Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Affective Feelings

(Emotions, Passions, Calentures)

RESPONDENT: I don’t think that [being totally without any feelings] is anything to ascribe to.

RICHARD: If peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body is not something that you would aspire to then that is your choice. At least we both now know where you stand.

RESPONDENT: Just one last question (or two), Richard: If you see your mother hit by a Mac truck and her flesh and blood body smashed all over the pavement, you feel nothing? If your six year old daughter is brutally raped and murdered, you feel nothing? If you catch you wife making out on the couch with your best friend, you feel nothing? If your house burns down and you lose all of your possessions, you feel nothing? The world up around you is burning up, you feel nothing?

RICHARD: These are all hypothetical questions yet even so I can answer assuredly: there would be no feelings at all. It may be of interest to you that I have been asked questions of this nature before and you might like to access the following link: .

In case you do not access the URL it may be useful for me to explain that not only do I have no feelings about these scenarios you mention, but I have none about any more you might propose. I do not experience affective feelings per se because I do not have any anywhere in this body at all ... this body lost that faculty entirely when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul became extinct. Thus, to use the jargon, no one can ‘press my buttons’ as I do not have any buttons – nor any feelings under them – to be activated. Literally I feel nothing at all. Even when, say, watching a magnificent sunrise where some lofty clouds are shot through with splendid rays of golden light, transforming the morning sky into a blaze of glory ... I feel nothing at all. These eyes seeing it delight in the array of colour, and this brain contemplating its visual splendour can revel in the wonder of it all ... but I cannot feel the beauty of it in the emotional and passionate sense of the word feel.

Just as when a person becomes physically blind all their other senses are heightened, so too is it when all affective feelings vanish entirely. This body is simply brimming with sense organs which celebrate in their own sensuous and sensual delight. Visually everything is intense, vivid and brilliant ... sensuously everything is dynamic, vital and scintillating with actuality ... sensuality is a matter-of-fact actualness. Everything is endowed with a purity that far exceeds the greatest or most profound feeling of beauty ... and an intimacy that surpasses the highest or deepest feeling of love possible.

An actual intimacy is the direct experience of the pristine actuality of people, things and events, unmediated by any ‘I’/‘me’ whatsoever.

RESPONDENT: What is the difference in saying ‘I feel’ for my mother, and ‘I care’? Main Entry: 2care: Function: verb: 1 a : to feel trouble or anxiety b : to feel interest or concern (care about freedom).

RICHARD: You have asked me before about this and I responded then by saying that one can actually care as contrasted to feeling that one cares ... and there is a world of difference between the two.

As for the dictionary meaning: dictionaries give alternate meanings to a particular word and different dictionaries can give differing meanings than in other dictionaries and I notice that you have selected two of the several meanings ascribed to the word ‘care’ in the Merriam-Webster ... whereas I would have chosen their [quote] ‘to be concerned about or to the extent of’ [endquote] meaning so as to convey what I personally mean by it. The Oxford also gives various meanings ... the ones that I would choose are [quote] ‘an object or matter of concern; a thing to be done or seen to; attention, heed, regard, inclination’ [endquote].

Regarding this word – and the other words I use to describe the qualities of experiencing life as this flesh and blood body only – it is sobering to come to understand that all of the 650,000 words in the English language were coined by peoples nursing malice and sorrow and love and compassion to their bosom ... hence most of the expressive words have an affective component. When I first began describing my on-going experience to my fellow human beings I chose words that had the least affective connotations ... coining too many new words would have been counter-productive.

Consequently, the etymology of words can be of assistance in most cases to locate a near-enough to being a non-affective base to start from ... taking the word ‘care’ as an example it will be seen that etymologically the word comes from the Old English ‘caru’ meaning ‘charge’ or ‘oversight’ (‘charge’ as in the Latin ‘carricare’ from ‘carrus’ meaning ‘wagon’ – thus ‘carry’ – and ‘oversight’ as in ‘overseeing’) and basically means ‘an object or matter of concern’ as in ‘a thing to be done or seen to’ or ‘protective overview’ or ‘guardianship’. The only way to make it a particular feeling is by linking it with the Gothic and Germanic word ‘kara’ meaning ‘grief’ or ‘lament’ (as derived from ‘karar’ meaning ‘bed of sickness’). In popular use it appears to mean worrying about the other.

Incidentally, the word ‘consideration’ is from the Latin ‘considerare’ meaning ‘examine’ (perhaps from the Latin ‘sider’ or ‘sidus’ meaning ‘constellation’ or ‘star’) and basically means ‘the action or fact of examining and taking into account of anything as a reason or motive with regard for the circumstances of another’ ... in popular use, however, it generally means ‘don’t hurt my feelings’.

It is pertinent to comprehend that dictionaries are descriptive (and not prescriptive as are scriptures) and reflect more about how words came about, how they have changed, and how they have expanded into other words, rather than what they should mean. I tend to provide dictionary definitions only so as to establish a starting-point for communication ... from this mutually agreed-upon base each co-respondent can apply their own specific nuance of meaning to words as are readily explainable and mutually understandable (such as I do with ‘real’ and ‘actual’ and with ‘truth’ and ‘fact’, for example). Generally I can suss out what the other means by a word via its context and both where they are coming from and what they are wanting to establish ... if not I ask what they are meaning to convey.

Ain’t life grand!

RESPONDENT: What follows is a ramble. Would be delighted if you respond, of course. Emotion backed thoughts. Feelings. Emotions. Instincts. Instinctual passions. Thoughts. Beliefs. Thinker and Feeler and Social Identity and Instinctual Self. Apperception. Are all these things demonstrably distinct?

RICHARD: Through self-observation they are, yes ... although there is always some overlap as the phrase ‘emotion backed thoughts’ refers to ‘beliefs’ (sometimes cunningly discussed as ‘truths’) and the word ‘feelings’ refers to both the more superficial ‘emotions’ and the deeper or more primal ‘instinctual passions’ one is born with; the word ‘instincts’ can refer to both the genetically-endowed propensity to act without conscious intention (the startle response, for example) and the ‘instinctual passions’ (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire); the ‘thinker’ and the ‘feeler’ (aka ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) can be found to be distinct although the line between them can also be blurred (the line where the one ends and the other begins); the ‘social identity’ (the culturally-instilled conscience) is overlaid on top of both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul which are, in turn, overlaid on top of the ‘instinctual self’ (which all sentient beings are born with).

Howsoever ‘apperception’ is startlingly distinct ... and in an apperceptive awareness ‘thoughts’ are a sparkling, coruscating delight.

RESPONDENT: Many feelings are felt only when the thinker is thinking on it, but when the thinker stops and there’s silence those feelings also stop, seeming that the thinker and the feeler are only the two sides of the same coin.

RICHARD: The surface emotions, the agitated feelings, stop but not the deepest, most quiet feeling of being ‘me’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being which is ‘being’ itself).

RESPONDENT: Yes, the surface ‘conscious’ thinker stops and then the surface emotions also stop, but whereas the thinker and his worries are still boiling in the deepest of conscious the deepest emotions and wishes would not stop. In this way, the thinker and the feeler can be the same yet.

RICHARD: If so, then this is not yet ‘silence’ ... ‘silence’ is when the thinker is not. That is, ‘silence’ is pure feeling (usually called ‘pure being’ or ‘a state of being’).

