To be naïve is to be virginal, unaffected, unselfconsciously artless … in short: ingenuous. Naiveté is a much-maligned word, having the common assumption that it implies gullibility. Nevertheless, to be naïve means to be simple and unsophisticated. –

It is an effortless, almost foolish, sensation … but exquisite. [..]

In short: if it be not either easy (effortless) or fun (enjoyable) then there is something to look at until it is again.

Richard’s Selected Writings on The Universe,

Richard: ‘One surely has to be naive to contemplate the profound notion that this universe is benign, friendly. One needs to be naive to consider that this universe has an inherent imperative for well-being to flourish; that it has a built-in benevolence available to one who is artless, without guile. To the realist – the ‘worldly-wise’ – this appears like utter foolishness. After all, life is a ‘vale of tears’ and one must ‘make the best of a bad situation’ because one ‘can’t change human nature’; and therefore ‘you have to fight for your rights’. This derogatory advice is endlessly forthcoming; the put-down of the universe goes on ad nauseam, wherever one travels throughout the world. This universe is so enormous in size – infinity being as enormous as it can get – and so magnificent in its scope – eternity being as magnificent as it can get – how on earth could anyone believe for a minute that it is all here for humans to be forever miserable in? It is foolishness of the highest order to believe it to be so. Surely, one can have confidence in a universe so grandly complex, so marvellously intricate, so wonderfully excellent. How could all this be some ‘ghastly mistake’? To believe it all to be some ‘sick joke’ is preposterous, for such an attitude cuts one off from the perfection of this pure moment of being alive here in this fantastic actual universe.’

RICHARD: Any sense of naiveté, no matter how small, is to be encouraged … and the cultivation of naiveté (the closest approximation to innocence a ‘self’ can be) via sincerity is, of course, enhanced by delighting in being alive on this wondrous paradise called planet earth.

In this context delight is the sensuous experience of the thrill that being a flesh and blood body automatically evokes: the delicious (physical) excitation of the senses … all the senses tingling with utter enjoyment and exhilaration.

Evoking naiveté

From Peter,

There is a lot in Richard’s writings that evokes naiveté, yet reading it is one thing but taking the time, and making the effort, to contemplate on what one reads is quite another. This is the work that is up to ‘you’ to do.

I had Richard’s journal 📖 by my bedside 🛏️ and would read a few paragraphs and then lay back and think about it a while or I would take myself off for a walk 🚶 in a favourite place and just sit down and gaze 👀 at the world with soft eyes thinking 🤔 about what I had read, what I had done with my life, what I was doing with my life and what I wanted to do with my life.

I also found it essential to stop beating myself up and start liking myself ❤️, to start to enjoy my own company which in turn led me to start being interested in being here 📆, which in turn led to a naïve curiosity about life, the universe 🌄 and what it is to be a human being.

I don’t know if that is of use to you but the first is obvious – read – and the second is equally important – contemplate – and the second will be best done at a time when you feel most relaxed and at ease.


RICHARD: Getting in touch with one’s in-built naiveté is the first step towards sagacious reasoning.

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  • Your own best friend

    PETER: I also found it essential to stop beating myself up and start liking myself, to start to enjoy my own company which in turn led me to start being interested in being here, which in turn led to a naïve curiosity about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being.

  • Wiliness of the wild

    Note: Although Mr. Greene here is more likely to receive moral opprobrium than Mr. Carnegie (and the latter does give sensible and practical advice to people for improving their social lives; see example), both of their teachings are to be viewed in a morally neutral way (see the ‘no-one’s fault’ above) so as to allow the discovery of the human wiliness – and its discernment in relation to the superior alternative Naiveté – inherent to those teachings.

    The expression ‘wiliness of the wild’ (a direct opposite of Naiveté and thus Spontaneity) refers to the cunningness naturally inherent to human species (arising from the genetically-inherited instinctual passions) in particular, as well as the animal species* in general. The word ‘wily’ has the following as its synonyms:

  • Sincerity

    See also Naiveté

  • Seriousness

    Life here in this actual world – the world of sensuous delight – is akin to being a child again but with the undeniable advantage of adult sensibilities; when the occasion calls for it I can adopt a suitably solemn expression, nod sagely as appropriate, and get away with being just a big kid having a ball in the otherwise grim and glum land of the grown-ups; indeed, I can even tell them how much fun I am having – that I am just a big kid – and yet they are so serious they assume me to be making some kind of obscure or idiosyncratic joke’.

