Selected Correspondence Peter
Disassociation and Dissociation
RESPONDENT No 61(R): Try to focus your attention only as these eyes and these brain thinking (for a considerable time, it was in my case like gazing in one point to calm down fidgeting ‘I’)
RESPONDENT: Yes, this is basically Richard’s/Peter’s ‘mimicking the actual world’ tech. I found this to be the key to a more and more self-less experience of life. One has to ‘play’ with it on one’s own to see the best way to use it. After I check into ‘how I’m feeling’ I go right to this ‘special’ way of seeing. Given time (usually no more than 30sec to a minute) it automatically produces a EE, so I never have to ‘try to make myself happy’. A EE is much better than any normal ‘happiness’.
PETER: I thought to comment on your reply to No 61(R) as it contains an agreement and a misconception that could lead others to imagining the actualism method to be something other than what it is.
The phrase ‘mimicking the actual world’ means that ‘I’ do whatever ‘I’ can in order to mimic the actual world in both its purity and in its perfection … and the way that ‘I’ do this is by being as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible, each moment again. This intent is single pointed in that being happy and being harmless is one and the same thing – it is impossible to be happy unless one is harmless and it is impossible to be harmless unless one is happy. In the early stages of actualism I focused all of my attention solely on this aspect – the first task being to get my attentiveness as to how I was feeling and what I was feeling in each moment of my waking hours up and running such that it became a constant awareness.
After I got a grasp of the method and of its single-pointed aim and found that I started to enjoy being here doing this business of being alive more and more then I was able – only whenever I was feeling particularly excellent – to bring my attention to sensate experiencing more and more. By bringing one’s seeing to the very surface of the eyeballs, bringing one’s touch to the fingers or the hairs on the skin, experiencing one’s taste as the activation of the taste buds on the tongue and the inside of the mouth, experiencing one’s hearing as it happens in the eardrums and experiencing one’s sense of smell as it activates the receptors in the nose what one is doing is mimicking the sensate-only experiencing that happens temporarily in a PCE or as a permanent experience in a PCE.
The reason I make this point is that if someone focuses on this latter aspect of coming to one’s senses and ignores the first and foremost aspect of the actualism method – removing the obstacles to being as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible in this moment – then they are ignoring the crux of what actualism is all about and may well be doing nothing other than treading the well-worn traditional path of denial and dissociation.
RESPONDENT: I would like to ask a question that is a bit off topic. I have read on the AF site that most if not all people experience themselves as having an ego rather than being an ego. Why?
PETER: The process of socialization that very child inevitably undergoes means that all children are taught to suppress, deny or subjugate their ‘dark side’ hence the seeds of dissociation are sowed early on in life.
RESPONDENT: So it is the idea that we can control our feelings or must control our feelings that makes us feel as if we ‘have feelings’?
PETER: It’s not an ‘idea’ that we have, it’s a very real way of coping with our dark instinctual side that is ingrained in each and every human being for very practical reason – to make each child a fit member of the family, tribe or society it is born into. Given this scenario it is quite natural that human beings associate with having ‘good’ feelings (being good) and dissociate from having ‘bad’ feelings (not being bad). This is why developing an objective awareness of the full range and depths of one’s own feelings and passions in action is initially extremely difficult – it is an unnatural process that runs counter to all of one’s social conditioning, not to mention one’s ‘self’-centred instincts. Given this scenario it is quite natural that human beings associate with having ‘good’ feelings (being good) and dissociate from having ‘bad’ feelings (not being bad).
RESPONDENT: So would it be fair to say that in the actualist method, there is neither associating nor dissociating? If so what do you call that?
