Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On The Need to Belong

RESPONDENT: I am a new list member. I am in a very painful process of relinquishing the illusion of control over my life ...

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list ... you have come to the right place, then, as the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is marked by enjoyment and appreciation (if it is not then one can be sure that one has inadvertently wandered off the way).

RESPONDENT: ... [I am in a very painful process of relinquishing the illusion of control over my life] and the entire concept of ‘worthiness’ of ... ‘whatever’.

RICHARD: Given that you say ‘whatever’ it may be pertinent to point out that you have a vital role to play, not only in regards peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as that flesh and blood body, but in enabling the already always existing meaning of life (or ‘the purpose of the universe’ or ‘the reason for existence’ or however one’s quest may be described) into becoming apparent.

In short: your freedom, or lack thereof, is in your hands and your hands alone.

RESPONDENT: I am not sure if I belong here or not.

RICHARD: Although it may be merely an expression this is an apt moment to make the observation that, whatever it is that you do, decline any temptation to reinforce the gregarian impulse (the herd instinct) by attempting to belong to whatever (non-existent) group you may be assuming exists simply because many and varied peoples write to this forum.

RESPONDENT: ... this experience escapes any reference frame of thought, it’s pure consciousness as experienced by an individual.

RICHARD: Hmm ... are you so sure that it does indeed escape ‘any’ reference frame of thought?

RESPONDENT: You can easily and accurately describe how good it was last time you had sex with your partner. But these are only thoughts, they convey something ... but of what use they would be to me if I wouldn’t have any sexperiences?

RICHARD: I was questioning your ‘escapes any reference frame of thought’ statement ... am I to take it that your analogy with the sexual experience indicates it does not escape ‘any’ reference frame of thought after all (as in thoughts which convey something)?

RESPONDENT: Even Enlightenment can be described, that’s not the issue here.

RICHARD: Oh? This is the issue I am responding to:

• [Respondent]: ‘I set my aim to be happy & harmless and not to live in a PCE (I don’t know how it’s like). What’s on offer here, is both valuable and sensible in my view and it reflects, explains my personal experiences and observations in a very satisfactory and comprehensive way. But these words (aka thoughts) are derived from PCE’s. They can provide guidance, direction and assistance in the DIY process of dismantling the identity and help one assess which are the facts and which are the beliefs. But *they cannot induce/produce a PCE as this experience escapes any reference frame of thought*, it’s pure consciousness as experienced by an individual. [emphasis added].
• [Richard]: ‘Hmm ... are you so sure that it does indeed escape ‘any’ reference frame of thought?

RESPONDENT: I have pointed out to the distinction between thoughts and experience. The experience gives rise to thoughts, not the other way around, otherwise I will live through quotation-marks. Your thoughts cannot give rise to a similar experience in me (a PCE for instance), they can describe it, yes, but they cannot produce/induce it. Simple as that.

RICHARD: As ad hoc experience with other human beings has shown me there are some people, who listen to me/read my words with all of their being, that have been catapulted into the magical wonder-land that this verdant and azure planet is then what is (so far) the case for you is not the case for everybody.

It is as simple as that.

RESPONDENT: Everything can be described, take ‘torture’ for instance. It’s one thing to be tortured and another thing to intellectually understand torture as described by another person. Torture escapes ‘thought’ because it’s not an intellectual experience. You can describe it via thought but you can’t experience it via thought.

RICHARD: Of course not ... it almost goes without saying that one cannot (sensately) experience a sensate experience cognitively.

RESPONDENT: In this sense escapes thought, not in the sense that you can’t convey or describe it.

RICHARD: Sure ... but what has this got to do with you saying that the actualism words and writings [quote] ‘cannot induce/produce a PCE as this experience escapes any reference frame of thought’ [endquote] when they can do, and have done, that very thing (induced/produced a PCE)?

It just does not make sense to say that something which has happened, and does happen, cannot happen. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘(...) This site is mainly the product of a person life *experience* translated into thoughts. It’s a huge mistake to think that by practicing ‘it’, you can arrive somewhere. Thoughts/ideas cannot generate *experience*, they can do all sorts of things: simulate, represent, imitate, emulate but they cannot *experience*.
Anyone who thinks that he experiences something different in terms of consciousness when immersed in a certain *thought* medium might simply fool himself. It’s at best a lab experience.
I raised this objection in my latest post to Richard ... ’. (Wed 25/02/04).

As I am the living evidence that practicing ‘it’ (the actualism method) does enable this actual world to become apparent it would appear that you are but tilting at windmills ... as is the following further on in the same e-mail:

• [Respondent]: ‘(...) I have extensive experience in the past with the ‘work’ language while in a spiritual group and a common ‘lingo’ is a sure sign of belonging to a ‘group’. The same excuses were used ... that it’s an exact language with no literary pretences, that its sole purpose is to accurately convey/describe the process and the experiences.
The early morning blue sky can be described in a million different ways ... even using the same words, but a person’s writing style is unique as his signature. And the writing style of Peter and Vineeto is very similar to the point that someone wondered if ‘they’ are not but one and the same person!’. (Wed 25/02/04).

Not all that surprisingly I am reminded of the following:

• [Respondent]: ‘Although I generally agree and enjoy many of the things stated on AF website, I have some doubts and I thought you might found them worth of attention. The first one concerns the writing style of some older actualists, like Peter, Alan and Vineeto, which is similar in its form and content with Richard’s.
• [Richard]: ‘Aye ... and that would be because each person, myself included, is talking about, referring to, or describing the same identical thing. For example, if you were the first to go outside in the morning to experience the weather, and consequently report that the sky is blue today, then when I too go outside to experience the weather I would similarly say that the sky is blue.
It is nothing more mysterious than an agreement that our experiences match.
• [Respondent]: ‘What I want to say is that when a person belongs to a group whether an actual or a virtual one, a characteristic he acquires is the lack of originality in its thinking, the ability to use new words in describing one’s experiences.
• [Richard]: ‘As none of the three people you mention belong to a group then your conclusion is a non-sequitur.
Just as a matter of interest: how many original ways can a person say ‘blue sky’ (bearing in mind that there are 6.0 billion people on the planet)? As for ‘new words’ ... this is how I answered someone else when they raised this same point last year:

[Co-Respondent]: ‘Speaking the same lingo [the same words] ... is a hallmark of cultism’. [Richard]: ‘Perhaps you may be able to assist me in something rather important? My computer is making both groaning and grumbling noises and when I type in run-commands there is no response ... this is my take on what is going on: I figure that the wheelbarrow is conflicting with the scotch mist – both of which, as you would know, share the same chewing gum – and I am wondering whether it would be best to replace the wheelbarrow or the scotch mist. Do you have any suggestions, tips, hints or clues that might assist me? Maybe I should replace both? Or should I make adjustments to the chewing gum ... and if so, what would be the best way to go about it?’ [endquote].
If there were 6.0 billion people all using ‘new words’ to describe the same thing then effective communication would be a thing of the past.

I will not, at this stage, ask you to provide the ‘million different ways’ you say the early morning blue sky can be uniquely described using the same words ... just 100 of them will do for now.

RESPONDENT: Or is it that virtual freedom may help in having a PCE?

RICHARD: When one remembers a PCE – or precipitates another – then one is well on the way to freedom ... this is what actualism is all about. Scattered along the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom are as many PCE’s as one may need ... repeated peak experiences may very well be brought about on maybe a daily basis with constant application of reflective and fascinated contemplation. In such pure contemplation, ‘I’ cease seeing and seeing takes place of its own accord. ‘I’ can never be here now in this actual world for ‘I’ am an interloper, an alien in psychic possession of the body. ‘I’ do not belong here. All this is impossible to imagine which is why it is essential to be confident that the actual world does exist. This confidence is born out of knowing, which is derived from the PCE, and is an essential ingredient to ensure success. One does not have to generate confidence oneself – as the religions require of one with regard to their blind faith – the purity of the actual world bestows this confidence upon one. The experience of purity is a benefaction. Out of this blessing comes pure intent, which will consistently guide one through daily life, gently ushering in an increasing ease and generosity of character. With this growing magnanimity, one becomes more and more anonymous, more and more self-less. With this expanding altruism one becomes less and less self-centred, less and less egocentric. Eventually the moment comes wherein something definitive happens, physically, inside the brain and ‘I’ am nevermore.

