Selected Correspondence Peter
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.
PETER: Hi everyone,
I recently wrote an article for the local ‘Magazine of the Buddhas’ entitled ‘Austradamus’s New Millennium Predictions’. You may remember I posted it to the list a while ago. It was a lampoon of the spiritual world and spiritual beliefs and they not only published the story it but said they liked it a lot. In the same issue the editor wrote an article which caught my eye, so much so that I was moved to write to him.
It is such a classic case of spiritual denial and/or ignorance that I thought it worthwhile to post the relevant piece together with my comment to the author.
Excerpt from the article from the ‘Magazine of the Buddhas’ –
‘Sounds a wonderful millennium wish doesn’t it. Gets you all squishy just thinking about it doesn’t it! Is that steam I see? Actually someone commented that they’d rather not be around for that long, and it got me wondering. Is there really any place more interesting, more fun, than here in the body?
Personally, when I’m feeling good, I mean really fucking good, I have no interest at all in being beyond the body. I really enjoy all the bodily things, feelings, emotions, thoughts, actions. I remember at one stage it actually became fashionable in ‘spiritual’ Sannyas circles to wish that this was the last life, that enlightenment was necessary if only to stop the endless wheel of suffering that being in the body is meant to be. I wonder if perhaps this subtle rejection of the body is a hindrance to realization, enlightenment itself. It actually feels a bit Christian to me, and we all know what that means! No passing ‘GO’! I mean really, isn’t the body where everything takes place, the temple in which ‘life’ happens, the vehicle through which ecstasy, sex, wafts of coffee sailing the morning breeze, frangipani adorning the evening air, music that seduces, teases or releases passion, concepts become actual, ice-cream, the sun-sets that enrapture, love, how all the things enter our consciousness, how we become aware of them?
So my own wish for me in this millennium, is to be at such peace with who I am in the world and with myself, I am utterly happy to stick around for another millennium. (even if it means a thousand orgasms a year).’ <Snip>Here and Now, Magazine of the Buddhas, January 2000
Excerpt from my letter to the author –
So, to call this a mere ‘fashion’ at one stage, is to demean and belittle the teachings of Rajneesh in no small way. I also find curious the use of the term ‘spiritual’ Sannyas’. Do you use this term derogatorily as a means of distinction from the non-spiritual ‘social’ sannyasins? Does this define seekers from non-seekers, the piously religious from the perpetually rebellious, those who are still looking from those who have merely given up?
As you can see, this type of NDA writing represents a classic denial of the essential spiritual message and, I suspect, an attempt to ‘clip-on’ a wee bit of actualism completely misrepresented as ‘isn’t it fun to be in the body!! ... when you are feeling really fucking good’ (And if you’re not feeling good, you can always sneak into a Satsang or do a group which usually picks you up again for a while.) Ho, Hum.
PETER: Hi everyone,
Just in case anyone is reading and following these posts, the TV program I referred to in the last post is, in fact, mentioned in the beginning of this post. That’s what comes from writing two posts at once and adding to one just before I sent it off. Apologies for any confusion that may have resulted. So, here we go with No.19 in the series.
I watched a TV discussion program last evening where the topic was good and evil in human beings. There were four people, a journalist, a lawyer, an academic whose field of study was the Holocaust and another academic involved in behavioural studies. Not one of the people thought that they were evil, or could do an evil act. The journalist accused the government and leaders for being evil, the lawyer thought we should look within for moral and ethical guidance, the academic studying the Holocaust blamed the Nazis for the genocide and thought the Milgram experiments irrelevant to the situation and the other academic looked forward to the time when we would identify the gene of benevolence. All were in denial that they were personally capable of evil actions and all denied that humans are born with a passion for anger and violence.
It reminded me that denial is not exclusive to Eastern religion and philosophy. But to make denial into a virtuous ethic, and further to make acceptance into a pious moral, is to make ‘self’-centredness and ‘self’-righteousness into a religion. The Western religions tend to be monotheist, with one creationist, fire and brimstone, loving God, whereas Eastern Religions are much more appealing for they proffer the chance for you to feel you are that God or, in extreme cases of delusion, to become that God. And yet people keep insisting that spirituality is not a religion.
PETER to Richard: This first process had two components – an intellectual understanding such that the fact of being a human being made sense, and this involved a rigorous, challenging, exciting and revealing investigation into the Human Condition and its bedrock of Ancient Wisdom. This is essentially the understanding of the non-spiritual nature of Actual Freedom. The second component was the practical day to day stuff (and what else is there anyway?) of what it is to be a human being – the theory into practice if you like. The experience that Actual Freedom is not a philosophy, not a theory, but a down-to-earth experience as a flesh and blood body. Peter to Richard, 25.2.1999
ALAN: Couldn’t agree more. The combination of the two is vital – and perhaps inevitable. Sort of convincing ‘me’ that it is possible, while experiencing its actuality.
PETER: Just to clarify my post. Up until now the only path to freedom has been a spiritual path to a spiritual freedom – the traditional path of denial, renunciation and transcendence leading to an Altered State of Consciousness known as Enlightenment. The path leads to There – another dimension, a metaphysical realm.
The aim of the path to Actual Freedom is to come here to the actual world. The actual world is that which is evidenced and apparent in the PCE or peak experience and that is where the path to Actual Freedom leads. The actual world is the world as-it-is, stripped of the veneer of reality or Reality that the ‘self’ or ‘Self’ layers over it.
However, as the aim is to come here and be happy and harmless, one always has an immediate goal and aim every moment – to be as happy and harmless as one can possibly be right now. ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is the key to firstly ascertaining how one is doing relative to one’s aim in life and, if necessary, finding out what is inhibiting my happiness, in this moment. This gives ‘me’ something to do – ‘I’ clean myself up as much as possible by rigorously and remorselessly examining all the beliefs that constitute the Human Condition – all the truths and Truths that form my social identity, and the instinctual behavioural patterns that blindly run ‘me’. This process, if undertaken with a sincere intent, will inevitably lead to a state of Virtual Freedom. One then goes to bed in the evening knowing that one has had a perfect day, and knowing that tomorrow, without doubt, will also be a perfect day. Unless one is willing to contemplate being happy and harmless, free of malice and sorrow, 99% of the time – then forget the whole business. One is back aiming for some ‘pie in the sky’, some miracle event to ‘make it all better’. And the Sannyas list was an eye opener as far as that was concerned. When offered an alternative to ‘getting out of it’, such that being happy and harmless became one’s aim in life – none were interested in this aspect; peace on earth got a similar response, living with a companion in peace and harmony hardly raised a murmur. Nobody believes that it is possible to be happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, on earth, here, now, as a flesh and blood body. This is, after all, the core of Ancient Wisdom – the sacred and inviolate centre-piece of the Human Condition.
