Selected Correspondence Peter
Life after Death and Immortality
PETER: No need to say anything about repressing emotions – the failures are well documented and obvious. This third way is to neither repress nor express. From experience I would say that exactly this doing nothing to dispel, avoid, deny, escape from, repress or express creates a tension and ‘self’-awareness that is the very situation that causes ‘something’ to change. And then that change is not of ‘your’ doing – it happens at a level deeper than your normal consciousness. No need for esoterics – it is a change in the brain’s software programming – the brain becoming free of the pernicious effects of the social identity and instinctual self. This was very well illustrated by Alan’s recent post about lust disappearing – in hindsight he noticed the feeling had gone! No ‘doing’ that Alan could point to, no specific event – but gone never the less.
RESPONDENT: Yes, this has been called by some mind-fullness or being watchful.
PETER: I take it that you are referring to those who follow the teachings of Mr. Buddha, or have you in mind another mystical teaching? If so, then they are not referring to what I am referring to. Any similarity is merely superficial as spiritual seekers practice such a shallow form of awareness that they merely skate on the surface, so to speak. The avowed aim of their awareness is to find their ‘real’ self, ‘true’ self, original face, divine soul or whatever other name the deluded watcher assumes. And, of course, the watcher makes the ‘grand discovery’ that it is both divine and immortal!
RESPONDENT: The impulse is there but the mind decides to take a new course not responding using the software of an old habitual response.
PETER: A mind practicing meditation always seems to take the same course – love, bliss, oneness, timeless, formless, spaceless, oceanic, heart-opening, ... divine, immortal, ... Home ...at last! Imagination, given full reign, leads to delusion. It is well documented in psychiatry but the spiritual form is deemed too sacred to touch – who wants to rock the boat, just in case there is a God. Most of the ‘psychs’ are busy meditating anyway.
RESPONDENT: It is the process of looking with interest, introspection.
PETER: Yes, for most meditations I’ve done and from others’ descriptions it’s a bit like looking in a shop window and you say, look at that thought – it’s not me, I’m ‘over here’ watching and waiting for the bliss to kick in.
RESPONDENT: Since ‘the watcher’ is also a complex self-sustaining thought, sometimes it becomes transparent to this introspection and leaves the drivers’ seat.
PETER: The watcher sometimes ‘leaves the drivers seat’ for something much Bigger and Grander – the truly sought-after state when one ‘becomes’ the bliss, when there is no watcher, when the watcher and bliss merge into One ... love, bliss, oneness, timeless, formless, spaceless, oceanic, heart-opening, ... divine, immortal, ... Home ...at last! Imagination, given full reign, leads to delusion.
If one follows the directions and methods of the Eastern Teachers, the path is well mapped and leads to Enlightenment. Using Richard’s method one can easily become Enlightenment but one would have to turn a ‘blind eye’ to the horrendous consequences of the Master-Disciple business. If you are willing and able to do that, pursue the spiritual path and become ‘the watcher’, by all means.
I always like being conscious of doing what is happening – one is then in the only place one can be – here; and when your here it can only be now. It’s the very cutting edge ... to be in the Actual World.
RESPONDENT: Recently, I have not read spiritual books (maybe just one in half a year). I would over indulge, ‘feed’ on them in the past. They made me feel good. I was on a path to the goal of enlightenment and most importantly, immortality. I don’t try to meditate nor I follow any gurus any more.
PETER: Yes, I understand the ‘feel good’ aspect of reading spiritual books. The spiritual message is literally music to one’s ears, a sop to one’s very soul, to be told that there is a life after physical death for ‘me’, the psychic and psychological alien entity within this flesh and blood body. One is told what one always thought was the Truth – that life on earth is about suffering, that it is an illusion because one feels cut off and isolated from people, things and events. One is forever condemned to be an outsider, a watcher, an alien on the planet, and then to have Wise men to tell you that this is the Truth and that one is only visiting the planet and there is a ‘somewhere else’ after physical death, certainly does give one a hell of a good feeling. If pursued with vigilance this good feeling can be blown up into an extraordinary narcissism, whereby one becomes the Universe experiencing itself as a Divine and immortal being. This Timeless and Spaceless feeling of Oneness is but the result of shift of identity of the alien entity – the self becomes the Self, a purely feeling state, an Altered State of Consciousness. Unfortunately the Enlightened One is still trapped within a flesh and blood body but ‘when the body dies’ a final liberation or Moksha is fantasized.
RESPONDENT: To me, it seems that still there is something that could be called ‘immortality’ in a certain sense of this word.
PETER: Well, the Oxford dictionary defines immortality as 1 Endless life or existence; exemption from death; perpetuity. 2 Enduring fame or remembrance.
When I went to school I was taught that there are three elements of the physical universe – animal, vegetable and mineral. It was common before the NDA to give the term life to the carbon based life forms, i.e. animal and vegetable and to reserve the term mortal for something which has a definite life span, i.e. animal or vegetable. This life span for the human animal was some 40 years at the turn of the century and has now, largely due to modern alternative medicine replacing ancient traditional medicine, been stretched to some 75 years in affluent western societies. Modern genetic research has confirmed what our eyes have told us – that the collection of cells that constitute the human body collectively have an inbuilt, pre-programmed mortality. This limited life-span has been known to stretch to a bit more than 100 years in a few rare cases but then death comes. This fact of mortality is clearly obvious once one passes the age of about 40 years as the effects of the ageing and non-renewal of cells becomes clearly and undeniably evident.
So, as far as you and I are concerned, being human animals, mortality is a fact and immortality is a dream.
RESPONDENT: But this is not immortality of a person, an ego or a spirit. I have been born and will die. As you called it, we are the material universe experiencing itself as human beings.
PETER: A minor correction here, if I can. So far as we know, Richard is the only human being living on the planet who does not have an instinctually programmed and psychologically reinforced self. Everybody else, you, me, and about 6 billion others, all think and feel themselves to be something other than a flesh and blood human being, and a few human beings believe themselves to be a God and therefore immortal, i.e. something other than a flesh and blood human being. Many people have had glimpses of being a flesh and blood human being only, sans self, in a PCE and a handful have taken Richard’s lead and are attempting to emulate his condition of living continuously and permanently in this state. In the meantime, 6 billion humans fight it out in a grim battle for survival in a grim world – this state of fear and aggression, manifest as malice and sorrow, is commonly known as the Human Condition.
What we are as human beings is the most highly developed of the animals on the planet in that we are able to think and reflect. However this very capability is enmeshed with the primitive instinctual self to an extent that we think and feel ourselves to be separate and alien from the physical universe. Who we think and feel we are is a ‘someone’ who inside this body looking out through the eyes, hearing through the ears, smelling through the nose, etc. Thus we are isolated human beings who are indirectly experiencing the universe and that experience is of being lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning. This is 180 degrees different from being the universe experiencing itself as a human being. This state is evident only in a Pure Consciousness Experience. The only reason I can talk with any authority about being the universe experiencing itself as a human being is from the direct experience of the PCE and from living a life of Virtual Freedom whereby one is as close as possible to this state permanently, yet one remains ‘human’ – an emotional and cerebral entity. It is from this ‘base camp’ that the final step can be taken with confidence and surety.
RESPONDENT: But after we are gone there will be some other beings. The universe will experience itself in them, thus this ‘experiencing’ will go on and on. Right?
PETER: Well, as I said, so far only one human being has rid himself of the psychic and psychological entity that is the very cause of human beings to regard themselves as something other than what they are in fact. Everybody else is busy being themselves, an emotional and cerebral entity, fearful and aggressive, trying desperately to connect via the feelings of love and compassion with other similarly isolated entities or seeking a fantasy escape into a spiritual dream world.
But the one human, who has managed to achieve a pure selfless state and rid himself of his animal heritage, has lived to tell his tale, to write of his experience, so that you and I have the chance to do something about the situation we have found ourselves in. Personally, I couldn’t give a fig about what happens after I am dead.
When I came across Richard I could see that I had a chance to do something about the situation I found myself in. Aged 49, maybe 20 years left, still not happy and certainly not harmless. When offered a method to become happy and harmless, developed by someone who was obviously happy and harmless, I took up the challenge. In doing so I became ‘self’ obsessed – I wanted to find out as much as I could about the Human Condition and how it operated in me as ‘me’– who I think and felt I was. 2 years later I am now living a happiness and harmlessness that is beyond normal human expectations and far exceeds the imaginary spiritual dreams. I am only concerned with my life as a human on the planet, what I can do to permanently and constantly live as I did in the PCE. In my first PCE, lasting some 4 hours or so, I was in a self-less state. The experience was purely sensate – no thoughts or feelings of separation and no thoughts or feelings of a ‘me’ who felt connected or ‘at one with’ everything. Simply an overload of sensate input such that the fairy tale splendour of the physical universe was abundantly apparent and overwhelming obvious, and an awareness of the brain thinking and reflecting with pristine clarity. It is in these moments that one knows that what is missing – the self – is precisely what prevents this from being an on-going experience.
As for ‘The universe will experience itself in them, thus this ‘experiencing’ will go on and on.’ – it seems that you are attributing to the physical universe anthropomorphic and/or anthropocentric values. There is a common belief that attributes to the physical universe the divine values that were once attributed to individual human-like Gods or the forces of nature type Gods. Thus the earth becomes Mother Earth and the universe becomes Intelligent. I recently saw some film footage of the Apollo moon program where the astronaut described the surface of the moon as like a barren desert made of grey beach sand. They looked back at earth awed by the magnificence of a planet obviously abundant with life. As stunning as the images produced of far distant nebulae, galaxies and the like, there is no evidence of carbon-based life anywhere else in the universe, let alone anything as intelligent as the human brain.
