Please note that Peter’s correspondence below was written by the feeling-being ‘Peter’ while ‘he’ lived in a pragmatic (methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom before becoming actually free.

Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List

with Correspondent No 15

Topics covered

Jesus, Milgram experiment, malice, justice and retribution, instinct to fight, peace, hypocrisy of Gurus, spiritual teachings, Virtual Freedom, abandon hope, third alternative



PETER: Just a note from me, with regard to your post of a while ago.

RESPONDENT: Long time, no read. I’m wrestling with some questions about religion. I can understand the facts that are against any form of religion = (belief). I know God = religion = war, separation and all that comes with it. I know on a personal basis that religion (belief) feeling guilty, taboos, = struggle and loss of freedom. Intellectually I do understand that any kind of religion doesn’t work. That also means no religion, no god to believe in. But I wonder where a figure like Jesus does or doesn’t fit in. What is the message? How about the bible? Is there nothing true about it? Are there only fairytales in it? I mean is there nothing practical to get from. Or was it at that moment the best that one could get. I hope you know what I mean.

PETER: As you know we have been having a lot of correspondence about the animal instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire lately on the list, and the fact that scientists are making the first discoveries to plot the source of instinctual feelings and behaviour in the human brain. For a fair while now attempts have been made to study human behaviour and get to the roots of both fear and aggression, and a particular study that shook me up was done by Stanley Milgram – it’s in the Peace chapter of my journal. It’s presently not on our web-site, so I’ll post it here as it may be of use in your deliberations –

[Peter]: ‘At one point in my investigation of the Human Condition I was studying what the psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and the like had discovered about human behaviour. I came across an experiment the results of which rocked me to my very core. A series of experiments were conducted at Yale University in the early sixties to test people’s obedience to authority.

The most famous was the ‘Milgram experiment’. Stanley Milgram advertised for participants to undertake a ‘memory study’, and subsequently pairs of volunteers would turn up at the laboratory at the appointed time. One was designated as ‘teacher’, the other as ‘learner’, and it was explained to them that the study was concerned with the effects of punishment on learning. The ‘learner’ was then conducted into a room, seated in a chair, his arms strapped to prevent excessive movement, and an electrode attached to each wrist.

The real focus of the experiment was the ‘teacher’. After watching the ‘learner’ being strapped into place, he was taken into the main room and seated before an impressive shock generator. It had a row of thirty switches ranging from 15 volts – ‘Slight Shock’, to 450 volts – ‘DANGER, Severe Shock’. The ‘teacher’ was then told to administer the learning test to the man in the other room. When the ‘learner’ responded correctly, the ‘teacher’ moved on to the next item; when the other man gave an incorrect answer, the ‘teacher’ was told to give him an electric shock. He was to start at the lowest level and increase the level each time the ‘learner’ made an error.

The ‘teacher’ was a genuine ordinary participant, but he did not know that the ‘learner’ was actually an actor who received no shock at all, but was faking a response. The real aim of the experiment was to see how far a person would proceed in a situation in which he is ordered to inflict increasing pain on a protesting victim.

The actor-learner’s ‘response’ at about 150 volts was a demand for release, at 300 volts an agonizing scream; at 450 volts he was writhing in tortured agony.

In the test EVERY participant went on to administer 300 volts to the learner, with sixty-five percent going to the full 450 volts! Most participants obeyed the instructor, no matter how vehement the pleading of the person being shocked, no matter how painful the shocks seemed to be, and no matter how much the victim pleaded and screamed to be let out. This experiment has since been repeated thousands of times at different universities, with identical results. And those participants were just the ‘you and me’ of this world! Ordinary, average, typical human beings!

Reading about this experiment had an earth-shattering effect on me. I had already had glimpses of this behaviour in myself. The willingness to kill for a cause in Rajneeshpuram, the thrill of killing that I had felt, the joy of revenge – and this is ‘me’ at my core! What more incentive did I need than this to rid myself of this lust for violence? This instinctual passions of aggression that blind nature has programmed in us all. I also read books and watched programs on TV about that horrendous outbreak of genocide – the Holocaust; the systematic starving, gassing and burning of millions of people. The camp guards were ordinary 50-year-old men and women – ordinary people like those in Milgram’s experiments, the ‘you and me’ of this world. When push comes to shove, human beings become monsters, and it does not take much pushing – we even seem to enjoy it!

Another TV program I watched reported on the fire bombing of Dresden and other German cities during the war. Vast areas of these cities were turned into raging firestorms of such intensity that people were sucked off their feet into the inferno, and babies were ripped from their mothers’ arms. This was a deliberate policy of revenge for the German bombing of English cities. Civilians were deliberately targeted. The Americans similarly incinerated Tokyo, causing more deaths than both atomic bombs combined. Of some 50 million killed in the Second World War, 30 million were women and children.

When the Allies saw the German concentration camps after the Second World War, they put hundreds of thousands of German soldiers in open fields – in winter – and surrounded them with barbed wire. They then fed them below minimum survival rations and slowly starved or froze thousands of them to death over the winter. To increase the torture they backed open truckloads of food up to the perimeter fence and left them there to rot. They were the ‘good guys’ and the other side had to be punished for their wrongs!

What we call justice is, after all, nothing more than revenge and retribution. An eye for an eye! Such is the appalling extent of malice and sorrow in this world.

