Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
with Correspondent No 13
PETER: Nice to hear from you and your interest in these matters.
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your words of encouragement ... (for personal peace and ‘peace-on-earth’) ... do you know anyone, (other than Richard), who has achieved, actual freedom permanently?
PETER: No. When I first met Richard I soon twigged that what he was on about was an actual peace that was already existing – and has always existed – in the actual world. This seemed so blindingly obvious and something I had always suspected and had glimpses of in Pure Consciousness Experiences. Surely others had seen it, were writing of it and living it? I spent about 3 months digging into both conventional wisdom and spiritual wisdom and found zilch. ‘Normal’ real world wisdom is that needs to be normally neurotic – bound by confused and conflicting morals and ethics, controlling one’s instinctual passions within tolerable limits and blindly fulfilling one’s instinctual and societal obligations as best one can. Generally it all works pretty well – except for all the wars, rapes, murders, tortures, corruption, suicides, etc. and people are quite often happy. Spiritual wisdom is that life on earth is an ‘unsatisfactory’ experience or that human suffering is essential in the Grand Scheme of things and that personal peace is to be realized by living as a God in a higher metaphysical ‘other world’.
Real world wisdom is that ‘you can’t change human nature’ – you just have to make the best of it. Spiritual wisdom is that ‘you can’t change human nature’ – you just have to transcend it and find your Divine Nature.
All I found was evidence of a trail of human investigation, experimentation and effort over millennia but inevitably the instinctual drive of the parasitical alien entity ‘self’ to stay in existence lead to altered states of consciousness and not a permanent freedom from one’s ‘self’. Personally, I found this wonderfully challenging, exciting and freeing as it lead to an understanding of why, after all the past efforts, peace on earth had not happened and could not happen. It meant I was able to do something about my personal peacefulness – being happy and harmless – and in doing so prove that peace on earth was possible. Being the first, sixth, sixtieth or six thousandth is irrelevant when it is your own peace that is at stake.
I just didn’t want to miss the bus that serendipitously arrived at my doorstep ...
P.S. – U.G. Krishnamurti seems to have arrived at some state ‘beyond Enlightenment’ but he doesn’t know how he got there, claims he is a sport of nature and doesn’t seem to fully enjoy being alive. Even the not-yet-permanent 99.9% perfection of Virtual Freedom seems far, far better than his state as he describes it.
RESPONDENT: Intellectually I believe it through PCEs over many years ... the intellectual jig-saw puzzle is 100% complete ... with the sense that it is 100% ‘true’ and 100% ‘correct’... but I need to go further in an experiential way.
PETER: Just a point of clarification. A PCE is direct experience of the perfection of the actual world when, for a brief period, the ‘self’ is in temporary abeyance. It is only because there is no emotional memory of the experience that one intellectualizes it afterwards. My experience is that by employing honesty and rigorous recall one can remember the sensate-only experience. What I did was write about the sensate experiences whenever they occurred and jot down any insights I had at the time to look at later, when I returned to ‘normal’. This is particularly important if you haven’t anyone to talk to about your experiences and the Actual Freedom mailing list may be useful in this respect. PCEs are definitely not ‘sacred’ but they can be sufficiently rare as to not want to waste them, forget them or dismiss them. After all, the unabashed, naïve and explicit aim of an actualist is to live the PCE, 24 hrs. a day, every day.
RESPONDENT: I believe and know one must one give up both physically and psychically the things one ‘loves’ to be free of ‘love’s’ neediness? ‘I’ love the security of my ego, wife, home and family and ‘I’ also hate the cost of security which is to live in a lone, beautiful, wonderful and great gilded cage ... which is a kind of lone, beautiful, wonderful and great existence. Can perfection get even better?
PETER: One of the major aspects of the path to Actual Freedom is that one’s relationship to other people undergoes a radical and fundamental change. For me, the key to having the courage to change and break free of the emotional bonds, ties, demands and restrictions was in the seeing that I was doing exactly the same to the other person(s) involved. All 6 billion people are living their lives through other people, trying to change others to suit themselves, blaming others for causing their unhappiness, doing deals and favours, placing physical and emotional demands on others rather than live their own lives as autonomous human beings. The remarkable discovery, as one ceases this nonsense, is that one then is able to regard and treat all as fellow human beings without placing demands on the other. It was the freeing of others of the burden of ‘me’ that was the clue for me – which gets back to the harmless bit of happy and harmless. Once deciding that this is one’s priority then one sensibly, methodically and patiently does whatever is appropriate to realize one’s goal in life.
RESPONDENT: I, (this body), has left the marriage and the things I love many times but we reunite to enjoy the fruits of our life together ... of less than 100% companionship, less than 100% intimacy. I want 100% actual freedom ... 100% actual intimacy... and I know the cost is 100% high ... and believe the rewards are 100% great. Any comments about gambling?
The other realization was that the current Western fashionable interest in ‘spirituality’ I was involved in was a mere blimp on the history of Eastern religious pursuit. Literally billions had been pursuing Buddhism, Hinduism and the like for thousands of years and there are few more serious or intense devotees than the millions of Buddhists monks who devote their entire adult lives to meditation and ‘right’ thinking. And for what result – rampant narcissism, appalling poverty, stifling repression, entrenched ignorance, endemic corruption, debilitating theocracies, insidious sexism, etc.
Oh, and a few new God-men every now and again, to keep the system going.
