Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
PETER: Hi Alan,
Well, I am up off the couch again having another writing day. It’s good to get a grasp of Humanity in action, the Human Condition in operation on a global scale – it breaks one out of the ego-centric mould of ‘who’ I am and enables me to see clearly ‘what’ I am. To see that there are 6 billion human beings on the planet fighting for survival. To see that fight is waged psychologically and psychically as well as physically. To see the appalling results of this ‘fight’ continuously beamed into our living rooms makes denial and escape into fantasy no option for the caring.
ALAN: I enjoyed your ‘rave’ the other day. There is no doubt that humanity is doing a much better job of cleaning up the planet and, as you say, is now faced with the task of cleaning itself up.
PETER: And since Humanity is nothing more than the ‘you’s’ and ‘me’s’ of this world, the ‘task’ befalls you and I. Good Hey. What a thing to do with one’s life. What an incredible adventure ...
ALAN: The environmentalists tend to go a bit over the top here, as evinced by an article I was reading yesterday. A leading scientist and his family have had to be under police protection for years and have had bombs sent, disguised as Xmas presents, cars trashed and a ‘fatwa’ issued against them. This scientist has discovered the cures for many human ailments, including the major cause of blindness in babies and is on the brink of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. And his ‘crime’ was to use animals for experimental purposes. Admittedly, a great deal of unnecessary suffering was caused in the past for non medical purposes, such as ‘beauty’ products, but today it is very tightly regulated and controlled. And do these environmentalists forego the medicines and treatments discovered as a result of experiments on animals – I think not, they are probably first in the queue to demand their ‘right’ to be treated. We are currently having an extremely violent demonstration of the ‘sickness’ of the human condition, which you have probably seen in the media. Blacks, Asians and gays have so far been targeted – watch out, actualists could be next! Which, of course, could never happen – with no beliefs to defend, there is nothing to attack – and all that is required is to come to one’s senses!
PETER: Well ... It is pretty certain, given the Human Condition, that, as Actual freedom gains momentum, the ‘shit will hit the fan’ at some stage. Probably the most virulent and vitriolic of objectors will be those who protest at the elimination of feelings, despite the fact that these feelings are sorrow and malice. The cute thing about Actual Freedom is that one becomes anonymous – a nobody – and one does whatever one can to sensibly maintain this anonymity. The Net is ideal for this – we could pass each other on the street and not know that we both are actualist. The checkout girl at the local checkout hasn’t a clue that I am not a part of the ‘real’ world, exactly as my former spiritual friends have not a clue that I am no longer in the ‘spiritual’ world. The anonymity is delicious, and I will do my utmost to sensibly preserve it.
Still, I fully expect that the ‘shit will hit the fan’ one day ...
ALAN: ‘Political correctness’ is also rampant here – a leading judge made a joke at a dinner party last week, along the lines of ‘someone made great advances in the legal profession after having three transplant operations – he was given the breasts of a lesbian, the penis of a black man and the buttocks of a gay man’. I thought it quite amusing, but such is the power of the three lobbies he ‘insulted’ that he is likely to lose his job. The military are also engaged in peace keeping operations, which do not amount to ‘war’. If bombing the shit out of someone and firing dozens of cruise missiles (costing in excess of a million dollars each) is not ‘war’, I’d like to know what is.
PETER: I used to think that there was a solution for Humanity’s ills, that if only ... I would watch TV or participate in the typical male conversations about what was right or wrong with the world, what needed to be done. Now it is apparent that Humanity is terminally ill – finished, kaput, stuffed, going around in circles, revolution after revolution, cycle after cycle, old wound after old wound festering to the surface again. It’s time to abandon ship – to have the courage to stand on one’s own two feet as it were while being sensible enough to keep one’s hands in one’s pockets and one’s ‘opinions’ to oneself. Except if you find someone who is interested in freedom, and then it is hard to stop raving ...
ALAN: Yes, I did nothing to either ‘get into’ my feelings, nor to ‘get rid’ of them. An awareness of what I was feeling, an examination of what was occurring, an investigation into what caused the feeling (usually a belief) led to the particular emotion disappearing without, as you say, ‘me’ being aware of it happening. Do you think it is ridding oneself of beliefs that causes the emotions to vanish? Unlike emotions, I was usually aware of the disappearance of a belief – a ‘getting it’, which I have written of previously.
PETER: I just wrote to No 3 on this matter as to how I see belief, feeling and emotion. It might be useful and may address your question – let me know if it doesn’t. I would only add that one doesn’t eliminate feelings totally until the ‘lot’ goes – until the fat lady has sung, so to speak. But the ‘vanishing’ of emotions from one’s daily life such that one has a 99% perfect day, day after day, is the base camp for the final event to happen.
So, it’s back to the couch for me, after all, life was meant to be easy.
I always thought what a marvellous time it was to be right in the middle of the formation of a religion when in my spiritual days and now I get to see the beginnings (or continuation) of a war on TV. Such fascinating times to be alive – to see the cultural identities we have been imbibed with, to see the religious myths, to see the Human Condition as a totality.
Actual Freedom has never been possible before as it was physically impossible to obtain an overview of various social identities and tribal groupings, as well as an overview of the effects of instinctual-driven passions. There has been an explosion of knowledge and information that makes believing in Ancient Wisdom an insult to intelligence. In the past there was always a maybe, always a possibility that someone had a solution somewhere and it was just a matter of finding it. Nowadays you can just log-on or tune-in, and all of Humanity’s wisdom is available for perusal and scrutiny. For the first time in history one has sufficient information to sort out for oneself what is silly and sensible without having to believe what others say.
All that is needed is a willingness to find out for oneself what it is to be a human being.
It’s about as simple as falling off a log.
PETER: Just a note about a few things. I was looking for your new address and came upon a post you sent to Konrad at some stage. It was great to read your comments – right on (or should it be write on) As Richard remarked the other day – at least we know what we will be doing as a hobby for the next 30? years. Trying to seduce people into being happy and harmless!
With regards to the ‘falling off a log’ comment I wanted to send you something relevant that I’m sure you will like – but it weighs in at 373 KB’s.
Is that Okay?
I’m enjoying the mailing list enormously, t’is a wild ride, this freedom business – no limits.
Good you’re here.
PETER: Hi Alan,
Just a note from the far side – When you start to see the death of the self as an illusion you are really starting to lose the plot.
PETER: Just a note, a bit of musing. I’ve always been a bit sceptical of the experiences of ego death that have been described to date as we know that an Altered State of Consciousness was the inevitable result – even in Richard’s case in 1981. It was some 11 years before he experienced the second-stage – a soul-death, if you like. In all cases to date the experience of psychological death have been passionate experiences of Love, Divinity, Timelessness, Unity, Oneness and Bliss.
What we are aiming for is neither passionate calenture leading to awe, Eternal Union and Heaven, nor psychological despair leading to dread, Eternal Oblivion and Hell. The aim of psychological and psychic death is to come to the actual – here and now. As such, the experience of this death of me will be, or should I say, I assume will be, a sensate experience – physically orgasmic in nature, exactly as physical death will be as the senses close down. The connection between sex and death is very strong and many of my PCEs have resulted from the very physical sex act and the resulting orgasmic experiences bringing me right here to the actual world of the senses.
‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is dangerously effective in relentlessly bringing one to one’s senses as both the cerebral and affective perceptions – ‘my’ perceptions as a social identity and instinctual being – fade into insignificance. Not only do they fade but they are experienced in everyday life of virtual freedom as illusionary, i.e. experienced not intellectually dismissed as in the spiritual deceit of ‘I am already perfect, all I have to do is realise it!’. My answer to these people is – ‘do you, in your imagined perfection, live in peace and harmony with another person?’ ‘Do you get sad, melancholic, peeved, irritated, upset, bored, etc.?’
One is constantly confronted with the experiential fact that the actual is far more extraordinary and magical than anything felt in feelings or imagined in thought – it is, after all, actual and all happening this very moment. This very actual-ness – as in experienced by the senses i.e. physical, and not merely passive, as in happening this very moment – will be the death of ‘me’.
And the death of ‘me’ will be a sensate experience accompanied by the last of the cerebral and affective ‘flame-outs’.
Well, since starting this mail I have had an interesting experience of feeling devastated at being a total failure after another experience of standing on the ‘edge’ of the death of ‘me’ and ‘it’ not happening – yet again. It was as though I became ‘me’ again totally and gathered all ‘my’ passionate energy together for an assault on the mountain. Upon reflection it is as though I was trying to evince a passionate end of ‘me’ – feeling ‘my’ way to freedom. Experience has shown that I cannot think my way to freedom, nor feel my way to freedom but I guess I was testing out what I have written above. What is obvious from the experiment is that while sex is a door to being here – i.e. it is a wonderful way to induce a PCE – it is not by itself a door to freedom from the Human Condition.