PETER to Alan: Of all the Ancient God-men, Mr Buddha is the current the most fashionable (and not un-coincidentally, I suspect, the most mythical). Phrases such as ‘One’s Buddha nature’, ‘Buddha-like’, ‘Buddha Consciousness’, etc. all point to an almost universal un-questioning acceptance of his Kingship of the Divine realm in spiritual circles.
It is well worth re-posting an ancient Buddhist text that Richard sourced and posted recently to another list in order to see exactly what is on offer in Buddhism.
‘And thus it is written that a monk shall sit in the corner with his eyes closed, withdraw from the world of sensual, sensate pleasure, stick his head in the clouds and dream of nirvana – anywhere but here and anyplace but now’ – a simplified stripped down version of Buddhism for the intellectually challenged. Ah! Nothing like a bit of Guru-bashing, and none better to take on than the undisputed King of Denial and Withdrawal. Is there nothing sacred to an actualist? No. Both the good feelings that arise from the supposed good instincts and the spiritual search for immortality that arises from the core survival instinct have to be questioned, examined, dissected and scrutinized in order to weaken their insidious influence on our lives. It took Richard ten times as long to rid himself of these good feelings as it took him to eliminate the bad ones. It is essential to tackle the whole of the instinctual programming – no half measures will work.
PETER to Alan: I am continuously amazed by people’s stubborn refusal to even admit that they have less than perfect relationships, that they are prone to malice and sorrow, anger, resentment, despair, resignation, self-deception, or whatever other feeling. Those still on the spiritual path see themselves as having risen above these mundane worldly matters and having ascended into the higher realms of ‘love for all’, feeling ‘That Which Is’ or being ‘grateful to Existence’.
Just as an aside, while I think of it, I once chatted to a man who had just been newly inducted into the spiritual world and we got to chatting about sex. He proclaimed to me that he now had a freer attitude to sex and was not only with his partner but with other women as well. He said sex had never been better as he now felt he was making love to all women when he had sex. It was ‘universal woman’ whom he made love to – the archetypical woman. It suddenly dawned on me that this Tantric-like practice was nothing more than a fantasy escape from the actuality of having sex with the particular flesh and blood woman he was in bed with at the time. In the ‘real’ world men and woman invariably revert to fantasies to maintain an interest after the initial instinctual attraction wanes, and Tantra is simply the spiritual version of these fantasies. Of course, it is a ‘higher’ and more ‘noble’ fantasy, but it is nothing more than an escape from the reality of sex. It is demeaning to the partner one is with as he or she is not the flesh and blood body person but is reduced to a figment of one’s own fantasy world – and then they have the audacity to term this fantasy ‘being intimate’. All the ‘action’ and ‘intimacy’ goes on only in one’s head. One literally goes into cuckoo-land – all in denial of the shameful, guilt-ridden reality of the sexual instinct in action. It is all about feeling and has nought to do with the luscious sensuality of the sensate sensuous experiencing of innocent sexual play.
For me, it was such an adventure to get to the bottom of the stifling mystery, the conspiracy of silence, the moralistic mumbo-jumbo and beliefs that actively prohibit free sexual enjoyment and a direct intimacy between any couple, be they normal or spiritually inclined.
PETER to Alan: I do like the way opportunities to investigate the Human Condition in action pop up in one’s life. I have written mostly about the spiritual world recently but a social gathering recently reminded me again of the ‘real world’ that I had all but left behind when I was lured on to the spiritual path.
It was a timely reminder of what I had noted in a recent post –
The gathering was of a group of normal people and not the peace, love and brown rice types that have been my social scene since my early thirties. What was an eye-opener was the rawness of the malice and sorrow, untempered by spiritual morality and ethical niceties. Not that it was better or worse, it was just less sugar-coated and less cunningly disguised. It was fascinating to see that most of the conversation was a whinge and a whine about something, opening with the usual complaints about the weather as delicious sub-tropical rainstorms were swirling about outside during the evening. The lamenting very quickly moved on to complaints about local politics and soon got into malicious comments about other groups and other people who were evidently making their lives miserable in some way or another. Malice, sorrow, sad story, blame, hard done by, tough times, gripe, things are getting worse, it’s difficult, bitch, grievance, pet hate, ..... on and on it went all night. It was like a toned down Monty Python sketch but it made clear that the real world is really the ‘Land of Lament’, as Richard so aptly calls it. It is literally awash in sorrow and it is always someone else’s fault, which is malice in action.
It’s all so easy to see malice and sorrow in action in others, as entertainment, as humour, as news, as gossip, as ‘causes’, as social issues, etc.
‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ simply gives one the opportunity to see malice and sorrow in action in oneself and to do something about it.
What a wonderful, ruthlessly efficient way to become happy and harmless. The fact that there is much vitriolic reaction to actualism and stubborn resistance to being happy and harmless is proof of the stranglehold that malice and sorrow have on human beings.
What an extraordinary thing to devote one’s life to becoming happy and harmless, not as a feeling but as an actuality.
This was just a short note to balance the investigations into both real world and spiritual world beliefs that is essential in order to become free of the Human Condition. While spiritual seekers are on the wrong track heading in the wrong direction, at least they tend do have some degree of dissatisfaction with the real world and some expectation of something more to human existence than malice and sorrow.
Peter to Alan: I was recently watching a TV program on a group undertaking a spiritual pilgrimage and a woman involved was interviewed. She was asked about the experience and she said that some things ‘bothered’ her – the crowds, her treatment as a woman, etc. – but she said ‘I’m not going to let it bother me’. A simple everyday statement of stoic denial and repression, but she also obviously had a passionate investment, for this was for her a profound spiritual experience and she was determined to let nothing spoil it for her. I remembered back to my spiritual times when I actively practiced to cut off from all things that were upsetting, ‘bothering’ or worrying. One was meant not to be bothered, to be above these petty concerns, one was not meant to have doubts about the teaching, or the teacher, or the organization for one was taught and extolled to have faith, loyalty and trust.
