Denial plus Acceptance = No Change
A Book Review by Peter of
PETER: What has prompted me to write is a brief glance through a new book whose author is trumpeted as ‘maybe the most highly trained spiritual teacher in the western world’ to quote his sleeve reviewers. His name is Paul Lowe who Rajneeshees would have known a Swami Anand Teertha – at one stage Rajneesh’s chief disciple / therapist. As Paul Lowe in pre-Sannyas days he was a leading therapist in England and since the disastrous failure of the Ranch in Oregon has trotted the planet searching for his own niche in the modern spiritual movement. Despite his long servitude, Lowe makes no mention of Rajneesh in the footnotes of his book, which may well be a sign of Rajneesh’s low standing in the spiritual world, particularly in America.
What I found revealing about Lowe’s book is his lamentable attempts to put ‘that what cannot be spoken’ into words that can be understood. Being a Westerner puts him at an enormous disadvantage for he cannot hide behind the mystique of being an Eastern Master who just needs to radiate the appropriate air of holy mystique and loving energy and trot out some poetry, ancient mythical tales or nonsensical koans as great Wisdoms or the Noble Truth. His book of ‘ordinary spirituality’ thus becomes a literal goldmine of information as to what the spiritual path is really on about –
Denial plus Acceptance equals No Change. (D + A = nc)
The book – entitled ‘In Each Moment’ – is such a spiritual goldmine that I am moved to critique it chapter by chapter. I’ll select pertinent pieces from each and respond to them from an Actualist’s viewpoint.
PAUL LOWE: PREFACE:
I have found a way of living where you can feel happy and joyful and free of fear. <Snip> I used to have a sense that I was missing something, that there was more to life than I was experiencing, and that I was the only one not ‘getting it’. Yet as I looked around, I began to see that no one appeared to have it. <Snip> I looked for this missing aspect in all the ‘normal’ spheres of life – in work, marriage, friendships – and never discovered it there. I found that nothing on the outside, in itself, would create a deep sense of fulfillment. <Snip> I began an exploration to see if there was, indeed, anything I was overlooking. My life became devoted to the possibility of expanding human consciousness. For many years I travelled around the world, experiencing everything I could. We might say it was a search, yet in another way, I was simply responding to life. I was living and enjoying each moment for the sake of itself, rather than working towards a goal of ‘awakening’. <Snip> But I never felt that intangible, deep sense of fulfillment. I had spent years, and years and tried everything, and still that state eluded me. After years of being total in everything I tried, I gave up; I really gave up. Then suddenly it happened. There was nothing dramatic, it just happened. And I cannot say what ‘it’ was. I cannot even say exactly when this awakening started because when it did, I realized that ‘it’ had been here all the time. This place is with everyone, always. <Snip> What changed was my perspective, and with the change came a wonderful feeling of well-being and an indescribable freedom – freedom from stress, freedom from fear, and the freedom from the illusion that there is somewhere to get or to that there are goals to attain. <Snip> All the ordinary aspects of life have not stopped just because I have had a shift in perspective. In fact they seem to get better and better’. This and all following quotes from: ‘In Each Moment. A new way to live’ by Paul Lowe Looking Glass Press 1998
PETER: I did muse as to whether the preface was worth commenting on, so weak was his ‘unique vision’. But even in his preface he paves the way for his profound vision of ‘D + A = nc’. An astute judgement will reveal that his opening states that he has found a way to feel happy and joyful and free of fear and not that he is happy, joyful and free of fear. He then goes on to define his missing fulfillment and his years of searching for it (at least 25 years as I understand) and then goes on to deny that he was searching –
Why is it that the so-called Enlightened Ones search like buggery for years and years with great intensity and upon attaining ‘it’ immediately deny it was the searching that got them there and subsequently advise their followers that they are already ‘it’? Could it be that they would lose their grateful and gullible paying audience if they stopped preaching the ‘you are already it’ platitude and encouraged them to go off on a relentless personal search and not hang around those.
Disciplehood sucks. It sucks one into a denial of how rotten one is at one’s core, it sucks one into a mindless servitude and it ensures that one will accept the platitudes offered by others without sensible scrutiny or unemotional evaluation. And those who seek disciples and followers only have the power and wisdom that their followers desperately chose to grant to them.
Lowe’s getting ‘it’ is particularly weak for what changed for him was his ‘perspective’, accompanied by a ‘wonderful feeling’, which is a fair description of Post Satori Syndrome (PSS) whereby one remains the same but feels differently. ‘All the ordinary aspects of life have not stopped’ for the change in ‘perspective’ for Mr. Lowe is only a change in ‘feeling’. ‘All the ordinary aspects of life’ no doubt include feeling angry, upset, peeved and mortal, as well as more righteous, holier and superior than thou. One well-known Guru described these ‘ordinary aspects of life’ to me as ‘personality’ quirks after giving me a serve of his anger one day.
i.e. ... D + A= nc! ... QED ... and we are only at the Mr. Lowe’s Preface!
There is lots more to be said, chapter by chapter, and I think it will be worthwhile pursuing for these modern day Wanna-Be Buddhas are actively conspiring to hobble any chance of genuine searchers becoming actually free of the Human Condition with their mindless re-cycling of Ancient Drivel.
PETER: We are enjoying a delightful subtropical summers day here with a fresh ocean breeze enlivening the air. We have had a bit of rain lately so at night the moist air seems more able to carry the smells of the vegetation – frangipani, night jasmine and the flowering eucalypts to name a few. The town is packed full of holiday makers come to celebrate the new millennium. I always like the fact that I live year-round in a place that many people save all year-round to come here for a week or two, battling through the traffic to do so. Vineeto and I delight in strolling downtown from our flat in early evening for a coffee and to watch the scene. Many young backpackers come in to town all year round and combined with the locals and holidaymakers the town is awash with vibrant colour and frenetic activity.
I’ve finished my bit of drawing for the day and there is a bit of time before our walk so I thought I would continue with my ‘book review’.
So, from Paul Lowe’s ‘In Each Moment’ we move on to –
PAUL LOWE: Chapter One In the Beginning Are the Words
‘One of the powerful aspects of language is its capacity to take familiar concepts and amplify them to encompass new dimensions. In his talks, Paul uses a number of words and expressions that may seem familiar, yet they convey fresh and unique ideas. In order to avoid misinterpretations it seemed wise to identify these phrases as early as possible and include the reader in a common understanding of their meaning.’ (Introduction from the editor)
PETER: The last thirty years, in particular, have seen countless attempts to re-interpret, re-invent and re-vitalize the ancient traditional superstitions and beliefs in Gods, Spirits and Life-after-death in a ‘fresh and unique’ way. These attempts have included the modern interpretation of the celestial spirits as aliens involved in great cosmic visions; the revision of earthly spirits, animism and spiritualism as the belief in Mother Earth, Gaia or the fervent religion of environmentalism; the resurgence of Divination; the popular practice of meditation as a ‘turning away’ from the world and going ‘in’, to name a few.
