Selected Correspondence Peter
Aggression and Anger
PETER: You wrote to No 14 a note of such breathtaking duplicity that I am moved (as in ... up off the couch) to reply before all the spiritualists on this list start to declare Rajneesh and other similar God-men to be actually free from the Human Condition. Still people do believe that Jesus walked on water, that the planets influence their moods and the sun goes around the earth. It’s just that this list is about facts and actuality – and not fiction, hopeful imagination, wishful thinking, slippery re-interpretation, Ancient Wisdom or ‘Truth’.
RESPONDENT to No 14: I did not get this PCE stuff on this list in the beginning. I kept thinking about it for a while. For weeks I would get stuck on 2-3 experiences which stood out and seemed close to the way PCE was being described here. The first PCE happened to me after I did rigorous dynamic everyday for 2 months. This PCE happened 2 ½ years ago. I also noticed that for last 2 ½ years, I have always wanted to repeat that experience. I have had some much tinier ones but nothing compared to the first one.
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.
PETER: It does seem a waste of all that thinking time to have come to the conclusion that there is a God after all, and that Rajneesh is your God. Still Humanity’s obsession with believing the fairy-tales of the God-men is both legendary and endemic and has been around for thousands of years. This is the very beginning of a new down-to-earth non-spiritual Actual Freedom and, as such, will not be for all. It does take a certain courage, tenacity, stubbornness and bloody-mindedness to strike off on one’s own to discover and investigate.
So, let’s look at your preposterous proposition that ‘Rajneesh created situations where we could get PCEs’. (...)
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.
Further on in the discourse comes the ‘big hook’ for his Sannyasins – the chance to not be identified, to ‘let-go’ and everything will be okay –
RESPONDENT: Peter, I do not understand what you are trying to say in this post. It just goes on and on. Also, I do not understand what are the facts in this post and what are your opinions / speculations / guesses. I can’t relate to most of the post.
PETER: Well, undaunted, I will try again. My post followed your post which said –
So I took it that the thread of the topic of conversation was about Gurus, their legacy and peace on earth. In order to aid your understanding I will not post any of my comments but will post a quote from Mr. Rajneesh, a Guru whose opinions, words (and legacy) are relevant to many on this list.
This is a discourse where Mr. Rajneesh talks on anger, one of the fiercest of the instinctual passions, and a topic that is directly related to Gurus, their legacy (written words) and peace on earth (the eradication of human anger). Rajneesh –
‘Anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities’ has resulted in 160 million people killed in wars in this century alone, not to mention all the murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, suicides, etc..... There can be no more obvious expression of people ‘being totally angry’ than war.
From this direct quote I would have thought that it was obvious that peace on earth was definitely not on Rajneesh’s agenda and therefore cannot possibly be part of his legacy.
I await your considered comment on this quote so as to avoid any ‘opinions / speculations / guesses’ which, I agree, are of no use to anyone.
RESPONDENT: As for facts. I was not asking for facts in the forms of Osho’s quotes.
PETER: You were not asking for facts at all. You were simply trying to fob me off and dismiss any further conversation on the matter. Personally I considered Rajneesh’s quote very relevant to our conversation as it points to his ‘unique’ contribution to Ancient Wisdom. His whole approach to the perennial problem of human instinctual passions was to summarily condemn those who attempted to suppress them and taught that to express them would enable a miraculous transcendence. Thus one was encouraged to indulge in sex in order to transcend sexual passion with the aim of becoming celibate. Similarly with anger, one was actively encouraged to express one’s anger in groups or dynamic meditation or in being ‘honest’ with others – all in order to achieve for oneself the blissful state of Enlightenment. Peace on earth was not, and is not, an issue – one’s own utterly selfish achievement of an Altered State of Consciousness was of singular importance. Hence peace on earth was readily sacrificed for a state of Enlightenment on earth and a mythical afterlife – after physical death. Which is the very point of this conversation.
RESPONDENT: What makes me suspicious is what you sometimes write: ‘Rajneeshism, with its followers numbering only in the tens of thousands, is inevitably doomed to the spiritual dustbin’.
PETER: Suspicious? I would have thought my opinions of the Gurus, the Master-disciple business and its legacy would have been obvious to a blind man. I make no bones about where I stand on religion/ spiritualism – the litany and heritage of human slaughter and suffering, all in the name of the good and God, defies description. And to continue to believe in the Divine as the solution to, or salvation from, some metaphysical Evil that is responsible for human malice and sorrow is to defy the modern scientific physical evidence of Josef LeDoux and others that the cause of sorrow and malice is the instinctual programming of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
Are you offering a counter opinion that Rajneeshism as a religion will flourish and become ‘the solution’ to the endemic violence and suffering on the planet? When everyone in the world becomes ‘OSHO-conscious’, then it’s all magically going to be all right? The recent outbreak of vitriol, suspicion, confusion, back-biting and self interest that flourished recently when someone dared to question how things were being run in the Ashram does not bode well for a Rajneesh-World being a peaceful or harmonious world.
The other quote of mine you posted that ‘makes you suspicious’ is –
In order to stick to facts I will quote from an Ashram-sanctioned book written by someone who was at Rajneeshpuram in America at the time Rajneesh was deriding the Christian religion –
This woman could sense the ‘danger’ of his ‘bold words’ at the time – as could many, many others, myself included. The danger proved real and the words proved foolish, particularly in the light of the Sannyasin bombings, poisonings, vote rigging, phone tapping, deception, corruption and attempted murders that came to light very shortly after. I have written in my journal about the ‘after-shocks’, recriminations and bewilderment that was widespread at the time, if you are interested, as I take it you were not around at the time. Few were willing to discuss anything about this time on the Sannyas list so you may not know much about it.
The time after the collapse of Rajneeshpuram was well-known as a more sedate time and it was covertly acknowledged that the attempt to build a ‘City to Challenge (the Christian) God’ had imploded due to internal corruption, not external force. Rajneesh’s fleeing was to mark the end of the grand experiment. Only the faithful and loyal stayed on as followers and went back to Pune for his final years. After his death, by definition, the faithful and the loyal are the meek and mild for they steadfastly follow the traditional path of religion – worshipping a dead Master or God-man.
Actualism is most definitely not a traditional path, which is why only a handful of Sannyasins have been at all interested of the hundreds who have had the opportunity to investigate what it is we are on about.
Actualism is for pioneers and adventurers, not believers of truth and followers of fashion.
I like it that you are interested and I don’t pretend that the early days of this are easy for anyone – it takes guts to want to change, to fly in the face of tradition, security and humankind’s accumulated Wisdom .
But my experience is it’s the deciding if one wants to take it on in the first place that is most confronting. Once fully committed and decided it rapidly becomes the adventure of a lifetime.
I also like your interest in anger – so few people are interested in the harmless part of the actualist’s obsession with being happy and harmless . It’s a crucial issue – a vital and essential motivation.
In contrast we have Mr. Rajneesh’s approach –
I simply stopped dreaming, was honest enough with myself to admit Rajneesh’s dream was not working for me and then moved on to find out why it didn’t and couldn’t work. I do realize you are not at all interested in what he said and nor are most followers of God-men. They really sell feel-good energy, they are purveyors of blissful feelings and are indeed Masters of the art. But when they are dead, they are dead. One is left with worshipping symbols, sitting by their ashes in mausoleums or temples, gazing at images and gathering with the like-minded in prayer, or talking to them personally for succour and guidance. One is left with religion, which ‘is capable of seeing that which has not happened yet’ and yet has not happened after millennia of human effort and earnest pursuit.
So, if you want to become ‘an actual God’, as your Master says, then Rajneeshism is for you.
If you want to investigate a third alternative, firmly based on scientific fact, open discussion, mutual investigation, sensible communication, and a sincere intent to actualize peace on earth, then you are on the right mailing list.
PETER: As I was sending off my last post to you I noticed that you had posted an attachment to your letter which I had missed. I was preparing to reply to you and re-read my previous post to see where the conversation had reached. I noticed a quality in my writing that I had not noticed before and when I mulled over it I would describe it as one of frustration. I was frustrated that one of the few people who had read Richard’s Journal and ‘would recommend it to others’, who had not only been on the mailing list for some 10 months but was willing to write as well, was still coming up with objections to being happy and harmless. Not only objections but applying shifting conditions as to what, how and who any discussions should be about. So, I saw the cause of my frustration – feeling ‘bound’ by your conditions – and seen that it had caused me to have a ‘force’ in my writing that could cause ripples.
I am not talking of being meek or mild in the face of criticism, belligerence, deviousness, deception, denial, or even downright abuse – all of which I have had in most discussions that dare to question Ancient Wisdom. T’is no small thing to stand up and say everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong – all 6 billion people – and then provide the evidence that this is so. As I remarked on the Sannyas list, if I would have said outside the Ashram gates what I was saying on the list, I would have been stoned to death rather than the modern, much safer version of cyber-execution.
No, the ripples I am talking of are the type that I may cause – ripples that result from my anger, frustration, peeved-ness, resentment, annoyance, impatience, etc.
I wrote about it my journal –
Being a good, kind-hearted, moral and ‘caring’ man at the time it was difficult for me to see this behaviour in myself, or even acknowledge that this was ‘me’ in action, let alone want to put an end to it. For the ending of anger – causing ripples – is the ending of ‘me’. I used the term ‘causing ripples’ in my journal deliberately for I was nearly always able to control my anger – and most other emotions – and, as such, have not indulged in fights or violent acts, let alone verbal arguments, competitive sports, etc. I was a S.N.A.G., a wimp, a pacifist, a nice guy. When I came across Richard and his journal it was the harmless in ‘happy and harmless’ that was really appealing, for I knew that although I was a nice guy I could not honestly say I was harmless. In all my relationships, I knew that was as much the cause of dis-harmony as the other.