Thus it was that I actively practiced denial and transcendence – new tricks to add to the denial and repression of ‘bothersome’ feelings and emotions that I had been taught as a child. Transcendence is such a wonderfully seductive option, for one gets to swan along, literally with one’s head in the clouds, literally above it all. The real world problems of money, relationship, corruption and greed, and the feelings of anger, sorrow and melancholy were still around but ‘I’ was not part of it. The ‘real’ world became a tolerable nuisance – I was not going to let it bother me – the new spiritual ‘me’.
Peter to Alan: So prolific is denial in the Human Condition that it deserves a bit more rooting around to find the real source of it. As you well know, the most prevalent self-defence mechanism evident in any correspondence we have had about the Human Condition, is one of breathtaking denial. This is the dominant response to any attempted slightly in-depth discussion or exchange, be it with Richard, Vineeto or myself. This denial is what moved me off my bum to dig in to Paul Lowe’s book, and further investigate the denial that is enshrined in the teachings of Eastern religion and philosophy. A useful exercise in itself, and great fun to do, but the response to such uncovering of the lies, trickery and deceptions of the spiritual path is inevitably one of even more denial. ‘So what’, ‘it’s got nothing to do with me’, ‘I’m not on the spiritual path’, ‘My Guru tells the Truth’, ‘it’s about the feeling around the Gurus not the facts’ are typical responses. There have been countless times when I have said to someone what a relief it is to have abandoned the spiritual world and the spiritual person I have been talking to say they agree and nod their head. Two recent examples was a woman who had just arrived in town after being in the Himalayas meditating for 3 years, the other who had just produced a magazine attacking the members of his sect for not being loyal to his spiritual master. And yet both denied they were spiritual in any way! Whenever religions are exposed for the puerile nonsense they are it’s always someone else’s religion, or the person is not part of a religion, or they simply slink away.
This denial is so common a response that I now regard it as par for the course. Ah, here comes the denial phase and anyone initially interested disappears over the hill with their tails between their legs. Richard has found a few hard-nosed spiritual teachers and spiritual intellectuals – those with the most investment – who have stuck around to defend their beliefs but their defence gets sillier and sillier as time goes on and more beliefs are debunked as more facts are presented.
But, of course, there is something deeper beneath this façade of denial. One of the major barriers is pride. To admit one is merely following a fashionable belief, mouthing a psittacism, senselessly following the herd, being the marionette who one was taught to be, and robotically behaving exactly how one’s peers demand, is a crushing blow, particularly to the proudly humble spiritual devotee. The other factor that operates to reinforce denial, as you have noted, is the desperate need to belong to the group and the spiritual believers form a very large, safe and increasingly popular group in humanity.
So I see pride and fear operating and these were certainly issues that I had to tackle in acknowledging the failure of the spiritual path to deliver anything remotely resembling freedom, peace and happiness. Digging a little deeper is to get to the core of one’s being and to come across one’s essential nature – the instinctual self. Richard uses the phrase ‘lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning’ to describe the psychological and psychic entity that ‘I’ am. Lost, lonely and frightened are qualities that many will admit to, and it is indeed the tacit acknowledgement of this that brings many people to the spiritual path in the first place. These qualities also provide the fuel for many to give the spiritual path 100% effort.
The very, very cunning quality of the self ensures that many people will gleefully and gullibly accept the spiritual teachings, deny the existence of the physical world, deny that they are a mortal flesh and blood, believe in their own immortality and fully indulge in the fantasy delusion that they are indeed God-on-earth. This is an act of utter selfishness, cunningly disguised as a noble sacrifice to a ‘higher cause’, yet exposed for the fraud it is when the few who succeed become Gods-on-earth, Saints, Masters, revered teachers and the like – to be feted, worshipped, adored, flattered and fawned by one’s fellow human beings.
The very, very cunning nature of the self is evident in the real world as hypocrisy, corruption, deceit, lies and denial. In spite of the constant pleas and extolling to obey society’s moral and ethical standards, human beings, when push comes to shove, inevitably revert to natural behaviour. Natural behaviour is instinctual behaviour – genetically programmed to ensure the survival of the species. The human species has been endowed with a self-survival program that almost inevitably over-rides the consideration of the survival of the group. Each human is instilled with a distinct individual self which is embellished by the ability to think and reflect into a substantive entity, an identity of psychological and psychic substance – ‘who’ we think and feel we are. It is obvious over time bargains and deals were done between groups of humans, be they biological family groups and/or tribal groups, and these eventually became formalized into particular sets of moral and ethical rules. These rules, instilled to ensure the group’s survival, became paramount over the genetically encoded, essentially individually selfish, survival program. This explanation of the human instinctual program accounts for the ongoing failure of human beings to live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony. An understanding of the instinctual passions in action also reveals the spiritual search for self-discovery and self-realization as nothing other than an instinctually-driven attempt at self-aggrandizement and a lust for personal psychic power over others.
There is, however, an innate quality in human beings that provides the key to the door, so to speak, the way out, the means to freedom from the instinctual passions. This quality is well described as altruism – ‘regard for others as a principle of action; unselfishness’ ... Oxford Dictionary. This quality needs to put under the microscope, examined carefully and fully understood lest one confuses it with blind instinctual passions and senseless societal values.
The instinct to nurture relentlessly drives many people to sacrifice their lives for offspring or family, only to feel resentment at the sacrifice. This is understandable for this self-sacrifice is a driven, automatic reaction, not a freely undertaken action.
PETER to Alan: (...) I recently saw an interview with Neale Donald Walsch, the author of a book entitled ‘Conversations with God’. It has been a best-seller in USA for some time and has appeal to both Western and Eastern religious believers. He offered a syrupy message spoken to him from the real God whose message was He-is-All, We-are-All-One and love is all there is. The He-is-All scenario means that He is the God of all the religions, people and all the belief-systems. Walsch is now setting off on a mission to convince the world’s believers that he has been talking to their God lately and that He has recently updated and modified His story, just a wee bit. For the We-are-all-One scenario he uses the words Oneness and Source thus appealing to the Eastern religious pursuers of altered states of consciousness. It’s a cunning concoction that fails, like all the other fairy-tale beliefs, to address the perplexing on-going issue of human malice and suffering – the salient features of the human condition on earth.
