However I look, I am unable to agree that self-immolation is the best this body could do for other bodies.
Take an example, for maximum effect, of a father who works 10 hours a day so that his childen will not suffer poverty. If he became AF, he wouldn’t have the same impetus to drive him. So he wouldn’t necessarily do what he was doing earlier–subjecting himself to a rather hard life for the sake of his children. And his becoming AF is very less likely to have any influence on his children, as has been the case with other AF people. So when all is said and done, living as an emotional being is better for the child’s future.
Emotions make people sacrifice for others. Becoming AF entails losing that quality. We do large-hearted things despite our discomfort and pain is because we “feel” others’ pain and want to alleviate that, although it’s actually our own pain we try to alleviate. The only significant way that one can help others by becoming AF is by acting as a nodal point for others to become free. I don’t think Geoffrey and Srinath disagree that such a prospect is very unlikely. I only saw “I” is detriment to this body but not to “that body and every body”.

I’m not sure @Kiman. I tend to think that AF gives a much better capacity to live and that implies anything, including work. A father or a mother could free themselves from the suffering caused by the stress of having to work so many hours a day to raise their children and that would not mean that they would starve, quite the opposite, instead of the “good feelings” morally codified, by putting pressure on such parents, the highest possible consideration is given to the other, so they can work the same amount of time (or have much more freedom to think of better parenting strategies) without the good or bad feelings filter. AF is not a path of irresponsibility and selfishness towards other beings. It is the opposite, but without a moral prescription, but rather an ethical one: the autonomous and rational decision of each individual.

Hi Kiman - if being an emotional being is messing up your life ("‘I’ is detriment to this body"), then it’s damn sure messing up other people’s lives as well. Since you don’t see how others would benefit from you being without self and emotion, consider how detrimental it is for a child to be exposed to and raised by a self-centred and/or frustrated and/or melodramatic and/or prone-to-rage parent that is driven by emotional impulse and fluctuating temperament.

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AF doesn’t involve responsibility and selflessness(once self is extinguished, selflessness or selfishness as they mean will become absurd) either. That’s the beauty of it. Morals and ethics mean one and the same. How do you differentiate between “ethics” and “moral prescriptions”?

Many a time children gain enormously from their parents desire to give them the best possible life. When the desire extinguishes, a parent wouldn’t over exert themself. Because it’s the desire that gives the drive to grind on.

It’s a pretty low bar to not be a melodramatic, prone-to-rage, impulsive and unpredictable parent. My dad has rarely ever been.

Sacrifice is sometimes necessary for others to benefit–there can’t be a way around it like in the above parent-child-poverty case. Just like life feeds on life, there’s no way around it. Sacrifice doesn’t make sense when looked through pure intelligence. Because it’s emotions that make one sacrifice their life for the sake of other(s).

A question to you, Rick. Would you give up your life for the sake of 100 people after you became actually free?

While Rick may not be able to answer that question accurately, I put the same question to you @Srinath.
If you were to give up your life for your children now, would you? If you were to sacrifice your life for 10 people, would you? 100 people? 1000? What’s the value of your life in terms of other humans lives?

You can’t say that is a hypothetical question and therefore unanswerable. Because, what differentiates a hypothetical scenario from a real event is emotions. A rational decision that Rick takes now may not hold in the throes of his emotions when the hypothetical scenario shows up. But
since you aren’t encumbered by emotions, there’s nothing that can change your decision when a hypothetical scenario turns out be true.

Probably not. As an emotional being or otherwise. And I can even be confident that that prediction of behavior would hold even after actually free. I have no information about these people other than that they are fellow human animals. I don’t know their value apart from that. I would be exchanging one human being whose value I can intimately appraise (my own) for a group of humans whose value I have no ability to thoroughly appraise. What if turns out I sacrificed my life for a group of violent child molesters?

Things of course are different when it comes to people you know like family, friends, or associates because your extended intimate contact with them allows you to conduct an appraisal of their worth with which you could make a personal determination as to whether your life was worth sacrificing for their sake, or not.

Then again, maybe their exists a non-emotional instinct to protect strangers that kicks into gear under threatening circumstances.

Ultimately, the actual dynamics of the situation will determine the course of action, not I. It always does anyways whether I realize it or not, whether ‘I’ am here or not.

Richard reports that he raised 4 children while becoming free / after becoming free. Is that enough of a ‘self-sacrifice’ to qualify? Of course, he didn’t experience it as a self-sacrifice as there was simply no self there to sacrifice… simply the best thing to do. I suppose the insecurity comes from not knowing for 100% that that is what is being done. Do you not trust yourself to make your own judgments of what’s best, without the instinctual passions & social conditioning deciding for you?

