Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
with Correspondent No 7
PETER: Good to see someone else watches TV to see what goes on in the world. I found it an invaluable aid in observing, investigating and discovering the Human Condition in action and fact, rather than living in fantasy and fiction.
PETER: In these early pioneering days, it seems it is for the desperate and daring. Well, I tried to be a touch less iconoclastic but it never works. It’s impossible for me to pretend that God exists, that there is an after-life or that the God-men sell anything else but snake oil. Once you know it is all a fairy story, it all disappears like a puff of smoke ...
RESPONDENT: Spiritualism now does look like a snake oil to me, too. All ‘energy’ events, prophesying, channelling, gods, etc are probably just events generated by our psyche. So far, I have not come across any ‘other worldly event’ so I must admit it all seems to be just imagination supported by our culture.
PETER: Yes indeed. One of the many, many fatal flaws with the fairy-tale belief in a God or Gods is the cultural variations that are evidenced throughout the world.
A Christian always ‘sees’ and ‘feels’ love for Christ, a Hindu ... Krishna, a Buddhist ... Buddha, a Rajneeshee ... Rajneesh. The only common theme is a primitively-sourced belief in a Something, or Someone, Else and a Somewhere Else we go to after death. The human ability to think and reflect, combined with an instinctual fear-based self has led to the questions of ‘Where did we come from?’, ‘Why are we here?’ and ‘What happens after death?’ ballooning into great philosophical questions. In the ancient days of ignorance about the physical universe, the human body, reproduction, ageing and death, and most importantly, our implanted survival instincts, ensured these questions produced imaginary and fantasy answers that involved good and evil spirits, other-worlds in the sky, planets and stars as Gods, etc.
In 1999 the challenge now is to break free of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that are the very source of malice and sorrow. For many on the planet, life is no longer a grim business of survival and the very survival instinct, once vital to ensure the very survival of the species, now prevents us from being happy and harmless.
For me, this fact was easy to see in operation. No matter that I had comfort, security, shelter, food – I knew that I was actually neither happy nor harmless for, when ‘push came to shove’, the instinctual passions of fear and aggression would still surface at any time. Thus denial no longer became an option, and I deliberately abandoned the spiritual to avoid the traditional turning away to a fantasy world. Only then was I able to be in a position to focus my awareness on the essential and primary cause of my sorrow and malice – my social identity and my instinctual sense of ‘self’.
RESPONDENT: Some of these things are still nice social events... a good reason to see old friends, that’s it...
PETER: In my time on the Sannyas list, there was a total denial that the dream of a New Man had failed, even to the point of denying the dream existed in the first place, despite the fact that it is well documented and still trumpeted as His dream. The main theme to emerge was the need to belong to the Sannyas social club, and the good feelings that ensued. The failure of the collective dream was further evidenced by the emerging ‘individual connections’ to Rajneesh – every man and woman in it for themselves and ‘free’ to imagine and dream what they wanted to dream. Thus feelings and imagination run riot, in complete denial of facts and sensible awareness.
At source, this desperate need to belong, come-what-may, is an instinctually driven need, for in the past the security and support of a group was indeed very necessary for survival. In this modern world, this need to belong now threatens the very survival of the species as ethnic, religious and ethical groups battle it out for supremacy and power. An actual freedom, by definition, is a freedom from this need to belong to a group that has strangled any attempts at finding peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: I watched a TV program about primitive cultures and their world view is full of taboos, believes, shamanism, ghosts, etc which they use to make sense of things and to preserve the structure in their society. Not much has changed...
PETER: The current New Dark Ages is proof indeed that not much has changed. What has changed is the current information age and the easy access to a prolific amount of information and facts about the spiritual world. Not too many years ago, it would have been impossible to obtain an over-view of the spiritual belief-system. The holy texts were hidden in temples, the property of the priests; many were not translated or access was prohibited and they were physically scattered all over the planet, making a comprehensive view impossible. These days you just type (whatever you want to know) into the search engine and ... away you go. Of course, discretion, intelligence, perseverance, intent and awareness is required, but one can get to the root of what Ancient Wisdom is all about.
The other thing that has changed is that discussion, questioning and investigation of religion and spirituality can now be undertaken in the comparative safety of the Net. In joining the Sannyas List, all we got was objections, abuse and some ‘Fuck off and die somewhere else’ comments – whereas not too long ago ‘silencing’ those who dared to question ‘the Teachings’ or the ‘Teacher’ was a much more brutal and violent affair.
So, sufficient change has happened for humans to now become free of the Human Condition and it is extraordinary to consider that this mailing list is the very cutting edge of that change.
PETER: Good to have you in writing mood. We are sliding into beautiful autumn here – warm days when it’s clear, the wet season petering out and the nights a touch cooler. Spring and autumn bring such a variety to weather, on almost an hourly basis sometimes. I almost think they are my favourite seasons until I remember the clear sunny days of winter and the bare-foot days of summer.
RESPONDENT: You are absolutely right.
Pride is evidenced by the psychological and psychic entity inanely claiming kudos and acclaim for something the body and mind did very well by itself.
I would see it clearly in action in my architectural work. I would sit down to design a building, armed with the necessary drawing equipment, my previous experience and training and the client’s requirements and a few hours later – Bingo, a drawing. Six months later a building stood on a bit of land and I would marvel at the process that produced it. The human brain, with its extraordinary ability to think, process information, reflect, remember and conceptualize delights in such activity just as the body delights in walking, the eyes in seeing, the fingers in touching. As such, when praise came for my work ‘I’ could never claim the praise, for it was not of ‘my’ doing – it was as if the drawing drew itself, so magical is the process. Pride and its partner humility are irrelevant feelings in this case – I was then able to make a clear and sensible assessment of the building, usually good but also aware of any areas for improvement.
The other wonderful thing when pride and humility no longer run one’s life is that one is free of being dependant on the opinion of others, usually fickle, most often incorrect, unreliable, biased, malicious, ingratiating, etc. In the end I became my own judge – the judgment and assessment could be much more honest and reliable that way.
RESPONDENT: I find in myself a habitual compulsion to have an upper hand, to be ‘right’, better than my partner, friend, etc. This mental competition goes on and on. Yesterday I noticed that when I was jogging in a park I was speeding up when I was passing another jogger while... walking to rest while nobody was around. Pretty funny, isn’t it. Oh, and I was running really fast past these high school girl soccer team... Sense of pride is the driving force... No 7 in the writing mood (maybe it’s this beautiful spring in NUJ)
PETER: Pride was definitely one of the feelings that I used to ‘spurt’ myself along towards becoming free of the Human Condition. When I started to become aware of the fact that the famed Spiritual Path that I had proudly trod for 17 years was nothing more than Eastern Religion I could feel myself balking and resisting looking at the facts. Then an excitement of discovery began to creep in and my pride shifted to seeing I would be foolish to even consider continuing doing something that plainly didn’t work.
After all, the definition of a lunatic is someone who continues to do something, over and over again, despite the fact that it doesn’t work. No pride to be had in that, but pride to be had in stopping doing it – and being ‘one of the few’ who did. Beats being one of the ‘chosen ones’
There is always a third alternative and that is to be the best and to do the best one can. It is an innate drive in humans and is corrupted by the alien entity inside into feelings of pride and humility. This drive is what keeps me writing, what keeps you on the mailing list and writing, no doubt, and when aligned to the PCE, it is what Richard calls pure intent. This drive has been responsible for the amazing advances in the civilizing of human beings and can now result in freeing us from our social and instinctual programming that is so obviously redundant.
PETER: No need to say anything about repressing emotions – the failures are well documented and obvious. This third way is to neither repress nor express. From experience I would say that exactly this doing nothing to dispel, avoid, deny, escape from, repress or express creates a tension and ‘self’-awareness that is the very situation that causes ‘something’ to change. And then that change is not of ‘your’ doing – it happens at a level deeper than your normal consciousness. No need for esoterics – it is a change in the brain’s software programming – the brain becoming free of the pernicious effects of the social identity and instinctual self. This was very well illustrated by Alan’s recent post about lust disappearing – in hindsight he noticed the feeling had gone! No ‘doing’ that Alan could point to, no specific event – but gone never the less.
RESPONDENT: Yes, this has been called by some mind-fullness or being watchful.
PETER: I take it that you are referring to those who follow the teachings of Mr. Buddha, or have you in mind another mystical teaching? If so, then they are not referring to what I am referring to. Any similarity is merely superficial as spiritual seekers practice such a shallow form of awareness that they merely skate on the surface, so to speak. The avowed aim of their awareness is to find their ‘real’ self, ‘true’ self, original face, divine soul or whatever other name the deluded watcher assumes. And, of course, the watcher makes the ‘grand discovery’ that it is both divine and immortal!
RESPONDENT: The impulse is there but the mind decides to take a new course not responding using the software of an old habitual response.
PETER: A mind practicing meditation always seems to take the same course – love, bliss, oneness, timeless, formless, spaceless, oceanic, heart-opening, ... divine, immortal, ... Home ...at last! Imagination, given full reign, leads to delusion. It is well documented in psychiatry but the spiritual form is deemed too sacred to touch – who wants to rock the boat, just in case there is a God. Most of the ‘psychs’ are busy meditating anyway.
