Selected Correspondence Peter
Ancient Wisdom and the New Dark Age
RESPONDENT: Your recent post to No 12 left me with a couple of questions. To be honest, I found it somewhat troubling. You dismiss, or outright condemn, the wisdom traditions as being the folly of ignorant beings.
PETER: These great and holy wise men were people who believed the earth was flat and was the centre of the cosmos, who had no understanding of processes of the formation and reproduction of animate life forms, who lived in isolated communities in constant fear of wild animals and other human beings and who believed in ‘other worlds’, both above and below, that were populated by mythical ‘spirits’ or Gods.
All this led to a meta-physical, spirit-ual viewpoint, an imagined understanding of conscious animate life upon this material earth in the infinitude of the physical universe. Further, the excesses of the human instinctual passions of fear and aggression were believed to be due to being ‘possessed’ by bad or evil spirits and succour and relief was sought by praying to the good spirits or God(s) for favours, forgiveness, redemption and salvation in a future life-after-death. At the core of the Eastern religious/spiritual view of the world is the concept that all humans are born ‘innocent’ and have only been conditioned with ‘evil thoughts’ since birth and it is further believed that it is possible for a chosen few to regain this mythical ‘natural’ innocence, in this lifetime on earth, hence the search to find one’s ‘original face’ or Divine Self.
Given that these beliefs in God, spirits and ‘other-worlds’, formulated and formalized over centuries into various conflicting and competing dogmas – either carved in stone or written on animal skins, papyrus or rice paper – are upheld as mankind’s Supreme Wisdom, it is somewhat troubling to dismiss it all in a flash. One would only dare to do so if one found something far better.
RESPONDENT: I haven’t totally figured it out, but it seems that you consider spiritual teachings a folly that you have had the benefit of transcending through simply negating the existence of anything that you can’t touch or see. (Don’t you find such reductionism boring?)
PETER: The Eastern spiritual philosophy’s dismissal of ‘all that you can touch and see’ as being purely ‘a dream’ is an act of the utmost denial, and the claim that what is Real is that which you can’t touch or see is ‘self’-gratifying, or should I say, soul-gratifying fantasy.
This ‘anything that you can’t touch or see’ is called the spirit-ual world and includes a plethora of competing, conflicting and confusing entities, spirits, Gods, beliefs, concepts, faiths, convictions, etc.
My point is that what No 12 has done is to transcend – as in rise above – the ‘real’-world or the grim reality into a personally-created Greater Reality. Given that ‘I’, as a psychological and psychic entity, create this grim-world reality in the first place it, is only ‘me’ as a God-realized entity who creates a Greater Reality – both realities are a figment of ‘my’ impassioned imagination. There are in fact three worlds – the real world and the spiritual world, both a creation of a ‘self’, and the actual world, experienced only in a completely ‘self’-less state.
The actual world is anything but boring for perfection and purity is happening right here in this place in space and right now in this moment of time – not there and now as in the ethereal spiritual dimension that we can’t touch and see. To experience the perfection of the actual world one needs to eliminate both facets of one’s identity – both one’s parochial ego and one’s precious soul.
RESPONDENT: You write ‘Eastern path sputtering to an inglorious end...’ Really. I had not noticed.
PETER: The other day I heard of a person who is a New-Age-Zen-Buddhist-Roman-Catholic which is a clear indication that the Eastern religions are rapidly diluting to be nothing other than an ethical and moral code that is now blending into Western traditions. As for the fervent fringe, all of the Gurus and God-men that have emerged from the Eastern traditions have been found to be anything but pure and perfect, as have their Western counterparts, the Popes, saints and priests. Type the word ‘spiritual’ into your search engine and you will find ample evidence of a rapid demise by duplicity, dilution, deceit, contradiction, factionalism, confusion and conflict.
RESPONDENT: Again, I do find agreement with your points that many spiritual seekers are lost in a narcissistic dream, and that religion has, as a cultural artifact, some serious problems (as the song goes, ‘too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call...’).
PETER: Or, as another song goes ...
Personally I joined the western wave into Eastern spirituality because I thought it promised the chance for peace on earth but eventually I came to discover this wasn’t really on the agenda at all, but that personal God-realization was the sole aspiration of the spiritual seeker.
RESPONDENT: But to conclude therefore that the ideal of peace and mysterious and burning care for the welfare of all life that is revealed in the spiritual experience, and that can become the perfect and unbroken expression of the human being, is all some deep delusion, is deeply disconcerting.
PETER: It is only deeply concerting to ‘you’ as a soul who yearns to believe ‘he’ is immortal and craves the ideal of an eternal peace in a spiritual world – a liberation of the spirit from the body. Whereas you, as a flesh and blood body, craves to be free of this insidious psychological and emotional entity and desperately seeks to live in peace, right here and right now in this actual physical world. The ancient ones got it 180 degrees wrong, which is why there is still no peace on earth, some 3,500 years later.
RESPONDENT: Granted, the religious traditions have some serious limitations – it seems to me that they are saddled with the same old power structures and corruption common to all dimensions of the human experience.
PETER: Why do you make a distinction between ‘ideal of peace and mysterious and burning care for the welfare of all life that is revealed in the spiritual experience, and that can become the perfect and unbroken expression of the human being’ and religious traditions. What you are saying could well be Buddhism and – the first and underlying principle of Mr. Siddhartha Gautama’s ‘Four Noble Truths’ is that ‘life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’ which sounds a very serious limitation to me. Doesn’t at all sound like someone who had a big Yes to being here on earth. No wonder he sought a state of Nirvana, as a prelude to the bodiless state of Parinirvana – after physical death.
And are you saying new religious movements or groups based on old religious traditions somehow magically manage to disconnect or dissociate themselves from ‘the same old power structures and corruption common to all dimensions of the human experience?’ There is no evidence that this is so ... quite the contrary in fact.
RESPONDENT: The several modern day sages that I have encountered were not propagating any ancient belief structures but were speaking from their own realization of a living perspective and I think you are generalizing when you refer to ‘Eastern religion’.
PETER: I have no doubt that many are speaking from their own realizations, either from having had a glimpse of the Divine as in a Satori, epiphany, revelation, awakening, etc. or as a full-blown permanent realization where their own personal ego-program has crashed and their identity has shifted to their instinctual feeling-only ‘Self’. This experience, commonly known as an altered state of consciousness, does have cultural, religious and fashionable variations, and you are correct in saying that I am generalizing, for not all of these experiences are related to Eastern religion. I was referring to the Eastern religious realization of Enlightenment for that is the broad field of enquiry of this list.
What is common to all religious /spiritual experiences and realizations is the ages-old belief that there is life after death and we are just ‘passing through’ before we go to a better place ‘somewhere else’.
RESPONDENT: You have divided everyone into the two camps of ‘normal’ and ‘becoming spiritual’, leaving only your view as the third alternative. Could there be other alternatives that you have not yet discovered?
PETER: The wonderful thing about the Internet is that everyone and anyone who has something to say, usually gets around to ‘sticking their poster up’ on the Web. So far, extensive searching has revealed that everyone is either trying to cope, as best they can, in the ‘normal’ world or propagating some form of spiritual alternative to what is seen as, and felt to be, the human dilemma. Many, many humans have tried to find a solution to human malice and sorrow and many have tried to break the stranglehold that spiritual belief has over the search for freedom, peace and happiness. It is only now, thanks to modern rapid travel, instant world-wide communication and access to written material and religious texts that we are able to scrutinize both the teachers and their teachings, free of the fear of ostracization, retribution and retaliation. For the first time we are able to make sensible choices of our own, based firmly on facts, rather than merely believe what others tell us.
