Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Nurture

RESPONDENT: I witness a lot of caring for others that is done probably without any ‘feeling of caring’. In other words, there seem to be a lot of actions that wouldn’t necessarily be ‘empathetic’ or feeling caring or that are not at the expense of self, yet not obviously ‘self-centred’. My son helps take care of the baby sometimes just because he enjoys it – kind of like play – he doesn’t know he is ‘caring’ or ‘altruistic’ – rather he is just enjoying being a part of things. Could this be altruism as well? Or would you put that down as ‘feeling caring’?

Also, when people feel happy, they tend to be naturally helpful towards others – is that a form of altruism, or feeling caring? Though their response is based on their current (transient) emotion, it is still not self-centred in the sense of assuaging their own suffering, is it? Couldn’t one say that this is a case where normal humans ‘actually care’? Or you might say it’s ‘in line with’ or an ‘imitation’ of actually caring?

Also, how much do you see altruism in action in the ‘real’ world? Are you only using the word for actions that involved ‘self-sacrifice’? People are generally helpful toward each other when feeling fairly happy – and it doesn’t seem one always has to be motivated by a feeling of love or empathy in helping others – would you say this general helpfulness is altruism too? Or do you reserve the word for only actions that involve self-sacrifice – like saving someone’s life at personal risk, or launching on the path to actual freedom?

Also, couldn’t it be said that when one goes down the path to actual freedom, that feeling caring is gradually replaced more and more by altruism? (until of course, actual freedom is reached) I forget the exact location – but this is how Peter talks about his process.

I suppose I’m curious as to whether you have rigid or fuzzy lines dividing ‘feeling caring’ and ‘altruism’? When I see someone taking care of another person – I tend to think there is more going on than just the feeling caring – it seems that altruism is very often involved too. So when I ask whether there are rigid or fuzzy lines dividing ‘feeling caring’ and ‘altruism’ – I mean to ask not whether the terms are clearly or fuzzily defined, rather whether you see them as clearly displayed as distinct in experience – or whether they are normally ‘mixed’ up together and not always easy to pull apart – so that when someone does a kind deed for another – it’s not always easy to say whether it was done from feeling caring – or whether it was an altruistic act? I guess what I’m shooting for here, is that it seems to me that there is an underlying altruism that constantly drives our actions, yet it’s not always easy to say of a particular action whether it was feeling caring – or an altruistic act.

This isn’t to say that some actions can’t be pinned down as stemming from feeling or from altruism. I guess you could have feeling caring on one side and altruism on the other – some actions are clearly on one side or the other – while a good deal of ‘taking care of’ falls somewhere in the middle. Anyway, that’s the way it occurs to me to view it – though it would be preferable to know – rather than conjecture.

RICHARD: If you had said there is an ‘underlying’ instinctual passion called nurture which ‘constantly drives our actions’ then you would have my agreement: the much-lauded unselfishness, which the word altruism is most often used for, by and large is sourced in the nurturing instinct ... and most of what you write about above can be sheeted home to blind nature (including the role-playing games that children practise). As far as I can make out you are stripping this genetically endowed caring of its feeling content, renaming it as a dispassionate altruism, and then asking me whether I have rigid or fuzzy lines dividing this stripped-down nurturing from feeling caring.

You say that you witness a lot of caring for others which is ‘probably’ done without any feeling of caring; that there ‘seem’ to be a lot of actions that would ‘not necessarily’ be empathetic or feeling caring or at the expense of self yet ‘not obviously’ self-centred; that you ‘tend to think’ there is more going on than just the feeling caring ... but is everyday human caring, in fact, sans feeling content? Here is a quite typical response (typical of the kind of response I repeatedly receive) on this very topic:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... you say you have no emotion, no love, no feeling, and yet you constantly bring up the plight of 6 billion sentient beings on this earth as if you had concern for them. What is the concern for the plight of the people from a person who has no feeling, no emotion, no caring, no nurturing, no love?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘A person with no feelings surely doesn’t care about anything, let alone ‘best wishes’ for his fellow humans.

I am not at all altruistic – nor unselfish – let alone nurturing ... ‘twas the identity inhabiting the body who was. And the altruism I spoke of (further above) – altruistic ‘self’-immolation – is a once-in-a-lifetime event and not the real-world day-to-day altruism (unselfishness) ... such everyday unselfishness falls under the category of morality or ethicality. Where I use the word altruism in a non-biological sense is where it is synonymic to the magnanimity of benevolence ... for example:

• [Richard]: ‘In order to mutate from the self-centred licentiousness to a self-less sensualism, one must have confidence in the ultimate beneficence of the universe. This confidence – this surety – can be gained from a pure consciousness experience, wherein ‘I’, the psychological entity [and ‘me’, the psychic entity], temporarily ceases to exist. Life is briefly seen to be already perfect and innocent ... it is a life-changing experience. One is physically experiencing first-hand, albeit momentarily, this actual world – a spontaneously benevolent world – that antedates the normal world. The normal world is commonly known as the real world or reality. (...) The experience of purity is a benefaction. Out of this blessing comes pure intent, which will consistently guide one through the travails of daily life, gently ushering in an increasing ease and generosity of character. With this growing magnanimity, one becomes more and more anonymous, more and more self-less. With this expanding altruism one becomes less and less self-centred, less and less egocentric. Eventually the moment comes wherein something definitive happens, physically, inside the brain and ‘I’ am nevermore. ‘Being’ ceases – it was only a psychic apparition anyway – and war is over, forever, in one human being. (pages 124-125: ‘Richard’s Journal’ ©The Actual Freedom Trust 1997).

The growing magnanimity (an increasing generosity of character) referred to as an expanding altruism is a munificent well-wishing ... the etymological root of the word benevolent is the Latin ‘benne velle’ (meaning ‘wish well’). And well-wishing stems from fellowship regard – like species recognise like species throughout the animal world – for we are all fellow human beings and have the capacity for what is called a ‘theory of mind’.

The way to an actual freedom from the human condition is the same as an actual freedom from the human condition – the means to the end are not different from the end – inasmuch that where one is happy and harmless as an on-going modus operandi benevolence operates of its own accord ... you partly indicated this (above) where you commented that people are generally helpful toward each other when feeling happy. Where benevolence is flourishing morals and ethics, as a matter of course, fall redundant by the wayside ... unused, unneeded and unnecessary.