‘Being’ ceases – it was only a psychic apparition anyway – and war is over, forever, in one human being.

RESPONDENT No. 59: Vineeto, here in Mexico people are No. 1 at seeing words as having double meaning ... this is mainly how humour is expressed here, it is even seen as a desirable quality, and there are contests where people try to convey the best hidden meaning in words which imply something else. I have seen that taking words at face value gives others the impression of me being innocent but in an ignorant way ... and thus they sometimes try to take advantage of me; however, at the same time, most feel they can trust me. The thing is, I have seen how Actualists always take words for exactly what they mean, should I continue strictly attending to the words of others without ‘imagining’ or trying to find out what the hidden double meaning is? What others are really thinking? I am still distrustful of the words of some but because of several past and present experiences.

VINEETO: I remember that in the early years of writing about actualism I tried to figure out ‘the hidden double meaning’, the emotional agenda, the context of feelings and beliefs in which the post was written and I got hopelessly entangled in the psychic web of other people’s malice and sorrow and was consequently unable to give a clear response. I found I first had to untangle myself from the emotional web in order to be able to think straight and write clearly about my experience of freeing myself from my spiritual beliefs and emotional burdens. Taking people’s word’s at face value has nothing to do with trust or mistrust, but is a matter of a simple and straight-forward way to communicate. A ‘hidden double meaning’ is almost always an emotionally charged meaning and trying to second-guess what this is in any situation does nothing to enhance sensible communication. Nowadays I always assume that if people find it important that I take notice of any ‘hidden’ meaning then they will tell me – it is not my responsibility to discern what another is trying to convey through unmentioned hints and allusions. As for being ‘distrustful of the words of some’ – the good news for me was that by examining and understanding my own social and instinctual identity I had less and less reason to fear that people would emotionally hurt me with insinuations or outright sarcasm – identity-slashing intimations from others now rarely reach a target.

RESPONDENT No. 59: Understood. My problem is that I sometimes forget to focus on the content because of distractions of how it is conveyed.

VINEETO: Of course, that is the very purpose of people conveying a message in an emotional way. Those ‘distractions’ are the very stuff to explore in order to determine how you are in relation to other people. Other than the words themselves there is usually a whole layer of invisible and inaudible interaction happening and this is how Richard explained it: [quote] ‘All sentient beings, to a greater or lesser extent, are connected via a psychic web ... a network of energies or currents that range from ‘good’ to ‘bad’. Feeling threatened or intimidated can result from the obvious cues – the offering of physical violence and/or verbal violence – or from the less obvious ... ‘vibe’ violence (to use a ‘60’s term) and/or psychic violence. Similarly, feeling accepted can occur via the same signals or intimations. Power trips – coercion or manipulation of any kind – whether for ‘good’ or ‘bad’ purposes, are all psychic at root ... the psychic currents are the most effective power plays for they are the most insidious (charisma, for example).’ [endquote].

RESPONDENT No. 23: This could explain why I have a sense of not belonging here or anywhere else for that matter because there is no psychic connection. I am an actualist in the sense that I have seen that matter is animate thru a PCE although I am not positive of this because it could be a physiological process in my own body that makes matter look that way. Also, I don’t practice Actualism per se because it seems that would connect me to the group I see here. I also don’t feel I belong on any spiritual list or group. Not having any psychic connection could explain why I don’t belong and don’t want to belong as opposed to the usual use of belonging which means one wants to belong. Makes sense?

RESPONDENT: I think that’s a legitimate question. The PCE could be, in fact, what else could it be, a product of my own body experiencing itself without the usual imaginary filters. A question to Richard: What about this psychic web? It seems at odds with the here and now down to earth stuff. Especially when it refers to ‘vibes’ between people who are present. I was taught in psychology classes that the verbal message is only 20 percent of the message, the rest being expression and body language. I do think I’ve observed some patterns that aren’t explainable by obvious physical forces such as synchronicity – the seeming grouping of events in themes, sometimes seeming to have meaning, sometimes not, but this is a separate subject.

RICHARD: As I am none too sure what your question to me is actually about I have situated the quote of mine back into the discussion it was first used in as it is quite self-explanatory in reference to the subject then under discussion ... please correct me if I am in error but you do seem to have taken it as a given that there is in fact [quote] ‘the group’ [endquote] which another sees which does in fact require a [quote] ‘psychic connection’ [endquote] in order to in fact [quote] ‘belong’ [endquote] to and are then asking me if this is not at odds with the ‘here and now down to earth stuff’ as if it were a legitimate question I can meaningfully respond to.

There is no group (aka ‘cult’) to connect with/ belong to – either emotionally/ passionally or intuitively/ psychically – as the word ‘actualism’ refers to the direct experience that matter is not merely passive (which, incidentally, does not mean that matter is animate) and the word ‘actualist’ refers to the experient. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘To me the turning point in my faith in actualism as a group of people ...
• [Richard]: ‘Hmm ... despite the best efforts of some to turn the writings of various peoples contributing to this Mailing List into a cult-like group (presumably so that they can then justify their identity as being the dissenter’s dissenter or a cult-buster extraordinaire or whatever), this ‘actualism as a group of people’ you have had a ‘turning point’ in your faith about has no existence outside of your skull.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Hmmm ... well it’s difficult to interact/ relate/ communicate to a group because it is only a virtual thing not actual right?
• [Richard]: ‘Perhaps the word ‘imaginary’ might better convey the nature of any such ‘actualism as a group of people’ than the word ‘virtual’ ... given that ‘virtual’ means ‘almost as good as’ or ‘nearly the same as’ or ‘in effect comparable to’ and so on. Vis.: [Dictionary Definition]: virtual: that is so in essence or effect, although not recognised formally, actually, or by strict definition as such; almost absolute. Possessed of certain physical virtues or powers; effective in respect of inherent qualities. Capable of producing a certain effect or result’.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘This is what I got from ‘Atomica’: ‘virtual: An adjective that expresses a condition without boundaries or constraints. It is often used to define a feature or state that is simulated in some fashion’. So an imagined group of which the initiation for this image is a simulation on the internet.
• [Richard]: ‘Yet as there is no simulated ‘actualism as a group of people’ on the internet, to initiate ‘this image’ of ‘an imagined group’, the dictionary definition you provide only serves to further emphasise the fact that this ‘actualism as a group of people’ has no existence outside of your skull.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘[This is what I got from ‘Atomica’:] ‘virtual: Existing or resulting in essence or effect though not in actual fact, form, or name: the virtual extinction of the buffalo. Existing in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination. Used in literary criticism of a text. Computer Science. Created, simulated, or carried on by means of a computer or computer network: virtual conversations in a chat room’. So an imagined group of which the initiation for this image is a simulation on the internet.
• [Richard]: ‘There is no virtual group, as a simulation of an actual group, happening on The Actual Freedom Mailing List.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘[This is what I got from ‘Atomica’:] ‘virtual: ‘Middle English virtuall, effective, from Medieval Latin virtualis, from Latin virtus, excellence. When virtual was first introduced in the computational sense, it applied to things simulated by the computer, like virtual memory – that is, memory that is not actually built into the processor. Over time, though, the adjective has been applied to things that really exist and are created or carried on by means of computers.
• [Richard]: ‘There is no thing that really exists, which has been created or is being carried on by means of computers, that can even remotely be called ‘actualism as a group of people’.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘[This is what I got from ‘Atomica’:] ‘virtual: Virtual conversations are conversations that take place over computer networks, and virtual communities are genuine social groups that assemble around the use of e-mail, web pages, and other networked resources’.
• [Richard]: ‘There is no virtual community, as a genuine social group, occurring on this Mailing List such as to warrant the phrase ‘actualism as a group of people’.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘[This is what I got from ‘Atomica’:] ‘virtual: The adjectives virtual and digital and the prefixes e- and cyber- are all used in various ways to denote things, activities, and organizations that are realized or carried out chiefly in an electronic medium. There is considerable overlap in the use of these items: people may speak either of virtual communities or of cyber communities and of e-cash or cyber-cash. To a certain extent the choice of one or another of these is a matter of use or convention (or in some cases, of finding an unregistered brand name). But there are certain tendencies. Digital is the most comprehensive of the words, and can be used for almost any device or activity that makes use of or is based on computer technology, such as a digital camera or a digital network. Virtual tends to be used in reference to things that mimic their ‘real’ equivalents.
• [Richard]: ‘There is no ‘real’ equivalent, to ‘actualism as a group of people’, which is being mimicked here on The Actual Freedom Mailing List.
The word actualism refers to the direct experience that matter is not merely passive. I chose the name rather simply from a dictionary definition which said that actualism was ‘the theory that matter is not merely passive (now rare)’. That was all ... and I did not investigate any further for I did not want to know who formulated this theory. It was that description – and not the author’s theory – that appealed. And, as it said that its usage was now rare, I figured it was high-time it was brought out of obscurity, dusted off, re-vitalised ... and set loose upon the world (including upon those who have a conditioned abhorrence of categories and labels) as a third alternative to materialism and spiritualism.