Unless I find otherwise, and I would be delighted to find that I am wrong, everyone is either coping with being normal or escaping by becoming spiritual. There are only a handful of people, thus far, who are trekking the other way.
RESPONDENT: The several sages that I referred to in my previous reply are definitely pointing to the same FACT. None of these ‘teachers’ have spoken of a belief in life after death and all have been speaking from a very PRESENT realization of what I would describe as Absolute Wholeness.
PETER: No, all sages have their wisdom firmly rooted in the past. The lotus flower they proffer has its roots firmly in the mud of past ignorance. They still talk of good and evil, going in, finding one’s true self, discovering the Truth or whatever. Many are shifty about how they present their message and many are selective in their interpretation the underlying message of the Ancient ones – but their essential message is still the same – be anywhere but here and anywhere but now, for human existence on earth is ultimately a suffering existence. Increasingly a discernable shift can be seen as many attempt to convey a more sophistic and less radical spirituality, but the spiritual world is the spiritual world, be it Franklin Jones at one end of the spectrum or Oprah Winfrey at the other.
I am not advocating a return to the ‘real’ world for that would be silly for those who have at least seen its follies.
But there is a third alternative – step out of the real world, and the spiritual world, into the actual world and leave your self behind where ‘you’ belong.
RESPONDENT: The old belief structures of organized religion, be it eastern or western, certainly never attracted my attention with the promise of an answer after death. I think you are separating yourself from a huge community of sincere fellow beings who want to know the Truth of What Is ... Now!
PETER: Yes, the attraction for me on the spiritual path was the seductive promise of enlightenment – a period of experiencing freedom, on earth, not after death as in Western religion. It certainly was a better deal. I only abandoned it because I began to be suss of those who had obtained this state of freedom, suspicious of turning away from tangible sensuous delights, of feeling more withdrawn from my fellow human beings, and of feeling special. A further realization came when I realized the famed spiritual path was nothing other than a dressed up, fashionable, more casual reinterpretation of old time Eastern religion.
But the final straw only came when I realized there was now, at last, something better on offer. Even then it took me months and months before I was finally willing to let go of my spiritual world-view. By giving up belief I am no longer part of the ‘huge community ’ of spiritual seekers but I have become a citizen of the world, free of all religious, metaphysical, cultural and social beliefs. I am released from the burden of having to be someone, of being an identity, of being remorselessly driven by instinctual passions, be they good or evil. This freedom is palpable and tangible – I find myself living in sensuous delight in the actual magical paradise of this verdant planet.
RESPONDENT: You have echoed my sentiments very well, all too well. In fact, I believe you are getting at the heart of what many humans, perhaps most of us feel about our world. However, this is a limited, personal perspective, certainly not the only one possible.
PETER: You seemingly agree with what I am saying and then say... ‘however’, which means you don’t agree with what I am saying. This discussion is not about agreeing with me or believing me, I am simply presenting the facts as to why peace on earth has not happened after 3,500 years of fervent prayer and well-meaning effort by billions of humans and offering another alternative for consideration and scrutiny. As such, I will reply to you in detail.
RESPONDENT: The great beings of the earth have one and all been able to step outside their personal agonies and see from a historical perspective.
PETER: The ‘great beings of the earth’, whose wisdom we still salaciously follow and take to be sacred and inviolate, lived thousands of years ago in a world that bears no resemblance to the one you and I live in. Ancient, ignorant and fearful understandings of earth and the cosmos led to the universal human belief in ‘other worlds’, both above and below, that were populated by mythical ‘spirits’ or Gods. Further, ‘spirits’ or nature ‘forces’ were deemed to live on, or be a part of, earth itself leading to a spirit-ual view of nature – a metaphysical-only understanding of physical life upon this material earth. A fervent and desperate belief that there was a future life-after-death for the human ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ in these imaginary ‘spirit worlds’ was common to all ancient tribal groups.
The great beings were flat-earth god-men, their wisdom naught but fairy stories elaborated and altered over the millennia and, as such, their wisdom is firmly rooted in an ignorance of the facts and workings of the world that other humans have since been discovered. The long dead, supposedly wise and great ones, had no historical perspective as we have and were ignorant of modern scientific empirical discoveries of the functioning of the human body, this planet and the universe. In fear and ignorance they stepped out of, or turned away from, their real world ‘personal agonies’ and into an imaginary world of spirits – thus believing that they, as spirit only, would survive physical death in the spirit world.
What I am saying is step out of the real world, and the spiritual world, into the actual world and leave your ‘self’ behind, where ‘you’ belong.
RESPONDENT: They council against this limited view as it is very destructive, if we have nothing else to hold on to.
PETER: Given that the ‘great beings of the earth’ – the forerunners and original authors of all present day religious belief – lived thousands of years ago, theirs was a limited view. We modern humans, you and I, living now, are obviously capable of seeing and understanding far more than the ancients. I am clearly able to see that their wisdom and teaching is a belief and not a fact because since their time billions of human beings have diligently and sincerely attempted to put into practice and live their teachings, and peaceful co-existence amongst humans is nowhere in sight. The ancient human’s life would have really been a tough and relentless battle for survival and to retreat from the physical world into an inner world was the only alternative.
When I realized that the pure consciousness experience or peak experience offered a third alternative, I simply gave up believing in ancient Wisdom, waiting for Godot, praying, hoping, trusting, or trying to become God-on-earth as in the Eastern religious belief-system. Once you stop believing in God, he/she/it simply doesn’t exist anymore and then you free yourself to begin tackling the job of becoming actually free of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: Here’s a good one; you know how the aborigine’s art has all those ‘dots’ in them to construct the painting ... did you ever ask one what those dots are? IF you can get them to answer, you may be surprised to find out that the art is a physical rendition of what things look like on the sub-atomic level.
PETER: Do you know they also believe the land is roamed by giant spirit animals and that their social wisdom involves a brutal form of ‘payback’ undertaken by spearing or wishing evil and death on the other. Another popular form of settling disagreements is for two antagonists to sit opposite each other and beat each other on the head with wooden clubs until one falls unconscious or dead. Is this also what you call ancient wisdom?
Show me an ancient aboriginal relic of an electron microscope, and then I’ll agree you have a point.
RESPONDENT: This world’s ideas about existence did not start with the bronze age ... the ideas at work here are much deeper into mankind’s past. How would supposed ignorant natives know about other planetary systems, if planet earth be IT. How could the Dogon of Africa know how many stars are in the Sirius system and Pleiades if they hadn’t have had some sort of encounter. THEY say it is their home.
PETER: Are you trying to say there was once a golden age of scientific knowledge, or that the planet was once ‘seeded’ from other planetary systems and somehow, for some strange reason, humans have since lost the plot? These common beliefs of the Paradise-Lost type have no at all evidence to support them – quite the opposite. Recent studies have revealed the sheer brutality of ancient spiritual belief with physical evidence of ritual human sacrifices to heavenly Gods and earthly spirits in almost every religion on every continent going right back to the Bronze Age.
RESPONDENT: Do we deny them, tell them they are fools? ... even though they had the information long before it was ‘proven’.
PETER: There is no need to tell anyone else they are fools for desperately holding on to their spiritual beliefs – acknowledging that I was a fool to have been sucked into spiritual belief was sufficient for me to start becoming actually free of the Human Condition in toto. Of course, it was a massive blow to my spiritual pride, but it proved just as easy to drop a belief as it was to adopt one and then I got to stop feeling a fool in continually trying to justify my precious beliefs in the face of facts and common sense. It is the first step to becoming an autonomous human being, walking upright and free.
