Selected Correspondence Peter
Death – Self-immolation vs. Immortality
RESPONDENT: The wonder of the world is what is most obvious and most mysterious at the same time: that one can see, hear, smell, taste, feel temperature and touch and the position of the body. The mystery to me, is not that it is the universe which experiences itself as a human body, that is quite obvious; the strange thing is how ANY EXPERIENCE, any kind of PERCEPTION is possible. The explanation to THIS I call factor X or noumenon.
The meaning of life in one sentence: The meaning of life is that afterwards it’s over.
The story which for me comes closest to this is from Spain and has its origin, alas, in the recent wave of fanatic terror. You remember the simultaneous train bombings which were supposed to occur all inside the central station in order to take it down? A man killed there, as so many, left wife and child. The woman couldn’t bear to tell her child that his father was dead. So she told the five-year-old that, as he certainly remembered was his father’s ability and habit, he had again done some magic: he had transfigured himself into one of the stars at the sky. She pointed out to her child into which one. The next evening, it was already dark when the mother came home from work, her child was standing at the window, holding a sheet of paper to the glass. What are you doing? the woman asked. Only then did she realize what he was doing, which was what he told her: I’m showing my new painting to dad!
PETER: Your story reminded me of an event that happened in my life –
As you can see they are similar events in that both relate to a parent’s reaction to a family member’s death – one was an acceptance and perpetuation in the belief in a life after death, the other was to not accept and not perpetuate the belief in a life after death because the experience of the finality of physical death made the imaginary nature of this belief clear.
This event proved pivotal in my life as it proved to be the beginning of the end of my spiritual search. Once I had pulled the plug on the belief in a life after death – the core belief that underpins all spiritual/ religious/ metaphysical belief – I was much more able to clearly look at the flaws and failures of the whole spiritual business. What I also realize, in hindsight, is that it was the beginning of my search for the meaning of life, not in some other-worldly non-physical realm or ‘noumenon’ but right here on earth in this life time.
As it turned out, it took me several more years before I was finally ready to completely give up the spiritual search … and then I serendipitously came across Richard who pointed me not only to the fact that the meaning of life was to be found in the physical world but his description of his ongoing experience twigged my own memory of having at least once experienced the intrinsic meaning of life to be found in what he terms the actual world (in order to distinguish it from the grim reality that feeling human beings invariably feel the physical world to be).
Just to round this off with a further comment. You said above –
As you may have gathered from my life experiences, it was only when I accepted the fact that there was no afterwards that I could focus my attention on seeking the meaning of life in the very physical world where we corporeal mortal earthlings live. The more I did so the more ridiculous it seemed that I should have ever been hooked into believing that the meaning of life should or could be anywhere else but here on earth and at any other time but this very moment of being alive.
PETER to No 75: ... I remember being struck by the inanity of this propensity to philosophize when contemplating my own mortality and I wrote about it in my journal at the time –
RESPONDENT: I presume you are aware that they refer to a metaphorical ‘death’ ?!
PETER: It may be an apt to time to post something else from my journal as it refers to an experience I had when death was closest – there being no more instinctually felt death than the death of one’s progeny – as it confirmed to me the utter finality of death –
RESPONDENT: What do you think about this statement of Jesus? ...’Come to take light!’
PETER: Exactly the same as I think about every other supposed statement that somebody called Jesus who was purportedly the son of God is reported to have said.
RESPONDENT: Here’s the 100 billion HumanityTM sponsored question: is that Light metaphysical or physical?
PETER: I have read that many people who have had near-death experiences report ‘seeing’ a light before losing consciousness, indeed I watched a TV documentary of volunteers who were placed in a centrifuge and were exposed to high ‘G’ force levels and most reported briefly seeing a light immediately before losing consciousness. It would seem from this that there is substantive evidence that the phenomenon of seeing a light (or ‘seeing the Light’) is caused by a withdrawal of blood from the brain as a prelude to losing consciousness in particular circumstances or (as a reasonable extrapolation) as a prelude to the irrevocable and total cessation of the functioning of the brain organ itself … and not, as many people believe, as a curtain raiser to the ‘main event’, the entry of one’s psyche or ‘being’ or spirit into some mythical after-death ethereal realm.
RESPONDENT: Well Peter, I was playing a bit with ‘contradictions’.
PETER: By ‘playing a bit with contradictions’ I take it that you mean that you took what I was talking about (the finality of death) and pretended that I was talking about ego-death in order to create the appearance of a contradiction despite the fact that I posted a second quote from my journal to again make it clear that I was talking about actual physical death and not a ‘metaphorical ‘death’’.
RESPONDENT: The point I was making was not to take a metaphorical expression and twist its intended meaning (take it literally), in this case life after the ego-death, so as to demonstrate your point about spiritual beliefs.
PETER: And yet I was not talking about a metaphorical expression at all – I was taking about a fact of life, in this case the fact that everybody dies. Nor did I twist the meaning of the word death, rather I made my meaning even clearer by posting yet another quote about the finality of physical death. Was it not you who did the twisting in order to concoct a contradiction in order to play with it?
RESPONDENT: What started from a misunderstanding (a false premise) is doomed to arrive at a false conclusion, even if the aforementioned conclusion is correct (aka factual) in another context. Fact: ‘death is the end’, spiritual belief: ‘when the ego dies, you live the real life’, your belief about the spiritual belief: ‘there’s life after physical death’, conclusion: ‘the spiritual belief is false’ because of the fact.
The spiritual belief is true, your belief about the spiritual belief is false. You use your false belief about a true belief to demonstrate a fact (that which is actual). But the fact renders both beliefs irrelevant and the fact itself needs no demonstration.
PETER: I’ll pass on getting involved in your philosophical argumentations about false beliefs and true beliefs as it is based upon a contradiction that is entirely your own concoction. The point of my original post was the tendency of people to indulge in philosophizing about death rather than acknowledge the fact of death … and lo and behold you prove my point by attempting to turn my down-to-earth report into a metaphorical philosophical debate.
I wonder why?
RESPONDENT: I quoted another statement from these texts ‘Come to take light!’ to see if this time you take it literally or metaphorically. Either way, you lose ... when taken literally is physical light and when taken metaphorically is metaphysical light (knowledge). But if you were to take it metaphorically, it would have meant that you apply a double standard, as and when it suits your purpose.
PETER: Either way I lose, hey?
