Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER: Given the human propensity to need someone to be an authority, a Big Daddy figure, the argument about actualism being a cult will no doubt continue long after the supposed cult-leader is dead and burnt.
Speaking personally, as one of the ‘AF veterans’, I look forward to the time when the mailing list has sufficient practicing actualists that the discussions can remain lively, interesting, down-to-earth and on-topic and not be dominated or overwhelmed by objectors or flamers. At this stage retirement is a definitive option.
RESPONDENT: What I do see is: (...)
PETER: Your supposition depends upon your definition of the term ‘common sense’. The common-to-all sense would have it that human beings need to be aggressive in order to survive in the world and that suffering is not only essential but is good for you. On the other hand, to me it is common sense to do all I can to become both happy and harmless.
Perhaps a better way of putting my desire to emulate Richard is that I have abandoned the usual common-to-all-sense and relied on the uncommon-to-all-sense of devoting my life to becoming both happy and harmless. Thus far this sense is indeed uncommon, for I only know of less than a handful of people who have openly declared themselves to be similarly motivated, and I have the good fortune to live with one of them.
RESPONDENT: I use the term ‘common sense’ in exactly the same way as you. I suppose it is a term that is too subjectively defined to be bandied about as freely as I have.
PETER: Okay, but whereas you said ‘so it is possible that they have suspended some measure of their common sense in order to ‘be like Richard’, my experience is that I came to my senses when I decided to become actually free ‘like Richard’. I had to stop believing the non-sense I believed about what it is to be a human being – the common-to-all sense – and I had to start taking a clear-eyed look at the facts of what it is to be a human being – the uncommon-to-all-sense. To me this is not suspending ‘some measure of … common sense’ but discovering common sense and putting it into action. If you check back to the passage you originally wrote, you may find your use of the term common sense was the opposite to how I use it when I write.
The only reason I am labouring the point a bit is that I had to work hard to develop a clear-eyed common sense because my thinking was always skewed by the morals and ethics I had been taught as a kid and imbibed in my latter life. My common sense – the free operation of the intelligence that is the hallmark of the human brain – was obscured, if not completely obliterated in many cases, by the beliefs I had unwittingly taken to be truths and it took a good deal of effort and time to eliminate them.
And then there are the feelings that kick in automatically and instinctually before thinking has a chance to operate freely – the feelings that infiltrated my thinking without me even being aware of what was happening. It took persistent attentiveness on my part to become aware of this biological fact but once I got the hang of it, this attentiveness became almost constant and then it was thrilling to be able to observe and sort out how the human condition operates. It then increasingly began to be a pleasure to think, to ponder, to contemplate, to reflect, to understand, to realize, to be able to think things through in order to arrive at the facts of the matter … and to be aware that I was coming to my senses, both literally and figuratively.
PETER: It was only that some inherent common sense prevented me from being happy and content with my lot in life and that left me with a healthy suspicion about the traditional spiritual illusion of ‘freedom’.
RESPONDENT: Surely a suspicion (healthy or otherwise) is still only always your best, (sincere, honest and pure) suspicion, (based on your current knowledge/ intelligence/ inherent common sense). This is all good sense to me...and not spiritual in nature.
PETER: Again when I met Richard, the ‘I’ that I was then had very little common sense because I was stuffed full of beliefs, morals, ethics and dimwitticisms. I had run blindly with the mob, as I was programmed to, albeit more than a little uncomfortably at times. I had to work bloody hard to rid myself of all this rubbish in order to develop a common sense – an ability to make a non-‘self’-centred, factual assessment. There was, however, previous fleeting flashes of common sense that stood me in good stead in my normal and spiritual times. These were often manifested as doubt and suspicion – which thankfully never developed into cynicism – and was also evident as what is best described as a bullshit detector.
I have always said that what Richard did was seduce and encourage me to go all the way in developing this fledgling and fragile common sense.
PETER: It was only that some inherent common sense prevented me from being happy and content with my lot in life and that left me with a healthy suspicion about the traditional spiritual illusion of ‘freedom’.
RESPONDENT: Who (or what) was ‘it’ only prevented you in the final analysis? Is this still not ‘your’, (your or Your), best ... what is this inherent common sense? A self freed of ego and soul? This is all good sense to me ... and not spiritual in nature
PETER: What commonly passes for common sense is but society’s varied versions of common practice – a confused jumble of morals, ethics, ancient wisdoms, compromises and platitudes. Intelligence, interminably straight-jacketed by a social conscience, and ceaselessly inflamed by the instinctual survival passions, is incapable of exercising common sense.
RESPONDENT: Your best has lead you to where you now are has it not, Peter?
PETER: No. If it had been up to ‘me’, I would be still striving to become rich and famous ... or Divine and Glorious. It was only that some inherent common sense prevented me from being happy and content with my lot in life and that left me with a healthy suspicion about the traditional spiritual illusion of ‘freedom’. This drive for the best is seen in many, many people and has led to the amazing progress in safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure that an increasing amount of humans now enjoy. The next, and glaringly obvious, goal for humans is to turn this drive for betterment to aspire to an end to their own instinctual malice and sorrow. Being a pioneer in this process is thrilling stuff indeed.
RESPONDENT: Is this ‘thrilling stuff’ your best at the moment? This is all good sense to me ... and not spiritual in nature.
PETER: Yes. But careful discrimination is needed, for all of the traditional – i.e. spiritual – paths to freedom aspire to an Altered State of Consciousness whereby a new Grand Identity is created who only ‘feels’ free of malice and sorrow. (...)
RESPONDENT: Perhaps being a ‘committed actualist’ (at the present) is simply better than your spiritual life?
PETER: There is no perhaps about it at all. It is so vastly superior that I find it amazing that people still desperately cling to their religious/ spiritual beliefs, failed morals, unliveable ethics and precious feelings. They pay a terrible price in running with the herd.
RESPONDENT: These questions/ observations are given with the same sincerity that they are asked/ observed and in the context of your initial observations about mine re mentoring/ mindfulness. This is all good sense to me ... and not spiritual in nature.
PETER: What always attracted me to actualism was the good sense of it all. As for ‘not spiritual in nature’, I am well aware I could be accused of being excessive in attempting to drive a wedge between actualism and Eastern spiritualism. Given that they both offer freedom, peace and happiness it is important to investigate and look for the differences between the offerings. I had sufficient in-depth, first-hand experience to know that an ‘inner’ spiritual freedom was a bogus ‘self’-indulgence and its historical track-record is appalling, to say the least. Taking on something new is a daunting prospect but what was written about actualism at the time – which was only Richard’s Journal – made such good sense to me that I was encouraged to dig in to find out what was really on offer.
RESPONDENT: ‘Have you experimented by acting against your social norms (acting against our religious / social conditionings and taboos to investigate the rush of emotions that follows such experiment, for example)? If so, did such action break through the psychological power of the norm and did it give you more encouragement to investigate them more deeply?’
PETER: What I find now is that silly and sensible replaces good and bad, right and wrong and as such, it is very sensible to obey the laws of the land – the freedom and change is fundamental and internal, not conditional on the external. The aim is freedom from malice and sorrow, in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. Put into practice, this means that if you are not happy now because of some belief, moral or ethical value you hold, if you are upset because of the way someone else is, or if you are miffed or angry about some situation you can do nothing about, then you have something to look at in your own psyche. If there is some sensible action to be taken to change one’s circumstances then one can make it in a sensible, harmless and appropriate manner.
A bit of digging in and changing oneself rather than looking outside and blaming others or the circumstances is required.
Many people pay lip service to the idea that the only person you can change is yourself, but when, and if, the penny drops, your life will never be the same again. For me this realization proved the starting point to really beginning to change. I won’t post it here but you will find my story of this realization in the ‘Living Together’ chapter of my journal and Vineeto has written about it in ‘A Bit of Vineeto’.
Becoming free of ‘religious / social conditioning and taboos’ is a process that brings to the surface much fear for one is literally dismantling a large part of one’s identity and stepping out of humanity, so it is sensible to be cautious as to what you say to others and what you do during this process. Much passion can be uncovered and much turmoil can result as the firm and familiar ground beneath one’s feet seems to shake and eventually disappears. Each success brings a tangible, palpable and heady freedom.