RESPONDENT: I mean when there’s a bit of silence because conscious thinking stops for a while. Then, the associated feeling (fear when thinking on whatever) also fades away seeming that it was a thinking dependent process. It seems that there’s not fear if there’s not re-cognition (thought, conscious or unconscious). Fear seems to be a physical response to factual events, triggered when a threat is re-cognised. Fear wakes up the body in a nanosecond and provokes a movement of fleeing or attack; it promotes survival, it seems natural and good for survival, a momentary physical response to factual event, like sleep or be thirsty. When child, a small dog is a factual threat and there’s fear, but when we are grown up and 195 tall the small dog is not a factual threat and there’s not fear. Fear rises or not as a physical bodily response to threats. But when there’s a thinker operating and the response of fear is triggered by interpretations and hopes from this thinker, fear becomes an insane response. You point out that, when there’s not thinker (‘I’ as ego or first I), remains the feeler (‘me’ as soul or second ‘I’) as source of fear and it must fade away, but I can not understand this.

RICHARD: It all depends upon one’s aspirations ... does one aspire to only be free of thought-induced fear (what you call the ‘insane response’ ) or does one also aspire to be free of ‘natural’ fear (what is mostly called the ‘sane response’)?

Can there be peace-on-earth whilst one is still subject to the sane response (‘natural’ fear) from time-to-time?


RESPONDENT: When mind is in this situation observing a sunrise, without the thinker operating, there’s only the sense of beauty without the sense of a feeler feeling it.

RICHARD: Rather, without the sense of a personal feeler feeling it: impersonal feeling. That is, pure feeling or pure being (sans the personal identity) is impersonal identity or impersonal ‘being’.

RESPONDENT: It seems that the sense of observer and feeler does not exist then, only exists apperceptive awareness as what is observed (the sunrise) and the feeling (‘beauty’) without a sense of a feeler feeling it.

RICHARD: I can easily agree that when the observer is the observed there is only observation as that ‘what is observed (the sunrise)’ ... except where there is ‘the feeling (‘beauty’) without a sense of a feeler feeling it’ (impersonal feeling) there is impersonal awareness ‘as what is observed (the sunrise)’ ... and not apperceptive awareness. Although I do not have the corner on the phrase ‘apperceptive awareness’, this impersonal awareness is best called ‘choiceless awareness’ here so as to avoid confusion of terms.

RESPONDENT: In this way, the thinker and the feeler seem to be the same again. Do you consider this observation correct?

RICHARD: If the observer is the observed (and there is only observation as that ‘what is observed (the sunrise)’) then, yes, this observation is correct. However, apperceptive awareness, in the way I am using the term, is when ‘the feeling (‘beauty’) without a sense of a feeler feeling it’ (impersonal feeling) is not. It is bodily awareness ... as the senses (and not through the senses).

RESPONDENT: I see, ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ feelings, I think I grasp what you are conveying here: when there’s not thinker remains yet a feeler (a being who can feel), and these feelings are impersonal (without an ego-thinker feeling it), and in this state there’s also impersonal (choiceless) awareness. Right until here, but you are going beyond and pointing that there’s an state where this impersonal feeler also fades away, and in this state there’s ‘apperceptive’ awareness, [‘bodily awareness ... as the senses (and not through the senses)’]. I cannot understand this because it seems to me that an ‘impersonal feeler’ is inherent to be alive, how can exist a being if there’s not an impersonal feeler?

RICHARD: It is the ontological ‘being’ which cannot exist if there is not an impersonal feeler ... not the flesh and blood body (a human being).

RESPONDENT: Without grasping the last, I can not understand what do you mean by ‘apperceptive awareness’ and why is it different of impersonal (choiceless awareness). Can you elaborate further on it?

RICHARD: Yes, ‘choiceless awareness’ is where the fragment (the ontological ‘being’) is the whole (an autological ‘being’ usually capitalised as ‘Being’) ... whereas ‘apperceptive awareness’ is where the fragment – and therefore the whole – has ceased to be (‘being’ and/or ‘Being’ itself is not).


RESPONDENT: The feeler seems to be a thinking-dependent process in the first case and independent of conscious thinking in the second.

RICHARD: The ‘thinking-dependent process in the first case’ is all-too-common and leads to the notion that thought creates feelings. They do not ... thought can only trigger off the prior existing feelings.

RESPONDENT: Many feelings as shame are triggered off by thought when remembering past lived experiences stored as memory and the thinker lives them anew, giving rise to the feeling of shame anew, so that the rising of the sensation of discomfort called ‘shame’ seems to be just a process dependent of the thinker and of memory. The instinctive bodily sensation named ‘shame’ seems to be a natural reaction when the thinker is making a situation of insecurity through his interpretations. In this way, it seems that thought as thinker is not the primordial creator of instinctive bodily sensations, but also there’s not the rising of the instinctive discomfort named as ‘shame’ without the action of the thinker.

RICHARD: Indeed it is so that ‘thought as thinker is not the primordial creator of instinctive bodily sensations’ if by ‘bodily sensations’ you mean bodily feelings (affective feelings) ... and there is no ‘natural reaction’ called ‘shame’. Shame, and all its variations (such as embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, disgrace, dishonour, ignominy,) are cultivated feelings, socialised feelings, cultural feelings. Speaking personally, I have no shame whatsoever (hence no pride nor its antidotal humility).

RESPONDENT: By bodily sensations I don’t mean affective feelings, I mean bodily physical responses of discomfort to a threat (rubor, tachycardia, sweating ...). When the threat is to our self image then, this physical discomfort associated to a thinking process on self image, is named ‘shame’. The threat is an illusory thinking process but it is a threat, so that the bodily physical response also arises. The thinker seems to be again the problem, making an illusory self image and later a threat to this self image, triggering a natural physical response to the illusory threat, and naming all it as ‘shame’.

RICHARD: I will put it this way: the ‘natural responses’ (such as the heart pumping furiously; the palms sweaty; the face ruddy; knuckles gripped; body tensed and so on) never occur where the instinctual passions are not.

RESPONDENT No. 45: Many feelings are felt only when the thinker is thinking on it, but when the thinker stops and there’s silence those feelings also stop, seeming that the thinker and the feeler are only the two sides of the same coin. On the other hand, when observing a sunrise and the conscious thinking is stopped a feeling of beauty can also rise in silence, seeming that the thinker and the feeler are different. The feeler seems to be a thinking-dependent process in the first case and independent of conscious thinking in the second.

RICHARD: The ‘thinking-dependent process in the first case’ is all-too-common and leads to the notion that thought creates feelings. They do not ... thought can only trigger off the prior existing feelings.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying here that thought triggers off the prior existing feelings that are being generated by the instinctual passions? In other words the feeling is already there before the thought?

RICHARD: Yes. The second case (the thoughtless ‘feeling of beauty’ described further above) is the demonstration of this being factual (as is the instant instinctive feeling of fear, for another example, in an imminently dangerous situation). It has been exhaustively tested and scientifically (repeatable on demand) demonstrated that feelings come before thought in the perception-reaction process.

And the child, from birth onwards at least, develops an emotional memory of danger and safety in the ‘reptilian brain’, even before thought, thoughts and thinking commences, as an environmentally-learned supplement to the instinctual passions genetically endowed. There is some research indicating that this ‘environmental-learning’ begins in the womb (through the baby’s more positive response to the mother’s voice-tone, after birth, as contrasted a more negative response to a stranger’s voice-tone).

I did not know of any research when I started to actively discover all this 20 or more years ago: I was the biological progenitor of four children and I was able to intimately participate in the child’s world thanks to the deliberate activation of naiveté (despite the recognised risk of becoming a fool, a simpleton). And, as I was a single parent for a number of years, it became increasingly and transparently obvious that the instinctual passions – the entire affective faculty in fact – was the root cause of all the ills of humankind. One has to actually dare to care, of course, before it is transparently obvious ... which is a very dangerous thing to do

For to dare to care is to care to dare.

