Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
with Correspondent No 12
RESPONDENT: Some of the extremity of the communicative play I indulged in today is regretful to me and I apologize to anyone who chose to be offended.
I find I make that extreme expression when I am misinterpreted constantly; which has been the case on this list often.
I hate my words being played back to me selectively to prove the point that someone else wants to make.
Please do not play these words back to me; I find it offensive.
So; as I am not enjoying the list; as I am clearly in your eyes a spiritualist because I am in your eyes; and I am tired of being on the defensive about that; and tired of falling into inappropriate ways to make you see what you are doing; tired of me falling into the trap of wanting you to see anything; then for my own pleasure I am leaving again. Perhaps I will return. Bye.
PETER: Wow, you have been busy on the keyboard. You are one of the few people on the mailing list that I have met in person and also one of the few who have spent a good deal of time chatting with Richard, so I always find your posts interesting. The last time we met was after a head-to-head you had with Vineeto on the mailing list, and I remember you cheerily asked me if you had upset Vineeto. You then explained that you liked writing on mailing lists and ‘stirring the possum’, so to speak, therefore I understand your modus operandi on mailing lists – post and ‘flame’, sort of a cyber slash and burn policy.
But seriously, I do find it strange that none of what you are writing on the list has ever come out in our meetings or, as far as I know, in your meetings with Richard. Is this a sudden change of heart or has this been your feeling about Actual Freedom all along and you have only been playing possum? Does your offer of friendship in your last post (Sunday, 12.47 pm) include those like myself who you see as a ‘disciple’ , a ‘priest’ , a member of the ‘inner circle’ who is working on a ‘final solution’ for spiritualists, who is only 3% free compared to your 83% ... ? Is this ‘let’s be friends offer’ genuine or is it a ‘red-herring’ as the whole of the Seth postings apparently were?
As you are a self-confessed ‘flamer’, it is hard to know where you are coming from, what your point is, what your motive is, what is your interest in writing on The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, what was your interest in meeting Richard, etc.
Would you be interested in elaborating without your flaming stance?
Or are your posts merely an example of practicing ‘emotional release’ and ‘sharing’ such as was offered in Helmut Wolf’s workshop, ‘The Art of Emotional Freedom’ , that you were recently promoting on this List?
PETER: (...) As you are a self-confessed ‘flamer’, it is hard to know where you are coming from, what your point is, what your motive is, what is your interest in writing on an Actual Freedom mailing list, what was your interest in meeting Richard, etc. Would you be interested in elaborating without your flaming stance? Or are your posts merely an example of practicing ‘emotional release’ and ‘sharing’ such as was offered in Helmut Wolf’s workshop, ‘The Art of Emotional Freedom’, that you were recently promoting on this List?
RESPONDENT: Thanks for writing peter; and turning the theme around to friendship between two actual people; you and me; that has always been my top priority. I like it... I really, really, really like it that in this email of your you begin to ask me questions. You ask me questions. Wow!
PETER: You may have missed the fact that you continuously refuse to participate in any discussion on this list and continuously ignore any questions that are asked of you, exactly as you have done in this post. Richard’s last post to you included the following question –
which went unanswered. This is precisely the reason I asked where are you coming from, what is your point, what your motive is in writing? Again you failed to respond in this post so I guess you like being asked questions simply in order that you can ignore them and go ... ‘wow!’
RESPONDENT: Could we start again?
PETER: A good idea, except for the fact that it is a rhetorical question because you unsubscribed from the list within hours of sending me this post. Dashing out the door and slamming it behind you does rather leave me talking to thin air.
RESPONDENT: Do you recall you came to the Sannyas list and put out your stuff. Do you recall I wrote back words to the effect ‘Hey. I like your style. Let’s be friends’ you wrote back words to the effect ‘No, we cannot be friends, you are a disciple of Mr. Rajneesh (Your assumption, Peter); there is something you must learn first.’... Phew. I really, really imagined you would reply. Yes please. I like friendship. How come you are on this list?
But no; you proceed to TELL me why I am on this list.
PETER: Okay. I have looked back over our correspondence on the Sannyas Mailing List and found that you and I only had a brief exchange so it is easy to ascertain what is fact and what is your recollection.
Your first post to the list in general was entitled ‘Reference for Peter and Vineeto’ –
I then wrote to you
After an exchange of two more posts, my last post to you ended with the following –
This was the last correspondence I had with you on the Sannyas list, as you did not reply.
So your recollection of our last discussion –
... does seem to be a trifle wayward.