Our social identity was instilled in us in childhood in order to curb and control the emerging instinctual savage passions arising from the animal fear-aggression reaction genetically encoded in our ancient brain structure. With the knowledge gained from the pure consciousness experience and the relentless application of common sense – the silly and sensible judgement – you are capable of reducing the effects of the instinctual passions in your life such that you are able to become happy and harmless 99% of the time. Unless you are willing to strip away and reduce this outer secondary layer of identity you will never be able to investigate and experience both the savage and tender instinctual passions that form the deeper primary instinctual self.
RESPONDENT: I was considering passion with some degree of reservation when I read your other post which included a bit more about it, in particular passion in the form of altruism.
Convincing ‘me’ to self-sacrifice for the benefit to oneself and others of a permanent PCE, would certainly carry more weight if I could get into full blown PCEs. At the moment I seem to be lingering at the edge with regular glimpses but nothing which could add depth to an altruistic passion. I feel at the present I will have to settle for desire and common sense.
PETER: To settle for a desire for freedom from malice and sorrow and to settle for a life lived by the measure of common sense is to be doing extraordinarily well. To linger at the edge of a pure consciousness experience with regular glimpses is to be doing doubly well. Of course, as success inevitably breeds confidence, you will inescapably be obliged by altruistic passion to ‘raise the bar’ yet again...
Altruism, for me, was evident when I started to become aware of how my malice and sorrow was causing suffering for those around me and usually those closer to me suffered most from my moods and my behaviour. It then became very clear I had to stop inflicting my ‘self’ on others – altruism in action.
RESPONDENT: An issue that I would like to discuss is the demand for attention as I am in the situation at the moment where my questioning is being constantly interrupted by demands of work and family plus the prospect of having to move into a new house. It does indeed seem that running the question can add its own difficulties to each moment. An example is trying to solve say a work related problem plus the increasing pain in the back of the head which makes it more difficult to work. What usually happens is that I put the question ‘How am I...’ aside for the moment and continue with solving the problem. What then happens is that ‘How am I...’ is forgotten for a period of time. The addition problem here is that ‘How am I...’ can at times seem to be a hindrance to what is necessary to support oneself and family.
My solution to this problem is to find appropriate moments to run the question where any difficulties I may come across do not encumber my ability to work.
PETER: When I came across Richard I remember thinking it was easy for someone whose family had grown up and who did not have to work for his income due to the fact he had a war service disability pension to become free from the human condition. What about someone who had to work, had a family, or lived in not so comfortable or safe circumstances? Was he talking about having to drop out of the world as-it-is and people as-they-are – exactly as those on the spiritual path have to do?
I was working building a house at the time and soon discovered that the hurly burly of the real world was exactly what was needed to provide me with the opportunities to test myself. I remember one situation at work where one particular person would continually cause me to be upset, so I used the situation to rid myself of all that was causing me to be upset. My motto was – ‘I was not going to let this person ruin my enjoyment of my time at work’. I was not going to try and change him, I was simply going to make it my business that he was not going to ‘get’ me. By neither repressing nor expressing my reactions and feelings, I was able to sort out the whys and whereabouts of my malice and sorrow in this situation and soon he gave up on me for he found that he couldn’t get at me, no matter how hard he tried.
This experience meant that I came to see that actualism works in any situation, for anyone, anywhere. In fact, for those who have been wafting along on the spiritual path and are interested in actualism, it is essential to get out of one’s (inner) cave – rejoin the world of people, things and events and be tested. Unless one tries out a theory and find it works it will always remain a theory or a belief or a philosophy.
So, if you spend the biggest proportion of your waking hours working, or with family members, then it is vitally important that you be happy and harmless in those moments. If you are involved in solving a problem at work and become frustrated, or you find yourself becoming upset by someone, then these are the immediate challenges. This is what ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ means in the hurly burly of family and work. I found that I didn’t have to run the words per se, but simply be aware whenever I was emotionally upset, which was a sign of malice, or I was feeling lacklustre, which was a sign of sorrow. The quicker I caught myself, the more likely I was able to trace the cause or event, the quicker I could get back to feeling good again. If I was fully involved in the doing of something, then so be it, jolly good. Actualism is such a simple business.
I do like it that you are finding and tackling the challenges of work and family. My experience is that if you have the desire to be happy and harmless, and the awareness to eliminate emotional passions to the extent that common sense can freely operate, you can literally do no wrong. The more ‘you’ are willing to step out of the way, in any circumstances and at any time, and dare to let the moment live you, the more the purity and perfection of the actual world is able to become apparent.
Each of the early actualists is pioneering slightly different aspects, with slightly different flavours as we are all from different social conditionings, differing nationalities, differing spiritual conditioning, different living circumstances, male and female gender, etc. Your lot seems work and family, in particular – good hey.
PETER: Hi Alan, Good-day to you!
(...) So you found Richard’s Website by accident – most extraordinary: the find of a lifetime really. The man has impeccable credentials having been there, done that, survived, questioned and emerged from the delusion of Enlightenment to report that all is indeed rotten in the world of Gods and Spirits. It was amazing for me, at that stage, to find someone who said ‘Keep questioning – deeper and deeper – dare to question Every belief. No matter how sacred, no matter how dear to me.’ It was also good to find Vineeto to investigate all the gender / sexual / love beliefs and conditionings and understand them not only intellectually but practically: down-to-earth if you like. The discoveries, realizations and sorting out of the full extent of the Human Condition is indeed a fascinating journey. To challenge and go beyond what human beings have believed to be the Limit – beyond Human Nature is quite something.
But I’ve also held that once one did it, then it is easier for the next, even easier for the next and so on. Not that this is a movement with Richard as a leader – the latest saviour – it’s just that there is increasingly more information, more words, a broad map of common sense if you like. In the context of these maps each person is then able, with increasing confidence, to undertake a journey within to rid themselves of the Human Condition. That was what motivated me to write, to try and describe in words, in practical terms, so it was good to hear you enjoyed it.
And, of course, it is extraordinary that everyone does it by themselves, for themselves.
You asked about being here... For me ‘How am I experiencing myself now?’ translates into the optimum when I am so here in this moment that there is no room for anything else – doubt, emotion, feeling, love, etc. I am fully engaged in and aware of what is happening. I am fully involved sensually in doing what is happening. No room for sitting back on the fence feeling or observing. Not to say that I am not considerate or sensible in my words or actions: they then become naturally appropriate to the situation. Then each moment is indeed delightful, sensual, immediate, apparent and obvious.
Occasionally I have pulses of fear race through as the audacity of living this way strikes a primordial chord – like a cosmic chorus of ‘how dare you ...’ thundering from somewhere, but lately I experience this as a good and thrilling sign. What a journey ... as one makes sense of the Human Condition and actively wills its demise in oneself.
ALAN: I spent much of yesterday reading various bits of Richard’s correspondence and contemplating on why ‘I’ should give up ‘my’ precious existence to achieve something which ‘I’ desperately want to achieve. So, in bed, early this morning ‘I’ dreamt that ‘I’ was going to do it – it was so simple – all that was necessary was to ‘go with it’. Not think my way, nor feel my way but just do it. I am unsure as to whether the events that followed were dreaming or awake or, more likely, drifting in between.
There was a ‘rush’, like going along with a river current, then a 100,000 volt shock through the body resulting in a spasm/seizure which lasted for seconds?, minutes? And during this a thought?, voice? of ‘just go with it’. I cannot accurately describe the physical sensations which occurred/followed. Later, fully awake, the realisation that ‘I’ cannot think, feel or dream ‘my’self into being here and all that is necessary is to let go, go with it – the only way to be here is to be here. It is just a matter of stepping through a curtain – out of the real world and into the actual world, leaving ‘my’self behind, as Richard put it – almost, almost. Now it is cold sweats and nausea/physical sickness – of course it could be something I ate!
PETER: Curiously enough, two nights ago I have had a very similar experience to the one you described. I had had my ‘devastating’ experience about a week before and had decided that the only way to become free was to do it – to continuously and relentlessly be here as much as possible – expunging all doubt, impatience, waiting, disappointment, hesitation, etc. The focus on being here in the actual world took my mind off the event to come – stopped me thinking about it and also stopped the feelings about it as well. I remember saying to Vineeto – ‘I’m just going to do it, not that I can do it, and the doing of it will be the end of ‘me’.’ I’m not meaning to be at all esoteric about this, and I can relate it to other incidents in my life when the deciding to do something was the end of the deciding phase and all its thinking and feeling and the start of the doing of it. Then one is so involved in the doing that one forgets the earlier ‘fuss’ and bother.