Put succinctly: there is no psychic web in this actual world – the world of this body and that body and every body; the world of the mountains and the streams; the world of the trees and the flowers; the world of the clouds in the sky by day and the stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum – to be at odds with the ‘here and now down to earth stuff’.

Your co-respondent is but tilting at windmills (again).

RESPONDENT: It is hard to lay the facts straight every time it pops up, because this is so complex. I am going to try to just explore the ‘needing to belong’ part of it and feel that out completely and acknowledge it, and see it as a instinctual feeling that is unnecessary, and it should go away. My problem is that I have been struggling with it for so long, I don’t want to approach it wrong, because it has not yet gone away in any degree of intensity. After that I will look at my malice towards everyone, that I use to cover up the need to belong, and explore the malice as an instinctual defence mechanism. I’m going to keep working on it, but if anyone has particularly applicable experiences with what will work here, please explain. Thanks.

RICHARD: It is more than likely that ‘the need to belong’ arises from the herd instinct – gregariousness runs deep – with layer upon layer of socialisation compounding this primal urge. The very first thing to do is separate out needs from urges (desires): unless one is living as a hermit off nuts and berries deep in a remote forest one needs one’s fellow human beings for a whole raft of things (I need a shopkeeper to sell me goods as much as a shopkeeper needs me to sell goods to for example) and the most fundamental needs amount to five survival essentials ... air, water, food, shelter (if protection be necessary), and clothing (if the weather be inclement).

Thus a starving need for ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ would be better described as a starving desire for ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ as it does not take long to work out that one does not need the shopkeeper (for example) to dish out ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ along with the small change ... indeed a modern-day super-mart employee more often than not is obliged to chant the ubiquitous ‘thank you for shopping at x-mart’ dirge rather than it being a pleasantry arising out mutual regard.

Why then the desire for ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ (and thus the collapsing defence mechanisms)?

There is more to it than the hereditarily programmed gregarian urge, of course, as the basic instinctual passions in general, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, automatically form themselves into a feeling ‘being’ ... which is who ‘I’ am at root (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself). And any ‘me’ (a genetically encoded passionate inchoate ‘presence’ or rudimentary survival ‘self’ as it were) is an alien identity forever locked-out of paradise (the source of sorrow, by the way, but that is another story) desiring validation from all the other alien identities.

Put simply: ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ verifies, endorses, and consolidates ‘me’ ... and not only am ‘I’ thus authenticated, sanctioned, and substantiated but ‘my’ presence has meaning as well.

RESPONDENT: And here is my journal entry of when I discovered this complex, I was going to a site with pictures of beautiful, nude women in a place where people walking behind me would see what I was doing. It was a sort of intentional action, just to really explore my instinctual reactions right there and then. I just I just sat down at this computer and went to a site ‘Domai’ with nude photographs of women. I immediately left the site, and felt fear thinking, what else, ‘what will people think of me?’ The scenario I set up in my mind of someone (this time it was a guy named Charlie, the last person I emotionally connected with) coming up and saying something or thinking something of me. Of course the whole scene was acted out in my mind, with the accompanying fear, and the impulse to hit the ‘x’ and close. My problem is of course believing that the scene I imagined, or any scene that could happen would be ‘bad’ in any way. It would actually be exciting, or interesting, and of course in the end it would be defendable – even if I was a staunch orthodox Christian I could defend my visiting the site. Although I can defend myself and see how the situation I compose is unreal, there is something more there. A hesitancy to just drop it all and jump in. It is a doubt that I am right perhaps. A doubt that ‘how could there be nothing wrong if that happens’ I do not look at the facts of the situation. I cannot be autonomous in this action.

How about this: who is worried about being caught? The who the ‘me’ is all fear, so there is no chance to do it, as ‘me’ is still trying to do the action, but me is still all fear. Who is held accountable? Who receives the punishment the castigation? Who is ostracized? This is the fight or flight response ... it is amazing to experience this. Feels ancient. The fear is accompanied by a reinforcement of ‘me’ as a feeler, like I can establish that no one is there, no one to take blame, but when I move to go to the page again I suddenly reappear in full force. It’s like I am a child, wanting everyone to love me, and appreciate me ... very childlike. It’s like I’m reaching out to everyone to just ‘feed me’ emotional food, accept me, love me, appreciate me. It seems I want it all very badly.

I, like a child, refuse to stand up for myself, but would rather have people love me and accept me and thus be a slave to them and what they find acceptable, submission for protection is what this boils down to, submission in return for acceptance. Thus I am in a living contradiction in that I want people to fully accept me, and thus be what they see as acceptable, while at the same time being someone who is utterly opposed to what these people would accept. I stand for nothing. Standing up for myself is standing up for facts. This desire for love and acceptance is very primordial that I am feeling. I wonder if it is specific to me, as in my specifics being raised in the way I was, or if everyone has this feeling just toward different issues. This is nurture all the way, and fear. I feel like a damned baby. I have to battle facts with emotion, facts with powerful beliefs. Can these people really actually give me anything but sex, hugs and handshakes dammit? What emotional satisfaction do I suck out of thin air from around these people that I cannot live without?

This act of fear and isolation and submission and silence is my only defence mechanism ... I think I learned this in high school. I want every girl to be my mother or my lover. I want every guy to my dad or my buddy. If I could live without acceptance ... of course I can, but if I could get used to it, and experientially show myself so that I would have nothing to be scared of losing. Maybe I will step down from my highchair and just admit that all I really want is for everyone to love and accept and nurture me, hand me their tit. Stop trying to deny it. It is very possible that I am in the process of denying that I basically want acceptance from everyone, and that my whole facade of contempt and condescension is my denial of that. I counter my lack of receiving the nurture I get with my malicious attitude towards others a sort of ‘how could I need them? they are stupid and I am better than them’ approach that is a denial of the whole nurture thing. I must sit with nurture, look at it, learn it, be it, stop countering it. look at my condescension look at my malice, my contempt, learn about it, see why it is there. And that takes the layers of this fear process – I am better than everyone else because I think I have better views, but I want their acceptance so bad that I will not let them know I think they are lesser. I just need to admit, feel, and see how on the basic level I feel I want everyone to accept me.

RICHARD: Here is a notion to ponder upon: when one is happy and harmless one does not desire (aka need) acceptance or love or nurture or whatever ... quite the reverse, in fact, as happiness and harmlessness enables a benevolence and benignity which is not of ‘my’ doing.

In other words: an effortless and on-going munificence or generosity of character ensues.

RESPONDENT No. 25: Richard, if I were to knock-knock on your brain there will be no-one to answer, let alone your heart?

RICHARD: My previous companion would oft-times say ‘there is no-one in there’ or ‘there is no-one home’ when feeling me out whilst looking at me quizzically ... she also would explain to others that, contrary to expectation, it was sometimes difficult to live with Richard (it could be said that living with some body that is not self-centred would always be easy) as it was impossible for her to have a relationship because there was no-one to make a connection with. She would also say that Richard does nor support her, as an identity that is, at all ... which lack of (affective) caring was disconcerting for her, to say the least, and my current companion has also (correctly) reported this absence of consideration. Put simply: I am unable to support some-one who does not exist (I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world).

GARY: One of the most striking things to happen to me since I started practising Actualism is the diminishment of emotional connections to other human beings. I cannot say that there are absolutely no connections to others, as it is obvious to me in my relationship with my partner that a sense of connectedness comes up from time to time in various ways. And no doubt this happens with other people as well. However, I have noticed for a long period that when people want to be ‘friends’ with me, for instance, and make certain friendly overtures, these are generally not at all reciprocated on my part. In other words, the offer to ‘make a friend’ or ‘be a friend’ or such similar things as happen in the social world usually fall completely flat on my part. I have sometimes gotten the impression, gleaned from body language and other cues, that this irritates people. Overtures of this type just do not seem to ‘take’ with me. It is difficult to describe but I am sure that the other practiced Actualists on this list know what I am talking about.

