Peter’s Correspondence on Mailing List B
Correspondent No 25
RESPONDENT to No 6: Your friendly, enthusiastic posts have really cheered me up! I was so happy when you and No 5 so decisively resolved the tension here which was coming from Peter’s ‘bull-in-the-china-shop’ episode.
PETER: If you feel tense about what I write then that is easy – delete my posts and don’t read them.
All of the spiritual people I know have the same approach to the Human Condition as it is manifest in the world – turn off the TV, turn away and tune ‘inside’. It doesn’t make it go away, but you can pretend it isn’t happening or that it has got nothing to do with you. I used to do the same thing in my spiritual years but I was challenged by the simple statement that ‘if I couldn’t live with at least one other person in utter peace and harmony then human life on earth was indeed a sick joke’. So I turned on the TV, questioned the facticity of all of my social/spiritual beliefs and began an intensive investigation of my own psyche to find the source of my instinctual passions. Things like why do I lust after power, why do I get angry, why do I get sad, why do I feel lonely, why am I jealous, why do I feel like an alien, why am I constantly fearful, etc.
As for ‘bull-in-the-china-shop’, I am well aware that what I am saying is rattling the door of the church while all inside are busy retreating even further ‘inside’. I know there is a sign on the door that says, ‘Shush, we are busy sitting in thoughtless silence, raising the consciousness of the world on to a higher plane’. I write on the assumption that there may be someone inside the church who has some doubts and is ready and willing to consider a third alternative.
RESPONDENT: I had, myself, prepared a lengthy, point-by-point rebuttal of his argument, complete with footnotes and bibliography, but then I just had to laugh and toss it out when I saw how well you two took care of the problem!
PETER: In my spiritual years I found that the convenient thing about being part of the flock was that I didn’t need to think for myself, nor stand on my own two feet. The one and only requirement for membership was that I unquestioningly believed what the others believed.
RESPONDENT: And you’re absolutely right, No 6, ‘Your heart can tell you everything you want to know, EVERYTHING!’
PETER: Unfortunately the heart-felt passions always include both the tender and savage passions, which is why perfection and purity is not evident in the spiritual world.
RESPONDENT: You may have noticed that in Peter’s Sacred Tetrad of Founding Instincts (‘fear, aggression, nurture, and desire’) the one instinct he carefully avoided describing was the one that finally undid him – nurture.
PETER: When I started on the spiritual path my strongest motivation was nurture. I, like many others was attracted by the promise of peace on earth – the idea of living in communes in peace and harmony with others and proving by example that peace on earth was possible. After living in two failed communes, I was headed into yet another one when I found myself having to acknowledge that the spiritual movement was not about peace on earth. I saw that the search for Enlightenment is really driven by desire, and an utterly self-ish desire at that – to become ‘who’ I really feel myself to be, some form of eternal Being. The essential instinctual drive in eastern religion is desire for power and the desire for immortality – no matter how much it is dressed in a sugar coating of feelings of love for God and love for all. This realization that the Eastern spiritual path to Enlightenment is only about ‘me’ and ‘my’ glory, was shocking to my very core.
What I then did was crank up my naiveté once more and re-set my sights on my initial goals of peace on earth and being able to live with my fellow human beings in utter peace and harmony. This decision certainly ‘undid’ me from spiritual belief and the spirit-ual world. I highly recommend abandoning desire, stoking up one’s naiveté and cranking up some altruism for it is the path to purity and perfection.
Altruism – to put the regard for others before one’s self – is the motive for the ‘self’-immolation that is necessary to actualize an ending to one’s instinctual own malice and sorrow.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.