Peter’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
PETER: Hi Gary,
The wonderful world of computers has kept me from writing again. I have had computer sagas going on for 3 months now and I still can’t see the horizon yet. I won’t bore you with the details, but it looks as though I will have to throw some more money at it and re-format it at least once more. I have gone from not wanting to know about the inner working of computers to needing to know in order to get it up and running again simply because no mechanic was available who was capable of fixing many of the faults. I have had to discover for myself, and largely by myself, by trial and error and a process of elimination of what didn’t fix the faults. The best thing of all was that increasingly any emotional responses wore out – be they trepidation, frustration or annoyance. Like any problem, breakdown, mistake, accident or difficulty – to suffer an emotional response on top of the situation not only compounds the problem, but makes finding the best solution almost impossible.
I am well pleased.
PETER: I remember the feeling of freedom from spiritual belief as being very tangible – I walked taller in the world, as it were, my integrity restored. I remember thinking afterwards – what was all the fuss about? Why did I find it so difficult?
GARY: I still sometimes find when the going gets rough, i.e. during periods of anxiety or dread, that there is a slight stirring of the old spiritual beliefs, usually in the form of wanting to pray for deliverance or guidance. I experienced this in fact yesterday when I became greatly confused and anxious – I was aware of a desire to pray as a way of getting out of it all – kind of like taking a drink for relief. At that point, I just remained aware of what was going on, and began focusing more on this feeling of anxiety I was experiencing.
Eventually, through bringing attention and awareness to the feelings and emotions that were storming inside me, the anxiety wore itself out, and I was much calmer.
PETER: It is fascinating to track a feeling or emotion from the moment it arises until the moment it abates. Sometimes there is an identifiable event that is the cause of the onset but sometimes a mood, emotional pallor or fervour can seep in – seemingly without any cause and then slip away by itself, as it were. These seemingly causeless intrusions are everyday events in ‘normal’ life, even lauded as giving an otherwise boring mundane life some meaning, flavour or colour.
However, when an actualist has feeling good or feeling excellent as his or her bottom-line benchmark in life, an urgent obsession develops to become free of the emotional roller-coaster that passes for a normal life or the surreal delusion that passes for a spiritual life. The first essential step is developing, cultivating and maintaining an ongoing awareness of feelings and emotions – as in ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive – this the only moment I can actually experience?’
GARY: This morning, as I was preparing my usual cup of coffee, I became aware that in the past month or so, my intake of caffeine has been sharply increased, so much so in fact that I am wondering if that may be part of the reason I am experiencing anxiety. Caffeine has been a trigger for me in the past and it is an insidious kind of thing – it kind of sneaks up on me without my realizing it. So I am planning on cutting down on the coffee and see what happens.
PETER: During my spiritual years I dutifully followed most of the dietary beliefs and social mores associated with New Dark Age spiritualism. I dutifully became a vegetarian during these years, as this was the expected norm in the group I was involved with. However, as I became free of spiritual belief, I also became free of the need to blindly follow the herd. I quickly resumed meat eating as I personally find it the most flavoursome way of getting protein and I also developed a connoisseur’s delight in fresh brewed coffee. There is a general poo-poohing of coffee-drinking in the local NDA community and much hype about its health consequences. Given that coffee drinking is so wide-spread in so many countries in the world with no discernable health consequences as opposed to non-coffee drinking populations, I have put the general anti-coffee drinking hype into the not-proven, scare-mongering myth category. Coffee drinking then becomes a personal preference because I enjoy the taste of good coffee and I have no adverse reactions to caffeine. I have sometimes noticed a rush after a particularly excellent cup, but then again, I sometimes get a similar rush from a particularly good piece of fish, duck, ham, fruit, etc., not to mention the sensual pleasure of sex. Perhaps this rush could be classified as a brief sensory overload as it is physically based and not emotionally based.
The whole area of distinguishing and separating emotional reactions and the associated chemical reactions from peak sensate experiences and bountiful sensual enjoyment is a fascinating field of exploration. To experience this change of focus of your awareness from ‘self’-centred affective-chemical to pure sensate-sensual will become more and more interesting as you eliminate more of the normal emotional reactions that act to distort, pervert and obscure the sensual delight of the world we actually live in. As more and more of ‘me’, the spoiler, is progressively eliminated, I began to increasingly directly experience the paradisaical nature of this planet we humans live on. The local supermarket becomes a cornucopia of taste with delicious things to eat, almost jumping off the shelves at me. I swim through the air when walking downtown – sometimes moist and heavy with tropical scents, sometimes brisk, sparkling and effervescent. My flat is a comfortable cave, so chock a block full of comfort and pleasure that it alone satisfies all of my needs.
The very things, objects, implements, appliances and electronic toys become fascinating things – the matter of the universe. Everything on this planet is fashioned from the animal, vegetable or mineral of this planet. Nothing is experienced as alien or unnatural, separate from or different than me, this flesh and blood body. This flesh and blood body is, in fact, animate matter of this planet. I am an earthling, created from the joining of a sperm and an egg of other earthlings, grown and sustained by consuming animal, vegetable and mineral matter of this very same planet. What I am, however, is not only animate matter, as in animal, but what I am is conscious animate matter, bristling with sensory receptors, which also allows me to not only experience the rich lingering mouth-filling flavour of a fresh brewed cup of coffee ... but to thoroughly enjoy the sensuousness of it.
And to think I was socially and instinctually conditioned to constantly complain about, and even resent, being here and that I once believed in the traditional sop to this conditioning by constantly being grateful to some God-man or non-existent mythical God, force or energy ... It does seem more than a little strange that I once believed all this crap.
PETER: It is common wisdom that suffering is good for you, you get stronger from suffering, that you grow and learn by suffering, etc. By experiencing the bitter-sweet lure of feeling sad, by observing it in action in your life and sufficiently investigating the roots of sorrow and depression, you eventually come to realize that all you get from suffering is more suffering. The feeling of sorrow is a seemingly bottomless pit leading only to utter despair where the only way out of a living hell seems to be suicide.