I am also curious that you say ‘could we start again?’ and then in the next sentence proceed to dredge up your fuzzy emotional recollection of a long past event – as distinct from the facts about our exchange. This is the ‘let’s wipe the slate clean ... but I just want to tell you that I haven’t forgotten that you hurt me in the past’ approach that is common to all relationships were the promise to ‘forgive and forget and start afresh’ is never kept. In normal human relationships there is inevitably a scorecard of emotional memories and past wounds that either build up to form an undercurrent of mutual resentment or are dusted off and waved under the other’s nose when ‘payback time’ comes. Thus it is that eventually each side learns to ‘play safe’ and be wary about what they say and how they say it, how much they expose and how honest they can be with the other for they always run the risk that whatever is said will be used against them later. ‘The right to remain silent’ is eventually seen as the best option and antipathies, compromises or accommodations naturally accumulate. Each side comes to have an increasing collection of ‘things that are not to be talked about’ and soon a strict limit is imposed on any mutual understanding that proves impossible to break.
Actual intimacy with others is impossible unless one has the courage and sense to break this cycle.
RESPONDENT: Yes; my communications are emotional catharsis. Every word had been me trying to mirror you and Vineeto. And it all fails dismally. Ok. Fine. I see now that it cannot work.
PETER: By your use of the words ‘trying to mirror’, I take it that you are justifying your emotional catharsis because you were only being a mirror of others. This is a very New-Agey psycho-spiritual approach to mitigate all sorts of emotional outbursts, behaviour and reactions whereby one’s catharsis – as in abreaction or emotional release – is justified in that ‘I am simply innocently reflecting back others completely misguided and unwarranted antagonism towards me’. Any relationship or friendship based on mutual mirroring is bound to be an emotional roller coaster of blame and recrimination, an emotional fight with the best ‘mirror-or’ winning or a dull and insipid affair based on mutual wariness.
The New Age cliché of mirroring is a way of avoiding taking responsibility for one’s own emotions – it is always the other and not me, it is always me mirroring the other’s anger – not me being angry and certainly not me doing anything to provoke, cause or instigate the reaction. It is a game ‘I’ play where ‘I’ always get off scot-free and ‘I’ can always falsely claim to be innocent and pure. The Gurus and God-men use a similar ploy when they say their anger is really a device to make the disciple wake up and I have seen this in action many a time.
Unless one is willing to take responsibility for being resentful, unhappy, moody, unkind, aggrieved, angry etc., then any relationship or friendship is doomed to fail or to be second-rate at best. Unless one deliberately sets about removing the debilitating effects one’s own emotional outbursts and reactions have on oneself, and on all of the people one interacts with, one will be forever forced into the belittling prospect of having to apologize ... after the harm is done. I always found having to apologize a degrading business for myself, and a futile exercise that did no good to redress the situation for the other.
It was my inability to always keep my emotions ‘under control’ such that I inevitably caused harm to others that attracted me to the proposition of being able to eliminate these automatic thoughtless malicious reactions.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps the offer of friendship is open. I respect you greatly. Anyone who manages to get out of Sannyas and all the spiritual conditioning and find living day to day pleasure with a woman I admire.
PETER: And yet you obviously don’t want it for yourself. When I met Richard I wanted to be how he was and was willing to do anything to achieve it.
When I previously looked on your website on 25th June, I found that you offer counselling in Spiritual Intimacy –
This does not sound like someone who has managed to get out of spiritual conditioning and yet all the while you have defiantly maintained a position on this mailing list that you are not spiritual ... in any way, shape or form.
When I asked you ‘where you were coming from, what your point is, what your motive is, what is your interest in writing on an Actual Freedom mailing list, what was your interest in meeting Richard’ and got no answer, I again checked your web-site.
You have since altered your website and now offer ‘Intimacy Coaching’ via email. Whichever way you phrase it, the advice you offer on your web-site is the very antithesis of the process I used – and that I described in my journal – to attain an intimacy with my fellow human beings which is why I find your admiration and respect a touch baffling.
The cure for feeling admiration and respect for others is to emulate them – this is the only practical way to eliminate feeling inferior to others.
RESPONDENT: I like your sense of aloneness I saw when I last met you in the cafe in Byron.
PETER: I have no idea what you saw or sensed the last time we met but if you liked it and want it for yourself the same comment I made above applies. Whatever you perceived and liked certainly was not the result of withdrawing from the world and ‘resting-in-self’ that you had advocated on your web-site in June.
You have since changed your web-site to omit any direct spiritual references but the gist of what you offer is very much in the psycho-spiritual tradition although you have yet to rework your section on aloneness yet. Changing names or editing style does not necessary change content or intent. Actual Freedom lies 180 degrees opposite to any form of affective/imaginary freedom, by whatever name.
Whatever you sensed or saw is partly the result of my getting ‘out of Sannyas and all the spiritual conditioning. ... which is an option freely available to you as well.
Why not have what you want and what you like? The only danger in actualism is that you will get much more than you bargained for ... or ever thought or imagined was possible. But that is what adventure is about.
