Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Ego

RICHARD: In the perceptive process sensory perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary. Given that the ego-self is ‘the thinker’ and the soul-self is ‘the feeler’ then the ego thinks it is doing the experience of what is happening (as an operant) whilst the soul feels that it is being the experience of what is happening (as in ‘I am That’) ... whereas the body is the experiencing of what is happening.

RESPONDENT: I am somehow reminded of that song of Sade, Smooth Operator ... ‘I’ do not consider myself as being the ‘doer’ of what is happening, it’s clear to me that what is happening in this moment is (mostly) sourced in the people, things and events around me. I can sometimes influence these ‘people’ to behave in a certain way, make some ‘things’ work (like driving a car) and thus initiate various ‘events’, but I’m in no way the doer of everything that happens in a certain moment.

RICHARD: Indeed not ... as you had asked how the world is experienced by the ego – [quote] ‘does it take a different ‘process’/route for the sensory data then that of the soul’ [endquote] – I was, of course, responding in terms of the thinking self being the doer (aka the operant) of the experience of what is happening and not in terms of that half of identity being ‘the doer of what is happening’.

Thus in the perceptive process, where sensory perception is primary (the direct experience of what is happening), and where affective perception is secondary (being the experience of what is happening), and where cognitive perception is tertiary (doing the experience of what is happening), the ego-self – being twice-removed from what is happening – is the ‘doer’ of the affective experience of what is happening (which is once-removed from what is happening) and not the doer of what is happening.

RESPONDENT: But how am ‘I’ doing the experience of what is happening (as an operant)?

RICHARD: Bearing in mind that ‘I’ as ego is not just a cognitive self (a mental illusion) but an affective-cognitive self (an emotional/passional-cognitive construct) ‘I’ have arrogated the job of steering the ship, so to speak, so that it will not run onto the rocks.

Thus, being the arrogant captain of the vessel, ‘I’ am vital in the task of guiding it safely on its journey through the sometimes tempestuous sometimes calm seas of the ocean called life.

RESPONDENT: What I understand is that the ego-self controls the ship via its morals, ethical programming.

RICHARD: The socialising process – the instilling of culturally approved values, principles, standards, morals/ethics, mores, and so on – is essential in order to provide some level of control over the wilful/wayward self within, lest one run amok, and results in the creation of the social identity (aka the conscience).

However, what I was referring to – in response to your query ‘how am ‘I’ doing the experience of what is happening (as an operant)’ – is the ego-self proper (an emotional/passional-mental construct) who arises out of the soul-self (an inchoate affective ‘being’/amorphous ‘presence’ the instinctual passions automatically form themselves into) somewhere around age two as the doer of the affective experience of what is happening ... as opposed to the beer of the affective experience of what is happening.

And how ‘I’ am doing this (affective) experience of what is happening as an operant, in contrast to being the affective experience, is by arrogating the decision-making process (aka sensibly, and thus judiciously, thinking, reflecting, appraising, planning, and so on, in order to implement considered activity for beneficial reasons).

RESPONDENT: I find it funny that although people publicly extol the virtues of marriage for instance, they nevertheless would very much like to have all sorts of sexual adventures. So, nurture comes in direct conflict with desire, the respective person feeling split in two, the result being emotional turmoil either way he/she decides and thus no peace in the respective relationship. ‘I’ have to dissociate and identify with either of the two due to ‘my’ ethical program or reach a compromise and become a swinger. The best deal within the Human Condition is the compromise. which preserves the ‘status-quo’.

RICHARD: This compromise is oft-times described (with words to the effect) as ‘a well-adjusted ego balancing the conflicting demands of self and society’.


RESPONDENT: It’s not clear to me what do you mean by ‘doing the experience’ ... am ‘I’ actively colouring the world so as to get the experience ‘I’ expect, altering the sensory information in order to suit ‘my’ world’s prejudices, and thus transforming it into an experience that would not constitute a threat to ‘my’ worldview and thus existence?

RICHARD: ‘I’ as ego am not colouring the world per se – ‘me’ as soul is doing that by ‘my’ very presence – but am colouring the affective world ... it being the only world ‘I’ know.

There is no ‘inner world’/‘outer world’ in actuality ... the ‘outer world’ is ‘my’ (affective) creation.

RESPONDENT: ‘I’ cannot ‘do’ in the sense of changing/expecting the world/people/myself to behave the way ‘I’ want/idealize them, so that I can have the experience that I want (e.g. in a relationship). This was a clear realization in my spiritual years, people often begin by trying to change the world (counselling drug-addicts, peace movements, finding the ideal partner etc.) only to realize that the world falls back into the same-old patterns of behaviour, then try to change themselves (psychotherapy, spirituality, being the ideal partner) so as to alter ‘their’ experience of the world (those rosy glasses and ASC’s).

‘I’ am very busy altering the experience of the world after I’ve realized that I couldn’t change it so as to suit my worldview by creating a different ‘I’... isn’t that cunning and funny?

RICHARD: Are you referring to what is (currently) popularly known as re-inventing oneself?

RESPONDENT: Gurdjieff made a big deal out of the realization that ‘we’ cannot do ... that everything happens to ‘us’. I guess he was referring to the ‘ego’ and the illusion ‘he’ is under that ‘he’ can do things the way ‘he’ wants (and thus by extension deriving the notion of free will and freedom).

RICHARD: Are you referring to what is commonly known as fatalism?

RESPONDENT: I’m referring to the spiritual strivings to become free, to become enlightened, etc. George said that this is an important realization on the path, that ‘I’ can do nothing. If out of this comes fatalism and ‘Make Thy Will’ and all sorts of other truisms is a side issue. What I’m interested is whether this is a fact or not and it seems that it is as long as ‘I’ (the ego-self) am only reactive to what happens. I’m a puppet on the strings believing myself to be the ‘operant’ of those strings.

