Just some notes to bring people up to speed. 

I’ve revisited the whole Actual Freedom site and the whole concept with a “fresh” eye, as it were. I’m not entirely sure why I returned there, but it was perhaps maybe to face the fear that I felt with regard to the whole thing and the sense of “extreme” materialism I found there.

HOWEVER…

I will say that at this age, I can look at things with a more critical eye and can make my own decisions for myself. What I can also say is that I’m working on a kind of overall articulation of the problems I find with how the system is presented and the grandiose claims that Richard makes as being the absolute, 100% first person to come upon what he terms “actual freedom.”

Okay. So I don’t buy that claim, but whatever- whether or not he’s the first person is entirely beside the point

Here is a point that is undeniable and evident and highly important- Richard is the first and only person according to what I know to advocate that the path itself to liberation from suffering is feeling good itself. 

Stated another way, most religions, spiritualities, traditions, and so on advocate instead for other methods, including various kinds of suffering, but none that I know of advocate that you should start off by doing things you like and trying to get into a good mood and trying to make sure you stay in a mood for most (and eventually, in theory, all) of the time. 

This brings me to one part of my “overall criticism” of the AF website- I don’t know if it’s a fault in my own reading comprehension or the fault of other people or actually a poor organization of the AFT, but it definitely took me a while to figure out that the path IS feeling good, followed by careful consideration of one’s social identity that works against feeling good and so on.

For a long time, I had this weird impression that Actual Freedom was about drowning out the emotions with the senses- which seemed stupid. Well, no; it is IS stupid. And I also had the impression that it was about trying to get people not to feel anything- about eliminating those dog-goned “passions” that were the source of the “emotions” that cause ALL the ills of humanity and so on.

But it’s also not about that. 

Instead, and Richard clarifies this in places, he advocates the elimination of Being- the sense of self and so on- which is the source of the feelings and such, and he clarifies elsewhere that a person who tries to “not feel” will go psychotic, end of story.

Final note before I go: last night, I had an experience of Jesus. He was physically larger than I, and we were standing on the beach. (I should note my family and I were out at the beach yesterday.) I didn’t feel immense waves of love or compassion or anything, only infinity there with Jesus- and He said nothing, just stared over the ocean.

I take that experience to mean something mystically and so on instead of just chalking it up to a “dream” or “delusion” or whatever other label the Actual Freedom Trust might throw on it. More later.

Steve

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