So, I had what I would describe as a normal week and went to bed one night and lay back after a romp with Vineeto, well contented with life. I didn’t go to sleep and lay for a long while, not thinking about anything in particular, when a tremendous rush of fear welled up. It was as though I was in great physical danger – which I was not at all. It was the kind of fear that overwhelms one in a life-threatening situation. It was not induced by ‘me’ thinking or feeling about death – quite the contrary. I remember thinking – ‘This is the fear when it comes and its here now.’
There was a ‘what to do now’, a touch of hesitancy, and the thought occurred that the only way I would go into that fear was as an act of self-sacrifice. I began to think of people who I knew and who I wished well of, and in that the fear subsided and I slipped off the intensity of the fear. But it left me with the confident surety that the key to the door is that it is ultimately an act of self-sacrifice in that moment. The decision to go forward, the impetus, can not be for ‘me’ as it is the ending of me. The only way I can see to over-ride the survival fear is to use another instinctual drive – the willingness to sacrifice myself for others.
Again this is not a passionate, put up affair. No heroism, no imagination – just a common sense ‘everybody wins’ situation. I get what I want and another human is free of the Human Condition. I say this because I know and have experienced the instinctual wiring to sacrifice myself for others. It was when I was told that my son had died, and in the initial few moments of intense grief the thought occurred ‘Why him and not me?’ I would have gladly and willingly given my life for his in that moment. If Mr. God have had boomed down from his white cloud – ‘Do you mean it?’ the answer would have been an unhesitating ‘Yes!’.
It was his death that got me into a passionate search for freedom in the first place, and I see that the self-sacrifice is the key to the door to freedom. Why else would you do it? The Enlightened Ones do it knowing full well that they are going to Bliss, Eternal Life and a good deal of Adulation. Theirs is not a ‘death’ but an Altered State of Consciousness – they die into the Glory to ‘become’ the Glory, surviving to wreak havoc with the hearts and minds of others. ‘Feet of clay’ is a good description.
I see this self-sacrifice as a down-to-earth practical use of one instinctual drive to overcome another. It’s simply a using of the tools available at the appropriate time. In the past year of living in Virtual Freedom, since I finished my Journal, I have become increasingly attuned not only with the operation of ‘me’ as a psychological and psychic entity, but also of the havoc and mayhem of the Human Condition in operation globally.
ALAN: I have already speculated a bit in my mail to Vineeto – here is a bit more. We have been engaged, over the last months, in examining and eliminating the beliefs and conditioning labelled as the ‘human constitution’, by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ As a result of the elimination of this human constitution I no longer (or only very, very occasionally) experience any feelings whatsoever. The necessary disconnections and reconnections in neural patterns have been made in the neo-cortex and the software program has been un-installed. Now we are tackling the more difficult job of erasing the hard disc (and the recycle bin) – of severing the link with the amygdala – the basic instincts, the primal self. I suspect that all one can do is allow that ‘link’ to wither away through disuse and, when sufficient brain cells have died (or neural pathways been disconnected), then this primal self will finally expire.
PETER: My favourite description of the process that happens to the old pathways that have been forged since birth, and reinforced constantly since then, is that when new paths are forged with common sense – sometimes painstakingly – the old ones simply atrophy. This is easily attested by the observation – ‘Did I really believe in that once upon a time?’ One can initially feel a fool but it gets really delicious when one cannot remember ‘who’ it was who believed such a nonsense and why. One starts to realize that one is becoming free to such an extent that one is fresh again every moment and that the very act of believing is disappearing. With belief goes imagination, and only that which is actual becomes apparent and obvious.
PETER to Alan: I thought I would pen a letter to you about one of those ethical values that is so instilled in human beings that it not only clouds any common sense operating but also acts to forever lock malice and sorrow into the human psyche.
I often wonder what people make of the simple statement that one has a social identity that consists of all the morals, ethics, values and psittacisms that have been instilled by one’s peers in order to keep one ‘under control’ and to make one a ‘good’ citizen. It seems such a straight forward statement yet there is no discussion or questioning whatsoever regarding morals and ethics and their failure to stop the barbarous human warfare that rages on the planet between various tribal, religious or ethical groups. Despite the fact that countless well-meaning people have been following these pious morals and unliveable ethics there is still no end in sight to the sadness sorrow, depression and suicides. Having to live one’s life bound – as in bondage – to a set of morals and ethics is to be shackled to Humanity.
What twigged me to write was a conversation I had with a man recently about tolerance. It was one of those convivial evenings as we settled back after dinner at his beach-side house. We had bought a whole coral trout and some baste for the sunset barbeque meal, his wife had concocted a wonderful salad and he had provided some delicious soft Merlot wine. Vineeto and I, he and his wife contentedly lazed back after the particularly tasty meal, and their newly born baby slept in the corner after her meal at the breast. We started swapping life stories as one tends to do in good company and his wife began chatting to Vineeto about her upbringing as a Japanese and how she had come to leave Japan and ended up in Australia. She evidently was of mixed Japanese-Korean parents and, as such, was very much regarded as a second-class citizen in Japan – something which she didn’t take too kindly to. I then proceeded to explain to her some of the religious and ethnic divides that are rife below the surface in the country I grew up in at all levels of society.
I soon trotted out one of my favourite stories about the insanity of Humanity – the fact that my father, like many other young Australians during the Second World War, was sent to Europe to help England fight Germany. He ended up in the Middle East fighting the Italians in the desert and then came back to fight the Japanese in the jungles of New Guinea. When I went to university to study architecture two of my best friends were an Italian and a Japanese – of the same tribes that my father had been busy trying to kill only 20 years earlier. What struck me as even stranger was here I was some 30 years on telling this story of muddled madness to a woman of Japanese stock, and a woman of German stock, both now residents in this country.
It was at this point that the man came out with the statement that ‘we are all different’ and that all children need to be taught ‘tolerance’ from the beginning. He said the trouble was that ‘some people’ weren’t tolerant. When I asked him who were these people he looked a bit befuddled as he sensed he would have to trot out his prejudices by coming up with an example. To let him off the hook a bit, I stated that it was only in recent years I had come to see the extent of my own ‘limits of tolerance’ having being born into a largely Christian society. As such I was imbibed with the view that say Muslims, in particular, were ‘evil and intolerant’ people, and I could tell that it was this particular religious group that he had in mind when he talked of those whose children needed to be ‘taught tolerance’.
I backtracked the conversation a bit for his plea for tolerance was based on his preceding psittacism that ‘we are all different’. I looked around at the four of us sitting there and could obviously see that two were males and two were females, so I stated that beyond that physical fact, we were no different in that we were all flesh and blood human beings. We had no differences apart from some physical differences – plus a good deal of social conditioning but I was trying to isolate that fact out for a bit. At core we were all the same passionate beings – German anger is the same as Japanese anger, Australian sorrow the same as English sorrow – yet this man insisted that we are all somehow different and therefore we should be tolerant of each other’s differences.
I was going to pursue the point that we are all the same animal species and that it is a fact that we are only taught to think we are different and unique via our social conditioning – to not only be loyal and good tribal members but to cherish and be proud of our being ‘different from’ and ‘better than’ other tribes and to be ready to fight for and defend our ‘being different’. Oh yes, and then we are further taught that it is good to be ‘tolerant’ of others who happen to be ‘different’ than us.
One needs to be taught that we are different and be prejudiced and intolerant of others first in order to then feel the need to be tolerant. These ethical values are but societal conditioning that sits like a sugared, feel-good layer to cover over our instinctual love of aggression – we love a good fight and the tribe next door, that ‘different’ mob, was always the best target as there was always some old score to settle – some pay-back for a past deed. It has the added advantage of giving us someone to hate and fight that isn’t our own kin or our own tribe.
PETER: Hi Everyone,
Just a note with some more about theoretical scientists. I had dug out some relevant quotes but Richard was quicker to reply. I thought I would leave it but a recent meeting twigged me to post them anyway.
Vineeto and I were invited out to dinner recently, and after the meal the evening turned to an interesting discussion on life and the universe. We merrily talked of what is actual and they merrily talked of what is spiritual, so few alleys of conversation were pursued to any depth. The woman was particularly interested in the ‘method’ we were using and I asked her: ‘method to do what?’ As it turned out, she didn’t have an aim in life but was just interested in finding a new method per se. She was simply on a spiritual quest for methods, paths and teachers.