RICHARD: The realisation – ‘that ‘I’ can do nothing’ – in the context you are speaking of is the precursor to having ‘I’ as ego surrender/dissolve/die/whatever so that ‘me’ as soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) can regain its rightful place on the throne which the ego-self has usurped.


RESPONDENT: In my conversation with Peter it became clear that ‘I’ wasn’t free in the course of my life and that my choices were based mainly on the predispositions/needs and the degree of attraction towards certain opportunities that promised to fulfil those needs.

RICHARD: This may be of assistance: I can recall, back in 1981, explaining to another that ‘I’ had realised – via pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) – that ‘I’ was not needed to run the show (‘steer the ship’) because all decisions were already made deeper down anyway and that any decision ‘I’ appeared to make was an after-the-event usurpation ... albeit a split-second after-the-event arrogation of the decision-making process.

In other words ‘I’ was the last person, as it were, who got to know what direction the vessel would take ... ‘I’ only had the appearance of being in charge.

RESPONDENT: Yes, but it seems to me from what you say that ‘I’, the ego, is very necessary after all: to give direction, to orientate the ship, to react in the appropriate way when the situation demands it. Even if it’s a split second after the event but am ‘I’ not improving the situation/ event to which I’m reacting?

RICHARD: I was speaking in the context of normal, everyday people in normal, everyday society, of course, when I wrote that (further above) ... else the gaols would be full to overflowing.

Unless one has the pure intent to be happy and harmless (free from malice and sorrow) one is well-advised to not let go of the controls.


RESPONDENT: I ask this [does the ‘ego’ take a different ‘process’/route for the sensory data then that of the ‘soul’] as you and I experience the same world of the senses, but in my case ‘someone’ is hijacking that experience. Sensory information is received by the bodily senses and then ...what happens?

RICHARD: Then it is affectively assessed by ‘the feeler’ micro-seconds (12-14 milliseconds) before being cognitively appraised, if it gets through, by ‘the thinker’ (another 12-14 milliseconds) ... and even then it is coloured by the affections.

RESPONDENT: So, if it gets through ‘the feeler’ without being contaminated with affective contents and gets to ‘the thinker’ ... is it still coloured by the affections?

RICHARD: What I meant by ‘if it gets through’ is that a vast amount of sensation never makes it to conscious attention ... it is all dealt with at a subconscious level.

RESPONDENT: Can it escape ‘clean’ and further be processed by ‘the thinker’?

RICHARD: No ... and as the thinker arises out of the feeler anyway ‘I’ cannot process it cleanly even if it did get through cleanly.

RESPONDENT: 2. Is ego dissolution a necessary precursor to ‘soul death’ ...

RICHARD: No ... if I had known, back in 1981 at the moment of ego-dissolution, what I now know I would not have let the process stop halfway through its happening.

RESPONDENT: ... or would ego dissolution be an automatic consequence of dissolving the affective self first?

RICHARD: Yes ... by my reckoning it would have all been over in a matter of maybe 6-10 seconds (rather than 6 seconds plus eleven years).

RESPONDENT: 3. Do you think it is possible to experience the complete dissolution of ego (leaving affective self intact) without lapsing into a delusory ASC?

RICHARD: No ... the soul-self is extremely powerful (affectively powerful that is).

RESPONDENT: In other words, is ‘spiritual enlightenment’ a necessary consequence of ego death (sans soul death) ...

RICHARD: Yes ... without the ego-self to keep the soul-self under some semblance of control it runs rampant and totally rules the roost.

RESPONDENT: ... or is ‘enlightenment’ simply a risk of same?

RICHARD: No ... some form of an altered state of consciousness (ASC) would immediately establish itself.

RESPONDENT: Firstly let me clear up some confusion – when I wrote [quote]: ‘I am assuming that actual freedom is the perceptive process without the secondary affections but with the cognitive process. To clarify; there is a direct sensate experience with the world now in this moment but with no affective feelings. And there is an intelligence that then reflects upon this using empirical factual knowledge’. [end quote] I wasn’t implying that I experience the world in this way – I was looking for clarification that this is the way that it is experienced in actual freedom (apologies if I didn’t make myself clear). I do acknowledge that I have feelings such as excitement and satisfaction and that I don’t have a direct experience of actuality.

RICHARD: As they were queries, then, it might be more useful to start again rather than patch an amended response onto your explanatory note above ... here is the original exchange (only with question marks inserted as appropriate this time around):

• [Respondent]: ‘... to come back to your clarification of the word ‘soul’ as ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – out of which passionate identity (the feeler) ‘I’ as ego (the thinker) arises. (...) What I am having difficulty with is forming a distinction between ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul ...
• [Richard]: ‘And does describing the distinction as being ‘the thinker’ (ego-self) as opposed to ‘the feeler’ (soul-self) not go at least some way towards ending such difficulty? In the perceptive process the sensations are primary, the affections are secondary, and the cognitions are tertiary.
• [Respondent]: ‘I’d like to comment upon your sentence: ‘In the perceptive process the sensations are primary, the affections are secondary, and the cognitions are tertiary’. I am assuming that actual freedom is the perceptive process without the secondary affections but with the cognitive process[?]. To clarify; there is a direct sensate experience with the world now in this moment but with no affective feelings[?]. And there is an intelligence that then reflects upon this using empirical factual knowledge[?].

The reason why I wrote the sentence you commented on was because you were having difficulty forming a distinction between ‘the thinker’ and ‘the feeler’ ... and the best way to understand these matters is empirically (meaning that if you were to experience-observe the perceptive process as it is happening it will become obvious).

