"The Formation and Persistence of Social Identity"

A new article has just been published on the Actual Freedom Trust website:


The context is relevant — having to do with the recent Global warming/climate change thread. I started to quote Richard’s newly-posted Addendum Four but then the quote expanded more and more, to include all the context, to where it would be a fully copy-paste of what’s already on the AFT site, so I will leave the link here for everyone to peruse themselves!

1 Like


@claudiu Can you give a summary of what this says?

@jamesjjoo I probably could summarize it – although the fact that I didn’t even want to summarize the Addendum Four should already answer the question of whether I would attempt to summarize the new article – but the salient question in my mind is, what purpose would a summary serve?

Presumably a summary would be so that somebody who doesn’t want to take the time to read the entire thing and understand it, could instead read something shorter and get the “gist”.

But, we are engaged in an experiential exploration of and undoing of the human condition, are we not? This necessitates often intensive effort and understanding, not to mention lots of time and energy. It is no small feat. It takes time and dedication.

So, somebody who is unwilling to put the time and dedication into reading the full article in the first place – isn’t going to get any benefit from reading a summary. It may even be detrimental since they may leave presuming they understand it when they don’t.

And for those who are willing to put the time into it, then reading the full article will be of the most benefit, and as they are going to do it anyway they may as well skip the summary and go straight for the full deal.

I do suggest reading it slowly, carefully, gradually, stopping if it feels like too much, following all the tooltips, engaging with it, really understanding it, and not skimming – in short read it with all of your being, and then it can be most transformative for you!


1 Like

I started reading it at breakfast but got lost in the length of it. May tackle it later. I watched the video posted in the link in section 06 by Andy Shectman on de-dollarization which I know something about. The us is not in immanent danger of losing its status as world currency reserve as he says although it could happen. May tackle the rest of it later.

Come on @jamesjjoo we get this absolute gold and you want a summary!? :smile: I’ve been getting stuck in bit by bit.


@Kub933 I am lazy. Just glanced at a bit right before my answer to you. Can’t find it right now but it basically said that being fully free is recognised by an experience of infinitude. I did find this very informative. Maybe bit by bit is the way to go about reading this as you said.
What bits have you gotten from it so far?

Been expecting some ‘hauling over the coals’ by Richard for quite some time now for speaking my mind :smile:

I do think there are some problematic dynamics at play here, which need to be sifted through and spoken about - and I don’t mean just about my extant social identity. But I’m going to sit on it for a while and see what emerges.

I’ve also been wondering for a while now (and I know I’m not alone here) if this forum is a suitable vehicle to facilitate actual freedom - rather than actively prevent it, much as we would like to believe otherwise. It is good for learning the ropes and getting the hang of the actualism method I think. Probably good for actualists to have a community of like minded individuals too. But the tail shouldn’t wag the dog. Perhaps there could be more efficient supplementary or wholly alternative models - small groups working more intensively perhaps? I guess other alternatives are equally unproven, but still worth thinking about.

The original “small group” is proven, the majority of actually free peeps are from that original small group.

I think we need a catamaran! :rofl::sailboat:

1 Like

I wonder about this too as the success rate is 0% so far — although the forum hasn’t existed very long. But…

Really? Actively prevent it?? How? What makes you say that?

Or how would it be doing so any more than the usual being out in the world as it is with people as they are?

So far I only got to the John Money part, been going slowly with the article on one tab and dictionary on the other :smile:

Geoffrey and Srinath succeeded without direct assistance from the original pioneers and I think at the time the discussions were happening on the yahoo forums right?
If so then that would have been a similar set up to now, basically read the website and then collectively muddle through stuff together with other actualists :laughing: Whilst ultimately being on your own with the journey, well you and the universe.

I do remember Geoffrey saying that on the slack he sometimes felt like an outcast or that he had to go against the grain to continue to make progress. I have felt this way too recently haha. So to that end I see there may be a point — that the psychic ‘center’ of the forum is still within the human condition and not outside of it.

However it would seem evident that nevertheless its ‘center’ is far from being within the depths and pit of the human condition — ie much closer to sincerity and Naiveté than is ‘normal’!

