Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER: I don’t want to pre-empt your own experiential observations about the sorrowful feelings but in my own investigations I discovered that feelings of malice is more readily discernible than feelings of sorrow. Speaking metaphorically – malice can be experienced as being peaks or flare-ups of emotion, sadness can be experienced as valleys or troughs of emotion, whereas in general the constant plain or milieu of human feelings is one of seriousness and sullenness. The other observation I have made is that sorrow in the form of the feeling of compassion – the compulsion to participate in another’s suffering – is the essential emotion that binds Humanity together, and hence binds ‘me’ to Humanity. Which is why I described sorrow as being a strongest emotional tether to break free of.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for your response. After some reflection, it appears that I am still participating in the feelings of compassion ... not as strongly as before ... but it is lingering around from time to time. I like your definition: ‘the compulsion to participate in another’s suffering’.
PETER: The deep feelings that come from being an instinctual being are not likely to disappear overnight as they are the very core of ‘me’. The reason I used the word compulsion was to emphasize the instinctual nature of grief, sorrow and compassion. Because these feelings are ‘me’ and ‘I’ am these feelings, the best ‘I’ can do is to be attentive of these feelings whenever and wherever they kick in, name them, observe them in action, feel what they feel like and, as soon as possible, get back to feeling good about being here. This way you disempower the sorrowful feelings before they set in and totally whisk you away from the sensual enjoyment of being here.
RESPONDENT: Now, if compassion were in some way genuinely useful ... if it actually worked in freeing one from insidious feelings that were either destructive to others or oneself, then at least compassion would have some positive purpose or value.
PETER: What really got me wanting to do something about my sadness and melancholy was a sincere consideration for other people – particularly those closest to me. When I started to become aware of my sad feelings, I also started to become aware of how my feelings affected other people – and feelings of sorrow have a way of spreading from person to person rather like a dark cloud of malaise. The curious thing is that when I started to be attentive to my own feelings of sorrow and thereby gradually stopped being a contributor to this cloud of malaise, I was also less and less affected by the sad feelings emanating from others.
RESPONDENT: I do conclude that when I moved into compassion from compassionless states ... I felt more connected with myself and others ... more in touch with feelings ... as opposed to not feeling or just feeling fear all of the time. Being compassionate, I felt myself to be coming from and living from my own heart. I was tapping into ‘love’ that I could finally experience for myself and share with others. I covertly set myself up as a ‘better’ person ... able to discern the difference between compassionate people and their actions and uncompassionate people and their actions.
PETER: Yes. The more you start to become attentive to how your own psyche operates, the more you allow yourself to feel the quality of feelings, the more you come to experientially understand the human condition – how feelings of sadness and grief have a bitter-sweet self-indulgent flavour, how feelings of compassion and pity have a cop-out element to them, how feelings of love and compassion for others are inextricably entwined with feelings of superiority and dependency, how the so-called bad feelings are debilitating and the so-called good feelings are aggrandizing, and so on. And the more you experientially understand the human condition the more you come to understand that there is no one to blame – the whole notion of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is but a human invention that has no existence outside of the heads and hearts of human beings.
RESPONDENT: I do not actively do this any longer. I take this back! I do from time to time. Now, with actualism, compassion is up for grabs and may be more closely examined. If I throw out compassion, will I revert to the carefully guarded, encapsulated person I used to be. Will I loose my warmth and become cold? I’m not sure how to proceed with this. Yet, I will examine it.
PETER: Only you can dare to question the tried and true ways of humanity, only you can dare to take the necessary practical steps that are necessary if you want to be actually free of the human condition of malice and sorrow. I always said I went a fair way in questioning the tried and true ways of humanity before I met Richard and was emboldened by his success in becoming free of the human condition to keep going all the way. Those of us who follow Richard’s precedent have it much easier because there is now a path to follow but the wonderful thing is that you get to walk the path by yourself, for yourself and in doing so you prove by your actions that you genuinely care about actually facilitating peace on earth.