PETER: Firstly, in re-reading my response with regard to dissociation I realize that I have left out the most fundamental reason for human beings being dissociated – that each and every child is born, pre-primed for a ‘self’ to form. By about age two each child instinctually feels themselves to be an identity who lives ‘in’ the body and is thus alien to or dissociated from not only their own flesh and blood body as well as other bodies but also from the physical world itself. To put it another way, each and every human being experiences an inner world and an outer world and never the twain shall meet – unless one is consumed by spiritual belief whereupon calenture can take over and the inner feelings grow so big that ‘I’ can even imagine ‘I’ have transcended the outer world or even in extreme cases that ‘I’ am ‘The Creator’ of the outer world.
But back to your question. For me, it was not a question about associating (as in ‘I’ should really love myself) or dissociating (as in ‘I’ don’t like being here so much ‘I’ want to go somewhere else). By the time I came across Richard I had already discovered by experience that both options are no more than an ultimately unsatisfactory means of coping with the human condition, not ways of becoming free of it.
As such, I found it reasonably easy to drop my resentment at having to be here and its associated cynicism as well as my accumulated spiritual beliefs of an other-than-physical world and get on with the business of being as fully here in this physical actual world as is possible, in this moment – which means to do whatever it takes to be as happy and as harmless as possible being here, in this moment.
RESPONDENT: Is it the ego that is experiencing it self as having an ego? In other words is the watcher (not to use a spiritual term I just can’t think of better way to put) the ego or is the watcher consciousness that has an ego layered over it?
PETER: Have you ever done any meditation? The reason I ask is that if you have you might well be able to answer the question yourself from your own experience.
RESPONDENT: I have never done any serious meditating no, but in the little I did I always got confused about what the hell was going on. Hehehe. From what you are saying I gather that the ‘watcher’ is not consciousness, and that it disappears as the instinctual identity in an actual freedom. So when I feel like I am watching myself act, it is really myself that is watching myself? I am taking baby steps.
PETER: If I read you right, you have come across the common conundrum that many people have when mulling over actualism – how can ‘I’ become aware of ‘I’, or how can ‘I’ change ‘I’ or how can ‘I’ eliminate ‘I’?
Personally, I didn’t get too hung up about such questions. Maybe because I am a practical, down-to-earth person, I figured that if I wanted to change then it was up to me, if I wanted to be free it was up to me and if I wanted to become aware of ‘me’ and how ‘I’ operate then I have a brain whose function is not only to be aware of things but also to make sense of things.
In short, spiritualists regard thinking as the root of all evil and hence they abandon clear thinking and common sense in favour of refined feelings and imaginary scenarios. In contrast, actualists acknowledge the fact that the instinctual passions are the root of all human malice and sorrow and in doing so they are then free to engage clear thinking and common sense in order to come to their senses.
PETER: Put briefly, the idea of meditation is to cut off from sensate experiencing and to stop thinking (as in become the watcher) and allow imagination and affectation to take over … and lo and behold … a new very-grand ethereal-like alter-identity emerges.
Personally, I don’t favour using the terms ego and soul as they are terms that have such historical baggage that their meaning has become so confused as to be often meaningless – in those cultures yet to be afflicted by Eastern Mysticism, someone who felt themselves to be God-on-earth would be regarded as the ultimate ego-maniac.
RESPONDENT: Or virgin born saviour of the world. That is if the bastard existed at all. People like confidence and security. Every culture somehow assimilates those experiences into itself.
PETER: I remember when I abandoned my spiritual beliefs I discovered two distinct layers of fear.
The first fears were to do with being an outcast, not belonging to a group – quite valid fears given the history of ostracization and even persecution that those who have left religious/spiritual groups have been subject to … and are still being subject to.
The other level was far, far deeper – an atavistic fear that unless one looks to the Heavens one will end up in Hell and if one should turn one’s back on God then one will indeed incur wrath of God, be it a He, She or It..
RESPONDENT: So would it be fair to say that in the actualist method, there is neither associating nor dissociating? If so what do you call that?