RESPONDENT: My first thought, after reading some of the material, was that I had come to terms with my current spiritual beliefs ... fundamentally that I had none. Was I ever wrong ... first, after reading I think Peter’s journal, and Peter coming to the conclusion that after death there was nothing ... this was a shocker ... and continues to be one (and I thought I had come to terms with death). This one hit me hard ... because in all my ‘spiritual’ wanderings ... I thought I had accepted the finality of death ... finally. But I discovered that even my initial interest in Western and Eastern mysticism was fuelled by my hope ... that something followed ... that I would be able to continue in some way ... some fashion.
But I somehow, after reading other more enlightened material, thought I had come to terms with death being a kind of finish ... after all ... in these circles one needs to come to terms with this somehow. But, after reading Peter, I was shocked that this had the effect that it did. One question that comes up:
How does Richard or Vineeto or Peter know that death is the end. How do they actually know for sure? I’ve concluded that I have buried some of my beliefs about death: I still hope that something continues ... and hopefully me ... through ascension or reincarnation or what ever ... that, even if the odds are against it ... that I will be one of the lucky ones ... one of the chosen few.
PETER: When I wrote my journal it was obvious to me that I needed to address the subject of death in the very first chapter. This was so because unless anyone reading was willing to question and ultimately abandon their belief that there was life after death then they would have neither the interest nor the impetus to devote their life to the business of becoming actually happy and harmless, here on earth, in this lifetime – which is what the journal is about.
There are two aspects to the answer to your question ‘how do I know that death is the end?’ The first is the intellectual knowledge that death is the end of life for a human flesh and blood body as well as the end of the consciousness inherent to that flesh and blood body. The second is the experiential knowledge of that fact – either temporarily in a PCE or permanently when actually free of the human condition in toto.
As to the first, I have written in my journal about my son’s death and how this gave me an intellectual understanding that death is the end – I saw the dead body and it was obvious he was dead and it was equally obvious afterwards that ‘he’ had not gone anywhere else unless I imagined (as in, believed) he had. Upon reflection I had a similar experience at age 16 when my father died – I saw the dead body and knew ‘he’ had not gone anywhere else. That experience was a matter of fact at the time because I didn’t believe in the Christian Heaven at the time, but the matter of fact of my son’s death proved to be the start of extracting myself from my latterly adopted Eastern spiritual belief in an after-life and an ‘other-world’.
This questioning and ultimately abandoning my belief in an afterlife eventually led to me having an experiential understanding that the whole notion of an afterlife is nought but an impassioned culturally-impregnated ‘self’-preservation fantasy.
With regard to the facts of what happens after death, I recently watched a television documentary about a research facility in the U.S. where forensic scientists are documenting the after-death decomposition process of human bodies. I was fascinated by the documentary as it was about something new to my experience because both my father and son were cremated soon after death. Within the grounds of the research facility, recently dead bodies where laid out in the open so that the natural processes of decomposition could be studied.
The scientists noted four distinct stages of decomposition, the first being an initial stiffening, decolourisation and then a slackening of the body over a 2-3 day period. The next stage was the onset of blowflies, which laid eggs in the various orifices of the bodies. Each fly laid thousands of eggs and within 6 hours the eggs hatched into maggots, which then began to consume the flesh of the body. Simultaneously the naturally-occurring still-living bacteria within the body’s gut and lungs began consuming the dead cells of the gut and lung and in the process of doing so produced considerable quantities of biological gas, causing the corpse to bloat. This stage can be completed within 2 weeks in warm periods or tropical climates whilst in cold periods or cold climates the stage can last months.
The next stage, which lasts the longest, is the advanced stage of decomposition. The skin becomes leather-like and the remaining internal flesh is consumed either by external maggot and insect action or by internal bacterial action. This residual biological activity is exothermic and steam can be seen rising from the corpse on chilly mornings. The earth around the corpse is blackened by the remnant fatty acids leaching from the body.
The last stage is a total loss of bodily flesh with only the bone skeleton and the dry leathery like tissue of the skin remaining. And as we know from archaeological excavations, even the dry skin decomposes over time leaving only the bare bones of what was once a living flesh and blood human body.
These are the facts of what naturally happens after death, unless of course one believes that the corporeal body contains a parasitical soul or spirit, which survives the death of the body to live on in some meta-physical world – but that’s another story entirely.
GARY: I nearly perished in a sea of alcohol, anger, depression and sadness which, at the age of 34, made me see the complete untenability of my way of life – the only way of life that I had known up until then. I suppose extremely crude survival instincts kicked in and kicked me in the butt to do something to stop killing myself. Besides, the pain was unbearable. Presented on a silver platter, through the vehicle of AA, spiritual ideals seemed the only way out of the morass that I was in – in fact, at the time, it was the only thing on offer. I went from the personal madness and delusion of the alcoholically insane to the institutionalized madness of religious and spiritual belief. Even after becoming involved with a religious pacificist group I still had my reservations about living in peace and harmony with other human beings. I remember thinking that I could never be a pacifist because I could not vow not to kill another human being. I would kill if I had to. It seemed insane to allow someone to have their way with me or those near to me, without lifting a finger to do anything to stop it.
Over a long period of time, the ridiculousness of living one’s life according to an ideal has hit home. I chuckle to myself during this holiday season when so many wishes and hopes are offered for peace in our world. Wishes and hopes are about as worn-out as all the other useless ideals that humanity has dreamed up. Only the most determined efforts to rid oneself of malice and sorrow are up to snuff. Ideals are a waste of time.
One can wish and hope until the cows come home for peace and harmony, pray, sing, troop around singing Xmas carols, but all these collective, feel-good activities pale in comparison with getting down to brass tacks and doing something about it. You are really on your own in doing this work- that doesn’t mean that talking to others, like on this list, is not helpful or advisable, but when it comes right down to it, nobody can do it for you, you have to do it for yourself. If you pay heed to what most other people are doing, you might as well forget it, because most people are running off in the wrong direction.
PETER: Your post clearly points out an essential prerequisite for anyone to be interested in becoming an actualist – a thorough disillusionment with both real-world materialism and other-worldly spiritualism. This disillusionment has to be more than intellectual – it has to be firmly rooted in life experience. It is not enough to think that materialism and spiritualism fail to bring happiness and contentment, one has to experience for oneself that the tried and true values and dreams of humanity have all been well and truly tried and that all have well and truly failed.
