow?, what is behind?’. Thank you for your comments.
RESPONDENT: There are not two approaches to violence, only one.1. acknowledge sorrow. 2. find out the origin of sorrow – the ME. 3. finish with the ME.4. follow the path of the not-arising-of-the-ME. (The Buddha). Is not the ME the ‘entity’ that is ‘separated’ from the one movement? Can one overcame sorrow, without acknowledging it? – which is the same as placing the aberrant actions of thought as something ‘outside’ of here. By ‘acting upon’ the aberrations of thought, in fact we mean: I will refuse to look at those things completely and try to keep them somewhere ‘away’ from here. This is conflict – because nothing can be kept away from here, once it is present. So I was trying to say that first of all ‘all is IT’. The expression ‘IT’ is not-nominal. There is no symbol that can convey it truthfully.
RICHARD: I see that you have paraphrased what is commonly known as ‘The Four Noble Truths’ of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan. I would draw your attention to the fact that the word generally translated into English as ‘sorrow’ is the Pali word ‘dukkha’. ‘Dukkha’ is inherent in the transitory nature (‘anicca’) of ‘samsara’ (all phenomenon) ... because no self (‘anatta’) is to be found in that which is impermanent. Therefore your first paraphrase (‘acknowledge sorrow’) would read something like:
The second ‘Noble Truth’ points to the origin of dukkha: ‘tanha’ (the craving for existence). Thus your second paraphrase would more usefully read:
Next, your ‘finish with the ME’ would read:
And your ‘follow the path of the not-arising-of-the-ME’ would read:
Furthermore, the Teachings of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan only make sense if reincarnation and karma are unquestionably accepted as an indisputable fact ... take these two factors out of his teachings and Buddhism falls flat on its face (Buddhism is all about how to never be born again). The goal of Buddhism is to find/attain the ‘Deathless’ (‘amata’) ... a realm that has nothing to do with the physical universe whatsoever. Vis.:
All Buddhists know that ‘Parinirvana’ (after-death) is the ‘Deathless State’ ... Buddhist scriptures show that ‘amata dhatu’ (the unconditioned, the deathless principle) is what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan enjoined his Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis to strive for unceasingly. Vis.:
And it is ‘The Deathless State’ where ‘The Self’ is to found: Mr. Gotama the Sakyan expressly states that the self is not to be found anywhere in phenomenal existence ... as he so clearly enunciates in the ‘The Discourse on the Not-Self Characteristic’. Vis.:
All this should throw some light on your sentence (further above) ‘so I was trying to say that first of all ‘all is IT’’ as your sentence is diametrically opposed to what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan has to say. What you are referring to is covered by the Hindu doctrine known as ‘Advaita Vedanta’ ... which makes it, at the very least, that there are indeed two ‘approaches to violence’.
Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s approach being, of course, to get out of here and never, ever come back.
RICHARD: I see that you have paraphrased what is commonly known as ‘The Four Noble Truths’ of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan. I would draw your attention to the fact that the word generally translated into English as ‘sorrow’ is the Pali word ‘dukkha’. ‘Dukkha’ is inherent in the transitory nature (‘anicca’) of ‘samsara’ (all phenomenon) ... because no self (‘anatta’) is to be found in that which is impermanent. Therefore your first paraphrase (‘acknowledge sorrow’) would read something like: – acknowledge ‘dukkha’. The second ‘Noble Truth’ points to the origin of dukkha: ‘tanha’ (the craving for existence). Thus your second paraphrase would more usefully read: – find out the origin of dukkha’ – the craving for existence (the desire for earthly life). Next, your ‘finish with the ME’ would read: – finish with the craving for earthly life. And your ‘follow the path of the not-arising-of-the-ME’ would read: – follow the path of the not-arising-of-the-desire for earthly life.
RESPONDENT: OK ... I like it the way you put it also ... ME = the entity born from craving for earthly life. Sounds good.
RICHARD: Yet it can only ‘sound good’ if reincarnation and karma are a fact ... otherwise it makes no sense to say that the ‘craving for earthly life’ is the root cause of all the ills of humankind if there be no before-birth consciousness and/or awareness of some nature to have that craving for birth (and re-birth and re-birth and so on).
And why is there that ‘craving for earthly life’ (incarnation) in the first place?
RICHARD: Furthermore, the Teachings of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan only make sense if reincarnation and karma are unquestionably accepted as an indisputable fact.
