Peter’s Correspondence on Mailing List C
Correspondent No 30
RESPONDENT No 12: Getting back to my story, ... <Snip> ... At the first annual world celebration at the ranch in 1982, on the first day not wanting to wait in line all night, I slept in and was one of the last to arrive. I walked in to Rajneesh Mandir, and feeling the open hearts of 12,000 people, I burst out crying and didn’t stop for hours. Now years later, I don’t feel I know anything really, yet I have a perspective from which to see and understand. It has just occurred to me that this list is the only place I really ‘talk’ about this. (I’ve been wondering what my attraction to this list is about.)
RESPONDENT to No 12: This is the first time I have really felt you in an e-mail. Beautifully put.
PETER: I see you liked No 12’s story –
Swapping stories is surely one of the most useful by-product of discussion. That we can swap stories as to what we have found out about being a human being.
I would like to tell you my ‘ranch’ story –
RESPONDENT: Well, now that the old man has snuffed, we will probably never know for sure...
PETER: In reply to your comments on my story –
Yes, the idea that the guns, poisonings, buggings, vote rigging, bombings, etc. were all a device to teach us a lesson, got everyone – including Rajneesh – off the hook from examining and being responsible for their actions. Except the ‘scapegoats’, of course, some of whom are still serving long prison sentences.
It certainly allowed me to slide off the hook for years until my honesty finally caught up with me.
RESPONDENT: You also said... ‘I had actually experienced what it is that makes people kill others, to die for their belief or to protect their leader.’
And maybe to protect a loved one? Or am I not being cynical enough?
PETER: The reason I asked myself this question this question 2 years ago was that I was exploring what aspects of the Human Condition that I saw (and condemned) in others was present in me. I always liked that line from John Lennon’s song –
♪♫ ‘Imagine there’s no countries ... it isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for ... and no religion too,
Imagine all the people ... living life in peace ... ‘ ♪♫
As a child it was always so strange that if there was such a thing as a God-creator, how come there were so many different versions and how come people fought wars over which one was right. I could never quite get enthusiastic about Christianity – the idea of a white-bearded God sitting on a cloud and overseeing all this was pretty silly to me. And as for sending his Son down so he could do a few miracles, start a Religion, be nailed to a cross, and after a few days go back up to sit alongside Dad and see how it works out...!! If there was a God, how come he made the mess in the first place, and if he was responsible for this mess, why the hell didn’t he just come down and sort it out!
But I have digressed off on to another of my ‘raves’. The point is that I was concerned about what was it that caused the Religious wars on the planet. When I contemplated on my Sannyas years I had to admit that I probably would have killed to protect my Master – exactly as the followers of any other Master, Guru, Prophet, God would do. The killing is done to ‘protect a loved one’ as you rightly pointed out, but it is killing, whatever the motive.
What I was interested in was the willingness to kill – the instinct of aggression. This instinct is often triggered by fear, but has been implanted in humans to ensure that the offspring are protected sufficiently to ensure the survival of the species. Having had 2 children, one of whom died at an early age, I know the powerful urge to give my life as a sacrifice to ensure my offspring’s survival. It is this ‘blind’ instinct in me that I was interested in investigating, understanding and eliminating. Such that I would never again blindly kill, or be killed, for ‘love’ of country or ‘love’ of God. To free myself of malice.
As I said recently on the list –
‘To even consider a journey into yourself to free yourself of the Human Condition requires a burning discontent with life as it is – both for yourself and for your fellow human beings’.
Or am I being too naïve ...?
RESPONDENT: Recently, I was speaking to someone who was carrying a gun there, in fact many of them were friends of mine, and interestingly, he was of the opinion that many of them would not have been able to kill anyone. So maybe that is why you weren’t given a gun!
PETER: T’is interesting writing on this list. When I said I was a Sannyasin to find peace of mind and peace on earth (the New Man), I was told I was silly. When I said I was seeking Enlightenment, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was talking about God, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was teaching in the Eastern spiritual tradition, I was told I was silly. When I said I saw the Religion forming, I was told I was silly. When I said that I probably would have killed to protect Rajneesh – all of a sudden I am the only one who loved him that much!