RESPONDENT: It is the process of looking with interest, introspection.
PETER: Yes, for most meditations I’ve done and from others’ descriptions it’s a bit like looking in a shop window and you say, look at that thought – it’s not me, I’m ‘over here’ watching and waiting for the bliss to kick in.
RESPONDENT: Since ‘the watcher’ is also a complex self-sustaining thought, sometimes it becomes transparent to this introspection and leaves the drivers’ seat.
PETER: The watcher sometimes ‘leaves the drivers seat’ for something much Bigger and Grander – the truly sought-after state when one ‘becomes’ the bliss, when there is no watcher, when the watcher and bliss merge into One ... love, bliss, oneness, timeless, formless, spaceless, oceanic, heart-opening, ... divine, immortal, ... Home ...at last! Imagination, given full reign, leads to delusion.
If one follows the directions and methods of the Eastern Teachers, the path is well mapped and leads to Enlightenment. Using Richard’s method one can easily become Enlightenment but one would have to turn a ‘blind eye’ to the horrendous consequences of the Master-Disciple business. If you are willing and able to do that, pursue the spiritual path and become ‘the watcher’, by all means.
I always like being conscious of doing what is happening – one is then in the only place one can be – here; and when your here it can only be now. It’s the very cutting edge ... to be in the Actual World.
RESPONDENT: I think it is true that the anticipation, excitement about the expected ‘final event’ in one’s brain is a form of dreaming, escaping the reality. Is it a final barrier? I don’t know.
PETER: Of course there is only one way for you to find out for yourself, otherwise you will never know or you will have to resort to believing what others say. Merely believing is a poor substitute for a full-blooded finding out for yourself. The act of finding out for oneself, by oneself, is the adventure of a lifetime. And who would have it any other way.
This patent nonsense of sitting at the feet of Masters who then tell you in mystical poetic terms of a Truth that cannot be spoken of, cannot be put into words is nothing but twaddle. ‘The Divine Mystery that can only be lived ...’ The reason is that their Truth is nothing more than a feeling – a splendid, all encompassing, overpowering, enveloping, Self-aggrandized feeling of Unity, Oneness, Divinity and the like. Beneath the wonderful feelings lies a dim, dark and ancient ignorance – a turning away, a turning ‘in’ that is epitomized by the aesthetic retreats and lives of denial and renunciation lead by the spiritual pundits, monks, Gurus, etc.
The classic expose of the pride of ignorance of the ‘Ones Who Do Not Know’ was Richard’s meeting with a contemporary Guru. Richard stated that he had been Enlightened and had found something that was beyond Enlightenment and was he interested in knowing about it. The Guru said he doesn’t know with firm conviction as though ‘not knowing’ was in itself the Answer. When asked straight up whether he wanted to know, the answer was no. You hear it often in spiritual ‘jargonese’ – ‘I find I know less and less nowadays and its SO good’ What they mean is they can’t make any sense of anything on the spiritual path, so they give up any common sense and let their feelings and imagination run riot – and run riot they do!
Ignorance is proudly proclaimed in the spiritual world as Wisdom and this is most clearly evident in Eastern Spirituality.
As Mr. Mohan Rajneesh said in reply to a question –
Behind the lauding of ignorance and the perverse relating to a supposed childhood ‘innocence’ – the ancient Tabula Rasa theory – there exists nothing more than a belief in a ‘Something Else’ or a ‘Somewhere Else’ – traditionally masqueraded as the Truth.
In some Religions this ‘Something Else’ is defined as a particular mythical figure, spirit or God; in others it becomes an amorphous Energy, Source or Intelligence. Likewise, the ‘someplace else’ is defined as a particular place, a Heaven, a celestial realm, a Paradise, while in other beliefs it becomes an Energy field, an Ocean of Oneness, a ‘Home’ for the soul or spirit or a cosmic womb. Modern spirituality often cleverly and conveniently ignores the more inane historical interpretations of the original ancient texts and substitutes totally amorphous and nebulous concepts that are naught but a frantic and senseless chasing of blissful feelings. As such, the more ignorant one is, the less one attempts to understand, the less one knows – and the more revered, Holy and Wise one is deemed to be!
There is none more ignorant than the spiritual seeker – the more ignorant, the better the seeker – for they seek that which cannot be known, only imagined as thoughts and given sustenance by feelings. It can only be accessed by imagination and feelings for it only exists in thoughts and feelings – none of it is actual. Ignorance may well lead to blissful feelings, but it is still ignorance.
It would all be a hoot except for the wars, rapes, murders, genocides, ‘cleansings’, tortures, repression, perversion and corruption that are all the direct result of passionate feelings run riot.
But, as you know, the whole point of being an actualist is to find out about what it is to be a human being. To explore, investigate, uncover, discover, dig in, find out, realise and then put into practice what you discover. As with anything new there will be pit-falls, wobbles, fears and doubts, stuck periods, wrong alleys, etc. But given a sincere intent to be the best one can be, a willingness to abandon what doesn’t work and a daringness to take risks, success is inevitable. This exploration into the Human Condition, conducted in one’s own psyche, is brand new on the planet. Not only has it never been done before, it could never have been done before. It is only in the last 40 years or so that the human species is emerging from a genesis based entirely on survival. The survival-only phase is over, for those who want it, and for whom the circumstances are right. Only now, with the dawning of the information age, is it possible for the individual to find out for themselves. To access and read all of Ancient Wisdom, mankind’s history, philosophy, science, current happenings, etc. on a scale, and with an ease of accessibility, inconceivable even in my childhood. To be able to easily and directly ‘find out’ from the convenience of a computer, and the comfort of a couch. To study the Human Condition in action, global-wide, on the 7 o’clock news.
And then, you get to put what you have found out into practice ... in your daily life ...
This is not a revolution that will instantly sweep the world – for those who espouse ignorance as a virtue obviously have strong vested interests in maintaining ignorance and stifling and ridiculing inquiry, intelligence and free will.
But 12 months ago this mailing list didn’t exist and only 3 years ago Richard was wondering if anyone else would ever be interested in being free of the Human Condition, so, things are going swimmingly ....
PETER: Just a note to follow on from my recent post.
I realized that I had posted two consecutive quotes from Mohan Rajneesh to the List and thought I would include a quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti just to indicate that the ‘I do not know – therefore I am Wise and Holy’ syndrome is endemic in all spiritual teachings –
The other reason to include this quote is to indicate that I have no particular axe to grind in relation to Rajneesh – he was merely yet another in a long, long, long line of failed Gurus who promised lotus flowers and left nothing but mud, bewilderment, ignorance, unliveable teachings and shattered dreams in their wake. Krishnamurti exited quietly leaving behind stories of clandestine love affairs, intrigues and malicious legal battles. Rajneesh had the temerity to declare ‘I leave you my dream’ on his death bed. ‘His Dream’ had collapsed in tatters around him in Oregon ten years earlier while he sat in his room in Splendid Isolation, above the mundane activities of the building and running of a ‘City to Challenge God’. His dream failed, a ‘million lights’ didn’t light up the world, and peace is yet to miraculously descend on the planet, let alone in the Pune Ashram. And yet another religion is born, yet another group following their own particular dead God-man who for them was the master of masters, the only God, the beloved, the Sacred One. So ‘in love’ with their God-man, so trusting, so unquestioning loyal and devoted, that they will figuratively and literally surrender their life for Him.
The only reason I write about Mohan Rajneesh is that I know the whole Rajneesh Religion ‘inside-out’, so to speak. I participated fully in a contemporary formation of a religion – a microcosm of the founding of the thousands of religions that have been formed before and are still forming around God-men and God-women.
Yesterday someone asked me if I had had any feedback from friends to whom I had given a copy of my Journal. I said the silence had been deafening and one had even told me ‘it was good that I had got what Rajneesh had been teaching’ and wondered why I was not grateful to him. Thinking about it again, I realized that many who read the writings of Actual Freedom and its uncompromising non-spiritual stance, conveniently see it merely as Guru-bashing and miss the main point.
It is obvious that gurus have been gleefully indulging in bashing their fellow-Gurus for millennia as a ‘device’ to collect and gather more disciples who are willing and eager to believe that they, and only they, are peddling something new and special. This is nothing more than the power battles of the God men, a Divine and psychic version of the secular, instinct-fuelled battles that rage between various groups of humans animals on the planet. The bigger slice of the market the more power for the Guru and it matters not a fig whether he or she is still alive. More often than not it is better if the Guru is dead as imagination, myth and surrender are better sustained if one’s God is ‘on the other shore’, waiting for you after death.
But to see Actual Freedom in spiritual terms and to see it as mere Guru-bashing is to miss the point entirely of what is being offered here on this List and in the writings. What is required of an actualist is to undertake a complete, thorough and clear-eyed examination of what it is that is being taught by these God-men and exactly why it has been, and still is, so seductively attractive. This process, if undertaken with scrupulous sincerity, will bring one to the realization that the whole of Ancient Wisdom is based upon various myths and imaginary fairy tale beliefs of life after death. This spirit-ual belief in an after-life is constantly fuelled and fired by the survival instincts and, as such, is a passionately held belief given credence by hormonally-charged hallucinations and delusionary states. ‘I’, the parasitic entity that dwells in the flesh and blood body, will do anything to survive, will actively and passionately do anything to stay in existence – anything to deny the fact of physical death. So passionate is this belief that millions, upon millions, upon millions of human beings have killed for, and died for, their own particular version of this spiritual belief. The very survival instinct within human beings is directly responsible for the continuous carnage of warfare on this planet – all pursuit of a fairy-tale of life after death for ‘me’ who lives inside this flesh and blood, physical, mortal body.
