Friday, June 19, 2009

Actual Freedom, suggested pages and links

WARNING

(Update: Please note that I no longer advocate Actualism. Please see
http://harmanjit.blogspot.com/2010/03/epitaph.html and the comments to that article. For further elucidation, please read my articles on the human condition written in 2010.)

Do NOT proceed to practice Actualism without understanding what you are getting into.

WARNING

People often ask me how they can find out more about Actualism.

Actualism is not an -ism in the sense of a belief system (e.g. Hinduism) , it is an -ism in the sense of a practice (e.g. tourism). It is based on the reports and writings of a man living in Australia who is known by the first name "Richard".

For anyone interested in what Actualism has to offer (to wit: a total freedom from malice and sorrow and being a "self"), I suggest that they read the following pages, in order:
  1. The AFT Website main page (the content before the links)
  2. Richard's section on the AFT website
  3. Richard's Resume
  4. Introducing Actual Freedom
  5. Actual Freedom is 180 degrees opposite to Spiritual Freedom
  6. Selected Writings on the Actualism method
  7. A Guide for Practicing Actualists
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  9. Commonly Raised Objections (CROs)
And then one can peruse the full extent of the website at length, perhaps starting with the Library and Glossary. The discussions on the website are sometimes complex, iconoclastic and quite heretical, hence it will be to the reader's benefit if he/she persists and does not hastily dismiss Actualism after a cursory read. Actualism may seem like a rehash of some other philosophy that you know, but it isn't. As far as I have been able to research, Richard is saying something radical.

I am in the process of writing about my own succinct understanding of the discussions and answers to the FAQs and the CROs (the last two links in the above list), which I will soon publish on this blog.

There are various other websites, live forums and archived discussions (which are not in any formal way related to the Actual Freedom Trust) that one can refer to:

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you attained it or on the way?

Harmanjit Singh said...

I have derived immense benefits from my practice of Actualism, and I continue to practice it.

To answer your specific question: I am not actually free yet.

Anonymous said...

Look forward to your forthcoming succinct and "made easy" version of your chosen path. The links are of greater interest to the "already convertsd."

Anonymous said...

This reasonable stable plateau is known as Virtual Freedom, whereby one is happy and harmless for 99.9% of the time. RICHARD

Have you reached this stable plateau?

Harmanjit Singh said...

I am reasonably stable, but I can do better, as some very primitive patterns still persist.

Hence, no, I wouldn't claim I am at a plateau insofar as my practice of actualism is concerned, even though I consider myself (objectively, I hope) happier and more harmless than anybody whom I meet in my daily life.

Anonymous said...

Is it not desirable to be helpful as well as harmless---a doctor who claims harmlessness could not be a good one.

PhysicsDude said...

I cannot understand why the Human Condition has to be so miserable as portrayed by ActualFreedom. Sure, I have many acquaintances and friends who live miserably: plotting mulling and fretting, but many live life rather lightly: taking things as they come and not taxing themselves too much. They seem to be having an easy time at life.

In my opinion the percentage of the latter type is quite substantial, but that is not the impression that you will get from reading news or reading history books, as these types do not create sensationalist news or power struggles that typify history.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi Anonymous:

One can share one's findings in a way which is of help to others seeking solutions to similar problems. But to assume responsibility for another's freedom is a recipe for frustration. Only I can do something fundamental about my psychological suffering.

And also, one has to be careful that one doesn't assume the role of a "doctor" (read guru) because that is the way a relationship of dependence is established.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi Physicsdude,

The sordidness of the human condition is not just exemplified in the sensational and high-amplitude events, but also in the pervasive boredom, loneliness, psychological dependence, feelings of irritation, anger, egotism, etc.

One can certainly live a reasonably ok life if one is able to find some good palliatives to one's essential loneliness and boredom, but actual freedom is about eradication of the very root of human misery.

You may want to read http://harmanjit.blogspot.com/2009/04/on-fulfillment.html

And though Actualism is applicable for any human being sufficiently motivated to explore himself, such motivation (and interest in what Actualism has to offer) is evidently in very short supply, as the mailing list set up to discuss actualism has active participants numbering in the single digits. :-)

Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky " Most problems of teaching are not problems of growth but helping cultivate growth. As far as I know, and this is only from personal experience in teaching, I think about ninety percent of the problem in teaching, or maybe ninety-eight percent, is just to help the students get interested. Or what it usually amounts to is to not prevent them from being interested. Typically they come in interested, and the process of education is a way of driving that defect out of their minds. But if children's normal interest is maintained or even aroused, they can do all kinds of things in ways we don't understand.."