The challenge of Actual Freedom was obvious – if I, an ordinary normal human being, could become actually harmless then peace on earth was possible. If I could totally eradicate all anger in me – that would be the proof, as simple as that. The situation that mostly brought up anger in me – in whatever form, and no matter how subtle – was in relationships with women; so I used that as my test of fire, so to speak. When that was successful, the ante was serendipitously upped by writing on the Sannyas list, and when that was successful – along came No. 5. Which only goes to prove that Virtual Freedom is virtual as in 99.9%.
In seeing my frustration I did my usual thing and kicked back on the couch and contemplated upon my discovery. A curious thing happens when one ‘steps aside’ as it were and lets the brain do its brain thing – apperceptive awareness kicks in. This is not what gets you to Virtual Freedom – that’s all ‘my’ doing – tough, bloody-minded, gritty, determined wilful effort, as I’ve documented. Dismantling one’s own social identity is not a kicking back – it’s the bit ‘I’ actively do, and with gusto.
But I digress a bit from my couch contemplating. Now it is not ‘me’ doing the thinking as it was in those early days of getting to a Virtual Freedom, but now it is that thinking happens by itself. This thinking happening by itself can produce some stunning results, and in this case I started with frustration. My frustration at you was instantly recognized as ‘my’ frustration – I am no novice at this game. The shifty-ness of resorting to blaming the other for what is in me was an observation I made very early on the path to Virtual Freedom. So the frustration was clearly at ‘my’ still not getting it, only triggered by my interaction with you. So, I mused over that one for a while and it all slid a bit deeper to the discovery of a very deep-set frustration – not about any issue in particular, not even about not getting ‘it’. At this deeper level it was not a thought – it was not in my head. It was also not a feeling. A feeling is always about something, triggered by something, in my experience. The frustration I had expressed, however covert or subtly, was only a feeling. This ‘next level down’ was the emotional level and I recognized that beneath the feeling of frustration was the emotion of anger. Sitting with it for about 10 minutes or so, I then was able to slide to the next level down where I could recognize the instinctual passion that is the very source of anger. This is not ‘located’ in the head and recognized as a thought or felt as a feeling – it was dispassionately observed purely as a physical sensation in the chest area. I could therefore experience this anger more clearly than one normally experiences jealousy, love or grief, whereby one is possessed or consumed by a powerful emotion and thus rendered incapable of being aware of what is going on.
This bare awareness enabled me to experience the chemicals in action – to sensately experience ‘me’ at my very core. This is where ‘I’ dare not look and cannot experience, for this is the territory of primordial fear and dread, anger and violence – the proverbial hell. This is what the spiritualists are avoiding in their meditative practices of aiming for a transcendental bliss. At this fundamental instinctual level, ‘I’ operate solely at an automatic-response mode. This is where the genetic animal programming of fear – ‘what can eat me?’ and aggression – ‘what can I eat?’ operates. In we humans, this is experienced as an instinctual fear of ‘dangerous’ animals and all other humans, so one never lets one’s guard down given that anyone can literally stab you in the back at any time. This programming is also experienced as an instinctual aggression because you know you need to ‘get in first’ or you are dead meat. In the last of the primitive cannibal tribes to be studied in New Guinea in the middle of this century, aggression between tribes was known as ‘Trouble-Fight’ or ‘Pay-back’ – get in first or get revenge later.
Of course, this is 1999 and I live in a reasonably safe place but this instinctual genetic program is ‘me’ at my core. ‘I’ am rotten through and through as in kill or be killed. LeDoux’s research politely labels this the ‘fight or flight’ response. My experience is that it is more accurate to call it the ‘kill or be killed’ response.
I would put aggression before fear, for fear only happens when one’s initial aggression fails. ‘What can I eat’ is primary, when you look at the animal world. Animals primarily need to eat to survive – they can’t survive solely by being fearful
I have had flashes and insights about anger and aggression before and understand very well the operation of the instinctual passions. LeDoux’s findings were of immense help to me, for here is the hard evidence that backs up the – now banned – sociological studies of Stanley Milgram and others. This enabled me to do the diagrams and writings in the section of the Library ‘Our animal instincts in the primitive brain’ on the Actual Freedom Trust website. But this latest little journey into ‘who I am’ at my core was experiential – it’s fascinating what you can discover when you dare to strip away belief, abandon morals, ethics and psittacisms – then you start to discover what you actually are. Then you can make discoveries dispassionately without recoiling in horror and/or running off to the sanctuary of the ‘good emotions’ – only to ‘discover’ bliss again. Just a good hard look at things as they really are – no grey or rose coloured glasses.
But, first things first. At the start of this process, as a spiritual person, I had been encouraged to express my anger – which is the current New Dark Age rebellion against the repression practiced by the previous lot. There is a third alternative to the usual fashionable swing from one failed extreme to the other. As with any emotion – neither repressing nor expressing does the trick. What ‘I’ initially did with anger was stop expressing it . Seeing what I was doing to others was sufficient for me to shut my mouth, keep my hands in my pockets, go for a walk, lay on the couch – do whatever was necessary to stop acting it out on others. The other bloody good reason for stopping was that I then stopped the endless cycle of being angry, feeling guilty, wallowing in shame, seeking solace in resentment, plotting revenge and building up to anger again. This stopping is not suppressing for the feelings are still there, but now you can do something about them given that you begin to see them clearly in operation. When one is angry or in a blind rage one is consumed and possessed by emotions and thus loses all chance of learning anything from the experience. And saying sorry to someone you have hurt in your indulgence or expressing is but a cop out. I’ve written of this very act of stopping in the ‘Love’ chapter of my journal, as has Vineeto. It’s crucial to stop pissing away one’s opportunity to investigate the roots of anger by indulging in or expressing anger – and it’s an eminently sensible thing to do, both for oneself and for those one comes in contact with!
So that’s what came out of our discussions and writings on the mailing list for me – a little journey to the root of instinctual aggression.
One does stick one’s neck out writing on this list, but that’s the adventure, that’s the thrill.
RESPONDENT: As for getting frustrating with me. That is very simple. Please stop trying to prove anything to me. I have been here for ~10 months, I have heard a lot. It is my life, you do not have to get frustrated over me.
PETER: Which was exactly the point of my post. I was not frustrated about you at all, what I discovered was frustration in me. Life gives one multitudinous opportunities to see one’s own frustration, anger, annoyance, impatience, etc. There are 6 billion people in the world which is a lot to want to change. The point is for me to be free from both malice and sorrow, so that no person or no situation can cause frustration, anger, annoyance, impatience, etc. in me. Not by suppressing emotions, or avoiding or escaping from the world as it is, but by eliminating the ‘me’ inside who gets frustrated, angered, annoyed, impatient, etc.
RESPONDENT: What good is virtual freedom if you get frustrated because No 5 does not understand what you are trying to say. I will read the rest of your posts.
PETER: Virtual Freedom is a inestimable state whereby I am virtually happy and harmless and I go to bed at night time having had a perfect day and knowing I will have a perfect day tomorrow. Any issues or situations that do arise to disturb my happiness and harmlessness are easily dealt with and I then quickly get back on the wide and wondrous path. The reason I wrote to you was that one of those situations arose and I wanted to discuss it on the mailing list. Having nothing to hide or want to keep secret is another of the estimable qualities of Virtual Freedom, as is the honest acknowledgement that I am not yet living an actual freedom, as evidenced by the experience of a PCE. The difference is as thin as a cigarette paper but ‘t is a world of difference. Of course, unless one can be virtually free of malice and sorrow – the best one can be while remaining a ‘self’ – then Actual Freedom will remain forever a nice theory, something that has miraculously happened to someone else, or something that is not possible for me.
Thanks for your note. Perhaps when you read the rest of my post you may understand the point I was making about anger and frustration. I would like to continue this discussion as everyone else sees human anger simply in terms of bad or evil, or subscribes to the theory that we are born innocent and ‘contaminated’ afterwards.
RESPONDENT: The words most used by my companions were ‘we had no fault’, we were just standing in the Disco, when they began to hit us, the reason being someone within our group looked at somebody’s girlfriend. I’ve asked myself what is the proper conduct when someone hits you with no apparent reason and what would be the response both to the outer and inner (self) world? It is obvious the fact that you cannot be happy during the time and after the hit, the life of this ‘flesh and blood body’ being at risk, what can one do?
The impulses I’m talking about are the automatic response of the body’s defences to a dangerous situation, the instinctive programming designed to face it, ‘fight or fought’. And if so why not using it if one’s life is at stake, even with the risk of harming other person’s lives?
Is there a better way, that of being harmless? Being harmless, but dead? It is important to say that nobody hit me or had the intention of hitting me, but there were 6 persons beating one of my friends, the one who presumably looked at someone’s girlfriend. I couldn’t just stare so I’ve entered between and tried to calm them, explain it was a misunderstanding; they started hitting me, my friend got away but I’ve received the remaining hit-points.
Was ‘the belonging to the group’ responsible for my injuries, the wrong perception of the aggressors, their mood for violence or my infatuated friend? The general question is how would you respond to a situation when someone is using physical and/or psychological force in obtaining from you something they believe is right, being that a cod of honour, a property good, an idea, desired behaviour, etc.
I’m aware I’ve received my education, set of beliefs, behaviour through power, violence & lies used by my peers and society in order to digest something they thought as right but which was evident error to my common sense. I remember I could do nothing as a child but to cry, be permanently furious, sad and in despair for their conduct. The oldest memory of the world I recall is from the age of 2. I didn’t like the taste of a cup of milk, but my parents forced me to drink it despite my protests, saying at the bottom I’ll find a frog. Of course I didn’t believe it, yet I had no choice but to drink the milk, secretly hoping to see the frog...
PETER: Perhaps I could refer you to the following links, which may be of use to you in your investigations. I tend to be a bit of a long-winded writer so I don’t want to clog the mailing list by repeating information that is readily available and catalogued on the web-site. You can also check on Richard’s catalogue of topics.
I like it that you wrote of your experience and that it brought up so many questions for you. My advice and experience, for what its worth, is to make it your business to seek answers to these questions – not just intellectually but experientially.
