Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
with Correspondent No 5
PETER: Good to see you hanging in there with Actual Freedom. These investigations and discussions into the myths of Religions and the theories of science can literally shake the very ground you – and Humanity – stand on. For aeons the Sacred has been held as inviolate and the ‘upper’ echelons of philosophical and scientific theory as meaningful explorations. When one begins to understand that it is all a search for a somewhere else, a someplace else or a something else apart from the physical universe, then one understands that the ‘scientific’ beliefs, concepts and theories are all nothing more or less than a search for God. ‘Anywhere but here and any place but now’ is how Richard puts it.
RESPONDENT: Obviously you have read and thought over this subject lot more than I have. I have not finished reading the book. So I can’t say much about it. However, I did not say, suggest or imply that Roger Penrose was giving a prescription to eliminate Human Condition and/or obtain Freedom.
PETER: I have really only done a ‘skim’ over science and philosophy in order to see where it is they are coming from. In terms of the Human Condition there is a set-in-concrete belief that ‘you can’t change Human Nature’, and that is understandable from their point of view. The Human Condition is, after all, ‘the way it is and the way it has always been’ for human beings and no-one up until now has found an actual freedom from its instinctual clutches. As such, any investigations to date have been a study of what exists, a re-vamp of old ancient ‘solutions’ that have failed or an ‘escape’ into denial or fantasy.
RESPONDENT: From the little I read and the talk several years ago, I got the impression that he might have done a good job in researching on physics and biology of mind and trying to answer the question how mind works.
PETER: From what I read and from his own words that I pasted he is re-interpreting the research in physics and biology into a philosophical-mathematical theory of consciousness that is metaphysical in nature. We tend to think of metaphysics as the domain of the mystics and shamans but modern cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics and the like are mostly concerned with metaphysics.
You will remember, Sir Roger said –
By ‘beyond computation’ he means unable to be computed, calculated, reckoned, worked out, demonstrated, or made sense of. Or to use Mr. Oxford’s words – not empirically verifiable.
RESPONDENT: For my taste, explaining of physics and biology of mind is an important task in itself even if its importance may pale in comparison to the task of achieving Actual Freedom.
PETER: Yes indeed. The modern scientific empirical discoveries of neuro-biology and genetics, with regard to the human brain and how it functions, have revealed two very fascinating aspects –
RESPONDENT: On the other hand, achieving Actual Freedom being as important (since I can’t think of a better word right now, I will go with important) as it is, does not answer, I think, the questions about mechanisms involved in ‘one is this very actual universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being.’ Or does it? Or does it become a moot question to ask?
PETER: What the practical, down-to-earth scientists are indicating is that the mechanism involved in achieving an Actual Freedom from the Human Condition is all of this very actual, earthly, physical universe, is located in the human brain and capable of being tampered with. What actualists are busy pursuing is an active ‘self’-immolation to the point of a mutation or a physical disconnection from the instinctual primitive brain areas. These are all factually scientifically substantiated activities – nothing esoteric or other-worldly – no intervention of a mythical Higher Force or Greater Intelligence required.
But what an extraordinary set-up, what a magical evolutionary device. This physical universe is indeed actual as in not merely passive, and evolutionary change is the most startling evidence of this fact. That consciousness and intelligence evolve from physical matter, and are ever evolving – albeit in 40,000 years or so jumps. And for a conscious, sensate, reflective human being, what an incredible voyage and adventure to be involved in! The cutting edge ...
As No 3 would say ‘Thank goodness not Godness for that’.
When the human flesh and blood body is free of the psychological and psychic entity then ‘one is this very actual universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being.’ And what an extraordinary adventure.
RESPONDENT: It is not clear to me that according to you whether –
PETER: I thought it might be pertinent to discussions, given the fact that there are a number of Sannyasins on the list, to rephrase your questions regarding the legacy of the mythical Mr. Buddha.
Hence instead of the way you phrased it, your question would now become –
I always find it’s good to deal with Gurus that we know a bit about rather than Mythical Long-Dead Ones who we can but only fantasize about. There is nothing quite so pertinent and relevant to an actualist as a dearly-held, close to home, belief.
So, as for Rajneesh’s legacy, he is on record as saying ‘I leave you my dream’ upon his death bed and dictated that on his tomb in his mausoleum should be the words ‘Never Born, Never Died, Only Visited This Planet...’ The legacy he left his community was a dream that he had failed to materialize in his lifetime, hence he left it to his followers. This is a common theme with all Gurus – each and everyone has left their followers an unfinished dream. Rajneesh’s dream was that eventually the world would be full of His sannyasins bringing the ‘light’ into the world and, of course, exactly the same dream underpins each and every religion in the world. Hence the relentless drive to proselytize and spread the message – the more the numbers, the stronger the religion, the more famous and powerful the Master. What a legacy!
Rajneeshism, with its followers numbering only in the tens of thousands, is inevitably doomed to the spiritual dustbin.
I always find it kinda cute that the only ones who attained Enlightenment – the spiritual fantasy-freedom – while Rajneesh was alive were the dead ones. It was all very safe business and allowed for no conflict at all – the old ‘two chairs on the podium’ problem. After his death and his ‘escape’ from the planet there can now be no other who sits in His chair. If anyone in the Ashram did become Enlightened they would have two choices. Either they remain in the ashram in humble gratitude to their Master, bowing to an empty chair for the rest of their lives – not what I call freedom at all – or they would go off, gather disciples and start up yet another separate version of the Master-Disciple-Game. There can be a sort of a lineage thing going whereby one gains kudos from basking in the fame of their Master, but it’s a messy affair as the Ramana-lineage is already proving to be.