You may find the following helpful in this regard:

• [Richard]: ‘... there is more to understanding human nature than pointing the finger at thought. Vis.: [Co-Respondent]: ‘The self is nothing other than conditioning, the thinker/feeler/doer is thought’. [endquote]. As feelings demonstrably come before thought in the perceptive process this is but a shallow understanding.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Why divide the process up?
• [Richard]: ‘I am not dividing the process up ... that is how it operates naturally (as is borne out by laboratory testing): sensate perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary. The sensate signal, a loud sound for example, takes 12-14 milliseconds to reach the affective faculty and 24-25 milliseconds to reach the cognitive faculty: thus by the time reasoned cognition can take place the instinctual passions are pumping freeze-fight-flee chemicals throughout the body thus agitating cognitive appraisal ... and whilst there is a narrowband circuit from the cognitive centre to the affective centre (through which reason can dampen-down and stop the reactive response) the circuitry from the affective faculty to the cognitive faculty is broadband (which is why it takes some time to calm down after an emotional reaction).
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘By dividing the process up, I mean, why bring in the aspect of time or chronology?
• [Richard]: ‘Again, I am not bringing in sequence (the chronology of time) as that is what happens of its own accord ... and it is so easy to find out for oneself this is so that science is not required at all: there is a loud noise; there is an alarming feeling-freeze-fight-flee; there is thought seeking to evaluate.
Ergo: sensate perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary.
As animals other than the human animal display this ‘fright-freeze-fight-flee’ instinctually passionate reaction it is patently obvious that the feeling self is primal and the thinking self derivative ... and that the thinking self is, fundamentally, affective in substance. Moreover, there is some evidence that awareness of being this primordial ‘self’ – as in ‘self’-consciousness – has arisen in other animals: the chimpanzee, for example, can recognise its image in a mirror as being itself and not another of its species (such as the canary does for instance) and there are preliminary reports that the same may be happening for the dolphin.
Further to the point, as the essential affective feelings are in situ before thought first arises in infancy – a baby is born already feeling – it becomes even more obvious that the feeler, as an embryonic feeling being, is innate in sentient beings ... that the already existing basic set of survival passions form themselves into being the intuitive presence which, at root, is what any ‘me’ ultimately is long before the thinker comes into being.
Any and all conditioning, be it familial, societal, peer-group, or environmental imprinting, needs substance to latch onto, sink into, and be ... it all washes off a clean slate like water off a duck’s back.
Innocence is something entirely new to human experience.

As for your follow-up clarification queries: an actual freedom from the human condition is epitomised by the perceptive process being apperceptive (unmediated perception) in that there is a total absence of both ‘the feeler’ (the primal feeling being/self) and ‘the thinker’ (the derivative thinking being/self) – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – wherein thought may or may not be operating as required by the situation and the circumstances.

Here in this actual world thoughts are sparkling ... coruscating.

RESPONDENT: Well, then let me explain myself differently. There appear to be two different modes/expressions of finding peace and harmony (please read between the lines): (a) the glorious ending of the ego, a once in a life time event, etc., and (b) a quiet realization that there is no point in living a life of conflict.

RICHARD: It does not make any difference to re-present your words in a point (a) and (b) layout ... they are still the same or similar words signifying the same or similar concept. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘(b) a quiet realization that there is no point in living a life of conflict’.
• [Respondent]: ‘a person realizes the futility of acting in ways that produce conflict’.

The main difference between the two proposals is that you have left off the ‘and learns to live in peace and harmony’ section of your initial proposal in your point (b) rearrangement.

RESPONDENT: I am wondering if (a) itself is an act of the ego?

RICHARD: Yes, its exit is a dramatic act ... for it is the ride of a life-time.

RESPONDENT: That is, it is a different form of ego that makes the ending of ego look very grand and glorious.

RICHARD: Yes ... it is an ego who will not settle for a second-best way of living; a second-rate life; an ersatz life-style in lieu of the best and chose to be yet another person who ‘learns to live in peace and harmony’ . This is because an actual freedom is gratuitous peace and harmony ... no learning is needed. In the pure and perfect – and gratis – peace-on-earth which is already always just here right now there is no need to redecorate, or renovate, or refurbish, or revamp, or spruce up, or smarten-up, or fix-up, or give a face-lift and so on.

It is indeed a vastly different ‘form of ego’ who sees that voluntary ‘self’-sacrifice (‘self’ as in ‘I’/‘me’ who is the root cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and the such-like) is noble. It is indeed a vastly different ‘form of ego’ who understands that voluntary ‘self’-sacrifice is an altruistic offering, a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present for the human race. It is indeed a vastly different ‘form of ego’ who is willing to cheerfully devote and give over his/her very ‘being’ as a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest or a kind-hearted benefaction for the benefit of each and every body.

It is indeed a vastly different ‘form of ego’ whose exit is a dramatic act ... for it is the ride of a life-time.

RESPONDENT: Do you consider this to be a possibility – that all the fanfare that surrounds ending of the ego is nothing but ego in disguise?

RICHARD: Certainly not ... the vastly different ‘form of ego’ is utterly exposed at its moment of exit; wide open and naked to the universe. It is a once-in-a-lifetime grand and glorious feeling of culmination and climax: it is the swan song; the pinnacle; the zenith; the finale ... and the already always existing peace-on-earth becomes apparent.

It is such a monumental thing to have happen: this event is the pivotal point wherein all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides and the such-like in one human being come to an end permanently.

In a word: innocence.

RESPONDENT: Let’s go back to the feeler and thinker. I can see that the moment the one is spreading from the other, both are the same entity (real entity but illusory). By eliminate the one you eliminate the other too. Or rather the elimination of the one is the elimination of the other because who is the one that will eliminate them?

RICHARD: Ahh ... the word ‘altruism’, in the phrase ‘altruistic ‘self’-immolation’, means that a more powerful instinct than the selfism instinct is what ensures success (blind nature ensures that survival of the species takes precedence of survival of the individual by making the for-the-good-of-the-whole instinct the dominant survival instinct).

RESPONDENT: Is not the ego itself that wants to eliminate itself?

