Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Real and Reality
RICHARD: For many years I mistakenly assumed that words carried a definitive meaning that was common to all peoples speaking the same language ... for example ‘real’ and ‘truth’. But, as different persons told me things like: ‘That is only your truth’, or: ‘God is real’, I realised that unambiguous words are required. (To a child, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are ‘real’ and ‘true’). Correspondingly I abandoned ‘real’ and ‘true’ in favour of ‘actual’ and ‘fact’, as experience has demonstrated that no one has been able to tell me that their god is actual or that something is only my fact. Therefore this monitor screen is actual (these finger-tips feeling it substantiate this) and it is a fact that these printed letters are forming words (these eyes seeing it validate this). These things are indisputable and verifiable by any body with the requisite sense-organs.
Now, to a person who believes ardently in their god, then for them their god is real ... not actual, mind you, but real. Usually they tell me that their god is more real than we humans are ... that is how real their fervency makes of their belief (it is the same as the child with the Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy example I gave above). So too, is it with regards to this wretched and pernicious ‘self’. The ‘self’, whilst not being actual, is real ... sometimes very, very real. The belief in a real ‘thinker’ (‘I’ as ego) and a real ‘feeler’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – ‘me’ as soul – which is ‘being’ itself) is not just another passing thought. It is emotion-backed feverish imagination at work (calenture). ‘I’ passionately believe in ‘my’ existence ... and will defend ‘myself’ to the death (of ‘my’ body) if it is deemed necessary. All of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival. However, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality. That is how real ‘I’ am ... which is why both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul must die a real death (but not physically into the grave) to find out the actuality.
RESPONDENT: You suggest asking oneself ‘how am I experiencing this moment?’
RICHARD: More specifically ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ (as this moment is the only moment one is ever alive).
RESPONDENT: When I ask myself this, firstly there is the mental question; ‘how am I experiencing this moment?’ Then there is the attempt to answer it. The results are as follows: Experiencing the sensory world around me to some extent (there does seem to be levels of experiencing – I find I can ‘let in’ more if I sort of relax, get more sound more vision more feeling), experiencing the inner world to some extent (the light buzzy sensation in the body, perhaps a feeling in there; and again I can ‘go into it’) and then thinking about it or other things (which I can also do endlessly). Is one of these things more genuine than another?
RICHARD: Nothing in the real-world is genuine (as in actually authentic, true, pure, bona fide, veritable, valid, non-counterfeit, non-fake, original, unadulterated, unalloyed, the real McCoy, and so on).
RESPONDENT: I have no idea. It all seems to give me pleasure or pain depending on what’s going on. I’d say that thinking, imagining and feeling give me less pleasure than anything sensory, but then some thoughts I find ‘interesting’ (which is pleasurable) and some feelings I find ‘nice’ (like when I’m really happy). It’s all very confusing. What needs to go?
RICHARD: Eventually ... everything.
RESPONDENT: What needs to stay?
RICHARD: Ultimately ... nothing.
RESPONDENT: If the whole lot is to go, then how is it done?
RICHARD: By asking oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever alive) until it becomes a non-verbal attitude towards life, a wordless approach to being alive, so that the slightest deviation from the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition – a way epitomised by a felicitous and innocuous naïve sensuousness – is not only automatically noticed almost immediately but the instance whereby the deviation occurred is readily ascertained such as to enable the resumption of one’s habituated blithesome and benign way again ... sooner rather than later.
RESPONDENT: If it is asking yourself the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment?’ how does one let go of the answers, or the wrong answers?
RICHARD: The whole point of asking oneself, each moment again until it becomes a non-verbal attitude or a wordless approach to life, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever alive) is to experientially ascertain just exactly what way or manner it is in which one is personally participating in the events which are occurring at this particular moment that one is alive.
Thus the answers you would obtain are experiential answers ... and are dependent on, on each occasion again, just exactly what the way or manner it is that you are personally participating in the occurrences which are currently happening.
RESPONDENT: Why doesn’t the universe want to experience my pain, my thoughts, my boredom, my pleasure, etc?
RICHARD: Or, more to the point, why do you want to?
RESPONDENT: Or does it?
RESPONDENT: The universe itself does not distinguish between the physical and the metaphysical.
RICHARD: As there is no ‘the metaphysical’ in actuality this is hardly surprising.
RESPONDENT: The universe contains physical things, and some of these physical things (eg. human bodies) give rise to metaphysical entities (eg. minds, souls, ‘selves’).
RICHARD: There is nothing metaphysical about minds ... a mind is a human brain in action in a human skull.
As for ‘souls’ and ‘selves’: each and every human being is genetically endowed, at conception, with instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) for rough and ready survival reasons ... which passions automatically form themselves, in a process somewhat analogous to an eddy or a vortex forming itself *as* swirling water or air, into an amorphous feeling being, an inchoate intuitive presence, popularly known as a ‘self’ or a ‘soul’ (or ‘spirit’) in the human animal, within the flesh and blood body.
More than a few human beings, taking themselves to truly be this eddying ‘being’, this vortical ‘presence’, rather than the flesh and blood body they actually are, imaginatively/ intuitively manifest/ realise all manner of destinies for that affective phantasm (the eddy or vortex, as it were, which is the instinctual passions in motion) in all manner of metaphysical dimensions inhabited by all manner of affective deities ... a deeply-felt divine and/or sacred being/ presence of some description which/ who is the timeless and spaceless and formless source or origin of the universe and/or universes.
