Actualism isn't 'acceptance'

The normal way of thinking, the “accepted wisdom”, is that to overcome ‘rejection’ one must have ‘acceptance’.

This is an emotional scale. Not unlike having ‘gratitude’. To overcome ‘hate’ , one must ‘love’.

I am realising the correct actualism answer to all the various emotional scales is “Felicious and Innocuous” feelings.

‘acceptance’ is like surrender. ‘love’ is to be blind.

Felicious and Innocuous is to being enjoying the very things of existence on a perpendicular tangent to the ‘normal’ scale.


An interesting geometric fact is that when one chooses to be on a tangent away from the normal scale, it forms a triangle. The internal angles of a triangle always add up to 180 degrees.

At some point, far enough away from the normal scale line, the angle will become so acute as to be virtually a straight line; the reference to the ‘normal’ scale line fades into infinity.


Love and hate are emotions. Acceptance isn’t an emotion. It is letting go of obstructions to emotions.

It seems there are two usages to ‘acceptance’ there is the one of for example accepting the facticity of something e.g accepting the facticity of death.

It seems though that especially in spiritual/new age kinda circles ‘acceptance’ relates to as @Andrew mentioned - some form of surrender or even resignation. E.g “I guess I have to accept that I will never be good looking and get on with it”. That approach has mediocrity in it. Or ‘accepting’ that life is not all sunshine and rainbows etc. This acceptance seems to be about essentially learning to put up with something unpleasant, I think Richard writes about this somewhere.

That second ‘acceptance’ seems to diminish as one is climbing up the felicitous ladder, when feeling good, great etc life is too wonderful for me to merely be accepting of things, in that place I am fully endorsing life right now. Actually writing this now a good question popped up of - Is that second ‘acceptance’ rooted in resentment? It seems so!

Wishing I was good looking is in contradiction with reality, which causes suffering. So I’d better accept the reality as it is.
Life is not all sunshine :sunny: and :rainbow: currently for me, so I better accept it instead of constantly comparing with an ideal and judging my current state, which causes suffering. That doesn’t mean I won’t take concrete steps to improve my state of well-being.

If it’s not ‘acceptance’, what word/phrase fits for actualism? We need to have some word for the purpose of communication.

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I was thinking the same, I think for the purpose of actualism the word endorsement orients one in the right direction. As in to fully endorse being alive right now, not just accepting that your life is not perfect and limiting your suffering - that screams of mediocrity again.

If you re-read this one it actually demonstrates what acceptance is all about - accepting reality. Yet actualism has nothing to do with accepting reality.

And yet right now it could be experienced that way, right now life could be experienced as perfect, or excellent, great etc it is only ‘you’ standing in the way of this, so how does accepting help in this situation other than perpetuating the very reality which it is putting up with.

Acceptance helps feeling great by helping to get over the grip of bad feelings. So acceptance lines up with the spirit of actualism, does it not?

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Well I guess if I am feeling bad I must look at it squarely so in that sense it is important but you could just as well use the word admit, as in I must admit that I am feeling bad so that I can give this up in place of feeling felicitous.

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Feeling bad cannot be given up just like that. That way, it’ll rebound.
A mere thought can trigger the bad feelings again, again I should try to get back to feeling good. Rinse and repeat. This recurrent process will cease when there’s acceptance, because the bad feelings are always triggered by non-acceptance in the first place.

This is essentially the spiritual approach. Bad feelings are triggered by ‘me’, they are ‘me’ and they cannot be eliminated through acceptance.

Feeling bad will rebound to some extent as long as I remain in existence as a feeling being. Actualism is all about habituation though. The point is that they will rebound less often and will rebound to a higher and higher baseline.

What helps to limit the ‘rebound’ is investigating and nipping in the bud.

In my experience it definitely can, admitting that I am feeling bad and seeing it as silly is what allows a movement into feeling good again.

The more there is acceptance, the less will remain of ‘me’.

Can investigation be entirely dispensed with? Given that Richard apparently didn’t include investigation in the method of actualism when he mooted it first, it’s all the more an interesting and pertinent question.

This is something that we were discussing with @geoffrey but I am not sure if you were still there for that part. Essentially though the method is enjoying and appreciating and that is the bottom line, investigation is not a part of the method. Whether it would be advisable to plough on with no attempt at ever investigating anything from start to finish I’m not sure, I guess you could test it out for yourself :stuck_out_tongue:

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I was using it (acceptance) in the normal wisdom of the world way, as in to stop rejecting something, one must accept it. It is an emotional thing to me. Rejecting something emotionally to me is aversion, a type of angry disgust, mixed with some fear. The opposite to me (acceptance) is a feeling of surrender, a sadness (I might as well accept this) tinged gratitude infused with rationalisations. (If you can’t beat them join them).

What I was seeing is the actualism advice is a tangent to all of these types of dichotomies. To feel Felicity and Innocuity, one is not swinging from one emotional extreme to the other, but stepping out at tangent. Felicity and Innocuity are not “in the middle” but off the beaten path all together.

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And I think this is the nub of it all! Because acceptance as you propose @Kiman is trying to live in that in between, felicity and innocuity are not to be found there though as you mention @Andrew

Also I would be interested in how accepting ‘me’ leads to the diminishing of ‘me’ @Kiman ?