The level of denial is quite breath-taking. Most take the facts we are talking of and take them personally, whereas we are talking of the Human Condition – common to all. Any personal experiences we relate, as evidence of the Human Condition in us, is then used against us, as a defence for the status quo.
Maybe I am just too naïve ... but I do like naiveté – it’s the closest quality to innocence that we humans can muster.
PETER: You have raised some excellent points, so I will reply in two posts. The answers are not necessarily brief, but they are concise.
They are concise in that they are to the point – they indicate a new avenue for investigation, a new way to view the Human Condition.
PETER: Yes, the idea that the guns, poisonings, buggings, vote rigging, bombings, etc. were all a ‘device’ to teach us a lesson, got everyone – including Rajneesh – off the hook from examining and being responsible for their actions. Except the ‘scapegoats’, of course, some of whom are still serving long prison sentences.
It certainly allowed me to slide off the hook for years until my honesty finally caught up with me.
RESPONDENT: It always seemed a strange idea to me, that it should all be a device, as if Osho was sitting there designing this kind of situation to teach us a lesson. Firstly, human nature is quite capable of coming up with this sort of stuff on its own, without any help. And secondly, well, I really can’t see him being bothered with it. Out of interest, what happened when your honesty caught up with you...?
PETER: He is quoted as saying – ‘I had chosen Sheela to give you a little taste of what fascism means.’ Osho
When my honesty caught up with me, it forced me to admit that I was as mad and as bad as everyone else in the world. As I wrote last year –
It meant that I couldn’t turn away any more. If there was to be an end to malice and sorrow on this fair planet – it was up to me. For ‘I’ am humanity, and Humanity is me. I could no longer be dishonest and blame others for the religious wars, persecutions, reparations, tortures, and ‘sectarian’ violence that still rage on earth.
PETER: As a child, it was always so strange to me that if there was such a thing as a God-creator, <snipped> why the hell didn’t he just come down and sort it out!
RESPONDENT: Luckily for me, I wasn’t brought up with a religious background, so this question never occurred, I had the outsider’s view, and hence another question. It was all so illogical, why did people believe this crap in the first place?
PETER: Everybody has had some form of religious background. It permeates every facet of every society, no matter where we were born on the planet. To be an outsider is to feel detached, remote, removed, alien or inferior / superior.
As to why people believe in a superior Being / Energy / Force – as is common in both the East and in the West?
Again a bit I wrote in the Fear-chapter that is relevant –
As to your question – ‘why did people believe this crap in the first place?’, I would further ask ‘why do we still insist on believing it?’
PETER: What I was interested in was the willingness to kill – the instinct of aggression. This instinct is often triggered by fear, but has been implanted in humans to ensure that the offspring are protected sufficiently to ensure the survival of the species. Having had 2 children, one of whom died at an early age, I know the powerful urge to give my life as a sacrifice to ensure my offspring’s survival. It is this ‘blind’ instinct in me that I was interested in investigating, understanding and eliminating. Such that I would never again blindly kill, or be killed, for ‘love’ of country or ‘love’ of God. To free myself of malice.
RESPONDENT: Now, with only one small comment and a reservation, I could say that I have had the same interests.
My comment would be, the willingness to kill stems from two different sources, either to catch food, or to defend oneself from one’s enemies, the first I would consider (in today’s terms) the greed for acquisition, and second is still defence (or fear). I would associate aggression more with the first of the two, and what happened on the Ranch was more of the second sort.