The whole exercise has served to reinforce my experience that the door to freedom is in the doing of it – is in the living of a virtual freedom to maximum possible – a continual lifting of the bar. To imagine either cerebrally or by feeling a ‘death of me’ is not the way, as I see it – the imagining requires a looking backward, a certain put-up job, a rehearsal if you like. Not that the experience in itself is not valuable – it is certainly most interesting as to what is still possible to ‘conjure up’, but it can ruin your day a bit. It’s such a weird thing to do by both normal and spiritual world standards but, as I drop back to my normal standard of Virtual Freedom, it leaves no ‘scars’, has no emotional memories and the only evidence is a bit of physical strain in the body from the emotional excesses – not to mention the sexual excesses.
Ah, what weird stuff that goes on in the head and the heart on this journey of ours. Still, that is where the weird stuff is, so it has to play out its game.
Meanwhile – toast, Rose’s lime marmalade and fresh brewed coffee await me.
PETER: Well, things are hotting up over there in all departments by the sound of it.
ALAN: I spent much of yesterday reading various bits of Richard’s correspondence and contemplating on why ‘I’ should give up ‘my’ precious existence to achieve something which ‘I’ desperately want to achieve. So, in bed, early this morning ‘I’ dreamt that ‘I’ was going to do it – it was so simple – all that was necessary was to ‘go with it’. Not think my way, nor feel my way but just do it. I am unsure as to whether the events that followed were dreaming or awake or, more likely, drifting in between.
There was a ‘rush’, like going along with a river current, then a 100,000 volt shock through the body resulting in a spasm/seizure which lasted for seconds?, minutes? And during this a thought?, voice? of ‘just go with it’. I cannot accurately describe the physical sensations which occurred/followed. Later, fully awake, the realisation that ‘I’ cannot think, feel or dream ‘my’self into being here and all that is necessary is to let go, go with it – the only way to be here is to be here. It is just a matter of stepping through a curtain – out of the real world and into the actual world, leaving ‘my’self behind, as Richard put it – almost, almost. Now it is cold sweats and nausea/physical sickness – of course it could be something I ate!
PETER: Curiously enough, two nights ago I have had a very similar experience to the one you described. I had had my ‘devastating’ experience about a week before and had decided that the only way to become free was to do it – to continuously and relentlessly be here as much as possible – expunging all doubt, impatience, waiting, disappointment, hesitation, etc. The focus on being here in the actual world took my mind off the event to come – stopped me thinking about it and also stopped the feelings about it as well. I remember saying to Vineeto – ‘I’m just going to do it, not that I can do it, and the doing of it will be the end of ‘me’.’ I’m not meaning to be at all esoteric about this, and I can relate it to other incidents in my life when the deciding to do something was the end of the deciding phase and all its thinking and feeling and the start of the doing of it. Then one is so involved in the doing that one forgets the earlier ‘fuss’ and bother.
So, I had what I would describe as a normal week and went to bed one night and lay back after a romp with Vineeto, well contented with life. I didn’t go to sleep and lay for a long while, not thinking about anything in particular, when a tremendous rush of fear welled up. It was as though I was in great physical danger – which I was not at all. It was the kind of fear that overwhelms one in a life-threatening situation. It was not induced by ‘me’ thinking or feeling about death – quite the contrary. I remember thinking – ‘This is the fear when it comes and its here now.’
There was a ‘what to do now’, a touch of hesitancy, and the thought occurred that the only way I would go into that fear was as an act of self-sacrifice. I began to think of people who I knew and who I wished well of, and in that the fear subsided and I slipped off the intensity of the fear. But it left me with the confident surety that the key to the door is that it is ultimately an act of self-sacrifice in that moment. The decision to go forward, the impetus, can not be for ‘me’ as it is the ending of me. The only way I can see to over-ride the survival fear is to use another instinctual drive – the willingness to sacrifice myself for others.
Again this is not a passionate, put up affair. No heroism, no imagination – just a common sense ‘everybody wins’ situation. I get what I want and another human is free of the Human Condition. I say this because I know and have experienced the instinctual wiring to sacrifice myself for others. It was when I was told that my son had died, and in the initial few moments of intense grief the thought occurred ‘Why him and not me?’ I would have gladly and willingly given my life for his in that moment. If Mr. God have had boomed down from his white cloud – ‘Do you mean it?’ the answer would have been an unhesitating ‘Yes!’.
It was his death that got me into a passionate search for freedom in the first place, and I see that the self-sacrifice is the key to the door to freedom. Why else would you do it? The Enlightened Ones do it knowing full well that they are going to Bliss, Eternal Life and a good deal of Adulation. Theirs is not a ‘death’ but an Altered State of Consciousness – they die into the Glory to ‘become’ the Glory, surviving to wreak havoc with the hearts and minds of others. ‘Feet of clay’ is a good description.
I see this self-sacrifice as a down-to-earth practical use of one instinctual drive to overcome another. It’s simply a using of the tools available at the appropriate time. In the past year of living in Virtual Freedom, since I finished my Journal, I have become increasingly attuned not only with the operation of ‘me’ as a psychological and psychic entity, but also of the havoc and mayhem of the Human Condition in operation globally.
To finally realise that there is no solution to the Human Condition other than its eventual extinction and the superseding by a new species – actually freed from instinctually-sourced emotions and feelings.
The ending of ‘me’ will be another, not insignificant, step in that inevitable process.
As a footnote, I would add that this clarity about the Human Condition has happened not by retreating or retiring from the world of people, things and events but by being fully involved and vitally interested in the fact of being a mortal, flesh and blood human being – here and now. Here – as in the actual world as perceived by the senses; and now – as in this very moment. In this way, one’s Virtual Freedom is ‘tested’ by full involvement, not falsely ‘sustained’ by avoidance or denial.
It is this very ‘boots and all’ involvement in the actual world that makes the act of self-sacrifice – as I see it and have experienced it – a sensible, obvious and necessary step.
I don’t say this lightly. I am usually very cautious about writing of ‘experiences’ as they can have an individual bent, vary in intensity or importance from one to another, but this issue of the ending of ‘me’ is useful to write of. I probably would have waited for more evidence but given that you have raised the issue, Alan, I was moved to write.
In talking to Richard, we kicked around the word ‘altruism’ for this self-sacrifice and, while I usually dislike ‘isms’, I think it fits. However, I know that Vineeto is not keen on its other emotional connotations and I would prefer to stick to self-sacrifice – as an instinctual program – to describe the ‘key to the door’.
Well, if I keep going the footnote will be bigger than the post itself. This is such a fascinating subject – and experience! I am sure we will write more about it. I know Mark is vitally interested in this very issue. So finish and get this away on the copper.
Bloody excellent, Hey.
PETER: So, to continue our discussion about ‘the wide and wondrous path to Actual freedom’. I keep thinking of the appropriateness of Richard’s phrase as we enter this stage of looking at, and experiencing, the rudimentary animal self ‘at work’ so to speak. What an amazing thing to be able to dig so deep into one’s own psyche that one can get to the core of the programming in the brain – beyond the programming in the ‘Modern Brain’ and into the primitive brain and the genetically implanted instinctual self. No doubt, you read of the work of LeDoux in investigating the pivotal role of the Primitive Brain – the Amygdala – in inducing fear, and we have put together a schematic diagram showing the central role of the Amygdala in producing instinctually-sourced emotional responses. It is the first of the posts – it’s a bit big at the moment to send in this post but it’s worthwhile clicking it open as it forms the scientific neuro-biological basis of what it is we are doing ‘live’ at the moment.
It is indeed serendipitous that LeDoux is mapping the effects of the Amygdala at this very time and that it coincides both with Richard’s experiences and writings and our discoveries as well. I do like the factual and actual – the path to freedom from the Human Condition gets wider and wider, more blatantly obvious, easier and better mapped with every passing day.
If you will indulge me a bit, Alan, I want to write about the schematic diagram for a bit. LeDoux empirically investigated the pivotal role of the amygdala in producing the feeling of fear, in particular the relationship between the thalamus (relay centre), the amygdala (feelings) and the neo-cortex (modern brain/thoughts).
These investigations also substantiate the fact that no matter what degree of control is exercised by the neo-cortex in terms of morals, ethics, good intentions, etc., when ‘push comes to shove’ we revert to type – and reverting to type means animal-instinctual. This is clearly verified by the being ‘overcome’ by rage, fear or sadness and being unable to stop it.
On reading this, I am reminded of the Steve Martin movie – ‘The Man with two Brains’ – if I have got the title right. Again the example of being overcome by rage, fear or sadness is a good one, for often the source of these emotional reactions is seemingly unconscious to the thinking brain – the neo-cortex. No doubt the childhood trauma therapists will use this as a justification for their work but, as we know, the problem lies not with the emotional memory but with the dominant position and influence that the instinctually-sourced emotions have in our lives. The quick, dirty and hard to control Amygdala, or primitive brain, forever condemns humans to animal behaviour. That the most significant human activity over the millennia has been – and still is – the waging of war is testament to the dominance of the primitive instinctual brain.