RICHARD: Given that the primary basis of a meaningful friendship is an affectionate attachment, a tie or a bond based upon one identity making an affective connection with another identity, it speaks volumes about the underlying nature of relationship that a proposition of that ilk deemed to be spurned incurs chagrin. A succinct description of this core nature can be as follows:

• ‘friend: a person joined by affection and intimacy to another, independently of sexual or family love’. (Oxford Dictionary).
• ‘friend: one attached to another by affection or esteem’. (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary).
• ‘friend: a person you know well and regard with affection and trust’. (WordNet 1.6).
• ‘friend (word history): a friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin amicus ‘friend’ and amos ‘I love’ is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos ‘friend’ and phileo ‘I love’. In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, freond, the Old English word for ‘friend,’ was simply the present participle of the verb freon, ‘to love’. The Germanic root behind this verb is fri–, which meant ‘to like, love, be friendly to’. (The American Heritage® Dictionary).

Of course the words ‘friendly’ and ‘friendliness’ have different connotations to the root meanings of ‘friend’ and ‘friendship’ ... such connotations as amity, affability, amiability, geniality, cordiality, courtesy, civility, helpfulness, kindliness, gentleness, benevolence, and so on.

The need for a friend, and to be a friend, is an urge for an affectuous coupling based upon separation ... an identity is alone and/or lonely and longs for the union that is evidenced in a relationship. When both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul become extinct there is no need – and no capacity – for such unity: the expression ‘life is a movement in relationship’ applies only to a psychological and/or psychic entity who wants the feeling of oneness – a synthetic intimacy per favour the bridge of affection/love – which manifests the deception that separation has ended. And if human relationship does not produce the desired result, then one will project a god or a goddess – a ‘super-friend’ not dissimilar to the imaginary playmates of childhood – to love and be loved by.

The ridiculous part in all this is that we are fellow human beings anyway (like species recognise like species) and to seek to impose friendship over the top of fellowship is, as someone once said in another context, like painting red ink on a red rose ... a garish redundancy.

GARY: Another obvious sign of the diminishment of emotional connections is in the ‘need’ to affiliate. I seem to have no need to affiliate with others, in the sense that that word is commonly used. This is not to say that I am rude or inconsiderate towards others, but as I feel little need or drive to ‘socialize’, pair off with, or otherwise ‘bond’ with others, there is little in an active social sense that is going on with me.

RICHARD: Yes, the need (as in drive or urge) to belong can, and does, vanish completely.

GARY: Which brings me to a point: in my investigations of what it means to be a human being, I have been struck with how much of human socializing is based on commiseration – sharing a common plight and grievance, and additionally sharing feelings and emotions: whether it be returning to work on Monday, the state of the economy, the price of gasoline, how unfairly the work place is treating you, etc., etc. Human beings seems to revel in their complaints and gripes, and a sense of resentment is the cement that seems to bind people together in many social situations. Indeed, it is the raison d’être for political groups and political causes of various types.

RICHARD: Aye ... this is something I come across almost on a daily basis and it is amazing how many people tell me that I am being ‘optimistic’, or ‘positive’, or ‘up-beat’, or that I am ‘forever trying to talk things up’. For example, I might comment upon what a great day it is and, as sure as eggs are eggs, the plighted person will find fault (even if only ‘it won’t last’) ... or I may say how marvellous it is to be living in a technologically advanced society (take contemporary surgical procedures, for instance, or current dental practice) and a whole litany of doom and gloom comes forth.

Even sitting at a caff by myself, with snippets of nearby conversations drifting by from time-to-time, it is remarkable how much of the content of social chit-chat is, as you say, gripe, grievance, complaint, and resentment ... and the last-named is the key to it all (the basic resentment of being alive in the first place).

Until one wakes up to implications and ramifications of the factuality of already being here on this planet earth anyway, whether one wants to be or not (‘I didn’t ask to be born’), one is fated to forever seek consolation and commiseration in the arms (both metaphorically and literally) of another similarly afflicted. Yet the simple fact is that, despite the ‘I didn’t ask to be born’ rhetoric, one does want to be alive (else one would have committed suicide long ago) and all that it takes is to fully acknowledge this and thus unequivocally say !YES! to being here now as this flesh and blood body ... and this affirmation is an unconditional agreement/approval of life itself as-it-is.

I did not ask to be born either (truisms can be so trite) ... but I am ever-so-glad that I was.

GARY: However, not to get too far afield and to return again to the theme of emotional ‘connection’, I have sometimes in past months been aghast at my lack of emotional, social connection to others. There has been the fright that I am suffering from a serious mental disorder.

RICHARD: This seems to be par for the course ... I would probably not be going too far out on a limb to say that the fear of insanity plays a large part in whatever else it is that keeps people locked into sanity.

GARY: In that one’s emotional connections with others are a prime indicator of one’s mental health, that may certainly be the case, although I carry no official diagnosis (not having come into contact with mental health professionals in any capacity that relates to me personally).

RICHARD: Yes ... ‘well-balanced’ emotional connections are indeed a prime indicator of mental health in the real-world. As a generalisation commitment to radical change is usually avoided like the plague lest people begin calling one ‘obsessed’ and start issuing atavistic warnings of dire consequences ... and slip the word ‘insanity’ into their conversations every now and then.

GARY: There has been something at times like anxiety and shock to recognize that I am no longer moved by a need to affiliate and identify with others. This fear reminds me of the fears I first encountered in Actualism – atavistic fears relating to being an ‘outcast’, i.e. falling off the plate of humanity, so to speak.

RICHARD: The glue which holds humanity together is sourced in the gregarian impulse (the herd instinct ... and this urge to belong to the group (identifying and affiliating with others) is backed-up by the ever-present threat of ostracism, or banishment, in the form of humiliation, embarrassment, disgrace, dishonour, shame, mortification, ignominy, and so on.

A powerful social tool, in other words, wielded viciously at times.

GARY: However, the fears have taken on a somewhat different spin, at times feeling myself to be the object of derision or discrimination.

RICHARD: Ah, yes ... derision, eh? Another emotional vibe, or psychic current, to add to the short list (above) of powerful social tools ... which would have to include disparagement, scorn, mockery, disdain, belittlement, vilification, denigration, contempt, castigation, disapprobation, denunciation, and condemnation (and discrimination as evidenced by bad-mouthing, backbiting, slander, libel, defamation and a whole range of slurs, smears, censures, admonishments, reproaches, reprovals, and so on).

GARY: Whatever it is, and although there may be a slightly paranoid flavour at times, I am unable to return to what once was a habitual mode of operation socially – to seek out ‘relationships’ with others, whether they be friendships, kinship with family members, or groups to identify with. As I write these words, I am thinking that these fears are basic atavistic fears related to the demolishment of one’s identity, as well as fears that indicate the presence of the identity in the first place. These fears have largely settled down at the present time.

RICHARD: Good ... what would keep the ‘me’ that was firmly on track, at times, was the glaring fact that, for all of humanity’s social tools and coping mechanisms and management techniques, peace on earth was nowhere to be seen ... either then or at any other period in human history.

The impression gained at the time was that everyone else was sitting back moaning and groaning about the inequity of it all ... and castigating anyone who dared to begin stepping out of the mould. I kid you not ... many was the person who said (words to the effect): ‘how could you be happy while people are suffering ... have you no humanity?’

Is one to wait until everybody else is happy and harmless before oneself? If one were to wait the waiting would be forever for under this twisted rationale no one would dare to be the first to be happy and harmless because of such people waiting in the wings poised and ready to pounce with their ‘how could you’ wisdom ... this peculiar reasoning allows only for an instantaneous mass happiness and harmlessness to occur globally and, as such a miracle is never going to happen, surely someone has to be intrepid enough to be the first, to show what is possible to a benighted humanity, before they all tear each other apart.

At times one just has to face the opprobrium of one’s ill-informed peers and dare to be different anyway.

GARY: I would welcome any comments either you or other participants have about the topic currently under discussion. I would be interested, for instance, in knowing how your own conduct socially and in terms of intimate, emotional connection has changed since you have been living in Actual Freedom compared with your previous life as a ‘normal’, care-worn person.