This is why one needs to read the words of the God-men and see for oneself exactly what is on offer, and exactly what has been delivered.
I got to musing a bit more about the reaction to my Journal, and to Richard’s Journal, and wondered at the lack of reaction evident in most. I remembered back to my first reading of Richard’s Journal and what my reactions were at the time.
Firstly, what he was saying made sense – it was obvious to me that everyone has got it wrong; everyone knows that because fear and aggression in the form of sorrow and malice are endemic on the planet. It took a bit of digging into both Richard’s writings and those of the Gurus to understand that what he was saying was brand spanking new and a quantum leap in the opposite direction to the spiritual. When a Guru says ‘everyone has got it wrong’, what he means is ‘everyone else has got it wrong and only I have got it Right, for I am the messenger of the Divine’. This shallow Guru-bashing then is passed off as ‘the real Truth, the only Path’, whereas what can initially appear as the Wisdom of the God-man is no more than his particular condemnation of the religions of other God-men. Merely to claim that others have got it wrong while blindly ignoring their own role in the on-going tragedy is both ignorance and denial, but then again, if one feels oneself to be God, one is undeniably deluded and absolutely blinded to any common sense.
Actual Freedom is a freedom from the insidious fairy-tales told by all the Gurus – no exceptions, no maybes, no ‘it’s only the same thing that everybody else is saying’. For me, this meant that I would have to desert my Master, not only being ungrateful but disloyal as well. It soon became obvious that this meant I would also have to desert Humanity – be a traitor to Humanity – to be ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’, as Richard put it recently.
And the only way ‘out’ – to actually become free – was to do it, despite these values, ethics and morals that bound me to Humanity’s perpetual suffering and fighting. Once one begins to break these bonds and ties, to actualize one’s own freedom, one discovers that one has been instinctually programmed to be a member of the species, and to break with Humanity – the emotional-backed concept that binds the species together – necessitates an extinction of the these instincts in operation in this flesh and blood body. The ending of ‘my’ connection to Humanity is the ending of ‘me’.
So, even in the first weeks after reading Richard’s Journal, I knew what the consequences of my actions would be if I gave the path to Actual Freedom a ‘go’. But I had had enough experience to not get into the trap of believing what others said merely because it sounded ‘right’ – so I wanted some practical proof that Actual Freedom worked. In the beginning of the Richard’s Journal are the chapters on living together in peace and harmony, ending the battle of the sexes and unravelling the mystique of sex, and this is what I decided I would ‘cut my teeth on’ – to see if this would work. I simply acknowledged that what I, and every body else, had been doing didn’t work and would never work, and decided to actually try something new. Not just read, study and understand, but put it into practice and see if it worked. To see if I could live with one other person in peace and harmony and get to the bottom of the mess of human sexuality. Actualism is not a cerebral pastime nor a feeling-based escape from ‘reality’ – it is a full blooded commitment to expunging the alien entity within this flesh and blood body that prevents one being the universe experiencing itself as a human being. Anything less is chicken shit.
The spiritual path eternally promises, dreams and offers hope but it never has, and never can, deliver peace on earth. Actualism delivers the dream of peace that many humans sincerely seek and puts it into practice, but only for those willing to head in the opposite direction to the ‘Tried and Failed’. My friend who said I was living what Rajneesh taught was half-right in that I am living beyond the wildest dreams of Humanity. But I only do that because I abandoned the hackneyed spiritual Wisdom based on denial and ignorance, ‘back-tracked’ all the way out of the spiritual world and set off down the path of intrepid investigation in pursuit of common sense. The path that is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to that which every one else follows. The path that everyone says don’t go on or you will end up irresponsible, evil, insane, and a traitor to Humanity to boot! That is the meaning of everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong.
But the first thing one needs to do is find out whether you have been ‘sold a dummy’, or not. That was my first reaction to the idea that there is a third alternative to staying ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’ – ‘Does that mean I have been sold a dummy?’ But the only way to know that was to find out for myself. And to undertake that investigation is to go against one’s instinctual programming that binds one to being a member of the herd called Humanity.
The return for the effort is peace, on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body. Peace is a simple, unambiguous term meaning actually free of malice and sorrow.
So, maybe this has been of use to you. I personally always find it useful to dig in and find out what the common objections to being happy and harmless are – in other words, what ‘my’ objections are – and then dare to look at the facts of what it is to be a human animal.
To explore, within one’s own psyche, the emotional passions of malice and sorrow and to investigate the commonly held beliefs that perpetuate their existence.
To discover the illusions, ‘within’ and ‘without’, will bring one – inevitably and inexorably – to one’s senses.
And then you get to find out the meaning of life.
And it’s the journey of a ‘life’-time.
Absolutely thrilling ...
PETER: Thanks for your note.
RESPONDENT: Recently, I have not read spiritual books (maybe just one in half a year). I would over indulge, ‘feed’ on them in the past. They made me feel good. I was on a path to the goal of enlightenment and most importantly, immortality. I don’t try to meditate nor I follow any gurus any more.
PETER: Yes, I understand the ‘feel good’ aspect of reading spiritual books. The spiritual message is literally music to one’s ears, a sop to one’s very soul, to be told that there is a life after physical death for ‘me’, the psychic and psychological alien entity within this flesh and blood body. One is told what one always thought was the Truth – that life on earth is about suffering, that it is an illusion because one feels cut off and isolated from people, things and events. One is forever condemned to be an outsider, a watcher, an alien on the planet, and then to have Wise men to tell you that this is the Truth and that one is only visiting the planet and there is a ‘somewhere else’ after physical death, certainly does give one a hell of a good feeling. If pursued with vigilance this good feeling can be blown up into an extraordinary narcissism, whereby one becomes the Universe experiencing itself as a Divine and immortal being. This Timeless and Spaceless feeling of Oneness is but the result of shift of identity of the alien entity – the self becomes the Self, a purely feeling state, an Altered State of Consciousness. Unfortunately the Enlightened One is still trapped within a flesh and blood body but ‘when the body dies’ a final liberation or Moksha is fantasized.
RESPONDENT: To me, it seems that still there is something that could be called ‘immortality’ in a certain sense of this word.
PETER: Well, the Oxford dictionary defines immortality as 1 Endless life or existence; exemption from death; perpetuity. 2 Enduring fame or remembrance.
When I went to school I was taught that there are three elements of the physical universe – animal, vegetable and mineral. It was common before the NDA to give the term life to the carbon based life forms, i.e. animal and vegetable and to reserve the term mortal for something which has a definite life span, i.e. animal or vegetable. This life span for the human animal was some 40 years at the turn of the century and has now, largely due to modern alternative medicine replacing ancient traditional medicine, been stretched to some 75 years in affluent western societies. Modern genetic research has confirmed what our eyes have told us – that the collection of cells that constitute the human body collectively have an inbuilt, pre-programmed mortality. This limited life-span has been known to stretch to a bit more than 100 years in a few rare cases but then death comes. This fact of mortality is clearly obvious once one passes the age of about 40 years as the effects of the ageing and non-renewal of cells becomes clearly and undeniably evident.
So, as far as you and I are concerned, being human animals, mortality is a fact and immortality is a dream.
RESPONDENT: But this is not immortality of a person, an ego or a spirit. I have been born and will die. As you called it, we are the material universe experiencing itself as human beings.
PETER: A minor correction here, if I can. So far as we know, Richard is the only human being living on the planet who does not have an instinctually programmed and psychologically reinforced self. Everybody else, you, me, and about 6 billion others, all think and feel themselves to be something other than a flesh and blood human being, and a few human beings believe themselves to be a God and therefore immortal, i.e. something other than a flesh and blood human being. Many people have had glimpses of being a flesh and blood human being only, sans self, in a PCE and a handful have taken Richard’s lead and are attempting to emulate his condition of living continuously and permanently in this state. In the meantime, 6 billion humans fight it out in a grim battle for survival in a grim world – this state of fear and aggression, manifest as malice and sorrow, is commonly known as the Human Condition.
What we are as human beings is the most highly developed of the animals on the planet in that we are able to think and reflect. However this very capability is enmeshed with the primitive instinctual self to an extent that we think and feel ourselves to be separate and alien from the physical universe. Who we think and feel we are is a ‘someone’ who inside this body looking out through the eyes, hearing through the ears, smelling through the nose, etc. Thus we are isolated human beings who are indirectly experiencing the universe and that experience is of being lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning. This is 180 degrees different from being the universe experiencing itself as a human being. This state is evident only in a Pure Consciousness Experience. The only reason I can talk with any authority about being the universe experiencing itself as a human being is from the direct experience of the PCE and from living a life of Virtual Freedom whereby one is as close as possible to this state permanently, yet one remains ‘human’ – an emotional and cerebral entity. It is from this ‘base camp’ that the final step can be taken with confidence and surety.
