Selected Correspondence Peter
Ancient Wisdom and the New Dark Age
Peter to Alan: Whenever Vineeto and I talk or write of becoming free of the Human Condition, we are often seen (judged?) as being judgemental or attacking and not tolerant or respectful of the other’s position. In considering this, the only sense I make of it is that we are threatening in that we are putting into practice the concept that one can become free of the Human Condition – i.e. how human beings think, feel, believe and imagine themselves to be and how they are instinctually programmed by blind nature to function. Now any sensible investigation of the Human Condition involves observation, investigation, comparison, contemplation, consideration and judgement. One has to come to a conclusion as to what is silly and what is sensible, otherwise the whole exercise is merely intellectual wanking. Having made a judgement as to what is best, then action is required – one is compelled to action, unless one wants to settle for second-best – but that’s another story. So no bleatings of ‘you’re being judgemental’ will work with me – it’s a furphy that’s been bandied around since morals and ethics were first chiselled in stone and devised to silence the sensible. ‘Judge ye not’ is a platitude invented by God-men and other charlatans in order that no one would question the rest of their inane platitudes. It is one of many dimwitticisms, passed off as Guru-wisdom, that have no other meaning or purpose than to keep their followers and disciples under control, humble, grateful, loyal and above all non-thinking.
But if anyone wants to remain as they are, second-rate, rooted in the past, or off in la-la land, then fine. Somewhere there is a Peter or a Vineeto who might appreciate a bit of ‘judgemental’ straight talking, a first hand account about becoming free of the Human Condition, what it’s like to challenge all beliefs, what it’s like to leave one’s ‘self’ behind. I strongly recommend being judgemental – making a judgement, an evaluation, a discernment, a decision, a finding, an appraisal, an assessment, a conclusion. At the very least one practices thinking, at best it may provoke action, at worst you may be inaccurate and need to re-assess. This is the process of learning called trial and error. One simply proceeds to what is sensible and what works, and one finds one has discovered a fact. And one can rely on a fact. It takes a little practice but eventually ‘you’ become redundant in the game as the facts start to speak for themselves.
PETER: Hi Alan,
Just a note about something I have been wanting to write about for some time now – the world as it is.
A conversation I had with a woman the other day seemed to typify the New Dark Age spiritual view of the world, so I’ll start with that. She was a woman probably in her mid forties, had been educated and bought up in a wealthy, stable western country and was studying part time for an arts degree at university. She has a teenage daughter and lives in a nearby country town. The conversation got on to the wonders of computers, but she was critical of the difficulties in using them. Rebuffing my enthusiasm for the current information-technology revolution that is currently in full swing, she proclaimed that she didn’t like it that her daughter watched television and that everything was becoming ‘Americanized’. When I stated that I liked the fact that the global wide access to information made the world less insular and isolated she said she didn’t want it all to be the same, for people to be all the same – she thought it was good that we held on to our traditions and differences. When I pointed out that we fought over these differences, be they religious, moral, ethical or traditional territorial, she seemed a little stunned. Then I said I had found John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ inspirational in my youth – a world with no heaven or hell, nothing to kill or die for and no religion too, all the people living life in peace.
She said it was a nice idea, but ...
She is but typical of a generation that held high ideals, hopes and aspirations to change the world, but as life takes its toll and the disappointments of life set in, she now imbibes ‘traditional’ values in her daughter, exactly as her mother would have done to her. She sees Globalization as a threat to individuality, she sees the spread of one language throughout the world as a threat, she sees the spread of instant world-wide communication and the astounding access to information as a threat. The conversation petered out, but if we had gone on, she would have held all the common beliefs that the world-as-it-is is an awful place and getting worse by the year. She would have offered up the Global Warming Theory – the theory that human habitation, ‘progress’ and pollution will give rise to a dramatic climate change. She would have ignored the fact that it is but a theory that there could be a problem, based on what appears to be a new event – the hole in the ozone layer – based on what is assumed to have happened in the past – based on past suspected climate changes and in spite of any previous knowledge of the condition of ozone layer. The G.W. theorists then fervently propound worst-case scenarios as to what may happen in the future, and very quickly the whole theory has become a fact. There is a stifled debate in the scientific community as to the validity of this theory, seemingly only championed by those whose reputations or jobs are not intimately at stake, but it receives little media publicity.
We could have talked of the Scarcity of Natural Resources Theory, and I would have wondered about the fact that 30 years ago the world was definitely going to run out of oil and many other resources but none of the dire predictions had eventuated. One hears precious little of this theory now. It is a fear that seems to have diminished in popularity only to be replaced by the Bio-Diversity Theory, an altogether more cunning version. This theory runs that we should save every living thing, everywhere, as we don’t know what will happen in the face of any change in ‘natural’ circumstances or if any one particular species dies out. It’s the brick in the wall theory that regards the ‘whole’ as a delicate fragile wall that might be toppled if only one brick is removed. The more extreme version of this is the Fragilistic Interconnectedness Theory whereby the butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world influences events in another part of the world. These theories have spawned the current Endangered Species Theory whereby all animals are deemed to be ‘threatened’ by humans and any human intervention. Thus it is that wolves are being introduced back into grazing country in America, and the farmers are now being compensated for loss of stock due to wolf attacks. Some 100 years ago there was a bounty on wolves, now the bounty is for sheep taken by wolves, and a jail sentence for any farmer killing a wolf to protect his herd. In India the tiger is coming back and killing children in villages; in Australia man-eating crocodiles were hunted as a danger to humans but are now ‘protected’ such that they have re-infested all of rivers and coastline in the north, and now humans are hunted and punished if they kill crocodiles. It appears that our hard won and only recently gained position as the species at the top of the food chain is already ‘endangered’ by NDA beliefs.