I share your allergy to the word guru which connotes dependance and assymetry of relationship. However man is a learning animal and the process of teaching as it should be is well described in the above quote. The web of life is a model of interdepedance...is it enough to be harmless in a world on the edge of disasters...it seems an agenda for abdicating responsibility, self disempowerment, bordering on castration....

Anonymous said...

"The sordidness of the human condition is not just exemplified in the sensational and high-amplitude events, but also in the pervasive boredom, loneliness, psychological dependence, feelings of irritation, anger, egotism, etc"....Blog Owner

It is easy to agree with the symptology but harder with your prescription

Change said...

Thanks for providing the key index of AF web site.

I would like to provide my comments on AF.

As far as I can understand about these concepts, there is not at all a difference between spirituality and AF. Of course, there are certain differences listed in AF web site. Before talking about those differences, let me say few words about spirituality.

Spirituality must have been started at the time when the human species started analyzing the existence itself, in whatever way. So many thousands of years, so many millions of beings enquired about existence independently and hence so many million ways of spiritualism exists in this earth. Out of this millions of people analyzed spirituality, only a fraction of them started expressing them or were able to express the result of their analysis.

Whenever some one starts expressing it, it must be from their memory and the expression is the recollection of their memory. During this recollection of memory, it is unavoidable that the expression contains the projection of mind or conceptualization of the content of memory by the person who is expressing it. Hence there are so many ways of expressed spirituality, each contain the truth along with the conceptualization by the individual who expressed it, which is unavoidable. This very fact is apparent in the content of AF web site also.

The differences listed in the AF web site indicate that the author has a very narrow view of spirituality. The author might have come across certain expressions of spirituality, with which he might have started identifying spirituality and distancing himself (or negative identification). In the mean time, he might have received certain higher experiences, which he started conceptualize like whatever done by the other enlightened beings in the past and now. Hence a new concept called AF evolved, which is not at all different from the spirituality except the way it is conceptualized.

There could be another reason for this conceptualization also! The author might have wanted to establish his identity, by distancing himself from a popular concept (group of concepts). Thus define spirituality into a narrow sense (by looking in to few conceptualized definitions of spirituality), establish his concept and then differentiate it with the earlier one and use this differences to popularize his concepts. If this is the case, the author is not yet free. He still rejects certain concepts to defend his concepts and hence actually he is in bondage. If this is the case and he claims that he has already reached freedom, it could be the result of his thoughts!

And a final word of caution to this blog owner! If you really seek Actual Freedom, at one stage, you must be able to free yourself from the concepts of AF itself. Otherwise the possibility of Actual freedom may be in question mark. Please take this point as a constructive encouragement on your path and not otherwise.

And a person who has some mastery on language and argument capability can defend or offend any concepts, what ever “rich” or “shit” it may be in reality. That is the reason for all terrorism, war and whatever problems perceived in this world.

Thanks!
http://change-within.blogspot.com

Harmanjit Singh said...

"As far as I can understand about these concepts, there is not at all a difference between spirituality and AF. Of course, there are certain differences listed in AF web site. Before talking about those differences, let me say few words about spirituality."

# Have you looked at http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/articles/180degreesopposite.htm

"And a final word of caution to this blog owner! If you really seek Actual Freedom, at one stage, you must be able to free yourself from the concepts of AF itself. Otherwise the possibility of Actual freedom may be in question mark."

# If you mean freedom from passionate attachment to a belief system or to certain concepts, I am in agreement with you. However, if you mean rejection of a statement or report just because it is reported by someone else first, then that is not a sensible way to live. Everybody needn't reinvent the wheel.

"And a person who has some mastery on language and argument capability can defend or offend any concepts, what ever “rich” or “shit” it may be in reality. That is the reason for all terrorism, war and whatever problems perceived in this world."

# No, the "reason" for all the terrorism, war, is our instinctual passions. Otherwise, why do you think animals are aggressive?

Anonymous said...

".... why do you think animals are aggressive?..Blogowner"

What?Animals and aggressive? Man is one of the few that preys on its own specie and on an unprecedented scale.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous, may I direct you to participate about your questions on actualism on the active mailing list referred to on the blog article?