Back to the diagram and we will see that our area of concern is the psychological self in the neo-cortex and the instinctual self in the Amygdala. ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ causes the neo-cortex to focus its attention on the activities of the psychological self that has been instilled since birth. This focussing allows us to see the over-arching role that emotions have in causing us to be malicious and sorrowful, and we find that we can reduce their influence in our lives with sincere intent.
The other area this awareness operates on is demolishing the social identity – the morals, ethics, values, beliefs and psittacisms instilled to keep the instincts ‘under control’. This is a crucial step on the path to Actual Freedom as it is both a radical and iconoclastic step. This step can only be undertaken with a memory of a Pure Consciousness Experience – an experience of self-lessness that gives one the confidence to venture beyond what is considered safe, sensible and sane. This memory of the PCE can give one access to pure intent to ‘venture into the unknown’, or to be more prosaic, become aware of the raw instinctual emotions of the Amygdala – to look at one’s animal heritage.
These two facets – reducing the influence of feelings and emotions – both the supposed ‘good’ and ‘bad – and demolishing the social identity, the ‘guardian at the gate’ ultimately brings one’s bare awareness to focus on the Amygdala and its instinctual programming. The focus is then on the instincts in operation both in the body and in the brain – with minimal psychological and emotional effects. This would explain your current experiences – ‘The sensations I am experiencing have no affective element – as I said in my last mail, it is ‘fear’, without being frightening.’
I can’t emphasise enough the fact that this deep sea diving into the depths of one’s instinctual being can only be undertaken with the removal of the social identity and this can only be done with the pure intent borne out of the PCE – i.e. one needs to know where one is going and have the confidence that it is safe to do so. The only thing that could go wrong is that one will instinctually grab for safety – the good emotions – and Enlightenment will result. It’s interesting to note how the survival mechanism kicks in, and one’s identity does a life-saving grab. I actually experienced this as an instinctual grab in one of my ‘death experiences’.
So, I think I’ve finished with the schematic diagram but we are working on expanding it to look at the brain(s)’ development and programming at and after birth, and what happens on the wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom. It’s all experiential, and the diagrams should only be treated as schematic, but I do like them – maybe it’s the architectural training. I think I can get on to your post now that the rave is raved-out.
ALAN: I suspect I have discovered the basic instinct of fear. In my last mail I said that the heart palpitations had gone, not to return – I was wrong. Any time I sit down and think about what is actually happening, off it starts again (like now). When I do something physical the symptoms disappear. I suspect that what is causing the heart palpitations is adrenaline, triggered by the basic fear instinct – it would be interesting to have a blood test! I used to be a bit of an adrenaline addict, so it is not pure conjecture. The sensations I am experiencing have no affective element – as I said in my last mail, it is ‘fear’, without being frightening.
What I am now attempting to do now is to ‘go into’ that fear – the ‘stark terror’ – to just go with it and go through the ‘door with fear written on it’, as you put it. And as I do, the palpitations increase to such an extent that it appears physical death may be inevitable. Perhaps it is necessary to accept that physical death may result, before one can summon the necessary courage to proceed – and the ‘acceptance’ of the possibility of physical death has to be actual (‘real’ to ‘me’), not just a ‘put up job’.
PETER: I realise I used the words ‘go into that fear’ in the following context –
It was probably a loose use of words, as I meant it in terms of not backing away and letting the process happen. I have had experiences of attempting to go into the fear when I was imagining and thinking about death and found it a dead-end, if you will excuse the pun. One time I went into the fear and induced a state of dread that was heart-wrenching as though I was in a devilish hellish pit and unable to retreat. I wrote of it at the time –
So, my choice and use of words was a bit sloppy. But I would emphasise that this is only my own experience and I would not want to discourage anyone else’s investigations. We are still investigating and discovering and ‘it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.’ I may well be wrong in the sense I make of things but I see the core instincts as no different to the psychological feelings in the neo-cortex, and the ending of them was neither by expressing nor repressing, ‘going into’ or avoiding.
The other point I would make is that I can’t find anywhere that I have written the words ‘door with fear written on it’. The ‘door’ has Actual Freedom written on it and fear will be the initial emotion experienced in passing through the door, but fear is a side issue to the stepping through. Personally, my focus is on ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ and my intent is focussed on the memory of my initial substantial peak experience or PCE – the other side of the door – if you like, my destiny. Again, just to make sure, this is only how I see it at the moment – nothing set in concrete – no wisdom or the like. It’s just that this method is what has got me to where I am now, and I figure I’ll stick with what has worked to date. I am well aware that Richard used the fear to turn it into thrill and away he went.
Maybe I’m a plodder – we will see.
What extra-ordinary times – the path to Actual freedom ‘live’. Sure beats sitting in a corner with your eyes closed, finding God!
The cute thing is, I’m back architecting at the moment, being as sensible and level-headed as can be yet inside my head the Amygdala’s days of influence are numbered.
What an adventure...
PETER: Thanks for your post and for your observation which I will attempt to answer.
ALAN: ‘One observation I would make, from what you wrote – are you concerned that you are responsible for what others do, because of what you have written? Could be completely off track – if not, may be of some assistance. And you are absolutely correct – ‘it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.’ And we are each doing different things to make that fat lady perform. Between us, we are mapping out the ‘easy’ route to actual freedom and this discovery and comparing notes on the ‘voyage’ is such a delight.’
PETER: I gave the matter some thought and wondered when I last felt responsible for what others do? The nearest thing I came to is when I decided I would write my journal. I remember at the time thinking I want to write my story about how easy it is to become free of the Human Condition – to tell others that they need no longer suffer nor inflict suffering on others. That there is a way out and that it works. To map the simple steps to virtual freedom, which is living way beyond normal human expectations – carefree, simple and delightful. I wanted to write to tell my friends who were still suffering on the spiritual path or who had simply given up searching. I wrote it with passion and enthusiasm, as enticingly as possible, and sent off copies to all my friends.
Zero response! One did venture to tell me it was good that I seemed to be ‘getting’ what Rajneesh had been saying but I didn’t seem to be grateful to Him! Curiously, many of the books I gave away have gone unread. It was a good exercise as it plainly showed that there is no way I can ‘pull’ anyone on to the path to Actual Freedom. They have to do it of their own volition, they have to be desperately willing and vitally interested, they have to be dissatisfied enough with second-rate living, be it normal life or spiritual escapism.
At first there was a disappointment at the response for they were my friends – we had been on the ‘search’ together – but slowly the perfection of this path to Actual Freedom dawned on me. There is no power, there is no responsibility, there is no saving others, there is no Guru-itis. It is entirely up to each person how they choose to live their life. Once people know there is a third alternative, I do consider it very odd that they would choose for sorrow and malice rather than happy and harmless, but then again, its their choice entirely. So the writing of my journal began out of a sense of responsibility and that exercise is now complete, and the lessons are learnt. I also wrote the journal for myself as a way of making sense of the Human Condition and its operation in me, and in that it was invaluable. What ‘floats around’ in one’s head requires a next level of making sense when put to paper.
Now I write with the same enthusiasm to make sense of things for me and with the knowledge that it is being read by others. Hence, if anything, I veer on the side of caution for I have to be able to stand by what I write – it has to be factual and as accurate as possible, both for myself and for others reading it. At first, this required effort and caused a few wobbles – as in ‘can I say that?’ – but it has become more and more easy as the method works increasingly, the path becomes easier and more thrilling, and what is actual becomes more sensately and obviously pure, perfect and peace-full.
So, responsible, as in able to stand by what I write – Yes. Responsible for what others do – No.
Another thing worth mentioning about writing is that the way Actual Freedom is made freely available, passed on harmlessly and openly, is by words. This mailing list has people on it from all over the world and only four people have physically met each other. No ‘energy’, no vibes, no meetings, no doctrine, no rules, no restrictions. Utter and complete freedom for each to make of the words what they will, when they will. Read, think, contemplate, explore, reject, yawn, delete, unsubscribe ... whatever.
The path to perfection is perfect.
The path to freedom is free and freely available to all.
As a last point, it has also become obvious as to the futility of offering advice to others. Present facts, relate experiences, swap stories, state clearly what I have found works or doesn’t work and why, maybe drop a hint, but I am wary of giving advice to others. Firstly, it can be an interference and secondly, people rarely follow it anyway. And with advice comes responsibility for others and that only gets messy, quite frankly.
We have been having such fun lately playing with these schematic diagrams and noted how good it is that they represent the freedom process in another ‘language’ – no spiritual terms or esoteric concepts are involved. Simply a matter-of-fact look at the circuitry and programming that has formed and sustained the Human Condition for tens of thousands of years. It occurs to me that we have been having such a good time with the instincts lately, and the diagrams do well to explain the pivotal role that the primitive ‘animal’ brain has in human behaviour. But we should also not lose sight of the fact that we have a psychological entity as well – that little man, or woman, in the head who thinks they are running the show. Who we ‘think’ we are as distinct from who we ‘feel’ we are. Both have to go, both usurp the throne, both have to expire.