PETER: For me, it was not a question about associating (as in ‘I’ should really love myself) or dissociating (as in ‘I’ don’t like being here so much ‘I’ want to go somewhere else). By the time I came across Richard I had already discovered by experience that both options are no more than an ultimately unsatisfactory means of coping with the human condition, not ways of becoming free of it.
As such, I found it reasonably easy to drop my resentment at having to be here and its associated cynicism as well as my accumulated spiritual beliefs of an other-than-physical world and get on with the business of being as fully here in this physical actual world as is possible, in this moment – which means to do whatever it takes to be as happy and as harmless as possible being here, in this moment.
RESPONDENT: Being fully here? You mean associating with the physical world at this moment via ‘I’?
PETER: No, I mean to do whatever it takes to be as happy and as harmless as possible being here, in this moment.
RESPONDENT: You must know what it takes if you are serious about this actualism thing. When you say whatever it takes, you mean associating with the physical world at this moment via ‘I’? I am trying to be clear about what the process involves.
PETER: No, I don’t mean ‘associating with the physical world at this moment via ‘I’’. Once I acknowledged that ‘who’ I think and feel I am is a psychological and psychic non-physical entity, I understood that the reasons why ‘I’ was cut off from (was in fact dissociated from) – and therefore sought union with (an affective association with) – the physical world.
What I then did was to follow Richard’s lead and put the method he used to become free into practice. The first step was to become virtually free of malice and sorrow such that I could live with my fellow human beings in peace and harmony. Only then did the fact that only ‘I’ stand in the way of my freedom become palpable as opposed to an intellectual understanding.
To give you a prosaic example of this approach, it took me a good deal of time and effort trying to become good at my profession, a lot of hands-on experience, many trail and error investigations of what worked and didn’t, and an astounding amount of dismantling of the truths and homilies I had been taught. Over time, all of this came together as it were and gradually I was able to stand on my own two feet which then led to ‘me’ being able to let go of the controls and allow the design of the building or the building of the building happen by itself as it were.
I see the process happening similarly on the path to actual freedom – only after ‘I’ do everything ‘I’ can to become free from malice and sorrow is it possible for ‘me’ to have the confidence to dare risking exiting the stage.
PETER: When I gave up believing in Eastern spirituality, I was somewhat surprised at the extent to which the mere fact I was born into a Christian family and a Christian society had on fashioning me as a social identity.
RESPONDENT: Long after the belief is gone vestigial guilt’s and fears can still linger.
PETER: Yep. Religious/ spiritual morals and ethics run deep – I remember being astounded as to how they had infiltrated my life and conspired to inhibit my sensual enjoyment of being alive. Nowadays the reason for the need for morals and ethics is obvious – many religious/ spiritual morals and ethics have been invented so as to curb the instinctual passions and inhibit sensual delight lest human beings abandon their social responsibilities in favour of hedonism, licentiousness and debauchery.
RESPONDENT: To me that illustrates perfectly the fact that feelings are on a deeper level than thought. Intellectually one can be certain that a belief is false but in his heart he is irrationally uncertain.
PETER: That’s where attentiveness comes in to play. A belief is a passionately-held conviction, hence the way to discover beliefs is to become aware of your feelings when and as they happen.
Again, a practical example. Vineeto and I do not have any arguments about anything nowadays. The way we got rid of arguments was that anything we disagreed about we simply put the matter on the table and found out the facts of the matter. What we discovered was that most of what we argued about were beliefs either of us, or both of us, held. Once we discovered and acknowledged the fact of the matter that was the end of belief.
RESPONDENT: Grief is one thing oddly enough that I am afraid of losing the propensity for.
PETER: I do understand that this is a tough one, for compassion is upheld as being the most noble of all human traits. A few things helped me move past this loggerhead. One, I have experienced grief as one of my sons died in his teens so I know the feeling well – it’s a bottomless pit of sorrow that I could see would ruin my life if I clung on to it and didn’t let it go. The second was that it simply made sense that unless I let go of grief, and its associated grievous feelings, I would never be free of sorrow …
RESPONDENT: Makes sense to me too, though I fear not caring more than sorrow.