RICHARD: As the ego arises out of the soul (the thinker arises out of the feeler), albeit aided and abetted by feeling-fed thought, any notion of the ego wanting to eliminate itself is but a scape-goat intuition sourced in the soul.

RESPONDENT: Is this possible?

RICHARD: Oh, yes ... that is the way to become enlightened (with the ego out of the way the soul gets free reign).

RESPONDENT: Is like I have a knife in each of my hands and I am fighting and say lets see who will win, me, or me? Is subtle and funny no?

RICHARD: This may be an apt moment to remind you that there is more to the identity than just ego ... much, much more (the ego is but the tip of the iceberg).

RESPONDENT: You like or you see that there are two entities the I and the me. I cant see it.

RICHARD: If I may suggest? Try feeling it instead of trying to (intellectually) see it.

RESPONDENT: I think the I splits itself in higher and lower, which is absurd but real, and might this higher is what you call soul.

RICHARD: No ... ‘me’ as soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself) is most definitely not the ego splitting in two.

RICHARD: I am not too sure how familiar you are with ‘consciousness-raising’ phrases (Mr. Alan Watts wrote a lot about ‘verbing’ instead of ‘nouning’) because peoples mostly experience themselves as being the ‘do-er’ of being alive and enlightenment is when the ‘do-er’ dies/dissolves and the ‘be-er’ of being alive emerges (‘being’). If this style of description is something you are familiar with, then how about this phrase to describe what you are saying: ‘I am the doing of being alive’ (rather than ‘I am the being of being alive)?

RESPONDENT: Yes, okay. That is accurate. We are trying to avoid using the word being as a thing, e.g. a supreme being, because of the usual connotations. However, in the statement ‘I am the doing of being alive’, there still is the opening to ask ‘Who is the doing of being alive?’

RICHARD: Yes... bearing in mind that you have explained that ‘I may differ from you in that I don’t find the ego I to be quite the problem that you do because I don’t see it as a thing, but more a way of seeing or being aware’ and that ‘there are patterns of feeling, emotional memory that still hold a certain amount of influence over me ... I am still swayed by those feelings at times’ then in conjunction with ‘yes, that is accurate ... there still is the opening to ask ‘Who is the doing of being alive?’ would this not indeed be the very opening needed to find out why this ‘a way of seeing’ ... ‘ego I’ or this ‘being aware’ ... ‘ego I’ (which you do not find to be ‘quite the problem’) is swayed by those ‘patterns of feeling, emotional memory that still hold a certain amount of influence over me ... at times’?

I only ask because peace-on-earth cannot become apparent if one is still swayed by feelings ... even if only at times. Where is one’s autonomy if something has influence into one’s innate intelligence ... preventing it from operating unencumbered? Which means: even if you ‘don’t find the ego I to be quite the problem’ , upon sincere investigation (motivated by the desirability of total peace and harmony once and for all) you may find that ‘the ego I’ is the more obvious aspect to the feeling of ‘presence’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘being’ (not ‘a being’ but ‘being’ itself). I do note that you wrote ‘I no longer feel that there is a deep core of me that is more me than my usual me’ yet if there be affective feelings at all then the more subtle levels of ‘being’ itself must percolate throughout the body (feelings in the amygdala stimulate the release of hormones such as adrenaline).

Again I might suggest that you may experience this as ‘a way of feeling’ ... ‘ego I’ (or some other description) and not solely ‘a way of seeing’ ... ‘ego I’ or this ‘being aware’ ... ‘ego I’? I only make this suggestion again because I am very interested to compare notes as I find the presence of affective feelings to be indicative.


RESPONDENT: My understanding was not that God and I were separate, but that God/I was a continuum of limited/limitless, mortal, immortal, spirit, matter. The ego I was none other than the God the ego was supposedly contracting away from.

RICHARD: In spiritual enlightenment the ‘contracted self’ grandiosely inflates like all get-out and becomes the ‘expansive self’ ... capitalised as ‘The Self’ by whatever name. Mr. Franklin Jones’ teaching is basically Hinduism ... and India itself is a living example of the abject failure of thousands of years of devotional spiritual living. To idolise, adulate and worship one’s fellow human being is patently pathetic ... it is all oh-so-obvious once one sees it in action; their very own words blatantly say it all ... and so eloquently. Vis.:

• Mr. Franklin Jones: ‘I am here in my lifetime to change the course of human history ... no one on earth has this Mission, this Intention. No one! ...This Work is not your business. I am just telling you that I am in my mood, and it is going to start. I have had enough ... now it begins. Let all beings be purified. Let them all come to me in the lifetime of this body. Yes. It is going to be wonderful. It is going to be terrible. I believe that before this body dies, all mankind will acknowledge me. I am about to make my move, and the terror will pass. It will be much less terrible than you would have realized otherwise. If I did not come, the earth would be destroyed. You prayed for the millennium and the Judgment. I am here. Let it begin ...we have about twenty years ... it will not necessarily be easy after those twenty years, but the first twenty years are very critical. Very. And it is going to be very difficult. Very ... Let us submit to the terrible ordeal that will serve all humanity, all five billion of those slugs who know nothing of me and who must find me out, who must find me out. I Am the One Who has been expected’. (New Year 1984).

Speaking personally, this ‘slug’ stopped waiting for [insert whatever name here] nineteen years ago and got off his backside and applied the DIY method. The much longed-for golden age has finally been ushered in ... and it is being done by the peoples concerned. There was no need for a ‘Supernatural Agency’ all along. The human condition is such that it can readily respond to the self-help solution; the ability is within the human character to fix things up for itself. The intervention of some ‘Paranormal Paramour’ is never going to happen anyway, for there is no such creature. Human beings are on their own, free to manage their own affairs as they see fit. Whenever one thinks about it, would one have it any other way? If that fictitious ‘Almighty Creature’ were to come sweeping in on a cloud, blowing trumpets and putting everything to rights, would not one feel cheated? Would not one question why human beings had to wait so long upon the capricious whim of some self-righteous God or Goddess who could have acted long ago?