This was bought home to me, yet again, today when Richard came up with another visual description that particularly struck me. We have been writing a lot about the survival instinct lately, and it can be seen as the body’s defence mechanism – ‘fight or flight’ in the face of danger. Humans also have, in the neo-cortex, a well developed psychological and psychic defence system – evident in psychological fear such as worry and anxiety, and psychic fear such as ‘feeling something out’, as in intuition, gut-feelings or sensing the ‘vibes’. People have a constant ‘ring’ of defence around themselves, protecting what is inside the ‘ring’. Some people do groups, therapies or have ‘sharings’ in order to be vulnerable and open to temporarily breach the defensive ‘wall’ or shell. But, in fact, there is nothing to defend. There is nothing in the centre of the circle. We imagine ‘ourselves’ to be something solid, tangible – a solid ring like a coin – but, in fact, there is nothing inside. ‘We’ are nothing more than the defensive outer ring.
The most astounding thing about a PCE is the total lack of any ‘self’ whatsoever. There is emptiness inside, no sense of ‘I’ or feeling of a ‘me’. Nothing ‘inside’. Just this sensate body only, firmly located in time – right now – in an actual, pure and perfect paradise – right here. An earthly, earth paradise that is perfect – how could it be otherwise? How could this physical universe be anything but perfect, anything but pure? There is no good or evil in a cloud, in the sky, in a breeze, in a keyboard, in this finger, in this very flesh.
Richard’s visual representation of who ‘I’ am and the fact that there is no core of ‘me’ – as in a being, an entity, a Peter inside this body – sat me on my seat for a while. It’s ‘old’ territory, the subject of more than a few realizations, more than a few words from this very keyboard, but again it struck me as fresh and obvious. I had written a post to you a while ago where I had experienced myself as nothing more than an illusion but I didn’t send it as it seemed a bit trite and could be misconstrued in spiritual terms. The buggers have used, and abused, most words so I erred to caution. My experience this afternoon after hearing Richard’s description was that not only am ‘I’ an illusion but the very ‘one’ who is in the way of experiencing the PCE as a constant on-going state. I am busy defending ‘nothing’, and have been doing so for a long time now. There is nothing to defend. There is nothing inside. And the memory of the Pure Consciousness Experience is the factual evidence that this is so.
So Alan, as you can see, I am having a good time. It’s a process of clunk, clunk, yes, yes. Wearing out millennia of programming, breaking free of a vast morass of sorrow and malice. And life is excellent! I am back to being an architect again which is opportune as I am currently buying a new 19’ monitor. This one is fish-bowling – the text sort of bends into the screen to the right and gets narrower and narrower. And Office 2000 is on the shopping list as well. Winter sunny days are upon us here and they have a crystal-like quality, with a welcoming warmth to the sun. What a joy.
The Guru season has finished in town – they are all off playing the northern hemisphere circuit, no doubt. I’ve come to see them as bliss-dispensers – you pay your money and you get your ‘fix’, you pay your money and you get your ‘fix’. Good business but the market here is very crowded in the season. I thought of running a Guru Booking business – venue booking, accommodation, advertising etc. but they tend to have their lackeys do it for free. The other thought was a Guru Finishing School as some of them could do with a bit of help in presentation, image, aura-polishing, ‘energy’ transmission and the like... with quantity has come a marked decline in quality.
Well, enough for now.
Time for a last coffee and to send this off.
PETER: Thanks for your rainy day note. I remember England well for rainy days – a constant drizzle that could stretch out for hours. Being here in the sub-tropics, we sometimes have in an hour what would be a week of English rain. And I do remember well the long twilight evenings – such an amazing variety of climate and seasonal changes in various parts of the planet, from being chilled to the bone to being fried on the skin. We have just returned from an evening walk down through town to the ocean and the wind was a warm wind for a winters evening. The pubs were on their last costumers and the shops all closed save the bakery across from the pub that does a good trade with the late night street urchins.
To continue on our chat –
As a last point, it has also become obvious as to the futility of offering advice to others. Present facts, relate experiences, swap stories, state clearly what I have found works or doesn’t work and why, maybe drop a hint, but I am wary of giving advice to others. Firstly, it can be an interference and secondly, people rarely follow it anyway. And with advice comes responsibility for others and that only gets messy, quite frankly.
ALAN: Are you suggesting I was attempting to give advice? If so, I will have to give it further consideration, as I completely agree with your observations on advice.
PETER: Not at all, Alan. I was attempting to not offer you advice, but rather to ‘present facts, relate experiences, swap stories, state clearly what I have found works or doesn’t work and why, maybe drop a hint’. I liked your question – it gave me a chance to think and then to write, something that only serves to make thoughts clearer. Certainly being a male, responsibility is a considerable issue to look at and make sense of. All of these imposed values, morals and ethics need questioning in order firstly to see that they don’t work, secondly to see that they only contribute to the morass of the Human Condition, and thirdly to test the waters to see the effect of living without them. Once one experiences with sincere intent in operation that one can operate freely and happily without them for sufficient period of time, living a virtual freedom from the Human Condition, one is then ready for one’s redundancy payout – Actual Freedom.
ALAN: I have already speculated a bit in my mail to Vineeto – here is a bit more. We have been engaged, over the last months, in examining and eliminating the beliefs and conditioning labelled as the ‘human constitution’, by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ As a result of the elimination of this human constitution I no longer (or only very, very occasionally) experience any feelings whatsoever. The necessary disconnections and reconnections in neural patterns have been made in the neo-cortex and the software program has been un-installed. Now we are tackling the more difficult job of erasing the hard disc (and the recycle bin) – of severing the link with the amygdala – the basic instincts, the primal self. I suspect that all one can do is allow that ‘link’ to wither away through disuse and, when sufficient brain cells have died (or neural pathways been disconnected), then this primal self will finally expire.
PETER: My favourite description of the process that happens to the old pathways that have been forged since birth, and reinforced constantly since then, is that when new paths are forged with common sense – sometimes painstakingly – the old ones simply atrophy. This is easily attested by the observation – ‘Did I really believe in that once upon a time?’ One can initially feel a fool but it gets really delicious when one cannot remember ‘who’ it was who believed such a nonsense and why. One starts to realize that one is becoming free to such an extent that one is fresh again every moment and that the very act of believing is disappearing. With belief goes imagination, and only that which is actual becomes apparent and obvious.
ALAN: One thing I cannot explain is why I have not had a PCE for some time. My life now is, continuously, very close to a PCE, in that there is no (or very little) ‘self’ in existence. I experience my life as being 99% perfect. Every activity is a pleasure. What is missing is that extra sparkle and vivacity – the 360 degree awareness. Can one little connection in the brain make all that difference? Do you still experience PCEs?
PETER: Following on from what I was saying above, I found a curious thing happening in the last 12 months. At first the path to freedom was packed with wild and wonderful adventures, realizations, yippees and wows as a lifetime of beliefs were challenged and dismantled. With the realizations came moments of clarity – Pure Consciousness Experiences of both clarity of the brain and of the physical senses. Given the contrast to my ‘normal’ dull, or ‘spiritual’ head in the clouds states of being, the PCEs had an intensity and excitement of new discovery attached to them. As I more and more lived a virtual freedom wherein my days were 99% perfect the stunningness of PCEs dwindled, as did their numbers. At times I missed them and their excitement but I could not deny that everyday life was getting better all the time, and I came to see that these experiences too would have to go. I would often feel a frustration and missing in the beginning and was wary of returning to a stark normalness. At one point all did seem stark in a ‘normal’ world stripped of feelings, meaning and excitement but that soon passed. I just figured that what I wanted was to be actually free of malice and sorrow in the world-as-it-is, with people as they are, as this flesh and blood body only – if that meant what often felt like crossing a desert, being bored, or losing excitement, then so be it. It became obvious that when the dust settled only that which is actual would be left and, as such, my attention and focus became increasingly on that which is actual – that which is sensately experienced as opposed to that which is merely cerebral or affective.
What has replaced the PCE lately is a growing sense of normalness. Not ‘normal’ as I was 2 years ago, but an utter contentment and delight at the normal things of life – food, a walk, a bit of drawing, a TV-show with my feet up on the couch, a chat with Vineeto, wheeling the trolley around the supermarket trying to invent new things to eat. The things people usually see as boring, futile, spacing out, uncreative, unexciting, chores, duty, work, unproductive, etc. An ease has pervaded all, a perfection that is palpable, down-to-earth and increasingly rock-solid.
When the mundane becomes magic you know that freedom is your destiny.
So, Alan, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that your life ‘now is, continuously, very close to a PCE, in that there is no (or very little) self in existence.’
Always a pleasure to chat with you and to swap stories.