PETER: (...) I recently saw an interview with Neale Donald Walsch, the author of a book entitled ‘Conversations with God’. It has been a best-seller in USA for some time and has appeal to both Western and Eastern religious believers. He offered a syrupy message spoken to him from the real God whose message was He-is-All, We-are-All-One and love is all there is. The He-is-All scenario means that He is the God of all the religions, people and all the belief-systems. Walsch is now setting off on a mission to convince the world’s believers that he has been talking to their God lately and that He has recently updated and modified His story, just a wee bit. For the We-are-all-One scenario he uses the words Oneness and Source thus appealing to the Eastern religious pursuers of altered states of consciousness. It’s a cunning concoction that fails, like all the other fairy-tale beliefs, to address the perplexing on-going issue of human malice and suffering – the salient features of the human condition on earth.
According to Walsch’s clairvoyant message, violence exists in God’s world because human beings do not live by the golden rules of goodness, love and treating others as we would have them treat us. God also told him that He occasionally sends souls into the world as lessons for us humans in order that we may see the evil that is in each of us. According to Walsch, God said He deliberately sent Mr. Hitler down so that we would know and experience the lowest of lows, the most evil of evils, but that ‘no harm was really done because there is no such thing as death’. Methinks he will have a hard time convincing the Jews that the millions who died was a calculated put-up job by the He-is-All God, that no harm was really done, it was all just a lesson and there is no death. Some forty million humans died in WW2 and God glibly declares ‘I did it’. No wonder some prayers start with – ‘Have mercy on us Lord ...’
In this sick scenario, earthly suffering exists as God’s test for humans and therefore the more one suffers the more God is testing you personally and the more gratitude one should feel towards God. Indeed, so ingrained is this belief that many who suffer deeply pass through a profound ‘dark night of the soul’ whereby the depths of depression can be alleviated by an epiphany, Satori, awakening or re-birth. One’s soul or psychic entity makes an instinctual chemical-fuelled grasp at survival and hallucinatory states result. Thus one sees God, talks to God, sees His Grand Plan, realizes there is no death, etc. and one’s body is swamped with bliss-inducing chemicals. These visions invariably follow cultural, religious and tribal pre-conditioned trends – thus a Hindu sees Krishna, a Christian sees Christ, a Buddhist realizes the world is an illusion, etc. In Walsch’s case a New Age Christian talks to God and also feels Oneness – a New Age Christian message that incorporates the traditional white bearded God in heaven story and tacks on a dash of fashionable Eastern religion.
So we are lead to believe that God has changed His mind of late, as no doubt He is entitled to do, but it does seem to leave those who are faithfully following all of the other messages He sent to earth a little out on a limb. Perhaps this fashionable trendy New Age God watches Oprah and re-writes his script every month or so and sends yet another message down to earth.
In Eastern religions, earthly existence is seen as an endless cycle of rebirth, escaped by only .0001% of the population who manage to see God’s joke and realize that suffering, death and the physical universe is only an illusion. In psychiatric terms they induce, via torturous rituals and the assiduous practice of denial, a mental aberration known as dissociation.
– A process, or the resulting condition, in which certain concepts or mental processes are separated from the conscious personality; spec. the state of a person suffering from dissociated personality. Oxford Dictionary
Dissociation is exemplified in Eastern religion and philosophy by the core belief of ‘I am not the body, I am not the mind’ – and the constant repeating of this mantra leads to the inevitable conclusion that ‘I must be spirit-only’. If pursued to its extreme a feeling of Oneness with all other disembodied and non-physical spirits develops, leading to the narcissistic realization that ‘I am All, and All is me’. And for those sufficiently seduced by this delusion, bingo ... the ultimate dissociate state of ‘I am God’ is realized.
The eastern practice of inducing dissociative states or altered states of consciousness does nothing to elevate human suffering and malice. Only by actively rejecting the traditional turning away and squarely facing the issues is it possible to actually change the situation. If it is God’s plan that over 160 million human beings were killed by their fellow human beings and that over 40 million killed themselves in suicides then it’s time to tell God to butt out.
Intelligence, innovation, stubbornness, experimentation, ingenuity, perseverance, intent and altruism have bought an end to the naturally-occurring plagues and diseases that killed millions in past centuries. Human beings put an end to this death and suffering, not some mythical god. The same human intelligence, innovation, stubbornness, experimentation, ingenuity, perseverance, intent and altruism will eventually and inevitably rid this fair planet of the instinctual ‘natural’ sorrow and malice that causes the human species to laud and cherish suffering and indulge in senselessly killing and maiming each other.
P.S. Just as a bit of an aside. One of the latest God-men to hit the circuit calls himself Maitreya Ishwara and he was a follower of Mohan Rajneesh for many years. He is putting out the story that the collapse of Rajneesh’s Utopian city Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA was God’s will and all the suffering, pain and recrimination was pre-ordained. Same old perverse fairy story – human suffering is all part of God’s plan.
PETER: Hi Everyone,
Just a note with some more about theoretical scientists. I had dug out some relevant quotes but Richard was quicker to reply. I thought I would leave it but a recent meeting twigged me to post them anyway.
Vineeto and I were invited out to dinner recently, and after the meal the evening turned to an interesting discussion on life and the universe. We merrily talked of what is actual and they merrily talked of what is spiritual, so few alleys of conversation were pursued to any depth. The woman was particularly interested in the ‘method’ we were using and I asked her: ‘method to do what?’ As it turned out, she didn’t have an aim in life but was just interested in finding a new method per se. She was simply on a spiritual quest for methods, paths and teachers.
That conversation soon dwindled, and in an attempt to inject a bit of common sense into the evening I steered the discussion back to the actual – tapping the arm of the chair to give an illustration of what is actual. The man immediately told me it was a scientifically proven fact that the chair did not exist as the essence of matter was ethereal and constantly fluctuating between here and there – pointing over there – and as such could not be actual. Needless to say I nearly fell off my chair, literally, as what I was comfortably sitting on had magically been transported, by scientific theory and this man’s belief, over to the opposite corner of the veranda.
