Richard’s Awakening

[ Richard’s awakening account comes from the Actual Freedom website. It has struck an intense and thought provoking chord here. Enjoy ! ]

A Brief Personal History

My questioning of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being had all started in a war-torn country in June 1966 at age nineteen – when there was an identity inhabiting this body complete with a full suite of feelings – and a Buddhist monk killed himself in a most gruesome way.

There was I, a callow youth dressed in a jungle-green uniform and with a loaded rifle in my hand, representing the secular way to peace.

There was a fellow human being, dressed in religious robes dowsed with petrol and with a cigarette lighter in hand, representing the spiritual way to peace.

I was aghast at what we were both doing … and I sought to find a third alternative to being either ‘human’ or ‘divine’.

This was to be the turning point of my life, for up until then, I was a typical western youth, raised to believe in God, Queen and Country. Humanity’s inhumanity to humanity – society’s treatment of its subject citizens – was driven home to me, there and then, in a way that left me appalled, horrified, terrified and repulsed to the core of my being with a sick revulsion.

I saw that no one knew what was going on and – most importantly – that no one was ‘in charge’ of the world. There was nobody to ‘save’ the human race … all gods were but a figment of a feverish imagination.

Out of a despairing desperation, which was collectively shared by my fellow humans, I saw and understood that I was as ‘guilty’ as any one else.

For in me – as is in everyone – was both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ … it was that some people were better than others at controlling their ‘dark side’. However, in a war, there is no way anyone can consistently control any longer … ‘evil’ ran rampart. I saw that fear and aggression and nurture and desire ruled the world … and that these were instincts one was born with. Thus started my search for freedom from the ‘Human Condition’ … and my attitude, all those years ago was this:

I was only interested in changing myself fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly.

This photograph was taken the day after the Buddhist monk physically self-immolated in protest to the war I was engaged in.

What the newly-shaved head indicates (definitely not a common practice for a 19-year-old youth in the sixties generation) is the very aghastness at what we were both doing.

Richard: June 1966

Richard: June 1966

For many years I sought genuine exploration and discovery of what it means to live a fully human life, and in October 1992 I discovered, once and for all, what I was looking for.

Since then I have been consistently living an incomparable condition which I choose to call actual freedom – and I use the word ‘actual’ because this freedom is located here in this very world, this actual world of the senses. It is not an affective, cerebral or psychic state of being; it is a physical condition that ensues when one goes beyond Spiritual Enlightenment.

In September 1981 I underwent a monumental transformation into an Altered State Of Consciousness which can only be described as Spiritual Enlightenment. I became Enlightened as the result of an earnest and intense process which commenced in the January of that year. At approximately six o’clock on the morning of Sunday the sixth of September 1981, my ‘ego’ disappeared entirely in an edifying moment of awakening to an ‘Absolute Reality’. I lived in the Enlightened State for eleven years, so I have an intimate understanding of the marked difference between Spiritual Enlightenment and actual freedom.

I traveled the country – and overseas to India – meeting with people from all walks of life in an attempt to discover why Spiritual Enlightenment, which has been within the human experience for thousands of years, had not delivered the Peace On Earth it seemed to promise.

As the process of becoming Enlightened is an extreme test of one’s mettle, requiring nerves of steel, it seemed that only a rare few humans were destined to become Self-Realized. The question that commanded my attention was why this was so. I was looking beyond the superficial and questioning even the most closely held ideas and beliefs. Was there something more to discover … something that lay beyond Enlightenment that would usher in the beginning of a genuine possibility of peace for all?

Some Masters hinted at and alluded to ‘Going Beyond Enlightenment’ … yet their Teachings remained exactly the same. Some disciplines suggested that such a condition existed after physical death: when the soul ‘quit the body’. The Hindu Mahasamadhi and Buddhist Parinirvana are two examples of this kind of thought.

Over the eleven years I had numerous experiences of a condition that seemed so extreme that one must surely die to attain to it. To go beyond Enlightenment seemed to be an impossibility whilst still alive and breathing.

Then at midday on Friday the thirtieth of October 1992 a curious event occurred, due to my intense conviction that it was imperative that someone evince a final and complete condition that would ‘deliver the goods’ so longed for by humanity for millennia.

Just like my ego had dissolved, back in 1981, my ‘soul’ disappeared. I was no longer a ‘Self’ existing for all Eternity and transcending Time and Space.

I no longer had a feeling of being – or ‘Being’ – and I could no longer detect the presence of The Absolute. There was no ‘Presence’ at all. Since that date I have continued to live in a condition of complete emancipation and utter autonomy … the condition is both permanent and actual.

This is different from Enlightenment in that it is most definitely substantial: there is no longer a transcendence, for I have neither sorrow nor malice anywhere at all to rise above.