PETER: Hi Alan,
Just a note about nothing in particular that we have been talking about. Sometimes it’s nice just to have a rave on paper, so to speak. I have the pleasure of being able to talk endlessly about the Human Condition and the path to Freedom from the Human Condition with Vineeto, but putting it into written words adds another dimension to understanding. The most significant aspect of intelligence in human beings is the ability to communicate with each other with speech and hearing, and even more significantly by writing and reading. It is this very function that has allowed me to follow the path that Richard has mapped out, to read of his experiences and his descriptions of living in the Actual World. I have got nothing from him, no energy or transmissions, other than what he has written or said. Thus I am able to stand on his shoulders as it were, hang on to his words, to make sense of a direction or path to follow to becoming free of the Human Condition that at first seemed frightening, insane and utterly incomprehensible. To gather confidence in order to venture off in a direction that is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to that laid down by all of Humanity.
When I first came across Richard’s Journal, I remember acknowledging that the Tried and True, the safe and sane, The Holy and Sacred and the comfortable and numb, all pointed to a second-rate life. For some people the ‘normal’ simply proves to be unsatisfactory, for whatever reason, and up until now there has been only one solution to remaining normal – an escape into an imaginary, well-trodden, ‘spiritual’ world steeped in ancient, primitive mysticism and ‘holier than thou’ feelings. For me, at this time, it was also important to do a bit of backtracking, a bit of stocktaking, as it were, to take the time and contemplate exactly what I wanted from life. To set my own goals as distinct from simply following what I had been taught, what was ‘expected’ of me, and what blind nature had programmed me to do and be. My life, what I thought and felt, had been decided by others and my instinctual programming. I was feted to be part of a suffering Humanity – it was unavoidable.
This acknowledgement of the facts of the situation meant there was no-one at fault, no one to blame, no ‘evil spirits’ responsible, no guilt, no shame, no ‘right’ suffering, no denial necessary. It is the way-it-is, but this simple acknowledgement meant that my happiness was in my hands. Having gathered sufficient life-experience after 49 years, I was able to strike many things off the list of what was supposed to bring peace and happiness, both in the ‘normal’ world and the ‘spiritual’ world. I have written of having what my father had worked all his life for by my mid-thirties – wife, two kids and two cars – and still I wasn’t happy. A decade later, being a dedicated follower of fashion, I found myself deep in the spiritual world, having blissful Satoris and Altered State of Consciousness experiences and still no peace and happiness. A synthetic peace and happiness were available, but only at the cost of turning away from the world, turning away from living together with a woman in peace, harmony and equity, turning away from the delights of sex, and turning away from the facts of the Human Condition. The ‘inner’ imaginary world was peaceful while the outer world was a dread-full illusion, a place for ‘right’ suffering and full of heathens and non-believers, a place one ‘passed through’ before going on to an afterlife.
This is clearly evidenced by the protective aura that it is necessary for the spiritual people to maintain when dealing with the ‘real’ world. They do indeed have their heads in the clouds and are in complete denial of the physical fact that what they are is a mortal, sexual, flesh and blood body.
To quote Mr. Mohan Rajneesh on the need for a ‘protective aura’ –
T’is fascinating to dig into the words of the Enlightened Masters and see exactly what it is they are proposing, exactly what it is they are offering. In this passage it is clear to see the denial – ‘I don’t see that the problem is within you’ – the blame on the other – ‘the problem is coming from the outside’ – and the solution – ‘after meditation one has to create a protective aura’.
Or to put it in plain English – practice sticking your head in the clouds by meditating and pretend the real world doesn’t exist – and if you happen to be unfortunate enough to have to venture into the real world then develop a ‘protective aura’ whereby you can keep your head in the clouds while dealing with other people who are ‘not meditative’.
Have you ever observed a conversation between ‘meditative’ people? There is usually constant complaint about the trials and tribulations of the real world and an unintelligible jargon exchange of clichés and ‘sharing’ of feelings that passes for conversation and communication. The classic situation is the really deep meditator who simply closes his or her eyes and zones into their inner world in the midst of everything. When the going gets tough ... the meditator simply turns ‘inward’!
Thus it is that there are two worlds – the ‘real’, as readily evidenced on T.V. or in the fights and squabbles that break out in this very block of flats where I live, and the ‘spiritual’, as evidenced by the ‘protective aura’ of half the population of the town I live in. They do indeed live in another world – an inner world of their own making. To turn away from the real world to the spiritual world is but to be twice removed from the actual world.
What an amazing thing it was to discover that there is an actual world of purity and perfection that is here, now and happening, now. It has not to be invented, imagined, propped up, contrived, trusted in, believed in, conceptualized or connected with. The physical universe is infinite and eternal and, as such, incomparable in its splendour. To live a life imagining that there is a something else or somewhere else is to miss the main event – that which is happening now, this only moment I can experience of being alive.
The need to step out of the real world and into the actual world is a vital necessity for becoming happy and harmless. As with most things in life, deciding to make the first move can be the most difficult thing, but if it is taken sincerely one soon begins finding the fears are imaginary and entirely ‘self’-imposed. A full-blooded, hearty commitment is needed to ensure success, for to fly in the face of Ancient Wisdom is no small thing to do. But as success eventuates, so does confidence grow and quite soon one passes ‘the point of no return’ when it becomes impossible to consider returning to a life of malice and sorrow. By then one is on a slippery slope whereby one often attempts to put the foot on the brake and slow things down a bit – but by then to be free is already one’s destiny and one actively acquiesces in one’s own demise.
Cute Hey, and what a journey, what a thrill.
PETER: It’s one of those particularly delicious winter mornings when the air is so clear and crisp and the sun warms one through with a penetration that no other heater can. Everything has a sharpness to it, the sounds have a clarity that seems to upped the volume a bit, and the skin literally bristles. Given that a sub-tropical winter is the equivalent of your spring you will know what I am talking of. The physical universe is strutting its stuff and it’s a delight to be the bit going Ahhhh.... We have had a particularly wet wet-season this year causing the locals to bemoan their existence even more than usual – strange stuff in the light of the constantly amazing variance the elements provide. One never knows when one goes to bed what the morrow brings, such is life.
It’s a weekend morning, my business is done for the week, and I have ‘itchy fingers’ so I thought I would drop you a note. Some things come up in conversation with Vineeto or I pick up little tit-bits of information that I think might be of interest to another actualist – so it’s a good chance to trot them out.
I was watching a BBC program on ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland where a journalist who had been raised and schooled there went back for a reminisce and re-look. He talked about the history of the war that has raged for hundreds of years and noted that he had been taught at school what he termed the ‘safe’ version of history. He had been taught that the British were the enemy and the British were at fault, but no mention was made of the on-going civil war where Irish have slaughtered Irish for centuries. Fellow country-man against fellow country-man.
Another news clip mentioned the ambivalence of the Spanish people towards the bitter civil war fought only 60 years ago where country-man fought country-man in a ferocious war that left a half million people dead. The American Civil War is yet another of these civil-wars that get scant consideration in the chronicles of man’s inhumanity to man, yet 600,000 died in a fight over ‘principles’. How many Russians killed their own countrymen, how many Chinese died fighting Chinese, how many neighbours slaughtered neighbours?
Man’s ‘inhumanity’ to man is legendary and now that it is increasingly well documented as endemic on the planet, it will be increasingly difficult to deny. The Holocaust conveniently gets most of the press – it’s the classic opportunity to put the blame on one evil man as being the sole cause of the genocides.
The Oxford Dictionary defines genocide as ‘The deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group’ . The words ‘deliberate and systematic’ are what distinguish human animal violence from the violence exhibited by the rest of the animals on the planet – we think and plan our violence, adding a ruthless efficiency to the business of killing our fellow human beings. So it was that during World War 2, some 300 U.S. planes incinerated 120,000 civilians in the Tokyo firestorm raid, and only months later it needed just 2 planes to obliterate 105,000 people in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Within a few short years the development of the hydrogen bomb was to bring a 700-fold increase in destructive force compared to these first crude atom bombs. And since then developments is such that a man can push a button and fire an ‘arrow’ with many such bombs on board and hit multiple ‘bulls-eyes’ anywhere on the planet. A ruthless efficiency.
A few other little tit-bits gleaned recently. I was fascinated to discover that when Albert Einstein sat down in 1905 to nut out his theories about space, time and gravity, he did so thinking, like everyone else at the time, that the physical universe consisted solely of the Milky Way – the stars visible in the sky. In fact, it was only in 1927 that Hubble began to discover other galaxies than the one this planet is in. Thus, exactly as Mr. Buddha was a flat-earth mythical Guru, Mr. Einstein was a one-galaxy scientific Guru. Yet humanity still insists on giving credence to their views of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being in 1999. At least Einstein was a flesh and blood human being, which is more than can be said for Mr. Buddha who exists only in the historical ‘black-hole’ of myth and legend.
