Selected Correspondence Peter
Altered State of Consciousness aka Enlightenment
PETER: In these ‘self’-less pure experiences, one is the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human being.
RESPONDENT: This was only part of my own experience. What struck me more than anything else was the revelation that ‘I’ was not the body. Even though I recognized that I was in a particular human body, ‘I’ in fact existed beyond space and time and that when the body died ‘I’ would still exist. My experience was unlimited consciousness without any boundaries or limitation, eternal and aware of itself. (It’s difficult to put this into words as it immediately creates a sense of limitation). I can’t even claim that this revelation was ‘mine’. What was revealed was definitely not a ‘status quo viewpoint’ it was the absolute Truth beyond question.
PETER: What you have described very well is the classic dissociative Altered State of Consciousness that results from the pursuit of Eastern religious belief. For followers of monotheist religions these experiences of Truth are that one hears God, becomes His faithful messenger and servant in the firm knowledge that one will get to meet thy Maker after death. These ASC experiences are most common during ‘dark nights of the soul’, after imbibing hallucinogenic drugs, after intense periods of prayer, meditation or some similar spiritual practice. Although these experiences are other-worldly, ‘self’ aggrandizing and always relates to a salvation or an immortality for one’s ‘self’, what is most telling is that, there are differing cultural/ religious variations in these Truth experiences. A Buddhist never hears Jesus talking, a Jew never feels he is Maitreya, – everyone experiences what he or she have been taught they should experience as the absolute Truth or God.
I could never reconcile that if the Truth was the truth as in a fact, how come so many variations were experienced and how come humans ended up fighting and killing each other over whose version of the Truth was really, really true.
PETER: ... what I am proposing is peace on earth, as this flesh and blood body only, in this lifetime.
RESPONDENT: So I can’t agree with this, as I know that ‘I’ am not ONLY this body.
PETER: Fair enough. If you have had these types of experiences they are very convincing, which is why people claim to ‘know’. What I am saying is obviously not for you for you obviously have no doubt that ‘you’ are an immortal eternal spirit, not a flesh and blood earthling.
RESPONDENT: I believe that when each of us recognize our own True nature, the Self, then this realization MUST be lived (i.e. in time and space as the body), and only then will peace on earth exist.
PETER: Well, Eastern religion has been around for over 3,000 years in the East and there are stuff-all signs of anything remotely resembling peace on earth despite some estimated 1,000 Self-realized beings having spread this same message.
This common belief won’t happen simply because everyone is barking up the wrong tree – in all religious pursuit, peace on earth in this lifetime, is always readily sacrificed for the utterly selfish pursuit of immortality and the fantasy of a peace after physical death.
RESPONDENT: All pain, suffering and aggression comes from the mistaken identification that we are ONLY the body, thought and feeling.
PETER: ... and once one realizes this mistake then one can dis-identify and dissociate from one’s own pain, suffering and aggression and identify as a bodiless spirit that is immortal, and therefore ‘above’ it all.
Generally speaking, all dissociative reactions are attempts to escape from excessive trauma tension and anxiety by separating off parts of one’s personality function from the rest of cognition as an attempt to isolate something that arouses anxiety and thus gain distance from it. For example, in everyday life, mild and temporary dissociation, sometimes hard to distinguish from repression and isolation, is a relatively common and normal device used to escape from severe emotional stress and anxiety. Temporary episodes of transient estrangement, depersonalization and de-realization are often experienced by normal persons when they first feel the initial impact of bad news, for instance.
Everything suddenly looks strange and different; things seem unnatural and distant; events can be indistinct and vaporous; often the person feels that they themselves are unreal and everything takes on a dream-like quality. Dissociation becomes abnormal when the once mild or transient expedient becomes too intense, lasts too long, or escapes from a person’s control ... and leads to a separation from the surroundings which seriously disturbs object relations.
In object estrangement the once familiar world of ordinary objects – the world of people, things and events – seems to have undergone a disturbing and often indescribable change. Thus, just as a traumatized victim of an horrific and terrifying event makes the experience unreal in order to cope with the ordeal, all the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have desperately done precisely this thing (during what is sometimes called ‘the dark night of the soul’). Mystics have been transmogrifying the real world ‘reality’ into an unreal ‘True Reality’ via the epi-phenomenal imaginative/intuitive facility born of the psyche (which is formed by the instinctual passions genetically endowed by blind nature for survival purposes) for millennia.
Mysticism in general is a psychotic sickness; a head-in-the-sand escapist ‘solution’ to all the ills of humankind and is otherwise described (in non-psychiatric terminology) as ‘Theodicy’ (a vindication of a god’s and/or goddess’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil). The altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ is nothing more and nothing less than a frantic coping-mechanism that became culturally institutionalized, into being a legitimate and venerated social metaphysics, over thousands and thousands of years.
RESPONDENT: You do seem though, to believe in something you call Impersonal Self or Divine Nature as opposed to self.
PETER: I don’t believe in it anymore, for I have personally experienced it as delusionary state whereby ‘I’ was Love, God-intoxicated, etc. ‘I’ was the very centre of all that existed and the world about me appeared to be a dream-like state that existed for ‘my’ benefit. ‘I’ was both timeless and eternal and ‘I’ was a pure feeling being located in the heart of my body, which was also part of the dream. It is a very, very seductive state indeed – and it appears to be very real and all-encompassing as ‘my’ new and glorious identity overpowers any meagre identity that existed before. What saved me from venturing further on this path was a confirmation from an Enlightened One that this was indeed an experience of Enlightenment – the dearly sought-after prize of the spiritual search. As I contemplated my future fate, I realized that if I continued on the spiritual path I would soon end up Enlightened myself. I had seen enough of the Enlightened Ones, their lifestyles, their psychic powers, how they were with their women, the insidiousness of the Master-disciple system, etc., to begin to seriously question whether this was what I really wanted. I also knew deep-down inside that I was copping out and that there was something seriously wrong with this dream-like state simply because it was dream-like and that it was a completely ‘self’-centred state, despite ‘my’ feelings of Love for all.
In the end it was integrity that turned me away from the spiritual path and spiritual belief.
RESPONDENT: I have no need to label this spiritual, but what is it and what is its source?
PETER: You may have no need to label these beliefs and experiences as spiritual, but that does not change the fact that it is as spiritual as all get out. What I am talking about is the elimination of all spiritual and real-world beliefs – to bring an end to the very act of believing for, as the pop song went, ‘I’m a believer’.
RESPONDENT: I’ve never been comfortable with the division of the cosmos into the material and the spiritual and their supposed opposition unless I see this as an accurate description of how we can feel. Metaphor or poetry.
PETER: Well, if you go by feelings as the sole arbiter of your existence as a human being on the planet you will inevitably be attracted to the spiritual world for there is no more grandiose a feeling than to feel as though ‘I’ am Love, or ‘I’ am Divine Nature, etc. You will also be attracted to the mind-numbing sweet poetry and metaphors of spiritual teachings for it is specifically designed to be music to one’s soul.
Passionate feelings are the cause of so much imagination, delusion, ‘self’-centred grandiosity, supercilious twaddle, conflict, feuds, fights, bloodshed and mayhem that it is time to deeply question and investigate, moment to moment, exactly how your feelings and emotions prevent you from being happy, peaceful and harmless to others.
RESPONDENT: Still I am trying to understand what you feel this Self might be.
PETER: Have you not had spiritual experiences whereby you experienced your true nature, your real ‘self’, the real ‘me’ deep down inside? This is the very reason for turning ‘inside’ in such practices as meditation and right thinking. If pursued with single-minded purpose these experiences can become stronger to the point that one can see the Light, experience one’s true Self, one’s Impersonal Self, etc.
The use of capital letters is common convention to express Divinity or God and is oft used in spiritual writings and teachings for the same reason. Some more slippery teachings that swing with the fashion have abandoned the convention but a little reading will soon discover that they are pointing to an experience of feeling as though one is God ... by whatever name.
RESPONDENT: (...) What is most contradictory in my personal opinion, is that we people are seeking enlightenment based on the ‘normal-average’ parameters. Obviously, we all know that the average people are not awake. Awake seems to be those individuals who look somehow abnormal to the normal eyes.
But now, my question to the forum is, how can we possibly expect to succeed in this search for enlightenment while we take ‘average behaviour’ as a reference? Please, don’t think that I am ‘mad’ here. I just find this ‘normally intriguing.’
PETER: You are right. It is impossible to succeed in the search for enlightenment while taking average behaviour as a reference. The whole point of becoming enlightened is to ignore and transcend average and normal behaviour in oneself such that one eventually gets to feel perfect and pure.
It is also very clear from the behaviour of those who have attained enlightenment that the state does not go hand in glove with perfect behaviour. As you yourself said earlier in the post –
There is so much duplicity, duck shoving around the behaviour of the awakened and enlightened ones and their so-called embodiment of perfection. It is little wonder both their credence and honesty is coming under increasing scrutiny.