PETER: Firstly, the human species, as a whole, is ‘pre-wired’ with the instincts of fear aggression, nurture and desire. The source of this programming is in the primitive or ‘Lizard’ brain. The instinct of aggression is well documented, studied and acknowledged in our closest genetic species, chimpanzees and apes. ‘Ethical’ considerations have inhibited studies in humans such as the Milgram experiments, but ‘Blind Freddie’ would have to acknowledge that we humans have the same primitive instinct of aggression. It is acted out in many situations on the planet, even as I type these words, when the urges well up to become uncontrollable, whenever emotion overcomes reason or control.
It is easily recognizable in each of us as a feeling. The feeling of wanting to hurt someone, the feeling of wanting Justice done, the feeling of wanting to kill someone. This feeling is the sure pointer to the instinct of aggression in operation within us. Any one of a number of things can trigger this instinct to come into play – physical danger, threat of loss of territory or possessions, jealousy, revenge, etc. Moreover the instinct is often activated without any obvious cause, it is then simply the impulsive aggressive drive in operation. This is then played out, sometimes physically, as in physical violence, power, domination, subjugation, repression, etc – sometimes verbally in argument, snide comments, sarcasm, innuendo, gossip, etc. – or more often covertly as withdrawal, psychic vibes, psychic power, psychic manipulation, etc.
The Ranch was a passionate mix of them all, with the added grand psychic and physical power-play between two groups, with Rajneesh and his followers taking on the Christian God and his followers.
RESPONDENT: Because the first is an attribute of the more successful of our species it is still, in most forms, respected in our society, while the second is more condemned as it is an attribute of weakness. (I speak more in relative terms, rather than absolutes, yes, there are exceptions).
My reservation is with the last sentence. I would associate malice with wanting to cause harm without regard to the above causes of aggression (I.e. neither for acquisition not defence) but simply from a desire to hurt another. Why? Well, most likely to improve one’s self image.
PETER: No, aggression, as well as fear, nurture and desire is ‘hard-wired’ into all of us, but given that it is only a ‘program’ in the brain, it can be deleted, eliminated. The solution is both radical and ruthlessly effective. Eliminate the feelings, emotions and instinctual passions that are the very cause. The psychological and psychic entity has to self-immolate in order to free us of malice and sorrow. Merely to attempt to ‘transcend’ the programming by giving full reign to the imagination and feelings of good and God in order to battle the bad and Evil, has never been a solution and never will be.
‘Tis but a fairy-story, a wished-for imaginary solution to what is a practical problem.
RESPONDENT: Of course, freeing yourself from malice is an excellent objective, but I would differentiate it from the two basic causes of aggression.
PETER: You are confusing what are the triggers and symptoms of aggression with what is the cause. There is only one cause of aggression in human beings and that is the instinctual programming of Blind Nature, instilled only to ensure the survival of the species. Freeing yourself from malice is not only an excellent objective it is now an obtainable, realistic, practical and realizable objective. It does, however, involve ‘self’-immolation, which is not the fashionable, feel-good, fantasy type of thing that appeals to many.
PETER: ‘Tis interesting writing on this list. When I said I was a Sannyasin to find peace of mind and peace on earth (the New Man), I was told I was silly. When I said I was seeking Enlightenment, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was talking about God, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was teaching in the Eastern spiritual tradition, I was told I was silly. When I said I saw the Religion forming, I was told I was silly. When I said that I probably would have killed to protect Rajneesh – all of a sudden I am the only one who loved him that much!
RESPONDENT: Hmmm, an interesting twist, I’m not sure whether I am supposed to feel sorry for you or not. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume not. I assume from what you have written on the list so far that you have got over worrying about whether others think that you are silly or not.
PETER: A twist? Maybe you have not been following the posts.
Feeling sorry for me is a worthless exercise, as I’m having the time of my life – writing included.
To live one’s life concerned about what others think is to live a second-rate life – it’s a recipe to stay with the herd, to keep safe, to not stick your neck out too far, to dance to everyone else’s tune, to tow the line, to fit in ... I have very few of my ‘friends’ left, I am off the social list, I am ostracized by many, but I am a model law-abiding citizen, happy and harmless, delighting in the company of my fellow human beings, be they the waiter in the coffee shop, or the writer of a post to me. I have grown neither a forked tail nor horns in leaving the world of the God’s and the world of Humanity, but I have gained my freedom.