It is all nonsense, upon sober reflection!

RESPONDENT No. 9: This reminds of this computer simulation game played by graduate students where one tries to manipulate the world for the better ... the more one interferes the more chaos is created – for one man’s peace is another’s injustice. A ‘healthy ego’ is an excuse, a denial, a justification for one’s gravitation to judge, to be God.

RESPONDENT: A healthy ego does not foment conflict that isn’t already there, although it may make apparent what was previously hidden. It serves and seeks not mastery.

RICHARD: Yet, although on the one hand you say ‘that’s the essential miracle of what is when ‘I’ am not’ ... on the other hand here you are saying ‘a healthy ego does not foment conflict that isn’t already there, although it may make apparent what was previously hidden’. Apparently you know all this ‘with the same sensorium you describe with reference to the ‘ambrosial’ nature of what most see as ordinary, ‘beans & wieners’ existence’ ... so I am to take it that this is your understanding born out of your personal experience? Otherwise, to say ‘a healthy ego serves and seeks not mastery’ smacks of intellectual masturbation ... and startlingly similar to what psychologists state about a ‘well-adjusted personality’.

Would you say that the 160,000,000 million people killed in wars this century alone were killed by people with healthy egos or unhealthy egos?

RESPONDENT: When being with Zen teacher I was once surprised to have teacher tell me ‘ego is not eliminated, it is expanded’. This expansion is such that ‘I’ moves beyond that which can be defined to that which defines ..

RICHARD: Which is egoism taken to an extreme ... it amounts to self-aggrandisement on a massive scale. The once-puny ego now ‘defines’, eh? Defines what? Everything? The all? The ‘what is’? Why is it that ‘what is’ needs a definer? Does that not imply that one is now being in charge of everything ... one is ruling the world?

No wonder this otherwise perfect world we all live on is in such a mess that it is.

RESPONDENT: I think the egoless state is not a psychological state but an actual state in which there is no sense of space and time. In other words, objective reality comprising all things can fade away into a state of nothingness if there is neither inner nor outer conflict. Since this is an actual state, all temporal things, including the human body, come into existence when there is need for thinking to maintain harmony (e.g. getting a meal to appease hunger). Therefore, thought is necessary and arises to give form to sensations in response to natural needs. When such needs are met, there is a return of that state of ‘benediction’ in which the state of thought is not and there is pure sensations without form. The human being is not an individual but the entire, unbroken movement of existence. The idea of being an individual with a separate mind arising from a personal brain is a conditioning that gives rise to ego-centred, personalized solutions to restore balance of the ego. This is disharmony when thought breeds evermore thoughts. The human being is not an individual but the entire, unbroken movement of existence.

RICHARD: This would possibly be a better description of the ‘egoless state’ than I have seen for a long while – with the exception of a couple of minor points – and throws much light onto this much-abused topic. May I amend your description – and then see if we are in accord – before I continue? Vis.: ‘the egoless state is not a psychological state but an ontological state in which there is no sense of space and time. In other words, objective reality comprising all things can fade away into a state of nothingness if there is neither inner nor outer conflict. Since this is an ontological state, all temporal things, including the human body, come into existence when there is need for thinking to maintain harmony (e.g. getting a meal to appease hunger). Therefore, thought is necessary and arises to give form to being in response to natural needs. When such needs are met, there is a return of that state of ‘benediction’ in which the state of thought is not and there is pure being without form. The human being is not an individual but the entire, unbroken movement of universal consciousness. The idea of being an individual with a separate mind arising from a personal brain is a conditioning that gives rise to ego-centred, personalized solutions to restore balance of the ego. This is disharmony when thought breeds evermore thoughts. The human being is not an individual but the entire, unbroken movement of universal consciousness’.

You will see that I have replaced <actual> with <ontological> as <actual> more properly means ‘that which physically exists; observable by the senses’ whereas <ontological> means ‘the heart of metaphysics; that which is the nature or essence of being’. I also replaced ‘pure sensations without form’ with ‘pure being without form’ as the word <sensations> more properly means ‘of the bodily senses; phenomenal existence’ whereas <being> means ‘the essence of reality; noumenal existence’. I would consider it essential to make these differences clear as the blurring of distinction between the physical and the metaphysical adds to the already existing confusion.

The third alteration is not so important (replacing ‘movement of existence’ with ‘movement of universal consciousness’) as the word <existence> does carry both physical and metaphysical connotations. However, as there is the tendency to equate the word <exist> more properly with that which is physically apparent (actual), would you be in accord with ‘universal consciousness? I am not quibbling over semantics here ... but because the word points towards a definitive ‘thing’, clarity and consistency is vital for understanding and communication.

I look forward to your considered response.

RICHARD: It is not enlightenment that I am speaking of ... it is all about going beyond enlightenment into the actuality of being here on this very physical planet that is meandering about in a very actual universe. Not only must the ego dissolve (like his did) but the soul must die as well (which his did not). Then one is here in this actual world – not the real world that five point eight billion people are living in – but the actual world that is accessible only when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul become extinct.

RESPONDENT: Richard, I’m understanding what you are saying and I find little confusion with the exception of the ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul. The way I understand the self is that it is all that I am, and then you come along and divide the self into an ego and a soul.

RICHARD: It is the identity that has two parts to it, not the self. The ‘self’ equates with ego (which is one half of the identity) and the ‘Self’ equates with soul (which is the other half of the identity). They go by so many different names according the school one subscribes to or the culture one is born into or whose practices one adopts. I am merely using the standard English terminology that is generally accepted in the West.

The self (ego) is mortal; the Self (soul) is immortal.

RESPONDENT: This is the extra step that you have put in that one must take to be free, and then assign that assumption that others who did not take the final step of the ‘death of the soul’ were merely metaphysical because they did not solve the ‘problem’.