PETER: Hi everyone,
Another ‘new millennium’ message that is worth thinking about –
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s (the incarnated Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion, the Holy Lord, the Gentle Glory, the Compassionate, the Defender of the Faith, the Ocean of Wisdom, the Wish-fulfilling Gem) New Millennium Message
With Wisdom like that, let’s not hold our breathe for peace on earth. I saw him on television recently saying the next century should be the ‘century of dialogue’. Fighting with words instead of guns is obviously regarded as the best Humanity can hope to achieve in the next century. The letters to the editor page of the local newspaper where I live are increasingly full of vitriol, and most often from the ‘really-aware’ crowd. More and more people are turning to lawyers, courts and tribunals to fight others or seek retribution so the fashion for standing up for oneself, defending one’s rights – or sharing one’s truth – represents an escalation in malice, not a diminishing.
What happened in Tibet is a classic case of the ideal of non-violence in action. The Good and Holy Leader and his lackeys took the money and fled in the face of aggression, abandoning the ordinary people to their fate. The D.L went to seek shelter behind the Indian army, leaving those behind with no means to defend themselves. Pacifism is like hanging up a sign at the border saying please invade or a sign on your front door saying the doors open, help yourself...
To put one’s faith in the ideal of non-violence is to stubbornly remain in ignorance of the source of violence within the Human Condition. (...)
PETER: The Dalai Lama often cites a favourite inspirational verse, found in the writings of the renowned 8th century Buddhist saint Shantideva:
Sounds as though he would be out of a job if human suffering came to an end. It’s called ‘having a vested interest’ in supporting and maintaining human misery. No misery – no need for the Buddha of Compassion.
One of the most interesting aspects of the wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom is the de-bunking of mythical heroes, both ancient and current. The Peter I was 3 years ago still held the spiritual Masters in awe, the great philosophers in reverence and unquestioningly accepted the theoretical scientists as being in touch with reality. It was only a matter of overcoming my trepidation, and laziness, in order to investigate the facts and sense of what the philosophers and theoretical scientists were proposing before they toppled from their ivory tower perches. The spiritual Masters were a different kettle of fish as in order to become free of spiritual belief, one needs to break free from the psychic power of the spiritual world.
There is most definitely an aura or psychic web that surrounds the Masters and God-men – this is the very source of their power. Underpinning this aura is an almost tangible and palpable fear that locks one in to unquestioning faith, unwavering belief and unswerving loyalty. All of the ancient texts offering salvation or redemption have parallel stories of eternal suffering or hellish realms for those who are non-believers. I remember passing through an intense phase of fear-induced dreams when one of the Masters I had ‘betrayed’ was hunting and chasing me all night long – to pull me back into the fold, ‘or else’.
Once one has seen a fairy tale to be nothing other than a fairy tale it is impossible to go back to believing, if one is at all sincere. Then it simply becomes a matter of riding out the storm and dreams are sometimes outlets for the storm to surface. Realizing these fears to be nothing other than chemically induced fantasies is the clue to keep going. I always figured that whatever emotion-backed thoughts went on in my head, or whatever emotional-backed sensations that occurred in the body, were real but not actual. What is actual is what I can sensately perceive – the rest is nonsense.
The business of not only leaving the fold of a particular spiritual Master but of leaving the whole spiritual world is not for the faint of heart. One can pass through some hellish psychic realms on the way to freedom. One needs to become free not only of mythical Gods and the beguiling Good, but free from the pernicious Devil and the awful Diabolical as well.
What a thrilling adventure – a journey into one’s own psyche is a journey into the human psyche for ‘I’ am Humanity and Humanity is ‘me’. And on the path the God-men and Gurus, Lamas and Popes, Geniuses and Heroes topple off their thrones like nine pins, to become mortal flesh and blood human beings merely suffering from an overdose of megalomaniacal dementia.
RICHARD: I was sitting at the caff the other day, with a woman whom I have never met before, discussing life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in the world as it is with people as they are. She listened intently and with interest to my story – she was not adversarial – and was seeking to comprehend what I was experiencing (she ran through a short list of the usual spiritual attributes to no avail) until she sat eyeing me reflectively.
‘I see’, she finally pronounced, ‘you don’t judge people’.
‘Goodness me’, quoth Richard, ‘I am as judgemental as all get-out ... surely you are not neutral on all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides are you? Do you not appraise people, things and events and come to a considered opinion as to what is a sensible course of action ... and what is silly?’
She sat a while longer, considering.
‘I feel there is no charge in you’, she said, ‘that is why it is okay to assess’.
PETER: To skip on to your ‘conversation with a woman in a caff’ – and comment on a few bits that are relevant to my experiences.