The old and ancient, the tried and failed, when re-interpreted in a ‘fresh and unique’ way ends up either banal and hackneyed (Oprah Win-fried) or bizarre and deadly (Heavens Gate, etc.) Whichever way the spiritual teachers, God-men and shamans twist and turn, duck and weave, however much they ‘take familiar concepts and amplify them to encompass new dimensions’ it’s still that ♫ ‘old time religion’ ♫ by yet another name.
Does all this spicing up, reinventing and reinterpreting not beg the question why it is necessary to continuously do so? If the old and ancient message is so good, so True and so Right why hasn’t the message of love and peace bought universal love and peace to Humanity? Could it not be that the message is wrong?
PAUL LOWE: Maximum Potential
I use the term ‘maximum potential’ to express in a fresh way an indescribable state that we have endowed with many names. <Snip> Heraclitus called it the Hidden Harmony’, Lao Tzu named it ‘the Tao’, Jesus referred to it as ‘the Kingdom of God’ and ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’. Currently, the word ‘enlightenment’ is frequently being used. <Snip> When we use a word such as enlightenment, each person interprets it through the mind, which, of course, is the only way you can make an intellectual interpretation. Yet, in this case, we cannot really know the state this word is attempting to describe, for we cannot know it through the mind. This inexplicable experience occurs when the mind stops or is bypassed, therefore it is impossible for the intellect to comprehend it.
PETER: Well I do beg to differ, Paul. You stated quite clearly in your introduction that prior to your awakening ‘My life became devoted to the possibility of expanding human consciousness’. After years of search you ‘really gave up. Then suddenly it happened’. What you found you put very clearly in words in your opening statement of the book – ‘a way of living where you can feel happy and joyful and free of fear.’ Why all this ‘beyond words’ mumbo-jumbo? One of the most powerful aspects of language in the hands of mystics is their capacity to weave an aura of mystery around a simple feeling. If one assiduously searches for an expansion of one’s human consciousness with enough intent one eventually arrives at a point where one realizes one’s maximum potential – which is to be a God-on-earth who has transcended the mundane dualities. For those who are suffering from Post-Satori Syndrome (PSS) this is typified by ‘feeling happy, joyful and free of fear’. For most, this state wears off after days or weeks as ‘real’ world reality seeps back in. For those who go all the way, an Altered State of Consciousness can occur whereby one’s personal ego collapses to be replaced by a new identity that is Divine and Immortal, Timeless and Eternal.
Granted, this is a grand, overwhelming and self-consuming feeling, but it is only a feeling. The ancient search for ‘expanding human consciousness’ has, and always will, produce passionate feelings of freedom inevitably intertwined with delusions of divinity. When one seeks to ‘expand’ one will instinctually become ALL (as in expanded to be Really Big) for if you seek hard enough you can become anything you want – or believe anything you want to believe.
As for ‘it is impossible for the intellect to comprehend it’, it is all very easy and simple for the intellect to comprehend once one is free of the spiritual belief-system, when one has moved past ancient belief and superstition and the instinctual passions that fervently sustain it. This comprehension comes from human consciousness bare of the delusions produced by ancient impassioned attempts to expand human consciousness.
The search for a consciousness free of a psychological self and the instinctual passions produces a bare consciousness and a readily describable state of actual freedom.
PAUL LOWE: The seeker’s mind then tends to think that enlightenment occurs when we do not have anything we may consider inappropriate – when there is not anger, greed or lust. That is a natural conclusion to draw, but it is not what is meant. In fact, it is not like that at all. <Snip> To me, the experience of maximum potential means not excluding or rejecting anything and not identifying with anything. <Snip> To make it more practical, consider this example. When you are talking to someone to whom you are attracted, you include all the things associated with that circumstance. You include the fact of your attraction, the possibility that the person may not be available, your thoughts that they may not be attracted to you, the fact that you have a partner and how your partner might feel if you were attracted to someone else. You include all these things and as you expand to encompass everything, you would not decide to say something and you would not decide not to say something. You would not use your will to select a course of action, yet a response would come through you. When you allow whatever wants to be said, you do not say something, something says you. Life will live through you when you include everything without rejecting or focusing on any single thing. <Snip> When you are ready to experiment with this approach, your whole life can change because anything really is possible. We are restricted by what we believe our restrictions to be, to a level that is unfathomable. We can move mountains. We are the creators.
PETER: Well Paul, I for one am appreciating your attempts to put into words ‘an indescribable state’ for I find it most illuminating. Most enlightenment-sufferers claim that they have transcended anger, greed and lust whereas a little dig behind the public front reveals otherwise. Some take the approach of flaunting their ‘inappropriate’ behaviour by giving it an air of Divinity, as do the Tantric Masters with their sexual predations, or the full-on God-men with their thundering Divine Anger. Their greed and lust for power is coaxed in terms of helping others, spreading the message or lovingly sharing what they have received by ‘Grace’. The more forthright and honest message of Enlightenment as an earthly preview of Divinity and Bliss prior to a ‘final release’ into Nirvana after physical death is not fashionable at present and thus we see the emergence of a cunningly watered-down ‘ordinary spirituality’.
Your practical example is a classic description of practicing denial and attempting transcendence. The blatant denial is that ‘the state of the body, the action of the mind and the movement of the emotions’ is not really ‘you’ but that your ‘essential self’ should be imagined as a Divine force or ‘Life’ that acts through you. A New Age reinterpretation of ‘Not my will but Thy will be done’. This is nothing other than the traditional delusionary shift of identity from mortal and animal to immortal and Divine. One denies one’s obvious mortality and animal passions and transcends it all to adopt another persona – one who is above it all, detached, disconnected and disassociated from, and dis-identified with, earthly mundane existence.
It is this very cunning and shrewd act of denial, fuelled by the instinctual will to survive at all costs, that actively prevents the necessary investigation that will bring an end to anger, greed and lust. The spiritual cop-out par excellence.
You then go on to state – ‘When you are ready to experiment with this approach, your whole life can change because anything really is possible.’ If anything is really possible then how come everyone who takes this approach ends up with the same experiences? I would say that if you take this approach to life then only one thing is possible. One then believes in, and dwells in, an ‘other-world’ of imagination and impassioned feelings, the spiritual world. In this ‘other-world’ one is either a loyal and faithful servant/slave to a Master or, if one aspires to leadership one must go all the way into the delusion in order to be able to radiate the necessary aura of Power and Authority to become a Master in one’s own right. Then one feels and claims that one ‘can move mountains’ and feels and claims that one is ‘the creator’.
Your use of the word ‘we’ shows you are still a touch short of being fully deluded.
Next on the list of ‘fresh and unique’ reinterpretations is ‘source’ but I’ll leave that for the next post.
This is getting to be a bit of a saga but ‘denial plus acceptance equals no change’ (D + A = nc) has such a grip on Humanity that it’s good to expose it for the drivel it is.