Additionally, have you ever had or can you remember a PCE? That goes a long way to elucidating some of the questions.

I have a friend who in her own words has a hard time with the concept of ‘letting go of love,’ because she has two young daughters and she can’t dream of not interacting with them through love. When I asked Richard what he thought of that situation, he suggested asking her if she was able to live up to her own standards. In other words, was using love as her system for interacting with her children giving the results she wanted? Of course beating one’s children is, as you accurately put it, a ‘pretty low bar.’ However, can we not do even better than we are now? Do you not have grumpy days? Do you not sometimes snap at others?

Actual freedom challenges us all to do better than we are now. It’s worth it for ourselves, as well as - crucially - for everyone else as well.

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Richard wasn’t in a situation where he either had to opt sacrificing his well-being for his children, or poverty for his children.

“Best” for whom? Sacrificial quality that stems from instinctual passions makes it “best” for the children in the case under consideration. It’s anything but best for the children to have their parents to be devoid of the sacrificial quality, given that if their parents don’t earn enough to pay for their health and education, they will suffer impoverishment and poverty.

It’s best for the parents, sure. You can even consider that it’s best for the parents and the children as a system. But it’s certainly not best for the children.

My PCE didn’t answer those questions at all. If anything, in hindsight, I would say it is not best for the children for the case under consideration.

Most people see security in love as they know it. If she stops dishing out love, her daughters would likely to feel a sense of disconnectedness. If they want love and they don’t get it from their own mother, is it a net positive or negative? You tell me.
She might tell them about the pitfalls about love and all, but that will most likely not cut it. They’d just want love. Of course, she has to take that risk(of potentially causing pain to her daughters) if she is to dive deep into actualism. We can’t always have solutions we like. That’s wanting life to conform to our likes and dislikes.

The questions here are–1)Whether a parent having grumpy days will have any significant adverse affect on their children. And if it does, 2)How does it compare with the parent not earning enough and thereby subjecting his children to poverty?
Answers to them are easy.

It’s for sure worth it for ourselves, but saying “for everyone else” is a gross generalisation. I provided a simple case and that’s not been provided any satisfactory answer so far.
Just to make sure the heart and the thrust of my point is clear–I’m emphasising on the “sacrificial quality” that emotional beings have and when it has a preponderance effect on somebody else’s life(children’s in the above case) over the salutary qualities that AF gives or the troubling qualities AF divests of, then it’s evident that becoming AF is not best for somebody else(children, in this case), no?

Not absurd, irrelevant, inoperative. The distinction between morals and ethics has a long philosophical school in the West. Sorry to get academic. But in very simple terms: morality refers to the list of values ​​and criteria that each culture establishes and ethics is the critical exercise of moral thought. Therefore, ethics never refers to a set of values ​​but to the rational (or religious, or dogmatic, or political) conditions from which they are established.

It seems to me that there is an over interpretation here. Motivation, consideration, the calculation of means to achieve certain ends, do not necessarily arise from a desire (understood as the product of a passionate impulse/instinct).

On the contrary, it is in the academia that morals and ethics are used interchangeably. Colloquially, they may imply different meanings as you pointed: Morality in colloquial usage may imply blind-following or indoctrinated values, as in when people use the term “Christian morality”, while ethics may refer to applied morality.
Link to the distinction between the two by a professor in Ethics:
Answer to Is there a difference between ethics and morality in business? by Chris MacDonald Chris MacDonald's answer to Is there a difference between ethics and morality in business? - Quora

Indeed, it is passions that motivate somebody to sacrifice their life for their children. What else is it?

What can possibly motivate for an actually free person to over exert himself for somebody else’s life? On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense, if not for instinctual passions.

Since for an actually free person there’s no difference between his children and other humans, it’s unlikely that he will over work for years-on-end to lift his children out of poverty.

No actually free person in the first world is donating 10% of their savings, which can fund all the needs of several Sub Saharan children, any way :slightly_smiling_face:. So it doesn’t stack up that they would over exert for years for the sake of one child(their biological child). Therefore, from the perspective of the child it’s best for their parent to not become AF, because otherwise it could spell poverty for the child.

What is it that you can’t agree?

Perhaps they feel security, but that’s a far cry from any genuine security - normal feeling-people abandon their children regularly, as can be seen by the ready availability of orphans for adoption, single parents, and children being raised by their grandparents. Love does not provide the security we imagine it does.

if their parents don’t earn enough to pay for their health and education, they will suffer impoverishment and poverty.