Another fascinating fact to consider is that it was only in 1670 that Reiner de Graaf, a Dutch physician, discovered the follicles of the ovary in which the individual human egg cells are formed. This was the first factual evidence that human reproduction was the result of a fertilized egg in the female. One wonders what the theories and myths abounded before this discovery – that a ‘spirit’ entered the body of the female seems the most likely from the tales of Ancient Wisdom. And nil understanding that sex had anything to do with reproduction! No idea at all of the functioning of the human body, let alone instinctual programming and its pivotal role in human behaviour. Even after Graaf’s time, many people argued that inside the sperm was a miniature human being, ready and waiting to grow to eventually emerge into the world. Why humans insist on turning back 3,000 years or more to times of ignorance and superstition, and then stubbornly declare that some profound Wisdom is to be found, continually leaves me dumbfounded.
Of all the Ancient God-men, Mr Buddha is the current the most fashionable (and not un-coincidentally, I suspect, the most mythical). Phrases such as ‘One’s Buddha nature’, ‘Buddha-like’, ‘Buddha Consciousness’, etc. all point to an almost universal un-questioning acceptance of his Kingship of the Divine realm in spiritual circles.
It is well worth re-posting an ancient Buddhist text that Richard sourced and posted recently to another list in order to see exactly what is on offer in Buddhism.
‘And thus it is written that a monk shall sit in the corner with his eyes closed, withdraw from the world of sensual, sensate pleasure, stick his head in the clouds and dream of nirvana – anywhere but here and anyplace but now’ – a simplified stripped down version of Buddhism for the intellectually challenged. Ah! Nothing like a bit of Guru-bashing, and none better to take on than the undisputed King of Denial and Withdrawal. Is there nothing sacred to an actualist? No. Both the good feelings that arise from the supposed good instincts and the spiritual search for immortality that arises from the core survival instinct have to be questioned, examined, dissected and scrutinized in order to weaken their insidious influence on our lives. It took Richard ten times as long to rid himself of these good feelings as it took him to eliminate the bad ones. It is essential to tackle the whole of the instinctual programming – no half measures will work.
Another musing I had the other day concerned the common view of the word freedom as used in spiritual circles. Freedom is seen as an event, usually termed Enlightenment, whereby one miraculously escapes from the illusion of the real world, its problems, concerns and worries and is magically re-united with one’s Source from whence one came from originally. Thus ‘I’ am no longer lost, lonely and frightened for I have come Home and am overwhelmed by feelings of Divine Love. Thus one leaves the ‘real’ world and emerges into the ‘divine’ world – an illusion based on an illusion. The process usually undertaken is to devote oneself to living the ‘divine’ life, in preparation for a final ‘crossing’ over whereby one becomes Divine. This is, of course, all played out in the fantasy world of passionate feelings and has not a fig to do with the actual. Enlightenment is but a shift of identity from normal, afraid of death to Divine and believing one’s Self to be immortal.
The path to an Actual Freedom is to devote one’s life to being the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human being, and if undertaken with scrupulous integrity, will inevitably and inexorably lead to one’s self-immolation. This final act will be one of self-sacrifice for it is evident from the Pure Consciousness experience that only ‘I’ stand in the way of the perfection and purity of the universe being experienced as this flesh and blood body called Peter. This full-blooded devotion, as in ...
... has recently resulted in heady glimpses and experiences of the infinitude of the physical universe. These experiences of vastness and limitless freedom offer tantalizing previews of an inevitable destiny after ‘my’ extinction and have had the unmistakable ring of the authenticity of my first ‘self’-less PCE. The other clue as to their genuineness is the recognition of the seductive parallel of the Altered State of Consciousness whereby ‘I’ am tempted to instinctually grab to become the experience. Thus, ‘I’ become infinite and eternal, whereas in the PCE it is startlingly clear that it is the universe that is infinite and eternal, and what I am is this mortal flesh and blood body, well able and equipped to think and reflect and go oooh and ahhh at the perfection and purity that is obviously apparent when ‘I’ cease to rule the roost. But that won’t happen to me – it’s but a cheap cop-out once you have tasted the actual.
These glimpses are the direct result of this boots and all approach and send a thrill up one’s spine, a tingling in the skull, or an involuntary wobble of the head. It’s fascinating to see that the fear that was there in the days of thinking about the end of ‘me’, or trying to imagine the end of ‘me’, is now replaced by a physical thrill as in – this is what I am doing, or this is what is happening. This is no esoteric explanation and has parallels in the prosaic activities that involve fear or danger whereby, when you get to the stage of actually doing something rather than thinking or worrying about it, one is then too busy with the doing of it that one has no time for fears or worries. And it’s not as though the experience is frantic, or too much – I am at present doing normal things like doing a job, earning a living and reporting, as accurately as I can, on what is going on inside with ‘me’ as it happens. Utterly down-to-earth, normal and anonymous.
Cute, Hey.... And what a hoot it is at the cutting edge.
Well it’s time to put my feet up, and I’ve run out of news.
PETER: Thought I would drop you a line and enclose another schematic diagram we finalized last night. It’s literally hot off the press. We have been toying for some time with the idea of a schematic that defined the difference between what we are on about and what the spiritual path is on about. It stemmed from when I first met Richard and he said ‘everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong’ – or words to that effect – and in a flash I remember thinking ‘Of course – that’s why the spiritual world is as fucked up as the real world.’ Since then I have had a good many postings and discussions with many people who blithely insist that the path to Actual Freedom is no different to the spiritual path. Hundreds of thousands of words later there still seems much sincere confusion, as well as blatantly stubborn refusal to acknowledge facts – so we now have the ‘Actual freedom lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction to spiritual beliefs’ diagram –
The diagram deliberately points out what initially is the similarity between the path to Actual Freedom and the spiritual path – that they both start with a search for freedom, peace and happiness – but it also clearly indicates that they are, in fact, separate paths and explains in what way they are different. The diagram makes potently clear that continuing on the spiritual path by practicing denial, sublimation and transcendence which results in impassioned delusion, leads one further away from the actual world and actively perpetuates the Human Condition of fighting and suffering.
For those determined to go all the way to Actual Freedom the one and only option is to turn around and head 180 degrees in the opposite direction – abandoning and dismantling all of one’s ancient spiritual beliefs – the lot, every morsel – and then one can really start on the path to an actual, down-to-earth freedom. It is this very aspect that is the most daunting for many – because to dare to question one’s cherished spiritual beliefs would seem as though one would have to retreat back to grim everyday reality again. It is here that the memory of the Pure Consciousness Experience is vital, as you then have experienced your potential destiny – Actual Freedom. One then backtracks with gay abandon, scurrying delightedly to rid oneself of the moldy, fear-ridden, ancient beliefs as one sets off on the alternative path to actualizing that potential.
Of course, a component of the wide and wondrous path is the sensible and sensate experience, and any moves away from purely cerebral or affective experiencing can only improve one’s life. Thus it is that there will be those who go all the way and those who take on board what they are comfortable with – but even that will bring a degree more of happiness and harmlessness to the person concerned. And there will be a bit more of the genuine product in the world to counter the ancient superstition and beliefs – sort of a flow-on, or rub-off effect. It is most definitely a win-win situation.
I do like the schematic. I remember some 2 years ago trying to make sense of the difference between what Richard was saying and what the Gurus were saying and doodling with a diagram – must be my architectural training – and here it is.
PETER: Just a little note to let you know how it is for me as I face extinction – as it becomes inevitably and inexorably imminent. It becomes increasingly difficult to hold ‘myself’ together – almost as though I could float off the planet, which is what the Enlightened ones do. There is so much sensate, sensual pleasure that it is disorientating – it is, after all, this very sensual pleasure that lifts ‘me’ off, while it is the surety and experience gleaned from PCEs that keeps my feet on the ground. I know, from the PCE, that what is sensate, palpable, tangible, tactile, corporeal, physical and material is actual. ‘My’ standing in the way and trying to ‘keep the lid on’, is the only thing that has to cease now – all else has been done. It has got to the point that it is impossible to distinguish between ‘me’ doing this and it happening to me – all attempts at control and understanding are falling away – and the ride is wild and thrilling. The brakes don’t work – and the wheels are falling off. As we put the schematic together I realized I stood literally on the brink where the arrow emerges from the Human Condition into Actual Freedom. I can look back at the Human Condition and the old Peter and see I have no ‘hooks’ or connection with the past – but also there is nothing ahead for ‘me’, no future for ‘me’ in the actual world.
‘I’ am but a program of the social and neuro-biological imprint that is the substance of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow – ‘just another brick in the wall’ as P.F. put it. The very best ‘I’ could do was clean myself up 99.9%, and live a life of pleasure, delight and carefree-ness that was beyond ‘normal’ human expectations – but ‘I’ still remain, at core, an instinctual human animal. I can locate this instinctual passionate ‘me’ in the heart area and the controlling ‘me’ in the head – untroubling to me in daily life, but ever-lurking, ready to pounce ‘when push comes to shove.’ 99.9% ain’t the full Monty!
It is also blindingly obvious from a solid experiential understanding over a period of some 18 months of Virtual Freedom that ‘I’ stand in the way of the perfection and purity of the actual universe becoming apparent as a new species – and for this to eventuate requires ‘my’ willing extinction.
