Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT: Now, how did the PCE reveal anything about the origin, composition, extent, or duration of the actual universe?
PETER: As I said above, in a PCE it is clearly experienced that there is nothing at all mystical, nor spiritual about this actual world we live in and this direct sensual experience of actuality is all the more magical because it is devoid of the fears and fantasies of mysticism. What the PCE reveals is that if one at all aspires to live the PCE 24/7 then, when one inevitably returns to being ‘normal’, there is much work to be done – one needs to set out about becoming free of all mystical and spiritual beliefs, no matter what the consequences. Seemingly the most difficult of these beliefs for many is the belief that the physical universe is ephemeral rather than being substantive, as in eternal and infinite.
It’s not for nothing that the first topic I wrote about in my journal was death.
RESPONDENT: How can the few cubic centimetres of brain inside your skull ever be privy to the ultimate nature of something that is too vast (and too small) for the senses to perceive directly, or the mind to reason about?
PETER: ‘The few cubic centimetres of brain’ inside this skull is the matter of the universe as much as is the plant beside my computer, as much as is the soil in which the plant is growing and as much as is the pot in which it is growing. Contrary to common belief and one’s own atavistic feeling, human flesh and blood bodies are not alien to, or separate from, the physical universe – they are in fact animate matter and our very mortality ensures that we – as what we are not ‘who’ we think and feel we are – are inseparable from the physical universe.
To propose that these few centimetres of matter with its millions upon millions of sensory receptors is incapable of making sense of this unfiltered sensory input during a PCE is to denigrate the magnificence and the wonder of the physical universe – not only can these few centimetres of matter make sense of what it is physically sensing but it can also be aware not only of the matter that it is sensing but also be aware that it is aware that it is sensing – or to be aware that it was not being aware if that was the case at the time.
RESPONDENT: I start from the position that there is an actual universe that is mind-bendingly immense in its scope.
PETER: I do appreciate that thinking about the infinite of the universe is a mind-bending exercise and a therefore appears to be a futile one. In a PCE, however, one can directly experience the infinitude of the universe because not only does ‘my’ egocentric view of the world disappear but ‘my’ atavistic anthropocentric beliefs about the nature of the universe disappear as well.
Because I remembered having had such an experience, I followed Richard’s lead and set about patiently dismantling both ‘my’ egocentric view of the world as well as ‘my’ atavistic anthropocentric beliefs about the nature of the universe so as to be more able to experience the actuality of the infinitude of the universe. Another hint I can pass on is that if one puts one’s ‘self’-centredness aside for a while and muses about the infinitude of the physical universe then such contemplation may occasion the onset of a PCE – but as you would know such musings can also bring about an ASC so I am usually somewhat hesitant in recommending such experiments to those who still retain a fascination for things mystical.
RESPONDENT: An infinitesimal fraction of existing facts, existing actualities, are directly knowable by us.
PETER: This is what the mystics would have us believe.
Human beings have thus far done an amazing job in exploring the inanimate and animate matter that is this planet and by developing instruments they have been able to do so in microscopic and macroscopic detail. The development of the telescope in its various forms has extended this exploration to an area of some 12 billion light years’ diameter around this planet and the development of rocketry has seen human beings journey to the moon some 40 years ago. All of this that was unknown and hence inexplicable and mysterious to earlier human beings is now known to be fact.
Whilst there can be no doubt that there is more to be discovered and that more will be discovered, sufficient has already been discovered to put paid to the superstitions and myths that gave credence to mystical and spiritual beliefs … but apparently not for those human beings who desperately cling on to these beliefs, come what may. (...)
RESPONDENT: The mind and universe contain things that are not actual, yet not supernatural or spiritual either. The meaning of a sentence is not actual. It’s not the black and white symbols on your screen, and it’s not the electro-chemical processes that cause them to appear on your monitor. It’s not the neural activity in my brain or yours. It depends on all of these things as its representation undergoes physical transformations, but it is not any of them. It’s also not supernatural, and it’s also not spiritual. The number 3 is not actual, but neither is it supernatural or spiritual.
PETER: So am I to take it that when you say that ‘the meaning of a sentence is not actual’ then it is impossible for human beings to communicate with each other that when you say ‘the meaning of a sentence’ is not the black and white symbols on your screen’ then I can’t know what you mean by the sentence?
RESPONDENT: That’s the physical representation of the sentence. I’m talking about the meaning of a sentence. We both agree that sentences have meaning, but where is the meaning? Where actually is it? Is the meaning actual or metaphysical?
PETER: The meaning of a sentence is inherent to the symbols that make up the sentence, be it written or spoken. In other words the meaning of the sentence is in the sentence itself. ‘The few cubic centimetres of brain inside this skull’ interprets the meaning of a sentence (provided of course that it is written in one’s learned language), exactly as it interprets a particular sound to be the sound a kookaburra makes or can distinguish between the taste of a cup of coffee or a cup of water or can interpret a lack of clouds as meaning it will not rain … or that can spot a bit of dissociated philosophy when one comes across it.