Yes. The spiritual view is that ‘I’ as the thinker is the issue and then actively encourage ‘I’ as the feeler to run rampant. My experience when I started to run with the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ was that it was feelings that continually and relentlessly emerged as my experiencing. Thus ‘I’ needed to feel grateful for being here in order to transcend the underlying feeling of resentment at having to be here at all, and ‘I’ needed to feel love in order to bridge the gulf that ‘I’ as an alien entity feel exists between ‘me’ and other human beings. ‘I’ feel compassion for others as a way of being able to indulge my own feelings of sorrow and ‘I’ feel indignant when someone else suffers injustice as ‘I’ really like a good fight. ‘I’ am ever fearful of what others think of me or feel about me, ‘I’ am ever on guard, ‘I’ am ever ready to defend myself against having ‘my’ feelings hurt. ‘My’ ploys are many in the battle with others – confrontation, withdrawal, snide remarks, denial, a bit of undermining, a bit of cutting down to size, a bit of a whinge to someone else – ‘I’ can be as cunning as all get-out in these battles, if need be.
‘I’ readily believed in the spiritual beliefs and wallowed in the blissful feelings as a welcome escape from everyday reality and the promise of an after-life was poetry to ‘my’ ears and salve to ‘my’ heart. ‘I’ felt deep-down that there was no hope for Humanity and no hope for me, and from these feelings were born a desperate belief in an after-life as an escape from the despair of life on earth. The list goes on and on as ‘I’ fight it out for survival with others in a grim world, and ‘I’ will ultimately do anything to stay in existence. ‘I’ am rotten to the core – the combination of animal instinctual passions and an ability to think and reflect make the human animal not only malicious but cunningly malicious. This lethal combination allows the human species not only to wage wars, inflict genocide, rape, murder, torture and pillage to a scale unprecedented in any other animal species but allows for the psychic warfare and power battles, blatant denial, fantasy escapes, corruption, deception and deceit that is endemic in all human interactions.
It soon became obvious that freedom from being an identity – social and animal-instinctual – was the only way to get free of this constant emotional churning and the constant selfishness of indulging in denial and escapism.
IRENE: Only a person who is deeply troubled by emotions will turn against them in anger and try to rid themselves of the whole plethora of emotional experiences. To me they are the palette that I use to paint my every moment on to the canvas of my immediate environment, except that this is 3-dimensional and it depicts more my atmosphere than colours or figures.
PETER: This agrees with my experience as well and I see it in others. It is only because I have been ‘deeply troubled’ by grief, anger, jealousy, despair, violence, greed, rape, suicide, love, empathy, sorrow, compassion, loneliness, etc. etc. that I wanted to be rid of them in myself for personal peace as well as to stop inflicting my sorrow and anger on others.
IRENE: To me compassion is the full understanding through experiencing all the accompanying emotions of a particularly testing aspect of life, that this is what it is to be grieving, or to be angry or to intensely hate or to be desolate, lonely, utterly discouraged in all of life etc. and to accept it as belonging to the all-round human experience in order to become wise. Not that only the so-called negative feelings will grant wisdom; the positive ones can be even more important in that respect!
PETER: So your ‘new’ philosophy is based on acceptance of anger and suffering. What is new about it then? This is as good as it gets? No wonder people give up in despair or wish like hell for some better after-life. Surely you can offer something better than acceptance...it hasn’t worked up until now.
IRENE: The richness, the depth of each human feeling reveals the understanding of what it is to be a human being in such an empirical, intimate way that it is later instantly recognised in a fellow human being who is going through the same emotional, human experience and who can then be met by compassion, that very kind understanding that you will have enjoyed with another, not only when life was being particularly difficult or sad, but also when you wanted to share your utmost joy or love.
PETER: Compassion is, as per definition, an agreement to share pathos – share suffering. Do I recognise a touch of Buddhism in your philosophy? The Dalai Lama’s title means ‘the Lord who looks down (with compassion) on all sentient beings’ and despite the compassion of millions of Buddhists for thousands of years the East has appalling poverty, repression of women, corruption, violence, etc. Or maybe it is part of your philosophy that women suffer so much more than men, that suffering and being able to share your suffering is a noble human attribute. In this way I could be tempted to agree but then I would just fall in to the same old gender trap. Both genders are just playing out their instinctually assigned roles and both are sorrowful and malicious. To argue degrees and apportion blame is to miss (or avoid) the point.