Now that intelligence, which is the ability to think, reflect, compare, evaluate and implement considered action for beneficial reasons, has developed in the human animal those blind survival passions are no longer necessary – in fact they have become a hindrance in today’s world – and it is only by virtue of this intelligence that blind nature’s default software package can be safely deleted (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation).
No other animal can do this.
RESPONDENT: Hence, the universe generates metaphysical beings who are capable of creating metaphysical simulations of themselves and the universe.
RICHARD: It is the amorphous feeling being, the inchoate intuitive presence, who generates metaphysical beings/ metaphysical simulations and not the universe per se ... ‘I’ as ego is born out of ‘me’ as soul (aka ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) or, to put that another way, ‘the feeler’ gives rise to ‘the thinker’ and, as ‘being’ itself has a vested interest in ‘self’-preservation, it readily sacrifices ‘the thinker’ upon the altar of survival-at-all-costs and transmogrifies into being the loving and compassionate ‘Being’ who (supposedly) is, or who (supposedly) creates/ created, the universe for some enigmatic purpose that only such a ‘Presence’ can know.
RESPONDENT: This is what the actual universe does. Is the universe doing something wrong?
RESPONDENT: Implicit in actualism is the value judgement that the physical is superior to the metaphysical.
RICHARD: Ha ... implicit in actualism (the direct experience that matter is not merely passive) is that there is only the physical in actuality and, as an appraisal requires comparison, no such value judgement as you speak of can take place in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: ‘You’ (the metaphysical entity) decide this.
RICHARD: If I may point out? In the direct experience that matter is not merely passive there is no ‘you’ (no ‘metaphysical entity’ whatsoever) ... there is only this actual world (aka this actual universe).
RESPONDENT: And having decided this, the totality of the universe is then divided up into the ‘actual’ and the ‘real’.
RICHARD: I would hazard a guess that it is ‘you’ (the ‘metaphysical entity’ who decides) who has decided that ‘the ‘actual’’ and ‘the ‘real’’ together make up a whole ... otherwise known as ‘the totality of the universe’.
RESPONDENT: The ‘real’ is minimised to the point where only the ‘actual’ remains.
RICHARD: In the actualism process, as detailed on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) – are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time.
Hence, with the actualism method, when one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) then with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception) ... and apperception reveals that there is only this actual world/ universe.
In short: there is no ‘the ‘real’’ in actuality to minimise (let alone to the point that only ‘the ‘actual’’ remains).
RESPONDENT: So this (actually non-existent) division between the physical and the metaphysical becomes a concept in the mind of ‘you’, a metaphysical entity.
RICHARD: As there is no ‘the metaphysical’ in actuality, as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), there is no division to be either existent or non-existent ... the entire argument being presented (above) is but a conceptual contention created in the feeling-fed mind of ‘you’ – ‘a metaphysical entity’ – for reasons as yet unstated but bearing at least some of the hall-marks of the ‘Tried and True’ (as in when the division is seen to be false there is only the totality/ whole) as made popular by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti.
RESPONDENT: The division only exists in the minds of metaphysical entities. The universe knows nothing of such divisions.
RICHARD: Possible translation: that which is the totality (the whole) knows nothing of such divisions.
RESPONDENT: From your place in the ‘real’, ‘you’ decide that there should be no metaphysical entity in the body ...
RICHARD: It could also be said that, from your place in the real-world, ‘you’ – ‘a metaphysical entity’ – decide there should be no division between the physical and the metaphysical.
RESPONDENT: ... and so you aim to strip away the naturally-occurring metaphysicality because you think it is ‘better’ that way.
RICHARD: May I ask? Are you of the school of thought which maintains that, just because something is natural, it is somehow better than that which is unnatural?
I only ask because it is natural, for example, to injure, maim, or kill one’s fellow human being in a fit of anger and I am somewhat nonplussed as to how that is better than, say, there not being any anger in the first place (nor any ‘self’ which is the anger in motion of course) such as to occasion that course of action.
RESPONDENT: The question is why?
RESPONDENT: What do you mean by ‘world’, the world of people interactions – ‘society’ or something else?
RICHARD: The physical world ... the world of this body and that body and every body; the world of the mountains and the streams; the world of the trees and the flowers; the world of the clouds in the sky by day and the stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum.
RESPONDENT: Here is the world I live in: it has no streams, no trees, no flowers, no stars, yet it has plenty of people (6000 persons per square km as an average), millions of cars and concrete buildings; as a matter of fact it’s a concrete world, THE concrete world ... and it is a very polluted one. I wonder if this, the world I experience on a daily basis, is part of the actual world you talk so much about.
RICHARD: No, it is not ... although each and every one of the 6,000 flesh and blood bodies, each and every one of the millions of cars, each and every one of the concrete buildings, and so on, are of course.
RESPONDENT: It’s a grey world, but I wonder if it’s really grey because of ‘my’ worldview or this is its true colour.
RESPONDENT: Obviously I’m having a little trouble leaving behind some of my spiritual baggage. I wonder if perhaps I have misinterpreted what you said to me in an earlier email: [Richard]: ‘The entire psychic world is real – at times very real – but none of it is actual’. Initially I interpreted this as ‘real’ meaning something akin to the spiritual concept of maya – seemingly real but ultimately not so. Now I am re-reading the definition you give of ‘actual’ and it occurs to me that perhaps you mean only the actual world is important – I’m guessing that’s something made clear during PCE’s and in Actual Freedom itself? – and that the world of the ‘real’ is more unimportant than illusory. Would this be an accurate summary?