RESPONDENT: But I do not like it that you have an agenda and you will use anything to prove it.
Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions. And that is tiring.
PETER: I am always upfront about my ‘agenda’ – I make no bones about what I am saying. I am frank, honest, open and sincere and I will use any facts I can to prove it. This is precisely why I have resurrected our previous conversations on the Sannyas list and re-posted them so that we can separate facts from assumption and allusion. This is also why I went to your web-site and posted your agenda – so that we can separate facts from assumption and allusion.
As you yourself wrote to me on the Sannyas mailing list –
RESPONDENT: Peter I am a human being. So are you. Period.
PETER: But there is a marked difference – the most pertinent to both your professional and personal interest may be the fact that I live with a woman in utter peace harmony, simply because ‘I’ dared to make it happen. I full-bloodedly took up the challenge that ‘if I couldn’t live with at least one other person in utter peace and harmony (... on my part!) then life on earth is indeed a sick joke.’
You may remember I wrote of my first meeting with Vineeto in my journal –
What serendipity to meet her ... but then again, life abounds with unnoticed, or easily dismissed, serendipitous events.
Serendipity is, after all, what happens when you take the opportunity that comes along.
And to finish, I will just dismiss any presumption that intimacy is only possible with others if both parties are willing to undertake a mutual contract such as Vineeto and I did. Whenever anyone is free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow they are able to be intimate with everyone they meets for the other is a fellow human being after all ... not an ally or an adversary in a perverse and bitter instinctual game of survival or avoidance.
PETER: I thought it might be appropriate to set the record straight with a few facts about the Actual Freedom Trust. You have obviously been very busy concocting your own fantasy about the Trust, what it is, how it came about and what its purpose is simply in order to then rile against your own fantasy.
When I first came across Richard in 1997 he had just completed a first draft of his journal. He explained he wanted to put into words his discovery of an unprecedented freedom from the current human condition on the planet. He had gone looking for a typewriter and ended up with a computer and had printed his journal on A4 paper in a loose-leaf binder. When I expressed interest in reading it he printed out a copy for me to take away the next time we met. Over the ensuing months he expanded some sections of the journal and would then change the pages in my loose-leaf binder.
One day I suggested to him that it might be a good idea to put his journal on the Web so that his discovery would be easily available for whoever was interested. He was initially taken aback but while in the process of setting it up, he started investigating the Web and discovered a few mailing lists that interested him. Soon he was drawn into writing on one of these lists and the unremitting objections he stirred up have subsequently formed the basis of much of the correspondence section of The Actual Freedom Trust website.
It became apparent to both Richard and I that in presenting Richard’s discovery to a vigorous and sometimes vitriolic public scrutiny, it was appropriate and sensible to do so under the umbrella of a legal statutory entity rather than as individuals. The web site operates as the Actual Freedom Trust web site and both Richard’s Journal and Peter’s Journal have been published in the name of the Trust with the printing costs funded by a private loan to the Trust by Vineeto. It was at Richard’s suggestion that we combine our writing on one web site so as to present both Actual Freedom and actualism – the method of becoming actually free, on the one comprehensive site. This also has the advantage of further debunking any of the Guru-follower nonsense that people will insist on imagining.
Contrary to your fantasy the Trust is nothing other than a legal entity – an entity established in most legal systems around the world for circumstances such as we found ourselves in when going public.
It was obvious to me during this time of going public that Richard was cautiously hesitant rather than passionately enthusiastic, which tended to be my role at the time. I understand his hesitancy in hindsight because the response has varied from apathy to summary dismissal, from utter denial to belligerent defensiveness, from stony silence to vehement vitriol. However, peace on earth is too great a prize to be muzzled under to instinctual fear and ancient superstition. As I recall it, the suggestion to establish a mailing list came from Alan and the Trust directors all thought it appropriate and timely that we had our own ‘home turf’ mailing list – a forum where we could freely and mutually explore the beliefs, conditionings and passions that have perennially prevented human beings being able to live together in anything remotely resembling utter peace and delight-filled harmony.
The only agenda that the Actual Freedom Trust has is peace on earth. There is no other.
Whenever Vineeto and I meet Richard for a coffee or lunch, the talk is more often than not about computers and occasionally we pick his brain about his experiences in becoming free of the human condition or making sense of some aspect of the human condition. Everything that he says has usually been already written on the Web-site and said far better in words than in conversation, which is why it is far more fruitful to read his written words to get an understanding of Actual Freedom. Any attempt to make him into a Guru has always failed and always will fail because he is neither a Guru, nor a teacher. In my university days I awoke to the fact that there is a vast difference between a teacher of principles, concepts and ideals and a pioneering practitioner in the market place, something that stood me in good stead later in my spiritual years. Anyone who bothers to read of Richard’s experiences and discoveries would eventually come to recognize the words of a pioneering practitioner in the market place and not those of a head-in-the-clouds spiritual teacher.