The only intelligence in the universe that is evident is that in the human brain, if one regards intelligence as in Oxford’s – ‘The faculty of understanding; intellect; quickness or superiority of understanding, sagacity; the action or fact of understanding.’ This intelligence is currently thwarted and inhibited by the presence and influence of the amygdala or primitive brain that consigns humans to think, feel and act in animal survival mode. It is only when this intelligence is freed of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow in an actual human being can intelligence be clear of fear and aggression – pure, perfect and innocent. The brain is then freed to receive the sensory input without the constant filtering and instinctual programmed reactions of the primitive brain and, as such, a plethora of sensate delight comes swooning in on all the sense stalks of the brain. Then it can be said, for it is one’s direct experience, that I am the universe experiencing itself as a human being.
This is vastly different to ‘I’ feel myself to be the universe, wherein the ‘self’ rides on this delicious sensate experience and claims it as one’s own. This is the marked difference between a PCE and an ASC.
But to get back to the point – which is what you are going to do with your life? For me, when it became obvious that the ‘spiritual path’ was nothing other than following the path of Eastern Religion, and that this life I am living now is the only one I get to live, it helped to bring my focus to the question of how am I experiencing this moment of being alive, here on earth, right now. It meant I had run out of excuses to blame others or go on saying ‘why can’t people just get on with each other, why can’t people live together in peace and harmony?’ It became clear that if I couldn’t do it myself then it was a clear case of put up or shut up. There was, of course, a third alternative – for me to prove it was possible. To tackle the greatest adventure ever undertaken by human beings – to consciously self-immolate as an entity inside this flesh and blood body – to cause a mutation such that the primitive brain and its instinctual animal survival program are made redundant.
Just as a bit of an aside, I recently read a newspaper article by a clinical psychologist decrying happiness as an aim in life and saying it was causing all sorts of problems. He said that what people should seek is fulfilment. He was totally vague about what this fulfilment was and threw in a few fashionable psittacisms about creativity, spirituality and a few demeaning comments about money and career pursuits. From the tone of his article I gathered that many of his clients were suffering from depression because of the futility of seeking happiness, and no wonder. They are trying to go against nature and are both ill equipped and ill advised in their pursuit by the likes of clinical psychologists and spiritual pundits. The Gurus’ ignorance is understandable in that scientific progress has outstripped Ancient Ignorance but the denial of instinctual programming in psychological studies and teachings is a bit more bewildering. The scientific study of instinctual behaviour broaches the areas of ethics, sails in the face of morals and runs aground on the old hoary one of ‘you can’t change human nature’. Those who dare to push the limits, such as the current researchers in genetics, are deemed to be ‘meddling in God’s work’. If there is a God then he / she / it is a very cruel sadistic bastard from what I see on TV, and it is clearly time to ‘meddle’ in order to put an end to human suffering on the planet.
As a human on the planet, at this time, we clearly see that much of the essential explorations have been undertaken in order to provide comfort, shelter, food and safety from wild animals and that the next major exploration and effort will be to end ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. Many people are still seeking excitement, fame, meaning and a sense of purpose by physical exploring and adventure pursuits but it has got a bit ridiculous such that it comes as no surprise to hear of someone being the first to hop all the way to the north pole or being the first woman to circumnavigate the globe the wrong way in a bath tub. Many people are now devoting there lives to helping wild animals survive, having abandoned the post-WW2 hope of peace on earth for humans. The focus has shifted to the fashionable ‘saving the earth’ rather than saving the human species.
An actualist is one who devotes his or her life to actualizing peace on earth in the only way possible and gets to have the adventure of a lifetime on the way. It is the most significant thing one can do with one’s life – one’s ‘three score and ten’ of existence as a human being.
Then whatever goes ‘on and on’ is not of my concern, for I will have done my bit for peace on earth.
This whole business of becoming free of the Human Condition is to do with the doing of it. At present it still remains but a nice theory, proposed by someone who can still be rightly labelled as a freak of nature as in – ‘an abnormal or irregular occurrence, an abnormally developed person or thing’. It is now up to others to prove – for themselves – that it is possible for them to be free from the Human Condition.
T’is about quality not quantity, the individual not the group, facts not belief, actualization not theory.
Of course the process works, but it only works for those doing it. Even a Virtual Freedom is to live beyond normal human expectations and would be sufficient to bring peace to this fair planet. But to go all the way is always the only way – stopping at ‘base camp’ is not for the true adventurer.
Well, thanks again for your note. I do appreciate your interest in these matters and in taking the effort to write. For me, it is good opportunity to write more about the practical application of Actual Freedom and to put my experience and knowledge down in writing.
The Human Condition – the program in the brain that says this is how it is to be a human being – does take a lot of stubborn questioning, and a lot of deleting, in order to get one’s common sense or innate intelligence operating for the first time. But once it is fired up and begins to function the fun begins – it proves unstoppable, and then the sparks start flying and the fun begins as one becomes incrementally free of belief, superstition, morals, ethics, values and psittacisms. This incremental freedom from sorrow and malice results in increasing experiences of delight and peace, and one soon finds oneself willing raising the bar ...again ... and again.
RESPONDENT: What I meant by saying that was that there will be, with a high dose of certainty, humans living here after we are gone.
PETER: Oh, yeah? You do realize that the current new set of ‘tribal groups’ who are developing and acquiring nuclear weapons and long-range missiles are those whose passionate beliefs include re-incarnation and holy wars. They care not a fig for their own personal existence on earth let alone anyone else’s. For most an exit is a welcome relief and if this exit is for a noble or holy cause – even better. I would say that there is ‘a high dose of certainty’ that the MAD (mutually agreed destruction) policy of the cold war will eventuate in some other insane form, unless ...
Unless sufficient people devote their lives to breaking free from the instinctual program of fear and aggression that gives rise to the Human Condition of sorrow and malice.
You could regard Actual Freedom as sensibly planning your exit from the world of fear and aggression for a spurt in the actual world of purity and perfection, before the final exit when your heart stops pumping blood and the brain dies.
RESPONDENT: Also, I think that there is nobody in heavens stuffing our physical bodies with some recycled immortal souls.
PETER: The soul is the big one! For what is a human being without a soul. Ancient Wisdom has it that a body without a soul is but an animal. A body without a soul is inhuman and evil. I’ll let Mr. Oxford give the full story on the soul –
The principle of life in humans or animals; animate existence. 2 The principle of thought and action in a person, regarded as an entity distinct from the body; a person’s spiritual as opp. to corporeal nature. 3 a The spiritual part of a human being considered in its moral aspect or in relation to God and his precepts, spec. regarded as immortal and as being capable of redemption or damnation in a future state. b The disembodied spirit of a dead person, regarded as invested with some degree of personality and form. 4 a The seat of the emotions or sentiments; the emotional part of human nature. b Intellectual or spiritual power; high development of the mental faculties. Also, deep feeling, sensitivity, esp. as an aesthetic quality; zest, spirit. 5 Philos. The vital, sensitive, or rational principle in plants, animals, or human beings. arch. 6 The essential or animating element or quality of something. Oxford Dictionary.
Seems pretty impressive for something that does not factually exist. The instinctual programming of the amygdala or primitive brain includes a primitive animal self that is most highly developed in the primates. This self in relationship to other members of the species is most evident in apes and chimps and leads us to see in them human behaviour at a less sophisticated level of operation. Fear, aggression, nurture and desire are seen operating unimpeded by developed intelligence, which simply translates to apes and chimps being less cunning and less efficient in killing than the human animal. We think them cute when they display instinctual nurture but are in denial of the mounting evidence of rape, murder, infanticide and war in chimps and apes that are the result of instinctual fear, aggression and desire.
This very-same primitive self, complete with its automatic survival program, operates in humans, but we manage to divide the instinctual passions into two groupings – the good passions and the evil ones. The self that is the good instincts we term ‘me at my core’, the ‘real me’, or my ‘very soul’. We simply deny the existence of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, as it is usually too shocking to contemplate these aspects within us. Thus we are usually ‘overcome’ or ‘overwhelmed’ by anger or violence or despair, for that is what appears to happen when instinctual passions surface. The amygdala automatically responds to a threat, real, perceived or imagined, and the hormones automatically flow – flooding the neo-cortex and away we go... Murder, rape, revenge, despair, torture, war, etc., all occur in a ‘blind’ rage – be it hot or cool.
As if this wasn’t enough of a heritage, we then have the universal fairy-tale of a life after death for this very-same soul, and the same instincts are then bought into play in defending this belief; for the soul – ‘me’ at my core – believes it is fighting for its very life (its life after death). Thus humans not only fight for real things like territory and food but we add fighting for causes, beliefs, ideals, rights and dreams to the list.
Fearing for survival is our main pre-occupation, and fighting for survival is our main occupation. Such is the Human Condition.
Good to be rid of a soul – and all that it represents – as far as I’m concerned. Everybody regards it as inconceivable to be without a soul but next time you have a peak experience have a good look around and see if you can feel one in operation. If you can, it’s not a Pure Consciousness Experience. In the PCE, as if by miracle, the soul and the ego, the self in total, disappear from consciousness, and if it can happen once, why not more times, and why not 24 hrs. a day every day?
Why not indeed?
RESPONDENT: Therefore my brain or this personal entity manufactured by the brain based on the social blueprint has arisen at random, by chance only, depending on which sperm participated in the beginning of the life. My personality was determined by the physical features of this brain.
PETER: Well, this sounds a bit like the little man inside the sperm theory, i.e. who I am depends on which sperm of the millions got to fertilize the egg. Certainly genetic information was passed that determined my physical characteristics but my social identity was purely the result of information inputted into the brain after birth.
‘Who I feel I am’ is essentially instinctual, fated by blind nature; ‘who I think I am’ is essentially social, fettered by nurture.
