Selected Correspondence Peter
Actualism and Actualists
RESPONDENT: I was interested in the article you posted by Lorenz:
This seems like a common line of defence when considering doing away with instincts and goes thus ‘emotions and instincts give meaning to our lives and without them life would be robotic and meaningless’.
This idea conjures up just more instinct namely fear of meaninglessness, though it may well be worthwhile looking into ‘meaningful’.
Well, firstly it seems that ‘meaningful’ to me has both sensible and emotional content in that something meaningful should firstly make some sense and secondly satisfy some emotional need. Unfortunately it is a juggling act which more often than not falls towards the emotional leaving what sense was made, somewhere in the background, out of sight. Now I am asking myself ‘Why must my life be meaningful’ and I am finding this question particularly interesting. There is some fear of reservation but beyond that I would say that, having to be meaningful is not much of an issue for me, which I find somewhat astounding, as I realize that the shackles have been loosened a bit more. What I think is more important than meaningful, is being stimulated by sensory input and removing anything that actively goes towards preventing that. (Within reason of course!)
PETER: I seem to have commented on this already. What I did was to make becoming happy and harmless my immediate aim with the ultimate goal of becoming actually free of the Human Condition. This then became my sole aim and meaning in life – a passionate burning ambition.
I thought I had abandoned both my real-world meanings and then spiritual-world meanings in life but the residue of both does take some weeding out. These traditional life-meanings, usually instilled as morals or ethics, or genetically-implanted as instinctual passions, are gradually abandoned as they are seen to be silly, not applicable to my aim in life, or an impediment to being happy and harmless.
As Richard pointed out, an actualist doesn’t aim for a self stripped of emotions and, as such, it is vitally important, firstly to crank up Actual Freedom as one’s meaning in life and secondly not to strangle this passion by suppressing it. This is where the constant remembering of a pure consciousness experience becomes absolutely essential as one’s constant guiding light and aim in life. This memory will serve to keep you on course as you weave your way through the maze and it will prevent you from settling for second best.
This passion for Actual Freedom is exactly why I wrote my journal – to capture the excitement and thrill of the early period of breaking free from the two traditional life-paths within the Human Condition. But I do know what you mean – the falling away of all the traditional meanings of life is a fascinating business, to make sense of the meanings our parents and peers have told us are important and then to discover how blind nature has programmed us to implicitly feel, think and act. The socially instilled meanings vary from tribe to tribe, and produce cultural variations to our basic instinctual programming designed solely to continue the propagation of the species – hence the over-arching predominance of the sexual drive. The other predominant instinct, the fear of death, fuels the search for security, fame and wealth in the real world and security, fame and immortality in the spiritual world. In exploring the brute animal instinctual passions, one soon discovers that blind nature cares not a fig for your being happy and harmless – quite the opposite, in fact.
Yet, as all these meanings, drives and passions drop away, it is vital to remember that the third alternative is definitely not a passionless path.
I distinctly remember a period where life seemed so devoid of meaning that I discovered a stark grey reality – not as a desperation but more of a pointlessness. This proved to be but a passing phase whereby I had left the familiar meanings, feelings and worries behind and began the real business of cranking up sensate delight, a joie de vive and a resounding Yes to being here in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. I found this was initially like daily swimming against what felt like a tide of my own resistance and that of Humanity as a whole. Then came a point where I realized that it was only ‘me’ who had the foot on the brakes, so to speak, and then the whole business became even more thrilling and fascinating.
PETER: Just a note on something I have been musing over and that also seems to be an issue with others on the list.
RESPONDENT: Convincing ‘me’ to self-sacrifice for the benefit to oneself and others of a permanent PCE, would certainly carry more weight if I could get into full blown PCEs. At the moment I seem to be lingering at the edge with regular glimpses but nothing which could add depth to an altruistic passion. I feel at the present I will have to settle for desire and common sense.
RESPONDENT to No. 7: Some time ago I remember thinking about that quite a bit and remember coming to the realization that the wonderful thing about the way of actualism is that firstly it is not too difficult to work out where your at. i.e.: good 99% of the time, great 99% of the time, or PCE 99% of the time. Of course, in the last example any brain pain could just be the beginning of the end. Secondly, it is possible to explore any of the above to see if there is any emotion behind it.
That is a pretty sure indication that it is made up by ‘me’.
PETER: I think it may be useful that we coin another term for that lingering on the edge of a PCE or that almost, but not quite, 99% PCE. There is a woman who describes this as an ‘excellence experience’ – the best one can be while the ‘self’ is still present. It is most definitely not a PCE for one can look inside, as it were and there is still a ‘me’ as a feeler and an ‘I’ as a thinker but it is so far above normal it is worthwhile naming and labelling.
The benefit of this acknowledgement for an actualist is that these experiences are the proof of the pudding that one’s effort is bringing reward. The idea is to expand these ‘excellence experiences’ until one can go to bed at night-time saying that one has had a 99% perfect day in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are.
This is no small thing in a world where doom and gloom is the norm and were escaping to the self-deception and fantasy of yet another world, is held to be the ‘only’ solution.
So, what I am proposing is a new term – an excellence experience – in order that we don’t get into the spiritual trap of watering down experiences and confusing terms such as in the fashionable interposing of Awakened and Enlightened. Thus Virtual Freedom – living in an almost constant experience of excellence – is a prerequisite stage for an actualist prior to Actual Freedom. Once one can reach this stage, it is then possible to begin the next stage of dismantling the tender emotions, exactly as Richard did in his years between Enlightenment and Actual Freedom. This is more subtle, and in many ways more demanding, work for this is entirely new territory – way out beyond both normal and completely opposite to spiritual. Because of this, a considerable period of gaily living via common sense, freed of emotional turmoil, is vital and a necessary preparation for the final and irrevocable step into an actual freedom from the human condition.
What do you think? Is this a useful new term or is it only confusing? Actualism is totally new and we are writing the script, forging the path, and I welcome your comment and any others from the list.
PETER to No 3: Just a little anecdote about an event that happened the other day that may be useful as a simple down-to-earth description of actualism.
I was talking with someone about the delights of being alive and the everyday abundance of simple pleasures. She said but that’s because I live in such a beautiful location. When she told me where she lived it sounded equally paradisiacal and I said surely you are happy where you are. She said ‘yes’ she was happy ‘but ...’. We chatted on a bit about her ‘but’ and finally she admitted it was not a big ‘but’ and that ‘yes’ she was happy. A minute later in our conversation about how good life was she again said ‘yes, but ...’. After this had gone on for a few more times the conversation ended because she didn’t like me dismissing her ‘buts’ so flippantly.
It struck me that actualism is about getting rid of the ‘but’ in ‘I am happy, but ...’. When one asks oneself ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ and the answer is ‘I am happy, but ...’, it is the ‘but’ that needs investigating and eliminating. You then just tick them off the list until there are no ‘buts’ left. You can include ‘if’ and ‘when’ along with ‘but’ – anything that stands in the road of you being harmless and happy deserves your full and immediate attention.
This immediate attentiveness can be a bit disconcerting at first when it happens because you can experience yourself becoming sad the moment you listen to a particular piece of music or in the whilst in middle of talking to someone. You can also become aware of the very moment when you begin to get frustrated or annoyed and this can be a bit disturbing if you are in the middle of a sentence or whatever. Often it is impossible to make sense of what is happening on the spot but by your very attentiveness you can nip it in the bud straight away and instantly get back to feeling good. If need be, you can mull the event over later at your leisure so as to root around in order to discover exactly how you have been conditioned and programmed to function. Once you get the knack of this instantaneous awareness, it is great fun.
You know all this anyway, but sometimes some little incident occurs that I think is worth reporting and throwing in the ring because it shines a little more light on the down-to-earth process of actualism. And just a note that this incident has nothing to do with this woman personally – ‘yes, but ...’ is common to the human condition.
I was going to leave it at that so as not to get too long winded but yet another meeting comes to mind that twigged me recently ... so I might as well abandon my attempts at brevity, yet again.
I was having a casual discussion with a spiritual couple, which is a rarity these days, and they were talking about their money difficulties. They had recently received a substantial sum in inheritance and since then money had become their major worry in life. I said that I had determined very early on in life by observing wealthy people, as well as by personal experience, that being wealthy didn’t make people happy – au contraire. I went on to explain that when I realized that money was needed only to purchase the essentials for living, I then used whatever was left over to buy time to devote to finding out the meaning of life. She then asked me if I had found it and, looking for a quick one-liner, I said ‘being here’ and I slapped my thigh loudly so as to emphasise the physical here.
Her partner, whom I knew to be a Buddhist, nodded wisely in agreement as if to say ‘enough said, we are in agreement, brother’ and then immediately went on to tell me about his worries with money, his complaints about this and that and his bitches about particular people and ‘society’ in general. What was startlingly clear was that he was complaining and bitching about being here.
I didn’t pursue the matter because words are wasted on a committed Buddhist whose being here involves sitting in meditation, shutting out both the real world and the sensory world and going ‘there’ – somewhere else other than the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. It is impossible to talk sense to someone who insists that the meaning of life on earth is to be found by going somewhere else, as in cutting oneself off from the sensory world and retreating into one’s inner psychic world. He didn’t even have any ‘buts’ about being happy because for him it was clear cut that happiness and fulfilment could only be had by going ‘there’ – to whatever imaginary world he went to when he was going inside while sitting alone in the lotus position.
I might leave it at that for tonight, No 3 and send this off as a first part. Only a few years ago I was full-on into building and would like nothing better than getting in to laying a timber floor or cladding a wall – doing it as well as I could. Now I seem to have the same thing with two fingers on the keyboard and there is nothing finer than talking about, and bringing about, peace on earth.
Sometimes when I sit back and reflect upon what is actually happening with the setting up of The Actual Freedom Trust website and with the discussions on this mailing list, the sheer enormity of it is beyond comprehension. It is common to talk of human development going through certain stages such as the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution and currently we are in what has been called, amongst other things, the information revolution. To think that the next revolution will see an end to animosity, duplicity, resentment, unhappiness and despair and herald an ongoing era of sensitivity, sincerity, cooperation and joie de vive – in short peace on earth...
RESPONDENT: Keep up the great work.
PETER: I do like writing, which is all I do – it’s simply common sense to tell others what is now available. It’s more of a hobby than work and most of my writing has been my sorting out and reporting on experiences, understandings and facts discovered. Whenever I read any spiritual twaddle nowadays I am astounded as to its duplicity, confusion and blatant self-centredness, so it’s a joy to write of something as down to earth and non-spiritual as Actual Freedom. Writing also is great exercise for the brain given that independent and clear thinking is stifled in childhood and school years by countless putdowns and strict regimentation and is even further strangled, admonished and literally demonized on the spiritual path. The other point is that I am not working to change anyone else – as I said, that is an impossibility and it is also a ‘self’-serving exercise. It’s good to be free of that one.
I noticed your heading to the first post was about convert numbers. There can be no converts to actualism for the simple reason that one has to do it for oneself, by oneself. There are no meetings, rallies, practices, groups, etc. Just a handful of people so far, their words, a web-site, and a mailing list.
The other reason is simple – actualism is a life-as-you-know-it threatening occupation and, as such, not of great attraction to many.
Actualism is about quality not quantity. The best, not the most.
RESPONDENT: Hi all, Have just been thinking about virtual freedom for the masses...
There must be a far better way to publicly examine and share our experiences and ideas than this primitive type-written listbot method?