RESPONDENT: But after we are gone there will be some other beings. The universe will experience itself in them, thus this ‘experiencing’ will go on and on. Right?
PETER: Well, as I said, so far only one human being has rid himself of the psychic and psychological entity that is the very cause of human beings to regard themselves as something other than what they are in fact. Everybody else is busy being themselves, an emotional and cerebral entity, fearful and aggressive, trying desperately to connect via the feelings of love and compassion with other similarly isolated entities or seeking a fantasy escape into a spiritual dream world.
But the one human, who has managed to achieve a pure selfless state and rid himself of his animal heritage, has lived to tell his tale, to write of his experience, so that you and I have the chance to do something about the situation we have found ourselves in. Personally, I couldn’t give a fig about what happens after I am dead.
When I came across Richard I could see that I had a chance to do something about the situation I found myself in. Aged 49, maybe 20 years left, still not happy and certainly not harmless. When offered a method to become happy and harmless, developed by someone who was obviously happy and harmless, I took up the challenge. In doing so I became ‘self’ obsessed – I wanted to find out as much as I could about the Human Condition and how it operated in me as ‘me’– who I think and felt I was. 2 years later I am now living a happiness and harmlessness that is beyond normal human expectations and far exceeds the imaginary spiritual dreams. I am only concerned with my life as a human on the planet, what I can do to permanently and constantly live as I did in the PCE. In my first PCE, lasting some 4 hours or so, I was in a self-less state. The experience was purely sensate – no thoughts or feelings of separation and no thoughts or feelings of a ‘me’ who felt connected or ‘at one with’ everything. Simply an overload of sensate input such that the fairy tale splendour of the physical universe was abundantly apparent and overwhelming obvious, and an awareness of the brain thinking and reflecting with pristine clarity. It is in these moments that one knows that what is missing – the self – is precisely what prevents this from being an on-going experience.
As for ‘The universe will experience itself in them, thus this ‘experiencing’ will go on and on.’ – it seems that you are attributing to the physical universe anthropomorphic and/or anthropocentric values. There is a common belief that attributes to the physical universe the divine values that were once attributed to individual human-like Gods or the forces of nature type Gods. Thus the earth becomes Mother Earth and the universe becomes Intelligent. I recently saw some film footage of the Apollo moon program where the astronaut described the surface of the moon as like a barren desert made of grey beach sand. They looked back at earth awed by the magnificence of a planet obviously abundant with life. As stunning as the images produced of far distant nebulae, galaxies and the like, there is no evidence of carbon-based life anywhere else in the universe, let alone anything as intelligent as the human brain.
The only intelligence in the universe that is evident is that in the human brain, if one regards intelligence as in Oxford’s – ‘The faculty of understanding; intellect; quickness or superiority of understanding, sagacity; the action or fact of understanding.’ This intelligence is currently thwarted and inhibited by the presence and influence of the amygdala or primitive brain that consigns humans to think, feel and act in animal survival mode. It is only when this intelligence is freed of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow in an actual human being can intelligence be clear of fear and aggression – pure, perfect and innocent. The brain is then freed to receive the sensory input without the constant filtering and instinctual programmed reactions of the primitive brain and, as such, a plethora of sensate delight comes swooning in on all the sense stalks of the brain. Then it can be said, for it is one’s direct experience, that I am the universe experiencing itself as a human being.
This is vastly different to ‘I’ feel myself to be the universe, wherein the ‘self’ rides on this delicious sensate experience and claims it as one’s own. This is the marked difference between a PCE and an ASC.
But to get back to the point – which is what you are going to do with your life? For me, when it became obvious that the ‘spiritual path’ was nothing other than following the path of Eastern Religion, and that this life I am living now is the only one I get to live, it helped to bring my focus to the question of how am I experiencing this moment of being alive, here on earth, right now. It meant I had run out of excuses to blame others or go on saying ‘why can’t people just get on with each other, why can’t people live together in peace and harmony?’ It became clear that if I couldn’t do it myself then it was a clear case of put up or shut up. There was, of course, a third alternative – for me to prove it was possible. To tackle the greatest adventure ever undertaken by human beings – to consciously self-immolate as an entity inside this flesh and blood body – to cause a mutation such that the primitive brain and its instinctual animal survival program are made redundant.
Just as a bit of an aside, I recently read a newspaper article by a clinical psychologist decrying happiness as an aim in life and saying it was causing all sorts of problems. He said that what people should seek is fulfilment. He was totally vague about what this fulfilment was and threw in a few fashionable psittacisms about creativity, spirituality and a few demeaning comments about money and career pursuits. From the tone of his article I gathered that many of his clients were suffering from depression because of the futility of seeking happiness, and no wonder. They are trying to go against nature and are both ill equipped and ill advised in their pursuit by the likes of clinical psychologists and spiritual pundits. The Gurus’ ignorance is understandable in that scientific progress has outstripped Ancient Ignorance but the denial of instinctual programming in psychological studies and teachings is a bit more bewildering. The scientific study of instinctual behaviour broaches the areas of ethics, sails in the face of morals and runs aground on the old hoary one of ‘you can’t change human nature’. Those who dare to push the limits, such as the current researchers in genetics, are deemed to be ‘meddling in God’s work’. If there is a God then he / she / it is a very cruel sadistic bastard from what I see on TV, and it is clearly time to ‘meddle’ in order to put an end to human suffering on the planet.
As a human on the planet, at this time, we clearly see that much of the essential explorations have been undertaken in order to provide comfort, shelter, food and safety from wild animals and that the next major exploration and effort will be to end ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. Many people are still seeking excitement, fame, meaning and a sense of purpose by physical exploring and adventure pursuits but it has got a bit ridiculous such that it comes as no surprise to hear of someone being the first to hop all the way to the north pole or being the first woman to circumnavigate the globe the wrong way in a bath tub. Many people are now devoting there lives to helping wild animals survive, having abandoned the post-WW2 hope of peace on earth for humans. The focus has shifted to the fashionable ‘saving the earth’ rather than saving the human species.
An actualist is one who devotes his or her life to actualizing peace on earth in the only way possible and gets to have the adventure of a lifetime on the way. It is the most significant thing one can do with one’s life – one’s ‘three score and ten’ of existence as a human being.
Then whatever goes ‘on and on’ is not of my concern, for I will have done my bit for peace on earth.
This whole business of becoming free of the Human Condition is to do with the doing of it. At present it still remains but a nice theory, proposed by someone who can still be rightly labelled as a freak of nature as in – ‘an abnormal or irregular occurrence, an abnormally developed person or thing’. It is now up to others to prove – for themselves – that it is possible for them to be free from the Human Condition.
T’is about quality not quantity, the individual not the group, facts not belief, actualization not theory.
Of course the process works, but it only works for those doing it. Even a Virtual Freedom is to live beyond normal human expectations and would be sufficient to bring peace to this fair planet. But to go all the way is always the only way – stopping at ‘base camp’ is not for the true adventurer.
Well, thanks again for your note. I do appreciate your interest in these matters and in taking the effort to write. For me, it is good opportunity to write more about the practical application of Actual Freedom and to put my experience and knowledge down in writing.
The Human Condition – the program in the brain that says this is how it is to be a human being – does take a lot of stubborn questioning, and a lot of deleting, in order to get one’s common sense or innate intelligence operating for the first time. But once it is fired up and begins to function the fun begins – it proves unstoppable, and then the sparks start flying and the fun begins as one becomes incrementally free of belief, superstition, morals, ethics, values and psittacisms. This incremental freedom from sorrow and malice results in increasing experiences of delight and peace, and one soon finds oneself willing raising the bar ...again ... and again.
There are no limits in Actual Freedom.
PETER: Thanks for your reply again.
Before I move on to your post, I want to report on TV program I saw the other day which has some relevance to our discussions on the list. It was a program relating to ‘diseases’ that afflict humans and looked at the more modern diseases, ie. those of the 20th century.
The program began by looking at ‘shell shock’ – the traumatic condition suffered by soldiers in the First World War. Most soldiers refusing to fight were threatened with execution and, indeed, many were summarily executed by their own officers in the trenches while others were hauled before firing squads. Those who managed to get a medical certificate were those exhibiting a chronic form usually involving total and uncontrollable shaking and complete incoherence.
The comment was made that little could be done for them as this was a new disease with few precedents. By the time the Second World War had ended and the Vietnam War was in progress a little more attention was being paid to both the medical and psychiatric needs of soldiers in war. The Vietnam War, particularly, resulted in a re-naming of the trauma of war from ‘shell shock’ to ‘Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome’.
The program went on to talk a bit about counselling, ‘due recognition’, medication, therapy and the like that was used as treatment for what was increasingly regarded as a psychiatric condition. The program then flitted on to talk about another of the modern diseases, repetitive strain injury (RSI) in computer operators.