RICHARD: The ‘world of the real’ is the ‘inner world’, born of the affective faculty, and superimposed as a veneer over this actual world ... creating what is known as the ‘real-world’ (the ‘outer world’). There is no ‘inner world’ or ‘outer world’ in actuality: there is only the world of this body and that body and every body; the world of the mountains and the streams; the world of the trees and the flowers; the world of the clouds in the sky by day and the stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum.
RESPONDENT: To use the word ‘perfect’ in the sense of ‘complete-in-itself’ then absolutely everything in the universe is perfect, with or without emotions.
RICHARD: As no affective identity has any existence whatsoever in actuality it makes no sense to include same in [quote] ‘everything’ [endquote].
RESPONDENT: In this sense, murders, wars, malice and sorrow are all perfect manifestations of the universe, as is the desire to be rid of these things.
RICHARD: As neither malice nor sorrow have any existence whatsoever in actuality (only their effects, such as the murders and wars you mention, do) – nor any desire at all for that matter – it makes no sense to say they are manifestations (let alone perfect ones) of the universe.
RESPONDENT: Emotions exist, do they not?
RICHARD: Neither emotions nor passions have any existence in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: Why not include emotions when saying ‘everything’?
RICHARD: Because emotions have no existence whatsoever in actuality (only their physical effects do).
RESPONDENT: Where and how do emotions and identities exist, if not within the universe?
RICHARD: They exist affectively, psychically, in the real-world (the world of the affections, the psyche).
RESPONDENT: The universe is not split into two realms of ‘actuality’ and ‘reality’ is it?
RESPONDENT: Richard, it would be nice to better understand a few things that have perplexed me. 1) How is it possible for a ‘normal’ human life to be worthwhile, valuable, and at least somewhat happy (as you have told me in the past) – yet you often call life in the ‘real’ world ‘grim and glum’ and ‘miserable?’
RICHARD: What I wrote to you was this (twice):
I could have as easily said that to rely upon transient experience to provide an enduring happiness, for example, is to invite disappointment ... plus real-world happiness is an affective happiness anyway (I have not felt happy for many, many years).
Is life in the real-world worthwhile, valuable, happy (and so on)? The real-world is an illusion, a veneer pasted over this actual world, as a reality, by the animal ‘self’ within ... what worth, what value, what happiness (and so on) inheres in an illusion? The same applies to grimness and glumness and misery (and so on) ... it is all illusory.
Do you still want to ask your question?
RESPONDENT: You also state in your Journal that [quote] ‘It is all so pathetic, actually, to be caught up in the socialised world of ‘human’ one-upmanship. It is an abysmal state of affairs to be ‘me’, living in the real world. Especially when this, the actual world, is right here under one’s nose, as it were, just waiting to be discovered’. (Article 12). Again, how is it that life can be relatively happy, and an abysmal state of affairs all at the same time?
RICHARD: As people have been finding relative happiness in abysmal states of affairs since time immemorial it is a rather odd question to ask of me how they manage to do it ... all I am saying, in the one-upmanship example provided, is that it is a pathetic (as in miserably inadequate, feeble, or useless) happiness to be happy at another’s expense.
Especially so when this, the actual world, is just here right now ... where uncaused happiness (and harmlessness) lies.
RESPONDENT: Do you mean it is ‘abysmal’ only in comparison with innocence?
RICHARD: No, not ‘only in comparison’ ... life in the real-world is quite capable of being abysmal in its own right (as evidenced by real-world sayings such as ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’ for example).
RESPONDENT: You also call ‘my’ life ‘petty’.
RICHARD: Yes ... for example:
RESPONDENT: What, precisely, do you mean by that?
RICHARD: Here are three dictionary definitions:
Here is the relevant part of the quote with the first dictionary meaning in lieu of the word:
Is it not obvious that such an altruistic offering (a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present, a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest, a kind-hearted benefaction for this body and that body and every body) as the voluntary ‘self’-sacrifice by ‘I’/‘me’ indubitably is, makes a life of narrow interests, sympathies, or outlook, a life marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views, a life marked by meanness or lack of generosity, a life that dwells on the trivial and ignores what is important, all worth while?
RESPONDENT: 2) How can being ‘me’ in the real world be automatically an abysmal state of affairs ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? If you do not consider all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides and so on to be an abysmal state of affairs then we may as well stop this discussion right here.
RESPONDENT: ... especially since you have stated that someone in virtual freedom is virtually perfect – even though they are still a self – are they still in an ‘abysmal state of affairs’?
RICHARD: Yes ... else why end it? Although a virtual freedom is remarkably superior to how one used to live, there is no way it can compare as favourably with being actually free of the human condition.
Nothing can ... it is beyond compare, as it were.
RESPONDENT: If so then what did you mean by calling life in the ‘real world’ an abysmal state of affairs?
RICHARD: Fundamentally it is because of the instinctual passions, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, still being in situ as a ‘presence’, a ‘being’ (an animal ‘self’) ... although a life of virtual freedom, being epitomised by an absence of malice and sorrow (and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion), is a life of virtual peace and harmony there is no guarantee that recidivism cannot occur.
Even so, a virtual freedom is way ahead of normal human expectations, and is not to be sneezed at.
RESPONDENT: 3) What do you mean when you say that to not have experienced ‘dying’ is such a waste of human life?
RICHARD: I presume you are referring to this:
To live a life which, at root, is run by/ruled by fear is to stay in the survival mode and thus miss out on living fully – living the meaning of life each moment again – in the already always existing peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT: You also claim that everyone has had a PCE.