According to Walsch’s clairvoyant message, violence exists in God’s world because human beings do not live by the golden rules of goodness, love and treating others as we would have them treat us. God also told him that He occasionally sends souls into the world as lessons for us humans in order that we may see the evil that is in each of us. According to Walsch, God said He deliberately sent Mr. Hitler down so that we would know and experience the lowest of lows, the most evil of evils, but that ‘no harm was really done because there is no such thing as death’. Methinks he will have a hard time convincing the Jews that the millions who died was a calculated put-up job by the He-is-All God, that no harm was really done, it was all just a lesson and there is no death. Some forty million humans died in WW2 and God glibly declares ‘I did it’. No wonder some prayers start with – ‘Have mercy on us Lord ...’
In this sick scenario, earthly suffering exists as God’s test for humans and therefore the more one suffers the more God is testing you personally and the more gratitude one should feel towards God. Indeed, so ingrained is this belief that many who suffer deeply pass through a profound ‘dark night of the soul’ whereby the depths of depression can be alleviated by an epiphany, Satori, awakening or re-birth. One’s soul or psychic entity makes an instinctual chemical-fuelled grasp at survival and hallucinatory states result. Thus one sees God, talks to God, sees His Grand Plan, realizes there is no death, etc. and one’s body is swamped with bliss-inducing chemicals. These visions invariably follow cultural, religious and tribal pre-conditioned trends – thus a Hindu sees Krishna, a Christian sees Christ, a Buddhist realizes the world is an illusion, etc. In Walsch’s case a New Age Christian talks to God and also feels Oneness – a New Age Christian message that incorporates the traditional white bearded God in heaven story and tacks on a dash of fashionable Eastern religion.
So we are lead to believe that God has changed His mind of late, as no doubt He is entitled to do, but it does seem to leave those who are faithfully following all of the other messages He sent to earth a little out on a limb. Perhaps this fashionable trendy New Age God watches Oprah and re-writes his script every month or so and sends yet another message down to earth.
In Eastern religions, earthly existence is seen as an endless cycle of rebirth, escaped by only .0001% of the population who manage to see God’s joke and realize that suffering, death and the physical universe is only an illusion. In psychiatric terms they induce, via torturous rituals and the assiduous practice of denial, a mental aberration known as dissociation.
– A process, or the resulting condition, in which certain concepts or mental processes are separated from the conscious personality; spec. the state of a person suffering from dissociated personality. Oxford Dictionary
Dissociation is exemplified in Eastern religion and philosophy by the core belief of ‘I am not the body, I am not the mind’ – and the constant repeating of this mantra leads to the inevitable conclusion that ‘I must be spirit-only’. If pursued to its extreme a feeling of Oneness with all other disembodied and non-physical spirits develops, leading to the narcissistic realization that ‘I am All, and All is me’. And for those sufficiently seduced by this delusion, bingo ... the ultimate dissociate state of ‘I am God’ is realized.
The eastern practice of inducing dissociative states or altered states of consciousness does nothing to elevate human suffering and malice. Only by actively rejecting the traditional turning away and squarely facing the issues is it possible to actually change the situation. If it is God’s plan that over 160 million human beings were killed by their fellow human beings and that over 40 million killed themselves in suicides then it’s time to tell God to butt out.
Intelligence, innovation, stubbornness, experimentation, ingenuity, perseverance, intent and altruism have bought an end to the naturally-occurring plagues and diseases that killed millions in past centuries. Human beings put an end to this death and suffering, not some mythical god. The same human intelligence, innovation, stubbornness, experimentation, ingenuity, perseverance, intent and altruism will eventually and inevitably rid this fair planet of the instinctual ‘natural’ sorrow and malice that causes the human species to laud and cherish suffering and indulge in senselessly killing and maiming each other.
P.S. Just as a bit of an aside. One of the latest God-men to hit the circuit calls himself Maitreya Ishwara and he was a follower of Mohan Rajneesh for many years. He is putting out the story that the collapse of Rajneesh’s Utopian city Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA was God’s will and all the suffering, pain and recrimination was pre-ordained. Same old perverse fairy story – human suffering is all part of God’s plan.
PETER to No 14:
‘You ARE perfect’ is the delusion of the spiritual view-point. The spiritual world is in complete denial of the modern discoveries of the fact that we are not ‘perfect’ – that we have an in-built instinctual survival program of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that inevitably causes us to live in fear and to be aggressive. It is this fact that prevents peace on earth, not the failure to live the – unliveable – spiritual ideal that if only we ‘all follow one God and one God only’ and then all will be magically okay, one day, in the future. When I finally stopped deluding myself that this insanity was going to bring peace to earth, and when I stopped being dishonest with myself in believing that I was ‘already perfect’, was I able to do something about becoming actually perfect.
There are currently about one million Buddhists on the planet, and many, many self-declared ‘Buddhas’ and yet this has been the bloodiest century yet. I think you have recently read of the Buddhist-inspired atrocities in Nanking (http://www.darkzen.com/) only some 60 years ago. Surely it is time to question why there is such a gap between the idealistic and ethereal teachings of the God-men and Gurus and the actual result of their teachings in practice. There have been billions of Buddhists and only about a thousand of them managed the state of Enlightenment and after 2,500 years surely it is time to call a halt to believing that if we all become Buddhas then ‘our garden will be full of flowers’. What fantasy in the face of facts.
Talk about dreaming! A seductive, poetic dream, but a dream never-the-less.
‘You need do nothing but surrender to me and follow me and all will be well!’ It is these seductive unliveable dreams perpetuated by the God-men for there own Self-interest that have prevented humans from actually doing anything about peace on earth. Not only prevented peace but actively promoted the continuation of aggression in the form of religious wars, repression, torture, suppression, corruption and intolerance.
You can see he has a problem here because he believes that God has made man ‘an organic whole’ so there is no chance of eliminating the instinctually programmed malice and sorrow. He has to propose transcending it, or rising above it. It’s the same old Ancient Wisdom from the Dark Ages. But it is the next bit that is interesting, and it’s from the very same discourse.
Remember above, he says –
and then he follows with –
What he is clearly proposing is repression, rejection, and denial of the facts of history. Is this not ‘right and wrong’, ‘good and bad’, Buddhas and Tyrants, Gods and Devils? Is this His solution? What a fairy tale, what a massive delusion. It almost sounds like Christian morality to me but when one digs a bit deeper the morality of the East and that of the West are little different.