Just another anecdote for the record. You may not have noticed but at the top of The Actual Freedom Trust website it says ‘a new, non-spiritual, down-to-earth freedom’. After reading and understanding the evolutionary nature of what Richard was saying I suggested he add the words ‘new, non-spiritual’ as a subtitle to the words Actual Freedom. After Richard read my Journal, he suggested further adding the words ‘down-to-earth’. Not that this clear forewarning discourages the plagiarists who are now frantically trying to make money or gain cheap kudos by pinching the words, spiritualizing them or vainly attempting to give their spiritual beliefs some credence by sprinkling the odd phrase in with their gobbledygook. Yet these same plagiarists, by failing to make the effort to thoroughly read and understand what is written on The Actual Freedom Trust Website, only serve to shoot themselves in the foot.
As a journalist who appears to have a passionate interest in the Actual Freedom Trust, I thought you might like to know some more facts about the Trust from another director ... just to set the record straight.
The only agenda that The Actual Freedom Trust has is peace on earth. There is no other.
PETER: You recently wrote to the list –
RESPONDENT: Guess those of us who love and enjoy ourselves just as we are in this multi-faceted human condition that has no exit (and thus is our liberation) might post something every now and then I for one reached the end of my tolerance limit to the game of ‘We know and you don’t’ but in case anybody is interested the resentments I held about that superior position taken by Peter and Vineeto and to some extent by Richard since our very first interactions are dissolving (i am not seeking interaction or aid in that process thankyou very much) and would almost consider soon adding my bit again to the ongoing examination anyway Vineeto, Peter. I would love to bury old hatchets and start again. Richard’s insights are amazing and since I have absorbed and understood and activated their essence (as perceived by me) I find more and more ability in me to be free – as I am.
PETER: You then wrote to me specifically asking a question –
RESPONDENT: How did you arrive at your belief that No 22 believes ‘he is the creator of all that is, i.e. God-on-earth’?
PETER: As I was finishing writing a reply to your question, you then posted the following to No 22 –
RESPONDENT: At current; I am actually motivated by an interest in the workings of the mind of an actualist (in this case Peter). I have detected a huge propensity in the past on their (and in this case his) part to – in reporting the belief of other people (in this case you; and in many, many past cases myself) – to extrapolate and interpolate without explanation from the actual communication of the other; and seeming without awareness of their doing so. They misinterpret heavily; and in my judgment that tendency to misinterpret displays much malice on their part. <Snip>
... until I detect that Richard and Peter and Vineeto are capable of the same degree of discernment as I am capable of, I have no reason at all to imagine or acknowledge or respect any claim from either or all of them – should they make such a claim – that they are any more free of delusion than ‘the man in the street’, or me, or Osho, or you No 22, or ... Mr. Ed, the talking horse. <Snip>
I will wait for a reply – if any – from Peter. And it is of little concern to me if he chooses not to reply. Perhaps he will reply along the lines of ... on such and such a date No. 22 wrote to the list ‘I, No 22, am the creator of all that is, i.e. God-on-earth’. If Peter can supply such an unsullied reply I would reply to Peter ‘thankyou for the clarification’... however I suspect he cannot provide any such indication that his claim to be reporting your belief rests in fact.
Even if he were to provide a direct quote from you along the lines of ‘I, No 22, have direct access to the source of the creation of all that is, i.e. God on-earth’ (and I do not intend to imply you would make such a claim j; although you are free to, with my respect for such); I would reply to Peter along the lines of ‘thankyou; now could you explain how you arrived at your stated belief about what No 22 believes; given that his stated belief is in fact divergent from your reporting of his belief.
PETER: From the way you have announced your intention as to how you intend to pursue this conversation it is clear that posting the response I have written will only elicit your pre-prepared rebuttal, so I have ditched my response to your question.
These type of it’s-only-your-belief exchanges only leads to the usual ‘my belief is better than, or more true than, your belief’ battles, or the ‘I have a right to my beliefs’ offended response, or the pre-conditional ‘I will respect your beliefs as long as you respect mine’ or the duplicitous ‘I will be tolerant of your beliefs as long as you are tolerant of my beliefs ... but if you’re not tolerant, look out!’
If you want to play poker, t’is best not to reveal your hand before the other plays his.
PETER: Speaking personally, it’s so good to be free of belief. It is essential to understand that to become actually free, one needs to become free from the very act of believing ... otherwise one only ends up believing that one is free. This is the very crux of Richard’s trailblazing discovery – that there is actual freedom from the human condition available which lies beyond the Self-centred feeling of freedom that is typified by an altered state of consciousness. The problem for spiritual seekers who have had an altered state of consciousness experience, or Satori, is that they jealousy guard their secret – the secret being that they have been specially chosen by God to receive His or Her message or to be a ‘hollow bamboo’ through which the energy of He or She or It flows.