PETER: I recently watched a television program documenting the first Voyageur spacecraft flyby of the planets in our solar system. It was intriguing to watch the scientists’ reactions as the first photos and data streamed in from the first planet. They were stunned at what they saw as the pictures began coming in – what was actual was indeed beyond their wildest imaginations and theories. As each successive flyby happened the scientists’ astonishment only increased to the point that by the last flyby of the outermost planet they had already abandoned their theories and concepts and were utterly fascinated by what they were seeing with their eyes. In a similar vein, I heard an entomologist say that the insects that exist in the average rubbish bin are far more astonishing than any imagined creature from another planet thus far dreamt up by any science fiction afflictionados.
RESPONDENT: *deep bow*
Yes, observing the loosening of the clinging to wrong, though cherished, theories and worldviews is a most satisfying activity. Pointing out wrong thinking and watching the awakening that accompanies realization is great sport also.
PETER: Ah, No 22. You are copping out again. You have already dismissed the actualism method of ‘loosening of the clinging to wrong, though cherished, theories and worldviews’ by saying you prefer not to ‘bother with what must be the immensely stressful, frustrating, and quite dirty business of digging out of a hole’. And yet here you say that observing it in others is a most satisfying activity.
My experience of God-men is that they like to ensnare others into loosening their clinging to so-called wrong thinking and twist them into adopting Right thinking solely in order that they can strut their own humble Self-Righteousness in return for admiration, gratitude, love and veneration.
As for ‘pointing out wrong thinking and watching the awakening that accompanies realization’ – what I was relating was an event that threw light on the fact that what is actual is far more astounding than any imagination, belief or theory cooked up by human beings. In the case I mentioned there was not an ‘awakening that accompanies realization’ as occurs in spiritual practice, but a fascination that accompanies the discovery of what is actually happening this very moment in this infinite and eternal universe.
You seem to have a tendency to dismiss astounding actual events and amazing actual matter as amusing irrelevant side issues to your ‘study of actualism’. You are missing the point of what actualism is about, exactly as you did in all of your previous correspondence with Richard.
RESPONDENT: Now, with the mutual enjoyment of the above established, and if you will, the question remains:
In the understanding you are of the worldview being called actualism, what is the best definition of ‘matter’ as it is used in:
PETER: Oops, I see I missed this question first time round. Okay, this one is very easy to explain. With your finger, touch the frame of your computer keyboard. You may notice it feels solid to the touch, i.e. the soft flesh of the bottom of your finger squashes in a bit. This is matter, as is the monitor in front of you, as is the stuff of the walls of the room you are sitting in, as is the chair you are sitting on, as is the stuff photographed on the NASA web-site or that you can see as points of light in the night sky.
And what touched the solid bit of matter that is your keyboard frame is a bit of animate matter – your finger. Do you have a problem with this? I know you are searching for a definition or a concept of matter, but I thought a more pragmatic approach might save a bit of time.
PETER: The spiritual path is the pursuit of emotional events and altered states, whereas the path to Actual Freedom is the pursuit of irrevocable actual change. For an actualist, the real work is in having the courage to maintain an ongoing awareness of how you are experiencing being alive, of cultivating a naïve fascination with being alive and developing a resounding YES to being here.
GARY: It seems that people on a religious and/or (these words are interchangeable) spiritual path are always caught up in their feeling of uniqueness or differentness from ordinary ‘wordly’ people. When I was into the spiritual lifestyle, I always had a sense of mission or a feeling of being special compared to the average heathens around me.
PETER: It took me 17 years of exploration on the so-called spiritual path to finally understand, acknowledge, and act upon, the fact that spiritualism was nothing other than ‘Olde-Time Religion’. Every pundit, teacher or follower I met or group I was in felt they were unique or that they were specially ‘chosen’ in having the truth of their existence revealed to them personally. Spiritual revelations and experiences are music to ‘me’, as soul, and inevitably lead to ‘self’-ish introspection and an increased detachment from actuality.
As a ‘normal’ entity, ‘I’ am programmed to be a social/ psychological and instinctual/ psychic entity that thinks and feels it is living inside the body. This non-substantial entity experiences himself or herself to be detached from the physical actual world anyway, but then to become a passionate spiritual identity in one of society’s fantasy spirit-ual worlds is to be twice removed from what is physical, palpable, tangible, sensual, audible, tactile, visual, corporal, animal, mineral, vegetable, and alive as in not passive.
This actual world is chocked full of eye candy – to use the current web jargon – full of smell candy, air candy, people candy, touch candy, taste candy, skin candy, sound candy. This planet is a literal cornucopia of sensual delight and we human beings have the most sophisticated brain that is wired via its proliferate sensory receptors to be a receptor, an appreciator, able to think, reflect and contemplate ... and to be aware it is doing it!
What it is to be a human being is to be the universe experiencing itself as a human being.