It’s just serendipitous that I came across Richard who had managed to escape his fate and realise his destiny – to be free of the Human Condition. Millions upon millions of humans have devoted their lives to escaping the Human Condition but were ultimately diverted by the alluring promise of immortality and instinctual desire to save their own souls. Richard is the first to actually escape from the Human Condition and he has laid a trail of over a million words for those interested in emulating his feat.
RESPONDENT: Also, this personal entity has had no choice where and when it would arise. In this sense there is no difference between me and other humans. ‘I’ could have been any of the humans living in the present, past or the future. (Therefore my personal identity, in this light, becomes not so ‘personal’ at all).
PETER: I think it is useful to keep the conversation to simple facts of the situation we find ourselves in. I have no conscious memories before the age of about 2 to 3 years and by then I was well and truly fated to be ‘me’ and well on the way to being fettered to become the social identity ‘I’ am. The crucial point is that as I developed as a conscious, independent being – not everyone else – but me as this flesh and blood body, I had a constant feeling of being an alien, an outsider who never quite fitted in. Most of my life was devoted to searching for freedom from the shackles that I felt were binding me and preventing me from living fully. The other aspect of the search was altruistic in that I always was attracted to causes, ideals and movements that promised an end to violence and suffering for humans – in short, peace on earth.
A bit from the Glossary might be useful here –
The first ‘I’ is indeed no different than any other of the 6 billion others on the planet – instinctually programmed and socially trained to be a member of the species and therefore bound to and trapped by the Human Condition. The second ‘I’ is formed by transcending the normal ‘I’ and becoming a new spiritual identity – the traditional escape into the delusion and fantasy of Divinity and Immortality.
But there is a third I – and that is what the actualist seeks. An end to the ‘who am I’ and ‘why do I exist’ questioning, the recognition of the fact that I do exist as a mortal flesh and blood body and the experiential discovery of what I am.
RESPONDENT: When I am dead there will be no time whatsoever because there will be no consciousness of ‘not being here’.
PETER: When you are dead, your sense of ‘being here’ will cease, as a direct result of you not being here – as in dead, finished, deceased, passed away, expired, extinct, stuffed, finito, kaput, no more alive. But time will go on, exactly as it does when your consciousness of ‘being here’ ceases during deep sleep every night. Given this discussion seems to be focussing on what happens before and after No 7, a bit on time from the Glossary might help focus on No 7, as you are now, here on earth, right now.
– A finite extent of continued existence; eg. the interval between two events, or the period during which an action or state continues; a period referred to in some way. Time when: a point in time; a space of time treated without ref. to duration.
Peter: Time can be conveniently be regarded in the three tenses: past, future and present.
Past time is recalled by us as memories or thoughts and as such is both a cognitive re-call and an emotional re-call. Not only was our perception of the place, people or event coloured at the time but our recall is coloured and somewhat shaky. Current investigations suggest that in fact we only recall the last time we recalled something rather than re-calling the original memory.
There is good scientific evidence that memories of traumatic or fearful events are not only stored as conscious memories in the neo-cortex, but are also stored in the amygdala as ‘unconscious’ or non-cognitive memories. These memories stored in the amygdala or primitive brain give substance to ‘me’ and give substance to ‘my’ life of suffering and ‘my’ pains and hurts from the past. To dip into this treasure trove of suffering can be a bittersweet occupation.
Future time is conceived by us as imagination and as such is emotionally coloured. Given our over-riding instinct of fear, most of the future we see in fear ridden terms. This fear of the future is given credence by the bountiful store of emotional memories of past hurts and fears located in the amygdala. Hence the general future scenarios of gloom and doom, apocalypse and annihilation. To balance this we invent a ‘good’ – and always in the future – scenario of salvation, redemption and a blissfully happy afterlife, which we pray, trust and hope will eventuate.
Present time is the closest to now , this very moment and is generally regarded as now. The problem for the human perception of now is that there are so many things going on in the brain and the body that the clear and direct sensate experience of experiencing this moment of being alive is impossible. The emotional affective faculties are on constant overload, with emotional memories of the past and imaginations of the future constantly crowding in. Added to that is the automatic neuro-biological operation of the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire experienced as overwhelming passions due to the pumping of potent chemicals into the body and brain. One is usually ‘sensing’ or ‘feeling out’ this moment fearfully and aggressively such that the actual direct sensate experience of this moment of being alive is impossible.
But all is not lost. With sincere intent and diligent application one can eliminate this constant neurosis and associated feelings, passions and emotions such that one becomes both happy and harmless. Thus freed of malice and sorrow it is then possible to directly, intimately and fully experience this moment in time. And the trick to getting here, now at this moment in time and this place in space is enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive. To facilitate this you ask yourself, as an ongoing non-verbal attitude, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This moment in time is, after all, the only moment one can experience anyway, and if you are not happy now you are missing yet another moment ... and another … and another … The Actual Freedom Trust Library
What I found when I came across actualism, was that I was more interested in what happened before I was here and what was going to happen after I was gone – a fascination born of years in the spiritual world with its concept of eternal time and my eternal being.
A bit from my journal about my realizations concerning the utter futility of spiritual philosophy may be useful –
So, I do understand your difficulties on focusing your attention on No 7, here, now and not go searching for the ‘Here and Now’. It is exceedingly difficult to turn one’s brain around, so to speak. The programming is so set, so set in one direction, so used to viewing and experiencing the world in the usual duality of either normal or spiritual that anything else seems inconceivable. It took me months and months of effort, not only of reading but contemplating and investigating the facts for myself.
RESPONDENT: So, the only time ‘I am alive’ is whenever a body is being alive, the body which produces the sensation of being.
So life is immortal because ‘I’ can exist only whenever a body exists, and one ‘I’ is not significantly different from another ‘I’.
PETER: It seems to me that your ‘life is immortal’ idea should be written as ‘Life is Immortal’, which is a common spiritual / religious belief. An actualist takes ‘life’ to be what it means factually. At present it is the 30th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, the first of a series of seven expeditions to the barren, life-less surface of the moon. So boring a desert, in fact, that by the sixth mission the astronauts were reduced to hitting golf balls to see how far they went and doing wheelies in a dune buggy they had taken with them. By the time a geologist went on the seventh mission he was able to confirm what was already known – there is no life on the moon. No carbon-based life forms of any description were evident.
It inevitably proved to be the last mission, but the images of the earth taken from space helped fire a passionate ‘save the earth’ program, as it was realized that there was no evidence, and bugger-all possibility, of life anywhere else in the universe. Human beings, being as perverse as they are, then proceeded to be concerned with ‘saving’ wild animals – the rarer, wilder and more bizarre the better – rather than ‘saving’ the human species. But that’s another story.
Just as there is no evidence of intelligence anywhere else in the universe there is no evidence, whatsoever, of life anywhere else in the universe. Some sixteen SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) programs are currently in operation in a search that began over 50 years ago. The current range of their search extends out some 50,000,000 light years from earth and still no messages received.
Meanwhile carbon-based life, on earth, is most definitely mortal, not immortal. Modern medicine, increased hygiene and better living conditions have stretched human life expectancy to some 74 years, particularly in countries that no longer rely on ‘traditional’ ancient healing such as divination, exorcism, ‘energy’ release, blood-letting, herbal infusions, prayer, etc. There is ever-mounting scientific evidence that humans are indeed mortal, that carbon-based cell decay is inevitable – but then again, a tippee toe through the local cemetery would readily confirm that fact anyway.
Life, Existence, Intelligence, Essence, Energy, etc., all are concepts that point to a belief in an over-arching ethereal force that lies behind, outside of, overlaid over, prior to, other than, or separate from, the physical universe. All are spiritual concepts, as in ...
The spiritual world is all pervasive, it could be described as programmed into one’s very cells, for the spirit, or soul, is nothing other than one’s primitive self. Nothing less than a mutation will free one from one’s soul, its instinctual program and the spiritual world. And what good news that is – there is nobody, or no-thing in charge, so there is nobody to blame nor anybody to bow down to. You can stand on your own two feet and get on with the business of sorting things out – cleaning your-‘self’ up ... to the point of disappearing.
As for ‘one ‘I’ is not significantly different from another ‘I’’, you have hit the very problem on the head. All 6 billion humans are ensnared within the Human Condition – fated to be programmed to be animal, and fettered by Humanity to remain so, for the term of one’s mortal life.
Richard is just saying – ‘pssst... don’t just believe what everyone else is saying or you will never be free... there is a way to become actually free.’
And I’m just saying – ‘the way out works.’
RESPONDENT: I just don’t know whether there is other life or a life after death.
PETER: Mr. Rajneesh’s whole teaching is based on life after death. The whole continuation of the Sannyas movement after his death is based on the belief that Rajneesh has only ‘left his body’ and his ‘energy’ can be still be felt by his lovers. This energy is apparently available to any individual Sannyasin, is strongly felt in meditation, is more strongly felt in gatherings or celebrations and is evidently most strong in the Ashram in Pune. Are you really saying that Mr. Rajneesh was just an ordinary Indian who thought he was God and Immortal ... but he wasn’t really? That when he died, that was it – finito, kaput, finished, dead, no more. That his epitaph that he ‘only visited this planet’ was another of his jokes, like the one about throwing Buddha out of his bed?
You were the one who said – ‘I have seen my possibility in the presence of Rajneesh’. Is the possibility you saw that you would become enlightened and Immortal? The guarantee of an afterlife is what Rajneesh was offering, and that is what the whole Sannyas business is about – life after death.
RESPONDENT to No 14: (...) Now I understand the whole thing about PCE. Osho created situations in which we could get PCEs and hence have a bench mark to work with. While Richard is asking us to remember a PCE, defined with a description, to take it as a bench mark.