I found myself bewildered that we should regard the effects of war on the surviving participants as a disease while no mention was made of the disease of warfare itself. Surely we need to classify the eager predilection of human beings to inflict violence upon each other as a disease and set out post-haste to find a cure. The past one hundred years have been the bloodiest and most sadistic in human history with the art and science of violence and killing reaching new levels of ruthless efficiency. The Japanese were the last to attempt to hold on to killing as an art form when for 200 years, from the16th century to the18th century, the Emperor banned guns in favour of killing by sword – the noble Warrior art of killing was preferred. The First World War saw the last of noble chivalry and a move towards a more scientific and ruthlessly efficiency in mass killing. The Second World War had as many civilian casualties as soldier casualties, as wholesale aerial bombing became the preferred form of retaliation and retribution. The cruise missile that literally cruised past the CNN reporter in the Gulf War before turning left at the next intersection on its way to the target represents the epitome of modern warfare – elegant efficiency.
We deplore warfare, blame others for it, seek to define rights and wrongs, goods and evils, seek peace treaties as ceasefires, pray for peace, meditate to raise the ‘cosmic consciousness’ – or turn away in despair that the violence and suffering will ever end.
But nobody asks themselves what is the cause of violence and what can I realistically do about it. Defying God’s will and meddling with blind nature seems a good start to me – all else has clearly failed.
PETER: So, on to your post –
As for ‘The universe will experience itself in them, thus this ‘experiencing’ will go on and on.’ – it seems that you are attributing to the physical universe anthropomorphic and/or anthropocentric values. There is a common belief that attributes to the physical universe the divine values that were once attributed to individual human-like Gods or the forces of nature type Gods. Thus the earth becomes Mother Earth and the universe becomes Intelligent. I recently saw some film footage of the Apollo moon program where the astronaut described the surface of the moon as like a barren desert made of grey beach sand. They looked back at earth awed by the magnificence of a planet obviously abundant with life. As stunning as the images produced of far distant nebulae, galaxies and the like may be, there is no evidence of carbon-based life anywhere else in the universe, let alone anything as intelligent as the human brain.
RESPONDENT: What I meant by saying that was that there will be, with a high dose of certainty, humans living here after we are gone.
PETER: Oh, yeah? You do realize that the current new set of ‘tribal groups’ who are developing and acquiring nuclear weapons and long-range missiles are those whose passionate beliefs include re-incarnation and holy wars. They care not a fig for their own personal existence on earth let alone anyone else’s. For most an exit is a welcome relief and if this exit is for a noble or holy cause – even better. I would say that there is ‘a high dose of certainty’ that the MAD (mutually agreed destruction) policy of the cold war will eventuate in some other insane form, unless ...
Unless sufficient people devote their lives to breaking free from the instinctual program of fear and aggression that gives rise to the Human Condition of sorrow and malice.
You could regard Actual Freedom as sensibly planning your exit from the world of fear and aggression for a spurt in the actual world of purity and perfection, before the final exit when your heart stops pumping blood and the brain dies.
RESPONDENT: Also, I think that there is nobody in heavens stuffing our physical bodies with some recycled immortal souls.
PETER: The soul is the big one! For what is a human being without a soul. Ancient Wisdom has it that a body without a soul is but an animal. A body without a soul is inhuman and evil. I’ll let Mr. Oxford give the full story on the soul –
The principle of life in humans or animals; animate existence. 2 The principle of thought and action in a person, regarded as an entity distinct from the body; a person’s spiritual as opp. to corporeal nature. 3 a The spiritual part of a human being considered in its moral aspect or in relation to God and his precepts, spec. regarded as immortal and as being capable of redemption or damnation in a future state. b The disembodied spirit of a dead person, regarded as invested with some degree of personality and form. 4 a The seat of the emotions or sentiments; the emotional part of human nature. b Intellectual or spiritual power; high development of the mental faculties. Also, deep feeling, sensitivity, esp. as an aesthetic quality; zest, spirit. 5 Philos. The vital, sensitive, or rational principle in plants, animals, or human beings. arch. 6 The essential or animating element or quality of something. Oxford Dictionary.
Seems pretty impressive for something that does not factually exist. The instinctual programming of the amygdala or primitive brain includes a primitive animal self that is most highly developed in the primates. This self in relationship to other members of the species is most evident in apes and chimps and leads us to see in them human behaviour at a less sophisticated level of operation. Fear, aggression, nurture and desire are seen operating unimpeded by developed intelligence, which simply translates to apes and chimps being less cunning and less efficient in killing than the human animal. We think them cute when they display instinctual nurture but are in denial of the mounting evidence of rape, murder, infanticide and war in chimps and apes that are the result of instinctual fear, aggression and desire.
This very-same primitive self, complete with its automatic survival program, operates in humans, but we manage to divide the instinctual passions into two groupings – the good passions and the evil ones. The self that is the good instincts we term ‘me at my core’, the ‘real me’, or my ‘very soul’. We simply deny the existence of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, as it is usually too shocking to contemplate these aspects within us. Thus we are usually ‘overcome’ or ‘overwhelmed’ by anger or violence or despair, for that is what appears to happen when instinctual passions surface. The amygdala automatically responds to a threat, real, perceived or imagined, and the hormones automatically flow – flooding the neo-cortex and away we go... Murder, rape, revenge, despair, torture, war, etc., all occur in a ‘blind’ rage – be it hot or cool.
As if this wasn’t enough of a heritage, we then have the universal fairy-tale of a life after death for this very-same soul, and the same instincts are then bought into play in defending this belief; for the soul – ‘me’ at my core – believes it is fighting for its very life (its life after death). Thus humans not only fight for real things like territory and food but we add fighting for causes, beliefs, ideals, rights and dreams to the list.
Fearing for survival is our main pre-occupation, and fighting for survival is our main occupation. Such is the Human Condition.
Good to be rid of a soul – and all that it represents – as far as I’m concerned. Everybody regards it as inconceivable to be without a soul but next time you have a peak experience have a good look around and see if you can feel one in operation. If you can, it’s not a Pure Consciousness Experience. In the PCE, as if by miracle, the soul and the ego, the self in total, disappear from consciousness, and if it can happen once, why not more times, and why not 24 hrs. a day every day?
Why not indeed?
RESPONDENT: Therefore my brain or this personal entity manufactured by the brain based on the social blueprint has arisen at random, by chance only, depending on which sperm participated in the beginning of the life. My personality was determined by the physical features of this brain.
PETER: Well, this sounds a bit like the little man inside the sperm theory, i.e. who I am depends on which sperm of the millions got to fertilize the egg. Certainly genetic information was passed that determined my physical characteristics but my social identity was purely the result of information inputted into the brain after birth.
‘Who I feel I am’ is essentially instinctual, fated by blind nature; ‘who I think I am’ is essentially social, fettered by nurture.
It’s just serendipitous that I came across Richard who had managed to escape his fate and realise his destiny – to be free of the Human Condition. Millions upon millions of humans have devoted their lives to escaping the Human Condition but were ultimately diverted by the alluring promise of immortality and instinctual desire to save their own souls. Richard is the first to actually escape from the Human Condition and he has laid a trail of over a million words for those interested in emulating his feat.
RESPONDENT: Also, this personal entity has had no choice where and when it would arise. In this sense there is no difference between me and other humans. ‘I’ could have been any of the humans living in the present, past or the future. (Therefore my personal identity, in this light, becomes not so ‘personal’ at all).
PETER: I think it is useful to keep the conversation to simple facts of the situation we find ourselves in. I have no conscious memories before the age of about 2 to 3 years and by then I was well and truly fated to be ‘me’ and well on the way to being fettered to become the social identity ‘I’ am. The crucial point is that as I developed as a conscious, independent being – not everyone else – but me as this flesh and blood body, I had a constant feeling of being an alien, an outsider who never quite fitted in. Most of my life was devoted to searching for freedom from the shackles that I felt were binding me and preventing me from living fully. The other aspect of the search was altruistic in that I always was attracted to causes, ideals and movements that promised an end to violence and suffering for humans – in short, peace on earth.
A bit from the Glossary might be useful here –
The first ‘I’ is indeed no different than any other of the 6 billion others on the planet – instinctually programmed and socially trained to be a member of the species and therefore bound to and trapped by the Human Condition. The second ‘I’ is formed by transcending the normal ‘I’ and becoming a new spiritual identity – the traditional escape into the delusion and fantasy of Divinity and Immortality.
But there is a third I – and that is what the actualist seeks. An end to the ‘who am I’ and ‘why do I exist’ questioning, the recognition of the fact that I do exist as a mortal flesh and blood body and the experiential discovery of what I am.
RESPONDENT: When I am dead there will be no time whatsoever because there will be no consciousness of ‘not being here’.
PETER: When you are dead, your sense of ‘being here’ will cease, as a direct result of you not being here – as in dead, finished, deceased, passed away, expired, extinct, stuffed, finito, kaput, no more alive. But time will go on, exactly as it does when your consciousness of ‘being here’ ceases during deep sleep every night. Given this discussion seems to be focussing on what happens before and after No 7, a bit on time from the Glossary might help focus on No 7, as you are now, here on earth, right now.
– A finite extent of continued existence; eg. the interval between two events, or the period during which an action or state continues; a period referred to in some way. Time when: a point in time; a space of time treated without ref. to duration.
Peter: Time can be conveniently be regarded in the three tenses: past, future and present.
Past time is recalled by us as memories or thoughts and as such is both a cognitive re-call and an emotional re-call. Not only was our perception of the place, people or event coloured at the time but our recall is coloured and somewhat shaky. Current investigations suggest that in fact we only recall the last time we recalled something rather than re-calling the original memory.
