Selected Correspondence Peter
Disassociation and Dissociation
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.
RESPONDENT: My trepidation re AF stems from an aversion to detachment, and while some of the feedback you’ve given me has seemed ‘slippery’, I think I understand enough now to grasp that that is not the case.
PETER: Spiritualism teaches detachment as in believing ‘I am not the body’ and that ‘who I really am really’ is a disembodied spirit. But following this spirit-ual teaching is to remain forever cut off from the magnificence and purity of the actual world we flesh and blood bodies live in.
Actualism is utterly and completely non-spiritual and as such, the actualism method of asking ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is specifically designed to break free of the ingrained habit of dissociating from one’s feelings and detaching from sensual experiencing. I am not asking you to believe me, however your own on-going observations and investigations may well reveal this to be the case.
RESPONDENT: Some spiritual disciplines preach ‘be here now’ forms, but then scurry back to the cave when the going gets tough.
PETER: The proof for me that the ‘be here now’ preachers were full of pith and wind was that, when they realized they were God, they totally retreated from the world and made their living bludging off others who aspired to learn detachment.
RESPONDENT: AF seems to espouse being fully in the world, warts and all.
PETER: Actualism is not about being in the real world because, as life-experience reveals, the real world sucks. In the real world some 6 billion human beings currently are involved in an instinctually-driven grim battle for survival. The human yearning for freedom is to seek a way of escaping from this instinctually-based illusion but this search for freedom is still well and truly stuck in the ancient fairy-tale beliefs of escaping to a spirit-ridden world – where good spirits go after ‘their body’ dies.
There are no warts such as malice and sorrow in the actual world – there is only purity and perfection. There is no anger in a tree, sadness in a rock, resentment in a coffee cup, feeling of alienation in a cloud – nor is there God in a television set. Actualism espouses abandoning the belief in an imaginary spirit world, stepping out of real world into the actual world and leaving your ‘self’ behind where ‘you’ belong.
RESPONDENT: While ‘attachment’ is clearly a culprit, the usual Buddhist response of non-attachment, or detachment is 180 degrees out. I see that now. The actual world suggested by AF seems to have the qualities that I had envisioned the Buddhist model to have, but never quite lived up to.
PETER: The actual world already delivers, and always has delivered, because it exists as an actuality. It is already, always here under our very noses, as it were. The actual world is pure and perfect in its peerless infinitude, whereas the real-world is but an illusionary ‘self’-created nightmare and the spiritual world is but a delusionary ‘self’-imagined dream.
It is my experience that even a virtual freedom from the human condition is vastly superior to suffering from the exalted state of Self-realization, God-realization, Buddha-hood or whatever other name is used. (...)
PETER: And just to once again draw attention to the difference between actualism and spiritualism – you may have noticed that those who suffer from solipsism would claim there is no flesh and blood finger, (no body), no physical sensation (only affective feeling) and no material object that the finger is touching (matter is illusionary), just ing-ing happening. Solipsism is a condition that happens to those who retreat from the world of people, things and events and become so enamoured with their own thinking and feelings (ing-ing) that they become so totally ‘self’-centred and ‘self’-obsessed that they are compelled to deny the very existence of both their fellow human beings and of matter itself.
RESPONDENT: I had meant to respond earlier to this post, but our area was hit with a nasty ice storm, which knocked out power (and internet access) over a large area for most of a week. It did afford the opportunity to experience instinctual fear, as tree limbs came crashing down on the roof repeatedly... that elicited a response that could only be from the lizard section of the brain. It was followed then by the fabricated worry response, which anticipated with dread the next limb. Anyways, it was an interesting (as in the Chinese curse?) observation of the whole range of fear responses.
PETER: Careful observation will reveal that the worry response emanating from instinctual fear is not fabricated – as in made-up or manufactured – but rather it is directly associated with the automatic instinctual response. The genetically programmed thoughtless instinctual response together with its immediate feeling aftermath, whether it lasts a few minutes or a few hours, are inseparable and any attempts to intellectually separate them can only result in dissociation.
RESPONDENT: In this case, I wasn’t attempting to separate them, it was merely interesting to notice that the total fear package had parts that originated in the genetic program, and parts in the conditioned response. I do have a tendency to ‘divide and conquer’, which happens to be one standard engineering practice ... I know it doesn’t work in these cases.
PETER: And yet what I was pointing out that in the case of an instinctive fear reaction to physical danger, it makes no sense to divide the reaction into two parts. In my experience of observing the feeling of fear, whenever the feeling of fear kicks in, whether it is in response to an actual danger or an imaginary one, there is no two-part reaction – no discernable first stage and no discernable, fabricated or conditioned, second phase to the feeling.
RESPONDENT: Understood, from a practical sense. There may still be parts of the reaction sequence that could be categorized as ‘innate’ or ‘conditioned’, but it doesn’t pertain to the task at hand.
PETER: The major task at hand for those with a sincere interest in actualism is to garner the intent to entirely abandon the past and to fully commit to something that is brand new in human history – bringing an end to malice and sorrow in this body, for the sake of this body and every other body. Unless one has this intent, any attempt to utilize the actualism method will only result in even more confusion and consternation about the human condition as one aimlessly observes whilst automatically discriminating the observations in accord with one’s social identity.
PETER: It may also be worthwhile considering that the male of the human species has been conditioned by his peers to rationalize his feelings in lieu of deeply experiencing his feelings. The significant understanding for an actualist is that this tendency to rationalize or intellectualize is only social conditioning and, as such, this habitual behaviour can be quite easily abandoned.
RESPONDENT: I hadn’t considered that my gender would play a significant role re dissociation, but what you say makes sense. Generally, males distance themselves from the emotions, while females wallow in them; neither is simply recognizing them with the intent of eliminating them.
PETER: In a similar vein, the male of the human species, precisely because of their male gender conditioning, could well be philosophically attracted to eliminating the feelings and emotions that are part and parcel of the instinctual passions. Because of this it is vital to remember that actualism is not about eliminating feelings and emotions – a negation that could only lead to sociopathic states – but that actualism is about becoming happy and harmless – a positivity of intent that serves to expose any feelings of malice and sorrow to the bright light of awareness.
PETER: Feelings and emotions on the other hand are a different matter – they are not the result of fabricated, conditioned nor taught behaviour. Feelings and emotions are rooted in the instinctual survival passions – an understanding that is vital to understanding the essential nature of the actualism method.
RESPONDENT: Interesting point you made about dissociation. If I understand correctly your last statement above, you are suggesting that pigeon-holing the various responses serves to reinforce the identity by defining or creating new components: this is No 38’s genetic response, this is No 38’s conditioned response, etc. Making the identity more complex is of course contrary to the actualist’s work.