And I don’t yet see why it couldn’t shift its center even more towards actuality. Affective happiness and harmlessness are affective too — so they would have their own psychic currents as well!

And to that end of shifting it, as interacting with actually free people is clearly beneficial, what prevents Srinath and Geoffrey and Craig from ”working more intensively” with the forum as it is?? :smile:

In any case it does seem at one point one does have to leave ALL of humanity behind — even the perhaps remnant (if only apparently) edges of it of the forum.

1 Like

Yeah since you have already been hauled over the coals @Srinath I would like to second this :grin:

It seems that you and Geoffrey have a more ‘hands off’ approach vs the way Richard interacted on the forums.

The input that you and Geoffrey had on this forum I always found extremely useful and even interacting with you guys in general always seems to yield some new observation.

For example observing the way you answered @claudiu in the GHE thread it was fascinating to see that truly there is no malice there, no possibility to ever ‘bite’, even if there is whatever remnant social identity business.

Also reading your recent posts I can get a taste of what actual caring is all about, there is no other agenda for you being here other than for others freedom.

Similarly when I was chatting to Geoffrey via zoom, there is so many little things that I notice (I have always been quite observant of people in general), little inklings and behaviours that are like bread-crumbs leading me closer to living that which I am aiming for.

So in short I would certainly appreciate a more intensive mode of interaction from the actually free guys on here, even if ‘I’ end up getting hauled over some coals as a result too :grin:

In terms of other methods than writing on here the only one that seems practical is zoom chats. It can still be tricky to coordinate everyone together but it is still easier than flying everyone in from around the globe.

I think the dynamic of a back and forth conversation can help to clear up a lot more than just text.

Again the couple of chats I had with Geoffrey were helpful in that regard, there were a few things that I was even afraid to write about because I thought they were stupid questions, so I was carrying this monkey on my back for so long.

I think that smaller groups work better for the zoom chats though, I noticed as soon as there was maybe more than 5 of us it gets difficult for everyone to benefit. It seems that this ‘intensive interaction’ works best with only a small handful of participants. God knows how this would work practically though :laughing: who gets first dibs? We’ll have to battle it out to see who’s had more PCEs. But then again there is not exactly many of us as it is.

Take a ticket, and hang off them like a bad smell.!

I think there is more than just me on the forum logging on in hope that someone else cracked the code.

I am not sure if it was said in confidence, but one actually free person was “best friends” with another until they became free.

You can fill in the blanks.

The success rate for intensive interaction is high.

In a way Srinath is the outlier in that. No intensive interaction.

I will let the reader join the dots.

@Srinath is your more vacant style of interaction linked to those problematic dynamics? As in not wanting to muddle things for us whilst there appears to be some discord between the fully free and basic free individuals?

“Holy Lord” - - is that a reference to the meaning of Srinath? I’m seeing the name could also refer to Vishnu?

What a curious article - I would never have expected a new article like this. Anyone know what prompted it exactly?

I say curious because it’s interesting to read deeper into Richard’s opinions on things - opinions which to Richard I guess are hard facts. Obviously for feeling beings, or maybe even basically actually free people, it’s hard to evaluate the information altogether accurately without wondering if this evaluative perspective and intellectual perspicacity is something only full actual freedom can provide. For example, one thing I remember during a PCE is they way that I thought and wrote was way different. It’s astounding to realise that even when I write, there is identity at play - which literally affects the use of vocabulary, grammar and so on. Intelligence definitely increases during a PCE.

I know personally, I more easily dismiss or question my own opinion/reaction on Richard’s comments, because of his authority in the area of actual freedom. And that’s not just an “area”….that’s something entirely fundamental. So yeah, he does somewhat have us over a barrel on that one :sweat_smile:.