PETER to Irene: At the risk of again being seen as vitriolic, I will give you a quote from my journal that I wrote after an incident I witnessed where a group of people confronted Richard and accused him of being cold, uncaring and deceitful.
I know it’s strong and leaves no room for compromises but that’s how I see the Human Condition. You may see it as vindictive but for some reason it seems appropriate again right now. I guess it is that I watched the black-humour film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ on TV last night with its running score sheet of ‘losses’ in the ‘games’ that the generals played in the War to end all Wars. The losses after 2 years of playing one game at the Somme were 607,000 dead on the English side alone for a nil gain of ground.
I guess it is that I yet again understood Richard’s desire to find a way to actually end wars and his radical understanding that, for this to be possible, both the good and bad feelings and emotions and instincts have to be eliminated.
Those men, after all, died for love of god, country and family. Their pride eventually disintegrated to the point where they simply shivered in their mud filled trenches, ridden with lice and listening to the rats feeding on the dead and wounded, singing endless choruses of ‘we’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here ... we’re here because we’re here...’
But then again you know all this and we have talked of this at length many times before so maybe just write me off as a hopeless case ...
PETER: Just to add a finishing line to Mr. Otis’ Wisdom. The Mystics are notorious in appearing wise and leaving their solution unspoken, indicated with silence or one of those All-Knowing looks...
ALAN: An older student came to Otis and said, ‘I have been to see a great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures, I have fasted, been celibate and stayed awake nights seeking enlightenment. I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but I have not been enlightened. What should I do?’ Otis replied, ‘Give up suffering.’
PETER: ‘... and realise that you are God’ is the implied message.
And upon realising you are God, the personal feeling of suffering is magically transformed into compassion for others. Of course, since one is now full of the Divine, one feels Divine compassion for those poor sentient beings who are mere mortals and still suffering from the illusion that the body, mind and world are real. I always liked the Tibetan Buddhists who are so blatant about it. The Dalai Lama is venerated as the re-incarnation of ‘the Lord who looks down with compassion on the world of sentient beings’. He was the God-King of Tibet and all of the wealth and power of the country was located in the temples. This Theocracy ensured that the poor stayed poor, while temples – and dead Lamas – were coated in gold.
A genuine end to the feeling of suffering (sorrow) is also an end to the feeling of compassion. Sorrow and its noble companion, compassion are the very foundation of both Western and Eastern Religion. The whole concept of a spiritual world, another life, another realm is based on a denial of the very real suffering of human beings and are nothing but an imaginary escape from it’s consequences both personally and globally. One needs to make a distinction between the feeling of suffering and real suffering. Suffering in the world is real – there are actual wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence happening as I type these words. But to continue to believe the likes of the Mr. Otis’ of this world is to actively contribute to the continuation of real suffering. This not only maintains the whole religious-spiritual belief system with its resultant wars, persecutions, repressions, denial and duplicity but actively reinforces the whole concept of good and evil, right and wrong, passion and feeling, malice and sorrow – the prevailing Human Condition based on Ancient Wisdom.
The last thing Mr. Otis really wanted was an end to the feeling of suffering or real suffering for he would have no Wisdom, no students, no fame, no power, no need for Zen. No feeling of suffering – no need for the feeling of escape or the feeling of compassion with its implied Holy feeling of superiority.
I recently watched a TV program on Ladakh, and the Buddhist monks pray to the ‘spirits’ to bring a good harvest and to keep the wolves away, evoke the ‘good’ spirits for healing and give potions to drive out the ‘evil’ spirits from the sick and ill. This is their main business as shamans and medicine men and Mr. Buddha was a bit of a side issue. In the West we have merely taken on the Eastern shamans for a bit of feel-good or to feel compassion in order to offset the in-built feelings of malice and sorrow.
It’s so good to be getting free of all this – to come to one’s senses. To be able to live in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. To be personally free of malice and sorrow – the root of all our emotions.