To call this puerile nonsense ‘freedom’ and to imagine that it does anything other than spawn religions is to have one’s head stuck in the clouds, and to be in denial of facts – both current and historic. T’would all be a joke, but people take the Guru business so seriously that they are willing not only to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs but, if push comes to shove, (– remember the ranch?) are willing to kill for their beliefs.
It is obvious to me that the main legacy that Rajneesh left was a group of people steeped in cynicism, fatalism, defeatism – which is what surrender is – doomsdayistic pessimism, resignation and self-centred complacency. Rajneesh’s blatant stupidity and ignorance in taking on and deriding the American Christians and its inevitable failure was to ultimately crush any naiveté and enthusiasm in his followers, leaving a wimpish lot of faithful and loyal devotees to soldier on.
A little exchange from the Sannyas List will illustrate the point –
The last response was a classic – it sure didn’t exist! Ah, what an amazing experience it was to have been a disciple of a living Guru, to see his dream fail, see him set up a religion to carry on his dream, see him, in person, playing the God-man to the hilt, to meet him zonked out of his mind and to be personally so blinded by trust, faith, devotion, surrender and loyalty that all of my intelligence was almost non-existent.
And it is not only Rajneesh that has left a ‘notable’ legacy. Krishnamurti has proved to be yet another of the Gurus with accounts of a vitriolic and deceitful ‘private’ life emerging after his death. And to see that all he has left behind is a residue of heady spiritualectuals willing to endlessly discuss anything, as long as it is not their feelings. Ramana Maharshi and his self-appointed disciple H.W.L Poonja has left as a legacy the unbelievably childish message of ‘You are already God – all you have to do is realize it’ that is gratefully soaked up by the laziest of the lazy – or the meekest of the mild. And the list goes on and on ...
None of them have managed to live their unliveable teachings, all of them left behind an unrealizable dream and all of them went ‘somewhere else’ after death. All in all, a deplorable legacy.
Interestingly, I have a number of friends who turned to Buddhism after the Rajneesh thing petered out. If you have to have a religion, which everyone does, Buddhism is such a ‘safe’ religion to be in – particularly the New Age version. Modern Buddhism is baby-boomer bumf.
Surely, just surely, it’s time to admit that the tried and true is but the ‘tried and failed’.
After all – the definition of a lunatic is someone who keeps does the same thing, again and again, despite the fact that it doesn’t work.
RESPONDENT: Peter, I do not understand what you are trying to say in this post. It just goes on and on. Also, I do not understand what are the facts in this post and what are your opinions / speculations / guesses. I can’t relate to most of the post.
PETER: Well, undaunted, I will try again. My post followed your post which said –
So I took it that the thread of the topic of conversation was about Gurus, their legacy and peace on earth. In order to aid your understanding I will not post any of my comments but will post a quote from Mr. Rajneesh, a Guru whose opinions, words (and legacy) are relevant to many on this list.
This is a discourse where Mr. Rajneesh talks on anger, one of the fiercest of the instinctual passions, and a topic that is directly related to Gurus, their legacy (written words) and peace on earth (the eradication of human anger) –
‘Anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities’ has resulted in 160 million people killed in wars in this century alone, not to mention all the murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, suicides, etc... There can be no more obvious expression of people ‘being totally angry’ than war.
From this direct quote I would have thought that it was obvious that peace on earth was definitely not on Rajneesh’s agenda and therefore cannot possibly be part of his legacy.
I await your considered comment on this quote so as to avoid any ‘opinions / speculations / guesses’ which, I agree, are of no use to anyone.
Nothing like some facts to get our teeth into ...
PETER: In response to your post –
This is a discourse where Mr. Rajneesh talks on anger, one of the fiercest of the instinctual passions, and a topic that is directly related to Gurus, their legacy (written words) and peace on earth (the eradication of human anger) –
From this direct quote I would have thought that it was obvious that peace on earth was definitely not on Rajneesh’s agenda and therefore cannot possibly be part of his legacy.
RESPONDENT: If you want to make the point that Osho wanted us ‘to accept anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities’, you certainly have provided an exhibit for this purpose. From this point, if you want to say peace on earth was not on Osho’s agenda, I understand your logic for this conclusion. I have no problem with you making such a conclusion based on the evidence you have provided. However, this is one of the possibilities among many conclusions one can draw.
PETER: I take it that your use of the word ‘exhibit’ is some sort of put down that I chose to use Mr. Rajneesh’s own words as factual evidence as to his stance regarding peace on earth, and then you go on to blatantly avoid making any personal comment whatsoever on the facts presented. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what conclusion you draw from the quotation. This is what is called having a conversation. You tell me what you think and I’ll tell you what I think and we will compare notes. After all, in a previous post you said – ‘For me, the bottom line is: to look into myself, especially to see where my anger and fears are coming from’ and the quote, coincidentally, deals with this very issue. And yet you will not enter into any meaningful conversation about this very topic.
PETER: I await your considered comment on this quote so as to avoid any ‘opinions / speculations / guesses’ which, I agree, are of no use to anyone.
Nothing like some facts to get our teeth into ...
RESPONDENT: Unlike you I do not mind opinions / speculations / guesses as long as I know that is what they are .
PETER: But you were the one who said – ‘Also, I do not understand what are the facts in this post and what are your opinions / speculations / guesses. I can’t relate to most of the post.’ You obviously objected to and dismissed what I wrote as my ‘opinions / speculations /guesses’ and then when I present the direct quoted words from a contemporary spiritual Guru as confirmation of what I wrote, all of a sudden you ‘do not mind opinions / speculations / guesses as long as I know that is what they are.’
RESPONDENT: As for facts. I was not asking for facts in the forms of Osho’s quotes.