Lastly, as you mentioned Peter talking about altruism, you could access the Library section of The Actual Freedom Trust website and look under the entry for altruism ... you will see that he refers to the ‘quality of altruism’ in actualism as being ‘benevolence in action’ and that this altruism ‘needs to be put under the microscope, examined carefully and fully understood, lest one confuses it with blind instinctual passions and senseless societal values’. Vis.:


RESPONDENT: ... as you can see I’m still a bit confused as to where ‘altruism’ fits in. I am getting though that altruism is the key to this whole process – the motivating factor that allows ‘me’ to self-immolate as well as imitate the actual – altruism and pure intent.

RICHARD: Just to set the record straight: altruism (in its biological sense) is only the key to the process of ‘self’-immolation – going into blessed oblivion – and has nothing to do with living everyday life happily and harmlessly ... the appearance of benevolence ensures that all interactions (including with oneself) are benign and beneficial.

Once again I will refer you to your own words (I keep on doing this as they would have more impact than mine):

• [Respondent]: ‘The ‘strongest’ part of the experience probably lasted only about 15 seconds – it seemed like I had been taken into another world, though it was obviously the same world, but yet it was in sharp detail that I hadn’t completely noticed before. *And it did have a benevolence about it*. I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by the wonder of it all ...’. [emphasis added]. (‘Getting The PCE’; 12 May 2002).

Life is truly this simple: the pure intent to have the already always existing peace-on-earth become apparent, as evidenced in the pure consciousness experience (PCE), is activated with the nourishment of one’s innate naiveté via ‘the wonder of it all’ ... whereupon an intimate connection, a golden thread or clew as it were, is thus established whereby one is sensitive to and receptive of the over-arching benignity and benevolence of the ‘another world’ of the PCE – which is already always just here right now anyway – and one is not on one’s own, in this, the adventure of a lifetime.

And sincerity works to awaken one’s dormant naiveté.

RESPONDENT: I think the confusion stems from the fact that I witness the general helpfulness of human beings – even in contexts where there is no immediate personal gain physically or emotionally – so it seems that altruism is more than just ‘self-sacrificing’ – but more of an instinct towards perpetuating not only the survival, but the flourishing of the species – but not only homo sapiens, but all other things in the universe insofar as one has an effect on them.

RICHARD: Again, what you say here is sourced in blind nature’s nurture – taken to a fantastic extreme when applied to ‘all other things in the universe’ – which instinctual passion is currently the flavour of the month in those ‘save mother earth’ circles.

RESPONDENT: Also, it has dawned on me that I’ve been imitating actually caring for years – not that it had occurred to me that there is an actual world and one could experience it constantly, but rather that if I am going to get along with others on a reasonable basis – then I must ‘take care of’ them by considering ‘what is best for them’ rather than putting my feelings about the matter first.

RICHARD: I am none too sure what caring you have been doing ‘for years’ but, going by the description of it which you provide, ‘imitating actually caring’ it ain’t ... I cannot put it more bluntly than that.

It smacks of a rehash of the ‘tried and true’ ... whereas being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible is what imitating the actual is on about – then ‘putting my feelings about the matter first’ is to be putting happy and harmless feelings into the world at large – and instead of this proactive contribution to peace and harmony on this verdant and azure paradise you are advocating withholding your feelings out of a ‘tried and failed’ consideration for the other ... which more often than not means considering the other’s feelings.

Actualism is not about being guided by, or run by, other people’s feelings ... I mean it when I say that where one is happy and harmless as an on-going modus operandi benevolence operates of its own accord.

RESPONDENT: So that even if I don’t care about someone – or feel like not taking care of them – I would still do so because of the overriding drive to live at relative peace with others. This is not ‘putting others first’ – rather just a realization that my feelings don’t always indicate what is sensible.

RICHARD: Again this is not what ‘imitating actually caring’ looks like in action – going by the ‘even if I don’t care about someone’ and ‘or feel like not taking care of them’ phrasing – because where one is happy and harmless an on-going benevolence operates of its own accord and benevolence already always cares ... the ‘drive to live at relative peace’ is no more. Furthermore, to say that ‘my feelings don’t always indicate what is sensible’ is to say that feeling happy and harmless (which is what ‘imitating actually caring’ is in practice) is not necessarily relevant to peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body ... and if peace-on-earth is not sensible I would like to know what is instead.

This is just a guess, as I can only go on the words you write, but I would venture to suggest that the ‘self image’ you were invested in developing over all those years has resurrected itself in the guise of an (intellectual) caring which is (ostensibly) not a feeling caring. Vis.:

• [Respondent to Richard]: ‘Much of my life has been invested in developing a self image as a loving, caring person – yet you have done the ‘dirty deed’ for me of revealing that one must get underneath all that.

Being a ‘loving, caring person’ is born of the instinctual passion of nurture – as most moralistic/ ethicalistic caring is – and as the instinctual passions are particularly tenacious it may be apposite to enquire into who the grief you mentioned in another e-mail was being felt for. Vis.:

• [Respondent to Richard]: ‘... it seems to me that my reluctance to describe being a ‘being’ as reprehensible had to do with my misunderstanding of that term as severity as well as my ‘moral’ connotations that I apply to that word, but if it is being applied to the whole range of antisocial behaviour, then I have no problem with it. There is an initial shock though – a kind of grief that goes along with seeing it.

‘Tis only a suggestion, mind you.

RESPONDENT: ... it seems to me that there is an underlying altruism that constantly drives our actions, yet it’s not always easy to say of a particular action whether it was feeling caring – or an altruistic act. This isn’t to say that some actions can’t be pinned down as stemming from feeling or from altruism. I guess you could have feeling caring on one side and altruism on the other – some actions are clearly on one side or the other – while a good deal of ‘taking care of’ falls somewhere in the middle. Anyway, that’s the way it occurs to me to view it – though it would be preferable to know – rather than conjecture.

RICHARD: If you had said there is an ‘underlying’ instinctual passion called nurture which ‘constantly drives our actions’ then you would have my agreement: the much-lauded unselfishness, which the word altruism is most often used for, by and large is sourced in the nurturing instinct ... and most of what you write about above can be sheeted home to blind nature (including the role-playing games that children practise). As far as I can make out you are stripping this genetically endowed caring of its feeling content, renaming it as a dispassionate altruism, and then asking me whether I have rigid or fuzzy lines dividing this stripped-down nurturing from feeling caring.