The early stages of an actualist’s investigations into the human condition are marked by a curiosity as to exactly why the tried and true values and dreams of humanity fail, and this stage can be quite dramatic because what one is also doing is questioning all of one’s own values and dreams. By being more and more aware of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ one starts to see clearly that people in the real world are too involved in their own ‘self’-centred battle for survival to savour the delights of being here, doing nothing in particular. It also becomes apparent that the spiritually inclined have totally abandoned all thoughts of being here and have opted to withdraw ‘inside’ in to a fantasy world of their own creation.
As this investigation proceeds there comes a stage when it becomes so obvious that everyone has got it wrong, and always has got it wrong, that one begins to lose interest in, and emotional contact with, where one has come from and starts to more and more wonder and delight at the perfect peacefulness and peerless purity of this paradisiacal planet we humans live on. The habitual feelings of malice and sorrow together with their panaceas, love and compassion, eventually loose their tenacious grip in the face of a fascinated awareness of being here. As one’s awareness of this awareness becomes increasingly ‘self’-less, there is less experience of ‘me’ being aware, and more and more a bare and pure sensuous discernment of the universe happening at this very moment.
In hindsight, this stage represents a point of no return on the path to freedom as the emotional ties that bind you to humanity – the feelings of malice and sorrow together with their antidotal feelings of love and compassion – are so weakened as to be ineffectual. I once experienced these ties as long tentacles stretching way into the distance behind me – tentacles that stopped me from being free. I also realized that if these tentacles were broken then ‘I’ would be no more. And not only would ‘I’ cease to exist – but even more shocking – nobody would miss ‘me’.
Nobody would grieve ‘my’ passing, for no one really can know ‘me’ because ‘I’ am non-physical and non-substantive. They may think and feel they know ‘me’, as ‘I’ think and feel ‘I’ know other ‘me’s’, but because ‘I’ have no substance in actuality, then it would be impossible for others to even notice ‘my’ demise. If these emotional ties or tentacles were to be broken, ‘my’ final demise would be a very private and solitary experience – followed by oblivion.
What became apparent from this experience was that if these tentacles no longer existed I, this flesh and blood body, would be irrevocably alone in the world. While a feeling of fear arose, there was also an acknowledgement of the fact that I have always been alone in the world in terms of being autonomous and free. Because of my numerous pure consciousness experiences combined with a substantial period of living virtually ‘self’-less, I knew that after ‘my’ demise what I am, this flesh and blood body, would continue on doing what I have always done ... get up in the morning, have breakfast, do whatever I do in the day, and go to bed at night.
Since this experience these tentacles have become even weaker, as is evidenced by an almost total disappearance of the normal emotional ties that bind ‘me’ to the other ‘me’s’ and the lack of any emotional memories that give substance to a ‘me’ having a past or a future.
But the experience did remind me of the fact that ‘I’ have to die, as in experience death, if these bonds are to be completely broken ... and that these bonds have to be completely broken if ‘I’ am to die.
PETER: Boy, isn’t this business the most thrilling, most amazing thing to be doing with one’s life. The only game to play in town, as I have call it. Says he with not a skerrick of humility nor pride, those twin shackles of Humanity.
You wrote a bit to No 4 that intrigued me –
ALAN: Your understanding that ‘I’ am not a fact was something I commented on ‘getting’ in my last post. Like you, I agreed and ‘understood’ that ‘I’ am not a fact – ‘I’ am a belief – and ‘I’ fervently believe in ‘myself’. But, getting this fact is a bit like going straight for the 64,000 dollar question – maybe you have some ‘easier’ beliefs you could work on first? Not that I would wish to dissuade anyone from jumping straight in – the ‘boots and all’ approach, as Richard calls it. It is just that, from my recent experience, this is such a whammer, so earth shattering a realisation, that it is probably the equivalent of a novice climber deciding his first climb is to be Mount Everest!
PETER: I like what you wrote. This impassioned version of the death of ‘me’ always had the ring of the spiritual to me and as such I have been always been a bit suss of it. This is not to deny the fact that a psychic and psychological death is a factual necessity for Actual Freedom. This fact is made glaringly obvious and apparent in the PCE – where the absence of self-ish or self-centred thoughts or feelings and any sense of being is evidenced. What I am talking about is the degree of passion and emotion associated with the event – the more the psychological and psychic fear the more the risk of getting on a sort of emotional swing whereby one swings from dread into awe. Where one makes an instinctual grab for Glory as a reward for suffering, or to overcome the dread. The other way is that one could make an impassioned sacrifice for the Good of the Whole and as such one would want reward and recognition for one’s sacrifice – the good old delusion of Enlightenment again.
PETER to Alan: Just a note, a bit of musing. I’ve always been a bit sceptical of the experiences of ego death that have been described to date as we know that an Altered State of Consciousness was the inevitable result – even in Richard’s case in 1981. It was some 11 years before he experienced the second-stage – a soul-death, if you like. In all cases to date the experience of psychological death have been passionate experiences of Love, Divinity, Timelessness, Unity, Oneness and Bliss.
What we are aiming for is neither passionate calenture leading to awe, Eternal Union and Heaven, nor psychological despair leading to dread, Eternal Oblivion and Hell. The aim of psychological and psychic death is to come to the actual – here and now. As such, the experience of this death of me will be, or should I say, I assume will be, a sensate experience – physically orgasmic in nature, exactly as physical death will be as the senses close down. The connection between sex and death is very strong and many of my PCEs have resulted from the very physical sex act and the resulting orgasmic experiences bringing me right here to the actual world of the senses.
‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is dangerously effective in relentlessly bringing one to one’s senses as both the cerebral and affective perceptions – ‘my’ perceptions as a social identity and instinctual being – fade into insignificance. Not only do they fade but they are experienced in everyday life of virtual freedom as illusionary, i.e. experienced not intellectually dismissed as in the spiritual deceit of ‘I am already perfect, all I have to do is realise it!’. My answer to these people is – ‘do you, in your imagined perfection, live in peace and harmony with another person?’ ‘Do you get sad, melancholic, peeved, irritated, upset, bored, etc.?’
One is constantly confronted with the experiential fact that the actual is far more extraordinary and magical than anything felt in feelings or imagined in thought – it is, after all, actual and all happening this very moment. This very actual-ness – as in experienced by the senses i.e. physical, and not merely passive, as in happening this very moment – will be the death of ‘me’.
And the death of ‘me’ will be a sensate experience accompanied by the last of the cerebral and affective ‘flame-outs’.