PETER: Does it make sense that one does not need to feel sad in order to actually care?
PETER: One of the good things about the Actual Freedom Trust website and this mailing list is that one of its founders is a whistle-blower to the whole charade of Enlightenment. Indeed if he hadn’t become free of the delusion of Enlightenment there would be no website and neither would I be writing this post on this mailing list, nor would you be reading it.
RESPONDENT: Was Richard what they call a ‘teacher’ in his enlightenment days?
PETER: No. He reports that being a Messiah did not sit well with him and visiting India – where Messiahs can literally be found on every street corner – opened his eyes such that he never did go public.
RESPONDENT: And I don’t know if you can answer this one but here goes: I have read at the AF site about psychic energies. Are enlightened persons more sensitive to these and if so, do you think they would be perplexed at Richards alleged lack of instinctual passions?
PETER: Enlightened beings live in a psychic bubble of their own creation, an imaginary bubble that protects them from the supposed evil forces in the psychic world. Because the imaginary bubble is psychic and not actual they have to continuously maintain it lest holes appear where evil can seep in or lest it collapse entirely. The best way to strengthen and maintain the bubble is to have people believe that they are a Messiah and that they have a Message, hence the constant drive for fame and adulation.
To directly answer your questions, I have seen an enlightened being totally paranoid that someone was attempting to penetrate his psychic bubble – to give him ‘the evil eye’ as it were. And I would suspect that most enlightened people would initially regard Richard as being a non-spiritual spiritualist but if they did really understand what he is on about they would regard him as the personification of evil for the sole reason that they live in a world where there is only Good and/or Evil – all else is an illusion to them.
PETER: You posted this as a general post to the list, so I presume it is your teachings. I thought I would comment.
RESPONDENT: When you are dreaming and you wake up in your dream and realize you are dreaming and that everything that exists is a figment of your imagination, what do you do? How do you act in that dream world where nothing is real and you are accountable to no one but yourself? It is your dream and you discover whatever you want, whenever you want it.
There are no rules. No good or bad. Just you living in a dream, knowing it is a dream and there is only you. Nothing else. Everything is you. Everything is yours. No restrictions.
PETER: An excellent description of the spiritual delusion whereupon a human being becomes a God – the centre of it all, where only You exist and everything and everyone else is but Your creation. This is utter self-centredness, utter self-ishness taken to the extreme of solipsism. One’s personal self is diminished to such an extent that only a grand and glorious Impersonal Self exists.
RESPONDENT: What do you do? You walk about witnessing strange events. You have volition now, you have choice. You are no longer a distant observer. You are a participant. You go when and where you want to go. You do whatever you want to do.
You see suffering and lechery. Possessiveness and pain. You see great joy and friendship. You see love and selflessness. You see everything and you know that you made it all up for your own benefit. What do you do? How do you participate in all the things around you?
PETER: The existential dilemma of all God-men when they find themselves living in a dream-world of their own creation.
RESPONDENT: In this world of illusion you have only one venue, one method of existence: your actions.
PETER: The existential dilemma of all God-men when they find themselves a Divine and Immortal being still trapped within a flesh and blood body on the planet.
RESPONDENT: How do you act? Which action within all the realm of infinite possibility best expresses the Truth of who you are? You are free. There is no one and nothing else. Just you and a world of vast illusion that you create. What will you do? Will you be destructive? Will you love? Will you hate? Will you be weak? Will you be strong? Will you help the people you see, or crush them like bugs? You can do whatever you want. It is your dream. What will you do? How will you act? Who are you?
It seems that in all the infinite realm of possibility you have only one choice: to be who you are and act according to that Truth.
PETER: You nearly had me interested as to what you were going to do in a practical sense, but I see you have settled on the traditional ‘only choice’ – being who you really are i.e. God on earth, and to act according to that truth, i.e. act as if you are a God.
