Thursday, March 20, 2008

State of the affairs

I came across the Actual Freedom website and mailing list in summer 2004. Since then, I have read a lot on the website, talked to many people (including Richard) over email, practiced the method, and evaluated its approach and examined myself and people around me.

I continue to walk on the path.

This is my current understanding and evaluation about it:

- I now have a clear understanding of the origin of sorrow and malice. To wit: our animal heritage from which we have evolved. I no longer subscribe to the doctrine of karma, past deeds, original sin, avidya (ignorance of our true nature), effects of maya, etc. as valid explanations of suffering in humanity.

- I now consider all spirituality (organized religions, unorganized sects, individual meditations, spiritual teachers and their teachings) as deeply flawed and born of a massive delusion. The ultimate goal of any spiritual sect or technique is to achieve spiritual freedom, mystical bliss, release from the cycle of birth and death and a dissociation from the tangible world. I consider spirituality as a stage in human evolution whose time has now come to an end. The time is ripe for pioneering individuals to seek a state of happiness and harmlessness while not regarding the physical world as a mirage or a dream or an inescapably sorrowful plane of existence.

- Normal life is being a psychic entity inhabiting a body. Spiritual freedom is being a psychic entity not limited to (or free from) being identified with a body. Actual Freedom is being a body without a psychic entity. It is radical.

- I now regard rationality and attentiveness the two necessary and sufficient factors which can eliminate malice and sorrow in a human being. Rationality itself is of great use, and when used on oneself (via the ability of reflection, being aware of one's own mind), it can be effectively used to become happy as well as harmless.

- I now consider emotions, passions and moods as feeling-states which can, and should be minimized or eliminated as, even at their very best, they stand in the way of rationality and enjoyment of the sensory world. They also give nourishment to the self as they are the self in operation.

- I now remember a few experiences which I consider to be my touchstones in evaluating any moment. I am not certain though that they were Pure Consciousness Experiences (PCEs), but I remember them as moments of intense freedom, joy and wonder of being alive. There was no trace of compassion or love in those moments, only a wide awareness of being alive, of the sensual world. They were not introspective states, but states of a wide-eyed-wonder.

- I used to consider Richard's style of communication as needlessly pedantic, now I consider it as the only way to have communication about such a radical topic with normal people who latch on to words and who are inclined to misinterpret and accuse Richard of either ambiguity, of contradiction or of falsehood. Especially after seeing him communicate in a much more easygoing manner with people who are not looking for an excuse to tear him down.

- I have learnt more from Actualism about life and human behavior than from anywhere else. I have found the hallowed feelings of love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, trust, friendship to be deeply flawed and masking the opposites of malice, sadness, hurt, fear, arrogance, fear, loneliness respectively.

- I consider my present state as one of benevolence, happiness and harmlessness. My ego and self are still present, though to a degree fainter than what I have ever felt as an adult. There are major obstacles still to overcome, the primary of which are:

a. the suffering caused in me by the sorrow of people in close relationships with me, with me as an apparent cause of their suffering. I am examining it.

b. the anxiety-ridden preservation of one's persona as good in one's own eyes and in the eyes of others. I am working on it.

(both of the above are intimately related)

c. Impatience and irritation at times. It is rather mild but it can be exacerbated if someone knows how to push the "buttons".

The points where I am not quite certain about Actual Freedom are:

- I understand and perceive the notion of the soul as the feeling self. I don't have the direct experience if the soul, in its entirety, is the instinctual passions forming themselves into a psychic self. Though it seems very probable.

- I do not fully understand the phenomena of vibes (which are usually perceived accurately) and psychic communication (most of which is delusional). I have had the direct experience of vibes (everybody does), but I have had no unambiguous experience of psychic communication (neither have I seen it elsewhere, only heard about it).

- I do not fully understand, or accept, Richard's no-prior-psychic-footprints explanation of his status as the first free man on earth. He is though, the only person (as far as I have been able to ascertain, though I am open to new evidence) who is saying, or has ever said, the gist of what is presented on the Actual Freedom website.

- I do not understand, or accept, how in a PCE it becomes apparent that the universe is eternal and endless.

- I doubt, for want of evidence, that Actual Freedom is possible for another human being. But then, one need not be fully free to enjoy the benefits, which are incremental. And pioneers are in real short supply! There are, as far as I know, only a handful (not more than twenty) people currently treading this path, only a few of which (numbering in single digits) are online. It is an extremely rarefied terrain.

5 comments:

srid said...

"I now regard rationality and attentiveness the two necessary and sufficient factors which can eliminate malice and sorrow in a human being. Rationality itself is of great use, and when used on oneself (via the ability of reflection, being aware of one's own mind), it can be effectively used to become happy as well as harmless."

# Rationality is something that is frowned upon in Buddhism. Attentiveness, however, is equally significant in my opinion.. though an intelligent person would naturally work toward being more attentive (toward states of mind). How successful are the AF people who haven't practiced any form of meditation in the past as compared to those who did (like you and Richard)?

"I used to consider Richard's style of communication as needlessly pedantic, now I consider it as the only way to have communication about such a radical topic with normal people who latch on to words and who are inclined to misinterpret and accuse Richard of either ambiguity, of contradiction or of falsehood. Especially after seeing him communicate in a much more easygoing manner with people who are not looking for an excuse to tear him down."

# This is very relevant to the email exchange we had (with Daniel) and I certainly found your rationality to be the right anti-dote for my Zen-delusion.

"I do not fully understand, or accept, Richard's no-prior-psychic-footprints explanation of his status as the first free man on earth."

# That is probably linked to his failing to understand the historical account of Spirituality (Buddha-ism in particular). Upaya could be one example. That said, however, his either-or arguments about Spirituality (that it is a grand delusion) are the most needed for the current adherents of Spirituality who are still suffering because of their tried-and-failed practices.

"I doubt, for want of evidence, that Actual Freedom is possible for another human being. But then, one need not be fully free to enjoy the benefits, which are incremental. And pioneers are in real short supply! There are, as far as I know, only a handful (not more than twenty) people currently treading this path, only a few of which (numbering in single digits) are online. It is an extremely rarefied terrain."

# In whatever ways I may try not to bring it up again - don't you think that explains Karma? ;)

Anonymous said...

I would say that Richard is not the first person to have achieved this freedom.
For five years since discovering the Speck (self) and experiencing Specklessness (the experience of the world), I have been working towards actual freedom in a way not dissimilar to Richards.
I found his website just yesterday, and was pleased to see that I am not alone, and permanent specklessness can be reached.
.
etc etc.
.

harmanjit said...

Hi "Anonymous"

You may want to come to our mailing list and discuss specklessness and if it is the same as AF:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/

Anonymous said...

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkFS5m7tRYI

Anonymous said...

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog

Dickinson