GARY: Personally I see no point in suffering. Having said that I see no point in it does not mean, however, that I am free from it. I have experienced, since I quit my job, ‘utter despair’ on a number of occasions. I have investigated into these feelings but I can’t say I understand them fully or comprehensively. If there is a ‘bitter-sweet lure of feeling sad’, I am not sure what it is. Perhaps it just confirms that there is a ‘me’ there. I know that I sometimes punish myself terribly. It has happened a couple of times recently, within the last week or so, that I was suffering so from anxiety and depression – I felt I could not bear it any more. I remained in the state of awareness, questioning myself about the feelings and emotions, and telling myself that it was utterly futile to be suffering like this. A couple of times a curious thing happened: all of a sudden I was free from the crushing emotions I had had. It was so sudden and it seemed like nothing that ‘I’ had done to bring this about. The anxious and depressed feelings simply abated and went away, to be followed by a wonderful feeling of relief. This has happened a couple of times, so I know that the process of awareness and ‘self’-investigation works, but there is definitely nothing easy or comfortable about it. It seems that it is the light of awareness that shines away the gloomy feelings and gloomy moods and not anything that I have done. On one occasion, the feelings dissipated so completely and so suddenly that I found myself hardly recognizing that it had happened. And when I did reflect on what had happened, I was astounded by it.
PETER: Indeed a feeling, mood or emotion tends to be very fickle, often coming and going for no apparent reason. Once you begin to understand and experience this coming and going, you can then concentrate your awareness on nipping them in the bud ever earlier in their cycle. Soon you will find you are able to nip them in the bud as they begin to happen – a sort of ‘oops here it comes again’ or ‘ah ha, that one again’. The spiritual aflicionados talk of ‘watching’ the rising and falling of emotions – although they tend to call them thoughts – thereby becoming a dissociated ‘watcher’, very often completely dis-identifying with the undesirable passions by developing a new holier-than-thou identity.
For an actualist the trick is to identify and label each of these feelings and emotions as they arise in order to understand them – not transcend or sublimate the undesirable passions and formulate a new identity centred on desire and narcissism. It is vitally important to not only be aware of the coming and going of emotions, but to understand both the causes and the effects of this debilitating cycle. This very understanding then serves to increase your awareness of how your psyche is programmed to operate – which then means you are able to hit the delete button as soon as you feel yourself slipping down the old familiar paths of being grumpy, resentful, annoyed, lacklustre, morose, worried, anxious, etc. Awareness without understanding is nought but ignorance perpetuated.
PETER: Personally, I did not have to dredge this deep to cut the ties to sorrow but I did explore fear to its limits of dread and terror. It does seem that exploring and experiencing the extreme limits of some of the passions may come about on the path to becoming free of them, but as more information and experiences are logged up this may well be unnecessary for many who follow. I can remember after my dread and terror experience saying that I had done that and didn’t need to explore any further.
GARY: I think there is a lot of variance in what people experience based on their life circumstances, their ‘personality’, physical constitution, life experiences, etc, etc. If other people can get through pain and suffering more quickly than I, then my hat is off to them. I do have the sense sometimes of banging my head into a brick wall. I don’t think it is necessary to go to the utter limit and experience the feelings and passions to their fullest all the time. Sometimes I just get to a state of being numb, and I can’t take any further investigation into it. Sometimes it’s a good idea to break it off and have a laugh at yourself, take walk outside, get some fresh air, or whatever turns you on.
PETER: I’ve made a fairly close assessment of the particular qualities that Richard has that enabled him to break free from the Human Condition – to have rid himself of any social or instinctual identity whatsoever. What sticks out for me is stubborn persistence – an adamant refusal to ever give up. Curiously enough, this attribute is common to all pioneering explorers – all human advancements have been founded on this very attitude. The difference between Richard and any others who are following him is that there is such a good descriptive map of the path to freedom laid out now. We know by our own pure consciousness experiences that ‘self’-lessness is possible and we now know how to make it incrementally happen. We also know by our own pure consciousness experiences that peace-on-earth exists right here, right now and that only ‘I’ stand in the way of experiencing it. Some parts of the journey can indeed be intense and difficult but it is useful to remind yourself every now and again that all the turmoil and intensity is only going on in your head and heart – the actual world is always perfect and always peaceful. You will find that the further you travel along the path the more you will understand this dichotomy between real and actual and the more you will get to experience the perfection and purity that is always ever here.
PETER: The two common human reactions can be crudely summarized as fight or flight – assertiveness, standing up for ‘my’ rights, making ‘my’ point, demanding justice, etc. are in the fight category and being humble, surrendering ‘my’ will, being grateful, turning the other cheek, being a pacifist, etc. are reactions in the flight category. These typical reactions are prevalent both in the spiritual world and the real world and are socially instilled and/or instinctually programmed. The one common denominator in all these reactions is that there is a ‘me’ involved – a ‘me’ who is strong or weak, a ‘me’ who is right or wrong, a ‘me ’ who is good or bad, a ‘me’ who stands and fights or slinks away. The only way out of this seesawing emotional turmoil is to become autonomous – to become free of one’s own social and instinctual programming such that your being happy and harmless is independent of external influences and conditions. <snip>
GARY: Yes. I appreciate your thoughts on it this way. And I have found it helpful to realize that there is this pole of opposing conditions-aggressiveness (which masquerades as ‘assertiveness’) and submission/humility. I can see that these are largely instinctual reactions and their socially inculcated derivatives. Being autonomous does not mean that you become a doormat and let people walk all over you. In my personal experience, it is characterized by a complete and total ease in dealing with and interacting with other people regardless of their position in the social hierarchy.
PETER: ‘Self’-lessness is always epitomized by bonhomie towards one’s fellow human beings.
GARY: Just a personal note on this here: I have noticed some very rare times when I am so incredibly comfortable dealing, say, with my boss, that there is no fear or aggression involved whatsoever. These moments, which must either be during PCEs or near-PCE experiences, are in such striking contrast to the other fitful, fearful, ‘walking on eggshells’ feelings that I usually get when dealing with authority figures, that I have wondered what is happening when they occur. Like I said, it does not occur very often, but when it does it is in such striking contrast to what usually happens in day-to-day interaction that I am utterly fascinated about how to make it happen again and again. Yet notice the paradox in this statement:
I want it to happen, but it only happens when ‘I’, the resentful, fearful, respectful, obliging, well-behaved entity, am not. Nevertheless, it is an exciting and fascinating business. There is an autonomy, which is marked by a complete absence of fear and aggression. There is a freedom from the entire human emotional-instinctual package, and the really exciting thing is that one can experience this for themselves, as in these excellence and PCE experiences, before the ‘main event’ of self-immolation, if or whether it is to occur.
PETER: I have written in my Journal of a stand-out PCE that pointed me firmly on the path to eliminating my own sorrow and aggression –
The amazing thing is that, some four years later, not only is fear of, and aggression towards, other human beings almost non-existent but increasingly it is replaced by a spontaneous genuine bonhomie towards my fellow human beings.