So, I could go on but I have written much of my experiences as a grateful follower of Rajneesh. In the end I had to admit I had been ‘sucked in’ by his poetic idealism of a New Man and the utterly selfish attraction of me being one of those ‘specially chosen’ for the role. It proved a mortal blow to both my pride and humility, for I could no longer deny the facts of Rajneesh’s failure and my own desperate need to believe in fairy stories. The dream failed in Oregon, fizzled to a whimper by the time he died and is hardly even mentioned now.
PETER: Awhile ago I wrote to you of an extensive study done documenting our ‘natural’ human propensity for inflicting suffering on others. I am interested to hear what you made of the study and what your conclusions are.
RESPONDENT: Yes I am aware of this propensity in me. Before I felt I was into debate in this mailing list. I don’t like debate. It’s a kind of fighting by using words to me. And the reason why I felt I was into debate is my fear that maybe I am defeated, maybe I am wrong. So I was inflicting this my fear on others here.
PETER: Great. It is so rare for a spiritual seeker to acknowledge this simple fact. All the spiritual teachings are in complete denial of the instinctual passions imprinted by blind nature on human beings. They, in fact, teach the theory of ‘you are not the body and you are not the mind’ so as to turn away from this simple fact. Thousands of years ago these instinctual passions were seen as good spirits and bad spirits that ‘invaded’ the body but for us to continue to follow this philosophy and belief-system is to defy intelligence.
As for debate, that is what this list is about – words, discussions, facts, view points, experiences. There is no sitting in silence, energies, ‘you know what I mean’, ‘I feel you are ...’ etc, nor is there any philosophy or need to believe, trust or surrender. The trick is to see that what we are debating or discussing is the Human Condition – the state we humans find ourselves in on the planet. It is not a question of right or wrong or even true or false – given the spiritual corruption of the word true, as in Truth (that which cannot be spoken of) – because it is nought but a feeling, albeit a Grand Feeling. We talk of the facts of what it is to be a human being as opposed to the ancient spiritual ‘wisdom’ and mutually-agreed social beliefs. As such, when I write, I always present the facts ‘on the table’, and then it is completely up to the other what they do with the facts. This can have the effect of a seemingly confrontational debate, but who would have it any other way. It is not only your peace we are talking of, but peace on earth. The stakes are enormous and ‘treading softly’ or being ‘meek and mild’ is seen for what it is in the face of 160,000,000 million killed in wars this century alone. It is time to end this madness – so write on, write on.
RESPONDENT: My next interest is to read about PCE. I read quite a bit of your journal in Dec./Jan. but it was not useful for things I was looking for at the time. I will go over the PCE section, if there is one, in it again.
PETER: I wrote my journal as I was coming out of the ‘spiritual’ world and wrote of the things that interested me as flesh and blood human being, as opposed to a spiritual one. As my interest in, and experience of, the actual world increased I wrote of what I was interested in – death / living with a woman in peace, harmony and equity / exploring the failure of love and discovering something better / exploring and discovering the unfettered and free sensuous enjoyment of sex / ridding myself of the insidious delusion of anything spirit-ual, religious or ‘other’-worldly / freeing my intelligence from the act of believing / finding a personal peace and a solution that offered genuine global peace / being able to live peacefully in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are / eliminating fear as a constant underlying instinctual emotion / de-bunking the mythical and mystical perception of the physical universe, time and human existence. But it is only useful for someone who is interested in Actual Freedom as it is a journal of how to become Virtually Free – a necessary pre-requisite if one is to avoid the ‘Rock of Enlightenment’ that has sunk all previous attempts at finding an actual freedom.
Actual Freedom is, after all, a new, down-to-earth, non-spiritual freedom.
New as in never been discovered before.
Down-to-earth as in able to be comfortably, effortlessly and easily liveable by anyone in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. Non-spiritual in that it is both self-less and Self-less – it is most definitely not an Altered State of Consciousness based on earthly denial and heavenly transcendence.
Freedom as in free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow – an actual and demonstrative freedom from instinctually-driven passions of fear and aggression, as opposed to the delusion of a spirit-ual freedom, based on Ancient Wisdom’s fairy-tale-battles of good and evil, Gods and Demons.
PETER: You wrote to No 14 a note of such breathtaking duplicity that I am moved (as in ... up off the couch) to reply before all the spiritualists on this list start to declare Rajneesh and other similar God-men to be actually free from the Human Condition. Still people do believe that Jesus walked on water, that the planets influence their moods and the sun goes around the earth. It’s just that this list is about facts and actuality – and not fiction, hopeful imagination, wishful thinking, slippery re-interpretation, Ancient Wisdom or ‘Truth’.
RESPONDENT to No 14: I did not get this PCE stuff on this list in the beginning. I kept thinking about it for a while. For weeks I would get stuck on 2-3 experiences which stood out and seemed close to the way PCE was being described here. The first PCE happened to me after I did rigorous dynamic everyday for 2 months. This PCE happened 2 ½ years ago. I also noticed that for last 2 ½ years, I have always wanted to repeat that experience. I have had some much tinier ones but nothing compared to the first one.
Now I understand the whole thing about PCE. Osho created situations in which we could get PCEs and hence have a bench mark to work with. While Richard is asking us to remember a PCE, defined with a description, to take it as a bench mark.
PETER: It does seem a waste of all that thinking time to have come to the conclusion that there is a God after all, and that Rajneesh is your God. Still Humanity’s obsession with believing the fairy-tales of the God-men is both legendary and endemic and has been around for thousands of years. This is the very beginning of a new down-to-earth non-spiritual Actual Freedom and, as such, will not be for all. It does take a certain courage, tenacity, stubbornness and bloody-mindedness to strike off on one’s own to discover and investigate.
So, let’s look at your preposterous proposition that ‘Rajneesh created situations where we could get PCEs’. (...)
PETER: Let’s dig a little deeper and see the extent of his delusion. Again a quote from the man himself –
Cute Hey. With a leap of imagination he is no longer responsible for his actions even to the point of killing. He becomes quite literally ‘above’ the mundane, the ordinary, the laws, the earthly, the sensate. One leaves the wheel of suffering, or earthly existence and transcends. This ‘lofty perch’ of the God-man has relevance in the Sannyas world as to his denial of any wrong doing in Rajneeshpuram – not that the American law courts believed him. No. 14 will recognize the dis-association of Rajneesh from any of his actions as identical to the position taken by Zen warriors in the ritual slaughter of 300,000 Chinese at Nanking – enthusiastically supported by the Buddhist Masters.