They have vanished entirely, leaving me both blithesome and benign – carefree and harmless – which leads to a most remarkable state of affairs. The chief characteristics of Enlightenment – The Presence of The Absolute, Union with the Divine, Universal Compassion, Love Agapé, Rapturous Bliss, Ineffable Ecstasy, Exalted Euphoria, The Truth, Timelessness, Spacelessness, Immortality, Aloneness, Oneness, Pacifism, Surrender, Trust, Beauty, and Goodness – being redundant in this totally new condition, are no longer extant.

Herein lies the unmistakable distinction between this condition, which I call actual freedom and the Enlightened State: I am no longer driven by a Divine Sense Of Mission to bring The Truth, Universal Love and Divine Compassion to the world. I am free to speak with whomsoever is genuinely interested in solving the ‘Mystery of Life’ and becoming totally free of the Human Condition.

Thus, after The Altered State Of Consciousness has manifested itself, the soul is still present as ‘The Self’. No matter how Enlightened or Liberated one may be, an ‘I’ is still in existence … Timeless maybe, but still an ‘I’, still in the body. The soul, as ‘The Self’, is a psychological entity identifying as being an Enlightened Master.

The ego is only half of one’s identity; the other half is the soul. When the ego dies, one has dispelled an illusion – the illusion of a personal self – only to wind up living in a delusion – the delusion of an impersonal Self. To take oneself to be ‘The Self’, the ‘Immortal Soul’, ‘The Supreme’, ‘The Absolute’, or ‘God On Earth’, is nothing short of institutionalized insanity.

The delusion must be dispelled in order to be actually free: along with the ‘death of the ego’ there must be a corresponding ‘death of the soul’. Then ‘I’ – the self or ‘The Self’ – do not exist, psychologically speaking, in any way at all. Then the Eternal Present also vanishes – along with all that other capitalized nonsense. Surpassing the Altered State Of Consciousness is the third alternative … an actual freedom.

Spiritual Enlightenment has been around for some thousands of years … and there is still no peace on earth. Nowadays I know, experientially, why Enlightenment does not deliver the goods … and, of course, I now know what does. I am not an ‘Enlightened Master’ sitting in an exalted position … and what a relief that is. I am a fellow human being, who happens to live in a condition of perfection and purity, offering my experience to whomsoever is interested.

We are all fellow human beings who find ourselves here in the world as it was when we were born. We find war, murder, torture, rape, domestic violence and corruption to be endemic … we notice that it is intrinsic to the human condition … we set out to discover why this is so. We find sadness, loneliness, sorrow, grief, depression and suicide to be a global incidence – we gather that it is also inherent to the human condition – and we want to know why.

We all report to each other as to the nature of our discoveries for we are all well-meaning and seek to find a way out of this mess that we have landed in. Whether one believes in re-incarnation or not, we are all living this particular life for the very first time, and we wish to make sense of it.

It is a challenge and the adventure of a life-time to inquire and to uncover, to seek and to find, to explore and to discover. All this being alive business is actually happening and we are totally involved in living it out … whether we take the back seat or not, we are all still doing it.

In spite of the fact that every single human being has had at least one pure consciousness experience (PCE) – and usually more – in their lifetime, they somehow can not differentiate between that peak experience of apperception (wherein ‘I’, the thought and felt ‘being’, temporarily quits the scene and the actual world becomes apparent) and their pre-conceived notions that everyday reality is an illusion disguising some metaphysical ‘Greater Reality’.

The Glamor and the Glory and the Glitz of the Altered State Of Consciousness has a tenacious grip upon the minds and hearts of a benighted humanity. It is indeed strange, to the point of being bizarre, that so many persons will turn their backs on the purity of the perfection of being here – of being alive – at this moment in time.

Here in this actual world, which is where this flesh and blood body is living anyway, is the peace that everyone says they are searching for. All that is required is that one comes to one’s senses – both literally and metaphorically – and spend the rest of one’s life without malice and sorrow. One will then be blithe and benign.

It is, of course, a bold step to forsake lofty thoughts, profound feelings and psychic adumbrations and enter into the actuality of life as a sensate experience. It requires a startling audacity to devote oneself to the task of causing a mutation of consciousness to occur.

To have the requisite determination to apply oneself, with the diligence and perseverance born out of pure intent, to the patient dismantling of one’s accrued social identity indicates a strength of purpose unequaled in the annals of history.

It is no little thing that one does … and it has enormous consequences, not only for one’s own well-being, but for humankind as a whole. With an actualism spread like a chain-letter, in the due course of time, global freedom would revolutionize the concept of humanity. It would be a free association of peoples world-wide; a utopian-like loose-knit affiliation of like-minded individuals.

One would be a citizen of the world, not of a sovereign state. Countries, with their artificial borders would vanish along with the need for the military. As nationalism would expire, so too would patriotism with all its heroic evils. No police force would be needed anywhere on earth; no locks on the doors, no bars on the windows. Jails, judges and juries would become a thing of the dreadful past … terror would stalk its prey no more.