RESPONDENT: What I see at work here is the ego. The ego always denies Anything that could possibly disrupt its comfy little seat of ‘normalcy’. The ego can’t Stand anything it can’t control. Even when confronted by what it believes to be ‘impossible’, the ego will find a way to ‘disallow’ the information. ‘Oh, that was Just my imagination.’
PETER: Everyone believes it is impossible for intelligence and consciousness to have evolved from matter for to acknowledge this would be the ending of any spiritual/ religious belief. This fact also means that both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as spirit/soul are but illusionary fabrications and the real me is this flesh and blood body only. Faced with this information which ‘I’ take to be an appalling threat to ‘my’ very existence, ‘I’ frantically seek to deny it and desperately imagine a way out of being here in the material world.
There is an alternative to this fantasy of denial and escapism that is fuelled by ‘my’ fear of exposure and ‘my’ fear of death and that is to deliberately embark upon a process that will eventuate in ‘self’-immolation – to experience a psychological and psychic death of my ‘self’ before physical death and thus become what I am – this flesh and blood body only. (...)
RESPONDENT: At the same time, doing ‘miracles’ in the Indian subcontinent would hardly raise an eyebrow. Those people have had so much exposure to such things, it has become matter-of-fact. There is a ‘science’ that they take for granted that makes western minds go ‘gaa gaa’.
PETER: The Indian Skeptic Society has been running an on-going campaign that is continually debunking the magic tricks of the sages and shamans of India who make a living feeding off the superstition and fear of others. The standard of sleight-of-hand, or hypnotic-based, magic they encounter is woeful and pathetic compared to the slick tricksters of the West.
RESPONDENT: I can see now why I was uncertain where you were coming from in your previous post. As I read through this post I felt pulled between, on the one hand, your spark of revolutionary spirit to realize an end to conflict on earth and on the other a set of fixed ideas about the inadequacy of the spiritual approach to this dilemma.
PETER: By fixed ideas I presume you mean the fact that after 3,500 years of belief, trust, faith and hope in Gods, Goddesses, Spirits, Sources, Higher Selfs, Essences, Creators, Doomsdays, Good and Evil, we are still merely praying for peace on earth, while indulging in the fantasy that the only ‘true’ peace possible is after physical death. The human condition on earth is typified by malice and sorrow and the man-made idyllic antidotes of love and compassion have failed to stem the carnage. It is well-documented that the last century was the bloodiest to date – over 160 million human beings died at the hands of their fellow human beings and over 40 million people killed themselves in suicides – and there is no end in sight. Religion, be it Eastern or Western, actively contributes to this carnage as is evidenced by the countless religious wars, persecutions, recriminations, repressions, ostracizations, denials, retributions, perversions and conflicts that are ever ongoing ... Eastern religion is particularly insidious for it deliberately promotes the practice of turning away and withdrawing from the physical world of people, things and events where we human beings actually live to a spirit-ual, meta-physical world, to an ‘inner’ private isolated world of furtive imagination and impassioned feelings. These are not fixed ideas, these are facts.
Peace on earth is ultimately sacrificed by the utterly selfish pursuit of immortality for one’s soul – ‘who’ one feels one is as opposed to what one actually is, a mortal flesh and blood human being.
RESPONDENT: Hence I was confused as most of your post focused on the latter and covered the passion you claim for liberation of the human spirit.
PETER: No, you are still confused about what I said. It is the ‘passion for liberation of the human spirit’ – the fervent belief in an eternal, timeless, spaceless ie immortal spirit – that compounds and actively contributes to malice and sorrow on earth. Religion, be it Eastern or Western, actively contributes to this carnage as is evidenced by the countless religious wars, persecutions, recriminations, repressions, ostracizations, denials, retributions, perversions and conflicts that are ever ongoing ... Eastern religion is particularly insidious for it deliberately promotes the practice of turning away and withdrawing from the physical world of people, things and events where we human beings actually live to a spirit-ual, meta-physical world, to an ‘inner’ private isolated world of furtive imagination and impassioned feelings.
I have a vital interest to end the ‘passion for a liberation of the human spirit’ – manifest as the search for enlightenment – for it stands in the way of peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: I do not share your view that the spiritual approach to ending conflict and misery is what went wrong. In my own experience I see it is because of the reluctance of the individual to pay the price to live up to what was realized in the spiritual approach that is really why nothing fundamentally changes. Despite those rare few who are willing to live up to the demand of the spiritual approach and have inspired us to see it is possible to go through the ‘sacred ceiling’ most of us do not want to give up our selfishness to do so.
PETER: Now I am confused. ‘Those rare few who are willing to live up to the demand of the spiritual approach’ are the very ones who are ensnaring their gullible followers beneath the ‘sacred ceiling’. By sacred ceiling I do not mean the mythical transcendence between mortal human and the immortal Divine. Breaking the sacred ceiling is daring to question the sacred and taking action to break free of ancient beliefs in Gods, God-men and Spirits. It does not mean swapping or reaffirming one’s beliefs – merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It means getting out of, and breaking free of, the whole institutionalized insanity of the spiritual world, full stop. By sacred ceiling I mean the out-dated meta-physical belief in the immortal and Divine that prevents sincere seekers of freedom, peace and happiness from actualizing it, as this flesh and blood body only, here on this physical earth, where we human beings live.
RESPONDENT: I have just finished reading the new magazine on ‘What is Ego – friend or foe’ and in it there are at least 3 rare individuals who are interviewed who make your heart sing with the fire of their victory over malice and sorrow. It’s well worth reading.
PETER: I spent some 17 years on the spiritual path with both a singing heart (love) and a bleeding heart (compassion) but I had a brief pure consciousness experience where I saw, with shocking clarity, that I had been seduced into and was firmly entrapped in nothing other than an old time Religion, albeit the fashionable Eastern pantheistic version. It took me some years to tear myself away from the instinctual need to belong to a group and strike off on my own to search.
After six months of withdrawing from the world and indulging in intensive spiritual reading and meditating, I had a particularly overwhelming altered state of consciousness experience, or Satori, when I was walking along a beach experiencing being ‘pure love’. I was Love, and love for everything poured out of me. ‘Existence’ and I were one, and all was love. ‘I’, as I normally was, was definitely not there – ‘I’ had become pure love. Or, put another way, I had an experience of the ‘self’ becoming the ‘Self’. For me, I realized if I continued on this path I was doomed to become enlightened, yet another Saviour of mankind, another God-on-earth and that was enough to ring the alarm bells. Somehow I knew that this was not what I was after, as I wanted to be an ordinary human being, not an extraordinary divine spirit like the so-called Enlightened Ones. Besides, I had not met one of these gurus whose life I would like to emulate. I didn’t like how they were with their women, I didn’t like their lifestyle and I had seen too many ‘off stage’, as it were, as emotionally driven and devilishly cunning. I had also seen enough of their power and authority, with its subsequent demand of worship and adoration, to be dismayed at the thought that the Master-disciple system represented the pinnacle of human endeavour. There had to be something better.
There is a third alternative to remaining normal or becoming spiritual and it brings to an end the genetically-instilled instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Human malice and sorrow is a product of neuro-biological instinctual survival programming and not the result of a battle between good and evil spirits, not some perverse plan of a God by whatever name, or a necessary suffering prelude to an ultimate peace after physical death, in Heaven, Parinirvana or whatever other name.