PETER: I for one can’t think of a better one at the moment. I can write heretically without the threat of physical retaliation or retribution, I can write to anyone, anywhere in the world, the medium is largely and remarkably un-censorable and anonymous. And the act of writing itself has multiple advantages. Writing avoids the traps of ‘energy’ transmission, authoritarianism or Guru-ism, it necessitates thinking and clearly expressing oneself – an experiential exercise in ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ Writing on the list gives me a chance to get down in words what I have been thinking – rather than let the thoughts simply wander around uncommitted and unformed – in a way that makes sense to another. What we glibly call communication and fail at so often as human beings. As you can see I am a fan of writing – I find it a useful freedom tool and an excellent hobby.
RESPONDENT: Richard’s, Peter’s and Vineeto’s books are really excellent but limited to only a few who discover the AF Web-site. This is not only a personal revolution, is it?
PETER: Yes. It is only a personal revolution – which is what makes it 180 degrees different to every other so-called revolution which are really revolutions, as in go round and round in circles within the Human Condition. They are revolutions of the ‘if only everybody ...’ type, as in ‘if only everyone would stop fighting there would be peace on earth’ – the ideal of pacifism. Or the ‘if only everyone was of a higher consciousness, like me’ – the ideal of everyone following one God, that one God being Me-as-God or my God. Actualism is about changing No 13 – full stop. There may well be some flow on from that – certainly you will stop being sorrowful and stop being malicious to those around you. This is of incalculable benefit to those you come in contact with, not that they will necessarily see it that way.
RESPONDENT: If our brain washing was a mass insane socialization then the solution might be a mass deprogramming ... or at least a mass awareness of the alternative... to find a critical mass to speed up the sleeping masses?
PETER: I do like and encourage your enthusiasm. This same enthusiasm was what encouraged me to sell my car and buy a computer to write my journal. I wanted to let my friends know about Actual Freedom, but the direct result was nil. What I quickly came to realize was that I was really writing for me – to make sense of the Human Condition, my role in it and how to become free of it. Any side benefits for others will be a bonus, but not the main event.
RESPONDENT: I remember someone explaining that to save an endangered species one needed to exploit the species commercially, to ensure its survival. An unconvincing argument for anyone interested in the species’ quality of life, but it had a pragmatic kind of logic.
PETER: I think there is no doubt that the human species is an endangered species but not from external threat, nor from any ‘environmental’ disaster or earth resources’ depletion, but from the simple fact that human beings cannot live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony. As a practicalist, when I came across Richard, I chose to disprove the logic of Ancient Wisdom that you can’t change Human Nature. Otherwise a human existence of perpetual malice and sorrow is indeed a sick joke. I saw in a PCE that the universe is too magnificent, too grand, too perfect and too pure for me to continue to be sorrowful and malicious. So I set out to change the only thing that was wrong – as in silly and senseless – and that was a ‘me’ inside this flesh and blood body.
As for ‘endangered species’, I realized I was not alone in this exercise of seeking peace on earth. It is an almost universal hope and wish, but everyone looks to others to bring it about, to actualize it. Peace on earth is already here, of course, and only you can find it for yourself. A bit from my journal –
This is no small thing we do.
RESPONDENT: OK there are advantages to deprogramming, recording and examining, (in a very exact manner), how the words, experiences, beliefs and morals, ‘we’ the community often take for granted, are used for ‘ourselves’... but is it the best?
PETER: It is a curious thing when I contemplate my own path to freedom. I lived down the road from Richard and spent a good deal of time sitting in his living room, talking about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. After about 9 months that stopped and I went off to write my journal – to get on with the business at hand, becoming free from the Human Condition. And most of that process has involved writing – it is the best form of ‘contemplation in action’ that I know of. It is this process that put in action the ‘deprogramming, recording and examining, (in a very exact manner), how the words, experiences, beliefs and morals’, which ‘I’ had taken for granted. For me it was the best method.
RESPONDENT: It would be faster with ICQ, telephone, or even multimedia productions, I think? If we are serious about sharing and promoting AF with the world let us stir the mass media...? Television, magazines and newspapers are where most people are. Why must the powerful determine what ‘we’ see, think or what is possible?
PETER: Well, in the world as-it-is, that is the way it is. Even the mild-mannered loving ladies at the local New Dark Age book shops did not want to stock my journal. I did get one very mild article printed in a newspaper but when I ‘upped the ante’ to be just a touch heretical it was no go. I am at present trying the same exercise with a local New Dark Age magazine, so I am still on the case. It is really that Actual Freedom is not a popular subject. No one wants to change themselves. It is much more convenient to blame others for one’s own misery and unhappiness and then one can have the fun of battling with and being angry at others. In the Human Condition anger is a pleasing self-gratifying emotion.
The other point is that there is no ‘we’, as in a group, who promote Actual Freedom. Richard has his experience, interests and ‘style’, I have mine, Vineeto hers, Alan his. Each person who becomes interested in Actual Freedom and takes it on will no doubt make their own contribution – in proving that it is possible to become free from the Human Condition something will spin off that will be valuable for others. The world is full of those who don’t live what they teach and unless one proves it is possible for oneself ‘tis but more piss in the wind.
I include writing about being virtually free of the Human Condition in that I experience that ‘not quite, but almost’ state I live as eminently worthwhile trumpeting about. Thus, I write from practical, down-to-earth, everyday experience not from theory or wishful thinking. (...)
RESPONDENT: ‘I’ realize the delusion of community but can the delusion become aware of itself?
PETER: Most have too much invested in their escape into the spiritual world to be aware of what is actual and the Truly Deluded are beyond being aware of their delusion, as in ‘Above and Beyond’. An actual freedom is up to you and you only – that is both its purity and its perfection.
RESPONDENT: Any ideas? Workshops without the tried and failed God, guru or ego-centred methods?
PETER: Well, I personally have no interest in ‘changing the world’. The Human Condition is unchangeable – it simply needs to be abandoned for it is rotten to the core. The only people I could possibly help would be those who are interested in changing themselves. And even then, all I can do is relate my personal experience and success at applying the method to becoming free from the Human Condition.
Having said that I also have the ‘sheep in the field’ theory. I see everyone as ‘sheep in a field’ busy doing what they have been told to do and programmed to do – fighting with each other and being miserable. One sheep manages to break free and finds that he can be happy and harmless but it does mean he is no longer a sheep and he is on his own. A few other sheep look over the fence and see that this sheep is having a good time on his own – he suffers not, quite the contrary he is having a bloody good time of it. So, a few more break out and as even more break out a momentum builds up, as it seems more and more silly to stay with the fighting, feuding miserable herd. But it’s always a free choice – whoever wants to break out can – you just have to be willing to pay the price of leaving the herd.
So my ‘breaking out’ means freedom for me and it encourages others by proving it is possible and adding to the numbers on the other side of the fence.
It’s a win, win and more win situation.
Perfect, in fact.
Like all analogies and metaphors, the story is a little flawed for one does not ‘escape’ from it all into a ‘next field’ but an actualist mixes, mingles, works with and lives with, one’s fellow human beings as-they-are in the world-as-it-is. The trick is to do this while being free of the shackles of feeling and being part of a group – of needing or having a social identity. The next level is to be free of being blindly, obsessively and instinctually driven to impassioned acts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that give rise to malice and sorrow. For this to happen one needs to have lived a virtual freedom in the world-as-it-is with people-as-they-are in order to gain confidence that one can stop being a being who is instinctively on-guard or ready – and eager – to attack one’s fellow human beings.
This confidence, surety and experience also means, when the moment of self-immolation occurs, one will not instinctively grab for the delusion of freedom – feeling one is free rather than being actually free. The simple check is that those who merely feel themselves to be free are inevitable ‘up themselves’ and passionately feel themselves to be so, so superior that they truly believe themselves to be God-on-Earth. It is a ‘sincere’ and commonly held delusion, given credence both by Ancient Wisdom and impassioned feelings – but a delusion never the less.
So, I find myself sitting on a cusp – irrevocably locked into the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are, and perpetually locked into this moment with no ‘other place’ to escape to and no ‘other time’ to escape to. Experiencing that the only impediment to perfection and purity is ‘me’ – ‘who’ I think and feel I am – whatever is selfishly going on in my head and heart and that is often very weird, very strange. But, then again, this is a very weird thing to do – to re-wire one’s brain to the point of self-extinction. Something has to give in this tension and it is bound to be ‘me’. It seems to me that one can make sense of the Human Condition such that one can be virtually free of it but ‘making sense’ then has to be abandoned for direct sensate experiencing.
So, at the moment, this is enough of a ‘workshop’ for me. But there is no doubt that I am interested in different aspects of the path to freedom than Richard, will make different contributions, will write and do different things. As will Alan, and whoever else manages to get off their bums, or out of the lotus position, and does something about the Human Condition as it is manifest in themselves. I am currently putting together a PowerPoint audio visual computer presentation that will give a simplified introduction as to what Actual Freedom is on about. Richard is prolifically writing on the Krishnamurti mailing list, Vineeto is doing wonders with the Actual Freedom Trust website and Alan is establishing an actualism ‘toe-hold’ in Europe. The field for innovation, individual contribution and initiative is wide, wide open. The scope is limitless, the opportunities endless.
So, I am not discouraging you – quite the opposite, my experience is that you will find the experience of investigating and communicating invaluable. I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm and writing as it gives me an opportunity to enthuse and write as well.
After all, naiveté beats cynicism, communication beats silence and being an actualist in the world-as-it-is with people as-they are beats escaping to an ‘inner world’ – by much more than a country mile.
RESPONDENT: Do I now reinforce a desperate alien psychological or psychic entity by entertaining my dilemma? I.e.: not to wank, as you so nicely describe, (whatever that means)?
PETER: Having a dilemma sounds good to me, because a dilemma presents a challenge that can always be resolved.
As can be seen from the definition, wanking is endemic in the spiritual world. I know, for I wanked with the best of them.
RESPONDENT: By entertaining I mean give credence and substance to these delusional entities ... This is not good sense to me unless one moves on beyond the process ... and this is spiritual in nature if I fail to savour the actual along the way, (which you seem to be thoroughly engaged in).
PETER: It is not a matter of you giving credence and substance to these delusionary identities – they already have credence and substance.
‘Who’ you think and feel you are is given credence by your peers, family, friends and society.
‘Who’ you think and feel you are is given substance by your genetically-encoded animal survival passions.
‘Who’ you think and feel you are is very, very real and it takes considerable effort to become virtually free of the insidious influence of these identities – let alone become actually free.
To do this is to be totally engrossed in the process of actualism – you don’t ‘move on beyond the process’ at all, you stick to it until the process has run its course and culminates in ‘self’-immolation. Any experiences of ‘savouring the actual’ are only possible in what are known as Pure Consciousness Experiences – in which case there clearly is no ‘you’ thinking and feeling that you are savouring, but only the eyes, ears, nose, skin and mouth savouring.
RESPONDENT: So your ‘inherent common sense’ tells you that a dilemma ‘sounds good’ because ‘a challenge can always be resolved’ and it is ‘thrilling stuff’? This challenge is superior, (better), to lying down, giving in, self-delusion, denial, etc. (but this is not best as you know from a PCE). This is all good sense to me ... and not spiritual in nature.
PETER: The usual Eastern religious/ spiritual approach is to abandon the dilemma posed by being an alien psychological and psychic identity and opt for transcendental wanking – developing, cultivating and finally becoming a new Grand Identity. The new challenge is to not turn away from the challenge of peace on earth, in this lifetime, and this challenge is definitely good sense and definitely 180 degrees opposite to the search for an illusionary feeling of inner peace and the delusionary feeling of immortality.
RESPONDENT: Why then, Peter, as ‘a committed actualist aspir[ing] to an end’ to end your ‘own instinctual malice and sorrow’ do you defeat yourself before you start with ‘self-improvement would never be sufficient, never be enough’?
