Q(1): It becomes an obsession.
R: Yes. We talked about that, about being fascinated first of all, and then becoming obsessed. First of all one becomes curious – curiosity is inherent – about what it is to be a human being. I call this being interested. When this interest develops into a fascination, one does not have to generate enthusiasm, as is the case when one is merely interested. Fascination pulls one forward. Not many people become fascinated with life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being. They eventually lose interest. Fascination makes it easy to investigate. Fascination leads to obsession.
I remember you saying some time ago that you had become obsessed – which I was very pleased to hear. It may initially sound strange, to someone who does not realise what we are talking about, to have as one’s aim becoming obsessed. However, one does not have any success with becoming free from the Human Condition without becoming obsessed. That is what swings one through into ‘something else’.
- Your own best friend
RICHARD: The other aspect of the actualism method – other than felicity/ innocuity – is sensuosity: feeling felicitous/ innocuous, each moment again, brings one closer to one’s senses and the resultant wonder at the brilliance of the sensate world can enable apperception … the direct experience of the world as-it-is.
Richard: Sensuousness is the wondrous awareness of the marvel of being here now at this moment in time and this place in space – which awareness is combined with the fascination of contemplating that this moment is one’s only moment of being alive – and one is never alive at any other time than now. And, wherever one is … now … one is always here … now … even if one starts walking over to ‘there’ … now … along the way to ‘there’ … now … one is always here … now … and when one arrives ‘there’ … now … it too is here … now.
Thus awareness is an attraction to the fact that one is always here – and it is already now – and as one is already here and it is always now then one has arrived before one starts. Such delicious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté (which is the closest ‘I’ can get to innocence) the nourishing of which is essential if the charm of it all is to occur. The potent combination of awareness – fascinated reflective contemplation – and sensuousness produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself (‘I’ disappear).
RICHARD: Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space. This attention becomes fascination … and fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur. —Richard’s Selected Correspondence On Contemplation
- On-the-job real-time experiencing
Never not this moment
Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space. This attention becomes fascination … and fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur. An apperceptive awareness can be evoked by paying exclusive attention to being fully alive right now. This moment is your only moment of being alive … one is never alive at any other time than now. And, wherever you are, one is always here … even if you start walking over to ‘there’, along the way to ‘there’ you are always here … and when you arrive ‘there’, it too is here. Thus attention becomes a fascination with the fact that one is always here … and it is already now. Fascination leads to reflective contemplation. As one is already here, and it is always now … then one has arrived before one starts.
The potent combination of attention, fascination, reflection and contemplation produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself. Apperception – a way of seeing that can be arrived at by reflective and fascinating contemplative thought – is when ‘I’ cease thinking and thinking takes place of its own accord … and ‘me’ disappears along with all the feelings. Such a mind, being free of the thinker and the feeler – ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul – is capable of immense clarity and purity … as a sensate body only, one is automatically benevolent and benign.
Richard: To get out of ‘stuckness’ one gets off one’s backside and does whatever one knows best to activate delight. Delight is what is humanly possible, given sufficient pure intent obtained from the felicity/ innocuity born of the pure consciousness experience, and from the position of delight, one can vitalise one’s joie de vivre by the amazement at the fun of it all … and then one can – with sufficient abandon – become over-joyed and move into marvelling at being here and doing this business called being alive now. Then one is no longer intuitively making sense of life … the delicious wonder of it all drives any such instinctive meaning away. Such luscious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté – the nourishing of which is essential if fascination in it all is to occur – and the charm of life itself easily engages dedication to peace-on-earth. Then, as one gazes intently at the world about by glancing lightly with sensuously caressing eyes, out of the corner of one’s eye comes – sweetly – the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is … and one is the experiencing of what is happening. But refrain from possessing it and making it your own … or else ‘twill vanish as softly as it appeared.
- Benevolence & Naiveté
Being the doing of what is happening
RICHARD: [..] After fascination comes obsession wherein one cannot leave it alone any more – or rather it does not leave one alone – and that is when that tempo picks ‘me’ up and ‘I’ am borne along on the adventure of a lifetime as it is inevitable that one is to meet one’s destiny … it being what one is here for.
An eagerness takes over – one feels alive, vital, dynamic – and things happen serendipitously such that ‘I’ can no longer distinguish between ‘me’ doing it and it happening to ‘me’ … and this is exhilarating for one is fully doing this business of being alive – doing it here on earth in this lifetime as this body – and it is all happening now of its own accord. This moment is happening and all the while one is doing it the doing is happening of itself … then one is the experiencing of the happening.
And this is wonderful.
My experience is that autonomy leads to neither isolation nor ostracization as I feared it would at some stage, but if it is pursued diligently and persistently it leads to an actual intimacy and ease with all of my fellow human beings – and I, once again, experienced the peace on earth that already, always exists.
RICHARD: [..] there has been many an occasion over the years where, in face-to-face conversation, many a person has felt overwhelmingly sleepy – complete with compulsive yawning and irresistibly heavy eyelids – despite being vitally interested and (up until then) participating keenly in what is being discussed.