PETER: Well, the first aspect is that your pigeon-holing of feelings seems to be intellectual rather than experiential and, as you would know from your engineering background, there is often a vast dichotomy betwixt theory and practice. Men in particular have been unwittingly taught since very early childhood to suppress, intellectualize or rationalize their feelings and emotions as a way of dissociating from their feelings. In the East, the God-men and monks simply took this taught behaviour to its extreme.
Secondly, keeping it simple is anathema to the human psyche – the confusion that arises from the combination of passion and imagination nearly always eclipses any chance of intelligence and common sense operating. The only way I found that I could utterly focus my attention on ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ was to keep it simple – I made this attentiveness my number one passion in life. There are countless examples in human history where individuals have devoted their lives, and their passion, to a single cause and by doing so have contributed mightily to the betterment of their fellow human beings. Richard’s single-minded intent and eventual discovery of a way to bring an end to the insidious influence of the instinctual passions is but one example.
PETER: I’ll just offer a comment on the matter of observation as it is relevant to all who have been attracted to Eastern spirituality or Eastern philosophy at some point in their lives. Vineeto and I have often discussed the fundamental differences between the Eastern practice of self-observation and the actualism practice of ‘self’-awareness as well as reflecting upon how difficult it was in the early days to stop being a dissociative observer and start becoming aware of exactly how I am experiencing this moment of being alive.
The fundamental difference between the two practices is due to the diametrically opposite intent of each of the practices – the aim of the spiritual practice is to cultivate a dissociated identity in order to avoid feeling the full range of instinctual passions, whereas the aim of actualism is to instigate radical change in order to become happy and harmless in the world-as-it-is, with people as-they-are.
Perhaps an example of how the actualism practice of ‘self’-awareness works in practice will serve to make this difference clear –
No philosophical umming and ahhing, no dissociating from unwanted feelings, no remaining aloof, no blaming others and so on – just the simple momentary awareness of the feelings that were preventing me from being happy coupled with an intense yearning to change in order to become actually harmless, come what may.
RESPONDENT: So, the dissociation aspect of the above would be ‘How could anything else or anyone else be more important in her life than me?’, bundling up a nice neat package of your emotions and displacing them on to an external entity.
PETER: No, your quote is an example of normal ‘self’-centredness, and I do mean normal, as humans are instinctually programmed to be ‘self’-centred.
When I said ‘no dissociating from unwanted feelings’ I meant that I didn’t sit there at the seaside café thinking ‘I’ am feeling furious or ‘my identity’ is feeling furious or wasting my time by asking ‘who’ is feeling furious. I simply acknowledged that I was – in that very moment of being alive – feeling furious. Utterly simple and down-to-earth – no evasion, no dissociation.
RESPONDENT: This is a process I am familiar with, and is very common amongst us humans.
It’s interesting that your experience mirrors my own (you’ll have to take my word on that as you don’t really know me)... over the last couple of years, my primary relationship has been very strained, but I also reached a point where I had to confront myself with that most elemental common sense: my behaviour was causing both of us pain, therefore I must stop it. So I set out to do exactly that, and for the most part no longer hold her, or the rest of the universe, responsible for stuff that clearly originates within me. I think there are similarities between this and standard behaviour modification techniques, but the difference lies in the actualist addressing the root cause of the behaviour, rather than focusing on the symptomatic characteristics.
PETER: It’s good to hear of successes. So much of the feed-back in these early years of actualism have been in the form of people objecting to using a method whose sole aim is to facilitate becoming more happy and less harmful to one’s fellow human beings. You may well find that persistence with the simplicity of the actualism method will move your success rating from ‘for the most part’ to an effortless 99.9% of the time and then you will find yourself virtually free of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: As far as dissociative techniques of observation used by spiritual practices, I’ll defer to your knowledge as I don’t have any direct experience with them or their practitioners. My dissociation has been purely of the mundane secular flavour.
PETER: Yep, I was born a male and brought up to be a man, which was the start of dissociation. Then I allowed myself to be sucked into Eastern religion, which only lead me further away from sensibility and the actual world of the senses.
The only reason I mentioned the Eastern practice of being a dissociated observer was that you had previously mentioned that you had found similarity between actualism and the writings and teachings of Bankei.
Of course the good thing is that none of this is set in concrete – all of this is nought but social programming and, as such, can be undone if one so desires. All that is needed to begin the process of undoing this programming is the simple acknowledgement that ‘I, along with everybody else, have got it 180 degrees wrong’. Only then can one stop defending ‘me as I am’ and get started on the job of de-programming.
A bit from my journal is relevant –
As you can see, recognizing and abandoning beliefs whilst cultivating a commonsense-only approach to the business of being alive is by no means an impossible task – I always figured that if one human being can do it then others can. Similarly if one man can deliberately dismantle his male conditioning, then other men can too and it also follows that there is no reason why women cannot do the same. All that is required is the sincere intent to become happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: Or is my identity bullshitting me again?
PETER: Speaking personally, I never saw any sense at all in splitting ‘me’ and ‘my identity’ into two parts. I had tried that in my spiritual years and saw that it was a wank.
RESPONDENT: Sometimes I use incorrect terminology, all those identities, self’s, me’s, mine, I’s ... I will try to refer to the AF glossary in the future. The intent was something like: Or is my identity attempting to maintain its existence at all costs?
PETER: I can only suggest re-reading the first piece I posted from my journal again and considering again the utter simplicity of the potent mix of being aware of how I am experiencing this moment of being alive combined with the single-pointed intent to change such that I become as happy and harmless as possible.
You may then find that the simplest, most straight-forward, phrasing of your original question would be ‘am I bullshitting myself again?’ as opposed to ‘is my identity bullshitting me again?’ Common sense would then have it that your second question would be ‘am ‘I’ attempting to maintain ‘my’ existence at all costs?’ because actualism is about ‘self’-immolation and not the physical death of the corporal body called No 38.
You might have noticed by now that I make no distinction between I and ‘I’ when I am being a normal human being. I do intellectually understand the distinction – t’is writ large all over the Actual Freedom Trust website – but the only way I, or indeed anybody else, can actually experience this distinction is when ‘I’ am not strutting the stage as it were – when ‘I’ am temporarily in abeyance during a pure consciousness experience. To attempt to split yourself into two parts while remaining an identity is an act of dissociation – vis –
This is the whole thrust of the spiritual search for freedom – split yourself into two identities, become free from ‘I’ as ego and Realize that ‘who’ you really are is ‘me’ as a disembodied soul. The spiritual process is to practice dissociating from ‘I’ as a personal ego, and from the illusion of a grim reality, whilst simultaneously aggrandizing the real ‘me’ until I get to the delusionary state of thinking and feeling I am best mates with some God or other or, in the Eastern tradition, thinking and feeling I am God Himself or Herself.