PETER: You were not asking for facts at all. You were simply trying to fob me off and dismiss any further conversation on the matter. Personally I considered Rajneesh’s quote very relevant to our conversation as it points to his ‘unique’ contribution to Ancient Wisdom. His whole approach to the perennial problem of human instinctual passions was to summarily condemn those who attempted to suppress them and taught that to express them would enable a miraculous transcendence. Thus one was encouraged to indulge in sex in order to transcend sexual passion with the aim of becoming celibate. Similarly with anger, one was actively encouraged to express one’s anger in groups or dynamic meditation or in being ‘honest’ with others – all in order to achieve for oneself the blissful state of Enlightenment. Peace on earth was not, and is not, an issue – one’s own utterly selfish achievement of an Altered State of Consciousness was of singular importance. Hence peace on earth was readily sacrificed for a state of Enlightenment on earth and a mythical afterlife – after physical death. Which is the very point of this conversation.
No wonder you weren’t ‘asking for facts in the forms of Osho’s quotes’ on the topic.
RESPONDENT: I was merely asking for facts in the form of your own personal observations / experiences in life from which you make many of the statements in your original post titled ‘Legacy of Gurus’.
PETER: You were not asking for facts at all. As you have said to me before – ‘I showed you once how your posts are meaningless for me’, and you were simply saying the same thing again in different words in your last post. Whenever I engage in a discussion with you, you attempt a summary dismissal. You have said to me in the past that ‘what I will not allow you to do is for you to shove your experiences and your interpretations down my throat’ – which doesn’t sound as if you are at all interested in my personal observations / experiences. The next ploy is to continually move the goal-posts of the discussion whenever it gets a little too close to actually discerning what is belief from what is fact – a ploy that is useless on a list devoted to actualizing peace on earth and exposing the ancient beliefs that have castrated human intelligence for millennia.
To quote the spiritual version of fact vs. truth from Rajneesh aka Osho –
Another quote –
Ooops – that’s a personal observation / experience – but you did ask for one! Any Guru who says that the factual actual experience of life, as evidenced in a PCE, is ‘utterly meaningless’ has most definitely got their head in the clouds. As for when ‘your eyes open to the real’ and you see ‘God green in a tree’, what does one see in war, murder, rape, torture, domestic violence, etc. – God anger?
But, then again, you must know this difference in perception – spiritual vs. actual – from your personal PCE, so I am curious as to why you have such a beef about defending the God-men and the belief in God, the truth, etc.
RESPONDENT: Once you wrote to Alan something of the kind that: Whenever you (Peter) ask people about the way Gurus behave towards women, you get blank faces. What did you observe in reference to Osho’s (or any other Guru’s) behavior towards women. Do you have some first hand information ? You want to write about them. Those personal observations/experiences would be facts. Your facts, but facts.
PETER: How on earth can you have a fact that is ‘your’ fact – that would mean that you have your own versions of facts. Methinks you are talking about truths which are definitely not facts, as Mr. Rajneesh has clearly pointed out above. As I wrote to Alan, Richard has written an excellent piece on facts, if you are interested.
Some ‘first hand information’ from a post to the Sannyas mailing list about the same question that you have asked –
I would only add an additional fact and that is that Guru is a Sanskrit word meaning elder or teacher and as such is one who propounds Eastern Religions. It is common in Eastern Religions to regard women as second-class citizens, needing to be re-born as a man in order to be worthy of even undertaking spiritual practice, being excluded from temples, being mere possessions of men, etc. This attitude is still very prevalent in the Eastern Religions and permeates into popular spiritualism. All of the male Gurus have women disciples who worship them and regard them as Gods, and this is actively encouraged by the Gurus – a pathetic and abysmal behaviour towards women.
PETER: I always find it’s good to deal with Gurus that we know a bit about rather than Mythical Long-Dead Ones who we can but only fantasize about.
RESPONDENT: In my opinion, it is very tricky to talk about any dead master even the recently dead ones. Because the dead ones cannot respond, recent ones or Long Dead ones.
PETER: Well, this conversation started with you interested in Mr. Buddha and his legacy and I was the one who wanted to talk about a real flesh and blood ‘master’ and what he actually said. Given that Rajneesh has said that –
Thus, on good authority, we can dismiss all that has been written about Mr. Buddha from our factual conversation on the basis of it being ‘myth’. Not so Mr. Rajneesh – he undoubtedly existed as a flesh and blood man, as evidenced by my eyes and the eyes of many others, by photographs, videos, tapes and accurately transcribed words from his very mouth. Are you seriously proposing we have a conversation about the legacy of Gurus apropos peace on earth and leave Mr. Rajneesh out merely on the basis of ‘He cannot respond’? Are you serious or this another of your ploys to stifle any sensible conversation. Perhaps you would like me to type blindfolded while standing on my head so as to restrict me further. I’ve been cyber executed on the Sannyas list for daring to question Ancient Wisdom but questioning is an integral part of purpose of this list – that and the offering of a third alternative. Nothing is ‘sacred’ on this list. You’re just trying to shift the goal posts again – anything but join in the game.
RESPONDENT: So if you really have major beef with Gurus. Then why don’t you rather take your complaints to the ones who are living now, e.g. Gangaji, Shapiro and may be many others and have a fruitful discussion with them because they can at least respond to your complaints. Have you ever tried to talk to any one from the Ramana Maharishi’s lineage. If you have, what happened. If not, why not.
PETER: Methinks you must be joking here. Can you imagine having a ‘fruitful discussion’ with someone whose fame and fortune depends on being a Guru or Guru-ess – who has realized their true Self – about giving it all up and becoming mortal and self-less? It is nigh-on impossible to get any spiritual disciples to consider the possibility that the Guru-disciple business is past its ‘use-by-date’, let alone those who have reached to the very top of the pecking order! For those who feel themselves to be an immortal God, it’s a bloody long way back down-to-earth to the actual world. You just have to ask Richard.