PETER: Hi Alan, hi Mark,
(...) Actualism is 180 degrees opposite to the spiritual escapism and as such I was delighted to read of your experiences, Alan. They accord with my own everyday experiences and are evidence of the success being reported by the handful involved at the moment. Mark summed up the success he is having compared with his years in the spiritual world so well recently, and it is well worth repeating what he wrote –
Mark summed up the success he is having compared with his years in the spiritual world so well recently, and it is well worth repeating what he wrote –
This is written by someone with 20 years experience on the spiritual path – an experiential understanding of the significance of those three words, ‘fellow human beings’. Whomever you meet is simply a fellow human being – and one finds oneself increasingly regarding and treating others as such on the path to freedom from malice and sorrow.
Those three words – ‘fellow human beings’ – are the very key to peace on this planet and it will eventuate incrementally as more and more people have the experiential understanding that Mark has written of.
Other than spiritual and religious morality the ‘best’ that Humanity has come up with in order attempt to bring some semblance of ‘civilized’ behaviour to the planet is the ethical concept of Human Rights. Human Rights do naught but enshrine the differences and separateness in noble moral and ethical codes that are not only unliveable but actively perpetuate the continuation of division, conflict and war – an endless fight for one’s Rights, and the endless despair at having them ‘denied’ by others who are fighting for their Rights. One man’s God is but another man’s Devil. What is right for one is wrong for another. Justice for one means that someone else has to have revenge wrought upon him or her. Retaining one’s ‘heritage’ means retaining the prejudices, superstitions, ‘hurts’ and angers of one’s parents and tribe. The concept of Human Rights is a well-meaning, but futile, attempt to force human beings to try and stop the instinctual urge to kill each other. ‘Twill never bring peace and harmony.
So Mark, you have ‘hit the nail upon the head’ in your seeing through of the failure of the ideals of Love and Compassion in the spiritual/religious world. It is, after all, no different to the love and compassion that continuously fails in the real world. All are but failed attempts to ‘keep the lid’ on the animal within us. The only way to peace and harmony is to get rid of the animal in us completely and Actual Freedom does just that.
Actual Freedom heralds the beginning of peace on earth for human beings, an end to the appalling suffering, violence, oppression, corruption and despair. An end to all the wars, ethnic cleansing, sectarian troubles, fights for Rights, revenges, genocides, repressions, rapes, murders and suicides. One at a time, we will step out of that real world and leave our ‘selves’ behind. Fear and aggression – the animal survival instincts of a dog-eat-dog world – are now redundant for modern human beings. They need to be eliminated in order that we can begin to treat each other as fellow human beings and not as ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’ in a perpetual battle for succour, security and survival.
It’s such a buzz to get to the bottom of what it is that ails the Human Condition.
To see that it is naught but the ‘self’-centred survival instinct that is at the root of sorrow and malice and to set about eliminating it in oneself.
PETER to Alan: Earlier this year I was talking to someone who was interested in Actual Freedom Trust, and the subject got on to ‘real world’ beliefs. I offered up the Endangered Species Theory as one belief worthy of discussion and investigation. He looked at me bewildered as though – ‘what on earth has this to do with Actual Freedom’. I pointed out that, if indeed one blindly believed all current fashionable fear-ridden theories, then one would have a grim view of the world as it is and one would therefore seek an ‘escape’ from the world as-it-is and not a freedom from the Human Condition – two diametrically opposite seekings. I find it telling that those who strongly support and believe these grim doomsday beliefs are most usually those of strong spiritual beliefs. The usual environmental view is of a ‘Mother Earth’ or a spiritual ‘God = Life’ belief, and humans are seen as evil consumers or defilers of Nature, seemingly just by our very being here. All of the spiritual and religious belief-systems have as their core underlying belief the concept that the world as-it-is is a grim place where humans are meant to suffer, and this suffering is only finally relieved upon death. Any belief that the actual physical universe is a grim place has, at its very roots, the animal survival instincts of fear and aggression, but this is overlaid, reinforced and ‘set in stone’ by both Eastern and Western religious beliefs.