I saw I was senselessly pissing into the wind – gambling my life away – all for my own ‘self’ interest. The odds are steep but becoming a God on Earth is the grandest of prizes. So, when the spiritual balloon finally popped for me – and I had already found the real world less than fulfilling – I figured I had ‘nothing left to lose’, which is the title I chose for my journal cover.
If you have ‘nothing left to lose’ then the path to Actual Freedom is a cinch. I firstly made it the most important thing to do in my life – numero uno ambition. I still worked, did all my normal daily things and most definitely did not retreat from the world as it is. Running the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ the method that allows you complete freedom to maintain normal life while cleaning yourself up on the way. This involved occasional adjustments or betterments to normal life but the actual changes are internal – to the brain’s programming.
The process is one of self-immolation, and personally I found the ridding myself of my social identity easy. I had already chopped and changed from normal to spiritual, had moved to different places, had different groups of friends, etc. so to extricate myself from the mess was not overly difficult. It did mean abandoning my spiritual friends who all stubbornly kept insisting that life on earth is a miserable experience. The business of replacing belief with fact was one of fascinating discovery, and the replacing of right and wrong, good and bad with silly and sensible was wonderfully liberating. The instinctual levels were a bit more of a ‘new territory’ as one is abandoning Humanity – in defiance of the genetically-encoded instinctual program that makes ‘me’ one of the species – but no emotional scars or memories whatsoever remain of what were, on occasions, ‘interesting’ experiences.
It’s been 2 ½ years now since I first came across Actual Freedom and the results are stunning. As one demolishes one’s self the actual world of purity and perfection becomes increasingly apparent and obvious – for it is always here, happening right now.
It is an amazing thing to journey into one’s own psyche and rewire one’s own brain ... and to experience the effects that result.
PETER: I did enjoy the opportunity to write to someone who is enthusiastic about Actual Freedom. It is surprisingly rare and I am still amazed at the scarcity of people who are interested in becoming happy and harmless and at the stubbornness of the opposition to the proposition. Those dearly-held beliefs are indeed dearly held and moral and ethical righteousness stifles any chance of clear assessment of the Human Condition.
RESPONDENT: I have just read Richards book ‘Actual Freedom’ and now realize that I have been deluded for many years ... while trying to avoid guru-worship, it now seems I have been chasing an enlightened state of bliss or Love ... akin to being filled by a Holy Spirit...
PETER: Yes, for me a significant turning point was the understanding that Eastern Spiritualism is nothing other than Eastern Religion. The core of spiritual/ religious belief is of a Divine Entity, or Spirit or Energy or Love, which is the Source, or Creator, or Sustainer of all that is Good, or True or Right and one only needs to ‘tap’ into this by prayer, devotion, surrender and one’s soul, or spirit, or ‘true self’ will be guaranteed a ticket to a blissful after-life. As I wrote recently – ‘The current New Dark Age fashion for Eastern religious belief as opposed to Western religious belief has all but run its course. The more strict and inane of the practices and ancient wisdom has been watered down into ethical and moral values that are but a mirror of Western morals and ethics. The practice of meditation – sitting silently and hiding from the world as-it-is – is but an escape from the ‘real’ world into an ‘inner’ world where imagination and fantasy can run riot. One is extolled to abandon sensible thought, surrender one’s will to a Divine energy or entity, and trust one’s feelings. Giving full reign to one’s ‘good’ instinctual passions while ignoring and denying the ‘bad’ has led to nothing other than an endless stream of human beings who believe themselves to be God-realized or God on earth. These primitive beliefs must be abandoned if one is to move on to tackle the elimination of instinctual passions.’
One of the major by-products of religious or spiritual belief is the instilling and adopting of moral and ethical values. Then, every person, every event and every thing is judged as being good or bad or right or wrong. One needs to abandon these values and foolish, self-ish judgments in order to see the world as-it-is, and you as-you-are, with clear eyes. One is then able to judge or discern or assess on the basis of silly or sensible – a far more valuable and freeing criteria than accepting the morals and ethics of other, usually long dead, people.
As a bit of an aside, I watched a program on instincts the other night and it was reporting on some of the current research of the chemical nature of instinctual passions and their source in the amygdala. However, the whole of the program was slanted in moral and ethical psittacisms – we had the ‘good’ instincts and the ‘bad’ instincts, the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ behaviour. Science was confirming ‘evil’ so we had to be ‘good’ and not lose ‘control’. I still remember watching a scientists say ‘we can’t do what is best, we have to do what is ‘good’’ when talking of the opportunity to eradicate genetically-inherited diseases and deformities.
The astounding opportunity offered by Actual Freedom is that one can be the best and not settle for being ‘good’ by eliminating the instinctual passions that give rise to malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: ‘My’ delusion was thinking ‘my’ intelligence to be real love... which has resulted in ‘my’ sense of Aloneness for many years...
PETER: My experience of this sense of Aloneness that I had in my spiritual years was that is was accompanied by a smug, self-centred feeling of superiority that cut me off and isolated me even further from the ‘real’ world – which is the point of being spiritual, now that I look back on it. It was only when I had an Altered State of Consciousness or Satori that I realized how removed I would be in Enlightenment – and how Alone. No wonder the Enlightened Ones desperately need Love and people to worship them.
RESPONDENT: One PCE in 1976 which lasted for a few hours was actually ‘only’ tantalizing Enlightenment... Divine Love. An extraordinary and powerful phantom that only fades to nothing but memories.