RICHARD: As the Self (soul) is immortal it is, by definition, metaphysical.

RESPONDENT: What is the problem, Richard? Is it not the self? Please don’t try to divide that self into ego and soul. It just doesn’t work for me – unless you can come up with some real concrete evidence that there is a soul to die.

RICHARD: That is just it ... because it is supposed to be immortal it cannot die. I challenged this passionate and fervently held belief ... and the Self (soul) died. It was not so immortal after all.

RESPONDENT: The basic question is can the ego be seen as a whole with all its qualities and seeing the truth of all that it ends.

RICHARD: Oh yes ... indeed it can. Speaking personally, in 1980 I had a pure consciousness experience (PCE) that lasted for four hours. In that four hours I lived the peace-on-earth that is already always here now ... and I saw that ‘I’ (an emotional-mental construct) was standing in the way of this actual freedom being apparent twenty four hours of the day. In that peak experience I saw ‘myself’ for the social identity that ‘I’ was. ‘I’ was the end product of society and nothing more. ‘I’ was a passionate construct of all of the beliefs, values, morals, ethics, mores, customs, traditions, doctrines, ideologies and so on. ‘I’ was nothing but an fabrication in the psyche ... a social identity which is its conscience. Once I had seen this, I then saw that ‘I’ was a lost, lonely, frightened – and a very, very cunning – entity ... what I later came to know as ‘ego’. Just as those Christians who are said to be possessed by an evil entity and need to be exorcised, I saw that every human being had been endowed with an identity as ego ... and it was called being normal. When ‘I’ saw that this was all ‘I’ was ... I was no longer that. I was me ... this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. To say that I was amazed rather fails to adequately describe the feeling of relief that after all there was a solution to the human situation here on earth. I was ecstatic.

Incidentally, that ecstasy proved to be my undoing – as far as actual freedom is concerned. Ecstasy led to euphoria and euphoria led to bliss. In the blissful state I manifested and became Love Agapé which led to an emanation of Divine Compassion for all living beings who were suffering and in sorrow by virtue of the fact that they were ignorant of the Divine Order of things ... for an Absolute had been revealed to me in that Love and Compassion – it was that Love Agapé and Divine Compassion – and I had been chosen to bring this self-same Love and Compassion to earth. I was to go through a process, when I returned to normal, that would result in my being well-prepared to usher in this new age of peace and prosperity to all humankind. As this revelation continued, I saw a new ‘me’ coming into existence ... a grand ‘Me’, a glorious ‘Me’ and a spiritually fulfilling ‘Me’. I was the Saviour Of Humankind. (As all this was happening, a passing thought occurred to me, which was briefly contemplated ... then banished: What was it that was observing these two other ‘me’s – the ego ‘me’ and the grand ‘Me’? This trifling question was to be of immense benefit years later when I realised that I was living in a delusion and that there was an actual freedom lying beyond ... but that is another story).

There are three I’s altogether, but only one is actual.

RESPONDENT: If yes can your words position another to see that?

RICHARD: Yes, but it requires the 100% cooperation of the other. I cannot be more interested in another’s freedom than they are. Having had nigh on eighteen years experience of talking to recalcitrant egos I have no intention of inspiring, enthusing or exhilarating anyone. I am more than happy to participate in another’s enquiry until they ‘get it’ and begin their voyage of discovery into their psyche – which is the human psyche – but it is their energy that is needed to vitalise their search.

RESPONDENT: I’m not disputing possibility here I want to see the proof of the pudding, so to speak.

RICHARD: Well, all my words are written in a style that stimulates and arouses interest (I have often been accused of being ‘passionate’ such is the evocative power of words!). Gaining another’s interest is but the preliminary stage. The other may become curious as to whether what is being conveyed can be applied to themselves ... and only here does the first step begin. Because only when one becomes curious about the workings of oneself – what makes one tick – is that person participating in their search for freedom for the first time in their life. This is because people mostly look to rearranging their beliefs and truths as being sufficient effort ... ‘I’ am willing to be free as long as ‘I’ can remain ‘me’. In other words: their notion of freedom is a ‘clip-on’.

Then curiosity becomes fascination ... and then the fun begins. One is drawn inexorably further and further towards one’s destiny ... fascination leads to what others around one would classify as ‘obsession’. A 100% commitment to evoking peace-on-earth is thus actively discouraged by one’s peers. Eventually one realises that one is on one’s own in this, the adventure of a life-time, and a peculiar pig-headed stubbornness to proceed against all odds ensues. Then one takes the penultimate step ... one abandons ‘humanity’.

Freedom is then virtually guaranteed.

RESPONDENT: If on the other hand you are saying that with an attentiveness to the ways of self-ego it can be allowed to wither of its own accord then basically we are in agreement.


RESPONDENT: No then is it? Please explain, for example would you say that my having an ego at this time is invalid (maybe silly yes)?

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

To put it bluntly: ‘you’ in ‘your’ totality, who are but a passionate illusion, must die a dramatic illusory death commensurate to ‘your’ pernicious existence. The drama must be played out to the end ... there are no short-cuts here. The doorway to an actual freedom has the word ‘extinction’ written on it. This extinction is an irrevocable event that eliminates the psyche itself. When this is all over there will be no ‘being’ at all.

RESPONDENT: But what of the unconscious arising of various ego responses, do I crush them as they arise or learn in attentiveness?

RICHARD: Neither. Ask yourself this question each moment again: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’

RICHARD: Just what is this ‘the seriously lacking nature of humanity’ that you spoke of?

RESPONDENT: It has to do with the way I see people treating each other.

RICHARD: Okay ... how do you see people treating each other? And how do people treat you? And how do you treat people?

RESPONDENT: Words that arise to me are EGO stroking. So OK when EGO does not perceive a threat.