RICHARD: I beg to differ ... just as for Christians (if the crucifixion, death and resurrection are taken out Christianity it ceases to have significance beyond its homilies) so too does the reason for Buddhism’s very existence hinge upon its doctrines of craving and incarnation and karma (and craving and re-birth and so on round after round).
Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s message is all about how to break that cycle.
RESPONDENT: ‘The words of Buddha’ are in fact a compilation of several writings, from different sources.
RICHARD: Yes indeed ... there is no direct historical evidence to show that there ever was a flesh and blood Mr. Gotama the Sakyan at all. That is not the point. The point is that the teachings of Buddhism are based upon the craving for earthly existence by a reincarnating ... um ... ‘whatever’ impelled to do so by the karma born of that craving. That these central doctrines were spoken by a flesh and blood Mr. Gotama the Sakyan is an article of faith (some say conviction).
RESPONDENT: One must follow the thread of writings where Buddha refuses to talk about reincarnation, the four noble truth, the dependent origination ...
RICHARD: I have. If you are going to invoke ‘The Silence Of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’ then you are copping-out on a meaningful discussion. The title of this thread is ‘The Cyclical Movement’ ... which came from a statement of yours buried in a question. Vis.:
Why are you being so coy now (or else what did you mean by this statement)?
RESPONDENT: There are lots of ethical and moral words attributed to Buddha that are clearly from another source.
RICHARD: Aye ... yet Theravadan Buddhists make a plausible claim that the Pali Canon is as close as possible to the spoken teachings of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan (given that he lived at all). The Sutta Pitaka (Part II of the Tipitaka) is a sprawling yet essentially logical (albeit circular logic) presentation of the nature of karma; how craving for earthly existence is at the root of ‘dukkha’; and how karma can be overcome through austerities that came down in the form of the Vinaya Pitaka, the Buddhist Monastic Codes (Part I of the Tipitaka).
If you take Mr. Gotama the Sakyan out of Buddhism then Buddhism is reduced to a cobbled-together collection of the words of many and varied ‘mere mortals’ over hundreds of years ... like the third Pitaka, the Abhidamma, which represents the efforts of later Buddhists to clarify and systematize the Suttas and Vinayas.
RESPONDENT: Read the dependent origination – that’s true Buddha!!
RICHARD: I have ... it is a closed-circle argument explaining nothing other than the necessity of heeding Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s Teaching (his insight that life sucks big-time).
RESPONDENT: By the way, I wouldn’t mind reading it myself again, because my Portuguese translation is very bad.
RICHARD: It would be a closed-circle argument in any translation.
RICHARD: Take these two factors out of his teachings and Buddhism falls flat on its face (Buddhism is all about how to never be born again). The goal of Buddhism is to find/attain the ‘Deathless’ (‘amata’) ... a realm that has nothing to do with the physical universe whatsoever. Vis.: Mr. Gotama the Sakyan: ‘There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; ... neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support. This, just this, is the end of dukkha’. (Udana 8.1; PTS: viii.1; Nibbana Sutta).
RESPONDENT: Absolute truth! But Richard boy ... he is not talking of a ‘place’, a ‘country’ or some beautiful ‘city’.
RICHARD: I am well aware that he is ‘not talking of a ‘place’, a ‘country’ or some beautiful ‘city’ as he clearly and unambiguously states that there is neither earth nor water nor fire nor wind (this planet earth); neither sun nor moon (this physical universe); neither this world nor the next world (reincarnation).
The only way you can wriggle out of this one is by saying that ‘the words of Buddha’ are in fact a compilation of several writings, from different sources’.
RESPONDENT: He is pointing to THIS sphere ... here and now.
RICHARD: I have no idea which ‘THIS sphere’ you live in but this sphere I live on is characterised by this body and that body and mountains and streams and trees and flowers and clouds in the sky by day and stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum. Here where I live – the third planet from the sun – there is earth and water and fire and wind and sun and moon and infinite space.
RICHARD: All Buddhists know that ‘Parinirvana’ (after-death) is the ‘Deathless State’ ... Buddhist scriptures show 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: Deathless is the same as bornless, without definable attributes ... not a deathless entity.
RICHARD: Mr. Gotama the Sakyan was born at a particular time as a physical body, lived for x-number of years as a physical body, and then died at a specific time as a physical body. Just as if Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene did not ‘rise on the third day’ (overcome or defeat death) then if there is no ‘deathless entity’ (The Self) that survived the death of the physical body called Mr. Gotama the Sakyan then Buddhism becomes meaningless to its practitioners.