Whilst none of this is a problem – the tradition has been going on for thousands of years – t’would be a pity for someone who is genuinely interested in becoming actually free of malice and sorrow to unwittingly continue on with the age-old habit of dissociation.
No 37 recently put the whole issue of dissociation very succinctly –
RESPONDENT: That was one of the original draws of actualism, a bare-bones simple approach. I just have a tendency to drift upwards into the head a bit too easily. As I noted to No 37, this is much too important to risk letting it slip between my fingers. Back to the basics.
PETER: A single-pointed intent is the only thing that can counter the natural human tendency to drift, waft or waffle, aimlessly go with the flow, compulsively run with the herd or mindlessly rebel against the herd.
RESPONDENT: I’ve spent some time lately contemplating this dissociation business, and it has turned out to be fascinating. Your post clarifies a lot for me. My intent was never to distance myself from my identity a la spiritual techniques, but somewhere along the line in my ‘self’-observation, I’ve managed to do just that.
PETER: You could look at it that you were simply doing what comes naturally – human beings are born with a rudimentary self that is the very core of the ‘self’-centred survival instincts and this ‘me’ at heart is then overlaid with a social identity, an ‘I’ in the head, who is taught by his or her peers that ‘this is the way it is and this is the way it will has always been so this is the way it will always be’. Because of this it is universally agreed that ‘you can’t change human nature’ because it is human nature that makes human beings human. Thus it is that human beings keep raking through the rubbish bin of history – a bin labelled ‘humanity’s failed philosophies and fantasies’ – and keep endlessly re-running them in a vain attempt to find the meaning of life.
This morbid fascination with re-running the ‘tried and failed’ simply guarantees that any of the traditional efforts to evince peace on earth between human beings is ultimately fated to fail. Those who can see this are most often reduced to having a cynical view of human existence whereas those who have yet to see or can’t see this persist in trying to impose their own pet ‘failed philosophies and fantasies’ on others.
For those who can see the futility of re-running the tried and failed and have not fully succumbed to cynicism there is now a third alternative available. The opportunity has only recently arisen such that those who are sufficiently willing can now abandon the animal survival instincts that are the very root cause of all of the wars, of all of the murders, of all of the rapes, of all of the suicides, of all of the child abuse, of all of the corruption – of all of human malice and all of human sorrow. Of course to do so is an act of daring because by no longer being an instinctually-driven ‘being’ one is literally no longer a part of humanity – no longer a player in the relentlessly competitive battle for survival that human beings are instinctually-driven to wage against each other.
With this in mind, it is not at all surprising that you are running on the old human programming, including that of dissociation, for up until a few years ago there was no third alternative available to the traditional grim reality of the battle for survival or the various fantasies that conjure a Greater Reality of some sort. In short, giving yourself a hard time for something that is in no way your fault makes no sense.
Now that you have understood the nature of dissociation, you will be able recognize it whenever it is occurring and ‘nip it in the bud’, so that you can get on with the business of investigating what it is that is preventing you from being happy and harmless in this moment of time.
PETER: I thought to answer this post as well given that you have already dismissed Richard’s reply before he replied –
RESPONDENT: Here are some quotes from a book ‘Living Zen’ by Robert Linssen published in 1958 Grove Press. It makes for interesting reading in conjunction with the Actual Freedom website. There seems to be a remarkable similarity in concepts. No doubt Richard will focus his high powered linguistic microscope on tiny shades of meaning and become lost in the minutiae of stylistic differences. He will tell us that actual freedom from the human condition is not the same as Satori and that no Zen Master has ever trodden his path. I’m sure Richard will be able to invoke other schools of Zen thought that back up his objections but not all Zen is the same. Those of us who realise that language is inherently limited and noisy in meaning, especially in non-dualistic discussion, can broaden our focus and see remarkable similarities:
PETER: I see you are using the old ploy of offering up an argument whilst simultaneously denigrating the answerer – so much for having a sincere discussion. And just to add a little oomph to your stance you invoke the support of the royal ‘us’ – those whose focus is so broad that they blithely redefine the meaning of any words to suit their own purposes and fit their own beliefs – so much for having a sensible discussion.
I have tried to have sensible discussions with several Zen Buddhists and always found it to be an impossibility as their perch is so lofty that they can’t help but be condescending … and if one attempts to talk sensibly to them they retreat to a position of dismissing anything that is contrary to their beliefs by disparaging the very idea that having a clear-cut and meaningful conversation about such matters is at all possible – so much so that you can almost see the shutters go down.
RESPONDENT: The author uses the term ‘I-process’ to highlight the illusory character of identity, seemingly unchanging but borne of process.
PETER: It’s pertinent to point out that ancient Eastern spirituality teaches that the illusionary identity (‘I’ as ego only) is borne exclusively of the process of conditioning … whereas actualism establishes by observation and experimentation that the social/ instinctual identity (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) is borne of the genetically-encoded instinctual passions.
To summarize these differences –
A world of difference.
RESPONDENT: Chapter XI Memory Habits and the Birth of the ‘I-process’
PETER: Not a word to be seen in this quote about the crucial role that the instinctual passions play in both forming and sustaining the parasitical entity that inhabits the flesh and blood body – rather the author says that ‘an entity has been built up on what was a simple impersonal non-individualized process of pure perception’. This is a clear reference to the notion that the identity, ‘a thinker’, is made up of memory accumulations aka conditioning and if one dis-identifies from this conditioning then the ‘pure perception’ (aka state of innocence) that we were supposedly born with will miraculously emerge.
The myth of Tabula Rasa, the belief we human beings born pure and innocent, flies in the face of overwhelming scientific and anecdotal evidence that all human beings are born with a genetically-encoded array of survival instincts – primary impulses that are passionate in nature and that are experienced as feelings and emotions. In other words ‘the thinker’, or ego-self is but the thin layer of icing on the cake of ‘the feeler’, the instinctual self – ‘me’ at my very core.
There is a vast difference between what the Sages believed and the facts of the matter.
This whole issue of instinctual passions was one of the things that really got me interested in actualism – I didn’t have to believe that the instinctual passions were genetically-encoded, I knew by my own experience that this was fact. I had children of my own and I had observed with my own eyes the emergence of unprovoked reflexive outbursts of antipathy as well as spontaneous bouts of sullenness, and I saw that this was common to all children. I could also clearly see the instinctual passions at work in adults and in humanity at large – indeed in the whole of the animal world, in all sentient creatures.
The final clincher came when I started to be attentive to the instinctual passions in action, in myself, in real-time – be it fear, aggression, nurture or desire. Both the obligation to believe and the impulse to dis-believe went out the window as I was confronted with the choice of continuing to believe what the Sages believed or rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck into the immediate task at hand of ridding myself of malice and sorrow – in other words, daring to be happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are.