RESPONDENT: I’m not sure anymore what I was doing. The best I can say is that I was wondering whether there is such a thing as a ‘dispassionate altruism’ since it can seem that a lot of actions could be construed in that way. I don’t mean to postulate something that doesn’t exist – I do now see that you can chalk up every caring action (for an ‘I’) to feeling caring. I guess the idea is that there are many caring actions that I do and that I witness others do that are virtually unthinking – in the sense that there was simply no time to ponder one’s feelings about a particular caring action – they happen so quickly with almost no forethought – that they can seem to be without feeling – yet I can see that easily can be said to stem from feeling caring too – even though there is no obvious feeling of compassion or empathy evident.

RICHARD: Your words ‘I do now see that you can chalk up every caring action (for an ‘I’) to feeling caring’ says it all.

RESPONDENT: There’s a lot said about ‘nurture’ on this website. I have a 3 year old son and a baby on the way. I’m curious, must I ‘nurture’ my children to take care of their ‘needs’?

RICHARD: Given that the ‘nurture’ described on The Actual Freedom Website is the genetically-inherited instinctual passion of nurture one will of course be driven by blind nature to take care of one’s children instinctually ... the elimination of this blind passion is one of the things that an actual freedom from the human condition is on about.

The recognition and the acknowledgement that one is thus driven (as is everyone) is the first step.

RESPONDENT: I don’t see it anywhere acknowledged that AF can seem to some to discourage us from caring for our children.

RICHARD: There is a vast difference betwixt being driven to care (the feeling of caring) and actually caring.

RESPONDENT: Enhance ‘relationship’ with a sexual partner – yes, I see that. But can it free us to care more effectively for our kids?

RICHARD: Of course ... and not only caring effectively for one’s children: one actually cares, for the first time in one’s life, for this body and that body and every body.

RESPONDENT: I get the sense sometimes that kids might just ‘get in the way’ for someone exploring AF.

RICHARD: On the contrary ... children provide a vital opportunity to find out for oneself just what is going on vis-à-vis the human condition. Speaking personally, I learnt so much from my intimate interactions with children that I doubt that I would be where I am today without that valuable experience.

RESPONDENT: My assumption is that ‘nurture’ can be replaced by benevolence.

RICHARD: Provided that it is understood the ‘benevolence’ referred to on The Actual Freedom Website is the root meaning of the word (‘well-wishing’).

RESPONDENT: That is, I take care of my kids simply because they are there and they are fellow human beings – so I don’t suffer along with them, but I take care of their needs when those needs arise.

RICHARD: Exactly ... and it is vital to realise that children are indeed ‘fellow human beings’ as it is the first step towards an actual intimacy.

RESPONDENT: In some sense, they are my ‘responsibility’. Probably in a very similar sense that if I am to hold a job – I have a ‘responsibility’ to my clients. I assume it’s very much like taking care of a pet or a plant.

RICHARD: Yes, it could be said that it is somewhat similar to a contract that you enter into until they can fend for themselves ... they then leave the nest and fly away to live their own lives free of your influence.

RESPONDENT: You can very well do without your kids, but it is in their best interest to stay with you and to be cared for.

RICHARD: It is the job, as it were, of a parent to prepare the child for adult life (to the best of one’s ability at the time).

RESPONDENT: I’d like to hear what others who have or who are raising kids experience. I know that Richard was a single father for a while and now has grandkids, and Peter has at least one child. Would one in actual freedom or virtual freedom still be able to care for their children effectively?

RICHARD: I will leave it to Peter to respond in regards to virtual freedom as he knows far more about it than I do ... as for being actually free: the last thing I would want to be encumbered by, if I were to be a parent again today, is the instinctual passion of nurture (along with fear and aggression and desire of course). Put simply: being happy and harmless – free of malice and sorrow – is the best thing that one can do for anyone (including oneself).

A feeling intimacy is a far cry from an actual intimacy.


RESPONDENT: P.S. I appreciate your response to my last post – ‘Nurture’. I don’t have anything else to add now to that discussion.

RICHARD: You are very welcome ... if you have the time and/or wish to browse some relevant passages regarding children and parenting, on my portion of The Actual Freedom Website, you could access the following link:

I am slowly (and spasmodically) cataloguing what I have written in response to various peoples over the last four or five years so as to put some order into the vast amount of writing ... any link with a ‘C’ in a little yellow rectangle will take you to the catalogued entries.

RESPONDENT No. 27: Enhance ‘relationship’ with a sexual partner – yes, I see that. But can it free us to care more effectively for our kids?

RICHARD: Of course ... and not only caring effectively for one’s children: one actually cares, for the first time in one’s life, for this body and that body and every body.

RESPONDENT: I’m having trouble distinguishing between ‘actually’ caring for others, and running the genetically and/or culturally derived programs (instinctual) that drive us to reproduce and protect our offspring. It seems arbitrary where one ends and the other begins.

RICHARD: It is only where the one (feeling caring) in fact ends that the other (actually caring) in fact begins. In other words, when a person is free of the instinctual passions that person actually cares, for the first time in their life, for this body and that body and every body ... and there is nowt that is ‘arbitrary’ about that process.

It is the same as the difference between a feeling intimacy and an actual intimacy.

RESPONDENT: Richard, I am currently perplexed about ‘caring’. You distinguish between ‘feeling caring’ and ‘actually caring’. I think I understand the distinction for the most part – ‘feeling caring’ is caring based upon emotion – ‘feeling’ that one cares, and ‘actually caring’ is something that happens ONLY in a PCE or when one is actually free. Now, this results in the somewhat shocking statement that the only people who actually care are those in pure consciousness.

RICHARD: Aye, it can indeed be a shock to realise that, for all the protestations of being caring, no one trapped in the human condition actually cares. However, apart from galvanising one into action, it is a liberating realisation as it releases one from the bonds that tie.

There are always strings attached in affective caring.

RESPONDENT: Now, I don’t want to debate the merits of this for one moment, but I would like to understand it better. For example, just how is it that ‘feeling-caring’ is an ‘illusion of caring?’

