Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
with Correspondent No 35
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RESPONDENT: I come from Slovakia. 31 year old trying to have fun. I have much more questions than answers of course.
PETER: I was about your age when I discovered the real world of materialism contained no answers. After I gave up my teenage angst and finally realized the futility of trying to change the world I was suckered into following Eastern religion. After 17 years of intense involvement, I found by experience that the spiritual world also held no practical answers as to how to discover peace on earth, in this lifetime.
Actualism is about acknowledging the fact that neither materialism nor spiritualism have the answers – else there surely would be peace on earth between human beings by now.
RESPONDENT: Let me start with this one: are you familiar with work of Ian Stevenson on reincarnation? Would you comment on his research a bit please?
PETER: I skimmed through some references to his work on the Web and my only comment would be that it never ceases to amaze me to what length people will go to in order to attempt to find substantiative evidence to prove something which by its very nature is unprovable. Anything which cannot be substantiated and verified as being a fact is by definition a belief.
In my spiritual years, I had a past life session where I was encouraged to imagine a past life and, lo and behold, after several minutes of eyes closed and going in, my imagination came up with the goodies – I had been a Chinese monk who had been imprisoned for falling in love with a woman! There was a plethora of equally romantic or meaningful tales told by my friends, so much so that in the spiritual world if you didn’t have a good past life story you were not part of the in-crowd. All of the recollections I heard of from others came from night-time dreams or were revealed in imagination-inducing sessions.
What really started my scepticism about the belief in past lives was when I began to notice that the belief in past lives – and its corollary, a belief in a future life after death – was used as a very convenient excuse for not being happy being here on this planet, in this lifetime. Any suffering encountered was seen only as a consequence of some past life – working out some past karma. Repetitive self-destructive patterns of behaviour or outbursts of anger and resentment were similarly dismissed as being one’s lot in life, one’s karma, ‘this time around’. The belief in other lives resulted in a fatalistic acceptance that some divine force or energy governed one’s life and there was nothing one could do to change oneself.
I came to see how insidious this belief was and how it directly shackled millions of people to a mythical cycle of suffering. The rigid class systems so prevalent in Eastern religions are propped up by past life beliefs and in many Eastern teachings it is even held that women have to come back in a next lifetime as a male before they can ever hope to achieve spiritual liberation. Long before abandoning the spiritual world, I came to see the commonly-held belief in past lives as not only something that could be used to justify personal cop-outs but also as a very convenient fairy story concocted by the priests and Gurus in order to maintain their own power and superior position over others.
To believe in past lives and a future life is to believe you are just passing through – that ‘you’ have come from somewhere before birth and you are going somewhere after death. To believe this is to feel and think oneself to be a non-physical entity who is temporarily residing within the flesh and blood physical body. This thinking and feeling, psychological and psychic, entity – an inevitable result of social and instinctual programming – therefore thinks and feels himself or herself to be separate from, and alien to, the physical world that flesh and blood human bodies actually live in.
The belief in a past-life and an-after life only serves to reinforce this alien entity’s illusionary existence and thus increases the feeling of alienation from the physical world of the senses that you, as a flesh and blood body, actually live in. Any and all of the spiritual beliefs only serve to strengthen and aggrandize this non-physical, non-actual entity. Spiritual belief offers the ultimate hope that one can completely dis-identify with what one is – a flesh and blood mortal body – and become a new identity – ‘who’ one really truly is – a new grandiose identity, a spirit-only immortal God-like Being.
What is on offer in actualism is a process specifically designed to help those who have been sucked into following spiritual belief and enable them, for the first time in their lives, to come to their senses. This coming to one’s senses is a two-fold business.
Firstly, by deliberately and diligently eliminating all the beliefs that one has thoughtlessly accepted as being truths and by carefully and considerately aiming at becoming increasingly happy and harmless, one is able to incrementally free one’s intelligence from the debilitating effects of all of one’s social/spiritual and animal/instinctual programming.
Secondly, as one becomes incrementally free of this programming, there invariably develops a sensuous appreciation of being here, at this moment of time, in this physical-only world we actually live in. It then becomes increasingly perceptible that the spiritualists have indeed got it 180 degrees wrong – that the much sought after paradise is not ‘somewhere’ else or ‘sometime’ else but that paradise exists, has always existed, and can only exist right here on earth, right now in time, in this the only moment one can experience being alive.
The toughest part of becoming an actualist – as with any new enterprise – is completely letting go of the past. It is quite daunting to acknowledge that the so-called answers you have been taught by the revered wise men of the past and present are but fairy stories – beliefs masquerading as truths, nonsense masquerading as profound and sacred wisdom. These sacred beliefs have been diligently followed by billions of people for thousands of years and yet the human condition is still epitomized by a social and instinctual propensity for malice and sorrow.