I have repeated several sections from previous posts so as to avoid confusion for I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I am very deliberately being upfront and honest as what I am saying is both radically new and unabashedly iconoclastic. I know what I am talking of is inconceivable for it has nothing to do with the traditional spiritual path that seekers of freedom, peace and happiness have been conditioned to believe as being the Truth about human life on earth. In fact, the path to an actual freedom from malice and sorrow lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction to the tried and failed spiritual path.
What started me on this opposite path was accepting the down-to-earth challenge that if I couldn’t live with one other person in utter peace and harmony, equity and parity, 24 hrs. a day, every day, then life on earth was indeed a sick joke. I took the challenge and, together with my companion, proved it is possible.
RESPONDENT: I, too, have seen the madness of believing in gods, heaven worlds and all that. It is very clear that religion has failed to bring about anything close to peace, and in fact has caused far more suffering than any other system in the world.
PETER: Something I am curious about is that you stated that – ‘I, too, have seen the madness of believing in gods, heaven worlds and all that’ and yet you continued on following Eastern religion and philosophy. Did you not see the madness in Eastern religion or was your seeing based on a rejection of the Western religious world-view and the adoption of the Eastern religious world-view?
RESPONDENT: I agree with most of what you have posted.
PETER: It does seem that your agreement is very selective, as is your view of what constitutes religion. The root of the word is the Latin religio meaning ‘obligation, bond, scruple, reverence’, and its definition is –
Most spiritual seekers pursuing Eastern Religion and philosophy are extremely loath to acknowledge the fact that they are followers of, and deeply immersed in, a religion. It was only that I had a flash one night that I was deeply involved in the ‘madness of believing in gods, heaven worlds and all that’ that helped me to pull out before it was too late. Mind you, it took another 3 years and the blatant ‘other’-worldliness of a major Satori experience before I began to really come to my senses.
You are on record as saying –
– which does seem to me that you are following an ancient tradition of spiritualism. Could I stretch my assumption to say you are a follower of Eastern religion and philosophy or would this be too presumptuous?
I would like to be clear about what it is you are agreeing with and what you are not agreeing with. Simply avoiding, feinting agreement or dismissing my questions is no answer. I would also be interested in your comments about the revelations of Zen Buddhism in the book reviews at the link I posted.
In order to keep this discussion simple and on-track, I’ll summarize your position as you have recently posted it on the list,
Thus it is our personal identification (ego) which has caused the untold suffering on the planet but the suffering is necessary so that a few people can undergo an ego-death.
Thus the suffering is endemic, cannot be stopped – and is indeed necessary – and all we can do is go deeply into a process of dis-identifying with the suffering on earth.
So you propose that human suffering on earth is not a problem, but identifying with it is. From where I live that sounds awfully like a process of denial and dissociation – the essential process espoused by all Eastern religion and philosophy.
RESPONDENT: I have never followed any Eastern religion or philosophy. I have never had a guru, teacher, or any guides. I have read what many had to say and after I awakened it became easy to see who was awake and who wasn’t. To those who were awake and doing the best to express the inexpressible to others I am grateful.
PETER: You do seem to be desperate to dissociate your present state of ‘being consciously aware of the Wholeness of Being’ from the long Eastern religious tradition of altered states of consciousness because that would not sit at all well with your previous realization – ‘that religion has failed to bring about anything close to peace, and in fact has caused far more suffering than any other system in the world...’
However, you are also on record on this list as saying –
... and yet you quote Eastern Religion and philosophy in support of your case and trot out the hoary old argument that it is not the teacher’s fault but always the fault of those who follow the teachings. Being an awakened teacher yourself this does seem to be a self-serving argument and a classic way of denying any responsibility for the fact ‘that religion has failed to bring about anything close to peace, and in fact has caused far more suffering than any other system in the world’ ... as you yourself originally said.
I can only assume that ‘all those who went before us’ refers to all the awakened/Enlightened ones who helped to point you in the right direction. So you say ‘I have never had a guru, teacher, or any guides’ but you have had ‘all those who went before us’ to ‘help point us in the right direction’. Are you not splitting hairs just a wee bit too fine, or does the word ‘us’ not refer to you?
Again it does seem that, at least prior to your latest realization, that you were immersed in the religious/spiritual world that ‘has failed to bring about anything close to peace, and in fact has caused far more suffering than any other system in the world’... to use your words. It must be such a relief to have to not be a part of that tradition anymore and to have moved on or ‘gone beyond’ ... to use your term. (...)
RESPONDENT: Over these many years, things have become ever clearer. I have seen that it isn’t so much that we are acting from our animal instinctual conditioning as it is what took place as we developed the ability to abstract life into words, pictures, concepts, etc. As that process developed what had been our instinct to protect our bodies was carried over into feeling a need to protect the images we had of ourselves. The ego has always been just conditioned thought that formed as a sense of personal identity.
PETER: This is the old-fashioned out-dated Eastern philosophical view of human existence on earth. The East has always seen the physical world as a dream, an illusion, Samsara, Maya, etc., and thinking was seen as the link to suffering in this dream world. Basically the idea is if you stop thinking about the suffering in the physical world it will go away.
RESPONDENT: Where I am coming from will never be out-dated. It has been around forever because it is real. But few have seen it. You must have been into a Hindu spiritual teaching. They are always talking about this sort of thing, the higher teachings of Buddhists see the wonder and beauty in this world. It is not that the world is not real, it is the images that separate the human mind from that reality are illusion. No one I respect says to stop thinking. Just watch it and see what it tells you about the way you see the world and how the mind works. When one is just simply aware in the moment thinking can stop by itself. It is in those moments one can awaken to the real.
PETER: In other words, when thinking stops, awareness happens and one can awaken to the real. Therefore it is thinking that stands in the way of what is real being revealed. All Eastern spiritual practices, that ‘have been around forever’, point to this way of awakening to what is real, hence the emphasis on meditation, stilling the mind, practicing ‘right’ thinking and ‘right’ awareness to steer you away from the illusionary dreamlike, abstract images as well as the seductions of earthy sensual pleasure. Or, as you put it –
This ‘far more subtle view of the world’ does require that one shuts down or distorts sensible thinking and sensate perception in order to see ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ that are actually happening to flesh and blood human beings as only images or believe that they are only caused by conditioned thoughts of the thinking mind.
PETER: As for ‘the higher teachings of Buddhists’ perhaps we could look to the source of these teachings. The essence of the Buddha’s teaching was said to be the Four Noble Truths:
No mention of ‘the wonder and beauty in this world’, quite the contrary. Like all spiritual teachings one needs to look at the fundamental principle upon which it is founded. In Buddha’s case his core principle upon which all his teachings are founded is that ‘life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’. The ‘Noble Eightfold Path’ can then be seen quite clearly as a ‘right’ re-conditioning of the mind which is very similar to your teachings of
For someone whose declared position is that ‘I have never followed any Eastern religion or philosophy’ you do seem to make a habit of using Eastern religion and philosophy to support your case for peace on earth and your ‘non-religious’ philosophy does bear a very striking resemblance to that of Buddhism.
RESPONDENT: (...) What has happened is I have picked up new sets of beliefs. I compare others with my own belief of how they should live their lives. I have a set of beliefs on what a Master is supposed to be, why I or everybody else should meditate in order to ‘know themselves’ and be happy, peaceful, blah, blah, blah...
I have stopped meditating because I find this routine not enjoyable anymore, it does not make me happy and I have this mind-fuck idea that meditation will help me to be more happy and peaceful, then just going on as I am and relaxing in what ever is happening.