Maybe one day the non-sensical, utterly selfish, ancient belief in ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’ might eventually be superseded by an understandable, actual and down-to-earth peace – no anger, greed and lust and the resulting wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, corruption, despair and suicides.
Given that Paul, and his ilk, dismiss the expectation of an end to ‘anger, greed and lust ... a natural conclusion to draw, but it is not what is meant ... (by enlightenment or maximum potential)’ – I’m certainly not holding my breath.
PETER: Well as I type away the world is busy celebrating the birthday of a man who most probably did not even exist and who supposedly died 2,000 years ago and rose into the heavenly realms to sit at the side of his father, God. The overwhelming worldwide popularity of this Christian event does say something of the pre-eminence of the Anglo-Saxon tribes that are currently driving the technology and information revolution. But what I found most interesting were the reviews of the last century and the previews of the next. Predominant were the fears that emerged about technological progress, and the few commentators that were hesitantly optimistic for the future always couched their comments in terms of hope. When the situation is desperate and hopeless, humans always have to revert to hope, prayer and faith.
I just watched His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, ‘the Grand Lama, formerly the chief pontiff and governmental ruler of Tibet’ (the Macquarie Dictionary), being interviewed and he was asked about the possibility of an end to war and violence in the new millennium. He said that as the world ‘got smaller’ then we would see that we are all one people and that, ‘like it or not’, we would have to be more compassionate and tolerant towards each other. He went on to say that, of course, ‘there will still be conflicts’ but this should be the ‘century of dialogue’. Here is a man who preaches non-violence, yet firmly believes that one cannot change human nature. It is understandable for the concept of human suffering-on-earth is intrinsic and central to the Buddhist religion. Eliminate suffering and violence – no need for religious beliefs, therefore no mythical reincarnation for Grand Lamas. Not only Lama unemployment, but Lama mortality as well. A genuine case of endangered species.
It’s amazing to sit in my living room watching the frantic cranking up of hope in the face of despair. This current era of world-wide instant communication and access to information makes a global study of the Human Condition ‘in action’ so simple and so easy. The failure of belief, morals and ethics to bring an end to human malice and sorrow is transparently evident, as is the human passion for malice and sorrow.
Which brings me back to D + A = nc, the spiritual formula espoused by the Dalai Lama, The Pope, Mr. Rajneesh, both Mr. Jiddu and Mr. U.G. Krishnamurti, both the mythical Mr. Buddha and Mr. Jesus, and their ilk.
Given that few spiritual seekers have bothered to read the ancient texts to ascertain what it is their gurus are saying it is useful to dissect the modern NDA reinterpretations of Eastern religion and philosophy to see exactly what is on offer and why it has such popular appeal. So, I’ll continue on with my review of ‘In Each Moment’ by Paul Lowe.
I don’t know Mr. Lowe personally and have never met him which is why I find it useful to critique his book in particular. There are many I could write about, some of whom I have met and had dealings with. To write of them always leaves one open to attacks of bias as was obvious from the response to my journal from Rajneeshees. Mr. Lowe, while not famous, is indeed ‘a highly trained spiritual teacher’ and, as such, his words can be taken as an accurate modern re-interpretation of the ancient classical myths and beliefs.
To continue on, and to remind you that Mr. Lowe is defining the terms he uses in his writings –
PAUL LOWE: Chapter One. In the Beginning Are the Words
Source is unexplainable, yet it has been given many names. It has been called the Tao, the Hidden Harmony, ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’, ‘the Kingdom of God’. This is the way the mind interprets it in order to share it. When we let go of all forms identification with time and space, with knowing, with the need for safety, security and predictability, there is a disappearance, which means there is no identification with what we call the ‘self’. Then there is no self as we know it and the mind cannot understand that. I call this state the unformed. The source is the unformed. <Snip> Then from this state we create form according to our desires, although we usually do not recognize them as desires. <Snip> We are not aware we are doing this, but we are holding this reality as we know it by identifying it as such. If we did not do that, we would go to the source, which is life in an unformed state. Each person is that state of the unformed, not a part of that state. Many of the eastern philosophies express the idea that everything in existence is created from this unformed state, from the whole, and the whole remains intact and undiminished. Each person is not part of existence, each person is existence <Snip> ... is the whole and is the source. The game in this dimension is to have a direct experience of source. Once this is realized, the struggle is over – nothing is ever serious again; life becomes fun, a series of events to experience and savour deeply. We are not here to understand or control life, but to be present and enjoy the maximum potential of each moment, just as it is.
PETER: It is obvious that ‘ordinary spirituality’ includes dropping the common convention of using capital letters to denote reverence to the Divine spirit or energy that is believed to be the origin of the physical universe. The Oxford Dictionary defines source as
Interestingly the source of this passionate belief in an originating source of the physical universe is also defined –
Thus it is that those who believe in a source are themselves the very source of perpetuating and maintaining the idea of a source , energy, God, Mother Earth, Grandmother Universe or whatever other puerile nonsense is offered up. In this sense, Mr. Lowe himself could be seen as the source of the belief in a source, energy, God, Mother Earth, Grandmother Universe, etc. – a mere figment of his passionate imagination for there is no factual evidence to support this belief beyond what he and countless others feel to be the truth.
The pertinent question is: how do otherwise seemingly intelligent people get to a state where they so totally believe in ‘the source’ and passionately feel or experience ‘the source’ that they believe themselves to be ‘the source’? Paul, in fact, describes the process reasonably well.
What he describes is a process of dis-association not only with the ‘real’ world but also with the actual, physical, material world of time and space. This dis-association with what is evidenced by the bodily senses, combined with a dis-identification with one’s psychological ‘self’ leads to the imaginary creation of a new self or identity whereupon one feels that one ‘is existence <Snip> ... is the whole and is the source’. In honest, forthright spirituality this is spoken and written of as transcending self to become ‘Self’. In ordinary spirituality this apparently becomes a transcendence from ‘self’ to ‘source’. As for – ‘I call this state the unformed. The source is the unformed.’ – the idea of a source is so ancient and primitive it would be better said that the source is the un-informed rather than unformed.
All this traditional belief is understandable, for up until now the seeker has had only two choices. Either to remain ‘normal’ in the ‘real’ world, or to attempt to feel one is divine in the ‘spiritual’ world. In the spiritual world ‘the game in this dimension is to have a direct experience of source’ which, as we know, is then to swoon around pretending one is above it all and immortal to boot.
To do this as a flesh and blood human being on this planet is to turn away from the very physical, very real fact of the ongoing malice and sorrow that exemplifies the Human Condition. It is an act of utter selfishness, an act of self-aggrandizement, born of ancient ignorance and passionately fuelled by the ‘self’s’ will to survive – at all costs.
Transcendence is not a self-less state, transcendence is a delusion and a cop-out. Seeking the ‘source’ that underlies or underpins the actual physical universe is but a search by the psychological and psychic entity for a place to feel at ‘home’, and a place where to go to after ‘the body dies’. The ‘maximum potential’ that inevitably results from the search for the ‘expansion of human consciousness’ is to end up believing and feeling oneself to be the ‘source’ of it all, for to be the ‘source’ is as BIG and EXPANDED as humans can imagine themselves to be.
