Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Actual Freedom FAQs, my understanding

FAQs page on the AFT Website:
http://tinyurl.com/faqindex

My understanding of the answers to some of the FAQs:
http://tinyurl.com/affaqs

Short comments and feedback welcome on the blog, but for involved discussions, and if you are so inclined, please join the Actual Freedom mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom

17 comments:

Observer said...

There are two states of consciousness in everyone dual and nondual.

In the dual state there is gain and loss, planning past and future, pain and pleasure. Gain and loss.

In the nondual state there is only the present. Pure experience. Nothing is a problem.

Conflict is in the nature of the dual world, while there is no conflict in the nondual.

Intentional action conceptualization belong to the dual, nondual is simply the flowing present, it is life itself.

The trick is to balance out the two states of consciousness.

Lukas said...

Thanks for the links on Actualism. I've only taken a cursory glance so far, but one FAQ stuck out at me in particular: what is the purpose of this life on earth as a human being?

This reminded me of a talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Specifically where he Neil talks about human star-dust and ego getting in the way of the universe. It's not an uncommon theme, but his presentation and enthusiasm are quite impactful. Perhaps it resonates with Actualism; if not, it's still a good talk. ;)

Harmanjit Singh said...

Thanks for the youtube link, Lukas.

Will check it out soon.

It is a pleasure to interact with people genuinely interested in investigation and uncovering of the human condition!

Salutations!

srid said...

This reminded me of a talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Specifically where he Neil talks about human star-dust and ego getting in the way of the universe. (...) Perhaps it resonates with Actualism; if not, it's still a good talk. ;) (emphasis added)

Note that Actualism talks about extirpation of both the thinker (ego) *and* the feeler (soul). Whereas, Tyson, like most writings of Spirituality I've read, talks about ego getting in the way, BUT *feels* the universe out (thus enlarging the 'feeler'?) rather that *sensing* it out (as an apperceptive human being).

Indeed, he ends the talk with "(..)I don't know any deeper Spiritual feeling than what that brings upon".

This is the most significant difference I find between Actualism and Spirituality in general.

Anonymous said...

Actualism is no match to Absrudism, a philosophy dealt with beauty,passion and great intellectual depth by Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre. Actualism is a patchwork and a hoax.

Anonymous said...

Actualism is a simplistic absolutism. With a single stroke of the pen by writing off as invalid the entire hard earned heritage of wisdom of sages, philosophers, prophets and intellectuals and retaining the blatantly bland statements of 'R 'as the supreme wisdom---this baba of the Australian ashram sets a new philosophical low. God help!

srid said...

When I first stumbled upon Actualism (introduced by Suraj) .. being a believer in Buddhism, I naturally repulsed it .. and in fact reassured my repulsion with a fellow Buddhist who called Actualism a 'cult' .. which label I gladly accepted.

All this are emotional reactions - subtle or not.

But over the course of time, with sincerity and prevailing cognitive dissonance I came to handle facts, find sensibility in logical thinking .. rather than mindless believing of what 'feels right'.

Actualism, then, made a lot of sense to me. As of now, I am glad to find that if I hear somebody 'attacking' Actualism, I don' react negatively to it. This is a sign of me not holding to Actualism as a belief system.

Morever, Actualism is primarily a method (of attentiveness, investigation leading to whittling of beliefs, etc.. .. and finally AF itself) which one can apply in one's life to become more and more carefree .. and not a belief system that one can proudly identify with.

It is all very silly to proudly identify with a down-to-earth method of, say, watering the plants for them to flourish. Folks, the method just works.

Anonymous said...

SRID
..the method just works."

No doubt it does. So do caffeine, nicotine and all that stuff. But to what end and extent. It made you carefree, you say. All you guys are seeking seems feel-goodies and a "high". Is that all you aspire? Don't you care for others, don't you feel a sense of responsibility to create a better world? At the very outset, it seems a very limited and self-centred goal. Youth should think big, dream big, ask big questions and undertake big projects. How tragic, to have all this betrayed by false teachers.

Anonymous said...

SRID:"It is all very silly to proudly identify with a down-to-earth method of, say, watering the plants for them to flourish."

One can be proud of beig the disciple of e great teacher, of being involved in a noble enterprise for the general good--how can one be proud of being apprentice to a gardener or plumber who has the capacity only to teach you watering the plants or mending a leak in tha closet. Not even that I am sure. Proves that dupes abound, specially in the West.

srid said...