That conversation soon dwindled, and in an attempt to inject a bit of common sense into the evening I steered the discussion back to the actual – tapping the arm of the chair to give an illustration of what is actual. The man immediately told me it was a scientifically proven fact that the chair did not exist as the essence of matter was ethereal and constantly fluctuating between here and there – pointing over there – and as such could not be actual. Needless to say I nearly fell off my chair, literally, as what I was comfortably sitting on had magically been transported, by scientific theory and this man’s belief, over to the opposite corner of the veranda.
Which only goes to prove that believing what theoretical scientists say could be a danger to one’s health – as well as one’s sanity.
So a few quotes – from the late Darryl Reanney’s book – The Death of Forever – A New Future for Human Consciousness. Longman 1991
While his teaching background is microbiology and biochemistry he draws on a broad range of theoretical sciences to substantiate his vision in understandable form.. As such, he reveals much that is usually ‘hidden’ from the lay person by scientific jargon and bewildering mathematical complexity.
Hard to even make a comment on that one, given that science is reaching far into the realms of the invisible – and apparently the realms of the unmeasurable – exotic imagination runs riot in the search for the truth.
No words for the truth as we try to interpret the signals from the future? No words to describe the truth from the further shore?
Now we get to the crux of the matter as to why I nearly fell off my chair – it was being ‘quantum tunnelled’ at the time. In a bid to inject a degree of common sense (?) into this I’ll risk a quote from Paul Davies about Quantum Theory.
Now, if we note the word theory and Mr. Davies words ‘... only on an atomic scale ..., ... may not be ..., ... should be envisaged ..., ... slightly nebulous ...,’ then I am quite happy for them to imagine, invasive and theorize for all they will, as long as the chair doesn’t fly across the room and the coffee cup becomes so nebulous that it can’t hold coffee. It is a far, far stretch from Mr. Davies description of the ‘theory of things so small that we can’t actually substantiate them’ to the fantasies of Mr. Reanney and the Mystics. They are frantically clutching at straws in order to turn the actual into an illusion, the substantial into the insubstantial, the obvious into the apparent, the material into the ethereal – in short to escape from this actual world, as evidenced by the senses into ‘another’ world of imagination.
PETER to No 7: I got to musing a bit more about the reaction to my Journal, and to Richard’s Journal, and wondered at the lack of reaction evident in most. I remembered back to my first reading of Richard’s Journal and what my reactions were at the time.
Firstly, what he was saying made sense – it was obvious to me that everyone has got it wrong; everyone knows that because fear and aggression in the form of sorrow and malice are endemic on the planet. It took a bit of digging into both Richard’s writings and those of the Gurus to understand that what he was saying was brand spanking new and a quantum leap in the opposite direction to the spiritual. When a Guru says ‘everyone has got it wrong’, what he means is ‘everyone else has got it wrong and only I have got it Right, for I am the messenger of the Divine’. This shallow Guru-bashing then is passed off as ‘the real Truth, the only Path’, whereas what can initially appear as the Wisdom of the God-man is no more than his particular condemnation of the religions of other God-men. Merely to claim that others have got it wrong while blindly ignoring their own role in the on-going tragedy is both ignorance and denial, but then again, if one feels oneself to be God, one is undeniably deluded and absolutely blinded to any common sense.
Actual Freedom is a freedom from the insidious fairy-tales told by all the Gurus – no exceptions, no maybes, no ‘it’s only the same thing that everybody else is saying’. For me, this meant that I would have to desert my Master, not only being ungrateful but disloyal as well. It soon became obvious that this meant I would also have to desert Humanity – be a traitor to Humanity – to be ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’, as Richard put it recently.
And the only way ‘out’ – to actually become free – was to do it, despite these values, ethics and morals that bound me to Humanity’s perpetual suffering and fighting. Once one begins to break these bonds and ties, to actualize one’s own freedom, one discovers that one has been instinctually programmed to be a member of the species, and to break with Humanity – the emotional-backed concept that binds the species together – necessitates an extinction of the these instincts in operation in this flesh and blood body. The ending of ‘my’ connection to Humanity is the ending of ‘me’.
So, even in the first weeks after reading Richard’s Journal, I knew what the consequences of my actions would be if I gave the path to Actual Freedom a ‘go’. But I had had enough experience to not get into the trap of believing what others said merely because it sounded ‘right’ – so I wanted some practical proof that Actual Freedom worked. In the beginning of the Richard’s Journal are the chapters on living together in peace and harmony, ending the battle of the sexes and unravelling the mystique of sex, and this is what I decided I would ‘cut my teeth on’ – to see if this would work. I simply acknowledged that what I, and every body else, had been doing didn’t work and would never work, and decided to actually try something new. Not just read, study and understand, but put it into practice and see if it worked. To see if I could live with one other person in peace and harmony and get to the bottom of the mess of human sexuality. Actualism is not a cerebral pastime nor a feeling-based escape from ‘reality’ – it is a full blooded commitment to expunging the alien entity within this flesh and blood body that prevents one being the universe experiencing itself as a human being. Anything less is chicken shit.
The spiritual path eternally promises, dreams and offers hope but it never has, and never can, deliver peace on earth. Actualism delivers the dream of peace that many humans sincerely seek and puts it into practice, but only for those willing to head in the opposite direction to the ‘Tried and Failed’. My friend who said I was living what Rajneesh taught was half-right in that I am living beyond the wildest dreams of Humanity. But I only do that because I abandoned the hackneyed spiritual Wisdom based on denial and ignorance, ‘back-tracked’ all the way out of the spiritual world and set off down the path of intrepid investigation in pursuit of common sense. The path that is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to that which every one else follows. The path that everyone says don’t go on or you will end up irresponsible, evil, insane, and a traitor to Humanity to boot! That is the meaning of everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong.
But the first thing one needs to do is find out whether you have been ‘sold a dummy’, or not. That was my first reaction to the idea that there is a third alternative to staying ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’ – ‘Does that mean I have been sold a dummy?’ But the only way to know that was to find out for myself. And to undertake that investigation is to go against one’s instinctual programming that binds one to being a member of the herd called Humanity.
The return for the effort is peace, on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body. Peace is a simple, unambiguous term meaning actually free of malice and sorrow.
So, maybe this has been of use to you. I personally always find it useful to dig in and find out what the common objections to being happy and harmless are – in other words, what ‘my’ objections are – and then dare to look at the facts of what it is to be a human animal.
To explore, within one’s own psyche, the emotional passions of malice and sorrow and to investigate the commonly held beliefs that perpetuate their existence.
To discover the illusions, ‘within’ and ‘without’, will bring one – inevitably and inexorably – to one’s senses.
And then you get to find out the meaning of life.
And it’s the journey of a ‘life’-time.
RESPONDENT: Keep up the great work.
PETER: I do like writing, which is all I do – it’s simply common sense to tell others what is now available. It’s more of a hobby than work and most of my writing has been my sorting out and reporting on experiences, understandings and facts discovered. Whenever I read any spiritual twaddle nowadays I am astounded as to its duplicity, confusion and blatant self-centredness, so it’s a joy to write of something as down to earth and non-spiritual as Actual Freedom. Writing also is great exercise for the brain given that independent and clear thinking is stifled in childhood and school years by countless putdowns and strict regimentation and is even further strangled, admonished and literally demonized on the spiritual path. The other point is that I am not working to change anyone else – as I said, that is an impossibility and it is also a ‘self’-serving exercise. It’s good to be free of that one.
I noticed your heading to the first post was about convert numbers. There can be no converts to actualism for the simple reason that one has to do it for oneself, by oneself. There are no meetings, rallies, practices, groups, etc. Just a handful of people so far, their words, a web-site, and a mailing list.
The other reason is simple – actualism is a life-as-you-know-it threatening occupation and, as such, not of great attraction to many.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Four This is It
When everything else drops away from us, something remains that cannot be described. <Snip> The source, God, radiant darkness, the still point, however we name it, that place is within you now. It is you who is not being with that place. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: If ‘you’ shift to that place ‘the source, God ...’, does not that mean ‘you’ stay in existence? One’s identity merely shifts from mortal animal to Immortal Divine.