A Virtual Freedom not only means a virtual end to malice and sorrow but a growing unmasking and unshackling of the underlying purity and perfection of a ‘self’-less flesh and blood body. This change is a noticeable, tangible change and nowhere more so than in interacting with other people.
PETER: Autonomy isn’t something that can be practiced because this only leads to feeling independent with its inherent qualities of feeling separate and feeling superior. Becoming autonomous is the inevitable result of becoming actually free of the shackles of the human condition. Just as an aside to the issue of assertiveness, it is both interesting and informative to see the parallels between the psychologically-based movements aimed at establishing a strong and assertive self and the Eastern religious-based movements aimed at establishing a dissociated and superior self. The distinctions are seemingly nowhere more blurred than in the U.S. where the utter ‘self’-ishness and ‘self’-centred nature of both movements are so intermingled that every pursuit and every activity has the tag spiritual added to it.
There is really scant difference between a self-help Guru and a Self-realized Guru. Both make their living, and get their kudos, from appealing to deep-seated narcissistic urges within every human psyche.
GARY: OK. I think I see the difference between autonomy and assertiveness a little better since we have had this exchange. Perhaps I should mention now that I have become very interested in knowing what causes pain – I mean emotional pain. Conversely, it is an interesting question what causes emotional feel-good feelings. But I seem to be more focused on emotional pain. This is another aspect of my ‘self’-investigations. I have sometimes mused ‘Why is this (what I am experiencing right now) so painful? What is this about? What is making this painful? Etc, etc. I have noticed the element of time looms large in any emotional pain I experience: there is either the regret or shame or guilt over something that has happened in the past, i.e. the belief that I have failed to measure up in terms of some hope or expectation, or perhaps a fixation of anger or resentment about something that has happened and the re-experiencing of these emotions again and again. There is also the element of a fearful or worried projection into the future- what if...? When I feel anxious, my mind and emotions are drawn to play out in my imagination events which have not happened but which I fear are going to happen.
I have noticed that when I am in emotional pain, it is usually a see-sawing between the past or the future. Alternatively, there is no pain in what is happening right now. There is no pain as this flesh-and-blood body with these sensations right now at this moment in time. It is curious how the feelings, the emotions, and the beliefs are founded on this illusion of either past and present, which of course seems at the time to be very real but is not. Underneath this fixation with either the past or the future, of course, is the instincts-there is an instinctive fear or dread sometimes of the future, which, when it kicks in, causes one to fearfully anticipate or project into the future, and there is this aggression turned against oneself (you described it this way once in a post awhile back) when one feels guilty, ashamed, depressed, aggrieved, etc. I have noticed when in great emotional pain, there is the constant swinging back and forth between past and present, past and present. It may seem like an insignificant point but I really feel I have made an important discovery about myself. Any comments?
PETER: Willie Shakespeare wrote many plays about emotional pain and he wrote a line in one of his plays that was to become famous – ‘To be ... or not to be? That is the question.’ As you know from your PCEs ‘to be or not to be’ is a non-sensical question – it is being a human being that is the very cause of human emotional pain and suffering.
The only way out of being a psychological/psychic entity continually seesawing between remembering the past or imaging the future, feeling low and seeking highs, while desperately trying to be present is to stop being a being – both a social and an instinctual being. The way to eliminate this entity, this pain-full being, is to continuously run the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ The magic of this question is two-fold. It brings your attention to this very moment, the only moment you can actually experience, and it brings both awareness of and understanding as to what feeling, mood or emotion is preventing you from being happy and harmless in this very moment.
PETER: Whenever I found myself despairing at the human condition, a quick check revealed that I was on the only sensible path to bring an unequivocal end to human violence and suffering – to bring an end to it in me. I had spent years involved in trying to change others according to my whims and beliefs, supporting this group in its battle with that group, riling against ‘the system’, ‘the leaders’, etc. I had also spent years hiding from the world in various spiritual groups, following various spiritual teachings while dutifully poo-poohing the beliefs of others.
Fortunately this gave me enough hands-on experience to be able to acknowledge that neither of these solution work, in fact, all that happens is that malice and sorrow is forever perpetuated and peace on earth forever remains an unrealisable dream. This knowing-by-experience what doesn’t work gave me the surety to relentlessly pursue the third alternative to remaining normal or becoming spiritual, no matter what.
GARY: It is of more importance to me, at the present time, to use my own pure consciousness experiences as my guide to what is possible rather than read others words. For a long time when first approaching actualism, I poured over the readings and printed materials on actualism. I was cleaning out my files the other day, consolidating some things, and I could not believe how big my file folder on actualism writings had become. Now I have slowed down quite a lot on the readings and am putting into practice the things I had read about. This knowing-by-experience what is possible – the sure knowledge that one can be free from the instincts, free from the Human Condition, by one’s own experiences, is priceless. This is what fascinates me and draws me in relentlessly to experience the best possible. Not a ‘personal best’ because, as I have said before, ‘my’ personal best is never good enough, but the very best that life at this present moment has to offer.
PETER: Good on you. Reading and understanding the instructions is one thing but eventually you have to set them aside and find out by trial and error for yourself. When I started, there was only Richard’s Journal available to read and I did so thoroughly until I could intellectually understand what was written. Then I stopped reading and was full-time into applying the method, investigating and discovering for myself, trying by trial and error. What I did was keep writing, starting with my journal, continuing with mailing lists and only lately do I seem to be slowing down a bit. Personally I found this useful because I was both checking and confirming my understanding of the Human Condition as well as subjecting myself to vigorous peer review, but the main issue is to pursue your own life-goal in which ever way is appropriate to you.
PETER: ... you always know that if something keeps coming back again then it is time to sit down and really nut out and investigate exactly what is going on, what is the nature and substance of this re-occurring feeling or emotion. Ultimately, it is your own integrity that ensures the process of actualism is fail-safe.
GARY: There is a terrific weight of conditioning and learning making up the socially inculcated social identity, not to mention hundreds of thousands of years of life on earth contributing to the strength of instinctual passions, genetically inherited by all creatures.
This is not so easily sloughed off, as I have found out up to this point. It takes much determined effort to investigate the nature and substance of these re-occurring feelings and emotions, yes. But with enough determined investigation, they seem to melt away of their own once one turns their full awareness to them. It is well worth the time and effort spent investigating these things, even if at the time it seems like a joy-killer – actually the feelings and passions being investigated are the joy-killers, not the other way around.
PETER: Yep. And we are not talking about ditching the old identity and adopting a new one as is commonly practiced. We are talking about consciously deleting all identity from the hard-drive. The only thing that gives you the confidence to keep going with this process is to experience the benefits of any deletions to date and to constantly acknowledge these tangible benefits. It is this that will prevent you from giving up and turning back.