RESPONDENT: On a retreat this August I wrote the following: My room has a window facing an inner area of the complex; there is grass and a stand of three pine trees in the middle of it, just about straight out the window. It’s quite light in here with the curtains open, especially sitting here at the desk right in front of the window, stopping writing every now and then to look out at the sun on the grass and gleaming on the edges of some of the pine needles. The trees look like Ponderosa pines, but they aren’t, quite. There’s a big shady place under the stand of pine trees. I may go sit there sometime while I’m here.
The room is simple, with a small bed, one pillow, a sink, a tiny little open closet space about a foot wide. It adjoins a bathroom, shared by the man next door whose face I have yet to see but whose snoring I can hear most of the time when he’s sleeping. It doesn’t bother me in the least. The room is part of a long hallway of twenty rooms on either side of the hallway. There being rooms on both sides of the hall, it is very dark — there aren’t any windows. I have taken to leaving the door to my room wide open. It creates a beautiful trapezoid of natural light in the hallway. Could life be this way too? An open door on to a simple room. Light inside. Nothing to hide, keep, or hang on to? I am: what is happening in the present moment. I am pain in my knees and gurgling in my belly. I am desire and the thought of love. I am the robin hopping with a cricket in its beak and I am the wind blowing a wasp to and fro near the pine boughs, a secret in the sun. And I am memory and sadness, a wound as big as the world, filled with tears. And I am the joy of those tears. And I am my misdeeds, and I am their consequence. And I am readiness for death. And readiness for life. These are wonderful opportunities. Thank you.
PETER: Yes, I remember my days of meditating and going on retreats and the wonderful feelings induced. The heart full of love, the sittings, the silences, the fellow travellers. I once spent about $1000 to travel thousands of kilometres to spend 3 days with a particular Guru for a bit of bliss. But, of course, the problem was it was only a temporary relief from the ‘real’ world – the bliss was an antidote to suffering, the silence a relief to the neurosis, and the ‘loving’ company an escape from loneliness. It was totally dependant on the Guru’s ‘energy’ or that of the group and indeed was a getting out of it or rising above it into some ethereal other spiritual realm. All a figment of my imagination and as fickle and as impermanent as any other emotional state.
By the time I came across Richard I was ready to give the whole lot up, not only for the failure of the system but in seeing how these Gurus were as ordinary people. In the end they offered little to emulate and much to avoid. What really lit me up about what Richard was saying more than anything was the possibility that I could live with a woman in peace and harmony. It is a point that many spiritual seekers completely ignore, and indeed many scorn. Some have relationships based on them being the guru and their companion being a disciple or student but that to me is a complete sham and deceit.
Equity, peace and harmony is a more accurate description of what I have with Vineeto. If it is not possible to demonstrate as an actuality with one other person in my life I figured peace on earth would forever remain but a dream. And I have proved it, which is why I can say with utter confidence that it is now possible for anyone and everyone – should they want it. So it is good to see your interest in something non-spiritual and down to earth. Something actual rather than something imaginary. If the Gurus can’t put their money where their mouth is in their personal relationships it’s time for them to shut up.
Or better still it’s time for their followers to give up hoping and trusting that they will produce the goods – and I think peace on earth is a good basic goal. And peace at home is undoubtedly the first essential step. In breaking free of the all – enveloping spiritual mindset, a useful tool for me was to realise that just because everybody believes something doesn’t necessarily mean it is a fact. And becoming a detective in search of the facts is a fascinating activity – sort of like growing up and finding out for myself, rather than believing what I had been programmed to believe. It’s so good to be free of the need to go on retreats or meditate to find stillness, peace and contentment when I can now experience that right here, now.
PETER to Alan: This physical universe of people, events and things are seen to be perfect and it is obvious that it is only what goes on in our heads – the disease called the Human Condition that is manifest in each of us as a separate, personal ‘self’ – that is the cause of the appalling malice and sorrow that humans exude. What has always been avoided up until now is the fact that what goes on in the heart is the real problem – the loves, loyalties, passions, ideals and beliefs that humans are willing to kill or die for. The problem lies in feelings and emotions and the PCE confirms this experientially.
That is why it is so good to write of these experiences – the ordinary everyday experiences when experienced by our senses free of emotions and feelings do indeed become extraordinary, clear, bright, gay, delightful, friendly, benign and, to use that wonderful word, ambrosial. Enlightenment lies in the opposite direction – in the world of spirits, gods, feelings and emotions. What a delight to come to my senses – what an achievement. It still seems unbelievable. I still keep pinching myself and checking out this new way of living but it is perfect, flawless, actual, and continually amazing.
