“Now, as I was on my own in this actual world for eighteen years, before being joined by a handful of daring pioneers three years ago, it had long been an interest for me to finally be able to meet with another actually free person so as to compare notes and find out what was idiosyncratic to this flesh-and-blood body and what was species-specific.”
Since there are quite a few more actually free people now than when this was written, can anyone list as definitively as possible which characteristics are idiosyncratic to Richard? I find it helps to clarify even further what it is to be actually free as opposed to on the way to becoming actually free…
@milito.paz I can’t list then very definitively, but off the top of my head - the turning in the brainstem thing, as well as the distressing period of neuronal excitation seems to have been unique to Richard.
Richard apparently can’t ‘picture things in his mind’ as imagination, but he’s the only one like that.
Richard had to cross ‘an abyss,’ a massive ‘wall of fear,’ that none of the other free people encountered when becoming free (though there are other abysses which we encounter… it’s all the same abyss, also… but not encountered during immolation)
Richard and Vineeto are ‘fully free,’ whereas all the other free people have some remnant social identity hanging on which dictates their action to a degree.
There is one person who there is some uncertainty of whether they are free or not, perhaps they just have a lot of remnant social identity… but they say that they are free, while still believing in God or ‘allowing the possibility that God exists,’ where none of the other free people experience this.
Grace apparently became free without ever practicing the method consciously, though she spent a lot of time in Richard’s presence
Some of the free people became free around Richard, and some did not
Thanks guys. The reason I ask is because people, I doubt I’m the only one, read about the behaviour, preferences etc. of the actually free as a kind of tool to measure how far one is from being actually free. But the more differences there are between the behaviour, preferences etc. of actually free individuals the more confused one gets.
For example how about enjoyment of music, television, movies? I listen to a song I love and start dancing like mad, then I think, oh wait, I’m increasing my ‘good feelings’ here and the actualist morality kicks in and I feel like I shouldn’t be. What about eating? You read about Richard eating a meal a day, eat a lot throughout the day, then that morality kicks in and you feel wow I’m nowhere near being actually free because I’m stuffing my face from morning til night. It’s not really like this for me, definitely not all the time but just wondering what everyone else thinks about this issue?
Well, that’s the problem right there - this so-called “actualist morality”. I might instead call it “faux-actualist morality”, since of course this is not a tool of actualism, rather it is a hindrance, something actively working to prevent you from successfully applying the actualism method.
So really the thing to see is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to exist in the world, there are no ‘shoulds’ or ‘shouldnts’ , when it comes to actuality and actualism. There is just what is sensible, as in makes sense to do, what is propitious, what leads to the outcome you want, and what is silly, what doesn’t make sense to do, what works against your goals and aims.
Simply put, it is silly to feel like you should or shouldn’t be doing this or that because Richard does this or that, when it comes to the contents of your life (what to eat, what to wear, what to do, etc.). Rather what is sensible is, in your own experience, to maximize your enjoyment of being alive, and minimize any ‘good’ or ‘bad’ feelings that immediately or ultimately detract from that – i.e. do what Richard did with regards to the approach to your life - how to relate to what is happening, what to do to get back to feeling good, etc. Distinguish between the conditional and the unconditional, and then you will see it doesn’t particularly matter what the conditional happenings are (although of course it is sensible to do that which leads to more favorable conditional circumstances).
As we are all socialized to feel like we should do what is ‘right’, and feel like we shouldn’t do what is ‘wrong’, then it can take quite a bit of unraveling to even be able to figure out what is silly and sensible, and use those as a guide to life, instead of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – but it is possible, easier the more you do it, and certainly well worth it, as it is a remarkably effective way to cut through all the beliefs, socialization, conditioning, and other such nonsense, that feelings-beings wittingly or unwittingly use to allow themselves to continue to manifest the human condition.
This really hits the nail on the head @claudiu, the lens of morality is conditioned into each individual so well that life is seen only within its framework of : should/shouldn’t, right/wrong, good/bad. Every new piece of information is interpreted with this moral lens already in place so everything that comes out is skewed. The cool thing to contemplate is that this whole moral world is an emotional/psychological construct and that there is an actual world that exists independently of it. As in, in the actual world morality has no existence, it is an outmoded concept.
I think in the end it boils down to the problem of authority. Vineeto said that
Usually, when I succeeded freeing myself of one authority figure, I soon found that I had only replaced them with a supposedly better one –but it never solved the problem. Slowly I started to understand that in order to be free from authority I had to eliminate the need for, and support of, those very beliefs and values underlying the authority. A Bit of Vineeto
But I think we must also be careful to observe with the same lens how we are impacted by the advice (which I think is good, of course) to follow what is sensible and to not follow what is silly, as also unconsciously it can quickly take the form “I shouldn’t feel that I should do such and such”; “I shouldn’t feel that I shouldn’t do such and such”; “I shouldn’t feel these feelings: I should be sensate”, as they prevent us from observing the facts. And the facts are that those feeling are there and that the authority problem may be related to them.
Concepts can be used to rebell against facts, to replace one “should” or one “shouldn’t” by another ones (including actualists ones -suggested by AFT or created by ourselves-). And that will not solve the problem, because as Vineeto says regarding the figures themselves:
Simply rebelling against these authority figures did not invalidate the power of their opinions over me […].