Like you I want to experience ‘peak living’ 24 hours a day but doing the meditations is just like taking marijuana or cocaine, it gives a temporary high and it seems like a ‘chemical’ reaction. I have to meditate over and over just to get this experience again (and it does not come always).
Is not possible to be happy just the way I am, living here and now and doing whatever makes me happy, not thinking of enlightenment, mediation or being silent.
Is not happiness NOW more important then trying to do something, which will bring about this happiness?
I am going to look into this ‘third alternative’.
PETER: There is a great myth put about by many in the spiritual world that goes something like ‘you are already That or God, or Enlightened, you only have to realize it’. It is a prime example of being in cuckoo land as it denies the fact that, as human beings, we are born with instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. And it attempts to transcend the animal biological heritage by inventing some mythical ‘divine world’ and going off and dwelling in it ‘for eternity’. The problem in humans is a neuro-biological, not meta-physical. And only by ridding ourselves of the Ancient belief in Gods and Goddesses, can we begin to tackle the problem. Without God it is up to each of us to sort out our own ‘self’ and why not? It is such an amazing journey of discovery that it makes any normal or spiritual therapies seem like kindergarten. To find out ‘what’ you are as opposed to who you ‘think’ or ‘feel’ you are!
No longer do I dwell or wallow in the psychic world. No longer do I need good spirits, Masters, guides, omens or charms. No longer does a battle rage inside my head or my heart. Free of fear, doubt, feelings and emotions I am able to be here, in this moment of time, sensing the physical world – delighting in typing, with a fan blowing cool air on my back, my body still loose and tingling after a ‘romp’ with Vineeto. The actual physical experiencing of the perfection of the physical world, the ease, the comfort, the pleasure of food, sex, coffee, writing, reflecting, talking. The delight, the thrill of doing what is happening is definitely where it is at!
RESPONDENT: But what have we created? It is not a pretty picture from my perspective. The results are not what we would call ‘best.’ It is not a beautiful thing in my estimation to watch our cities destroyed by floods caused by extreme weather and higher oceans due to global warming through the destruction of our atmosphere. It is not a pretty thing to watch people starve because plants burn up and the rains don’t come.
PETER: I see you are a believer in the theory of global warming and subsequent disruptions in weather patterns. It was a debate that I followed with interest for a while to see if I could discern the facts as opposed to the media hype, the vested interests and ‘Doomsday’ beat ups. There certainly seems a great deal of disagreement in the scientific community (not an uncommon thing) with the usual competitiveness, brinkmanship, and blarney abounding. What does seem a constant thread is that it is still a theory searching for hard evidence and actual proof. The problem of such a limited time span of precise meteorological and atmospheric data – only about 100 years – has lead to nothing more than theoretical extrapolations. Still, it does suit the agenda of the extremists and ‘Doomsdayers’ to promote the worst case theories as ‘truths’ in order to promote their particular ‘truth’ as the only solution. They are also people who simply do not want to be here, they hunger for an escape from living life, here, now, on earth.
I have developed a discerning eye and ear in order to ascertain what is fact and what is merely theory, postulation, concept, truth, common agreement, belief, assumption, speculation, imagination, myth or wisdom. At the start it does take intent to dig around and it does take a bit of an effort, (like reading what I am writing, for a start). It can result in a few blows to one’s pride, but otherwise one would simply believe what everybody else tells as the Truth.
RESPONDENT: It is not an awesome thing to see some hoard that which they’ve extracted by leverage, holding it when they have that which the rest of the us need to survive because they fear the worst. It is not a pretty thing to watch weather and natural disasters blow down and burn our towns and cities due to changes in our jet-stream and tectonic changes due to general abuses of our planet.
PETER: We certainly see a lot more natural disasters and results of fierce weather now that we have such an excellent TV coverage, and I often hear that something was the worst ... in 50 years or 100 years. But I have yet to see the scientific communities agree on a link to global warming. The environmental lobby has grown to such a powerful force it is hard to discern facts from hysteria. It seems to me that it is an unproven theory and a bit of a furphy, considering that the main news items I see on TV are yet another war, another bombing, another shootout, another massacre, another famine... The murders, rapes, suicides, and domestic violence are usually too numerous and common place to even get a mention. And yet when I point out that the Human Condition is malice and sorrow and that it can be eliminated by whoever cares, no-one is interested. They would rather blame someone else and peddle another version of the old ‘tried and failed’ methods.
The other curious thing is that most of the religions have a Doomsday scenario, or a Day of Judgement. This is an essential part of any belief-system that espouses a Way or a Truth in order to ‘escape’ from evil and damnation. It has been going on for centuries and it is amazing to see the Doomsday slip back decade after decade, despite the wishes and convictions to bring it on.
RESPONDENT: How would the world look if we All realized that We Are All One?
PETER: The other day I was watching TV and yet another set of leaders and diplomats trying to settle another outbreak of some ancient religious or tribal war or some revolutionary ‘protest’ and I saw nothing but band-aid being applied yet again. 160,000,000 killed in wars alone this century and we have had several failed attempts to have a world government (League of Nations and United Nations) – and we are no closer to having peace on the planet.
I then mused on the possibility of having a United Religions set up and what would happen – all the Religions of the world would have to agree that there is only one God. Thus the Christians have to admit that Jesus was not Son of God since there is only One World God. So Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Osho, etc. would all be declared Non-Gods and all Religions would become One Religion. The trouble is it is a fantasy as people actually kill each other and sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. People kill and die for their God and their Country. We are instinctually programmed to sacrifice ourselves for what we perceive to be the ‘good’ of the particular tribe we are in. We need to free ourselves of this instinctual drive, and the way to do this is free ourselves from our beliefs. For individuals to stop believing in God and anything meta-physical is an essential step to bringing peace to this paradisiacal planet.
RESPONDENT: When I said, ‘How would the world look if we all realized we are one’, I know that if this would happen the world would look like paradise, indeed, it would be a paradise. We are one in the real sense not if we have one god or one religion. We are one and yet we are multi-faceted’ ones. Religions, Gods and Beliefs are the reasons why we cannot realize that we are one. If the universe is one, then why is it not that humans on the universe are also one?
PETER: I did point out that humans are born with a primitive sense of ‘self’, consisting of the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, and that this is overlaid from birth by a social identity which produces a separate self in each 5.8 billion humans.
Any amount of wishful thinking, prayer or fairy stories will not alter this fact. 3,000 years of well-meaning effort by billions of people give proof to the failure of the traditional methods to end suffering and violence in human beings. I decided to give something new a whirl and am simply reporting that it works. It is a fact that the ‘tried and true’ doesn’t work.
PETER to Respondent: I did have a fascinating talk with someone who I knew as a long-time Sannyasin, who extolled to me the teachings of an Eastern Guru she was into. Basically his teachings are that ‘everything is perfectly all right as it is – nothing to do’, and certainly ‘nothing to change’ and if and when ‘something happens’ it will be ‘by Grace’. In my usual irrepressible style I said ‘oh, then you believe in God?’ She looked startled and said ‘No’. She then said the teachings (or no-teachings?) were not about God and I asked her whose Grace it was that granted whatever it was that might or might not happen. She said ‘Existence’ and when I asked her ‘is not that another name for God?’ she said ‘no, it is an energy?’ She ended up desperately pleading a case that there must be ‘something’, because she has ‘felt’ it ... so we wandered off into talking about my second favourite subject – sex.