The experience of the 5 years since the actualism method has been made available to all has demonstrated that the intent or impetus to investigate the dark side of the human condition – the instinctual passions of fear and aggression – has to come solely from the readers’ own insights based on their own lived experiences. Without this intent or self-motivation, any attempt to have a free and unfettered discussion about the full extent of the human condition can only result in instinctually-defensive reactions such as apathy, denial, resentment, disassociation, resistance or even outright hostility coming to the fore.
PETER: I noticed you made a comment on the following post to the list, and I thought I’d put my two bob in –
GARY to No 8:
PETER: I find it curious that these words of wisdom about physical self-defence supposedly come from a disembodied entity. As such, I would say that an ethereal entity without a physical body would be the least qualified to offer gratuitous moral advice to we corporeal earthly humans. (...)
PETER: Personally, I enjoy being here and have no problem, should the need arise, in aggressively countering another’s obvious intent to destroy me. Obviously I would do all that was reasonable to avoid being in the situation in the first place, or get out of it with all the cunning I could muster, but if all else fails, to lay down and die for a moral principle is clearly silly.
GARY: I notice that you used the word ‘aggressively’ in talking about countering another’s obvious intent to destroy you. So it appears that this is the sticking point: one is still aggressive and falling prey to the instincts, is one not? I have variously tried to imagine what it must be like to be without fear, like Richard. It seems like a mostly futile enterprise, as the fact remains that I am fearful. But I should think that were one without fear, having extirpated the emotional faculty, one would not ‘aggresively’ respond to anything. There would be no need for aggression as intelligence and common sense would guide one as to what to do in any given situation.
PETER: Remember that we are talking of a hypothetical situation as I live in a reasonably ‘safe’ village in a ‘civilized’ country and do nothing that would provoke violence in a ‘reasonable’ person. And yet, if I were to be physically threatened I would firstly use whatever cunning I could to escape the situation but, if this failed, I would defend myself aggressively – as in forcefully, vigorously, robustly. If my life was being actually threatened and there was no avenue of escape, it would seem folly to defend myself in any other manner. And the extent and level of aggression would be appropriate to the situation. If it got to the stage of kill or be killed then there is no question as to who should live – the wanton attacker or the innocent victim – and this distinction is upheld in most legal systems.
I used the word aggressively quite deliberately for two reasons –
Firstly to highlight the fact that to be an actualist is to challenge all beliefs, morals, ethics, values, ideals, dreams and psittacisms. Many ‘good’ people hold to the ideal of pacifism – the fantasy that all we need for peace on earth to happen is for everyone to simply stop fighting all at once. These same well-meaning people generally live in countries with a reasonably effective system of armed police and punitive legal systems to maintain law and order and professional, sophisticated armies to defend their borders. In short, they can afford to pay for other human beings to defend them to the point of killing their attackers if necessary – their idealism of non-violence is ultimately based upon paying others to do their killing for them.
The arch-advocate of pacifism, the Dalai Lama, is the theocratic leader of Tibet but, when push came to shove and the Chinese invaded, he chose to take the gold and flee behind the protection of the Indian Army, leaving his people undefended and overrun. The history of human existence has been one of continuous attack and defence, vanquish and surrender, plunder and retribution, vengeance and revenge. In this senseless grim battle of survival the meek and mild are most often the first to suffer, for it is the ruthless and callous who invariably attempt to inherit the earth.
Pacifism is an ideal, a dream, a fantasy that makes no sense in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. I would recommend Richard’s writings on selected topics on the subject of peace as he has more thoroughly researched the subject than I have and has had the direct experience of being in a war. There is no substitute for first-hand direct experience. The Peace chapter in my Journal may also be of interest.
The second reason I used the word aggressive is to indicate that what we are talking of is the elimination of the automatic instinctual imperative that is constantly in operation, or lurking ever-ready to break through, in human beings. This relentless compulsion leads humans to feel fearful even if there is no apparent physical danger, to feel aggressive towards others even if it is not acted out, to be driven to cultivate nurture for those we consider ‘ours’ as a defence against ‘them’ and the evil of a hostile world, and to be blindly driven by avarice, greed and sexual desire even when we have more than sufficient.
In Virtual Freedom all of these instinctual drives are diminished to the point where they can be clearly seen and experienced as not only unnecessary but totally destructive to my peacefulness. Even more significantly, one also becomes aware of how destructive ‘my’ instinctual passions are to those around me and usually to the ones closest to me. This period of almost-elimination of the instinctual passions is quite disconcerting for one is literally letting one’s guard down, without the protective armour of the good or tender passions to shield oneself. One finds oneself actively doing what no one would advise doing – certainly not the spiritual people for they would see me as abandoning God and heading towards immorality and evil, and certainly not the psychiatrists would see me as heading towards irresponsibility and insanity. The guiding light through this period of almost-elimination of the instinctual passions, where ‘I’ increasingly let go of the controls, is always the PCE, where I know by direct experience that the actual world, this physical infinite eternal universe, is perfect and pure and it is only ‘I’ and ‘my’ tender and savage passions who invariably spoil the game of being alive as a flesh and blood body.
When one dares to temporarily let one’s guard down or, to be more accurate, ‘I’ contrive to allow the guard to slip by itself, one discovers that rather than feeling fear there is utter safety in being alive, firmly locked in this moment of time, rather than feeling aggression there is a direct intimacy with all of one’s fellow human beings, rather than being blindly driven to nurture there is a kindly disposition and well-wishing for all of one’s fellow human beings and rather than unremitting desire one discovers one already has whatever one needs. Of course, I am talking of both purity and perfection and for these qualities to be apparent ‘I’ can claim no credit, for these experiences only happen when ‘I’, as a psychological and psychic entity, have melted into the background sufficiently as to be almost non-existent – when ‘I’ have temporarily left the stage, so-to speak. It now only needs ‘my’ finale, ‘my’ swansong to happen for this to be permanent.
When the ‘game is over’, as you put it so well.
My experience with Virtual Freedom is that I will have had sufficient experiences of both purity and perfection such that when ‘my’ demise occurs ‘the fuses will not blow’, I will not have a period of angst such as Richard had when he popped out of his enlightenment delusion and discovered he was in the actual world, and ‘I’ will not re-emerge after the experience as a vainglorious saviour of mankind.
Not that the latter is an option for it would be an affront to both my dignity and intelligence and I could hardly front up to those who know me and say – ‘guess what, I was wrong. There is a God after all ... and I’m It.’
To get back to your point that
In Virtual Freedom one gets to experientially understand the senselessness of instinctual aggression despite the fact there is still the shadow of ‘me’ lurking around who is ever-ready to re-claim the stage. However, what one increasingly experiences when ‘I’ am almost extinct, is that these blind instinctual reactions become chemical rushes only and more and more lack any emotional or feeling substance. In Virtual Freedom one is virtually harmless.
In a PCE or Actual Freedom there is no ‘me’ as the ever-ready usurper, and intelligence and commonsense operate totally without any restraint and uninhibited by the blind instinctual survival program – as such, innocence, purity and perfection become one’s very nature. Then if aggression is an appropriate response it will appropriately happen of itself, so to speak.
An example of this process of elimination of the instinctual imperative that also comes to mind is the most curious loss of sexual drive that progressively occurred during Virtual Freedom as I explored the true nature of my sexual passions. It was quite bewildering at first, and has taken a good deal of getting used to, but now my sexual play is even more lusty and sensual than when I was a normally inhibited male or a spiritually constrained male with imagination, jealousy and the need for control still operating. Similarly with exploring nurture and debunking love – I now find I am more considerate and caring of others than I ever was.
The commonly held belief is that the excitement and tension that results from instinctual fear is essential to feeling alive and many actively court danger in order to ride the rush of fear. Contrary to this belief, the experience of the near-elimination of instinctual fear allows the thrill of doing what is happening to become increasingly apparent – and this includes doing nothing really well. Again it is universally upheld as a truth that one needs the instinct of aggression, currently manifest in the phrase ‘standing up for my rights’, or else I will be trampled, done in, taken advantage of, etc. What is discovered is quite the opposite, for one increasingly discovers that the actual world is a safe place, brim full of serendipity, delight and wonder.
Whenever the blind animal passions are near-eliminated, or magically fall by the wayside, one always has tantalizing glimpses of what lays beneath – actuality is so much more superior to feelings and imagination for it is actual and effortless as it requires no ‘me’ to be continually maintaining the tender feelings and passions in the face of the savage feelings and passions.
In order to become virtually free, ‘I’ very deliberately get off the stage, and the relief of not having to put on an act is palpable. A leisurely game of delight is increasingly played out before my eyes. In Actual Freedom ‘I’ expire, immolate, die, to let the play be what it actually is – utterly unscripted, uncontrolled, unrehearsed, adlibbed, perfect and pure, moment to moment, right here where I have always been, and as events, people and things are ... right now.
PETER: Personally, I enjoy being here and have no problem, should the need arise, in aggressively countering another’s obvious intent to destroy me. Obviously I would do all that was reasonable to avoid being in the situation in the first place, or get out of it with all the cunning I could muster, but if all else fails, to lay down and die for a moral principle is clearly silly.
GARY: In response to this comment about ‘aggressively’ countering a lethal attack, I seized on your use of the word ‘aggressively’, believing that I had discovered a contradiction: that an actualist could espouse being happy and harmless whilst advocating aggressive means to deal with violence. In another subsequent post to me, you clarified your use of the word ‘aggressive’:
I was satisfied with your detailed post in which the preceding excerpt was included.