Which only goes to prove that believing what theoretical scientists say could be a danger to one’s health – as well as one’s sanity.
So a few quotes – from the late Darryl Reanney’s book – The Death of Forever – A New Future for Human Consciousness. Longman 1991(...)
It comes as no surprise that science is firmly rooted in mysticism, shamanism and alchemy and steeped in the search for the meaning of life. It has been a bare few centuries since science has very hesitantly emerged from the control of the church in Europe. Galileo was forced to publicly recant his finding that the earth orbited the sun because it did not fit with the flat-earth version of the universe described in Genesis. Nowadays we have the ability to eliminate many hereditary diseases with the simple manipulation of genetic codes but research has been curtailed as ‘unethical’ – religion still reigns supreme. One should not meddle with ‘Mother Nature’ or God, or whatever – or there will be Hell to pay!
Well, I’m busy meddling with Mother Nature’s implanted instincts – and the rewards are extraordinary. Those who think genetic engineering is the answer to the human dilemma ignore the stranglehold that morals and ethics have on the Human Condition. Better to get on with the job yourself – neither God nor science will be of help.
Peter to No 3: One would not proceed ‘where few have gone before’ without a glimpse of the paradise that this actual world is – a Pure Consciousness Experience. It is not enough to rely on others’ stories, for then it is only yet another belief, and with belief comes doubt, hand in hand, and the subsequent need for trust, hope, and faith. Merely adopting another belief will not instil the necessary pure intent to guide one through the maze of one’s own psyche.
I think I am on a rave again. So back to the BrainBomb web-site whose address you sent. It would seem that many people will use the research on instincts to justify the ‘bad’ in us and continue to flog the old ‘be good – find God’ methods that have relentlessly failed to end suffering and failed to bring peace, despite the sincere efforts of billions upon billions of people. This ‘wishful thinking’ involves nothing more than accentuating and identifying with the so-called good instincts and sublimating and dis-identifying with the ‘bad’ instincts. If one is successful in the effort one becomes totally identified with the Good and in full-blown delusion one can even become God or Cosmic Consciousness, so self-aggrandizing is the exercise in the end.
But given the current research efforts, at very least, the ancient belief in Tabula Rasa will be harder to maintain in the face of scientific fact.
A little definition may be appropriate at this point –
RESPONDENT: It is not clear to me that according to you whether –
PETER: I thought it might be pertinent to discussions, given the fact that there are a number of Sannyasins on the list, to rephrase your questions regarding the legacy of the mythical Mr. Buddha.
Hence instead of the way you phrased it, your question would now become –
I always find it’s good to deal with Gurus that we know a bit about rather than Mythical Long-Dead Ones who we can but only fantasize about. There is nothing quite so pertinent and relevant to an actualist as a dearly-held, close to home, belief.
So, as for Rajneesh’s legacy, he is on record as saying ‘I leave you my dream’ upon his death bed and dictated that on his tomb in his mausoleum should be the words ‘Never Born, Never Died, Only Visited This Planet...’ The legacy he left his community was a dream that he had failed to materialize in his lifetime, hence he left it to his followers. This is a common theme with all Gurus – each and everyone has left their followers an unfinished dream. Rajneesh’s dream was that eventually the world would be full of His sannyasins bringing the ‘light’ into the world and, of course, exactly the same dream underpins each and every religion in the world. Hence the relentless drive to proselytize and spread the message – the more the numbers, the stronger the religion, the more famous and powerful the Master. What a legacy!
Rajneeshism, with its followers numbering only in the tens of thousands, is inevitably doomed to the spiritual dustbin.
I always find it kinda cute that the only ones who attained Enlightenment – the spiritual fantasy-freedom – while Rajneesh was alive were the dead ones. It was all very safe business and allowed for no conflict at all – the old ‘two chairs on the podium’ problem. After his death and his ‘escape’ from the planet there can now be no other who sits in His chair. If anyone in the Ashram did become Enlightened they would have two choices. Either they remain in the ashram in humble gratitude to their Master, bowing to an empty chair for the rest of their lives – not what I call freedom at all – or they would go off, gather disciples and start up yet another separate version of the Master-Disciple-Game. There can be a sort of a lineage thing going whereby one gains kudos from basking in the fame of their Master, but it’s a messy affair as the Ramana-lineage is already proving to be.
To call this puerile nonsense ‘freedom’ and to imagine that it does anything other than spawn religions is to have one’s head stuck in the clouds, and to be in denial of facts – both current and historic. T’would all be a joke, but people take the Guru business so seriously that they are willing not only to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs but, if push comes to shove, (– remember the ranch?) are willing to kill for their beliefs.
It is obvious to me that the main legacy that Rajneesh left was a group of people steeped in cynicism, fatalism, defeatism – which is what surrender is – doomsdayistic pessimism, resignation and self-centred complacency. Rajneesh’s blatant stupidity and ignorance in taking on and deriding the American Christians and its inevitable failure was to ultimately crush any naiveté and enthusiasm in his followers, leaving a wimpish lot of faithful and loyal devotees to soldier on.
A little exchange from the Sannyas List will illustrate the point –
The last response was a classic – it sure didn’t exist! Ah, what an amazing experience it was to have been a disciple of a living Guru, to see his dream fail, see him set up a religion to carry on his dream, see him, in person, playing the God-man to the hilt, to meet him zonked out of his mind and to be personally so blinded by trust, faith, devotion, surrender and loyalty that all of my intelligence was almost non-existent.