RESPONDENT: Chapter XX Characteristics of Satori according to the Zen Masters Page 169:
PETER: And thus a delusion is born out of an illusion, for according to the Zen Masters, Satori ‘is realized in the heart of a pseudo-identity’ and ‘it’s very reality is drawn from infinite and impersonal source in the depths’ – in other words ‘me’ at my core. The subsequent ‘elimination of all thought, all imagery, all memory-automatism of the past’, results in an identity that is so aggrandized that it imagines itself to be infinite and impersonal and thus feels itself to be God-like. In short, this is narcissism writ large, albeit carefully masqueraded as humility so as to gain the plaudits of the masses.
You might notice that I am not focussing my ‘high powered linguistic microscope on tiny shades of meaning and become lost in the minutiae of stylistic differences’, but rather I am focussing on the broad and fundamental differences between spiritualism and actualism – in this case that spiritualism teaches the possibility of realizing that very reality of ‘me’ at my source is an ‘infinite and impersonal’ being, whereas actualism points out that ‘me’ at my core is an instinctive ‘being’ – a ‘being’ that will literally do anything, and believe anything, in order to survive.
RESPONDENT: This interesting quote is taken from Comedie Psychologique by the writer Carlo Suares, apparently without reference to Zen thought. It is reproduced in ‘Living Zen’, chapter XX, page 172:
PETER: A classic description, if ever there was one, of the extreme act of dissociation that is necessary for anyone who aspires to become ‘supremely conscious’ in order that they can realize that they are ‘the Eternal’.
You might notice that I’m not nit-picking words because the author has twice used phrases that unambiguously point to dissociation –
I’ll leave you to find out the difference between this quote that you offer as proof of the ‘remarkable similarity’ between spiritualism and actualism, and what actualism is about, after all it’s your presumption. All you need to do is go to the Actual Freedom home page, click on ‘How to Search the Web-site’, follow the instructions and type in the word ‘dissociation’. You will find a myriad of links that will reveal the unassailable gulf that exists between the spiritual practice of dissociation and the actualism method of becoming free of malice and sorrow in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are.
PETER: The first observation I had was about ‘relationships’ – the man-woman, living-together type. I was laying back in bed with Vineeto the other night, enjoying a particular intimate moment, when I realized the intimacy I was enjoying was the result of going into the relationship fully, of not holding back, of not settling for anything less than the very best. This continually ‘leaning forward’ rather than holding back was the only way I came to discover what was preventing me from experiencing the exquisite intimacy of the day to day peaceful living with a fellow human being. I say this because it is only by intrepidly going beyond the much-vaunted idealism and feelings of love that I managed to discover not only the guileful constraints that love inevitably imposes on both lover and loved, but also the dark underbelly of passions that love attempts to repress.
GARY: Actual intimacy is not at all like ‘real world’ intimacy that I have experienced before. In Actual intimacy, there is no demand or need placed on the partner to the relationship, so one cannot be ‘vulnerable’, in the ordinary sense of that word.
PETER: Yeah. The usual advice is that one needs to be open to the other, ‘open to love’, and that in turn means being more emotionally vulnerable. If one is really emotionally vulnerable then one is not only open to feeling love but also to feeling unloved, to feeling jealousy, to feeling not nurtured, to feeling neglected, to feeling wounded, to feeling resentment, to wanting to wound, and so on.
The traditional reaction when one is flooded by unwanted or undesirable feelings is to want to become invulnerable which usually results in withdrawing, closing down or cutting off – of some sort, to some degree. And, of course, if one feels particularly emotionally wounded then a psychological reaction known as dissociation can result.
Again I’ll post a piece from my Journal which describes how I leapt onto the path of dissociation – a journey that lasted some 17 years as it turned out.
It’s fascinating when you begin to discover that the universally-revered and sacrosanct spiritual teachings are naught but ancient fairy tales based on the ‘wisdom’ of dissociating from the material world. For the spiritualist, these other-worldly tales and other-worldly feelings provide a psychological and psychic haven – the desperate urge to not want to be here triggers an equally desperate urge to be somewhere else, a retreat into fantasy based on denial and dissociation.
For an actualist, the solution to becoming free of the emotional roller coaster is the simple act of being attentive to how you are experiencing this moment of being alive. This attentiveness firstly withers away at any denial or dissociation that is happening resulting in the gradual unveiling of the sensual delights of the actual world, which in turn leads to increasing experiences of an actual intimacy with all of one’s fellow human beings.
RESPONDENT: It’s late in the night and I’m walking escorted by Police together with a few friends to the nearest police station. The dark, clear, sparkling summer sky, the pleasant-chilly air of the night is in sharp contrast with the blood springing out of my injuries, with my wrecked T-shirt and with the noisy talk of the people walking alongside me.
They speak about revenge, about justice, showing off their injuries, saying that the aggressors will pay dearly for their doings, making battle plans, being clouded by an instinctive atmosphere of hate and irrationalism. They resemble somehow with an infuriated bull at a Spanish Corrida. Contrary to my fellow companions, I’m feeling very peacefully, at ease with myself, somehow bemused by the whole story, enjoying the night walk.
It’s not always like this. I remember on other occasions having moments of absolute and irrational anger, being obsessed with revenge plans, sometimes taking the form of criminal impulses. I could see, on this particular life situation, the spiral of violence, the vicious circle which swallows one if responding by the same means, the process of crime, the process which makes you think that you can end violence with even more violence. This is a random example of what is happening at this very moment perhaps with greater consequences in another place on Earth.
PETER: From your description you seem to have had an other-than-normal experience of some sort, bought on by the shock of the incident. I have talked to many people who have related similar experiences after car accidents and the like. Some people are even shocked out of their normal ‘self’-centred state into the actuality of being here and when the ‘self’ re-enters the stage, this can lead to various scenarios. If the shock is of having been near-death, a feeling of being grateful (to a Saviour of some sort) for being saved from death is common. If the shock is the death or departure of someone close, a yearning for a permanent (as in immortal), unconditional (as in all-loving), companion (a God of some sort) is common. Both of these reactions are disassociative, in that they are an escape from grim reality into the passionate fantasy of a Greater Reality, a ‘turning away’ if you like.
I have had versions of both these types of after-shock experiences in my lifetime and I know well the seductive power of indulging in disassociative states. But I also have had occasions where the shock of particular incidents in my life resulted not in disassociative states but in brief periods of utter clarity. These pure consciousness experiences can be quite challenging because, for a brief period of time, one clearly sees the world as-it-is and people as-they-are. One of these experiences afforded me the opportunity of experiencing that we human beings are involved in an on-going grim instinctual battle for survival – fought psychologically and psychically as well as physically – that is utterly senseless given the cornucopian abundance and perfect splendour of this verdant paradisiacal planet.