It is only by the patient, stubborn and persistent elimination of all belief, indeed the very act of believing, that one can arrive at the magic, perfection and purity of what is actual. When both ego and soul, both who we think and feel we are, is made to disappear. When belief, imagination and impassioned feelings are made to disappear. This is the ‘maximum potential’ of intelligence – that unique faculty of human beings which separates us as a species from the other animals – to be actually free of the Human Condition, in total.
One only needs to dare to relentlessly pursue the process of actively re-wiring one’s brain to free oneself of all illusion – only then will what is actual be evident as an on-going experience – while awake and until death.
Next of the fresh and unique re-interpretations are ‘Choicelessness and Being Present’.
But, enough for now. The day is cloudy and deliciously cool and the time is perfect for a stroll downtown.
PETER: Well I think this will be the last in this series of book reviews, for I’m inclined just to skim through the rest of Mr. Lowe, only briefly demolishing his ‘fresh and unique’ re-interpretations of Eastern religion and philosophy. It’s interesting that his ‘ordinary spiritualism’ serves only to strip away the aura of mystique that has been deliberately created and maintained by the shamans about what it is that the ancient texts are actually saying. He does the usual thing of saying that one needs not to read the words and try and make sense of them, that one needs to put aside the mind, etc. but, to me at least, he manages to exposes more than is usually considered wise about what the Truth is, in fact.
– ‘The atmosphere of mystery and veneration investing some doctrines, arts, professions, or people; a mysterious attraction; any professional skill or technique designed or able to mystify and impress the lay person’. Oxford Dictionary
So, let’s demystify the mystique of ‘some of the key facets of Paul’s perspective’
PAUL LOWE: Choicelessness and Being Present
Go with the feelings, the intuition, not with the mind. That is choicelessness. All that I have said about choicelessness applies to presence as well. Presence is being in this moment with acceptance, including all the facts and disconnecting from them.
PETER: Put so clearly, choicelessness is a choice made by one’s feelings, a decision solely based on the emotions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Deciding anything this way is guaranteed to produce an utterly selfish and self-centred result or decision, not the best decision, the most appropriate and most sensible. In deciding ‘not with the mind’, the spiritual claim of choicelessness can be best described as thoughtless and senseless, selfish decision making.
As for ‘being present’, it is clear that the Eastern religious philosophy is to ‘choicelessly’ accept and then disconnect from the facts – facts such as the physical body, one’s emotions and thoughts, one’s physical surroundings and other people, the fact of one’s mortality, etc. If being ‘present in this moment’ is so good then why would one want to disconnect from the facts that are evident in this moment. Why would there not be delight in thinking, delight in being conscious and alive as a flesh and blood human being, delight in this paradisiacal planet floating in this wondrous universe?
If this is not the case, in this moment, then why would one not want to do everything possible to evince delight, happiness and harmlessness? Why would one want to continue to practice denial, acceptance and ‘disconnecting’ as the East have done for millennia? The results of these religious practices are readily evident in the present cultures of the East, where poverty, corruption, duplicity, hypocrisy, repression, violence, arrogance and greed abound.
PAUL LOWE: Inner Dialogue
‘Most people are not aware that they are thinking all the time. Day and night, even when they are mediating and sleeping. I call this perpetual chatter of the mind the ‘inner dialogue’. <Snip> It is possible to set yourself free by recognizing, in each moment, the whole process of the mind, acknowledging it and sharing what is appropriate. Disclosing your inner dialogue reveals your truth in each moment, most importantly to yourself. <Snip> You do not need to go seeking anything. If you would start to become aware of your inner dialogue and share it, you would transform yourself and you would transform each other. You would cut straight through the blanket in which you bury yourself from life – your own internal chatter – and you would start being here with yourself and with each other. That is when life really begins.’
PETER: Well, this gets really silly. I had to muse a bit to consider where he is coming from in this bit of wisdom. Then I remembered back to my spiritual days when ‘sharing’ was all the fashion and I remembered Mr. Lowe’s training as a therapist. My experience of this approach is that what is ‘shared’ with others is most often one’s misery, suffering, frustration and anger – all done in a ‘loving way’, of course. The theory being that by getting it out, expressing it, emoting it, that it somehow evokes a change. This form of therapy has now been largely discredited or abandoned in mainstream society as offering only temporary relief and little or no long term change. It is still in vogue in the spiritual world where it acts as a way of cranking up a temporary bit of feel-good at having ‘got it all out’, or ‘off my chest’. Many people I know have been carrying on this way for decades and still rely on an emotional fix from the next proponent of feel-good to arrive in town to make ‘being present’, on earth, ‘in’ the body, temporarily tolerable again.
The other revealing aspect is that Mr. Lowe, along with all spiritual people, makes absolutely no distinction between thinking and feeling. Most of this ‘internal chatter’ or ‘inner dialogue’ is the direct result of the modern brain attempting to process, suppress, control, interpret or cope with the flow of chemical signalling from the primitive brain. Feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts – a thought directly related to the emotions and passions of the primitive brain. These feelings have at their roots either fear, aggression, nurture or desire – the instinctual passions. This spiritual bungling of feelings and thoughts together as ‘the chattering of the mind’ is to deny any chance of being able to separate and distinguish between what is sensible thought and what is ‘self’-centred impassioned feeling and thought.
This is why the spiritually-trained have so much difficulty with the simple question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ It takes effort and perseverance to identify, name, trace, investigate and understand what one is feeling – what is preventing perfection in this, one’s only moment of being alive. They constantly lapse back into denial, acceptance and ‘disconnecting’ , as they have been trained to do. They righteously seek to maintain their spiritual identity as ‘the watcher’ of this ‘continual chatter of the mind’ rather than roll up their sleeves and get stuck into becoming free from the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
I know this is the case with me. I have had to constantly not settle for second best, no matter how good things seem to be. My bench mark is always the perfection evident in the PCE but to continue to ‘raise the bar’ has always meant changing. Being finished with something, stopping doing something, breaking some habit, losing friends, changing some behaviour, taking some risk and experiencing another bit of ‘me’ falling away.
There is a dare in being here, out from Humanity, self-less and free of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
Actualism is a challenge and a commitment to irrevocable change – 180 degrees opposite to the ancient formula of D + A = nc.
P.S. Paul is proving such a goldmine it looks as though I may well continue ... I am always surprised at what comes out when I sit down to write, what can still be written to debunk the mystique and what can be written about the path to Actual Freedom.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Two Uncovering the Love
When I look at people, I have the knack of seeing beyond the personal identities that most of you confuse for yourself. And all that I see is love. That is what I see and that is what I have to share. You are in pain and you do not need to suffer. You are in distress and there is no need for it, for you are love.
PETER: Sounds a lot like a judgement to me but I guess it’s a ‘loving’ judgement.