RESPONDENT No. 49: I have tried my best to understand what I have read so far. If I have not been successful it is because I can’t understand your way of explanation due to my poor English.

RICHARD: It is not because of what you call ‘my poor English’ as English speaking peoples have difficulty understanding why a compassionate intelligence is oxymoronic also ... the affective feelings are global in their spread (no one is exempt). For example, Mr. Daniel Goleman wrote: [quote]: ‘A view of human nature that ignores the power of emotions is sadly short-sighted. The very name ‘Homo Sapiens’, the thinking species, is misleading in light of the new appreciation and vision of the place of emotion in our lives that science now offers. As we all know from experience, when it comes to shaping our decisions and our actions, feeling counts every bit as much – and often more – than thought. We have gone too far in emphasising the value and import of the purely rational – of what IQ measures – in human life. Intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’. [endquote]. (‘Emotional Intelligence’ © 1995 by Daniel Goleman; Bloomsbury Publishing ISBN 07475 2803 6). Despite his clear statement of fact, ‘intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’, the remainder of the book extols the virtues of emotions ... indeed the very name of his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the giveaway. Feelings rule in the human world.

RESPONDENT: I am not sure why this was extracted from that book in your point to No. 49.

RICHARD: To demonstrate that English speaking peoples have difficulty understanding why a compassionate intelligence is oxymoronic also ... the affective feelings are global in their spread (no one is exempt).

RESPONDENT: I am taking a risk of not understanding the context in which this was written.

RICHARD: It is written in the context that a compassionate intelligence is oxymoronic.

RESPONDENT: I have not read the above author, but I don’t see any contradiction in the author’s intent as ‘depicted above’ by you.

RICHARD: Perhaps if I rearrange the sequence of the last two sentences the oxymoron becomes startlingly obvious?

• [quote]: ‘Intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’.
• [quote]: ‘We have gone too far in emphasising the value and import of the purely rational – of what IQ measures – in human life’.

Despite his clear statement of fact (‘intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’) he immediately de-emphasises the value and importance of being rational – which just does not make sense – and the remainder of the book extols the virtues of the emotions (being irrational). Indeed the very name of his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the giveaway.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps there may be a contradiction in the book, but that of course is for me to read and find out.

RICHARD: There is no contradiction in the book which is not encapsulated in (a) the title ... and (b) the quotes I provided. The cognitive ability to think, recognise, remember, compare, appraise, reflect and propose considered action for beneficial reasons (which other animals cannot do) is intelligence in operation. The affective feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – are non-cognitive instinctually reactive survival feelings at root (which other animals can do) and, no matter how refined and cultivated the feelings may be honed to, are not intelligence in operation.

RESPONDENT: In simple terms, I feel the author is saying that when the emotions are in ‘sway’, intelligence comes to naught.

RICHARD: Exactly ... my point is this: intelligence cannot operate cleanly and clearly if it be crippled by the affective feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – for the affective feelings input a bias towards preserving ‘self’ (particularly ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’). Thus altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice – unlike humble ‘self’-surrender – is the deliberate sacrifice of ‘self’ (‘being’) with no reward whatsoever possible for ‘being’ ... otherwise it is not altruism.

RESPONDENT: That is if we let them dominate us.

RICHARD: And therein lies the rub: human beings have been attempting to control the instinctual animal passions for aeons with reward and punishment and morals and ethics and principles and values and so on. By and large this enterprise is moderately successful ... the gaols do not have the majority of the citizens behind bars. Yet when push comes to shove – which especially notable in war – the instinctual passions do ‘dominate us’ ... not matter how refined the civilising process has become.

Even the saints and sages and seers demonstrably show anger and anguish from time-to-time.

RESPONDENT: Yet there is every opportunity to understand ourselves when we watch our feelings and emotions at their inception.

RICHARD: Yes, there is indeed ‘every opportunity to understand’ as this moment is one’s only moment of being alive ... which is why I advocate asking oneself, each moment again, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?

RESPONDENT: In watching our feelings and emotions, there is an exposure of who we are.

RICHARD: Yes ... and such exposure is the beginning of the end of ‘who we are’ (who ‘I’ am/‘me’ is). The end of ‘who we are’ (who ‘I’ am/‘me’ is) renders the already always existing peace-on-earth apparent. This entire process of initiating the demise of ‘who we are’ (who ‘I’ am/‘me’ is) is intelligence in operation (which other animals cannot do). Mr. Daniel Goleman makes no mention of this at all anywhere in his book: despite his clear statement of fact, ‘intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’, the remainder of the book extols the virtues of emotions ... indeed the very name of his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the giveaway.

Feelings rule in the human world.

RESPONDENT: When you say ‘there are no childhood hurts extant in this flesh and blood body ...’, are you saying the memories of hurt have been extinguished?

RICHARD: The passionate memory of all emotional hurts (indeed all the affections) was extinguished when the passionate memory faculty was extirpated ... the intellectual memory operates with the clarity enabled by the absence of the instinctual passions which normally cloud the remembrance with attractions and repulsions; likes and dislikes; shoulds and should nots and so on. In other words: free of malice and sorrow. The brain has two ‘memory banks’ and the passionate memory is both non-conscious and primal. This primal memory faculty (mainly in the amygdala) mediates all sensory data and triggers hormonal secretions before such data reaches the intellectual memory faculty (mainly in the neo-cortex). Consequently, as the neo-cortex is suffused with hormonal secretions a split-second before thinking commences, all thought is tainted, polluted ... crippled by the affective faculty before it starts. All this has been empirically detected and exhaustively verified by recent technological experimentation and research into the passion of fear (for just one example).

Modern empirical science has put the kibosh on ‘ancient wisdom’ once and for all.

RICHARD: Put simply: the problem lies in the affective feelings (malice and sorrow) ... yet the solution proposed throughout ‘the stench of history’ also lies in the affective feelings (love and compassion).

RESPONDENT: ... I can see that ‘the problem lies in the affective feelings’, the unresolved feelings I would say. The solution I would think lies in the resolution of those feelings which makes room for love and compassion.

RICHARD: What are you indicating by ‘the unresolved feelings’ and ‘the resolution of those feelings’ ? How would you satisfactorily resolve the feelings grouped under the catch-all words ‘malice and sorrow’? Do they not remain in situ after even the most earnest resolution (resolution is not the same as dissolution)? If there is no dissolution how on earth can there be innocence?

RESPONDENT: If hurt is seen as the father of the psyche, which I take to be the cumulative affective illusion, then the ending of hurt (by exposure) would also end all affective accumulation.



RESPONDENT: Richard, thanks for your last post. Also for the entire thread. I’m wondering, with the amount of agreement that your last answer seemed to contain, where we differ in the end.

RICHARD: Ahh ... my use of ‘okay’ was too ambiguous and misleading, I see in hindsight, as I was intending to indicate that I had no further queries in those areas as you had explained yourself fully (indeed you said that ‘I’m not sure what to say here ... my feeling is that I’ve already said it’ ). I would have been better-off writing ‘Okay, I have the picture now’.