RICHARD: Obviously I have not conducted a door-to-door survey of all 6.0 billion human beings ... one of the many things I did, however, in the years before I went public was to ascertain whether people from all walks of life could recall having had a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – as distinct from an altered state of consciousness (ASC) – for obvious reasons. Sometimes it took a quite a while for them to remember – once it took over three hours of intensive description/discussion – as being sans any affective content whatsoever the PCE cannot be stored in the affective memory banks (which is where the ASC is primarily located) ... plus they are much more common in childhood and require further reach.
As everybody I spoke to at length – everybody – could recall at least one PCE, and usually more, it would be a very strange situation indeed that the PCE be not common to all people but only to those whom I randomly engaged with over the years.
RESPONDENT: At what point is a person’s life no longer a ‘waste’ according to you?
RICHARD: Is that not obvious? I will arrange your two queries sequentially:
I am retired and on a pension – and instead of pottering around in the garden I am currently pottering around the internet – thus I have plenty of time at my disposal and it does not really matter all that much to me if I spend that time answering queries which would be patently obvious to my co-respondents if they had thought them through themselves before tapping them out on the keyboard and clicking ‘send’.
The question is: does it matter to you that you would have me do your thinking for you?
RESPONDENT: Also, how can a life lived in the real world be a ‘waste’ and also worthwhile (as you have told me it can be)?
RICHARD: As I have the distinct impression you are making a problem out of nothing I have just now asked my companion if what she was doing was worthwhile (she is heating a vacuum flask preparatory to filling it with a hot drink as she is going out for the day) and she said yes ... and, anticipating my follow-up query, she said even if she was not happy it would still be worthwhile but that it would be a waste of a life to be unhappy whilst doing it.
Does this answer your query?
RESPONDENT: You have also stated that the actualist ‘meaning of life’ is the only one worth living – how does that square with one’s ability to find their life ‘meaningful’ in the ‘real’ world?
RICHARD: I wonder if you have not become bemired in words as the ‘meaning of life’ – or the ‘secret to life’ or the ‘riddle of existence’ or the ‘purpose of the universe’ or whatever the goal of one’s quest may be called – is not in the same category as the meaningfulness of sustaining oneself (and one’s family if there is one), for example, or any of the other meaningful experiences in everyday life ... such as providing shelter (building, buying or renting a home), being married (aka being in a relationship), raising a family (preparing children for adult life), having a career (job satisfaction), achieving something (successfully pursuing a hobby), and so on.
To know the ‘meaning of life’ is to be the living of it: as this flesh and blood body only I am this material universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.
And this is truly wonderful.
RESPONDENT: 6) Also, (I don’t have the quote on hand, but I can find it if need be) that you think that if someone doesn’t press the delete button on the ‘self’ then they are a ‘fool’.
RICHARD: Here is the quote in question:
And here is another version:
RESPONDENT: Please explain.
RICHARD: Sure ... here is the dictionary definition of a fool:
Here is the relevant part of the first quote with the meaning in lieu of the word:
Here is the relevant part of the second quote with the meaning in lieu of the word:
I may be a lot of things but I am not silly.
RESPONDENT: Given the extraordinary pressure on one to remain part of the ‘real’ world and the fact you have stated that it takes ‘nerves of steel’ to pursue an actual freedom – and the fact that you say that it is ‘not for the weak of knee’ etc, then how is it that one is a ‘fool’ for not pressing the delete button?
RICHARD: Given that 160,000,000 people were killed in wars alone, in the last 100 years, by their fellow human beings – and an estimated 40,000,000 people suicided in the same 100 years – then how is it that to eschew peace-on-earth, because of ‘the extraordinary pressure’ from other peoples to remain part of their world, is not to be a person who behaves or thinks imprudently or unwisely, a silly person?
RESPONDENT: 7) Also, I just read recently in a conversation with Konrad where you say that being run by emotion is imbecility in action and being run by the human condition is absurdity in motion.
RICHARD: Here is the passage you are referring to:
RESPONDENT: I understand that you regard the human condition as ‘reprehensible’ and ‘silly’. It’s just difficult for me to get a grasp on what you mean here though. Apparently 6.0 billion people are ‘imbeciles’ and ‘absurdity in motion’? Ain’t life grand?
RICHARD: Just for starters I did not say that 6.0 billion peoples are ‘imbeciles’ at all – that is what you make of it – as I clearly said that to be run by emotions (either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions) is imbecility in action. Here is a dictionary definition:
In other words: to be run by emotions (either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions) is stupidity, foolishness, in action ... are you claiming that it is not? As for ‘absurdity in motion’ ... here is a dictionary definition:
If being run by passion (being run by the very disease of the human condition itself) is not being out of harmony with reason or propriety (as in incongruous, inappropriate, unreasonable, ridiculous, silly) or is not being folly in motion, I would like to know what is as it is passion which fuels war and murder and rape and torture and domestic violence and child abuse and so on.
Lastly, I often use the phrase ‘ain’t life grand!’ (great, pre-eminent, principal; from Latin ‘grandis’: full-grown, abundant) but only where something very significant about life’s beneficence has been demonstrated ... for example:
I was exclaiming that life is grand in that it provided you with your own experience to be guided by rather than just my words ... here is another occasion:
Here I was not only praising life, inasmuch as there is nothing paradoxical here in this actual world, but also that no human being sets the criteria for peace-on-earth ... therefore it is faultless.
I have never used the phrase ‘ain’t life grand?’ in the cynical way you make out that I do.
RESPONDENT: I’m just wondering if there is something crucial I’m not getting.
RICHARD: It may be of assistance to remind you of something I have written to you before:
What you have come up against in this post – as in previous posts you have engaged me in on this relative/ultimate issue – is the limits of armchair philosophising.