There is good scientific evidence that memories of traumatic or fearful events are not only stored as conscious memories in the neo-cortex, but are also stored in the amygdala as ‘unconscious’ or non-cognitive memories. These memories stored in the amygdala or primitive brain give substance to ‘me’ and give substance to ‘my’ life of suffering and ‘my’ pains and hurts from the past. To dip into this treasure trove of suffering can be a bittersweet occupation.
Future time is conceived by us as imagination and as such is emotionally coloured. Given our over-riding instinct of fear, most of the future we see in fear ridden terms. This fear of the future is given credence by the bountiful store of emotional memories of past hurts and fears located in the amygdala. Hence the general future scenarios of gloom and doom, apocalypse and annihilation. To balance this we invent a ‘good’ – and always in the future – scenario of salvation, redemption and a blissfully happy afterlife, which we pray, trust and hope will eventuate.
Present time is the closest to now , this very moment and is generally regarded as now. The problem for the human perception of now is that there are so many things going on in the brain and the body that the clear and direct sensate experience of experiencing this moment of being alive is impossible. The emotional affective faculties are on constant overload, with emotional memories of the past and imaginations of the future constantly crowding in. Added to that is the automatic neuro-biological operation of the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire experienced as overwhelming passions due to the pumping of potent chemicals into the body and brain. One is usually ‘sensing’ or ‘feeling out’ this moment fearfully and aggressively such that the actual direct sensate experience of this moment of being alive is impossible.
But all is not lost. With sincere intent and diligent application one can eliminate this constant neurosis and associated feelings, passions and emotions such that one becomes both happy and harmless. Thus freed of malice and sorrow it is then possible to directly, intimately and fully experience this moment in time. And the trick to getting here, now at this moment in time and this place in space is enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive. To facilitate this you ask yourself, as an ongoing non-verbal attitude, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This moment in time is, after all, the only moment one can experience anyway, and if you are not happy now you are missing yet another moment ... and another … and another … The Actual Freedom Trust Library
What I found when I came across actualism, was that I was more interested in what happened before I was here and what was going to happen after I was gone – a fascination born of years in the spiritual world with its concept of eternal time and my eternal being.
A bit from my journal about my realizations concerning the utter futility of spiritual philosophy may be useful –
So, I do understand your difficulties on focusing your attention on No 7, here, now and not go searching for the ‘Here and Now’. It is exceedingly difficult to turn one’s brain around, so to speak. The programming is so set, so set in one direction, so used to viewing and experiencing the world in the usual duality of either normal or spiritual that anything else seems inconceivable. It took me months and months of effort, not only of reading but contemplating and investigating the facts for myself.
RESPONDENT: So, the only time ‘I am alive’ is whenever a body is being alive, the body which produces the sensation of being. So life is immortal because ‘I’ can exist only whenever a body exists, and one ‘I’ is not significantly different from another ‘I’.
PETER: It seems to me that your ‘life is immortal’ idea should be written as ‘Life is Immortal’, which is a common spiritual / religious belief. An actualist takes ‘life’ to be what it means factually. At present it is the 30th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, the first of a series of seven expeditions to the barren, life-less surface of the moon. So boring a desert, in fact, that by the sixth mission the astronauts were reduced to hitting golf balls to see how far they went and doing wheelies in a dune buggy they had taken with them. By the time a geologist went on the seventh mission he was able to confirm what was already known – there is no life on the moon. No carbon-based life forms of any description were evident.
It inevitably proved to be the last mission, but the images of the earth taken from space helped fire a passionate ‘save the earth’ program, as it was realized that there was no evidence, and bugger-all possibility, of life anywhere else in the universe. Human beings, being as perverse as they are, then proceeded to be concerned with ‘saving’ wild animals – the rarer, wilder and more bizarre the better – rather than ‘saving’ the human species. But that’s another story.
Just as there is no evidence of intelligence anywhere else in the universe there is no evidence, whatsoever, of life anywhere else in the universe. Some sixteen SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) programs are currently in operation in a search that began over 50 years ago. The current range of their search extends out some 50,000,000 light years from earth and still no messages received.
Meanwhile carbon-based life, on earth, is most definitely mortal, not immortal. Modern medicine, increased hygiene and better living conditions have stretched human life expectancy to some 74 years, particularly in countries that no longer rely on ‘traditional’ ancient healing such as divination, exorcism, ‘energy’ release, blood-letting, herbal infusions, prayer, etc. There is ever-mounting scientific evidence that humans are indeed mortal, that carbon-based cell decay is inevitable – but then again, a tippee toe through the local cemetery would readily confirm that fact anyway.
Life, Existence, Intelligence, Essence, Energy, etc., all are concepts that point to a belief in an over-arching ethereal force that lies behind, outside of, overlaid over, prior to, other than, or separate from, the physical universe. All are spiritual concepts, as in ...
The spiritual world is all pervasive, it could be described as programmed into one’s very cells, for the spirit, or soul, is nothing other than one’s primitive self. Nothing less than a mutation will free one from one’s soul, its instinctual program and the spiritual world. And what good news that is – there is nobody, or no-thing in charge, so there is nobody to blame nor anybody to bow down to. You can stand on your own two feet and get on with the business of sorting things out – cleaning your-‘self’ up ... to the point of disappearing.
As for ‘one ‘I’ is not significantly different from another ‘I’’, you have hit the very problem on the head. All 6 billion humans are ensnared within the Human Condition – fated to be programmed to be animal, and fettered by Humanity to remain so, for the term of one’s mortal life.
Richard is just saying – ‘pssst... don’t just believe what everyone else is saying or you will never be free... there is a way to become actually free.’
And I’m just saying – ‘the way out works.’
And it’s such fun...
Once again, thanks for your post. I do understand how difficult it can be to unravel oneself from the beliefs and myths that one has been programmed to see as truths – and to stop running with the herd.
The great thing is that each belief seen through is a freedom gained and a confidence gathered for the next one that pops up to look at. Keep it up and, one day, freedom from the very act of believing is assured.
Well, I’m off to see what other pleasures are in-line.
Couch, a coffee and a chat with Vineeto which could well lead on to ...
PETER: Following on from your last post, I have been musing about the ‘life’-bit of ‘Life, the universe and what it is to be a human being’. ‘Life’ is one of those words that has many nuances in the English language, and it seemed a useful exercise to dig into the various meanings in order to make sense of what life is. When I came across Richard, one of the first things I did was buy a good dictionary. The meanings of words are so perniferously abused, particularly in spiritual writings and speech, that Richard was most particular in his choice of words and often searched for alternatives to both the normally abused and spiritually abused words. Astoundingly, the accurate meanings of words seems to make no difference to many who read his words – for them, the word ‘non-spiritual’ means ‘a new form of spiritual’ and ‘down-to-earth’ means ‘spiritual life while here on earth’ and ‘actual freedom’ is no different at all from the pseudo ‘spiritual freedom’ of turning away and escaping into a fantasy land.
This is exactly why Alan has said that what he does is read, read, read and for a bit of relaxation, stick his feet up and read a bit more. A superficial reading of Richard’s words will miss the point completely for one will ignore the uncommon words and disabuse the more common words and get stuff-all out of it. When faced with something so radically new, a condition known as cognitive dissonance is evident in most. This is exactly why I have compiled a Glossary of terms on the Web-site and tried to separate the sensible dictionary definitions and interpretations of words used in actualism from the hackneyed, non-sensical NDA-jargon and misrepresentations of the Venerated Ones. At the moment I’m going through the glossary again, doing some editing in preparation for the new Actual Freedom Trust website that Richard and Vineeto are busy with. Which brings me back to ‘life’ again, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to both write to you about life and do a bit for the Glossary at the same time.
Life is such a bloody good subject – I would say vitally interesting – and one I remember as literally earth-shaking when I delved into the misconceptions and psittacisms surrounding it. So let’s start with the Oxford Dictionary. I’ll break the definitions into sections dealing with different interpretations of the word, so as to best define the distinctive meanings associated with the word –
When I read this I immediately thought of the most potent example of life that I have seen, which was an image of the formation of a human foetus.
I’ve written about it in my journal so I’ll post it here –
Here is where we begin to get off the facts of life and into the beliefs about life. There are literally countless beliefs, superstitions, pseudo-scientific theories and the like, that have been trotted out over the millennia to explain why we are here, as human beings, on this planet. The search for the cause, the source, for the beginning, the creation, or the creator, the meaning, the reason for it all, has always obsessed humans, solely because of the fear of being here in the first place and the subsequent resentment at continually feeling an alien in an alien place. This obsession with ‘why we are here’ has fuelled the perennial search for a greater or higher meaning to being here. This ‘search’ inevitably leads to the discovery that there is a Greater and Higher meaning – that there is a ‘person or thing’ (or energy) ‘that makes or keeps a thing alive’. To make this ‘discovery’ is effortless: one needs only slide over into the spiritual world, let go, surrender, close one’s eyes and go in. One enters the spiritual world that exists ethereally and is layered over the actual world. This is the world of animating spirits, Gods and Goddesses, ancient healings and esoteric medicines, divinations and prophecies, energies and auras, folk tales and legends, gurus and shamans, fairies and goblins, sacred sites and cosmic planes, chakras and levels of consciousness, telepathy and spiritualism, visions and entities, ESP and UFO’s, Chi Gong and Feng Shui, somas and souls, mysticism and meditation, rituals and rites, reincarnations and past lives, karmas and dharmas, devils and demons and so on. This whole phantasmagoric ‘other-world’ has been so embellished, so documented, so believed in, and made so substantial in the human psyche as to be convincingly real – and it is no small task to wrench oneself free from the common beliefs and Truths of a spirit world.