PAUL LOWE: There is nothing you can do about love, because that is who you are, that is what you are made of and every cell in your body vibrates in love. You have forgotten this, but one day you will remember.
PETER: Literally billions of people have attempted to remember and practiced assiduously to become this love again and the success rate is estimated at .0001% – those who have managed the delusion of Enlightenment compared with those who have suffered on the spiritual path. The facts belie the myth that humans are ‘love’, they cannot even manage to live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony and the spiritual people are amongst the worst examples of peace and harmony in action. The ‘Holier than Thou’ Masters then blame their followers for not getting ‘it’ and the guilt that arises quickly silences any questioning of the message and any scrutiny of the messenger.
PAUL LOWE: The encouragement is for us to be more present, more aware of what is going on, all the time. The difficulty is this: the mind functions on the premise that it has to think about things and so the mind is identifying and naming everything continuously, registering whether it is safe or threatened. The mind does not see reality, it sees its concept of reality. It sees everything in terms of good and bad, right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate that it has learned from someone else. It labels everything according to other people’s ideas.
PETER: This primitive view of the mind directly results from the ancient ignorant view that the mind is the source of evil thoughts and the heart or soul is the source of good feelings. The mind – the functioning brain – is a physical organ in the body that is the central processing unit for an astonishing sensorial input of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, and it has the ability, unique among the animal species, of being able to think, plan, reflect, communicate and be aware of itself in operation. And this is what Eastern religion would have us ignore! This collecting of living cells that is so complex, so wondrous, so astounding is to be ignored in favour of identifying with the good instinctual passions and imagining oneself so good, so above it all and so disconnected that one believes oneself to be the ‘source’ – God by another name.
PAUL LOWE: That is really what the mind is: a program full of someone else’s ideas based on the past. In our natural state the mind does not judge, because the mind is lean and clear and carries only neutral information, such as what name you are calling yourself, your address, the practical things needing your attention. That is the function of the mind in its natural state, but its natural function has been distorted and it has developed in such a way that it continually judges.
PETER: The old Tabula Rasa theory trotted out again. ‘Born innocent and only corrupted by evil since birth. Naturally good and pure, tainted by evil or wrong thoughts’. Superstition, fear and ignorance persists in the face of current empirical scientific research of the animal instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire genetically programmed in the brain and universally operational in all humans by the age of about 2 years – no matter what one’s upbringing is. One does have social conditioning layered on top of this core programming but to perpetuate the denial of the instinctual animal program in us is insanity in the extreme. We can no longer hide behind ignorance. The earth is round, the earth orbits around the sun and we are born with animal instinctual passions. The question then is what one does about this fact.
This Eastern religion solution is ‘disconnecting’ as in
An Actualist is committed to deleting this instinctual programming – to becoming actually free of malice and sorrow.
A world of difference – to be here in the actual world as opposed to ‘being there’ in the spiritual world.
PAUL LOWE: Your system – the mind, the body and the emotions – has been damaged by your conditioning. It is not irreparable and it is damaged. The pressures you live with have put your system out of balance. <Snip> Now you can start to let go. The way you are living is not all right. Deep down, very little has truly felt fine. All that can change now. It is time to move closer to your to your truth and to feel more deeply. It is time to return to your essence of love.
PETER: Rotten at the core, programmed with a set of animal survival instincts, we love to suffer and we love to fight and yet we are willing to sell our illusionary ‘soul’ to a mythical God or God-man in return for an imaginary life after death. We readily and eagerly swap a selfish feeling of ‘The peace that passeth all understanding’ for an actual peace on earth. All this nonsense comes from ancient superstition and myth – a belief in a life after death fuelled by the human fear of death. A firmly entrenched frantic belief that ‘who one’s essence is’ is really a Godly spirit or immortal soul that dwells within the physical body. This is then upheld as the Truth – the basis of all spiritual belief is but a fairy story aimed at perpetuating and aggrandizing this alien psychological and instinctual entity rather than eliminating it.
From The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary – (a bit of ancient writing from the last millennium)
— The physical and corporeal nature of a human; flesh as opposed to soul or spirit. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The flesh and blood body which sees, hears, smells, touches, thinks, reflects and speaks as distinct from the psychological and psychic entity within (who I think and feel I am) that neurotically controls, is fearful and aggressive, feels lost and lonely, and desperately fears death.
Spiritual wisdom has it that the spirit or soul is real and the physical body/mind is but an illusion. The physical body is imagined as the seat of lustful carnal desire and the mind (ego) as the seat of selfish, evil, and non-divine thought. The soul, the imagined seat of the good feelings, is seen as the ‘spirit’ within the body, able to survive the death of the body. The spiritual solution to the human dilemma of malice and sorrow involves actively cultivating the soul – the ‘good’ feelings – into a distinct, superior, God-fantasizing identity. This new spiritual identity is then in total denial of, and transcendent to, the more unpleasant aspects of the body’s instinctual programming that produces lust, anger, despair, violence, fear and depression. To fantasize of a ‘good’ and immortal ‘spirit’ dwelling within an ‘evil’ and, very obviously, mortal body is to deny the fact of that humans actually are – instinctually-driven flesh and blood bodies, able to think and reflect.
The Human Condition that enslaves the human body in malice and sorrow is essentially a neuro-biological condition. It is firmly based on the formation of a social identity imposed over an instinctual based primitive self – installed by blind nature to insure the species’ survival. It is only when we firmly face this fact, cease denying it, and cease believing the fantasy story of a spirit-world, can we sensibly get down to the business at hand – ridding ourselves of the neuro-biological instinctual programming of the human brain. When one does, one discovers that the instinctual programming is exactly analogous to software in a computer – it is nothing more than how the hardware of the brain has been programmed to operate and function, and being software, the whole lot can be disposed of, deleted, eradicated. What is discovered is that the human flesh and blood body, freed of the pernicious restriction of a personal, instinct-based ‘self’, is able to operate at its optimum, to its full potential – freed of malicious and sorrowful feelings.
In actualism, it is possible to eliminate the psychological and psychic entity such that one becomes this flesh and blood body only, wondering at the perfection and purity of the physical universe. All is then delightful, easy, carefree, serendipitous and perfect. The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary
Well, I know I could be accused of flogging a dead horse and if the horse were in fact dead I would indeed find another hobby. But religion is alive and flourishing and while it is, peace on this fair planet will remain but an impossible dream.
PETER: Well this is getting to be an epic book review. It is not that the book is of any particular significance for there are countless books that espouse a fresh and unique approach to the ‘tried and failed’ – it’s just that denial and acceptance is a good subject to explore and Mr. Lowe just happened to end up the fall-guy. It’s good that he has the ability of ‘disconnecting’, else he might feel offended and take my critique personally.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Three. The Greatest Intimacy
It is possible to disconnect from automatic patterns and drop into a deeper sense of ourselves that feels vulnerable, sensitive and unknowing. This part is not self-centred; it is not focused on the self in a contracted, judgemental way. It is expanded and full of acceptance, allowing ourselves to be who we are, as we are.