For example, if I arrange some of your sentences sequentially it reads (to me) like this:

• self-knowledge is the precondition of innocence; the failure to understand the nature of love may give it the appearance of a shameful quality; people are proud to exhibit their hurt rather than ashamed about their failure to end it; in that trap they invent and glorify sorrow and perpetuate suffering; unresolved hurt will beget problems; innocence is the end of hurt; the psychological principle of hurt begets all the problems of the ego; if hurt is seen as the father of the psyche then the ending of hurt by exposure would end all affective accumulation; the psyche is a complex defence mechanism; people have buried love underneath their worries; the solution lies in the resolution of those unresolved feelings which makes room for love and compassion; love is when sorrow is understood; love is set free when the sentimentalism of sorrow is exposed; love is not dependent on sorrow, but buried by sorrow; affective feelings live in the psyche, love is when there is no psyche; love is when the self is not; the miracle of love is the ground of reality itself.

If I were coming from the point of view that love, as the ground of reality, is the miracle solution to all the ills of humankind I would be in broad agreement with what you write ... and would wish to pursue it further with you so as to have it manifest in my daily life. However, I lived that manifestation, night and day, for eleven years and thus have major reservations as to love’s miraculous qualities vis-à-vis peace on earth ... so this is where I consider we differ:

• [Richard]: ‘the evidence of history shows that the saints and sages and seers have been unable to extricate or isolate love and compassion out from malice and sorrow and vice versa ... innocence is totally new to human experience’.
• [Respondent]: ‘I can see that ‘the problem lies in the affective feelings’, the unresolved feelings I would say ... the solution lies in the resolution of those feelings which makes room for love and compassion’.

In brief: I am suggesting that love’s innocence, as the ground of reality revealed when the self is not, does not meet the ‘free from sin or guilt; untouched by evil’ requirements for innocence (I cannot see how a person still subject to anger and anguish can be called innocent) ... which is why I propose that innocence is something totally new to human experience.

RESPONDENT: Your discussion of innocence leaves me stumped for its radical position. Since it excludes all humanity, as it has walked the earth to date, I don’t know what it would actually entail.

RICHARD: It entails a total end to both malice and sorrow plus their antidotal love and compassion: innocence means peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body ... not an after-death ‘Peace That Passeth All Understanding’, as The Self (by whatever name), in a timeless and spaceless and formless realm.

RESPONDENT: I’m also still wondering about your use of ‘affective feelings’, especially your inclusion of love in that category.

RICHARD: Sure ... it is a radical proposition, I realise. However, this is because I have only ever been interested in bringing to an end all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides ... here on earth.

RESPONDENT: The universality of human emotions is a fiction.

RICHARD: If this were true then no communication would be possible.

RESPONDENT: Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

RICHARD: Yet there are 6.0 billion peoples all wearing the same-same shoes.

RESPONDENT: Not at all. Me and my brother feel entirely differently. What gives ‘A’ joy can send ‘B’ into a depression. There are differences galore.

RICHARD: Yet will you – can you – acknowledge that you are saying that person ‘A’ has joy or depression (or whatever) just the same as person ‘B’ has joy or depression (or whatever) irregardless of whether triggering factor X sends person A thisaway and yet person B thataway? Were you agreeing with your ‘true, but ...’ initial response that human beings are all born with the same basic instinctual passions and, no matter which culture one was socialised into being a member of, all peoples throughout the world have the same emotions and passions or not?

Anger and forbearance, for instance, is anger and forbearance wherever it lives. There is no difference at root between English anger and forbearance and American anger and forbearance and African anger and forbearance and so on. Or love and hatred, enmity and alliance, jealousy and acceptance ... whatever the emotion or passion may be, they all have a global incidence. The affective feelings are unambiguously global ... and have been demonstrated to be so in many studies around the world. These basic passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) are the hallmark of virtually any sentient being ... they are blind nature’s instinctual software package genetically encoded into the germ-cells of the spermatozoa and the ova. And these survival instincts are what has enabled us to be born at all; they are what has enabled us to be here today after multiple generations of the development of the evolutionary ‘weeding out’ process of the ‘survival of the most fitted to the environment’.

This ‘natural selection’ hypothesis was first publicly proposed jointly by Mr. A. R. Wallace and Mr. Charles Darwin in 1858. Their simultaneous publishing of their account of evolution was, says the Oxford Dictionary somewhat dryly, ‘to the consternation of theologians’ ... which is the same-same response that Mr. Galileo Galilei faced in 1610. Yet peoples today – 141 years later – are still in massive denial of this oh-so-obvious common animal ancestry. Many is the person who has protested to me that ‘I am not an animal’ ... thus shutting the door on their investigation into what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. What a shame, what a pity ... no, what a sin it is to persist so tenaciously in holding on to ‘being’ a ‘higher soul’ (by whatever name) – which ‘being’ is but the end-product of all animosity and anguish through the aeons – when this actual world, which is so perfectly pure, is right under one’s nose.

Are you – you who study human behaviour with the objectivity of a scientist – in denial of empirical science or not?

RICHARD: But I do not want you (or anybody) coming to me – for their own freedom – as I am having too much fun, living my life in the way I see fit, to clutter up my lifestyle with ‘guru-circuit’ peoples, who cannot think for themselves, trooping daily through my front door. The Internet is my chosen means of dissemination for the obvious reason of being interactive and rapid. The electronic copying and distribution capacity of a mailing list service – with its multiple feed-back capability – is second to none. Words are words, whether they be thought, spoken, printed or appear as pixels on a screen. Ultimately it is what is being said or written, by the writer or the speaker that lives what is being expressed, that is important ... and facts and actuality then speak for themselves. Anyone who has met me face-to-face only gets verification that there is actually a flesh and blood body that lives what these words say. I am a fellow human being sans identity ... there is no ‘charisma’ nor any ‘energy-field’ here. The affective faculty – the entire psyche itself – is eradicated: I have no ‘energies’ ... no power or powers whatsoever. There is no ‘good’ and ‘evil’ here in this actual world.

RESPONDENT: Richard, you have said many times in the past that you are free of all feelings.

RICHARD: Yes ... more specifically: free of the persistent identity (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’). It is impossible to be a stripped-down ‘self’ (divested of feelings) ... such a person who tries to do that absurdity has what is called by psychiatry ‘a sociopathic personality’ (commonly known as a psychopath).

RESPONDENT: Is not this ‘fun’ you are having part and parcel of the feeling of enjoying what you are doing?

RICHARD: Not the ‘feeling’ of enjoyment ... direct enjoyment: I have not felt happy for years and years.

RESPONDENT: Could you even go so far as to say that you love what you are doing?

RICHARD: No ... this is much, much more than ‘loving’ what I am doing. It is also much more than being in love and even more than being love.

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.

RICHARD: ‘My’ extinction was the ending of not only fear, but of all of the affective faculties. Extinction releases one into actuality ... and this actual world is ambrosial, to say the least.

RESPONDENT: Do you experience emotions, for example anger at injustice? If not, why not?

RICHARD: No, I experience no emotions. Literally, I have no feelings – emotions and passions – whatsoever ... and have not had for five years. And ‘anger at injustice’ invariably leads to revenge ... it is an emotional inevitability no matter how well one can control oneself. No judge on earth is truly impartial. Even the Christian/Judaic God is a vengeful god!

RESPONDENT: Are you not subject to the pain of loss? Wouldn’t this cause some fear?

RICHARD: Again, no. I am completely and utterly autonomous ... I do not need anyone to satisfy some lack in me. Thus I free the other from ‘my’ graceless demands. I experience no fear whatsoever ... which does away with the need for trust, faith, hope and belief. This is my on-going experience twenty four hours a day, year after year.

RESPONDENT: I do not understand exactly what you are saying. Actuality is not always ambrosial.