PAUL LOWE: I say it is beyond normal experience because it is not an experience. Experience has to do with the senses, the senses have to do with the mind and the mind cannot comprehend, hold or expand sufficiently to include this. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The human modern-primitive mind combination is capable of an astounding range of fear-driven fantasies and imaginations right up to and including the belief that one is ‘the source, God’. This is feeling – the ‘good’ instinctual passions – run riot, unimpeded by intelligent thought and totally disconnected from the actual world, abundantly and obviously evidenced by the physical senses.
PAUL LOWE: Those who claim to know are not aware that they do not really know, because it is not a knowing. It is an emptiness of knowing. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: I would call that spiritual double speak for ‘it is a denial of common sense’.
PAUL LOWE: The state we are talking about is self-less – there is no self. <Snip>. The key realization is that there is no self as we see it. The mind can only register phenomena in terms of time and space and separation, and this state is beyond the mind. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: It is telling that he qualified ‘there is no self’ with ‘there is no self as we see it.’ He repeatedly says elsewhere ‘Thou art That’ which, put into plain language, unequivocally means ‘you are God’. This is not a self-less state, this is clearly a state of self-aggrandizement.
PAUL LOWE: Buddha urged us to carry no food, only one robe, and never to stay in one house for more than three consecutive nights. In other words, life will take care of you; if you allow it, you will always get what you need. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Another classic fable of denial. The Buddhist monks in particular trade off this one very well. In the East it is obligatory custom to provide food and accommodation to travelling monks, in India it is ‘good karma’ to give to the Saddhus and in the West there is usually a queue to suck up to visiting God-men and Gurus, and many people pay a lot of money to them simply to ‘sit in their presence’. It is other people who are taking care of them, providing what they need, not ‘life’ or ‘existence’ or God.
PAUL LOWE: Our conditioning has told us there is a state to reach and this is not true. There is no state to attain. <Snip> There is no state of enlightenment. <Snip> When we are totally here, in complete acceptance, the state we call awakening is realized. <Snip> Thou art That <Snip> You have to want whatever you call this state totally and do absolutely nothing about it. <Snip> There is nothing to attain. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: This is not a trick on my part. This nonsense came from one single page in the book. It was a ploy that Mr. Rajneesh used to great effect – confuse the mind by using contradiction, inane drivel and babble and squeak. It becomes impossible to follow, so one gives up trying and settles into a feeling-only state, the mind wanders off into impassioned imagination and another victim is entrapped.
PETER: I did sit back and wonder whether it was useful to continue, particularly as the book is largely repetitive, but every now and again a pearl emerges which gives me a fresh opportunity to say something, and present some facts about, Spiritual Wisdom.
The spiritual message is – don’t worry about changing anything, simple retreat from the physical outer world into your inner world of feelings. And this message is nothing other than a reinforcement of that all pervasive message, the mother of all beliefs – ‘You can’t change Human Nature’.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Eight Relating – An Invitation to Expand
One of the most significant changes that is happening on the planet is difficult to talk about because the mind does not want to hear it. We have been conditioned to believe that events on the outside control how we feel on the inside, which is not true. The changes that have the potential to transform our lives have to do with our inner world, with consciousness, not our attempts to change and control the people and things around us.
PETER: Difficult to talk about? I personally have been hearing these same words for over 20 years, and the message of transformation has been preached about, talked about, written about, and practiced for thousands of years. What do you think the millions of monks, saddhus and disciples have been doing all this time if not desperately trying for inner transformation? Does ‘potential’ have a use-by date? When can we demand results – as in ‘significant changes’? As for – ‘the mind does not want to hear it’ – the message of denial and personal transcendence is indeed anathema to common sense, but ... it is sweet music to the ‘soul’.
PETER: (...) Given the process for an Actualist is to re-wire one’s brain it is essential to change the way one interprets the ‘spiritual message’ – to understand exactly what is being said rather than gloss over the content of the message. To remain passionately seduced by ancient belief and fear-driven imagination is an affront to one’s intelligence. Only by substituting fact for belief, that which can be sensately experienced for imagination, and common sense for affective feelings, can one begin to come to one’s senses both literally and figuratively.
But change does not come about without effort, work, diligence and perseverance – to both make one’s own investigations and discoveries, as well as reading what others have written of applying the method and experiencing the process of Actual Freedom. One’s progress and successes – or lack of – on the path to Actual Freedom are directly related to the time and effort devoted to these activities.
PETER: We were having a chat the other day about the amount of time and words we expend in demolishing spiritual belief. Surely we could simply write about what is new, factual and what works rather than bother about what is ancient, based on mythology, has been well tried and has failed.
But this demolition is no side issue, no sour grapes exposé, no mere berating of the ‘opposition’, for unless spiritual belief itself is eliminated one has no chance of becoming actually free of the Human Condition. Richard has taken years of painstaking investigation and effort to break through the stranglehold that the good instinctual passions have on Humanity and, as such, the new path has been forged but each who follow it have to follow by themselves.
Not all will go all the way to Actual Freedom, but there are enormous personal advantages to be had by being free of spiritual belief. One comes closer to what is actual, one comes closer to sensate-only experience, one is less internally affected and externally effected, and is less inclined to indulge in denial and acceptance. One is more likely to be considerate of one’s fellow human beings, not out of a desire to be good but out of a common sense awareness of the effects one’s thoughts, feelings and actions have on others. One will be more likely to want to change and some steps may be taken in this direction. Thus, the time and effort involved in demolishing spiritual belief is returned a thousand fold in one’s everyday life of instantaneous and intimate interactions with people, things and events.
For those with the necessary fortitude, diligence, patience and application a Virtual Freedom from the Human Condition is readily and easily obtainable and then one lives beyond one’s wildest dreams – to be virtually free of both malice and sorrow is a most estimable state.
So, back to Mr. Lowe and spiritual belief –
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Twelve Exciting Times
We are living in very interesting, potentially exciting times – more exciting than we realize – and whether this is a curse or a blessing depends on how we respond. We are in the midst of a quantum change. Throughout the ages people have been telling us, speaking of things that are going to happen, and we have not believed them. <Snip> When Jesus spoke of the changes he foresaw, we crucified him. We did something similar to Socrates and we burned many people at the stake who told us things we were not prepared to hear. This and all following quotes from: ‘In Each Moment. A new way to live’ by Paul Lowe Looking Glass Press 1998
PETER: Many, many teachers, Gurus and God-men have trumpeted this line for millennia – exciting times, prophecies coming to a head, a New Age, the coming again of a Long Dead God, redemption, salvation, etc. The Gurus and God-men and wannabe’s are still ‘speaking of things that are going to happen’ which does beg the question ... when? Paul puts ‘it’ down as happening in 2012, for some reason he neglects to explain. As for ‘we have not believed them’ ... why should we? They have left a litany of broken promises and false prophecies stretching back to the mists of time. And then we are supposed to believe the latest soothsayer who promises heaven and bliss while threatening hell and damnation ...?
RESPONDENT: It was about 8 years later after looking ever deeper into it that I awoke one morning and from the time the eyes opened until they closed in sleep that night there took place a complete transformation of what was left of this being. The ego was dead, there was no god to take its place. It was clear that the very words we use to communicate were a symptom of an underlying illness of misidentification. That we had evolved in such a way as to turn everything into abstractions and rarely, if ever, saw what was real before our eyes.
PETER: To regard that which is physical, tangible, palpable, visible, touchable, smellable, eatable, audible as an illusion is a trick of the impassioned mind that requires enormous effort. In the East this effort requires the torturous abandonment of sensible thinking and common sense – giving rise to the term ego death and the emergence of what could well be termed soulism – a feeling-only state of delusion. The lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning psychological and psychic entity that is the self becomes the Self – cunningly feeling Oneness, Wholeness, Timeless and Spaceless. The Eastern pursuit of ‘Ego-death’ has proven to be a very tragic delusion, for one becomes completely dissociated from what is actual as evidenced by the senses. This means that one renounces the world, both real and actual and begins a process of turning away, turning in, letting go, withdrawing, disidentifying and finally complete dissociation aka Enlightenment. The reason I use the word tragic is that spiritual seekers – many of whom began the spiritual search to find a way to bring about peace on earth – have now been seduced into turning away from the endemic malice and sorrow in the physical world we human beings live in and now regard it as illusionary, not real. They regard the spiritual world as REAL, the normal world as a nightmare to be avoided and the actual physical world as a dream created in their own minds. .