And it is not only Rajneesh that has left a ‘notable’ legacy. Krishnamurti has proved to be yet another of the Gurus with accounts of a vitriolic and deceitful ‘private’ life emerging after his death. And to see that all he has left behind is a residue of heady spiritualectuals willing to endlessly discuss anything, as long as it is not their feelings. Ramana Maharshi and his self-appointed disciple H.W.L Poonja has left as a legacy the unbelievably childish message of ‘You are already God – all you have to do is realize it’ that is gratefully soaked up by the laziest of the lazy – or the meekest of the mild. And the list goes on and on ...
None of them have managed to live their unliveable teachings, all of them left behind an unrealizable dream and all of them went ‘somewhere else’ after death. All in all, a deplorable legacy.
Interestingly, I have a number of friends who turned to Buddhism after the Rajneesh thing petered out. If you have to have a religion, which everyone does, Buddhism is such a ‘safe’ religion to be in – particularly the New Age version. Modern Buddhism is baby-boomer bumf.
Surely, just surely, it’s time to admit that the tried and true is but the ‘tried and failed’.
PETER: In these early pioneering days, it seems it is for the desperate and daring. Well, I tried to be a touch less iconoclastic but it never works. It’s impossible for me to pretend that God exists, that there is an after-life or that the God-men sell anything else but snake oil. Once you know it is all a fairy story, it all disappears like a puff of smoke ...
RESPONDENT: Spiritualism now does look like a snake oil to me, too. All ‘energy’ events, prophesying, channelling, gods, etc are probably just events generated by our psyche. So far, I have not come across any ‘other worldly event’ so I must admit it all seems to be just imagination supported by our culture.
PETER: Yes indeed. One of the many, many fatal flaws with the fairy-tale belief in a God or Gods is the cultural variations that are evidenced throughout the world.
A Christian always ‘sees’ and ‘feels’ love for Christ, a Hindu ... Krishna, a Buddhist ... Buddha, a Rajneeshee ... Rajneesh. The only common theme is a primitively-sourced belief in a Something, or Someone, Else and a Somewhere Else we go to after death. The human ability to think and reflect, combined with an instinctual fear-based self has led to the questions of ‘Where did we come from?’, ‘Why are we here?’ and ‘What happens after death?’ ballooning into great philosophical questions. In the ancient days of ignorance about the physical universe, the human body, reproduction, ageing and death, and most importantly, our implanted survival instincts, ensured these questions produced imaginary and fantasy answers that involved good and evil spirits, other-worlds in the sky, planets and stars as Gods, etc.
In 1999 the challenge now is to break free of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that are the very source of malice and sorrow. For many on the planet, life is no longer a grim business of survival and the very survival instinct, once vital to ensure the very survival of the species, now prevents us from being happy and harmless.
For me, this fact was easy to see in operation. No matter that I had comfort, security, shelter, food – I knew that I was actually neither happy nor harmless for, when ‘push came to shove’, the instinctual passions of fear and aggression would still surface at any time. Thus denial no longer became an option, and I deliberately abandoned the spiritual to avoid the traditional turning away to a fantasy world. Only then was I able to be in a position to focus my awareness on the essential and primary cause of my sorrow and malice – my social identity and my instinctual sense of ‘self’.
RESPONDENT: Some of these things are still nice social events... a good reason to see old friends, that’s it...
PETER: In my time on the Sannyas list, there was a total denial that the dream of a New Man had failed, even to the point of denying the dream existed in the first place, despite the fact that it is well documented and still trumpeted as His dream. The main theme to emerge was the need to belong to the Sannyas social club, and the good feelings that ensued. The failure of the collective dream was further evidenced by the emerging ‘individual connections’ to Rajneesh – every man and woman in it for themselves and ‘free’ to imagine and dream what they wanted to dream. Thus feelings and imagination run riot, in complete denial of facts and sensible awareness.
At source, this desperate need to belong, come-what-may, is an instinctually driven need, for in the past the security and support of a group was indeed very necessary for survival. In this modern world, this need to belong now threatens the very survival of the species as ethnic, religious and ethical groups battle it out for supremacy and power. An actual freedom, by definition, is a freedom from this need to belong to a group that has strangled any attempts at finding peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: I think it is true that the anticipation, excitement about the expected ‘final event’ in one’s brain is a form of dreaming, escaping the reality. Is it a final barrier? I don’t know.
PETER: Of course there is only one way for you to find out for yourself, otherwise you will never know or you will have to resort to believing what others say. Merely believing is a poor substitute for a full-blooded finding out for yourself. The act of finding out for oneself, by oneself, is the adventure of a lifetime. And who would have it any other way.
This patent nonsense of sitting at the feet of Masters who then tell you in mystical poetic terms of a Truth that cannot be spoken of, cannot be put into words is nothing but twaddle. ‘The Divine Mystery that can only be lived ...’ The reason is that their Truth is nothing more than a feeling – a splendid, all encompassing, overpowering, enveloping, Self-aggrandized feeling of Unity, Oneness, Divinity and the like. Beneath the wonderful feelings lies a dim, dark and ancient ignorance – a turning away, a turning ‘in’ that is epitomized by the aesthetic retreats and lives of denial and renunciation lead by the spiritual pundits, monks, Gurus, etc.
The classic expose of the pride of ignorance of the ‘Ones Who Do Not Know’ was Richard’s meeting with a contemporary Guru. Richard stated that he had been Enlightened and had found something that was beyond Enlightenment and was he interested in knowing about it. The Guru said he doesn’t know with firm conviction as though ‘not knowing’ was in itself the Answer. When asked straight up whether he wanted to know, the answer was no. You hear it often in spiritual ‘jargonese’ – ‘I find I know less and less nowadays and its SO good’ What they mean is they can’t make any sense of anything on the spiritual path, so they give up any common sense and let their feelings and imagination run riot – and run riot they do!