As per your specific question, you may want to read up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggression

and

http://actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/frequentquestions/FAQ16a.htm#4

Anonymous said...

Iam sure you will enjoy this study about correlation between aggression and level of the chemical serotonin in the blood which would seem to imply that aggression is hard wired. Do peruse this. http://www.crimetimes.org/98b/w98bp1.htm

Harmanjit Singh said...

Aggression is indeed hard-wired (i.e. is there at birth) by our genetic patterns. This is not a trivial realization.

Anonymous said...

Not just aggression but equally anger and love and altruistic impulses are deeply inherernt in us.
As the Bard said:"our lives are of a mingled yarn both good and ill together."
In your AFT practice one gets the impression,from what I have read of Mr. Richard' researches ,which is admittedly scant, that you cast out both baby and bathwater.

Change said...

“…………..the traditional and narrow path of denial and fantasy, negation and hallucination…………”

The above statement is one of the indications of the narrowed view ness of the author about spirituality. Fantasy and hallucination can never become a part of spirituality. The author of this web site might have encountered some of the so called spiritual beings, who might have still in the illusion of spirituality and from their, he might have derived this conclusion about spirituality. Any body who enquire about their existence is in the spiritual path. On the way of their enquiry, they might have taken a wrong lead and proceeding in their enquiry. In certain sense we can call them also as spiritual beings as they are in the path of enquiry of their existence itself. But due to lack of openness or due to some other reason, they may be in diagonally opposite direction or 180 degree away from the priciples stated in AF web site. Unfortunately, the author of this website encountered such diagonally opposite spiritual beings.



"This god goes under a many and a varied disguise: The Truth, The Absolute, The Supreme, The Source, The Origin, The Greatest, The Sublime, The Essence, The Most High, The Highest Good, The Self, The Higher Self, The True Self, The Soul, The Over-Soul, The Divine Presence, The Tao, The Breath Of Life, The Greater Reality, The Ground Of Being, Cosmic Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Existence, Spirit, Presence, Being, Nirvana, Satori, Samadhi, Thatness, Suchness, Isness ..."

As I indicated in my earlier comment for this posting, whoever find the solution of their existence or reached the state of PCE as indicated in this website or whatever name we give for that. The author of this web site has given the name PCE. Others have given one or few of the above names. Mind that the naming is also influenced by their way of expression/conceptualization – including the name PCE. Now the author of this web site added one more name in that series. That is the only difference. Of course, the way of expressing it is different- based on the conceptualization by the author.

Change said...

"When one sincerely questions the ‘Teachers’, the ‘Teachings’ and the ‘Source’ of the ‘Teachings’ one will indubitably unearth this salient point:
Despite all their rhetoric, peace-on-earth is not actually on their agenda."

The above point must be again due to the narrowness of the view of the author on spirituality, or lack of openness. Sincere questioning of teaching is essential for spirituality. I do not understand the context in which the “questioning of teacher” is indicated here.


"The PCE occurs globally ... across cultures and down through the ages irregardless of gender, race or age. However, it is usually interpreted according to cultural beliefs – created and reinforced by the persistence of identity – and devolves into an ASC."

This is very valid point. Even if any one blindly follows the principles of AF, what they get is ACE but not PCE. The other reached PCE. Because he questioned all other principles and taken what is suited for his chemistry proceeded in the path of enquiring his existence. Hence he reached the state of PCE. Now any body else, who blindly follows these principles, they can only reach ACE unless they can with complete freedom from the AF principles itself. By this I did not mean the rejection of AF principles. But enquire with enough openness so that certain part of this principle is not suitable for the enquiring mind, it should have enough freedom from that part of the principle and should have the courage to enquire further. If the enquiring mind is not having such freedom from these principles, then they can reach only ACE even if they follow the AF principles – never can reach PCE.

"……..-one had to become divine to escape from the Human Condition……."

The above point must be again due to the narrowness of the view of the author on spirituality`

"The first and most important step is to remember a PCE (everybody that I have spoken to at length over the last nineteen years – everybody – has had at least one) and thus start thinking for oneself . (although most people cannot initially remember a PCE and may need a lot of prompting to retrieve it from their memory)"

When we retrieve any thing from memory, we are already adding our imagination into it. It is unavoidable. Once that imagination is superimposed on the experience, it is no more PCE.

I could also locate few contradictions between statements. But I do understand the statements could be reflecting the context required at the instant where the statement is made. It will be in such a manner to describe certain things, which in real sense, may be indescribable.