In case you are confused about the word ‘transcend’, Mr Oxford’s definition is –
Indeed Mr. Rajneesh has transcended the ego – he has clearly become an ego-maniac in that he thinks and feels himself to be God. An ego transcended gives full reign to the soul – the ‘feelings’ – and delusion is the obvious result.
RESPONDENT: Spiritualism now does look like a snake oil to me, too. All ‘energy’ events, prophesying, channelling, gods, etc are probably just events generated by our psyche. So far, I have not come across any ‘other worldly event’ so I must admit it all seems to be just imagination supported by our culture. Some of these things are still nice social events... a good reason to see old friends, that’s it...
PETER: In my time on the Sannyas list, there was a total denial that the dream of a New Man had failed, even to the point of denying the dream existed in the first place, despite the fact that it is well documented and still trumpeted as His dream. The main theme to emerge was the need to belong to the Sannyas social club, and the good feelings that ensued. The failure of the collective dream was further evidenced by the emerging ‘individual connections’ to Rajneesh – every man and woman in it for themselves and ‘free’ to imagine and dream what they wanted to dream. Thus feelings and imagination run riot, in complete denial of facts and sensible awareness.
At source, this desperate need to belong, come-what-may, is an instinctually driven need, for in the past the security and support of a group was indeed very necessary for survival. In this modern world, this need to belong now threatens the very survival of the species as ethnic, religious and ethical groups battle it out for supremacy and power. An actual freedom, by definition, is a freedom from this need to belong to a group that has strangled any attempts at finding peace on earth.
PETER to No 7: Just a note to follow on from my recent post.
I realized that I had posted two consecutive quotes from Mohan Rajneesh to the List and thought I would include a quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti just to indicate that the ‘I do not know – therefore I am Wise and Holy’ syndrome is endemic in all spiritual teachings –
(...) Yesterday someone asked me if I had had any feedback from friends to whom I had given a copy of my Journal. I said the silence had been deafening and one had even told me ‘it was good that I had got what Rajneesh had been teaching’ and wondered why I was not grateful to him. Thinking about it again, I realized that many who read the writings of Actual Freedom and its uncompromising non-spiritual stance, conveniently see it merely as Guru-bashing and miss the main point. (...)
I got to musing a bit more about the reaction to my Journal, and to Richard’s Journal, and wondered at the lack of reaction evident in most. I remembered back to my first reading of Richard’s Journal and what my reactions were at the time.
Firstly, what he was saying made sense – it was obvious to me that everyone has got it wrong; everyone knows that because fear and aggression in the form of sorrow and malice are endemic on the planet. It took a bit of digging into both Richard’s writings and those of the Gurus to understand that what he was saying was brand spanking new and a quantum leap in the opposite direction to the spiritual. When a Guru says ‘everyone has got it wrong’, what he means is ‘everyone else has got it wrong and only I have got it Right, for I am the messenger of the Divine’. This shallow Guru-bashing then is passed off as ‘the real Truth, the only Path’, whereas what can initially appear as the Wisdom of the God-man is no more than his particular condemnation of the religions of other God-men. Merely to claim that others have got it wrong while blindly ignoring their own role in the on-going tragedy is both ignorance and denial, but then again, if one feels oneself to be God, one is undeniably deluded and absolutely blinded to any common sense.
Actual Freedom is a freedom from the insidious fairy-tales told by all the Gurus – no exceptions, no maybes, no ‘it’s only the same thing that everybody else is saying’. For me, this meant that I would have to desert my Master, not only being ungrateful but disloyal as well. It soon became obvious that this meant I would also have to desert Humanity – be a traitor to Humanity – to be ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’, as Richard put it recently.
And the only way ‘out’ – to actually become free – was to do it, despite these values, ethics and morals that bound me to Humanity’s perpetual suffering and fighting. Once one begins to break these bonds and ties, to actualize one’s own freedom, one discovers that one has been instinctually programmed to be a member of the species, and to break with Humanity – the emotional-backed concept that binds the species together – necessitates an extinction of the these instincts in operation in this flesh and blood body. The ending of ‘my’ connection to Humanity is the ending of ‘me’.
PETER to No 7: Just as a bit of an aside, I recently read a newspaper article by a clinical psychologist decrying happiness as an aim in life and saying it was causing all sorts of problems. He said that what people should seek is fulfilment. He was totally vague about what this fulfilment was and threw in a few fashionable psittacisms about creativity, spirituality and a few demeaning comments about money and career pursuits. From the tone of his article I gathered that many of his clients were suffering from depression because of the futility of seeking happiness, and no wonder. They are trying to go against nature and are both ill equipped and ill advised in their pursuit by the likes of clinical psychologists and spiritual pundits. The Gurus’ ignorance is understandable in that scientific progress has outstripped Ancient Ignorance but the denial of instinctual programming in psychological studies and teachings is a bit more bewildering. The scientific study of instinctual behaviour broaches the areas of ethics, sails in the face of morals and runs aground on the old hoary one of ‘you can’t change human nature’. Those who dare to push the limits, such as the current researchers in genetics, are deemed to be ‘meddling in God’s work’. If there is a God then he/she/it is a very cruel sadistic bastard from what I see on TV, and it is clearly time to ‘meddle’ in order to put an end to human suffering on the planet.
As a human on the planet, at this time, we clearly see that much of the essential explorations have been undertaken in order to provide comfort, shelter, food and safety from wild animals and that the next major exploration and effort will be to end ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. Many people are still seeking excitement, fame, meaning and a sense of purpose by physical exploring and adventure pursuits but it has got a bit ridiculous such that it comes as no surprise to hear of someone being the first to hop all the way to the north pole or being the first woman to circumnavigate the globe the wrong way in a bath tub. Many people are now devoting there lives to helping wild animals survive, having abandoned the post-WW2 hope of peace on earth for humans. The focus has shifted to the fashionable ‘saving the earth’ rather than saving the human species.
An actualist is one who devotes his or her life to actualizing peace on earth in the only way possible and gets to have the adventure of a lifetime on the way. It is the most significant thing one can do with one’s life – one’s ‘three score and ten’ of existence as a human being.