PETER: It is such an obvious thing to do – to simplify one’s life so as to reduce stress. Not only does one become physically healthier but by reducing the franticness and busy-ness of continually complicating what is simple, it makes it easier to set aside the necessary time to investigate the real causes of your malice and sorrow. Again be wary of the usual alternatives – deliberately engaging in battle to prove your warrior-worth or deliberately withdrawing form battle to prove your good-ness. No need to add that the third alternative is the common sense approach – eliminate the ‘he’ or ‘she’ who feels stressed-out and/or seeks refuge in feeling blissed-out.
GARY: The experience of stress is interesting in itself. What seems to cause stress often is nothing other than having competing demands to perform complicated tasks within limited time constraints. When I have ‘stress’, I feel that I am being pulled in too many directions at once and hence am not effective. Or, ‘stress’ can be the smoke screen for other feelings and emotions – anger, annoyance, frustration, etc. All these things seem to be involved. I have devoted some attention over the years to becoming more detail-oriented and organized. I think this helps reduce the stress of being overwhelmed with details. So I think there are sometimes task demands that get involved with stress, particularly job stress. Then the sensible thing seems to be to prioritize, organize, and such, and if one cannot do these things, one needs to learn to do so. And there are the emotional aspects of stress, such as eliminating anger, frustration, etc. Another sensible thing to do seems to be, when one is experiencing stress, break it down into what one is actually experiencing – is it anger, frustration, boredom, exhaustion? Name it, first of all, look at it, examine what is happening, and use the silly-sensible comparison in order to determine what is the next most sensible thing to do.
PETER: I was talking to a businessman recently about his business and he had several approaches to dealing with stress, all of which were ways of coping with the symptoms and none of which tackled the disease itself. The other common approach is to seek relief by dissociative methods such as meditation, being a watcher, right thinking, yogic exercises, prayer, going ‘inside’, remembering your real self, etc. As you indicate, the sensible approach is tackle the disease itself by actively and incrementally eliminating it.
PETER: You are on your own in this business of actualism, but you are not alone. Countless people have and are seeking peace on earth – an end to the appalling violence and senseless suffering that human beings continuously inflict on themselves and others.
Many have even sheeted home the cause of violence and suffering to the animal instinctual passions while others have addressed the issue of the ‘self’-centredness, but all these efforts have failed to date simply because of the human obsession with the past. For some inexplicable reason humanity reveres the wisdom of shamans, witchdoctors and mystics and doggedly refuses to let go of the ancient fairy stories of good and evil spirits, Gods and demons and an ongoing life after death for the human spirit.
GARY: The longer I am at this, the more I realize that the past is irrelevant to living in peace and harmony with other human beings. There is always this going back to the past – one’s past history, one’s tribe with their mores and traditions, the ‘lessons’ of the past, etc. The past has taught us nothing about living in peace and harmony and reliance on the past is reliance on the ‘Tried and Failed’. Something completely, totally new is needed. ‘I’ am the result of all these past influences. ‘I’ am what is preventing peace and harmony on earth from being realized.
PETER: It is such a simple fact, is it not? Human beings have lived in so-called civilized communities for over 5,000 years from the physical evidence available and these communities all operated under varying moral and ethical codes, all worshipped various Gods, all practiced spiritual practices. And yet this same physical evidence points to the fact that human beings have been in a constant state of warfare with each other during this entire period and continue to do so. There is ample myth about a golden age, a time of innocence and peace but absolutely no evidence to support it. I don ’t need to be a historian or archaeologist to know this – I only have to look back at my own lifetime. Things were never better in the past – my father’s life was much tougher than mine, less comforts, less technology, less leisure time, less pleasures, less entertainment, less information and educational opportunities, etc.
To dwell in the past makes ever-freshness an impossibility – or to put it another way, you are certainly not the same Gary who started this process, so why be worried about ‘him’ and whatever ‘he’ thought or felt in the past.
PETER: There are intrinsic fears to overcome in completely breaking free of spiritual belief, for the priests and God-men ultimately rule by peddling fear and superstition. But the stranglehold has now been conclusively broken and you and I and others are reaping the benefit not only from Richard’s discovery, but also from the cumulative efforts of many before who sought peace on earth.
You are on your own in this business of actualism, but you are certainly not alone.
GARY: Breaking free from the past is indeed frightening, but the rewards are legion. There is no contentment within the Human Condition. The search for peace whilst living in the Human Condition is like a dog chasing its’ tail. One tries and tries but never gets there.
‘There’ is ‘here’, right under our noses, when ‘I’ with my cares and woes, loves and hates, dreams and hopes, ideals and schemes, plans and goals, is not. There is nothing else to compare with being here now in this present moment of being alive. It is so simple, in a way quite ordinary, but definitely an incomparable experience.
PETER: One of the invaluable aspects of this mailing list is to be able to confirm these far-better than normal, and far-superior than spiritual, experiences with others. To know from other’s experiences that it is possible to raise the bar of human experience that everyone has mutually agreed should be set on the most miserable of lows – just getting by, as in ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’ or practicing getting out of it, as in ‘I’m just a spirit, passing through’. To confirm that it is possible to feel good, or even feel excellent in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. It is impossible for a grumpy, resentful, melancholy or angry person to activate sufficient naiveté and delight to trigger a pure consciousness experience, let alone experience a sustained period of feeling good or feeling excellent. As I’ve said before, if a person ain’t willing to make the effort to be virtually happy and virtually harmless then their interest in actualism will remain intellectual only.
I like it that you have read sufficient of the instructions to now know what you need to do and how to do it. I do relate to this stage of pushing off from the edge and plunging in, regardless. For me, this stage coincided with realizing that my becoming free of the human condition was totally my business and totally my journey ... and that any rewards would only come by my efforts. I also had sufficient confidence by this stage to know that I could rely on the combination of my own integrity and the sincere intent gleaned from my own pure consciousness experiences. Once understood, it is a necessary stage to then put the instruction book aside and get on with the experiment. You can always pick it up when you need it or even put a note in some margin or other if you think it may be of use to others.
PETER: We moved to a new flat last weekend, so I am now sitting at my almost-totally-new computer in our new flat, looking out over heath covered sand dunes at the Pacific Ocean. As I look out the windows, three hang gliders are hovering over the lighthouse on the cape and the palm trees in the street are being tossed in the coastal wind. The ocean is a steely blue-grey, today reflecting a seemingly paler autumnal sky. It is a scene of such everyday stillness and utter peace, repeated this very moment, in every nook and cranny, all over this vast paradisiacal planet.