The only way I can see this potentially playing out is that if I am accepting of myself as in I am my own best friend, this might limit some of the secondary emotional reactions. Also accepting myself at core as opposed to projecting harsh moral judgements on myself might limit some of those secondary emotional reactions. But I don’t think this is what you are referring to?

When there’s acceptance, thoughts won’t bother. Useless thoughts pretty much don’t occur. Mental chatter is due to various fears and desires, need for respectability, approval and love etc.
You have taken a test and waiting for results. All of your thoughts will be concerning whether you will get what you expect or not, which is rooted in fear of consequences. If you are okay with any result, you’ll forget that you have taken the test until the results come out.
You can apply this to any situation. All distressing thoughts are caused by not accepting the underlying emotions that those thoughts trigger.
So when thoughts don’t bother, isn’t it a huge step ahead compared to how most people live? This leads to happiness. Accepting me just means not fighting me(my emotions), which is what happens usually.
If there is fear, letting the fear be there makes it go away. If there’s a real threat, necessary step will automatically be taken.
If there’s jealousy, what can you do? You can’t be not jealous, right? So accept that you are jealous and don’t try to be opposite of jealous. I should not be jealous or hateful or angry will keep me jealous, hateful and angry, which is antithetical to actualism.
Acceptance aids actualism.

Perhaps the following quotes will help to clarify whether the same thing is being talked about with different words, or different things with the same word:

RESPONDENT: In what way differs the ‘living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are’ from the spiritual notion of acceptance?

RICHARD: Here is an example of what the word ‘acceptance’ can mean:

• acceptance: favourable reception (of persons, things, or ideas); approval; assent; (gen.) the act or fact of accepting [taking or receiving with consenting mind; receiving with favour or approval], whether as a pleasure, a satisfaction of claim, or a duty. (Oxford Dictionary).

As spirituality is all about not living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, but living in a spiritual dimension (a non-material world) as a spirit being (a bodiless presence), so as to perpetuate the existence of identity forever and a day, spiritual acceptance of physicality can hardly be called a favourable reception, an approval, an assent, with consenting mind, of material existence but rather a tolerance, an allowance, a permittance … or even, in some situations at least, a resignation.

RESPONDENT: If one embraces death, I mean accepts it totally, not on a superficial level, but realizes the impermanence of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, then one is free to live totally in the present.

RICHARD: Yes … if I may explore this word ‘accept’ (and ‘accepting’ and ‘acceptance’) as I see that you qualified it with ‘totally, not on a superficial level’? It has a lot of currency these days and popular usage has given it somewhat the same meaning as ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ or ‘tolerate’ … which is why I say ‘embrace’ (as in unreservedly saying !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body) as a full-blooded approval and endorsement. Those peoples who say that they ‘accept’ … um … a rapist, for just one example, never for one moment are approving and endorsing … let alone unreservedly saying !YES! to the rapist.

The content of this last quote is more complete here:

RESPONDENT: Also how does one ‘accept the world as it is, with people as they are’, even though one sees them all as unacceptably nursing malice and sorrow, bringing forth wars etc., etc.

RICHARD: I do not advise anyone to ‘accept the world as it is, with people as they are’ … I always put the question this way: ‘How can I live happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?’ Which means: how is it possible to enjoy and appreciate being here, each moment again, as this flesh and blood body? Or: in what way can one live in complete fulfilment and total contentment for the remainder of one’s life? With the purity and perfection of a pure consciousness experience (PCE) firmly in mind as one’s guiding light one asks, each moment again: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’

Incidentally, the word ‘acceptance’ has a lot of currency these days and popular usage has given it somewhat the same meaning as ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ or ‘tolerate’ … nineteen years ago ‘I’, the persona that I was, looked at the physical world and just knew that this enormous construct called the universe was not ‘set up’ for us humans to be forever forlorn in with only scant moments of reprieve. ‘I’ the persona realised there and then that it was not and could not ever be some ‘sick cosmic joke’ that humans all had to endure and ‘make the best of’. ‘I’ the persona felt foolish that ‘I’ had believed for thirty two years that the wisdom of the ‘real-world’ that ‘I’ had inherited – the world that ‘I’ was born into – was set in stone. I ceased accepting, allowing, permitting or tolerating or being resigned to suffering there and then. Which is why I say to people to embrace death (as in unreservedly saying !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body) as a full-blooded approval and endorsement. Those peoples who say that they ‘accept’ … um … a rapist, for just one example, never for one moment are approving and endorsing … let alone unreservedly saying !YES! to the rapist.

So much for ‘acceptance’ as a viable modus operandi.


I’m very weary of the word acceptance due to it’s inherent and subtle reference to that of ‘somebody’ other than what’s being felt, is taking a ‘stance’, taking a ‘third person view’ upon itself and to that which is being experienced (splitting oneself up). In my own case, and in this new and different way of being, where feelings just run their course without somebody witnessing, judging, observing and accepting etc.:

“I am my feelings and my feelings are me.”

This new mode of modus operandi means that there’s less and less of somebody noticing what’s going on and more and more of attentively being ‘whats going on’ and simply feeling whatever I’m feeling right now. This really has nothing to do with the notion of acceptance at all. I can see no other reason for this word to be used, than by a feeling being (splitting itself up) whom has yet to fully realize that:

“I am my feelings and my feelings are me.”

Why on earth would I need to accept anything (as if I were not it) when I’m already am my feelings and my feelings are me?


You must be very advanced.
And if what you said is true, then 90% of the thoughts must have ceased.