To make the point very clear, let’s look at another quote from Rajneesh describing his Enlightenment experience –
Doesn’t really sound like a man who is flesh and blood body only. In fact, it sounds as though he is experiencing a state where He has his head in the clouds and is no longer associated with his flesh and blood body – an imaginary state of ‘leaving the cycle of karma’ and being Immortal.
Does it not also make you wonder how this man claims to be ‘herenow’ when he says: ‘Since that night I have never been in the body. I am hovering around it.’ This is not a description of someone who is a flesh and blood body only but a description of someone who has completely and utterly identified with his Spirit, Soul, Atman, Buddha Nature or whatever other name one calls the psychic entity that dwells within the physical body. This is a description of a man suffering from a mental state of delusion – an Altered State of Consciousness, whereby he ‘thinks’ and ‘feels’ he is God, immortal and divine.
Let’s dig a little deeper and see the extent of his delusion. Again a quote from the man himself –
Cute Hey. With a leap of imagination he is no longer responsible for his actions even to the point of killing. He becomes quite literally ‘above’ the mundane, the ordinary, the laws, the earthly, the sensate. One leaves the wheel of suffering, or earthly existence and transcends. This ‘lofty perch’ of the God-man has relevance in the Sannyas world as to his denial of any wrong doing in Rajneeshpuram – not that the American law courts believed him. No. 14 will recognize the dis-association of Rajneesh from any of his actions as identical to the position taken by Zen warriors in the ritual slaughter of 300,000 Chinese at Nanking – enthusiastically supported by the Buddhist Masters.
In case you are confused about the word ‘transcend’, Mr Oxford’s definition is –
Indeed Mr. Rajneesh has transcended the ego – he has clearly become an ego-maniac in that he thinks and feels himself to be God. An ego transcended gives full reign to the soul – the ‘feelings’ – and delusion is the obvious result.
Another quote from the Master of deceit –
Interesting first part that clearly points to the emphasis on ‘good’ feelings as opposed to ‘bad’ feelings. I think many people think we make up a story about Eastern mysticism and the dross it is but here it is unambiguously stated. He further introduces a bit of ‘wisdom about black magic that again relates to good and evil spirits or ‘energy’ to use the more modern terminology for spirits. Of course Mr. Rajneesh represents white magic personified. This drivel could not be further from Actual Freedom and the PCE – it is, as we continually state, 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
I’ll take the opportunity to flog a dead horse a bit more with another quote that is relevant to discussions that we had about instincts and their pernicious grip on Humanity. Remember that this is from a man peddling an Ancient tradition which was in complete ignorance of modern genetics, neuro-biology and behavioural studies. He says:
Anger is beautiful, hey? Tell that to the woman being raped, the man being killed, the child being abused. Rajneesh would ‘use’ anger in active meditations and groups as a way of getting people emoting in order to ride on the energy into a state of hormonal-charged bliss, exactly as people do when engaging in dangerous sports or how the psychopathic killer gets his kicks. To call this transforming anger into love is nonsense – it is nothing more than stirred up hormones. It would all be a joke really except that people kill out of anger and Rajneesh’s famed Dynamic Meditation is nothing more than a hormonal stir-up for a hit of bliss afterwards.
As for ‘anger transformed becomes compassion’ , this sleight of mind can only happen if one ‘feels’ spiritually superior to the other. Then one has divine anger as Rajneesh did on several occasions when he could not control his rage in public. Displays of ‘divine anger’ (compassion?) have also been well documented in many other God-men.
RESPONDENT: Now about: ‘Never born never died...’ I have read so many times explanations of this statement on this list, from Richard, from you. But I still can’t make head or tail of this statement. All my thoughts are borrowed thoughts from you and Richard, I have no original thinking of my own on this statement. And that is not good. I do not want to end up in believing in what you and Richard say about this.
PETER: Yes. Merely believing what others say is a bummer of a way to live one’s life – although that is exactly what everyone does.
But to stop believing and to acknowledge the facts is to demolish No 5 the man, No 5 the lover, No 5 the Sannyasin, No 5 the good, No 5 the right, No 5 the proud, etc. – and what would eventually remain is what you are, not ‘who’ you are. For me the challenge of discovering that was too thrilling to let a few wobbles or reactions stop me.
Of course, I know ‘what’ I am – the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human mortal being, so startlingly obvious in a Pure Consciousness Experience.
What Mr. Rajneesh felt himself to be was an immortal God – hence his statement chiselled in marble, on his tomb, in his mausoleum – ‘Never born, never died’. Would not you agree that a human flesh and blood body is the product of a sperm fertilizing an egg and that when the heart stops beating and the brain ceases working that the body dies – to rot away, if it is not burnt? Is this fact so difficult to acknowledge as a fact? It is of course shocking for it does acknowledge that who you think and feel you are is a walk-in, a parasitical entity that has taken possession of you, the flesh and blood body known as No 5. But it does explain why the Guru’s message of immortality for the soul is so appealing to the ‘self’. No better offer can be made to an imaginary, ethereal soul than an imaginary ethereal immortality. No wonder people fall in love with Gurus – a Saviour at last!
I’ve done it again – I’ve strung together a few shocking statements aka facts. It’s just that spiritual belief perpetuates human misery and suffering on earth and it is time to expose this nonsense for what it is – puerile nonsense.
PETER to Alan: Of all the Ancient God-men, Mr Buddha is the current the most fashionable (and not un-coincidentally, I suspect, the most mythical). Phrases such as ‘One’s Buddha nature’, ‘Buddha-like’, ‘Buddha Consciousness’, etc. all point to an almost universal un-questioning acceptance of his Kingship of the Divine realm in spiritual circles.
It is well worth re-posting an ancient Buddhist text that Richard sourced and posted recently to another list in order to see exactly what is on offer in Buddhism.
‘And thus it is written that a monk shall sit in the corner with his eyes closed, withdraw from the world of sensual, sensate pleasure, stick his head in the clouds and dream of nirvana – anywhere but here and anyplace but now’ – a simplified stripped down version of Buddhism for the intellectually challenged. Ah! Nothing like a bit of Guru-bashing, and none better to take on than the undisputed King of Denial and Withdrawal. Is there nothing sacred to an actualist? No. Both the good feelings that arise from the supposed good instincts and the spiritual search for immortality that arises from the core survival instinct have to be questioned, examined, dissected and scrutinized in order to weaken their insidious influence on our lives. It took Richard ten times as long to rid himself of these good feelings as it took him to eliminate the bad ones. It is essential to tackle the whole of the instinctual programming – no half measures will work.
Another musing I had the other day concerned the common view of the word freedom as used in spiritual circles. Freedom is seen as an event, usually termed Enlightenment, whereby one miraculously escapes from the illusion of the real world, its problems, concerns and worries and is magically re-united with one’s Source from whence one came from originally. Thus ‘I’ am no longer lost, lonely and frightened for I have come Home and am overwhelmed by feelings of Divine Love. Thus one leaves the ‘real’ world and emerges into the ‘divine’ world – an illusion based on an illusion. The process usually undertaken is to devote oneself to living the ‘divine’ life, in preparation for a final ‘crossing’ over whereby one becomes Divine. This is, of course, all played out in the fantasy world of passionate feelings and has not a fig to do with the actual. Enlightenment is but a shift of identity from normal, afraid of death to Divine and believing one’s Self to be immortal.
The path to an Actual Freedom is to devote one’s life to being the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human being, and if undertaken with scrupulous integrity, will inevitably and inexorably lead to one’s self-immolation. This final act will be one of self-sacrifice for it is evident from the Pure Consciousness experience that only ‘I’ stand in the way of the perfection and purity of the universe being experienced as this flesh and blood body called Peter. This full-blooded devotion, as in ...
... has recently resulted in heady glimpses and experiences of the infinitude of the physical universe. These experiences of vastness and limitless freedom offer tantalizing previews of an inevitable destiny after ‘my’ extinction and have had the unmistakable ring of the authenticity of my first ‘self’-less PCE. The other clue as to their genuineness is the recognition of the seductive parallel of the Altered State of Consciousness whereby ‘I’ am tempted to instinctually grab to become the experience. Thus, ‘I’ become infinite and eternal, whereas in the PCE it is startlingly clear that it is the universe that is infinite and eternal, and what I am is this mortal flesh and blood body, well able and equipped to think and reflect and go oooh and ahhh at the perfection and purity that is obviously apparent when ‘I’ cease to rule the roost. But that won’t happen to me – it’s but a cheap cop-out once you have tasted the actual.
PETER: Hi Alan,
(...) Leary’s interest remained with the brain and thinking and he believed his ‘soul’ was located in his brain, to use his words. In his last years this thought became such an obsession that he arranged for his head to be cut off after his pre-arranged death and for it to be frozen in order that his ‘soul-brain’ could be revived at some future date. It’s such a bizarre tale and I still wonder if the film of his frozen head was genuine or a hoax. Certainly in his interviews he was convinced that his soul-brain was capable of mental immortality. Unlike his spiritual contemporaries, in his altered state of consciousness he didn’t identify with who he felt he was, his affective feelings, but he identified with who he thought he was, his nonsensical thoughts. What both Alpert and Leary shared in common with all other human beings was that they desperately maintained their true self to be a disembodied alien identity. One felt he was a soul-heart, while the other thought he was a soul-brain – anything other than a mortal flesh and blood body, a cellular arrangement of finite life span.
I was curious as to how Leary had managed to put such an eccentric twist to his altered state of consciousness experiences until he recalled a story from his childhood and his memory of his grandfather’s advice – ‘Don’t be like everybody else’. While he was alive, he was exactly like everyone else who has experienced the infinitude of the physical universe in that he instinctually seized the experience for himself and sought to contrive to become that experience – to be immortal, timeless, eternal and ... disembodied. And despite his frozen head being in a glass jar in a freezer somewhere he has ended up just like everyone else – dead. Same old story, just with yet another bizarre tale to add to the long, long history of human beings inane search for immortality.