It is not easy to abandon spiritual belief because most people see the only alternative as going back to grim reality, back to the real-world. This is most definitely not what is being offered in actualism. What is on offer is a road-tested practical method of becoming free of the instinctual passions that are very the cause of all human malice and sorrow. This way one doesn’t need to change the world, nor hide from the world, nor continually have to stoke up the feeling of being free. This way one avoids the calenture of stepping out of the real world reality and becoming God-like, God-realized or God-aligned – the traditional trap that has sabotaged all the previous well-meaning efforts to find actual freedom, peace and happiness.
I noticed in the first of your posts that I quoted you also said –
I can only suggest that you read Richard’s descriptions of becoming free of the institutionalized insanity of Enlightenment and take his words literally – at face value – rather than as you perceive them to mean. By doing so, you may begin to understand and comprehend what is on offer on this mailing list – an actual down-to-earth freedom in the world-as-it-is, with people as-they-are, which lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction from the spiritual feeling of freedom in an imaginary other-than-physical world.
I fully acknowledge that breaking free of spiritual belief is not an easy thing to do. Actualism seems like madness, which it is from a real-world perspective. Actualism feels like going completely in the wrong direction, which it is from a spiritual-world perspective. My attitude at the start was that I had checked out both worlds thoroughly and neither cut the muster – nowhere was genuine peace and harmony to be found in either world.
I just figured I had nothing left to lose by checking out something brand-new.
I had better stop here because I can write all night singing the benefits of actualism – a naive enthusiasm and joie de vivre that has often been scornfully dismissed as the proselytising of a disciple or the parroting of a clone. Personally, I have no problem at all in being a happy and harmless clone – it sure beats the hell out of being normally human or becoming spiritually divine.
But I would like to leave you with a fresher-than-I-can-write description of both the very real difficulties and the very tangible rewards of dismantling one’s own much-cherished spiritual beliefs –
PETER: In a recent post you posted the following –
RESPONDENT: Hi Peter; I scanned your reproduction of what I had sent to the list; and indeed it appears to be an accurate return of what I expressed. Thank you so far.
Although in your return you have edited out one sentence – ‘I would love to bury old hatchets and start again.’ It does seem from this post that your love has already waned a touch.
RESPONDENT: It is what I have been looking for from you for some years. Reporting of my words as mine; and yours as yours. Let us see how we proceed from here shall we? How is the weather in Byron? Harmless? Here in Sydney it is harmlessly, without malice or sorrow, grey and raining today. I will colour my today’s texts in teal.
PETER: I find this a very astute observation.
Contrary to popular belief, the weather is never angry – clouds do not get pissed off, lighting is not a sign of God’s anger, rain does not deliberately rain on anyone’s parade so as to ruin their day. Grey days are not Mother Earth’s way of spreading melancholy, nor are sunny days calculated to perk up the down-at-heart. Only human beings have the ability to project their own feelings on to inanimate objects thus completely missing the astounding wonder and extraordinariness of this physical world we all live in.
Likewise human beings project their own feelings on to animals, fondly imaging that they have the same capability. They also project their own feelings on to their fellow human beings, thereby imagining or intuiting all sorts of evils, fears, desires and intentions. This continual projection fuels the psychic and psychological battle for survival that now substitutes for the physical battle for survival for many who live in societies where comfort and abundance is the norm.
The weather may be without malice and sorrow, but the human species certainly is not ... yet.
PETER: You then wrote to me specifically asking a question –
How did you arrive at your belief that No 22 believes he is the creator of all that is, i.e. God-on-earth?
RESPONDENT: I did. And I am still interested in seeing how you approach an answer to such questioning.
PETER: Do you mean things such as style, tactic, slant, attitude, method, etc? Well, I sat down at the keyboard and wrote a reply that directly answered your question and then went on to give some more information about the topic, as I am apt to do, because this list is about sharing information about the world we find ourselves living in.
From the feedback I have received, some people on the list do consider the substance of what I write, check it out against their own experience and then make up their own minds as to whether it makes sense or not. Others report that they choose not to read, which is entirely their own business.
PETER: As I was finishing writing a reply to your question, you then posted the following to No 22 –
RESPONDENT: ah... not a direct approach I see ... but through some other words of mine ... ok...
PETER: A touch nitpicking, perhaps?
PETER: From the way you have announced your intention as to how you intend to pursue this conversation it is clear that posting the response I have written will only elicit your pre-prepared rebuttal, so I have ditched my response to your question.
RESPONDENT: Oh. Then, Peter, might I ask: How did you arrive at your belief that No. 22 believes he is the creator of all that is, i.e. God-on-earth?