RICHARD: In saying ‘to create the illusion of caring’ (and ‘to create the illusion of intimacy’) I am referring to generating the false impression, or the deceptive appearance, of being caring (and being intimate) because of the reality which underpins all human interaction ... as the following passage where the quote comes from clearly shows:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, I’m going to let my light out from under the bushel and tell you what I see: You are still ‘crazy’, and I still have affection and/or compassion for you.
• [Richard]: ‘As I am a person devoid of either latent or active enmity, I require no restorative affection whatsoever to create the illusion of intimacy in my human interactions. And as I am also a person devoid of either latent or active sorrow, I require no antidotal compassion whatsoever to create the illusion of caring. Thus, in an actual freedom, intimacy is not dependent upon cooperation. I experience an actual intimacy – a direct experiencing of the other – twenty four hours of the day irrespective of the other’s affection and/or compassion ... or mood swings.

Thus the feeling of caring (and the feeling of intimacy) is the antidote for feeling uncaring (and the restorative for feeling separate) and, as such, has a causal basis – meaning it has a dependant nature – resulting in an inevitable instability.

Whereas actually caring (and an actual intimacy) cannot be switched off ... ever.

RESPONDENT: Is it an illusion of ‘Actual caring?’

RICHARD: Yes, it is a synthetic substitute for actually caring (or an actual intimacy) ... an ersatz surrogate born out of the instinctual passions.

RESPONDENT: It seems to me that feeling caring is caring on some level – since caring-for is actually happening. For example, take a mother who breast feeds her child – she may be ‘feeling-caring’ – therefore, under the illusion that she is actually caring for her child – yet the child is actually being taken care of – which isn’t an illusion at all.

RICHARD: There is a difference between feeling care and taking care – you are mixing the sentiment of care with the action of care – wherein the former is a fancy and the latter is a fact. In other words, you are confounding the affective experience of care with the physical activity of care ... which is not what is meant by the expression ‘feeling caring’ as contrasted to the expression ‘actually caring’. To experience being caring as a feeling (born of separation) is a far cry from the experience of being caring as an actuality (sans separation).

Feeding an infant feelings along with the food corrupts the action of caring.

RESPONDENT: I also seem to experience a difference between what I might call ‘contrived’ caring and actually caring. For example, a waiter may completely contrive caring about the service they provide in order to get the largest tip possible – so they pretend to care about me when they actually care about the tip. Then with other waiters, I get the sense that they actually care about giving good service – just because it’s more fun to actually care about the person and engage them as a person – rather than a means to an ends. This is the normal distinction that I make between ‘illusory (contrived) caring’ and ‘actually caring’.

RICHARD: Okay ... although faking care is not the distinction being referred to as the person feeling caring is being true to their feelings.

It is not their fault that the truth is insincere.

RESPONDENT: Yet it seems that you may want to push it further and say that all feeling caring is only an illusion of caring – this is what I don’t understand.

RICHARD: No, I am not pushing your distinction further ... the distinction I talk of is in another category.

RESPONDENT: It also seems you are saying that in some sense ‘I’ cannot actually care about anything or anyone else?

RICHARD: No, what I am saying is that ‘I’ cannot experience the actuality of being caring ... ‘I’ can only experience the feeling of being caring. For example, the last time I visited my biological parents (1984) I was told ‘we worry about you’ ... which fretful feeling of apprehension/anxiety is, to them, being caring.

They mean well, of course, as do most people.

RESPONDENT: What is happening when I do ‘take care of’ other people and things?

RICHARD: Well, things and other people do get taken care of – it is remarkable what is achieved despite all the hindrances – but it is the motivating factor which muddies the waters and undermines the result.

Also, what is known as ‘compassion fatigue’ can happen as well.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying this only happens in a selfish sort of way? That all feeling caring is selfish – therefore not really caring at all?

RICHARD: I would rather say ‘self’-centred than ‘selfish’ ... when someone is touched by another’s suffering, as in being moved sufficiently to stimulate caring action, it is their own suffering which is being kindled and quickened. Thus feelings are being aroused, which motivate the activity of caring, and taking care of the other works to assuage the aroused feelings (as well as working to help the other of course).

Shall I put it this way? They are missing-out on experiencing the actuality of the caring action, the helpful activity itself, which is taking place.

RESPONDENT: If all ‘I’ can manage is the illusion of caring, how is ‘altruism’ or ‘pure intent’ possible? I don’t understand.

RICHARD: First of all, in its biological sense altruism is an instinctive action – born of the drive to survive – such as in fighting to the death to protect the young, defend the group, or secure the territory, and is not so much a feeling of caring but an involuntary response ... a response which could evoke any number of feelings (such as fear, thrill, courage, excitement, exhilaration, euphoria and so on).

Although it can be used to mean an unselfish feeling, the ‘self’-centred feeling of caring for others, that is a watering-down of the word as, properly speaking, altruism is an instinctive behaviour or deed which benefits others at the expense of self ... of the two survival instincts, individual survival and group survival, the instinct for the survival of the group is usually the stronger instinct.

It takes a powerful instinct (altruism) to overcome a powerful instinct (selfism).

The pure intent to have the already always existing peace-on-earth become apparent is a determination, born of the PCE, and thus is indicative more of a dedication, a strength of purpose, as in the will to freedom, rather than a ‘self’-centred feeling of caring ... one taps in to the over-arching benignity and benevolence of the actual world.

Then one is not on one’s own, in this, the adventure of a lifetime.


RESPONDENT: I have similar questions about the distinction between ‘feeling intimacy’ and ‘actual intimacy’. Could you define exactly what you mean by those terms – as well as just exactly what you would say is going on when there is a ‘feeling intimacy’?

RICHARD: So as to circumvent coining new words I chose to make a distinct difference between the word ‘actual’ and the word ‘real’ (plus the word ‘fact’ and the word ‘true’) whereas the dictionaries do not: thus when I talk of the actual world, as contrasted to the real world, whilst both words refer to the physical world I am making a distinction in experience.

I usually put it this way: what one is (what not who) is these eyes seeing, these ears hearing, this tongue tasting, this skin touching and this nose smelling – and no separative identity (no ‘I’/‘me’) inside the body means no separation whatsoever – whereas ‘I’/‘me’, a psychological/psychic entity, am busily creating an inner world and an outer world and looking out through ‘my’ eyes upon ‘my’ outer world as if looking out through a window, listening to ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ tongue, touching ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ skin and smelling ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ nose.

This entity, or being, residing in the body is forever cut-off from the actual – from the world as-it-is – because its inner world reality is pasted as a veneer over the actual world, thus creating the outer world reality known as the real world, and experiences an affective intimacy (oneness, union, unity, wholeness) wherein the separation is bridged by love and compassion ... instead of an actual intimacy (direct, instant, immediate, absolute) where there is no separation whatsoever.