RESPONDENT: Or am I not being cynical enough?
PETER: Maybe I am just too naïve ... but I do like naiveté – it’s the closest quality to innocence that we humans can muster.
RESPONDENT: <Preach-Mode> Well, try and drop naiveté, and move into pure innocence </Preach-Mode>
PETER: I assume you are talking of the Divine ‘pure innocence’ that includes such things as Divine Anger – as a ‘device to wake up the sleepy’, Divine Jealousy as in ‘I am the Only God’, Divine Sorrow as in ‘feeling Compassion for all sentient beings’.
No, innocence is only possible with the complete and utter eradication of both ‘self’ and ‘Self’. The total extinction of ‘me’ who is sorrowful and malicious is the only option.
Given the abounding cynicism of the spiritual world, it is an essential quality to re-discover one’s naiveté in order to even begin to contemplate innocence. One needs to travel 180 degrees in the other direction from a cynical view-point.
RESPONDENT: So, you finally got the chop. Chalk up another victory for the little people.
PETER: Yes, indeed. Not too long ago we would have been stoned to death outside the temple gates, or hauled from our beds in the middle of the night by hooded men. Mostly this went on as a way of silencing dissent, but it also gave a chance for a few to vent their spleen and anger – nothing like a good old lynching to make one feel really good. As for another victory for the ‘little people’, it really is another victory for God and his earthly representatives – the spiritual Masters. Their demand for love, devotion and loyalty, together with their followers eager willingness to love, trust and surrender has created an atmosphere that makes questioning the teachings and the teachers all but impossible.
As such within the spiritual world peace is an impossibility – never has been and never will be possible. Quite the contrary – blind obedience, love and loyalty are a potent recipe for arrogance, conflict and ignorance to flourish. One puts blinkers on to the extent of being willing to kill or be killed to defend the ‘cause’ – in this case the ‘love’ and honour of someone long dead. I am curious as to why anyone would continue to suffer on the spiritual path, given that there is now an alternative on offer, and continue to inflict suffering on others who do not share one’s own particular love for one’s own particular God.
It is fascinating as an outsider to see the mastications within the spiritual group to which I used to belong, the bewildered attempts to make any sense of the heritage left by an Enlightened Master. The futile attempts to put into practice the inane teachings such that any semblance of peace and harmony ensues within the group... If one looks with open eyes at the teachings one sees that this ‘love’ is the core – the ultimate sacrifice – demanded by Him as membership of the group. All else is but a sop for the gullible. The fall-back position of ‘love’ and devotion for Him, sets in concrete the formation of His religion.
Yet another generation, yet another religion. Hence yet another sectarian separation, conflict, religious war, persecution, discrimination, silencing, ostracizing ... on and on and on.
But the end is nigh for both Eastern and Western religions. Life on the planet is simply getting too good, too easy, too comfortable for many and it is those people who will begin to challenge the Ancient Wisdom that insists that life is meant to be about suffering and sorrow and fighting and standing up for one’s right to be malicious. It is those people who will seek a genuine and actual freedom – those who will refuse to settle for second best.
RESPONDENT: I enjoyed bandying around words with ya. But I probably won’t make it over to your lists for a bit... it actually takes more of my time than it should (I also have a job). And your philosophy holds little interest for me, my life is full and shining. If I ever make it to Byron, I’ll look you up.
PETER: Then I will say goodbye now. I only ever expect to talk to people about freedom from the Human Condition if they are dissatisfied with their life as-it-is.
But given the fickleness of ‘the ups and downs of life’ ... one never knows. The trickle of genuine interest is swelling, the writings are fleshing out, the human experiences of the actual world are growing. A natural confidence will give rise to a momentum which will prove unstoppable as more and more people are willing to question not only the teachings of Ancient Wisdom but the very God-men who peddle it.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.