RESPONDENT: I find myself on the fence between pursuing an actual freedom – the talk of perfection and peace-on-earth are quite attractive to me. Yet, it’s hard to resist the notion that there is a dark underbelly to actualism ...
RICHARD: Hmm ... as the actualism you have depicted is a ‘straw man’ actualism it is no wonder there is a ‘dark underbelly’ to it (it is probably your own underbelly you are contemplating).
RESPONDENT: ... or at least a grave under-ranking of life in the real world. Yes, war, suicide, depression, etc ARE all abysmal – yet they don’t represent the whole of human life in the ‘real’ world as you sometimes seem to be saying.
RICHARD: Have you noticed by now that there is a vast difference between what I ‘seem to be saying’ and what I am actually saying?
RESPONDENT: Have you nothing good to say about life in the ‘real’ world?
RICHARD: Yes, it is good that it is only an illusion (otherwise this universe would indeed be a sick joke).
RESPONDENT: Is life in the ‘real’ world only a ‘sick joke’ to you?
RICHARD: No ... a sick illusion would be a better description.
RESPONDENT: I find myself in a situation where I am raising two children and I am married.
RICHARD: So? I found myself in a situation where I was married and raising four children.
RESPONDENT: I am doing my best to raise the kids – but how could I possibly be pleased with raising them only to be in ‘abysmal’ situation – only to live in a ‘grim and glum’ reality where the best they can do is live on the better side of misery?
RICHARD: Indeed ... being married and raising four children was one of the many incentives for the ‘me’ who was to get off ‘his’ backside and do something about the whole sorry mess.
And now, as a direct result of that altruistic action, the possibility exists for those five fellow human beings to also live fully (as is anybody else) if they so choose.
RESPONDENT: And your response is ‘Ain’t life grand?’
RICHARD: No, that is not my response at all (as explained further above).
RESPONDENT: I don’t get it.
RICHARD: Do you get it now?
RESPONDENT: Why is it that my life was much better before practicing actualism?
RICHARD: Maybe because the ‘actualism’ you are practicing is not the actualism on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site?
RESPONDENT: And that actualism has almost eliminated my satisfaction with life rather than increasing it?
RICHARD: If your ‘satisfaction with life’ is of the ‘positive psychology’ variety already briefly discussed (further above) then it strikes me that it is a ‘satisfaction with life’ which is best eliminated anyway ... then the genuine article has a better chance of becoming apparent.
RESPONDENT: I have had some excellent experiences, yet at the same time there is increasing despair for those in the ‘real’ world and confusion as far as which direction to go.
RICHARD: And how will ‘despair for those in the ‘real’ world’ (which must include self-despair) assist you in ending the confusion? Here is how I have described the actualism practice:
It is so much easier, cleaner, purer, and more accurate, to analyse, psychologise, philosophise, and so on, when one is happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: It’s hard to experience the grandiosity of life you speak of when 6.0 billion peoples lives are so devalued at the same time ...
RICHARD: When I call a spade a spade in what way is the spade being devalued?
RESPONDENT: ... or at least that’s my perception.
RICHARD: Here is a hint: seeing a fact does not devalue anything which is actually of value ... it is the lie of an overvaluation which is being exposed.
RESPONDENT: Here I go – back to being an imbecile – miserable, gross, perverse, petty, abysmal, and absurdity in action. Gee thanks, Richard.
RICHARD: There is always a way out:
You would not be the first person, or the last for that matter, to choose for life in the real-world after a brief dalliance with what real-world peoples call insanity ... I am officially certified as having a chronic and incurable psychotic mental disorder as per the DSM–IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders) which is the diagnostic criteria used by all psychiatrists and psychologists around the world for diagnosing mental disorders. My condition is well-described by the following four symptoms:
Depersonalisation is an apt description of being bereft of any identity whatsoever ... there is no one at all to answer back when I ask that time-honoured question: ‘Who am I?’ ... not even a silence that ‘speaks louder than words’. Derealisation is an appropriate term, for the grim and glum ‘normal’ and mundane reality, of the everyday real world as experienced by 6.0 billion people, has vanished forever ... along with the loving and compassionate ‘abnormal’ and heavenly Greater Reality of the metaphysical Mystical World as experienced by .000001 of the population. Alexithymia is the term used to describe the condition of a total absence of feelings – usually exhibited most clearly in lobotomised patients – which has been my on-going condition for many, many years now. It has also come to mean being cut off from one’s feelings – as in dissociation – yet the psychiatrists ascertained that I was not dissociating. Anhedonia literally means unable to feel pleasure – affectively feeling pleasure – as in the feeling of beauty when viewing a sunrise or listening to music and so on.
Plus I have the most classic indication of insanity ... that is: everyone else is mad but me.
RESPONDENT: P.S. I realize the tone of this post is somewhat cynical, but I also realize that I must phrase them in a way in which they affect me ...
RICHARD: This is what a dictionary has to say about being thus affected:
RESPONDENT: ... it would be nice to get answers to these questions that put these concerns to rest. Thanks.
RICHARD: There is nothing better than a goodly dose of sincerity (and thus naïveté) to flush the cynicism out of one’s system.
RESPONDENT: Recently you suggested to No. 28 that your writing style is ‘expressive’. Could this fact have anything to do with my current perplexity?
RICHARD: Nope ... ‘perplexity’ was an issue for you long before you came to this mailing list (going by what you said in your e-mails to me about Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti). Here is a clue for you (as re-quoted further above):
You are but tilting at windmills as there are no quandaries in actualism to necessitate such weaselling as you are accustomed to coming across ... being actual it is, of course, the genuine article. Yet hundreds of people have been poking away at it, since coming onto the internet, trying to find the flaws they are convinced must be there – which is one of the reasons why all correspondence is archived – and this only goes to show how badly people have been sucked in for millennia by the many and varied snake-oil salesmen.