Well, since starting this mail I have had an interesting experience of feeling devastated at being a total failure after another experience of standing on the ‘edge’ of the death of ‘me’ and ‘it’ not happening – yet again. It was as though I became ‘me’ again totally and gathered all ‘my’ passionate energy together for an assault on the mountain. Upon reflection it is as though I was trying to evince a passionate end of ‘me’ – feeling ‘my’ way to freedom. Experience has shown that I cannot think my way to freedom, nor feel my way to freedom but I guess I was testing out what I have written above. What is obvious from the experiment is that while sex is a door to being here – i.e. it is a wonderful way to induce a PCE – it is not by itself a door to freedom from the Human Condition.
The whole exercise has served to reinforce my experience that the door to freedom is in the doing of it – is in the living of a virtual freedom to maximum possible – a continual lifting of the bar. To imagine either cerebrally or by feeling a ‘death of me’ is not the way, as I see it – the imagining requires a looking backward, a certain put-up job, a rehearsal if you like. Not that the experience in itself is not valuable – it is certainly most interesting as to what is still possible to ‘conjure up’, but it can ruin your day a bit. It’s such a weird thing to do by both normal and spiritual world standards but, as I drop back to my normal standard of Virtual Freedom, it leaves no ‘scars’, has no emotional memories and the only evidence is a bit of physical strain in the body from the emotional excesses – not to mention the sexual excesses.
Ah, what weird stuff that goes on in the head and the heart on this journey of ours. Still, that is where the weird stuff is, so it has to play out its game.
PETER: Well, things are hotting up over there in all departments by the sound of it.
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.
To finally realise that there is no solution to the Human Condition other than its eventual extinction and the superseding by a new species – actually freed from instinctually-sourced emotions and feelings.
PETER to Alan: Just a little note to let you know how it is for me as I face extinction – as it becomes inevitably and inexorably imminent. It becomes increasingly difficult to hold ‘myself’ together – almost as though I could float off the planet, which is what the Enlightened ones do. There is so much sensate, sensual pleasure that it is disorientating – it is, after all, this very sensual pleasure that lifts ‘me’ off, while it is the surety and experience gleaned from PCEs that keeps my feet on the ground. I know, from the PCE, that what is sensate, palpable, tangible, tactile, corporeal, physical and material is actual. ‘My’ standing in the way and trying to ‘keep the lid on’, is the only thing that has to cease now – all else has been done. It has got to the point that it is impossible to distinguish between ‘me’ doing this and it happening to me – all attempts at control and understanding are falling away – and the ride is wild and thrilling. The brakes don’t work – and the wheels are falling off. As we put the schematic together I realized I stood literally on the brink where the arrow emerges from the Human Condition into Actual Freedom. I can look back at the Human Condition and the old Peter and see I have no ‘hooks’ or connection with the past – but also there is nothing ahead for ‘me’, no future for ‘me’ in the actual world.
‘I’ am but a program of the social and neuro-biological imprint that is the substance of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow – ‘just another brick in the wall’ as P.F. put it. The very best ‘I’ could do was clean myself up 99.9%, and live a life of pleasure, delight and carefree-ness that was beyond ‘normal’ human expectations – but ‘I’ still remain, at core, an instinctual human animal. I can locate this instinctual passionate ‘me’ in the heart area and the controlling ‘me’ in the head – untroubling to me in daily life, but ever-lurking, ready to pounce ‘when push comes to shove.’ 99.9% ain’t the full Monty!
It is also blindingly obvious from a solid experiential understanding over a period of some 18 months of Virtual Freedom that ‘I’ stand in the way of the perfection and purity of the actual universe becoming apparent as a new species – and for this to eventuate requires ‘my’ willing extinction.
Then comes the realization that ‘I’ am going to do this, that extinction is the next and only thing on the menu. In writing my journal I painted myself into a corner but managed to leave a comfortable niche to play around in for a while – now it is as if I have painted myself even further to the point of precariously balancing on tip-toes and trying not to fall over. And yet falling over is inevitable – for ‘I’ can no longer hang it together, so nebulous and insubstantial have ‘I’ become. ‘My’ time has come.
PETER to Alan: As an ongoing experience one moves into a state of Virtual Freedom whereby one goes to sleep at night time knowing one has had a perfect day and that tomorrow will also be a perfect day. This perfection is not the perfection of Actual Freedom but a 99.9% perfection and the hic-ups or stumbles are so minor and brief, that they fail to daunt one on the journey. Serendipity abounds and a fascination with life activates delight and sensuousness as one does all one can to mimic the perfection and purity that becomes increasingly apparent all around in the physical world. One’s mind, more and more freed of imagination and the chemical influence of instinctual passions, is capable of great clarity, and as apperceptive awareness replaces self-centred neurosis one knows one’s days are numbered. By this total and sincere dedication to what is actual, pure and perfect, one abandons control, so to speak, whereby the very process of self-immolation is set in motion – then it is not a process that one has any control over, it is happening by itself.
The ending of ‘me’, when seen dispassionately, is the amygdala doing its survival thing – one encounters surges of chemicals from an obsolete program playing out its death throes – fighting for its very survival as it is programmed to do. This last stages of the ending of ‘me’ is both a psychic and psychological affair, thus accompanying the chemical rushes (fear) one also experiences the psychological equivalent (angst), but one is committed by now – there is no ‘back door’, no turning back, no phoenix to rise from the ashes. ‘My’ end is nigh.
PETER to Alan: Thought I’d drop you a line on your holidays. I don’t expect an answer; I’m just looking for an excuse to write. I simply want to record what is going on for me at the moment for two reasons. One is to keep writing and recording what is going on for myself – writing being a way of making sense of things that are happening and of pushing myself on – and the other is wanting to communicate my experience on the basis that it will be useful to others who wish to pursue Actual Freedom.
Since writing my last post – to Richard on ‘self and belonging’ – I have been having almost constant physical symptoms of headaches, neck aches, chest pains and kidney pains. These are not of ‘my’ doing in the sense that they are the result of any particular thoughts or in response to any particular situation. They have become a continuous background occurrence, not intolerable and not preventing me from working or functioning sensibly or enjoying sensately. But it is most uncomfortable, weird, pervasive, ever-present and unavoidable. There is no way out, no way back, no way of suppressing it or stopping it, even if I wanted to. This process is happening by itself and will be the death of ‘me’. I have indeed well and truly painted, and written, myself into a corner.