I always liked Richard’s description that people desperately put on rose-coloured glasses when looking at the real world, seeking relief in the feelings of gratitude, ‘higher consciousness’, beauty, goodness, love and compassion. In order to do this, they start with a view of the world as-it-is based on wearing grey-coloured glasses – the real world being a fearful place of resentment, ‘unconsciousness’, ugliness, evil, alienation and suffering. The solution is to dare to undertake a process that involves removing both the rose-coloured glasses and the grey-coloured glasses, and to see the actual world for what it is – perfect, pure, sensually abundant, benevolent and delightful. One then sees clearly that one’s social and spiritual / religious conditionings and beliefs actively conspire to paint and perpetuate a grim worldview. One then sets to, with gay abandon, on the path of exploring, investigating, scrutinizing, understanding, and eventually eliminating all that is not factual and actual. The act of doing so eliminates one’s social identity – one wipes one’s slate perfectly clean of all beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms. What one then discovers – hidden underneath – is one’s biological heritage – the primitive animal instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
PETER: Maybe becoming free of depression, sadness, loneliness, boredom, resentment, anger, animosity, annoyance, etc. is not of interest to you.
RESPONDENT: No, Peter, your speculation about me is way off the mark. At present I am learning where my anger is coming from. I think my need for love is bringing that and lately I am trying to find where the need for love is coming from. I am also looking as to where do the random feelings of unconditional love I get, come from.
PETER: No, it is neither speculation nor ‘way off the mark’. Up until now the only way to become ‘free’ of malice and sorrow has been to indulge the imagination and affective faculties (feelings) such that one achieves a ‘spiritual’ freedom – usually referred to as Self-realization, or in its full-blown delusion, as Enlightenment. This is done by negating or denying the ‘bad’ feelings of malice and sorrow and giving full reign to the ‘good’ feelings of love and compassion. To call this figment of the imagination ‘freedom’ is to abuse the meaning of the word which is why Richard used the word Actual Freedom for his discovery. Given that you are firmly on the spiritual path, as is evidenced by your objections and refusal to want to even begin to understand what Actual Freedom is really about, you are obviously only interested in an imaginary freedom. The traditional ‘beam me up, Scottie’ solution, or the ‘beam me up, Bhagwan’ version.
This is not a criticism of you personally – these spiritual fantasy ‘escapes’ have, after all, been the only thing available up until now. But you are writing on The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List and any efforts to convince us, deride us, condemn us, or put us down will fall on deaf ears. We actualists stubbornly refuse to settle for a second-best freedom – a synthetic freedom that leads to the Master-disciple system which perpetuates the fantasy world of good and evil spirits, after-life, God, Religions and all sorts of meta-physical mumbo-jumbo. An actualist rapidly moves from learning, thinking, trying, and looking to investigating, pursuing, discovering, uncovering, finding, implementing, activating, challenging and dismantling feelings, emotions, beliefs and instincts. From a mere snorkelling around on the surface to a bit of sincere deep sea diving into one’s own psyche.
I’ll take the opportunity to flog a dead horse a bit more with another quote that is relevant to discussions that we had about instincts and their pernicious grip on Humanity. Remember that this is from a man peddling an Ancient tradition which was in complete ignorance of modern genetics, neuro-biology and behavioural studies. He says:
Anger is beautiful, hey? Tell that to the woman being raped, the man being killed, the child being abused. Rajneesh would ‘use’ anger in active meditations and groups as a way of getting people emoting in order to ride on the energy into a state of hormonal-charged bliss, exactly as people do when engaging in dangerous sports or how the psychopathic killer gets his kicks. To call this transforming anger into love is nonsense – it is nothing more than stirred up hormones. It would all be a joke really except that people kill out of anger and Rajneesh’s famed Dynamic Meditation is nothing more than a hormonal stir-up for a hit of bliss afterwards.
As for ‘anger transformed becomes compassion’, this sleight of mind can only happen if one ‘feels’ spiritually superior to the other. Then one has divine anger as Rajneesh did on several occasions when he could not control his rage in public. Displays of ‘divine anger’ (compassion?) have also been well documented in many other God-men.
RESPONDENT: Peter, I do not understand what you are trying to say in this post. It just goes on and on. Also, I do not understand what are the facts in this post and what are your opinions / speculations / guesses. I can’t relate to most of the post.
PETER: Well, undaunted, I will try again. My post followed your post which said –
So I took it that the thread of the topic of conversation was about Gurus, their legacy and peace on earth. In order to aid your understanding I will not post any of my comments but will post a quote from Mr. Rajneesh, a Guru whose opinions, words (and legacy) are relevant to many on this list.