What I find most intriguing however, is the common belief in the spiritual world that seekers are somehow exempt from the normal instinctual behaviour exhibited by average or normal human beings. This blatant denial in Eastern religion is exemplified in such beliefs as the notion of karma whereby one believes one has already somehow done sufficient work or good, most often in a previous existence, such that one is no longer normal but is ready to Transcend. Some believe they are therefore born into the right circumstances, as in being born a Brahmin, while others who have bad karma, are born lesser as in average, or even born an Untouchable. This supercilious belief, when formalized, results in the horrendous religious caste systems so prevalent in the East. The Tibetan Buddhists have a cute system whereby the good lamas are reincarnated and ‘found’ by others, such that they escape ever having to be normal or average. The other fashionable expressions of exemption from normal and average is to be found in the concept of being chosen, of being special, being more awake, having a higher consciousness, doing God’s work, etc.
Wondrous are the ways that spiritual followers invent to prevent acknowledging they may be normal or average as in bad or evil, let alone lost, lonely, sad, angry, frightened, etc.
All of this denial in the spiritual world can be sheeted home to the beguiling and irresistible lure of feeling God-like and Timeless, thereby assuaging the fear of death.
All of the ills and woes of Humanity can be sheeted home to the genetically-encoded instinct to survive at all costs, which human beings have turned into a psychological and psychic will to survive ... at all costs.
RESPONDENT: First I would like to say that we are more alike in our thinking than not. I, too, am a product of the 60’s, and 50’s, and I had, and still have, all the feelings about the way this world is ran by our governments.
PETER: No, No. 8, we are not alike in our thinking. I gave up blaming others for the violence and suffering in the world and saw that I was the cause of violence and suffering for those very same feelings were in me. It was only by firmly grasping this fact, which is startlingly obvious in a pure consciousness experience, was I able to even begin doing something about it. It was only by seeing the inherent power and crippling humility that causes so much malice and sorrow in the spiritual world, which was startlingly obvious in the pure consciousness experiences I had while in the spiritual world, was I able to dig myself out of religious/ spiritual belief and to begin to tackle both the good and bad emotions in me that give rise to human malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: It is obvious to any one who thinks that we are all part of the problem. Who was I blaming?
PETER: So, are you now switching positions and saying you like the way ‘this world is ran by our governments’?
RESPONDENT: Because I see what you see. Even to the unawakened mind it is obvious that some things are worse than others and even the people in government can control the madness to some degree, but far too often they choose not to.
PETER: How do you think that ‘the people in government can control the madness to some degree’ ? Are you advocating more police, more armies, more laws? Or should they adopt the Tibetan Buddhist government’s pacifist approach of fleeing to the next country and leaving the people to fend for themselves when madness manifests as invasion by a neighbouring country? This is choosing not to ‘control the madness’ in action. How would you go about controlling the madness given that it is all so obvious to you?
RESPONDENT: Of course they are acting from the same illness as every one else. I shouldn’t have to say anything about this, it is all so obvious.
PETER: Aye. The illness, as you see it, is that most people are un-Enlightened or un-awakened to the Truth. To use your words, the Truth is
Hence the way to cure ‘the illness’ is to stop identifying with human fear, suffering and hatred. This approach does nothing at all to cure the illness but it does offer a way of psychologically distancing oneself from the illness. This approach to dealing with trauma is commonly known as dissociation.
In the case of spiritual Awakening or Enlightenment, the resulting condition is of an altered state of consciousness where certain concepts such as ‘beliefs, images, fear, suffering, hatred, etc., etc.’, are separated from the conscious personality. Thus, the illness continues unabated and untreated but the traumatized victim no longer associates with the symptoms of the illness and no longer believes he or she has the illness.
RESPONDENT: I have also seen what a mess we are in and how much needless suffering is going on and want only to see an end to it.
PETER: I don’t doubt the sincerity or fervour of your belief. All the priests, shamans, God-men, Gurus, Enlightened Ones and their followers for thousands of years, have offered the same spiritual message and yet the last century was the bloodiest to date.
RESPONDENT: Is that the guru’s fault? Were the warring parties enlightened? I too would wish that the teaching of so many enlightened people had changed things to where we stopped all the needless killing. Again, is that the teachers, or teachings, fault? Of course it isn’t.
PETER: Well, you could hardly accept that it is the fault of the teacher or the teachings for you are one of the teachers teaching those teachings. In order to avoid a confrontation that might raise your defences, let’s have a look at the sacred teachers and teachings of Zen Buddhism as exposed in two recent books –
It does seem that at least some are willing to lay some blame for war and suffering at the feet of the revered and sacred teachers. There are some serious cracks beginning to appear in the ‘sacred ceiling’, No. 8. It could be a good time to consider a career change.
RESPONDENT: The way you look at things, trying to see just the facts, is also the way I have always looked at things. The way I see it is you just haven’t gone far enough yet.
PETER: No. I spent 17 years thoroughly immersed in the spiritual world and I went far enough to understand experientially that it leads only to very seductive, grand and glorious feelings that can totally overwhelm any personal perspective, or ego viewpoint. It is quite extraordinary the extent to which sensible down-to-earth intelligence can be overwhelmed by chemical flows from the ancient instinctual brain so as to produce feelings of euphoria and delusions of grandeur and immortality. The tell-tale sign as to the fact that Enlightenment is only a feeling, albeit a Mighty Grand One, is that it does take effort and vigilance to maintain and it does take the love of others to sustain the feeling.
RESPONDENT: You have no direct understanding of enlightenment or you would not say it is a feeling. It has nothing to do with feeling. Because people have said what feelings they went through when they awakened doesn’t mean it is a feeling.
PETER: Okay, let’s look at what you have said before about Enlightenment –
So perhaps we can say that Enlightenment is an absence of certain feelings as in – you no longer feel hate for others, you no longer have the living nightmare of your ego-thoughts and you no longer feel your being is separate from all of life or creation. Apart from lacking those particular feelings and thoughts you are apparently just a normal person with the normal range of feelings. (...)
RESPONDENT: I don’t deal with many people just because of this sort of misunderstanding. Where I am coming from cannot really be understood until one reaches that same place. Words can go around and around and never get to that place.
PETER: Whenever the Gurus and God-men are factually-challenged they eventually trot out the traditional hackneyed fall-back defensive position of ‘what I speak of is beyond words’. As if the experience of Godliness, God-realization, God-intoxication, Enlightenment, Awakened, or whatever other name you want to use, has not been written about and spoken about endlessly. It is indeed well documented as a glorious and utterly ‘self’-fulfilling experience.
RESPONDENT: You just have not experienced what they, we, are talking about. If it was a word thing it would have changed the world a long time ago. What they are saying is true. It has nothing to do with a self-fulfilling experience. The self can never prepare for enlightenment. You are just missing a very important point, that can never be clear until you have seen the same reality.
PETER: Well, at least we can determine that enlightenment is not a word thing – i.e. it cannot be described in words. You also insist it is not a feeling thing. Given also that you cannot touch it, smell it, taste it, hear it or see it, we could probably agree that it is indeed ‘other-worldly’. It is obviously not of the physical world, it is obviously not of the world of grim normal reality but it of the world of Greater Reality, as it is often termed. Once one experiences this new reality, one no longer has an ego that identifies with the nightmare of ‘fear, suffering, hatred’ that goes on in the physical world where we humans actually live.
You also have a loose habit of using the word self which includes both ego and soul when what you really mean is ego. This shifty sloppiness does your case no good at all.
PETER: Whenever the Gurus and God-men are factually-challenged they eventually trot out the traditional hackneyed fall-back defensive position of ‘what I speak of is beyond words’. As if the experience of Godliness, God-realization, God-intoxication, Enlightenment, Awakened, or whatever other name you want to use, has not been written about and spoken about endlessly. It is indeed well documented as a glorious and utterly ‘self’-fulfilling experience. All one’s dreams have come true and more, but its fatal flaw is that it is only a grandiose feeling that does nothing to address the elimination of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that are the root cause of human malice and sorrow. For all of the grandeur and passion of religious belief it has done absolutely nothing to eliminate human suffering on this planet and in fact, as you yourself acknowledged, is actively contributing and perpetuating human suffering as is evidenced by all the countless recriminations, persecutions, vitriolic conflicts and religious wars that are ever ongoing.
RESPONDENT: The truth is not a grandiose dream.
PETER: Well No 8, just previously in this post you said –
To me, something that billions of people have wished for over thousands of years and that has not happened does seem to qualify for the title of the most grandiose dream of all time.
RESPONDENT: Again it has nothing to do with feeling. If the teachings you followed didn’t show clearly what is needed to go beyond the instinctual aggression, passions of fear, etc., then you weren’t following an enlightened teacher.
PETER: What they taught is exactly what you teach – a transcendence of unwanted and undesirable instinctual passions and an increasing disidentifying with them to the point where complete dissociation occurs as in an altered state of consciousness experience. All teachers in the Eastern spiritual traditions teach the same thing with only minor cultural or fashionable variation to techniques employed and jargon used. I know you insist your teaching is non-spiritual, non-traditional and unique but you have yet to demonstrate that this is so.
RESPONDENT: Of course I agree whole-heartedly with the problem that religious belief has caused and is still causing. I have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.
PETER: Do you go by the theory that if you say something for long enough then it will become a truth, for your whole teachings intimate Eastern religion and philosophy?
RESPONDENT: I most likely won’t be part of the mailing list group for much longer. I can only deal with groups for a short time then I just want to be quiet. I am very interested in the whole ego thing so I will be responding to what I read in the magazine when I get my copy here. Just be open-minded and see what I have to say. You may not agree with any of it, which is fine, but you may also see where I am coming from.