The decision being made here is, would I rather continue being me-as-I-am, if it ‘guarantees’ (which it doesn’t) “earning enough to pay for health and education.”

While it is true that money can provide some lovely things (such as health insurance and college education), money cannot provide a happy life. There are many many miserable people wandering this earth whose health & education are completely taken care of. Part of what my own PCEs revealed to me was the miserable state of ‘my’ normal existence when compared to the possibility. This is a case of putting the image of money vs poverty against the experiential momentary experiencing. How is your life? Is it really so good that you’d recommend it to everyone? When we raise children we’re modeling for them how to live in the world.

Part of why I’ve continued to engage with actualism 4 years on is that I can see clearly that we’re passing our misery on, generation by generation, for the sake of ‘security.’ We already have more than enough security! Our material needs are more than taken care of at this stage. We have more than we need. What we don’t have is enjoyment of life. That’s what I would want to pass on to my children.

They’d just want love. Of course, she has to take that risk(of potentially causing pain to her daughters) if she is to dive deep into actualism.

They would want love. But what most people fail to recognize is that you can’t cherry-pick emotions; if you get love, you get all the rest as well. All the cold shoulders, all the anger, all the sarcasm. In actual freedom you’re genuinely 100% there with the other. Everyone who has become free reports a soul-deep desire to be with the other, to have nothing between them and the other. Actual intimacy. I would call it all the best parts of love without love itself.

The love is ultimately a selfish drive anyway - ‘I’ love this person, ‘I’ couldn’t stand to lose them, ‘I’ want them to be happy. Just watch what happens when the other starts doing things ‘you’ don’t like.

I provided a simple case and that’s not been provided any satisfactory answer so far.
Just to make sure the heart and the thrust of my point is clear–I’m emphasising on the “sacrificial quality” that emotional beings have and when it has a preponderance effect on somebody else’s life(children’s in the above case) over the salutary qualities that AF gives or the troubling qualities AF divests of, then it’s evident that becoming AF is not best for somebody else(children, in this case), no?

In response to this: Again, this is a question of what we’re doing in this life. If we’re bumbling along making ourselves & everyone around us miserable with brief moments of reprieve forever and a day, is that really worth it? When the alternative is perfection?

It seems to me that you anticipate in yourself a desire to bolt from responsibility, and are scared of that desire. One of the charming features of freedom is a lack of desire, which means that ‘drive to escape’ doesn’t exist either.

(edit: typo)


Yes, it is a pretty low bar for some people. But it begs the question: Why keep the bar that low? How high are you willing to raise the bar? Where does it stop and why?

From the child perspective, it’s great if the child’s mom doesn’t become actually free.
Because if the child’s mom becomes actually free, she won’t work herself to exhaustion every day. That means she won’t be able to provide for her child’s education and other needs. That means her child will suffer poverty.
She won’t work to exhaustion every day after she becomes actually free because what she is doing now is sacrificing her life for the potential good life of her child. And sacrifice is a trait that emotional beings have, not AF folks.
She does work now because her passionate desire to lift her child out of poverty impels her.
I hope I am clear.

After a certain point, it doesn’t matter how great the parenting is. It’ll be a case of diminishing returns. Ask Srinath or Geoffrey how great an influence they have been to their children :slightly_smiling_face:. Peter failed to have any influence on his son. I believe Richard too. So advantage of becoming incrementally free towards AF is pretty low, from the vantage point of the child. But the disadvantage is pretty deep, as poverty is looming.

@Kiman reading this thread it makes me realise how difficult it is for a feeling being to understand life as an actually free person parenting, working a job and so on. Trying to derive it from first principles through these thought experiments can lead to some weird ideas and assumptions.

The reality is that parenting, working etc. proceed much the same as before but without the downside of negative emotions. I have found that an asset in terms of parenting my daughter, which is a lot of work regardless of whether you are actually free or not. But it’s also a delight.

I don’t know how you’ve arrived at this dictum. I get a sense here that you are generalising from the idea of a feeling being having both biological and social altruism maybe? Sacrifice in feeling beings does come with a goodly undercurrent of anger and resentment. Any honest parent will acknowledge that this is not an uncommon experience for them. I do a lot for my daughter, because I understand that thats what she needs and that what is required for her to be healthy and happy. I like doing it. It’s not because of some grand idea of sacrifice. Actual caring makes love and sacrifice unnecessary.

This idea of one’s children simply becoming bodies in space after one is actually free is simply not true. I can’t see why an actually free father or mother in a poorer country would not work hard if that assures their child of a safe, healthy and happy life.

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@Srinath Was it altruistic instinct which made you take the final leap into actual world and shut the door to the real world forever? I didn’t get that sense from your report.