PETER: For an actualist is it essential, vital and critical to make the distinction between an ASC and a PCE. If you had an experience that was ‘tantalizing Enlightenment’, it was an ASC – an Altered State of Consciousness – whereby one’s consciousness or identity shifts to becoming the feeling experience of the universe, thus one feels Love, Divinity, Wholeness, Unity – one feels oneself to be Godly. This is most definitely not a PCE – a Pure Consciousness Experience. The only similarity is that one gets a glimpse of something other than the real world – in an ASC one gets to see a golden, glowing, self-fulfilling and self-aggrandizing dream world with you at the centre of it all. All seems an illusion including one’s body, as the heart literally bulges from the chest and poetic and loving thoughts surge through one’s brain. Yea, I’ve been there and done that, and it sucks. What alarmed me most was that I would end up yet another God-man which is the inevitable result of becoming Enlightened.
RESPONDENT: I particularly liked the way Richard explained AF as being like a blind man who has his other senses heightened... as if our energy is concentrated when appropriately focused or perhaps when our inner conflicts are not allowed to detract from the purity of the moment...???
PETER: My experience of the sensate-only experience of the PCE is that there is no psychological or psychic entity whatsoever inside this flesh and blood body. There is no ‘I’ being ‘focused’ or thinking rightly or concentrating on the senses. There is no inner conflict for there is no ‘inner’ at all. With no ‘inner’ there is then no ‘outside’ to experience as feeling separate from or feeling at-one with. All affective, self-centred feeling disappears as if by magic as do all self-centred neurotic thoughts. One is able to think, and my thoughts are usually one of amazement at the physical, magical fairy-tale like universe. The contemplation upon the fact that we sit somewhere on of a huge lump of rock that hurtles through space orbiting around a sun that gives life to plants and animals, that there are cycles like days, seasons, tides, life-cycles, that there are land masses, oceans, mountains, rivers, snow, rain, that the universe is infinite and eternal and that it is all happening right here, in this very moment. The senses are literally on stalks, imbibing the sensory input from all that is happening around – and we can see it, smell it, hear it taste it and touch it and we are made of the same stuff as all around. There is no separateness, rather one is directly and sensually intimate with everyone and everything. In the PCE one is literally the universe experiencing itself as a human being for there is no self, and definitely no Self, as an entity inside the body affectively experiencing an outer world – let alone passionately imagining an inner world.
The other thing that is startlingly obvious in a PCE is that amidst this always present perfection and purity of the actual world, the human species battle it out with each other to the point of waging horrendous wars, resent having to be here at all and are generally miserable to the point of depression.
When I met Richard I decided to devote my life to the eradication of the Human Condition within me. I wanted to live the experience of the PCE – the self-less state of purity and perfection – 24hrs. a day every day. So, I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into the doing of it. It was so liberating to be able to do something about myself and my behaviour and not allow myself to be blindly led, not to believe what others told me was true, not to merely do what everyone else was doing simply because everyone else was doing it, not to keep doing things that didn’t work and not to be automatically driven and run by my instinctual passions. To become incrementally free of the Human Condition. The amazing thing about the doing of becoming actually free from malice and sorrow is that one becomes more happy and more harmless on the way. And one literally comes to one’s senses such that the senses do become heightened, one thinks less neurotic thoughts and feels less passionately driven by one’s instinctual drives. It is a win, win and more win situation on the path to actual freedom.
RESPONDENT: Now I only want 24 hour Actual Freedom.
PETER: Well, roll up your sleeves – there’s plenty to do! You are talking about ‘changing Human Nature’, but the best thing is – you only have to change yourself and nobody else. Changing everyone else is what most people aim for – a physical impossibility.
Changing only you is eminently achievable – and scientifically verified as possible. It is possible to re-program one’s own brain from all the social programming and it is possible to evince a mutational adaptation to eliminate the instinctual passions. A bit I wrote recently explains this very point –
RESPONDENT: Keep up the great work.
PETER: I do like writing, which is all I do – it’s simply common sense to tell others what is now available. It’s more of a hobby than work and most of my writing has been my sorting out and reporting on experiences, understandings and facts discovered. Whenever I read any spiritual twaddle nowadays I am astounded as to its duplicity, confusion and blatant self-centredness, so it’s a joy to write of something as down to earth and non-spiritual as Actual Freedom. Writing also is great exercise for the brain given that independent and clear thinking is stifled in childhood and school years by countless putdowns and strict regimentation and is even further strangled, admonished and literally demonized on the spiritual path. The other point is that I am not working to change anyone else – as I said, that is an impossibility and it is also a ‘self’-serving exercise. It’s good to be free of that one.
I noticed your heading to the first post was about convert numbers. There can be no converts to actualism for the simple reason that one has to do it for oneself, by oneself. There are no meetings, rallies, practices, groups, etc. Just a handful of people so far, their words, a web-site, and a mailing list.
The other reason is simple – actualism is a life-as-you-know-it threatening occupation and, as such, not of great attraction to many.
Actualism is about quality not quantity. The best, not the most.
PETER: A few (?) words in reply to your post –
RESPONDENT: Hi all,
Have just been thinking about virtual freedom for the masses...
There must be a far better way to publicly examine and share our experiences and ideas than this primitive type-written listbot method?
PETER: I for one can’t think of a better one at the moment. I can write heretically without the threat of physical retaliation or retribution, I can write to anyone, anywhere in the world, the medium is largely and remarkably un-censorable and anonymous. And the act of writing itself has multiple advantages. Writing avoids the traps of ‘energy’ transmission, authoritarianism or Guru-ism, it necessitates thinking and clearly expressing oneself – an experiential exercise in ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ Writing on the list gives me a chance to get down in words what I have been thinking – rather than let the thoughts simply wander around uncommitted and unformed – in a way that makes sense to another. What we glibly call communication and fail at so often as human beings. As you can see I am a fan of writing – I find it a useful freedom tool and an excellent hobby.