PETER: Yes, I did note with interest your post on the subject of ego. Given that my interest is peace on earth and I like to reply in detail I can’t comment on your post on the list so I will take the opportunity to do so here.
You say you can’t hate but you obviously can still blame other human beings for as you said at the start of this post –
These feelings usually range from being upset, miffed, impatient, perhaps even angry or swing back the other way to feeling pity for them, sad, despairing, hopelessness and perhaps even depressed. If you ‘can’t hate’ which of these other feelings do you ‘still have’? When you say
do you include the human beings who are in the governments that run this world and do you include all the wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, despair and suicide in this wonder-full creation that is not ‘separate from your own being’?
RESPONDENT: Just because I can’t hate doesn’t mean I can’t see the facts before my eyes. I find nothing wrong with feeling many ways about things in this world. That does not for a moment make me feel separate from the whole. That would be nonsense. It saddens me deeply to see what is happening in the world.
PETER: I presume you see what I see – people being malicious or angry to the point of killing others and people being sorrowful or sad to the point of killing themselves. You have said you don’t feel hate any more and now you say you can feel deeply sad in your awakened state. It is good to find someone in an awakened state who is willing to be honest about what is going on with them and how they experience the world rather than say it can’t be put into words. I am curious though when you say that after your ego-death, if I can use that term, you no longer identify with the nightmare of ‘fear, suffering, hatred’ yet you still feel the suffering of others. Is it that you no longer think you are identified with other human beings but you still feel identified? If so, this would be in accord with my experience in that transcending the thinking self still leaves a feeling self, often denoted as an impersonal self or a grand Self.
RESPONDENT: When you see what is real, and the false is still acting on the world, you do all you can to help stop that process. And that is what it is: A process of misunderstanding based on a false belief brought about by the ego dream. I know at the core of all those people doing all the things that cause suffering is the same being I am. I know that by going through what I did changed all that for me and it can change it for everyone.
PETER: But curiously enough you still say you suffer as in ‘it saddens me deeply to see what is happening in the world’. I presume this deep sadness for others is a suffering for others as in feeling compassion for others. This again would be in accord with the transcendence of a personal self and personal suffering to a state of being an impersonal self who then feels sorrow for others – an impersonal, non-identified suffering. Again this is in accord with my experience – the ending of personal psychological suffering is not the end of suffering for then one has the experience of suffering for all of humanity, a psychic suffering, whereby misery and pain can literally drip off everything. My experience in the psychic world is that this type of suffering can be far deeper than one’s own personal suffering for one then takes on everyone else’s suffering. No wonder the Enlightened Ones are driven to save the world and desperate to entice others to join them in their crusade, for underpinning the Divine lays, ever lurking, the desperation of universal suffering – often referred to as the Diabolical.
Of course, there is no Divine or Diabolical, bliss or despair, malice or sorrow or any of the instinctual passions in the actual world. All these feelings and beliefs, ideas and fantasies exist only because they are the psychological and psychic machinations of a wayward identity within the flesh and blood body. These feelings may well be real, and are felt to be so because of the chemicals that surge through the human body from the reptilian brain ... but they are not actual, as in existing in the physical world.
RESPONDENT: I am awake, but I am not perfect in the eyes of some, perhaps most. So what? Most people have such a misunderstanding of what it means to be enlightened. Enlightened people are just people who have seen the fact of our being one with all life. I just live my life not harming any one or any thing. That is simple, we can all do that, awake or not.
PETER: Well, that’s a bit of a come down for the exalted and much prized state of Enlightenment. This seems to none other than the ‘we are all enlightened, we only have to realize it’ psittacism that is floating around the spiritual world. So now, I assume your teaching is simplified even further to – if everyone sees ‘the fact of our being one with all life’ and ‘just lives (their) life not harming any one or any thing’ then there will be peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: Why not? I am awake, I harm nothing or no one. If everyone just lived that simply were would the wars and killing come from? It is true that the mind of the unenlightened is the same mind as the enlightened, except for the enlightened have awakened to a clear direct seeing the fact before our eyes.
PETER: Okay, let’s look at the facts before our eyes. The Dalai Lama is an avowed Buddhist who would claim that he would harm nothing and no one. He is a pacifist, which meant when someone invaded his country he fled. Now if everyone in the country you lived in was a pacifist it is like hanging out a sign – pleas invade – we won’t stop you. The Dalai Lama, now safe behind the protection of the Indian army is busily trying to get someone else to free his country. Pacifism is an unliveable ideal in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. Do you not rely on the guns of the police and army for the privilege of feeling a pacifist? Would not it be more sensible to tackle the root cause of malice and sorrow – the instinctual animal passions in humans – rather than striding the moral high ground sprouting unliveable ethics that completely ignore the facts before our eyes.
The Enlightened not only cop-out from acknowledging any malice in themselves but they also cop-out from acknowledging sorrow in themselves. As you yourself stated Enlightenment means that one no longer identifies with one’s personal suffering but that one feels universal sorrow or compassion for others. This is easily seen in action whereby they continually rile against the unenlightened as the cause of wars and suffering. The excuse for this malevolence is that they feel compassion towards those who have yet to realize that the wars and killing is all a dream – created by their ego – from which they haven’t yet awakened.
RESPONDENT: There has been no one in my life who I let believe I was some high and mighty being because I was awake. I have had a problem with people who have tried to put me on a pedestal for just being awake. If I let them it would just be ego playing another game.
PETER: Why should people want to put you on a pedestal in the first place? Just what Guru-energy are you radiating? Is it you or your seductive message of dissociation from the symptoms of the animal instinctual passions in operation in humans? Do you find you have to be humble to put them off? Again your actions of putting yourself above Father Dionysus, Otto Kernberg and Ammachi on the list does seem to weaken your case for being an ordinary man. It must be a tricky business getting these balances just right.
PETER: As for, ‘you may also see where I am coming from’ – where I see you coming from is a position of back-peddling and I would only encourage you to keep doing it all the way totally out of the spiritual world. Most people think there are only two worlds – the real world or the spiritual world, but if one dares to step out of all illusion there is an actual physical-only world of purity and perfection and the evidence of this is the pure consciousness experience. It far exceeds Enlightenment for all the capricious feelings and unfulfilled promises of purity and perfection of the spiritual world are experienced as an actuality in a ‘self’-less state – a perfection and purity that is rock-solid, sensately experienced, touchable, visible, tasteable, smellable, audible, ever-present, each moment again. (...)
It’s good that you have made the distinction between where you live and where I live so crystal clear. You see I have an enormous yes to being right here, right now in the rock-solid physical actual world, whereas you have an enormous yes to being somewhere else in the spiritual world.
We do indeed live in different worlds... (...)
RESPONDENT: There have been, and perhaps still are, teachers from the East who were awake. They did their best to help others to see. The religions that came up after them did not, for the most part, know what the teacher knew and distorted it all into a mind game. I will not put down those teachers, yet I have nothing to do with religion. If you see things as clearly as you think you do you would see that some of those teachers were really telling the truth as well as words can.
PETER: Yet again, it is not the teacher’s fault that religions exist, it is those who follow. I know of no spiritual teacher, who had the opportunity, money and business acumen, who did not actively set up an organization surrounding him or her in their lifetime and arrange for it to be perpetuated after their death. Perhaps you could enlighten me if I am wrong?
RESPONDENT: I am really busy today and am leaving to care take some friend’s home for a week, so I have to get going. I may respond to some of what you wrote later on. It is very tiring for me to write and I don’t have a lot of energy. So I’m sorry if this seems too short of a response for you.
Keep looking, but don’t limit your understanding to the past. It can always go deeper. I mean that for us all.
PETER: I am surprised you keep responding at all. The only reason I came on to the mailing list was to offer a third alternative to those who were having doubts about Eastern religion and philosophy and the fact that it will bring peace on earth. You obviously have no doubts at all but I do think you should qualify your statement –
– lest others also question your teachings in the future.
RESPONDENT: I have a very limited contact with people, and even less contact with people who are trying to understand. The little time I spend on the net is the minimum I can do to help. I don’t know how long I will be on there, but as long as there is some feedback. I am still waiting for my copy of the ego issue so I can respond to what is said in it. I don’t know if anything that has been said here will make any difference to you. It doesn’t really matter.
PETER: I find that you are making your position clearer with every post, which I do appreciate. What I like is that an actualist can have a conversation with a spiritualist about such a vital and urgent matter as peace on earth and I think that matters a lot. So far the only hope for peace on earth has been to pray for God’s intervention or follow the teachings of God-men. It is good to get a voice for, and scrutiny of, the third alternative and even if it is censored from being posted on a public mailing list, it will go into the actualism records for others to read.
RESPONDENT: You state ‘There is no Love ... no affective faculty ... spirits and other worlds are clearly seen as escapists nonsense?’ This is the other world, consciousness is not limited to our senses only, the mind in a perfectly clear state is an organ of vision, not hallucination; but inner (which is outer) vision.