RICHARD: You are talking about reality – an affective experience of the world of people, things and events – whereas I am using the word ‘actuality’ to refer to the sensate world only. It is this sensual experience that is ambrosial. By actual, I do not mean the real-world of normal human experience. Actuality is only seen by people in glimpses ... it is as if everyday reality is a grim and glum veneer pasted over the top of this actual world of the senses. When ‘I’ vanish in ‘my’ entirety – both the ego and the soul – this ‘normal’ everyday reality disappears and the underlying actuality becomes apparent. It was here all along. To experience the metaphysical Reality – usually with capitalisation – is to go further into the illusion of normal everyday reality, created by ‘I’, and to create a supernatural ‘True Reality’ ... which one could call an abnormal reality.

Thus normal everyday reality is an illusion and the abnormal metaphysical Reality is a delusion born out of the illusion ... a chimera, as it were. This is why only .000001 of the population ever become enlightened ... it is extremely difficult to live in a hallucination permanently. Speaking personally, I was so deluded, that for eleven years I lived in humanity’s greatest fantasy, before the dissolution of ‘me’ as soul finally brought salubrity through release from the human condition itself.

My questioning of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being all started when I was nineteen years of age. I was in a war-torn foreign country, dressed in a jungle-green uniform and carrying a loaded rifle in my hands. This was to be the turning point of my life, for up until then, I was a typical western youth, raised to believe in God, Queen and Country.

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

My attitude, all those years ago was this: ‘I’ was only interested in changing ‘myself’ fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly.

RESPONDENT: And don’t tell me, Richard, that you don’t have feelings; I’d just bet you probably have all kinds of them.

RICHARD: I know your theory sounds good to you ... but other humans – some of whom who are downright suspicious of me – have been unable to detect anything at all despite the closest observation possible. There are other people here in my daily life who observe me closely – very closely – for all of the waking hours of the day. This kind of scrutiny has been going on for eighteen years now ... and has been fruitless as in regards to finding a fault for the last five years. No-one has been able to observe a discrepancy between what I say about myself and what they see in my behaviour. No one has been able to observe any trace of a feeling – an emotion or a passion or calenture – in me since 1992. I have been examined by two accredited psychiatrists (and by one of them every three months for more than three years) and found to have alexithymia – amongst other detailed psychiatric findings – which means no affective faculties whatsoever. Also, a psychologist has been following my condition at three-weekly intervals since March 1994 ... and he says that I may very well be the evolutionary break-through that humankind has been waiting for, for centuries.

You are, of course, welcome to come and see for yourself. Until then you just have to take my word for it ... or the word of a man who has observed me closely since January 1997 and has written about it. His writing may be found on his Web Site under ‘Peter’s Journal’.

RICHARD: The ending of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides requires the ending of malice and sorrow ... which involves getting one’s head out of the clouds – and beyond – and coming down-to-earth where the flesh and blood bodies called human beings actually live. Obviously, the solution to all the ills of humankind can only be found here in space and now in time. Then the question is: is it possible to be free of the human condition, here on earth, in this life-time, as this flesh and blood body? Which means: How on earth can I live happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst I nurse malice and sorrow in my bosom?

RESPONDENT: This won’t help much, because the general feeling of man is that the world is as-it-is, with people as-they-are.

RICHARD: Then you shut the door on an actual freedom from the human condition ... and all because of a feeling. Why are feelings held to be the final arbiter of what is correct or incorrect action?

And is the ‘general feeling of man’ nothing but your feeling writ large?

RESPONDENT: By the way, I think questioning the supposedly benevolent intentions of others under the guise of ‘concern’ and ‘sympathy’ is a sign of health, not illness.

RICHARD: Sometimes it is helpful to work from the etymological roots of words ... and as the word ‘concern’ comes from the Latin ‘concernere’ (sift, distinguish) I would endorse it as an apt description of a sign of health, yes. But as ‘sympathy’ comes from the Greek ‘sym’ (together, alike) and ‘pathy’ (suffering, feeling) I am hard-pushed to see ‘suffering together’ or ‘feeling alike’ as a sign of health (similarly with ‘compassion’: the Latin ‘passio’ equals the Greek ‘pathos’ hence ‘together in pathos’). There is a widespread belief that suffering is good for you ... whereas in my experience the only good thing about suffering is when it comes to an end. Permanently.

RICHARD: What about the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth? Where do they fit into your borrowed ‘Left-Brain/ Right-Brain’ speculation? Nowhere in your thesis have you addressed the issue of the total absence of malice and sorrow in Richard ... in fact you have never gone into this issue.

KONRAD: Indeed, I have not. I understand that the condition you are in makes that emotions have not such a hold on you as they have on other persons.

RICHARD: None whatsoever, in fact.

KONRAD: You not only say this, but you even demonstrate it clearly, by being completely insensitive to personal attacks. You even express this by saying that these emotions have ended in you. I can explain this from this, as you call it ‘Left-Brain/ Right-Brain’ speculation. In the normal condition, the left brain is dominant, and the right brain is in a repressed, and therefore slumbering state. The ‘I’ is situated in the left brain, and the ‘Self’ is situated in the right brain. The ‘I’ is the centre of action, and the ‘Self’ is the centre of responses to action, which are the emotions. Since the Self is not in a fully awakened state, but only as awake as the left half permits it, it generates the emotions in an attempt to free itself from the dominance of the left half. The left half can do only two things with these emotions. Either trying to understand them as ‘commentaries’ of the Self. Or repress them, and in this way repress the Self. However, it is always possible that the emotions become of such a violent and intense nature, that repression is not always possible. And therefore the ‘I’ literally loses control over his Self. This is the emotional imbalance you are referring to, and you observe in the persons around you.

RICHARD: I do not observe an ‘emotional imbalance’ at all in persons around me ... I observe common human feelings. All feelings – emotions and passions – are generated by the instincts for blind survival and it matters not whether they are ‘in balance’ or ‘out of balance’. Either way, they are the cause of all human suffering.

KONRAD: Now if the dominance has switched from left to right, as I believe what has happened to you, the thoughts that control the body are still in the left brain (I infer this from your statement, that in order to act, a ‘thought’ has to jump into its place.) But this brain is now no longer the master, but the right half is. This means, that there is no automatic emotional response from the Self anymore, that threatens the ‘I’ to lose control, for IT is the Master. So it is unnecessary for the ‘I’ to control its ‘Self’. For it is the Self that is in total control now.

RICHARD: Whoa ... whoa up now, Konrad. This was a great thesis I know, but it is becoming somewhat frantic now because I have consistently maintained that the ‘Self’ is gone ... and has been for five years. It seems to me that you are describing enlightenment ... with the Self in total control (‘Not my will but Thy Will, Oh Lord’).

KONRAD: Therefore the Self, the right brains, does not have to generate emotions in an attempt to gain control over the left hemisphere. This explains your observation of the emotionless nature of your state. You can say this also differently. You do not HAVE emotions anymore, because you have BECOME your emotions. And thought and thinking is your servant.

RICHARD: I have ‘become my emotions’? But no one has been able to observe any trace of an emotion in me for five years. I have been examined by two accredited psychiatrists (and by one of them every three months for more than three years) and found to have alexithymia – amongst other detailed psychiatric findings – which means no feelings whatsoever. Also, a psychologist has been following my condition at three-weekly intervals since March 1994 ... and he says that I may very well be the evolutionary break-through that humankind has been waiting for, for centuries.