PETER to Alan: Good to discuss with you these matters. I think the operative word here is pure as I have discovered. The PCE offers a glimpse or window out from the ‘real’ world everyone is born into (and therefore assumes this to be all there is), and suddenly one finds oneself in the unimaginable actual fairytale-like physical universe. My experience was that each time this occurred I was increasingly able to feel comfortable, at ease, as this new ‘me’ – this flesh and blood body. And every time these glimpses had a different experience to them as I explored carefully the actual physical universe that ‘I’ had normally perceived (like every other human being) to be a place of sadness, fear and aggression. Initially the contrast between the actual, benign, safe, and delightful, and the imaginary world of churning emotions, raging hormones and consuming passions is so startling that the memory is either buried or the experience appears wondrous and awesome. With a sincere intent operating to want to live the experience of the PCE every moment, 24 hrs. every day I was able to use the time when I wasn’t actually here living the PCE to root around in the Human Condition – to investigate, discuss, read, think and contemplate on all those instinctual urges and social Truths, Wisdoms and accepted beliefs that made up the particular psychological and psychic entity that dwelled in me and which had taken ‘me’ over. No wonder humans feel alien on the planet.
PETER to Alan: For me, it was such an adventure to get to the bottom of the stifling mystery, the conspiracy of silence, the moralistic mumbo-jumbo and beliefs that actively prohibit free sexual enjoyment and a direct intimacy between any couple, be they normal or spiritually inclined.
Which brings me back to people-as-they-are – (a feeble attempt to round this rave back to some semblance of order). Whenever Vineeto and I talk or write of becoming free of the Human Condition, we are often seen (judged?) as being judgemental or attacking and not tolerant or respectful of the other’s position. In considering this, the only sense I make of it is that we are threatening in that we are putting into practice the concept that one can become free of the Human Condition – i.e. how human beings think, feel, believe and imagine themselves to be and how they are instinctually programmed by blind nature to function. Now any sensible investigation of the Human Condition involves observation, investigation, comparison, contemplation, consideration and judgement. One has to come to a conclusion as to what is silly and what is sensible, otherwise the whole exercise is merely intellectual wanking. Having made a judgement as to what is best, then action is required – one is compelled to action, unless one wants to settle for second-best – but that’s another story. So no bleatings of ‘you’re being judgemental’ will work with me – it’s a furphy that’s been bandied around since morals and ethics were first chiselled in stone and devised to silence the sensible. ‘Judge ye not’ is a platitude invented by God-men and other charlatans in order that no one would question the rest of their inane platitudes. It is one of many dimwitticisms, passed off as Guru-wisdom, that have no other meaning or purpose than to keep their followers and disciples under control, humble, grateful, loyal and above all non-thinking.
But if anyone wants to remain as they are, second-rate, rooted in the past, or off in la-la land, then fine. Somewhere there is a Peter or a Vineeto who might appreciate a bit of ‘judgemental’ straight talking, a first hand account about becoming free of the Human Condition, what it’s like to challenge all beliefs, what it’s like to leave one’s ‘self’ behind. I strongly recommend being judgemental – making a judgement, an evaluation, a discernment, a decision, a finding, an appraisal, an assessment, a conclusion. At the very least one practices thinking, at best it may provoke action, at worst you may be inaccurate and need to re-assess. This is the process of learning called trial and error. One simply proceeds to what is sensible and what works, and one finds one has discovered a fact. And one can rely on a fact. It takes a little practice but eventually ‘you’ become redundant in the game as the facts start to speak for themselves.
Which brings me back to Richard and people-as-they-are. When I first met Richard there was quite a period of regarding him as a Guru for that was what a ‘wise man’ was to me at the time. It seemed that he was talking of another world or dimension, which he was, and that he was in touch with some ethereal wisdom, which he wasn’t. I remember at one stage laying on the couch – yet again – and saying ‘Okay, you can let me into the mystery now. Is there a space craft that is coming to pick us up, is this some ‘special’ group and you’re gathering people for the new world after the ‘end-of-it-all’, or what?’ All I got was a laugh, but it cleared the air for me. After that, he increasingly became a flesh and blood normal person to me, who had actually found a way to become happy and harmless. It is not that the process became any less radical and un-‘natural’, but it meant that it was possible for me – a normal flesh and blood human. It also meant that I was not going ‘somewhere else’ in the spiritual sense but it meant that the answer to the mystery of life lay under my very nose, as it were – in the world-as-it-is, with people-as-they-are. It was only that ‘I’ was in the road of the actual world’s perfection and purity becoming apparent and that was something I could do something about. If Richard could, I could. It is, after all, a process of elimination – a stripping away of the veneer of reality and the veneer of Reality in order to more and more experience the actual world. The process involves nothing more than replacing belief – both real and Real – with fact, for fact is what is actual. And the last of the line – not the first – or even the middle – is the experiential understanding of the illusion or non-facticity of ‘I’. Self-immolation then becomes imminent.
Once I had managed to get the last of my spiritual concepts and notions out of the way, on the couch that day, it became simply a matter of emulating Richard and this new way of being a human being – his manner, words, the facts he presented – how he was as a human being. Exactly as I had done when I found a good architect or builder or expert in any field – soak up all you can about what you regard as the best – why is it so good, how is it different, why does it work, why is it better than how I do things? Lately for me has been the stage of seeing what it is that is different between Richard and me – what are the innate quirks of character, differences of style, preferences, life-experiences that are genuine differences.