In other words, no separative identity in the first place means no division exists to be transcended.

RESPONDENT: Is there no intimacy in feeling intimacy?

RICHARD: Yes, there is the feeling of being intimate.

RESPONDENT: If that’s the case, why do you call it feeling ‘intimacy’?

RICHARD: Because that is what it is ... the feeling of being intimate.

RESPONDENT: Lastly, I’m curious about the notion of ‘imitation’ of the actual. You once told me that someone pursuing actual freedom takes what they know of the actual world from the PCE and ‘imitates’ it.

RICHARD: Yes ... but knowingly imitates it (thus one is not fooling oneself).

RESPONDENT: Would their caring then become ‘virtual caring’ or somehow MORE actual?

RICHARD: It is more a case of being in line with what is actual rather than being more actual: feeling happy and harmless, as much as is humanly possible each and every moment again, is as far-removed from the normal modus operandi as to be a virtual freedom.

Or, to put that another way, the means to the end are not different from the end (other than being a feeling rather than the fact of course).

RESPONDENT: Or is it still only ‘feeling caring’, thus an illusion?

RICHARD: As all affective-based experiencing in the real-world is an illusion (including the real-world itself) you are, basically, asking me which part of the illusory experience is less of an illusion than any other part of the illusory experience.

I pass.

RESPONDENT: I guess what I’m asking is … if all feeling caring is an illusion of caring, how is one to care if one is pursuing an actual freedom?

RICHARD: As happily and as harmlessly as is humanly possible ... in a word: benevolently.

RESPONDENT: In other words, how can one actually care, when it is all too clear that actually caring can only happen in the PCE??

RICHARD: Exactly ... one cannot actually care unless one is free of the human condition. I have oft-times said that I have no solutions for life in the real-world ... the only solution is dissolution.

Then all interaction is based upon fellowship regard.

RESPONDENT: Or does one just continue with (attenuated) feeling caring – saying it is becoming more and more an imitation of actually caring?

RICHARD: Yes, until the blessed dissolution happens, attenuating both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings whilst amplifying the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (hence being as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible) is what one does in the meanwhile.

Thus the benefits are immediate ... and have the added benefit of preparing the way.

RESPONDENT: I have searched through the website to answers to these questions – and there is much material that pertains to them, but I was unable to find any clear answers. So it would be great if you would shed some more light on these issues. Thanks!

RICHARD: Okay ... perhaps it would be handy to mention that, in a close personal association (such as in a marriage or in a relationship), a being residing in the body can feel a connection, or a feeling rapport, with another being residing in another body (which relationship can be called a bond, a tie, a link, an attachment) giving rise to the feeling of caring ... be it a pitying caring, a sympathetic caring, an empathetic caring, a compassionate caring or a loving caring.

This is because all sentient beings, to a greater or lesser extent, are connected via a psychic web ... a network of energies or currents that range from ‘good’ to ‘bad’. The affective energies are a two-way street ... mostly peoples initially overlook the ‘harmless’ part of my oft-used ‘happy and harmless’ phrase. In other words: how can one live freely in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst ‘I’ nurse malice and sorrow, and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, to ‘my’ bosom? One cannot be happy unless one is first harmless ... and one cannot be harmless unless one is first happy.

To be actually free one abandons ‘humanity’ in oneself – one cuts the umbilical cord – which means that the ability to connect-relate vanishes ... life is not ‘a movement in relationship’ (as one enlightened being was wont to say) here in this actual world. There is no relationship here – no bonding, no tying, no linking, no attaching – as there is no being, or entity, to necessitate such a connective affinity ... there is no ‘I’/‘me’ to either be affected or to affect others when one is free from the human condition.

Furthermore, and this is a salutary point few comprehend, I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here – when a fellow human being tells me they are an identity inside the body I have to take their word for it – as nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, exists in actuality.

There is only purity and perfection in this actual world.

RICHARD: It is not thought that imputes a thinker. It is the passion engendered by the instinctual self in the reptilian brain that remains the real culprit.

RESPONDENT No. 22: It seems that passions or feelings are just changing phenomenon that seemingly arise and pass away in awareness just as thoughts. To label that ever-changing phenomenon as an instinctual self seems to be the addition of thought.

RESPONDENT: Richard, I agree with the above. To me you are very clear until you get to this instinct part – to me it’s fuzzy. Can you clarify?

RICHARD: I most certainly can ... it is rather simple, actually. But what is required is that one first acknowledges that this physical body and this physical world and this physical universe are actual. Actual as in tangible, corporeal, material, substantial, palpable. It requires that one comes to one’s senses – both figuratively and literally – and cease trying to understand life, the universe and what it is to be a human being through religious or spiritual eyes. This is not a metaphysical matter ... it is very, very earthy.

Those people, who have dedicated large parts of their waking hours devoted to the particular type of physical research that painstakingly looks into these matters, have located at least four basic emotions in what is variously called the ‘primitive brain’ or the ‘lizard brain’ or the ‘reptilian brain’, which is located at the top of the brain-stem of all sentient creatures. This is regardless of whether the creature has a developed ‘bigger brain’ – like the human cerebral cortex – over the top of it or not. These basic passions are fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... there are more but scientists tend to disagree about matters scientific according to what school or discipline they are working in. After all, they are fallible, ego-ridden and soul-bound human beings trapped in the human condition like everybody else, and are seeking to find a way through all this mess that we humans are born into via the scientific method.

Experiments with electronic probes on either reptiles – not having a bigger brain – or mammals – having a bigger brain – have demonstrated repeatedly that by touching various locatable areas of this ‘reptilian brain’, these emotions can be triggered at command. Thus the hapless animal will switch from trembling fear to rabid desire in the twinkling of an eye ... merely by applying the electrode to another area. Similarly, nurturing can be abruptly replaced by aggression ... again by moving the electrode. This has been demonstrated again and again with predictable results. Thus it is a fact.

So, beginning with a fact and not a premise, we can reliably ascertain that these instincts are what we are born with.

RESPONDENT: And does your freedom entail the total and complete erasure of the human consciousness that moves the common herd or just only the moral conditioning – the sense of right and wrong, good and evil?