KONRAD: This may look like madness. For if you have become your emotions, why do you not feel them any more? It is the same reason why the thought that controls the body is unable to see itself. For to be able to see itself, this seeing is in the form of a thought. So to see itself it must understand, to think itself. But then a switch from one form of ‘I’ to another has been done. The acting ‘I’ – thought is then changed into an observing ‘I’ thought, which is another form of action. Therefore it is never able to see itself. In the same way, the feeling you are is unable to feel itself, because it IS itself.

RICHARD: I know your theory sounds good to you ... but, as I say, other humans – some who are downright suspicious of me – have been unable to detect anything at all despite the closest observation possible.

RESPONDENT: You seem to be arguing from your own experience – how you perceive the humanity to be the same everywhere. That argument, as coming from your own experience, is irrefutable. How can I argue against what is true to you? However, I disagree that science has empirically demonstrated universality of human experiences. Science might have demonstrated the universality of human emotions, but human experiences are intensely unique.

RICHARD: First off ... you say ‘science might have demonstrated the universality of human emotions’ ... has it or has it not? Can you give a straight answer without the conditional ‘might have’ conceptual escape clause?

Second, you have, as always, my concurrence in regards the ‘dissimilarities’ between each person’s individual experience (as detailed further above) ... yet as there is something so fundamental, so primal, so basic as instinctual passions and their derivative human emotions that underpins, permeates and drives each person’s individual experience, then the ‘dissimilarities’ all have an oh-so-common flavour. to wit: malice and sorrow and their antidotally generated love and compassion.

RESPONDENT: Just as your experience of the humanity having a common denominator is only that – your own personal experience. No two people live under the same skin and there is nothing universal about human experiences. We are, all of us, each and every moment of our lives, different. You asked, if that is so, how is communication possible? We communicate our differences. We are different even to ourselves every time. In communicating our differences (i.e., how we think, feel, experience, differently), we constantly push the envelop of knowledge which has been the hallmark of our species and the reason for our survival.

RICHARD: Perhaps it not so obvious to one who sits in an ivory tower ... but dissociation does not eliminate but makes unreal that which causes human suffering. Perhaps you may recall the ‘Simon and Garfunkel’ hit of the ‘60’s: ‘I am a rock’? Apart from being damn good music with exquisite lyrical over-tones, the words speak well of human experience as you describe it (but it is poetry of course).

There is life after feelings ... but not through denial and detachment.

RESPONDENT: Since we are constantly changing beings, religion is a lie. Science, on the other hand, can take our understanding of ourselves only thus far. Beyond which, we dwell upon the world within. Hence, meditating upon the world within is the only viable way to understand ourselves. And that understanding, by its own nature, will be one person, one instance at a time.

RICHARD: Hmm, peoples are already detached from actuality ... that is the problem. To practice meditation (which is conscious detachment and withdrawal) is to be twice removed from actuality. But even ‘the world within’ is remarkably common to those who successfully access it. Yet even this extreme dissociation does not eliminate ... as there are more than a few recorded incidences of ‘Enlightened Beings’ displaying both anguish and anger, the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ (an embodiment of ‘The Truth’ by whatever name) does not bestow freedom from the affective feelings.

The ‘Tried and True’ is the ‘tried and failed’.

RESPONDENT No. 50: I had a work assignment today that in the past has always been upsetting, but today ... I wasn’t! I was too busy being happy and harmless!

RICHARD: Ahh ... those words are music to my ears.

RESPONDENT: So you have feelings Richard? Because the above of yours show an emotional state.

RICHARD: I am cognisant of the fact that English is not your first language, thus idiomatic expressions can be misconstrued, yet I am also cognisant of the fact that your wife was born and raised in the country where I reside and that therefore you must have at least some passing familiarity with such expressions as the one I used above. Nevertheless, for the sake of clarity in communication, I will refer you to the following:

• ‘music to one’s ears: something very pleasant to hear’. (©Oxford Dictionary).

And maybe this will be of assistance in comprehending any future such expressions on my part as well:

• [Richard]: ‘My keenness for another’s experience always accords to the following sequence: (1.) I am primarily interested for your sake (for the sake of the particular flesh and blood body) as you are a fellow human being. (2.) I am secondarily interested for everybody’s sake (for the sake of flesh and blood bodies in general) as another person being actually free increases the possibility of setting a chain-reaction in process. (3.) I am lastly interested for my own sake (for then not only am I am no longer arguably a ‘freak of nature’ but I can compare notes, as it were, so as to more reliably separate out what is species specific from that which is idiosyncratic).

Of course I am pleased when someone reports being happy and harmless all day – especially in a situation which previously had *always* been upsetting – as that is the whole point of The Actual Freedom Trust web site, and The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list, being made available in the first place.

Similarly, and as you have publicly said you take medication (SSRI’s) for anxiety (Agoraphobia), I would also be delighted to hear that you no longer need to.

One does not have to have affective feelings in order to be chuffed upon hearing of another’s successes – the affections are not the be-all and end-all of life – as there is, as I have already said to you in another context on July 10 2003, life after feelings.

And a perfect life at that.


RESPONDENT: It [‘music to one’s ears: something very pleasant to hear’] does not make any difference, because in an prior email you said that when you see a sunset is only seeing the sunset without any emotions, and when they asked you what is passing through your heart when you see your children, you answered, blood. So when you say something very pleasant to hear, you are in contradiction with the above, because you never said that a sunset is something very pleasant to see.

RICHARD: Perhaps this will be of assistance:

• [Richard]: ‘... to forestall any further queries about feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – it would be useful for me to explain that not only do I have no feelings about this scenario, but I have none about any other you might like to propose. I do not experience feelings per se because I do not have any anywhere in this body at all ... this body lost that faculty entirely when ‘I’ became extinct. Thus to use the jargon: no one can ‘press my buttons’ as I do not have any buttons – nor any feelings under them – to be activated. Literally I feel nothing at all. Even when, say, watching a magnificent sunrise where some lofty clouds are shot through with splendid rays of golden light, transforming the morning sky into a blaze of glory ... I feel nothing at all. These eyes seeing it delight in the array of colour, and this brain contemplating its visual splendour can revel in the wonder of it all – but I can not feel the beauty of it in the emotional and passionate sense of the word feel.
Just as when a person becomes physically blind all their other senses are heightened, so too is it when all feelings vanish entirely. This body is simply brimming with sense organs which wallow in their own sensual delight. Visually, everything is intense, vivid, brilliant ... sensually everything is dynamic and alive with an actuality ... a matter-of-fact actual-ness. Everything is endowed with a purity that far exceeds the now-paltry feeling of beauty ... and an intimacy that surpasses the highest feeling of love. Love is actually a pathetic substitute for the perfection of actual intimacy.
Actual intimacy is the direct experience of the pristine actuality of another, unmediated by any ‘I’ whatsoever.

And this:

• [Richard]: ‘... to feel pleasure affectively (hedonistically) is a far cry from the direct experiencing of the actual where the retinas revel in the profusion of colour, texture and form; the eardrums carouse with the cavalcade of sound, resonance and timbre; the nostrils rejoice in the abundance of aromas, fragrances and scents; the tastebuds savour the plethora of tastes, flavours and zests; the epidermis delights to touch, caress and fondle ... a veritable cornucopia of luscious, sumptuous sensuosity.
All the while is the apperceptive wonder that this marvellous paradise actually exists in all its vast array.