RESPONDENT: Richard’s, Peter’s and Vineeto’s books are really excellent but limited to only a few who discover the AF Web-site. This is not only a personal revolution, is it?
PETER: Yes. It is only a personal revolution – which is what makes it 180 degrees different to every other so-called revolution which are really revolutions, as in go round and round in circles within the Human Condition. They are revolutions of the ‘if only everybody ...’ type, as in ‘if only everyone would stop fighting there would be peace on earth’ – the ideal of pacifism. Or the ‘if only everyone was of a higher consciousness, like me’ – the ideal of everyone following one God, that one God being Me-as-God or my God. Actualism is about changing No 13 – full stop. There may well be some flow on from that – certainly you will stop being sorrowful and stop being malicious to those around you. This is of incalculable benefit to those you come in contact with, not that they will necessarily see it that way.
RESPONDENT: If our brain washing was a mass insane socialization then the solution might be a mass deprogramming ... or at least a mass awareness of the alternative... to find a critical mass to speed up the sleeping masses?
PETER: I do like and encourage your enthusiasm. This same enthusiasm was what encouraged me to sell my car and buy a computer to write my journal. I wanted to let my friends know about Actual Freedom, but the direct result was nil. What I quickly came to realize was that I was really writing for me – to make sense of the Human Condition, my role in it and how to become free of it. Any side benefits for others will be a bonus, but not the main event.
RESPONDENT: I remember someone explaining that to save an endangered species one needed to exploit the species commercially, to ensure its survival. An unconvincing argument for anyone interested in the species’ quality of life, but it had a pragmatic kind of logic.
PETER: I think there is no doubt that the human species is an endangered species but not from external threat, nor from any ‘environmental’ disaster or earth resources’ depletion, but from the simple fact that human beings cannot live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony. As a practicalist, when I came across Richard, I chose to disprove the logic of Ancient Wisdom that you can’t change Human Nature. Otherwise a human existence of perpetual malice and sorrow is indeed a sick joke. I saw in a PCE that the universe is too magnificent, too grand, too perfect and too pure for me to continue to be sorrowful and malicious. So I set out to change the only thing that was wrong – as in silly and senseless – and that was a ‘me’ inside this flesh and blood body.
As for ‘endangered species’, I realized I was not alone in this exercise of seeking peace on earth. It is an almost universal hope and wish, but everyone looks to others to bring it about, to actualize it. Peace on earth is already here, of course, and only you can find it for yourself.
A bit from my journal –
This is no small thing we do.
RESPONDENT: OK there are advantages to deprogramming, recording and examining, (in a very exact manner), how the words, experiences, beliefs and morals, ‘we’ the community often take for granted, are used for ‘ourselves’... but is it the best?
PETER: It is a curious thing when I contemplate my own path to freedom. I lived down the road from Richard and spent a good deal of time sitting in his living room, talking about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. After about 9 months that stopped and I went off to write my journal – to get on with the business at hand, becoming free from the Human Condition. And most of that process has involved writing – it is the best form of ‘contemplation in action’ that I know of. It is this process that put in action the ‘deprogramming, recording and examining, (in a very exact manner), how the words, experiences, beliefs and morals’, which ‘I’ had taken for granted. For me it was the best method.
RESPONDENT: It would be faster with ICQ, telephone, or even multimedia productions, I think? If we are serious about sharing and promoting AF with the world let us stir the mass media...? Television, magazines and newspapers are where most people are. Why must the powerful determine what ‘we’ see, think or what is possible?
PETER: Well, in the world as-it-is, that is the way it is. Even the mild-mannered loving ladies at the local New Dark Age book shops did not want to stock my journal. I did get one very mild article printed in a newspaper but when I ‘upped the ante’ to be just a touch heretical it was no go. I am at present trying the same exercise with a local New Dark Age magazine, so I am still on the case. It is really that Actual Freedom is not a popular subject. No one wants to change themselves. It is much more convenient to blame others for one’s own misery and unhappiness and then one can have the fun of battling with and being angry at others. In the Human Condition anger is a pleasing self-gratifying emotion.
The other point is that there is no ‘we’, as in a group, who promote Actual Freedom. Richard has his experience, interests and ‘style’, I have mine, Vineeto hers, Alan his. Each person who becomes interested in Actual Freedom and takes it on will no doubt make their own contribution – in proving that it is possible to become free from the Human Condition something will spin off that will be valuable for others. The world is full of those who don’t live what they teach and unless one proves it is possible for oneself ‘tis but more piss in the wind.
I include writing about being virtually free of the Human Condition in that I experience that ‘not quite, but almost’ state I live as eminently worthwhile trumpeting about. Thus, I write from practical, down-to-earth, everyday experience not from theory or wishful thinking.
RESPONDENT: I know only too well this is not the main game ... ‘I’ save ‘myself’ first, but would not going public be more efficient if world peace is to be even considered as possible? It might even make ‘my’ lot easier?
PETER: By writing, I worked on doing both at the same time – ‘me’ first, and by writing of the process I knew it would be useful to others. It certainly made ‘my’ lot easier in that I painted myself into a corner – ‘I’ am continually forced to ‘put my money where my mouth is’, or ‘walk the talk’.