Ignorance is proudly proclaimed in the spiritual world as Wisdom and this is most clearly evident in Eastern Spirituality.
As Mr. Mohan Rajneesh said in reply to a question –
Behind the lauding of ignorance and the perverse relating to a supposed childhood ‘innocence’ – the ancient Tabula Rasa theory – there exists nothing more than a belief in a ‘Something Else’ or a ‘Somewhere Else’ – traditionally masqueraded as the Truth.
In some Religions this ‘Something Else’ is defined as a particular mythical figure, spirit or God; in others it becomes an amorphous Energy, Source or Intelligence. Likewise, the ‘someplace else’ is defined as a particular place, a Heaven, a celestial realm, a Paradise, while in other beliefs it becomes an Energy field, an Ocean of Oneness, a ‘Home’ for the soul or spirit or a cosmic womb. Modern spirituality often cleverly and conveniently ignores the more inane historical interpretations of the original ancient texts and substitutes totally amorphous and nebulous concepts that are naught but a frantic and senseless chasing of blissful feelings. As such, the more ignorant one is, the less one attempts to understand, the less one knows – and the more revered, Holy and Wise one is deemed to be!
There is none more ignorant than the spiritual seeker – the more ignorant, the better the seeker – for they seek that which cannot be known, only imagined as thoughts and given sustenance by feelings. It can only be accessed by imagination and feelings for it only exists in thoughts and feelings – none of it is actual. Ignorance may well lead to blissful feelings, but it is still ignorance.
It would all be a hoot except for the wars, rapes, murders, genocides, ‘cleansings’, tortures, repression, perversion and corruption that are all the direct result of passionate feelings run riot.
But, as you know, the whole point of being an actualist is to find out about what it is to be a human being. To explore, investigate, uncover, discover, dig in, find out, realise and then put into practice what you discover. As with anything new there will be pit-falls, wobbles, fears and doubts, stuck periods, wrong alleys, etc. But given a sincere intent to be the best one can be, a willingness to abandon what doesn’t work and a daringness to take risks, success is inevitable. This exploration into the Human Condition, conducted in one’s own psyche, is brand new on the planet. Not only has it never been done before, it could never have been done before. It is only in the last 40 years or so that the human species is emerging from a genesis based entirely on survival. The survival-only phase is over, for those who want it, and for whom the circumstances are right. Only now, with the dawning of the information age, is it possible for the individual to find out for themselves. To access and read all of Ancient Wisdom, mankind’s history, philosophy, science, current happenings, etc. on a scale, and with an ease of accessibility, inconceivable even in my childhood. To be able to easily and directly ‘find out’ from the convenience of a computer, and the comfort of a couch. To study the Human Condition in action, global-wide, on the 7 o’clock news.
And then, you get to put what you have found out into practice ... in your daily life ...
This is not a revolution that will instantly sweep the world – for those who espouse ignorance as a virtue obviously have strong vested interests in maintaining ignorance and stifling and ridiculing inquiry, intelligence and free will.
But 12 months ago this mailing list didn’t exist and only 3 years ago Richard was wondering if anyone else would ever be interested in being free of the Human Condition, so, things are going swimmingly ....
PETER to No 7: Just a note to follow on from my recent post. I realized that I had posted two consecutive quotes from Mohan Rajneesh to the List and thought I would include a quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti just to indicate that the ‘I do not know – therefore I am Wise and Holy’ syndrome is endemic in all spiritual teachings –
The Book of Life: Daily Meditation with J. Krishnamurti
The other reason to include this quote is to indicate that I have no particular axe to grind in relation to Rajneesh – he was merely yet another in a long, long, long line of failed Gurus who promised lotus flowers and left nothing but mud, bewilderment, ignorance, unliveable teachings and shattered dreams in their wake. Krishnamurti exited quietly leaving behind stories of clandestine love affairs, intrigues and malicious legal battles. Rajneesh had the temerity to declare ‘I leave you my dream’ on his death bed. ‘His Dream’ had collapsed in tatters around him in Oregon ten years earlier while he sat in his room in Splendid Isolation, above the mundane activities of the building and running of a ‘City to Challenge God’. His dream failed, a ‘million lights’ didn’t light up the world, and peace is yet to miraculously descend on the planet, let alone in the Pune Ashram. And yet another religion is born, yet another group following their own particular dead God-man who for them was the master of masters, the only God, the beloved, the Sacred One. So ‘in love’ with their God-man, so trusting, so unquestioning loyal and devoted, that they will figuratively and literally surrender their life for Him.
The only reason I write about Mohan Rajneesh is that I know the whole Rajneesh Religion ‘inside-out’, so to speak. I participated fully in a contemporary formation of a religion – a microcosm of the founding of the thousands of religions that have been formed before and are still forming around God-men and God-women.
Yesterday someone asked me if I had had any feedback from friends to whom I had given a copy of my Journal. I said the silence had been deafening and one had even told me ‘it was good that I had got what Rajneesh had been teaching’ and wondered why I was not grateful to him. Thinking about it again, I realized that many who read the writings of Actual Freedom and its uncompromising non-spiritual stance, conveniently see it merely as Guru-bashing and miss the main point.
It is obvious that gurus have been gleefully indulging in bashing their fellow-Gurus for millennia as a ‘device’ to collect and gather more disciples who are willing and eager to believe that they, and only they, are peddling something new and special. This is nothing more than the power battles of the God men, a Divine and psychic version of the secular, instinct-fuelled battles that rage between various groups of humans animals on the planet. The bigger slice of the market the more power for the Guru and it matters not a fig whether he or she is still alive. More often than not it is better if the Guru is dead as imagination, myth and surrender are better sustained if one’s God is ‘on the other shore’, waiting for you after death.