PETER: Or put more succinctly – it is possible to drop out of the ‘real’ world and escape into an ‘inner world’ where imagination and fantasy can run riot, completely uninhibited by the facts of human existence. This impassioned fantasy, guided by the ‘wisdom’ of the shamans, reinforced by such practices as meditation, leads to an expansion of the psychological and instinctual entity to the point of Delusions of Divinity. Self-centredness and self-aggrandizement in the extreme. Judgemental in the extreme for one then feels more spiritual, more conscious, more accepting, more aware, more connected with the source (God) etc. etc.
PAUL LOWE: From this vulnerable place, our awareness includes the other person but is not focused on them. We do not modify our behaviour to fit in with this other person. Rather we include them in our consciousness and allow modification to happen on its own. As this person comes into our awareness, our energy field adjusts without our having to do anything. When we are present in the moment, change happens on its own.
PETER: From this inner world of vulnerability one then needs to project an image of love over people who come into one’s awareness. One frantically and desperately dons rose coloured glasses in order to see the world and other human beings in a good light. As one radiates love and acceptance a mutual imaginary feel-good atmosphere is created and this is particularly seen and felt in NDA spiritual gatherings. Everyone present at these gatherings adjusts their energy fields in order to feel part of the whole, to feel one with each other. This atmosphere is particularly strong in mass gatherings, or can be sometimes evoked on one’s own by imagination induced in meditation sessions. These feelings, arising from the conscious effort of expanding the good instinctual passions of nurture and desire, are notoriously fickle and this leads to the traditional spiritual complaint of how difficult it is to live in the ‘real’ world amongst ‘unconscious’ people.
Nothing changes at all in this process – the spiritual retreat from the ‘real’ world has been going on for tens of thousands of years, presumably since the first shaman went off on his own to live in a cave so as to better connect with the spirits and the spirit world.
PAUL LOWE: We have been afraid to be with ourselves in this way because we drop deep within, we lose touch with the familiar. We lose our identity, our sense of who we are and who we are not. As we let go of the safety and security of thinking we know, we drop into the vastness of the unformed, of source.
PETER: Paul, you should try letting go of the ‘real’ world and the spiritual world if you want to lose touch with the familiar. The source or God has been to the seeker of freedom exactly what the security blanket was to the Peanut’s cartoon character Linus – a sop, a dummy, a pacifier.
PAUL LOWE: We have a possibility now to disconnect from the past. The past is doomed to repeat itself because it is only capable of projecting itself on to an old familiar future. All thought that is based on the past and can only restrict future possibility. <Snip> The greatest intimacy lies in not knowing.
PETER: Classic New Dark Age double-speak. And this pearl of wisdom comes from someone who is presenting a fresh and unique re-interpretation of religious and philosophical ideas that are over 2,500 years old. To project these ancient ideas, thoughts, fantasies and fairytales into the current situation in which we now find ourselves is an act of appalling ignorance and desperation. The greatest delusion lies in actively promoting ignorance as a Virtue.
Of course, Mr. Lowe is talking of an intimacy with God – the greatest delusion. His recipe for human intimacy is to share one’s ‘inner dialogue’ – the emotive outpourings that are so common in spiritual groups and communities typify this therapeutic approach to sharing and togetherness.
To promote disconnecting from the facts and allowing ourselves to be ‘who we are, as we are’, i.e. an alien identity residing within the flesh and blood body, is to prevent intimacy and continue alienation, separateness, fear and suspicion. ‘Not knowing’ what the other entity is thinking or feeling promotes the continuation of intuition – the use of a form of ‘psychic radar’ to sense out the other person. To overcome this alienation the common cure is to promote the feelings of love, nurture and duty – a method of relating taught to every human being since birth. This obviously fails to ‘bridge the gap’ on a personal human level, so one is then encouraged to feel a universal or unconditional love – an unfocused love which leads to an even greater distance being formed between flesh and blood human beings as ‘holier than thou’ feelings always set in with fantasy.
This vain attempt at intimacy by promoting the feelings that arise from the chemical surges of the instinctual passions of nurture and desire has always offered fickle and fleeting success at best. Feelings of love and hate, giving and selfishness, forgiveness and retribution, etc. come inseparable in pairs and the constant seesawing of emotions in human relating makes actual intimacy an impossibility. At best, a mutual compromise is reached, a set of peace-agreements is established as to ‘safe’ grounds, ‘space’, ‘separate lives’, secrets and deals. This way of living and relating is but a sad and sorry second best as to what is actually possible when the feelings arising from the instinctual animal passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire are absent. With no emotional or psychic ‘radar’, no intuition or suspicion, no ‘emotive sharing’ or fights to pump up excitement, no ‘late night bargains struck’, no wars and no ceasefires, no fear or aggression operating, a direct sensate intimacy is deliciously and palpably evident.
A bit from Peter’s Journal – Living Together may give a taste of what is actually possible –
P.S. the Love chapter is good to read for any who are interested in this subject.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Four Here for the Adventure.
‘In the beginning was the unnameable – let us call it ‘the source’. And that is not exactly true, as there is no time in the dimension of the source – no past, no future.’
PETER: Translation – ‘In the beginning was God’. Which begs the question what happened before God, which is why he goes on to say there is no such thing as time in God’s dimension. Thus we have Timelessness – no past and no future – a feeling that one is eternal. Well, I remember seeing a flesh and blood Paul Lowe some 20 years ago and by the photo on his book cover he looks as though he has aged since then. The physical body aging and inevitably dying is a product of time in the physical world. The entity inside the body, as ‘I’ in the head and ‘me’ in the heart, may well imagine and feel that ‘there is no time in the dimension of the source – no past, no future’ but that does not alter the ticking of the physical clock in the physical world. The feeling of Timelessness is that feeling that one has no beginning and no end i.e. that one is immortal and will survive the death of one’s physical body.
Life at a later time or after death...Oxford Dictionary.
Peter: ‘The prime example of wishful thinking ...
A life span of more than 100 years is very rare for the human animal body. The human animal with its ability to think and reflect is painfully aware, and fearful of, its own personal extinction. Thus the psychological and psychic entity within the flesh and blood body – who we think and feel we are – is instinctually driven to believe in an afterlife in order to ensure its own survival. In short, the spirit within the body desperately and passionately believes in a spirit-ual ‘other-world’ that it goes on to after the death of the obviously mortal physical body.
In fact, there have been no authenticated cases of anyone actually coming back from the supposed state of life after death. Many ‘psychic’ reports and visions have been recorded down the ages but none has stood scientific scrutiny. Near-death experiences (NDE) are often held up as proof of an afterlife, but curiously Christians report seeing Jesus while Hindus see Krishna – people report ‘seeing’ only what is common to their belief-system after returning to consciousness. As for the ‘white light’ commonly experienced in NDE’s, astronauts and pilots all report exactly the same phenomenon before becoming unconscious during testing on a whirling centrifuge.