I can describe the process as the death throes of ‘me’, and a chemical death throe at that, but there is no doubt that, as this builds, the end of ‘me’ will be a weird and passionate affair. I have used the word dispassionate in my writing lately and thought I needed to clarify its use. The human mind, as I have discovered on this journey into my psyche, has the ability to investigate, explore and unravel its own workings. This ability is what the word apperception means – the mind becoming aware of itself.
Or as Richard-the-wordsmith says –
It is this apperceptive awareness that enables the brain to be aware of the process that is happening in the brain. In the early stages of developing apperception one is able to discern the difference between thoughts and feelings, and as one proceeds to see the influence of morals and ethics, to distinguish between belief and fact, to determine what is silly and what is sensible. As one dares to dig a little deeper one encounters the emotions that underlie the surface feelings and then one can dig deeper still to explore the instinctual passions. When one can finally investigate and explore the instinctual passions in operation dispassionately – i.e. being able to see them in operation without being affected by them – one is clearly able to see and experience them as an unnecessary and unwarranted intrusion.
To get to this stage involves a deliberate and persistent process of removing the impediments to this apperceptive awareness becoming possible. Then periods of pure consciousness are possible, as in the pure consciousness experience, and this is a potential for anyone willing to remove the impediments of a social identity and the passions of one’s instincts. As such, during this process of elimination, one has many dispassionate glimpses whereupon one’s sensate perception and awareness is free of the influence of instinctual passions – hence my use of the word ‘dispassionate’. After these glimpses, one returns to ‘normal’ and becomes again these passions, morals, ethics, beliefs, etc. and incapable of dispassionate thought – and this is where sincere intent comes in. One can then use those passions for one’s own sincere intent – towards actualizing the ending of ‘me’.
So now I find myself gaily losing my grip on reality – abandoning the glum real world-view that I had been instilled with since birth and entering into the pure, perfect and delightful actual world, the world as I experienced it in my pure consciousness experience, all those years ago. I do so not as an escape into another world but entering into the world-as-it-is stripped of both the bad and the good, the right and the wrong that has been taught to me and stripped of the influence of my instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. The last time I abandoned the ‘real’ world was when I was on the spiritual path and I ended up glimpsing the phantasmagorical world of Divine Love and turned away, somehow sensing the falseness of it – I knew that I was merely ‘escaping’ from the world as it is, and particularly from people as they are. <snip>
This time, as I again abandon the real world, I do so with impunity – with the utter confidence that my destiny is the actual physical world of purity and perfection, not the imaginary substitute I experienced before. The recent experiences of being able to glimpse the instinctual ‘me’ at my core and experiencing the survival instincts as nothing other than a chemical producing redundant program in my brain has literally been the last straw in the ending of ‘me’. It’s been a fascinating journey into my own psyche to investigate ‘who’ I am – to discover all the morals, ethics and values that is ‘me’ the social identity – all the gender conditioning, all the tribal or national conditioning, all the religious conditioning – both Western and then Eastern. And then to dig deeper to discover the instinctual passions that lay beneath one’s social conditioning – to be able to dispassionately investigate what people consider to be hellish realms of fear, dread, anger, hatred as well as blind nurture and desire.
PETER to Richard: What was obvious at the time was that it is the physical universe that is always present, eternal, infinite, pure and perfect – exquisitely and pristinely so. And that I, this flesh and blood body, is the intelligent bit that goes ‘Wow! – how extraordinary’. And I am the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human being.
It is for this that I would willingly sacrifice my grubby ‘self’ for – no matter how ‘cleaned up’, no matter how good Virtual Freedom is, there is no comparison. For this ‘I’ will depart the scene and nothing else. This is what Enlightenment merely mimics, as a feeling, but with such appalling consequences of narcissism and Self-aggrandizement. The Enlightened Ones had and have feet of clay – to claim to ‘Be the Universe itself’ is an insanity on a incredulous scale and makes clear that whole business of God and God-men is nothing more than institutionalized insanity.
It is only with a sincere intent and a firm down-to-earth experience of Virtual Freedom – a period of coming to one’s senses both literally and figuratively – that it is possible to avoid the seduction and instinctual pull towards self-aggrandizement that Enlightenment offers. I would suspect that those who have stood at the door marked Enlightenment would gladly sacrifice their ‘normal’ mortal identity for the Glamour, Glory and Glitz of feeling like God. Similarly, as I experienced the infinitude, purity and perfection of the physical universe happening – the Actual World – ‘I’ gladly and willingly self-immolate for that perfection and purity to be evident as me, this flesh and blood body. I firmly experienced it as my destiny – an actual freedom from the Human Condition.
RESPONDENT: Now, how did the PCE reveal anything about the origin, composition, extent, or duration of the actual universe?
PETER: As I said above, in a PCE it is clearly experienced that there is nothing at all mystical, nor spiritual about this actual world we live in and this direct sensual experience of actuality is all the more magical because it is devoid of the fears and fantasies of mysticism.
RESPONDENT: Sure, but that doesn’t answer the question as I intended it. I’ve been thinking a lot about Richard’s answers to my questions re cosmogony & cosmology, trying to make sense of it all. I wanted to know how the extent and duration of the actual universe can be directly experienced. The closest I can come to figuring out is simply that the mental constructs that sustain concepts of finiteness and temporality just drop away, revealing themselves to be figments of the imagination. Is that in line with what you’re saying?
PETER: I don’t know whether or not you have read my journal, but if you have you will notice that nowhere do I mention that what I wrote about was all spontaneously revealed to me in a PCE and nor do I say ‘this is what Richard has revealed to me’.
What I wrote about, and quite passionately wrote about, was the nitty-gritty process of how I became virtually free of the human condition (including the belief, be it religious, spiritual, mystical, cosmological or whatever else, that the universe had a beginning). In other words, what I wrote about was how a normal bloke with a full set of beliefs, feelings and passions came to understand, both intellectually and experientially, how the human condition operates such that I could get to the stage of being virtually free of the human condition. And as near as I can remember it, this is how ‘I’, as a normal person, applied my thinking to the matter at hand.
Regardless of what I remembered having experienced in a PCE, as normal bloke (being ‘me’) I found myself confronted by two diametrically opposite propositions – whether the universe is infinite and eternal or whether it is an ephemeral and transient construction.
Faced with this either/or choice, what I found I had to do was apply some practical common sense thinking in order to think it through so as to come to a conclusion one way or another. This meant making an evaluation of each of the alternatives based on my own common sense and my own life experiences as well as taking note of the experience of others. The next thing I needed to take into account were the consequences that would result in deciding one way or the other.