RICHARD: Yes, the total and complete erasure of the ‘human’ consciousness ... not just conditioning. The moral conditioning – the sense of right and wrong and what you called the knowledge of good and evil – are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over countless aeons to seek to curb the instinctual passions. By and large this enterprise has proved to be relatively effective ... only a minority of citizens fail to behave in a socially acceptable manner. And although well-meant, it is but an ultimately short-sighted effort to prevent gaols from being filled to over-flowing, because people are irked by the restraints imposed upon what they indulgently imagine is the freedom of the natural state. Now, while most people paddle around on the surface and re-arrange the conditioning to ease their lot somewhat, some people – seeking to be free of all human conditioning – fondly imagine that by putting on a face-mask and snorkel that they have gone deep-sea diving with a scuba outfit ... deep into the human condition. They have not ... they have gone deep only into the human conditioning. When they tip upon the instincts – which are both savage (fear and aggression) and tender (nurture and desire) – they grab for the tender (the ‘good’ side) and blow them up all out of proportion. If they succeed in this self-aggrandising hallucination they start talking twaddle dressed up as sagacity such as: ‘There is a good that knows no evil’ or ‘There is a love that knows no opposite’ or ‘There is a compassion that sorrow has never touched’ and so on. This is because it takes nerves of steel to don such an aqua-lung and plunge deep in the stygian depths of the human psyche ... it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee. For the deletion of the software package is the extinction of ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’. That is, ‘being’ itself expires.

The reward for so doing is immeasurable, however.

The altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ needs to be talked about and exposed for what it is so that nobody need venture up that blind alley ever again. There is another way and another goal. The main trouble with enlightenment is that whilst the identity as ego dissolves, the identity as soul remains intact. No longer identifying as a personal ego-bound identity, one then identifies as an impersonal soul-bound identity ... ‘I am That’ or ‘I am God’ or ‘I am The Supreme’ or ‘I am The Absolute’ or ‘I am The Buddha’ and so on. This is the delusion, the mirage, the deception ... and it is extremely difficult to see it for oneself, for one is in an august state. This second identity – the second ‘I’ of Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer (aka Ramana) fame – is a difficult one to shake, maybe more difficult than the first; for who is brave enough to voluntarily give up fame and fortune, reverence and worship, status and security? One has to be scrupulously honest with oneself to go all the way and no longer be a someone, a somebody of importance. One faces extinction; ‘I’ will cease to be, there will be no ‘being’ whatsoever, no ‘presence’ at all. It is impossible to imagine, not only the complete and utter cessation of ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety, but the end of any ‘Ultimate Being’ or ‘Absolute Presence’ in any way, shape or form. It means that no one or no thing is in charge of the universe ... that there is no ‘Ultimate Authority’. It means that all values are but human values, with no absolute values at all to fall back upon. It is impossible for one to conceive that without a wayward ‘I’ there is no need for either a compliant ‘me’ or any values whatsoever ... or an ‘Ultimate Authority’.

This is what freedom from the Human Condition is.

RESPONDENT: You do claim though, that having ended it [the Human Condition] yourself, you can pass it on somehow, how so?

RICHARD: Oh, very simply ... we are all fellow human beings. 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. Consequently I know your fear and aggression and nurture and desire intimately ... writing (talking) to you is no different to thinking (talking) about myself.

It is called, in the jargon, relating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a third alternative.

RESPONDENT: Suffering arises from blindness to the fact that what I am doing or apparently choosing to do in psychological time is a playing out of cultural and biological programming.

RICHARD: Yes ... all mental and emotional suffering arises from the existence of a rudimentary animal self that is born of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression (savage passions) and nurture and desire (tender passions) onto which ontological ‘being’ the parental conditioning; the peer-group conditioning; the societal conditioning and the conditioning one does to oneself has overlaid an autological identity ... which I call ‘I’ as ego (a psychological entity in the head) and a ‘me’ as soul (a psychic entity in the heart) for consistency and clarity of communication.

The ‘daydreaming inattentiveness’ stops upon the union (the psychological ‘I’ as ego entity in the head unites with the psychic ‘me’ as soul in the heart) that results when it is realised that ‘no effort is required to move from a state of day dreaming to one of wakefulness’ because of the attention paid to ‘holistic seeing’ ... the ‘fragmented identity’ is now a ‘whole identity’ because ‘becoming’ has ceased and ‘being’ is.

The rudimentary and ancient animal self common to all sentient beings is the genesis of ‘being’ as an all-expansive and all-encompassing identity. That deep feeling of ‘me’ and/or ‘Me’ – that is ‘being’ and/or ‘Being’ itself – is at the core of identity. It arises out of the basic instincts that blind nature endowed all human beings with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life and is common to all sentient beings. This is why it is felt to be one’s ‘Original Face’ – to use the Zen terminology – when one accesses it in religious/spiritual/mystical meditation practices and disciplines (including the ‘no-method’ practices and disciplines). This is the source of the ‘we are all one’ (‘oneness’), because ‘we’ are all the same-same blind instinctual self that stretches back beyond the dawn of human memory.

It is a very, very ancient genetic memory ... but hoariness does not make it automatically wise, however, despite desperate belief to the contrary.

RICHARD: Where you state ‘we live in a society – not in isolation’ the ‘theory of mind’ undeniably signifies that, because one lives among one’s fellow human beings, one is as considerate towards others as one is towards oneself. And where you say ‘reactions are the central issue ... reactions happen from hurt feelings’ I am in full agreement with your observations (which are essentially about the affective feelings): when a person’s precious feelings get hurt (either justified or not) the faecal matter hits the rapidly turning blades and sensibility is nowhere to be found. Nations (which are nothing more and nothing less than peoples collectively) have feelings just the same ... hurt is inevitable to anyone nursing feelings to their bosom. However, unlike individual emotional hurts (resulting in fisticuffs or whatever), nations these days hurl million dollar missiles at each other ... a nation’s ‘fisticuffs’ do far more damage and cause far more destruction. Yet it is precipitated by the self-same affective feelings that each and every person holds so dear.

RESPONDENT: The central issue here is ‘how are feelings hurt?’ Who has the power to hurt my feelings? If someone makes a statement that hurts my feelings – that is to do with me – not the other person. The other person was simply the trigger to cause a reaction inside me. If there was not a latent issue already there – there would be no reaction. For example – suppose some says to me ‘You are a television’ – I will just laugh at the idea. Of course I am not a television. However, if the statement is, ‘You are an IDIOT’, and the person then presents some evidence that shows that his statement may be valid – then I may feel hurt. That is because at some level I recognise that the statement has some truth – perhaps I am an idiot. So in reality the only person who can hurt me is me – others are simply triggers. People often say ‘The truth hurts’.