PETER: Firstly I am way beyond the start of this process, I am into the challenge of bringing it to an end. At the start I very soon understood that this process was about ‘self’-immolation and not ‘self’-improvement for I knew ‘I’ could never be pure and perfect. This fact is obvious in a PCE. The world is full of ‘self’-improvement programs and watered-down Eastern spirituality that offer nothing other than a feeling of ‘self’-improvement.
Having said that, I do not want to discourage your interest, far from it. But to confuse what is on offer with spiritual freedom or a feeling of freedom is to miss the whole point of actualism. The only way for you to discover the difference is to read what both offer and then reflect about the differences between the two. That is what I did – find the differences, not the similarities.
The other reason I write the way I do is to encourage you to consider the full actualism program rather than Actualism-Lite, to use a computer analogy. The full program leads to irrevocable and permanent change. The Lite version gives some improvements – and definitely valuable improvements for others if you become more harmless – but experience has shown the beneficial effects are not necessarily enduring and total reversions to ‘normal’ can even happen.
RESPONDENT: Do you believe in permanent ‘self’-immolation and that all challenges can ‘always be resolved’? Is this not wishful thinking?
PETER: If it is possible for one person it must be possible for others, especially given the fact that everybody has had brief glimpses of this ‘self’-less state in PCEs. As for wishful thinking – it has driven the spiritual search for millennia and I see good sense in searching for freedom, peace and happiness. It is simply time to abandon the ancient ways, old fairy-tale stories and search for ‘self’-fulfillment, and set our sights for something that will bring an end to instinctual malice and sorrow, once and for all.
RESPONDENT: Sounds to me as if this ‘being happy and content with my lot in life’ was less important than ‘a healthy suspicion about the traditional spiritual illusion of ‘freedom’’ and perhaps the identity you gain with such a search, ie. becoming the anti-guru Guru perhaps?
PETER: My search for freedom, peace and happiness was always the primary aim in my adult life and this became even stronger in my latter years. As for being an ‘anti-guru Guru’ – you might have missed my recent conversation with Gary where I scrupulously avoided anything that even hinted at such a role. Not that the trap of Guru-ship did not arise during the process and I wrote about my Saviour of Mankind phase in my Journal so as to inform others of this instinctually-driven compulsion.
We are fellow human beings writing on this list.
RESPONDENT: Is the ‘thrilling stuff’ more important than the end ... or ... is the goal and the journey one and the same in the perfect moment?
PETER: No. Firstly comes the desire for a genuine freedom, peace and happiness that arises from a discontent from one’s lot in life. Then comes the checking out the options stage, which up until now has only been the spiritual option, for there has never been a third alternative available before. Then comes the decision stage – stay spiritual, or chuck it in and try something new. Then comes the process, which is the thrilling stuff. The whole point of the process is to get to an end – an end of ‘me’, the lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning alien entity that dwells in this flesh and blood body.
On the spiritual path it is oft said that the journey and the goal are one, and usually for two reasons. For those who never become Enlightened or give up, the statement serves as a comfortable sop to their lack of achievement. Even for those who achieve the Enlightened state, their final reward and their ultimate freedom lie beyond physical death – so they say they are still journeying.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps being a ‘committed actualist’ (at the present) is simply better than your spiritual life?
PETER: There is no perhaps about it at all. It is so vastly superior that I find it amazing that people still desperately cling to their religious/ spiritual beliefs, failed morals, unliveable ethics and precious feelings. They pay a terrible price in running with the herd.
RESPONDENT: These questions/ observations are given with the same sincerity that they are asked/ observed and in the context of your initial observations about mine re mentoring/ mindfulness. This is all good sense to me ... and not spiritual in nature.
PETER: What always attracted me to actualism was the good sense of it all. As for ‘not spiritual in nature’, I am well aware I could be accused of being excessive in attempting to drive a wedge between actualism and Eastern spiritualism. Given that they both offer freedom, peace and happiness it is important to investigate and look for the differences between the offerings. I had sufficient in-depth, first-hand experience to know that an ‘inner’ spiritual freedom was a bogus ‘self’-indulgence and its historical track-record is appalling, to say the least. Taking on something new is a daunting prospect but what was written about actualism at the time – which was only Richard’s Journal – made such good sense to me that I was encouraged to dig in to find out what was really on offer.
PETER: I thought I would pen a comment to something you posted to No 13 recently as I found the topic pertinent to current events in the world we live in.
I did find it somewhat presumptuous of you to come on this list and tell actualists what actual freedom is, based on a superficial skimming of the web-site which was lately more aimed at picking fault rather than trying to understand what is on offer. The root of your misunderstanding of actualism is patently obvious when one looks at a few of your other comments to this list –
This unambiguous statement indicates that you believe actualism to be identical to Sufism, i.e. you imagine actualism is another form of spiritual belief. This misconception explains your comment to No. 13 because no-where in any of the ancient spiritual or religious texts is there any mention of being happy and harmless in the market place. No wonder there is no peace between human beings and never has been when spiritualists scorn being happy and harmless in the market place as somehow being beneath their lofty and noble other-worldly aspirations.
From this comment it is clear that you see actualism as a sit-back-and-soak-up-the-words poetic philosophy in the same league as the countless spiritual teachings that masquerade as Truths. In order to make such a comment you have had to either ignore or deny the fact that writ large all through the actualism writings is the constant advertising of a practical do it yourself method – a method specifically designed to enable anyone with sufficient motivation to become free of the human condition.
That few are so far willing to allow themselves to become ‘sucked in’ to using this method is indicative of the stranglehold that passionate other-worldly beliefs have over down-to-earth common sense. Few are as yet are willing to acknowledge what is patently clear in the world as-it-is – that it is high time human beings stopped believing in Gods and devils, good and evil spirits and such like, and get on with business of becoming happy and harmless. If you read the objections of correspondents on The Actual Freedom Trust website, you will be aware of the fact that you are safely ensconced amongst the many.
PETER: For an actualist these regular flare-ups present a potent opportunity to study the human condition ... with the ‘lid off’, as it were. One only needs to turn on the television, soak up as much information as possible, and observe beliefs, morals, ethics, values, attitudes, feelings, emotions and passions in action ... as well as be able to feel these reactions as they arise in oneself. As you become aware of your own beliefs, morals, ethics, values, feelings and passions, as and when they arise, you begin to understand the nature and extent – the very nitty gritty, if you like – of your own social and instinctual programming. You start to both understand, and directly experience, the role that one’s own social conditioning plays in fostering and maintaining human animosity and suffering as well as be able to understand, and directly experience, the underlying passions that are the very root of human malice and sorrow.
Being an actualist means one is pragmatic about people as-they-are and the world as-it-is. An actualist does not waste time or opportunity by looking for band-aid solutions within the mayhem of the human condition ... for it is clear there are none to be found. The human condition is a self-sustaining closed loop in that it is perpetuated by clinging to and lauding archaic beliefs, come-what-may, and it is continually ennobled by clinging to and lauding the animal instinctual passions, no matter how horrific the outcome.
But to get back to your own spiritual belief about those LDG’s (Long Dead Gurus) who promulgate the archaic beliefs and ancient wisdoms that humanity so unquestioningly reveres –
I would be interested as to your comments about how much worse you think religious wars and spiritual conflicts should be before human beings come to their senses and start to question the veracity of spiritual beliefs and ancient wisdoms?
RESPONDENT to Richard: As stated previously, it is preferable to have the inevitable questions that must arise when pursuing the opportunity and right to follow the injunction to study actualism answered by someone less capricious,
PETER: Welcome to the Actual Freedom mailing list. When I first saw your post I thought you had wandered on to the wrong list, given your unwavering defence of spiritualism in your previous voluminous correspondence with Richard.
You certainly have an opportunity and right to study actualism – this is the very reason that The Actual Freedom Trust has set up the website – to allow the unrestricted opportunity for anyone to read about actualism and make up their own mind whether what is on offer makes sense. This reading has lead some people to come to a prima facie conclusion that actualism is worthy of further investigation and some have begun to utilize the method in their daily lives. Some have even begun the difficult and painstaking work of actively investigating their own cherished beliefs, indoctrinated morals and ethics in order that they may become aware of both their repressed or sublimated savage feelings as well as their precious dearly-held tender feelings.
However, to get to the stage of applying actualism in daily life it is essential that the person has a burning discontent with their life as it is – both their normal worldly life and their spiritual other-worldly life. Having ‘nothing left to lose’ was the expression I used in my journal. In your extensive previous correspondence with Richard you have shown not a skerrick of being discontent with either your life or your exalted state of Godship. This does leave me wondering if you have come to this list to enquire and discover or whether you have come merely to attack actualism and defend the spiritual status quo.
The purpose of this mailing list is to question beliefs, investigate feelings and uncover the facts appertaining to the human condition we all find ourselves born into, absorbed by and totally identified with. Given that the human condition is exemplified by malice and sorrow, the function of this enquiry and investigation is to become free of malice and sorrow – to become free of the human condition in total. This list is for sincere enquiry into the human condition in total – both the real world and the spiritual world. As such, it is meaningless to participate in this list unless you are eager and willing to enquire into the psychic nature of the spiritual world and the narcissistic nature of your spiritual beliefs and feelings.
In spite of the reservations I have about your inflexible track record of being either unwilling or unable to participate in this type of enquiry, I repeat my invitation –
Should you have any questions regarding the process of actualism I would be only too pleased to share my expertise but I have zilch interest in indulging in meaningless dialogues with recalcitrant defenders of their own personal version of Godship.
PETER: I guess you think by repeating the phrase ‘the worldview called actualism’ you will somehow change a practical process of ‘self’-investigation into something much less threatening – a theory, a doctrine, a system of principles, a worldview. It is you who insists on making a pragmatic process aimed at eliminating one’s own malice and sorrow into a head-banging philosophy.
RESPONDENT: At this point, in completing the advice ‘I thoroughly recommend the study of actualism’ and following the advice at the actualism website (An illustrated complete introduction to Actual Freedom, recommended for all newcomers), there has been no pragmatic process aimed at eliminating one’s own malice and sorrow mentioned.
PETER: You obviously not only missed reading the opening page of the Actual Freedom Trust website but also the very first opening sentences of ‘An illustrated complete introduction to Actual Freedom, recommended for all newcomers’ where what is on offer, as a practicality, is explained clearly and upfront –
Methinks you are far more interested in ‘Who’ or ‘What’ created animate life rather than in the question as to why so-called intelligent conscious animate life – the 6 billion or so human beings currently on the planet – are still involved in a grim instinctual and senseless battle for survival.
PETER: You are missing the point of what actualism is about, exactly as you did in all of your previous correspondence with Richard.
RESPONDENT: Thus far in the study, the point of the world viewed being called actualism is about the process of the universe giving rise to the circumstances that resulted in inanimate matter becoming animate matter. This point has not only not been missed, it is being thoroughly examined as to not be misunderstood.
PETER: ‘The process of the universe giving rise to the circumstances that resulted in inanimate matter becoming animate matter’ has nothing at all to do with the very-recent discovery of the process of actualism.
By all the available evidence the process of inanimate matter becoming animate matter first happened on this planet billions of years ago. As such, the initial process has already happened, it is a fait accompli, it is a given, it is a fact. Believe it or not, you and I are animate matter – what is known as live matter, living things, sentient beings, flesh and blood, corporeal, or to use cyber-jargon, ‘wetware’ as opposed to hardware or software.
We can discuss the myriad of human beliefs and theories about how this process happened, why it happened or which God made it happen and why He/She/It made it happen, if you insist, but it has bugger all to do with the fact that it happened and still is happening this very moment all over this planet.