PETER: I have gone to lengths to describe the difference between what I am describing – a pure consciousness experience or peak experience as it is sometimes termed – and what you are describing which is clearly an altered state of consciousness known as a Satori or Awakening in Eastern religion or an Epiphany in Western religion
An altered state of consciousness experience is not limited to the physical senses as the neo-cortex – the modern brain, capable of thinking, planning and reflecting – is swamped by chemicals from the ancient instinctual brain producing deep-felt euphoric emotions of salvation, gratitude, and grandeur. These feelings are usually accompanied by imaginary visions of a religious nature, dependant solely upon the person’s culture or current inclination. Thus it is that Christians can ‘hear’, ‘see’ or ‘feel’ the Lord or the white light leading to Heaven while Eastern religious followers feel Oneness, Wholeness, etc and feel Godliness, God intoxicated or whatever. The tell-tale clue of an altered state of consciousness experience is that the ‘new perception’ is always cultural or religious specific and it is always accompanied by powerful emotions triggered by chemical flows from the instinctual primitive brain.
RESPONDENT: This is not a motivated state, but actual.
PETER: Many altered states of consciousness experiences happen during a dark night of the soul when thoughts of hopelessness, depression, futility and even suicide are running. The very desperate near death thoughts can induce a near death experience that triggers a chemical flow to the body and brain that produces euphoric feelings. In this case the motivation may not have been to seek an ASC but they can occur and their nature is dependant solely upon the person’s culture or current inclination. Whenever a person is on a particular spiritual path, be it Western or Eastern they can often induce an ASC by various practices and the resultant euphoric feelings and ‘other’ worldly imaginations are most definitely motivated and indeed are eagerly sought after and highly prized.
As for actual, the definition of actual is –
An ASC is undoubtedly real to the person experiencing it is experienced as both imagination (cerebral) and emotion (affective) – a powerful combination. What is missing, however, is any evidence that what is being experienced does exist in fact. Many people recently saw a spacecraft in the tail of a comet but this vision was found not to be factual, as in actually existing. Many people have heard prophecies of Jesus’ second coming but he is yet to materialize as a flesh and blood body. Many people feel we are all one but the facts of human existence on earth belie the actuality of these visions. Many people talk to and hear answers from long dead God-men and all are culturally influenced and many are contradictory or wrong in fact.
ASCs, in whatever form they manifest, are indeed real, but they are certainly not actual – as in existing in act or fact, capable of being evidenced only by the physical senses of the human brain, practical as in being down-to-earth, active as in physically existing in this moment of time.
RESPONDENT: If you keep ‘at It’ or rest in ‘It’ long enough, the Light above will appear, whether you like it or not, it is part and parcel of the human mechanism.
PETER: And other people will see the Lord, and others will see spaceships in the tails of comets and others will hear prophetic messages and others will see the fires of damnation and others will see little men with egg-heads and almond shaped eyes ... and all of them are real to the person experiencing them. Imagination is indeed ‘ part and parcel of the (current) human mechanism ’ and is usually harmless enough but when combined with fervour and passion, religious fanaticism is the unfortunate and inevitable result.
This capacity for imagination is imbibed with mother’s milk – the first stories we are told and the first view we have is of an ‘other-world’ of fairy stories, fictionary romance, heroism, tales of good and evil – all totally imaginary and having no relevance to the physical, actual world of people, things and events in which we live.
We are, in fact, inducted into believing the imaginary world being primary and real, and subsequently to regard the physical, actual world as secondary and illusionary. This primary imaginary world includes both a ‘real’ world-view and its associated ‘spiritual’ world-view, neither of which are actual. This obsession with imagination, belief, trust, faith and hope offers a continuing haven of denial of the facts of the Human Condition and prevents us from getting up off our bums, or up from our lotus position, and taking the necessary action that will lead to the eventual elimination of malice and sorrow from this fair planet.
RESPONDENT: If you breathe that Light it will rest in the Heart, no effort just natural breathing. It’s what the Tibetan Buddhists call the ‘compassion which rests in emptiness’
PETER: I think Mr. Siddhartha Gautama has a lot to answer for in his teachings of sorrow. Pity he is long dead for I wouldn’t mind asking him a few questions as to why he believes ‘Life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’ – the first and fundamental principle of his Four Noble Truths. It is from this belief that suffering is necessary in the human condition that the feeling of compassion arises – the agreement to mutual suffering that prevents anyone from breaking out of the cycle even if they enter into the imaginary meta-physical world of religious belief and all that entails.
No. 11, I have no doubt at all that your experiences are real and convincing for I have had many spiritual experiences myself. It is just that I have headed off in the opposite direction to tackle the illusion of darkness and Evil rather than settle for transcendence into light and God. The only reason I was able to do this was because I acknowledged the failure of any form of transcendence to bring peace on earth ... and I found something that works in that it confronts and eliminates all illusion.
RESPONDENT: In regards to ASC you wrote ‘what is missing is any evidence that what is being experienced does in fact exist.’ The proof of existence is when the ASC is actively communicated to another individual. In Buddhist terms, Transmission. Spirit consciousness in relationship. I have experienced this event from both sides of the coin. No illusion. And if the experience is Real then to deny it is an expression of fear.
PETER: What you are pointing to is the fact that the psychological and psychic entity that dwells within each human flesh and blood body has three ways to experience the world – cerebrally, affectively and sensately. In the spiritual world, primary emphasis is placed on affective experience – feelings, emotions and the tender instinctual passions – while common sense thinking and actual sensate experience are actively denigrated. By solely identifying with one’s feelings and passions, a potpourri of psychological imaginations and psychic experiences are available to the spiritual seeker, the nature of which will be dependent upon the culture and religious tradition one is immersed in. These traditional psychic experiences, visions, transmissions and the like, are atavistic in nature – so ancient and so deeply ingrained as to be overwhelmingly convincing
Someone else wrote to me from the mailing list talking of psychic experiences, and I will post my reply as it relevant to your experience –
The psychic world of communication between people is a fascinating, bizarre and bewildering phenomenon that acts to bind human beings into fearful groups, forever in competition with other groups on the basis of imaginary morality of good and evil and arbitrary values of right and wrong. This form of psychic radar, communication, intuition, transmission, or whatever other name, while appearing very real to those indulging in it, is not actual.
As for ‘and if the experience is Real then to deny it is an expression of fear’ – all these experiences are indeed very real, and sometimes very Real, but they are not actual. The only thing that traps people in this psychic spiritual world is fear of their deep-seated fears. Rather than dare to explore these psychic fears and our dark side, the traditional path has been one of transcendence into the psychic world of good, God and Light. (...)
RESPONDENT: Will this ‘experience’ bring peace on earth? Only if it brings lasting peace within, yes, but also as an expression of the individual.
As one poet put it: ‘Peace within myself, peace within my family, peace within my community...’
PETER: Was this merely a poet writing poetry or talking of his on-going experience? I have yet to see any evidence that relationships between spiritual people are fundamentally different to those between ordinary people, while any relationships that the theomaniacal Enlightened Ones have with other human beings is decidedly inequitable, undignified and bizarre. As for peace within spiritual communities, the facts speak for themselves as to the endemic covert kowtowing infighting, jockeying, cronyism, power battles, etc. that lay beneath the surface of all communities. And when the Master dies, as he / she inevitably does, overt feuding factionism always erupts.
RESPONDENT: In your rejection of all religious theory, practice, and experience, I think you are throwing the ‘baby out with the bathwater’.
PETER: Yes, you have got it. The fact that the last century was the bloodiest to date proves that the traditional solutions of instilling morals, ethics and values into humans by carrot and stick, or the spiritual solutions of praying to mythical gods for salvation or humbling ourselves before deluded God-men are clearly not working. We need to do something radical different, something that acknowledges and addresses the essential issue – that human malice and sorrow is the direct result of genetically-encoded animal instinctual passions. If this daring to tackle the problem head-on is seen as ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’, then so be it.
PETER: I too am new to the list and was impressed with the clarity of your post and the fact that you wrote of a personal experience, as opposed to the usual parroting of the words of others.
RESPONDENT: I have been studying Andrew’s teaching for three years. I tend to approach life in a very intellectual way, so I was literally studying like at a university: reading, listening, and thinking. I thought about enlightenment and its implications. I never understood what the word ‘enlightenment’ meant. So I thought, ‘mmmm, yes! Enlightenment is a secret indeed. Studying the implications of enlightenment always made me very excited. After scrutinizing Andrew’s teaching for three years, I concluded: ‘these implications all make perfect sense, they are all very coherent and consistent, and they all come from something I don’t understand, that secret’. My intellectual approach resulted in many things. To mention two, I scrutinized the implications of enlightenment and concluded that they make perfect sense.
PETER: As a radical proposition, I would offer that the secret lure of enlightenment is in its seductive and instinctual appeal – the opportunity to feel Oneness, Timeless and Spaceless, a chance to leave the ‘real’ world behind and the promise of immortality, the continuation of one’s self or soul, after physical death. This seductive appeal gives rise to the feeling that enlightenment – literally becoming a God-on-earth – makes perfect sense, yet it is, in fact, an utterly non-sensical, purely-imaginary delusion. This utterly selfish feeling causes otherwise reasonably intelligent human beings to abandon any common sense and fervently accept the ancient myths and puerile beliefs in Gods and Goddesses, good and evil spirits, ‘other’ worlds, and ‘other’ lives.