The question I ran for a long time is ‘Has everyone got it 180 degrees wrong?’ The fact that all these theories of human existence on earth were cooked up thousands of years ago was the beginning of my doubts. The other thing I found as I contemplated on the question was that it started to explain an awful lot of things about why the spiritual path that didn’t work. (...)
RESPONDENT: Over these many years things have become ever clearer. I have seen that it isn’t so much that we are acting from our animal instinctual conditioning as it is what took place as we developed the ability to abstract life into words, pictures, concepts, etc. As that process developed what had been our instinct to protect our bodies was carried over into feeling a need to protect the images we had of ourselves. The ego has always been just conditioned thought that formed as a sense of personal identity.
PETER: This is the old-fashioned out-dated Eastern philosophical view of human existence on earth. The East has always seen the physical world as a dream, an illusion, Samsara, Maya, etc., and thinking was seen as the link to suffering in this dream world. Basically the idea is if you stop thinking about the suffering in the physical world it will go away. By a process of abandoning sensible thought and common sense they attempted to dissociate themselves from this ‘illusion’ by shifting their identity to become a new non-personal identity, yet another illusion. The cause of malice and sorrow is the identity or ‘self’ that dwells within the flesh and blood body. To rearrange this identity by shifting, polishing, making it holy, making it impersonal, making it Real, making it True, or whatever trick is used, is not eliminating it. The human body is instinctually programmed to do anything to survive and the alien psychological and psychic entity in the body, fuelled by the flush of chemicals released from the amygdala will thus do anything to survive. The multitudinous variations of real self, true self, Self, atman, pure being, Godliness, etc. offered up by Eastern religion and philosophy are a testament to cunning ‘self’-survival in action.
The survival instincts are not ‘conditioning’ – they are a genetically encoded program that automatic responds to input producing almost instantaneous robotic bodily reactions. In human beings these bodily reactions cause chemicals to flood the thinking and reflective neo-cortex and thus become passionate reactions or deep-seated emotions. The instinctual reactions are thus psychological and psychic reactions in human beings.
Fear hobbles us with a desperate need to belong to a group, to cling to the past, to hang on to whatever we hold ‘dear’ to ourselves, to resist change, to fear death and consequently to desperately believe in a life-after-death. Fear impels us to seek power over others or to mindlessly support the powerful in return for their protection.
Aggression compels us to fight for our territory, our possessions, our family, our ‘rights’ and our treasured beliefs and values – striving for power over others. At core, we love to fight or to see others fighting.
Nurture causes us to care, comfort and protect but also leads to dependency, empathy, pity, resentment, senseless sacrifice for others and needless heroism. Women are programmed to reproduce the species and men are programmed to provide for, and protect, the offspring – a blind and unremitting instinctual drive.
Desire relentlessly drives us to needless sexual reproduction and sexual hunting, senseless avarice, inevitable corruption and insatiable greed for possessions and power.
These instinctual animal passions in humans are not ‘feeling a need to protect the images we had of ourselves’, they automatically operate to protect both body and self and unless those passions are eliminated they will continue to run amok and forever act to spoil our peace and happiness.
RESPONDENT: If you accept where you are, and are comfortable with it, you won’t see what I am trying to say.
PETER: Hardly an hour goes by that I don’t marvel at the innate common sense in this human brain and the serendipitous events that led me out of the spiritual world and revealed the actual world that was sitting here all along, under my very nose as it were. The only way to experience it permanently its to get rid of all illusion, both real world and spiritual world, both ego and soul.
RESPONDENT: I agree.
PETER: Oh No 8, you are on record as saying –
No mention at all of the ending of soul but you definitely mention that your identity still goes on. Given that one’s identity consists of both ‘who’ we think we are and ‘who’ we feel we are, your experience is limited to the traditional spiritual shift of identity or altered state of consciousness. In this newly awakened state of consciousness one’s personal self, together with the unwanted thoughts and feelings, is transcended as one realizes one’s ego was living a nightmare. Grand feelings of salvation and gratitude swoon in as one feels saved from physical death and feels One with All and above evil and evil thoughts.
This soul-full illusion of a higher self is a fantasy construction built upon the original illusion of self – the psychological and psychic entity that dwells within the flesh and blood body. An illusion built upon an illusion is a delusion.
RESPONDENT: I’ve just been pointing out that the ego is a phantom and has no reality in itself. I have found that as the phantom is seen through the instinctual processes change.
PETER: But you will not question whether the other half of your self is equally illusionary. If the ego is illusionary, why can you not entertain the idea that the soul may well be illusionary as well?
As for the ‘instinctual processes change’, all evidence of the Enlightened state is that fear and aggression are sublimated but not eliminated – as you would know – and nurture and desire are given full, uninhibited reign such that people feel Divine Love and even God-realized.
RESPONDENT: In my own quest to make absolute sense out of being a human being I have had to discard many ideas and beliefs I had been convinced of. I am still discovering many more ideas along the way (some gross, some subtle) but I have discovered that REAL Freedom lies in the choice to suspend the belief that I already know what is true and to dare to find out what actually is true.
PETER: Do you follow your feelings when you ‘dare to find out what actually is true’ and do you find you have to suspend common sense and regard what is actual to be illusionary? For accuracy and clarity of communication I use the dictionary definition of the word actual – i.e. existing in fact as evidenced by the physical senses, in action or existence at this time, existing in act and not merely potentially or apparently. Actual is that which is palpable, tangible, tactile, corporeal, physical and material. It is that which can be experienced by the physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch only.
What I came to understand was that if I was on the Eastern spiritual ‘search’ then the path had only one direction and only one possible destination. It is, in fact, nonsense to call any spiritual path a search for the end discovery is predetermined depending on which culture or religious belief-system one is ‘searching’ in. Every religion has at their core a Truth, a written message from God or from his/her earthly representative that is ‘confirmed’ by an emotionally-fuelled experience to be the Truth as in a Satori, epiphany, awakening or realization. Seek (inside) and ye shall find God (by whatever name).
As a kid I could not understand that if there was such a thing as God, how come there were so many and how come everybody fought over whose God was the Right, True, Real or Only God. When I looked around with clear eyes I saw these same divisions and conflicts were abundantly evident in New Dark Age religions. It made me more than suss of the Truth.
RESPONDENT: Nobody can change this sad planet. Look this way, right now we have about six billion people, so many religions and religious movements, so many conflicts, so many bloody wars, so much hunger, rape, crime, killings ... and very powerful people whose are very much alike with such a situation, and average man is full of fears for himself, for his job, for his children ... It will be, what it will be and if some says to me ‘I want to change myself’ I’m due to believe him, but if some says to me ‘I write to finally put an end to war, rape, torture, famine, suicide, sexual abuse, repression, suicide, slavery’ – I don’t know man. I didn’t lose my faith but ...
PETER: I remember when I first came across Richard and he said it is possible to be happy and harmless, and to live with a woman in peace and harmony. I had tried the normal path of family, career, money, relationships, being part of a group, etc., and had the feeling I had done it all. I had got to the stage that the career option of being a Guru didn’t seem what I wanted to be. So I simply decided make being free of malice and sorrow my main business in life. And I was successful. So, I really did it for me, for my personal peace. But if others take this on as an aim in life then we may well eventually have happy and harmless people on the planet. It may well take thousands of years but it is now possible.
RESPONDENT: And did you think about what would be if, for example, some person starts to present him self as Jesus Christ (for the second time amongst us). What is the miracle, which he must perform in order to people start believing in him. In this moment we have a great number of miracle men all around the world. In comparison with them Christ would be nothing but a cheap magician.
PETER: From where I see things, as long as he/she has God on their side they can promise anything and people will still believe. Christians still await the second coming. Buddhists await the return of Maitreya, and Rajneeshees for the new man.
RESPONDENT: Maybe your intentions are sincere, but then how can you expect from the people to just believe you and take you for granted only on the basis of dead words presented somewhere on the Internet?
PETER: I said in the Afterword to my journal, and here in this mailing list, not to merely believe what I am saying. It is such a poor way to live one’s life on the basis of believing what other people say.
For me, facts and common sense beat belief and feelings any day. If I was running a business and wanted to be successful I would rely on facts and common sense. I simply applied the same sense to being here as a flesh and blood human being and then the magic really began to happen.
RESPONDENT: The Mind is an awesome resource.