These types of philosophical discussions, so-called examinations, posits and postulations, theories, beliefs and flights of imagination are a furphy – a distraction from the main event of actualism, which is about a method of freeing conscious animate matter – flesh and blood humans – from its archaic bio-heritage of ‘self’-centred malice and sorrow. (...)
RESPONDENT: *deep bow*
If you will, when using quote marks, please be certain that the material included therein is an actual quote. In the case of ‘error in text’, you have indicated you are quoting from the material of this conversation, when in fact the phrase ‘error in text’ has not been offered. You may be intending to refer to ‘... error in the text’ that was offered to indicate that there was no interest in pursuing the mistake in category encountered in the previous communication until such time as ‘...we encounter a similar error in the text under study’. Thank you.
PETER: *Mind the keyboard ...*
It’s a good thing you have told me you are not interested in semantics or we would never get anywhere in this conversation. I’ll take your advice and try to be more careful with my p’s and q’s ... and the’s ... in future. By the way, I note you have made a similar mistake in misquoting because the phrase I used was ‘errors in text’ – as in the present error and future ‘similar error’ – and not ‘error in text’ as you quoted.
One of the attributes of an actualist is a willingness to admit to making mistakes – indeed, how else would you become an actualist? Otherwise you would stubbornly remain a ‘self’ insisting you are right, while at the same time knowing you are wrong ... or you could end up a God-man, as in infallible, and then you would be really stuck on ‘Self’-righteousness.
But in the interest of moving on, can we take my answer to your question as being my answer to your question and tick this one off as well? I know it might be unsatisfactory to you but maybe you can create an ‘unsatisfactory answer’ folder in your database.
Just a suggestion.(...)
PETER: You are obviously perfectly at peace as your Self, being one of the fathomless all-mighty God-men within the human condition. As such, you do not even recognize, let alone ‘own’, your fear, anger, doubt, sorrow, frustration, aloofness or ‘above and beyond’ sanctimony. Which is why you prefer to remain within a delusion of your own creation and prefer to ‘not bother with what must be the immensely stressful, frustrating, and quite dirty business of digging out of a hole’.
RESPONDENT: May I suggest that from this point forward the conversation not include personal opinions, commentary on respective personalities, critiques of respective philosophy, nor any material not directly related to establishing or refuting the facts immediately under study? Thank you.
PETER: Ah, you’ve noticed that I tend to divert from your strictures every now and again and try to slip in a bit about what actualism is really about. I know these diversions don’t get entered in your database component but there are others on this mailing list and they may be interested in my experience of, and expertise in, actualism. The process of actualism is about recognizing, owning and examining the feelings of fear, anger, doubt, sorrow, frustration, etc.
RESPONDENT: Hi Peter/Vineeto, Would you agree that the ‘me’ becomes thinner and thinner as you apply actualism and for you it must have become so thin that it is impossible to detect? Richard took a different path (or is it the same towards the end?) – so the identity was visible (in fact stupendous) when deciding to self-immolate... What I am thinking is that the decision to self-immolate might need to occur when the ‘me’ is still substantial instead of thinning out too far – for better success?
PETER: It is important to keep in mind that there are two aspects to actualism – firstly that it is an alternative to both materialism and spiritualism and secondly that it elucidates a method whereby it is possible to become actually free from the human condition in toto.
Of the two aspects, the most important aspect is the first because the spread of actualism will inevitably lead to a decline of both materialism – the mindless pursuit of power, fame, wealth and possessions – and spiritualism – the even more mindless pursuit of power, fame, wealth and possessions in a supposed spiritual realm. Actualism unabashedly offers a robust and sensible alternative to the traditional human pursuits that have existed up until now – rather than battling it out with one’s fellow human beings in a grim instinctual battle for survival or falling into the eons-old trap of indulging in any one of the myriad fantasies of a spirit-ual ‘other world’, one sets one’s sights on becoming as happy and as harmless as is possible, each moment again.
Therein lies the significance of actualism because as more and more people make being happy and harmless their primary aim in life, the less need will there be for human beings to be antagonistic towards their fellow human beings and the less need there will be for them to feel resentful about being here. The stealth-like, word-of-mouth, spread of actualism will be what eventually brings an end to more insidious facets of the human condition – genocide, warfare, murder, infanticide, rape, child abuse, torture, corruption and so on.
Whilst I do acknowledge that it is an outrageous claim that the world-wide spread of actualism will inevitably result in the desperately longed-for peace on earth, it behoves one to take a clear-eyed look at what are commonly referred to as the ‘ills’ of humanity as well as make a dispassionate assessment of the continued failure of the traditional proposed solutions … and then to ask yourself, is it not high time to try something radically different and does it not make sense that this something involves you doing whatever is needed to eliminate malice and sorrow from your own life, to do your part to actualize peace on earth?
So as you can see, the first aspect of actualism will be of interest to those who are moved to do something practical about bringing about peace on earth by doing whatever they can to be as happy and as harmless as they possibly can, each moment again. Some people will however be attracted to take this pursuit even further and for those the second aspect of actualism is then available – an actual freedom from the human condition of malice and sorrow. You will notice that the first and second aspects of actualism are sequential – the first is the means to the second. To put it succinctly, it is obvious that one cannot expect to become actually free of malice and sorrow unless one is prepared to do everything possible to eliminate malice and sorrow from one’s life.
One of the attractions of actualism to me was that it is not an ‘all-or-nothing’ business and that it is not a group business. Anyone who is interested in actualism can take it as far as they want, or as far as they dare, and they will be the judge of their own success depending solely upon their own aspirations and expectations … whether that is to be a little more happy being here doing whatever it is they are doing as well as being a little more harmless to their fellow human beings, or whether it is to become actually free of the human condition.
As for your comment about a thinner ‘me’, my experience is that the incremental diminishing of the usual feelings of malice and sorrow certainly results in the feeling that ‘I’ am thinner or less substantial and yet – despite the fact that to live virtually free from malice and sorrow is way beyond human expectations – ‘I’ remain an ‘I’ until ‘I’ am no more.
PETER: No glamour, glory nor glitz to be found hereabouts.
RESPONDENT: Why can’t you enjoy the ‘fickle spotlight of fame’? As long as you don’t get addicted to it, what difference does it make? What kind of freedom is it if a little media spotlight can ruin it? It is mentioned here about being altruistic – what kind of altruism is it when one won’t give up their foxhole to further their stated goals of peace on earth? Why not go out and promote actualism on the Oprah Show like Deepak Chopra? Why not go mainstream?
PETER: Well for a start, it was only a few hundred years ago that human beings burnt other human beings at the stake for being heretics and actualism is heretical. The fanaticism of the self-righteous is not something to be taken lightly. Galileo was forced to recant his discovery that confirmed that the Bible was wrong and the earth rotated around the sun. Charles Darwin agonized for decades before going public with his discovery that God didn’t create all the creatures on earth and then he made sure he avoided the spotlight of fame thereafter. And there are many people who are more than willing to kill others in order to defend their beliefs if they feel them to be threatened. Need I go on?
RESPONDENT: Richard stated in a recent post that in a few years he will go off to a secluded retreat to enjoy the rest of his life in ‘paradisaical obscurity’: I am not saying anything against doing that but if one really believed that their method could bring peace on earth, why not go on a promotional tour? Maybe you all should get off your backsides and start competing with the tried and tired and failed methods and religions around the globe instead of remaining anonymous and in your comfort zones hidden from the glamour, glory & the glitz as you say?
PETER: It obviously hasn’t yet occurred to you yet as to why actualism is not popular – actualism it is not popular because it is non-spiritual and spirituality in some form or another is de-rigueur within the human condition. As such, actualism will only appeal to those who are disenchanted with spiritualism and want to become free of the human condition in toto.
PETER: I mused for a while on the possibility of the ‘younger’ generation being interested in actualism but I did see that they were lacking in one aspect – sufficient life experience as to what didn’t work in bringing peace and happiness in their lives.
RESPONDENT: I have been contemplating this as I look at the situation between myself and my partner. He has never been in contact with ‘alternative’ people. He is from a small town and went from day to day without the thought of another way.
It has only eventuated through the time of us being together that he has dared to wonder if something else is possible. Trying to translate an experience only results in one telling a story as you have done.
PETER: Although the only experiential confirmation of what is being offered in actualism is for you to have a pure consciousness experience or to have a memory of one you had in the past, this is not an essential prerequisite to begin the process of actualism. Although I did have a memory of a PCE that gave substance and credence to what Richard was describing, I was also greatly attracted by the unremitting common sense and facticity of actualism. I suspect that Gary would also confirm that it is possible to be attracted to actualism without having a PCE but if you are willing to sincerely question your own beliefs then at some point in the process a brief glimpse of the actual world will inevitably occur.
This was certainly the case with Vineeto, when after months of intense investigation into her gender, social and spiritual beliefs, her whole persona briefly collapsed, giving her a substantive PCE that then gave her the confidence to really take on actualism, boots and all. ( description)
We actualists simply tell our stories to indicate what is possible – what lays beyond belief. It is up to you to decide if the facts presented amount to a prima facie case for you to then proceed to question your own beliefs.
When you have undertaken this process earnestly you will then start to get your own glimpses of a ‘self’-less state and the process may then well be unstoppable. (...)
RESPONDENT: On a larger scale of younger generation, Society hasn’t the skill or understanding about what actualism is to be able to relate the ideas safely, and the input and contributions from people like your self is rare.
PETER: Extremely rare, as I can still count the contributors on two hands. But the cat is well and truly out of the bag ... and no one can put it back in again.
Good, hey ... for we are talking of the beginning of the end of all the wars, rapes, murders, torture, domestic violence, corruption, suicides, sorrow and despair.
RESPONDENT: My final thought being on how to create the opportunities for any person as we all have enough experience of the sadness, fear and self doubt, we just need to re-access it or find immediate examples from which to learn from.
PETER: By classification, you are ‘any’ person and it does seem that it is you who now have the opportunity. Given you have read the stories of those who are free of, or are becoming free of, malice and sorrow, you may well be attracted to setting an example yourself.
After all, there is no one better qualified – you fit all the necessary criteria.
RESPONDENT: Use of jargon ... I think perhaps what I wrote wasn’t very clear, so I felt to re-say it as part of the previous statement. In speaking to a person without a background in such words and phrases it feels as if the other person is trying to be intimidating.
PETER: Many people not only feel intimidated by the words of actualism but also feel personally offended. This is as it should be because the only value in reading any of the actualism writing is to take what is written personally – to acknowledge by your own feelings that you are afflicted with malice and sorrow and to acknowledge by your own feelings the deep-seated longing for an actual freedom, peace and happiness.
If someone is not initially intimidated by actualism, then they are missing or avoiding the whole point of what is on offer in actualism.
RESPONDENT: Not intentionally but because of a sense of fear one puts up a self-preservation barrier. The language develops as one begins to see things in a different way.
PETER: Actualism, by its very nature, abounds with common sense, pragmatism, practicality, down-to-earthiness and is rooted in observable facts and sensate experience. We actualists do like to call a spade a spade.
PETER: Matter, the stuff of which a thing is made, is commonly classified into three types – animal, vegetable or mineral.
If you asked a biologist, a doctor, a zoologist, a microbiologist, a mother or a teacher whether animal matter is passive, as in inert or inactive, he or she no doubt would look at you askance. That animal matter is ‘not merely passive’ is surely obvious but the extent to which it is not passive is literally breathtaking.