The animal survival instincts, embellished into a psychological and psychic fear of death at the core of human beings, has produced a glut of fantastic fairy stories, fervent beliefs, grotesque rituals, weird altered states of consciousness – all of them passionately fuelled by a desperate and futile urge for immortality.
So, the essential question that arises from this post is ... ‘Is there life after death for Timothy Leary’s head or is he nothing but a dead head?’
Vineeto suggested that maybe he was simply a head of his times.
RESPONDENT: The wonder of the world is what is most obvious and most mysterious at the same time: that one can see, hear, smell, taste, feel temperature and touch and the position of the body. The mystery to me, is not that it is the universe which experiences itself as a human body, that is quite obvious; the strange thing is how ANY EXPERIENCE, any kind of PERCEPTION is possible. The explanation to THIS I call factor X or noumenon.
The meaning of life in one sentence: The meaning of life is that afterwards it’s over.
The story which for me comes closest to this is from Spain and has its origin, alas, in the recent wave of fanatic terror. You remember the simultaneous train bombings which were supposed to occur all inside the central station in order to take it down? A man killed there, as so many, left wife and child. The woman couldn’t bear to tell her child that his father was dead. So she told the five-year-old that, as he certainly remembered was his father’s ability and habit, he had again done some magic: he had transfigured himself into one of the stars at the sky. She pointed out to her child into which one. The next evening, it was already dark when the mother came home from work, her child was standing at the window, holding a sheet of paper to the glass. What are you doing? the woman asked. Only then did she realize what he was doing, which was what he told her: I’m showing my new painting to dad!
PETER: Your story reminded me of an event that happened in my life –
As you can see they are similar events in that both relate to a parent’s reaction to a family member’s death – one was an acceptance and perpetuation in the belief in a life after death, the other was to not accept and not perpetuate the belief in a life after death because the experience of the finality of physical death made the imaginary nature of this belief clear.
This event proved pivotal in my life as it proved to be the beginning of the end of my spiritual search. Once I had pulled the plug on the belief in a life after death – the core belief that underpins all spiritual/ religious/ metaphysical belief – I was much more able to clearly look at the flaws and failures of the whole spiritual business. What I also realize, in hindsight, is that it was the beginning of my search for the meaning of life, not in some other-worldly non-physical realm or ‘noumenon’ but right here on earth in this life time.
As it turned out, it took me several more years before I was finally ready to completely give up the spiritual search … and then I serendipitously came across Richard who pointed me not only to the fact that the meaning of life was to be found in the physical world but his description of his ongoing experience twigged my own memory of having at least once experienced the intrinsic meaning of life to be found in what he terms the actual world (in order to distinguish it from the grim reality that feeling human beings invariably feel the physical world to be).
Just to round this off with a further comment. You said above –
As you may have gathered from my life experiences, it was only when I accepted the fact that there was no afterwards that I could focus my attention on seeking the meaning of life in the very physical world where we corporeal mortal earthlings live. The more I did so the more ridiculous it seemed that I should have ever been hooked into believing that the meaning of life should or could be anywhere else but here on earth and at any other time but this very moment of being alive.
RESPONDENT: My first thought, after reading some of the material, was that I had come to terms with my current spiritual beliefs ... fundamentally that I had none. Was I ever wrong ... first, after reading I think Peter’s journal, and Peter coming to the conclusion that after death there was nothing ... this was a shocker ... and continues to be one (and I thought I had come to terms with death). This one hit me hard ... because in all my ‘spiritual’ wanderings ... I thought I had accepted the finality of death ... finally. But I discovered that even my initial interest in Western and Eastern mysticism was fuelled by my hope ... that something followed ... that I would be able to continue in some way ... some fashion.
But I somehow, after reading other more enlightened material, thought I had come to terms with death being a kind of finish ... after all ... in these circles one needs to come to terms with this somehow. But, after reading Peter, I was shocked that this had the effect that it did. One question that comes up:
How does Richard or Vineeto or Peter know that death is the end. How do they actually know for sure? I’ve concluded that I have buried some of my beliefs about death: I still hope that something continues ... and hopefully me ... through ascension or reincarnation or what ever ... that, even if the odds are against it ... that I will be one of the lucky ones ... one of the chosen few.
PETER: When I wrote my journal it was obvious to me that I needed to address the subject of death in the very first chapter. This was so because unless anyone reading was willing to question and ultimately abandon their belief that there was life after death then they would have neither the interest nor the impetus to devote their life to the business of becoming actually happy and harmless, here on earth, in this lifetime – which is what the journal is about.
There are two aspects to the answer to your question ‘how do I know that death is the end?’ The first is the intellectual knowledge that death is the end of life for a human flesh and blood body as well as the end of the consciousness inherent to that flesh and blood body. The second is the experiential knowledge of that fact – either temporarily in a PCE or permanently when actually free of the human condition in toto.
As to the first, I have written in my journal about my son’s death and how this gave me an intellectual understanding that death is the end – I saw the dead body and it was obvious he was dead and it was equally obvious afterwards that ‘he’ had not gone anywhere else unless I imagined (as in, believed) he had. Upon reflection I had a similar experience at age 16 when my father died – I saw the dead body and knew ‘he’ had not gone anywhere else. That experience was a matter of fact at the time because I didn’t believe in the Christian Heaven at the time, but the matter of fact of my son’s death proved to be the start of extracting myself from my latterly adopted Eastern spiritual belief in an after-life and an ‘other-world’.
This questioning and ultimately abandoning my belief in an afterlife eventually led to me having an experiential understanding that the whole notion of an afterlife is nought but an impassioned culturally-impregnated ‘self’-preservation fantasy.
With regard to the facts of what happens after death, I recently watched a television documentary about a research facility in the U.S. where forensic scientists are documenting the after-death decomposition process of human bodies. I was fascinated by the documentary as it was about something new to my experience because both my father and son were cremated soon after death. Within the grounds of the research facility, recently dead bodies where laid out in the open so that the natural processes of decomposition could be studied.
The scientists noted four distinct stages of decomposition, the first being an initial stiffening, decolourisation and then a slackening of the body over a 2-3 day period. The next stage was the onset of blowflies, which laid eggs in the various orifices of the bodies. Each fly laid thousands of eggs and within 6 hours the eggs hatched into maggots, which then began to consume the flesh of the body. Simultaneously the naturally-occurring still-living bacteria within the body’s gut and lungs began consuming the dead cells of the gut and lung and in the process of doing so produced considerable quantities of biological gas, causing the corpse to bloat. This stage can be completed within 2 weeks in warm periods or tropical climates whilst in cold periods or cold climates the stage can last months.
The next stage, which lasts the longest, is the advanced stage of decomposition. The skin becomes leather-like and the remaining internal flesh is consumed either by external maggot and insect action or by internal bacterial action. This residual biological activity is exothermic and steam can be seen rising from the corpse on chilly mornings. The earth around the corpse is blackened by the remnant fatty acids leaching from the body.
The last stage is a total loss of bodily flesh with only the bone skeleton and the dry leathery like tissue of the skin remaining. And as we know from archaeological excavations, even the dry skin decomposes over time leaving only the bare bones of what was once a living flesh and blood human body.
These are the facts of what naturally happens after death, unless of course one believes that the corporeal body contains a parasitical soul or spirit, which survives the death of the body to live on in some meta-physical world – but that’s another story entirely.
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: The Distinction Between Awareness and Contents
Certain Eastern philosophies based on introspective meditation emphasize the distinction between awareness and contents ... Awareness is considered to exist independent of contents and this ‘pure consciousness’ is accessible – potentially – to every one. All quotes from: Arthur Deikman, Journal of Consciousness Studies: http://www.imprint.co.uk/online/Deikman.html
PETER: Ah, he’s playing his trump cards now. Bringing in the wisdom of the ancient cave-dwellers – the Masters of escapist introspection and fearful navel-gazing.
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: Eastern mystical traditions use meditation practice to experience the difference between mental activities and the self that observes. For example, the celebrated Yogi, Ramana Maharshi, prescribed the exercise of ‘Who am I?’ to demonstrate that the self that observes is not an object; it does not belong to the domains of thinking, feeling, or action (Osborne, 1954). ‘If I lost my arm, I would still exist. Therefore, I am not my arm. If I could not hear, I would still exist. Therefore, I am not my hearing.’ And so on, discarding all other aspects of the person until finally, ‘I am not this thought,’ which could lead to a radically different experience of the ‘I’. Arthur Deikman, Journal of Consciousness Studies
PETER: This is perhaps one of the most inane examples of Guru-wisdom – it’s no wonder Mr. Maharshi stopped talking very early in his career and sat on a bed in sublime silence for years and years. Mr. Maharshi’s ‘teachings’ are currently very fashionable due largely to the stamp of approval he received from a Mr. Poonjaji – a pundit who enjoyed a loyal following of Western seekers in his latter years.
A brief bio-note on Mr. Maharshi –
I particularly like the bit about ‘self-inquiry’ and then supplying his own ready-made answer. To call this practice inquiry is to make a mockery of the word – brain-washing, self-deception or self-hypnosis would be better descriptions. ‘Who am a I?’ always leads to the startling discovery that I am not this, a mortal flesh and blood body, but I am That, the Eternal Source, and, as such, I have blissfully ‘discovered’ that I am immortal after all!