RESPONDENT: In any case, talking about Gurus on Ramana Maharshi’s lineage to me would not be much useful. As for talking about Osho to me, it is useless too.
PETER: So we are supposed to be having a conversation about spiritualism vs. actualism and peace on earth but any talk about what the spiritualists say is not useful or interesting to you. It does beg the question as to how seriously interested you are in ridding yourself of anger – the only actual way a personal peace on earth is possible for you.
RESPONDENT: I am not an expert on Osho and yet in my eyes, you don’t seem to understand Osho either. To me, you just seem to be pissed at Osho for some reason. And Osho can’t respond to your comments on his quotes.
PETER: Well, I am an expert on Rajneesh aka Bhagwan aka Osho. 17 years a disciple and I now have direct access to all his carefully transcribed words, courtesy of this wonderful computer age. For me, it is very clear and unambiguous where he comes from – from a long tradition of Eastern religion that stretches back into the mythological mists of Ancient times. He continuously and profusely talked of nothing else from 1966 until shortly before his death in 1990 and offered glowing endorsements of the venerated Ancient Ones. As for your last comment – he may be dead but you’re not yet dead. If you believe his words are pure wisdom and I ‘don’t seem to understand Osho’ perhaps you would like to respond to my comments on his quotes (on His behalf)? In the interests of having a discussion about the actualizing of peace on earth?
But only if you want to, of course.
PETER: As I was sending off my last post to you I noticed that you had posted an attachment to your letter which I had missed. I was preparing to reply to you and re-read my previous post to see where the conversation had reached. I noticed a quality in my writing that I had not noticed before and when I mulled over it I would describe it as one of frustration. I was frustrated that one of the few people who had read Richard’s Journal and ‘would recommend it to others’, who had not only been on the mailing list for some 10 months but was willing to write as well, was still coming up with objections to being happy and harmless. Not only objections but applying shifting conditions as to what, how and who any discussions should be about. So, I saw the cause of my frustration – feeling ‘bound’ by your conditions – and seen that it had caused me to have a ‘force’ in my writing that could cause ripples.
I am not talking of being meek or mild in the face of criticism, belligerence, deviousness, deception, denial, or even downright abuse – all of which I have had in most discussions that dare to question Ancient Wisdom. T’is no small thing to stand up and say everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong – all 6 billion people – and then provide the evidence that this is so. As I remarked on the Sannyas list, if I would have said outside the Ashram gates what I was saying on the list, I would have been stoned to death rather than the modern, much safer version of cyber-execution.
No, the ripples I am talking of are the type that I may cause – ripples that result from my anger, frustration, peeved-ness, resentment, annoyance, impatience, etc.
I wrote about it my journal –
Being a good, kind-hearted, moral and ‘caring’ man at the time it was difficult for me to see this behaviour in myself, or even acknowledge that this was ‘me’ in action, let alone want to put an end to it. For the ending of anger – causing ripples – is the ending of ‘me’. I used the term ‘causing ripples’ in my journal deliberately for I was nearly always able to control my anger – and most other emotions – and, as such, have not indulged in fights or violent acts, let alone verbal arguments, competitive sports, etc. I was a S.N.A.G., a wimp, a pacifist, a nice guy. When I came across Richard and his journal it was the harmless in ‘happy and harmless’ that was really appealing, for I knew that although I was a nice guy I could not honestly say I was harmless. In all my relationships, I knew that was as much the cause of dis-harmony as the other.
The challenge of Actual Freedom was obvious – if I, an ordinary normal human being, could become actually harmless then peace on earth was possible. If I could totally eradicate all anger in me – that would be the proof, as simple as that. The situation that mostly brought up anger in me – in whatever form, and no matter how subtle – was in relationships with women; so I used that as my test of fire, so to speak. When that was successful, the ante was serendipitously upped by writing on the Sannyas list, and when that was successful – along came No 5. Which only goes to prove that Virtual Freedom is virtual as in 99.9%.
In seeing my frustration I did my usual thing and kicked back on the couch and contemplated upon my discovery. A curious thing happens when one ‘steps aside’ as it were and lets the brain do its brain thing – apperceptive awareness kicks in. This is not what gets you to Virtual Freedom – that’s all ‘my’ doing – tough, bloody-minded, gritty, determined willful effort, as I’ve documented. Dismantling one’s own social identity is not a kicking back – it’s the bit ‘I’ actively do, and with gusto.
But I digress a bit from my couch contemplating. Now it is not ‘me’ doing the thinking as it was in those early days of getting to a Virtual Freedom, but now it is that thinking happens by itself. This thinking happening by itself can produce some stunning results, and in this case I started with frustration. My frustration at you was instantly recognized as ‘my’ frustration – I am no novice at this game. The shifty-ness of resorting to blaming the other for what is in me was an observation I made very early on the path to Virtual Freedom. So the frustration was clearly at ‘my’ still not getting it, only triggered by my interaction with you. So, I mused over that one for a while and it all slid a bit deeper to the discovery of a very deep-set frustration – not about any issue in particular, not even about not getting ‘it’. At this deeper level it was not a thought – it was not in my head. It was also not a feeling. A feeling is always about something, triggered by something, in my experience. The frustration I had expressed, however covert or subtly, was only a feeling. This ‘next level down’ was the emotional level and I recognized that beneath the feeling of frustration was the emotion of anger. Sitting with it for about 10 minutes or so, I then was able to slide to the next level down where I could recognize the instinctual passion that is the very source of anger. This is not ‘located’ in the head and recognized as a thought or felt as a feeling – it was dispassionately observed purely as a physical sensation in the chest area. I could therefore experience this anger more clearly than one normally experiences jealousy, love or grief, whereby one is possessed or consumed by a powerful emotion and thus rendered incapable of being aware of what is going on.