All you guys are seeking seems feel-goodies and a "high". Is that all you aspire?

It is no wonder that it only seems like that to you (with the rest of your impressions) ..as you have evidently not bothered to read the AF website at all .. otherwise you would know what the words "felicitous", "harmless", "naivete", "Virtual Freedom", "Pure Consciousness Experience", "Excellence Experience", "fellowship", "Actual Intimacy" would mean .. which understanding would make one stupid[1] if one is to attribute Actual Freedom to 'feel-goodies and a "high"'.

Now if you're genuinely interested in discussing about Actual Freedom and caring about others .. may I suggest that you join the Yahoo! group (under an anonymous email, if you wish): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom

-srid


[1] stupid - lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity

Anonymous said...

"....as you have evidently not bothered to read the AF website at all ....

It is not true that I have'nt seen the site. But one does not have to drink the whole ocean to know it's taste. You should not expect that also. Does he not claim that his PCE (contrasted to ASC) supercede everything that the human race has accumulated. Even Newton and Einstein had the humility to admit that they were able to see a little farther because they built on the shoulder of giants.
While I respect you it is my most humble submission that you guys in your innocence are being taken for a ride at the cost of that which should be most precious-the integrity of your soul. Its nice to interact with you and dear Bloghost---by joining the online panel I do not want to participate in a multple coreed discussion--I did explore that link, but I am not familiar with the process nor inclined to venture beyond the homely and courteous familiarity of this blog.

Gabriel said...

'Even Newton and Einstein had the humility to admit that they were able to see a little farther because they built on the shoulder of giants.'

# And actualists, although sans humility, are both aware and appreciative of this:

Example 1) ‘An actualist stands on the shoulders of many, many who have gone before in a grand exercise of finding peace on earth.’ http://actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/peter/list-af/corr13a.htm

Example 2) ‘And yet, the writings of actualism – the presentation of the facts of what it is to be a human being – is unabashedly based on the efforts, explorations and discoveries of many people, or as Richard puts it, he has stood on the shoulders of many who have gone before.’ http://actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/others/sc-other/sco-psyche.htm

Considering the above, which was clearly a (false) belief (i.e. that Richard does not acknowledge ‘the shoulder of giants’), could it also be that you are mistaken in your overall assessment of Actualism?

In addition, your nom de plume is something of a shibboleth amongst the ‘dupes’ [those who listen to this non-‘great teacher’] [*]; after all, he is more of a gardener than he is a teacher ;-)

Would you care to read a bit more (carefully) in order to discover what other common ground there may be?

[*] Because there is no fame or glory here, no person has power over another.

-gabriel

Anonymous said...

Why is the word teacher anathema? Don't we learn the tiniest things from toilet onwards from our parents and ABC from teachers? Is not to teach and to be taught the essence of humanity? Is man not a learner? Does not 'R' make the preposterous claim of having discovered the elixir for human ills, while cursorily dismissing past philosophers....as you say he stands on the shoulders of sages of the past can you name the shoulders whose debt he has the humility to acknowledge, and which may be used as a yardsick to evaluate his assertions? Or is he the his own measure and yardstick?

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous:

On Humility

Richard's report and state is a break from the eons of spirituality in one form or the other. In reporting something radical, someone has to be the first. (e.g. Galileo) It is hard to digest for one's ego that someone else could make such a grandiose-sounding claim, rejecting the final states and exhortations of all past exalted ones and actually be right.

Shoulders of Giants

Since it is a radical departure, one can only appreciate the intent and dedication of past saints/philosophers and so on. One cannot praise their ultimate findings, as those findings did not lead to a freedom from the human condition. That is hard to accept, since almost everyone has some favorite philosophers/saints, but that is the cost of considering something so radically different. And that is why so few find actualism appealing at first instance.

Helping others
Richard's tireless engagement with correspondents from all over the world for more than a decade, and his precision, and the archival and presentation for posterity, is not a mean feat. Almost everybody has heard of AF through the AF website. To do anything more would invite both charges of evangelism and the wrath of those offended at hearing their hallowed saints criticized. A passive presentation, for anyone to read if so inclined, is the best under the circumstances (in my opinion).