One would not bother unless one had a direct experience of the actual world and then one would never settle for the imaginary, the ethereal, the second-rate. One would never settle for ‘right-suffering’, or being ‘grateful’ to some-one or some-thing for ‘life’, when one could eliminate the instinctual source of fear and sorrow that is the very cause of suffering and resentment in the first place. One would never bother with being Here and Now with one’s head stuck in the clouds, searching for True meaning, when one could be here and now in the actual world with one’s feet firmly on the earth, with meaning abundantly and extravagantly apparent everywhere.
Which brings us to the definition of a person’s life as in ‘my’ life. I find ‘a person’s animate existence viewed as a possession of which one is deprived by death’ the most telling definition. As human beings, we have no memory of how we got here, we resent being here, we try to make the best of it, we seek an escape from life in the form of redemption or salvation, we desperately fear death and, as old age sets in, passionately hope for life after death. And this little lot of sad, sorry and fearful continuum of emotional memories and reactions, we call having a ‘life’. A person’s life is, in fact, no more than the bundle of emotional memories of the past and emotional-backed anticipations of the future and the whole lot is typified by see-saw swings of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. ‘I’ – as the thinker – desperately seek to keep the instinctual ‘me’ – as the feeler – under control and in check by being good, being loving, being caring, etc. As one’s life progresses this leads to the development of a cunning cynicism that obliterates any naiveté and fosters a continual need for ‘self’-control that actively inhibits one from breaking free from the shackles of one’s social identity. Thus one is fated by nature at conception to be an instinctually-driven being and is then fettered by nurture from birth onwards to be a social identity bound by morals, ethics, values, traditions, and psittacisms and – as Frank Sinatra sang, so bitter sweetly, – ‘That’s life’.
But actualism provides the solution to the Human Condition and ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is the path to the door marked Freedom from the Human Condition. By continuously asking oneself this question, and doing whatever is necessary to substantiate happiness and harmlessness in this moment, one begins to disrupt the continuity of one’s emotional life and weakens its stranglehold and dominance. The exclusive attention paid to this moment of being alive actually reduces the tendency to dwell on past emotional memories or be emotionally occupied with future events. This has the effect of shrinking one’s life to this moment only – which is the only moment I can experience being alive. Thus one gradually eases out from having an emotional life and begins to live this moment, and this moment, and ... The aim is to string more and more of those moments together, and one day you get to lay in bed at night time and say ‘What a perfect day I had!’. And then the aim becomes to string more and more of those days together and you find that you are on a path that frees you from malice and sorrow. And then you find yourself living a Virtual Freedom – ‘virtual’ as in ‘that is so in essence or effect, although not recognized formally, actually’. And then you know that your ‘life’, as you knew it, will never be the same again – in fact, it is soon to end completely and not a trace of the old ‘me’ will be able to surface ... ever again. Virtual Freedom is the first step – ‘self’-extinction the next.
The final relevant definition points to attaining a new Life – as in being Born Again or becoming Enlightened or Self-Realized, whereby one takes on a new imaginary identity in an new imaginary life – thus becoming ‘freed’ from the state of sin (or life in the real world). For those not so dedicated to the pursuit of a spiritual New Life there is the more secular version offered by some therapists whereby the aim is to strengthen, en-richen or empower one’s existing ‘life’ such that one wins more than loses, one overcomes adversity, one fights for one’s rights, one becomes better, stronger, more powerful, more self-fulfilled, more self-centred, etc. Both approaches fail to address the fact that human beings are programmed with an instinct to survive that makes fear, aggression, nurture and desire an integral part of the Human Condition. Actual Freedom is the only approach to the human dilemma that addresses this fact – every other approach, avoids this fundamental fact.
Actual Freedom is the third alternative to the traditional acceptance or the spiritual avoidance of one’s lot in life. What an excellent thing to discover – the chance to actually do something about one’s lot in life – to become happy and harmless.
So, this may have been of interest to you as it relates to your ‘it seems that still there is something that could be called ‘immortality’ in a certain sense of this word’ comment.
Perhaps what I have written will be ‘food for thought’ – which, after all, should be the point of a mailing list devoted to peace and freedom.
PETER: I’m getting really lazy lately and just adding P.S’s to the bottom of Vineeto’s posts. I am at present busy writing to another mailing list, involved in learning a new CAD program and supervising a house construction, so life is deliciously full-on.
It sounds to me as though you have a marvellous opportunity presented to you. It is my experience that men can learn a lot about sensuousness from women and that was always my attraction to hang out with women rather than men. Sexual attraction is one part, but they can often be sensual and more down-to-earth than men who tend to be more cerebral and worldly tough.
Of course, this is a generalization but one you might ponder on. I am not suggesting a middle path for I have tried both ‘real’-world male and spiritual SNAG and both were just compromises and social roles. The good fun is to find what is left when all your artificial male-ness is stripped away. Vineeto has pointed to the other crucial aspect in living with someone – the utter futility of attempting to change the other, keeping your side up in the battle of the sexes. Not that it is going to necessarily bring peace and harmony to the relationship but you will be doing the only thing you can do – stopping your part in the traditional battle of the sexes.
What I found was that any change that happened in me often provoked some interesting emotional responses in others around me but it was essential to realize that what I was doing was both for myself and for others around me. After all, my goal was to be happy and harmless no matter what the consequences or reaction of others. The harmless part of happy and harmless always needs equal attention and in this you need to be the judge, not others, and this is where it is crucial to be guided by sincere intent gleaned from the PCE. If my intent was sincere, then I knew I would do no harm to others in the process. Sincere intent ensures that one is ruthlessly and unmitigatingly honest with oneself.
Keep us posted if you like – you are, after all, at the cutting edge of an experiment rare in human history.
PETER to No 3: I always say that I was happy to be a following pioneer in this enterprise for I was able to pick Richard’s brain, as it were, to discover what he had discovered. Thus I didn’t need to explore every alley, every nuance, every belief, every moral, every belief, and every psittacism. I was able to do this intensively over a period of 12 months, and together with reading his journal many times over, this was sufficient to become virtually free of malice and sorrow. I would suggest that your success will be purely dependant on the time and effort put in to the task. The good thing for you is that the amount of information available now has probably increased 20 fold and it is freely and readily available on the web site.
You still make your own investigations – and who would have it any other way – but a wealth of information is available to help you look at these broader details.
As you seem to be discovering, it is impossible to leap straight into investigating emotions without first looking at the broader details of one’s social identity. This is where The Actual Freedom Trust Library pages and particularly the selected correspondence related to topics are invaluable as you can focus your attention on understanding one particular issue and come to grips with it. Remember we are talking of a practical re-wiring of the human brain.
Our social identity is a way of thinking that has formed synapse connections that mean we automatically think a certain way, exactly as our instinctual passions cause us to automatically feel a certain way.
This rewiring requires persistence, perseverance and repetitive effort – exactly like learning anything new does, except in this case one is unlearning something. Thus one’s success, or not, is exactly proportionate to the amount of time and effort afforded to the task.Peter to No 3 23.5.2000
RESPONDENT: I am wondering if what you are talking here about is the investigation of emotions and feelings coming from the social norms by labelling them as sensible or silly? After labelling them, have you experimented by acting against your social norms (Acting against our religious / social conditionings and taboos to investigate the rush of emotions that follows such experiment, for example)? If so, did such action break through the psychological power of the norm and did it give you more encouragement to investigate them more deeply?
PETER: I think the first thing to be taken on board about actualism is that it is not about changing the world, it is about changing oneself. The traditional approach of people who see wrong or bad in the world is to join a crusade or revolutionary movement aimed at bringing about some sort of social, political or spiritual change to the world. Hence we have an enormous amount of angst, despair and vitriol generated by well-intentioned groups or movements clashing with other well-intentioned groups or movements, all determined that their way is the best, that they are right, or that theirs is the only way of doing things.
The traditional movements to change the world are passionately fuelled by people’s frustration at not feeling free to do what they want – of having to obey, and feeling straight-jacketed by, society’s morals, ethics and values translated into rules, laws and regulations. Thus one sees on television not only out and out warfare, terrorism, violent protests, etc., but even in so-called peaceful countries, there is a good deal of frustration, aggravation, annoyance and anger directed against the ‘government’ or various organizations for doing wrong thing or not getting it right. In the local community where I live there is an extraordinary amount of conflict, either overt or covert, as to the rights or wrongs of the actions of those with different beliefs or values and at the people employed to uphold the laws of the land.
A bit I wrote at the time of seeing the futility of attempting to rebel against or change the way the world is –
So back to your question –
RESPONDENT: ‘Have you experimented by acting against your social norms (acting against our religious / social conditionings and taboos to investigate the rush of emotions that follows such experiment, for example)? If so, did such action break through the psychological power of the norm and did it give you more encouragement to investigate them more deeply?’