With this above comments, I am not rejecting the concepts of AF. It is one of the alternatives with in spirituality, where millions of alternatives are available. I could not consider this as third alternative, but one of the millions of alternatives. One could use this method to enquire the existence of oneself. But have to have enough freedom from the concepts, if there is a need arises to just forgo the principles and move ahead with the PCE, otherwise it is no more PCE.


----------------------------------
“No, the "reason" for all the terrorism, war, is our instinctual passions. Otherwise, why do you think animals are aggressive?”

Yes, it is the root cause. At the outer level, based on these inherited properties, we build many qualities, which you are already aware. Even getting attached with certain principles or method, this is the root cause. Once we identify ourselves with certain principles or methods, we start defending our attachment and offend other principles and methods. The defending and offending are exaggerated with our language skills and power of argument.

Thanks
http://change-within.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate that the Blog-owner is a genuine rationalist who has kept the windows open to cross-currents of opinion, I am more inclined to share the views of Change( above two comments) that in fact this may be old wine delivered in a a different bottle, at the same time having the label "not wine". To quote directly from the somewhat mysterious and elusive 'R':

The Altered State of Consciousness – in particular, 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 the enlightenment is that whilst the ego dissolves, the identity as a soul remains intact. No longer identifying as a personal ego-bound identity, one then identifies as an impersonal soul-bound identity – ‘I am That’, ‘I am God’, ‘I am The Supreme’, ‘I am The Absolute’ 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 Ramana Maharshi 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?...'R'
http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/asc.htm

As you know the term ASC is a well researched topic in the last half century starting with Abraham Maslow. The term includes a spectrum of human experience which would encompass Archimede's Eureka experience, the dawning of the solution to Fermat's Last Problem, the feelings behind Van Gogh's works etc not necessarily involving divinity, though experiences of a religious nature
do form a subset of ASCs, beautifully expounded in William James masterpiece on the subject.

For anyone, including 'R' to write off, belittle and demean a vast spectrum of treasured human experience while playing semantic games using abstruse terminology should invite not just caution, but suspicion and fear as a natural corollary....

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi "Change",

1. Spirituality is a particular path of enquiry about existence, it cannot be equated with the enquiry about existence itself.

2. There is a clear difference between a PCE and an ASC as described on http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/asc-pce.htm

3. Spiritual teachers, while paying lip-service to questioning, are insincere about it. They discourage the use of intellect and logic and the mind, and encourage surrender and exaltation.

4. The memory of an experience need not be imaginative, it can be a simple recall.

I think you are having a hard time understanding the fundamental distinction between Actual Freedom and Spiritual Freedom, and you are not the first, nor will be the last, to have these doubts.

For a major difference, there is no "love" or "compassion" in a PCE and in Actual Freedom, whereas all spiritual teachers talk of love and compassion. And this is not just a matter of words.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi Anonymous,

"As you know the term ASC is a well researched topic in the last half century starting with Abraham Maslow. The term includes a spectrum of human experience which would encompass Archimede's Eureka experience, the dawning of the solution to Fermat's Last Problem, the feelings behind Van Gogh's works etc not necessarily involving divinity, though experiences of a religious nature
do form a subset of ASCs, beautifully expounded in William James masterpiece on the subject."


# Moments of discovery, intense joy, etc. are better called peak experiences (as Maslow also uses the term), an ASC as used on the AF website is referring to the mystical experiences of spirituality. It is generally a hallucinatory, mystical and grandiose state of mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altered_state_of_consciousness

Also, http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedwriting/sw-pce.htm

"For anyone, including 'R' to write off, belittle and demean a vast spectrum of treasured human experience while playing semantic games using abstruse terminology should invite not just caution, but suspicion and fear as a natural corollary....

A state or a path that has not delivered freedom from malice and sorrow needs to be pointed out as such, whether or not it has been held humankind in thralldom. And though suspicion and fear are natural human responses to something new, let it not hold one back from a rational and sensible enquiry of what is on offer.

Anonymous said...