This is a discourse where Mr. Rajneesh talks on anger, one of the fiercest of the instinctual passions, and a topic that is directly related to Gurus, their legacy (written words) and peace on earth (the eradication of human anger). Rajneesh –
‘Anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities’ has resulted in 160 million people killed in wars in this century alone, not to mention all the murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, suicides, etc..... There can be no more obvious expression of people ‘being totally angry’ than war.
From this direct quote I would have thought that it was obvious that peace on earth was definitely not on Rajneesh’s agenda and therefore cannot possibly be part of his legacy.
I await your considered comment on this quote so as to avoid any ‘opinions / speculations / guesses’ which, I agree, are of no use to anyone.
PETER: Well as I type away the world is busy celebrating the birthday of a man who most probably did not even exist and who supposedly died 2,000 years ago and rose into the heavenly realms to sit at the side of his father, God. The overwhelming worldwide popularity of this Christian event does say something of the pre-eminence of the Anglo-Saxon tribes that are currently driving the technology and information revolution. But what I found most interesting were the reviews of the last century and the previews of the next. Predominant were the fears that emerged about technological progress, and the few commentators that were hesitantly optimistic for the future always couched their comments in terms of hope. When the situation is desperate and hopeless, humans always have to revert to hope, prayer and faith.
I just watched His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, ‘the Grand Lama, formerly the chief pontiff and governmental ruler of Tibet’ (the Macquarie Dictionary), being interviewed and he was asked about the possibility of an end to war and violence in the new millennium. He said that as the world ‘got smaller’ then we would see that we are all one people and that, ‘like it or not’, we would have to be more compassionate and tolerant towards each other. He went on to say that, of course, ‘there will still be conflicts’ but this should be the ‘century of dialogue’. Here is a man who preaches non-violence, yet firmly believes that one cannot change human nature. It is understandable for the concept of human suffering-on-earth is intrinsic and central to the Buddhist religion. Eliminate suffering and violence – no need for religious beliefs, therefore no mythical reincarnation for Grand Lamas. Not only Lama unemployment, but Lama mortality as well. A genuine case of endangered species.
It’s amazing to sit in my living room watching the frantic cranking up of hope in the face of despair. This current era of world-wide instant communication and access to information makes a global study of the Human Condition ‘in action’ so simple and so easy. The failure of belief, morals and ethics to bring an end to human malice and sorrow is transparently evident, as is the human passion for malice and sorrow.
Which brings me back to D + A = nc, the spiritual formula espoused by the Dalai Lama, The Pope, Mr. Rajneesh, both Mr. Jiddu and Mr. U.G. Krishnamurti, both the mythical Mr. Buddha and Mr. Jesus, and their ilk.
Given that few spiritual seekers have bothered to read the ancient texts to ascertain what it is their gurus are saying it is useful to dissect the modern NDA reinterpretations of Eastern religion and philosophy to see exactly what is on offer and why it has such popular appeal. So, I’ll continue on with my review of ‘In Each Moment’ by Paul Lowe.
I don’t know Mr. Lowe personally and have never met him which is why I find it useful to critique his book in particular. There are many I could write about, some of whom I have met and had dealings with. To write of them always leaves one open to attacks of bias as was obvious from the response to my journal from Rajneeshees. Mr. Lowe, while not famous, is indeed ‘a highly trained spiritual teacher’ and, as such, his words can be taken as an accurate modern re-interpretation of the ancient classical myths and beliefs.
PAUL LOWE: One stage you may move through is forgiveness. Another stage is gratefulness. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: By practicing forgiveness one then expands the feeling of compassion for those still concerned about and ‘attached to’ their anger and resentment – one then feels sorry for, and pity towards, those ‘less conscious’ than you.
From practicing gratitude comes the feeling that there is a something or someone that one needs to bow down and prostrate oneself before. Gratitude is a way of turning away from the ‘real’ world and pumping up feelings of unconditional love directed at an imaginary ‘source’. This love is unrequited for there is no chance of it being returned, and unconditional for there is no-one or no-thing to put conditions upon it. No wonder it is so popular – you get to feel good about loving nothing. Pity about the loyalty, jealousy, resentment, dependency, etc., that inevitably come with this love and gratitude ... and that cause the religious persecutions, discriminations, fanaticism, wars, etc.