Your use of the word ‘aggressive’ was used in the sense of denoting a robust, vigorous, and forceful response to violence aimed at one, not necessarily meaning use of lethal force. I agree with your comments to the effect that every other means possible should be taken to de-escalate a violent confrontation short of using lethal force. I have found that one can do much to avoid being in situations that are potentially violent by increased vigilance to one’s own malice and sorrowful feelings, to the point that one is questioning oneself constantly, attentive to the automatic ‘me’ responses of defensiveness, fear, and anger. Rather than responding with submissive behaviour, ie. the automatic conditioned response to ‘be nicey-nice’, one goes on with one’s interactions with another who may be angry without missing a beat, because one has not fallen prey to feeling personally insulted, offended, or otherwise maligned because there is no ‘me’ or ‘I’ at the wheel needing defense. One is also not on some kind of ‘mission’ to provide nurturance or succour to those who are disturbed by anger or violence, a response that is often inculcated into one by spiritual values such as ‘turning the other cheek’. It is stupid to turn the other cheek when someone is angry, unless one is a ‘holy man’ and has to prove that they are ‘compassionate’. I find it increasingly difficult to understand why people around me are so willing to wallow around in angry feelings, feeling resentful, sorrowful, and upset over what often appear to be trifling matters. I say this out of no sense of superiority, as I have my ‘blind spots’ I am sure, and can be just as easily triggered off by situations over which I seem to have no control. In fact, such happened recently, and I was greatly disturbed to see myself reacting in unhelpful and nonsensical ways. As you wrote most recently:
Yes, that is so.
This is precisely what happened on the most recent occasion when I exploded in anger at my partner’s grandson. I immediately felt guilty and ashamed of myself and secluded myself upstairs in my den. After a period of cooling down, I was able to explore and examine what was going on with me that provoked my response. The whole thing still rather mystifies me. While I have discovered some things about ‘me’ through this experience, I still have the sense that I am skating around on the surface of the thing.
So, thank you Peter for being willing to explore this in detail with me. I found your replies helpful in that they have given me more grist for the mill.
PETER: When you write of exploding in anger at your partner’s grandson, I remember a similar instance where I did the same to the son of my partner at the time. We had one son each from previous partners and I became aware of how much more ‘tolerant’ I was of ‘my’ son’s behaviour than ‘her’ son. Now I am clearly able to see that it was because I was instinctually programmed to favour, be biased, turn a blind eye to, defend and be sympathetic towards my ‘own’, i.e. the instinct to nurture my ‘own’ counteracts the usual instinctual reaction of aggression that I felt towards other human beings.
The other reaction I became aware of was a feeling of jealousy that I had of the special relationship she had with her son. It was an instinctual bond and therefore was stronger and overrode the relationship that I had with her. There is a good deal of statistical evidence that points to outbreaks of violence towards stepchildren caused either by jealousy or innate intolerance.
Looking back it was indeed shocking at the time to have this instinctual anger well up from deep inside me – it was both bewildering as I could not rationally explain it and neither was I quick enough or able to keep a lid on it. It was a prime example of LeDoux’s findings about the quick and dirty response in action, in me. This intensity of instinctual reaction did not happen very often in my life but when it did it was too strong to ignore. It did not matter whether the reaction was an evil thought, a verbal outburst or a physical action (rare in my case as I was a well-bought-up, goody-two-shoes, Spiritual Snag at the time), I could not deny that I was angry.
The last time such an uncontrollable outburst of anger happened was about a year before meeting Richard so I had no trouble in remembering and acknowledging that beneath ‘my’ loving persona there lurked a suppressed and controlled crude animal instinctual ‘me’. When offered the possibility of ridding myself of this instinctual aggression once and for all, I leapt at the chance.
Your story has reminded me of the fact that it is this acknowledging of aggression in oneself that is the key to wanting to change irrevocably. If one only wants happiness for oneself then that is insufficient motive or intent to get stuck into the business of irrevocably changing oneself. It needs an altruistic motive rather than the mere self-gratification of being happy and that motive is to be actually peaceful – to do no harm to one’s fellow human beings, as in not instinctually feeling aggression towards others, not instinctually feeling sorrow for others, not being blindly driven to nurture others and not being blindly driven to desire power over others.
This facet is one that I had forgotten when I recently penned the ‘map’ of the path but it is one that is vital to success on the path. To emphasize the harmless part of becoming happy and harmless is to tap into a well of innate altruism in the human species that will guarantee one success on the path to Actual Freedom. Again this is diametrically opposite to the spiritual path where self-gratification is the aim, transcendence of evil is the process and a feeling of superiority to (as in more holier than thou) and compassion (as in pity) for others more ignorant and less-realized is the inevitable result.
PETER to Gary: A couple of lines from your post to Vineeto have twigged me to write a comment. I particularly liked the following line from your post to Vineeto –
In the same vein, to blame one’s own anger on the careless driver who cuts in on you, on what someone else said or didn’t say to you, on what someone else did or didn’t do, or on some event that did or didn’t happen sometime in the past or in your childhood is but to perpetuate anger by the simple act of justification.
It is a fact that the only way to stop mass outbreaks of violence is to use even more violence as was done to the Nazis in WW2 and no doubt will be done to the current crop of bad boys. Acknowledging this fact means one is thus freed from following the hypocritical and self righteous path of pacifism which in turn enables one to focus on the only possible contribution one can make to bringing an end to the anger and sadness that blights the human species – getting rid of your own malice and sorrow.
PETER to Gary: You also wrote the following –
There is a widely held belief that the human species has had a Golden Age at some time in the past or that a natural state of innocence existed way back in the mists of time and that this all the ills of mankind are due to the loss of this supposed innocence and peacefulness. This supposed loss is generally attributed to technological and scientific progress and an accompanying retreat from spiritual and primitive values.
The factual evidence from anthropological and archaeological research directly contradict these beliefs as there is ample evidence that every tribal group fought amongst each other as well as with their neighbours. These fights were either defensive or opportunistic attacks with the victims most often either eaten or offered up as sacrifice to the Spirits or Gods. Cannibalism was still practiced in some primitive tribes until mid last century whilst human sacrifice to some God or other has yet to cease.
And yet despite all the evidence of the human species’ predilection for anger and violence the belief that its causes are other than blind nature’s instinctual animal survival programming are still not only prevalent but held to be credible. There is even a notion that some animals are innocent and peace loving creatures. Dolphins are often lauded as such despite evidence of what can only be described as warfare, rape and mob violence. Our closest genetic cousins, the chimps, are similarly touted as gentle, peaceful creatures whereas warfare, rape, murder, infanticide and cannibalism have all been observed and documented as occurring as intrinsic to their natural state.
The factual evidence of the instinctual nature of animal and human animal violence is ignored, resisted, denied or dismissed. Many researches have bowed to public pressure and either willingly or reluctantly recanted their findings. As an example, Jane Goodall now makes no mention of the errant and malicious side of chimp’s natural behaviour that she documented early in her career, whilst anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon is still being subjected to malicious personal attacks because his studies of the primitive Yanomamo tribe in Venezuela. The Yanomamo were one of those ‘extremely rare cases of tribes way off in the jungle somewhere’ who were imagined to be ‘essentially peaceful’ and yet Changnon’s studies proved that they were anything but peaceful and innocent in their natural state.
The following is an excerpt from an article about Chagnon’s findings and I will post it here only because the link I had to it is no longer active –
Also, if you are interested in the treatment still being dished out to N. Chagnon by some of his opponents, you could start with the following link – http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1282/22_52/67004535/print.jhtml
There is nothing as thrilling as the process of actively discarding one’s social beliefs and experientially understanding one’s instinctual animal nature by the simple act of seeing and acknowledging facts. This process does put one’s social and instinctual ‘self’ on the spot, as it were. I likened the process to painting my ‘self’ into a corner from whence there was no escape possible.
PETER to No 22: You posted the following to the list –
The author’s ‘suggestion’ does beg the question as to why the most watched offerings of the entertainment industry – be they films, books, television, games, sport, music or the like – are those that portray violence and conflict as well as those that convey sorrow and loss? Does this not say much about the human condition that malice and sorrow is popular entertainment?
The other most popular entertainment falls into the fairy-tale category – be it romance, soaps, science fiction, witches, goblins, spirits, ghosts and the like. This tendency for other-worldly escapism is also mirrored in the spiritual and religious fairy-tale beliefs that have been passed down to us through the mists of time. Does this not say much about the human condition that escapism and denial is either popular entertainment or deemed to be humanity’s Great Wisdom?
Indeed one could even ask a further question as to why the popular and enduring religious and spiritual propagandas all portray human existence on this planet as a perennial struggle and fight betwixt Good and Evil forces. Does this not say much about the human condition that life on earth is believed by the majority of human beings to be a perennial struggle concocted by some imaginary Divine force?
This line of questioning could even lead anyone who was sufficiently curious and interested on to asking why all the great religious and spiritual propagandas portray human existence on this planet as essentially a suffering existence and that ultimately peace can only be experienced somewhere else after physical death? Does this not say much about the human condition that peace on earth is not the agenda of the so-called Great Wisdoms of the world?
And, if I was sincerely interested in bringing an end to the violence and suffering the exemplifies that human condition on this planet, then might I not be vitally interested in questioning my own anger, frustration, resentment, disenchantment, melancholy, sadness and the like? Does it not say much about the human condition that human beings always blame other human beings for being malicious and for perpetuating sorrow – the four in every hundred men blamed in the article posted – and yet they refuse to acknowledge the direct connection between their own feelings and passions and those of whom they willingly blame?
But spiritualists don’t like asking themselves questions such as this because they have already accepted the Truth of a life after death – provided that they personally are Good or Godly enough. Subsequently they will grasp at any straws in order to justify their belief and uphold their spiritual identity as well as stubbornly deny any facts and actualities that could possibly upset their apple cart.
RESPONDENT: Before speculating about the reasons
There are two quick questions.
PETER: I must admit I did not check the bona fides of the authors of the article. Was the article not meant to be serious?
PETER: Because the title of my comment was appropriate to the author’s thrust in the article. I see from your comment to Gary that your interest in this topic has already waned but I would add the following comment for other’s who may be interested.
Every human being is genetically encoded with an aggressive instinctual passion and every human being is taught to keep a lid on this passion by a combination of reward for being good or punishment for being bad. Those who succeed in repressing their aggression are then deemed to be good whilst those who fail to repress their aggression within socially acceptable levels are deemed to be bad or evil and are then punished for erring. Any gross failure in repressing this innate instinctual aggression results in punishment by laws ranging from fines to imprisonment and even execution in some societies.