PETER: Whereas human intelligence, freed of all of the social conditioning (particularly the belief in God or some form of afterlife and immortality) and the animal instinctual reactions is capable of such clarity and common sense that it has to be experienced to be appreciated. Such is the functioning that I am capable of understanding the whole of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow as I am immediately outside of it and no longer dwell in the normal world or in the spiritual world. It is the actual physical universe, not some ‘inner’ world of imagination.
PETER: ‘Millions, if not billions’ is a reference to all the devotees of Eastern spirituality (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shintoism, Taoism, Zen, etc.) in all the thousands of years, many, many of whom spent their lives secluded in monasteries or ashrams (in Tibet, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, India etc.) or devoting hours of their days in meditation, ‘watching’, praying, or the like. The recent influx and western interest in spirituality is but a ‘blimp’ on the vast sweep of history. The point of my statement was that once this became evident to me I was able to put my position in perspective. The failure rate of producing profound individual awakenings (Enlightenment) of the Eastern religions became startlingly evident, as did my arrogance in assuming that I could do any better. The other issue was that despite (or because of) the numbers, sincerity and effort of all these people the countries had appalling levels of poverty, disease, corruption, repression of women, and often downright theocracies. I fail to see this as speculation and projection. A study of history and an open-eyed visit to the East will still confirm this to be the case in many countries.
RESPONDENT: This response is a example of the twist I said you put on the topics... This is what I said; ‘Millions?Billions? give their lives? for nil?? just speculation and projection. As far as I am concerned... these people devoted what they wished, learned what they learned, and went on to live long productive peaceful loving ordinary lives... maybe some didn’t. So what!
PETER: On re-reading my response I see that I clearly made the point of what it meant for me – that in the light of these facts I was able to clearly put my position in perspective rather than merely following what everyone else was and had been doing for millennia. If this is of no concern to you, so be it. It does nothing to alter the facts.
RESPONDENT: The issue I have with your speculations and projections does not have to do with history but with the judgement that you recolor and edit the history in order to create support for your opinions – that you like to call facts. How you choose to view, edit and interpret history has no bearing on the reality of the history itself.
PETER: No, you yourself said ... ‘as far as I am concerned’ which, as it turned out, meant that you are ‘not concerned’ – as evidenced by ‘So what!’
I, on the other hand was vitally concerned as to what I was doing with my life and what other human beings had done with their lives. Had it bought them the promised peace of mind and had this whole spiritual pursuit contributed to bringing forth a state of peace on the planet?
My own open-eyed direct observation of Eastern Counties, a common sensical reading of the Ancient texts, and 17 years of intensive search on the spiritual path forced me to the pride-shattering conclusion that I had been sold a dummy and that I had fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
RESPONDENT: You are unable to know the experiences of others.
PETER: There is nothing unique in the Human Condition. One is either normal or spiritual. I have had the experience of 32 years of ‘normal life and 17 years of spiritual life so I see myself as well qualified. I am also well qualified in the ‘new business’ of actualism, although by no means as well qualified as Richard.
He was Enlightened for 11 years until he saw through the sham.
Mind you, writing on this list is certainly an eye-opener as to the reactions one gets when one dares to question anyone’s dearly-held beliefs.
RESPONDENT: Your unfulfilled expectations of specific rewards and results has nothing to do with the History and lives of the people who lived it. You are not in possession of authority (except in you mind) to determine lives were lived and given for nil...or anything else.
You’re welcome to have your opinion. But, it was the judgement of lives given for nil that I said was speculation and the facts you created out of the speculation is what I called projections.
PETER: So, in the world according to No 10, I am allowed to have an opinion but the sin of all sins is to make a judgement.
If by judgement you mean the ability to judge wisely in matters affecting action, good sense, discretion then I make judgements based on all the facts I can gather. I then make a judgement on what is the sensible action to take.
The operation of common sense is essential if one is to be free of such moralistic and self-serving nonsense as ‘thou shalt not judge’.
RESPONDENT: A fact is: a piece of information presented as having objective reality; (objective reality would be undistorted-actual reality).
PETER: If a fact to you is undistorted-actual reality then does that mean you call a tree a tree, or do you call it a ‘piece of information’? Is the keyboard in front of you a fact as in visible, touchable, audible when you type – i.e. is it actual?
RESPONDENT: How would things be different if we were motivated by truth?
PETER: The problem with being motivated by the ‘truth’ is that everyone has their own version of the truth, as in ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’, and that each Religion has their own particular version of the Truth according to the Teachings of their particular Master, Messenger or Guru being followed. Further, some people believe that there is but One Truth, an obvious fantasy as it is such a nebulous thing as to be ‘beyond words’. When it is put into words the fighting begins in earnest as to which version is the Real Truth. This nonsense has gone on for millennia and is a mere excuse to have a mythical God to bow down to or look up to. Just because everybody believes something to be true doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. It just means that everybody believes to be it to be true. To believe means ‘fervently wish to be true’ as per dictionary definition. Whereas a fact is a fact.
RESPONDENT: What about if we were motivated by a common sense evaluation of facts rather than imaginary concepts?
PETER: What about if we considered that there was no life after death? What about if we were motivated to become happy and harmless, rather than the frantic desire to visualize an after-life? What if we stopped believing in mythical Truths and looked at the facts for a change?
RESPONDENT: How would things change here on Earth if we all worked to help one another instead of just ourselves?
PETER: One of the significant problems with the tribal system of clinging together for support is that we are socialized, cajoled and forced into ‘helping’ others. This means that we constantly focus our awareness on the behaviour and conduct of others and completely neglect our own emotions, feelings, words and actions. This results in a scenario where the other is always wrong or at fault and results in those insidious ‘if only’ ... scenarios. ‘If only we all loved one another...’ ‘If only I found the right partner...’ ‘If only it had lasted...’ etc.
I simply adopted the sensible approach that the only person I could change (or help) was me. To consider the possibility of changing the other 5.8 billion people to suit my version of how things could be better is ridiculous in the extreme. And waiting for God to do it with a wave of some magic wand is but a fairy-tale with diabolical consequences. Since He/She/It is nothing but a figment of our imaginations we wait in vain (not to mention despair, anguish, hope, trust and faith).
RESPONDENT No 23: Why do you allow yourself to be in any way affected by this person’s poison, this person is quite obviously a mind dweller and mind dwellers love to mind fuck, it is their expertise, just watch these experts disappear up their own arises if you just give them enough rope.
RESPONDENT: You know, it is unbelievable that minds can be so thick. I haven’t given up hope that there must be a gap, a small slice of openness for communication to peep through, but it seems not so. I’ve never before in my life come across someone so totally brainwashed and it makes me a bit curious – how is it possible? But you’re right, it is poison and it doesn’t do good.
PETER: Great that you haven’t given up hope of finding any small slice of openness. When I met Richard I was intrepid in both my questioning and scrutiny of what he was saying – there was no way I was just going to take on another set of beliefs. What he was saying that he had found out about the Human Condition was both incomprehensible and frightening to ‘me’. I would often recoil in bewilderment but I was determined to ascertain for myself whether or not what he was saying was factual. To go away, read, contemplate, question, investigate, recall, ponder, ruminate ... and then come back and ask again. I would pursue this process with each of my dearly-held beliefs until the clear facts emerged. I have written more of it in the Intelligence chapter of my journal, if you are interested.
As for never coming across someone so brainwashed before, it is not that I am sprouting Wisdom or a new belief system. I am simply stating facts. When talking to Richard, I always tried to avoid getting into a ‘tis’ – tisn’t’, ‘right and wrong’ type of discussion. Much better to look at the facts of the situation – and they were always 180 degrees different to what I had been taught.
The certainty and surety comes from facts and common sense, whereas doubt and confusion are the direct result of belief and feelings.
And what I talk of is the actual world of purity and delight that we have all experienced in a pure consciousness experience – that world that is right under our noses when ‘I’ temporarily abdicate the throne. It is not a philosophy or something Richard has invented. This actual world is ever-present, but it is not a world that ‘I’ can experience, therefore ‘my’ demise is essential.
A bit from my journal may throw some light on things –
PETER: The certainty and surety comes from facts and common sense, whereas doubt and confusion are the direct result of belief and feelings.
RESPONDENT: Language consists of many words, some mean different things, but imply a same underlying meaning, others mean the same, but imply different notions. As I have said before, I can agree and recognize with many things that you and Vineeto have written in earlier mails. What makes it impossible to talk together is the total lack of flexibility exposed by you to understand the meaning implied in other’s words. It seems to me you are only able to understand your own terminology.