The Gods are so predictable – so impersonal, so Self-indulgent and so demanding of gratitude and adoration ... and equally capable of crushing people who they don’t like or want to dismiss. I have seen this supercilious behaviour in many God-men and Wannabes – it is an appalling arrogance, demeaning of others, malicious in its intent and has done immense harm and suffering to countless followers.
Divine passions are simply normal human passions freed of any sensible consideration, responsibility or moral limitations by a blinding act of delusion. The delusion of Divinity does not eliminate one’s personal malice and sorrow – it merely gives it a perverse God-like twist.
PETER to No 5: Isn’t the actual so much more remarkable, breathtaking and vital than the imaginary grim fairy tales we have been taught?
There is no ‘Who’ running this universe and no helpless despairing ‘what’ that makes human malice and sorrow an unalterable fate. As is clearly evidenced in a Pure Consciousness Experience, this physical universe is perfect and pure for it is infinite and eternal - there is no outside to this universe and it is always happening now. In a PCE, it is abundantly clear that it is ‘me’ and ‘my’ feelings and passions that stand in the way of this purity and perfection being actualized in this flesh and blood body.
The ending of one’s own malice and sorrow is thus in one’s own hands ... and not in the hands of some imaginary ‘Who’.
Good, hey. It was the best news I had ever heard in my life.
RESPONDENT: It is not the ‘feelings and passions’ that stand in the way, it is the attachment to them, the ownership/possession of them that hinders us and causes us to say ‘I suffer’ instead of ‘this is suffering’.
PETER: By having no attachment, no ‘ownership/possession’ of your feelings and passions, when you feel angry, upset, pissed-off, peeved or annoyed at someone, then do you say it is not ‘me’ who is being angry, ‘this is just anger’. To disclaim your feeling of anger as not being ‘my’ anger may well suit your position, but the fact is you are still being angry at someone and that is malice where I come from. You may equally claim that your feeling of sorrow is not ‘my’ sorrow but it is still a feeling of sorrow, and when you share that sorrow with others you are but an active contributor to human sorrow on the planet.
We are taught this dissociative behaviour from very early childhood when we are rewarded and encouraged to be good and punished and discouraged from being bad. ‘I did good’, ‘I helped’, ‘I looked after ...’ are all claims we willingly make but we quickly find out it is best to say ‘It wasn’t me’, ‘I didn’t do it’, ‘It wasn’t my fault, it was ...’ when we do something bad. We learn to readily claim the good feelings and tender passions as ‘mine’ and quickly learn to disclaim ownership of, or even the very existence of, our bad feelings and savage passions. This social/religious conditioning applies equally to both sexes, to all human beings born in all cultures and instilled in all religious/spiritual morals and ethics.
In Eastern religions and philosophy this practice of suppression and non-attachment has been raised to a high art whereby one can, through assiduous practice, create a whole new, utterly dissociated, identity based solely on feeling Good-ness and God-ness. This process of becoming non-attached to feelings that are not desirable and identifying with the feelings that are considered desirable and are highly valued by our peers can lead to an Altered State of Consciousness whereby a mortal human being imagines and feels himself or herself to be above it all, as in Divine and Immortal.
In this sleight of hand, or more correctly spiritual sleight of mind, ‘me’ and my feelings get off scot-free and nothing actually happens except the whole sorry saga of eastern religion gets another pundit, another propagator, another sage revered for his puerile wisdom and parroted platitudes such as ‘it my is attachment to human suffering that is the problem’.
RESPONDENT: The separation feeds the ego by making the ‘I’ into what is important instead of the choice of how we act as to whether suffering is increased or decreased.