What I did was dig beneath my social programming and discovered my instinctual animal lust for aggression. By doing so I was able to confirm by direct experience the fact that, at core, the human condition of malice and sorrow is entirely the result of the instinctual passions – and not some mysterious evil force or spirits as is commonly believed. Many people have experienced, at some time in their lives, a lust to kill or maim – be it in a fit of jealousy, a desire for revenge or retribution, the urge to obliterate – but most do not physically act on the urge. But even if the passion remains repressed and not acted upon, any malicious feelings that one becomes aware of are the tip of an iceberg – signs of the repressed instinctual passion for aggression bubbling to the surface of awareness.
The authors of the article imply that only very few people – four percent of men in their opinion – have a lustful passion for aggression whilst the rest have a ‘different nature from the one portrayed in war films’. This conclusion can only have been reached by someone who has yet to either acknowledge or investigate his or her own malicious feelings and thus experience what is in fact at the root of the evil that has forever blighted humanity. Whilst I admit it does take a certain courage to dare to examine one’s own dark side, at the very least it may help one to break free of the craving to self-righteously blame others for all the evil in the world.
RESPONDENT: Just some thoughts –
How is it possible for all the bad stuff to go, those bad emotions etc., how can they go for good?
PETER: I assume from your posts that you have had a good grounding in the awareness-watching business, which is a reasonable starting point. You also seem interested in the possibility of getting rid of at least some of the emotions i.e. the bad ones. One of the problems usually with the traditional awareness approach is that one can spread oneself a bit thin on the ground and not zero in on a particular issue. It makes good sense to pick one issue out of the bundle of feelings and emotions that assail one every day. Anger is an excellent starting point as it is an easily recognised and strongly felt emotion. The next trick is to pick a situation that causes you to be angry. It could be when driving your car, an excellent time for self-observation. The aim would then be not to get angry with other drivers, pedestrians, traffic jams, slow drivers, red lights, etc. To be aware of when anger arises, with the aim of not letting anger ruin your happiness while driving the car. For me, I particularly remember someone at work who could raise my heckles and ruin my happiness for hours afterwards. I made it my mission for a few weeks not to let him get at me. Not to get angry, not to let anyone get me angry. Not to let the bugger get me down! It wasn’t him personally – it could have been anyone or any situation. And anger itself went. I suggest giving it a go in an actual situation, give it a try.
RESPONDENT: What removes them?
PETER: You, there is no one else who is as vitally interested in your happiness as you ... and there is no God to do it.
RESPONDENT: Is it the removal of the verbal belief or is it some times more the removal of an actual false impression about something ie. the removal of an impression that is stimulated under a certain condition but which has no real substance apart from itself and if so why keep it?
PETER: No, in the example I gave above anger is anger and it not only ruins your day but it will probably do no good to the person you get angry with.
RESPONDENT: What is left? Yes, that is certainly a concern.
PETER: From my experience – two things, both positive. One is a little bit less of ‘No 3’. ‘No 3 the angry one’ will have disappeared. Second that means that there is more possibility of and more opportunity for being happy and harmless. It is but the simple putting into practice of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ In this case it is while driving the car, driver cuts in on you, flash of anger, reported and noted, back to being happy. Next time driver breaks sharply in front, got it even quicker then, even quicker back to being happy and eventually ... ‘well that was a pretty silly thing he did, good thing he missed me ... what a lovely day it is to be driving a car ... such a good thing, this being alive business ... funny ... I used to get really angry about things like that...’
PETER: Anger is an excellent starting point as it is an easily recognised and strongly felt emotion. The next trick is to pick a situation that causes you to be angry. It could be when driving your car, an excellent time for self-observation. The aim would then be not to get angry with other drivers, pedestrians, traffic jams, slow drivers, red lights, etc. To be aware of when anger arises, with the aim of not letting anger ruin your happiness while driving the car. For me, I particularly remember someone at work who could raise my heckles and ruin my happiness for hours afterwards. I made it my mission for a few weeks not to let him get at me. Not to get angry, not to let anyone get me angry. Not to let the bugger get me down! It wasn’t him personally – it could have been anyone or any situation. And anger itself went. I suggest giving it a go in an actual situation, give it a try.
RESPONDENT: I don’t quite understand the above. Is it a determination not to get angry or an effort to discover why one is getting angry? My experience is that anger is usually supported by other feelings and beliefs. It is funny though that I have never really made the decision to be free of anger full stop, even though I tend to be a ‘do it all or not at all’ sort. It seems easier to assume that you’re committed. I will have to investigate this. It is interesting to note that my way of not getting angry at others is to get angry only at myself which means it is only controlled not eliminated.
PETER: I just made the decision one day. I acknowledged that anger was ruining my happiness and wasn’t at all pleasant for those I was angry with. Then you feel guilty, remorseful, the other ‘forgives’ you, then you feel resentful and on, and on, it goes. I was a ‘good’ man and didn’t get violent or shout or rant and rave, but the anger would come out as snideness, sarcasm, withdrawal, indifference, etc. I got so fed up with the whole mood-driven business, particularly in my relationships with women that I even abandoned the whole idea of relationship altogether. Then I met Richard and discovered I could eliminate these churning feelings and emotions such that I could live with a woman in peace and harmony. It was such a good decision I made and the rewards are spectacular, to say the least.
PETER to No 3: I wanted to take the opportunity to write a bit more about morals and ethics being the ‘guardian at the gate’ that prevents ‘good’ people from firstly acknowledging their ‘dark’ side and secondly prevents the necessary clear-eyed investigation that can bring about the elimination of the instinctual passions.
I think we can take it as given – at least for those who have taken the time to read sufficiently to grasp what Actual Freedom is about – that those in the spiritual world indulge in a complete denial of the savage instinctual passions by labelling them evil. The current fashion for Eastern spirituality is based upon the Tabula Rasa theory whereby humans are born innocent and then corrupted by the inherent evils of society and earthly and bodily desires. The traditional Eastern approach was to practice renunciation, meditation, asceticism and celibacy in order to turn away from the material world and the so-called ‘evils of the flesh’. Then aim to dissociate from the feelings thereby transcending them to become a new holier personality who is then, by definition, above evil.
I thought it might be useful to look at instinctual aggression and see what the state of play is within the human condition. It is a topic that spiritual people are unwilling to look at for they are usually so identified with being pious, feeling self-righteous and being so proud of their sanctimonious achievements as to be totally unaware of their myopic viewpoint. Some New Dark Age spiritual teachings integrate cathartic exercises as a way of expressing anger and hostility in the belief that catharsis is effective in reducing aggressive behaviour in spite of the many studies that provide evidence that catharsis encourages and reinforces angry and hostile behaviour rather than reduces it. But, apart from paying a bit of nominal lip-service to the more modern concepts of societal conditioning, the Ancient Wisdom of all spiritual teachings is firmly rooted in the belief that instinctual aggression was a result of being overcome by evil spirits.
I went searching on the Web for information on instinctual aggression and found it to be a not very popular topic of discussion. One article I came across offered a summary of the basic psychological theories of aggression and I thought it might be useful to post some relevant sections. The author writes –
Gilula and Daniels (1969) describe the frustration theory of the origin of an aggressive drive state. According to this theory, aggression is a drive condition that comes from interference with ongoing purposeful activity. A person feels frustrated when a violation of his hopes or expectations occurs, and then he tries to solve the problem by behaving aggressively. Frustrations can come in various forms such as threats to life, thwarting of basic needs, and personal insults. <Snip>
According to this argument, the expression of hostility should decrease the likelihood of any further aggression if there is no further frustration. This view is consistent with the catharsis theory of aggression. Many people believe that aggressive acting-out behaviour reduces aggression and hostility, and most theories of play therapy for children are still based on this notion. With this type of therapy, the frustrated, angry, hostile child behaves aggressively, and supposedly this aggressive behaviour reduces his level of hostility and aggression
The social-learning theory of aggression described by Gilula and Daniels (1969) implies that not only can aggressive behaviour be non-cathartic, but that aggressive behaviour will tend to increase the probability of later aggression. This theory is based on the assumption that aggressive behaviour results from child-rearing practices and other forms of socialization and not from some inner drives, whether instinctual or frustration-produced. Aggressive behaviour can be acquired merely by watching and learning, often by imitation, and does not require frustration.
Aggressive behaviours rewarded by a society usually reflect the basic values and adaptive behaviours of the group. The social-learning theory of aggression suggests that control and reduction of violence requires changes in cultural traditions, child-rearing practices, and parental examples. Aggression cannot be reduced by catharsis according to this theory. Aggression engaged in to let off steam would only be increased due to emotional activity and new learning experiences.Aggression and Catharsis by Billy E. Pennal, Ph.D. © 1975
The first issue that I found interesting was the up-front distinction made between aggression and assertiveness. This distinction is the fundamental premise upon which all psychological studies of aggressive behaviour are founded. It is universally accepted – i.e. held to be a fact – that human beings need to be aggressive towards other human beings in order to survive – to assert one’s rights, to get one’s way, to survive in the struggle, etc. To walk this fine line of socially acceptable behaviour whereby ‘Aggressiveness infringes upon the rights of others, whereas, assertiveness prevents others from infringing upon one’s own rights’ requires constant vigilance and ‘self’-control. One is forever tip-toeing around and attempting to balance varying conflicting rights, morals and ethical values –the only possible result being a sad and unsatisfactory compromise for all involved. Nobody wins, everybody loses and everybody pays the price of having to continue the battle another way on another day or by feeling resentful at losing or having to surrender. Unless one is willing to look at both aggressiveness and assertiveness, whether overtly or covertly expressed – the whole package – it is impossible to be free of malice.
I don’t intend to comment on the three psychological theories of the basis of aggression in detail for the whole issue is well documented on the Actual Freedom Trust website, but rather I posted them for information and contrast.