This bare awareness enabled me to experience the chemicals in action – to sensately experience ‘me’ at my very core. This is where ‘I’ dare not look and cannot experience, for this is the territory of primordial fear and dread, anger and violence – the proverbial hell. This is what the spiritualists are avoiding in their meditative practices of aiming for a transcendental bliss. At this fundamental instinctual level, ‘I’ operate solely at an automatic-response mode. This is where the genetic animal programming of fear – ‘what can eat me?’ and aggression – ‘what can I eat?’ operates. In we humans, this is experienced as an instinctual fear of ‘dangerous’ animals and all other humans, so one never lets one’s guard down given that anyone can literally stab you in the back at any time. This programming is also experienced as an instinctual aggression because you know you need to ‘get in first’ or you are dead meat. In the last of the primitive cannibal tribes to be studied in New Guinea in the middle of this century, aggression between tribes was known as ‘Trouble-Fight’ or ‘Pay-back’ – get in first or get revenge later.
Of course, this is 1999 and I live in a reasonably safe place but this instinctual genetic program is ‘me’ at my core. ‘I’ am rotten through and through as in kill or be killed. LeDoux’s research politely labels this the ‘fight or flight’ response. My experience is that it is more accurate to call it the ‘kill or be killed’ response.
I would put aggression before fear, for fear only happens when one’s initial aggression fails. ‘What can I eat’ is primary, when you look at the animal world. Animals primarily need to eat to survive – they can’t survive solely by being fearful.
I have had flashes and insights about anger and aggression before and understand very well the operation of the instinctual passions. LeDoux’s findings were of immense help to me, for here is the hard evidence that backs up the – now banned – sociological studies of Stanley Milgram and others. This enabled me to do the diagrams and writings in the section of the Library ‘Our animal instincts in the primitive brain’ on the Actual Freedom Trust website. But this latest little journey into ‘who I am’ at my core was experiential – it’s fascinating what you can discover when you dare to strip away belief, abandon morals, ethics and psittacisms – then you start to discover what you actually are. Then you can make discoveries dispassionately without recoiling in horror and/or running off to the sanctuary of the ‘good emotions’ – only to ‘discover’ bliss again. Just a good hard look at things as they really are – no grey or rose coloured glasses.
But, first things first. At the start of this process, as a spiritual person, I had been encouraged to express my anger – which is the current New Dark Age rebellion against the repression practiced by the previous lot. There is a third alternative to the usual fashionable swing from one failed extreme to the other. As with any emotion – neither repressing nor expressing does the trick. What ‘I’ initially did with anger was stop expressing it . Seeing what I was doing to others was sufficient for me to shut my mouth, keep my hands in my pockets, go for a walk, lay on the couch – do whatever was necessary to stop acting it out on others. The other bloody good reason for stopping was that I then stopped the endless cycle of being angry, feeling guilty, wallowing in shame, seeking solace in resentment, plotting revenge and building up to anger again. This stopping is not suppressing for the feelings are still there, but now you can do something about them given that you begin to see them clearly in operation. When one is angry or in a blind rage one is consumed and possessed by emotions and thus loses all chance of learning anything from the experience. And saying sorry to someone you have hurt in your indulgence or expressing is but a cop out. I’ve written of this very act of stopping in the ‘Love’ chapter of my journal, as has Vineeto. It’s crucial to stop pissing away one’s opportunity to investigate the roots of anger by indulging in or expressing anger – and it’s an eminently sensible thing to do, both for oneself and for those one comes in contact with!
So that’s what came out of our discussions and writings on the mailing list for me – a little journey to the root of instinctual aggression.
One does stick one’s neck out writing on this list, but that’s the adventure, that’s the thrill.
PETER: Just a note regarding the attachment to your latest post. You wrote –
RESPONDENT: As for other sannyasins on this list, these guys are smart they can make their own conclusions, or not make any conclusions. BTW, I know only No 7 being here, No 14 is probably gone and No 4 does not like sannyas to begin with, I do not know if he likes or dislikes Osho.
PETER: I presume this comment is in response to my comment –
I wonder why you related this comment to other people on this list? Do you not have an opinion, comment, conclusion yourself apart from saying any topic is ‘not of interest to you?’ My main evidence about Rajneesh’s disciples apart from those in the community I live in is the near-universal cynicism, fatalism, defeatism, doomsday-istic pessimism, resignation and self-centred complacency that was evident, and well-documented, as a response to Vineeto and I on the Sannyas mailing list.
I would have assumed that anyone on this list was here because they had an interest in the subject matter being discussed here – how to actualize a personal peace on earth and thereby offer oneself as proof that peace on earth is possible, in this lifetime, as a flesh and blood human being and not in some spurious afterlife. As a part of this discussion it is pertinent to undertake a clear-eyed, intelligent assessment of one’s own efforts to date and the efforts of billions of one’s fellow human beings. To look at the efforts to date and acknowledge their failings to bring anything remotely resembling peace on earth.
To undertake this investigation requires naiveté not cynicism, determination not fatalism, bloody-mindedness not defeatism, confidence not pessimism, a stubborn refusal to settle for second best not resignation, and a burning discontentment with the Human Condition of malice and sorrow not a self-centred complacency. If you are content with your life as it is, if your spiritual pursuits have bought you peace, happiness and freedom or if you are certain they will, then this discussion list is clearly not for you.