RESPONDENT: Secondly, I started to think about thinking. That thinking lead to the understanding why enlightenment is a secret, why it cannot be understood by my mind.
PETER: Indeed, the Ancient Ones were right about this. Enlightenment is beyond the mind, for enlightenment is a feeling-only state, a product of impassioned imagination given a seeming credence by thousands of years of mythical tales, shamanistic rituals and practices and fearful isolation. Enlightenment is an altered state of consciousness whereby one’s normal consciousness – ‘who’ one thinks and feels one is – is permanently replaced by a new and deliberately cultivated identity – one that feels Divine, Timeless, Spaceless and Immortal. The small self becomes the grand Self – a blatantly obvious, proudly cherished and humbly prized alteration in one’s state of consciousness or an obvious shift of identity.
RESPONDENT: In those three years, for me, thinking was everything I could do. It was as if I was standing in the middle of a landscape, the Land of Thinking. I could only see land as far as my eye could reach. By thinking about thinking, I started to see that the Land of Thinking has clear borders. That land suddenly became a small island in the middle of an endless sea. This happened one week ago. The experience is extremely frightening and at the same time, it fills me with bliss that I have never experienced before. I went beyond the island that I knew, and discovered that I could still see everything very clear, better than clear, much much better than clear. I spend hours and hours looking from this endless unimaginable sea of clarity.
PETER: The experience you describe could well have been what is known as a pure consciousness experience (PCE). Everybody has had a PCE sometime in their life where, for a brief period, one magically finds oneself in a ‘self’-less state of sensate-only experiencing and the perfection and purity of the actual world – the fairy-tale like physical universe – becomes stunningly apparent.
The PCE offers a glimpse or window out from the ‘real’ world everyone is born into (and therefore assumes to be all there is), and one suddenly finds oneself in the unimaginable, magical, fairytale-like actual world.
The PCE is a sensuous, sensate-only ‘self’-less experience of the perfection and purity of the actual universe. There is no ‘self’ as an interpreter, censor or spoiler. All is directly evidenced by the physical senses to be pure, perfect, delightful. One’s intelligence is freed of any emotions and affective feelings – thinking becomes benign, clear and concise – free of malice and sorrow. The already-existing innate purity and perfection that becomes stunningly apparent in this ‘self’-less state instantly renders redundant the need for any morals, ethics or any kind of ‘self’-control. With awareness and intelligence operating totally freed from the Human Condition of malice and sorrow, ‘I’ can then be clearly seen for what ‘I’ am – an alien psychological and psychic entity dwelling within this flesh and blood body.
This physical universe is seen to be already perfect and it is obvious that it is only what goes on in human heads and hearts – the dis-ease called the Human Condition, manifest in each of us as a separate, personal ‘self’ – that is the cause of the appalling human malice and sorrow. What has always been avoided up until now is the fact that the affective instinctual passions are the root cause of human malice and sorrow – the loves and loyalties, impulses and urges, ideals and beliefs that human beings are willing and eager to fight and kill for, or to suffer and die for. One’s own ‘self’-inflicted problems lie in the feelings and emotions that arise from the animal instinctual passions – and the PCE experientially confirms this fact.
The ‘self’-less state of the PCE is, however, commonly distorted or tainted by cultural or religious teachings into what is known as a Satori or Samadhi in Eastern religions, or an epiphany or revelation in Western religions. A pure consciousness experience is thus perverted into an altered state of consciousness as the ‘self’ claims the PCE as its very own. In pantheistic Eastern Religions one has a glimpse of being God personified, as an Awakened One or an Enlightened Being, whereas in monotheistic Western religions one has a glimpse of being in the presence of God, as a messenger, prophet or Son of God. All this misinterpretation and misappropriation of the pure consciousness experience is fuelled by ancient belief and wisdom and the passionate instinctual narcissism of the ‘self’. The chance to feel that one is a God-on-Earth is the seductive, seemingly irresistible lure that fuels Eastern religious belief.
A pure consciousness experience, if untainted by spiritual belief, is a different kettle of fish. It points to a different dimension and a different possibility for those who are less gullible and more aware than spiritual believers.
RESPONDENT: Earlier I heard Andrew speaking about the fact that ‘there is only one’. I always found this very inspiring and poetic. I thought he meant that you should not wait for others to become enlightened first. Somebody must be the example, somebody must make that leap, why not you? I don’t think that I misunderstood him, but now that I see this other perspective I see that he wasn’t speaking in a poetic or metaphorical way at all. He was speaking very literally. There are literally no others!!! That is the shocking conclusion that I draw since I see that other perspective: I did not know that the secret is so incredibly big!!!!! I did not know that I am literally completely alone. I see all the people, I see that secret and realize that I am completely alone.
PETER: The feeling that ‘there is only one’ or ‘there are literally no others’ is but a feeling – an affective interpretation of the actual experience of no separation that is startlingly apparent in a PCE when the ‘self’ is temporarily absent. The aching feeling of separation arises from the fact that there are 6 billion human beings on the planet, each with a separate ‘self’, engaged in a grim and desperate instinctual battle for survival. There are also those few who have induced in themselves an altered state of consciousness whereby they have adopted a new identity – a higher ‘Self’ passionately deluded into ‘being’ Oneness. For these few unfortunates, and their followers, the feeling of aloneness is simply replaced by a feeling of Oneness. A sensible, modern aspiration is to be free of the Human Condition in total, both aloneness and Oneness, both illusion and delusion – and an unadulterated pure consciousness experience is the proof that this is possible.
RESPONDENT: I find reality as I thought it was very flimsy, a small island in an endless sea, but in no way an illusion. So I agree with No 00 that there is something to say about how we conceive of life, it is very flimsy.
PETER: Both a real world reality and a spiritual world Reality are indeed very flimsy. Both these conceptions about what it is to be a human being and the physical, actual world we find ourselves in are illusions conceived by the psychological and psychic entity that inhabits the flesh and blood body. ‘Who’ we think and feel we are is the flimsy thing – lost lonely, frightened and very, very cunning. Eastern religious philosophy has it that ‘who’ we think we are – the ego – is the problem and teaches devotees to give full reign to ‘who’ we feel we are – the soul. Spiritual believers are continuously admonished to ‘leave your mind at the door, surrender your will and trust your feelings’. This shift of identity from ego to soul gives rise to a narcissistic soul uninhibited by intelligent thought, and there is no greater narcissism or stupefied intelligence than to believe oneself to be divine. The path from ‘self’ to ‘Self’ is a path of self-aggrandizement, not self-immolation. No wonder there is such doubt and confusion on the spiritual path for one is constantly having to deny common sense, the physical world as experienced by the senses and the fact of physical death as a finality.
RESPONDENT: Now that everything is inside out and upside down, I have no idea what to do. I can see that a very large part if not everything in my behaviour is an expression of this very flimsy notion of reality. I can see how the big movements in my behaviour and even more, the very small things in my behaviour are an expression of this flimsiness: my endless worrying, scheming, complaining, postponing, and manipulating. I decided to start there, in the little ego-trip from moment to moment, because there is no other place then that to start: now.
PETER: It is indeed extremely upsetting to have had a pure consciousness experience, or an altered state of consciousness for that matter, for as one returns to reality one’s perception is mightily changed. I had a particularly overwhelming altered state of consciousness experience when, after six months of withdrawing from the world and indulging in intensive spiritual reading and meditating, I was walking along a beach and had an experience of 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 the 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 one 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.
I remember contemplating the failure of religions, be they Eastern or Western, to deliver anything remotely resembling peace on earth while driving up the escarpment that encircles the lush semi-tropical coastal plain where I live. I stopped and looked out at the edge of the greenery, where a seemingly endless ribbon of white sand neatly bordered it from the azure ocean. Overhead great mounds of fluffy white clouds sailed by in the blue of the sky. Right in the foreground stood a group of majestic pines towering some thirty meters tall. I was struck by the vastness, the stillness and the perfection of this planet, the extraordinariness of it all, but ... and the ‘but’ are human beings! Human beings who persist in fighting and killing each other and can’t live together in peace and harmony. It was one of those moments that forced me to do something about myself, for I was one of those 6 billion people. It was exactly one of those moments that forced me to deeply question the traditional spiritual path – the tried and failed.
RESPONDENT: I never understood that ‘letting everything be as it is, and paying attention’ is a way to describe the perspective from the endless sea. It means that you no longer try to go beyond something, or try to change or understand anything. I always passionately hated meditation. I always got very restless when I tried to meditate. During teachings and other moments that I was amongst people that where meditating I always kept quiet and thought about what to eat tomorrow, my shopping list, and other practical things.
PETER: Yeah, I always passionately hated meditation as well. The idea that the meaning of life was to be found by sitting in a quiet place with one’s eyes closed, looking ‘inside’ for the meaning of life always seemed more than a little strange to me. Now I realize that meditation is but an ancient shaman practice to cut oneself off from the actual world as evidenced by the physical senses in order to more fully indulge one’s passionate imagination so as to induce an altered state of consciousness.
RESPONDENT: Now suddenly the idea of ‘letting everything be as it is’ and ‘paying attention’ makes perfect sense, because I see that ‘the truth’ is ‘in between’ all the things that you can normally pay attention to. This may sound very ‘hocus pocus’, but I really see this.