    RICHARD: … this naive boy from the farm writing all these millions of words, this big kid with adult sensibilities tapping with two fingers at this keyboard, is perpetually aged circa 14 years (à la the ‘Peter Pan’ chronicles for example) until physical death.

  • Sensuousness

    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).

  • Out-from-Control, Different Way of Being

    RICHARD: [..] the actualism method segues into what has become known as the actualism process when the actualism method has become so automatic, via habituation, that one is walking about in a state of wide-eyed wonder (naiveté) simply marvelling at being alive (sensuosity) and being amazed/ delighted that all this – the world about/the universe itself – is occurring in the first place; the actualism process is when it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish the difference between one doing it (doing this business called being alive) and it happening of its own accord; when one becomes the experiencing of being alive/of it all occurring of its own accord one is then out-from-control (not ‘out of control’ as in wayward) and a different-way-of-being has ensued.

  • Naive Optimism

    RICHARD: [..] the first settlers to take up residence in Terra Actualis are all a product of that naïvely optimistic sixties generation, as contrasted to the cynically pessimistic generations who disenchantedly succeeded them, and it remains to be seen whether the latter can successfully retrieve their long-lost naïveté or not

    [Richard]: ‘In 1980, ‘I’, the persona that I was, looked at the natural world and just knew that this enormous construct called the world – and the universe itself – was not ‘set up’ for us humans to be forever forlorn in with only scant moments of reprieve. ‘I’ realised there and then that it was not and could not ever be some ‘sick cosmic joke’ that humans all had to endure and ‘make the best of’. ‘I’ felt foolish that ‘I’ had believed for thirty two years that the ‘wisdom’ of the world ‘I’ had inherited – the real world that ‘I’ was born into – was set in stone. This foolish feeling allowed ‘me’ to get in touch with ‘my’ dormant naiveté, which is the closest thing one has that resembles actual innocence, and activate it with a naive enthusiasm to undo all the conditioning and brainwashing that ‘I’ had been subject to. Then when ‘I’ looked into myself and at all the people around and saw the sorrow of humankind ‘I’ could not stop. ‘I’ knew that ‘I’ had just devoted myself to the task of setting ‘myself’ and ‘humanity’ free … ‘I’ willingly dedicated my life to this most worthy cause. It is so exquisite to devote oneself to something whole-heartedly … the ‘boots and all’ approach ‘I’ called it then!’

  • Grace’s scale of different ways of being

    RICHARD: In the same way that Excellence Experiences (EE’s) were a notable feature of feeling-being ‘Richard’s virtual freedom experiencing circa March-September 1981, although of course not named as such back then, so too did intimacy experiences (IE’s) play a similarly significant role even though increasingly overshadowed by the insistent emergence of love – and, especially, Love Agapé – in the later months due to a marked lack of precedence and, thus, of any praxeological* publications (nowadays made freely available on The Actual Freedom Trust web site) on the distinction betwixt the near-innocent intimacy of naïveté and the affectional intimacy of romance lore and legend.

    The gradations of ‘her’ scale were, basically, good, very good, great, excellent, and perfect – whereby, in regards to intimacy, ‘good’ related to togetherness (which pertains to being and acting in concert with another); ‘very good’ related to closeness (where personal boundaries expand to include the other); ‘great’ related to sweetness (delighting in the pervasive proximity, or immanence, of the other)*; ‘excellent’ related to richness (a near-absence of agency; with the [sophisticate] doer abeyant, and the [naïve] beer ascendant, being the experiencing is inherently cornucopian); and ‘perfect’ related to magicality (neither beer nor doer extant; pristine purity abounds and immaculate perfection prevails) – all of which correlate to the range of naïveness from being sincere to becoming naïve and all the way through being naïveté itself* to an actual innocence.