PAUL LOWE: We demand what we want, not what we need. Perhaps you may need to get upset even though it may feel uncomfortable. You may need to be upset so you can be with your distress and go deeper into it in order for it to complete itself. Something has been locked up inside you, probably having something to do with the past, and you have to keep opening to it in order to come to a place of balance. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Just a reminder that you stated in Chapter One –
It now seems you are justifying feeling and being angry in the typical psycho-therapy babble of ‘it needs to be expressed in order for it to be released’. Yet you yourself stated that this can be an endless process, given that it could include unlimited past-life experiences. The spiritual believer always has excuses for being angry – it is not ‘me’ being angry, I just need to share something with you, or in extreme cases of delusion, outbreaks are put down to Divine anger or even compassionate anger.
PETER: Hi Lord,
A further comment on your teachings about suffering –
RESPONDENT: ‘When we choose to act to alleviate suffering whether it be our own or someone else’s everyone’s lot is improved.’
RESPONDENT No 15: Except you cannot alleviate somebody else’s suffering ... and you wouldn’t try when you have full realization of what that suffering is (was) for.
RESPONDENT: Alleviation is not prevention.
PETER: Alleviation is neither prevention ... nor a cure for suffering. For, as No 15 correctly alludes to in Eastern religion, being here on earth as a human being is essential suffering. Once one realizes this, the aim is to fully realize that ‘who’ you Really Are is a bodiless spirit only, just passing through this earthly material plane of suffering. All religions accept that life on earth is suffering and believing in any religious or spiritual teaching is therefore to accept that it is not possible to eliminate human suffering.
Eliminating human suffering is not on the spiritual/religious agenda ... far from it.
RESPONDENT: We can alleviate someone else’s suffering ... and, in fact, realization leads us to a life wherein that is exactly what we do.
PETER: As a self-declared God-man perhaps you could explain exactly how you alleviate someone else’s problem? By telling them it is okay, there is a God who loves you and that God is me? This form of alleviation is both Self-perpetuating and suffering perpetuating.
RESPONDENT: Sufferings full brunt is borne only in separation.
PETER: Thus, when you realize that we are all one, one’s personal suffering is alleviated by knowledge that we all suffer together and it is part of God’s plan. Human suffering is, in fact, perpetuated by all spiritual teachings for without suffering there would be no need to alleviate it by the illusion of Union.
Human psychological and psychic suffering exists only in the individual and collective human psyche. When the psychological and psychic entity – ‘who’ I think and feel I am – ceases to exist there is an end to psychological and psychic suffering in this body.
RESPONDENT: By sharing the situation or doing what small thing we can do to assist someone struggling we allow them the opportunity to see that they are in fact not alone, and someone does care.
PETER: And the dispenser of this sharing is mightily loved and deeply appreciated for his or her sharing. In fact, the dispenser is only in business because there is suffering in the world. All religions and priests, Gurus and teachers only exist and flourish because there is suffering in the world. They have a vested interest in human suffering. Their fame, glory, support and income is derived from human suffering. Even now, when a way has been discovered to eliminate one’s own suffering and malice, these same pious God-men will be the most strident in riling against it.
RESPONDENT: We do this in a manner that does not interfere with the person’s experience.
PETER: On the contrary, the price demanded and received for this assistance is always gratitude, the deeper the better. To demand gratitude and love in return for compassion and empathy is the most insidious interference in another’s life.
RESPONDENT: ‘Sharing feeling’ is the meaning of the word compassion.
Indeed, compassion literally means sharing sorrow.
To maintain the sacred-ness of compassion as a human feeling is to perversely insists that no one is ever allowed to be free of suffering without being accused of being evil, unfeeling or callous towards others ‘less fortunate’. Misery and suffering is to remain forever locked in the human psyche by this mutual agreement to suffer together. Feeling compassion is but an attempt to alleviate the feeling of sorrow, exactly as love is an attempt to alleviate aggression, by a valiantly promoting and valuing the good instinctual emotions and repressing or transcending the bad emotions.
It is only by stepping out of the ‘real’ world’s agreement to mutual suffering and the ‘spiritual’ world’s sanctimonious and pious Divine compassion, that one can completely rid oneself of sorrow. Only when one stops ‘feeling’ compassion, empathy and pity, there is the direct opportunity available to actually do something about the wars, tortures, poverty and physical suffering of one’s fellow human beings – to stop actively contributing to human sorrow and facilitate an end to sorrow in oneself.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.