As Vineeto is working today, it is one of those days that I often like to write, but I find myself oddly stuck for words. I remember when I first came across Richard he was in the process of putting the finishing touches to his Journal and he would often say that all he wanted to do was put his words out into the world, so that they would be available for anyone who was interested. It struck me as odd at the time for I imagined he would want to do far more than that. It was inconceivable to me at the time that he would not spend the rest of his life trying to change the world – to try and convince people that they could become both happy and harmless rather than stay miserable and aggressive.
I now know what he meant by ‘all he wanted to do was to make the words of what he labelled actualism available for others’, for I now find myself at a stage where I am experiencing the idea of changing the world or bringing peace to the world as like a sail with no wind in it. It seems that even my passion for actualism is now fading as it is finally dawning on me that I am running out of words to say and experiences to relate. It is as though I am no longer interested in actualism but I would say it is more accurate to say that I am no longer a practicing actualist for whenever I run the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ I can no longer muster a self-centred emotional or neurotic response. It is as though Peter the actualist has run his course, written his words, and is more than ready for retirement.
Richard wrote after the event of becoming actually free of the Human Condition via the torturous route of Enlightenment and out the other side, whereas I wrote of the direct process of becoming free of the Human Condition and I find myself more and more unable to write of a process that now seems to have passed its active phase where ‘I’ am in any way involved in it happening or continuing to happen.
It is as though my work is done both as an active actualist and as a documenter of the process of actualism. This stage has been going on for some months now and shows no sign of abating. At first I attributed it to laziness but I suspect it is more than that. I suspect it is the end of an era, the end of one extraordinary adventure and the beginning of another.
As I write this I am aware that I have written similarly before as an ongoing awareness or intellectual understanding but, as is often the case, some time later I find that an actual and tangible change has occurred. It requires patience, perseverance and confidence to go through these pregnant periods where awareness, understanding and insight coalesce into actual and tangible change – before you can chalk up another step out from the Human Condition. It’s a bit like leaning forward when you walk – every now and again you suddenly realize that what you had been busy with is now well and truly left behind ... and another issue comes swanning in to view, all by itself.
PETER: Well, having said that about writing, I do enjoy our correspondences and their increasing casualness and intimacy, so no doubt I will keep on keeping on, for as long as they go on. I was re-reading some of our past correspondence before filing them away and a few topics caught my eye to make comment on. There is neither rhyme nor reason to the selection, and no continuity at all between the topics, hence the title pot-pourri for this post.
GARY: Having access to these discussions is an invaluable help because without the encouragement and ability to compare notes with others one might easily despair and give up. Few people that I come into contact with in my day-to-day life seem to be interested in ‘becoming free from malice and sorrow’. Having an infusion of the energy and enthusiasm of others from time to time for the process of actualism is an invaluable aid, and it is what this mailing list was set up for.
PETER: I was talking to Vineeto the other night about our life experiences and what lead us to actualism. A common thread was a dissatisfaction with the pseudo peace of the spiritual world – the sham of the talk and feelings of ‘we are all one’ vs. the actuality of the selfishness, divisiveness and isolationism of all religious/spiritual fantasies. Many of our contemporaries coped by being cynical about ‘the organization’ or the people in it and went on about their own selfish pursuit of Self-realization while others adopted a Sunday-spirituality approach to life. In talking we both agreed that cynicism is the pits – it hurts, as it is the most debilitating of human attitudes.
So overwhelming is cynicism both in the real world and the hallowed cloisters of the spiritual world that the only way to continue spiritual pursuit is to pretend to be absolutely gullible in order to veil the underlying pain of cynicism. Spiritual followers need to be absolutely gullible in order to abandon all intelligence and common sense, to turn a blind eye to all the ‘evils’ perpetrated in the name of ‘goodness’ and to opt for believing puerile fairy stories that there is life after death for ‘me’ as a spirit-only being in an imaginary spirit-world.
To be a spiritualist one needs to be both deeply cynical about human existence on this fair planet and absolutely gullible in order to believe in the archaic fairy stories of good and evil spirits.
It takes an enormous amount of naiveté to consider that there is indeed a third alternative – that peace on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body only is not only possible, but definitely attainable.
To be an actualist it is imperative to abandon cynicism and gullibility and actively cultivate naiveté – the closest thing to actual innocence.
PETER: In hindsight, in similar types of conversations I see I was simply presenting the fact that the much-vaunted feeling of love didn’t work because it has always failed to bring about peace between human beings. The same is evident with the revered spiritual feeling of unconditional love-for-all – it also has failed miserably in eventuating anything remotely resembling peace on earth. I was not presenting a viewpoint nor taking a side, I was simply stating a fact ... and offering an alternative.
GARY: Yes, to me it is fact that love has failed to bring about peace between human beings. It does, however, bring about a kind of ‘pseudo-peace’, which is actually no peace at all. I am reminded of Scott Peck’s work with group development, when the group goes into an initial phase of ‘pseudo-community’: the people in the group have a cozy, amiable feeling of being connected and liking one another’s company, a feeling which on the surface passes for community but is shattered further down the line when the inevitable conflicts and in-fighting occur in the group. This is a dynamic one can easily observe in spiritual groups, when the members bask in the cozy ‘We are all one’ feeling. Which makes it all the more painful when these groups develop the characteristic power struggles and malicious in-fighting that all groups of humans are prone to. I easily recall the depth of the pain that Quakers went through, coupled with the denial of their part in the problems, when the Quaker group was torn apart by conflicts between the members.
My own adaptation to the problems at the time was a kind of stunned denial and detachment from what was going on, as I was still very much a religious person. It marked, however, the start of my retreat and eventual abandonment of religion/spirituality.
PETER: I like it that your area of experience and expertise is therapy and social work. At one stage Richard was interested in writing about actualism in terms of becoming free from the passions and neuroses that typify the Human Condition without using any spiritual terms such as ego, soul etc. – a sort of real-world approach to actualism. Of course, once you become sufficiently free of the spiritual world and its seductive lure, what is left is a much more pragmatic approach to eliminating the instinctual passions and self-centred neuroses that give substance to who you think and feel you are, as distinct to what you actually are.
Actualism is anathema to vested interests of spiritualism as is evident by increasingly hysterical responses and blatant denials of so many of the correspondents to date in objecting to being happy and harmless – but no doubt some of actualism will be adopted and distorted as a clip on as a way for spiritualists to be ‘more present in the market place’. Actualism will also be anathema to the vested interests of psychiatry, psychology and sociology, but no doubt again some of it will be adopted and distorted as a clip on as a way of being able to better cope with being in the real world.