As you know, my experience of the failures of the spiritual beliefs that proposed that the physical universe is ephemeral in nature was that both the Western version and the Eastern version are but fairy tales. When I looked into cosmology I came to understand it is, as it says it is, the branch of science devoted to studying the ‘evolution’ of the universe. As birth and death is essential to the evolutionary process it became clear to me that cosmology is the branch of science devoted to the study of the birth and death of the universe. When I took this on board and did a bit of reading about the fields of research of cosmology it became aware that cosmology was a metaphysical science and not an empirical science.
As I dug into the history of cosmology a bit, I came to understand that cosmology has its roots in ancient spiritual beliefs and that it was a branch of science dedicated to finding proofs that would in turn substantiate one crucial aspect of spiritual belief – the belief that matter is ephemeral. Cosmological theories, as distinct from the rigorously-empirical and applied sciences, that propose that matter is ephemeral serve to ‘leave the door open’ to the core of spiritual belief – that matter is ephemeral and only consciousness is substantial and enduring – or in religious belief, that the universe is in fact an ephemeral creation.
When I came to understand this, the consequences of continuing to believe that the universe is ephemeral meant that I would continue to believe ‘I’ was, in truth, a substantial and enduring ‘being’ – that the spiritualists are right and this meant, for me, meant either staying on the spiritual path or, if I remained open to them being right, to stop searching and settle for being agnostic.
On the other hand, for me to consider that the universe was indeed infinite and eternal, i.e. it had no beginning to it, meant that the matter that is this universe is substantive and lasting and that consciousness arose out of this matter. Thinking this through meant that the consciousness of this material body only exists as long as this body is alive – physical death is the end of ‘me’ as consciousness – there is no after-life for ‘me’, as consciousness, after this material body dies. Death is the end – kaput, finito, no more, oblivion, finish. An infinite and eternal universe clearly has drastic consequences for ‘me’..
Firstly it meant that if I considered that the universe was indeed infinite and eternal I would be at odds with everyone else who believed in creationist theories, spiritual realms, supernatural forces or cosmological theories – including those agnostics who remained open to any such beliefs. But even more drastic than that, in an infinite and eternal material universe ‘I’, as the consciousness of this corporeal mortal body, have only one life to live and this made me realize this is the only moment, the only place and the only circumstances that I can actually experience being alive. This sudden in-my-face realization meant that I could no longer procrastinate, no longer equivocate, no longer postpone, no longer avoid the fact that I was not yet fully alive.
So I summarized my choice as either ‘more of the same’ – the spiritual path which I had already discovered to be shonky and more of not feeling fully alive – or embark on course of action that meant radical change. ‘More of the same’ was not an option for me so I took the option of radical and irrevocable change, which as you know, meant focussing my total attentiveness on being here in the world of the senses with the sole aim of becoming both happy and harmless. And what followed as a consequence of this decision was a progressive waning of all spiritual, mystical, metaphysical and supernatural beliefs, which in turn opened the door to many PCEs whereby I had direct experiences of the infinitude of the universe.
I wanted to lay out my thinking about this issue as thus far most discussions on this list regarding this matter seem to concentrate on the details of the either/or case rather than consider the broader issues and over-arching consequences. If I can summarize, it is a way of thinking that allowed me to get to the intellectual and existential core of the issue as quickly as possible, rather than get bogged down in details and sidetracks.
RESPONDENT: To me, it seems that still there is something that could be called ‘immortality’ in a certain sense of this word.
PETER: Well, the Oxford dictionary defines immortality as 1 Endless life or existence; exemption from death; perpetuity. 2 Enduring fame or remembrance.
When I went to school I was taught that there are three elements of the physical universe – animal, vegetable and mineral. It was common before the NDA to give the term life to the carbon based life forms, i.e. animal and vegetable and to reserve the term mortal for something which has a definite life span, i.e. animal or vegetable. This life span for the human animal was some 40 years at the turn of the century and has now, largely due to modern alternative medicine replacing ancient traditional medicine, been stretched to some 75 years in affluent western societies. Modern genetic research has confirmed what our eyes have told us – that the collection of cells that constitute the human body collectively have an inbuilt, pre-programmed mortality. This limited life-span has been known to stretch to a bit more than 100 years in a few rare cases but then death comes. This fact of mortality is clearly obvious once one passes the age of about 40 years as the effects of the ageing and non-renewal of cells becomes clearly and undeniably evident.
So, as far as you and I are concerned, being human animals, mortality is a fact and immortality is a dream.
RESPONDENT: But this is not immortality of a person, an ego or a spirit. I have been born and will die. As you called it, we are the material universe experiencing itself as human beings.
PETER: A minor correction here, if I can. So far as we know, Richard is the only human being living on the planet who does not have an instinctually programmed and psychologically reinforced self. Everybody else, you, me, and about 6 billion others, all think and feel themselves to be something other than a flesh and blood human being, and a few human beings believe themselves to be a God and therefore immortal, i.e. something other than a flesh and blood human being. Many people have had glimpses of being a flesh and blood human being only, sans self, in a PCE and a handful have taken Richard’s lead and are attempting to emulate his condition of living continuously and permanently in this state. In the meantime, 6 billion humans fight it out in a grim battle for survival in a grim world – this state of fear and aggression, manifest as malice and sorrow, is commonly known as the Human Condition.
RESPONDENT: When I am dead there will be no time whatsoever because there will be no consciousness of ‘not being here’.
PETER: When you are dead, your sense of ‘being here’ will cease, as a direct result of you not being here – as in dead, finished, deceased, passed away, expired, extinct, stuffed, finito, kaput, no more alive. But time will go on, exactly as it does when your consciousness of ‘being here’ ceases during deep sleep every night. Given this discussion seems to be focussing on what happens before and after No 7, a bit on time from the Glossary might help focus on No 7, as you are now, here on earth, right now.
– A finite extent of continued existence; eg. the interval between two events, or the period during which an action or state continues; a period referred to in some way. Time when: a point in time; a space of time treated without ref. to duration.
Peter: Time can be conveniently be regarded in the three tenses: past, future and present.
Past time is recalled by us as memories or thoughts and as such is both a cognitive re-call and an emotional re-call. Not only was our perception of the place, people or event coloured at the time but our recall is coloured and somewhat shaky. Current investigations suggest that in fact we only recall the last time we recalled something rather than re-calling the original memory.
