Actualist Hierarchy, Maps & Dogma vs Actuality

It’s normal, which is to say, the usual outworking of blind nature, to build hierarchical structures.

In my hierarchy, I have actually free people at the top.

Yet, the very fact that someone is free of blind nature, means they cannot be in a hierarchy constructed by blind nature.

Correlated to this, is a “quest, path, right of passage” which is formed out of the dogmatic expectation of achieving rank.

However, from my understanding I see only two states a human can find themselves in;

Not free


The fantasy is that one is closer to free, or further away. There is a drama that is taken to be necessary. A story.

So one can be on a path of pilgrimage. Exploring shrines, hunting dragons, other wise “earning the reward” of devotion.

When the map one created for oneself is challenged, the pasting over of the blind instinctual maps on actualism, this is when the opportunity to be free is present.

There are only two states of human experience regarding actual freedom;

Not free


From what I can see, “not free” can be experienced in an increasingly pleasant way, but it doesn’t actually bring one closer to free.

That would imply that one “earnt” something, that the actual bestows something.

The actual already runs the show. Nothing has ever been held back, at the top of a hierarchy, at the end of a quest.

It’s always right here, and now.

Two states; not free, free.

The “actualism method” as experienced and described by Richard is what was later called “out from control” virtual freedom, and ongoing excellence experience.

Yet, all who followed, had little, or a very short experience of “out from control”.

So, the opportunity is there for anyone, at anytime, to become actually free, because it has been demonstrated that no extended period of any sort of virtual freedom is required.

There is no “requirerer”, no one marking your actualist exam, no eye in the sky, or secret watcher, only “not free” and “free”.

There is no ‘map’ to being here. There is no ‘story’ to now.

Andrew, I was thinking about what you wrote in your intro. I think there’s something interesting there. I’m hopeful that you can clarify a point:

I gather that: (a) blind nature builds hierarchical structures; and (b) Andrew has his own personal hierarchical structure.

Is it that (i) Andrew builds hierarchical structures different or separate to the hierarchical structures that blind nature builds? Or is that (ii) Andrew’s hierarchical structures are the “outworkings” of blind nature, such that his hierarchies and blind nature’s are in fact one and the same? In other words: did blind nature build what Andrew is calling his hierarchy?

I think you are getting at (ii) but lest I presume.

Hi Rick, Correct.

Of course maybe it’s just me! Perhaps saying “it’s natural” and generalising is inaccurate.

Which is still blind nature, but idiosyncratic to this installation.

What I was thinking is more about the “map”.

Which I was not seeing in the reports of people becoming free.

The “map” doesn’t actually map anything at all. (That I had in my head at least).

I like this haha, I’m a level 37 actualist bro what level you at? That’s certainly how I understood it for a long time, like a linear progression but I agree it’s not like that. Although things do change, except actual freedom itself is on a different axis I guess, like it was discussed in the questions and answers, there are no conditions or boxes that if ticked ensure actual freedom. It’s not that once I collected enough gold from the monsters killed I go and trade it for my actual freedom token :joy:

Just a point of correction. The actualism method != virtual freedom. The actualism method is what can result in virtual freedom. But they’re two different things. And this was the case when Richard did it too. They were always two different things. And what Richard did was always the same as the method now.

And this isn’t “dogma” but just the reading and understanding of the reports and descriptions :smile:.

Just cause Richard was particularly good at it and it only took him a few weeks or however long to segue into virtual freedom, doesn’t change the fact…

Yes! And you might be surprised to learn Richard has always maintained this. That virtual freedom and the actualism method do not lead to becoming actually free. They are what you do “in the meantime”.

But it’s good that people have confirmed this :slight_smile:

Yes this is a key point!!

One minor point. It’s true actually free people are not in any feeling-fueled hierarchy. But … … that way of being conscious is factually better than the normal way of being conscious.

Super glue is stickier than regular glue… the facts form a sort of factual hierarchy. I am better at programming than a newbie programmer with 1 year experience. This remains true even if we were both actually free.

So it’s not that it is all the same… just it’s not a social identity hierarchy.