PETER to No 7: An actualist is one who devotes his or her life to actualizing peace on earth in the only way possible and gets to have the adventure of a lifetime on the way. It is the most significant thing one can do with one’s life – one’s ‘three score and ten’ of existence as a human being.
Then whatever goes ‘on and on’ is not of my concern, for I will have done my bit for peace on earth.
This whole business of becoming free of the Human Condition is to do with the doing of it. At present it still remains but a nice theory, proposed by someone who can still be rightly labelled as a freak of nature as in – ‘an abnormal or irregular occurrence, an abnormally developed person or thing’. It is now up to others to prove – for themselves – that it is possible for them to be free from the Human Condition.
T’is about quality not quantity, the individual not the group, facts not belief, actualization not theory.
Of course the process works, but it only works for those doing it. Even a Virtual Freedom is to live beyond normal human expectations and would be sufficient to bring peace to this fair planet. But to go all the way is always the only way – stopping at ‘base camp’ is not for the true adventurer.
Well, thanks again for your note. I do appreciate your interest in these matters and in taking the effort to write. For me, it is good opportunity to write more about the practical application of Actual Freedom and to put my experience and knowledge down in writing.
The Human Condition – the program in the brain that says this is how it is to be a human being – does take a lot of stubborn questioning, and a lot of deleting, in order to get one’s common sense or innate intelligence operating for the first time. But once it is fired up and begins to function the fun begins – it proves unstoppable, and then the sparks start flying and the fun begins as one becomes incrementally free of belief, superstition, morals, ethics, values and psittacisms. This incremental freedom from sorrow and malice results in increasing experiences of delight and peace, and one soon finds oneself willing raising the bar ...again ... and again.
RESPONDENT: Nice talking to you Peter. (I think it is my first direct mail to you). BTW, I have read your journal and enjoyed it a lot. That was how I was introduced to the Actual Freedom site. That time I was looking for someone who had broken away from Osho’s organized religion called sannyas.
PETER: And what you found was someone who has broken away from the spiritual world entirely and headed off in the other direction. I wrote the journal as the story of my journey out of the spiritual world and into the actual world. But you have to get out of the spiritual world first, there are no shortcuts – there is no clip on a bit of ‘actual’ and motor on the spiritual path. The spiritual path is for the Luddites who selfishly settle for the ‘feeling’ of freedom – a pathetic substitute for the actual. Not for the boots and all, sincere actualist, who will settle for nothing less than an actual freedom.
I like what you have written. You are obviously beginning to be concerned with ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ It is a question that will bring you to being concerned with, and interested in, all sorts of aspects of the Human Condition. It is useful to remind yourself continuously that who you think and feel you are is a social identity, that you had no part in the forming of, and that you are an instinctual being by birth. These facts can free you of the need for guilt, blame, resentment and the like. The Human Condition is common to all, whatever nationality, gender, intelligence, etc. The point is to look around at the Human Condition and see if you like it or if you want to get free of it. Then you look at how the Human Condition operates in you and you set about eliminating it – becoming free of it. It’s a fascinating exercise – one that is brand-new, never been done before and never been capable of being done before, for humans have had to operate on survival-mode up until now.
Another point that helped me to get free from the spiritual was the realization that Richard is no Guru – in fact, the discovery of an actual freedom from the Human Condition is only possible because Richard broke free from the delusion of Enlightenment and Guru-ism. But he is an expert, an authority on Actual Freedom. He is an ordinary flesh and blood mortal human being, as am I, and as is everyone on the list. Actualism is for anyone who is willing and interested – it requires nothing special, nothing extra-ordinary other than sincere intent.
PETER to No 4: That was quite a loop, so I’d better get back to ‘sensate experiencing’, which was the starting point of this post. You have probably seen the new ‘180 degrees diagram’ by now, so you will have a picture to expand on the multitudinous words describing and articulating the difference between spiritual and actual. One of the many things that the spiritual path fails to address is human sexuality and sensuality. Denial of the instinctual sexual passions is rife – after all we are talking of the ‘wisdom’ of cave-men – and sublimation as the principle of celibacy is common. For the less-evolved, moralistic control, as in Tantric practices or ‘love’-making, is practiced but is considered a lesser path. Ignorance, superstition and fear are intrinsic to both normal and spiritual understanding of sex, human reproduction and sexual pleasure.
When one dares to lift the lid on all this nonsense and get stuck into the whole business of human sexuality one can discover a sensate experience that is deliciously sexual – free of instinctual drives and wallowing in sensuality – free of the necessity for prudish morals and restrictive ethics. And sex is but the icing on the cake, an abundant extravagance, on top of everyday sensate experience. For an actualist, everyday sensate experiencing is sensual, luxuriant, lush, abundant, prolific, verdant, extravagant, profuse, ever present, immediate, right here and now.
By the way, the Oxford Thesaurus lists only two antonyms for the word sensual – Antonyms: SPIRITUAL; ASCETIC . Need I say more? Probably not, so I’m off for a little sensual lie on the couch.
