Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
Correspondent No 88
RESPONDENT: Now, the real question goes to Vineeto & Peter only, as Richard never claims any quality except those which RIPEETO is so naively describing.
But why don’t you, Peter and Vineeto, have to stress more than once that you are honest and of pure intent aka heart? Because only to those endowed with these qualities shalt the gates of heaven be opened? But, then again – of what concern is it to your audience that you ARE honest & pure? You will notice the results yourself, anyway, and your state of virtual freedom seems to me to be quite comparable to what a lot of other reasonable beings, on this list or not, have achieved in this lifetime. The difference is that many of those other people don’t CLAIM honesty all the time – they LIVE it – no fuss about it. OTOH, your repeated stressing of purity & honesty makes me wonder even more why, then, the process Richard is describing has not occured in you yet. But then again, patience and perseverance are of the essence, we know. In your OSHO time and before, have you done a lot of Mantra practice? Honest vs. dishonest, pure vs. dirty 6/9/2005
RESPONDENT: Peter, Vineeto, may you not find your lives completely wasted but profit in the best possible way from your ‘big leap’. I’m certain you will enjoy life with Richard. For taste’s sake, try not to be too hypocritical about honesty – and don’t, if possible to avoid, tell people you’re just being honest about honesty. Well, I guess it’s impossible to avoid. Human Comedy Goodbye List. 7/9/2005
PETER: Despite the fact that you asked a loaded question and not a real question and that your question was but a prelude to a premature evacuation the very next day, I’ll post the following as it is what I wrote immediately preceding the quote I sent to No 60 last night with regard to my honest-to-myself attentiveness of the full range and extent of my feelings –
I remember once talking to someone on our balcony about the business of taking a good clear look at my feelings and beliefs – ‘to bring them out into the open in order to shine the bright light of awareness on them’ is the way that Richard has put it. As we talked, my visitor was somewhat bewildered as to why I would want to do it. He indicated that I was somehow kidding myself by wanting to be as happy and harmless as humanly possible – in fact, I got the impression that he thought me dishonest and insincere because his conviction was that to be ‘honest’ meant to cherish one’s feelings and to be ‘sincere’ meant to let them all hang out and to hell with everyone else.
Exploring and investigating the dark side of one’s own psyche while neither expression nor repressing is only one aspect of the business of examining one’s own feelings and passions – there are some very sweet aspects to be discovered as well. One exploration that is fascinating to make is to get in touch with one’s childhood naiveté. A lot of people are well acquainted with getting in touch with their childhood hurts and wounds – the times they were bullied, the times they were wrongly accused of something they didn’t do, the feelings of indigitation, the feelings of resentment, loneliness and so on … but I found that there were also wonderful memories of carefree days of leaving home in the morning and riding my bike for hours on end, either alone or with mates, simply riding for the fun of riding, exploring for the fun of exploring, being aimless for sheer exuberance of being aimless – the only restriction being that I needed to be home before dark. They were days immersed in a childhood guileless naiveté, the closet to being innocent that is possible within the human condition.
By the simple act of getting in touch with this childhood naiveté once again, I realized that it had never ever quite gone away in my later life – that despite all the trials and tribulations of later life I had never quite lost it entirely and bowed under to cynicism. On reflection, I guess this is why I was such a ‘fool’ or so ‘dishonest’ or so ‘insincere’ or so ‘hypocritical’ as to want to eliminate malice and sorrow from my life in order that I could again become as guileless and as carefree again as I was in those childhood days.
Of course, as you have rightly pointed out, this is not an actual freedom from malice and sorrow – it’s still ‘me’ being a feeling being – but for me feeling felicitous and being once-again naďve sure beats feeling miserable and being resentful.
RESPONDENT: The wonder of the world is what is most obvious and most mysterious at the same time: that one can see, hear, smell, taste, feel temperature and touch and the position of the body. The mystery to me, is not that it is the universe which experiences itself as a human body, that is quite obvious; the strange thing is how ANY EXPERIENCE, any kind of PERCEPTION is possible. The explanation to THIS I call factor X or noumenon.
The meaning of life in one sentence: The meaning of life is that afterwards it’s over.
The story which for me comes closest to this is from Spain and has its origin, alas, in the recent wave of fanatic terror. You remember the simultaneous train bombings which were supposed to occur all inside the central station in order to take it down? A man killed there, as so many, left wife and child. The woman couldn’t bear to tell her child that his father was dead. So she told the five-year-old that, as he certainly remembered was his father’s ability and habit, he had again done some magic: he had transfigured himself into one of the stars at the sky. She pointed out to her child into which one. The next evening, it was already dark when the mother came home from work, her child was standing at the window, holding a sheet of paper to the glass. What are you doing? the woman asked. Only then did she realize what he was doing, which was what he told her: I’m showing my new painting to dad!
PETER: Your story reminded me of an event that happened in my life –
As you can see they are similar events in that both relate to a parent’s reaction to a family member’s death – one was an acceptance and perpetuation in the belief in a life after death, the other was to not accept and not perpetuate the belief in a life after death because the experience of the finality of physical death made the imaginary nature of this belief clear.
This event proved pivotal in my life as it proved to be the beginning of the end of my spiritual search. Once I had pulled the plug on the belief in a life after death – the core belief that underpins all spiritual/ religious/ metaphysical belief – I was much more able to clearly look at the flaws and failures of the whole spiritual business. What I also realize, in hindsight, is that it was the beginning of my search for the meaning of life, not in some other-worldly non-physical realm or ‘noumenon’ but right here on earth in this life time.
As it turned out, it took me several more years before I was finally ready to completely give up the spiritual search … and then I serendipitously came across Richard who pointed me not only to the fact that the meaning of life was to be found in the physical world but his description of his ongoing experience twigged my own memory of having at least once experienced the intrinsic meaning of life to be found in what he terms the actual world (in order to distinguish it from the grim reality that feeling human beings invariably feel the physical world to be).
Just to round this off with a further comment. You said above –
As you may have gathered from my life experiences, it was only when I accepted the fact that there was no afterwards that I could focus my attention on seeking the meaning of life in the very physical world where we corporeal mortal earthlings live. The more I did so the more ridiculous it seemed that I should have ever been hooked into believing that the meaning of life should or could be anywhere else but here on earth and at any other time but this very moment of being alive.
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