All of the traditional solutions within the human condition to bringing an end to malice and sorrow have been found wanting. Despite the well-meaning efforts, none of the ploys, constraints or noble feelings have managed to bring an end to human malice, for aggressiveness is indeed a genetically-encoded instinctual passion and is ultimately ‘self’-centred – based upon the instinctual animal self. These instinctual reactions result in thoughtless, inconsiderate and utterly self’-ish and ‘self’-centred emotions, feelings and actions. The modern way is to dare to eliminate this instinctual ‘self’ – the redundant wiring in the reptilian brain that automatically causes this flesh and blood body to blindly react to people, things and events.
What I have discovered on the path to Actual Freedom is that layer upon layer of aggressiveness is revealed when one begins to become aware of malice in operation in one’s own psyche. All of this malice can ultimately be sheeted home to a ‘me’ inside this flesh and blood body who feels attacked, who loves to fight, who likes to blame others, who likes to see others suffer, who thinks he is right, who likes to feel superior, who feels resentful, who is ever on-guard and who feels and thinks he needs to be in control. It takes an enormous amount of naiveté and sincere intent to dare to let one’s guard down and acknowledge the rottenness of the instinctual passions that are programmed in this body. Both naiveté and sincere intent are gleaned from the pure consciousness experiences we have all had in our lives and these experiences form the very basis of the inherent knowledge we all have that there must be something better than normal life within the human condition.
Just as an example of real-world beliefs about aggressiveness in humans, I came across this review, which I thought worthy of posting –
The last sentence had me rolling on the floor – if only he knew!
It’s interesting to dig around and to see the real-world views on aggression and to see what the psychiatrists and sociologists, theoretical biologists and evolutionary biologists, are making of instinctual aggressiveness. The spiritual search is based on the notion that ‘you can’t change human nature’, hence the search for one’s divine (non-human) nature or true Self – and the same premise operates in the real-world, hence the continual need to be ever on-guard, lest one runs amok.
What I found was that the harmless part of wanting to be happy and harmless was the key in pushing myself beyond what I considered safe limits – beyond the normal definition of aggressiveness into questioning the need for ‘me’ to be assertive in order for ‘me’ to survive, to get what ‘I’ wanted, to get ‘my’ way in every situation. In order to move into these areas of ‘self’-examination it is clear that one needs to firstly investigate and abandon the moral and ethical restraints that cause the welling-up of feelings of shame and guilt simply for having felt these savage passions in the first place. Guilt and shame are crippling and debilitating feelings, an integral part of one’s instilled social identity.
To go beyond these feelings is a daring action and a clue is to see one’s inner investigation as an investigation of the Human Condition in operation in one’s own psyche. To see the instinctual passions as no fault of yours; you are not bad or evil for thinking these thoughts, for having these feelings, for being blindly driven to want to act this way. Keep your hands in your pockets, neither expressing nor repressing the passions, but observing them in action inside – knowing that what is going on is only in your head and your heart.
What fascinating explorations – to see how ‘I’ operate and to actually feel ‘me’ in action. This seeing, this investigation, is the very ending of ‘me’ for all the mystique, mystery, cunningness and deviousness is exposed to the light of sensible understanding.
There is an enormous dare in being here, in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are – free of the instinctual passions, held to be necessary in order to survive, and free of the crutch of having ‘God by one’s side’ for protection.
Well, enough for now. I just wanted to write a bit about the putting into action of actualism – for to treat it as a philosophy is to miss the main event and thereby completely miss out on the rewards of becoming actually happy and harmless.
PETER: As a somewhat callow young man aged 20, I went to Europe for the first time and was particularly struck by the fact that literally every square metre of Europe had been soaked in human blood at some stage in history, be it in pre-historic times, the stone age, the iron age, the bronze age, medieval times or modern times, given that World War Two had only ended less than a quarter of a century prior to my visit. Wherever I went I found monuments to some battle or other and remnants of defensive walls and embattlements from all cultures and all epochs and visited field upon field, village upon village, and city upon city where hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of human beings had either deliberately killed and maimed their fellow human beings or had been deliberately killed and maimed by their fellow human beings. I was also struck by the fact that these same disputes, skirmishes, battles and wars are still being waged all over the planet, either overtly or covertly, and will keep on doing so for no other reason that it is human nature for human beings to keep doing so. Faced by the utter futility of ever being able to do anything about the situation, I, like countless others before and since, learned to turn a blind eye to what I had seen with my own eyes and in doing so desensitised myself from feeling such feelings as sorrow, grief, despair and hopelessness when confronted with the extent of human beings’ perpetual animosity towards other human beings.
RESPONDENT: I don’t know what I am supposed to comment here. It is fact that people are killing people.
PETER: I have always taken that as a given, an undeniable irrefutable fact that I first became aware of as a ten year old when I first saw photos of piles of corpses from what has become known as the holocaust on my parents black and white TV.
RESPONDENT: Question: Why do they do kill each other? Answer: Because they are subject to the passions.
PETER: I have since come to know that such killings as the holocaust – an estimated 4,200,000 to 5,800,000 human beings killed – are in fact but the tip of a very big iceberg indeed in that an estimated 160,000,000 human beings were killed by other human beings in wars alone in the last century and perhaps even more tellingly an estimated 174,000,000 human beings died at the hands of their own autocratic governments in the last century alone. The reason I find the second hemoclysm more telling than the first is that by and large these killings were not the result of disputes over territory and resources, nor were they fuelled by religious convictions but rather most of these killings were the result of what could be described as a deep-seated passion or lust for killing per se.
RESPONDENT: Question: Why are they subject to the passions? In the answer to this question you come up with all these theories (evolution, biological heritage, social conditioning), which, eventually, lead you into an explanatory dead-end street: It is all due to blind nature!
PETER: The explanation that the passion for killing, for example, is a biological inheritance passed down through the genes that we human animals share with all other animals was traditionally a dead-end street but this no longer the case nowadays.
Prior to the discovery that an actual freedom from the instinctual passions of malice and of sorrow is possible, the spiritualists had the meaning-of-life market cornered in that they proposed that life on earth was fundamentally miserable because the ‘true’ meaning of life was to found ‘elsewhere’, i.e. somewhere other than in the physical world. Materialists were then left with the counter-proposition that there is no such thing as a meaning of life that needs to be sought and found in order to find fulfilment – a position which leaves them espousing various coping mechanisms and ideologies aimed at ‘making the best of reality’.
The recent discovery of actualism means there is now a third alternative to the usual either/or alternative of spiritualism vs. materialism and one no longer needs to deny or ignore the fact that human beings are instinctually driven beings – nowadays one has the option of taking a clear-eyed look at this fact and get on with the business of becoming free from the instinctual passions themselves.
RESPONDENT: Before you go can you answer one question? Q: If an observation comes along that contradicts what you call a fact, what happens to your fact?
PETER: Given that this is your speculation, could you explain what other observation would possibly come along that would contradict the fact that human beings are instinctually-driven animals and that this instinctual program manifests itself in homo sapiens as instinctual passions mainly those of fear, aggression, nurture and desire – given that this is the topic we are talking about. An observation that we are not of-the-earth animals, but made in the likeness of some God, perhaps? An observation that we are indeed aliens seeded here by an alien not-of-earth civilization from a yet to be discovered planet perhaps? These are amongst the common ones – or did you have something else in mind?
RESPONDENT: Though you haven’t answered my question I will try to answer yours: The way you have expressed your question shows how certain you are of your position, but other just-as-intelligent human beings are not as convinced as you. I dare say they have thought as deeply about the issues as you. Here are some quotes and their sources:
These are strongly backed statements, far stronger than anything you have come up with so far.
PETER: I don’t know how discerning you were in selecting the quotes but this is the author’s stated position with regard to aggression from the preface of the book you quoted –
And from a section of the website entitled ‘The Anger of Activists as a Basis for Optimism’
Personally, I fail to appreciate anything positive at all in aggressive behaviour nor do I see the anger of those who rile against some ideology, belief, political viewpoint, culture or creed that contradicts their own as being either positive or constructive, I simply see it for what it is – people being angry.
As for your second link to a UNESCO website, the manifesto – apparently based on the same author’s ‘over-20-years-of-laboratory-research’ – is offered as supporting evidence for a program to teach non-violence to children. The obvious question that arises is – do they also teach the children that they should ‘fully appreciate the value of aggressive behaviour’ given that it is part and parcel of the same author’s thinking on the subject?
RESPONDENT: I am aware that there are plenty of people who support your position and you could dig up relevant quotes.
PETER: Actually there are very few who publicly dissent from the popular view but here is a quote from one man who has had over 30 years of on-the-ground research studying the physical evidence of human beings’ violence towards other human beings since the very beginnings of the emergence of homo sapiens –
RESPONDENT: My purpose in providing these quotes is to amplify my point – nothing you have said so far has the ring of necessity about it. I’m not saying that my mind is settled either way.
PETER: If the purpose of the quotes was to support a case for lack of proper nurture being the cause of human aggression, I can only suggest you do a little more reading before firing them off, but then again your concern is apparently not so much about the veracity of any contradictory observations but more about the fact that contradictory observations exist.
RESPONDENT: I’m pointing out that to settle my mind (and many others) you would have to come up with evidence that would silence the whole nature vs nurture debate without recourse to ad hominem techniques such as ‘I came to understand that the so-called ‘experts’ who taught me the things they had been taught had little to no practical hands-on experience’.
PETER: I have not the slightest interest in silencing the whole nature vs. nurture debate for that is an impossibility.
RESPONDENT No 65 to Richard: My interpretation, by the way you correspond (steamroll/verbally attack), is that peace on earth is no where to be found in your correspondence. You are just another vain ego up on your pedestal imagining your own subjective interpretation (and that is all it can ever be, verbal or otherwise) is the final arbiter, and the interpretations of your correspondents amount to jack shit.