Later on I sat by myself under the stars and mused a bit on the conversation. I thought back to the time I was passionately searching for freedom. What would I have made of some-one who said ‘You don’t have to do anything – just wait for God’s Grace’ and ‘you can’t do anything about finding freedom – and the very act of trying is a hindrance’?
It might have been a tempting cop-out, but my being ruthlessly honest with myself always prevented me from the trap of fatalism or resignation. Also, it always involved a surrendering of my will to someone or something else. To be a mere puppet in some Cosmic play, with others puling my strings, was not the freedom I sought.
PETER: If by Agapé you mean DIVINE LOVE ... it is wasted on me. I am one of a only a handful of atheists on the planet.
RESPONDENT: When one is truly free ... there is no need for such nonsense as believing there is no Divine Love, then one is a Gnostic, one who knows, one who has no belief.
PETER: So, one who is truly free is one who is not merely pretending, I take it from the first bit. There are about 6,000 religions who all believe that they have the ‘true’ version of Truth, or Liberation, or Freedom. The truth is such a woolly concept it seems to me.
You then say ‘there is no need for such nonsense as believing there is no Divine Love’. I take it then that you believe there is Divine Love, or are you saying that The Divine (God) is a fact. I take it that you are saying you believe in God.
A Gnostic is one who claims to have ‘superior knowledge’ of spirit-ual things (Godly matters) and therefore believes in Gods and spirits.
RESPONDENT: Why do you continue to equate ‘knowledge’ with ‘belief’? Gnosis is not the same as belief at all. Do you know the experience of ‘sex’ or after having had it, do you believe in it?
PETER: The writer 2 has got it now as the writer 2 said above. Whatever writer 1 ‘knows’ is a fact and not a belief. It is getting really clear to the writer 2 by now. The writer 1 seems to have a different definition of Gnosis from both the Britannica and the Oxford, but the writer 1 ‘knows’. Maybe the writer 1 should set Britannica and Oxford straight on his knowing.
PETER: Maybe the writer 1 should set Britannica and Oxford straight on his ‘knowing’.
RESPONDENT: Is it necessary to set anyone straight?
PETER: Not at all, if you merely wish to blindly follow those whose knowledge is so profound, mystical and imaginary that it cannot be put into words. And anyone who tries is ‘still proud of their cleverness’. I see ample evidence in the Eastern Religions of an an over-bearing pride and arrogance in their insistence on ignorance, unquestioning obedience and acceptance. The physical conditions of suffering, poverty, disease, repression, caste structure etc. bears testimony to the inherent failure of the Guru system. Rather than being proud of their cleverness the Gurus have an enormous pride in their own ‘knowing’ and an investment in keeping others ignorant and lower. No disciples = no Gurus.
PETER: I genuinely would be interested if you have heard this elsewhere as Richard, Vineeto and I have searched high and low through a lot of the voluminous ‘New-Age’ and all of the all-encompassing Ancient Wisdom. We have found no one who has challenged the Eastern spiritual and religious texts, let alone proposed that ... EVERYONE HAS GOT IT 180 DEGREES WRONG, EVERYONE.
RESPONDENT: Have you read any writings of Yashua ben Yosef?
PETER: No, and a web search revealed nothing.
RESPONDENT: Consensual reality is merely that which the majority of humans agree to accept. There is much phenomena which occurs which is ignored because it does not fit in with ‘consensual reality.’
Have you read the ‘Final Secret to the Illuminati’ by Robert Anton Wilson?
PETER: Well, there are certainly some way out psychic phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, Altered States of Consciousness, near-death experiences, UFO sightings, channelling, etc. but from my study of them there appears to be ‘nothing new under the sun’. The new ones that occur seem to be only variations on Ancient beliefs. People would see chariots or horse and buggies in the sky, whereas nowadays they see space-crafts. Talking to the spirits was later called ‘seances’ and the phenomena is now called channelling. In the New Age it seems to me that there is nothing that does not fit in with ‘consensual reality’, or if it is slightly different, more obscure or more Ancient, even better, as a ‘new’ fashion is a very marketable item.
As for Robert Anton Wilson, I checked up on him on the net and found that he calls himself an ‘agnostic’ and then goes on to say ‘I don’t believe anything’. Given that an agnostic is one who believes that ‘the ultimate cause (God) and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable or that human knowledge is limited to experience’ methinks he is mightily confused. An agnostic essentially wants a bet each way – he sits straddling the fence neither committed to the metaphysical nor the physical.
And what about this for a doom and gloom belief, from his introduction on his web-site –
Sort of ‘life should forever remain a mystery to be lived’, which translates as ‘seek but dare not find’ – unless you find God, of course, and then ‘thou shalt be truly blessed’
And what about this quote –
Or this one –
I think he is a prime candidate for the ‘sticky tape on the mouth’ test. What he writes of is just another version of ‘consensual reality’ – enshrined in the concepts of Eastern religion as – ‘the physical world is an illusion and the inner (imaginary) world is real’
PETER: There is that diving ‘inside’ for a bit of ‘emoting’ again. The trouble is that even if you find the feelings of Good or God or Love in there, it is but a temporary fix and does nothing at all to cure the dis-ease of the Human Condition.
For the 0.0001% of seekers who manage Enlightenment (that of the permanent kind, not the modern ‘got it one day and lost it the next’ or ‘I already am, I just need to realise it’ variety) then one becomes fully deluded. Even of this crew, many report a ‘leakage’ or occasional anger or sadness.
RESPONDENT: Now, with these statements, this is where you lose credibility with anyone who sees, or has glimpsed REALITY.
PETER: Credibility means ‘believable, worthy of belief, trustworthy’, and if I have a point to make it is to stop believing what others say. It is imperative to find out the facts rather than merely believe, to sort out what is silly and what is sensible rather than merely accept what others say is right and wrong, good or bad, if one is to be actually free of the Human Condition in it’s entirety.
RESPONDENT: And show yourself for nothing but a perfectionist, a judgmental asleep one at that!
PETER: It’s a good thing I gave no credibility to the Mother of all beliefs – ‘No one’s perfect’, ‘life’s a bitch’, and ‘you can’t change Human Nature’.
What helped to crack this one was that it was okay to call yourself God, and then have other people worshipping you?
It is a strange world we find ourselves in, and it is good to make sense of this nonsense.
RESPONDENT: If you don’t understand this poem, you just don’t get it.
PETER: I do understand the poem, its perfectly clear that it points to getting nourishment from one’s soul, retreating from the real world into the spiritual world of the soul. Maybe, just maybe, it is you who do not get what I am saying.
It took me about 6 months of pride-demolishing, scary investigation, contemplation and ‘self’-demolishing realizations before I was able to get it, and even then the work was not over, as I dug deeper and deeper.
But it does end. The search does stop – the train does arrive at the station – as I am fond of saying.
Well I’ve enjoyed it again, it’s such a pleasure to write of something that requires no belief, imagination or affectation.
Something that is actual, tangible and available right now – the actual purity and perfection of the physical universe, right now, right here, happening at this very moment.
RESPONDENT: Hello!!!!!!! I said YOU LOSE CREDIBILITY, meaning that you show us that you don’t get the meaning of the poem.
PETER: Okay, since you have credibility, and have glimpsed REALITY, and I don’t get the meaning of the poem – enlighten me as to the meaning.
RESPONDENT: I don’t think there’s a point in writing to me further. I guess I can’t let go of my fear (I say this to make it plausible to your mind). You can write me if you want to but then I would prefer you to be more brief. It takes too much of my time to answer.