People would live together in peace and harmony, happiness and delight. Pollution and its cause – over-population – would be set to rights without effort, as competition would be replaced by cooperation. It would be the stuff of all the pipe-dreams come true.

But none of this matters much when one is already living freely in the actual world. In actual freedom, life is experienced as being perfect as-it-is here on earth. One knows that one is living in a beneficent and benevolent universe – and that is what actually counts.

The self-imposed iniquities that ail the people who stubbornly wish to remain denizens of the real world, fail to impinge upon the blitheness and benignity of one who lives in the vast scheme of things. The universe does not force anyone to be happy and harmless, to live in peace and ease, to be free of sorrow and malice. It is a matter of personal choice as to which way one will travel.

Human beings, being as they are, will probably continue to tread the ‘tried and true’ paths, little realizing that they are the tried and failed ways. There is none so contumacious as a self-righteous soul who is convinced that they know the way to live as revealed in their ancient and revered scriptures … or in their much-prized secular philosophies and psychologies. So be it.

I live in peace and tranquility, beholden to none. With no loyalty to bind me, I have nothing to defend. With nothing to defend I have no need to attack. I have no sense of mission to ‘change the world’. I am not driven by mystical forces to evangelize, to proselytize, to convert. If anyone is genuinely interested in finding out what the reason for their existence is, I am only too happy to participate in their inquiry.

Nevertheless, I can only help those who wish to be helped in the only way that I can help. I am free to be here in the world as-it-is. Unadorned and unencumbered, I can stand on my own two feet, owing allegiance to no-one and nothing at all. I am supremely content with life as-it-is, for perfection can be found in what others call imperfection … and I have no desire to change anything.

To be here, intimately here in this moment in time, where this actual world is such a marvelous place to be alive in, is a satisfaction and fulfillment unparalleled in the chronicles of antiquity.

Actual intimacy – being here now – does not come from love and compassion, for the affective states of being stem from separation. The illusion of intimacy that love and compassion produces is but a meager imitation of the direct experience of the actual. In the actual world, ‘I’ as ego, the personality, and ‘me’ as soul, the ‘being’ – both subjectively experienced as one’s identity – have ceased to exist; whereas love and compassion accentuates, endorses and verifies ‘me’ as being real.

And while ‘I’ am real, ‘I’ am relative to other similarly afflicted persons; vying for position and status in order to establish ‘my’ credentials … to verify ‘my’ very existence. To be actually intimate is to be without the separative identity … and therefore free from the need for love and compassion with their ever unfilled promise of Peace On Earth.

There is an actual intimacy between me and everyone and everything … actual intimacy is a direct experiencing of the other as-they-are. I am having a superb time … and it is a well-earned superb time, too. Nothing has come without application – apart from serendipitous discoveries because of pure intent – and I am reaping the rewards which are plentiful and deliciously satisfying.

Actual intimacy frees one up to a world of factual splendor, based firmly upon sensate and sensual delight. The candid and unabashed sensorial enjoyment of being this body in the world around is such a luscious and immediate experience, that the tantalizing but ever-elusive promise of the mystique of love and compassion has faded into the oblivion it deserves.

The search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes has come to its timely end. With the end of ‘me’, the distance or separation between ‘me’ and ‘my’ senses – and thus the external world – disappears. To be the senses as a bare awareness is apperception, a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is.

Because there is no ‘I’ as an observer – a little person inside one’s head – to have sensations, I am the sensations. There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen … not to ‘me’ but just happening … moment by moment … one after another.

To be the sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. Consequently, I am living in peace and tranquility; a meaningful peace and tranquility.

Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away – nor has it ever been away. ‘I’ was standing in the way of meaning.

This is an actual freedom. It is possible to be actually free, here on earth, as this body, in this life-time.

Appendix No. 1

Description Of Becoming Enlightened

In 1980 I had a peak experience wherein I saw that everything was already perfect as-it-is and that ‘I’, the psychological entity, was standing in the way … and no-one else was preventing me from achieving the ultimate goal of being a human.

In that peak experience I saw ‘myself’. ‘I’ was the end product of society and nothing more. ‘I’ was an emotional construct of all of the beliefs, values, moral, ethics, mores, customs, traditions, doctrines, ideologies and so on. ‘I’ was nothing but an emotional-mental fabrication … a sense of identity with its conscience.

I also saw that ‘I’ was a lost, lonely, frightened – and a very, very cunning – entity. Just as those Christians who are said to be possessed by an evil entity and need to be exorcised, I saw that every human being had been endowed with a social entity … and it was called being normal.

To say that I was amazed rather fails to adequately describe the feeling of relief that after all there was a solution to the human situation here on earth. I was ecstatic.