PETER: As I said before –
But if you insist on being ‘flexible’, fair enough.
RESPONDENT: What you say above here: ‘Certainty and surety comes from facts and common sense’ doesn’t fit my experience. My exp. of certainty and surety comes from knowing who I am, knowing my own truth. And my truth is for me what your facts are for you. This you shouldn’t argue on, ...
PETER: Everybody has what they fondly declare to be their ‘own’ truth and passionately defend it – even declaring their ‘right’ to do so.
Unfortunately, what I discovered was that ‘my’ truth was no more than ‘me’ taking on some particular versions of Ancient Wisdom and interpreting them to fit ‘my’ selfish motives. This ‘I’ did in order to become a member of some particular group and gain a sense of belonging – all to soothe the lost, lonely, frightened, and very, very cunning entity ‘I’ really am. ‘My’ truth was nothing more than a phantasm, designed to perpetuate ‘my’ existence and once I saw and acknowledged this, it was impossible to defend any more.
All this would not matter one iota but people do fight with each other as to whose ‘truth’ is ‘right’, or gang together in religious or social groups and fight horrendous wars as to whose collective ‘truths’ are right.
PETER: As for ‘the fact of the fragrance of Osho’s words’ everyone will have an affective response, usually reinforced by the group, so as to feel love, bliss, oneness, safe, etc.
RESPONDENT: What about your response to [No 23’s] salty sex, isn’t that affective? What does your junior say about that?
PETER: If you are interested in what I have to say about sex, I suggest you read about it in my journal. I can rave on about my second favourite subject, but I am trying to be brief. If you also read the two chapters before, it will make more sense to you as to what is affective as opposed to what is sensate.
RESPONDENT: You address us individually but you are not able to talk to us individually. You talk to me as if I was a group. Don’t I give a shit about the group! And I am certainly no groupie of yours. :-)
PETER: I am not writing to you, the spiritual believer. I am writing to you, the fellow human being and I am reporting – as a fellow human being – what I have found out and the extra-ordinariness of it all. That there is actually a way to become free of malice and sorrow. Many on the list complain that I am not talking to ‘them’ and it is true. I am communicating directly to the fellow human being using common sense and native intelligence – saying don’t believe what everyone has told you – don’t just go on believing what the old fuddy duddies of the past have told you is true.
It is 1999, not 500 BC, and there is now available a way out of the mess we humans have found ourselves in. I don’t expect you to believe me but if you are at all dissatisfied with your life and in following the ‘tried and failed’ methods ... maybe, just maybe, it might be worth considering ... trying something ... new?
To get to where I am, I had to demolish ‘Peter, the Christian’, ‘Peter, the father’, ‘Prabhat, the Sannyasin’, ‘Peter, the architect’, ‘Peter, the man’, ‘Peter, the lover’, ‘Peter, the ... and so on ... until finally it was Peter at his instinctual core ...
It is such an adventure to discover ‘what’ you are rather than ‘who’ you think and ‘who’ you feel you are... to free yourself of the ‘shackles’ of the Human Condition.
I am free of the ‘world’ I was born into, I am free of the mutually-agreed scenario ‘that to be a human being is to suffer’ – I am free of sorrow. And as there is no entity in me that can take offence – I am free of malice. I simply met a man who was already free and followed the path, and the method, and I am reporting to whoever wants to listen ... that it works.
Richard, Vineeto and I are laying a trail of words that are a guide map, but the wonderful thing is ... you get to make the journey yourself.
PETER: Whichever way you look at it, both Eastern and Western Spirituality clearly indicate a ‘something else’ or ‘somewhere else’ apart from this physical universe
RESPONDENT: Well to try to uphold that the universe is only physical leads to absurdities when one uses common sense. Sooner or later you will have to invent some or other God, a physical one of course. The concept of a universe as being only physical is as slippery as the concept of a God...
PETER: Many people have already resorted to bestowing Godly qualities or energies on the physical universe – anthropomorphism abounds, hence the term Universe with a capital U. Anyone of spiritual conviction is so far from having the ability to apply common sense that for them to even use the term leaves me gasping in incredulity. Common sense or native intelligence only begin to come into play when the human brain is freed of the absurdities and restrictive covenants applied by believing Ancient Wisdom. Then, and only then, can one look at the bulk of the social identity, and only then one can explore the core instinctual emotions. By developing a firm and self-convincing spiritual identity on top of an already enveloping social conditioning one has gone even further away from both common sense and the senses of the physical body. The denial of the body and the mind evidenced by such Wisdoms as ‘you are not the body/mind’ confirm this non-sensical retreat. It is a long and rocky road back to the senses and to common sense – it is the greatest challenge facing Humanity at this time and it is the personal journey of a life-time to accept the challenge. That the physical universe is not a concept is easily demonstrated by putting gaffer tape over your mouth, holding your nose and waiting 10 minutes. As you rip the tape from your mouth, gulping air you may well begin to consider that the physical universe is a fact for you, not just a concept. As for the slippery concept of God, this conversation stands testimony to that fact.
RESPONDENT to No 23: No, their written material will be highly regarded by our children.
PETER: This comment really intrigued me. Are you saying that the next generation will be the one who will finally abandon the idea of good and evil spirits roaming the earth, and that the earth will no longer be a place where humans are forever meant to suffer and fight, as some sort of cosmic ‘penal’ colony.
RESPONDENT: No Peter, I was not addressing that. I believe it is a cop-out to place responsibility on future generations to ‘do something’.
Part of the reason I get off the Sannyas list for awhile is I am becoming more and more aware of my tendency to write unclear sentences. I have a tendency to allude to things rather than state them clearly. As I write, my meaning seems clear to me, but the feedback I get is undeniable – my language is open to multiple interpretations. I admire your ability to be more literal. I do not rest with this; I aim to learn. In fact I am learning.
The comment above is more directed to No 23 personally. It was a reply to his statement that what you guys write is a load of crap and perhaps if he met you personally he may find something of value. Clearly he does not place much value on your written material. I do. Here and now it is interesting, fascinating and valuable to me. It changes me. I am guilty of throwing a barbed spear at No 23 – ‘if you can’t understand, perhaps your children will’. It is this communication via barbed spears that I am wanting to cease.
PETER: One of the reasons I wrote my journal was to make sense of life. To check out for myself what my experience had shown were the facts of being a human being on the planet, as opposed to the beliefs I had taken on board. I deliberately avoided much contact with Richard and dipping into his writing at the time as a way of checking it out for myself. I wanted to check if what he was saying stood up to the test of common sense and gelled with the facts. It did and 100% so. Of course, I freely acknowledge bleeding him for information, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Human Condition. His experiences of Enlightenment are unprecedented in that he is the only one who has escaped from the massive delusion of Divinity.
So, writing is such a useful tool for clarity, I always want to say what I want to say clearly and concisely. It also means I have to know clearly what it is I want to say – for me that is simple, as all I do is state the facts. What others do with the facts is their business.
RESPONDENT: I haven’t read your entire treatise but I enjoyed what you shared for the most part of what I did read. I want to simply comment on your ‘I am the body, aren’t I? What else could I be?’ questions. I don’t think those questions, however, can be answered with the logical brain as you are attempting to do.
You seem to be leaving out all magic, all shamanism. Maybe you’re not and I’ve missed it. Should have read on.
PETER: I guess if you were really interested in finding out you would have read on. My experience is if you had have found the magic then you would only have called it God anyway. A bit I wrote in the Living Together chapter... (there he goes ... flogging his book again.)
PUBLISHER No 1: It’s certainly a good job that I don’t take other people’s opinions seriously.
PETER: Personally, I always used to check them out and see if there was any factual basis in what they were saying. If there was, I would assess my actions and make any necessary adjustments so as to not cause offence to others, or take offence from what others did or said. This is peace on earth in action.
PUBLISHER No 1: I think maybe it’s time for you to assess your actions now. This is arrogance.
PETER: No. This is commonsense. If one wants peace on earth then one cannot expect it to happen unless one is willing to do it oneself. This fact scares almost everyone away from actualism for they know, deep down inside, that to actively pursue an actual freedom from malice and sorrow will be the death of ‘me’, that lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning entity that dwells within the flesh and blood body. For me, I just figured I had nothing left to lose ... except more of the same and then I’d die without having lived as I knew it was possible in the Pure Consciousness Experience.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.