    [Richard]: What did not get included in this third paragraph, regarding feeling-being ‘Grace’ and her rigorous gradations, was ‘her’ oft-repeated observation – regarding the onset of the third stage, on that range of naïveness, where ‘her’ gradation of ‘great’ related to sweetness – about a bifurcation manifesting where the instinctual tendency/ temptation was to veer off in the direction of love and its affectuous intimacy (due to a self-centric attractiveness towards feeling affectionate) as contrasted to a conscious choice being required so as to somehow have that sweetness then segue into a naïve intimacy via what ‘she’ described as ‘richness’ and graded as ‘excellent’.

  • Felicity and Innocuity

    Such imitative felicity/ innocuity, in conjunction with sensuosity, readily evokes amazement, marvel, and delight – a state of wide-eyed wonder best expressed by the word naiveté (the nearest a ‘self’ can come to innocence whilst being a ‘self’) – and which allows the overarching benignity and benevolence inherent to the infinitude, which this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe actually is, to operate more and more freely. This intrinsic benignity and benevolence, which has nothing to do with the imitative affective happiness and harmlessness, will do the rest.

  • Excellence Experience

    RICHARD: [as to] how the intimacy experience (IE) differs from an excellence experience (EE): qualitively they are much the same, or similar, insofar as with both experiences there is a near-absence of agency – the beer rather than the doer is the operant – whereupon naïveté has come to the fore, such as to effect the marked diminishment of separation, and the main distinction is that the IE is more people-oriented, while the EE tends to be environmental in its scope.

  • Delight

    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

    RICHARD: There is no line or divide (be it thin, arbitrary, artificial, or otherwise) between blind nature’s very essential survival package and the universe – biological-inheritance is not a miraculous gift bestowed by some inscrutable god/ goddess – as this actual world, the world of the senses, is indeed characterised by benevolence and benignity (there is neither cruelness nor horrors in actuality). However, in the real world, the world of the psyche, any such kindly disposition – as in being well-disposed, bountiful, liberal, bounteous, beneficent (aka benevolent) and being favourable, propitious, salutary (aka benign) – being not readily apparent, as in directly experienceable, requires naiveté for its intellectual ascertainment.

  • Actualism Method
    Habitual felicity/ innocuity, and its concomitant enjoyment and appreciation, facilitates naïve sensuosity … a consistent state of wide-eyed wonder, amazement, marvel, and delight.
    Naiveté, in conjunction with felicitous/ innocuous sensuosity, being the nearest a ‘self’ can come to innocence, allows the overarching benignity and benevolence inherent to the infinitude this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe actually is to operate more and more freely.

    And the nipping-it-in-the-bud is that when you start to feel even irritated or slightly irked at something, you learn to recognize – it’s like a red-light goes off/ starts flashing or bells start ringing – you know that here-you-go-again … back to on this path you have been going umpteen thousands of times in a lifetime and it doesn’t lead to anywhere fruitftul at all. So, the nipping-it-in-the-bud is to, in effect, decline"I've done that before; I know where it leads to; I'm not going to do that again; what's the point? It doesn't lead to anywhere at all". And then when you get into the habit of feeling as happy and harmless as is humanly possible that, in combination with sensuosity (which is becoming more and more aware of the flowers and the trees and the stars and the clouds and the rivers and the mountains and anything at all) can lead to a state of wide-eyed wonder, which brings it back to naivete which is the nearest thing you can get to being innocent whilst still being a self. And then, something can happen. There’s always the possibility that some kind of experience can happen - be it an Excellence Experience or a Pure Consciousness Experience. And then, finally, the feelings are gone. But then “you” have disappeared as well.

    RICHARD: [..] Look, the whole point of minimising both the malicious/ sorrowful feelings (the ‘bad’ feelings) and their antidotal loving/ compassionate feelings (the ‘good’ feelings) whilst maximising the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (the ‘congenial’ feelings) is to make for a potent combination when this untrammelled conviviality operates in conjunction with a naïve sensuosity – whereby one is both likeable and liking – such that the benevolence and benignity of pure intent may increasingly become dynamically enabled for one purpose and one purpose alone … to wit: for the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent, in this lifetime, as this flesh-and-blood body.