So, I will add the word sensual to sensate experiencing from now on so as to make the distinction between what is actual and what is spiritual. It’s good to lay down an accurate description in words of the experience of actualism – after all, it is a totally new human experience.
PETER: It is interesting to look back on the process and the stages I went through in investigating feelings, emotions and instinctual passions. With each emotion I investigated it was always an essential first step to investigate the goods and bads, the rights and wrongs, and all the things I had been told and thus assumed to be true – my beliefs. I know we keep flogging this aspect but unless one undertakes this process any investigation will be superficial and offer only a temporary relief of the symptoms without ever tackling the underlying cause of the instinctual passions.
What I am suggesting is to be alert to the feelings that arise from one’s instilled morals, ethics, beliefs and values, for these are the first line of ‘self’ defence that needs to be tackled. This is where labelling and making sense of the feelings and emotions is vital for then you can make sense of the apparently arbitrary and chaotic jumble that arises.
RESPONDENT: A point that comes to mind. The apparent chaos is possibly what happens when ‘my’ feelings momentarily loose their meaning and one seems to be floundering. Resolve at this point certainly is necessary if one is not to immediately fall back into feelings.
PETER: A good point to remember is that there are three ways human beings can experience the world – affectively by feeling, cerebrally by philosophical-type thinking and sensately by direct, momentary sensate involvement. The psychic and psychological entity has no option but to experience the world affectively and cerebrally.
We humans are instinctually programmed to feel our way in the world by means of an animal instinctual survival program, the predominant one being fear. As such, when no fear arises, when no excitement is happening, when there is nothing to worry about, ‘I’ feel bored, lost, floundering, meaningless, useless, scared, etc. But you, as the flesh and blood body called No 3, need to have more and more time free of this alien bugger who insists on running the show, causing nuisance, raising objections, being emotional, worrying, etc. This ‘down-time’ is also condemned by society for one is taught to be useful, to contribute, to be creative, that your ‘life’ needs to have a meaning and a purpose.
For an actualist, it is often in these periods when nothing is happening – when ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ produces no drama, no issue, nothing to explore – that one can evince a delight and a joie de vive at being alive here and now as a flesh and blood body, located no where in particular on this paradisiacal planet as it floats in the vastness of space. The most pregnant time for a pure consciousness experience can be when one’s guard is down, when no issue is burning and no fear is arising.
This is the opposite of the spiritual where one is hunting for the passionate experience and an emotional high as one’s prize or one’s due right in life. John Lennon sang ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. I would see it as ‘life is what is happening now while you are planning for, or waiting for, your next experience’.
Every moment, there is a door available marked ‘actual world’, and it is often most accessible at exactly those moments when there seems to be nothing going on in terms of emotions or worry. The ever-present, physical-only, actual world is ever-peaceful, ever-pure and ever-perfect. There is no fear, no aggression, no good, no bad, no right and no wrong in the actual world.
Then, when you come back from the actual world, to resume being an ‘I’ in the real-world, you recommence the fascinating business of dismantling what you have seen to be in the way of your being happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: Imagination, still reveals its actual effects to me in everything I do. It is how I make a living as a designer.
PETER: I came to realize how limited human imagination is when I began to look at the Human Condition from a wider perspective.
Most of what humans treasure as great literature, art, poetry, sacred texts, music, fables and legends has as their basis either malice or sorrow. Most of what we regard as entertainment is based on violence or sadness. The test of greatness of human imaginative stories is the extent that we are stirred to feel vengeful for the aggrieved, pity for the underdog, saddened at loss, moved by hardship, outraged by the offensive, angered at the hard done by, stimulated by violence, distressed by suffering, etc.
I also came to see that impassioned human imagination was so meagre and paltry when compared to inventiveness, resourcefulness and ingenuity of the electro-chemical brain that is the human body. One only needs to look out at the stars at night to know that what is actual far, far exceeds human impassioned imagination. And yet when cosmologists contemplate the universe they imagine black holes and dark matter – an escape portal to other worlds or some ‘other-universe’ within this universe. This planet is estimated to have between 2,000,000 and 4,500,00 plant and animal species, offering such a variety as to be mind-boggling when compared with the fantasy alien life-forms from outer space created by human imagination. The insect world has such a plethora of species that it may well be an impossible task to ever categorize them. The oceans provide such an amazing multiplicity of life forms that defy any limits of human imagination. Each day brings a new, fresh and unique combination of weather conditions, each moment animate life is arranging and rearranging itself into a myriad of new forms, and this occurs on a paradisiacal planet that is so huge that it is impossible for a single human being to see all of it in a lifetime. The fact that the astounding actuality of this infinite physical universe is beyond the comprehension of a ‘self’-centred human mind has lead to wonder and amazement which has traditionally lead to feelings of awe and reverence and humility – the seeds of the spiritual ‘Universe and I are One’ delusion.