When I let everything on the little island ‘be as it is’, and ‘pay attention’, I suddenly see that in between all the things that I normally pay attention to, this groundbreaking perspective has been there all the time, all the time that I tried to go beyond that which was fascinating me, like my restless shopping list.
PETER: ‘Letting everything be as it is’ is practicing acceptance of ‘me’ as I am, thus ensuring that nothing of substance will change. The spiritual ‘paying attention’, as a meditation, is to practice denial of things as they are and encourage a transcendence whereby one rises above the mundane and physical. One denies one is a mortal flesh and blood human being and aspires to become a Divine – and therefore immortal – spirit only. Thus ‘I am not the body’ and ‘I am not the mind’ become mantras of denial for the true spiritual believer. As you say, one tries to go beyond, or rise above, the world as-it-is.
RESPONDENT: Do more people have this experience? From the perspective of the little island, the truth seems a mental illness, it really frightens me to death. The past days the idea of a mental illness pops up when I REMEMBER my experience. But from the perspective of the endless sea, the life on the little island seems a dream. Often I read and heard what people like Andrew and J. Krishnamurti said about this dream. I thought they spoke in a metaphorical or poetic way, now that I see that it is literally a dream, everything is completely inside out and upside down.
PETER: Indeed, an altered state of consciousness is a mental affliction, albeit very fashionable and much sought after. The very idea that this wondrous, eternal and infinite universe was created or is maintained by a God or is some sort of illusion of God’s or human’s consciousness is nothing other than ancient mythical fables – an imaginary fear-ridden fantasy arising from primitive ignorance. To actively maintain these myths is to deny both fact and intelligence, and to actively aspire to be God or to realize God-consciousness is to court mental illness. An altered state of consciousness such as enlightenment is a mental aberration and an affront to intelligence. The spiritual world is a world of institutionalized insanity.
There is a way out of this madness and that is to actively pursue a pure consciousness experience (PCE) and have the courage to turn one’s back on the delusion of an altered state of consciousness (ASC). (...)
PETER: So No. 1, I am not denying the validity of your experience. I am simply pointing to a sensible and vital interpretation that is not influenced by ancient ignorance and dour religion and philosophy, particularly that of the Eastern ‘spiritual’ variety that is currently fashionable amongst even the most genuine seekers of freedom.
Well, I doubt very much that this post will reach you. This is, after all, a ‘moderated list’; the experience I wrote about was both actual and iconoclastic and I am questioning not only the teachers but their sacred and holy teachings. T’is silly that some fervent believers still insist that the Truth cannot be questioned for it is high time that Ancient Wisdom was challenged. Religious and spiritual belief has had its day, it’s run its course. It has had thousands of years to deliver an end to suffering and malice and has failed lamentably. Indeed much of human suffering and malice is directly attributable to the mindless subservience to religious belief and spiritual superstition.
RESPONDENT: To finish off I would like to ask you what qualities you see in a realized person, how should one live on this earth ideally in your view?
PETER: The main quality I see evident in a self-realized person is megalomania –
When full-blown, this delusion becomes the condition of theomania.
The other qualities are the full range of human passions and feelings, some of which have been subjugated to an extent that they only rarely emerge to public notice. I have personally seen and experienced many of the ‘self-realized’ being angry, pissed off, annoyed, frustrated, melancholy, feeling sorrow for themselves and others, feeling lost, feeling lonely, etc. It does make one wonder what is the substance of the psychic power they hold over people and why people surrender so willingly to their power?
PETER to No 2: As for your second point –
Do you mean Eastern Enlightenment or spirituality in general? Either way, are you saying that all human beings should still believe in, and follow the wisdom of, those on the planet thousands of years ago who claim to have discovered the Truth about human existence on the planet? That what they discovered we should still hold to be sacred and inviolate? That despite the fact that human beings still slaughter each other in horrendous wars over which Truth is the only, true, real or right Truth, we should accept that the current human condition of malice and sorrow represents the pinnacle of human consciousness? That peace on earth is not possible?
I do understand the wonderful feelings and deep emotions that well up when one hears the Truth spoken by some God-man or woman, the blissful states that can be experienced and the altered states of consciousness that can be induced for I have experienced the full gamut over a period of 17 years. But the central message of the Truth – there is life after death and we are just ‘passing through’ before we go to a better place ‘somewhere else’ – is a fairy tale. When I was on the spiritual path it was the best on offer for it pointed to being able to achieve release or freedom for one’s self or soul while on earth, not in heaven. At least it offered succour and a chance to feel good.
But things have moved on, particularly in the last century, and a momentous breakthrough has been made in this last decade that makes the ancient search for a freedom for one’s spirit utterly second-rate. Many, many humans have attempted to break the stranglehold that ancient belief and mysticism has always held over the human search for freedom, peace and happiness and, the time being right, it has finally happened.
I was struck with the same reaction as you when I first came across this third alternative but, as I had some doubts about the spiritual path anyway, I was prepared to investigate further to see if what was proposed made sense.
RESPONDENT: Also you say,
Peter, what the fuck are you talking about? Do you really know what enlightenment is? Obviously you do not know so how can you expose it?
PETER: I have learnt more about Enlightenment, the spiritual world and the Human Condition in the last 18 months than I did in 18 years of treading the spiritual path. This is because I stopped believing what others told me was the truth and went in search of the facts. I also have had experiences of Enlightenment (an Altered State of Consciousness) wherein I became at ‘One with everything’. I was Love, everything was Golden, my thoughts were poetry and my centre had shifted to my heart. It was indeed glorious, amazing and so, so seductive.
RESPONDENT: Enlightenment has nothing to do with being spiritual. Enlightenment just means living in awareness and consciousness. It has nothing to do with spirituality.
PETER: Enlightenment as it is spoken of in the East and by Osho involves a permanent shift or alteration in consciousness wherein one becomes Love, at One, Eternal, Timeless, or whatever other word is used. As I understand it, Enlightenment is the goal of the spiritual search, the very aim of being a Sannyasin. Maybe you are on the spiritual path for some other reason.
RESPONDENT: Just because you meditate, do not eat meat or drink alcohol and do not use cuss words do not make you spiritual. It only makes you egoistic and holier-then-thou.
PETER: I don’t meditate at all, it is too good being here in the actual world to sit with eyes closed trying to ‘go in’. What I experience 24 hrs. a day is a state of bare sensory awareness that far exceeds anything I achieved after days of meditative effort. And I have this experience while eating meat, smoking cigarettes, having sex with Vineeto – and walking into town on a balmy summer’s evening for a late night sweet and coffee afterwards. Laying on the couch, watching TV, or typing these words – the sensate experience of doing what is happening in this only moment of being alive.
RESPONDENT: Enlightenment is simply knowing yourself and being natural and unpretentious.
PETER: I don’t know what your aim in life is, but, as a general observation it seems to me that many people have ‘watered down’ the original search for freedom to mean acceptance rather than change. For me, I saw that what I hoped to achieve on the spiritual path – Enlightenment – became less attractive the closer I got. So when I came across Richard I decided to try something new. I then set some realistic goals – living with a woman in peace and harmony and becoming happy and harmless. These I saw as eminently achievable in a short time, such that I could then live the fruits of my efforts, as this flesh and blood body, before I died.
RESPONDENT: or you are actually an enlightened person and in subtle way you helping people to release the pressure in a way that they finally have somebody to say: ‘Fuck you!’
PETER: I like Richard’s description that the Enlightened Ones have feet of clay. No doubt many sought a genuine freedom based on their peak experiences, but they have been seduced by the Glory, Glamour and Glitz of Enlightenment. And then they collect followers, found a movement, and yet another religion is born. Some, unable to muster the required level of megalomania to stand on their own, slot into a ‘lineage’, thus latching on to the power and authority of their master. This is usually safely done when the master is dead and thus their ‘credentials’ can remain unchallenged.
The Guru’s have had there day, but it is what they have chosen to do with their lives. I just see them as peddlers of snake oil. They sell a feel-good ‘balm’ for a disease, that offers ‘relief’ if you are believe it, but does nothing to cure the disease called the Human Condition.
And, no, there is no way I can ‘help’ anybody, nor would I want to. I am simply pointing out the facts of what it is to be a human being, the facts about the world or the belief system we are born into and programmed with, and my experience of how to become actually free of it. I am also pointing out the traps and failures of the ancient God-ridden paths that offer a mere synthetic ‘feeling’ of freedom – a poor, poor substitute for the actual freedom that most people have experienced for fleeting times in their lives.
RESPONDENT: After one has the PCE the ‘I’ is lost and only the here and now is experienced.
PETER: Maybe you would like to post a bit and describe your Pure Consciousness Experience (PCE) so we can discuss the matter in detail.
Otherwise I have no basis for discussion.
RESPONDENT: But trying to sell the experience with words is a waste at worst and silly at best.
PETER: Of course you can’t sell an experience (... let alone a book describing it) but I disagree that it can’t be described in words. Otherwise we are forever stuck with the old mystical stuff of ‘the truth cannot be spoken’. Are we only to ‘receive it’ as a transmission from the Holy Men? This system of slavery and disciplehood has entrapped millions in the East for centuries to no avail.
I am interested in discussing these matters.
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.
Are you saying you are a Gnostic? I am trying to make sense of what it is that you are saying.