"During meditation (...) one may become utterly silent inside, as though in a gap between thoughts, where one becomes completely perception- and thought-free. One neither thinks nor perceives any mental or sensory content. Yet, despite this suspension of content, one emerges from such events confident that one had remained awake inside, fully conscious. This experience, which has been called the pure consciousness event, or PCE, has been identified in virtually every tradition. Though PCEs typically happen to any single individual only occasionally, they are quite regular for some practitioners. The pure consciousness event may be defined as a wakeful but contentless (non-intentional) consciousness"....'R'

This is very much a trance state of sammadhi. In your earlier story of a silly bird, you had mentioned the importance of saving one's skin. Is that the hallmark of AF--the survival instinct, absolutely lowest in Maslow's need hierarchy?

The fear I recommended toward's the ilk of 'R' is not due to it's revolutionary newness, but rather it's utter staleness...to quote from memory: "Don't be afraid of wild elephants. You should rather fear false teachers. Elephants can only kill you. Misguiding teachers will destroy your mind as well as your body."

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous, your reference is not from Richard, but from a book by Robert Forman. That excerpt is used in http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/pce.htm as a starting point.

As for your understanding of the bird's parable, I suggest you read some of the comments posted by me to that blog post.

And as for fear of false teachers, or of people of "R's ilk" (as you say), I will leave you to your own counsel in that matter. It's your life, after all.

Anonymous said...

"Actual caring is not directed towards the other's self but is aimed at the actual well-being of the other person..."..Blog Host
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc35b3gv_56cm624c8n

My comment has been motivated by actual caring and not feeling caring which is why you do not feel in tune with the discussion...

Harmanjit Singh said...

"My comment has been motivated by actual caring and not feeling caring which is why you do not feel in tune with the discussion..."

Hi anonymous, i am not questioning your intent (whatever that may be), and i wonder why you say that I do not "feel in tune with the discussion...". In fact I am vitally interested in what you are saying. I am inviting you to the yahoo group so that we can have a proper email exchange instead of blog comments.

Regards
Harman

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varieties_of_Religious_Experience

Anonymous said...

" I am inviting you to the yahoo group so that we can have a proper email exchange instead of blog comments."

Thank you. But this seems proper enough for the time being.

Anonymous said...

I am giving the corrected URL misquoted above.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varieties_of_Religious_Experience

Anonymous said...

If I were 'R' and I had discovered what I believed to be the means to change unhappiness to happiness, actual bondage to actual freedom, and if I were infused with Actual Caring as contrasted to Feeling Caring, I would be unable to relax in the idyllic setting of an Australian beach. I would have an urgency to use each moment of my existence to sharing it and ensuring that it pass on to posterity. Otherwise one is like a cat enjoying a stale fish hiding in a corner. So either the emperor is naked or there is a wolf behind the sheepskin. The great teachers of the past battled it out in society risking their all, rather than publishing a website and retiring to a bucolic paradise.

Anonymous said...

Sorry the system is deleting the tail of the URL: the rear end should read :
Religious_Experience

Harmanjit Singh said...

If I were 'R' and I had discovered what I believed to be the means to change unhappiness to happiness, actual bondage to actual freedom, and if I were infused with Actual Caring as contrasted to Feeling Caring, I would be unable to relax in the idyllic setting of an Australian beach. I would have an urgency to use each moment of my existence to sharing it and ensuring that it pass on to posterity. Otherwise one is like a cat enjoying a stale fish hiding in a corner. So either the emperor is naked or there is a wolf behind the sheepskin. The great teachers of the past battled it out in society risking their all, rather than publishing a website and retiring to a bucolic paradise.

Hi anonymous, one of the hallmarks of progress in actualism (and hence, of actual freedom) is the complete absence of a compulsive urge to save the world by feverishly trying to convince and "convert" others to one's point of view. That is a hallmark of spiritual freedom, in which one feels possessed by a divine decree to be a messiah.

There have been objections by people unlike you on why Richard has his writings available on a website at all, since (according to them) an actually free person wouldn't bother at all with helping others. Your objection is that it is not at all enough to merely publish one's findings on a website if Richard has indeed discovered the solution to humanity's ills.

To each his own, I guess. Both miss out on what is available, by quibbling about how Richard doesn't conform to their "idea" of what an actually free person should do with his findings.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you connote by messiah and what divinity has to do with it. Was Marx a messiah? Were Darwin and particularly Einstein with his deep concern for peace? Is it not the most natural thing for a person to be concerned for her/his offspring, his friends, society at large and by extension the species to which he belongs--isn't it a natural feeling we need to cultivate rather than denigrate with a rusty label like messiah? Is Chomsky a messiah just because of his concern and activistic stance? What you and 'R' are suggesting borders on euthogenism, as AF site mentions as an example of PCE.