PETER: What I find now is that silly and sensible replaces good and bad, right and wrong and as such, it is very sensible to obey the laws of the land – the freedom and change is fundamental and internal, not conditional on the external. The aim is freedom from malice and sorrow, in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. Put into practice, this means that if you are not happy now because of some belief, moral or ethical value you hold, if you are upset because of the way someone else is, or if you are miffed or angry about some situation you can do nothing about, then you have something to look at in your own psyche. If there is some sensible action to be taken to change one’s circumstances then one can make it in a sensible, harmless and appropriate manner.
A bit of digging in and changing oneself rather than looking outside and blaming others or the circumstances is required.
Many people pay lip service to the idea that the only person you can change is yourself, but when, and if, the penny drops, your life will never be the same again. For me this realization proved the starting point to really beginning to change. I won’t post it here but you will find my story of this realization in the ‘Living Together’ chapter of my journal and Vineeto has written about it in ‘A Bit of Vineeto’.
Becoming free of ‘religious / social conditioning and taboos’ is a process that brings to the surface much fear for one is literally dismantling a large part of one’s identity and stepping out of humanity, so it is sensible to be cautious as to what you say to others and what you do during this process. Much passion can be uncovered and much turmoil can result as the firm and familiar ground beneath one’s feet seems to shake and eventually disappears. Each success brings a tangible, palpable and heady freedom.
Our social identity was instilled in us in childhood in order to curb and control the emerging instinctual savage passions arising from the animal fear-aggression reaction genetically encoded in our ancient brain structure. With the knowledge gained from the pure consciousness experience and the relentless application of common sense – the silly and sensible judgement – you are capable of reducing the effects of the instinctual passions in your life such that you are able to become happy and harmless 99% of the time. Unless you are willing to strip away and reduce this outer secondary layer of identity you will never be able to investigate and experience both the savage and tender instinctual passions that form the deeper primary instinctual self.
PETER: Hi No 18 and No 7,
Just to join in with my two bob’s worth on watching. I coined a couple of terms that I found useful to me and that tended to cut through my spiritual teachings and give me a more down-to-earth approach to the running of the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ One was that I became ‘self’-obsessed for the first time in my life and the second was that this obsession had a purpose and a meaning and that was as a psychic ‘search and destroy’ mission.
A bit that I wrote describing my path to virtual freedom may be of use –
The other essential difference is that Richard’s method concentrates all of the attention on this moment in time, this actual moment now. The whole emphasis is on how am I experiencing myself NOW? This has the effect of eliminating the future as something to worry about, and the inevitable postponement that it brings. The ‘there’s always tomorrow’, ‘one day I will…’, or the spiritual ‘in my next lifetime’ are simply a cop out. By bringing my attention to the fact that this is my only moment of being alive, and that if I was happy ten minutes ago and I’m not happy now, the fact is: I’m not happy now. So what is the cause, the source? I don’t deny that I didn’t have a goal and that this goal was in the future – to be happy and harmless 24hrs. a day, every day. However, my immediate aim was to be happy and harmless now, in this very moment of being alive! But it does take time to work through each of the societal beliefs and instinctual passions, to thoroughly investigate them. I always considered it nonsense to delude myself with the advice that I was already Enlightened, ‘That’ or perfect, when I knew exactly how I was inside and how I acted. It always seemed as though I was kidding myself that I was all right when, if I was honest with myself, I knew I wasn’t.’ Peter’s Journal, Time
Another piece I discovered that may help drive a wedge between the spiritual approach and that of the actualist –
Ah! Just found another bit that describes the difference between the passive act of being a watcher and the active act and intent of being an actualist – 180 degrees opposite. How more radically different can one get from self-aggrandizement on one hand and self-immolation on the other?
Well that’s it for me for now. I just wanted to post my experiences about awareness, to point out the differences of the spiritual approach and the actualist approach and report my successes. I found the only way to start something new was to drop all ideas that I had taken on board before and this is why I personally coined a couple of practical terms that had nothing to do with previous terms I had been accustomed to.
RESPONDENT: About imagination:
I used to be quite good at being able to play a game of chess in my mind by imagining a chess board with chess pieces on it. I would scan it in my mind back and forth to visualize them and to realize the interactions between them. There was no necessity for any feeling to be involved in that process.
In your opinion, was that imagination?
PETER: It would depend on who thought they won and who felt they lost ...
RESPONDENT: I have just read this on your Website –
As far as I remember from my physics courses, at least a part of the Einstein’s theory of relativity (velocity / time relationship) has been experimentally proven by the observation of some short-lived fast particles. It these experiments the particles of the same kind and origin but different relative speed would exist for variable time periods that depended upon the particle speed (as predicted by one of the formulas combining mass of an object, its velocity, velocity of light, and time). In addition, the faster a particle moves in an accelerator the bigger it becomes as the energy applied to accelerate the particle becomes its mass when the particle approaches the speed of light. (E=mc2). By the same token, matter becomes light-energy as matter is combined with anti-matter. BTW, Newtonian laws work fine unless an object moves very, very fast.
PETER: I have read that Einstein’s theory has had many proofs over the last 80 years but, from what I can determine, the proofs offered relate to explaining phenomena that may relate to the original supposition, rather than providing empirical repeatable down-to-earth evidence that Einstein’s theory is a law that relates to the actual physical world. Whenever a scientist or engineer wants to do something practical, as opposed to theoretical, intellectual or mystical, they invariably revert to the laws, constraints and dictates that govern the physical universe and do not even consider the meta-physical theories. Whenever I had read anything of quantum physics, quantum mechanics, quantum cosmology, etc. in the past, I soon became bewildered and confused until I eventually realized that what they were saying had no relationship to common sense for they were not talking of the actual physical world.
Mr. Einstein himself is quoted as saying –
I find it telling that, according to Mr. Einstein, a sceptic is one who questions why relativity and quantum theory does not correspond to nature, i.e. the behaviour and actions of things we can see, touch, feel, smell and taste.
No. 7, I have no interest in things metaphysical or theories about the extreme limits of measurability in the macro or micro ends of the physical world. Science has perennially pushed back the boundaries of our knowledge of both the small and the big, forever searching for a finite limit, an edge or a Complete Understanding. Lacking anything of substance to measure, for the theoretical scientists don’t work in real world laboratories, they rely purely on theories, imagination and mathematical equations and computer calculations. Their position is clearly analogous to the mystic or shaman, and indeed most of the theories of the last century borrow heavily from Eastern mysticism – theories of other worlds, uncertainty, non-determinism, the observers effect on material objects, solipsism, etc.
But, for what it is worth, here is my take on Mr. Einstein’s theory.
The central tenet of his theory is the unequivocal statement that the speed of light is constant, no matter what. As far as I can ascertain, this tenet is held to be the case no matter what medium it passes through and this constancy is held to be completely uninfluenced by the effects of any other objects or forces.
To quote from: Einstein A life in Science
I always find it amazing that humans revere a theory whose effects no human can directly experience because humans cannot move at the speed of light because it is held to be impossible to do so by the very same theory. Does this not mean that the theory has no relevance at all to human experience in the physical world in which we live? Does this not ring a bell? Is this not the same with all metaphysical/spiritual theories?
But, to address your comments about the experimental proof of the theory by observation of short-lived particles. Again a quote from the same source as above –
And yet, I find it telling that when a clock orbiting the earth in a satellite used for precision navigation, the same calculated effects of this theory have been ignored. Does this not raise some serious doubts as to why these theories and explanatory proofs are not used in the empirical world of people, things and events?
I watched a TV program about the work at Cern and was particularly unimpressed, or sceptical as Mr. Einstein would have it, as to the common sense of the gulf between what was actually observable and measurable and what was extrapolated as an explanation. I came to understand that the use of massive computing power was increasingly needed in the micro dimension as the mathematical equations become increasingly complex. In fact, it was obvious they weren’t trying to understand, or make sense, of what they were observing, they were trying to find justification for their theories from their observations, which is a completely different scenario. The theories derived from increasingly tortured mathematical formulas were primary, the actual observations were secondary. In fact, many of their suppositions were about speculative particles, energies, or whatever, that had never been observed and may never be observable. Does not all this postulating have a familiar ring about it?
To move on further into the realms of quantum supposition and theory, again from the same source –
Again I do find it curious that the clocks in satellites moving at several hundred times faster than an airline, for years not hours, are evidently not compensated to allow for this experimental difference attributed to Einstein’s theory. There are two unrelated fields of science – the pure theoreticians and the empiricist engineer scientists, exactly as in the field of ontology there are two unrelated approaches – the metaphysical, spiritualists and the down-to-earth actualists.
And just to round up the horses into the coral, I’ll end with another piece on quantum theory from the Encyclopedia Britannica –
Thus, quantum theory has an inbuilt ‘indeterminancy (or uncertainty) principle’ which means it forever ‘escapes determinism’, as in –
No wonder I have no interest in quantum theory. Trying to have a sensible down-to-earth discussion about Einstein’s theory is analogous to talking to someone who passionately believes in the existence of God, and then insists you should prove He/She/It doesn’t exist.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.