RESPONDENT: When one experiences this LOVE they are not moved by the words of a ‘Richard’ or anyone else, for they are just words and it is just mind that is moved by them.
PETER: In the previous post you said, ‘in the PCE the ‘I’ is lost and only here and now is experienced.’ Now you seem to be saying that Love is experienced. The Pure Consciousness Experience is a pure experience untainted by any affectations such as God, Love, Oneness, etc. What you are describing is well documented as an Altered State of Conciseness (ASC) whereby one thinks one is someone else ... in this case Love or God. It is a delusion whereby one sees oneself as the Saviour, God, Love etc.
In the ASC the identity merely shifts from the head to the heart, from the ego to the soul – the self becomes the Self.
This is why in the East it is preached that one should watch the thoughts and get out of the mind. One’s identity makes the only escape possible – to the Heavenly realms of imagination and, if successful, a more or less permanent ASC is obtained ... and yet another Saviour is born.
RESPONDENT: Malice and sorrow are absent from the world of this one. Freedom is what one experiences when living in Agapé, which occurs when one accepts unconditionally all that is. The human condition contains many experiences, none of which are better than any other; just different.
PETER: Fair enough. Many people have gained a freedom from the world as it is, with all its violence, suffering, loneliness, despair, and depression. The cultivation of an ‘inner’ world of peace and tranquillity through meditative practices combined with a detached acceptance of the human condition can eventually lead to Altered States of Consciousness such as Agapé, Self-Realization, Awakened, Enlightenment etc. I, too, travelled this track to the point of having experiences of being Divine Love or Love Agapé, but I found myself increasingly isolated from the world as it is, and curiously removed from any intimacy with those around me. It was as though I saw and experienced everything through a veil of detachment. When the heartfelt experiences were full-on it was indeed glorious but...
What nagged me was that I would end up an Enlightened guru and I didn’t like their lifestyles, I didn’t like how they were with their women, and I didn’t like the whole system of God-man and worshippers.
It was a tough task to give up the spiritual world but I wanted an actual freedom that is applicable in the marketplace, available to all, perfect and pure, untainted by power and authority. Something that was down-to-earth, not ethereal or other-worldly, something that would deliver not only peace for me but offer the solution to the Human Condition of malice and sorrow for all others. Such that one day, albeit centuries away, an actual peace will eventuate on earth between all humans with no more warring tribes and religious factions.
The amazing thing is that the actual world of perfection and purity, infinite, eternal and happening at this very moment is available to all – at this very moment. It is not an invention or a mental construct. To be here in the actual world, fully committed to living this moment, to be doing what is happening, is to be on the cutting edge – fully alive as a sensate, reflective, flesh and blood human being. Being here this way is to be here without a self, ego or soul, as there simply is no room for a ‘me’ in any form.
There is, in fact, no difference between me doing something and it happening, so intimate and directly experienced is this very moment.
What I am describing is not consensual reality, it is the actual, the physical. This is the world that the believers in God apparently regard as Evil or inhuman – hence the comments about ‘don’t feed the animals’. For me, I figured that neither the real world nor the spiritual world were sane places, and I went off chasing the actual world that I had experienced and evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE)
From a ‘real’ world point of view I have gone ‘mad’ and from the spiritual world point of view ‘I have sold my soul to the Devil’.
I thoroughly recommend an escape from both these fantasies and illusions into the actual world of purity and perfection, innocence and delight.
PETER: I wanted an actual freedom that is applicable in the marketplace, available to all, perfect and pure, untainted by power and authority.
RESPONDENT: So, why does an enlightened being have to wallow in power and authority?
PETER: Just a note to the questions you raised –
The Enlightened Ones, having found God and Love, are compulsively driven to spread their message and to gather their disciples. It is intrinsic that if one discovers the Truth then one is impelled to teach it. Truth does not exist without the teachings. They are in effect teaching their versions of the Truth, but a Truth must be told, must be passed on, otherwise it withers. And the one who teaches the Truth has the power and authority, for people are hungry for the Truth with its promise of salvation, bliss and immortality.
For those who reach Enlightenment the reward for having found the Truth is having others be grateful to you, love you and worship you. Having achieved the altered state of consciousness, whereby one is God, it is also a very lonely business and one needs love from others. It is all a Grand tradition in the East where the pinnacle of human achievement is to become an immortal God-man ... The Glamour, Glory and Glitz of Enlightenment is the ultimate power and authority.
So it comes with the territory, so to speak. It gets a little watered and wimped down in the west with higher numbers and lower quality, but all ultimately are doing battle for customers and status.
I have written about my feelings of power and authority and the battle to free myself from their seductive clutches, as has Vineeto. Richard, having been Enlightened for 11 years until he freed himself, is the expert in the field and he has written of it (from the inside) on his web-site. It makes fascinating reading.
RESPONDENT: Can they not just live without malice and sorrow, with unconditional acceptance of everything, as a quiet light to those who are seeking a way out of the darkness they find themselves in?
Well seemingly not, if history is any guide. I’ve heard a lot of theories about humble Enlightened Ones, the un-seen and un-heard of ones, but if no-one hears of them then they are a myth.
As for the declared one’s – in becoming a saviour of others, a light on the path – they are obviously in the power and authority game.
RESPONDENT: Can not more be done by example, by walking the talk rather than talking the talk?
PETER: Precisely my point about the Enlightened Ones when I said ‘I didn’t like their lifestyles, I didn’t like how they were with their women and I didn’t like the whole God-man / disciple business. But when you really look at where Eastern spirituality, and dare I say Osho, was pointing to, it is that you would end up single, celibate and become God. That is ‘walking the talk’ in the East. If there are any women around, their role is as servants and worshipping carers.
For me, I wanted to walk the talk here on earth, as this flesh and blood body, here, now. That’s a major reason why I wanted to live with a woman in peace, harmony and equity – the fire test. That is why I invite scrutiny on this list – the fire test. No Truth that cannot be spoken, no secrets, all open, simple, direct and obvious. I think sometimes people are looking for some hidden agenda, some weird cult or something, some trap.
No, I mean what I am saying. I am simply a fellow human being, reporting on what it is like here in the actual world.
And to get here I followed the well mapped out path to the new, non-spiritual, down-to-earth freedom – an actual freedom from the Human Condition.
All my wishes have come true and much, much more. Life was meant to be easy, friendly, comfortable, peaceful, harmonious, ever-changing, fresh each moment, direct and obvious – and my senses allow my intimate involvement with each person I meet, each event happening, each place I am in. And I can think, reflect, talk and write about what sense I have made of living as a human being – happy and harmless ...
PETER: The Enlightened Ones, having found God and Love, are compulsively driven to spread their message and to gather their disciples. It is intrinsic that if one discovers the Truth then one is impelled to teach it. Truth does not exist without the teachings.
RESPONDENT: Is this true of all Enlightened Ones?
PETER: There are over 6.000 religions on the planet and nearly as many sub-groups all started by Enlightened Ones or Realised Ones. You can give me all the theories you want but this is the direct result of their teachings, ministries, prophesies, messages or communes. The factual evidence of the urge to spread the message.
RESPONDENT: Does not enlightenment purge compulsion?
PETER: There is no evidence of it, quite the contrary. All claim a Divine message, a Unity with God, and a desire to share their overflowing. If you are interested you could read Richard’s ‘A brief personal history’ for the inside story of Enlightenment. I take it from your willingness to even talk of these matters that you are not fully Enlightened but only Realised – so you may be curious about another option.
RESPONDENT: The mystical experience is universally identified as being something beyond sharing, so why would such a one engage in the futility of trying to teach what they learned from the experience?
PETER: I take it you are talking about sharing in the form of – spoken about sensibly with words that make sense then it is an obvious futility. The sharing that is usually practiced is in ‘being in the presence of’, sharing ‘energy’, as in an Ashram, Sangha, temple or the more widely practiced humble ‘sitting’. (...)
PETER: For those who reach Enlightenment the reward for having found the Truth is having others be grateful to you, love you and worship you. Having achieved the altered state of consciousness, whereby one is God, it is also a very lonely business and one needs love from others.
RESPONDENT: Is not Enlightenment the realization that there is only Agapé (unconditional love) and this is not only all about you, but is within you as well?
PETER: Aye indeed. In my full-blown delusion I was Love and Love was me. The feeling was Grand, ‘I’ had realised Love at last ... I find it curios that you have changed your position a bit on your definitions here. You started off writing to me with the statement –
RESPONDENT: After one has the PCE the ‘I’ is lost and only the here and now is experienced.
PETER: Now all of a sudden there is ‘Agapé that is all about you and within you as well’. There is a ‘you’ who feels Agapé and as such what you are describing is an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) – typified in the spiritual world by the delusion of divine grandeur.
RESPONDENT: One realizes they are the source of all the love in the Universe, they are part of the whole and never experience loneliness and a ‘need’ for others or for love; they already have it all; the idea of separation is no more.
PETER: The ‘feeling’ of separation is no more – except one is separate from those who have not found the Truth yet. They become mere ‘sentient beings’ for they have not yet discovered the Truth – or have ‘yet to realize that they are God’.
And, of course, since it is all only a feeling inside one’s head there is no such thing as a generally-agreed Truth, each have their own slightly different version or flavour. This means that the Enlightened One’s lead a solitary life, ‘above’ their own disciples and fighting and competing with each other for a share of the disciple market.