PETER: I wrote a chapter about fear and doubt in my journal. It was not a major item for me, once I had decided to start. Then the intent was such that fear was simply a feeling associated with the next discovery, and the feeling of fear was what made the journey thrilling. It is a journey of discovery, after all. Many, many humans have made journeys of discovery over the millennia to facilitate humankind’s emergence from the caves. Those who make this new journey into their psyche in order to free themselves of the Human Condition will facilitate not only a personal peace for themselves but the ending of malice and sorrow in humankind.
RESPONDENT: Just an additional thought. I have found at times that there is a strong resistance to the ‘How am I...’ and the question starts off in a more personal way.
Other times the ease is simply surprising. After reading that sometimes the attention can increase depth of sensation I would surmise that I am at times avoiding the strong almost pain-like sensation.
PETER: There is a lot of denial, ignorance and deliberate misinformation regarding emotions and feelings in spiritual teachings. One God-man, describing himself as a Western Master, even declares that love is not a feeling but it is a sensation, in a desperate attempt to validate what he teaches as ‘true’ love. He is merely reinforcing the common belief that the good feelings are ‘natural’, i.e. a sign from God, and the bad feelings are evil – he preaches that sex is the Devil. Feelings are indeed natural – instilled by ‘blind’ nature – but that does not mean that we have to forever suffer their consequences. A local therapist proudly trumpets on her poster offering a group on Anger, that ‘anger is natural’ – her ‘solution’ is to somehow ‘transform’ anger into love and compassion. The proof that feelings are ‘natural’ is that they are felt in the body as sensations and, no matter what you do you can’t get rid of them. Denying, transforming, transcending and expressing have all been tried and all have failed.
RESPONDENT: If there is a working model and an understanding of the main function of each component then I think it would be possible to extrapolate to create a rough picture of what happens.
PETER: The ‘working model’ we have for the process, at this stage, is Richard, and given his little ‘detour’ of finding himself in an Altered State of Consciousness as opposed to a pure consciousness state for some 11 years, his ‘picture of what happens’ is a bit distorted. There is, however, no doubt that Richard can report reliably on the end result of the process – the complete and utter extinction of both the psychological and psychic self – and that this extinction results in the complete elimination of the instinctual passions. Those currently following in his footsteps and utilizing his method are avoiding the delusion of an Altered State of Consciousness and, as such, their discoveries, experiences and writings give an accurate picture of the process in operation.
I also must admit to a lack of curiosity as to ‘how’ it all happens – I am more interested in the fact that it is now possible for it to happen. Of even more vital interest is that it is happening to me – that I can be free of the instinctual animal passions of malice and sorrow that accompany the self – the alien entity within this flesh and blood body.
I watched a television interview with Douglas Adams – the author of the ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. I pricked up my ears when he said that the major issue that human beings are presently facing was the ‘battle between instincts and intelligence’. But within a few sentences he was proclaiming the popularist belief that ‘our survival is threatened by our instinctual behaviour in that we are wiping out endangered species and that only intelligent action will save us’. Not a word about our instinctual behaviour towards each other, such as war, rape, torture, genocide, murder ... let alone despair, depression, loneliness, suicide ...
It is only those who acknowledge that they feel malicious, murderous, revengeful, resentful, sad, depressed, lonely, despairing, etc. – and want to do something about it – who will be interested in Actual Freedom.
Now that the neuro-biological scientific evidence is becoming available, it will be up to each of us what we do with it – whether we continue to ignore or escape from it, or get up off our bums and do something.
PETER to No 3: (...) I wanted to take the opportunity to write a bit more about morals and ethics being the ‘guardian at the gate’ that prevents ‘good’ people from firstly acknowledging their ‘dark’ side and secondly prevents the necessary clear-eyed investigation that can bring about the elimination of the instinctual passions.
I think we can take it as given – at least for those who have taken the time to read sufficiently to grasp what Actual Freedom is about – that those in the spiritual world indulge in a complete denial of the savage instinctual passions by labelling them evil. The current fashion for Eastern spirituality is based upon the Tabula Rasa theory whereby humans are born innocent and then corrupted by the inherent evils of society and earthly and bodily desires. The traditional Eastern approach was to practice renunciation, meditation, asceticism and celibacy in order to turn away from the material world and the so-called ‘evils of the flesh’. Then aim to dissociate from the feelings thereby transcending them to become a new holier personality who is then, by definition, above evil.
I thought it might be useful to look at instinctual aggression and see what the state of play is within the human condition. It is a topic that spiritual people are unwilling to look at for they are usually so identified with being pious, feeling self-righteous and being so proud of their sanctimonious achievements as to be totally unaware of their myopic viewpoint. Some New Dark Age spiritual teachings integrate cathartic exercises as a way of expressing anger and hostility in the belief that catharsis is effective in reducing aggressive behaviour in spite of the many studies that provide evidence that catharsis encourages and reinforces angry and hostile behaviour rather than reduces it. But, apart from paying a bit of nominal lip-service to the more modern concepts of societal conditioning, the Ancient Wisdom of all spiritual teachings is firmly rooted in the belief that instinctual aggression was a result of being overcome by evil spirits.
RESPONDENT: Indeed, at first when I heard that investigation into ‘me’ would be a wonderful adventure I couldn’t really see how, as emotions are sometimes hard to deal with. With bare awareness in full swing though, everything becomes fuel for a curious mind.
PETER: I found an advertisement in the local spiritual magazine that states very clearly the distinction between the spiritual approach to dealing with the emotions arising from morals, ethics, beliefs and animal instinctual passions and that of an actualist. I know there is an enormous amount written on the Actual Freedom Trust website about this subject but every now and again something catches my eye that blatantly exposes the spiritual approach of actively creating a new identity who transcends or rises above the unwanted bad or savage passions.
The advertisement is for a 4-day workshop entitled ‘Dis-identification’ – Letting Go of Self Hatred.
He writes in his introductory section –
This description very well describes the spiritual practice of disidentifying from unwanted and undesirable emotions and identifying with the wanted and desirable emotions. The undesirable real-world identity is transcended and a new desirable spiritual identity is created. The newly formed spiritual identity dis-identifies with the old identity and becomes aware of and suppresses, pushes away or ignores the unwanted emotions. This is not a bare awareness operating but an identity splitting itself into two – one good half being aware of the other bad half. To call this action awareness is to misuse the term as the awareness is so selective it would be best termed as occultation or denial. It is this very labelling and judging of feelings and emotions as good or bad, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable that prevents an active and equal investigation of all emotions and their instinctual roots.