Harmanjit Singh said...

I don't know what you connote by messiah and what divinity has to do with it. Was Marx a messiah? Were Darwin and particularly Einstein with his deep concern for peace? Is it not the most natural thing for a person to be concerned for her/his offspring, his friends, society at large and by extension the species to which he belongs--isn't it a natural feeling we need to cultivate rather than denigrate with a rusty label like messiah? Is Chomsky a messiah just because of his concern and activistic stance? What you and 'R' are suggesting borders on euthogenism, as AF site mentions as an example of PCE.

The context is: being driven to convert/help others versus what Richard is doing (i.e. reporting his findings and leaving it at that).

You are disregarding the enormous efforts that have already been put in by Richard and the AF Trust to make available his findings, and his spending more than a decade in engaging with people from all walks of life, patiently and courteously, online and offline, to explicate his findings. He has written literally millions of words in corresponding with people who have asked him unending series of questions about his state.

In general, people are unwilling to even make a cursory effort at understanding what he is saying (and it frankly takes quite a while to fully understand, once one sincerely starts). Actualism does not easily lend itself to a brief "elevator pitch". Written words, at length, are the best way to explain such a radical departure from the current norms.

Be that as it may, in my experience, almost all who visit the AF website find all manners of objections, peripheral to the content. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

" Actualism does not easily lend itself to a brief "elevator pitch." "...Bloghost

By which you probably mean that it is not everyman's cup of tea, like say ,the theory of general relativity? A prescription for doctor's not for patients. Quoting from memory: "the higher a teaching the lower the person it can salvage." In a world sitting on a nuclear stockpile, governed by people having the mentality of wild savage beasts, surely the priveleged educated have to think beyond this self centred dream of a permanent personal high? i take the liberty of again quoting Chomsky:
We cannot say much about human affairs with any confidence, but sometimes it is possible. We can, for example, be fairly confident that either there will be a world without war or there won't be a world -- at least, a world inhabited by creatures other than bacteria and beetles, with some scattering of others….

Anonymous said...

"....all manners of objections, peripheral to the content. You are not alone."

You are more alone, I think. So concern for others is peripheral, incidental, secondary or irrelevant?

Harmanjit Singh said...

" Actualism does not easily lend itself to a brief "elevator pitch."

By which is meant that it cannot be succinctly explained without protest from the recipient, since it is so radical to conventional wisdom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_pitch

I also recommend:

http://www.juliansanchez.com/2009/06/01/perils-of-pop-philosophy/

Harmanjit Singh said...

So concern for others is peripheral, incidental, secondary or irrelevant?

None of the above. It is a recognition that beyond offering a solution, explicating it, and a willingness to engage in a discussion about it, one cannot do anything for another human being as far as freedom from the human condition is concerned.

One cannot change another, nor force another to change, nor convince another to change. It has to start voluntarily. Once there is a sincere quest in another, a sharing of notes is eminently useful to both, and to the humanity at large.

Without a sincere interest in becoming happy and harmless, discussing these issues is not very different from, say, solving a crossword puzzle. Enjoyable perhaps, but without significance.

Anonymous said...

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.....John Donne

Harmanjit Singh said...

Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.


I beg to differ. As my felicity and joy is not dependent upon another human being, neither is my enjoyment of life diminished by another's absence. That does not mean I do not care about another. Far from it.

However, to care for someone because his "death" (or absence) "diminishes" me is quite self-serving in the end, whereas actual caring is born of a natural benignity, benevolence, and magnanimity.

Only a care-free person can actually care for another.

Anonymous said...

".....is not very different from, say, solving a crossword puzzle. Enjoyable perhaps, but without significance."..Bloghost

A mothers concern for her sick child is not on the same level as solving puzzles. It is more on the lines "no matter what, I will"

"One cannot change another.."...Bloghost

A defeatist approach. Throwing up ones hands in impotent despair..."what can I do?"...actually shows absence of serious concern, which would be a willingness to go all the way. How can such an attitude of helplessness to do anything be called anything but escapism, rather than the imposing claim of actual freedom? How can I be free so long as my brother is in chains?

Harmanjit Singh said...

"How can I be free so long as my brother is in chains?"

And so is freedom for all kept at bay, as all clamor to free their brothers (who are equally bothered about freeing /their/ brothers) instead of freeing themselves.

