This letter sent today from IRI to some close colleagues is exceptionally comprehensive, and accessible:-
'This is just a brief note to acknowledge your message of appreciation. When we investigate these vital matters, we have to struggle through a dense fog of human hopelessness. This is because the sense of deadendedness permeates a society that no longer possesses faith to provide hope of eventual salvation, release and remission of sins. It is thought better and even right for everyone simply to indulge themselves in every sensation, overriding any promptings of morality, but the result—plain for all to see—is deep depression, exhaustion, despair and sickness. And then, what hope is there for those past, well past, the mating age? Of course this state of affairs has been building up as history for a long time now and stress is such that men are breaking down in tears and crying that they want to be women. Women get all the attention and even though they increasingly take over men's roles the womb remains the cradle of all meaning for humans. And if death is increasingly seen as the sole and only release, how could life not be felt as overwhelmingly depressing?
'The weather today, being drizzly, overcast, cold and sufficiently foggy, gives us the perfect opportunity to study all this, doesn't it?
'To be able to see and acknowledge this sense of hopelessness at once gives us a little distance, enables us to probe more effectively into what on earth consciousness is up to!
'You write that 'the study, in fact, is preparation for release.' The trouble with such a statement is that it presents us with a victim or victims who are being harassed by life and who hope to be released at some time which is not now. There's that idea of 'hope' again! Hope allows for postponement, so that we can continue to be hapless members of a disintegrating society, but hopefully—who knows?—we might get some sort of relief eventually—especially if we study hard.
'Whatever meaning can be ascribed to the ideas of 'release' or 'relief' or any other term indicating a total cessation of suffering, that meaning must be present here and now and forever, so to speak. It's just that we're addicted to the pleasures and pains of humanhood, which require us to continue as entities, that is, as (imagined) objects.
'What can I do but try to state it all as clearly as possible?
'Surrounding us, at all times, is the absolute clarity of 'mind,' and we are right in the middle, as it were, seeking and finding objections!
'"Sorry, but it's what we do!!"
'And this is where the joker bops the sufferer on the head and the audience laughs.'