I unabashedly encourage you if you wish to ‘spread the word’ as I found out a great deal about the Human Condition in doing so and a great deal about myself in the process.
RESPONDENT: ‘I’ realize the delusion of community but can the delusion become aware of itself?
PETER: Most have too much invested in their escape into the spiritual world to be aware of what is actual and the Truly Deluded are beyond being aware of their delusion, as in ‘Above and Beyond’. An actual freedom is up to you and you only – that is both its purity and its perfection.
RESPONDENT: Any ideas? Workshops without the tried and failed God, guru or ego-centred methods?
PETER: Well, I personally have no interest in ‘changing the world’. The Human Condition is unchangeable – it simply needs to be abandoned for it is rotten to the core. The only people I could possibly help would be those who are interested in changing themselves. And even then, all I can do is relate my personal experience and success at applying the method to becoming free from the Human Condition.
Having said that I also have the ‘sheep in the field’ theory. I see everyone as ‘sheep in a field’ busy doing what they have been told to do and programmed to do – fighting with each other and being miserable. One sheep manages to break free and finds that he can be happy and harmless but it does mean he is no longer a sheep and he is on his own. A few other sheep look over the fence and see that this sheep is having a good time on his own – he suffers not, quite the contrary he is having a bloody good time of it. So, a few more break out and as even more break out a momentum builds up, as it seems more and more silly to stay with the fighting, feuding miserable herd. But it’s always a free choice – whoever wants to break out can – you just have to be willing to pay the price of leaving the herd.
So my ‘breaking out’ means freedom for me and it encourages others by proving it is possible and adding to the numbers on the other side of the fence.
It’s a win, win and more win situation.
Perfect, in fact.
Like all analogies and metaphors, the story is a little flawed for one does not ‘escape’ from it all into a ‘next field’ but an actualist mixes, mingles, works with and lives with, one’s fellow human beings as-they-are in the world-as-it-is. The trick is to do this while being free of the shackles of feeling and being part of a group – of needing or having a social identity. The next level is to be free of being blindly, obsessively and instinctually driven to impassioned acts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that give rise to malice and sorrow. For this to happen one needs to have lived a virtual freedom in the world-as-it-is with people-as-they-are in order to gain confidence that one can stop being a being who is instinctively on-guard or ready – and eager – to attack one’s fellow human beings.
This confidence, surety and experience also means, when the moment of self-immolation occurs, one will not instinctively grab for the delusion of freedom – feeling one is free rather than being actually free. The simple check is that those who merely feel themselves to be free are inevitable ‘up themselves’ and passionately feel themselves to be so, so superior that they truly believe themselves to be God-on-Earth. It is a ‘sincere’ and commonly held delusion, given credence both by Ancient Wisdom and impassioned feelings – but a delusion never the less.
So, I find myself sitting on a cusp – irrevocably locked into the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are, and perpetually locked into this moment with no ‘other place’ to escape to and no ‘other time’ to escape to. Experiencing that the only impediment to perfection and purity is ‘me’ – ‘who’ I think and feel I am – whatever is selfishly going on in my head and heart and that is often very weird, very strange. But, then again, this is a very weird thing to do – to re-wire one’s brain to the point of self-extinction. Something has to give in this tension and it is bound to be ‘me’. It seems to me that one can make sense of the Human Condition such that one can be virtually free of it but ‘making sense’ then has to be abandoned for direct sensate experiencing.
So, at the moment, this is enough of a ‘workshop’ for me. But there is no doubt that I am interested in different aspects of the path to freedom than Richard, will make different contributions, will write and do different things. As will Alan, and whoever else manages to get off their bums, or out of the lotus position, and does something about the Human Condition as it is manifest in themselves. I am currently putting together a PowerPoint audio visual computer presentation that will give a simplified introduction as to what Actual Freedom is on about. Richard is prolifically writing on the Krishnamurti mailing list, Vineeto is doing wonders with the Actual Freedom Trust website and Alan is establishing an actualism ‘toe-hold’ in Europe. The field for innovation, individual contribution and initiative is wide, wide open. The scope is limitless, the opportunities endless.
So, I am not discouraging you – quite the opposite, my experience is that you will find the experience of investigating and communicating invaluable. I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm and writing as it gives me an opportunity to enthuse and write as well.
After all, naiveté beats cynicism, communication beats silence and being an actualist in the world-as-it-is with people as-they are beats escaping to an ‘inner world’ – by much more than a country mile.
Win, win and more win.
RESPONDENT: I have just taken your lead and purchased my own computer... I want to write down my story... but I don’t know how it will unfold as yet... essentially it will be for myself... or should that be for the demise of myself ...???
PETER: I do find it odd that I now write as a hobby given that it was never an interest, I was not a great reader of books and struggled with English at school. I always thought that those who wrote and taught were not necessarily those who did things well. I chose the doing things well path but it is delightful to mix the skills these days. I remember buying the computer and setting it up and wondering what I was doing and more particularly how and where to start. So I took a note pad out to the balcony with a cup of coffee and sat down .... ‘As I sit on the balcony of our small flat contemplating life, I am moved to start writing my story.’ ... and away it went.