That proved to be my undoing – as far as actual freedom is concerned. Ecstasy led to euphoria and euphoria led to bliss. In the blissful state I manifested and became Love Agapé which led to an emanation of Divine Compassion for all living beings who were suffering and in sorrow by virtue of the fact that they were ignorant of the Divine Order of things … for an Absolute had been revealed to me in that Love and Compassion – it was that Love Agapé and Divine Compassion – and I had been chosen to bring this self-same Love and Compassion to earth.

I was to go through a process, when I returned to normal, that would result in my being well-prepared to usher in this new age of peace and prosperity to all humankind. As this revelation continued, I saw a new ‘me’ coming into existence … a grand ‘Me’, a glorious ‘Me’ and a spiritually fulfilling ‘Me’. I was the Saviour Of Humankind!

(As all this was happening, a passing thought occurred to me, which was briefly contemplated … then banished: Who or what was it that was observing these two ‘me’s – the social ‘me’ and the grand ‘Me’? This trifling question was to be of immense benefit years later when I realized that I was living in a delusion and that there was an actual freedom lying beyond … but I jump ahead of myself).

Three nights later I had a similar experience and what I had witnessed on the first revelation was confirmed. Then nothing untoward happened for the next five months – this had been in late July 1980 – until on the first day of January in 1981 when I began a ‘process’ that was to last for nine months, culminating in my Divine Awakening on that September morning.

The ‘process’ was both prosaic and extraordinary: on the one hand I began undoing all the social conditioning that I had been subject to since birth and on the other hand I generated love for all and sundry. I examined all the social traditions and customs etc., one by one, and released myself from their iron grip.

I diminished hate and anger and sadness and loneliness by surrendering to and living in love and oneness … which is the best that a normal human could do by virtue of the socialization process. I moved in and out of Sacred States of Heavenly Bliss and Love Agapé and Divine Compassion and immersed myself in the entire ‘process’ with dedication and resolution.

I adopted the principle of pacifism (‘turn the other cheek’) and developed Goodness of the highest order. I cleansed and purified myself of all impure thoughts and deeds and worked both hard and industriously in my daily work. I practiced honesty and humility in all my interactions with other people and pondered the significance and ramifications of the Divine Order.

I totally believed in and had supreme faith in The Absolute and its ability to bring about the Peace On Earth so long promised. That I was to play the central role in this Divine Plan no longer came as a surprise to me, as I began to realize that I had long yearned to be part of the Salvation Process.

I understood that I had to die and be reborn and, consequently, went into a catatonic state that resulted in my being carted off to hospital and kept under intensive care for four hours until I came out of it. I was never to be the same again, as Divinity had been working on me whilst I was catatonic and from that date forward I was permanently in a state of human bliss and love … I could do no wrong.

About six weeks prior to the sixth of September 1981 I had a revelation that I was going to really die this time, not become catatonic again, and that I was to prepare myself for it. I mustered all of my faith and resolution, renewed all of my trust and dedication, and awaited the day.

The night before I could hardly maintain myself as a thinking, functioning human being as a blistering hot and cold burning sensation crept up the back of my spine and entered into the base of my neck just under the brain itself. I went to bed in desperation and frustration at my apparent inability to be good enough to carry this ‘process’ through to its supreme conclusion.

The next morning I awoke and all was calm and quiet. Expressing relief at the cessation of the intensifying ‘process’ that had reached an unbearable level the night before, I lay back on my pillows to watch the rising sun (my bedroom faced east) through the large bedroom windows.

All of a sudden I was gripped with the realization that this was the moment! I was going to die! An intense fear raced throughout my body, rising in crescendo until I could scarcely take any more. As it reached a peak of stark terror, I realized that I had nothing to worry about and that I was to go with the ‘process’.

In an instant all fear left me and I traveled deep into the depths of my very being. All of a sudden I was sitting bolt upright, laughing, as I realized that this that was IT! was such a simple thing … all I had to do was die … and that was the easiest thing in the world to do. Then the thought of leaving my family and friends overwhelmed me and I was thrust back on the bed sobbing. Then I was bolt upright once more laughing my head off … then I was back on the pillows sobbing my heart out … upright, laughing … pillows sobbing … upright laughing … pillows sobbing. At the fifth or sixth time something turned over in the base of my brain – in the top of the brain-stem. I likened it to turning over a L.P. record in order to play the other side … with the vital exception that it would never, ever turn back again.

It was over. I had arrived. I had become Awakened to the Greater Reality. I was Love Agapé and Divine Compassion … there was no separation between me and The Absolute. I had a Divine Sense of Mission to spread The Word and I embarked on fulfilling my Sacred Duty, gathering some disciples on the way, until 1984.

Then I started to question just what I was doing and just what had happened to me. Something seemed to be wrong … this had all been done before by other Masters and Messiahs, Saints and Sages, Avatars and Saviors, to no avail. In fact, instead of bringing Love and Peace, they had left in their wake much bloodshed and hatred … and I was one of them!