As an example, the smallest unit retaining the fundamental properties of life are cells, the ‘atoms’ of the living world. A single cell is often a complete organism in itself, such as a bacterium or yeast. Other cells, by differentiating in order to acquire specialized functions and cooperating with other specialized cells, become the building blocks of large multicellular organisms as complex as the human being. It would require a sheet of about 10,000 human cells to cover the head of a pin, and each human being is composed of more than 75,000,000,000,000 cells.
As an individual unit the cell is capable of digesting its own nutrients, providing its own energy, and replicating itself, in order to produce succeeding generations. It can be viewed as an enclosed vessel composed of even smaller units that serve as its skin, skeleton, brain, and digestive tract. Within this cell vessel innumerable chemical reactions take place simultaneously, all of them controlled so that they contribute to the sustenance and procreation of the cell. In a multicellular organism cells specialize to perform different functions. In order to do this each cell keeps in constant communication with its neighbours. As it receives nutrients from and expels wastes into its surroundings, it adheres to and cooperates with other cells. Cooperative assemblies of similar cells form tissues, and a cooperation between tissues in turn forms organs, the functional units of an organism.
In other words, the flesh and blood body known as No 32 is a cooperative assembly of cells that has developed from the multiplication of cells produced by the union of a male sex cell and a female sex cell. One day sufficient of these cells will cease to function as living organisms causing the flesh and blood organism known as No 32 to cease to function as a living organism. The dead cells that constitute the organism known as No 32 will then decompose, becoming the minerals of the earth again, and those minerals in turn will to help nourish or form other cells, be they vegetate or animate. The matter that is this planet is in fact in a constant state of being cycled between animal, vegetable and mineral – i.e. matter is ‘not merely passive’. Information on cellular life forms gleaned from Encyclopaedia Britannica
If you asked a botanist, a horticulturist or a gardener whether vegetate matter is passive, as in inert or inactive, again the response would be predictable. Having done a little bit of gardening and a good deal of tree planting in my life I am constantly amazed at the variety and virulence, prodigiousness and persistence of vegetate matter on this planet. Indeed scientific research has revealed vegetate matter that uses chemo-synthesis rather than photo-synthesis as its energy source together with many species that blur the distinction between vegetate and mineral matter and between vegetate and animal matter.
Similarly, if you asked a geologist, a meteorologist, a mineralogist, a chemist, an engineer or an architect whether mineral matter is passive, the answer again can only be no. It is obvious that inanimate matter is ‘not merely passive’ when in a gaseous state – the ever-changing atmosphere that surrounds this planet consists of a mixture of gases, water vapour and minute solid and liquid particles in suspension – this ever-changingness is what we humans call the ‘weather’. Equally it is obvious that inanimate matter is ‘not merely passive’ when in a liquid state – the very water of this watery planet is a constant hydrologic cycle of evaporation, movement within the atmosphere, precipitation, the downhill flow of river water, lakes, groundwater, ocean currents, glaciers, ice flows and icecaps.
What is not so obvious to many is that mineral matter in its solid state is also anything but passive and this is so because of the vast time spans involved in the movements and changes of mineral matter. Geological materials – the solid stuff the earth is made of – consist of mineral crystals continuously being cycled through various forms of host rock types – igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. This ongoing process – commonly referred to as the rock cycle – is dependant on temperature, pressure, changes in environmental conditions within the earth’s core, within the earth’s crust and at its surface, and time. So slow is the general rate of change that geological changes are measured in millions of years, although events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions bear instantaneous evidence as to the intensity of change.
I recently saw a computer graphic representation of the palaeogeographical changes of the European continent that have been mapped as occurring over several billion years. Whilst the time span is so enormous as to be almost inconceivable, what could be readily seen from the speed-up graphic was the constant rising and falling – literally a wrinkling and buckling – of the earths crust, an example of matter being ‘not merely passive’ on a scale that is astonishing. As if this were not proof enough, one needs only to consider the extent of changes and timescales involved in the study of astro-geology – the scientific discipline concerned with the geological aspects of all of the mineral matter in this infinite and eternal universe.
Whilst the fact that matter is ‘not merely passive’ should be patently obvious to modern-day humans, this was not so for those who lived in ancient times when ignorance of the actual nature of the matter of the universe led to the fear-ridden fables, superstitions and beliefs that all matter, be it animate or inanimate, was infused by good and evil spirits. It is obvious that if one ever aspires to live in the actual world, the first necessary step is to stop giving credibility to any of the ancient fables, superstitions and spirit beliefs that constitute so-called ‘ancient wisdom’.
RESPONDENT: Is (all) matter (water, trees, animals, various objects) alive and intelligent when experienced in a PCE?
PETER: No. Matter, when experienced in a PCE, does not change its properties for the properties of matter are inherent to matter itself. Water is not alive, as is animate matter, nor is it intelligent. Intelligence – the ability to think, reflect, plan, communicate, and to be aware of that ability as it is happening – is a faculty unique to the animate matter of the human brain. Trees are alive in that they are vegetate matter and I have described vegetate matter as being ‘not merely passive’ above. Trees are not intelligent.
Animals are alive in that they are organism consisting of cooperate collections of animate matter or living cells. The only animal with the capacity to be intelligent is the human animal – albeit that this intelligence is somewhat impaired by the genetically-encoded rudimentary instinctual survival passions that have now well and truly passed their use-by-date.
When the intelligence that is a function of the human brain is temporarily freed to operate unimpeded by the animal survival passions, as ‘experienced in a PCE’, the normal ‘self’-centred values that human beings impose on the matter of the universe – it’s ugly, she’s ugly, it’s abhorrent, he’s abhorrent, it’s dull, he’s dull, she’s dull, it’s depressing, he’s depressing, it’s annoying, she’s annoying, it’s aggravating, he’s aggravating, it’s beautiful, he’s beautiful, she’s beautiful, it’s dear to me, he’s dear to me, she’s dear to me, it’s spiritual, it’s divine, he’s divine, she’s divine, and so on – all fall away, as if a veil has suddenly been lifted.
What is suddenly seen is that the matter of the universe – all matter, be it animate or inanimate, be it animal, vegetable or mineral, be it unfashioned by humans or fashioned by humans – has an inherent quality. The inherent quality of matter is something that is experienced sensately and a sensate-only experience of the quality of matter experienced in a PCE is a sensuous experience – it’s warm, it’s cold, it’s moist, it’s dry, it’s shiny, it’s smooth, it’s soft, it’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s quiet, it’s boisterous, it’s loud, it’s scintillating, it’s fascinating, he’s a fellow human being, she’s a fellow human being, and so on. In a PCE the universe is experienced as it actually is – perfect, pure, pristine and peerless.
RESPONDENT: Is there a difference (concerning the quality of the object involved) when looking at a polyester cup in a PCE compared with our ordinary experience of it?
PETER: Again, the quality of an object does not change when an object is looked when one is having a pure consciousness experience, because the quality of an object is inherent to the object itself. What happens in a PCE is that ‘I’ temporarily disappear, along with the ‘self’-centred and anthropomorphic values and judgements ‘I’ automatically impose upon all matter, be it inanimate or animate – a constant evaluation of every thing as being good or bad, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly, something to envy, scorn, fear or desire, something felt to be ‘mine’ or ‘yours’, someone felt to be friend or foe, and so on.
A currently fashionable value that many people unwittingly impose on objects is that they regard any objects that are fashioned by human beings from the mineral matter of the earth as being ‘unnatural’, hence artificial, going against nature, alien, improper, false, ugly, deviant, corrupted, evil, harmful and so on, whilst they feel matter in its raw state to be natural, wholesome, beautiful, beneficial, good, pure, innocent, true, unadulterated and so on.
The root source of these emotion-backed judgements imposed on the objects fashioned by human beings from the mineral matter of the earth, is the belief that human beings were pure and innocent in their primitive stone-age state and that this purity and innocence has been corrupted by the technological progresses of the iron age, the bronze age, the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, the invention of electricity, the silicon chip and so on. In its crudest form this belief manifests as a collective feeling of guilt that human beings are aliens who have and are still corrupting and polluting the natural environment of the planet.
As can be seen, for an actualist there is a good deal of work to be done in demolishing these beliefs by replacing them with facts before one can expect to be able to sensuously experience the inherent quality of the matter of the universe, unimpeded by ‘my’ beliefs, values and judgements that ‘I’ unwittingly and automatically superimpose on everything I see, touch, hear, smell and taste as well as every human being I meet in person or hear about.
RESPONDENT: And is that perception objective, in the sense ‘that’s the way that cup really is’?
PETER: There is a world of difference between the normal human perception of the way it ‘really is’ or the way ‘‘I’ feel it to be’ and the ‘self’-less perception of the actuality of the universe as experienced in a PCE.
RESPONDENT: I suppose things get more complicated when dealing with people, how do you xp them?
PETER: As I said above, animals are alive in that they are animate animal matter, but the only animal with the capacity to be intelligent is the human animal – albeit that this intelligence is somewhat impaired by the genetically-encoded rudimentary instinctual survival passions that have now well and truly passed their use-by-date.
A practicing actualist commits himself or herself to removing all of ‘my’ values, judgements and demands that ‘I’ unwittingly impose upon other people such that they can be clearly seen, and treated, as being what they actually are – fellow human beings. Or to put it another way, a practicing actualist is someone who has devoted his or her life to actualizing peace on earth. (...)
RESPONDENT: Is there no person who can influence or change you?
PETER: There have been many people who had an influence on my life. The three stand-outs that are relevant to this discussion are my father, Richard and Vineeto.
My father, because the only advice he ever offered me was ‘It doesn’t matter what you do in your life, you can be a brain surgeon or a dunny-cart man (the man who used to call and collect the pan of excrement from beneath the toilet at the bottom of our garden), as long as you are happy’. What he didn’t tell me was how to be happy because he, along with everybody else, didn’t know how.
For the ‘how to’, I had to wait some 35 years before I came across Richard who had discovered not only how to be happy but how to be harmless – it is impossible to be happy unless you are harmless. And Vineeto’s influence was that I was able to see first-hand that the actualism method worked not only for myself but for someone else – the proof of the pudding that the actualism method produces happy and harmless people, regardless of gender, nationality or prior belief.
As for the possibility of another person changing me, I gave up this belief by becoming an actualist – becoming an actualist is the practical acknowledgement that no one can change me but myself. Further, becoming an actualist is the practical acknowledgement that I cease wanting to have power or control over the lives of others.
Whether or not an actualist can influence another person is entirely up to the other person and what their interests are. In my case, I was vitally interested in what Richard had to say as well as how he lived his life.
RESPONDENT: I don’t want to become an actualist but a free, happy and fully autonomous human being.
PETER: This is rather like saying, I don’t want to be a materialist but I want to be a rich, famous and universally-envied human being, or I don’t want to be a spiritualist but I want to be a rich, famous and universally-worshipped God-man (or Goddess). I am somewhat bemused that so many people who profess they have an interest in actualism – the method by which to actually become ‘a free, happy and fully autonomous human being’, to use your words – have an aversion to the word actualist.
I simply see it as a useful label. I was a materialist for the first stage of my life until I gave it up because I found it be wanting. I then became a spiritualist for the next stage and eventually found it wanting. Then I came across actualism and became an actualist. I even use the term practicing actualist to make the point that I don’t hold it as a philosophy – a nonsensical thing to try and do – I am putting it into practice.
I can only speculate as to why people have an aversion to the word actualist. It would appear that many confuse the autonomy that is on offer in actualism – I am what I am, this flesh and blood body as distinct from other flesh and blood bodies – with the real-world independence – as in ‘I’ am ‘who’ I am, and to hell with anyone else. And most people are so world-weary that they cannot understand that calling oneself an actualist is a descriptive term and that it does not imply being a member of any of the competitive and hierarchal groupings that typify all the materialist and spiritual associations between human beings.