All of this, while not being ‘the full Monty’, can nevertheless only be beneficial to those involved.
Your expertise and experience in the therapy/social work field that comes through in your writing is serving not only to help dismiss the pathetic historic aberration of spiritual escapism but also fleshes out the process that leads to the progressive elimination of the psychosis and neurosis that is the Human Condition.
PETER: Actualism is not about avoiding, withdrawing, hiding or suppressing. Actualism is not about becoming a hermit or a monk or a nun. Unless one is fully engaged in the world, unless one is fully prepared to investigate all of the major issues that prevent an actual intimacy with one’s fellow human beings, fundamental change is impossible.
GARY: There are different levels of engagement with the world around you. Some people are very engaged, socially and politically. Some individuals are very engaged in civic activities, for instance. I am not. To people who lead more socially oriented lives, I would probably look somewhat like a hermit. But the critical thing is that I am not avoiding these things because I am afraid of them, simply because I prefer not to do these things. I have very much experienced the impetus to take on an activity because I would ordinarily avoid it. I think one needs to face and eliminate fears. And one cannot eliminate a fear if one is avoiding the object of the fear. By actually taking on the very thing that one is afraid of, one has an excellent opportunity to fully investigate whatever issue is preventing an intimacy with one’s fellows. To some extent, this very sort of thing occurred during my job search. I found myself charging into some career areas that ordinarily I would avoid because I have the interest and desire to find out what I have been avoiding. A confidence develops that one can eliminate fears in this way, by probing, questioning, and challenging oneself to go further all the time.
PETER: Watching the hang gliders over the cape twigged me to comment on the distinction between challenging fear by undertaking dangerous activities and the process of becoming aware of, identifying, observing and progressively eliminating psychological and psychic fear in action in one’s own psyche. My experience is that these fears do not need to be challenged in order to eliminate them – you simply need only to become aware of fear as it occurs and understand and be aware of the effect they have on you and on your interactions with others.
It is awareness that diminishes, withers and eventually eliminates fear and this fact ensures that one avoids physical danger and avoids deliberately challenging or confronting others in order to temporarily ‘overcome’ a particular fear. The first action only provides a fleeting hormonal rush or high, the second only strengthens an assertive and aggressive ‘self’. As Richard astutely observed, ‘remember to keep your hands in your pockets’ and the added benefit of this approach is that one is then more able to observe the more subtle nuances of emotions that are hidden beneath the more overt and obvious ones.
Again I don’t want to pour cold water on your investigations but there is simply no evidence available that challenging fear eliminates fear. This approach is in the same ilk as expressing emotions rather than suppressing them or cultivating blissful feelings in order to feel fearless – they are tried and failed methods. What, however, does work is to stop running away, stand still and look at the fear, exactly as you do with any other emotion that is driving you. As a suggestion, I would put the emphasis on investigating what it is you are avoiding as you said, for this is the gold mine, rather than seeking new challenges, for this is often but more fuel for the passions.
Besides, it is my experience that being an actualist is enough of a challenge in itself and, without doubt, the most fearful thing one can do is to step out of Humanity – anything else is chicken feed in comparison.
As an actualist you will find yourself doing, or not doing, things that would have elicited reactions of fear in the past and you will find the feeling of fear has either diminished or gone but this is the result of awareness and nothing else. You will also become aware that you do not need to seek out situations, events, circumstances or people in order to be challenged – they will serendipitously come along all by themselves. More and more you become aware that fear, arguably the most powerful of the human emotions, is, after all, only a feeling ... as are all of the other instinctual passions that fuel the psychosis and neurosis of the Human Condition.
GARY: I still find it absolutely fascinating to be writing to someone on the other side of the world and be able to compare notes about experiences, which are to some extent universal to all humans. The potential of this medium is astounding. As you say, it does take time to write, and it does take time to respond to these posts, and I ordinarily go through cycles of interest and disinterest with it. Generally reading a post and allowing it to infiltrate my consciousness for awhile before responding, but working at it over several days in a slow, methodical way. And I must say that I find myself forming mental images of the people with whom I am talking, and these mental images crop up from time to time. It does seem to me, however, that the imaging process has gotten less and less and I am more concerned with the content of the post and responding genuinely and sensibly based on what is being written to me. Also there is the realization that one’s images probably have little or nothing to do with the actual flesh-and-blood person. Why is it that we form these images and why is it that they are important to us? One can see it happening with this Internet medium, but one also sees it happening in more personal, face-to-face interactions: one may make a friend, say, at work, and then one wonders about them, forms images of them, wondering about what they are really like, with their family, with their lover, etc. It clearly is an activity of the imagination.
PETER: I was watching a National Geographic program the other day – one of those usual ones that always end with a doomsday guilt-laden scenario ... unless we humans see the Light.
The Guru-scientist summing up at the end of the film blatantly stated that it required imagination to see the worst – to be able to concoct a doomsday scenario for something so robust, reliable, consistent, abundant, exuberant, copious, resplendent and immense as this paradisiacal planet. He didn’t say the last part of the sentence – this is what is so obvious to me from watching these programs and from my own observations ... even to the point of simply glancing about me as I sit at this keyboard.
Imagination – be it real-world fear-filled or other-worldly bliss-filled – only serves to obscure the magnificence of what is physical, palpable and sensately evident and to prevent a direct sensual intimacy with the people, things and events that comprise the actual world we live in. Imagination always has an emotional component to it – most commonly it is fear-fuelled or desire-fuelled or, if you are a spiritualist, it often has a fantasy-escapist ‘I am a goody two shoes’ or ‘I feel so Good I must be God’ bent.
The only effective way to eliminate imagination is to progressively eliminate this emotional component – to take the wind out of its sails. As you do this, you are more and more able to become aware of the brain functioning – the brain being aware of itself in operation, which is apperception. This bare awareness then enables you to be aware of what you are as opposed to ‘who’ society and blind nature fashioned you to think and feel you are.
Apperception is not an innate quality in human beings – it is a quality that is evident in a PCE and obtainable by anyone willing enough to sacrifice all they hold dear for an actual freedom from malice and sorrow. An ongoing apperception is something only ‘you’ can cultivate by dismantling ‘you’ as a social and instinctual identity. There are no short cuts in the process, no quick fixes, no journey other than the journey and who would have it any other way.