I saw that this battle was ‘self’-centred, in that it was fought out by psychological and psychic entities who thought and felt instinctively they were different to and alien from each other. As I pondered the nature of this instinct-driven battle, I understood that only by becoming completely ‘self’-less could flesh and blood human bodies be actually free of this battle. And I also understood that the venerated age-old spiritual path headed in the opposite direction to the solution of ending this ‘self’-centred battle because it was clear that the aim of all spiritual practice is ‘self’-aggrandizement and not ‘self’-extinction.
This pure consciousness experience seemed other-worldly at the time, as indeed it was, because I was shocked out of my normal dream-like reality into the actual world – the actuality of what I am as opposed to being ‘who’ I think and feel I am. I knew not what to do with the experience at the time except that it gave me a glimpse that freedom meant not only becoming free from normal grim reality, but also from the sham of a Greater Reality. Some years later, I serendipitously came across a man who had not only become free from both of these ‘realities’ but was also able to tell me how he did it.
No matter what experience you had after your brush with violence – and I am no arbiter of others’ experiences – any opportunity to be free of the ever-present veil of grim reality whilst avoiding the traps of disassociative states, can afford a human being with a wealth of invaluable information. The insights and questions that come from the temporarily lifting of the veil of reality can also offer a daring challenge – to become actually free from being a passionate participant in the grim instinctual battle for survival that inflicts the current human species.
RESPONDENT: I had a look in the pages suggested, but I could not find anything related with anxiousness and fear for unknown reason, which creates panic. In such a condition do you know if there is any other approach apart of medicines like SSRI (Prozac etc)?
PETER: Fear is widely regarded as the most potent feature of the instinctual survival program – the genetic program that is the primary operating system of all animals, including the human animal. The rudimentary survival instinct of animals is sometimes referred to as the ‘fight and flight’ response, often summed up in the phrase ‘what can I eat, what can eat me?’
Traditional methods of attempting to assuage the fear of survival inherent within the human condition include seeking safety in numbers by clinging to family and tribal members, seeking security by hoarding money, possessions and assets or seeking power and control over others, either covertly or overtly. The other traditional methods of counteracting instinctual fear involves dissociating from the feeling of fear by seeking succour and comfort in any of the multitudinous spiritual and religious beliefs, be it the fantasy of having a Big-Daddy God as a personal friend and protector, sustaining a belief in life after death and the immortality of one’s soul or spirit, or imagining oneself to be at-one-with God or even God Himself/ Herself/ Itself.
And, as you say, there may well be medications that can help those who suffer chronically from fear, but I have no experience or knowledge of this, so I can’t make comment on this approach.
It is important to note that actualism, unlike spiritualism, is not about coping with, assuaging or transcending fear – actualism is about becoming both happy and harmless. This may well explain why your question has not been answered to your satisfaction – the emphasis in actualism is solely on becoming both happy and harmless – not in feeling fearless, all-powerful and immortal as in spiritualism. Actualism is a new and unique approach to becoming free from the human condition in that involves progressively eradicating the root cause of human malice and sorrow – the total package of the ‘self’-centred instinctual survival passions.
When I first came across actualism and was confronted with the proposition of abandoning the spiritual path and devoting my life to becoming happy and harmless, I remember seeing it as looking into a dark tunnel. I knew the journey to becoming happy and harmless would be the end of ‘me’ – hence the dark tunnel. But at the same time I also understood that the only thing that was preventing me from starting on the path to an actual freedom was a feeling – the feeling of fear. This is the same for anyone who sets off on a journey into the unknown – what initially stands in the way of beginning the journey is fear, but once they actually start the journey the thrill of the adventure takes over.
My experience is that if you really want to become free of the human condition in toto, it is important not to let fear stop you – fear is, after all, only a feeling.
RESPONDENT: I had read to Krishnamurti suggesting to stay with fear or anxiousness, because I am the fear. He was expriming it saying that the observer is the observed. What do you say about that?
PETER: As I said, actualism has nothing to do with practicing dissociation. Dissociating from feelings when they get too raw or too potent is a common psychological reaction and it is well-documented that in some cases this reaction can be so severe that altered states of consciousness can result, either partial or permanent. Of course, in the spiritual tradition dissociation is lauded as the panacea to grim reality and is actively practiced by many people – one simply imagines there is an alternative non-physical spirit-only world, a Greater Reality, and then feels oneself to be living in this world, thereby dissociating from grim reality. With practice, one can even start to feel ‘At-One-With’ this Greater Reality or even be convinced solipsistically that one ‘Is’ that Greater Reality – leading to such twaddle as ‘I am God’ and ‘God is me’, or ‘I am the Universe’ and ‘the Universe is me’ and so on.
Then ‘the observer is the observed’ – which is what J. Krishnamurti was talking about. Spiritualists do take their ‘selfs’ very, very seriously.
I’ve often contemplated on the fact that, in my father’s time, anyone who went around declaring they were God, by whatever name, would have been confined in a mental institution. Nowadays, with the current fashion for Eastern religion, the world is littered with people who say they are God, or God-realized, and yet rather than be incarcerated they are venerated.
RESPONDENT: So, when I was speaking about the observer and the observed, I was meaning it this way: When I look at my fear, then there is duality. Me (the observer) looking at fear (the observed).
PETER: This means ‘you’ (the observer) are separating yourself from your feeling of fear (the observed). You have created this duality by creating a new superior-feeling identity (the observer).
RESPONDENT: Then me being different from fear, I try to do something about this fear. To end it, to exprime it, etc.
PETER: If you investigate Eastern spiritual teachings a bit, you will find that what they are talking about is transcending fear – as in rising above – and not in ending fear. Nowhere do the ancient teachings talk about eliminating fear because this can only be done if the self-centred instinctual passions are eliminated in toto.
This is what actualism brings to the table and it is brand new in human history – a scientific investigative process that results in freedom from the instinctual passions as distinct from a mystical dissociative freedom from the fears of being here in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are.
RESPONDENT: When I stated that the observer is the observed, then I was meaning that I and the fear are the same thing. There are not two different things.
PETER: And yet only two sentences before you said ‘Then me being different from fear, I try to do something about this fear’. Either you believe you are different from fear or you believe you and fear are the same thing – to have a bet each way only leaves you confused. In the actualism method you find the facts of the matter for yourself by your own investigations which saves the confusion and uncertainty of having to rely on believing what others tell you is the Truth.
RESPONDENT: Actually I was meaning the opposite of dissociation. When I say I am afraid then dissociation takes place.
PETER: You have just totally redefined dissociation to mean exactly the opposite it does in psychiatric terms.
When you say ‘I am afraid’ then there is no distance between ‘you’ and fear – ‘you’ and the feeling are one and the same thing. You acknowledge the fact that there is no difference between ‘you’ and the feeling of fear.