RESPONDENT: What makes me suspicious is what you sometimes write: ‘Rajneeshism, with its followers numbering only in the tens of thousands, is inevitably doomed to the spiritual dustbin’.
PETER: Suspicious? I would have thought my opinions of the Gurus, the Master-disciple business and its legacy would have been obvious to a blind man. I make no bones about where I stand on religion/ spiritualism – the litany and heritage of human slaughter and suffering, all in the name of the good and God, defies description. And to continue to believe in the Divine as the solution to, or salvation from, some metaphysical Evil that is responsible for human malice and sorrow is to defy the modern scientific physical evidence of Josef LeDoux and others that the cause of sorrow and malice is the instinctual programming of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
Are you offering a counter opinion that Rajneeshism as a religion will flourish and become ‘the solution’ to the endemic violence and suffering on the planet? When everyone in the world becomes ‘OSHO-conscious’, then it’s all magically going to be all right? The recent outbreak of vitriol, suspicion, confusion, back-biting and self interest that flourished recently when someone dared to question how things were being run in the Ashram does not bode well for a Rajneesh-World being a peaceful or harmonious world.
The other quote of mine you posted that ‘makes you suspicious’ is –
In order to stick to facts I will quote from an Ashram-sanctioned book written by someone who was at Rajneeshpuram in America at the time Rajneesh was deriding the Christian religion –
This woman could sense the ‘danger’ of his ‘bold words’ at the time – as could many, many others, myself included. The danger proved real and the words proved foolish, particularly in the light of the Sannyasin bombings, poisonings, vote rigging, phone tapping, deception, corruption and attempted murders that came to light very shortly after. I have written in my journal about the ‘after-shocks’, recriminations and bewilderment that was widespread at the time, if you are interested, as I take it you were not around at the time. Few were willing to discuss anything about this time on the Sannyas list so you may not know much about it.
The time after the collapse of Rajneeshpuram was well-known as a more sedate time and it was covertly acknowledged that the attempt to build a ‘City to Challenge (the Christian) God’ had imploded due to internal corruption, not external force. Rajneesh’s fleeing was to mark the end of the grand experiment. Only the faithful and loyal stayed on as followers and went back to Pune for his final years. After his death, by definition, the faithful and the loyal are the meek and mild for they steadfastly follow the traditional path of religion – worshipping a dead Master or God-man.
Actualism is most definitely not a traditional path, which is why only a handful of Sannyasins have been at all interested of the hundreds who have had the opportunity to investigate what it is we are on about.
Actualism is for pioneers and adventurers, not believers of truth and followers of fashion.
I like it that you are interested and I don’t pretend that the early days of this are easy for anyone – it takes guts to want to change, to fly in the face of tradition, security and humankind’s accumulated Wisdom .
But my experience is it’s the deciding if one wants to take it on in the first place that is most confronting. Once fully committed and decided it rapidly becomes the adventure of a lifetime.
I also like your interest in anger – so few people are interested in the harmless part of the actualist’s obsession with being happy and harmless . It’s a crucial issue – a vital and essential motivation.
In contrast we have Mr. Rajneesh’s approach –
Discourse Series ‘The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty’. Chapter No 13. There are Very Few that Find the Path.
I simply stopped dreaming, was honest enough with myself to admit Rajneesh’s dream was not working for me and then moved on to find out why it didn’t and couldn’t work. I do realize you are not at all interested in what he said and nor are most followers of God-men. They really sell feel-good energy, they are purveyors of blissful feelings and are indeed Masters of the art. But when they are dead, they are dead. One is left with worshipping symbols, sitting by their ashes in mausoleums or temples, gazing at images and gathering with the like-minded in prayer, or talking to them personally for succour and guidance. One is left with religion, which ‘is capable of seeing that which has not happened yet’ and yet has not happened after millennia of human effort and earnest pursuit.
So, if you want to become ‘an actual God’, as your Master says, then Rajneeshism is for you.
If you want to investigate a third alternative, firmly based on scientific fact, open discussion, mutual investigation, sensible communication, and a sincere intent to actualize peace on earth, then you are on the right mailing list.
PETER: Thanks for your reply. I’ll aim for a brief reply –
RESPONDENT: It is late at night so I am going to respond to a point which is important for me, it may not be important for you. I *think* you do not just cause ripples, you are capable of causing shock waves. I am sure you are not aware of that.
PETER: There is nothing more shocking to one’s ‘self’ than a discussion about facts vs. beliefs given that ‘who’ one is, as a social identity, is nothing other than the beliefs, morals ethics and psittacisms one has been instilled with since birth. There is nothing more shocking than seeing the fact that that ‘who’ one feels oneself to be deep inside is nothing but an instinctual animal ‘self’ – exactly the same ‘self’ as Mr. Ape and Mr. Chimpanzee have. The challenge is to discover what one is and the process is initially a shocking one. But soon shock turns to fascination and the thrill of discovery soon takes over.
RESPONDENT: I am concerned about that. That is one among many other reasons that I did not correspond with you much. I am *not sure* but these shock waves could cause damage to other people.
PETER: Bit of a double twist here. I understand that you do not correspond with me much because of the damage it could cause ‘you’. I assume that others are on this list because they want to be, and will have their own interpretations. The wonderful thing about this mailing lists is there is always the delete button, the unsubscribe option or the ‘don’t bother to read’ option, or the ‘just skim over’ option ... I do write knowing others will read what I write, but I do write to you.
RESPONDENT: You are probably at such an advanced stage that one ‘bad’ thought from you could cause that. To some extent, I guess we all do that. Me too.
Again, this is all a speculation on my part but it is important for me so I thought I will say it.