Accordingly I traveled to India to find out for myself exactly what was amiss with this whole Enlightenment business by meeting some of these hallowed Gurus and imbibing the centuries of Eastern Spiritual Tradition for myself, instead of merely reading about it in books.

It was to take me eleven years to get out of this massive delusion I was living in and go beyond it to arrive at where I am today. It was eleven years of coming to terms with the understanding that what I was living was a massive delusion of grandeur … and that it was what every human being believed in, in some way, shape or form … but that is another story.

Today, I am no longer an Enlightened Master living in an Exalted State of Being … I am me-as-this-body only, a fellow human being who has no sorrow or malice whatsoever to transcend; hence I am both happy and harmless.

I am what I was on that fateful night in 1980 when I asked the question: ‘Who or what was it that was observing these two ‘me’s – the social ‘me’ and the grand ‘Me’?’ I am these sense organs in operation: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me.

Whereas ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain. Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the actual world … the world as-it-is … by ‘my’ very presence.

Any identity whatsoever is a delusion.

Appendix No. 2

Description Of A ‘Glimpse’ Of Actual Freedom

I was coming to the end of a time I went through in an endeavor to purify myself which I call my ‘puritan period’. I retreated altogether from civilization to a group of uninhabited islands in the tropics off the north-eastern Australian seaboard where I stayed for the best part of three months in total silence, on my own, speaking to no one at all and moving from island to island at whim.

I had whittled my worldly possessions down to three sarongs, three shirts, a cooking pot and bowl, a knife and a spoon, a bank book and a pair of nail scissors … I was homeless, itinerant, celibate, vegan, (no spices; not even salt and pepper), no drugs (no tobacco, no alcohol; not even tea or coffee), no hair cut, no shaving, no washing other than a dip in a river or the ocean.

I possessed nothing else anywhere in the world and had cut all family ties … whatever I could eliminate from my life that was an encumbrance and an attachment, I had let go of. In other words: whatever was traditionally seen as an impediment to freedom I discarded.

It was there I finally discovered that it was ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ which was at fault and that I could ‘purify’ myself via these ‘Tried and True’ means until the cows came home … to no avail.

I was already in an Altered State Of Consciousness (this was in 1985 and my ego had dissolved in 1981) and living in what has been described as the ‘Unknown’. I had had some serious reservations about the validity of this as an ultimate state and had been to India the previous year to see if I could ascertain why.

My discoveries there had led me to consider the possibility that Enlightenment was not the final stage, so I was ripe and ready to plunge into the ‘Unknowable’. I was able to experience what lay beyond Enlightenment several times … the first of these experiences occurred at maybe three in the morning (I had no watch) and was accompanied by a sense of dread the likes of which I had never experienced even in a war-zone – made all the more acute because I had not experienced fear for four years (I was living in a state of Divine Compassion and Love Agapé which protected me from malice and the underlying fear).

This dread contained the existential angst of discovering that ‘I’ was nothing but a contingent ‘being’ and that ‘I’ would cease to ‘be’. Then the condition I went on to experience had the character of the ‘Great Beyond’ – which I deliberately put in capitals because that is how it was experienced at the time – and it was of the nature of being ‘That’ which is attained to at physical death when an Enlightened One ‘quits the body’ … which attainment is known as ‘Mahasamadhi’ (Hinduism) or ‘Parinirvana’ (Buddhism) and so on.

It seemed so extreme that the physical body must surely die for the attainment of it.

To put it into a physical analogy, it was as if I were to gather up my meager belongings, eradicate all marks of my stay on the island, and paddle away over the horizon, all the while not knowing whence I go … and vanish without a trace, never to be seen again.

As no one on the mainland knew where I was, no one would know where I had gone. In fact, I would become as extinct as the dodo and with no skeletal remains. The autological self by whatever name would cease to ‘be’, there would be no ‘spirit’, no ‘presence’, no ‘being’ at all.

This was more than death of the ego, which is a major event by any definition; this was total annihilation. No ego, no soul – no self, no Self – no more Heavenly Rapture, Love Agapé, Divine Bliss and so on. Only oblivion.

It was not at all attractive, not at all alluring, not at all desirable … yet I knew I was going to do it, sooner or later, because it was the ultimate condition and herein lay the secret to the ‘Mystery of Life’.

The ‘death of the ego’ is only for the orthodox-minded people; it is for those who are easily seduced by the Glamour and the Glory and the Glitz of the much-touted Altered State. This is why pure intent is an essential prerequisite to ensure a guaranteed passage through the psychic maze. With pure intent one will not rest until one has gone all the way. One will not be bewitched by the psychic Power and Authority, either.