Or maybe it is simply a sign of a refusal to commit to being an actualist – having a full-blooded commitment is seen as foolishness by many.
RESPONDENT: The question is: Can Peter and Vineeto still live in a virtual freedom for let’s say a month, without practicing actualism? If not, then someone is in control there creating its actual world. Maybe an actualist I.
PETER: A pure consciousness experience is evidence that this flesh and blood body is effortlessly jovial and benign when ‘I’ am not around to continually stuff things up. By practicing the actualism method I have got to the stage where I am virtually free of malice and sorrow, which means that it is only very rarely that ‘I’ and my problems and passions interject such that my happiness and harmlessness is momentarily disrupted. Any such aberrations are of minor consequence and in no way spoil my sensual delight in being here in the world-as-it-is with people as-they are.
As you would know, whilst I make no claims to being actually free of malice and sorrow, I have no hesitation in recommending a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow to anyone who is interested – it is to live beyond human expectations.
RESPONDENT: This method as far as I can see is designed to work in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are and not to try to change the world (things and events) or the people.
PETER: Yep. It is essential to grasp the fact that it is an exercise in futility to attempt to change others.
Actualism is about making the only contribution ‘I’ can actually make to peace on earth – to actively facilitate the pure consciousness experience of the already existing peace on earth by doing all ‘I’ can to rid myself of ‘my’ malice and ‘my’ sorrow.
RESPONDENT: These are secondary by-products of an actual freedom, but not the aim of the method, so any schemes about how the future of the world or the people should be like smacks of evangelization.
PETER: Secondary by-products, hey. If I read you right, you are completely misunderstanding an actual freedom from the human condition by relegating its prime attribute to a secondary by-product.
One of the very things that attracted me to actualism was that it offered a down-to-earth freedom, not an other-worldly freedom, in other words, a freedom in the actual world of people, things and events as-it-is – not in a metaphysical world of ‘my’ imagination nor in a world that ‘I’ hoped it would be one day ‘if only everybody else ...’ . I think you have got the wrong end of the stick here and are busy trying to use it to beat up actualism for what it isn’t.
For me the fact that actualism offers an actual freedom in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are is unquestionably its primary feature. If actualism hadn’t offered that, I would have passed it by … and rightly so.
As for your ‘smacks of evangelization’ comment – as you would know most people who have dipped into the spiritual world and have inadvertently stumbled across actualism have trotted out the same hackneyed objection. If you insist on seeing actualism as yet another spiritual promissory enterprise then you can’t help but read everything with spiritual eyes, rather than take what is written as saying what it means and meaning what it says.
Actualism is the third alternative to materialism and spiritualism and because of this it is vital to understand that one needs to think outside the traditional boxes if one ever wants to aspire to experientially understand what an actual freedom from the human condition is about.
RESPONDENT: Also, if I cannot live in ‘the real world’ – i.e. business world (as-it-is) or ‘dog-eat-dog of people’ (as-they-are at work), as Peter called it, and not try to retreat on a leisure seaside house by the ocean (as-I-want things to be) with a choice person (as-I-want people to be) and create the circumstances (events that I like), then would I be as happy as I am?
PETER: I have no problem at all how other people choose to live their lives – it is after all their lives they are living and they will reap the rewards and suffer the consequences of any choices they make or don’t make. Speaking personally, I liked living in cities when I was younger – I had a ball living in London in the 70’s – but I also enjoyed living in a smaller city in Australia when I had children. When my child-rearing responsibilities finished I came across a small sea-side town in the subtropics and deliberately chose to live here as it was the best spot I had discovered in all of my travels. In other words, I chose to arrange my living circumstances ‘(as-I-want things to be)’, to use your words.
After making that decision, the next consideration was making money to support myself and the easiest option was to do what I enjoyed doing and was good at – designing and building houses. I gradually found a small group of carpenters and subcontractors who were interested in doing good work and who enjoyed doing good work and we all had a good time building nice houses for nice people, i.e. I chose to work with people ‘(as-they-are at work)’, associate and live with people ‘(as-I-want people to be)’ and create working circumstances ‘(events that I like)’, to use your words.
All of this seems eminently sensible to me, I simply organized my life in a way that provided the most safety, the most comfort, the most pleasure and the most leisure possible commensurate with the least amount of working time possible – I never believed there was anything at all to be gained by suffering.
The only thing that was still very obviously missing from my life was that I knew I was not free of malice, I would occasionally suffer from melancholia and I wanted to rectify my life-long failure to live with a companion in utter peace and harmony. Then I came across actualism … and the rest of the story is in my journal.
As for your question ‘then would I be as happy as I am?’, it is important to note that I was living in the idyllic circumstances I described above and yet I was not happy and, even more importantly, I had to acknowledge I was nowhere near harmless. The fact that I lived in what is literally a paradise made my lack of happiness even more poignant and even more obvious – and this glaring incongruity was one of the motivations I had for committing myself to actualism. (...)
RESPONDENT: I appreciate the type of frank and open discussion and with all cards on the table: exposing me for who I am at this moment in time.
PETER: Exposing ‘me for who I am’ is your business and your business entirely.
Whilst I found discussing particular topics with someone else can be an aid to understanding life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being – and this is particularly so if the other person has more expertise in a certain field than I do – when all is said and done it is no substitute for developing one’s own ability to think autonomously and precipitating one’s own ability to act sensibly such that one can finally stand on one’s own two feet. To become ‘a free, happy and fully autonomous human being’ as you put it.
RESPONDENT: There is no evidence to support that via the AF site anyone has become virtually free and 7 years have elapsed. Still, these are early days... am I sensing hope?
PETER: Did you feel hope that someone else will become virtually free of malice and sorrow or are you hoping that you will become virtually free of malice and sorrow? I only ask because there is a good deal of difference between the two – i.e. they are two different feelings.
RESPONDENT: This is so maybe because you cannot live any ‘teaching’.
PETER: To try and live a ‘teaching’ is clearly nonsense.
I was taught how to be an architect at a university and, in hindsight, the whole process was by and large a dismal failure. I was mostly taught by academics who had no idea of the hands-on business of being an architect, let alone any knowledge of the very down-to-earth business of building, and as a consequence when I graduated I knew very little about the practical business of being an architect and nothing at all about practical business of building a building. Over the years, by a process of trial and error, I taught myself to both be a good architect and a good builder – an accumulated expertise based on my own hands-on experience and accumulated common sense and supplemented by the many tips I took on board from other hands-on practitioners.
But working for money is only part of one’s life-skills. Because I live in a country that has moved beyond self-reliant agriculture, cottage industry and snail-mail communication, working for the necessary money to survive has been but an incidental part of my life activities. As for general life-skills and life-attitudes – the process of learning this began way back before I was even aware that I was a ‘me’ and I was unwittingly taught the usual set of morals, ethics and psittacisms that were fashionable at the time. Then at some point in my adult life, my real-world life fell to pieces and I found the wisdom of the Eastern teachings appealing for a while until I discovered that the revered Eastern spiritual teachings were nothing other than Eastern religion.
Having twice found the teachings of others to be lacking sincerity and efficacy, when I came across Richard and his discovery I was very careful to check out his bona fides. The first thing I did was to make it a point to clearly understand what he was talking about – no ifs and buts, no obscuration, no turning a blind eye, as I had done in my spiritual years – and I did this because this time I didn’t want to fool myself yet again. The other aspect was to check out how he was as a human being – was he walking the talk or was he a charlatan?
When I established a prima facie case for Richard’s sincerity and the sensibility of actualism, I then dropped everything else and set about finding out for myself whether I could become both happy and harmless – the essential core of the actualism method of becoming free of the human condition. I found the process to be one of trial and error, lapsing back into old ways of being, becoming aware again and getting myself back on track. It’s an utterly simple do-it-yourself business. It is impossible to live someone else’s teaching vicariously but it is quite another thing to find out whether what someone else is saying works in practice.
Of course, to learn anything new demands 100% effort, otherwise the enterprise is sabotaged before it even starts. I found that out both in my work and with living with a companion – unless I fully committed to doing what I did at work the result was always unsatisfactory and unless I fully committed to living with my companion I always left the door open to failure, and it’s exactly the same with the business of becoming happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: This site is mainly the product of a person life experience translated into thoughts.
PETER: I don’t know whether you have noticed yet but there are two sections to the website. One section is maintained by Richard and it contains both his writings and his correspondence and the other section is maintained by Vineeto and it mainly consists of Vineeto’s writings and correspondence and my writings and correspondence as well as cross-referenced links to Richards writings and correspondence. What is on offer on the website is far from an abstracted ‘teaching’ of one person.
RESPONDENT: It’s a huge mistake to think that by practicing ‘it’, you can arrive somewhere.
PETER: Unless one has some degree of interest in becoming free of malice and sorrow, reading what is written on the website will be by and large a waste of time and effort – at best only of academic interest to would-be plagiarists.
RESPONDENT: Thoughts/ideas cannot generate experience, they can do all sorts of things: simulate, represent, imitate, emulate but they cannot experience.
PETER: Thinking about whether or not one wants to become free of malice and sorrow is not the same as practicing becoming happy and harmless in one’s daily life. In my experience, prolonged thinking about whether or not to commit to anything merely leads to procrastination and postponement, which in turn leads to feelings of frustration and resentment, which in turn only fuels feelings of doubt and suspicion … and then the whole cycle starts over again.
RESPONDENT: Anyone who thinks that he experiences something different in terms of consciousness when immersed in a certain thought medium might simply fool himself. It’s at best a lab experience.
PETER: I was well aware of that when I came across Richard – but it wasn’t a thought medium I had immersed myself in previously, it was the thought-less feeling medium of spiritual teachings combined with the psychic powers of spiritual teachers. But then again I wasn’t a Krishnamurtiite, so I never was fully indoctrinated into believing that thinking was the root of all evil.
Because I had previously twice experienced the dangers of being trapped within a group-psyche, both as a normal bloke and then as a spiritual follower, I deliberately stopped sitting in Richards’s living room after a while and went out and road-tested actualism for myself, by myself. I also stopped reading his correspondence at this stage because I wanted to practically test the actualism method by myself in my daily life – and not try to hold it as belief or a theory or an ethic within some sheltered workshop.
RESPONDENT: Let’s be a little realistic. Only time will tell whether actualism will have great impact on the course of human history.
PETER: Actualism is not about changing the course of human history – it is a do-it-yourself method designed solely for individual change. The world is full of people hoping that someone else, or something else, will somehow change the course of human history, all the while being despairing realistic about the prospect of a mass miracle happening. It is an essential prerequisite for an actualist to fully realize that the only person one can change is oneself.
If enough people take up the challenge of being an actualist then the course of human history may well change in the next millennia or two. What ‘I’ realized was that if that was to happen then it was up to ‘me’ ... for I was one of the very few people who had serendipitously come across actualism, i.e. ‘I’ could only either be a pioneer, an objector or a fence sitter.
PETER: You wrote commenting on something I wrote to Gary –
RESPONDENT: If I may –
It seems to me that the question would read: Peter what would you do about the war in Palestine? From what I hear there is no request for the condition that you’d be living there.
PETER: And yet surely it is obvious that the only thing I can do something about is the things I can do something about. It therefore follows that, because I don’t live in Palestine, I had to preface my reply with ‘if I lived in the area’.
You may be familiar with the cliché ‘Think globally but act locally’. A sincere interpretation would mean that if one is concerned about wars in general, or the war in Palestine in particular, then one should act locally. And there is no place more local to act than to cease making war with the human beings one comes in direct contact with, be they family, friends, workmates or whatever. Need I say, this involves ceasing being angry, annoyed, peeved, resentful, blameful and so on.