The other atypical aspect of Eastern mysticism is that once the Guru has obtained his or her own ‘liberation’, they gather disciples who are enticed to practice ‘devotional surrender’ to the Guru and to the Guru’s Guru. Now, by any sensible evaluation, devotional surrender is the very antithesis of liberation. Surrender is
whereas liberation is
It is vital to note that Mr. Ramana Maharshi’s ‘liberation’ is a belief in liberation from rebirth, an imagined freedom from the imagined bondage of being forever trapped in suffering in a corporeal body on this physical planet.
This ‘liberation’ or ‘freedom’, as it is often termed in the spiritual world, is the antithesis of Actual Freedom whereby one is actually freed from the instinctually-reinforced illusion of being an alien entity, which believes itself forever trapped in suffering in a corporeal body. As such, one is also freed from any spiritual and metaphysical belief whatsoever.
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: Similarly, in Buddhist Vipassana meditation the meditator is instructed simply to note whatever arises, letting it come and go. This heightens the distinction between the flow of thoughts and feelings and that which observes. Arthur Deikman, Journal of Consciousness Studies
PETER: There is nothing quite like the practice of sitting in a quiet room with one’s eyes closed (or unfocused) and looking inside to, firstly, disassociate from the bodily pain caused by forced stillness, and then to imagine that one is separate from the flow of thoughts and feelings. This imaginary shift is achieved by concentrating one’s thoughts on good and warm feelings which eventually can bring on states of divine feelings and bliss, and away one goes ... This heightened distinction between the mortal and human inevitably results in feelings that are Divine and Immortal – and since ‘I’ am that awareness, per se, then ‘I’ must be Divine and Immortal.
PAUL LOWE: The seeker’s mind then tends to think that enlightenment occurs when we do not have anything we may consider inappropriate – when there is not anger, greed or lust. That is a natural conclusion to draw, but it is not what is meant. In fact, it is not like that at all. <Snip> To me, the experience of maximum potential means not excluding or rejecting anything and not identifying with anything. <Snip> To make it more practical, consider this example. When you are talking to someone to whom you are attracted, you include all the things associated with that circumstance. You include the fact of your attraction, the possibility that the person may not be available, your thoughts that they may not be attracted to you, the fact that you have a partner and how your partner might feel if you were attracted to someone else. You include all these things and as you expand to encompass everything, you would not decide to say something and you would not decide not to say something. You would not use your will to select a course of action, yet a response would come through you. When you allow whatever wants to be said, you do not say something, something says you. Life will live through you when you include everything without rejecting or focusing on any single thing. <Snip> When you are ready to experiment with this approach, your whole life can change because anything really is possible. We are restricted by what we believe our restrictions to be, to a level that is unfathomable. We can move mountains. We are the creators. This and all following quotes from: ‘In Each Moment. A new way to live’ by Paul Lowe Looking Glass Press 1998
PETER: Well Paul, I for one am appreciating your attempts to put into words ‘an indescribable state’ for I find it most illuminating. Most enlightenment-sufferers claim that they have transcended anger, greed and lust whereas a little dig behind the public front reveals otherwise. Some take the approach of flaunting their ‘inappropriate’ behaviour by giving it an air of Divinity, as do the Tantric Masters with their sexual predations, or the full-on God-men with their thundering Divine Anger. Their greed and lust for power is coaxed in terms of helping others, spreading the message or lovingly sharing what they have received by ‘Grace’. The more forthright and honest message of Enlightenment as an earthly preview of Divinity and Bliss prior to a ‘final release’ into Nirvana after physical death is not fashionable at present and thus we see the emergence of a cunningly watered-down ‘ordinary spirituality’.
Your practical example is a classic description of practicing denial and attempting transcendence. The blatant denial is that ‘the state of the body, the action of the mind and the movement of the emotions’ is not really ‘you’ but that your ‘essential self’ should be imagined as a Divine force or ‘Life’ that acts through you. A New Age reinterpretation of ‘Not my will but Thy will be done’. This is nothing other than the traditional delusionary shift of identity from mortal and animal to immortal and Divine. One denies one’s obvious mortality and animal passions and transcends it all to adopt another persona – one who is above it all, detached, disconnected and disassociated from, and dis-identified with, earthly mundane existence.
It is this very cunning and shrewd act of denial, fuelled by the instinctual will to survive at all costs, that actively prevents the necessary investigation that will bring an end to anger, greed and lust. The spiritual cop-out par excellence.
You then go on to state – ‘When you are ready to experiment with this approach, your whole life can change because anything really is possible.’ If anything is really possible then how come everyone who takes this approach ends up with the same experiences? I would say that if you take this approach to life then only one thing is possible. One then believes in, and dwells in, an ‘other-world’ of imagination and impassioned feelings, the spiritual world. In this ‘other-world’ one is either a loyal and faithful servant/slave to a Master or, if one aspires to leadership one must go all the way into the delusion in order to be able to radiate the necessary aura of Power and Authority to become a Master in one’s own right. Then one feels and claims that one ‘can move mountains’ and feels and claims that one is ‘the creator’.
Your use of the word ‘we’ shows you are still a touch short of being fully deluded.
Next on the list of ‘fresh and unique’ reinterpretations is ‘source’ but I’ll leave that for the next post.
This is getting to be a bit of a saga but ‘denial plus acceptance equals no change’ (D + A = nc) has such a grip on Humanity that it’s good to expose it for the drivel it is.
Maybe one day the non-sensical, utterly selfish, ancient belief in ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’ might eventually be superseded by an understandable, actual and down-to-earth peace – no anger, greed and lust and the resulting wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, corruption, despair and suicides.
Given that Paul, and his ilk, dismiss the expectation of an end to ‘anger, greed and lust ... a natural conclusion to draw, but it is not what is meant ... (by enlightenment or maximum potential)’ – I’m certainly not holding my breath.
PAUL LOWE: Your system – the mind, the body and the emotions – has been damaged by your conditioning. It is not irreparable and it is damaged. The pressures you live with have put your system out of balance. <Snip> Now you can start to let go. The way you are living is not all right. Deep down, very little has truly felt fine. All that can change now. It is time to move closer to your to your truth and to feel more deeply. It is time to return to your essence of love. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Rotten at the core, programmed with a set of animal survival instincts, we love to suffer and we love to fight and yet we are willing to sell our illusionary ‘soul’ to a mythical God or God-man in return for an imaginary life after death. We readily and eagerly swap a selfish feeling of ‘The peace that passeth all understanding’ for an actual peace on earth. All this nonsense comes from ancient superstition and myth – a belief in a life after death fuelled by the human fear of death. A firmly entrenched frantic belief that ‘who one’s essence is’ is really a Godly spirit or immortal soul that dwells within the physical body. This is then upheld as the Truth – the basis of all spiritual belief is but a fairy story aimed at perpetuating and aggrandizing this alien psychological and instinctual entity rather than eliminating it.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Four Here for the Adventure.
‘In the beginning was the unnameable – let us call it ‘the source’. And that is not exactly true, as there is no time in the dimension of the source – no past, no future.’ Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Translation – ‘In the beginning was God’. Which begs the question what happened before God, which is why he goes on to say there is no such thing as time in God’s dimension. Thus we have Timelessness – no past and no future – a feeling that one is eternal. Well, I remember seeing a flesh and blood Paul Lowe some 20 years ago and by the photo on his book cover he looks as though he has aged since then. The physical body aging and inevitably dying is a product of time in the physical world. The entity inside the body, as ‘I’ in the head and ‘me’ in the heart, may well imagine and feel that ‘there is no time in the dimension of the source – no past, no future’ but that does not alter the ticking of the physical clock in the physical world. The feeling of Timelessness is that feeling that one has no beginning and no end i.e. that one is immortal and will survive the death of one’s physical body.
Life at a later time or after death...Oxford Dictionary.
Peter: ‘The prime example of wishful thinking ...
A life span of more than 100 years is very rare for the human animal body. The human animal with its ability to think and reflect is painfully aware, and fearful of, its own personal extinction. Thus the psychological and psychic entity within the flesh and blood body – who we think and feel we are – is instinctually driven to believe in an afterlife in order to ensure its own survival. In short, the spirit within the body desperately and passionately believes in a spirit-ual ‘other-world’ that it goes on to after the death of the obviously mortal physical body.
In fact, there have been no authenticated cases of anyone actually coming back from the supposed state of life after death. Many ‘psychic’ reports and visions have been recorded down the ages but none has stood scientific scrutiny. Near-death experiences (NDE) are often held up as proof of an afterlife, but curiously Christians report seeing Jesus while Hindus see Krishna – people report ‘seeing’ only what is common to their belief-system after returning to consciousness. As for the ‘white light’ commonly experienced in NDE’s, astronauts and pilots all report exactly the same phenomenon before becoming unconscious during testing on a whirling centrifuge.
The fact that human beings are painfully aware of their own mortality has spurned the mythical belief (‘fervently wishing to be true’) in a God capable of granting them an afterlife. Earliest reports suggest a heavenly or celestial realm for this after-life, for indeed the sky must have appeared ‘another world’ to primitive man. It is only this century that humans have flown in the sky and only in the last half that flight above earth’s atmosphere was possible, rendering the sky less other-worldly. Recent explorations of our solar system, our galaxy and countless distant galaxies has further de-bunked the heavens as ‘another world’.
The western religious fables generally are monotheist and espouse an after-life in ‘heaven’ for those who are good, virtuous followers and believers in a particular God. For those who are evil, heathen, non-believing or followers of a different God, then a Hellish after-life ensues. The eastern religions, with their even more elaborate fables, allow for earthly re-incarnations or even transmutations as a system of reward or punishment for good and virtuous deeds but all point to an eventual final release or escape into an after-life. Even the venerated ASC state known as Enlightenment is but a temporary relief from suffering on earth before a final release to a heavenly Parinirvana.