On teaching

Teaching makes for learning, and Richard being an authority on the actualism method, indeed has acted as a teacher of sorts when people have asked him questions about clarification of the method. However the practice of actualism has to be undertaken by the individual in which one has to patiently and sincerely investigate oneself and be free of one's passions and beliefs. A prophet/guru/teacher in the traditional sense promised freedom to another through personal association and by grace/mystical-means which is completely absent in actualism. In fact, while actualists like to help someone in confusion about actualism, the over-arching attitude when someone protests too much and gets vehement, is "It's your life after all." To be an active helper (i.e. to take responsibility for someone's progress) is not very prevalent in actualist mailing list. You are on your own, though you have fellow human beings who may (and very frequently do) choose to clarify your intellectual and experiential doubts.

PCE better than everything else

Only you can be the judge of that. Someone else can only report that a life sans identity is much, much better than both life as a normal human being and life as an aggrandized Being. What you do with that report is to consider it, see if it fits in with your experience (i.e. your own experience as a human being and your own spiritual experiences versus your affect-less and identity-less moments) and with your observation of others (i.e. your observation of other human beings, of spiritual teachers, and of Richard, whose correspondence or a couple of videos is all that is available, or long-standing actualists). But ultimately it is your own experience which will convince you.

Best wishes and Regards,
Harman.

Anonymous said...

Bloghost:

1.On Humility: It is not ego but reason which comes in the way of acceptance. Many others have made such claims, with a courage to accompany their convicion--Jesus for one,who not preach fromthe luxury of a ranchero. Galileo preferred cowardice because he did not consider his claims worth the cost of persecution.

2.Shoulders of Giants: If he cannot accept, he should boldly identifty, refute, and systematically point out the errors to prevent others from being trapped by the erroneous. That would be not ego, but true altruism.

3. Helping others: Evangelism, or dissemination, hurting the cherished beliefs of others would be like moxa cauteri, small pain to offset bigger; putting ones life on the line has been the hallmark of those who rightly or wrongly believed they had hit upon truths which offered a respite to suffering humanity. Writing several million and timidly hiding in a rabbit warren does not betoken a great discovere but a cowardly charlatan.

4. I admire the likes of Gandhi, MLK, Jose Marti----I would seek my salvation within the exhilarating storms and challenges of life as an ordinary human being rather than the artificial unnaturalness of so called identyless sadhudom, even of Australian origin.

Harmanjit Singh said...

1.On Humility: It is not ego but reason which comes in the way of acceptance. Many others have made such claims, with a courage to accompany their convicion--Jesus for one,who not preach fromthe luxury of a ranchero. Galileo preferred cowardice because he did not consider his claims worth the cost of persecution.

What to you would be the accompaniment to a claim (not conviction, since conviction is a paltry substitute to the living of something) of actual freedom from the human condition?

2.Shoulders of Giants: If he cannot accept, he should boldly identifty, refute, and systematically point out the errors to prevent others from being trapped by the erroneous. That would be not ego, but true altruism.

And that is what he has done throughout the millions of words on the AFT website.

3. Helping others: Evangelism, or dissemination, hurting the cherished beliefs of others would be like moxa cauteri, small pain to offset bigger; putting ones life on the line has been the hallmark of those who rightly or wrongly believed they had hit upon truths which offered a respite to suffering humanity. Writing several million and timidly hiding in a rabbit warren does not betoken a great discovere but a cowardly charlatan.

If you say so, then it must be so, for you.

4. I admire the likes of Gandhi, MLK, Jose Marti----I would seek my salvation within the exhilarating storms and challenges of life as an ordinary human being rather than the artificial unnaturalness of so called identyless sadhudom, even of Australian origin.

As you wish. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Bloghost:

Pointwise.
1.A fearless evangelisation campaign, betokening the courage born out of a sense of responsibility. Behaviour and actions as a human visibly testitifying to the claimed exalted internal state of life.
2." To do anything more would invite both charges of evangelism and the wrath of those offended at hearing their hallowed saints criticized. A passive presentation, for anyone to read if so inclined, is the best under the circumstances (in my opinion)...Yourself

Like the bird in your parable, paramountcy is in salvaging the skin. I take it the story is coincident with AF positions. The greatest human suffering is that of loss and fear associated with the death-event--how does AF address this crucial issue?

3&4.You said nothing.

Love and regards.


2.