RICHARD: Ahh ... the change from being a care-worn person to being a care-free person means that social interaction has changed from normal to actual (from friendship to fellowship) which is a change from being affectively intimate (a separative connection) to being actually intimate (an inseparate association) and, as a result, a change from being commiserative to being dissolutive and thus a change from complaintive to acclamatory and/or from condolatory to laudatory (from grievance to panegyrical) ... what others would call being ‘optimistic’, or ‘positive’, or ‘up-beat’, and so on.

Mostly people stay way in droves.

GARY: Specific questions that arise might be the following: do you belong to any groups or organizations of any kind?

RICHARD: I neither belong to any public organisation, club, guild, or fraternity/sorority by whatever description, nor go to parties, bars, dances, or any other similar social venue ... neither do I play competitive sports, support any team or player, or even watch any such sporting events.

GARY: Do you have a more active social life now or less active?

RICHARD: An entirely different social life: no integration is required as the world as-it-is endows any activity with all its completion ... a plenitude that far exceeds any social event which seeks to divert the jaded from their creeping ennui.

GARY: What happened to you socially when you self-immolated?

RICHARD: I have tended to be individualistic all my life – although I could party-on with the best of the revellers on occasion – so, basically, all that happened socially was that gregariousness, or the urge to socialise, has vanished completely ... just as sexual congress sans the libidinous impulse is a luscious intercourse so too is social congress without the gregarian urge a delightful interaction.

All in all an estimable situation.

RESPONDENT: I learned that life is relationship, and that is constantly changing, so you might say that everything is always in question.

RICHARD: Okay ... let us start here then: are you prepared to question whether life is indeed relationship?

RESPONDENT: Sure. Where do we go from here?

RICHARD: Simple ... in the pure consciousness experience (PCE) where there is no identity whatsoever – no emotional ‘being’ – it will be seen with startling clarity that there is no entity within the body to be connected, or to do the connecting, with life (which was previously seen as being outside the body) ... let alone have a connection which is ‘constantly changing’. In other words, as this flesh and blood body only one is never separate from life ... thus there is no relationship.

Where the separate self has ended so has relationship.

MARK: I have chosen not to tell acquaintances of this happening as I have no wish to invoke pity, sympathy or such that would only serve to strengthen the ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’ of same. Two ‘selves’ live in totally different worlds so any sharing (of fear, grief, love) is not actually possible anyway! I have never before felt so at ease with aloneness (engendered by the gradual falling away of the shared beliefs of the ‘real’ world).

RICHARD: Aye, when loneliness ends, and one stands on one’s own two feet, this independence is a relief ... yet there is more. Even aloneness can end. Where you wrote (Part One) that ‘all I can do is proceed, with pure intent, to continue to nibble away at ‘me’, I can only recommend proceeding with all dispatch. When ‘I’ self-immolate in ‘my’ entirety, the separative entity’s isolation disappears too ... and an actual intimacy emerges that beggars comparison. This is because a person’s isolation is formed by the essence of their ‘being’... and ‘being’ itself is the root-cause of all the ills of humankind. One has ‘been’ in the past, one is ‘being’ in the present, and one will ‘be’ in the future. That ‘being’ is what one calls ‘me’, taking it to be me; me as-I-am. ‘I’ was, ‘I’ am, ‘I’ will be ... this sense of continuity, an instinctual entity called ‘me’ existing over time, is not me as-I-am. I do not exist over time; I exist only as this moment exists, and now has no duration. Therefore I am never alone, for there is no separation; there is only actual intimacy. Whereas ‘I’, out of loneliness, attempt to bridge the separation between ‘myself’ and others similarly afflicted with ‘being’, via emotions – be it affection, love, pity, sympathy, empathy or compassion – to induce an artificial intimacy. The problem with emotion is that it is fickle; one can switch it on and off. A person can be said to be generous with their love ... or parsimonious. Such illusory intimacy is unreliable, dependent upon predilection, mood and receptivity. Actual intimacy – the direct experience of the other – is ever-constant; it is not in the control of a wayward ego or a compliant soul. It cannot be switched on or off, given or withheld. It is not ‘mine’, it is simply here, all of the time.

‘I’ am the sole cause of the tried and failed systems being considered essential if humans are to have peace on earth. ‘I’ am the arch-villain in this world-wide scenario ... ‘me’ and billions of other ‘me’s. Solutions and cures are not necessary when the cause is eradicated. Without ‘me’ there is no problem to be solved. However, what initially stands in the way of implementing these words, translating them into action, is the fear that one will become an outcast. The whole thrust of ‘humanity’ is to foster the sense of belonging ... it is a large part of one’s social identity. One automatically feels that by no longer belonging one will live in isolation. Nothing could be further from the truth, because this is a feeling, not a fact. The fact of being on one’s own is vastly different from the feeling of being isolated ... and when one has found intimacy the need to belong has become absurd. Besides, the sense of belonging is a dangerous illusion. Losing oneself in the crowd renders one susceptible to not only group highs but to mass hysteria ... and mob riots. Just as marital disharmony can lead to domestic violence, so too can neighbourhood disputes lead to civil unrest and communal violence. International riots are called war. So much for belonging!

With apperception, what one discovers, time and again, is that the personal boundaries that one feels so safely protected by, are made up of ‘my’ accrued beliefs as to who ‘I’ am. This is ‘my’ outline, as it were, shaped by other people’s description of ‘me’ ... a construct which gives ‘me’ asylum in each different group into which ‘I’ wish to enter. Yet the outline of this construct creates, simultaneously, an enormous distance between ‘me’ and the world outside. At those times of peak experience, the distance disappears all of a sudden as ‘I’ vanish and this world is right here, so close that there is no distance any more. This is closer than any affective intimacy ‘I’ have ever longed for. This is serendipity indeed. This is a direct experience of actuality ... and I have always been here like this ... so safely here. The outline, the boundary that created the distance, was all in ‘my’ reality. ‘I’ created a substitute security for this original safety ... a safety which has never known any threat, nor ever will. This genuine safety has no need for precautions.

RESPONDENT: I hear you saying that it really is ok for me to be here to inquire about the instincts without wanting to become a bona fide Actualist even though this is not what I hear other keepers of the list saying. I also hear you saying that you may not reply to my messages and I have no problem with that. Right now I am trying to get to the bottom of my issue about belonging which I feel may be at the bottom of my issue about cultism. Is belonging tied to the nurture instinct or the fear instinct?

RICHARD: It is rather nurture and aggression (caring and protecting) I would say ... but fear is at the base of it all, of course (basic survival). There is a herding impulse – some birds flock together, some fish form schools and so on – but when it comes to the issue of cultism in humans it has more to do with (a) a dominant male or female instinctively becoming the head of the pack for group survival reasons … and (b) the pack instinctively being led by a dominant male or female for group survival reasons.

This is the way that blind nature has operated for aeons … this rough and ready approach has worked well enough to produce 6.0 billion human beings on this planet. Howsoever, it is high time that each and every human being took amenability for their own life and examined each and every aspect of what blind nature has endowed them with. The head of the pack is as much run by the instinctual passions as the pack is run by the instinctual passions ... nobody is at fault.

Put simply: the victor is as much a victim of the instinctual passions as the vanquished is.

Anybody who examines blind nature in action will readily ascertain for themselves what I have sketched out above … and will comprehend that it is impossible for there to be an actualism cult as (a) there is no head of the pack being blindly run by instinctual passions … and (b) there is no pack being blindly run by instinctual passions. Actualism is about autonomy … the word is plastered all over the web site.

Again I sincerely recommend that peoples actually read what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Web Site before shooting from the hip. It is quite possible that there really is no need for a mailing list as the questions and/or objections have already been answered again and again. Speaking personally, I am retired and on a pension and I am simply having a lot of fun here at the keyboard copy-pasting the same-same explanations to the same-same questions and/or objections until the questioner and/or objector either wakes up to what is going on and starts reading for themselves ... or goes away to more gullible pastures (there are those that do).

However, the mailing list can serve as a useful venue to share experience ... to compare notes, as it were.

RESPONDENT: My issue is that I don’t want to belong because I feel that is a restriction to freedom.

RICHARD: Good … because there is nothing to belong to here.

RESPONDENT: That doesn’t leave any freedom to discover my own way. I see blatant cultism in that and I am sure that no one else here does.