It proved to be an amazing introspective process ... to see that all ‘I’ am is nothing more than the sum total of the beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that I had been instilled with since birth. To see that all ‘I’ am is automaton from a social and genetic assembly line, both fettered and fated to be malicious and sorrowful, is such a blow to one’s pride. But naiveté and genuine intent produces such an honesty that one finds oneself gladly ‘spilling the beans’, so to speak. To conduct a review of one’s history, one’s actions, thoughts and feelings in the light of being ensconced and trapped within the Human Condition is an extraordinary ‘inner’ journey that beats any other form of therapy hands down. One literally puts oneself under a microscope and amazing discoveries are there for the making – things one was avoiding, things one was ignorant of, things one dared not to look at, things no one had told you, things that were completely different from what you assumed and believed to be so. This is the very business of an actualist – it is only by making this ‘inner’ journey of discovery by oneself, for oneself, that one is able to become free from belief. You get to find out what you are as distinct from ‘who’ you think and feel yourself to be – the ‘who’ that others and blind nature have programmed you to be.
I particularly remember writing of my spiritual years and making discovery after discovery that literally shocked me to my core. Events that I had doubts or misgivings about at the time became crystal clear – insights and realizations came clanging along, one after the other. One that particularly sticks in my memory was of being with thousands of other disciples in a hall in India shouting ‘Yah Hoo’ to an empty chair where a dead God-man, ‘my’ Master, had sat. The Sacred Chair where He last sat – the symbolic equivalent of the Cross for Christians. I had had a peak experience at the time – a brief moment of startling clarity – and saw the stupidity and desperation of my situation, and of the whole Master-disciple business in general, and yet it still took me years to act on the realization and get out of spiritual world. It was only by meeting Richard that I finally garnered the confidence to go all the way.
Writing my Journal was excellent in aiding and abetting a Virtual Freedom. The realizations about, and knowledge of, the Human Condition in action, both in others and myself, was liberating to the extent that a virtual freedom from the Human Condition was possible. ‘One establishes a firm and stable base camp from which to launch the final assault’ was how I once described Virtual Freedom.
Methinks you are about to launch yourself on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a fascinating business being a human being. It never ceases to amaze me.
So, sounds bloody excellent news to me.
PETER: How is your writing going? I remember writing to you encouraging you to write ‘your story’ as I had personally found it an invaluable tool for investigating oneself.
PETER: The lamenting very quickly moved on to complaints about local politics and soon got into malicious comments about other groups and other people who were evidently making their lives miserable in some way or another. Malice, sorrow, sad story, blame, hard done by, tough times, gripe, things are getting worse, it’s difficult, bitch, grievance, pet hate, ..... on and on it went, all night. It was like a toned down Monty Python sketch but it made clear that the real world is really the ‘Land of Lament’, as Richard so aptly calls it. It is literally awash in sorrow and it is always someone else’s fault, which is malice in action.
It’s all so easy to see malice and sorrow in action in others, as entertainment, as humour, as news, as gossip, as ‘causes’, as social issues, etc.
‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ simply gives one the opportunity to see malice and sorrow in action in oneself and to do something about it.
RESPONDENT: It is so clear to see people reaching out in the ways you described for common ground. Maybe common grievance is a cathartic substitute for their sense of aloneness?
PETER: No, aggression is an instinctual passion instilled by blind nature in all animal species in order to ensure the survival of the species. Each member of each animal species fits into what is described as a food chain. The basic survival instincts at their rawest are ‘what can I eat, what can eat me’. Aggression is clearly a primary human animal instinct, still actively prevalent in each and every human being on the planet. There are currently 6 billion human beings still involved in a grim and desperate battle for survival. The awareness of this situation gives rise to great sorrow in humans but precious few are willing to stop battling. Thus far, the only ‘alternative’ has been denial and transcendence.
Actual Freedom is the third alternative ... and it works.
RESPONDENT: To relate and commiserate through all the problems and complaints ... but it is just as easy to gain humour, entertainment through co-operative exploration. This can be done for the same purpose ... to remove the aloneness?
It was fun recently to turn a whole group around from the type you described to a more sensitive and analytical social group. I simply acted without a self and watched how others became encouraged to do the same.
PETER: Are you saying you managed to facilitate a group Pure Consciousness Experience, or was it one of those group feel-good sessions?
My experience is that most people, when asked directly and individually, do not want to become happy and harmless for it involves becoming free of their passions for malice and sorrow. Further, most people who have a PCE quickly delete it from their memory for varying reasons, or claim the experience for themselves – as in ‘I feel like I am the universe and the UNIVERSE is ME!!!’
Groups are for groupies.
RESPONDENT: It has little to do with wanting to self-immolate and peace on earth ... this is, however, a possible by-product?
PETER: Then what you describe was not a self-less state, for in a PCE the utter insanity of human beings fighting horrendous wars and not living together in peace and harmony is startlingly apparent and glaringly obvious. So much so that a sincere human being will do all he or she can to facilitate living the PCE, 24 hrs a day, every day, for their own peace and for peace on earth. In the PCE it is evident that there is no self in existence as an alien entity or spirit inside one’s body. It is also evident that it is because of this absence, albeit temporary, that one’s sensate experience is one of purity and perfection for this is the very nature of the physical universe, the actual world. Thus in order to live the PCE, 24 hrs. a day, every day, self-immolation is an essential, not a by-product. Up until now the shamans have cornered and collared this experience for their own power and authority but Richard has broken the mould. A handful of pioneering actualists are following, which is what this list is about.
RESPONDENT: It made me realize that people, myself included, like to hide in the group, to connect, to solve problems, to feel a part of a bigger picture, and therefore feel stronger, more important, more relevant etc...
PETER: Yep. This applies to all humans, the God-men and wanna-be’s included. I had a great battle with this one when I went through my Saviour of the World stage.