RESPONDENT: The way I interpret it, when the observing aspect of the psyche is not treated as different from the observed contents (fear, anger, etc) all conflict ends. The observer IS the content, IS programming.
RICHARD: Okay ... in the context under discussion the ‘observed contents’ of the psyche are the outside (pointed out by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti in the instance provided as being ‘the trees’, ‘the yellowing trees’, ‘the tamarind’, ‘the bougainvillea’, ‘the hills’, ‘the shape of the hills’, ‘the quality of their colour’, ‘all the colours’, ‘the shape of the land’, ‘the rocks’ and ‘the shadow’) and when the ‘observing aspect of the psyche’ is not treated as different from these observed contents then ‘all conflict ends’ (aka the outside is the inside) ... ‘the observer IS the content’ (aka the observer is the observed). This is nothing more than a different way of putting what I have been maintaining all along: ‘the inner’ creates its own reality, which it pastes as a veneer over the actual world, and then calls that reality ‘the outer’ ... then the ‘inner’, feeling isolated from ‘the outer’, seeks unity with its own creation (little realising it is its own creation of course) and the rare few who achieve this sleight of hand experience a state of unitive awareness (otherwise known as union or oneness or wholeness). Yet all the while this actual world goes unnoticed ... there is no inner or outer in actuality.
RESPONDENT: If the inner creates its own reality, that is delusion.
RICHARD: No ... that is illusion (such as is experienced by perhaps 6.0 billion people): the delusion is when the inner becomes one with its own reality (such as is experienced by perhaps 1.2 thousand people).
RESPONDENT: And conflict will not end with that because a reality invented by the mind of man is at odds with truth, with what is.
RICHARD: No, the reality invented by the feeling-fed mind of human beings *is* the truth, the what is ... what it is at odds with is the fact, the actual.
RESPONDENT: The observer is the observed means there is no subject split from object.
RICHARD: Which means that the outside is the inside.
RESPONDENT: There is an attention that is not identified, not localized, not structured in thought.
RESPONDENT: Therefore that attention has unlimited space.
RICHARD: If you are saying that the physical space, of the infinitude this material universe actually is, is boundless then I am in full agreement ... however it would seem from what follows that you are not and are describing a metaphysical space instead.
RESPONDENT: And it has its own movement.
RICHARD: Aye ... ‘tis a restless place that metaphysical space (whereas this actual infinitude is utter stillness).
RESPONDENT: You don’t have to be K to realize this is so.
RESPONDENT: You yourself give a particular meaning to the word ‘affective’.
RICHARD: No ... I use the dictionary meaning, actually. The only words I give a particular meaning to are ‘actual’ and ‘real’ (because people have made the word ‘real’ mean pretty well anything metaphysical at all) and the words ‘fact’ and ‘true’ (because people have made the word ‘true’ mean pretty well anything at all). When people stop using ‘real’ and ‘true’ to mean metaphysical things I will go back to using them.
RESPONDENT: If there is no ‘me’ inside this body, why insist that ‘one’ must die to find out the actuality?
RICHARD: It is because ‘I’ appear to be very, very real ... so real as to be true. For many years I mistakenly assumed that words carried a definitive meaning that was common to all peoples speaking the same language ... for example ‘real’ and ‘truth’. But, as different person’s told me things like: ‘That is only your truth’, or: ‘God is real’, I realised that unambiguous words are required (to a child, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are ‘real’ and ‘true’). Correspondingly I abandoned ‘real’ and ‘true’ in favour of ‘actual’ and ‘fact’, as experience has demonstrated that no one has been able to tell me that their god is actual or that something is only my fact. Therefore this monitor screen is actual (these finger-tips feeling it substantiate this) and it is a fact that these printed letters are forming words (these eyes seeing it validate this). These things are indisputable and verifiable by any body with the requisite sense-organs.
Now, to a person who believes ardently in their god, then for them their god is real ... not actual, mind you, but real. Usually they tell me that their god is more real than we humans are ... that is how real their fervency makes of their belief (it is the same as the child with the Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy example I gave above). So too, is it with regards to this wretched and pernicious ‘self’. The ‘self’, whilst not being actual, is real ... sometimes very, very real. The belief in a real ‘thinker’ and ‘feeler’ is not just another passing thought. It is emotion-backed imagination at work. ‘I’ passionately believe in ‘my’ existence ... and will defend ‘myself’ to the death if it is deemed necessary. All of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival. However, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality.
RESPONDENT: Some questions that arose which I am posing to actualists (while I am still working on the previous threads/self-observation/actualism): 1. Is a feeling real or actual? 2. Is a thought real or actual? 3. Is apperception, PCE etc. real or actual? 4. Do the existence of instinctual self/psychological self follow from LeDoux studies (amygdala, neo-cortex and their functions do, but ...)? Are they actual or real? 5. Related question: LeDoux seems to say that his research is particularly for fear; does it follow for other feelings too?
RICHARD: The answer to most of your queries are ascertained experientially: in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), apperceptive awareness reveals that there is neither self, of any nature whatsoever including an instinctual self, nor any feelings – else it is not a PCE – and thought operates unimpeded as required by the circumstances. If there is a self (Supreme Self, True Self, Higher Self and so on) or any feelings (Love, Compassion, Rapture, Bliss and so on) it is not a PCE but an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and in the ASC such a self and such feelings are said to be, in the mystical literature of both East and West, as being more real than anything else ... which was what my own experience back in the early ‘eighties had already informed me.