RICHARD: Oh, there is at least one other person who does ... maybe you have missed seeing their posts?

RESPONDENT: Like I said, I have already been in cults that weren’t a cult. This one has the hallmarks of cultism in my book.

RICHARD: And it is what these ‘hallmarks of cultism’ are that I am endeavouring to ascertain in this thread.


RESPONDENT: ... or else I don’t belong here.

RICHARD: Ahh ... is ‘belonging’ the next proof of cultism I asked you for?

RESPONDENT: I wouldn’t say that ‘belonging’ is my next proof of cultism.

RICHARD: Oh? Wanting to belong strikes me as being one of the main hallmarks of the cultic tendency in peoples.

RESPONDENT: If you have refuted any proof I have offered so far then there is no other proof that I can come up with that you will listen to.

RICHARD: May I re-post something from earlier in this thread? Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘Are we agreed on these two points: because I want the perfect experience that Rachael is experiencing (each moment again, day after day, without any further patching and tweaking) and because the word bootstrapism has ‘-ism’ at the end of it, I am now stuck in a cult?

That looks to me like I am listening ... plus something from a post to another:

• [Richard]: ‘This is what I have managed to ascertain so far as proofs of cultism:

1. Actualism is a cult because the word has ‘-ism’ at the end of it.
2. Actualism is a cult because a handful of people want to be free of the human condition’.

RESPONDENT: The issue of belonging has come up for me. Like I say I am not welcome to be here with the freedom to discover my own way.

RICHARD: Is it at all becoming obvious that this ‘not welcome’ attitude you speak of has no existence outside of your mind?

RESPONDENT: I don’t belong here because I don’t want to be a died in the wool Actualist who practices Actualism. I am not into religion.

RICHARD: Is it at all becoming obvious that this ‘religion’ you speak of has no existence outside of your mind?

RESPONDENT: I have an issue about not belonging but that doesn’t mean that what I said about Actualism is not a fact.

RICHARD: You have an issue about ‘not belonging’ to ... to what?


RESPONDENT: I have pasted your reply to No. 12 ... so as to combine two posts into one: [Richard]: ‘This is what I have managed to ascertain so far as proofs of cultism: 1. Actualism is a cult because the word has ‘-ism’ at the end of it. 2. Actualism is a cult because a handful of people want to be free of the human condition’. [endquote]. If this is all that you have managed to ascertain so far about what I have offered as proofs of cultism, then I have failed miserably to communicate what I said or else you haven't listened to what I said.

RICHARD: Then please take the liberty of amending and/or adding to my list.

RESPONDENT: Either way I see no hope in continuing.

RICHARD: Whether you continue or not is entirely up to you ... it is you who is making the claim of cultism, when all is said and done, and not me.

RESPONDENT: [Richard]: ‘There was a stage where it appeared that speaking the same lingo might be a proof but that one sort of fizzled-out ... plus it is not clear whether not being able to belong to a mailing list(??) is a proof or not’. [endquote]. Speaking the same lingo hasn’t fizzled out. That is a hallmark of cultism.

RICHARD: Ah, good ... I will add ‘speaking the same lingo’ to my list, then.

Meanwhile ... perhaps you may be able to assist me in something rather important? My computer is making both groaning and grumbling noises and when I type in run-commands there is no response ... this is my take is on what is going on: I figure that the wheelbarrow is conflicting with the scotch mist – both of which, as you would know, share the same chewing gum – and I am wondering whether it would be best to replace the wheelbarrow or the scotch mist. Do you have any suggestions, tips, hints or clues that might assist me? Maybe I should replace both? Or should I make adjustments to the chewing gum ... and if so, what would be the best way to go about it?

I look forward to your response as I am relatively new to computers and would appreciate drawing upon your expertise.

RESPONDENT: I can see why you said that it has fizzled out. I said that I don’t belong here if I don’t want to be a died in the wool Actualist who practices Actualism. That is proof enough for me.

RICHARD: Okay ... I do appreciate your input as I am sure this discussion has thrown some light upon the issue of cultism.

RESPONDENT: I think the lady from Spain said it well. You are saying things that I did not say to suit your own agenda.

RICHARD: Perhaps you might be able to demonstrate where ‘the lady from Spain said it well’ (the last time someone tried that one on me they were remarkably silent when asked to put their money where their mouth is)?

RESPONDENT: [Richard]: ‘Needless to say I am currently still in denial’. [endquote]. Yes. Do you find it curious that after all these years there is only a small handful of Actualists?

RICHARD: No ... I am pleasantly surprised that there be so many.

RESPONDENT: These are good questions. But the recipient of violence does not cause the violence.

RICHARD: If, as you say, the recipient of violence does not cause the violence ... then why say that these are ‘good questions’ ? If you do not understand ... say so. And it is indeed all about ‘blaming the victim’ (to use the current jargon) ... you have been physically harmed already and have been offered physical harm again! What more has to happen before you will inquire into yourself?

RESPONDENT: I do inquire of myself, and I shall always continue to do so.

RICHARD: I beg to differ ... above you asked ‘why ask why’ ? I hardly call that inquiring. Then you said ‘the recipient of violence does not cause the violence’ ... which, being a psittacism, does not constitute inquiring at all. You thus shut the door on investigation and compliment those on this List whose kind of advice falls under the category of being ‘more loving’

RESPONDENT: By the way I am not under any more or less threat than the average person at present, I am examining a past event.

RICHARD: Then why mislead by saying (above): ‘who wishes to harm me again’ ? That reads as a current event.

RESPONDENT: Would you tell the victims of Hitler or the Ku Klux Klan to inquire into themselves?

RICHARD: Yes ... if they asked me. Identifying with by relating and belonging to a group – and espousing group ideals – invites attack from the bully-boys of another group who deem themselves superior. Why identify? Why relate? Why belong?

The pertinent question to ask oneself now is: ‘Why do I have the need to identify by relating to anyone or belonging to any group at all’? This is inquiring.

RESPONDENT: It seems to me that by relating to a group I am relating less, not more, because a group excludes those who ‘don’t belong’.

RICHARD: Everybody I speak with – every one of them – tells the same story: ‘I just do not fit in; I do not belong; I am not like them; they exclude me; they all belong but I don’t’ ... and so on and so on. Is it not significant that everyone experiences life like this? (And I have talked with literally thousands of people over the last eighteen years about this). Loneliness is pandemic. In fact it has a global incidence and spares no one.

RESPONDENT: If I do not relate to others then I can relate only to myself, a group of one, then none. A lonely life.

RICHARD: Perhaps if I include something written by someone whom I have had an association with for some time may throw some light onto this subject. Vis.:

• ‘Each social identity thrives on attention; it needs to be needed; it needs to belong, it needs to be accepted, it needs to be lovable ... and it loves to be able to fight for its maintenance. If these needs are not being met, one feels desolate, lonely and forlorn; one risks falling into a melancholy, into a depression. What inevitably follows is the unvarying advice to ‘come back to reality’ and to turn to the group for support. This imperative to belong is bred into the human being from birth onwards. Yet curiously enough, when two or more persons have spent sufficient time together, niggles, arguments and fights all prove to be inescapable. Too many needs to be met and too little attention to go around leaves all concerned disappointed and in despair.

‘The only hope, it seems, is to try one’s luck with either someone else or with some Metaphysical Group ... only to be disappointed once more. One is advised by others to lower one’s expectations about any happiness on earth, as it is seen to be foolish and unrealistic to count on perfection in ‘this imperfect world’. Although the same warnings, the same words of advice and the same hopes and despairs have been running their course, to no avail ever, for all of human history, this orthodox understanding of human life is still religiously adhered to and is never to be questioned. Despite all their passionate attempts to make the conventional way work, people are still living dismally unhappy lives; lives in which very little time is spent in undisturbed peace and harmony with oneself or another … let alone month after month and year after year. Is it possible that everybody has been hoodwinked into believing that this was ordained to be the fate of humankind forever?