On the other hand, when you say ‘When I look at my fear, then there is duality. Me (the observer) looking at fear (the observed)’ then you have separated yourself from your feeling of fear. You have dissociated from your feeling of fear by inventing a new identity – the one who observes fear but is separate from the feeling.
The process of self-investigation in actualism involves neither denying, repressing or dissociating from any feelings that may arise in this very moment, nor does it involve indulging in, expressing or associating with any of those feelings. This enables the actualism method to be an unbiased scientific in-depth investigation of one’s own psyche, a process aimed at promoting the felicitous feelings and eliminating the so-called good and bad feelings, i.e. those that are the invidious and self-aggrandizing.
RESPONDENT: If it is possible not to disassociate the I from the fear in the moment this thing we call fear arise, then I think that there is only fear and no one I, ONE SELF TO BE AFRAID.
PETER: In spiritual teachings it is commonly said that ‘I’ am not my feelings’ – they come and go – but ‘I’ (the watcher) remain as a constant. What is usually ignored in this scenario is that ‘I’ (the watcher) gleefully associate with the good and loving feelings whilst disingenuously dissociate from the bad and evil feelings.
RESPONDENT: If I understand that I and fear are one composite phenomenon, then there is nothing that I can do about it.
PETER: You can’t do anything about it if you believe what the spiritual teachers tell you. If you are willing to abandon your spiritual beliefs then you can make your own investigations of your own psyche in operation so as to determine for yourself the facts of the matter. Of course you have to want to change, in order to change.
RESPONDENT: So there is no action from the self to do something. And then might be that the self is eliminated all together.
PETER: I don’t know whether you have noticed or not, but if you don’t do some action or other, then nothing happens. God doesn’t make your breakfast, press the buttons on your remote control or earn the money for your food and shelter. Why then should you imagine that a God, by whatever name, is going to magically change your life circumstances and free you from your feelings of fear, antagonism, sorrow, angst, etc.
RESPONDENT: Because seems to me that the self is coming into being through psychological action. Like identification for example.
PETER: Yes. Spiritual teachings do teach dis-identification as being the panacea to unwanted or undesirable feelings. ‘‘I’ am not my feelings’ and ‘‘I’ am not my body’ are commonly heard spiritual psittacisms.
RESPONDENT: Then there is only fear and what can I do? Nothing.
PETER: There is something you can do about it but your own belief has already ruled that out – ‘there is no action from the self to do something’.
RESPONDENT: Then I think there is no problem.
PETER: If you dissociate from your unwanted or undesirable feelings, and dis-identify from the ‘[Respondent]’ who occasionally gets fearful, annoyed, sad, lonely, etc. – then there is no problem.
Speaking personally, I tried the spiritual approach for some 17 years before I finally admitted the effort of trying to dissociate from my feelings of animosity and sadness had made me neither happy nor harmless. Admitting failure finally opened the way to try out something new – to head off in the opposite direction from the well-worn spiritual path.
RESPONDENT: The problem arises when the dissociation takes place and I say I AM AFRAID.
PETER: Again you are redefining the word dissociation to mean the exact opposite it is taken to mean as a psychiatric term.
RESPONDENT: That means of course that I must not name it as fear.
PETER: This seems to be common Krishnamurti moral – ‘Thou shall not name thou feelings’. You may not be aware of the fact that Richard wrote extensively on a Krishnamurti mailing list for some four years. Eventually a few Krishnamurtiites started to talk about their feelings although most were such faithful followers and had so repressed their feelings that they could not bring themselves to say words such as fear, anger and depression – let alone bring themselves to acknowledge that they had these feelings from time to time.
RESPONDENT: The word creates the dissociation, because is the I who says this is fear. Then the I is different from fear.
PETER: I am reminded of the icon that nicely sums up Eastern Religion – three monkeys sitting in a row, ‘See no evil’, ‘Hear no evil’, ‘Speak no evil’. In modern times this translates as ‘Don’t watch television’, ‘Don’t listen to common sense’ and ‘Deny your own anger and blame everyone else for the violence in the world’.
RESPONDENT: I never believed in higher selves and gods and all these nonsense. I mean I was not meaning identification with god universe etc.
PETER: And yet, by what you write, you believe every thing that that old Indian God-man, J. Krishnamurti, spoke the Truth.
Again, the ‘Book Review’ will throw more light on the subject of Guru worshipping.
RESPONDENT: I was not speaking about enlightenment. I never was able even to understand what that means. Can be any hallucination and illusion.
PETER: And yet, by what you write, you are a firm believer in the teachings of Eastern religion – the teachings which say that it is possible for a man to become God-realized, aka Enlightened, on earth before entering into Heaven, aka Nirvana. To believe in the teachings is to actively participate in the delusion.
RESPONDENT: When a feeling is given the label, ‘Sadness’, instead of me thinking, ‘I am sad’. Is this apperception or something else?
PETER: Well, as you write it, this is most definitely not apperception but is more likely dissociation.
If you notice that you are feeling sad, why not simply note that ‘I am feeling sad’? Saying ‘there is sadness happening’ rather than saying ‘I am feeling sad’ is equivalent to saying ‘my body is sick’ rather than saying ‘I am sick’. Whether one claims is ‘I am not my feelings’ or ‘I am not my body’, both are statements of dissociation.
I always like to take a clear-eyed look at the fundamental bottom line of any aspect of the human condition and Ramesh Balsekar’s teachings are a prime example of dissociation writ large –
RESPONDENT: My understanding of the way to nondual awareness is to ‘be here now’, in my body. I don’t care for nondual awareness anymore. I just want freedom. Would you say that ‘be here now’ in my body, equates to the effect of ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’
PETER: No. Even in my very early days of actualism I understood that what actualism was on about was being happy and harmless, as this corporeal flesh and blood body only, right now in this perpetual moment, right here in this physical place. Actualism is totally upfront about this, which is apparently why so few have thus far been willing to be pioneers in this business.
RESPONDENT: If I one day have virtually no feelings or issues to get in the way, and the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is repeated without interruption, how do I prevent myself from becoming dissociated?
PETER: Well, Ramesh Balsekar has no feelings or issues that get in the way of his feeling pretty damn good because he is utterly dissociated from whatever God decides his ‘body/mind organism’ should or shouldn’t act. The way to avoid dissociation and dissociative states is simple – be upfront, at the start, about singularly devoting your life to being harmless as well as being happy.
RESPONDENT: This is my take on Richard’s instructions:
Is it correct?
PETER: Given the post I am responding to is somewhat dated now, I notice that No 21 has responded to a more recent question you asked about the actualism method and I particularly liked his response –
As someone who has written much of the much that has so far been written about the actualism method, I am reluctant to add yet more at this stage. In order to understand how the actualism method of becoming happy and harmless works in practice it is essential to firstly want to become happy and harmless so as to able to find out for oneself exactly what this entails in practice – then what has been written in the past, and is now currently being written by yet others, will act as an invaluable corroboration that one is indeed on the broad and bountiful path to an actual freedom from malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT No 48: When a feeling is given the label, ‘Sadness’, instead of me thinking, ‘I am sad’. Is this apperception or something else?