Then comes the realization that ‘I’ am going to do this, that extinction is the next and only thing on the menu. In writing my journal I painted myself into a corner but managed to leave a comfortable niche to play around in for a while – now it is as if I have painted myself even further to the point of precariously balancing on tip-toes and trying not to fall over. And yet falling over is inevitable – for ‘I’ can no longer hang it together, so nebulous and insubstantial have ‘I’ become. ‘My’ time has come.
It makes life very thrilling indeed knowing extinction, obliteration, the end, the finish, the finale, the cessation of ‘me’ is right here – any moment.
PETER: Thought I’d drop you a line about a subject that led me to a bit of pondering lately. Several times over the last 2 years Vineeto and I have met with people who have been interested in Richard and what he has to say. The reaction to us has been fascinating to observe for it is a subject of vital interest to me – at its core, ‘What am I in relation to other people and what am I in relation to Richard?’ The reaction to us can best be summed up as ‘piss off, I want to talk to Richard’ or ‘Who do you think you are – some over-enthusiastic disciple mouthing off the words of the Master?’ or some similar theme. Consequently, we have dubbed ourselves the ‘Litmus Twins’, for we seem to upset or offend those who seek only a bit of time (and space?) sitting with the ‘master’ but not those who are genuinely interested in actual Freedom and in changing themselves. My theory – and that is all it is – is that we are ‘offensive’ simply because we are the proof that it is possible to change, whereas regarding Richard as some sort of master, as in the spiritual tradition, means that all one has to do is sit back and imbibe the wisdom and truth of what he says and writes. I don’t doubt that they get something from the ‘contact’ but, for the life of me, I fail to see that any radical change can come from such a casual and cautious approach.
But I gladly admit to bias, as I am continuously amazed by people’s stubborn refusal to even admit that they have less than perfect relationships, that they are prone to malice and sorrow, anger, resentment, despair, resignation, self-deception, or whatever other feeling. Those still on the spiritual path see themselves as having risen above these mundane worldly matters and having ascended into the higher realms of ‘love for all’, feeling ‘That Which Is’ or being ‘grateful to Existence’.
Just as an aside, while I think of it, I once chatted to a man who had just been newly inducted into the spiritual world and we got to chatting about sex. He proclaimed to me that he now had a freer attitude to sex and was not only with his partner but with other women as well. He said sex had never been better as he now felt he was making love to all women when he had sex. It was ‘universal woman’ whom he made love to – the archetypical woman. It suddenly dawned on me that this Tantric-like practice was nothing more than a fantasy escape from the actuality of having sex with the particular flesh and blood woman he was in bed with at the time. In the ‘real’ world men and woman invariably revert to fantasies to maintain an interest after the initial instinctual attraction wanes, and Tantra is simply the spiritual version of these fantasies. Of course, it is a ‘higher’ and more ‘noble’ fantasy, but it is nothing more than an escape from the reality of sex. It is demeaning to the partner one is with as he or she is not the flesh and blood body person but is reduced to a figment of one’s own fantasy world – and then they have the audacity to term this fantasy ‘being intimate’. All the ‘action’ and ‘intimacy’ goes on only in one’s head. One literally goes into cuckoo-land – all in denial of the shameful, guilt-ridden reality of the sexual instinct in action. It is all about feeling and has nought to do with the luscious sensuality of the sensate sensuous experiencing of innocent sexual play.
For me, it was such an adventure to get to the bottom of the stifling mystery, the conspiracy of silence, the moralistic mumbo-jumbo and beliefs that actively prohibit free sexual enjoyment and a direct intimacy between any couple, be they normal or spiritually inclined.
Which brings me back to people-as-they-are – (a feeble attempt to round this rave back to some semblance of order). Whenever Vineeto and I talk or write of becoming free of the Human Condition, we are often seen (judged?) as being judgemental or attacking and not tolerant or respectful of the other’s position. In considering this, the only sense I make of it is that we are threatening in that we are putting into practice the concept that one can become free of the Human Condition – i.e. how human beings think, feel, believe and imagine themselves to be and how they are instinctually programmed by blind nature to function. Now any sensible investigation of the Human Condition involves observation, investigation, comparison, contemplation, consideration and judgement. One has to come to a conclusion as to what is silly and what is sensible, otherwise the whole exercise is merely intellectual wanking. Having made a judgement as to what is best, then action is required – one is compelled to action, unless one wants to settle for second-best – but that’s another story. So no bleatings of ‘you’re being judgemental’ will work with me – it’s a furphy that’s been bandied around since morals and ethics were first chiselled in stone and devised to silence the sensible. ‘Judge ye not’ is a platitude invented by God-men and other charlatans in order that no one would question the rest of their inane platitudes. It is one of many dimwitticisms, passed off as Guru-wisdom, that have no other meaning or purpose than to keep their followers and disciples under control, humble, grateful, loyal and above all non-thinking.
But if anyone wants to remain as they are, second-rate, rooted in the past, or off in la-la land, then fine. Somewhere there is a Peter or a Vineeto who might appreciate a bit of ‘judgemental’ straight talking, a first hand account about becoming free of the Human Condition, what it’s like to challenge all beliefs, what it’s like to leave one’s ‘self’ behind. I strongly recommend being judgemental – making a judgement, an evaluation, a discernment, a decision, a finding, an appraisal, an assessment, a conclusion. At the very least one practices thinking, at best it may provoke action, at worst you may be inaccurate and need to re-assess. This is the process of learning called trial and error. One simply proceeds to what is sensible and what works, and one finds one has discovered a fact. And one can rely on a fact. It takes a little practice but eventually ‘you’ become redundant in the game as the facts start to speak for themselves.
Which brings me back to Richard and people-as-they-are. When I first met Richard there was quite a period of regarding him as a Guru for that was what a ‘wise man’ was to me at the time. It seemed that he was talking of another world or dimension, which he was, and that he was in touch with some ethereal wisdom, which he wasn’t. I remember at one stage laying on the couch – yet again – and saying ‘Okay, you can let me into the mystery now. Is there a space craft that is coming to pick us up, is this some ‘special’ group and you’re gathering people for the new world after the ‘end-of-it-all’, or what?’ All I got was a laugh, but it cleared the air for me. After that, he increasingly became a flesh and blood normal person to me, who had actually found a way to become happy and harmless. It is not that the process became any less radical and un-‘natural’, but it meant that it was possible for me – a normal flesh and blood human. It also meant that I was not going ‘somewhere else’ in the spiritual sense but it meant that the answer to the mystery of life lay under my very nose, as it were – in the world-as-it-is, with people-as-they-are. It was only that ‘I’ was in the road of the actual world’s perfection and purity becoming apparent and that was something I could do something about. If Richard could, I could. It is, after all, a process of elimination – a stripping away of the veneer of reality and the veneer of Reality in order to more and more experience the actual world. The process involves nothing more than replacing belief – both real and Real – with fact, for fact is what is actual. And the last of the line – not the first – or even the middle – is the experiential understanding of the illusion or non-facticity of ‘I’. Self-immolation then becomes imminent.
Once I had managed to get the last of my spiritual concepts and notions out of the way, on the couch that day, it became simply a matter of emulating Richard and this new way of being a human being – his manner, words, the facts he presented – how he was as a human being. Exactly as I had done when I found a good architect or builder or expert in any field – soak up all you can about what you regard as the best – why is it so good, how is it different, why does it work, why is it better than how I do things? Lately for me has been the stage of seeing what it is that is different between Richard and me – what are the innate quirks of character, differences of style, preferences, life-experiences that are genuine differences.
It has been a fascinating journey to see not only the universality of the Human Condition, to discover why and how Richard is different from ‘normal’ and ‘spiritual’, and now I come to see how I am actually different from Richard. Merely to remain following and mimicking would be to forever remain virtually free – the dare now is to be unique and individual – actually free of the Human Condition – to stand on my own two feet.
Well, it’s been another of my raves. I never know where they are going when I sit down to type, so you just get what’s been mulling around for a bit or what pops up on the way through.
Which reminds me of a cute story that happened lately. About a year ago I got a bee in my bonnet to write a piece for the national newspaper as they were publishing readers’ stories in their weekend magazine under the banner ‘Real Life’. Inspired by the fact that I now had something to say about ‘real life’ I sent off a piece on death, culled from my journal. Lo and behold they published it – I had kept it very mild and watered down. Then I sent another piece culled from the Living Together chapter and called it ‘Liberation from being men and women’. Nothing happened and about 3 months ago they returned it with a ‘Thank you, but ...’ note. About 3 weeks ago Vineeto brought home a copy of the local Rajneesh Sannyas magazine, and there on the cover were the words ‘Liberation from being men and women’. ‘Something familiar about those words ...’ I thought, and looked inside to find my article printed word for word with ‘Author unknown’ at the end. It turned out that Vineeto had given it to a woman at work who was associated with the magazine at the time to see if they were interested in publishing it. Nothing happened and we both forgot about it, and meanwhile the woman ceased her involvement with the magazine. It seemed that the article – author unknown by now – was found by someone who considered it interesting enough to publish. So the traitor-to-the-cause, the blacker-than-black sheep gets his article published anonymously in a Rajneesh magazine. They haven’t a clue how much of a heretic I am. Maybe they just think I’m a Guru basher – if they think at all, that is. Cute Hey...