It took me a long time to fully comprehend that getting emotionally involved in someone else’s problems and/or contriving imaginary solutions to others’ problems was merely a convenient way of avoiding the responsibility of looking at, and doing something about, my own malice and my own sorrow. A large part of the business of actualism involves breaking this ingrained habit.
RESPONDENT: As I know that you are not to keen at ‘taking a walk in someone else’s imagination/fantasy’. I’m actually surprised that you went that far, yet as you were seriously replying, vis:
I wonder could it be possible that you had missed the ‘point’ of his/her question?
PETER: No. I was well aware that the questioner was busy with being emotionally involved in someone else’s problems and then contriving imaginary solutions to these problems. I simply responded by offering a solution that I found worked for me – I stopped believing in all forms of religion, spiritualism and mysticism and became an atheist and I stopped believing I belonged to a patch of dirt or a group of people and became an autonomous citizen of the world.
By doing so, I found this took much of the wind out of my own malicious and sorrowful feelings – which is precisely why I related the anecdote to Gary in the first place.
RESPONDENT: Given that we could say that you were not fantazising or imagining but running a ‘what if?’ scenario the like we have done on previous occasions with the famous ‘No 38 query’ and I dare say that that definitely offered some food for thought. Also given that Richard’s initiative to make the *AF*-process available (as I recall more or less encouraged to do so by you and Vineeto) through the internet has enabled anyone who has access to the internet can ‘land upon ‘the AF-site. It comes to mind that ‘we’, the people on this list, (not to say that we are some collective/sect and so on) yet are in a rather special position, that is to say on this list we can discuss the ins and outs of Actualism. ^note imo. making AF available through the internet is in fact having skipped a step in the sequence of media with regard to their accessibility^
Although for most of us (on this list) it’s fairly clear that our shared features (i.e. being endowed with a similar genetically encoded survival program and in roughly basically similar programming i.e. in my case, programming via genetics, parents, school, peers, Christianity and Rajneeshism. In your case, programming via genetics, parents, school, peers, Christianity and Rajneeshism, as I understand.) Yet our lifestyles may considerably differ. In fact I dare say they do differ.
Given that some of us have a regular job, some don’t, some us are living with a partner, some of us don’t. On top of that our geographic locations are fairly different hence we all more or less have needed to adapt to the ‘dominating cultural and political’ system of our country. So… As to –
Have you considered what it would imply to be a Jew or a Muslim for that matter? Because as for Christianity might be considered an offspring or say modification of Christianity, the Muslim culture is entirely different hence the God Allah needs indeed to be viewed as completely different God then Jehovah. From that I conclude that your solution:
is bypassing the complexity of this enormous problem.
PETER: Yep. Remarkably effective, hey. It is such a simple thing to do – to totally bypass ‘the complexity of this enormous problem’ – to find, instigate and follow through with a do-it-yourself, by yourself, for yourself, solution. Of course, from a real-world point of view anyone who is not passionately supporting ‘good’ causes is seen to be a traitor, and from a spiritual point of view anyone who is not passionately supporting the ‘Creator’ is seen to be evil.
Only by stopping being a believer – and stopping being emotionally involved in someone else’s problems and then contriving imaginary solutions to these problems – are you able to become attentive to the fact that peace on earth already exists and always has.
RESPONDENT: So … If I may suggest a different ‘what if?’ scenario, perhaps a bit more realistic, though of course not much more then the imaginary situation that you’d be a Palestinian with the whole package of Muslim programming. Peter (as an actualist) what would you do about the war in Palestine? The imaginary condition is that you would have access to the world media ie. like the Dalai Lama has. So ... You can be on CNN for one hour and give your solution as to the Israeli /Palestinian conflict. Your words will be translated into Hebrew and Arabic or whatever is needed. Arafat and Sharon will be listening in and also Bush will hear you. Would you take the opportunity?
PETER: No. It is quite clear that people have to be vitally interested in peace on earth for them to even consider eliminating their own malice and sorrow. Peace on earth is a personal responsibility – to expect others to do it, or wait for others to do it, whilst doing nothing about your own malice and sorrow is but a cop-out.
RESPONDENT: Might I say this is a not even an unrealistic ‘what if?’ scenario as it would only take one person, ie. Wolf Blitzer from CNN, who would be willing to give it a shot, having become ‘interested’ in actualism as solution to this ongoing insanity of warfare. Consider it is an altruistic action.
PETER: I do understand ‘where you are coming from’, if I can use that phrase. When I first came across actualism I was enthused by its ramifications in bringing an end to the horrendous conflicts between human beings that plague this verdant planet. I wrote my Journal specifically to tell others that actualism worked, I subscribed to two spiritual mailing lists in order to tell others about actualism and even sent copies of my Journal to people I thought would be interested. I fully expected others to readily see the sense in actualism and be eager to try it for themselves.
In hindsight, part of this enthusiasm was to spread the message, part was to find security in numbers and part was a passion for peace on earth. The ensuing years have demonstrated that only a small percentage of those who thus far read anything of actualism are at all interested in peace on earth, so obsessed are most people with the spiritual promise of an other-worldly peace, after physical death.
This has meant that increasingly my focus changed from wanting, or waiting for, others to change and getting on with the business of changing myself. It does take a good deal of stubborn effort and constant awareness to come to the understanding that the only person that one can change, and indeed needs to change, is oneself.
RESPONDENT: But i.e. the discussion between No 37 and No 58 you have been sooo blatantly absent. A fellow list member gets literally verbally raped and you apparently shrug your shoulders and say ah well shit happens and No 37 is gone.
PETER: Let me get this right. On the one hand you mark me down in your score book for saying that what No 58 had written was codswallop and providing the evidence that it was codswallop by contrasting what he said with how he talked to other list members and then you mark me down for not taking No 58 to task for how he talked to one of those list members. Dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t, hey.
At some point in the early stages of actualism I remember thinking that becoming an actualist would mean that I would have to ‘stick my head above the parapet’. I had witnessed the brickbats and barbs that Richard had got when he wrote on a spiritualist mailing list and I realized that would also be my lot if I dared to say that it is my experience that the actualism method works in that one can become incrementally free of both malice and sorrow if one so desires. Although I knew what I was in for, I found I couldn’t let the naysayers and doomsayers stop me.
I figure it’s exactly the same for anyone else on this list who dares to stick their head above the parapet – it’s up to them what they do with the responses they get, how they respond or whether they respond, because actualism is about having the courage to stand on one’s own two feet.
RESPONDENT: In a previous point I said that Bohm would regard instinctual passions to be a part of the whole system of thought, so if Bohm sheets home the blame to thought you can be sure he includes a very wide section of experience including instinctual passions.
PETER: Why should I assume that he said something when he didn’t say it? Or more to the point, why do you assume that he said something when he didn’t say it?
RESPONDENT: That’s not something I ‘disclaim away’ from. My disclaimer was in defence of your previous propensity to attribute my complete agreement with my quotes and misunderstanding the purpose of my quotations. I am demonstrating that other people are thinking in the same direction as actualists. You are trying to suggest that unless people use the same terminology as expressed in actualist clichés then they can’t even be remotely thinking along actualist lines. It seems that you actualists hate being anything but totally unique and you’re prepared to argue at great length to be so. Why is that so?
PETER: If I may point out, you are the one who has subscribed to this mailing list and you are the one who says that being free of the human condition is not unique and that actualism is nothing but re-branded spiritualism. All I have done is respond to your objections and take a clear look at the evidence you have provided in support of your claims.
Why did I respond to your post at some length? Because I was once in your position and Richard took the time and made the effort to explain to me the difference between an actual freedom from the human condition and the altered states of consciousness that are revered in the spiritual world as well as sharing his expertise as to how he became free of the human condition. And it wasn’t a quick thing to do. It took a lot of time and effort on my part to get the gist of what he was saying – that an actual freedom from the human condition is unique – and the only way I could understand that it was unique was to throw out my spiritual beliefs, exactly as I had to throw out my drawing board before I could really get to grips with using a computer to draw, instead of a pen with ink in it.
And whilst you have indicated in this post as well as in a post you sent one minute after this post that you are ‘done on this list’ I have nevertheless replied because what I write may also be of use to others on the list as well as to you.
RESPONDENT: I’d say that your little uniqueness sensitivity points to an underlying insecurity.
PETER: The marvellous thing about being virtually free of malice and sorrow is that I am no longer plagued by the insecurities others tell me they suffer from. Neither am I plagued by insecurity or doubt when I respond to posts on the list because I can stand by what I write because I write from my own experience, I don’t rely on the borrowed wisdom of others.
RESPONDENT: Must be hard being in a tiny minority, holding all the answers with so few people listening and being so misunderstood.
PETER: I have always been a minority in that I have always been on my own presumably from the time I was led by the hand to the school yard for the first time, although I have no memory of the day. It’s taken me a long time to come to acknowledge the fact and to be comfortable with the fact to the point of thoroughly enjoying my own company as it were. As for holding all the answers, I don’t pretend to, nor am I interested in, nor could I possibly do so. But when it comes to how to become happy and harmless I am an expert on the subject and I am only too happy to respond to those who write to me telling me they think and feel this is neither desirable nor possible.
RESPONDENT: Looking at the website I can see great ideas floating in a vast sea of effusive, wordy turbulence.
PETER: If that’s the case then it’s clear why you keep saying that you are ‘done on this list’.
RESPONDENT: I see this is an expression of wonder and enthusiasm but I also see a counter current of wordcraft designed to allow no deviation. Linguistic excess as a bulwark against insecurity perhaps. The actualist path may be wondrous but it’s not wide.
PETER: The actualism path is wide for those who fully launch themselves upon it; it’s just that everybody else has written a sign ‘Do not enter here’ over the entrance … and there are plenty of spiritualists milling around waving red warning flags at the start of the path so as to warn the ‘fool-hardy’ from taking the plunge.
PETER: It’s an excellent day to sit at the computer writing, occasionally looking out across the lush subtropical scenery towards the rocky headland that stands sentinel to the broad sweep of the sandy bay this village is built upon. The onset of spring has bought with it its usual delightful variations – coolish remnants of the past winter and warmish reminders of the summer to come. T’is grand to be alive.
RESPONDENT: Personal update: For the past four months I have been investigating actualism. My investigation has consisted of reading much of the material on the web site... and a practice consisting of applying attentiveness outwardly and inwardly, applying contemplation and asking the question: HAIETMOBA. A quick assessment of actualism at this point: It is far more difficult ... and at the same time... far more significant than I first surmised.
PETER: I am reminded of a conversation I had with an acquaintance recently. We were mutually chatting about what we are doing with our lives and I mentioned that I had abandoned the traditional supposed meanings of life and made being happy and harmless my goal. He said that that sounded like ‘a good philosophy’ and when I went on to attempt to point out that it was not a philosophy I held but that it was something I put into practice in each-and-every-moment, he again reiterated that it was ‘a good philosophy’ and the conversation soon ended.