PETER: I only write to someone when they write to me or comment about, or distort on the list, something I have said. You stop, I stop. It is obviously all wasted on you anyway. It is hopeless to discuss anything with a fatalistic nihilist who actively espouses denial, total negation (via negativa), and who takes no standpoint at all. Sums up Eastern philosophy and wisdom pretty well. Still, you are nothing if versatile and flexible, and I bet you will take on a few words like ‘flesh and blood body’ or ‘actual’ and weave them in to your wisdom, merely distorting them to fit your philosophy. There is a Guru type in Europe who tacks a bit of Richard into his philosophy on the ‘Richard and I are best mates’ scenario. Thought I’d leave you a bit from an ‘actualist’, vitally interested in finding out what it is to be a human being, and in ‘full flight’ to find out –
PETER to No 29: You seem to have twisted what Ancient Wisdom says so much that you can make out of it what you want, which is what everybody does anyway. I certainly did in my spiritual days.
RESPONDENT: And you still do, Peter, you still do...
PETER: Just a note –
No, the Ancient Wisdom of the East clearly points to a belief in God and an after-life, in other words, it is simply ‘Old Time Religion’. This is a fact, not the twisted version that I conveniently believed on the spiritual path. I took it at face value that the spiritual path was about a personal peace for me and peace on earth.
In fact, it was an attempt by ‘me’ to turn away from the ‘real’ world and aim to become an Enlightened God-man. What I talk of has not one skerrick of God or immortality in it.
PETER: No, the Ancient Wisdom of the East clearly points to a belief in God and an after-life, in other words, it is simply ‘Old Time Religion’.
RESPONDENT: Let’s call it Ancient Foolishness then.
PETER: Couldn’t agree more. If it was merely foolishness it would be fine, but it is pertinent to remember that Ancient Wisdom – be it Eastern or Western, spiritual, philosophical, secular, male or female, profound or mundane – represents the book of how it is to be a human being on the planet. We are born into the world and told this is how it has always been, this is how it is now and this is how it will always be. If anyone says ‘Well, can’t we change the way it is? Does it really have to be this way?’ everybody else simply wheels out the dusty testaments of what a Mr. Socrates, Mr. Jesus, Mr. Shakyamuni, Mr. Moses, Mr. Bodhidharma and the like are ‘supposed’ to have said and says ‘These are the Rules – thus it was Spoken’. There is usually a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning and that’s that. End of discussion. So, Ancient Wisdom is the Wisdom of Humanity – the set of ‘rules’ how it is to be a human being on the planet.
The mother of all Wisdom is ‘you can’t change Human Nature’. When I met Richard he said ‘Of course you can! ... Why not?’ I liked that ... Why not indeed!
RESPONDENT: As for Sannyas, I’ve never been into believing in God; as a matter of fact, Osho repeatedly said God doesn’t exist.
PETER: I know many discourses where he talks of God, Oneness, Divine, Sacred, Holy, Nirvana, Love, Being, Buddha Nature etc. The use of words with capital letters in all his writings and books is a clear indication of God or the Divine in whatever form or description. The Eastern spiritual tradition is not monotheist like most Western spiritualism and, as such, God is a slippery concept, and deliberately so. Whichever way you look at it, both Eastern and Western Spirituality clearly indicate a ‘something else’ or ‘somewhere else’ apart from this physical universe.
PETER: If anyone says ‘Well, can’t we change the way it is? Does it really have to be this way?’ everybody else simply wheels out the dusty testaments of what a Mr. Socrates, Mr. Jesus, Mr. Shakyamuni, Mr. Moses, Mr. Bodhidharma and the like are ‘supposed’ to have said and says ‘These are the Rules – thus it was Spoken’.
RESPONDENT: It’s only the finger pointing to the moon.
PETER: So we humans are to not only to turn away from the real world, conveniently ignore the inanities of Ancient Wisdom and its obvious failure to bring results, turn a blind eye to the corruption, persecutions, repressions and power abuses that happen in all religion and groups of followers of Gurus, Masters and teachers, and certainly never dare to question the Gurus and God-men’s personal conduct or motives. One indeed would not want to look at the ‘finger’ at all – it is essential to keep looking at the ‘moon’, for fear that one sees the spiritual world as an equally horrendous world as the real world.
RESPONDENT: I thought you were going to get off this list, Peter. But as long as you are here... First, there is no such thing as ancient wisdom... wisdom is neither ancient nor modern.
PETER: First, to say that there is no such thing as ancient wisdom is plainly ridiculous. All of the major Religions and their systems of morals and ethics have as their roots the reported teachings of long dead Masters, Gurus, and Prophets. All of the major philosophical movements are built upon the supposed teachings of long dead wise men, pundits and philosophers. Any so-called modern wisdom is but a re-hash of the past. Have you not read any religious, spiritual or philosophical books?
RESPONDENT: It is timeless and always individual...always a discovery.
PETER: Always individual? Do you mean that the feelings one gets from spiritual practices are individual? Such as in ‘my’ Truth, ‘my’ Bliss, ‘my’ space, ‘my’ way? Indeed then these feelings are individual – they go on inside people’s heads. I remember once being time-keeper for some meditations in Buddha hall and watching people meditate and wondering what was going on inside everyone’s head? Strange, to watch hundreds of people sitting isolated with their eyes closed, going inside and imagining ‘feeling connected’. There were indeed a few variations on a theme, no doubt. But the aim was the same – find that ‘blissful inner state’. That is, after all, the common aim of all ancient Eastern spirituality.
RESPONDENT: What you do over and over is to make a false statement such as ‘Ancient wisdom is good old religion’ and then groove on your own misunderstanding. On the other hand you could be a Boring Again Christian yourself because you are so deaf and dogmatic...
PETER: To call someone a Christian seems to be the ultimate Sannyas insult. Bit of a hangover from the Ranch days when Rajneesh berated and goaded the Christians towards the end. I wonder, will it grow to be enshrined as bad blood between two religious groups? His insults almost caused a potential Waco on the Ranch, as No. 30 pointed out.
RESPONDENT: And by the way, Freedom is just freedom. When you qualify it as ‘actual’ you are comparing it with something else which according to you is not ‘actual’. So actual freedom is not freedom at all, just another concept. depending for its definition on another concept.
PETER: No, actual means actual. Actual Freedom is a freedom from the Human Condition of malice and sorrow. One of the first steps is to become free of the belief in God and an after-life. To become free of the belief in good spirits and bad spirits. To break free the slavery of the Master-disciple business and being beholden to any God, Guru. To free one’s self from the insidious platitudes of Eastern spiritual Wisdom with its seductive poetical promises of Bliss and Nirvana.
This is an actual freedom that is so liberating it is often hard to restrain from jigging when walking to the computer to write about it. Beholden to no-one and nothing. Free to be happy and harmless – at last.
PETER: Good to have another chat about what the mystics are really saying and try to make some sense of the spiritual path. After all, so many seekers are on the spiritual path. Most are seemingly attracted by the feel-good aspect or belonging to a group but some are sincere. Some are concerned about finding a personal peace, and a few of these may even be concerned about peace on earth.
Basically many have opted out of Western religion and followed the swing to Eastern spirituality as the solution to the Human Condition of malice and sorrow. I would think a good honest investigation of Eastern spirituality and philosophy might be a good idea – even on a Sannyas list.
At present Humanity has a lot of hope and faith invested in the Ancient Wisdom of the East – I would venture to say we have put all our eggs in the spiritual basket! Even the Western Religions are swinging to a spirit-ual interpretation and away from the ‘white bearded man on a cloud’ version
So let’s see what the Ancients are saying about the Human Condition, what advice they have that is relevant to us humans on earth, here, now – 3000 years on.