The queries regarding Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s findings relate to scientific investigations carried out under laboratory conditions and I would hazard a guess that someone, somewhere, has scientifically investigated feelings other than the feeling of fear which he focussed his research upon ... it is just that I have not personally come across such studies. And it may very well come to pass that the existence of the instinctual self/psychological self will indeed follow from Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s studies – and other people’s studies – but it is pertinent to realise that no scientist has been able to locate the self by whatever name despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
Incidentally, there is an informative article, starting on page 46, of last week’s issue of the ‘Time’ magazine (June 10 2002/No. 22) which includes a diagram of the relevant brain circuitry which may help you to work out for yourself from what is implied therein what you are wanting to know (I cannot reproduce it here because of copyright reasons).
However I would like to point out that I never came across these scientific studies until a few years ago – I sussed out the things I know regarding self and feelings experientially – and the only reason that any reference is made to them on The Actual Freedom Web Page is so that other people do not have to take my word for it that the feelings arise before thought in the reactionary process (albeit a split-second first). And although it is pleasing to have some of one’s own discoveries verified independently by scientists using the scientific method an actual freedom is basically a do-it-yourself freedom wherein these matters are ascertained experientially.
RICHARD: Thus, the ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’ is an illusion. The ‘Reality’ of the ‘Mystical World’ is a delusion. There is an actual world that lies under one’s very nose ... I interact with the same people, things and events that you do, yet it is as if I am in another dimension altogether.
RESPONDENT: In the illusory ‘real’ world, the spiritual dimension is conceived and hence mystical.
RESPONDENT: But in seeing the actual, the spiritual dimension is not other than the world at hand.
RICHARD: But in seeing the actual, the loving and compassionate spiritual dimension is seen to be a delusion born out of the illusion of the grim and glum reality of the real world ... which is the ‘world at hand’ to five point eight billion people. The real world is a veneer automatically pasted over the top of the actual simply by ‘my’ presence. The extinction of ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety – not just ‘I’ as ego – is the end of both the illusory real word and the mystical spiritual dimension.
RESPONDENT: There is only one reality.
RICHARD: I beg to differ ... there are two realities. To wit: the ‘everyday reality’ that 5.8 billion people live in and the ‘Greater Reality’ that .000001 of the population live in. The first is an illusion and the second a delusion. There is only one actuality though. But getting back to the subject at hand: this ‘intelligence’ that you say ‘contacts the brain’ does sound to me like something disembodied floating around in the ether. If it is not ‘that which is sacred, holy’ then what is it?
RESPONDENT: So there is no one to become one with anything. Expose what is not actual and what is left?
RICHARD: What is left is this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. Which is where I am this very material universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being. If there is no one to become one with anything ... then oneness disappears. When oneness disappears ... so too does love. Because oneness is love in action.
RICHARD: I can heartily recommend committing both psychological and psychic suicide.
RESPONDENT: I ask you for a bottle of the stuff that would do the trick, and you only send me a down-load of more words, e.g., ‘apperception’, ‘PCE’, and a book of actualities for $29.95. Is there something you can say that Krishnamurti didn’t say that can relieve one of the human condition?
RICHARD: As about ninety-nine per cent of what I write was never said by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, I rather fail to grasp the point you are making. To become enlightened is to find a solution within the Human Condition, and like all solutions found there, it does not work. The Masters and Messiahs, the Saints and the Sages, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Gurus and the God-men have had thousands of years to demonstrate the efficacy of their ‘Message’, their ‘Teachings’. There is still as much suffering now as there was then. The ‘Tried and True’ is the ‘Tried and Failed’. Unless this fact is thoroughly grasped, anything I write will be read in the same context as spiritual enlightenment and will be seen as merely more of the same old stuff.
It is not. The ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’ is an illusion. The ‘Reality’ of the ‘Mystical World’ is a delusion. There is an actual world that lies under one’s very nose ... I interact with the same people, things and events that you do, yet it is as if I am in another dimension altogether. There is no good or evil here where I live. I live in a veritable paradise ... this very earth I live on is so vastly superior to any fabled Arcadian Utopia that it would be impossible to believe if I was not living it twenty four hours a day ... and for the last five years. It is so perfectly pure and clear here that there is no need for Love or Compassion or Bliss or Euphoria or Ecstasy or Truth or Goodness or Beauty or Oneness or Unity or Wholeness or ... or any of those baubles. They all pale into pathetic insignificance ... and I lived them for eleven years.
RESPONDENT: You are well versed in various philosophies and I am sending this message to you to help me understand if there is anything wrong with my reasoning, i.e., things cannot be recurrently illusionary and Brahma must exist – otherwise the whole idea of Maya is meaningless. If you find time – and inclination – to respond to this message, I will really appreciate your help.
RICHARD: I have no intention of becoming embroiled in an unresolvable metaphysical dispute ... there is an explicit divide between Buddhism and Hinduism that is unbridgeable. As you would be well aware, I find both systems to be predicated upon incorrect assumptions and to argue points of difference in the contingent chain of thought that follows is but a fruitless endeavour. I would, however, be interested in exploring why you say that ‘Brahma must exist’ in order to support the ‘whole idea of Maya’ (the word ‘Maya’ more properly translates as ‘apparent’, in its ‘seemingly so’ meaning, than ‘illusion’). I have no problem with the ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’, that 6.0 billion peoples are experiencing, as being only ‘seemingly so’ without having to posit a timeless and spaceless and formless absolute that ‘must exist’ in order to explain it away.
RESPONDENT: Same as what I wrote earlier – if the world is Maya, what is it Maya in relation to?