Apperception is the beginning of the end of ‘me’ – the alien parasitic spirit entity that dwells unhappily and resentfully within this corporeal flesh and blood body. Once it starts to happen it does take a while to gain the confidence that it is the real thing and not another figment of your imagination. As confidence gathers it is from this solid base of bare non-emotionally-corrupted awareness that you can quietly and anonymously slip out from control – and the freedom that was always here then becomes more and more actual.
Well Gary, for someone who had nothing to say yesterday when I started this, I did manage to lift my game a touch today.
PETER: It’s another one of those days sitting at the keyboard and the light outside is particularly clear and bright giving a crisp-edgeness to everything. The air also has a crispness to it, delightfully balancing the piercing warmth of the sun. I do find the subtle changing of seasons a source of constant wonder and the day-to-day or hourly changes often astounding. The actual, physical world is indeed sensuous and sensational.
So, to continue our correspondence –
PETER: ‘We moved to a new flat last weekend, so I am now sitting at my almost-totally-new computer in our new flat, looking out over heath covered sand dunes at the Pacific Ocean. <snip> The ocean is a steely blue-grey, today reflecting a seemingly paler autumnal sky.’
GARY: Sounds idyllic. Your seasons are almost an exact opposite to ours. We are in ‘spring’ here, but there is a covering of deep snow everywhere and our lakes are still frozen over. Even the natives here cannot believe the amount of snow and ice we had this year. But ‘iceout’ is not far away now, and one can see and smell many signs of the seasonal change, always a thrilling time of year in the north country.
PETER: Idyllic it is.
I have lived in many different places and circumstances and have always noted that the place or circumstances were irrelevant to my happiness. I have lived in rural houses, in city flats, in rich countries, in poor countries, in dumpy one-room student digs or in the lap of luxury, and this changing of circumstances has served to teach me that real-world ‘idyllic’ values do not translate into contentment, let alone peace of mind.
The last flat Vineeto and I shared was a very typical two bedroom flat with a small balcony and it proved perfect for our study of man-woman relationship and, with a satellite dish hooked up to our TV set, we were also able to study the human condition in general. This flat is far more open with a garden to play in, views of the ocean, the horizon and an expansive sky – ideal for the next stage: the cultivation of sensuousness.
Upon reflection, perhaps this is the reason that I find myself less interested in writing of the human condition – now that the explorations and discoveries are finished, I can clearly see and experience Humanity’s battle betwixt good and evil as an appalling instinctually-fuelled aberration in the face of the sensuous idyllic perfection of this physical universe.
Just a note about weather and its reporting that I recently found particularly interesting.
Here in the subtropics, we have a wet season in late summer when torrential tropical rain is quite common. Often so much rain falls so quickly that regional flooding occurs, as it did twice this year. A local town, built on a riverbank, often floods as it did this year. I was fascinated to see this reasonably common natural event reported on CNN as an event of global significance. The floods were reported as being ‘the worst in living memory’ whereas in fact, by measurement on the various gauges in the rivers, they fell in to the once in ten-year category.
Doomsday predictions of apocalypse have been legendary in human history and, in the face of increasing comfort, safety, leisure and pleasure, the human species is once again reverting to ‘the weather’ as being the latest apocalypse. In similar vein, I also saw a program which claimed the kangaroo was an endangered species despite the fact that they regularly reach almost plague proportions in this country.
The media seem to take the flippant approach that it is a pity to let a few facts get in the way of whichever fear-fuelled belief they are currently flogging to a doomsday-obsessed and gullible Humanity.
It is no little thing to break free of the feelings of misery and despair that literally enshrouds the human species. All spirituality and religion is founded upon human misery and despair. Christianity is based upon the mythical Mr. Jesus’ suffering, Buddhism is based upon the mythical Mr. Buddha’s Four Noble Truths – the first being ‘Life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’. Every religion has a doomsday or hellish realm or endless cycles of suffering. Every religion promises a final end to suffering after physical death – a final rest in peace.
Suffering literally drips from the trees, encircles the ashrams, oozes from the pulpits, fuels the compassion industry, is the foundation of much of what passes for art and entertainment, serves to make heroes out of masochists and saints out of hypocrites and underscores all of the world’s great and noble wisdom.
It is no little thing to break free of the feelings of misery and despair that literally enshrouds the human species.
GARY: Only the most determined and assiduous questioning of oneself will reveal the passionate folly involved in trying to remain an instinctually-driven human being living in the Human Condition. Actualism involves the ever-fascinating business of investigating ‘me’ at depth. This is in marked contrast to the ways in which, in the past, I have tried various ‘self-improvement’ plans through various kinds of therapies and even by following scriptural injunctions and focusing on eliminating my ‘character defects’.
PETER: Personally, I find watching Oprah Winfrey very revealing for the show blatantly exposes the utter self-ishness of all spiritual belief and self-love therapies. ‘Me’-ness is what it is all about – be it a loving ‘me’, a grateful ‘me’, a stronger ‘me’, a giving ‘me’, a satisfied ‘me’, a whole ‘me’, a content ‘me’, a God-realized ‘me’ or whatever.
As a popular, rich, powerful and influential Guru, she leaves Rajneesh, Krishnamurti & Co. for dead.
PETER: ‘To be an actualist it is imperative to abandon cynicism and gullibility and actively cultivate naiveté – the closest thing to actual innocence.’
GARY: I remember you talking about ‘cranking up one’s naiveté’ in a long ago post and I didn’t exactly know what you meant at the time. I am not sure I know exactly now either but I think I have a better inkling of what this means. When one is experiencing naiveté, there is not that curious ongoing sense of being ‘on guard’, defence systems at the alert, on the lookout for threats and evil, that there is usually in the self-centred experience. I sometimes experience this, for instance, at work when I am going about my duties, just doing the next sensible thing and not worrying about the outcome. It is really a wonderful experience and each moment is experienced more fully and seems in some way to be set apart from every other moment. There is not that sense of continuity or time. I don’t know how to put this exactly but it is something that I have noticed at other times and it seems important to describe it. Despite the feeling that I don’t know exactly what the hell I am talking about, I shall try to describe it. Each moment in time, the present, is so utterly fascinating and enjoyable that when one is experiencing naiveté (or at least what I think is being described as naiveté) there is no sense of this moment being other than ‘now’ – it is somehow set off from or set aside from one’s ordinary sense of there being a past, present, and future. Perhaps because there is no intervening ‘me’ with my cares, worries, anxieties, anger, resentment, and longings, there is not that centre by which everything is judged relative to ‘me’ and ‘my life’.