There is good scientific evidence that memories of traumatic or fearful events are not only stored as conscious memories in the neo-cortex, but are also stored in the amygdala as ‘unconscious’ or non-cognitive memories. These memories stored in the amygdala or primitive brain give substance to ‘me’ and give substance to ‘my’ life of suffering and ‘my’ pains and hurts from the past. To dip into this treasure trove of suffering can be a bittersweet occupation.
Future time is conceived by us as imagination and as such is emotionally coloured. Given our over-riding instinct of fear, most of the future we see in fear ridden terms. This fear of the future is given credence by the bountiful store of emotional memories of past hurts and fears located in the amygdala. Hence the general future scenarios of gloom and doom, apocalypse and annihilation. To balance this we invent a ‘good’ – and always in the future – scenario of salvation, redemption and a blissfully happy afterlife, which we pray, trust and hope will eventuate.
Present time is the closest to now , this very moment and is generally regarded as now. The problem for the human perception of now is that there are so many things going on in the brain and the body that the clear and direct sensate experience of experiencing this moment of being alive is impossible. The emotional affective faculties are on constant overload, with emotional memories of the past and imaginations of the future constantly crowding in. Added to that is the automatic neuro-biological operation of the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire experienced as overwhelming passions due to the pumping of potent chemicals into the body and brain. One is usually ‘sensing’ or ‘feeling out’ this moment fearfully and aggressively such that the actual direct sensate experience of this moment of being alive is impossible.
But all is not lost. With sincere intent and diligent application one can eliminate this constant neurosis and associated feelings, passions and emotions such that one becomes both happy and harmless. Thus freed of malice and sorrow it is then possible to directly, intimately and fully experience this moment in time. And the trick to getting here, now at this moment in time and this place in space is enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive. To facilitate this you ask yourself, as an ongoing non-verbal attitude, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This moment in time is, after all, the only moment one can experience anyway, and if you are not happy now you are missing yet another moment ... and another … and another … The Actual Freedom Trust Library
What I found when I came across actualism, was that I was more interested in what happened before I was here and what was going to happen after I was gone – a fascination born of years in the spiritual world with its concept of eternal time and my eternal being.
A bit from my journal about my realizations concerning the utter futility of spiritual philosophy may be useful –
So, I do understand your difficulties on focusing your attention on No 7, here, now and not go searching for the ‘Here and Now’. It is exceedingly difficult to turn one’s brain around, so to speak. The programming is so set, so set in one direction, so used to viewing and experiencing the world in the usual duality of either normal or spiritual that anything else seems inconceivable. It took me months and months of effort, not only of reading but contemplating and investigating the facts for myself.
RESPONDENT: So, the only time ‘I am alive’ is whenever a body is being alive, the body which produces the sensation of being.
So life is immortal because ‘I’ can exist only whenever a body exists, and one ‘I’ is not significantly different from another ‘I’.
PETER: It seems to me that your ‘life is immortal’ idea should be written as ‘Life is Immortal’, which is a common spiritual / religious belief. An actualist takes ‘life’ to be what it means factually. At present it is the 30th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, the first of a series of seven expeditions to the barren, life-less surface of the moon. So boring a desert, in fact, that by the sixth mission the astronauts were reduced to hitting golf balls to see how far they went and doing wheelies in a dune buggy they had taken with them. By the time a geologist went on the seventh mission he was able to confirm what was already known – there is no life on the moon. No carbon-based life forms of any description were evident.
It inevitably proved to be the last mission, but the images of the earth taken from space helped fire a passionate ‘save the earth’ program, as it was realized that there was no evidence, and bugger-all possibility, of life anywhere else in the universe. Human beings, being as perverse as they are, then proceeded to be concerned with ‘saving’ wild animals – the rarer, wilder and more bizarre the better – rather than ‘saving’ the human species. But that’s another story.
Just as there is no evidence of intelligence anywhere else in the universe there is no evidence, whatsoever, of life anywhere else in the universe. Some sixteen SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) programs are currently in operation in a search that began over 50 years ago. The current range of their search extends out some 50,000,000 light years from earth and still no messages received.
Meanwhile carbon-based life, on earth, is most definitely mortal, not immortal. Modern medicine, increased hygiene and better living conditions have stretched human life expectancy to some 74 years, particularly in countries that no longer rely on ‘traditional’ ancient healing such as divination, exorcism, ‘energy’ release, blood-letting, herbal infusions, prayer, etc. There is ever-mounting scientific evidence that humans are indeed mortal, that carbon-based cell decay is inevitable – but then again, a tippee toe through the local cemetery would readily confirm that fact anyway.
Life, Existence, Intelligence, Essence, Energy, etc., all are concepts that point to a belief in an over-arching ethereal force that lies behind, outside of, overlaid over, prior to, other than, or separate from, the physical universe. All are spiritual concepts, as in ...
The spiritual world is all pervasive, it could be described as programmed into one’s very cells, for the spirit, or soul, is nothing other than one’s primitive self. Nothing less than a mutation will free one from one’s soul, its instinctual program and the spiritual world. And what good news that is – there is nobody, or no-thing in charge, so there is nobody to blame nor anybody to bow down to. You can stand on your own two feet and get on with the business of sorting things out – cleaning your-‘self’ up ... to the point of disappearing.
As for ‘one ‘I’ is not significantly different from another ‘I’’, you have hit the very problem on the head. All 6 billion humans are ensnared within the Human Condition – fated to be programmed to be animal, and fettered by Humanity to remain so, for the term of one’s mortal life.
Richard is just saying – ‘pssst... don’t just believe what everyone else is saying or you will never be free... there is a way to become actually free.’
And I’m just saying – ‘the way out works.’
RESPONDENT: Vivian, Mabel, Winnifred and Florian, among others, have reported a different reality than the one you espouse about being soulless.
PETER: Never heard of these people or their reports. I am interested in anyone who has described their experiences. Can you give me some references as to where I can read of them?
RESPONDENT: These are women who have described to the writer, their existence after dying; between days and years following the event.
PETER: The writer 2 is confused again. Does the writer 1 mean that the writer 1 is channelling these women after physical death or is the writer 1 referring to their spiritual death as in Enlightenment?
RESPONDENT: Neither. It refers to their visual and audible manifestation.
PETER: Do you mean that you their ‘hear’ voices in your head and you ‘see’ them in your imagination? If, on the other hand, you have videos, photos or tape recordings you should let the scientific community know as they have been searching for almost a century trying to find actual authentic evidence of life after death.