PETER: This is my last reply to you. As I read through the posts seeking some common ground for continuing to reply to your study it became clear as to how the conversation has degenerated into tit-for-tat, tis-tisn’t rebuttal of everything I say, no matter what I say. I will post a sample snippet from your last posts to illustrate this –
(a few lines later)
I find the above responses bewilderingly contradictory because my second comment related directly to my personal life experiences. Two totally different responses to the same statement of fact does illustrate that trying to have a sensible conversation with you about anything down-to-earth is absolutely futile.
The most recent thrust of you rebuttal of actualism seems to be that I acknowledged no personal responsibility for my behaviour as a human being. You then use this charge as a basis to scorn any effort aimed at irrevocable change while simultaneously championing the traditional spiritual alternative of ‘choosing’ to behave like a holier-than-thou spirit-ual being.
I’ll leave you with this portion from my journal as my final contribution to the database of your study and for summary assessment by your discussion group. You will find that it directly addresses the issues of my responsibility, my intent, my naiveté and my integrity – but no doubt you will dismiss it with either a ‘thank you for sharing’ or ‘this is wrong thought’ comment.
PETER to No 4: That was quite a loop, so I’d better get back to ‘sensate experiencing’, which was the starting point of this post. You have probably seen the new ‘180 degrees diagram’ by now, so you will have a picture to expand on the multitudinous words describing and articulating the difference between spiritual and actual. One of the many things that the spiritual path fails to address is human sexuality and sensuality. Denial of the instinctual sexual passions is rife – after all we are talking of the ‘wisdom’ of cave-men – and sublimation as the principle of celibacy is common. For the less-evolved, moralistic control, as in Tantric practices or ‘love’-making, is practiced but is considered a lesser path. Ignorance, superstition and fear are intrinsic to both normal and spiritual understanding of sex, human reproduction and sexual pleasure.
When one dares to lift the lid on all this nonsense and get stuck into the whole business of human sexuality one can discover a sensate experience that is deliciously sexual – free of instinctual drives and wallowing in sensuality – free of the necessity for prudish morals and restrictive ethics. And sex is but the icing on the cake, an abundant extravagance, on top of everyday sensate experience. For an actualist, everyday sensate experiencing is sensual, luxuriant, lush, abundant, prolific, verdant, extravagant, profuse, ever present, immediate, right here and now.
By the way, the Oxford Thesaurus lists only two antonyms for the word sensual – Antonyms: SPIRITUAL; ASCETIC . Need I say more? Probably not, so I’m off for a little sensual lie on the couch.
So, I will add the word sensual to sensate experiencing from now on so as to make the distinction between what is actual and what is spiritual. It’s good to lay down an accurate description in words of the experience of actualism – after all, it is a totally new human experience.
RESPONDENT: Although I have been working on beliefs and emotions for a long time this area of instincts is new to me so I don’t know exactly where I’m at with it.
PETER: From the ‘introduction’ I have been working on I did a brief summary of the animal instinctual passions as evidenced in human beings. I am sure you can relate to many of these facets of the instincts ‘in action’ in your own life. The Human Condition of malice and sorrow that is obvious in human beings collectively – 160,000,0000 killed in wars this century and an estimated 40,000,000 suicides worldwide this century – is a universal condition that no individual human being escapes. We are all born with a genetically-encoded set of instinctual passions that are fully developed by the age of about 2 years when the first signs of fear, aggression, nurture and desire become obvious in every infants behaviour. What is so appallingly evident global-wide is potentially in each of us, should we submit to, or be overwhelmed by, the instinctual animal passions. From the ‘introduction to Actual Freedom’ –
hobbles us with a desperate need to belong to a group, to cling to the past, to hang on to whatever we hold ‘dear’ to ourselves, to resist change, to fear death and consequently to desperately seek immortality. Fear drives us to seek power over others or to support the powerful in return for their protection.
Aggression causes us to fight for our territory, our possessions, our ‘rights’, our family and our treasured beliefs – seeking power over others. At core, we love to fight or see others fighting..
Nurture causes us to care, comfort and protect but also leads to dependency, empathy, pity, blind sacrifice for others and needless heroism. Women are programmed to reproduce the species and men are programmed to provide for, and protect, the offspring – a blind and relentless instinctual drive.
Desire relentlessly drives us to needless sexual reproduction and sexual hunting, senseless avarice, corruption and insatiable greed for possessions and power.
There has been an ongoing denial, repression and cover-up about the role of the animal instinctual passions that has been actively instilled in each human being as an integral part of our social conditioning. This conditioning takes the form of spiritual beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that are designed to make us ‘good’ citizens, do the ‘right’ thing and keep our instinctual passions ‘under control’. Unless this social identity is firmly tackled and eliminated it is impossible to even begin feeling and experiencing the instinctual passions in operation, let alone begin the investigation necessary to evince their extinction in oneself.
Many, many people who see ‘rotten’ in the world, turn to a personal search for freedom, peace and happiness and turn to the spiritual path. Thus they shackle themselves with spiritual metaphysical beliefs – the current fashion being Eastern religious belief. They then adopt the Eastern version of what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong and off they go into ancient belief, superstition, imagination and fantasy.
‘Eastern spiritual belief has it that human existence on earth is a ‘necessary suffering’ and that ultimate peace and fulfillment lies ‘elsewhere’, after death. This ‘necessary suffering’ is in fact the Human Condition of malice and sorrow and includes war, murder, rape, torture, domestic violence, corruption, despair and suicide. With this belief that all this suffering is necessary to human existence firmly habituated on the planet it is no wonder that human suffering and resentment continue to flourish.’ Introduction to Actual Freedom, The Human Condition
Of course, the Eastern religions also believe that one is born ‘innocent’ and only corrupted by ‘evil’ thoughts and that ‘right’ thinking will lead to a state of Divine purity! Unless one back-tracks out of all this nonsense, one has no chance of undertaking the common sense investigation necessary to re-wire one’s brain – to reprogram what society and blind nature has programmed your brain to think and feel to be real, true or the Truth. (...)
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.