There is no universally agreed upon Truth or even a semblance of one. Hence we have over 6,000 religions and the competition and fighting between them is ‘realized’ as the horrendous wars, persecutions, tortures, suspicions and fears that plague Humanity.
RESPONDENT: Owning one’s reactions, seeing them, totally experiencing them, feeling them totally, getting over them, meditating on them, going inside, gaining insight, feeling free, awakening, becoming conscious, etc, etc,... however you want to say these things... are on the path to REALLY WAKING UP... where you get this poem.
PETER: All your pontifical protestations do nothing to change the fact that the Eastern spiritual tradition firmly points to transcending one’s feelings, turning away from the physical world as it is and aiming for an altered state of consciousness (ASC). This altered state of consciousness is a mere delusion whereby one thinks one is God, Love, Eternal, Awakened, Timeless and Immortal. The delusion is that one totally identifies as ‘being the soul’ and thereby completely denies the physical body. (‘I am not the body’ is a constant theme) – hence the self, in a blinding insight Realizes (that one is God – which one really suspected all along)
From this lofty position One then ‘feels’ sad for others – upheld as the noble trait of Compassion.
As for the theory of transcendence of feelings that we discussed the other day, I’ll leave you with a bit of the Dalai Lama – from a ‘What is Enlightenment’ magazine interview – ‘... according to Buddhism, all our efforts ultimately should go to training or shaping our minds. Emotions such as hatred or strong attachment are destructive and harmful – we call them ‘negative emotions.’ So how can we reduce these negative emotions? Not through prayer, not through physical exercise, but through training of mind. Through training of mind we try to increase the opposite qualities. When genuine compassion, infinite compassion, or unbiased compassion is increased, hatred is reduced. When equanimity is increased, attachment is reduced. All of these destructive emotions are based on ignorance, and the opposite, or antidote, of ignorance is enlightenment. This is why it is very important to analyze the world of the mind and find out what its basic nature is. What are the different categories of mind? Which minds are destructive? Which minds are constructive? and so on. Once we have analyzed all these questions, then we should try to control our minds by adding more good and removing the bad. Some modern scholars describe Buddhism as a ‘science of mind’ for this very reason’.
Interesting, is it not?
Personally, I think no-mind is was probably developed as concept by the disciples of Eastern Religions given that they could not make any sense of anything that is said or written. When I re-read any of them today I am totally bewildered.
PETER: What does being a disciple mean to you, what did you expect to get out of it? ... have you ‘got’ what you were searching for ...?
RESPONDENT: I feel I had three masters before Osho. I say feel because the relationship was not so clearly defined. In each case, I found myself attracted to that person, having realizing I had something to learn. And I can truthfully say that I did not know what I was going to learn. Early on my path, I learned that the more I saw truth, the less depressed, the more peaceful and joyful I became.
Before Osho I felt a kind of enlightenment ... perhaps of the kind you sense, Peter. I did not know my heart, but I knew how to process energy. I could transform any feeling in my body, any sensation ... into a transcendental conscious state. And I remember [group leader] Amitabh shocking me out of doing it in the first 5 minutes of the first group I did. He said I was killing myself. I immediately saw his point, and through trusting Osho and his group leaders, I relaxed my efforts. I didn’t see any change for some time, but eventually I woke to a ‘higher’ place. For me the key word is trust. And I see this word much misunderstood.
PETER: I found the book ‘Collisions with the Infinite’ quite interesting, for here was a woman who, after abandoning years of intensive meditation practice, had a profound perception-altering experience. It appears she lost some personal sense of self, and lived for several years in a barren no-man’s land. Gradually after trying psychiatric help, she was taken under the wing of the spiritual fraternity and soon ... Bingo! ... what appears to have been a full emergence into an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) whereby she realized her Divinity and Immortality.
The interesting thing for me was the influence that her spiritual guides and confidants had on her experiences.
What if there was another path apart from becoming God and Immortal?
What if there was a way to become actually free of malice and sorrow and live as a flesh and blood human being, happy and harmless?
How many would choose it and abandon the hope of Oneness, and especially of immortality?
For one, it would mean that when the body died that was it – finito, kaput, the end, no more, extinction, oblivion.
RESPONDENT: I’m sorry that your spiritual search hasn’t ‘delivered’ the good yet, but don’t give up. It is so easy to join the ranks of the embittered and claim that to be the TRUTH even to try to be their standard bearer. And as everybody knows, misery loves company. Maybe you should take a weekend off and read Mein Kampf or some other inspirational literature.
PETER: Obviously you have not read much of what I have written or you have completely missed the point. The only thing that the spiritual search can ‘deliver’ (apart from the obligatory suffering on the path) is Enlightenment for the very, very few. As soon as it dawned on me that to be Enlightened is a massive state of delusion and self-aggrandizement such that one gets to Realize one is God. And the reason I could not see the facts was that I was blinded by love. I was further blinded to seeing that the direct and inevitable result of the practice of worshipping men (or women) as Gods is the formation of Religions. This in turn directly results in all the religious wars, tortures, repressions, crusades, ‘cleansings’, terrorism, persecutions, etc that have and still do rage on this fair earth. And all this wrath and malice is raged in the name of whose ‘Truth is the right Truth’, whose ‘Guru, prophet, Messiah or Dead Master is the Only True Messenger!
BARRY LONG: Peter,
Many people have sent me their books or manuscripts, and I never read them. So I am returning your nice looking book unopened.
Your persistence gives me the impression your are trying to teach me something or give me something that I have not asked for – a sure sign of guru-itis.
Freedom, of course, is always actual (as well as within) and if you have discovered it, I suggest you just enjoy it and stop trying to impress me. Incidentally, as I mentioned before, the love you say you’ve discovered is an emotion, is not the love I know.
PETER: I am a bit baffled by your response to me as I offered you a chance to comment on my discoveries about freedom and you refuse to even read them. I first sent you Richard’s manuscript and then a copy of my book and have had a summary dismissal both times.
Why is it that all of the spiritual teachers seem unwilling or unable to discuss or talk about their Truth. And why is it that when someone even presumes to question their teachings they are treated with disdain, scorn or accused of being a Guru. You are the one who declares himself ‘Guru’ and a ‘God-man’, and yet you accuse me of showing signs of Guru-it is. If you had taken the trouble to read even a bit of my book you would have realized that the last thing I am is a Guru. Far, far from it – 180 degrees in the opposite direction in fact.
I was always curious at your treatment of a former disciple and now a Spiritual Teacher, who freely acknowledges his debt to you as his teacher and yet you offer no comment, support, endorsement or anything. Has he discovered the same Truth as you? Is he a competitor, has he not got it ‘right’, is he somehow lesser? If anyone finds the Truth or God by being with you then what is their position? No doubt you will take offence by what I am questioning but this does not mean the questions are not valid. I always thought the Truth and its purveyors could stand a little questioning and I rather naively thought you might be of a different ilk, but it appears not.
Your comment on your brand of freedom being actual is non-sensical in that your definition is ‘Actuality is the apparent world outside the head’. So you adopt the traditional Eastern position that the physical stuff of the universe is apparent only, i.e. an illusion. Rocks, sky, computer keyboards, food, air, human beings, etc. are, for you, all an illusion – for me they are actual as clearly evidenced by the senses. The freedom that you talk about is to realise a state of consciousness where this perception of the physical world is experienced as an illusion, leading to a temporary, false sense of well-being and bliss. Unfortunately, this misconception, when fully realized leads to a state of delusion where one becomes timeless, spaceless and immortal. And yet another Saviour of mankind is born, resulting in yet another Religion, depending on the numbers of disciples he can gather.
Immortality is, of course, a grand play in the imagination, as in the actual world bodies die and rot and become compost. It is only in the psychic world that heaven and afterlife exist.
Up until now there has only been one door to ‘escape’ from the bondage of having a psychological and psychic entity that fearfully perceived the actual world as an illusionary hell inhabited by evil spirits. The door was marked ‘Truth’, ‘God’, ‘Enlightenment’ or such. This involved transcending the ‘earthly’ realm for some mythical ‘inner’ world or higher plane. To fully step through this door was to become the Self, Divine Love, God or the like.
Now for the first time there is another door that leads to an actual freedom where neither a self nor a Self exist. In actual freedom I am able to be what I am not who I am – this body, not this alien self inside. There is evidence that even the Enlightened Ones know this but they claim it is only possible to reach upon death, in some imaginary afterlife. That door, marked ‘annihilation’, is what I am now willingly rushing towards, now that I have sufficient actual evidence of the purity, perfection and fairy-tale like quality of the physical universe. And then fear – the very substance of self – will totally disappear and I can be me – this flesh and blood body only.
This discovery of a new down-to-earth, non-spiritual freedom will now relegate concepts such as spirituality and Enlightenment to history – into the curio section. Then the planet will eventually be free of Religion, Spirituality, Gurus, religious persecution and religious wars. In short, there will be heaven on earth, here, now – not in some mythical realm after death.
My persistence was to try and tell you of this new discovery. You are indeed ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ and as a fellow human being I thought it only fair to warn you, but twice you have imperiously swept my offer aside, refusing even to peek inside the cover of my book or Richard’s.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.