All these allurements are but welcome food for the cunning entity, which wanting only its own survival, readily sublimates itself into The Spirit. With the clarity born of pure intent one can see this play for what it is and move on freely and willingly to what lies at the end of the wide and wondrous path … the end of ‘being’.

With pure intent one will not settle for second best, for it has been seen in the peak experiences that the very best is possible, here on earth. One sees that ‘I’ must disappear entirely.

There will be no transcendence, no transmutation, no metamorphosis … not any of these. For one who goes all the way, no phoenix will exist to arise from the ashes – nothing Metaphysical will remain. There will be no ‘being’ at all.

‘I’ will become extinct.

I use the word extinct deliberately for it carries a definitive meaning. Physically, death is the end of an individual member of the species, whilst extinction is the ending of the species itself. The psychological annihilation of ‘I’ – in its entirety – is the psychological ending of the species known as ‘humanity’.

It is the end of ‘being’ and the end of an illusion. It is also the end of ‘Being’ and the end of delusion. The Human Condition, with all its appalling sorrow and malice, can come to an end. All those would-be wise people who state: ‘You can’t change human nature’ are, fortunately, wrong.

Because it is possible for ‘me’ to become extinct, thereby releasing the body from the ‘being’ within, I can walk freely in the world as-it-is … this actual world.

I, as this body only, can live in that perfect purity twenty-four-hours-a-day. I can live in a state of benignity, which means a kindly and harmless disposition. Life is a sincere and yet playful game and one is then free to enjoy it all, every moment again.

‘Humanity’, which gave birth to ‘me’, is being sustained by ‘me’ remaining as a ‘being’. ‘I’ am forever fettered by the Human Condition. The species known as ‘humanity’ has searched for an Ultimate Fulfillment within the arena of the Human Condition for all of history.

Such a search is endless and futile, for it is a search within an illusion. Only further illusions – further states of ‘being’ – can be found there … or delusions. Becoming Divine is a delusion – a state of ‘Being’ that is actually an insult to intelligence. ‘I’ will never find the ultimate fulfillment for ‘I’ am standing in the way of the ‘Mystery of Life’ being revealed.

There is no way out, ‘I’ am doomed. ‘I’ must, inevitably, cease to ‘be’. Instead of bemoaning ‘my’ fate and vainly searching for an escape, ‘I’ can see ‘myself’ for what ‘I’ am. This seeing is the beginning of the ending of ‘me’. The extinction of ‘me’ is the ultimate sacrifice ‘I’ can make to ensure the possibility of peace-on-earth for not only me but for all humankind.

Ultimate fulfillment lies beyond extinction.

Appendix No. 3

Description Of Becoming Actually Free

In late September 1992 a woman, who had been coming to see me on and off for some time, earnestly asked that she be taken on as a disciple … she seriously wished me to be her master. I was astounded, for I had been at pains to explain that I was not interested in being anyone’s master, for I considered the entire system of the master-disciple relationship, with its attendant surrender, trust, worship and obedience, to be not only insidious, but pernicious as in regards to another person’s freedom.

I declined, of course, yet I had to question just what I was ‘putting out’ to people to precipitate such a request. What was my part in all this? What was I doing – indeed what was I being – to encourage another to consider taking this step?

I had been dismantling various aspects of the make-up of the Altered State Of Consciousness that I was living in – a state of Spiritual Enlightenment that I called Absolute Freedom – and had thought myself to be virtually free of all that hocus-pocus that goes on in the name of freedom. I asked myself what turned out to be a seminal question:

‘What am I in relation to other people?’

I asked the question in such a way so that I would not get a carefully thought-out and reasoned answer. I wanted an experiential result – and I kept the question burning in the depths of my psyche, discarding any intellectual answers that inevitably popped-up in the course of the next five or six weeks.

It troubled me deeply that I was in such a situation because I seem to be driven by some force to ‘Spread the Word’ and that was never my intention all those years ago when I first had what is known as a ‘Peak Experience’ which initiated my incursion into all matters Spiritual, culminating in the ‘death’ of my ego and catapulting me into this Absolute State.

My intent back then had been to cleanse myself of all that is detrimental to personal happiness and interpersonal harmony … in other words: Peace on earth in my life-time. Instead of that rather simple ambition, I found that I was impelled on an odyssey to be the latest Savior of Humankind in a long list of Enlightened Beings … and this imposition did not sit well with me, as they have all failed in their Divine Work.

After something like five thousand years of recorded history, humanity is nowhere nearer to Peace On Earth than before. Indeed, instead of the much-touted Love and Peace, much Hatred and Bloodshed has followed in their wake.

This abysmal fate is something I wish to avoid repeating, whatever the personal cost in terms of losing this much-prized State Of Being. My diagnosis was simple: if I were driven by some force – no matter how Good that force be – then I am not actually free.