But to see Actual Freedom in spiritual terms and to see it as mere Guru-bashing is to miss the point entirely of what is being offered here on this List and in the writings. What is required of an actualist is to undertake a complete, thorough and clear-eyed examination of what it is that is being taught by these God-men and exactly why it has been, and still is, so seductively attractive. This process, if undertaken with scrupulous sincerity, will bring one to the realization that the whole of Ancient Wisdom is based upon various myths and imaginary fairy tale beliefs of life after death. This spirit-ual belief in an after-life is constantly fuelled and fired by the survival instincts and, as such, is a passionately held belief given credence by hormonally-charged hallucinations and delusionary states. ‘I’, the parasitic entity that dwells in the flesh and blood body, will do anything to survive, will actively and passionately do anything to stay in existence – anything to deny the fact of physical death. So passionate is this belief that millions, upon millions, upon millions of human beings have killed for, and died for, their own particular version of this spiritual belief. The very survival instinct within human beings is directly responsible for the continuous carnage of warfare on this planet – all pursuit of a fairy-tale of life after death for ‘me’ who lives inside this flesh and blood, physical, mortal body.
This is why one needs to read the words of the God-men and see for oneself exactly what is on offer, and exactly what has been delivered.
I got to musing a bit more about the reaction to my Journal, and to Richard’s Journal, and wondered at the lack of reaction evident in most. I remembered back to my first reading of Richard’s Journal and what my reactions were at the time.
Firstly, what he was saying made sense – it was obvious to me that everyone has got it wrong; everyone knows that because fear and aggression in the form of sorrow and malice are endemic on the planet. It took a bit of digging into both Richard’s writings and those of the Gurus to understand that what he was saying was brand spanking new and a quantum leap in the opposite direction to the spiritual. When a Guru says ‘everyone has got it wrong’, what he means is ‘everyone else has got it wrong and only I have got it Right, for I am the messenger of the Divine’. This shallow Guru-bashing then is passed off as ‘the real Truth, the only Path’, whereas what can initially appear as the Wisdom of the God-man is no more than his particular condemnation of the religions of other God-men. Merely to claim that others have got it wrong while blindly ignoring their own role in the on-going tragedy is both ignorance and denial, but then again, if one feels oneself to be God, one is undeniably deluded and absolutely blinded to any common sense.
Actual Freedom is a freedom from the insidious fairy-tales told by all the Gurus – no exceptions, no maybes, no ‘it’s only the same thing that everybody else is saying’. For me, this meant that I would have to desert my Master, not only being ungrateful but disloyal as well. It soon became obvious that this meant I would also have to desert Humanity – be a traitor to Humanity – to be ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’, as Richard put it recently.
And the only way ‘out’ – to actually become free – was to do it, despite these values, ethics and morals that bound me to Humanity’s perpetual suffering and fighting. Once one begins to break these bonds and ties, to actualize one’s own freedom, one discovers that one has been instinctually programmed to be a member of the species, and to break with Humanity – the emotional-backed concept that binds the species together – necessitates an extinction of the these instincts in operation in this flesh and blood body. The ending of ‘my’ connection to Humanity is the ending of ‘me’.
So, even in the first weeks after reading Richard’s Journal, I knew what the consequences of my actions would be if I gave the path to Actual Freedom a ‘go’. But I had had enough experience to not get into the trap of believing what others said merely because it sounded ‘right’ – so I wanted some practical proof that Actual Freedom worked. In the beginning of the Richard’s Journal are the chapters on living together in peace and harmony, ending the battle of the sexes and unravelling the mystique of sex, and this is what I decided I would ‘cut my teeth on’ – to see if this would work. I simply acknowledged that what I, and every body else, had been doing didn’t work and would never work, and decided to actually try something new. Not just read, study and understand, but put it into practice and see if it worked. To see if I could live with one other person in peace and harmony and get to the bottom of the mess of human sexuality. Actualism is not a cerebral pastime nor a feeling-based escape from ‘reality’ – it is a full blooded commitment to expunging the alien entity within this flesh and blood body that prevents one being the universe experiencing itself as a human being. Anything less is chicken shit.
The spiritual path eternally promises, dreams and offers hope but it never has, and never can, deliver peace on earth. Actualism delivers the dream of peace that many humans sincerely seek and puts it into practice, but only for those willing to head in the opposite direction to the ‘Tried and Failed’. My friend who said I was living what Rajneesh taught was half-right in that I am living beyond the wildest dreams of Humanity. But I only do that because I abandoned the hackneyed spiritual Wisdom based on denial and ignorance, ‘back-tracked’ all the way out of the spiritual world and set off down the path of intrepid investigation in pursuit of common sense. The path that is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to that which every one else follows. The path that everyone says don’t go on or you will end up irresponsible, evil, insane, and a traitor to Humanity to boot! That is the meaning of everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong.
But the first thing one needs to do is find out whether you have been ‘sold a dummy’, or not. That was my first reaction to the idea that there is a third alternative to staying ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’ – ‘Does that mean I have been sold a dummy?’ But the only way to know that was to find out for myself. And to undertake that investigation is to go against one’s instinctual programming that binds one to being a member of the herd called Humanity.
The return for the effort is peace, on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body. Peace is a simple, unambiguous term meaning actually free of malice and sorrow.
So, maybe this has been of use to you. I personally always find it useful to dig in and find out what the common objections to being happy and harmless are – in other words, what ‘my’ objections are – and then dare to look at the facts of what it is to be a human animal.
To explore, within one’s own psyche, the emotional passions of malice and sorrow and to investigate the commonly held beliefs that perpetuate their existence.
To discover the illusions, ‘within’ and ‘without’, will bring one – inevitably and inexorably – to one’s senses.
And then you get to find out the meaning of life.
And it’s the journey of a ‘life’-time.