RESPONDENT: So many of us see the same thing, and have for years. I’m sure we’ve all wondered many times whether it was just us, or whether there was really something there to see. How could we all be imagining this? This was my take on it after a particularly shitful episode back in January ‘04 ... and as far as I can see nothing has changed since then. Just another dozen or so correspondents have come and gone in apparent disgust or disillusionment. http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=909449957 (See )
PETER: I don’t know whether you have noticed or not but the argument that ‘many of us see the same thing, and have for years’ is a particularly weak one given that the ‘many of us’ you are apparently speaking for are, and have all along been on this mailing list, what is known as the vocal minority.
I remember being fascinated by the letters page of the local newspaper for a while in my years of investigating the human condition and wondering what motivated these people to take the time to write letters to the paper not only disparaging this idyllic speck of the planet in such grey and grim terms but also to mount vitriolic personal attacks on others who live here. I came to notice that the letter writers were indeed a vocal minority – by and large the same people reappeared regularly, those with a particular ideology to flog or those with a chip on their shoulder ready to take up the latest antagonistic cause – a vocal minority who take it upon themselves to provoke the underlying fears and resentments and reinforce the inherent prejudices of one section or other of the community against another.
The other thing I noticed was that this vocal minority often used exaggeration, misrepresentations, factoids and outright lies together with evocative language in order to convince as many readers as possible to join their cause and fight the good fight against those fellow human beings in the local community they perceived as being evil. Their passion for their cause meant that they had little to no regard at all for facts – apparently, the end justifies any means and if one passionately believes other people to be evil or to be doing evil, then there is nothing they won’t stoop to in order to try and rally others to their cause.
The way I got myself out of being a part of this perpetual cycle of antagonism and contrariness that typifies the human condition was to begin at home as it were. Whenever an issue arose between Vineeto and I that was a cause for any antagonism or disagreement, we put the issue on the table, put our personal beliefs, convictions and predilections aside and investigated the facts of the matter. Sometimes the facts revealed that one of us had got it wrong, often that both of us had got it wrong but it mattered little who was wrong, or why, for that matter – when we came to acknowledge the fact of the matter at hand, the fact stood for itself as being a fact. Simple, really – end of any confusion, end of any contradictions, end of antagonism, end of conflict and an irrevocable end of what would have been an ongoing issue that stood in the way of continuing peace and harmony.
The other thing I don’t know whether you have noticed or not is that this is what Richard does in his discussions with people who have a chip on their shoulder or an axe to grind on this mailing list. What he does when he chooses to address one of the reoccurring allegations about something they feel he has said or done or something they feel he didn’t say or didn’t do, is to refer readers to what he actually said – i.e. he simply puts the facts of the matter on the table. Of course those who passionately believe their feelings about the matter they have raised to be ‘the truth’ very often do not care a fig about the facts of the matter because, as you would know from observing others, when passion rules the roost common sense is nowhere to be found.
Now the question – for those who are interested – is how to break out of this habit if you have found yourself sucked into it, or suckered into it by following the lead of others?
As is evidenced and confirmed by a recent correspondent to this mailing list an essential first step is to take a long look at one’s own deeply-ingrained resentment at being born and having to be here. If one cares to break this habit of feeling resentful – and avoid the traditional antidotal trap of feeling gratitude to Someone or Something – the fact that one no longer feels resentful for being here disempowers the very driving force for one’s resentfulness towards one’s fellow human beings together with feelings such as anger, pity, jealousy and envy. The accompanying essential step is to stop focussing one’s attention on how you perceive, as in intuitively feel, others to be and to start paying exclusive attention to the only person whose feelings, intentions, sincerity and integrity you can know for certain – ‘me’.
Now the difficulty in actually doing either of these things is that both of them run contrary to the human condition – resentment at having to be here is par for the course within the human condition as is the ongoing obsession with intuiting or interpreting the feelings and motivations of one’s fellow human beings, and not only those human beings we actually get to meet or communicate with directly but also those we have never ever met, based on the by-and-large biased reports of yet others.
But then again that’s the challenge intrinsic to the process of actualism – to do something radically different to what everyone else has been biologically programmed to do and socially conditioned to think and feel, to be sensible in that one obeys the laws and conforms to societal protocols yet be a rebel in that one devotes one’s life to not only breaking free from the crowd but to become actually free of the human condition itself.
RESPONDENT: When I look into the feeling – there is the cause of the feeling and there is the effect of the feeling and there is no clear boundary in between ... at least in the beginning.
PETER: It’s good to keep in mind that many a person is in prison solely because of the effects of a feeling, be it anger, jealousy, envy, resentment, greed and so on. They are locked up away from mainstream society for many and varying reasons of course and the courts by and large take note of the varying causes in order to determine what are called mitigating circumstances but by-and-large they are there because of the effect of a feeling.
RESPONDENT: The effect (the expression and evolution) of the feeling dominates the cause. One may feel irritated because his boss said something about him and might discharge that irritation on his child’s undone homework thinking that it is the cause. I guess more attentiveness reveals the actual cause. But is there always a cause? How about when one deals with instincts? Is there a cause or trigger?
PETER: Given that I have written millions of words on this subject I am reluctant to track over it again … other than to say that if you are being attentive of the consequences your feeling irritated has on your own wellbeing and on the wellbeing of those upon whom you inflict your irritation and this is not enough of an incentive to stop feeling irritated, then no amount of musing about cause and effect will help.
I am reminded of those who argue about the possible link between violent videos and violence and whether or not one is the cause of the other, all the while blithely ignoring the fact that both are expressions of violence and that violence is and always has been endemic to human nature. The current popular argument is about the ‘causes’ of terrorism, a by and large diversionary argument that completely avoids the fact that such acts of senseless anarchical violence are part and parcel of the human condition and always have been part and parcel of the human condition.
I am in no way discouraging you from doing all you can about eliminating malice and sorrow from your life – it is the very best practical contribution that one can make towards ending all the wars, rapes, murders, child abuse, conflicts, despair and suicides that plague humanity – but when all is said, and all is done, an actual freedom is only to be had by stepping out of the real world and into the actual world.
VINEETO to No 60: Given that the whole reason why we are discussing your interest, or non-interest, in actualism is the fact that you said you have not been intimidated by naysayers and objectionists – can you now see that the reason why they have not bothered to deter you from committing to actualism may well be because you have not begun to commit yourself to being an actualist?
RESPONDENT: Good god, Vineeto, you are clutching at straws. Can you ever admit a mistake? Have you ever admitted a mistake on this list? Please provide examples.
Get over your martyrhood, Vineeto. It’s not actualism that’s attracting ‘intimidation’ by naysayers and objectionists. No one intimidates anyone on this list unless it is with the full co-operation from the ‘victim’. The ‘victim’ is completely free to filter this list. It’s really that simple! Just say no! If the ‘victim’ does not have the resources to deal with ‘intimidation’ on this list then they really should stop participating in their own suffering. If anything, shouldn’t ‘deterence’ just build strength on this wide and wondrous path? You are not a good advertisement for actualism. In fact, you’re an anti-advertisement.
PETER: This is perhaps the most perverse argument that anyone has yet come up with to justify the intimidatory ad hominem attacks that sometimes appear on this mailing list. I see you have taken another correspondent’s comment –
and run with it, to the point of bringing in the hoary old spiritual/ psychological adage of describing someone as being a ‘victim’.
Describing someone as being a victim or of having a victim mentality – as in ‘they asked for it’ or ‘they shouldn’t complain because it happens to everyone’ or ‘they are just weak’ or ‘they should shut up if they can’t stand the heat’ or ‘they haven’t got the stomach for a good fight’ and so on – is a widely used argument within the dog-eat-dog world that is often employed by victimizers to justify their victimization.
If I can just cut to the quick here as I have sat back and watched as correspondents on this mailing list have freely discussed a comment I originally made to another correspondent –
Whilst I do appreciate that this comment may on the face of it appear to be extreme, my response is straightforward.
If anyone is sincerely interested in actualism – by which I mean bringing an end to their own malice and their own sorrow – it stands to reason that the first step to practically demonstrating their sincerity would be to cease indulging in intimidatory ad hominem attacks on their fellow human beings. It’s called putting one’s money where one’s mouth is. This way one simply cuts through the whole issue of morals, ethics, ‘victims’, ‘intimidators’, policemen, loutishness and so on and comes to the crux of the matter.
And then, if you want to, you can sit down and join in a sensible discussion about the pressing issue at hand on this mailing list – actualizing peace on earth, in this life time.
The ball’s in your court, after all it’s your ball and it’s your court.
PETER: A practical example of putting one’s money where one’s mouth is … from my journal –
PETER: If I can just cut to the quick here as I have sat back and watched as correspondents on this mailing list have freely discussed a comment I originally made to another correspondent –
RESPONDENT: Has anyone stopped you in the street and punched you in the face for being an Actualist, Peter?
PETER: No But I’ll fill you in on a bit of background as to why I have recently been moved to make comment on the tactics and motives of some of the correspondents on this mailing list.
Last year I was having a discussion with a correspondent on this mailing list about the persistent belief that the universe had a beginning event and the discussion became more and more heated to the point that the correspondent reported that he would like to ‘break my front teeth and make me choke on the shards’. He then reported that he had showed the correspondence to someone else who then said that ‘the only way to get through to this guy would be to drill a hole in his forehead, insert a stick of dynamite, light the fuse and stand back’. I remember wondering at the time at the vehemence of such a reaction and as a consequence I decided I would limit my correspondence to conversing with those who were demonstrably interested in being happy and harmless such that we could have at least a civil, harmonious discussion about what are sensitive and controversial matters … after all, it is obviously pointless trying to have a sensible conversation with someone who is busy being angry.
In the ensuing months, I began to notice a number of correspondents using this mailing list as a platform to strut their nihilist philosophies and anarchist attitudes to the point of attempting to intimidate any correspondent who wanted to discuss bringing an end to malice and sorrow. Given that I have long experience of being the focus of such ploys and tactics, not to mention having considerable awareness of the full scope of the human condition, I decided to write to a few of these objectionists in order to make their motives, tactics and ploys clear such that people could make up their own minds as to the value of their contributions.