PETER: The whole approach of Eastern religion, and Buddhism in particular, is that being here on the planet is essential suffering and the quicker you can get out of being here the better. Thus the shamans and God-men have always isolated themselves from the suffering of the world and closeted themselves away in monasteries, ashrams, sanghas and the like. They then practiced turning inwards and separating from their own feelings of sorrow and solely identified with their good feelings and feelings of Godliness and Holiness. These beliefs and practices have never, and will never, eliminate suffering in the world, but those higher beings who have separated and detached themselves get to feel a lot better than those in the market place.
This act of separation was particularly evident in theocratic Buddhist Tibet where every family sent a son to the monastery to become a monk. The lamas and monks lived in splendid palaces surrounded by gold, silver and the finest of artworks, practiced their teachings, meditated and said their prayers, all supported and paid for by the rest of the ‘suffering’ population. The country had no army – one quarter of the population were busy praying for salvation and peace – so when the Chinese walked over the border, the Lamas fled, taking the gold with them and leaving the defenceless common folk who had suffered in supporting the Lamas to now suffer at the hands of their new masters.
The men of God have always been ‘above’ suffering, the priests have always bludged off others, the moral spiritual high ground has always been the safest ground because one can always blame someone else or something else for one’s own malice and sorrow rather than look at it in oneself.
The churches have forever blamed human suffering on bad spirits, evil, the Devil, money, materialism, empirical science, technological progress, the unaware, the unawake, the non-believers, the heathens, etc – anything but dare to admit that humans are blindly driven by self-survival instincts and passions.
These instinctual passions, humanity’s precious feelings, are the empirical source of malice and sorrow in human beings, and a way has now been pioneered to eliminate them. The churches, Gurus, shamans and God-men will all rile against this discovery for centuries to come, but the end result is inevitable – the ancient fantasies of good and evil, the Devil and God will eventually fade and die out to be replaced by a new non-instinctive-animal species of humans who no longer battle, feud and kill each other in a grim, senseless instinctual battle of survival, or pompously declare they are ‘above it all’ and are too busy praying for ‘inner peace’ to be at all bothered about what is going on ‘outside’.
RESPONDENT: When we choose to act to alleviate suffering whether it be our own or someone else’s everyone’s lot is improved.
PETER: I am talking of the elimination of suffering, not detaching from suffering so to alleviate one’s suffering as in reduce, lessen, diminish, relieve, ease, or palliate. All the churches and religions have been offering to alleviate the suffering of the poor, the flock, the sinners, the unawake, etc. for millennia, yet in the last century alone over 160 million humans died at the hands of other humans in wars and an estimated 40 million people killed themselves in suicides. It is clearly time for the pious head-in-the-clouds alleviators to stop practicing non-attachment from their own suffering and come down-to-earth and address the real cause of suffering within themselves.
I am well aware that this present generation of seekers of freedom, peace and happiness have already personally invested too heavily in Eastern spiritualism to consider turning around 180 degrees and head in the other direction but there will be some who care enough about peace on earth to get up out of their lotus positions and begin the business of making a real difference.
It is curious that the present fascination with Eastern religion was born out of the 60’s peace movement but has now degenerated over the decades into the utterly selfish pursuit of personal bliss and Fulfillment. When this thoughtless self-indulgent spiritual fascination wanes, the next generation of seekers will find something different on offer for them to get their teeth into – an ending to human malice and sorrow, peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: All pain, suffering and aggression comes from the mistaken identification that we are ONLY the body, thought and feeling.
PETER: ... and once one realizes this mistake then one can dis-identify and dissociate from one’s own pain, suffering and aggression and identify as a bodiless spirit that is immortal, and therefore ‘above’ it all.
Generally speaking, all dissociative reactions are attempts to escape from excessive trauma tension and anxiety by separating off parts of one’s personality function from the rest of cognition as an attempt to isolate something that arouses anxiety and thus gain distance from it. For example, in everyday life, mild and temporary dissociation, sometimes hard to distinguish from repression and isolation, is a relatively common and normal device used to escape from severe emotional stress and anxiety. Temporary episodes of transient estrangement, depersonalization and de-realization are often experienced by normal persons when they first feel the initial impact of bad news, for instance.