The fact that human beings are painfully aware of their own mortality has spurned the mythical belief (‘fervently wishing to be true’) in a God capable of granting them an afterlife. Earliest reports suggest a heavenly or celestial realm for this after-life, for indeed the sky must have appeared ‘another world’ to primitive man. It is only this century that humans have flown in the sky and only in the last half that flight above earth’s atmosphere was possible, rendering the sky less other-worldly. Recent explorations of our solar system, our galaxy and countless distant galaxies has further de-bunked the heavens as ‘another world’.
The western religious fables generally are monotheist and espouse an after-life in ‘heaven’ for those who are good, virtuous followers and believers in a particular God. For those who are evil, heathen, non-believing or followers of a different God, then a Hellish after-life ensues. The eastern religions, with their even more elaborate fables, allow for earthly re-incarnations or even transmutations as a system of reward or punishment for good and virtuous deeds but all point to an eventual final release or escape into an after-life. Even the venerated ASC state known as Enlightenment is but a temporary relief from suffering on earth before a final release to a heavenly Parinirvana.
Many people say that they ‘don’t believe’ in an after-life, or that they will ‘find out when the time comes’ or it is ‘not an issue’ for them. All are examples of ‘fence sitting’, avoidance or denial. Unless one fully acknowledges the fact there cannot be an ‘after-life’ and experiences the ‘death’ or extinction of the psychic and psychological entity, it is impossible to be here, now, in the actual world as a flesh and blood body only. Any trace of a belief in an after-life is but succour to the alien ‘spirit’ entity, and as such, excludes one from realizing and experiencing an actual freedom from malice and sorrow. The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary
PAUL LOWE: The source is one and cannot experience itself in its oneness. In order to have an experience of knowing itself, it split up into billions of parts, lowering its vibrations to manifest at the material level.
PETER: If God – the source – is so good and loving then why would he/she/it want to ‘lower its vibrations’ in order to manifest human misery and suffering, wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, despair and suicides? Does this not make ‘the source’ a deceitful and sadomasochistic ‘source’? If the source did in fact exist, should not we humans stand up and tell ‘the source’ enough is enough!
PAUL LOWE: Each part appears to be separate, yet is still the source, whole and complete in itself. The source remains whole and intact. The split is an illusion. <Snip> You willed yourself to forget that you are the source in order to be complete in this experience. The experiment is over now. Whenever you are ready to disconnect yourself from reality, you can go home. You can return to the experience of yourself as source.
PETER: What a sad, mad, perverse and sick experiment this source has cooked up. All this suffering in order that ‘the chosen few’ may realize themselves to be the source itself. All the human suffering, wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, despair and suicides are not an illusion. They are real, flesh and blood humans who are suffering, hurting and despairing and busy inflicting suffering upon, and killing, other human beings.
PAUL LOWE: The vehicle you are inhabiting is programmed. You are not. That system has been conditioned. You have not. You are not the mind, you are not the body, you are not the emotions. You have thoughts, thoughts do not have you. Disconnect from them and you will realize your true self. You are the source. Whenever there is a disturbing thought, you can disconnect from it. It is only thought. You can disconnect from the ‘I’, the personality, the character, the ego, the neuroses. As you disconnect from everything you think you are, you will find that something remains. ‘Thou art That’.
PETER: So the source only needs to remember that the experiment – manifesting this physical universe, this physical planet and life on it – is not real but is an illusion that it has cooked up for the experience of being able to experience the experience. And once ‘you’, as consciousness within a particular body in this experiment, disconnect and realize that it is all an illusion, a joke, that you cooked up in the first place, you get to find out you are the Creator of the Game.
What a fantasy, what a delusion, what insanity!
PAUL LOWE: Allow yourself to disconnect from identification with the outside. <Snip> Be fully in the moment but not of it. <Snip> As you keep disconnecting expansion happens. <Snip> You are everything. <Snip> Instead of being the universal consciousness – without form, without a body – you have chosen to experience the universe from this perspective for a while. <Snip> We are in this form for a short time. We have come here for an adventure. We are here for the experience – to taste, to feel, to laugh, to touch, to be touched. We are here to find out what it is like to split into misery and happiness. As we connect with source, we do not have to take duality so seriously. Now we can have fun.
PETER: This ego-maniacal gall sort of leaves one wordless for a bit.
And this fairytale has been flogged for millennium by the shamans, charlatans and God-men, and believed by billions in the East to be the Truth. Of course it is music and poetry for the soul – the chance not only to feel immortal but to get to feel oneself to be God, the creator of the game of life on earth, to become a disconnected watcher who feels superior to the mere plebs who take the game seriously.
Imagining and believing oneself to be free of the ‘real’ world is easy – millions and millions of people are doing it on the planet right now and it has been an on-going, very popular, safe and secure fantasy for thousands of years.
Human beings will never stop fighting and feuding, suffering and lamenting as long as the so-called ‘seekers of freedom’ and pliers of Truth continue to believe any part of this pap.
To be actually free of the both the ‘real world’ illusion and the ‘spiritual world’ delusion is now the challenge facing us individually.
PETER: This is probably getting a touch repetitive for Paul has, by admission, nothing new to say, but I will continue as I’m still enjoying the critique. It’s interesting to see the subtle ways that he manages to disguise the message of denial and transcendence in a way that is hypnotically and mind-numbingly appealing. I always find it fascinating to see the duplicity and cunning seduction of the spiritual writings and to expose the nonsense. Every belief exposed, every nuance understood, every fact substantiated is another bit of deleting of society’s and blind nature’s programming. Incremental freedom, synapse by synapse. The spiritual programming is the most difficult for it strikes at the heart – ‘me’ at my instinctual core, who will do literally anything to stay in existence and particularly to believe a fairy tale whereby I am All (as in all powerful).
I am curious that so few people are willing to question their spiritual beliefs and most of the actualism writings are dismissed as mere Guru bashing. The stepping out of the real world into the spiritual world is a well-worn track made complicated only by the shamans’ selfish refusal to develop a simple method for the process. ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is a method that can fast-track one to Enlightenment for it is ruthlessly efficient if applied with diligence and perseverance. If the actualism method is co-opted for selfish spiritual purposes then enlightenment is the only result possible – which is exactly why an Actualist needs pure intent.
— Firmly resolved on a purpose, inclination, will; what is willed, one’s desire. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The driving force in the search for freedom from the Human Condition is intent. Only relatively few humans have sufficient interest or desire for freedom, while most remain content with the ‘normal’ pursuits of life. Up until now there have been only two choices – either remaining normal or pursuing the traditional spiritual path to an ‘other-worldly’ freedom of Enlightenment. Hundreds of millions of seekers have spent thousands of years pursuing the spiritual path with profoundly selfish intent yet the success in terms of those becoming Enlightened seems to number only in the thousands – an appallingly bad success rate. The intent of the spiritual seeker is always a tainted intent in that his or her goal is the Truth, the Good and Immortality for one’s soul, with its inherent promise of power, authority and glory.