RICHARD: Shall I put it this way? Can you personally guarantee 100% to never, ever react to hurt feelings? Because even the ‘Enlightened Beings’ cannot ... there are more than a few recorded incidences of ‘Enlightened Beings’ displaying both anguish and anger, which clearly indicates that the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ (an embodiment of ‘The Truth’ by whatever name) does not bestow such a remarkable freedom that amorality indubitably is. The ‘Tried and True’ system is the ‘tried and failed’ system ... a system which has failed again and again for 3,000 to 5,000 years of recorded history.

RESPONDENT: Another question: I have the charge of a good part of the education of my grand daughter, 11 years old, and now to be home schooled. I realize we won’t see these ideas taught in school for the foreseeable future, but what would you teach to a child if you could teach him/her whatever you wanted?

RICHARD: Back when I was a parent I adopted the ‘home-schooling’ approach with my then children – until the state’s child welfare department intervened and enforced academic schooling at the point of a gun – and found it most rewarding for all concerned: I never taught them anything, in the structured sense of the word, as children learn (teach themselves) all what is necessary, whilst it is happening, of their own accord ... as long as there be a supportive adult to provide the suitable environment conducive to such ad hoc skill-development and absorption of relevant information.

RESPONDENT: Have the actualists solved the riddle of nature vs. nurture?

RICHARD: As I was born and raised on a farm there never was a nature versus nurture riddle to solve ... the human animal was demonstrably born with instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) just like the other animals were.

RESPONDENT: The theories about the role of instincts on the website ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? Just what [quote] ‘theories’ [endquote] are you referring to? And the reason I ask is because what I have to report/ describe/ explain is experiential ... as in coming out of direct experience.

RESPONDENT: ... are confidently expressed as if they are describing something factual but there is considerable debate amongst researchers about the role of genes and environment on conditioning. See for an overview of theories on aggression. Clearly, there’s not a consensus amongst researchers but actualists seem confident.

RICHARD: Maybe, just maybe, that is because what actualists report/ describe/ explain is experiential and not theoretical.

RESPONDENT: On the website it is confidently said ‘contrary to popular belief instincts are not ‘hardware’ but ‘software’ and as such they can be deleted’. See What proof do actualists use to assert these claims?

RICHARD: They are neither claims nor an assertion of such ... and the ‘proof’ is the experience of the very deletion of same.

RESPONDENT: How is it known that any of the programming removed by the actualist method is actually genetically endowed programming?

RICHARD: In a word: experientially.

RESPONDENT: Are all instincts ‘software’ as implied in the quote above?

RICHARD: As the altruistic ‘self’-immolation, of the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago, was simultaneously the extirpation of all instinctual impulses, drives and urges – the entire affective faculty (including its epiphenomenal imaginative and intuitive facility) in fact – then the analogy to computer software is reasonable enough for the purpose of communication.

RESPONDENT: Seems like a sweeping statement about an area that is little understood.

RICHARD: It is an experiential account about an area that was understood well-enough 13+ years ago to successfully extirpate in its entirety.


RESPONDENT: (...) That you cannot answer a simple question proves to me that your obscurantist bent runs deeper than instincts in you.

RICHARD: [snip the four examples, from the very first e-mail, of simple questions answered].

RESPONDENT: (...) it’s the quality of your detailed answers that mark you as an amazing obscurantist.

RICHARD: As you have now radically modified your original hypothesis (that the asseverated obscurantism was supposedly proved by a purported inability to answer a putatively simple question) into it currently being because of an unquantified quality, of those detailed answers to such questions, which allegedly marks me as being ‘a person who obscures something’ (Oxford Dictionary) – and an ostensibly amazing one of those persons at that – I have snipped all of my response as it is transparently evident that answering any of your questions in any way at all is only going to be met with yet even more displays of such feats of mental acrobatics as to make the most accomplished politician gasp in envy.

Accordingly, I will propose this: suppose you are right, and that naïve boy-from-the-farm was wrong, in that all of the emotions and passions – the entire affective faculty in fact – is because of nurture (inculcated after birth) and not because of nature (inherent before birth).

Now, just supposing that scenario (or any variation thereof) were indeed to be the case, then ... so what? That boy-from-the-farm, in all his naïveté and ignorance of matters epistemological but with the confidence born of the certainty which pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) provide in abundance, just went blithely ahead and gladsomely extirpated the whole dang lot (including himself) anyway.

It is your call.

RESPONDENT: Thank you, Richard, for your reply. Another issue I’d like to discuss is nurture. I understand it is the instinctual passion that leads to compassion which is the main tenet of most spiritualist dogma.

RICHARD: The word compassion – ‘participation in another’s suffering; fellow-feeling, sympathy; pity inclining one to show mercy or give aid’ (Oxford Dictionary) – stemming from the late Latin ‘compati’ (meaning ‘suffer with’) via the ecclesiastical Latin ‘compassio’ (literally ‘suffer-together’) is the English equivalent to the Pali ‘karuna’ (usually translated as ‘pity-compassion’) and refers to the communal feeling of pathos or grief engendered by the feeling of sorrow induced in oneself through the suffering, or plight, of another.

In spiritualism individual sorrow can be sublimated/transcended so as to become/be universal sorrow – sorrow for all suffering beings – and has the effect of transmogrifying the affective ‘being’ within the body (the instinctually passional being) into an all-encompassing transcendental ‘Being’ ... a (dissociated) entity of grandiose, albeit pathetic, proportions.

RESPONDENT: The concept of altruism is different in that one engages in a spontaneous process of selfless action, as opposed to helping in a compassionate, holier-than-thou way.

RICHARD: The word altruism can be used in two distinctly different ways – in a virtuous sense (as in being an unselfish/selfless self) or in a zoological/biological sense (as in being diametrically opposite to selfism) – and it is the latter which is of particular interest to a person wanting to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, as it takes a powerful instinctive impulse (altruism) to overcome a powerful instinctive impulse (selfism) ... blind nature endows each and every human being with the selfish instinct for individual survival and the clannish instinct for group survival (be it the familial group, the tribal group, or the national group).

By and large the instinct for survival of the group is the more powerful – as is epitomised in the honey-bee (when it stings to protect/defend the hive it dies) – and it is the utilisation of this once-in-a-lifetime gregarian action which is referred to in my oft-repeated ‘an altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice/‘self’-immolation, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body’.