Actuality is far, far bigger than mere feelings or impassioned imagination for it is actual, patently palpable, infinitely varied, observably tangible, manifestly obvious, always apparent, clearly evident, eternally existing and it is happening right here and right now, under our very noses as it were.
RESPONDENT: Yes Actuality is too vast for us to consciously follow, but then, from my observations, so too is the imagination.
PETER: Given that you have yet to indicate by personal description that you have understood one iota of what actualism is about, this comment is nonsensical. It is doubly so when your version of what is actual is based on the ‘Actuality’ of a bodiless spirit – a spirit that is ethereal, that you cannot touch, feel, smell, touch, talk to, or write an e-mail to and get an answer. ‘He’, as pure spirit, who does not eat, drink, sleep, walk, sweat, bleed, fart, defecate, age or die can know nothing of actuality – that which is palpable, tangible, touchable, visible, sensually and sensately experienced.
RESPONDENT: In my own quest to make absolute sense out of being a human being I have had to discard many ideas and beliefs I had been convinced of. I am still discovering many more ideas along the way (some gross, some subtle) but I have discovered that REAL Freedom lies in the choice to suspend the belief that I already know what is true and to dare to find out what actually is true.
PETER: Do you follow your feelings when you ‘dare to find out what actually is true’ and do you find you have to suspend common sense and regard what is actual to be illusionary? For accuracy and clarity of communication I use the dictionary definition of the word actual – i.e. existing in fact as evidenced by the physical senses, in action or existence at this time, existing in act and not merely potentially or apparently. Actual is that which is palpable, tangible, tactile, corporeal, physical and material. It is that which can be experienced by the physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch only.
What I came to understand was that if I was on the Eastern spiritual ‘search’ then the path had only one direction and only one possible destination. It is, in fact, nonsense to call any spiritual path a search for the end discovery is predetermined depending on which culture or religious belief-system one is ‘searching’ in. Every religion has at their core a Truth, a written message from God or from his/her earthly representative that is ‘confirmed’ by an emotionally-fuelled experience to be the Truth as in a Satori, epiphany, awakening or realization. Seek (inside) and ye shall find God (by whatever name).
As a kid I could not understand that if there was such a thing as God, how come there were so many and how come everybody fought over whose God was the Right, True, Real or Only God. When I looked around with clear eyes I saw these same divisions and conflicts were abundantly evident in New Dark Age religions. It made me more than suss of the Truth.
PETER: The actual world is what is always here, pure and perfect, and happening in this moment. It is a world stripped of the veneer of everyday gloomy reality and stripped of a meta-physical Greater Reality. It is a world that is evident only when the ‘self’, the illusionary entity inside the flesh and blood body is non-existent, extinct. The actual world is, however, briefly glimpsed in Pure Consciousness Experiences when the ‘self’ is temporarily absent. The aim of an actualist is to live that PCE, 24 hrs. a day, every day.
PUBLISHER No 1: It’s certainly a good job that I don’t take other people’s opinions seriously. It seems you do and as such have not responded to any of the comments that were made about your philosophy.
PETER: Not at all. I’ve simply heard all these comments before. Vineeto and I spent about 4 months corresponding to the Sannyas Mailing List before we were cyber-executed and all of the correspondence is on the Actual Freedom Web-site. I find it a waste of my time and yours to respond to comments that I have answered before many, many times. Your comments were based on no knowledge, or reading, of what I am on about and, as such, your comments are purely thoughtless knee-jerk reactions.
PUBLISHER No 1: My comments are considered and thoughtful and based on what you ACTUALLY said without having to defer to some external authority or explanation. They were based on ACTUALITY (although I consider myself a virtualist).
PETER: And yet you constantly refer to ancient Eastern religion and philosophy in your comments as some set-in-concrete paradigm as to how we human beings should regard existence on earth. Just because everybody believes this ancient, archaic view to be the Truth doesn’t make it a fact. The question I ran with for a good while was ‘what if everyone has got it wrong?’ What if God doesn’t exist and what if the revered God-men are simply shamans parroting a mythical fairy-tale of a non-existing life after death? It sure explained what was wrong and why it wasn’t working.
As you have said – ‘Of course I don’t understand actualism’ this makes your last statement about Actuality utterly nonsensical – either virtually or actually.
As a self-considered ‘virtualist’, are you virtually here, or is everything else virtually here to you, or are we all part of God’s, or some alien’s, virtual reality game? It’s a new one on me.
RESPONDENT No 16: You’re not interested in trying to prove the existence of life after death. It’s easier to deny it. You’re in for denying anything which doesn’t agree with your arbitrary standards. But really life after death is not my concern.
It’s not believed by me. Not denied either.
Your actual world is as illusory as the ‘real’ world.
PETER to No 16: There is a simple test that can be undertaken to test the facticity of your statement. You take some strong tape, preferably surgical or ‘Gaffa’ tape, and stick it over your mouth such that you can’t breathe. Then pinch your nose and when you come up gasping for breath after 2-3 minutes you will know what is actual and what is illusory. This test has to be performed to get an experiential understanding and not merely a Zen one.