PETER: You should let the scientific community know as they have been searching for almost a century trying to find actual authentic evidence of life after death.
RESPONDENT: The scientific community has been involved with much more than this. Very little of their efforts have gone towards trying to find actual authentic evidence of life after death.
PETER: Yes, enormous sums of money and countless hours are being spent on the search for the beginning of time, the edge of the universe, parallel universes, black holes, space-time continuums, bent time, cyclic time, time reversing universes, etc. – all with the desperate hope of finding ‘something other’ than this actual physical universe. They seem to have left communicating with the dead to the more psychically inclined.
PETER: Hi everybody,
Well, as the subject said I’m sitting back and taking stock of things. It has been a couple of weeks now, of what often seems an endless list of objections to what I am saying.
I mused back to the time I first came across Richard and tried to remember what my reactions were at the time. I am looking for some yardstick in order to compare and maybe offer some words to anyone who is interested. When I first met Richard I was full on in the Spiritual world looking for freedom from the ‘shackles’ I felt that stopped me living fully. I naturally assumed that what he was talking about was spiritual in nature and as I had a chance to talk to him personally of his experiences of Enlightenment, I leapt at the chance.
Then the shit began to hit the fan as I realised he was not talking of Enlightenment but of something far more radical – the total annihilation of the ‘self’. I remember at one stage it dawned on me what I was in for – the end of ‘me’. I thought, what happens if this thing works? The end of ‘me’! But I had vowed to find a way to free myself of the ‘shackles’, I had determined some 10 years previously to find the ‘meaning of life’ as I stood by the coffin of my 13 year old son. So the offer to become happy and harmless was too good to pass up whatever the cost. And I had decided that the whole spiritual game and spiritual world was increasingly weird. But it took a good deal of bloody-mindedness and intent to get out of the meta-physical world and to even consider that there was an actual world, a world outside of imagination.
RESPONDENT: Andrew Cohen has always stressed that the search for liberation is not for our own sake but for the sake of mankind.
PETER: Yes, he stresses the ending of a personal self – as in ego-death – in order to realize an impersonal self – as in Enlightenment. This act of surrender to a higher power or Greater Good then leaves the newly liberated being indebted to this higher power and driven to be yet another Saviour of mankind and to spread the message of the Greater Good, Love, Truth, God, or whatever other name is used. It’s the same old message that has seduced humanity for millennia despite the valiant efforts of many to break free from these passionate fairy tales of good spirits vs. evil spirits and Gods vs. Devils.
RESPONDENT: I mean, if we can change in a fundamental way inwardly and manifest that on earth then there’s a chance for peace on earth. As I wrote before; Andrew stresses VERY much the importance of focusing on THIS life and not waste time on speculations of the afterlife.
He usually says: I’ll write you a postcard’. He doesn’t pretend to know what’s happening after physical death even if he probably finds the idea of reincarnation very plausible.
PETER: This is obviously a man who is keeping his options open, which means he won’t dare acknowledge that physical death is the end, finito, kaput, finished, no more. Surely this is one of the most fundamental questions that demands an answer, or at the very least a position taken, otherwise one’s search for freedom, peace and happiness will be seduced into the traditional search for an inner peace or a peace after death. By continuing this very belief in a life after death or cunningly refusing to address the issue – as in taking a position – the status quo of spiritual/ religious belief remains unquestioned and one could never ever contemplate the death of both ego and soul.
I hardly see anything radical at all in taking this position and I fail to see how this current ‘manifestation’ of God’s messenger can be anything other than the all the rest – a seeker of freedom, peace and happiness who had feet of clay when the crunch came and turned to traditional old-time religion.
RESPONDENT: All anyone has said, here and elsewhere, is that there is more to IT than the 70 or 80 years that most live on this planet ... if one ‘suspects’ this may be so, they will find a way to answer that question, by whatever means they find necessary. May Love, Light, and Peace be with them as they return to Full Consciousness and Joy.
PETER: The questions I ran with were – ‘What if this is it, this 70 or 80 years? What if there isn’t life after death? What if everyone has really got it 180 degrees wrong ... everyone?’ ‘What if I was putting my money on the wrong horse, and everyone else was doing the same thing?’ ‘What if I was striking a bargain with God and there wasn’t a life after death?’
Bargaining is perhaps the most insidious reaction to the fear of death because it involves the belief that one can indeed cheat or avoid death. This is, of course, nothing but a delusion, for death is an undeniable fact. Some people seek a form of immortality by producing children, or consider power and fame as some form of immortality – ‘at least I will be remembered’. The most common bargain is the religious and spiritual pursuit, with its promise of some kind of life after death. Indeed, this is trading time, happiness, leisure, sensual pleasure and freedom, which is available right now, for time and effort involved in worship, meditation, prayer, devotion and suffering, in the hope for some ‘good spot’ in a supposed afterlife. The other price paid lies in the necessity of complying with the moral and ethical codes of the particular spiritual or religious group in which you believe, with its ensuing loss of freedom. It seems an appalling price to pay, given that there has been no actual authenticated report back of any life after death from anyone who has died – let alone any verified ‘poofing’.
RESPONDENT: To finish off I would like to ask you what qualities you see in a realized person, how should one live on this earth ideally in your view?
PETER: The main quality I see evident in a self-realized person is megalomania –
When full-blown, this delusion becomes the condition of theomania.
The other qualities are the full range of human passions and feelings, some of which have been subjugated to an extent that they only rarely emerge to public notice. I have personally seen and experienced many of the ‘self-realized’ being angry, pissed off, annoyed, frustrated, melancholy, feeling sorrow for themselves and others, feeling lost, feeling lonely, etc. It does make one wonder what is the substance of the psychic power they hold over people and why people surrender so willingly to their power?
As for, ‘how should one live on this earth ideally in your view?’ My experience that is no matter how much one cleans oneself up from the beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that are the substance of one’s social identity, no matter how much one frees oneself from the grip of instinctual passions, one can never be 100% perfect and pure while remaining a ‘self’. Ultimate peace and happiness lies beyond the death of ‘me’, for ‘I’ am rotten at the core.
RESPONDENT: In other words, how does one manifest self-immolation, what are the implications of this radical insight? I mean, this is what it comes down to, what we give out to the world and not what ideals we have acquired.
PETER: One manifests self-immolation by devoting one’s life to it. Only by making it the most important ambition in one’s life will one be successful.
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.