And this:

• [Richard]: ‘... whilst strolling along a country lane one fine morning with the sunlight dancing its magic on the glistening dew-drops suspended from the greenery everywhere; these eyes are delighting in the profusion of colour and texture and form as the panorama unfolds; these ears are revelling in the cadence of tones as their resonance and timbre fills the air; these nostrils are rejoicing in the abundance of aromas and scents drifting fragrantly all about; this skin is savouring the touch, the caress, of the early springtime ambience; this mind, other than the sheer enjoyment and appreciation of being alive as this flesh and blood body, is ambling along in neutral – there is no thought at all and conscious alertness is null and void – when all-of-a-sudden the easy gait has ceased happening.
These eyes instantly shift from admiring the dun-coloured cows in a field nearby and are looking downward to the front and see the green and black snake, coiling up on the road in readiness to act, which had not only occasioned the abrupt halt but, it is discovered, had initiated a rapid step backwards ... an instinctive response which, had the instinctual passions that are the identity been in situ, could very well have triggered off freeze-fight-flee chemicals.
There is no perturbation whatsoever (no wide-eyed staring, no increase in heart-beat, no rapid breathing, no adrenaline-tensed muscle tone, no sweaty palms, no blood draining from the face, no dry mouth, no cortisol-induced heightened awareness, and so on) as with the complete absence of the rudimentary animal ‘self’ in the primordial brain the limbic system in general, and the amygdala in particular, have been free to do their job – the oh-so-vital startle response – both efficaciously and cleanly.
Cattle, for example, are easily ‘spooked’ by a reptile and have been known to stampede in infectious group panic.

In regards your reference to the fellow human beings who were my children back when I was a parent: indeed, on the occasions whenever I see them (which is very rarely) there are no affective feelings felt whatsoever – anymore than when I see any other of my fellow human beings – for there are, literally, no feelings whatsoever to be activated.

And whilst on the topic of kin (for I nowhere do I deny I am their biological progenitor): kinship, as in ‘family ties’, or ‘blood is thicker than water’, and so on, sets up a powerful ‘us and them’ relationship with any other ‘us and them’ family, clan, tribe, race, and nation – to the point that untold millions of gallons of blood have been spilt over the aeons because of it – and the very nature of that powerful relationship, the very root of it all, is nothing other than the affective feelings, the emotions and passions, you are so insistent I must have.

RESPONDENT: So you have emotions and feelings.

RICHARD: So, if I understand what you are and have been saying correctly, just because I am pleased when someone reports being happy and harmless all day – especially in a situation which previously had *always* been upsetting – this to you is the evidence that (a) Richard has feelings ... and (b) actualism is a crock ... and (c) Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti has said it all before ... and (d) your agenda on this mailing list, to expose Richard for the charlatan he can only be, dismiss actualism for the copy-cat philosophy it must be, and promote a set of teachings about an after-death immortality, is well-justified.

Am I understanding you correctly?

RESPONDENT: On a more practical and personal note, throughout this winter I’ve been applying your method with encouraging results. Mainly :-

1) I’m no longer blindly bouncing back and forth between the ‘bad’ feelings and their ‘good’ pacifiers. At first I found it hard to sit with the ‘bad’ feelings without immediately running into the waiting, welcoming arms of the ‘good’, but now I can understand how vitally important this is if one wants to cure the underlying condition instead of just treating the symptoms. I look for the ‘third alternative’ all the time now.

RICHARD: Excellent ... although it is quite simple in hindsight to understand, that for the ‘bad’ feelings to cease their polar opposites the ‘good’ feelings must similarly come to an end, it can be rather difficult to initially comprehend that it is indeed as simple as that.

RESPONDENT: 2) I’ve given up blaming other people for my feelings, no matter what the situation. Looking back it seems such a simple and obvious thing to do but it had escaped me. On the flipside I decline to make myself responsible for other people’s emotional hurts (unless I’m hurting them intentionally).

RICHARD: Yes ... the reproachful ‘you have hurt my feelings’ works both ways. For instance:

• [Richard]: ‘... many years ago the identity inhabiting this body was conversing with ‘his’ then mother-in-law, painstakingly explaining why’ he’ was no longer able to do something – something which eludes memory nowadays – and was both surprised and pleased to hear the following words ‘he’ spoke in response to her reproachful ‘oh, you have hurt my feelings’ (manipulative) reply to ‘his’ carefully explicated account:
• ‘Then why carry [harbour/nurse] such feelings ... surely you leave yourself open to all manner of hurt by doing so?’
Needless is it to add that ‘he’ was to ask himself that very question on many an occasion from that day forwards?’

RESPONDENT: 3) I’ve become very conscious of how people are enslaved by the need to belong, and how it is impossible to be unconditionally happy and harmless while we harbour this need. Consequently, I’ve begun to withdraw my psychic/social/emotional tentacles, replacing emotional demands/dependencies with a friendly, commonsense, ‘live and let live’ attitude most of the time. There is a long way to go along this path, and there are some daunting prospects ahead, but I am emboldened by the results of the first steps.

RICHARD: Further to the ‘live and let live’ attitude ... the following may be of assistance:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... because there is no ‘I’ in you, there is nobody to worry about anything or correct, improve anything?
• [Richard]: ‘There is no worry, no, but I am not too sure that this is because there is no ‘I’ ... it is simply silly to worry as worrying does nothing whatsoever to get an event changed.
I correct – and thus improve – what can be corrected ... according to a preference for creature comforts and ease of life-style. For example: if I can sit upon a cushion instead of the brick pavers of the patio I will ... that is a preference. But if a cushion is not available it does not matter ... I thoroughly enjoy being alive at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space irregardless of what is happening. I could be just as happy and harmless on bread and water in solitary confinement in some insalubrious penitentiary ... but I would be pretty silly to act or behave in such a way as to occasion that outcome!
The ‘I’ that used to inhabit this body did everything possible that ‘I’ could do to blatantly imitate the actual in that ‘I’ endeavoured to be happy and harmless for as much as is humanly possible. This was achieved by putting everything on a ‘it doesn’t really matter’ basis. That is, ‘I’ would prefer people, things and events to be a particular way, but if it did not turn out like that ... it did not really matter for it was only a preference. ‘I’ chose to no longer give other people – or the weather – the power to make ‘me’ angry ... or irritated ... or even peeved, if that was possible.
It was great fun and very, very rewarding along the way. ‘My’ life became cleaner and clearer and more and more pure as each habitual way of living life was consciously eliminated through constant exposure. Finally ‘I’ invited the actual by letting go of the controls and letting this moment live ‘me’. ‘I’ became the experience of the doing of this business of being alive ... no longer the ‘do-er’. Thus ‘my’ days were numbered ... ‘I’ could hardly maintain ‘myself’ ... soon ‘my’ time would come to an end. An inevitability set in and a thrilling momentum took over ... ‘my’ demise became imminent’.

RESPONDENT: 4) I’m learning how to be friends with myself. The very idea once struck me as corny and wishy-washy on a superficial level, and on a deeper level quite impossible because of my intimate familiarity with all the filth and scum in ‘me’. But after overcoming those initial reactions I’ve found out just how much and how often I persecute myself, and how self-defeating it is. There is only ‘me’ in here, and whatever is done to ‘me’ is ‘me’ doing it to myself.

RICHARD: Indeed so. There is, however, an aspect of ‘me’ which is virtually unaffected by both ‘my’ vile and virtuous aspects ... and sincerity is the key to accessing it:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘If I could move on to the question of being ‘Happy and Harmless’; I guess that the main difficulty I am having is in understanding that one can be happy without ‘feeling’ happy but I will persevere with the actual freedom web site, which I am finding fascinating, until this becomes clear to me.
• [Richard]: ‘Okay ... it may be worthwhile bearing in mind that it is impossible to be happy (be happy as in being carefree), as distinct from feeling happy, without being harmless (being harmless as in being innocuous), as distinct from feeling harmless, and to be happy *and* harmless is to be unable to induce suffering – etymologically the word ‘harmless’ (harm + less) comes from the Old Norse ‘harmr’ (meaning grief, sorrow) – either in oneself or another.
Thus the means of comprehending the distinction lies in understanding the nature of innocence – something entirely new to human experience – and the nearest one can come to being innocent whilst being an identity is to be naïve (not to be confused with being gullible).
And the key to naïveté (usually locked away in childhood) is sincerity’.