RESPONDENT: I have made some progress in some areas ... (although as yet I have had no PCE during this period). The progress I have had is slow ... but fairly steady and undeniable. I will describe this progress in two areas: externally (sensory awareness of my outer environment) ... and internal (awareness and exploration into thoughts-feelings ... basically anything that seems to stand in the way of being happy and harmless right now):
External: Before actualism, I had begun a practice of just noticing what was happening outwardly: the colors the shapes: and even a tiny bit of the purity of the scene observed ... just for a millisecond ... before my own beliefs and instincts set in to ‘color’ the scene. During the past four months ... I have stepped up my interest and intent ... and attentiveness more and more to the ‘outward scene’ (mostly visually ... but sound and touch as well ... to a lesser degree). An example may be in order: Now ... I notice when I stand up, I see my feet and hands swinging forward and backward as I walk ... as well as nearby objects swooshing past. When I walk into a room, I notice the continually changing shapes of doors, windows and furniture. As I stop, I notice my own brown hands still swaying a bit at my sides (left-over walking motion). Many times, what occurs to me at this point is, how could I have missed all of this ... how could I have failed to notice this ... all of these years... And then back into the scene ... being here and now ... as much as possible. And the colors ... many more colors ... more vivid! (there was a time ... maybe just 10-15 years ago when I barely noticed colors). So I do find myself more and more here and now and in this body ... as opposed to mindlessly drifting from thought-feeling to thought-feeling ... scarcely aware of surroundings.
PETER: Something Richard said that I found useful was to practice bringing my visual awareness to the very front of the eyeballs. I found this is the best ‘I’ can do to mimic ‘self’-less seeing – there is less of the feeling of ‘me’ looking through the eyes and more of the feeling of the eyes seeing. In this way you also avoid the risk of becoming ‘the observer’ watching ‘the observed’, but more closely mimic what you actually are – the universe sensately experiencing itself as a thinking and reflective corporeal human being.
Whilst sight tends to be the most dominant of the physical senses for most people, there is a wealth of sensate enjoyment to be had in the other senses. The business of sustaining oneself – eating food and drinking liquids – is a rich sensorial experience in itself as the tongue, in concert with the mouth and nose, is capable of detecting an extraordinary range of distinct tastes and flavours.
The physical world we humans live in is often replete with an extraordinary variety of sounds we hear set against the background of the ever-present stillness. As such, an increasing auditory awareness is accompanied by an increasing awareness of the vast milieu of stillness that exemplifies this physical universe.
The human body’s external skin is the largest of our sensorial receptors, capable of detecting a range of sensate experience, be it warmth or cold, hardness and softness, wetness or dryness, roughness or smoothness and so on. The human body also ‘swims’ in air rather as marine animals swim in water, which means that one’s skin is always receptive to the movement, temperature and humidity of the very air we breathe and move through. And with each breath we take, sensors in the nose are continuously monitoring the ingoing air for the smells, fragrances and odours given off by the physical objects around.
It does take stubborn intent and a good deal of effort to deliberately poke holes in the veil that ‘I’ as a psychological and psychic identity invariably impose over the actual world – to free one’s sensual awareness such that one can begin to experience that the actual world is indeed a pure and perfect bountiful paradise.
PETER: I was reflecting the other day on the fact that unless someone is willing to let go of their past then they are not going to be interested in starting afresh as an actualist. I think I have described it before as rather like holding on to the side of the swimming pool rather than striking out for the other end and Vineeto has recently called it ‘closing the back door’.
A decisive break with the past has to be made for any significant change to happen.
RESPONDENT: Yes that has certainly been my experience. This is such a complicated issue though – letting go of everything one holds dear, everything one has been taught to hold dear, everything one has learnt from those around us to hold dear.
PETER: As I remember the early days of actualism the whole issue of self-exploration was daunting rather than complicated. Daunting in that everything that stood in the way of me being happy and harmless had to be examined, but not complicated in that the issue that needed my attention was always what was happening now – in short, being attentive to how I was experiencing this moment of being alive.
Something I wrote about my experience at the time may strike a chord with you –
RESPONDENT: I think it will be a lot easier when more people have trodden this path so that more ground work can be laid out, to help people with varying perspectives (and there are many) come to terms with what actualism has to offer.
PETER: I did begin to have some insights about the ‘sameness’ and non-uniqueness of human beings even in my spiritual days and again I have written about it my journal –
As you can see, my observation of the human condition is that people’s perspectives are not so many and varied as people would like to believe. This is because every human born is genetically-encoded with the same set of animal survival instincts – a fact that is being increasingly verified and mapped by empirical scientific research. Further, from birth onwards, every human being is inevitably instilled with a set of morals, ethics, values, aims, attitudes and outlooks that have only slight cultural variations.
It is exactly this two-fold programming that both creates and maintains the current human condition – hobbling people to the past and actively preventing the substantive personal changes that need to be made in order for someone to become actually free of the human condition.
As for needing ‘more ground work’ to ‘be laid out’ – there are currently over 4 million words freely available on the Actual Freedom Trust website, all of which challenge the social and instinctual programming that each and every human has been unwittingly subjected to.
RESPONDENT: I was wondering yesterday if it would be possibly to simplify the steps involved into something like a textbook, with exercises in each chapter leading you through the process of investigation. Maybe they could teach this stuff at school? ‘God forbid!’ ;-)
PETER: If you want a textbook, we do have two available.
Reading Richard’s Journal was enough to convince me that Actual Freedom was worthwhile getting off my bum and going for. I hung with reading his Journal for months, going over and over it with a fine-tooth comb – and a dictionary – until I understood and took on board exactly what he was saying, not only about the nature of Actual Freedom but also about the process involved in becoming actually free of malice and sorrow.
One of my objectives in writing my journal was not only to write a personal narrative of the hands-on process of actualism but also to present it in a form that would allow for ease of reference to particular crucial issues that an actualist will invariably have to tackle on the path to becoming free of the human condition. Hence the chapter headings – Death, Living Together, Love, Sex, Spiritual Search, God, Intelligence, Peace, People, Fear, The Universe, Time, and Evolution. In each chapter, I wrote not only of my understanding of the subjects at the time, but also of my own real-life hands-on process of investigation into each issue and then explained the changes the subsequent realizations wrought in my daily living.
Perhaps one day, there may well be others who want to flesh out this information with accounts of their experiences of their own investigations and subsequent life-changing results.
As well as the two journals and the extensive correspondence to the various mailing lists, the website also contains a well-sorted library of topics. Vineeto has spent a good deal of time cataloguing much of the correspondence and articles into sections so that the writings relating to particular issues can be easily sourced and Richard has also referenced a good deal of his writings.
As for teaching this stuff at school, this is the stuff of pipe dreams.
I remember when Richard was putting the finishing touches to his Journal and the idea came to publish it. It soon became obvious from feedback from publishers that they would not touch it with a barge pole because the writing was totally iconoclastic, radically irreverent and completely nonconformist. After all, in many parts of the world heresy is still a criminal felony. As it turned out, it was only due to the availability of do-it-yourself desktop publishing and the relative economy of short runs of modern printing that enabled the journals to be self-published in paperback form. Further, because of the heretical nature of actualism, it is only because the World Wide Web is uncensored that the writings are available and this forum is possible.
As for school curriculum, it is useful to keep in mind that one of their primary roles is to instil in an unsuspecting new generation the passed-on values, morals and ethics of the previous generations. By doing so they maintain the status quo of the human condition and perpetuate its roots in the dim and dark past – including its perpetual overlapping cycles of youthful rebellion and senescent resignation and the fantasy that human existence is essentially a battle twixt Good and Evil.
Actualism is a do-it-yourself, by yourself, business – something only you can do, something you do for this body as well as for every other body. Actualism is not, and can never be, a ‘do-as-I-say’ teaching, a ‘let’s-all-do-it-together’ fantasy, or a ‘will-you-please-do-it-for-me-and-I-will-be-eternally-grateful’ power trip.
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.
RESPONDENT: When I first came into contact with my scientists, they were talking about how they could not tell the difference between madness and creativity. I thought they were referring to the old cliché about genius being next door to insanity. It took me a while to comprehend that they were referring to the activity of neuro-transmitters in the brain: that fMRI scans of a normal brain doing a creative task was indistinguishable from scans of a schizophrenia-affected brain doing the same task. The problem was that they could not eliminate the madness without also eliminating creativity.
RESPONDENT: Well, best of luck with it, Peter. I’ll pop into the site now and again to see how you’re going.
PETER: Actualism is in its infancy but it does work and this means that scepticism and cynicism as well as moral and ethical objections will eventually wilt. Any practical empirical discoveries have fittingly had to run the gauntlet of peer review and most of them have been fought tooth and nail by the shamans, witchdoctors, healers, priests, Gurus, Popes and God-men.
You will probably find you will go through the same process of being confronted by your peer’s scepticism, conservatism, cynicism and outright denial of facts in your attempts to find a way to curtail the instinctual passion excesses that are at the root of most neurotic and psychotic conditions. So you can imagine the fuss that a process that eliminates these passions entirely will cause, but peace on earth is such a prize that eventually actualism will win out.
But I’m just teasing you again, as you may have guessed. I liked some of what you were writing on the WIE list and assumed you might be interested in something that was non-spiritual. I also assumed you might have had a scientific background as the instinct section of The Actual Freedom Trust website could certainly benefit from a good dose of peer review. Wrong on both counts, but who knows what the future brings.
PETER: It is our fellow human beings, the practical scientists, chemists, engineers, explorers and the like that have given we humans very useful things. The Gurus, philosophers, theoretical scientists and the like have given us nothing but theories, beliefs, concepts, ideas, scenarios, dreams, nightmares, hope and hopelessness. As I began to abandon the spiritual world, I serendipitously discovered someone who had abandoned Enlightenment and had worked out a ruthlessly effective empirical method for eliminating one’s social identity and all of one’s instinctual passions. Give me something that works over an ideal or a theory any day.
RESPONDENT: You’re quite a fundamentalist yourself, Peter. Now you ditch theoretical science and philosophy! I must say that you’re doing very well in taking YOUR position at least. Nobody can accuse you of not standing up for your views.
PETER: An actualist is a more accurate term, for it is not ‘me’ taking a position but the facts speaking for themselves. You could add pragmatist to the description but I’ll leave the word fundamentalist for the religious crowd.
RESPONDENT: But as I pointed out before I think that you might be going a bit too far in being that categorical and narrowing everything down to the extreme. I mean, if you don’t watch yourself you’re going to find yourself in the same predicament as the spiritual teachers, they also have a habit of oversimplification and trying to narrow down their worldview to fit their purpose. I’m just sceptical of that kind of approach, it only leads to division amongst human beings.
PETER: The teachings of the spiritual teachers, particularly those espousing Eastern religion and philosophy, are anything but simple and anything but narrow. The Western theological discussions about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin are nothing compared with the Eastern obscurations about what is Enlightenment, is Enlightenment a perfect state, what is ego, what is illusion and what is real, who or what survives after death, etc. What a confusing and bewildering mess it all is, and it is only clear to me now that I am outside the spiritual world, why this is so. They are indeed attempting to describe the indescribable for the spiritual world does not exist beyond their impassioned imaginations.
I do find your change of tack a bit abrupt, for you were speaking somewhat in actualist terms in your last post when you said –
Something in our recent conversation does seem to have changed your mind a bit from your previous stance.
RESPONDENT: You of course would argue that your point of view is evidently more sane since you have the empirical proof to back it up. But I can’t see the use of dismissing the theoretical side of science and everything else that isn’t possible to verify directly by empirical methods.
PETER: The problem I found with believing others’ theories and ideals was that they are changeable over time as more factual evidence became available, or as fashions changed. Further theories and ideals are culturally and spiritually influenced and the many variations only open up rich avenues of conflict, confusion, fantasy and fear, hope and hopelessness. Believing theories merely added more fuel to the fire of my instinctual passions, imaginations, dreams and nightmares – which is why I eventually abandoned the very act of believing.
RESPONDENT: Facts are great but I also think that we need to be our own ‘philosopher’ to be able to evaluate and make use of the facts. As I understand, practical philosophy is also about learning to communicate one’s views in an understandable way and we all need that to make any sense to others.
PETER: I find ‘practical philosophy’ a contradiction in terms. Philosophy means thinking about life.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.