RESPONDENT: Is name calling and snide remarks part of leaving malice and sorrow behind and becoming happy and harmless? Perhaps some introspection here will allow you to see that your own words (and evidently emotions) belie the fact that you are now happy and harmless.
PETER: Thanks, I did check up. This reply was to someone who dismissed the actual world – that which is tactile, palpable, corporeal, material, and tangible – as an illusion! I suggested a simple test, and then followed it up with the above remark as I knew he would not dare to test this purely cerebral and philosophical statement. What he was saying is obviously silly and I call a spade a spade. Of course, there are many who have been fooled by Eastern philosophy, as was I ... until I came to my senses, that is.
PETER to No 15: You said you had read my Journal and said I am saying what the Guru are saying. Well how about this bit on sex. Do the Gurus write like this?
Actual freedom or actualism is, of course, not merely a theory or philosophy but a new, down-to-earth non-spiritual path to freedom – an actual freedom from the Human Condition of malice and sorrow.
Now actual means it works. It means that given sufficient effort and intent that one can virtually eliminate sorrow and malice from the human body. This means in practical terms that one no longer suffers from feelings of sadness, melancholy, boredom, neediness, sympathy, empathy, despair or fear, let alone annoyance, offence, anger, revenge or violence. It is then possible by practical demonstration to live with a companion in total equity, delighting in freely and mutually enjoyed sex, discussion and physical intimacy. The physical pleasures build and build, as does the awareness of the immeasurable and limitless perfection and purity of it all, increasingly off the scales. One literally ‘buckles at the knees’ as the paltry attempts of the old ‘I’ to fearfully hang on wither in the helter skelter slide to freedom.
And all this is actual, sensate – as evidenced by the physical senses – not merely cerebral or affective. You know, things like the smell of a woman’s armpit during sex, the feel of the breast or bum, the way you can tease a nipple to hardness, the fresh unique journey that is each sexual encounter as a literal salubrious smorgasbord of sensuality unfolds as wave after wave of pleasure engulfs us both. To feel a woman as equally sexual such that you don’t know who is thrusting or who is wiggling or where you end and she begins. To ride wave after wave of pleasure of such intensity that ejaculation is but a side order, not the main meal. And after ... to lie back and chat about how it was for each of us, to compare notes, to discuss the nuances, pleasures, particularly delicious bits, or just to lay back in that state where all the cells of the body are sexually alive and tingling and drift off into a delicious half asleep state. To drift off entirely or to eventually surface and wobble to the shower where you realise that to have hot water on tap to pour over your body is a simple pleasure that rivals any. Then maybe a cup of freshly ground coffee and a post-coital cigarette, and wonder what other pleasures are next, and in what order they will come. Hedonism has got nothing on this. Freedom is this and much more, much more. Can’t I tease you into considering the possibility of living in paradise, here, now, on earth.
It is a paradise not only of physical pleasure as it also offers a stillness and purity wherein one is no longer driven by the instincts, where the mind is a perfectly clear and delightful and playful thing and the usual feelings of fear and aggression are replaced by a consuming sense of well being and benignity. And loneliness disappears as one immensely enjoys ones own company. Good Hey ...
So, unlike the other metaphysical and philosophical theories of freedom this one works and delivers and, as such, easily rebuffs charlatans and frauds. The proof is in the actual and in my experience if you can prove an end to malice and sorrow in equitable one-on-one companionship you have ‘put your money where your mouth is’. There is no greater test of fire than sexual freedom and equity, than for man and woman to live together in utter peace and harmony – not in theory but in practice.
The Gurus have failed to deliver, they have had their day. The old ancient, long dead ones have eschewed morals and ethical precepts for their followers who have fought horrendous wars as to the Rightness of their masters or own particular God’s vision. And as for the modern Gurus, I know them well to be pretenders. I have seen the despair that ravages their private lives and those around them. The chaos and duplicity of their personal lives, their sexuality, their treatment of women, the psychic powers and the entrapment, surrender and eventual total emotional dependency and enslavement of their disciples is but a sad useless re-run of all that has gone before. No wonder the spiritual or religious pursuits require bucket-loads of faith, trust and hope – it is needed in the face of its continual failure to produce the goods – peace on earth.
What I am saying to you is that Enlightenment is finished, now that Richard has exposed it from the ‘inside’. Discipleship and the Spiritual Path are also finished and Vineeto and I have exposed the fraud that it is nothing other than Eastern Religion masquerading in sheep’s clothing. So maybe, just maybe, it is worth while considering that everybody (including yourself) has got it 180 degrees wrong. Not just a bit wrong, but all wrong.
It can be an enormous blow to pride, particularly male pride – I know it was for me – but I am immensely pleased I let go of the ‘tried and failed’. I did however have to acknowledge I was neither happy nor harmless in order to even begin to become free of the crippling Wisdom of the Past. And then I got to be a pioneer on the path to actual freedom and I always liked to do a bit of pioneering occasionally, to dare to be authentic and original is such a hoot.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.