PETER: Well, let’s assume for the moment that I provide a direct quote from No. 22 which illustrates the fact that No 22 believes he is the creator of all that is – by common definition, God, by whatever name. Then, as you said you would, you then reply along the lines of –
I simply ditched my answer so as to not waste everybody’s time on the list having to wade through my reply and your pre-prepared rebuttal.
It is impossible for a fixed mind to learn anything new.
RESPONDENT: I will read whatever you wrote below your refusal to come clean with your ‘mind-manipulatory games’ (my judgment) after you reply adequately to my question; which; has, as you state, been clearly presented, along with my intention.
PETER: Thus spoke No 12.
RESPONDENT: My intention in short is to assist in the cult-busting of actualism. That is because in my perception you, Peter of Byron, are immersed in a ‘mini-cult’ after managing to extricate yourself from a larger one. I surmise this from – amongst other indicators – the fact that you always react to what I write, with an indignant re-statement of your self-perceived authority to declare with finality what is actual and what is not.
PETER: Cult-busting hey. Well, this is encouraging news.
The objectors to actualism are progressing by leaps and bounds.
When I first came across Richard he had just finished writing his journal – the first-ever account of actualism and an actual freedom from the human condition. Some months later he started writing on a mailing list notching up all sorts of objections including ‘being a Guru without a following’. The next year I wrote the first-ever account of becoming virtually free of malice and sorrow and then Vineeto and I began writing on mailing lists only to be accused of being disciples of a Guru. A few years and a few million words later, we now have a well-catalogued website, and a flourishing mailing list.
In one of No. 8’s latest objections she has had to expand her list of actualists to include a few more people and suddenly we are a cult – albeit a mini-cult, as you rightly observed. Thus a one-man show has now grown to cult status in a only a few years. Given this exponential growth, the mini-cult will in due course become a full-blown cult and then we would have a whole lot of people being happy and harmless.
Eventually things could really get out of hand and equanimity, fellowship and co-operation would gradually replace suspicion, competition and conflict in many parts of the world. Over the years, lawyers, courts, police and armies would slowly but surely become a thing of the dark past of history. Religion and superstition would wilt and expire for want of customers as it became increasingly hopeless trying to sell the notion that peace on earth is unattainable as more and more humans began to directly experience the already existing peace on earth.
As the years tick by, the cult-busters will fight a recalcitrant rear-guard battle but their cause will be hopelessly hampered by suspicion, competition and conflict – the very characteristics of the same outmoded human condition they desperately desire to preserve.
Ultimately altruism will emerge triumphant and perfect peace and harmonial happiness will prevail but should it not, for whatever reason, we alliterative actualists will have unreservedly lived life to the full – free of malice and sorrow.
As you yourself observed, there is no malice and sorrow in the actual world – in clouds, rain, sunshine, trees, grass. The feeling of malice and the feeling of sorrow only exist in the heads and hearts of human beings and a way has now been discovered to eliminate it. If you are sincere in having absorbed and understood Richard’s insights, I am befuddled as to why you would want to devote your life to busting the cult of the happy and harmless. It is as futile an exercise as being angry at the rain or feeling sad while watching a sunset.
PETER: Just to follow this most interesting thread a wee bit further –
RESPONDENT No 22 to No 12 : If I may please, do you find it a reasonable to imagine there is some-thing called mind? And more if you will, do you find it reasonable to imagine a some-thing called ‘peter’ that might be the owner of said mind?
RESPONDENT to No 22: Phew. Now you are getting deep. Um. I do find it reasonable to imagine there is some-thing called mind. It seems to me a good working approximation descriptive-formulation of the actual. Certainly such an imagining – that mind is a something that exists – can be discussed utilising logic and as such surely is inherently ‘reasonable’... the imagining (delusion?) can be ‘proved’ to be part of the actual, via the use of reason... thus it is reasonable.
Could it be perhaps that to acknowledge the fact that a flesh and blood body called Peter – the wearer of the ugg boots in the enclosed picture – does in fact exist, would then put you at odds with one of your fellow cult-busters who has to imagine that I exist ... as well as having to imagine that human beings actually suffer.
I can see your reluctance to argue a position one way or the other ... to ‘leave the suggestion lying’. To agree with No 22 and follow his line of thinking would lead to being completely dissociated from reality as in ‘everything is unreal, man’, which could well lead into full-blown solipsism as in ‘Only I exist’. If, however, you pursued your line of thinking as per your post to Richard with sufficient intellectual vigour, it could well lead to the destruction of all of your spiritual other-worldly beliefs, which could lead on to ...
I do understand your dilemma for it is similar to the one that I faced a few years ago.