Then in the late afternoon of the day before Friday the thirtieth of of October 1992, whilst out in an abandoned cow-paddock planting tree seedlings, I was struck by the curious fact that at the beginning of my life I had been engaged in chopping down trees to turn the land into cow-pasture.

Now the needs of the situation were sharply reversed and so I paused in my task and stood erect, looking about me in this little sub-tropical valley that the ex-dairy farm was nestled in.

As I looked I idly mused upon the irony that the change in human needs regarding physical survival had wrought such radical transformation in the attitudes toward the environment during the forty five years I had been upon this planet.

In a flash of a moment a vast understanding of the enormity of the Human Condition transfigured my comfortable comprehension of what it was to be an Enlightened Master … a Self-Realized Being. My entire affective and cognitive configuration – my highly prized state of awareness – was seen at a glance to be nothing more than a passionate mental construct.

In other words, my world fell apart.

I entered into a repeat of what I had first experienced on an uninhabited island some seven years previously and nervousness and apprehension mounted to a fear that moved rapidly through terror and horror to the dread that I knew so well from long ago.

This was what my seminal question had produced and, turning weak at the knees, I sank to the ground … to no avail. I could not escape my destiny, for I was situated in a living nightmare of what I swiftly came to see was nothing short of institutionalized insanity.

Any altered state of consciousness was a delusion born out of the illusion of self … but only because of humankind’s ignorance. It is truly dreadful to be trapped in a massive delusion for eleven years, unable to find any way out and knowing that no other human being can help, for the altered state has been held up for millennia as being the Summum Bonum of human existence.

All the literature on the subject praised the state of consciousness I was in (Enlightenment, Illumination, Moksha, Samadhi, Satori, Nirvana, Sunyata and so on) and yet I just knew it was a mirage that I was living.

I had no choice but to retire to my bed for a sleepless night of frozen immobility … which continued throughout the morning of the next day. I knew that I would – I must – proceed, but how could I be right and all those ‘great’ and revered masters be wrong? Who was I, a mere boy from the farm, to set himself up to be the ultimate arbiter of human experience?

The agonizing doubt was virtually unbearable … I would not wish this upon anyone … I would want no one to follow in my footsteps, for I had to run the full gamut of dread to break through to what lay beyond the deception.

I realized, at about nine in the morning, that eleven years ago I had inadvertently surrendered my will to a god … the ‘Absolute’ that I cunningly considered to be ‘That Which Lay Beyond’ had turned out to be Divinity in disguise.

I took myself up the hill into a pine plantation that I particularly favored as a contemplative place and spent an hour and a half digging deep into my psyche to regain my ‘surrender’ … to get my autonomy back. With a shaky will somewhat in place I returned to my home and, mounting the verandah steps, collapsed in a heap on the bare boards.

Unable to move, to think or to feel I could but lie there as my very soul fell away. It was about midday when the process was over and I came to my senses – both figuratively and literally.

For along with the dissolution of my soul, my feelings – my emotions and passions – disappeared, never to return. My psyche disintegrated and the second ‘I’ died … ‘I’ became extinct.

The Altered State 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 Altered State is that whilst the ego dissolves, the identity and soul remain 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 Mr. Venkataraman Ramana fame – is a difficult one to shake, maybe more difficult than the first; for who is brave enough to voluntarily give up fame and fortune, reverence and worship, status and security? One has to be scrupulously honest with oneself to go all the way and no longer be a someone, a somebody of importance.

One faces extinction; ‘I’ will cease to be, there will be no ‘being’ whatsoever, no ‘presence’ at all. It is impossible to imagine, not only the complete and utter cessation of ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety, but the end of any ‘Ultimate Being’ or ‘Absolute Presence’ in any way, shape or form. It means that no one or no thing is in charge of the universe … that there is no ‘Ultimate Authority’.

It means that all values are but human values, with no absolute values at all to fall back upon. It is impossible for ‘me’ to conceive that without a wayward ‘me’ there is no need for any values whatsoever … or an ‘Ultimate Authority’.

Thus I find myself here, in the world as-it-is. A vast stillness lies all around, a perfection that is abounding with purity. Beneficence, an active kindness, overflows in all directions, imbuing everything with unimaginable fairytale-like quality.

For me to be able to be here at all is a blessing that only ‘I’ could grant, because nobody else could do it for me. I am full of admiration for the ‘me’ that dared to do such a thing. I owe all that I experience now to ‘me’.

I salute ‘my’ audacity. And what an adventure it was … and still is. These are the wondrous workings of the exquisite nature of life – who would have it any other way?

I am this infinite and eternal universe experiencing itself as a reflective, sensate human being.

***********************************************************************

The entirety of this post comes from here : http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/articles/abriefpersonalhistory.htm

For more information: actualfreedom.com.au/default.htm

Editor’s note: Edited spelling to American spelling. Included spaces to adapt article to the blog format.