PETER: I would not have used the term advanced as it can imply progress towards attaining something for oneself. As you know, the path to Actual Freedom is progression towards self-immolation – a process of investigation and discovery which results in diluting, diminishing, weakening, reducing, withering and eventual total elimination of both the psychological and psychological parasitical entity that dwells within this flesh and blood body.
As for my one ‘bad’ thought causing damage to others – as I’ve repeatedly said my aim is to be both happy and harmless which is why I went to the trouble of explaining what I did in my last post. And which is why I then went on to explain the way that it is possible to eliminate frustration, anger, violence, retribution, peevedness, annoyance, etc. by digging down inside oneself and discovering their roots.
Just as an aside – is your main objection what I say or how I say it? They are two different issues and it does seem to me that the most important thing to you is not what I am saying – as you continually say it is ‘not of interest’ to you. But you do keep writing.
RESPONDENT: I remember Osho once said that the reason people are trained to have good feelings is that so that they do not cause damage to other people. Or something like that.
PETER: Indeed. In ‘normal’ society we are socially trained to be good and have good feelings. As a back-up when the ‘good’ fails we have laws, lawyers, psychiatrists, police, fines, jails, armies, etc. to stop the ‘bad’ feelings from running amok. The spiritual solution is to pump up the good feelings to become divine feelings resulting in feelings of superiority, grandness, oneness and wholeness which, if practiced assiduously, leads to the feeling that one is indeed Divineness Itself.
By the way, Rajneesh aka Osho says ‘Unconsciousness is evil and consciousness is Divine’ which is nothing other than the Eastern version of Western morality of good and bad.
Good and bad (or conscious and unconscious) is as pathetic a division of instinctual passions as is right and wrong a pathetic division of social values. Human beings actually fight horrendous wars over these divisions. The initial stage of Actual Freedom involves investigating these socially and spiritually implanted morals and ethics in order to discover what lays beneath – the genetically implanted instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
RESPONDENT: As for getting frustrating with me. That is very simple. Please stop trying to prove anything to me. I have been here for ~10 months, I have heard a lot. It is my life, you do not have to get frustrated over me.
PETER: Which was exactly the point of my post. I was not frustrated about you at all, what I discovered was frustration in me. Life gives one multitudinous opportunities to see one’s own frustration, anger, annoyance, impatience, etc. There are 6 billion people in the world which is a lot to want to change. The point is for me to be free from both malice and sorrow, so that no person or no situation can cause frustration, anger, annoyance, impatience, etc. in me. Not by suppressing emotions, or avoiding or escaping from the world as it is, but by eliminating the ‘me’ inside who gets frustrated, angered, annoyed, impatient, etc.
RESPONDENT: What good is virtual freedom if you get frustrated because No 5 does not understand what you are trying to say. I will read the rest of your posts.
PETER: Virtual Freedom is a inestimable state whereby I am virtually happy and harmless and I go to bed at night time having had a perfect day and knowing I will have a perfect day tomorrow. Any issues or situations that do arise to disturb my happiness and harmlessness are easily dealt with and I then quickly get back on the wide and wondrous path. The reason I wrote to you was that one of those situations arose and I wanted to discuss it on the mailing list. Having nothing to hide or want to keep secret is another of the estimable qualities of Virtual Freedom, as is the honest acknowledgement that I am not yet living an actual freedom, as evidenced by the experience of a PCE. The difference is as thin as a cigarette paper but ‘t is a world of difference. Of course, unless one can be virtually free of malice and sorrow – the best one can be while remaining a ‘self’ – then Actual Freedom will remain forever a nice theory, something that has miraculously happened to someone else, or something that is not possible for me.
Thanks for your note. Perhaps when you read the rest of my post you may understand the point I was making about anger and frustration. I would like to continue this discussion as everyone else sees human anger simply in terms of bad or evil, or subscribes to the theory that we are born innocent and ‘contaminated’ afterwards.
Precious few are willing to acknowledge our instinctual ‘self’ and dare to question the Ancient inanity of cultivating a Divine Self as a way of transcending Evil.
Relevance 10, Brevity 7.
PETER: Good to hear from you again,
PETER: Just as an aside – is your main objection what I say or how I say it? They are two different issues and it does seem to me that the most important thing to you is not what I am saying as you continually say it is ‘not of interest’ to you. But you do keep writing.
RESPONDENT: No, I do not object to what you write. Actually that is not completely correct. I sometimes do not like what you write but normally I find two things in this context:
PETER: Personally I find the wonderful thing about facts is that I am not forced to keep quiet about them – particularly in these days, in this medium and on this list. In the ‘good old days’ I would be forced to recant. Galileo was forced to recant his presenting of facts by fervent believers who felt threatened. A belief is a wobbly thing and needs continual emotional support or passionate defence and propping up. As a comedian said on television the other night if everyone stopped believing in God he wouldn’t exist. Same thing for any belief – once you stop believing it, it vanishes. Whereas a fact is a fact. The problem that everyone finds about stopping believing is that it is a painful business that causes upheaval, for one is actually changing oneself. As I’ve said before, the demolishing of my social identity meant that Peter the man, Peter the lover, Peter the Sannyasin, Peter the good, Peter the right, Peter the proud, they all had to die – bit by bit. But that is ‘who’ I am aiming to be free of, after all. You then eventually get rid of the parasitical entity that gets angry or sad and ruins this only moment that you can experience being alive.
RESPONDENT: But I do have many times objections to how you say it. You do make many shocking statements, to say the least. (e.g. most of the statements in: Legacy of Gurus). My objection to your way of saying is the following: You do not make a case for the ‘shocking’ statements you say. You do not provide the sequence of your personal observations, your own analysis of those observations, your reading the literature, your observation of other people, close observation or general observation, your further thoughts which combine all the above things which finally crystallize to that one final shocking statement. Unless you provide all the thoughts, observation, analysis and so on behind a shocking statement, the statement is just a shocking statement and nothing else i.e. useless statement for me. In my observation, instead you make 10 more shocking statements. I wish you would pick one statement and make a case for it.