The last century was the bloodiest to date in human history and this current one is already shaping up to top the bloodshed and misery of the last. In short, it is obvious that the tradition of faithfully following spiritual or religious belief has gone horribly wrong and is still going horribly wrong. Rather than bring peace between human beings, upholding spiritual belief does nothing but increase alienation, inflame conflict and set in concrete the belief that you can’t change human nature.
I can’t really write with any conviction about the difficulties of dropping my spiritual beliefs because I have no emotional memory of the difficulties and confusion that resulted. Once I both understood and acknowledged that spiritualism didn’t work – a realization based on 17 years of hands-on experience of spiritualism – it was relatively easy to decide to try something completely new and something completely different. It certainly took both time and effort to free myself of spiritualism and all it entails but the results are stunning, to say the least.
I can thoroughly recommend actualism – the down-to-earth process of becoming happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, with people as-they are – because it works.
P.S. You may well find the Actual Freedom Trust screen saver – available as a free download from the homepage of the Actual Freedom Web-site – to be an potent aid in the process of understanding actualism and of coming to your senses. It combines both the common sense of clear thought and the sensual delight of the paradise we live in and, as such, it offers much to contemplate upon for anyone interested in actualism.
(Editorial note: the promotional offer for Actual Freedom Trust screen saver has now expired). (Editor’s note 2015: The screensaver is no longer available due to its incompatibility with Windows 8)
RESPONDENT: Thank you very much for your reply. I would like to let you know something about my current position. (I hope you will understand my English) Five years ago some questions found their way to my consciousness after smoking a couple of joints on my own.
PETER: I have no trouble understanding your English. Thus far the writings of actualists are only available in English apart from some of Vineeto’s correspondence in German. There are some who complain about Richard’s use of uncommon words but personally I found it useful to consult a dictionary – the very process of having to seek an accurate understanding of the meaning of words aided the process of thinking about exactly what he means by what he writes.
As for smoking a couple of joints, many a seeker has been launched on the path to seeking answers to questions by smoking a couple of joints or the like. In fact the whole of the current fashion for Eastern religion in the West can be put down to those who first went to the East some thirty years ago seeking the permanent drug experience. My being suckered into Eastern religion was due to a dark night of the soul experience but taking MDA did unwittingly give me my first substantial and memorable Pure Consciousness Experience.
As I have written in my journal, I also found marijuana a useful tool to provide a glimpse of the human condition from the outside as it where. My only comment is that it is imperative to use such glimpses with intelligence so as to investigate what it is that is preventing you from being free of the human condition in toto, 24 hours a day. Its use for any other motives such as mindlessly getting ‘out of it’ or inducing ‘self’-aggrandizing spiritual fantasies is a complete and utter waste of time.
Having said all that about drugs, their use is certainly not a requisite to explore the human condition or to induce pure consciousness experiences. The most direct and most effective way to become free of the human condition – in fact the only way that has been proven to work thus far – is to conduct your own investigation of the human condition in action as it is universally manifest in all human beings including and especially as ‘you’ – who you think and feel you are as opposed to what you are.
And just a reminder that there are three I’s altogether. What you are, the flesh and blood body called No 35, is the one who is seeking freedom from the parasitical psychological and psychic entity – ‘who’ you think you are as well as ‘who’ you feel you are. But you will know this from your own direct experience from your memories of past pure consciousness experiences ... or when you next have one.
RESPONDENT: I went for the answers to bookstores: science, philosophy, religion, whatever. Then I started to use www as the information source and in January 2001 I somehow found myself on a page dedicated to what U. G. Krishnamurti said. Some of his words had incomparable impact on my knowledge, while other of his stuff seemed strange. He blamed thinking and culture for the human condition, but did not say much about the role emotions play. He also said nobody can help me, so it was fresh air to read about actual freedom (my first contact with actual freedom page happened about a month ago).
PETER: U.G. Krishnamurti is a strange fellow indeed. I remember reading him in my spiritual years and much of what he said condemning the spiritual teachings rang true and yet he obviously had no solutions. For days afterwards I was noticeably despondent and listless which I now put down to the spiritual nihilism that is the core of U.G. Krishnamurti’s message.
As you have observed, his teachings follow the Eastern spiritual teachings in that he lays the blame for the human condition on thinking and culture. Given his traditional antiquated viewpoint he obviously has nought to say about the very recent discovery about the pivotal role that the instinctual passions have in creating and maintaining a psychological and psychic alien ‘self’ within each and every flesh and blood human body.