It is, of course, entirely up to you which way you want to take it.
RICHARD: And it is ‘The Deathless State’ where ‘The Self’ is to found: Mr. Gotama the Sakyan expressly states that the self is not to be found anywhere in phenomenal existence ... as he so clearly enunciates in the ‘The Discourse on the Not-Self Characteristic’. Vis.: [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Form 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 (...) 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 (...) 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’.’ SN 22.59; PTS: SN iii.66; ‘Anatta-Lakkhana’ Sutta.
RESPONDENT: Yes. Obviously this Self is not the same self from the 4 noble truth (ME).
RICHARD: All this should throw some light on your sentence (further above) ‘so I was trying to say that first of all ‘all is IT’’ as your sentence is diametrically opposed to what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan has to say. What you are referring to is covered by the Hindu doctrine known as ‘Advaita Vedanta’ ... which makes it, at the very least, that there are indeed two ‘approaches to violence’. Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s approach being, of course, to get out of here and never, ever come back.
RESPONDENT: You mean pack his things – toothbrush, soap, shaving blades, pair of underwear, favourite CDs, his MP3 ...
RICHARD: No ... leave everything behind (including a suffering humankind).
RESPONDENT: ... and a one way ticket.
RICHARD: Yes, he scarpered off to the timeless and spaceless and formless realm (as described so eloquently in the Nibbana Sutta; Udana 8.1; PTS: viii.1, which I quoted further above) ... never to be seen again.
RESPONDENT: Oh yes ... and the goodbye letter to sweet ... (what’s her name? ... Kamala?). Something like: I love you very much ... but I must go to live forever. ‘Bye the time you wake up, I’ll be in Oklahoma ...’.
RICHARD: Yes ... to ‘live forever’ (but not in this physical universe) is the key to understanding the Buddhist ‘approach to violence’.
RESPONDENT No. 20: In the awareness of seeing, the otherness can be as simple and atomic as the object, namely, whatever is taken for ‘seeing’. And whatever is taken for ‘seeing’ cannot be ‘seeing’.
RESPONDENT: Would you agree then with the following statement: ‘There is seeing’?
RESPONDENT No. 20: Only if the question mark is moved within the quotation.
RESPONDENT: We understand that ‘seeing’ is the whole field, nothing left out. The reason of your objections is that as soon as something states that there is seeing, this something itself is subjectively ‘left out’. I understand. But then, another fragment comes on stage and says that it is not possible to acknowledge ‘seeing’. Does not this situation leads to the clear picture where this later fragment assumes that it knows what ‘seeing’ is in order to say that it is not liable of acknowledgment? In other words: What is the nature of the seeing you claim not possible to be acknowledged?
RICHARD: Presumably it is a thoughtless/ wordless seeing ... as per Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s hypothesis that there is a whole (your ‘whole field’??); his theory that there is a fragment separated from the whole (your ‘subjectively ‘left out’’??); and his conclusion that thought/words is/are the cause of that fragmentation (your ‘as soon as something states that there is seeing ...’??). The nub of the issue of permanency (the title of this thread) is this: is there a seeing which occurs, irregardless of whether thought and its supposed fragmenting nature is operating or not, for the twenty-four hours of the day?
Or, to put it another way, is the postulated ‘whole’ indeed elemental and unanalysable ... or is there something beyond/ deeper?
RESPONDENT No. 19: Do you recognize the possibility of some things you do not know about?
RICHARD: Yes ... it became strikingly obvious the very first time I walked into a public library about half a century ago. Which is but one of the reasons why I suggest that it is advisable to emotionally accept that which is intellectually unacceptable so that one’s native intelligence can emerge into full view of its own accord. Intelligence will thus no longer be crippled.
RESPONDENT No. 19: Are you saying that the only possible things to know that you don’t know lie within the information that other human beings have already discovered?
RICHARD: No ... most definitely not. And, as an example of this, I have discovered something that no other human being has discovered thus far in human history (peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body).
RESPONDENT: Is that so? Are you really the first and only one ... so far?
RICHARD: I have travelled the country – and overseas – talking with many and varied peoples from all walks of life; I have been watching TV, videos, films, whatever media is available; I have been reading about other people’s experiences in books, journals, magazines, newspapers (and latterly on the internet) for twenty years now, for information on an actual freedom from the human condition, but to no avail.
I would be delighted to hear about/meet such a person or such peoples ... so as to compare notes, as it were.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard's Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.