PETER: The mystics all talk of an ethereal mystical world, the inner world of feeling peace and feeling God. They knew something was wrong with us human beings, but their solution was to attain an altered state of consciousness (ASC) such that the identity shifts from being a mortal, lost, lonely frightened and very, very cunning ‘self’ to become the ‘Self’ – Realizing that it is God and Immortal.
RESPONDENT: Where do you get this from?
PETER: Any one of the spiritual teachings – they are all variations on a common theme. Maybe you haven’t read any spiritual books.
RESPONDENT: Mystics never said that something was wrong with us, human beings, they pointed out how the human condition is functioning.
PETER: The ancient mystics had no knowledge at all of psychology, sociology, physiology, anatomy, neuro-science, genetics, behavioural studies, animal studies, etc. They thought that when people suffered depression or fits of rage they were ‘possessed by evil spirits’ and as a cure they used exorcisms, magic potions, used mystical rituals and prayed to the good spirits or Gods for solace or relief.
Some modern mystics have tacked on a bit of therapy and other modern concepts, but at the core of their teachings is the ‘wisdom’ of ancient primitive men and women.
I am not making this up – an open eyed skim through a few books will confirm the facts.
RESPONDENT: The old mystics said: ‘Remember the example of an old cow, she’s content to sleep in a barn. You have to eat, sleep and shit – That’s unavoidable – Beyond that is none of your business. Patrul Rinpoche
PETER: Well, it left me a bit confused for a bit. I guess he is saying it is unavoidable that we have a physical body that is animal and he sees that as gross and lower. That it is ‘none of your business’ points to the fact that ‘you’ inside the body are destined to higher things and what higher ‘business’ than the business of the mystics – becoming God or realizing you are God?
It is only a guess though. Maybe they were really saying it is good to be like the cow and be content to sleep in a barn?
PETER: You wrote in answer to my comment about silence –
RESPONDENT: ...this Ancient Wisdom talk of spirits and Gods and going Somewhere Else rather than being here... not the ancient wisdom, but the ancient superstition.
PETER: Ancient wisdom is ancient superstition – there is no difference. Soon you will be inventing Real ancient wisdom or True ancient wisdom.
RESPONDENT: This ancient wisdom all originates from a common belief system of Gods, spirits or energies that represented both good and evil on the earth.
PETER: No disagreement here. You seem to have got the gist of what they all say.
RESPONDENT: The Ancient Wisdom talks about being here and now, seeing that all forms (thoughts, emotions, feelings etc) arise and vanish and are utterly empty.
PETER: Ah! And now comes the slide. Ancient Wisdom in the East talks about realizing your original face, your original self, your Buddha nature, that you are That, This, God, at One with All, Divine, etc.
Anything other than being ‘here’, as a flesh and blood human, on this physical earth, as it is. Further, they all talk of an after-life, Parinirvana, the Further Shore, the Ocean of Oneness, Paradise, the Cosmos, the Universe, etc.
Any-time other than ‘now’ as a flesh and blood mortal human being with a terminal life span.
Your second part about seeing ‘forms arise and vanish’ obviously refers to the dis-association of the watcher, and I have gone into that at length in other posts.
RESPONDENT: The ancient Wisdoms says that nothing is spiritual,
PETER: Now it’s getting really silly. What it is that they point to surviving the death of the body if not the spirit – or soul, atman, essence, bundle of memories, etc. and what is it that merges with, melts into, realises, becomes One with, etc. if not the ‘spirit’ – or soul, ...?
RESPONDENT: that you either are awake or asleep
PETER: All point to being asleep as in ‘normal’ ... or awake as in Awake, Realised, Enlightened, Self-Realised, God-Realized, Agapé-Realised, Awakened, etc.
RESPONDENT: and the ancient Wisdom says that whatever the ancient wisdom says is totally unimportant and not is to be bothered about – that insight frees.
PETER: So why bother to read it or take any notice of it in the first place? That insight frees the Ancient God-men from any sensible scrutiny, ensuring their followers remain in a state of ‘no-mind’-devotion.
You seem to have twisted what Ancient Wisdom says so much that you can make out of it what you want, which is what everybody does anyway. I certainly did in my spiritual days.
It was only when I found it wasn’t working for me, and others around me, that I began to dig in a bit deeper.
‘If all else fails, read the instructions’, as it says on the Cabot’s paint tin.
When I did read the instructions, without rose coloured glasses, I saw that it was all bound to fail and why it was bound to produce only God-men and followers, why it was bound to, not only endlessly perpetuate misery and suffering, but to produce multiple Religions and continuous religious wars.
Eastern Spirituality and Philosophy is nothing more than a convoluted form of Western Religion – they have the same ancient roots in the world of good and evil spirits, Gods and Demons, all from the cave-man days when the earth was flat and a horrendous place to be.
Ancient Wisdom produces and perpetuates religious wars, ‘sectarian’ violence, repression, torture, persecution, enslavement – anything but silence, and certainly not peace.
PETER: I’ll try and be brief but you have raised many points –
RESPONDENT: This ancient wisdom all originates from a common belief system of Gods, spirits or energies that represented both good and evil on the earth.
These are not my words!!
PETER: You posted them as though they were, so I thought you were agreeing with them in order to make your next point.
It is hard to know where you stand on Ancient Wisdom, other than your endless denying of what they clearly state.
PETER: Ah! And now comes the slide. Ancient Wisdom in the East talks about realizing your original face, your original self, your Buddha nature, that you are That, This, God, at One with All, Divine, etc. Anything other than being ‘here’.
RESPONDENT: Why is my original face anything else than ‘being here’, did any mystic say so?
PETER: The term original face refers to ‘that which was there before you were born, and will be there after you died.’ This is an obvious reference to something which exists independently of the physical mortal body. The common word for this is soul. It is who I feel myself to be. Who I feel myself to be is the very ‘me’ who feels separate from the world. From what I remember, I thought I was the centre of the everything around me but I always felt as though I didn’t belong – a bit like an outsider, even in a group. I was anywhere but here and anytime but now – always an alien. On the spiritual path one develops feelings of love and oneness towards a mystical God or God-energy – one shifts one’s identity into the mystical spirit world such that one is even more remote or aloof from the physical-only world.
To identify with one’s original face’, or soul, is to be ‘here’, but in the spiritual world only, not the actual world.
Hence it is impossible – a plain and obvious contradiction – to be here in the actual physical world, if one has one’s head in the clouds of the spiritual, meta-physical, psychic world.
There are no souls, spirits, Gods, demons, psychic entities or psychic energies, ghosts, good or evil, in the actual world.
RESPONDENT: And the ancient Wisdom says that whatever the ancient wisdom says is totally unimportant and not is to be bothered about – that insight frees
PETER: So why bother to read it or take any notice of it in the first place?
RESPONDENT: Indeed, why are you so preoccupied by it, you keep talking about ‘the ancient wisdom’
PETER: Because the belief in God’s, spirits and an after-life have resulted in the formation of over 6,000 religions on the planet, with all the resulting wars, ‘sectarian’ violence, tortures, persecutions, repressions and bigotry that still are rampant on this fair earth. This does concern me as it is all so pointless to battle over which God is the Only God, which master is the only Master and which Truth is the only Truth.
For me personally, Ancient Wisdom is of no concern as I am free of it, but I do care that the all-encompassing universal belief in it perpetuates the malice and sorrow on this fair planet.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.