‘Like everybody else I too was hoodwinked for many years. I remained swindled until, together with Richard, I started to question the ‘human’ archetype with its relentless beliefs and needs, hopes and despairs. Nothing sanctioned by ‘humanity’ ever seemed to lead to the sweet destiny that I had seen in a PCE and known as being possible for all of humankind. And now, after an extensive odyssey, I know without a shadow of a doubt that personal peace-on-earth is my birthright, as it were, and is always available to be achieved. Nevermore do I feel a need to belong, because I do not feel alone and lonely by myself. As I do not have a precarious social identity to protect, a battle of wills with another is no longer an attractive option; no ego-victory is sweet enough to want to relinquish one’s personal peace for. I experience anger, for example, to be a thoroughly rotten emotion; an emotion which has no redeeming features whatsoever and which, in my view, only perpetuates me as a social identity, thus assuring continued potential for aggression. Nor do I need to be needed, loved, or appreciated’.

The last sentence is particularly relevant to your question: ‘Nor do I need to be needed, loved, or appreciated’ .

RESPONDENT: Can I instead relate to the largest possible group, to all?

RICHARD: A sheer impossibility ... 5.8 billion people are far to many to meet personally. Therefore, such relating would be only imaginary ... and amounts to becoming lost by being submerged in the crowd, anyway.

RESPONDENT: Relate with the maximum possible effort, with all my heart? Is this another way to lose the psychological self?

RICHARD: What makes one want to relate with ‘all my heart’ ? Is not that where the psychological self lives? Is this not ‘me’ at the core of one’s ‘being’? Would this action not affirm, endorse and perpetuate the very psychological self one is proposing to lose? One may be a loving self now ... but one is still a self, nevertheless.

The pertinent question to ask is this: What is the nature of loneliness?

RICHARD: A peak experience is when everything is seen to be already perfect – it always has been and always will be – and that ‘I’, the self, have been standing in the way of the perfection being apparent ... Here a solid and irrefutable native intelligence can operate freely because the ‘thinker’ and the ‘feeler’ are extirpated.

RESPONDENT: And ‘peak’ may not be necessary. When I was 10 or so, I played with a sense of radiating outward/inward in all directions. This was only remembered as the nature of the experience when it happened recently during sitting.

RICHARD: I would be interested to hear a description of your experience, if you would be so inclined ... and if I am not being too imposing. I consider it important that as many such experiences be detailed for others to draw confirmation that they are not alone in seeing and experiencing something magical, something perfectly pure, even if briefly, in this world as-it-is. I will append a short example written by a women from The Netherlands:

• ‘One of my peak experiences happened on the fore-shore. All of a sudden, unmediated, ‘I’ and my world-view had disappeared and an immediate intimacy became apparent. Although I had lived in this village before and had grown very fond of it and its residents, there had always been a distance between me and other people, which had to be bridged by temporary feelings of love and affection which were never satisfying for long. Now a shift in seeing had occurred, and looking at the people around me, I noticed that the distance between me and others had miraculously vanished. Not only between me and other people but equally between me and the trees, me and the houses on the boulevard, even between me and the ocean. Nowhere was there a boundary. Another dimension had taken its place, which I initially experienced as a closeness closer than my own heartbeat, yet it was certainly not love for all or oneness with everything. It was another paradigm than the one in which the opposites play their major role ... and to depict it I needed another vocabulary than words like distant and close, separation and oneness. Opposites can only be used when there is a stationary benchmark to judge them by. When ‘I’, the standard from which everything was measured, ceased to be, a pure appraisal of the situation could take place. I saw everybody, including me as-this-body, and everything else, in its own proper place and nothing was wrong in any way. The concept of bonding, belonging and relationship could simply not be applied, not even with my partner, as there was nobody inside to do the relating. This perfect intimacy was everywhere at once, not generated somewhere specific and then diffused to other locations as is the case with love’.

Life is great, is it not?

RESPONDENT: The men’s club and the women’s club are not very well known, you know!

RICHARD: Every woman I have ever spoken to is aware of what you call ‘the men’s club’ and every man I have ever spoken to is aware of what you call ‘the women’s club’ … plus it is written about in books, newspapers, magazines and on the internet as well as being talked about on radio and television and in seminars. Therefore, is there something new you can contribute to aid human understanding?

RESPONDENT: Yes Richard I do not belong to either club.

RICHARD: Yet you have ‘failed to ‘join’ your partner 100%’ … so not belonging to either what you call ‘the men’s club’ or what you call ‘the women’s club’ is not going to enable other men and women to unite either, eh?

So, is there something new you can contribute to aid human understanding?

RESPONDENT: Yes, drop out of the club, (either one) and ‘see’ what is outside of them.

RICHARD: If I may point out? You have already made it clear that you have already ‘dropped out of the club, (either one)’ by stating further above that ‘I do not belong to either club’. Therefore, as you have ‘failed to ‘join’ your partner 100%’ by being able to ‘see what is outside of them’ then ‘dropping out of the club, (either one) and seeing what is outside of them’ is not going to enable other men and women to unite either, eh?

So, is there something new you can contribute to aid human understanding?

RESPONDENT: With the cultural image of self, there is isolation but there is also the feeling of being part of a group consciousness and memory that is human thought. When there is no centring in thought, no ‘me’ experiencing, there is all-one-ness. In the absolute sense, there always was but it was lost in the dream of time, i.e.: ‘me’ becoming.

RICHARD: Once again, ‘I’ – lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning – desire an end to separation whilst staying in existence nevertheless. What we have talked about above on the divine level, is here being played out on the secular level. A communal – or community – feeling of oneness called ‘all-one-ness’. Much has been made of the word ‘alone’ and the ability to make it say ‘all one’. But this is not just a play on words, because for those desperately lonely peoples, who have made this secular leap of trust, the feeling of ‘aloneness’ has indeed become a feeling of ‘all-one-ness’.

Yet a feeling is just that: a feeling. A feeling is not a fact.

It is actually so easy to see why feelings – whilst being trusted implicitly – are not to be relied upon. The sense of belonging is a dangerous illusion built upon the shifting sands of emotions and passions. Losing oneself in the crowd renders one susceptible to not only group highs but to mass hysteria ... and mob riots. Just as marital disharmony can lead to domestic violence, so too can neighbourhood disputes lead to civil unrest and communal violence. International riots are called war. So much for being part of a group ... in fact, so much for belonging!

Quite rightly do you say ‘when there is no centring in thought ... there is all-one-ness’ . What people fail to comprehend – because they trust feelings implicitly as being the final arbiter of truth – is that ‘I’ am now centred in feeling. That is: ‘I’ have transferred ‘my’ identity from the head to the heart. Floating on an oceanic feeling of oneness, ‘I’ can truly say: ‘I love everybody and everything’ ... and why? Because of the intense feeling that ‘I am everything and everything is Me’. Consequently, because feelings – emotions and passions – originate in the basic instincts that blind nature endowed humans with at birth, one has discovered one’s source of being (the Zen Masters’ ‘Original Face’).

However, this feeling of original ‘being’ is nothing but those original instinctual emotions and passions located in the ‘reptilian brain’ at the top of the brain stem. It is where the rudimentary self we are all born with is situated. And all sentient beings have these exactly identical basic instincts of fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... stretching back into pre-history. That is: we are all the same (instinctually) and have always been so. One needs to understand this and reach beyond this primitive source to discover just exactly what I am. Otherwise, you will have no alternative but to say, as you so aptly did: ‘in the absolute sense, there always was [an all-one-ness] but it was lost in the dream of time’ .

Seeing all this is the first step towards not only ridding the head of ‘I’ as ego, but emptying the heart of ‘me’ as soul into the bargain. Both these entities originate in the instinctual rudimentary self that all creatures are born with. By reaching beyond not only the ‘egoistic’ self but also the ‘being’ self as well enables one to finally be here at this moment in time and this place in space. Then one is what one actually is: this flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs, delighting in this very sensual world of actual experience.

The search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes has come to its timely end. With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear awareness in operation ... which is known as apperception, a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker – a little person inside one’s head, or a ‘me’ as a feeler – a little person in one’s heart – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations.

There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not happening to an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To live life as these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. Consequently, I am living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it as 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’ – and ‘me’ – was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent.

Life is not a vale of tears.

RESPONDENT: But saying there was never any observer does not transmit much to most listeners. From the framework of the observer, one stays with what is (with the observed) until a moment arises when division stops. Then the nature of observer-less awareness is revealed.