PETER: Hmm... Tricky one this. So I am only to make one shocking statement and then make a case for it – provide proof, as you say – without saying anything else that may be shocking to you.
Okay how about – ‘If everyone stopped believing in God he wouldn’t exist’ which is something I have already related above. Now if I say – ‘If everyone stopped believing Rajneesh was a God-man he would simply be a (dead) flesh and blood man’ and then I said ‘I’m just kidding’, that wouldn’t shock you too much. Are we back to tying my hands behind my back so I have to type with my nose?
I am well aware that many read what Richard says from a position of comfort – he Guru, me disciple – but get upset when I write of the ‘doing’ of becoming free of the Human Condition.
When you say there is ‘something hidden in me’ that ‘dislikes’ what I write it is ‘you’, the parasitical entity that has taken up residence in the flesh and blood body known as No 5, that dislikes hearing facts, for facts are anathema to the ‘self’. This is the reason that most people who have come across Actual Freedom, and the facts presented, feel personally insulted and soon ‘head for the hills’. But there is also the opportunity too see this list as a discussion about the Human Condition, i.e. common to all humans, and thus avoid the trap of taking the discussions too personally.
RESPONDENT: Way back in April, I made a statement: ‘Osho created situations for us to experience PCEs while Richard is asking us to remember a PCE ...’ I knew it was probably an outrageous statement for this list. But then I tried to explain where I was coming from, I tried to provide the details about all my experiences, my experiments and my readings.
PETER: And when a discussion was entered into you ended up saying –
And further –
PETER: Your statement wasn’t outrageous at all. It simply proved to be not factual – unable to withstand scrutiny. A more accurate statement would have been ‘I believe Osho created situations ...’ Please note – it is not that you are wrong and we are right – that would bog the whole investigation down into the usual arguments of right and wrong, good and bad that stifle all genuine investigation and possibility of intimacy. One party then gets offended and resentful at having ‘lost the battle’ and either gets angry at the other or petulantly sulks away.
To take a moral or ethical ‘position’ is to maintain a cycle of righteous anger and bitter resentment that we see played out on the international stage as righteous wars and wars of retribution. An actualist has to get beyond this societal conditioning to have any chance of becoming happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: Now about: ‘Never born never died...’ I have read so many times explanations of this statement on this list, from Richard, from you. But I still can’t make head or tail of this statement. All my thoughts are borrowed thoughts from you and Richard, I have no original thinking of my own on this statement. And that is not good. I do not want to end up in believing in what you and Richard say about this.
PETER: Yes. Merely believing what others say is a bummer of a way to live one’s life – although that is exactly what everyone does.
But to stop believing and to acknowledge the facts is to demolish No 5 the man, No 5 the lover, No 5 the Sannyasin, No 5 the good, No 5 the right, No 5 the proud, etc. – and what would eventually remain is what you are, not ‘who’ you are. For me the challenge of discovering that was too thrilling to let a few wobbles or reactions stop me.
Of course, I know ‘what’ I am – the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human mortal being, so startlingly obvious in a Pure Consciousness Experience.
What Mr. Rajneesh felt himself to be was an immortal God – hence his statement chiselled in marble, on his tomb, in his mausoleum – ‘Never born, never died’. Would not you agree that a human flesh and blood body is the product of a sperm fertilizing an egg and that when the heart stops beating and the brain ceases working that the body dies – to rot away, if it is not burnt? Is this fact so difficult to acknowledge as a fact? It is of course shocking for it does acknowledge that who you think and feel you are is a walk-in, a parasitical entity that has taken possession of you, the flesh and blood body known as No 5. But it does explain why the Guru’s message of immortality for the soul is so appealing to the ‘self’. No better offer can be made to an imaginary, ethereal soul than an imaginary ethereal immortality. No wonder people fall in love with Gurus – a Saviour at last!
I’ve done it again – I’ve strung together a few shocking statements aka facts. It’s just that spiritual belief perpetuates human misery and suffering on earth and it is time to expose this nonsense for what it is – puerile nonsense.
Brevity – 8.5?
P.S. I’m going to cheat on the brevity score by adding a postscript bit from my journal that describes my experiences at the time of tackling spiritual beliefs and loyalty issues. It may be useful –
Brevity – down to 6.5
PETER: Good to hear from you.
RESPONDENT: Don’t know much about Tim Leary, Dick Alpert, immortality or enlightenment.
PETER: Nor did I, until I developed an obsessive fascination with all aspects of the human condition. Upon meeting Richard I became vitally interested in what it is to be a human being as he was so obviously different from anyone I had met, and what he was saying was so radically iconoclastical and breathtakingly refreshing. In the beginning I saw him as a Guru, and then as the Devil-incarnate for a while and it was only after months and months did I realize that he represented a genuine third alternative from remaining a normally afflicted entity or becoming a spiritually deluded Being.
RESPONDENT: So in spite of the ‘brief’ post from you, I have no more comments on the contents of the post.
However, I was surprised to see my name in the post as I have not read or participated much on this list for months.
PETER: It was just a wee joke, as I do wonder if anyone on the list reads the posts. I am surprised you found your name as it was right at the end of one of my long raves.
You have mentioned previously that you were experimenting with the on-going question of ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ – that magical ruthlessly effective method of cultivating attentiveness, sensuousness and apperceptiveness. How are you doing with it? Any discoveries? Any successes? Any changes?
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