RICHARD: Using the word ‘Maya’ in its ‘seemingly so’ meaning, I say I have no problem with the ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’, that 6.0 billion peoples are experiencing, as being only ‘seemingly so’ because there is the impeccable actuality of the actual world (that the ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’ is pasted as a veneer over) for practical comparison with. There is no need to posit a timeless and spaceless and formless absolute that ‘must exist’ in order to explain the ‘seemingly so’ ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’ away.
This place in infinite physical space (here as an actuality) and this moment in eternal physical time (now as an actuality) where all matter is (form as an actuality) is the infinitude (eternity and infinity as an actuality) that virtually everyone seeks in some metaphysical timeless and spaceless and formless void.
There is no relationship whatsoever betwixt ‘reality’ and actuality ... one steps out of the ‘real world’ into this actual world, leaving ‘myself’ (in ‘my’ totality) behind in the grim and glum ‘reality’ where ‘I’ belong.
RESPONDENT: Dreaming pre-supposes being awake.
RICHARD: Aye ... but to ‘awake’ from the ‘dream’ is but to be lucidly dreaming ... the ‘dreamer’ must become extinct.
RESPONDENT: If there is only ‘dream’, what makes one decide that this is a dream?
RICHARD: PCE’s ... which everyone I have spoken to at length have had at some stage in their lives. An identity, seeking to escape the trap of ‘real world’, can sometimes spontaneously go into abeyance and the apperceptive awareness, of the infinitude that this very material universe is, ensues and is epitomised as immaculate perfection that has always been here, is always here and will always be here. Thus nothing is ‘going wrong’, has ever been ‘going wrong’ and will never be ‘going wrong’. This relief from the vicissitudes of life in the grim and glum ‘reality’ of the ‘real world’ is so intense that a warm rush of gratitude surges forth from the heart where ‘me’ as soul has been passively waiting ... and ‘I’ as ego is nowhere to be found. One’s feeling-sense of identity shifts from the head to the heart and the clean, clear and pure perfection (an actual perfection) of the PCE devolves into the Glamorous and Glorious and Majestic Perfection (a mystical perfection) of an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) called ‘Moksha’ or ‘Nirvana’ or ‘Samadhi’ or ‘Satori’ and so on in the East – popularised in the West as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ – and one is swept up into the Glamour, Glory and Glitz of the ‘Deathless State’. The material infinitude of this physical universe’s eternal time and infinite space is transmogrified into a ‘Formless Emptiness’ that is ‘Timeless and Spaceless’ ... and one is ‘Unborn’ and ‘Undying’ in a metaphysical ‘Greater Reality’ wherein reigns an ‘Unknowable and Immutable Presence’ which is an ‘Immortal and Ceaseless Being’ which bestows a vainglorious ‘Peace That Passeth All Understanding’.
RESPONDENT: Richard, could you summarise it even more?
RICHARD: The human condition, as is epitomised by all the misery and mayhem throughout human history due to each and every human being nursing malice and sorrow to their bosom, has a single root cause: the persistent feeling of being but an identity – a ‘being’ – inhabiting the body. The solution to all the ills of humankind requires one to step out of the grim and glum ‘real world’ (the everyday ‘reality’ for 6.0 billion peoples pasted as a veneer over the pristine and consummate actual world by the affective faculty) into the actual world of the sensate faculty as is evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... and leave ‘yourself’ behind in that blood-soaked ‘Land Of Lament’ where ‘you’ belong.
The mystics have been transmogrifying the real world ‘reality’ into a ‘True Reality’ via the epiphenomenal imaginative/intuitive facility born of the psyche (which is formed by the instinctual passions genetically endowed by blind nature for survival purposes) for millennia. Such dissociation is a psychotic sickness culturally institutionalised into a head-in-the-sand escapist ‘solution’ to all the ills of humankind ... hence the divine perpetuation 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 and the such-like across the millennia through a belief in karma or samsara or some-such metaphysical reason being the cause of such aberrant behaviour (that people need to be raped etc., because they raped in a supposed past-life and so on).
Mysticism is nothing more and nothing less than a frantic coping-mechanism, institutionalised into a cultural metaphysics over thousands and thousands of years, known psychiatrically as ‘dissociation’ ... especially if accompanied by dissociative states such as ‘derealisation’ and ‘depersonalisation’ and ‘alternate personality disorder’ and others. It is also known as ‘disassociation’, or ‘disassociative identity disorder’ and dissociative reactions are attempts to escape from excessive trauma tension and anxiety by separating off parts of personality function from the rest of cognition as an attempt to isolate something that arouses anxiety and gain distance from it.
For example, in everyday life, mild and temporary dissociation, sometimes hard to distinguish from repression and isolation, is a relatively common and normal device used to escape from severe emotional tension and anxiety. Temporary episodes of transient estrangement, depersonalisation and derealisation are often experienced by normal persons when they first feel the initial impact of bad news, for instance. Everything suddenly looks strange and different; things seem unnatural and distant; events can be indistinct and vaporous; often the person feels that they themselves are unreal and everything takes on a dream-like quality. Dissociation becomes abnormal when the once mild or transient expedient becomes too intense, lasts too long, or escapes from a person’s control ... and leads to a separation from the surroundings which seriously disturbs object relations. In object estrangement the once familiar world of ordinary objects – the world of people, things and events – seems to have undergone a disturbing and often indescribable change.
I am fully conversant with that hallucinogenic and delusory ‘Timeless and Spaceless and Formless’ realm from my own intimate experience over eleven years ... its understanding is vital if there is to be peace-on-earth.
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.