When the editor found out t’was me he rang up to apologize and casually mentioned they would consider publishing something else; so I popped one in to him but ‘upped the ante’ just a bit this time – sprinkling the piece with a few words like instincts, beliefs, morals, ethics, peace, fear, aggression, malice and sorrow. It’s entitled ‘Folks and People’ and is hung around the story I recently related on the list about the waring gangs in Chicago. We will see what becomes of that. It is amazing to see serendipity in action – to watch the marvellous quirks and twists and links and opportunities and events that occur – as though by magic.
As I said in my journal of the path to Actual Freedom – ‘Serendipity is, after all, what happens when you take the opportunity that comes along.’
Well, before I wander up some other alley, I’m off to the couch ... so it’s goodnight from me ...
PETER: Your conversations with Richard set me thinking about this business of self-immolation and the difference between what we are talking of and the spiritual ‘ego-death’. In my reading of the Enlightened Ones’ ‘ego death’ experiences the drama and trauma involved sounds so convincing that one would indeed give credence to a wondrous transformation such that one had found something genuine – one’s Real Self, one’s original face, the Source, Divine Love, the Truth or whatever. There is no doubt that a transformation of their identity has taken place, that they have suffered a death of their personal self – ego – and as a reward have become a universal, all encompassing, glorious Self – God by whatever name. This I have understood and have personally experienced in an hour long Altered State of Consciousness, or Satori, whereby I was Love personified, and all was Glorious and Golden. Also as the result of many Pure Consciousness Experiences and some 18 months of Virtual Freedom I well know the difference between a ‘self’-less state of Actual Freedom and the ‘ego-less/glorified soul’ state of Enlightenment.
But I still had a nag, and the nag was how to explain it schematically. It must be my architectural training, but often processes can be schematically represented in a way that aids clarity. There are about 2 million words on the Actual Freedom Trust website and many are devoted to this very difference between Actual Freedom and the traditional Pseudo Freedom, so we have come up with two schematics that set out the difference.
The schematics are too big to post to the list, so we have put them on the Actual Freedom Trust website for perusal. I suggest it would be useful for you bring it up in a second window, if possible, so as to refer to it in association with the following description. There are two schematics – the first refers to Actual Freedom, the second to the spiritual path. The first schematic is
As you can see, the title is ‘What I am vs. Who I am’, and the diagram essentially addresses the issue of the process of the extinction of ‘who’ I am – the psychological and psychic entity and the emergence of ‘what I am’ – this flesh and blood body only, actually free of ‘who I think and feel I am’. The diagram quite deliberately separates out the active diminishing and eventual extinction of ‘who I am’ – and the emergence and eventual freedom of ‘what I am’. ‘What I am’ has always been here, it is just that it has been obscured and totally dominated by ‘who I am’ – and it is only by systematically and methodically daring to peel back the layers of social conditioning, beliefs, morals, ethics, psittacisms and instinctual passions that ‘what I am’ is more and more able to become apparent. ‘What I am’ thus becomes incrementally freed, strengthened, gaining confidence from the surety of facts, the increasingly unfettered intelligence and the heightened senses – all actual, down to earth, sensible and verifiable experiences. ‘What I am’ is not a new creation, a new identity – it is simply what remains when the ‘who I am’ disappears in total. To put it another way, the ‘who I was’ when I first met Richard will never meet the ‘what I am’ that will emerge when ‘I’ become extinct.
Of course, one has glimpses of this ‘self’-less state in the PCE, when for a period ‘who I am’ exits the stage, or is temporarily absent, but ‘what I am’ can only be totally free when ‘who I am’ ceases to exist permanently. ‘Who I am’ is capable of resurrection or fighting back at any stage – indeed it is passionately driven to do anything possible to survive – including selling off Grandmother if need be – which is where the middle line of the diagram comes into play. This is a simple representation of the wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom – from naiveté to Actual Freedom. We have started the line with naiveté, for it surely requires naiveté to not only consider that an actual freedom from the Human Condition is possible, but that you, personally, are the one who can do it. To fly in the face of the Wisdom of the Ancients – ‘to go where no man has gone before’ in Star Trek terms, as I put it in my Journal. I conveniently ignored Richard in my dramatization as I figured that the next pioneers were plotting a brand new course – avoiding the instinctual seduction of the Rock of Enlightenment that had dashed the efforts of all before. The other point about naiveté is that the spiritually cynical and the worldly cunning, by their very attitude, exclude themselves from the adventure, and this has been evidenced by the many who have met Richard, or read a bit about Actual Freedom, and turned away.
For those willing to consider the possibility of an actual freedom, the next step is to tap into pure intent – an intent to make it something one is willing to dedicate one’s life to and a purity such that one will settle for nothing less than the purity and perfection so obviously experienced in a Pure Consciousness Experience. If it is possible for a brief time it must be possible as a permanent state – purity and perfection is possible as a flesh and blood human being, it requires one’s sincere intent to become a ‘self’ consuming passion in life.
As an ongoing experience one moves into a state of Virtual Freedom whereby one goes to sleep at night time knowing one has had a perfect day and that tomorrow will also be a perfect day. This perfection is not the perfection of Actual Freedom but a 99.9% perfection and the hic-ups or stumbles are so minor and brief, that they fail to daunt one on the journey. Serendipity abounds and a fascination with life activates delight and sensuousness as one does all one can to mimic the perfection and purity that becomes increasingly apparent all around in the physical world. One’s mind, more and more freed of imagination and the chemical influence of instinctual passions, is capable of great clarity, and as apperceptive awareness replaces self-centred neurosis one knows one’s days are numbered. By this total and sincere dedication to what is actual, pure and perfect, one abandons control, so to speak, whereby the very process of self-immolation is set in motion – then it is not a process that one has any control over, it is happening by itself.
The ending of ‘me’, when seen dispassionately, is the amygdala doing its survival thing – one encounters surges of chemicals from an obsolete program playing out its death throes – fighting for its very survival as it is programmed to do. This last stages of the ending of ‘me’ is both a psychic and psychological affair, thus accompanying the chemical rushes (fear) one also experiences the psychological equivalent (angst), but one is committed by now – there is no ‘back door’, no turning back, no phoenix to rise from the ashes. ‘My’ end is nigh.
However, to even get to the point where one abandons control requires sincere intent, lest one settles for second-best. Sincere intent is one’s companion on the journey from beginning to end.
In order to make the differences between Actual Freedom and the spiritual ‘ego-death’ clear we produced a second schematic that indicates the famed so called self-less state of the Buddhas and Enlightened Ones is but the result of a process of self-aggrandizement.
The diagram is on the same page as the other one. It’s a very glitzy diagram for a very glitzy transformation. I think it’s clear what happens – a shift in identity from mere mortal to Divine Immortal that is well documented in all the spiritual texts – it’s just that people are so seduced by the fantasy that they will live on ‘after their body dies’, that they are blinded to facts. An interesting and rarely acknowledged facet of the idea of God is that to have the Good one must still have Evil lurking somewhere, to have the Divine one needs the Diabolical, to have God one needs the Devil, by whatever name. The spiritual merely sublimates personal fear and aggression (the bad) for one becomes God (the good) and therefore protected by one’s own imaginary aura or cocoon of Divine Love. Again this is well documented in all the spiritual fables, in all the religious fairy stories – it is only passionate belief and the resulting blindness to facts that prevents the whole silly nonsense becoming apparent.
Ah, give me a fact any day. I was going to post ‘fact’ from the glossary but this post is getting a bit long. But it’s at the glossary under ‘fact ’, if you want a bit of bed-time reading. It’s a great piece from Richard that is a useful touchstone in the journey from ‘who I am’ to ‘what I am’. Give me a fact any day.
Well Alan, that’s about it. A couple of more schematics courtesy of the wonders of computer graphics and Vineeto’s skill. Somewhere down the track is the idea of putting together a little visual word/ picture/ schematics/ voice over?/ presentation of what we are on about. It hasn’t quite got a form yet but it may be useful in order to give a quick over-view of Actual Freedom. Any feedback on the schematics is welcome. I do like it that this process is clearly describable in words, is able to be schematically represented, is substantiated by current experiences, is verifiable by scientific records and research, is repeatable in different people, from different cultures, backgrounds and gender, it has nothing to do with faith, trust, hope or belief ... and it works! And all of that is what makes it a fact.
An Actual Freedom from the Human Condition is now possible for anyone who wants it.
And peace on earth is the reward for one’s efforts.
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.