I was literally at a crossroad in my life when I came across actualism. The choice was both simple and clear. Do I stay on the spiritual path despite my misgivings, despite my doubt, despite the obvious failings and flaws I had seen and experienced? Turning back completely to the real-world was not an option for I had abandoned grim reality years before going off on the spiritual path. And the comfortably numb, Sunday-only type of spirituality never sat well with me – that half-half, foot in each camp, existence typified by such psittacisms as ‘be in the world but not of it’ or ‘take your meditation into the market place’. So I decided that the best thing to do was adopt a not-knowing position and I sat and very attentively listened to what Richard was saying, read and re-read his journal and correspondence in order to understand what actualism was.
I became sufficiently curious as to what was on offer to twist my mind around from being defensive of the traditional path and asked myself the question – what if Richard is right and everyone else, up until now, has got it wrong? What if there isn’t really a spirit-ual world? What if it is all a gigantic imaginary construct – born of ancient myths, legends and fairy stories and given credence by the universal capacity of human beings to indulge in passionate imagination? What if the venerated state of Enlightenment really is narcissism run amok – a massive delusion?
From the point of view of ‘who’ I was back then when I came across actualism, it required me to ‘suspend disbelief’ to even consider these questions, because I was so convinced that what I, and everyone else on the planet, believed to be true was the truth, a fact, and not a belief. How could the much-vaunted Wisdom of the Ages not be a fact?
This ages-old wisdom has it that there are two dimensions to the world we live in – the material and the spiritual. Thus the ancients believed that there is the real earthly world and there is a spiritual world, i.e. the world we human beings live in is dualistic by its very nature. There is life here on earth and then there is life after death. There is good fighting evil and there is right opposed to wrong. There are human bodies but there are also human spirits or souls inside these bodies. This scenario has it that a human being has only two fundamental choices – make the best of grim reality or believe in a Greater Reality.
How could I dare to question this world-view when everybody, but everybody, held this world-view? But the more I thought about it and the more I remained open to the possibility that everybody, collectively, has got it wrong, the more it explained why peace on earth between human beings would never ever eventuate.
I began to see something I had seen as a teenager – the basic flaw in all religious/spiritual belief is whose God is the only right and true God and/or which scriptures or teachings are really, really the Truth. I began to see that my continuing to hold on to any other-worldly beliefs meant that I would never be able to be free from the human condition – I would always be stuck with having to uphold and defend my beliefs while being reluctantly tolerant of the beliefs of others.
I began to see that a ‘reluctant tolerance’ of others and their beliefs was the best that human beings could ever hope for as a substitute for a genuine unfettered peace on earth. I began to see that to remain embroiled in my own selfish search for an inner peace or to believe in a God or God-man who personally granted me the reward of a peace after death in return for my abiding faith and unquestioning loyalty was but to conspire in maintaining the status quo.
I began to see the madness of this two-world view and I began to see that I had been socially conditioned to believe that ‘this was the way it is because this is the way it has always been so this is the way it will always be’. I also began to see that we humans, being an animal species, are genetically programmed by blind nature to instinctually fight it out with each other simply in order that the strongest and most brutish will survive – come what may.
This type of clear-eyed seeing can only occur when ‘I’, with all of my myopic self-centred thoughts and genetically-encoded self-ish feelings, briefly step aside and let thinking happen by itself. These seeings or realizations can build incrementally until a brief spontaneous collapse of the whole construct of one’s ‘self’-centred thinking and feeling can occur. Provided ‘I’ don’t immediately leap in and claim this clear thinking and direct sensate experiencing as ‘mine’, then a pure-conscious, sensate-only experience of the paradisiacal actual world we human beings live in can occur. Richard has coined the term pure consciousness experience, or PCE, for this brief experience of self-lessness in order to make a clear distinction between this pure pristine experience and the spiritual/religious narcissistic Self-centred experience when ‘I’ claim the experience as ‘mine’.
It is this pure consciousness experience, or PCE, that then becomes an actualist’s own touchstone for the work that needs to be done when the temporary experience abates.
The information gleaned from a PCE is invaluable but by no means precious, because the experience is available to everybody and anybody, there being ample evidence that everybody has had at least one PCE at some stage in their life. The common, universal mistake thus far has been to regard these experiences as precious – most usually as a personal sign from some divine entity or life-force especially for ‘me’, typified by the expression the ‘Chosen Ones’ or the feeling ‘I am the One’. It is only by demolishing his or her own spiritual beliefs that an actualist can become sufficiently aware and capable so as to not make a PCE precious or personal.
In a pure consciousness experience, thinking happens by itself, unimpeded by ‘me’, and the world we humans all live in can be clearly experienced and understood for what it is – meaning is unambiguously perceptible in the bountiful pristine sensuousness of the non-inertness of the physical universe. In a PCE, a temporary experience of being free from the human condition, it is clearly seen that it is only ‘I’ who stand in the way of the meaning of life becoming apparent.