One of the benefits of this list being unmoderated is that not only are the defenders of the status quo free to strut their stuff but that actualists are equally free to comment on the ‘games’ some of the defenders choose to indulge in on this list.
RESPONDENT: I very much doubt that because it’s my guess that you keep your Actualist talk pretty much confined to this list.
PETER: In my early days of being an actualist, I remember discussing the issue of stress with a friend one evening over dinner. In short, I said I had discovered that stress was entirely self-inflicted and that this discovery was the beginning of the end of me feeling stressed. The next morning the woman concerned turned up on my doorstep saying she did not appreciate me talking the way I did and that she took what I was saying as a personal affront.
The lesson being that I am nowadays somewhat circumspect as to what topics I talk about with others, outside of the discussions on this mailing list that is.
RESPONDENT: You’re not fighting in the Resistance, Peter.
RESPONDENT: You are just upset and angry because you haven’t found the peace you’ve been looking for. You don’t want to believe in spirituality anymore for personal reasons and so you are trying hard to make others feel just like you do. It’s very simple. You don’t need to complicate it. Stay in peace.
PETER: Well, your very first assumption about what I was writing was correct but this assumption about my motives is not. 50-50 is about right for intuition. (...)
As for ‘you are trying hard to make others feel (upset and angry) just like you do’ I will have to drop your rating down to one correct out of three assumptions. It is my experience that whenever I point out the fact that the ages-old spiritual search has lamentably failed to bring peace on earth, and point out why, many people feel upset and angry. They take any questioning of spiritual belief very personally and I see a direct connection between these reactions and all the upset and anger, conflict and war that exists between the many spiritual groups on the planet. For me, this was bought home most tellingly when I became aware that I was willing to fight others in order to defend my beloved teacher. In fact, I was willing to kill for, or die for, my beliefs and the depth of my feelings and the sheer insanity of my passion shocked me profoundly.
This depth of passion is instinctually sourced – all humans are instinctually programmed to be willing and eager to kill and die for anything we passionately hold in our hearts and thus believe to be our own. Any belief is non-sensical but when combined with spiritual passion and fervour it becomes distinctly dangerous, as the raw instinctual passions can be unleashed – particularly in the collective hysteria of a group when any individual commonsense is overwhelmed.
The other curious observation is that whenever these outbreaks of passion occur – as in the countless religious wars, persecutions, recriminations, repressions, ostracizations, retributions, perversions and conflicts – it is always the followers who are blamed and made to feel guilty whereas the dead God-men get off scot-free. It is never the fault of Jesus, Buddha, Rama, Moses, etc. – it is always the fault of the follower who has got the messages wrong or who is not following the true teachings.
The sacred golden rule, instilled in all religious/spiritual belief, is that it is always the fault of the follower and never the teachings nor the teacher. This rule is crucial to uphold and maintain at all costs, for the whole house of cards is built upon it. Thus protected by the golden rule the God-men can get away with literally anything – even murder, according to Mr. Balsekar.
What I did was turn my innate passion for freedom, peace and happiness and use it to search in a different direction to the ancient ones. I began looking in a fresh modern scientific way at what was the root cause of my sorrow, what was the root cause of my anger and what was standing in the way of my free enjoyment of the prolific sensual delights of this paradisiacal planet.
I would not have dared question the sacred spiritual beliefs nor say what I am saying publicly had I been born in any other period for I would have risked physical injury or death at the hands of the mob. No wonder very, very few ever dared to question the teachings, let alone the teacher. Thanks to the marvel of the Internet my risk is reduced to cyber-execution induced by mass appeal to the moderator.
To be able to have an open discussion about spirituality and peace on earth is no little event and is bound to cause upset and anger.
RESPONDENT: I have noticed that often I have the experience of feeling upset when I read your posts. Looking into my experience I see it is because you are attacking something that is the pinnacle of human consciousness and the most precious discovery anyone can realize.
PETER: Yes, No 6 wrote that I was trying hard to make people upset and angry and I mentioned that I had exactly the same feelings when I was immersed in the spiritual world and started to question my own beliefs. I also explained that these feelings and passions are instinctually sourced.
It is exactly because we humans have the ability to think and reflect that the instinctual passions can infiltrate our thinking and be experienced as feelings. In fact, a feeling is an emotional-backed thought. As such, we humans are automatically programmed for self-defence that we turn into a passion of ‘self’-defence. Thus we feel attacked when our beliefs are questioned for these beliefs form an integral part of ‘who’ we think and feel we are. We feel personally attacked for our social identity as a spiritual person is being questioned – thus the automatic ‘self’-survival instincts kick in.
Humans beings are unique among the animal species in that we instinctually react not only to physical danger but when ‘we’ feel either psychologically or psychically threatened, which is nearly all the time. The only psychological and psychic security we find is feeling secure within a group of like-minded people. The planet is full of these groups of humans all huddling together, defending themselves or attacking others, either overtly or covertly – currently some 6 billion people are involved in a grim and desperate battle for survival.
But this instinctual and habitual fearful behaviour is redundant in these modern times and those who are daring enough and willing enough to rid themselves of the instinctual passions will find themselves able to walk upright with impunity on this paradisiacal planet.
RESPONDENT: You also said... ‘I had actually experienced what it is that makes people kill others, to die for their belief or to protect their leader.’ And maybe to protect a loved one? Or am I not being cynical enough?
PETER: (...) But I have digressed off on to another of my ‘raves’. The point is that I was concerned about what was it that caused the Religious wars on the planet. When I contemplated on my Sannyas years I had to admit that I probably would have killed to protect my Master – exactly as the followers of any other Master, Guru, Prophet, God would do. The killing is done to ‘protect a loved one’ as you rightly pointed out, but it is killing, whatever the motive.
What I was interested in was the willingness to kill – the instinct of aggression. This instinct is often triggered by fear, but has been implanted in humans to ensure that the offspring are protected sufficiently to ensure the survival of the species. Having had 2 children, one of whom died at an early age, I know the powerful urge to give my life as a sacrifice to ensure my offspring’s survival. It is this ‘blind’ instinct in me that I was interested in investigating, understanding and eliminating. Such that I would never again blindly kill, or be killed, for ‘love’ of country or ‘love’ of God. To free myself of malice.
As I said recently on the list –
‘To even consider a journey into yourself to free yourself of the Human Condition requires a burning discontent with life as it is – both for yourself and for your fellow human beings’.
PETER: Well, it seems that this conversation has come to an end. I can see that you are a firm believer in, and practitioner of, Eastern religion and philosophy and, as such, are not interested in exploring an alternative. Fair enough. It is good to be full-on into something that makes you ‘happier, less serious, more fun and deeper’, as you said.
PUBLISHER No 1: It’s funny, isn’t it, members of my religion accuse me of not being focused on eastern religion and at odds with it and you say the opposite.
PETER: Which must make you a rebel without a cause, or a rebel for rebellion’s sake, or a fighter for ... Which is perhaps where your taunt of ‘chicken’ comes from. It reeks of schoolboy playground fights.
PUBLISHER No 1: Why does what I said ‘make you a rebel without a cause, or a rebel for rebellion’s sake, or a fighter for ...’ Where is your reasoning? Where is your logic? Again ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ are new age heresies.
PETER: You indicated you were not interested in exploring an alternative to remaining ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’, acknowledged that ‘of course I don’t understand actualism’ and then proceeded to tell me what you think it is, based on a thoughtless knee jerk reaction to my ridiculing of all spiritual belief. This is a clear sign of someone being against something without knowing what it is he is against, or why. This is the definition of ‘a rebel without a cause, or a rebel for rebellion’s sake, or a fighter for ...’ You also will never understand actualism, or spirituality for that matter, for as you said – ‘as far as books go I never read them, (including Osho’s)’. You may feel you have a cause but you don’t understand your cause for you refuse to understand what it is you are defending or attacking.
PETER: Personally I have given up fighting. I decided long ago that there are enough fights and wars in the world without me contributing more malice. This is peace on earth in action.
PUBLISHER No 1: I’m sorry but I don’t accept this, it’s typical new age stuff – ‘oh these are nice ideals so that’s how I will be from now on, I’ll just close my eyes and make my affirmations and everything will be OK’ (subtext I’ll just close my eyes and pull a bit harder and maybe masturbation will be as good as making love). The fact you respond to this, the fact you write a book, the fact you use every opportunity to find a platform, the fact you say there is nothing more to say and then you defend yourself and try to stereotype me after a little taunt from me? I’m sorry but it just doesn’t ring true that you have given up fighting and are no longer ‘contributing more malice’. Is it not malicious to throw anyone who disagrees with you into a stupid stereotypical basket?
PETER: No, typical New Age ideals are to express one’s anger, be true to oneself, be authentic, etc. A lot of New Age-spiritual-therapy behaviour is only thinly disguised malice. ‘I have to be honest with you’ or ‘I would like to share something with you’ is usually the opening line of someone who is about to take revenge or be spiteful. As for closing one’s eyes – I presume you are referring to meditation which is but hiding from the real world and going ‘in’ to an imaginary inner world of impassioned feelings and rampant imagination.
As for me wanking by writing to you, it is definitely in the ‘flogging a dead horse category’ but I’ll post it anonymously on The Actual Freedom Trust website and someone else may get something out of this conversation. Does he who publishes a magazine not wank per se, whereas he who publishes a book does? For me, I do like to take the opportunity to write, for very, very few are willing at this stage to challenge all spiritual beliefs.
I have never said there is nothing more to say – there are about a million words on The Actual Freedom Trust website and hundreds and hundreds of posts from people who object to being happy and harmless. As for stereo-typing – your obscurations, avoidances, blusterings, furphies, evasions and thoughtless knee jerk reactions fall neatly into the very well-documented, stereo-type objections to investigating the third alternative. The way to avoid being stereo-typed is to stop being a stereo-type.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.