Many people say that they ‘don’t believe’ in an after-life, or that they will ‘find out when the time comes’ or it is ‘not an issue’ for them. All are examples of ‘fence sitting’, avoidance or denial. Unless one fully acknowledges the fact there cannot be an ‘after-life’ and experiences the ‘death’ or extinction of the psychic and psychological entity, it is impossible to be here, now, in the actual world as a flesh and blood body only. Any trace of a belief in an after-life is but succour to the alien ‘spirit’ entity, and as such, excludes one from realizing and experiencing an actual freedom from malice and sorrow. The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary
PAUL LOWE: The source is one and cannot experience itself in its oneness. In order to have an experience of knowing itself, it split up into billions of parts, lowering its vibrations to manifest at the material level. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: If God – the source – is so good and loving then why would he/she/it want to ‘lower its vibrations’ in order to manifest human misery and suffering, wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, despair and suicides? Does this not make ‘the source’ a deceitful and sadomasochistic ‘source’? If the source did in fact exist, should not we humans stand up and tell ‘the source’ enough is enough!
PAUL LOWE: Each part appears to be separate, yet is still the source, whole and complete in itself. The source remains whole and intact. The split is an illusion. <Snip> You willed yourself to forget that you are the source in order to be complete in this experience. The experiment is over now. Whenever you are ready to disconnect yourself from reality, you can go home. You can return to the experience of yourself as source. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: What a sad, mad, perverse and sick experiment this source has cooked up. All this suffering in order that ‘the chosen few’ may realize themselves to be the source itself. All the human suffering, wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, despair and suicides are not an illusion. They are real, flesh and blood humans who are suffering, hurting and despairing and busy inflicting suffering upon, and killing, other human beings.
PAUL LOWE: The vehicle you are inhabiting is programmed. You are not. That system has been conditioned. You have not. You are not the mind, you are not the body, you are not the emotions. You have thoughts, thoughts do not have you. Disconnect from them and you will realize your true self. You are the source. Whenever there is a disturbing thought, you can disconnect from it. It is only thought. You can disconnect from the ‘I’, the personality, the character, the ego, the neuroses. As you disconnect from everything you think you are, you will find that something remains. ‘Thou art That’. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: So the source only needs to remember that the experiment – manifesting this physical universe, this physical planet and life on it – is not real but is an illusion that it has cooked up for the experience of being able to experience the experience. And once ‘you’, as consciousness within a particular body in this experiment, disconnect and realize that it is all an illusion, a joke, that you cooked up in the first place, you get to find out you are the Creator of the Game.
What a fantasy, what a delusion, what insanity!
PAUL LOWE: Allow yourself to disconnect from identification with the outside. <Snip> Be fully in the moment but not of it. <Snip> As you keep disconnecting expansion happens. <Snip> You are everything. <Snip> Instead of being the universal consciousness – without form, without a body – you have chosen to experience the universe from this perspective for a while. <Snip> We are in this form for a short time. We have come here for an adventure. We are here for the experience – to taste, to feel, to laugh, to touch, to be touched. We are here to find out what it is like to split into misery and happiness. As we connect with source, we do not have to take duality so seriously. Now we can have fun. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: This ego-maniacal gall sort of leaves one wordless for a bit.
And this fairytale has been flogged for millennium by the shamans, charlatans and God-men, and believed by billions in the East to be the Truth. Of course it is music and poetry for the soul – the chance not only to feel immortal but to get to feel oneself to be God, the creator of the game of life on earth, to become a disconnected watcher who feels superior to the mere plebs who take the game seriously.
Imagining and believing oneself to be free of the ‘real’ world is easy – millions and millions of people are doing it on the planet right now and it has been an on-going, very popular, safe and secure fantasy for thousands of years.
Human beings will never stop fighting and feuding, suffering and lamenting as long as the so-called ‘seekers of freedom’ and pliers of Truth continue to believe any part of this pap.
To be actually free of the both the ‘real world’ illusion and the ‘spiritual world’ delusion is now the challenge facing us individually.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Four This is It
When everything else drops away from us, something remains that cannot be described. <Snip> The source, God, radiant darkness, the still point, however we name it, that place is within you now. It is you who is not being with that place. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: If ‘you’ shift to that place ‘the source, God ...’, does not that mean ‘you’ stay in existence? One’s identity merely shifts from mortal animal to Immortal Divine.
PAUL LOWE: I say it is beyond normal experience because it is not an experience. Experience has to do with the senses, the senses have to do with the mind and the mind cannot comprehend, hold or expand sufficiently to include this. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The human modern-primitive mind combination is capable of an astounding range of fear-driven fantasies and imaginations s right up to and including the belief that one is ‘the source, God’. This is feeling – the ‘good’ instinctual passions – run riot, unimpeded by intelligent thought and totally disconnected from the actual world, abundantly and obviously evidenced by the physical senses.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Six Freedom and Joy – Right Here, Right Now
There is a state of being that has been described as ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’, the Tao, the Hidden Harmony. Closer to our own experience we tend to describe it as happiness, spirit, freedom, source or inner peace. Yet no word or phrase can really express the nature of this state. This and all following quotes from: ‘In Each Moment. A new way to live’ by Paul Lowe Looking Glass Press 1998
PETER: Yawn. The old Divine Experience that mere mortal humans cannot understand and that cannot be described in words. Feeling oneself to be Divine, the source, an immortal spirit or whatever is indeed a grand and overwhelming experience but many, many accounts exist describing the spiritual Altered States of Consciousness or the brief experience commonly called Satori.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Seven Work – Is It Really Necessary?
‘When people ask me about the meaning of work, I ask myself, ‘At what level am I going to reply to this question?’ The way most people think about ‘work’ arises from their conditioning and that is usually based on a level of basic survival. I am not interested in that level any longer. <Snip> No attempts to understand or change anything at this level will ever succeed in a deep and enduring way. It is now time to shift from survival to fulfillment. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: When one attains to a certain level of Guru-ship, and can convincingly sell the alluring dream of self-fulfillment, there are followers who are eager and willing to pay to provide for one’s basic survival. When a survival level is assured, one then aims to attract a greater following in order to attain a level of comfortable wealth. Once this level is reached the insatiable drive for fame and power really kick in and the desire to have the most followers, to be the best Guru soon overwhelms any remaining sanity and pretty soon we are talking of the desire to be the One and Only God-man. Franklin Jones, aka Da Free John, aka Adidas, is a prime case of this crazed level of megalomania run amok.
Fulfillment is an impossibility for a ‘self’ and even if one manages to become a ‘Self’, a deluded God-man or God-woman, enough is never enough. It was never enough for the Tibetan Lamas to feel themselves immortal – when they died they ensured their rotting corpses were coated in gold, provided by ordinary Tibetans. There is a local Guru I know who spends half the year travelling the world in order to spread his fame and gather more followers. I simply see him as a travelling salesman endlessly totting the globe, endlessly after more wealth, more adoration, and more power ... and he will never have enough.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Nine When the Spirit Takes Over
Suggestion to the reader: The experience of this chapter can be deepened if you have it read to you while you close your eyes. <snip>
I invite you to join me in exploring the possibilities suggested in this reverie. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The classic way to listen to fairy stories is to close one’s eyes and imagine the story being told to you is real. It is a well-used device for instilling moral tales of good and evil in children, in hypnosis and psycho-therapy sessions, and in the spiritual world it is used in Satsangs, meditations, discourses, past-life recessions and the like. Closing one’s eyes is a way of cutting off the primary sensorial input and disassociating from the physical world, thereby allowing one to become more fully engaged in unfettered imagination – i.e. thinking totally unrelated to reality and therefore twice removed from actuality.
PAUL LOWE: Imagine that we are all together in a dimension that has no form. It is not material, it is pure spirit. There is no separation as we know it. We can all move in and out of each other. Then we hear about a dimension that has form, and something called ‘experience’, which we do not have in this unformed state. This dimension, we are told, is created of material, tangible substance. <snip> We are told that before we can enter the dimension called planet Earth we have to adopt a form that will enable us to touch things and be touched. We will still be free spirits but we will be contained in a structure. This structure consists of a body that can have sensations in the mind, in the emotions and at a physical level. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The fairy story begins. This story has been told for so many thousands of years that its original source is blurred in the mists of time. It would seem that both Eastern and Western religious fables share a common heritage in Middle Eastern God-stories. The basis of all religious belief is that ‘who’ we feel and think we are is a disembodied ‘spirit’ who has taken up temporary residency in the mortal flesh and blood body.
PAUL LOWE: We will not easily be able to drift out of this body and then back in. In this new dimension we will become attached to the form and the game will be finding a way to detach ourselves, in order to be free, while continuing to exist in this form. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: ‘Detach’ is the important word here and the name of the spiritual game is to practice detachment. To imagine that one really is a spirit who can ‘drift out of this body and then back in’ is to imagine that one can survive the death of the body and go ‘somewhere else’ after death. ‘Ordinary spirituality’ is often careful to avoid directly mentioning the promise of life after death lest it be seen as ordinary religious pap, but the seductive lure is nevertheless there and the willingly gullible fall for the story, hook, line and sinker.
PAUL LOWE: When you take a form, it already has built-in programs. These programs have been inherited from parents, society and thousands of years of conditioning. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: 180 degrees in the wrong direction! The spirit – ‘who’ you think and feel you are – is the program in the brain. This is easily observed in a new born infant which has a genetically encoded, but minimally developed, instinctual programming and one’s social programming begins later.
The spirit, the alien entity within the flesh and blood body, is the program, and all spirit-ual belief is part of this social programming. To get rid of the alien spirit one simply needs to get rid of both the societal and instinctual programming. One then becomes ‘what’ one is – a mortal flesh and blood body only, free of the illusion of being a spirit.