The pure intent of Actual Freedom comes from the peak experience or PCE wherein one has a glimpse of the purity and perfection of the physical universe untainted by any ‘self’-ish and ‘self’-produced meta-physical imaginations. With pure intent as one’s guideline one will not settle for the ‘ego’-less Altered State of Consciousness that leads to the delusion of Divinity known as Enlightenment. One will settle for nothing less than living the ‘self’-less Pure Consciousness Experience of actual purity and perfection, 24 hrs. a day, every day.
Richard: Pure intent is derived from the purity of the PCE (which is when ‘I’ spontaneously cease to ‘be’) and everything is experienced to be perfect as-it-is at this moment and place ... here and now. Diligent attentiveness paid to the pure consciousness experience gives rise to pure intent and with pure intent running as a ‘golden thread’ through one’s life, reflective contemplation about being here doing this business called being alive rapidly becomes more and more fascinating. When one is totally fascinated, reflective contemplation becomes pure awareness ... and then apperception happens of itself.
It is the quality of pure intent is what pulls one forward with impunity ... pure intent transforms into action one’s determination to live a life full of gladness, peace and harmony with oneself, with a person of the other gender, and with all peoples. Pure intent produces total dedication – it is experienced as an irresistible enticement – and it makes it impossible not to do what is required (or to sweep an issue under the carpet and to let sleeping dogs lie) and to continue to conform to the long-failed dictates of the status-quo. Pure intent is not to be confused with being a ‘do-gooder’, or being full of ‘righteousness’, or being ‘moralistic’ or being ‘principled’. Pure intent is the quality that encompasses what morals and ethics aspire to but never reach. Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe. Freed by pure intent from the very necessary social constraints – designed to control a wayward ego and a compliant soul – one can have generosity of character without striving. Pure intent guides one in each and every situation and circumstance – it is an essential prerequisite to ensure a guaranteed passage through the psychic maze – until the primacy of ‘me’ as a psychological or psychic entity withers away.
This is exactly why so much of an Actualist’s time and effort is spent investigating spiritual beliefs. This activity is not a side issue, a whinge or a bitch at the ‘other mob’, sour grapes, etc. It matters not a fig if yet another Guru or God-man struts the world stage or writes another life-changing book or gives Satsang in order to be worshipped for his or her Godliness. It will merely add to and perpetuate human malice and misery by continuing the traditional Eastern religious practice of denial and transcendence. The world won’t be any madder for it, but an opportunity will have been lost for intelligence, sanity and benevolence to emerge from instinctually ‘self’-centred animal life-forms.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Four This is It
When everything else drops away from us, something remains that cannot be described. <Snip> The source, God, radiant darkness, the still point, however we name it, that place is within you now. It is you who is not being with that place.
PETER: If ‘you’ shift to that place ‘the source, God ...’, does not that mean ‘you’ stay in existence? One’s identity merely shifts from mortal animal to Immortal Divine.
PAUL LOWE: I say it is beyond normal experience because it is not an experience. Experience has to do with the senses, the senses have to do with the mind and the mind cannot comprehend, hold or expand sufficiently to include this.
PETER: The human modern-primitive mind combination is capable of an astounding range of fear-driven fantasies and imaginations right up to and including the belief that one is ‘the source, God’. This is feeling – the ‘good’ instinctual passions – run riot, unimpeded by intelligent thought and totally disconnected from the actual world, abundantly and obviously evidenced by the physical senses.
PAUL LOWE: Those who claim to know are not aware that they do not really know, because it is not a knowing. It is an emptiness of knowing.
PETER: I would call that spiritual double speak for ‘it is a denial of common sense’.
PAUL LOWE: The state we are talking about is self-less – there is no self. <Snip>. The key realization is that there is no self as we see it. The mind can only register phenomena in terms of time and space and separation, and this state is beyond the mind.
PETER: It is telling that he qualified ‘there is no self’ with ‘there is no self as we see it.’ He repeatedly says elsewhere ‘Thou art That’ which, put into plain language, unequivocally means ‘you are God’. This is not a self-less state, this is clearly a state of self-aggrandizement.
PAUL LOWE: Buddha urged us to carry no food, only one robe, and never to stay in one house for more than three consecutive nights. In other words, life will take care of you; if you allow it, you will always get what you need.
PETER: Another classic fable of denial. The Buddhist monks in particular trade off this one very well. In the East it is obligatory custom to provide food and accommodation to travelling monks, in India it is ‘good karma’ to give to the Saddhus and in the West there is usually a queue to suck up to visiting God-men and Gurus, and many people pay a lot of money to them simply to ‘sit in their presence’. It is other people who are taking care of them, providing what they need, not ‘life’ or ‘existence’ or God.
PAUL LOWE: Our conditioning has told us there is a state to reach and this is not true. There is no state to attain. <Snip> There is no state of enlightenment. <Snip> When we are totally here, in complete acceptance, the state we call awakening is realized. <Snip> Thou art That <Snip> You have to want whatever you call this state totally and do absolutely nothing about it. <Snip> There is nothing to attain.
PETER: This is not a trick on my part. This nonsense came from one single page in the book. It was a ploy that Mr. Rajneesh used to great effect – confuse the mind by using contradiction, inane drivel and babble and squeak. It becomes impossible to follow, so one gives up trying and settles into a feeling-only state, the mind wanders off into impassioned imagination and another victim is entrapped.
PAUL LOWE: There is only now. When you truly realize this and you accept it, you soar. If you realize it and resist it, it is awful, because there is nothing else, there is no point to anything, there is no reason for living, there is nowhere to go and nothing to do. Nothing out there ‘works’. Look one second into the future and there is just desolation. Be unconditional in this moment and you are in the unexplainable state of bliss. Resist in the slightest and you are in hell. <Snip> The Hindus say it can take 80,000 lives to experience it fully, unless you are ready to say, ‘Yes, this is it’.
PETER: This piece is particularly revealing for it illustrates that underpinning the feeling of bliss is the feeling of dread. It is not only that one has left the real world – the world ‘out there’ – but one does so out of fear and desperation. The feelings of fear and dread are still there, they are only sublimated by passionately imagining oneself to be in an inner safe sanctuary – ‘here’ in the inner world in fear of the outer, and ‘now’ in denial of the ticking of the clock and the inevitable aging of the body. I like his description very much for it belies the myth that duality ceases in the spiritual world. Good and bad, right and wrong, bliss and dread and God and Evil are, in fact, only emphasized and made more real in the spiritual world, not eliminated.
Thus, a further illusion is built upon an illusion and delusion is the result. To travel the spiritual path in the spiritual world is to move even further away from the actual world – one is then twice removed from the actual world, that which is physical-only, tangible, palpable, benign, free of malice and sorrow, sensately obvious and delightfully rich, pure and perfect, peaceful and harmonious, abundantly apparent, right here, right now.