Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
Correspondent No 93
PETER: The fact that I know I am having a PCE and that I know that it is temporary and that it will end is a sure sign to me that, although for all intents and purpose there is no ‘I’ present, only ‘I’ could know that the experience is temporary because only ‘I’ can know that ‘I’ will eventually return.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t there a simpler explanation? Is it not just as likely that a mind capable of noticing the absence of ‘me’ is also capable of anticipating the return of ‘me’?
PETER: In my experience your explanation could well be more confusing and even has the potential to be totally misleading.
The key to a PCE for me is unmediated sensate experiencing and this sensuousness happens whether thinking is happening … or not happening. In a PCE it is palpably experienced that the sensation of touch happens at the skin-air or skin-object interface and not in the brain, that the sensation of sounds happen in the ears and not in the brain, that smell is perceived in the nose and not in the brain, that taste happens in the mouth and not in the brain and that it is the eyes that do the seeing and not the brain of this body. In a PCE, the brain is the organ that makes possible an awareness of this sensate experience, a feedback loop that allows an awareness of this awareness, the ability to make sense of sensate experiencing if necessary as well as a capacity for abstract thinking.
Because this fundamental shift in the nature of experiencing – from subjective/ restricted to objective/ unfettered – is the prime most obvious aspect of a PCE, it can be confusing to give particular emphasis to ‘a mind’ as it can indicate, and usually does as indicated in spiritual teachings, that the mind is an object/ entity separate from the body. For example, you are probably familiar with the phrase – ‘I am not my body, I am not my mind’ and have heard of people who talk of ‘no-mind’ experiences.
RESPONDENT: This explanation would eliminate the problem of an absent ‘self’ being present enough to know of its eventual return.
PETER: What problem? I can see that it well may be a philosophical conundrum for some but it would not be a problem for someone who has experienced the direct intimacy and immediacy of the actual world in a PCE and it is most certainly not a problem whilst one is having a PCE, despite the fact that I know that ‘I’ will reappear ‘on stage’ again, as it were, be it with a swagger or be it as a fervent lurker and inevitable spoiler.
If you are seeking a simpler explanation – if someone asked me during a PCE if was I free of the Human Condition, my immediate answer would be no because I would know by experience that what I was experiencing was a temporary experience simply because the event that precipitates an actual freedom had not yet occurred.
RESPONDENT: It is quite consistent with your experience, and also with Richard’s.
PETER: On a few occasions recently I have had clients who have proceeded to tell me not only how to design their building but also how it should be built, despite the fact that they have had little to no hands-on trial-and-error experience in either the process of designing let alone the nitty-gritty business of actually building a building. What they inevitably do is make what is simple and obvious to me by experience into something that is complex and problematic due to a lack of hands-on experience.
RESPONDENT: I would hazard a guess that your ‘simpler’ explanation than my explanation of my experience, let alone Richard’s ongoing experience, may well fall into that same category … but I may well be wrong. In the interest of clearing up any confusion about the matter, the question is – are you talking from your own experience or are you merely offering a supposition?
PETER: If you are talking from experience, then we can swap notes as it were. If you are making a supposition, then my explanation of the experience may well be helpful in coming to grips with making sense of the temporary experience of the perfection and purity of the universe – an experience that is mostly forgotten, has rarely been documented and even remained unlabelled until Richard coined the term ‘Pure Consciousness Experience’.
RESPONDENT: You did not know that your first PCE would be temporary. In subsequent PCE’s your brain was equipped with the knowledge that past experiences of that nature were temporary. Such knowledge cast a slight shadow over the experience without there necessarily being a ‘self’ present to cast that shadow. Richard, on the other hand, knows that his AF/PCE is permanent and immutable. A PCE and AF could be identical in all ways but one: in AF there is no shadow cast by the knowledge that this experience will be temporary.
PETER: I notice that you have now changed from using the word ‘mind’ to using the word ‘brain’. Nevertheless, given the profound influence that Eastern spirituality has had on current understandings on not only the nature of consciousness but also on the extent of human experiencing, the use of the term ‘a mind’ in this context usually indicates the almost universal belief that the mind is of itself an entity, an entity that is the source of not only anguish, but also of all evils.
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