About dominic724

A former seeker starts blogging.
This entry was posted in Awakening Accounts, Fascinating People, Guest Post, Human Experience, No self and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Richard’s Awakening

  1. TimXCampbell says:

    From time to time I encounter people who say they’ve broken free, and upon observing them for a while I conclude that yes, they have indeed broken free of something. Yet as I continue to observe I see that they create anguish in nearly every one with whom they converse. There is a kind of aggression or hostility there.

    I have seen this three times — with three separate people, I mean. In fact, I managed to watch a brief conversation between Richard and another fellow who behaves the same way. The result was an argument, as each tried to out-enlighten the other, followed by cessation of communication between them.

    I contrast this with sages who never upset anybody very much but who also teach a brain-numbing variety of enlightenment that strikes me as patently self-deluded. And then there are the people who speak at length about the wonders they’ve beheld but never manage to reach a single person.

    There is much to puzzle about. Indeed, I could spend years puzzling about certain people. But in the case of people like Richard (or the other two I mentioned, one of whom you surely know of, Dominic), I walk away.

    It seems to me that the quest for liberation can produce monsters of various types. Not every opinion about these matters is equally helpful, and many of these sages produce followers who are mere caricatures.

    It’s a heck of a situation, and perhaps worse yet it’s hard to walk away from people who are claiming that they KNOW (or have seen, or perceived, or discovered etc.).

    I wonder if anybody reading this comment knows what I’m talking about.

    • dominic724 says:

      Timothy:

      Thanks for your always thoughtful comments.

      Happened to notice a very curious set of statements on the Actualism website, regarding how so-and-so is not really the genuine article and that he must stop claiming to be so. It was bizarre, and strangely familiar.

      As you see, I continued with the post, because of general interest in the subject and the thought that it might help someone. The basic technique seems simple and straightforward enough. Happy and harmless ? Maybe the founder should reread his own book !

      I know nothing about Actualism or Richard beyond this post, derived from the website.

      Of what you point to, I wish I could disagree how accurately the dark portrayal captures at least one example we are both well aware of. To make it even more of an ambivalent sense, it was his writing (reading the archives) which created the straw that broke this imaginary camel’s back.

      While it is true that there was not much self sense left here by that point, the very last catalytic event was directly related to his work and his intention. That things went wildly to shit shortly thereafter baffled to no end.

      It seems that even when liberation is concerned, the mix of sanity and insanity, ineffective and ineffective, moral and freakin’ nuts continues. And I don’t know what if anything to do about it. I wish I had something better than this to share with you, but I often have that feeling.

      d

      • TimXCampbell says:

        Dominic, we venture into uncharted waters and some people end up ship-wrecked. They might be perfectly okay with where they ended up but that doesn’t mean they’re worthy of emulation, even though they might have much to teach us. The risk, if we choose to learn from them, is that we might fall into a trap.

        This isn’t spoken about much in groups that discuss these matters, if only because it’s so difficult to comment with so much unknown. There is plenty of room for “special pleading” on the part of the sage, along the lines of “You simply don’t know what you are criticizing” — and they’re right! But if I might draw an analogy, people knew that gangrene was unhealthy long before they understood what it was.

        In a similar way we can see the effects a sage has on other people. If the sage’s followers become bigger (but happier) jerks than they were before that probably means something.

        I find that some sages seem to have no empathy whatsoever — they have moved beyond it, or so they say. I treat this a warning sign. In my view it strongly suggests that all they’ve managed to do is “blow a fuse” in their brain. A neuroscientist named Todd Murphy has written some interesting stuff about how this could happen and how it could appear to both the sage and observers to be a form of enlightenment (or liberation, or freedom, or whatever you care to call it).

        After all, if a blow to the head can render somebody blind, or a stroke can open a person’s mind to new ways of perceiving (as happened in the famous case of Jill Bolte Taylor), then is it not obvious that some so-called “enlightened” people became that way simply because of a neurological change?

        I note that certain “enlightenment” stories emerge from episodes of epic suffering, pain, madness etc. Some people make it out fairly normally (Eckhart Tolle, for example) but I assume that some people go slightly bonkers. (Compare, for example, the breakthrough story of U.G. Krishnamurti — that dude seems to have been hallucinating wildly at one point, and what came after is … puzzling.)

        We are searching in the dark for something significant and our flashlight is pretty dim. It is easy to make a mistake and replace our previous delusions with new ones (as in the case of pseudo-Advaita). And this brings me to what might be a a major factor for people engaged in this search…

        Why do they search? I can think of three reasons — there may be more — why people would seek liberation. (1) To escape personal suffering (2) Compassion for life and (3) Curiosity. Each person will enter into the search with a certain mix of these factors. It occurs to me, though, that if #1 takes precedence — if the searcher clings to that desire to escape from suffering — then the result will reflect the search.

        If the first ingredient you add to your soup recipe is dung, it’s difficult to fix it afterward.

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