There is clearly no place for ‘me’ in the pure and perfect actual physical world for ‘I’, by my very ethereal, non-physical nature, am forever doomed to be an alien, an outsider forever seeking to feel connected to this physical-only world. ‘I’ am also fated to feel an alien from other similarly alien entities and the best ‘I’ can conjure up is a need-felt feeling of love for some or a grandiose feeling of Union with some mythical Whole – none of which can ever satisfy ‘my’ insatiable craving.
The work to be done in a PCE is to root around while clear thinking is happening so as to re-wire one’s brain from the previously entrenched pattern of thoughtless belief. Equally important is to delight in the pure and perfect sensuousness of a PCE so as to fully understand that, while the experience is indeed other-worldly from the world of grim reality, the PCE is in fact a direct sensate-only experience of this actual physical world we humans live in and have always lived in.
It is vital to remember and experience that an actual freedom is not only non-spiritual but it is down-to-earth. It is the very down-to-earth sensuousness experienced in a PCE that prevents an actualist from being sucked into self-delusion or suckered into self-aggrandizement. The information gleaned from a PCE – clear thinking coupled with the magic of sensuous non-affective experiencing – afterwards serves as a touchstone, both as a guiding light and an anchor, throughout the oft alarming and disconcerting process of ‘self’-immolation.
In a pure consciousness experience it is readily apparent that peace on earth already exists and has always existed – it is only ‘me’ who stands in the way. In a PCE, it is clearly seen that ‘I’ am but a social construct, the sum total of all that I have been taught to believe by my parents and peers – which in turn was passed on to them by those who were here on the planet before them, and so on, back into the dark mists of time. It is also clearly seen that ‘I’ have also been programmed by blind nature to instinctually fight for ‘my’ survival, come what may. This program is chemical in nature – all of ‘my’ passions and precious feelings are but the result of the flow of hormonal substances through this flesh and blood body, which are then inevitably interpreted as a feeling instinctual ‘me’.
(Editorial note: This above assertion by feeling-being ‘Peter’ is at odds with what ‘he’ wrote in the Actual Freedom Library: “The arising of instinctually-sourced feelings produces a hormonal chemical response in the body, which can lead to the false assumption that they are actual.” The Actual Freedom Trust Library, Affective Feelings
This ‘me’ is no ordinary chimera, for its roots lies deep within and its elimination requires far, far more than a mere change of identity – it requires the extinction of all of one’s instinctual identity. This instinctual identity is brute animal in nature and its elimination requires nerves of steel lest one does only half the job and falls for the traditional instinctual trap of transcending the savage beast so as to become a Divine and all-Loving Being.
This is why it is vitally important for an actualist to steadfastly and diligently go about his or her own moment-to-moment, day-to-day, in-the-market-place, business of unearthing and demolishing all skerrick of imbibed belief as well as experientially investigating the direct cause-and-effect role that the instinctual passions have in generating malice and sorrow in one’s own psyche. It is a thrilling investigation that requires only one method – the on-going investigation of one’s own psyche in action.
The method is devastatingly simple and ruthlessly efficient – you ask yourself the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ Both the social ‘I’ and the instinctual ‘me’ will be incrementally exposed to the bright light of awareness and, as one’s awareness becomes increasingly freed from ‘my’ demands and ‘my’ cunning, one can eventually become virtually free of all of one’s social conditioning and virtually free of all of one’s instinctual passions that are the root cause of one’s malice and sorrow.
Unless one is willing and eager to make this level of ‘self’-sacrifice then ‘self’-immolation will remain forever an other-worldly escapist dream. One will yearn to be actually free but one shall have not done the day-to-day, get down and get dirty, work to have earned it.
But I’ve progressed too far down the track because I started off talking about being at the crossroads – at the very start, as it were. All of this process I have described can only happen if someone who serendipitously comes across actualism is ready and willing to ‘suspend disbelief’ as it were – to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, everybody has got it wrong. That – through no fault of anyone’s – I have been ‘sold a dummy’, spun a tale, led up the garden path, been hoodwinked, and that – through no fault of mine – I believed it, fell for it hook, line and sinker.
The dummy, or falsehood, being that mother of all beliefs – ‘You can’t change human nature’.
‘Why can’t I become free of the human condition – in toto?’
There was an intrinsic dare in actualism that ultimately proved irresistible.
RESPONDENT: You are friendly this morning. wot happened?
PETER: It may have escaped your notice but I am always friendly nowadays. As for the humour, there is nothing more hilarious than to have a full-blown solipsist debating with a would-be solipsist as to whether they imagine that I exist as a tangible, flesh and blood, some-thing. Should I perhaps next send authenticated toe-nail cuttings?
Being an actualist is a hoot.
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.