PETER to No 48: Well, as you write it, this is most definitely not apperception but is more likely dissociation.
If you notice that you are feeling sad, why not simply note that ‘I am feeling sad’? Saying ‘there is sadness happening’ rather than saying ‘I am feeling sad’ is equivalent to saying ‘my body is sick’ rather than saying ‘I am sick’. Whether one claims ‘I am not my feelings’ or ‘I am not my body’, both are statements of dissociation.
I always like to take a clear-eyed look at the fundamental bottom line of any aspect of the human condition and Ramesh Balsekar’s teachings are a prime example of dissociation writ large – <snipped for length> Peter to No 48, 16.9.2003
RESPONDENT: The question of No 48, is very interesting. The only trap here is the word label. If we give no label to the feeling, then there is no dissociation.
PETER: Really? I don’t know how much you know about the human condition but if one is feeling sad and intentionally avoids calling the feeling you are having sadness then one is deliberately practicing dissociation, as in ‘cut off or free from association with something else; separate in fact or thought’. Oxford Dictionary
RESPONDENT: But if we say I am sad, then this is dissociation.
PETER: It strikes me that maybe you are having trouble with the English language, but if you say I am feeling sad then you are associating with having the sad feeling. The word ‘am’ is a grammatical relative of the word ‘be’, as in ‘coincide with, be identical to; form the essential constituent of, act the part of’. Oxford Dictionary.
In other words, when I say I am feeling sad, I make no distinction between ‘me’ and my feelings, I am saying ‘I’ am my feelings and my feelings are ‘me’, I am saying they ‘coincide’ with ‘me’ when they are happening, I am saying ‘me’ and ‘my feelings’ are ‘identical’, I am acknowledging that my feelings are ‘an essential constituent of’ ‘me’ as an identity, I am experiencing that the feeling of sadness is an ‘act of part of’ ‘me’.
I fail to see how I can explain it any clearer. Of course, the way to validate what I am saying for yourself is to go deeply into the feeling of sadness the next time you experience it and you will find out for yourself that at the very core of ‘me’ there is no distinction between ‘me’ and my feelings.
RESPONDENT: Is the me the self who is different from the feeling.
PETER: And yet what you are saying here is in effect that ‘‘I’ am not my feelings’ – you are plainly making a distinction between ‘me’ the self and the feelings you have. I am left wondering whether you are merely running a philosophical argument for the sake of objecting as you made no such distinctions between you and your feelings in a previous post to No 47 –
Is the thought who creates the self and says I am sad.
PETER: Ah, by the dashing down of another thought, albeit a hackneyed spiritual psittacism, feelings are dismissed as being mere thoughts.
I am reminded of all those spiritualists sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed desperately waiting for the dark clouds of ‘wrong thoughts’ and ‘bad thinking’ to subside so that they can latch on to a blissful feeling for a while.
RESPONDENT: Peter to my opinion did not get it.
PETER: Well that may be your opinion, but I was a devout practicing spiritualist for 17 years so I know dissociation from experience and I know how it operates in practice. There was a lot gained from exploring the lunatic fringe.
RESPONDENT: My English-Greek dictionary, gave to me the translation of dissociation, as splitting, separation. So I thought that when I say I have pain, there is a separation, me and the pain, as two different things. If I say my body is in pain, then, to me is still a separation me and my body.
PETER: I don’t know if you are aware of it but you have now switched topics and are talking about something completely different than what No 48 was talking about, what I replied to No 48 about and what you originally commented on. No 48 was talking about the feeling of sadness – an affective feeling whereas you have now switched to talking about something completely different – the sensation of pain.
As an actualist, I found that it was essential to grasp the difference between thinking, affective feelings and physical sensations before I could make sense of how my own psyche operated, and therefore how the human condition manifests in general. After I abandoned my spiritual indoctrination, I found the differences between the three quite simple to understand but it was only by being attentive to the differences in my own daily-life experiencing did I really understand the differences in practice.
RESPONDENT: In the way you explained to me in this email, I should rather call it identification. So to recapitalised when I say ‘I have pain’ this is identification, the me, the I, the thought that identifies with pain. Do you agree to this?
PETER: What I have explained to you in the previous post has to do with affective feelings which was the topic of my conversation with No 48 whereas the question you now ask is not about feelings it is about thoughts and physical sensations. In the light of this, perhaps you could rephrase your question so that it remains relevant to the topic.
To give you a practical down-to-earth, everyday example of the distinction between affective feelings and physical sensations – recently I was working on a building site where one of the workmen had influenza. Not only was he sick – headache, blocked sinuses, muscle weariness, etc. – he was also feeling very miserable as well and, as sick people tend to do, he let everyone else on site know he was miserable. Last week, I had the very same illness that he had but I did not feel miserable, or feel sad or feel unhappy about having the physical sensations of the illness, despite the fact that I had the same symptoms as he did.
PETER: You are obviously perfectly at peace as your Self, being one of the fathomless all-mighty God-men within the human condition. As such, you do not even recognize, let alone ‘own’, your fear, anger, doubt, sorrow, frustration, aloofness or ‘above and beyond’ sanctimony. Which is why you prefer to remain within a delusion of your own creation and prefer to ‘not bother with what must be the immensely stressful, frustrating, and quite dirty business of digging out of a hole’.
RESPONDENT: This is incorrect thought. I have existed as fear, doubt and aloofness, although, and this is important, I have never owned what I existed as.
PETER: This gets a bit silly given that you said above – ‘it can be offered that I have never been malice or sorrow’. Where I come from normal people who have feelings of fear and doubt invariably experience feelings of malice – resentment, frustration, annoyance, anger, etc. – and feelings of sorrow – sadness, melancholy, depression, despair, etc.
But I do note your important point that you ‘have never owned’ these feelings – a concise description of being in a dissociated state.
RESPONDENT: I have never been separate from what I exist as to ‘own’ any-thing, though I am Infinitely responsible for what I exist as.
PETER: ‘Infinitely responsible’, but not humanly responsible, hey? By waving the ‘I am Infinitely responsible’ flag, God-men have literally got away with murder since time immemorial.
Being ‘infinitely responsible’ is God-man-speak for ‘I am not responsible for peace on earth because I am not responsible for my malice and sorrow because I have risen above all earthly matters’. In a similar vein, ‘I am Unconditional Love’ is God-man-speak for I am not responsible for peace on earth because I am not responsible for being incapable of living with my fellow human beings in peace and harmony because I have risen above all earthly matters.
