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

Correspondent No 55

Topics covered

Whilst Richard had extensive experiential knowledge of the instinctual passions he did not have a good deal of intellectual knowledge about them



RESPONDENT to No 60: My point was more about the thought processes involved in the investigation, especially where I reach a dead end. I recall Peter briefly mentioning that Richard was not aware that what he was dealing with were the instinctual passions when he dismantled his identity and explored the instinctual self. When I investigate a feeling I will often wonder at how it fits into the instinctual self. If I didn’t know that what I was dealing with was the instinctual self, I wouldn’t ask that question. Richard was able to carry the process through without that specific knowledge on how the instincts work in our brain. Is understanding that the self is not real the same sort of deal?

PETER: I thought to comment on your post because either your recollection of what I said is not accurate or I didn’t make myself clear at the time. The point I was making in my comment was that whilst Richard had extensive experiential knowledge of the instinctual passions he did not have a good deal of intellectual knowledge about them. And the reason I made the comment was to emphasize that one doesn’t need to be an intellectual wiz kid in order make sufficient sense of the feelings and passions one is experiencing such that one can understand clearly what it is that is happening and why.

To put my comment about Richard in context – in my early days of chatting with him the subject of the deep-seated passions came up. If I can roughly paraphrase the conversation from memory it could well have gone something like this –

[Peter]: Okay. So what you are saying is that at the root of all of my feelings are a set of deep-seated passions, and these passions are ‘me’ at my core. But what is the nature of these passions?

[Richard]: Well, they are instinctual.

[Peter]: As in programmed into the body?

[Richard]: Genetically-programmed might be a better way of putting it as they are passed on down the genetic line every time a sperm fertilizes an egg. As I understand it they would be encoded in the genes as a rough and ready survival program designed to ensure the survival of the species.

[Peter]: The same sort of survival instincts that one sees in play in animals in the wild?

[Richard]: Yep. Exactly the same. Human beings are animals after all.

[Peter]: That’s something human beings don’t necessarily like to remind themselves of too often. But to recap, what you found deep down inside of you were these passions – these instinctual passions – and these passions are ‘me’ at my core. And this is not the ‘me’ who is a social construct (the ego in spiritual terms) but this a far more basic and primal ‘me’ (the soul in spiritual terms).

[Richard]: An instinctual ‘self’ or an instinctual ‘being’ if you prefer non-spiritual terms.

[Peter]: I do, because they make more sense to me. Okay, what are these instincts? Fear is an obvious one …

[Richard]: Well, there is fear and there is aggression – the flight or fight response – and then there are the passions to do with the perpetuation of the species – desire and nurture. But I’d like to do a bit of research on the subject and come back to you …

I won’t go on as this is a somewhat fanciful attempt at reconstructing a long-lost conversation but it will give you the flavour of the fact that Richard was well aware of what he had discovered and what he was dealing with, it was just that I prompted him to put it into terms that made sense to me. It is good to remember that he was born on a farm and had an intimate knowledge of the animal instinctual passions, whereas I was born in the suburbs of a city and as such was a step removed from such first-hand experience.

But the moment Richard said ‘instinctual’ I knew what he meant … and the deep-seated passions he was talking about then made sense to me. Not only had I seen the instinctual passions in action in other animals but I had seen them in action in human animals and more tellingly, I had also experienced them in action in me. I had felt the blind rage of jealousy, I had felt the overwhelming urge to obliterate someone or something, I had experienced the dread of fear, I had felt the over-powering anguish of grief, I had experienced the compulsive lust for power and been besieged by sexual craving.

If you have experienced any of these instinctual passions in action then you will have experienced that, whilst the instinctual ‘self’ is not actual – as in not having a physical existence that can be located as a distinct entity existing somewhere inside the flesh and blood human body – it is nevertheless very real in that it is the root of human malice and sorrow. And it doesn’t get more real than that. An intellectual understanding that the ‘self’ is not real is the usual spiritual line of thinking – but the experiential understanding that the instinctual ‘self’ is very real is vital if one aspires to become free of malice and sorrow.

I say this because it is impossible to dare to do whatever is necessary to rid oneself of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire if you are in denial of, or are dissociated from, your own instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.



Actual Freedom List Index

Peter’s Writings and Correspondence

Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer and Use Restrictions and Guarantee of Authenticity