RESPONDENT: I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.

RICHARD: That is for sure ... simply being alive is an adventure in itself.

RESPONDENT: Also, why do you say emotions are not factual?

RICHARD: I copy-pasted ‘emotions are not factual’ into my search-engine and sent it through all the words I have ever written only to return nil hits; a search for ‘not factual’ returned 20 hits but none of them referred to emotions (the majority were for ‘beliefs are not factual’) ... so I can only presume you are referring to me oft-times saying ‘a feeling is not a fact’.

If so, what I mean by this is that neither a feeling about something – as in ‘it feels right’ for example – makes it factual nor does a feeling of something – as in the feeling of ‘being’ for instance – make it a fact (hence ‘a feeling is not a fact’).

Also the word ‘sense’ – as in ‘a sense of identity’ for example – is often used as a surrogate for the word ‘feeling’ ... as it is more accurate to say ‘a feeling of identity’ then, obviously, that feeling is not a fact.

RESPONDENT: They are chemicals, what is not factual about that?

RICHARD: Chemicals are, of course, factual.


RESPONDENT: Now regarding ‘a feeling is not a fact’. This is so tricky. The amygdale identifies various sense data with the need for certain chemicals: for a tiger you need this chemical, for a baby you need that chemical. But no, that would mean identification (thought) comes first. So that means that prior to identification happening, we get chemicals, based on unidentified sense data?

RICHARD: Yes (if by ‘unidentified’ you mean cognitive identification): the raison d’être for the instinctual passions, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, genetically endowed by blind nature is that a split-second reaction occurs in situations where survival depends upon instant action.

In addition to this basic programming, from birth onwards (thus prior to thought developing), an affective memory forms as the baby experiences itself and its world ... and even when cognition develops the circuitry is such that sense impressions go first to the affective memory (which colours the cognitive memory).

Thus when there a tiger is pouncing (to use your example), and there is no time for any leisurely appraisal of the situation before taking appropriate action, there is what has been called a ‘quick and dirty’ emotional/passional scanning of danger, and a near-instantaneous affective-based response.

In a blind rage, for instance, where one instinctually lashes out it is common to later on reflect and say ‘I don’t know what came over me’ (or words to that effect).

RESPONDENT: So that means I am anger waiting to happen, that the sense data that triggers it is not even really relevant.

RICHARD: Well, not always relevant but, at the very least, sometimes so ... it is only a rough and ready software package, which blind nature endows, when all is said and done.

RESPONDENT: I am love waiting to happen, etc. This looks too random.

RICHARD: Whilst nature may be blind it is not necessarily haphazard, arbitrary ... it, being cause-and-effect based, is pragmatic (as opposed to principled) in an adventitious way. The phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ means those best fitted to the environment survive to propagate the species (and not necessarily survival of the most muscular as it is sometimes taken to mean).

RESPONDENT: Am ‘I’ a constant chemical (emotional) combination waiting to focus as one or the other at the sight, smell, touch, of just about anything?

RICHARD: At root, or at ‘my’ most basic ... yes: a hair-trigger entity genetically programmed to thoughtlessly (aka passionately) spring into action at the slightest hint of danger ... as is evidenced in trampling one’s fellow human beings to death at the exits in the blind panic for survival in a fire at a theatre or cinema, for example.

RESPONDENT: How does this chemical saturation so instantly abate and allow a PCE to happen?

RICHARD: You do seem to be disregarding the fact that, not only am ‘I’ anger waiting to happen (or any other of the ‘bad’ feelings) or love waiting to happen (or any other of the ‘good’ feelings), ‘I’ am also the felicitous/ innocuous feelings waiting to happen ... feelings such as happiness and harmlessness, for example.

Put simply: neither a grim and glum person nor a loving and compassionate person has much chance of allowing the PCE to happen.

RESPONDENT: Does this take nerves of steel?

RICHARD: No, apart from spontaneous PCE’s (most common in childhood) it takes happiness and harmlessness: where one is happy and harmless a benevolence and benignity that is not of ‘my’ doing operates of its own accord ... and it is this beneficence and magnanimity which occasions the PCE.

The largesse of the universe (as in the largesse of life itself), in other words.

RESPONDENT: If it does, then it is a different way of using them than I am used to. Maybe this is what you meant when you said your method of inducing PCE’s on an almost daily basis all those years ago was just by ‘allowing them to happen’?

RICHARD: What I meant by ‘allowing them to happen’ is just that ... allowing them to happen (ceasing to prevent them from occurring might be another way of putting it).

I say this because it became patently obvious to ‘me’, via previous PCE’s, that there was this whole other world – what I now call this actual world – just sitting ‘there’ waiting to be apparent, as it were, and all ‘I’ had to do was allow it to happen ... or, to put that differently, all ‘I’ had to do was get out of the way.

Of course when it did happen ‘there’ was here, where it has been all along, but I put it in those terms because that is how it was experienced at the time ... and it is only an ‘other world’ to ‘me’ as there is, in fact, only this one world.

Also, pure intent is essential in the process of allowing the PCE to happen – else it may be an ASC that ensues – but I wanted to keep the answer as brief as possible for the impact it rightfully deserves.

Because it is actually that simple.


RESPONDENT: It’s interesting that in practicing Actualism, we need to be in touch with our emotions enough to not be detached, but not so much in touch with them that we get dissociated as in enlightenment.

RICHARD: For the sake of clarity in communication I would stress that the actualism method sits firmly upon the minimisation of both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and the optimisation of the felicitous/ innocuous feelings ... and merely being in touch with felicity will not do the trick.

RESPONDENT: I looked up the word ‘dissociation’ and the first definition included the breaking up of chemical combinations into their simpler constituents. So is enlightenment singular attention being paid to only one chemical effect (emotion) happening (out of all of them ) or it is one chemical effect (emotion) drowning out the rest due to the sheer amount of it?

RICHARD: As I use the word ‘dissociation’ in the psychiatric sense I am somewhat reluctant to extend its usage into the area you propose ... to break everything down into chemical effects (whilst not dismissing such effects of course) would be to rightly earn the label ‘reductionism’.

In other words there is more to understanding the workings of the psyche than understanding chemistry.

RESPONDENT: Is it physically draining to be enlightened?

RICHARD: It can be ... especially when interacting with others as the transmission of love, and the intensity of compassion, consumes an inordinate amount of psychic energy. Roaming alone in nature was not as draining, however, as it was mostly affective energy ... although it must be said that there was 7-8 hours of sleep and three meals a day back then (as contrasted to 3-4 or 4-5 hours of sleep and one meal a day plus a snack now).

RESPONDENT: Was there a change in your general or subtle state of health after AF?

RICHARD: I have had what is called a healthy constitution all my life – I very rarely had the need of doctors – so I cannot readily point to any specific change other than the marked absence of any psychosomatic ailments.

I can still come down with colds and flu’s, for example, although nowhere as near as often or as severe.

RESPONDENT: It seems like a load is taken off my nervous system or something in a PCE.

RICHARD: Indeed ... the entire load, in fact, which absence of stress can only have the effect of ensuring a more healthy immune system.




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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