PETER: There is no solution to be had in spiritual or religious pursuits, in fact, any belief or faith actively supports, ‘nourishes’, enhances and embellishes the very problem – the psychological and psychic entity, the ego and the soul. It is obvious that the solution has to lie outside of the Human Condition – it is the whole of the Human Condition itself that we have to become free of in order to find an actual personal peace and facilitate an actual global peace. This mailing list offers an opportunity for those intrepid pioneers to swap stories, facts, experiences and discoveries on the wide and wondrous path to an Actual Freedom from malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: I understand what you have said. But I wonder why you have misunderstand what I have said.
PETER: This is but another of those useless debating ploys. It falls into the same category as ‘I agree with you, but ...’, which really means ‘I don’t agree with you’.
If you had understood what I have said you wouldn’t be concerned about your disciplehood, you would be wondering how it was that you fell for the fairy story in the first place.
RESPONDENT: In short, you have said I am on the tried and failed path as far as I am a disciple of Rajneesh because master-disciple relation prevents a person from questioning every blind belief.
PETER: Not only you. This is nothing personal.
It is writ large in the Human Condition, sub-section, ‘Religious and spiritual pursuits’, sub-section ‘Peace on Earth’...
‘Each Religion, God-man or Guru offers the promise of peace on earth in return for the follower or disciple’s love, gratitude, faith, loyalty, trust and surrender. Peace on earth will then occur when everyone (all 6 billion, at the moment) similarly ‘sees the light’ and becomes a disciple or follower of that particular religion, thus finally ending religious wars and conflicts on the planet. Until that magical event occurs, there will still be ‘pockets of resistance’ (wars) caused by the ‘others’ who dearly and stubbornly want to hold on to their religious beliefs – but one day, hopefully, one of the religions will win out and conquer the world – and peace will reign. The other common theme is one of Armageddon or the End of the World, in which case the true believers of one of the particular religions will be the sole survivors and, as such, peace on earth will ensue. The keys to maintaining this system in existence are firm belief, love, gratitude, faith, loyalty, trust and surrender of disciples and followers.’
RESPONDENT: And I have said my disciplehood is different from your definition.
PETER: Another of the ploys that fails to impress me. Alan has already posted the dictionary definition of disciplehood. For clarity in communication, can you choose a word (from the dictionary preferably) that more closely defines exactly what you mean?
PETER: Awhile ago I wrote to you of an extensive study done documenting our ‘natural’ human propensity for inflicting suffering on others. I am interested to hear what you made of the study and what your conclusions are.
RESPONDENT: Yes I am aware of this propensity in me. Before I felt I was into debate in this mailing list. I don’t like debate. It’s a kind of fighting by using words to me. And the reason why I felt I was into debate is my fear that maybe I am defeated, maybe I am wrong. So I was inflicting this my fear on others here.
PETER: Great. It is so rare for a spiritual seeker to acknowledge this simple fact. All the spiritual teachings are in complete denial of the instinctual passions imprinted by blind nature on human beings. They, in fact, teach the theory of ‘you are not the body and you are not the mind’ so as to turn away from this simple fact. Thousands of years ago these instinctual passions were seen as good spirits and bad spirits that ‘invaded’ the body but for us to continue to follow this philosophy and belief-system is to defy intelligence.
As for debate, that is what this list is about – words, discussions, facts, view points, experiences. There is no sitting in silence, energies, ‘you know what I mean’, ‘I feel you are ...’ etc, nor is there any philosophy or need to believe, trust or surrender. The trick is to see that what we are debating or discussing is the Human Condition – the state we humans find ourselves in on the planet. It is not a question of right or wrong or even true or false – given the spiritual corruption of the word true, as in Truth (that which cannot be spoken of) – because it is nought but a feeling, albeit a Grand Feeling. We talk of the facts of what it is to be a human being as opposed to the ancient spiritual ‘wisdom’ and mutually-agreed social beliefs. As such, when I write, I always present the facts ‘on the table’, and then it is completely up to the other what they do with the facts. This can have the effect of a seemingly confrontational debate, but who would have it any other way. It is not only your peace we are talking of, but peace on earth. The stakes are enormous and ‘treading softly’ or being ‘meek and mild’ is seen for what it is in the face of 160,000,000 million killed in wars this century alone. It is time to end this madness – so write on, write on.
RESPONDENT: Long time, no read. I’m wrestling with some questions about religion. I can understand the facts that are against any form of religion = (belief). I know God = religion = war, separation and all that comes with it. I know on a personal basis that religion (belief) feeling guilty, taboos, = struggle and loss of freedom. Intellectually I do understand that any kind of religion doesn’t work. That also means no religion, no god to believe in. But I wonder where a figure like Jesus does or doesn’t fit in. What is the message? How about the bible? Is there nothing true about it? Are there only fairytales in it? I mean is there nothing practical to get from. Or was it at that moment the best that one could get. I hope you know what I mean.
PETER: (...) I had about 17 years of experience on the spiritual path and came to know at least four of the Gurus well enough to see that they didn’t practice what they preached. From this personal observation and a little bit of reading it is evident that the personal lives of all the Gurus are tainted by ‘normal’ emotions and behaviour despite their claims of Divineness. They get away with it because their disciples ‘turn a blind eye’ and as you said, because there has been nothing better on offer. The shenanigans and hypocrisy of the Gurus are reasonably well documented, as are those of most religious groups.