The way I learned to cope was to stick my head in the sand, not watch TV or not want to know anything about it – a denial of the facts and that perverse human attitude that it was others who acted this way, not me. Becoming spiritual was a further denial in that I regarded the ‘outer’ world as an illusion and the ‘inner’ spiritual world as real. To get ‘out of it’ in any way possible was the aim, be it drugs, alcohol, Prozac or bliss, meditation, becoming a ‘watcher’ or, if you hit the ‘million to one jackpot’, Enlightenment. Anything was welcome to avoid feeling and acknowledging the malice and suffering intrinsic to the Human Condition. What I eventually found was that by looking it squarely in the face and not avoiding it I was forced to do something about it in myself.’ Peter’s Journal, ‘Peace’

A year after writing this, the same issue is coming home to me again as I find that, after 2 years of ‘cleaning myself’ up – digging deep into my psyche and exploring the roots of fear and aggression, it is blatantly obvious that there is nothing that can be done, within the Human Condition, to eliminate malice and sorrow. No matter how good, moral, ethical or well intentioned the individual or group attempts to be, the instincts will always win out. There have been billions of people who have prayed for peace, attempted to live moral and good lives but peace on earth is still no closer to happening.

Peace on earth is an impossibility while human beings are instinctually driven to fight each other.

The clearly unworkable, unliveable and unsuccessful reliance on morals and ethics to bring peace on earth – let alone within tribal groups, families or couples – can surely now be abandoned as a failure. Of course, one would not want to venture off and begin to question the ‘good’ if one had no evidence that there was something better, and that evidence is the Pure Consciousness Experience. One of the prime qualities of the ‘self’-less state of the PCE is the fairy-tale like purity and perfection of the actual world, and the quality of a human being in a PCE is one of innocence – there is a total absence of instinctual fear and aggression. This is the innocence much sought after on the spiritual path but what one ends up with is feeling Good or becoming Divine – a perversion and human corruption of the actual state of innocence. A synthetic, fragile, supposed innocence that does nothing to tackle the inbuilt programming of fear and aggression in the amygdala – the ‘primitive brain’ within humans.

I had about 17 years of experience on the spiritual path and came to know at least four of the Gurus well enough to see that they didn’t practice what they preached. From this personal observation and a little bit of reading it is evident that the personal lives of all the Gurus are tainted by ‘normal’ emotions and behaviour despite their claims of Divineness. They get away with it because their disciples ‘turn a blind eye’ and as you said, because there has been nothing better on offer. The shenanigans and hypocrisy of the Gurus are reasonably well documented, as are those of most religious groups.

As one goes further back in time to the ancient and usually mythical God-men, such as Jesus, Buddha and Mahavira, we have to rely on the fairy stories of miracles and Divine attributes told in the Sacred texts and Holy Books. Many people attempt to claim that these Divine figures actually existed as flesh and blood human beings in some Golden Era, but an open-eyed reading of any of the texts reveals their purely mythical nature. I remember as a kid thinking what a funny idea the Western God was, and later being appalled when I read of the atrocities carried out in the name of various Gods and the churches. The war mongering – and whore mongering – of the Popes was particularly stunning. And I later found out that the Eastern Religions are no different. Modern ‘Spiritual’ belief is firmly founded on the fairy stories spun around mythical God-men and their fables, miracles and unliveable teachings. So, we are faced with the continuing failure of any spiritual or religious teachings to bring peace on earth after 5,000 years of billions of people attempting to live the unliveable and attain the unattainable – an actual innocence. An actual innocence is only attainable if one can rid oneself of the instinctual animal passions. Both the so called ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones – both have to go, for the experiment of praying to the Gods for help, living a Good life or becoming a God-man or Goddess, has clearly failed.

I have lived in a virtual freedom from instinctual passions for some 12 months now – ‘virtual’ as in as near as actual freedom as one can get while remaining a ‘self’. All of the coarser feelings and emotions such as anger, grievance, despair, sadness, resentment, etc. have disappeared from my life and my ties to a blighted Humanity are almost non-existent. But just in the last 2 days I have noticed a touch of annoyance on several occasions which is a clear sign that the only solution for my personal peace and for peace on earth is the complete elimination of my instinctual self – there are no short-cuts, there is no ‘other’ solution, for all have been tried and found wanting, by me and billions of others.

I remember when I first met Richard I joked to him that he should have a sign above the door that says – ‘Abandon hope – all who enter here’. I was fortunately ready to abandon hope (and trust) that following the traditional methods could ever make me happy and harmless. I had seen too much of the hypocrisy, power-plays, corruption, deception and duplicity in all religious and spiritual worlds. The utterly ‘self’-ish search for immortality that has forever plagued human beings must be clearly seen for what it is – narcissism in the extreme.

But it is not something that one person convinces another of – it is for each to make their own discoveries, make their own decisions as to what they want to do with their lives. It takes a bold decision to admit to failing to find peace and happiness, to admit that one is not being the best one can be, to admit that one is neither happy nor harmless. And then to decide to set out in completely the opposite direction to what everyone else is doing, one needs to be both desperate and daring.

For me, I always enjoy writing of the third alternative to remaining ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’ and participating in – and documenting – its success. To not only point out what doesn’t work but also to report on what does. This physical actual universe is too grand, too magnificent, too amazing for human beings to be forever trapped in primitive survival mode – endlessly battling it out for survival, endlessly living in fear. And we have all had glimpses of that – now there is a chance to put an end to malice and sorrow for those who want to.

But beware – it works!



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