RICHARD: Are you so sure that it is ego-stroking and not feeling-stroking? After all, you do say that ‘it is a fact that your [Richard’s] confronting manner can be harmful to another emotionally’ , so maybe it is only okay when the feelings are not threatened. Also, maybe it is not so much ego-stroking as belief-stroking as beliefs – mostly subtly disguised as truths – are not just thoughts, they are emotionally-backed thoughts ... often passionately-backed.

RESPONDENT: The very suggestion that it was just some sort of ploy to draw a response from you, says much for your supposedly dead ego.

RICHARD: It is not a ‘suggestion’ that you wanted a response from me ... it is a fact. Vis.: ‘Richard has apparently closed the draw bridge on further discussion with me ... Richard ended our only attempts to talk ... If I had closed such a door ... why didn’t he continue to deal with that actuality?’

Do you see your ego in action?

RESPONDENT: File for future quotation purposes.

RICHARD: The reason I keep a record of all correspondence I have with others is that I like my fellow human beings and wish the best for them. I was run by both an ego and a soul for thirty four years – and by a soul only for another eleven years – and thus I know intimately what it is like. The ‘I’ that I was then did not want to look at ‘my’ instinctual passions or ‘my’ sorrowful and malicious feelings or ‘my’ corrupted thoughts or identity-controlled actions and behaviour at all. ‘I’ was a normal man, well bought-up and educated, a decent and responsible citizen. ‘I’ was what is called ‘happily married’ with four ‘lovely children’ owning my ‘own house’ and running my ‘own business’ successfully. People who were into things like what is discussed on this Mailing List were the ‘lunatic fringe’ and were not worth even listening to. All that ‘Peace On Earth’ stuff was just ‘pie-in-the-sky’ idealism ... ‘I’ knew better than they. Which is: if only other people would stop doing ... [insert whatever complaint here ] ... then all would be well.

Well ... ‘I’ had an experience that showed me what ‘I’ was. ‘I’ was nothing but a lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning entity inside this flesh and blood body. So ‘I’ acted upon this ... and here I am today. I am simply passing on to my fellow human beings my experience of life. What they do with this information is their business. There is no need in me to do this because I have no problems whatsoever. Why I do it is because other people tell me that they are suffering ... so I explain how I ended suffering in myself. One of the triggers that started me on this voyage into my psyche was the realisation that human beings are driven to kill their fellow human beings ... and I was one of them. Now I am not ... and I can easily see when another is dissimulating while they cannot.

This is why I am re-quoting you again and again until you see it for yourself ... or click the ‘Delete’ button. It is your life you are leading and I can only suggest ... what you do with my suggestions is entirely up to you. As long as you comply with the legal laws and observe the social protocol, you are left alone to live your life as wisely or as foolishly as you choose. Only you reap the rewards or pay the consequences for any action or inaction you may or may not do.

RESPONDENT: I tend to accept Yogananda’s version that death is in fact only relative to the physical body and that there is in fact a spiritual form (though not physical) that we continue on in.

RICHARD: This ‘a spiritual form (though not physical)’ phrasing indicates that there may very well be a psychological and/or psychic entity still inhabiting the body that is writing these words to me. Hence you presumably have no alternative but to see what I write as being ‘a belief system’ or ‘an assumption’ ... which process, if this is what is happening, is called egocentricity (viewing another through one’s own experience and/or standards).

RESPONDENT: Do I sense hurt feelings?

RICHARD: How could I know what you sense or do not sense? I am not a mind-reader ... therefore, as a suggestion only: this ‘a spiritual form (though not physical)’ phrasing indicates that there may very well be an affective identity still inhabiting the body that is writing these words to me. Hence you presumably have no alternative but to ‘sense’ what I write as being the result of ‘hurt feelings’ ... which process, if this is what is happening, is called egocentricity (viewing another through one’s own feelings and/or standards).

RESPONDENT: An automaton would have no reason to inform others of anything.

RICHARD: Indeed ... I am not ‘an automaton’ : I am a fellow human being sans identity (which was ‘being’ itself). As such, this flesh and blood body is apperceptively aware ... and the already always existing peace-on-earth is apparent all about. It being so perfect I wish to notify my fellow human beings of its existence ... what they do with this information is their own business.

RESPONDENT: Why would you want to notify other people of its existence?

RICHARD: Because my fellow human beings tell me that they are (a) suffering ... and (b) wanting to know the meaning of life.

RESPONDENT: It would appear that what you are doing is simply tooting your own horn, which is simply an aspect of the ego life.

RICHARD: Seeing that you say it ‘would appear’ to be that way to you, I would therefore ask: do you have some problem with success in eliminating suffering? Do you really like to (a) suffer yourself ... and (b) see your fellow human beings suffering as well?

If so, then are you a sado-masochist?

RESPONDENT: You want people to know that you have arrived at the ultimate in order to establish yourself as a leader of sorts.

RICHARD: Are you suggesting that anyone – anyone at all – who makes a discovery about anything at all relating to human life on this planet, which discovery advances human knowledge and improves the quality of human life, should keep that discovery to themselves?

Are you advising me to be selfish?

RICHARD: I have said before that the words and writings promulgated and promoted by The Actual Freedom Trust fully explicate the workings of an actual freedom from the human condition and a virtual freedom in practice in the market place (which means there is no meditating in silence or living in a monastery shut away from the world). I have pointed out that there are no celibacy or obedience requirements or dietary demands or daily regimes of exercise ... nor is one is excluded by age or racial or gender origins. I have emphasised that there are no courses to follow or therapies to undergo or workshops to endure or any clique to join ... I have been emphatic that there are no fees to pay. Furthermore, not only are there no prescribed books to study, the latest count shows that more than 3.1 million words are available for free on The Actual Freedom Web Page.

It pleases me immensely that the way to access an actual freedom from the human condition is available for free.