It would be funny were it not resulting in the astounding amounts of misery and mayhem that epitomizes the human condition.

As the discussion is getting prolonged, I request you to come onto the AF discussion list on yahoo groups. If you are disinclined to join the AF mailing list (for whatever reason), you are welcome to correspond with me over email.

Anonymous said...

"As the discussion is getting prolonged...."...Bloghost

Sorry if I am tiring you. I prefer to remain on the wavelength of present forum....also not to sit on this all week long...also not to abandon it inconclusively, which regrettably seems to be the end in sight...

I cannot concieve of happiness or freedom in and of myself, in isolation from others, neither would I want it, like Nero fiddling away.....

As you see, I have tried to talk to you, but if you prefer to sign off, I have to bide my time...

To be honest, my interest was more in you as a person than this AF you seem unfortunately caught up in.....

Wish you a nice day....

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hi anonymous,

You are not tiring me at all. And like you, I would like to have this discussion continue in a mutually rewarding way.

My statement was that as the discussion is getting prolonged, blog comments is not the best way to correspond, as email clients have in-built facilities for citing the other person while responding, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lively interaction. I admire your seeking spirit. I pray that you are guided by the great power that indisputably resides within each one of us, and won't be so easily satisfied.Tagore:

Bhulbona ar shohojete
Shei praan e mon uthbe mete
Mrittu majhe dhaka ache
je ontohin praan


Bojre tomar baje bashi
She ki shohoj gaan
Shei shurete jagbo ami


Shei jhor jeno shoi anonde
Chittobinar taare
Shotto-shundu dosh digonto
Nachao je jhonkare!


The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

Change said...

"To be honest, my interest was more in you as a person than this AF you seem unfortunately caught up in....."

To be frank, I am also of the same opinion!

Thanks!

Harmanjit Singh said...

"you seem unfortunately caught up in"

So, what would you like to know about me, as a person, despite my "unfortunate" afflictions. :-)

Anonymous said...

"So, what would you like to know about me..."..BlogHost

You see movies, are tech-savvy, have taken out time to study special relativity, are blessed with a modicum of iq, have a healthy interest in everything,not tight of time, not actually free yet, unlikely in forseeable future, want to debunk what you are caught up in yourself...etc, etc....what else, dear Host?.

Anonymous said...

hi, from some of the contents i had read from the AF site, this 'R' cannot even be considered 'enlightened'. there is almost nothing to suggest that he was ever enlightened, speaking from the traditions of persons who have attained full realization.
i think you are mistaken in this.

besides that, the best! in your chosen method of practice.

Harmanjit Singh said...

http://actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/commonobjections/CRO23.htm

("Richard doesn’t understand Enlightenment / was never Enlightened.")

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 4.53 pm:

What is enlightenment? What is full realisation? Who are the persons whose traditions you ase quoting in support of your claim? Are you yourself enlightened , otherwise how can you be a judge of true enlightenment, whatever that might be? It's a topic about which anyone can say anything, and get away with it.

Anonymous said...

I am keen follower of all different positions on human condition and actualism is one of them.

I have a few questions,

1) Is it important how different spirituality from Actualism?

2) If not, why significant portion of the AF website is devoted to show the difference and gaps in other means to solve problem of human condition

3) Why can't AF stand on its own and why it should always be in contradistinction to other explanations?

4) Are there are clear demonstrable benefits derived from AF practice?

5) Can these be generalized objectively for all humans to benefit?

6) Can the results be measured to show how humans are progressing towards a self-immolated society?

Harmanjit Singh said...

1) Is it important how different spirituality from Actualism?

Yes. Because self-immolation in toto can be confused with egolessness. It is of fundamental importance to grasp the distinction between actualism and spirituality for one to proceed towards what one is (this flesh and blood body) instead of being twice removed from what one is (the disembodied soul). To be even more succinct:

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.

2) If not, why significant portion of the AF website is devoted to show the difference and gaps in other means to solve problem of human condition.

Because it is of paramount importance for an actualist that one understands WHY morality, and spirituality fail to remove the root cause of suffering.

3) Why can't AF stand on its own and why it should always be in contradistinction to other explanations?

Because it is too easy to confuse it with another form of spirituality having its own brand of awareness meditation. And too often it is not realized that this is something new. When people say "But Byron Katie said this" or "But Eckhart Tolle said the same" then it becomes pertinent to distinguish them from what actualism is proposing. Unless the differences are understood, one will not be able to practice actualism properly but will soon start proceeding towards an altered state of consciousness.