PAUL LOWE: Reality as we know it is melting down, changing, shifting far beyond what we have expected. <Snip> When something is found to be possible that was previously thought to be impossible, it suddenly starts to occur all over the world. In the past, we rarely heard of people who had experienced spontaneous healing from illnesses that were said to be terminal. Now, many people are having this experience. We used to hear only occasionally about anyone who had clinically died and been bought back to life. Many cases have now been documented and the people who have had this experience tell us that we will not die. Thousands of people are saying ‘We do not die when the body stops functioning.’ Of course, Zen and Hindu masters have been saying this for thousands of years. Bankai said ‘We are not born, we will not die.’ Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Ah, the miracles are happening to the true believers, consciousness is rising, the evidence is pouring in that God is with us, we are not alone, there is life after death, salvation is nigh! A brief reading of the history of religion will reveal that these promises, signs, omens and portents of a Golden Age dawning have been an ongoing and recurring beat-up. This same investigation will reveal that the shamans’ promised good times and signs of miracles are inevitably and inseparably accompanied by promises of evil, hell-fire and signs of doom and damnation.
‘Ya can’t have one without the other’ as the old song goes.
It is curious that Paul should quote Bankai and not Mr. Rajneesh who had ‘Never born, never died’ chiselled on his tombstone. Paul was a follower of Rajneesh for over 20 years that I know of, yet he makes no mention of him in his book. (...)
PAUL LOWE: There really is no easy way to explain a shift in consciousness. It means that the person who is looking at reality, the one you are familiar with, the one you call ‘I’ is going to be different. The difference is not only occurring in what the ‘I’ sees and experiences, the fundamental ‘I’ itself is starting to change. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Oh, come on Paul. It is easy to explain and many, many people have explained it. The shift in consciousness is from being an ‘I’ who thinks and feels it is trapped inside a mortal flesh and blood body to becoming a ‘me’ who thinks and feels it is completely disassociated from reality and completely disembodied ... and therefore immortal.
A shift in consciousness is an imaginary, and impassioned, shift in identity.
PAUL LOWE: We do create our own lives. If you think and believe something strongly enough, it will happen. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Fifteen Waking Up – It’s Not What You Think (...) Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: (...) I’ll finish with some words on the search for freedom, peace and happiness from the Introduction to Actual Freedom. –
Nobody seems at all willing to question the primary role that affective feelings play in perpetuating human malice and sorrow. For most people it is inconceivable to live without battling or blaming someone or something, without feeling sad about something, let alone without sympathy, empathy, love and desire.
Thus it is that Humanity wallows in fear, aggression, nurture and desire and will continue to do so until sanity and sensibility manage to gain a substantial foothold.
RESPONDENT: Not Osho.
RESPONDENT: As for Sannyas, I’ve never been into believing in God; as a matter of fact, Osho repeatedly said God doesn’t exist.
PETER: I know many discourses where he talks of God, Oneness, Divine, Sacred, Holy, Nirvana, Love, Being, Buddha Nature etc. The use of words with capital letters in all his writings and books is a clear indication of God or the Divine in whatever form or description. The Eastern spiritual tradition is not monotheist like most Western spiritualism and, as such, God is a slippery concept, and deliberately so. Whichever way you look at it, both Eastern and Western Spirituality clearly indicate a ‘something else’ or ‘somewhere else’ apart from this physical universe.
To call a spade a spade – it’s all God ... be it by any other name ... a ‘something else’ or ‘somewhere else’ apart from this physical universe.
RESPONDENT: As far as an after-life goes, He repeatedly stressed to be here and know. There may be an after-life but to believe in it is not the issue.
PETER: The belief in an after-life is exactly what prevents human beings from being here on the planet, now at this moment, as a flesh and blood only human being. Each human has a soul, or psychic entity that ‘feels’ separate and alien, and wants to desperately believe in an after-life. This ‘me’, usually evidenced as fear, is aware that the flesh and blood body will inevitably die and therefore ‘my’ only chance of surviving is to believe in an afterlife or seek Divinity and Immortality. It is ‘me’ – this feeling self – that prevents me, this flesh and blood body being here, now. Osho was never really here – he ‘only visited the planet’. Just looking at him, or talking to him, it was obvious that he was somewhere other than here in the physical, actual world. After all, that is the whole point of becoming Enlightened – to transcend ‘the body’ and the physical world.
RESPONDENT: Vivian, Mabel, Winnifred and Florian, among others, have reported a different reality than the one you espouse about being soulless.
PETER: Never heard of these people or their reports. I am interested in anyone who has described their experiences. Can you give me some references as to where I can read of them?
RESPONDENT: These are women who have described to the writer, their existence after dying; between days and years following the event.
PETER: The writer 2 is confused again. Does the writer 1 mean that the writer 1 is channelling these women after physical death or is the writer 1 referring to their spiritual death as in Enlightenment?
RESPONDENT: Neither. It refers to their visual and audible manifestation.
PETER: Do you mean that you their ‘hear’ voices in your head and you ‘see’ them in your imagination? If, on the other hand, you have videos, photos or tape recordings you should let the scientific community know as they have been searching for almost a century trying to find actual authentic evidence of life after death.
RESPONDENT: The scientific community has been involved with much more than this. Very little of their efforts have gone towards trying to find actual authentic evidence of life after death.
PETER: Yes, enormous sums of money and countless hours are being spent on the search for the beginning of time, the edge of the universe, parallel universes, black holes, space-time continuums, bent time, cyclic time, time reversing universes, etc. – all with the desperate hope of finding ‘something other’ than this actual physical universe. They seem to have left communicating with the dead to the more psychically inclined.
PETER: Okay, try these words then – ‘There is, categorically, no such thing as actual life after death.’
RESPONDENT: Try consciousness after death. Perhaps it will make more sense to you.
PETER: The belief in a life after death is the essence of all religions, be they the reasonably straight-forward theist (one-God) Western Religions, or the pantheism and deism of the East. The Western entity that resides in the body and survives physical death is usually referred to as the soul. In the East, with its complex beliefs including re-incarnation and transmigration, the entity which survives physical death has many names – Atman, Self, consciousness, Original Face, ‘bundle of memories’, spirit, essence, etc.
We can quibble on what terms we use till the cows come home, but what is clear is that all religions, spirituality and mysticism are based on a belief in one’s personal life – in whatever form – continuing after physical death. There is a clear denial that physical death means extinction.
PETER: There is a clear denial that physical death means extinction. And therein lies the seat of all problems for ‘I’ will do anything, and believe anything, to remain in existence.
RESPONDENT: Actually, on the death of the body, one realizes that the life one just finished with is only part of the whole and instead of losing the part they gain the whole.
PETER: A second note. I do enjoy our posts.
In western religions there was always a God to join in paradise, in Eastern Religions there is the Source, the Whole, the Essence, That or whatever other name. It is usually an impersonal God which is a useful thing as it allows the Enlightened Ones to fit into a brotherhood or Holy Club. The lineages, such as the Teerthankara lineage, the Buddhist lineage and the like, all allow other club members. His ranking in the psychic Hall of Fame then depends on the strength of the lineage, or, if he is bold enough to go it alone, his fame and power is directly dependant on the number of disciples he/she can gather.
PETER: My awareness of being alive – consciousness – will cease with this body. This is clearly indicated when I am asleep when consciousness ceases for the period of sleep.
RESPONDENT: Consciousness does not cease with sleep for all humans. Some of us are lucid dreamers.
PETER: It has been scientifically proven, verified by my own personal experience and observations of many others, that humans all have a period of sleep wherein consciousness ceases. Deep sleep – no conscious dreaming – no consciousness of being alive.
RESPONDENT: Do you get that everyone must leave this body?
PETER: No, when I die, I die, for I am this body. There is nothing to ‘leave this body’.
RESPONDENT: You’re in for a very rude awakening I’m afraid.
PETER: Ah, no doubt you see me in some sort of Sannyas hell. Will I be there with all the Christians, National Guards and Ronald Reagan? Will the Buddhists of Nanking be there or will they be with Buddha in the Buddha-heaven? A few moral and ethical problems posed by the concept of heaven and hell?
RESPONDENT: Andrew Cohen has always stressed that the search for liberation is not for our own sake but for the sake of mankind.
PETER: Yes, he stresses the ending of a personal self – as in ego-death – in order to realize an impersonal self – as in Enlightenment. This act of surrender to a higher power or Greater Good then leaves the newly liberated being indebted to this higher power and driven to be yet another Saviour of mankind and to spread the message of the Greater Good, Love, Truth, God, or whatever other name is used. It’s the same old message that has seduced humanity for millennia despite the valiant efforts of many to break free from these passionate fairy tales of good spirits vs. evil spirits and Gods vs. Devils.
RESPONDENT: I mean, if we can change in a fundamental way inwardly and manifest that on earth then there’s a chance for peace on earth. As I wrote before; Andrew stresses VERY much the importance of focusing on THIS life and not waste time on speculations of the afterlife.
He usually says: I’ll write you a postcard’. He doesn’t pretend to know what’s happening after physical death even if he probably finds the idea of reincarnation very plausible.
PETER: This is obviously a man who is keeping his options open, which means he won’t dare acknowledge that physical death is the end, finito, kaput, finished, no more. Surely this is one of the most fundamental questions that demands an answer, or at the very least a position taken, otherwise one’s search for freedom, peace and happiness will be seduced into the traditional search for an inner peace or a peace after death. By continuing this very belief in a life after death or cunningly refusing to address the issue – as in taking a position – the status quo of spiritual/ religious belief remains unquestioned and one could never ever contemplate the death of both ego and soul.
I hardly see anything radical at all in taking this position and I fail to see how this current ‘manifestation’ of God’s messenger can be anything other than the all the rest – a seeker of freedom, peace and happiness who had feet of clay when the crunch came and turned to traditional old-time religion.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.