I don’t think you were saying it is the same, just pointing out some nuance here.

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It’s seems the main things to distinguish are the actualism method and actual freedom, they are 2 different things, not connected.

So I can get objectively better at the method which is enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive, I guess the ultimate expression of the success at the method would be something like living firmly in virtual freedom. Like mentioned in the simple actualism page, one perfects the art of being happy and harmless as much as humanly possible. That is certainly something that is ‘further along’ than when one started where feeling happy and harmless happened rarely.

The myth is that this achievement is what would inevitably and directly ‘activate’ an actual freedom.

So I guess the maps and tools for an actualist do happen in somewhat of a linear and progressive manner, except the progression is towards a more effective application of the method (of enjoying and appreciating) and not the event that leads to actual freedom. The activation of that event has nothing to do with all that, it is a separate choice that is made.

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Bearing in mind that they are not connected. There is still the question of… would I rather be a level 1 actualist that is firmly trapped in sorrow and malice and try to self immolate from there?


Do I get to level 99 where feeling happy and harmless happens each moment again and I try to self immolate from there.

Like Peter writes if one cannot even commit to feeling good how could one commit to an actual freedom?

The potential danger of remaining a level 1 actualist is that I will keep imagining and projecting some self-immolation fantasies whilst being waaay too trapped within my own sorrow and malice for anything to ever happen. Then I am stuck imagining and planning and scheming forever.

I guess I could equally say that there is a danger of believing that only if I am a level 99 actualist that I have done everything required for self immolation to happen, I have ticked all the boxes. Because even at level 99 the choice to become actually free is something outside of all that was done previously. It’s another thing altogether.

I often wondered about this with regards to Alan, because he lived in virtual freedom so many years and still those boxes didn’t automatically translate. So it seems even living a virtual freedom I cannot rest on my laurels if actual freedom is the goal, something else needs to happen altogether even from there.


Many who have never heard of actualism are “levels” of happiness above me.

I never liked the saying by Peter (which Richard would also use) variations about “if one doesn’t know what feeling good is, forget about it!”

It is often precisely because a person doesn’t know any joy, feeling good, that they set out to find an answer.

I have been told of a PCE that started when the person was very deeply upset. There is an example on the PCE descriptions page when, moments before, the person was very angry.**

Since removing as much of my “map” and “hierarchy” there has been far more clarity in my senses. Without feeling that good at all. More OK. Things look sharper. Colours richer. Randomly, there will be some curious scene that makes me smile.

Like at the shops just now. Half of the Centre is under construction, or waiting for a tenant more accurately. Looking over at it I felt happy. Maybe seeing the gyprock walls unpainted triggered it.

What I am trying to get at is there are no levels.

Literally, none. One can enjoy a better quality of life by using actualism to question beliefs, understanding one’s own psyche etc. One can improve one’s lot in life.

There are no “levels” though. Jokingly, sure!

Literally, no.

I would go as far to say, that starting out with the idea that there are levels, even “feeling good” is a hindrance.

If one actually sees something in the way of feeling good, one may think one is closer.

If one sees what is in the way of ‘self’ immolation, one may actually do it.

They are the same, but the second is superior. The second can easily result in the first, (see an obstacle to actual freedom and it feels good!), The former will not lead to the later (and obstacle to feeling good is not necessarily an obstacle to actual freedom).

“Feeling good” can be a “side quest” which would otherwise have been fulfilled if one were to just go for it.

So I guess I am disagreeing with Richard a bit, without saying he is wrong, because his position all along was that there is no reason one can’t “step out of the real world and leave ‘yourself’ behind, where it belongs!”

**Richard’s opinion that a "glum and grumpy " person stands no chance of a PCE, may be generally correct, in terms of likelihood, but “no chance” has at least two contraindications that I know of.

So "no chance " is really “slim chance”.

There is a massive difference between these statements. No one would buy a lottery ticket with “no chance”.

Each moment someone is inclined to ‘self’ immolate, there is a chance it will happen. There is a chance they will have a PCE, there is a chance of an EE, and a chance they will feel good.