PETER: Not at all. Following one’s intuition is to act the way you know, or feel, is right. I have been reviewing a book by a spiritual Guru who teaches following one’s intuition, listening to one’s inner dialogue, etc. and what this means is acting from one’s instinctual passions. Following one’s intuition simply is what everyone does and it means that everyone is instinctually driven to act aggressively and fearfully, blindly seeking a futile fulfillment and solace in nurture and desire.
As for pure intent, there is a glossary of terms on the Actual Freedom web-site that I compiled and Vineeto has collated relevant writings and correspondence – in order to avoid confusion, encourage contemplation and aid thinking about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. It was my next project after writing my journal, as it was apparent to me that my spiritual training had stifled enquiry and muddled words and thinking to such an extent that nothing made sense anymore. It is essential to first make sense of the Human Condition we find ourselves in as human beings in order to become actually free of it. Hence The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary – a common language or words firmly based on dictionary meanings in order to clearly communicate and share our experiences.
But one does have to read, and read, and read – it is a prerequisite for an actualist. When I first met Richard I took everything he was saying in spiritual terms for I knew nothing else and it was only by reading his journal over and over again that the penny started to drop and the sparks started to fly.
As it says on the Cabot’s paint tins – ‘If all else fails – read the instructions’.
RESPONDENT: Watching one’s self in action, then, is insightful, leading to permanent change.
PETER: No. It does bugger all. Denial plus acceptance equals no change. To be a watcher is to be a wanker.
RESPONDENT: If one acts a particular way long enough it become one’s actual nature, me thinks... one’s non-instinctual intelligent self in action no less.
PETER: There is no such thing as a ‘non-instinctual intelligent self’. It is a nonsense term, mere drivel, babble and squeak.
Every human being is born with a genetically encoded instinctual ‘self’, evident even in our closest genetic cousins, the chimps. To eliminate the instinctual passions is to eliminate this ‘self’ – ‘me’ as being. Humans with their ability to think and reflect overlay this instinctual ‘self’ with a psychological and psychic ‘self’ – ‘who’ we think we are and ‘who’ we feel we are. This alien entity that dwells within the flesh-and-blood-body, the ‘self’ in total, has to go in order for any human being to be intelligent and non-instinctual.
There are no short-cuts, no sleights of hand, no imaginary fixes, no fantasy escapes. All that has been tried and found wanting by millions of well-intentioned people for thousands of years.
Is it not time to try something new?
One of the many things you will lose is being relentlessly driven to ‘liking to hide in the group, to connect, to solve problems, to feel a part of a bigger picture, and therefore feel stronger, more important, more relevant’ – and won’t that be of significant benefit to you and others? You get to stand on your own two feet and you stop being a burden on others ... and the resulting freedom is palpable, tangible ... almost actual. Then you work on another issue, another feeling, another passion, and you whittle away at that one ... and freedom comes incrementally and then one day ...
Actual Freedom is about actively applying a method in order to induce change, not understanding a philosophy or terminology in order that one can ‘feel stronger, more important, more relevant’. Most people, I naively assume, are attracted to Actual Freedom because they are unhappy with themselves and their circumstances. It may be that the spiritual path has not ‘worked’ for them, they feel trapped, their life has no meaning, they yearn for freedom, etc. But a curious thing happens when they realize that Actual Freedom is about change. They become suddenly and miraculously ‘okay’ as they are ... or they disappear back to the tried and failed, or back to the real world.
Actual Freedom is about irrevocable and permanent change ... and that is the dare.
To be happy and harmless is the reward.
PETER: I do sometimes wonder if anyone does or ever will read what I write because all of it gets filed away on the Web-site and one can often count the weekly hits on one hand. Long ago it became obvious that I was writing for myself and for my enjoyment and if it was of use to someone else it was a bonus. I did enjoy the book review as it bought home to me the fact that making denial and acceptance into fashionable ethical and moral values and then aspiring to Transcendence is indeed institutionalized insanity. And how actual peace on earth is eagerly sacrificed by all those who indulge in self-centred spiritual belief.
I thought a bit about your comments about words, intent and talking to others and I found some pieces from my journal which may be relevant –
Well, they are a few of my personal observations that may or may not be relevant to you.
Personally, I gave up talking to other people about Actual Freedom about 6 months into the process. By then I had none of my former friends left for the simple reason that I had nothing in common with them. They were happy to cling to their beliefs and indulge in their emotions, whereas I was moving rapidly in the other direction.
There is a price to be paid on the path to Actual Freedom – leaving Humanity behind is not just a concept, it requires action for it to become a fact.
PETER: I was curious about some statements you made in your post, so I thought I would reply.
RESPONDENT: Hi (again) all, Benevolent living, concern for all and quality of life improves because of, and in spite of, Human Nature.
Warring, vicious and malicious behaviour is on the decline in this new millennium, in this perfectly improving perfect universe. Why? Because it doesn’t work as a life style in most cases. People eventually are learning.
PETER: There is a good deal of factual information and statistics available that document the fact that the last century was the bloodiest to date. Given the present millennium is only two months old, I think it is too early to document a decline and I see no reason to predict a decline, given the natural predilection of human beings to fight and feud with each other and their on-going blatant state of denial of their animal instinctual passions.
War deaths have risen dramatically in the 20th century.
There is no information available for number of deaths per 1,000 people in the 1st-15th centuries. 20th century data is up to 1995.