He includes “homosexuals” (along with transvestites lol) in his talk of “sexual orientation identities” and even though I live what he would think of as “a homosexual lifestyle”, he isn’t totally clear in his article about his views on whether sexual orientation itself is identity based. As far as I’m aware he does see homosexuality, for example, as being socially cultivated/fabricated. We’ve had conversations on that very matter, but it’s obviously not something I have in writing or which was made public - so I don’t necessarily want to dive into that. But with R&V’s permission I would make some account of those chats. This updated stance, if Richard wishes to confirm it, is at odds with what he has previously written:

RICHARD: No, sexual orientation is not a preference.
RESPONDENT: Your input on this matter is important to me as I am facing issues around my sexual (homosexual) identity/reality since AF.
RICHARD: Neither heterosexuality or homosexuality (or bisexuality/ transsexuality for that matter) are a product of identity as other animals display variations in sexual orientation as well …

His current stance seems to step away from that biological viewpoint, putting all the focus on identity now (outside of heterosexual sexual preference, that is). Would be neat for him to clarify what exactly he sees as the behaviour of a “sexual orientation identity”. In the case of homosexuality - does he mean thinking of oneself privately, and publicly presenting oneself, as gay? Or does he mean literally courting those of the same sex - including men loving men, men having sex with other men and so on. And to what extent is that ‘bad’ - for example if a male sucks off another male? Is that a waste because it ideally ‘should have’ been between a man and a woman? On the level of the material/sensual world - how is it not the same? A blowjob isn’t a procreative act - and in any case most heterosexual sex (be it vaginal or anal) is not procreative either. If not procreating is considered a detriment to the human race (an “evolutionary dead end”), what about those who have not reproduced (like Vineeto)?

I’m open to the fact that there are aspects of social conditioning to my being gay - which perhaps even go to the root of my sexuality itself. Richard’s article motivates me to look at every aspect of my identity as close as can be - including sex drive, sexual identity, sexual impulses sexual predilections, acculturated sexual viewpoints etc. Let’s not forget we’re trying to eliminate the entire affective faculty here, so of course those things would be a (beneficial) casualty. So rather than getting caught up in the discourse element of this article (eg spending time trying to figure out who is right about climate change), for me it points to the fact that I need to question everything I think, feel and believe as an identity and leave no stone unturned in the process.

One question as well that I’d ask Richard when reading this article: He makes example of someone on here being a poker player (in a diminishing way, as if that alone said enough, or as if that in itself were indicative of that person’s character) and then further clarifies that means that for that person bluffing is ‘second nature’. I know Richard is responding to that persons initial “disparagements”, but would he agree that his response is also disparaging to a degree? And if yes, is that an example of defending against “bully boys”/not being a pacifist as he has talked about elsewhere?

To bluff, you need to be able to inflict some pain on the other. In gambling games, if they call and lose your bluff, the pain inflicted is a loss of money. You can’t try to bluff if you don’t have an intimidating weapon to wield. In a street fight, that’d be like a little guy trying to intimidate a giant. In a gambling game, that’d be like a person betting $1 in a million dollar pot. At any rate, Richard nor Vineeto don’t have anything to lose and there’s nothing for me to win. So it’s a strange thing to say.

The petrodollar comment at the end seems like a huge stretch. And a speech by King Charles…I don’t know the relevance. Except for banking, all the money is in oil, gas and coal. And the banking giants have no need to upend a system that benefits them so much. They loan money to petro and petro pays them back with interest. I can only think that by feeding another energy industry that would be capital intensive, the banks get to diversify their energy investments. And that may play down the road if the population starts to shrink. It’s a stretch though. I don’t think it adds up. For one, solar and wind are probably a lot less capital intensive than having to continuously dig for new petro sources. For two, population decline is a ways away. Food for thought but not convincing at the moment. Especially when you consider that the OPEC countries and the petro companies themselves have conceded (rightly or wrongly) to the science (good or bad) of AGW.

Actually, population decline in the rich countries is either ongoing or will start any day now. That said. Immigrants will keep the population in those jurisdictions and economic areas growing. But my idea is that as society need less petro due to having less people, the bankers need to convince other firms to borrow from them. Not too crazy. Within the realm, I think, of reasonable speculation. But I still would think that banks would prefer even a shrinking population to continue with petro, because you need to keep digging for petro. New projects still need to be started and old logistic systems need to be maintained. I’m trying to make sense of where the motivation to upend the energy system might come from…