Richard talks about “death” being the only reason actual freedom is possible. A constant companion, he called it somewhere.

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I am not on a quest to prove anyone wrong, by the way.

Much of what is on the AFT was written when Richard was the only one.

As such, it is exactly how he went about it, and his opinions are completely valid about what chances anyone has, considering he had only his experience to go on. It’s definitely safer and honest to be frank from one’s own experience.

It would have been “wishful thinking” and pure speculation were he to write otherwise about what he sees as the best course of action (feeling good, great, etc in imitation of the PCE).

I am coming from the other end though. There isn’t anything to imitate, there is only a goal.

But it’s not important from where are you coming from (neither taking the previous instant nor taking the whole life as a reference). The instant you feel good -or great, or excellent- by means of felicitous feelings you are already imitating the actual -therefore also imitating a PCE if you are not in one-.

Leaving aside the rare cases where a “glum and grumpy” person accesses a PCE (and I have been one of those cases), if your goal was only to become actually free I think you would become less and less happy and harmless over time. And I think this should be your/our primary goal, because reading all the reports you will verify that the possibility of becoming actually free is truly increased when you are “tired” of going in and out of PCEs, of “just” being happy and harmless, and of feeling a being.

And since becoming actually free is not only not guaranteed but as Richard and others say it is not mandatory (speaking of dogmas…), you would still have a much better life (speaking of hierarchies…) than the one you report experiencing now.


Excellent post and points @Miguel .

It’s not one in exclusion to the other. Feeling good, as you say, not matter where one starts from is (apparently) an imitation of actual freedom. Regardless of one knowing that first hand or not.

The life I am reporting is reasonably accurate. So improving it is really a matter of desire. As I have little desire to improve it in practical ways (more income, greater conditional happiness), I am choosing to see what happens when there is mainly the desire for oblivion.

I am not in anyway depressed. A lot of any depression is falling away as I see so much was tied into relationships/ my projections and first hand experience of what others want.

What do I want?

I want to be authentic. I want to be able to sit across this small lounge room from my sons and be the “actual deal”. I want to be actually useful to my allies here ( and anyone interested in actualism is my ally, and there are many other potential allies).

A focus on asking myself what is in the way directly is turning up results.

Weirdly, unpredictable results. As in yesterday having such a pleasant day helping my mother, which was preceded by a rather flat day, were I was seemingly a version of myself from years ago.

Today, I slept most of it. Did next to nothing.

Tried to ‘self’ immolate and saw that I was scared of dying. That is something that I had always claimed I was not scared of. Great, an honest answer from my feelings. From myself.

In all fairness, I am only thinking like this because I had previously made that “feeling good, each moment again, for the rest of my life” commitment maybe 6 weeks ago. From there it became more and more obvious that greater “contrast” was needed. I have no issues at all with increasing “joy” , and providing my heart keeps beating, this summer will be a blast.

Greater contrast can also, I am finding, be provided by contemplating oblivion. There is a huge contrast from “feeling ok” to oblivion.

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Interesting. Does this mean that you no longer see the hierarchy that you used to see between “free” and “not free”? That is, you see the distinction in categories but not the greater or lesser-than attributes you used to see? Or is it that you do still see a hierarchy – which is to say, the forces of nature are still building this particular hierarchical structure for you – while recognizing that the hierarchy has no existence beyond the confines of either “Andrew” or other actualists at large, or beyond the confines of what is generally referred to as actualism (assuming the hierarchy more-or-less also exists within that group and their experience as well)?

I changed the title of the thread to include “maps” because that’s the more accurate thing I have been reducing “belief” in.

As far as, social hierarchy, yes, both between participants here and those who are actually free.

Respecting of course what Claudiu pointed out about the hierarchy based on direct knowledge of the end goal.

Some is simply reducing any “waiting” which is hiding in ideas such as “first I need to become really happy, then PCEs , then whatever after that”.

A fantasy timeline, in other words.

No, I suppose there isn’t. If a map uniformally represents and labels everywhere as being “here” then what good is the map? There’s no “there” to go to or to draw a route to.

Not even knowing enjoyment as a memory?