RICHARD: However, the nature of the observer-less awareness you refer to is none other than unity with the observed ... simply by the sheer act of ‘staying with what is’ . Who is staying with ‘what is’ ? Division actually stops only when both ‘I’ and ‘me’ disappear ... then awareness is actual. If only ‘I’ in the head cease, then the sense of identity – as pure feeling – attains an imitation of freedom through unification with the observed ... a ‘wholeness’. As the woman says : ‘The concept of bonding, belonging and relationship could simply not be applied, not even with my partner, as there was nobody inside to do the relating’ . This is because apperceptive awareness can only happen when there is ‘me as-this-body’ only.

And as one is not an ‘alone being’, no love is needed here ... simply ‘perfect intimacy everywhere at once’. And I say ‘alone’ as per Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s own words:

‘A religious man is a man who is alone – not lonely, you understand, but alone – with no theories or dogmas, no opinion, no background. He is alone and loves it – free of conditioning and alone – and enjoying it’.

Speaking personally, I am neither lonely nor alone.

RICHARD: Rather, ‘you’ exist only in relationship and clear seeing of that relationship is the beginning of the end of ‘me’ and thus all relationship.

RESPONDENT: Would you expand on what you mean by relationship in this context?

RICHARD: Relationship is being and belonging. One is affirmed, supported and encouraged to continue to be a someone – a ‘being’ – via relationship ... whether belonging is flattering or insulting; whether it is loving or hating; whether it is life-supportive or life-threatening.

RESPONDENT: ‘You’ are writing messages in response to the messages of others.

RICHARD: This flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware is reading and writing ... no ‘me’ is required at all. The species of the same genus recognise species of the same ilk ... we are fellow human beings. No sentiment – let alone mawkishness – is needed to interact.

RESPONDENT: In terms of activity, you exist only in relationship to that with which you interact: other people, animals, the environment, or thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise and are observed.

RICHARD: This flesh and blood body exists regardless of whether interaction takes place or not ... either extrinsic or intrinsic (like in deep sleep). Except that there are no feelings whatsoever ... there is physical sensation only with thought operating when required by the circumstances. There is no ‘I’ as a ‘thinker or ‘me’ as a ‘feeler’. Thus my awareness of being here as this flesh and blood body is that I am these on-going physical sensations ... rather than a ‘me’ having them.

RESPONDENT: The centre that is identified as ‘me’ may drop away and only then is there an actual connectedness rather than relating to and through images. This is understood through direct experience.

RICHARD: Speaking personally, I have no connectedness – actual or otherwise – as there is no ‘me’ to be connected. Connection is affective ... which is why ‘vibes’ can be picked up by another similarly afflicted. I cannot receive – or transmit – any ‘vibes’ at all ... hence nobody ever offers physical harm. Verbal abuse very rarely happens (in face to face interactions) and when it does it falls flat on the floor for want of a receiver. The other then stops doing it in puzzlement ... to be followed by a growing delight in finding a fellow human being free of any of the nonsense that epitomises the normal human interaction called ‘relationship’.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying that when the time is right I simply abandon the instincts?

RICHARD: One abandons ‘humanity’. And one knows ‘when the time is ripe’ because one finds out these things as they are happening or after they have happened and the realisation that this abandon is actually happening is stimulating, to say the least (there are weird feelings such as ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’ to feel for example). One will no longer belong anymore to the largest group there is ... ‘humanity’ (which is way, way past all gender groups, racial groups, age groups and other social groups).

One realises that one is on one’s own in this, the adventure of a life-time, as an actuality.

RICHARD: Because I live here, where the immediate is the ultimate, there is no sorrow or malice. All my thoughts are benign, for maleficence does not exist where time has no duration. By living the fact that ‘I’ am not actual, evil has ceased to be.

RESPONDENT: And yet the ‘I’ still subjects us to so much drivel.

RICHARD: It is indeed unfortunate that you find all this to be ‘so much drivel’. You are missing out on the possibility of the most delicious actualisation of a perfect freedom. Perhaps some input from my companion would be more compatible to your tastes, as my words seem to raise your ire: ‘Like everybody else I too was hoodwinked for many years. I remained swindled until, together with my partner in life, I started to question the human archetype with its relentless beliefs and needs, hopes and despairs. Nothing sanctioned by humanity ever seemed to lead to the sweet destiny that I had seen and known as being possible for all of humankind. And now, after an extensive odyssey, I know without a shadow of a doubt that personal peace-on-earth is my birthright, as it were, and was always available to be achieved. Nevermore do I feel a need to belong, because I do not feel alone and lonely by myself. As I do not have a precarious identity to protect, a battle of wills with another is no longer an attractive option; no ego-victory is sweet enough to want to relinquish one’s personal peace for. I experience anger to be a thoroughly rotten emotion; an emotion which has no redeeming features whatsoever and which, in my view, only perpetuates me as an identity, thus assuring continued potential for violence. Nor do I need to be needed, loved, or appreciated by others any more; these tiresome characteristics, which put demands on other people, have been eliminated ... and I do not miss them one iota.’

RESPONDENT: The list has too much activity and I do not wish to bring such disorder to my mailbox. I noticed a post here recently that suggested the list be used to post topics and people could interact directly. This would reduce the traffic for whom ever that may be relevant. I am presently keen to explore the topic of ethnic orientation and violence but would correspond on other aspects of life as well.

RICHARD: ‘Ethnic orientation and violence’ ... the two would seem to go hand-in-hand, would you not say? And has it not got a lot to do with beliefs and the action of believing itself? And does it not all believing stem from separation? I see, first of all, that there is a separation of male and female from each other by gender identification as ‘man’ and ‘woman’ – two distinct social identities – leading to a localised discontent and resentment, causing the battle between the sexes.

Then there is the separation of oneself – by being a ‘me’, a psychological identity – from one’s body and therefore from the world about, leading to a generalised discontent and resentment, causing wars between tribal groups. To end the separation is to end the violence. To end the separation, can one not whittle away at all the social mores and psittacisms: all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions ... and all the other schemes and dreams? One can surely become aware of all the socialisation, of all the conditioning, of all the programming, of all the methods and techniques that were used to produce what one finds oneself to be ... a wayward ego and soul careering around in confusion and illusion. I see that a ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and cunning ‘entity’ inside the body.

However, it is never too late to start in on uncovering and discovering what one actually is under all the beliefs ... do you not think so?

Do not beliefs come in from another person, or persons, starting from day one as a new-born baby? Mother and Father – or a substitute parent – require the child to conform to the already existing world of fact and fiction. Through actions and words, carrots and sticks, the child is taught to believe until it is sufficiently indoctrinated, having made these beliefs their own ‘truths’. The child can not compare these beliefs with anything outside of their environment, because they do not know there is an outside ... so they have no reason not to swallow the entire package, this whole reality.

This process is called socialisation and results in forming the social identity; a process which may take, perhaps, up to twelve years to complete. All this while the child has learned, by trial and error, reward and punishment, precept and example – with endless repetition – how to feel afraid, secure, loved, disliked, greedy, proud, lonely, etcetera ... no matter what culture one is born into. Humankind is now sufficiently programmed into believing that this what human beings are is ‘human nature and it cannot be changed ... we are all stuck with it’. Such is the extent of believing. What one can do, however, is ask oneself whether one wants to continue to live an illusory life? Following blindly in the footsteps of ancestors is to perpetuate fiction over fact, as being the only way to live.

One has taken on their beliefs and made them one’s own ... their beliefs are who one is. One’s image of oneself is a totally borrowed picture ... which one believes to be one’s very identity. It is what one thinks – and feels – one is as ‘me’. Does one wish to continue to defend an illusion? Family ties, tribal customs and national mores all contribute in the making of one’s identity. Religious beliefs, ideological creeds and cultural values all go to cement the psychological make-up of one’s very real self. One’s identity is what one has adopted as being ‘me’. How much longer does one wish to go on defending ‘someone’ that is not me? How much longer does one want to go on living in pathos as a group member ... which is what a social entity is.

If one thinks – and feels – that this identity is me as I actually am, then ‘I’ must belong to a group. Out of loneliness ‘I’ must have a sense of belonging. This culturally created psychological entity that ‘I’ identify as is always lonely for it is an alien, a fictional creation of the group, who can not exist outside of the group mentality. But what about me as-I-am? Stripped of the identity, I can be never lonely, for I am complete, sufficient unto myself. Loneliness is as fictional as the identity that has been created as ‘me’ by all those other lonely entities which were here before one arrived as a baby. One has made it one’s own and called it ‘me’.

Whereas, by being me, me as I actually am, I can never be a belief.



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.

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