Does that make any sense? One is fully engaged in experiencing the delight of living in the present moment, and one goes about one’s day meeting people, interacting freely, and events happen of their own accord, unaffected by any ‘me’ pulling the strings making things happen. There is no sense of strain whatsoever and if strain does arise, it arises chiefly because there is a controller, again – ‘me’ – calling the shots and controlling events. This is, at the moment, my best description of the closest thing to innocence.
By fully experiencing the delight in being here at this present moment, I am blithely unaware of any dangers encroaching – I am not caught up in the instinctual drama of survival. I am free to be here and enjoy the company of other people as I like, or, alternatively, to be by myself and enjoy the solitude.
PETER: Yep. And there is no greater cynical self-isness than to seek a greater reality, or an ‘actual reality’ as some now refer to it, and thereby accept that the on-going reality of the human condition on this fair planet need not, or indeed can not, be changed as it is somehow part of some perverse divine and therefore ‘perfect’ plan. To preach this nonsense is to actively perpetuate the ancient dualistic beliefs of Good and evil, Right and wrong, Truth and illusion, Spiritualism and materialism, Glory and damnation, Heaven and hell. An actualist sets his or her sights far higher than feeling Glorious.
If one allows oneself to be at all sensitive, it is clear that what human beings do to each other is indeed hellish. But to then trip off into a personal greater reality is to turn away from the possibility of becoming aware of one’s own anger and sadness and the change this very awareness engenders.
It is ultimately cynical to continue believing that human beings cannot live together in utter peace and tranquillity and it is only one’s own naiveté that emboldens an actualist to prove that this is possible.
Proving that peace on earth is possible is a dare, a challenge that has now come of age given the increasing exposés of the legendary failure of all forms of spiritualism to bring anything remotely resembling peace on earth.
PETER: I find myself more and more unable to write of a process that now seems to have passed its active phase where ‘I’ am in any way involved in it happening or continuing to happen. It is as though my work is done both as an active actualist and as a documenter of the process of actualism. This stage has been going on for some months now and shows no sign of abating. At first I attributed it to laziness but I suspect it is more than that. I suspect it is the end of an era, the end of one extraordinary adventure and the beginning of another.’
GARY: I can relate in a sense to what you are saying. I am not sure if it is the same thing though. I feel some greater hesitancy in writing now than I used to. It seems that I have read so much about actualism and talked so much about it on this mailing list, that now the only thing left is to do it, rather than talking about it or thinking about it. It seems like most of my questions have been answered and, if they have not, somebody else has asked the same questions and I could find a response somewhere in the writings and correspondence. I no longer feel quite the thrill of writing and I seem to take a great deal longer to mull over what I am going to say and how I want to say it. I have thought that taking this more deliberate approach to writing, as opposed to a more spontaneous, off-the-cuff style, is throwing a wet blanket over things. However, I think what I am talking about is a bit different in what you are saying in this respect: I think there is still plenty of ‘me’ left in my writing, as evidenced by emotional reactions of not wanting to appear foolish or ignorant or anything else. I also have the uncomfortable sense at times that I do not know what the blazes I am talking about and that I have got it all wrong after all.
These ego-centric reactions in writing and talking seem to be telling me that perhaps I want to project the appearance that I know more about this process than I really do.
PETER: What I was saying was typified recently when I was writing about fear and then you made comment in a subsequent post about the atavistic fears that you experienced when abandoning the comfort zone of spiritual belief. It struck me that you were more able to write of this experience because it was for you a recent experience, whereas I had forgotten the experience because it has long past and has left no emotional scars whatsoever.
The other issue about writing is that I have always regarded it as a way of exploring my psyche and of making sense of the world I found myself living in. To write while you are in the process of still making discoveries and whilst still in the human condition is a risky business for you are continuously sticking your neck out or putting your hand up to be counted.
But what to do – sit meekly on the sidelines of this business of being alive?
GARY: I seem to be in the stage right now where I am reaping the rewards of practicing the method of actualism. Yesterday, for instance, I did experience first some irritation and then some anger. It was a rather uncomfortable experience. But the interesting thing is that I realized how seldom and how rare it is for me to experience this uncomfortable emotional state. I was interested to learn when this had all started, what had triggered it, and why I was apparently so down on myself. I made a rather stupid error at work, but actually the feeling of irritation had started some time before that. The ego kind of takes over first, and I start pouring responsibilities on myself, expecting myself to be perfect, and then KAPOW! ... irritation and anger. It is fascinating and interesting to see this process at work and it tells me where I get off track and what I can do about it. And, yes, the advice to ‘keep one’s hands in one’s pockets’ is invaluable, as the feeling of anger and irritation is so malignant and so deadly it is apt to spill over in interactions with other people if one is not careful of it.
Also, I wanted to say that any kind of off-colour emotional experience of this sort is evidence of ‘me’ – all traceable to the sense of identity. One can find one’s identity writ large across any emotional experiences of this type. What I have found is that any emotions all boil down to one’s identity. It’s like Vineeto said in another post recently: ‘What’s all the fuss about?’ If there is any fuss, it is always about ‘me’ – that I am this type of person, or I must be treated this way by others, so on and so forth. Richard’s discovery that the Human Condition is typified by being an identity is a major groundbreaking discovery. I’ve never run across anyone anywhere saying it in quite this way with such radical implications. Eliminate the identity in toto and there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more malice and sorrow, and no more need to go off half-cocked into delusory spiritual and metaphysical realms.
One is freed to be here now as this flesh-and-blood body only, enjoying the most ordinary things. The most ordinary, everyday experiences are like a king’s ransom. The fact that I am not quite there yet does not invalidate the whole method. The fact is that it works and one can see it working in one’s daily life. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Through practicising the method, one becomes incrementally more and more free from debilitating emotions and passions. I am increasingly unable to fathom why most people I see are so attached to remaining passionate and emotional beings.
PETER: Just a few observations on your last point that may be useful to consider. The first thing is that very few people are interested in peace on earth. Materialists’ obsessions and desires are focussed on power, money, sex, family, security, busy-ness, complaining, frustration, competitiveness, achievement, etc. Spiritualists’ obsessions and desires are focussed on becoming all-powerful, seeking inner peace, sucking up to God by whatever name and achieving Immortality.
Should someone have a mild interest in actualism then cognitive dissonance initially serves to curtail understanding and if anyone does begin to understand then passionate resistance can set in. As you know, it does take a good deal of stubborn effort to overcome both these hurdles and fully take on actualism.
While freedom from the human condition is available, and has always been available, for every one, it will not be for everyone – particularly in these pioneering days.
Peace on earth is only possible for those who want it desperately enough, and are willing to pay the price – utter and irrevocable change.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.