4) Are there are clear demonstrable benefits derived from AF practice?

From my own experience, yes. And many other people who have applied the actualism method have reported similarly. The benefits are simply an increase in happiness and harmlessness, a decrease in sorrow and malice in all their forms.

5) Can these be generalized objectively for all humans to benefit?

I am not too sure what you mean by the pronoun "these". If you mean can the objective benefits be generalized objectively, most people will not find actualism appealing as too many easier-looking and feel-good "solutions" are on offer. And to question the mores of society and the prevailing wisdom does require a certain amount of social modernity, a degree of intelligence and an enquiring nature.

6) Can the results be measured to show how humans are progressing towards a self-immolated society?

Human thought is evolving to reject metaphysical explanations (barring Modern Physics, unfortunately). The rise of atheism and of humanism is a good sign. Most modern societies have a clear separation between the church and the state. Humans have a greater freedom in disagreeing with orthodox views. Also a lot of research is showing our animal heritage and the facets of our emotional and passionate brain. We are also discovering sociobiological roots of our behavior and mental patterns.

But the benefits of actualism will come only if one personally starts questioning one's inner being and practices actualism.

You can direct your questions to a few fellow actualists who are active at:

groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom

Anonymous said...

Dear Harmanjit,

Thanks for your responses to my queries and appreciate your genuine attention.

However, I do not necessarily agree to your statement that 'it is too easy to confuse with another', because 1) the description given on AF website can stand on its own without reference to morality or spirituality because it starts from current problems seen and what could be the reason, how to solve it and hence no need to compare 2) If it were so confusing, then it would be confusing to most and just by comparing it with others, the confusion will not go. So, the proponents, I think have got carried away and got into sort out this confusion very carefully and in the process confused and created more disagreeing people, than actualists. This is unfortunate.

Also, actualists need to realize they also could have got confused from explanations given by others like Buddha, Tolle, Lao-Tzu, JK, UG, and many others, as they do not have a first hand account of the same. That way, just from what is written about them, one cannot reject. It is best to take an absolute position.

Being Happy and Harmless is truly a altruistic goal and proposed by most of the earlier so called enlightened people. And hence there is nothing radical in this and wish of every human being.

However, the illusory-self which is inherent in human beings (you may call it instinctual passions)was definitely necessary at some point of time in human evolution and got stuck even after its utility is over. But, it has its own momentum and probably cannot be halted on a global basis in short span of time and needs work.

So, actualists keeping altruism in mind must strive to make things simple and explain the problems, root causes, without getting into comparisons and clarifications on other view points. Then, the success will be higher.

Unfortuantely this is not approach taken and usually even those who have 'social modernity, a degree of intelligence and an enquiring nature' have been dragged into arguments and counter arguments on AF website, and opportunity to increase success is lost.

This is my observation after going through AF website for more than 3 years. Also, at some point, it looked like AF folks observed this fact too, and stopped mail transactions.

Anyway nice talking to you.

Thanks
A flesh and blood body

Aman said...

Hi Harmanjit,

I want to know how much did you go into Buddhist way of meditation and its philosophy. My guess is that you didn't delve that much into it. I myself don't believe in reincarnation aspects of Buddhism. Have you read Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika? I found it to be an interesting read. I think it is meant to have the same effect as dissolving everything and starting from scratch as Richard talks about.

Aman said...

Regarding AF being 180 degree opposite to be seeking spiritual freedom (I would constraint myself to Buddhism as this is what I am doing), I would say that it is not. As I said in my last comment, I don't believe in reincarnation and other supernatural phenomena. In that diagram that is on AF site, just changing the word good emotions to felicitous feelings doesn't seem to me to make it 180 degree opposite. The only thing that goes against Buddhism is its belief in reincarnation which I don't believe in.

Anonymous said...

If the human condition is just instinct, then why not live by instinct rather than some phoney thought process which came from some guy who claims to be the ultimate enlightened man ever. Seems to be such an egotistic thing to claim. Also as he's still living as an ordinary man, off sailing and screwing his latest lover, what's so great? Why isn't he actively teaching this wonderous insight? It just smacks of delusion to me, not enlightenment. He's picked up pieces from science, from philosophy, from eastern religions, and made something that appears to be new, but isn't. Like J Krishnamurti said: "Don't follow anybody - know thy self".