@Kiman I’m not sure if you are talking about biological altruism? If so, yes that was a key part.

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Can you expand on how altruism was a key part for you?

@Srinath I have been unable to convince myself that becoming Actually Free is best for other bodies as well, in the glaring light of contradicting evidence.

Bill Gates wouldn’t have been striving tirelessly for a better world if it wasn’t for his Christian morality.
Jordan Peterson wouldn’t have made colossal contributions to his field of work if he didn’t make his life’s purpose to be useful to others.
Nelson Mandela, Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa…come under the same category.

After a point, “help” takes a toll on personal well-being. Helping out will come at a personal cost. One cannot devote endlessly their time and energy for the “larger good”. It will become a zero sum game. People above charged forward despite that.
I wish that people above would have done as much and may be even more if they became actually free. But see what’s happening–
Where is Peter after he became actually free? He clearly knows the power of internet, yet he is no where on the scene. All of Vineeto’s writings were from the time when she was still a feeling being. She almost stopped helping people out after she became AF. In fact, she told me, after becoming free one doesn’t necessarily make it a mission to make others AF
Where is Grace?
Where are other handful of people who became AF?

“They are living their lives while possibly helping people they come in contact with” doesn’t answer it, because even if it’s true they can do vastly more than they are doing even with little more effort. But they aren’t doing it.

Vast majority of people don’t ethics seriously. Because following them takes a toll on their personal lives.
The question is–Do AF people surpass those who take them seriously in helping out people?
People who follow ethics seem to come first, ahead of AF folks, when it comes to “that body and every body”.
As for “Instinctual passions lead to wars and deaths”, what about people who sacrificed their lives to save Jews during
the times of holocaust? What about all the revolutionaries who sacrificed for the larger good?

And yet the world is still a terrible place, racked by wars, murders, rapes, suicides, etc.

And yet despite their contributions, the world is still a terrible place, racked by wars, murders, rapes, suicides, etc.

We could have thousands of Bill Gates, Jordan Petersons, Nelson Mandelas, etc… yet as the cause of all the wars murders rapes suicides etc is the human condition itself, and nothing they have done will end that human condition itself (nor do they even know it is possible) – the “better world” they are “striving tirelessly” for will never arrive.

Well, as there would have been no holocaust in the first place were it not for instinctual passions, that is a rather one-sided appraisal.

You are conveniently leaving out Richard, who, after becoming actually free, spent “eight-ten hours a day, six-seven days a week, responding with millions of words in meticulous detail to all manner of queries and objections in thousands of emails” [link] for perhaps over a decade (since 1997 to when he stopped writing regularly), for the sole purpose of sharing his experience with other fellow human beings so as to facilitate them becoming actually free as well.

It is easy to take the Actual Freedom Trust website for granted, or even diminish it as being too hard to read or too hard to navigate, etc., but the fact of the matter is none of us would be here now without this indispensable and invaluable resource to fall back on and refer to when we have unanswered queries.

As Richard’s efforts led to a number of people becoming actually free - thus making an actual significant contribution to the ending of the human condition plaguing this fair planet and making peace on earth an actual possibility for the first time in human history - do those “people who follow ethics” still “come first, ahead of AF folks, when it comes to “that body and every body””?

Besides which, take stock of the state of affairs now. A number of people have become free since the initial batch of pioneers became newly free in 2010. We have a thriving discussion board which seems to be helping quite a few people get nearer and nearer to self-immolating. Actualism is going truly well and strongly, and all of this is without Richard or Peter or Vineeto needing to be involved. If they were to get hit by a meteor strike today, it wouldn’t matter - actual freedom has already spread beyond them individually needing to be around to spread it. And this is truly an amazing accomplishment - far more worthwhile than if Richard and the rest had to continue to be constantly involved, as that would mean the spread of peace on earth would rely on them, as opposed to being independent of them.

Now it remains to be seen if they will become active again at some point, but it certainly seems worth seeing what will come of the participants on this discussion forum!

One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

Further, Richard was retired, free from family encumbrances and who veritably loved writing. Plus, he had always been like that–one who found joy in contributing for the “larger causes”. Look at his behavior in the war-zone and his asking his superiors to relieve him from his duties etc.

Isn’t this a strawman? :slightly_smiling_face: I’m not suggesting they can free human species from suffering. I’m only saying that the much-used statement, ‘becoming Actually Free is best for “that body and every body”’ doesn’t hold up to available evidence: on one hand we have people who want to help “that body and every body” at a massive personal cost, while on the other hand we have several people who became Actually Free, yet doing nothing.