(Source: William Eckhardt, ‘War-Related Deaths Since 3000 BC,’ Bulletin of Peace Proposals, December 1991 and Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1996)
The universe is perfect, infinite and eternal – it is not ‘perfectly improving’, for it would have to be less than perfect in order to improve. What is less than perfect are human beings and this is only so because they insist that human nature is indeed Human Nature – a set-in-concrete inviolate condition epitomized by malice and sorrow.
In many places on the planet a degree of what is termed civilization is imposed by strict enforcement of a moral, ethical and legal code reinforced and maintained by police and armies, lawyers and judges, fines and jails, Gurus and priests, etc. In these places, war, rape, murder and torture is kept to a tolerable minimum and human malice and sorrow is evidenced in more cunning and subtle ways such as corruption, fighting for causes and rights, innuendo, gossip, sad and violent entertainment, etc.
All this is accepted as a life style – to be the best one can be within the Human Condition is a poor second-rate life whereby an actual freedom is sacrificed in order to remain part of Humanity, the fighting and feuding mob. To feel above it all, or to feel superior to others, is a poor substitute to stepping out of it all. The Human Condition has been on-going for thousands of years and there is no sign of any change eventuating. This is particularly so given the current fashion of denial and acceptance of ‘ Human Nature’ that masquerades as some sort of wisdom or means to cope with life as-it-is.
RESPONDENT: While people are saving lives by the thousands ... life keeps getting better ... but this should not make us complacent. It takes on-going mindful action when required ... necessitating the need for, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ methodology. It works because I have been using it since 1986.
PETER: Are you saving people by the thousands? Is your life getting better? Are you getting complacent? I am a bit confused as to what you are saying here. Personally, I see no lives getting better, despite the increasing level of physical comfort, safety, leisure and pleasure that is available for many human beings. For me, as my life got better in terms of comfort, safety, leisure and pleasure, I found the yearning for genuine freedom, peace and happiness became unbearably urgent. The contrast between the actual and what was going on inside me was too obvious to continue denying and I saw the spiritual solution was merely to stick one’s head in the clouds, or to go around wearing rose coloured glasses.
As for ‘on-going mindful action’, it is not a term that I can relate to as being relevant to running the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’
‘Mindful action’, to me, relates to the Buddhist ethic of acting with right mindfulness or right mind. The whole point of Actual Freedom is to be free of any need for moral or ethical restraint such that one can rely on oneself 100%, in each and every situation, to not act instinctually, to not give or take offence. It is obvious from one’s PCEs that this is only possible in a ‘self’-less state. No ‘self’ to be offended or to give offence. No malice, no sorrow. Mindful action is to maintain a strict control over one’s actions – the antithesis of freedom. One only needs to observe the rigid, self-disciplined and restrictive lifestyles of monks and nuns to see mindful action in operation.
RESPONDENT: The world is changing in case nobody notices this wonderful fact.
PETER: Yet the Human Condition, or Human Nature is not changing. This is not a problem – unless one is concerned about all the wars, rapes, murders, tortures, corruption, domestic violence, sadness, depression and suicides.
RESPONDENT: I evolve with the world as it is and move on ... to crystallize my thinking and doing is to die. Which means anyone can prove all this right or wrong in whatever context they wish to dream up.
PETER: I decided to seek the perfection evident in the PCE, step out of humanity, and live in the world as it is.
RESPONDENT: ‘Death from diseases’ is the main cause in this (attached), study ... life is not all suicide, war and revenge. From this information I can postulate all kinds of cause and effect scenarios depending on the colour of ‘my’ glasses on the day. ‘I’ took all my glasses off years ago.
PETER: The graph didn’t arrive my end, so I can’t comment on it. A fact is a fact – it needs no interpretation, it stands on its own, regardless of one’s own predilections or beliefs. Such as the fact that the last century was the bloodiest in human history.
Your last two sentences seem to be contradictory. Once one takes one’s coloured glasses off permanently, then one can see facts clearly for what they are.
RESPONDENT: Concern and hope may push or pull ‘me’ towards an AF ‘belief system’ and it binds while ‘I’, (and others), persist in being superior, inferior, unequal instinct-ridden or problem-ridden.
PETER: Is this you writing this or is this ‘I’ writing this? I’m not being clever here but are you, No. 13, saying you are persisting ‘ in being superior, inferior, unequal instinct-ridden or problem-ridden’ ? If you are, why would you want to do this? Why would you not want to change? If you can see this – be mindful of it, to use your term – then how can you not do something about it. Not only for you, but for those around you? The question is – do you want to be free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow and are you willing to pay the price?
We are simply talking of being happy and harmless, nothing more – and nothing less.
RESPONDENT: I like the AF glossary very much by the way.
PETER: A glossary usually comes at the end of a book to elucidate the terms used in the book, which is why I wrote it. To read the glossary is not the same as reading the book, and Richard’s Journal is still the authoritative document on Actual Freedom. The glossary was always meant as a supplement, not a stand-alone, for as a stand-alone it makes no sense.
But I like it that you find it useful. The road out of the spiritual world is not an easy one for it is coated with feel-good treacle, ‘self’-indulgent twaddle and deceitful cunning which is why I was moved to write the glossary to drive a wedge between spiritual dreams and belief – and actuality and fact.
I am not discouraging you from feeling good, or feeling that your life is getting better. This is indeed the point of running the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ The aim is always to actually remove the impediment that is preventing one from being happy and harmless now, and then get back to being happy and harmless as quickly as possible.
But one does need to keep one’s feet on the ground, which is where actuality, sensual-ness and facts are essential, lest yet another head-in-the-clouds saviour of mankind is born-again.
Actual Freedom is, after all, a down-to-earth freedom.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.