As one goes further back in time to the ancient and usually mythical God-men, such as Jesus, Buddha and Mahavira, we have to rely on the fairy stories of miracles and Divine attributes told in the Sacred texts and Holy Books. Many people attempt to claim that these Divine figures actually existed as flesh and blood human beings in some Golden Era, but an open-eyed reading of any of the texts reveals their purely mythical nature. I remember as a kid thinking what a funny idea the Western God was, and later being appalled when I read of the atrocities carried out in the name of various Gods and the churches. The war mongering – and whore mongering – of the Popes was particularly stunning. And I later found out that the Eastern Religions are no different. Modern ‘Spiritual’ belief is firmly founded on the fairy stories spun around mythical God-men and their fables, miracles and unliveable teachings. So, we are faced with the continuing failure of any spiritual or religious teachings to bring peace on earth after 5,000 years of billions of people attempting to live the unliveable and attain the unattainable – an actual innocence. An actual innocence is only attainable if one can rid oneself of the instinctual animal passions. Both the so called ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones – both have to go, for the experiment of praying to the Gods for help, living a Good life or becoming a God-man or Goddess, has clearly failed.
RESPONDENT: I am aware that I have been exposed to things and been confronted with things from a younger age, but in comparison of our two lives our emotions of sadness, sorrow, fear, are the same. As I read and re read parts of yours and Richards’s journals I am able to relate those stories to a time in my own life. I wonder if this is where clarity occurs.
PETER: I remember when I first came across the writings of Eastern spiritualism and was struck by the wisdom of what was said. Eastern Spiritualism points to the fact that grim reality is an illusion – that it is only a layer of despair, sorrow and fear that ‘I’ as a psychological entity impose on the physical world we live in. The problem with Enlightenment, the prized achievement of Eastern spiritualism, is that it doesn’t eliminate this entity – it only does half the job. They merely dissociate from their ‘bad’ psychological identity, or ego, and aggrandize their ‘good’ psychic identity, or soul, resulting in an altered state of consciousness or God-realization.
It took 17 years of hands-on experience in Eastern religion, and meeting an ex-Enlightened whistle blower, to see that what I initially saw as wisdom and truth was nothing but an elaborate fairy tale. What I initially thought and felt was clarity in Eastern spirituality was a half-truth elaborated into the big fantasy of the Truth – it states that grim reality is an illusion of ‘my’ creation but then trips off into a further impassioned illusion of a Greater Reality.
It takes a good deal of courage to abandon the seductive half-truths/big lies of Eastern spirituality, particularly when it empowers such glorious narcissistic feelings as Goodness, Godliness and immortality.
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: <snipped comment>
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.
GARY: Yes, unless such a one was ‘God in human form’. That is essentially the Christian myth. So there is one (ie., Jesus, Seth, etc.) who knows all about being a human but at the same time is ‘beyond’ all that, having transcended it, and can supposedly guide us mere mortals. Now please note, I am not arguing from this position. I merely found the excerpted quotation interesting as I have struggled to understand how to deal with violence.
PETER: I found the business of delving back into Eastern spiritual teachings, meta-physical sciences, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc. and finding the loop holes, so top speak, a very freeing experience. Digging beneath what is seemingly being said and finding the core argument, theory, concept or belief that underpins and substantiates what has passed as the great, profound and Sacred truths of the Human Condition is very daunting but it is the only way to actually free oneself of the Human Condition. Facts must replace beliefs for facts are actual but beliefs shackle ‘me’ to the Human Condition and keep ‘me’, the believer, in existence. This process of investigation is exactly why we actualists do tend to be a wordy lot and interested in exploring all of the aspects of the Human Condition.
PETER: Hi Konrad,
Well I couldn’t resist joining in the correspondence. I hope you don’t mind, but I have followed with fascination your attempts to defend the indefensible and attempt to re-interpret what is actual and factual into yet another meta-physical or cerebral construct. Your philosophy and Guru-ship consists of merely another hotchpotch of Ancient wisdom, some current reading of yours and a bit of Richardism that you have taken on board.
It is amazing to see you beginning to mouth and mimic the words of Richard and twist them to suit your conditioned meta-physical view of the world and attempt to hobble the lot together in a way as to present them as yet another new version of the Truth. And to know your efforts are doomed to failure. Actual freedom or actualism is of course not merely a theory or philosophy but a new, down-to-earth non-spiritual path to freedom – an actual freedom from the Human Condition of malice and sorrow.
Now actual means it works. It means that given sufficient effort and intent that one can virtually eliminate sorrow and malice from the human body. This means in practical terms that one no longer suffers from feelings of sadness, melancholy, boredom, neediness, sympathy, empathy, despair or fear, let alone annoyance, offence, anger, revenge or violence. It is then possible by practical demonstration to live with a companion in total equity, delighting in freely and mutually enjoyed sex, discussion and physical intimacy. The physical pleasures build and build, as does the awareness of the immeasurable and limitless perfection and purity of it all, increasing off the scales. One literally ‘buckles at the knees’ as the paltry attempts of the old ‘I’ to fearfully hang on wither in the helter skelter slide to freedom.
And all this is actual, sensate – as evidenced by the physical senses – not merely cerebral or affective. You know, things like the smell of a woman’s armpit during sex, the feel of the breast or bum, the way you can tease a nipple to hardness, the fresh unique journey that is each sexual encounter as a literal salubrious smorgasbord of sensuality unfolds as wave after wave of pleasure engulfs us both. To feel a woman as equally sexual such that you don’t know who is thrusting or who is wiggling or where you end and she begins. To ride wave after wave of pleasure of such intensity that ejaculation is but a side order, not the main meal. And after ... to lie back and chat about how it was for each of us, to compare notes, to discuss the nuances, pleasures, particularly delicious bits, or just to lay back in that state where all the cells of the body are sexually alive and tingling and drift off into a delicious half asleep state. To drift off entirely or to eventually surface and wobble to the shower where you realise that to have hot water on tap to pour over your body is a simple pleasure that rivals any. Then maybe a cup of freshly ground coffee and a post-coital cigarette, and wonder what other pleasures are next, and in what order they will come. Hedonism has got nothing on this. Freedom is this and much more, Konrad, much more. Can’t I tease you into considering the possibility of living in paradise, here, now, on earth.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.