His ‘non-message’ of having no solution and being of no help is but an extreme version of much of Eastern fatalistic teachings. He seems to have lobbed himself into a type of pathological desert – devest of a real-world identity but rejecting the power and glory inherent in adopting a new Divine identity. When he describes his own personal state it does not sound at all attractive, which is also why I soon lost interest in him. It was obviously no fun to be U.G. Krishnamurti in this world. Methinks his message would only attract those with a cynical view of life on earth.
As for somebody to help you, you will find all the help you need in the words on The Actual Freedom Trust website because there is a lot of information about how you too can become actually free of the human condition. And the other thing is that there is a do-it-yourself method available – you need not be beholden to anyone, what you chose to do with the information provided is entirely your choice. And with regard to this mailing list, it is really just a supplement to that information – a forum for actualists to communicate with other actualists ... if they’re moved to.
RESPONDENT: My first impression was that the words on actualism pages are the best description of the human condition by far. Some of the statements seem so clear and to the point when compared with praxis of my social and individual living.
PETER: There is nothing mysterious or esoteric about the clarity expressed on the Actual Freedom Trust website. They are simply the result of some down-to-earth intelligent writing about the human condition by some fellow human beings who have freed themselves of the beliefs and passions that create and sustain the human condition of malice and sorrow.
What is extraordinary and magical is that the very process of freeing oneself from these beliefs and passions reveals that the long sought-after freedom, peace and tranquillity is already here and freely available when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul are not strutting the stage as it were. But then again, everyone knows this for a fact as everyone has had glimpses of the perfection and purity of the actual world in their own ‘self’-less pure consciousness experiences at some stage in their life.
RESPONDENT: Problem is the ‘what if?...’ question, still lurking there. That is why I asked about Ian Stevenson. I hope this makes sense.
PETER: What you are saying makes complete sense to me for I was faced with the same conundrum some 5 years ago. I was fortunate to have been too sensitive to battle it out with others in the real world and too sincere to rise to the top of the spiritual heap and become yet another charlatan God-man in the spiritual world. Thus knowing by my own experience that both the real world and the spiritual world sucked, I felt I had nothing left to lose by trying something new, a fresh and totally different direction.
So I just turned around 180 degrees and started to question not only the spiritual teachers ... but the facticity of the sacred and holy teachings themselves. When I started to understand the inherent common sense in actualism I began to ask such questions as ‘What if there is nothing but this physical universe?’ ‘What if there is no outside to the universe, no other-worlds, ethereal or otherwise?’ ‘What if God does not exist at all?’ ‘What if there is no life after death, no reincarnation, no heaven, no hell?’ ‘What if death is the end, finish, kaput?’ ‘What if the cause of all the human animosity and misery is due to the fear, aggression, nurture and desire inherent in our instinctual passions, both the condemned and repressed savage passions and the lauded and revered tender passions?’ ‘What if everyone has got it wrong and the answer lies 180 degrees opposite to spiritual belief?’
I won’t go on, for you will have got my gist by now. I simply started to turn my ‘what ifs’ to questioning all of Humanity’s beliefs, fairy stories, sacred teachings, wisdoms and the like that have as their basic premise that one has only two options in life – battling it out in the grim reality of materialism or believing in the fairy-tale Greater Reality of a spiritual world.
When I got the hang of the fact that this very moment is the only moment I can experience being here, I then began to actively cultivate the habit of discovering why I was wasting this very moment by being unhappy, sad, annoyed at something someone else did, upset by what someone else said, angry at someone else, feeling sorry for myself, feeling lonely, etc. I became very observant of what it was that was preventing me from being happy, right now, right here, in the world as-it-is, with people as-they are.
So what I am suggesting is to question on two fronts – to investigate the human condition in general and investigate how it prevents you from being happy and harmless. This type of diligent intelligent observation and dispassionate awareness is not an easy business to cultivate as it involves actively questioning all of one’s social-spiritual programming and one’s animal-instinctual survival passions – the very stuff that ‘I’ am made of.
But once you get the hang of it, this persistent process of ‘self’-investigation and subsequent incremental ‘self’-elimination begins to make the business of being alive on this planet a thrilling and magical adventure for the first time in one’s life.
PETER: This quote is indicative as to why the research of neuroscientists is but of passing interest and scant relevance to the investigations that an actualist is interested in.
An actualist is vitally interested in a hands-on experiential investigation of affective experiences per se whereas, according to the quote – ‘affective experiences – those intangible and presumably unmeasurable subjective events – are of little importance for a scientific understanding of emotions.’
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.