RESPONDENT: So, in my life, I recently decided to pursue just the masters in physics (instead of the previously intended PhD), so that I could move back in with my parents and ‘help’ them free themselves of their interpersonal obstructions. (My mom is over 50 and my dad is over 70) This was before I came to actualism, and I had intended to go back there to serve as an example of spiritualist practice. Now, however, I’m not sure what my agenda is in planning on moving back. On one hand, its that gut-feeling instinct to care for and support (emotionally and financially) my ‘tribe’. This also fulfils the social Asian-American duty of filiality, which I did not intend. On the other hand, this type of compassion and social identity obedience to being a ‘good son’ is exactly the stuff I’ve always wanted to obliterate.

So, my question is, is it possible to go through with these plans in an altruistic manner, like saving someone who is in danger?


RESPONDENT: Another issue, related to this one, is my choice of career. I was considering teaching physics at the HS level, because I understand there is a shortage of science teachers in California. Is this also a part of the instinctual duty to fulfil the needs of society?

RICHARD: Not necessarily, no ... one does need to put food/ water into the belly, and a roof over the head/ clothes on the back (if the weather be inclement), and in this day and age the main way of obtaining the necessary wherewithal is through the covert slavery euphemistically known as ‘earning a living’.

RESPONDENT: There is, for me, something very similar in both positive and negative feelings. What am I trying to say? I think there is a central figure that in one case (positive feelings – like being in love) is grasping and in the other (negative feelings – being angry, repulsed) is pushing away. There is a centre to all this feeling that tries to maintain itself by what – by nurturing itself by grasping for things, or defending itself by pushing things away? Is this the primitive self structure you are talking about?


RESPONDENT: I experience the most primitive feelings towards my children. My teenage daughter goes out at night, and is later than she is supposed to be, and I panic. It is so chemical it is almost comical. I can laugh about it and I do, but the reaction is instantaneous. In my guts, I’m driven to keep both my kids alive.

RICHARD: This is undeniably the basic instinctual passion of nurture: to provide, protect, support, cultivate, nourish ... blind nature’s rough and ready survival package. Now that a thinking and reflective neo-cortex has developed over the instinctual lizard brain the instinctual passions can be deleted. With an unprecedented 6.0 billion chemically-driven malicious and sorrowful peoples (and 6.0 billion chemically-driven antidotally loving and compassionate peoples) populating the planet it is high time that we humans ceased looking to the past and reapplying failed solutions ... and got on with the business of living in deliciously sensible manner.

The twentieth century was the bloodiest century in human history.

RESPONDENT: So, a question for you: How do you distinguish between feeling-caring and caring?

RICHARD: By being here, right now, as this flesh and blood body. A feeling is not a fact; it is an identity’s interpretation of the actual and to be standing back and expressing a feeling – to feel an emotion or be passionate about life – is nowhere near the same as being here now as an actuality. In actually being just here – right now – one is completely involved, utterly concerned; being here now is total inclusion. One demonstrates one’s appreciation of life by partaking fully in existence ... by letting this moment live one (rather than ‘living in the present’) so that one is the doing of what is happening. One dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here now as the universe’s experience of itself.

Initially one is deathly afraid to actually be here now, as it can feel rather rudely raw ... one feels more naked and exposed than taking off one’s clothing in the market place. However, feeling rudely raw about the prospect of being here now is not the same as actually being here now ... feelings are notoriously unreliable for ascertaining a fact. Being here now is to be at the place in infinite space and eternal time where all is pristine. This pristine place is this, the actual world ... and it is already always here. This actual world is original; unmarred, uncorrupted, unspoiled, spotless, fresh and perpetually new. It is alarming to feel this immaculateness – it is frightening in its immediate intimacy – which is why one backs off, initially denying its very existence. What happens though, if one takes the risk to actually be here now – instead of standing back and feeling it out in order to make up one’s mind – is that one discovers that oneself is also pristine.

Then one is actually benevolent (harmless), actually concerned (happy) for all peoples ... no one is special. There is a vast gulf betwixt feeling benevolent (with feelings such as pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and so on) and actually being benevolent (free of malice). Similarly, the concern one feels for others (worry, distress, anxiety, grief, anguish, torment and all the rest) is far removed from the actual interest one has in one’s fellow human being’s welfare (free of sorrow).

RESPONDENT: What do you say to your grandchildren when they are hurt, desolate, crying?

RICHARD: The same as I say to any body and every body – no body is special – which is: all mental-emotional-psychic suffering is an unnecessary and self-inflicted wound. Any mental-emotional-psychic viciousness on the part of another, first and foremost, lies in the heart of the ‘giver’ and inevitably turns in on itself as existential sorrow. Thus, in the final analysis, it is the ‘giver’ who suffers the most intimately. As for the ‘receiver’ of any nastiness, it is entirely up to them what they do with it ... apart from physical brutality, no-one can force their cruelty on another without the other’s acquiescence and compliance.

It is a truly and remarkably free world we live in.

RESPONDENT: Mother nature has figured out that more complex beings are more likely to breed and bring to viability the young. Which, of course, is the only purpose/ meaning of life. If any find that last statement disturbing, prove to me otherwise pls.

RICHARD: It may very well be the only purpose, if that is the right word, of what you call ‘mother nature’ yet there is more to life than bringing to viability the young (for the young in turn similarly bring to viability another generation of young who in turn do likewise and so on and so on) ... much, much more.

Incidentally, the ‘being’ who possessed this flesh and blood body all those years ago found it quite disturbing when he realised, one fine afternoon after the birth of ‘his’ fourth and last child, that to be born, to learn to walk, talk, and so on, to go to school, to get a job/ obtain a career, to get married/be in a relationship, to acquire a home, to have children, to teach them to walk, talk, and so on, to send them to school, to have them get a job/ obtain a career, to ensure they get married/ have a relationship, to have them acquire a home, to encourage them have children, to see them teach their children to walk, talk, and so on – and so on and so on almost ad infinitum – was nothing other than an instinctual treadmill, an inborn/ inherent conveyor belt which carried generation after generation inexorably from birth to death, stretching all the way back from an indeterminate inception and heading towards an open-ended conclusion ... and all for what?

If it were not for that ‘being’ having that realisation then the actual purpose/ meaning of life may quite possibly not be apparent today.



The Third Alternative

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

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

Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-.  All Rights Reserved.

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