However, one is well-advised to read about the way thoroughly ... thus it is apt to quote some words shared to the world at large, by one of your fellow human beings, on The Actual Freedom Web Page:

• [Peter] ‘About this time I started to come to grips with an undercurrent of feelings that had been welling up in me as I got further along this path to freedom. As I began to increasingly understand the full extent of what Richard had discovered, I had begun quite cunningly to plot my role in the Movement that would sweep the world. Images of money and fame began to subtly occur – and sometimes not so subtly. I would see myself travelling and talking to halls full of people, spreading the message! Yes, it was good old power and authority again – the attraction of the Glamour, Glory and Glitz. No wonder the Enlightened Ones are seduced and then trapped by it! It seemed to me an instinctual grab for power by my psyche, which rightly felt threatened with elimination. I also had to admit to myself that power and authority was a definite attraction in my desire for Enlightenment – a sort of spiritual version of ‘Money for nothing and your chicks for free’. (page 88; ‘Peter’s Journal’ © The Actual Freedom Trust 1998).

Needless to say, as it would appear that you still do not comprehend plainly spoken sensibility and practicability, I will try an entirely different tack ... and then maybe you can work backwards from there, so as assimilate somewhat the reasons given above, into your ‘correct and true’ viewpoint which, although you allow it may not be ‘correct and true’ , you are still rigidly holding to be ‘correct and true’ despite all evidence to the contrary.

1. [Respondent]: ‘I find myself at a time in my life when I am much more interested in my own writing than anyone else’s’.

2. [Respondent]: ‘What makes you imagine that I – for example – would have any more interest in hearing the ‘after the event’ reporting of your direct experience than I have in ... eating pizza?’

3. [Respondent]: ‘At the moment it does not interest me to read more’.

4. [Respondent]: ‘I do not have a need to read more’.

5. [Respondent]: ‘I may as well eat pizza and be actually free as read more of your words’.

6. [Respondent]: ‘I may respond at a later time as I am busy and engaged elsewhere right now’.

7. [Respondent]: ‘I will quickly scan your latest contribution’.

8. [Respondent]: ‘I cannot pretend to have read even half of what you write below; but certainly I will’.

9. [Respondent]: ‘Certainly I have the intention of responding point by point to points’.

10. [Respondent]: ‘Certainly I intend to take up the points I dropped’.

11. [Respondent]: ‘I will write more later’.

And when you have finished contemplating your own writing (1-11 above) there is a dictionary definition of an apposite word worthy of musing over:

• Narcissism: [from Latin: Narcissus; from Greek: Narkissos: a youth in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in water and pined away]: self-love, extreme vanity; (psychological): emotional or erotic gratification gained from contemplation of one’s self or one’s appearance; (noun): narcissist: a person affected or characterized by narcissism; an excessively self-admiring person. (Copyright © 1998 Oxford Dictionary).

All of which could very well bring you to a full appreciation of a particular piece of correspondence you had with me just before your current enterprise began:

• [Respondent]: ‘I am doing fine right now amidst working on my major disability which is DNA based.
• [Richard]: ‘This DNA-based disability – the human condition – is the very stuff for derring-do, eh?
• [Respondent]: ‘Could you explain what you mean when you say ‘this DNA-based disability – the human condition – is the very stuff for derring-do, eh?’ ‘Derring-do’ ... what do you mean? Is it fun?
• [Richard]: ‘Yes, it is fun – sincere and thrilling fun but fun nevertheless – to embark on the voyage of a lifetime ... and an exploration into ‘my’ psyche is a journey into the ‘human’ psyche as ‘I’ am ‘humanity’ and ‘humanity’ is ‘me’. The phrase ‘derring-do’ means ‘daring to do’ ... anybody still run by the instinctual passions – specifically fear – coincidentally has recourse to the valour to match (where there is no fear there is no courage). It requires great audacity to fly in the face of the ‘Tried and True’ ... after all, could it really be so that 6.0 billion peoples now living (and maybe 4.0 billion having once lived) have all got it wrong?
• [Respondent]: ‘Please forgive me if this is kindergarten stuff and has been covered on the list previously.
• [Richard]: ‘Exploring the psychic world is not ‘kindergarten stuff’ at all and unless one has successfully removed the need for a social identity (a conscience) such a journey is fraught with danger ... one may become enlightened.

RESPONDENT: You had also called me the maximum of egocentricity.

RICHARD: No, I specifically said that what you were saying was ‘self-centred’ ... and for a very good reason. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘Can you say that something exist if you are not able to perceive it? I think the answer is that the universe is dying with you for you’.
• [Richard]: ‘This is verging upon solipsism ... at the very least it is at the stage of being incredibly self-centred’. (Re: For Richard; June 05, 2003).

Here is what I mean by the word solipsism:

• ‘solipsism [from Latin ‘solus’ sole, alone + ‘ipse’ self]: in philosophy, the view or theory that only the self really exists or can be known. Now also, isolation, self-centredness, selfishness. (Oxford Dictionary).

The ego, or ego-self, is only one half of identity (the other half being the soul/spirit or soul-self/spirit-self) and it takes far more than ‘egocentricity’ to be solipsistic as soul-centricity is a vital component of such ‘self’-aggrandisement ... it being just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the full-blown ‘I am God’ delusion.

RESPONDENT: So your above statement proves that everybody’s brains is forming the world that it experiences.

RICHARD: It does nothing of the kind ... the ‘above statement’ you are referring to is expressive prose (such as ‘fairy-tale-like’ for instance) deliberately designed to convey the direct experience that matter is not merely passive. Vis.:

• ‘actualism: (now rare) the theory that nothing is merely passive’. (Oxford Dictionary).

The actualism writings on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site – the third alternative to either materialism or spiritualism – are an invitation for the reader to directly experience for themself that they do not live in an inert universe.

Put succinctly: it is experiential.



The Third Alternative

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

Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.

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