PETER: I have several times looked over your last posts to me but have always come to the same conclusion – we have nothing in common to talk about.
RESPONDENT: No? Seems that there were several question related directly to actualism wanting to be answered. With you being a self acknowledge expert in actualism, and the questions being directly related to your area of expertise a common interest is strongly established.
PETER: What I said is we have nothing in common to talk about. You may have an interest in asking questions but you have already made it quite clear on this list, and unambiguously in this comment you made to No 13, that actualism and No 22-ism have nothing in common –
The full quote reveals that the ‘facts’ you offered are your solipsistic view that material objects, flesh and blood human beings and the physical universe do not exist in fact.
Respondent to No 13, 4.5.2001
As you well know, solipsism is the very antithesis of actualism, which may well explain your persistent objections and chameleon-like yet totally transparent attempts to hi-jack the words of actualism for your own purposes.
PETER: We are poles apart in that you have apparently retreated so far from the actual world of people, things and events that you think and feel this world to be completely illusionary.
RESPONDENT: If I may please, I suggest you look over the post at least once more and in doing so find a way to change the erroneous conclusion thus far reached. There has never been, nor will there ever be a retreat from actuality.
PETER: The meaning of the words actual and actualism –
Compared with your version of ‘actual’ taken from the above quote to No 13 –
In other words, you feel and think that what is actual does not exist. – and I use the real meaning of the word actual as opposed to your misappropriation of the word.
And yet again, from a post to No 12 –
In other words, you think and feel that human bodies do not actually exist.
And very recently –
Given your persistent and perverse persecution of plausible prose and perspicacious perception, I’ll pass on your suggestion that I find a way to change my conclusion that we are poles apart.
PETER: You have written thousands of words over several years now and have consistently demonstrated that you have no interest in actuality at all.
RESPONDENT: This is, of course, mistaken thought. The fact is the only interest is in actuality. Perhaps the lack of interest in adopting the conclusions and dualistic metaphysics of ‘actualism’ has been mistaken for non-interest in actuality?
PETER: Given your misuse of the words actual, actuality and actualism, your comment makes no sense whatsoever. You are not alone in this custom of deliberately misusing words and contriving them to mean something they clearly do not mean, for this is symptomatic of all spiritual teachings.
PETER: I can only presume that you are perfectly happy with your life as-it-is, whereas a prerequisite for an interest in actualism is a burning discontent with one’s life as-it-is – both one’s spiritual life and one’s real-world life.
RESPONDENT: You are of course free to fantasize and imagine what ever you wish Good Friend, however, in the instance that there is an interest in what is actual it would be an absolute absurdity for one to go about imagining that ‘I’ am ‘happy with MY life’ as it is or other wise.
PETER: It may have escaped your attention but I used the word ‘presume’ and made no mention at all of imagining. There is a significant difference between the two words. I also see that my presumption was correct as you go on to say further on in your post that [quote]: ‘I am the happiness and harmlessness that actualism spends so much brave effort trying to imitate’ [endquote], which I take it is your way of saying you are perfectly happy as you are.
RESPONDENT: There is happiness as life and that happiness is in no small way associated with the recognition that the fantasy that there is some ‘I’ that is other than life and thus capable of being happy with ‘its life’ is the basis of unhappiness. I am what I am doing (being) and that is all, and that recognition Good Friend is the essence of happiness. Sans the duality of ‘me’ and ‘my life’ the struggle ends, the threats disappear, and the justification for angry, defensive behaviour evaporates. I am happiness Good Friend. As a matter of fact, I am the happiness and harmlessness that actualism spends so much brave effort trying to imitate.
PETER: You have already posted your recipe for ending malice and sorrow, in other words your recipe for becoming happy and harmless –
As I pointed out before, your recipe for bringing an end to malice and sorrow is but a facsimile of the tried and failed spiritual recipe that has been running for thousands of years now, has been arduously practiced by millions if not billions of practitioners and has done nothing but spawn thousands of god-men, god-women and GOD[s] who then do nothing but teach the same twaddle to yet another generation of gullible supplicants.
Your recipe can be summarized as follows –
Given point 3 of your recipe, attempting to have a sincere conversation with you is nonsensical because your avowed aim is to ignore, dismiss and deny any information that would cast doubt on you being GOD. Or, to put it another way, your door is not only firmly closed but latched and triple locked.
PETER: I can only presume that you are perfectly happy with your life as-it-is, whereas a prerequisite for an interest in actualism is a burning discontent with one’s life as-it-is – both one’s spiritual life and one’s real-world life.
RESPONDENT: As observed before, the dualistic fantasy of ‘me’ and ‘my life’ is the cornerstone of the brave quest/fantasy of actualism.
PETER: Whereas GOD does not have a life, as in –
Given that you are GOD and ‘omnipotence is the package’, why do you bother publishing your ‘recipe for bringing an end to sexual abuse, rape, child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, depression, corruption, despair and suicide...’ – why not simply bring an end to all the malice and sorrow on this planet? Of course if you did, then there would be no malice and sorrow in the world, no need for the antidotal feelings of love and compassion and no need for gods, goddesses or GOD – so I can only assume the reason why you haven’t omnipotently brought an end to malice and sorrow has to do with the very real threat to your identity.
Actualism is a newly-emerged actual and active threat to all the imaginary gods, goddesses, gurus and god-men – their days are numbered and they will eventually go the way of the belief that the earth was flat.
RESPONDENT to No 14: (...) 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: (...) To make the point very clear, let’s look at another quote from Rajneesh describing his Enlightenment experience –
Doesn’t really sound like a man who is flesh and blood body only. In fact, it sounds as though he is experiencing a state where He has his head in the clouds and is no longer associated with his flesh and blood body – an imaginary state of ‘leaving the cycle of karma’ and being Immortal.
Does it not also make you wonder how this man claims to be ‘herenow’ when he says: ‘Since that night I have never been in the body. I am hovering around it.’ This is not a description of someone who is a flesh and blood body only but a description of someone who has completely and utterly identified with his Spirit, Soul, Atman, Buddha Nature or whatever other name one calls the psychic entity that dwells within the physical body. This is a description of a man suffering from a mental state of delusion – an Altered State of Consciousness, whereby he ‘thinks’ and ‘feels’ he is God, immortal and divine.
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.
Another quote from the Master of deceit –
Interesting first part that clearly points to the emphasis on ‘good’ feelings as opposed to ‘bad’ feelings. I think many people think we make up a story about Eastern mysticism and the dross it is but here it is unambiguously stated. He further introduces a bit of ‘wisdom about black magic that again relates to good and evil spirits or ‘energy’ to use the more modern terminology for spirits. Of course Mr. Rajneesh represents white magic personified. This drivel could not be further from Actual Freedom and the PCE – it is, as we continually state, 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.