Everything suddenly looks strange and different; things seem unnatural and distant; events can be indistinct and vaporous; often the person feels that they themselves are unreal and everything takes on a dream-like quality. Dissociation becomes abnormal when the once mild or transient expedient becomes too intense, lasts too long, or escapes from a person’s control ... and leads to a separation from the surroundings which seriously disturbs object relations.
In object estrangement the once familiar world of ordinary objects – the world of people, things and events – seems to have undergone a disturbing and often indescribable change. Thus, just as a traumatized victim of an horrific and terrifying event makes the experience unreal in order to cope with the ordeal, all the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have desperately done precisely this thing (during what is sometimes called ‘the dark night of the soul’). Mystics have been transmogrifying the real world ‘reality’ into an unreal ‘True Reality’ via the epi-phenomenal imaginative/intuitive facility born of the psyche (which is formed by the instinctual passions genetically endowed by blind nature for survival purposes) for millennia.
Mysticism in general is a psychotic sickness; a head-in-the-sand escapist ‘solution’ to all the ills of humankind and is otherwise described (in non-psychiatric terminology) as ‘Theodicy’ (a vindication of a god’s and/or goddess’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil). The altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ is nothing more and nothing less than a frantic coping-mechanism that became culturally institutionalized, into being a legitimate and venerated social metaphysics, over thousands and thousands of years.
MODERATOR: The rejection of rigid religiosity for the purity of the ‘pure consciousness experience’ you are calling for has been the message of most of the world’s mystics – including those whose recognition of the complexity involved in actually doing so eventually led them to create doctrine, path and form to help others progress toward the goal.
PETER: Ah, I can see why I am still on the list. You think I am peddling some new variation of old time religion disguised as New Dark Age spirituality.
When I first came across the possibility of an actual freedom from malice and sorrow I thought it must have been a spiritual thing because only the spiritual people talked of freedom. It took me months until I began to understand that the traditional spiritual path offered a feeling of liberation for one’s spirit or soul before death prior to a final real liberation from earthly suffering after physical death. I see that some people on the list use the expression illusion of ‘self’ and others refer to the illusionary physical world which means what must be REAL is one’s spirit, soul, Self, Atman, Essence, Heart, etc. – a disembodied, non-physical entity. By concentrating on repressing sensible thought, denying the actual world as evidenced by the physical senses, and letting one’s impassioned feelings and imagination run riot a new detached, superior and holy entity is realized.
To get to this state of complete dissociation is for most a very complex and torturous process and only a rare few manage to pull it off completely. The level of denial of the physical world alone requires an extraordinary effort. To regard all that we see, hear, touch, feel, smell, eat and breathe to be illusionary requires a mind-bending act of astounding tortuousness. It is because of the complexity and difficulty involved that most mystics had to renounce the obvious pleasures and delights of the physical world and go off to caves, monasteries, ashrams, lone wanderings and indulge in often bizarre practices such as meditation, yoga, chanting, whirling, special diets, celibacy, etc. in order to strengthen their fantasies.
The ‘self’ (including all its cunning spiritual variations) is an illusion, not the physical, tangible, palpable physical world.
The simple test as to what is actual is to place a peg on the nose, place some Gaffer tape firmly across the mouth and wait 10 minutes. As you rip the tape from your mouth and gasp for breath you will have an experiential understanding of what is actual and what is illusionary.
When I had my altered states of consciousness experiences I couldn’t quite pull off the denial of the physical bit. Something always made me suss about the need for renunciation, the isolationism, the elitism, the head-in-the-cloud feelings. The grand and glorious feelings were sure seductive but thankfully I held on to my doubts and my common sense and didn’t trust my feelings.
If you can recall having a pure consciousness experience you would remember that there is not a skerrick of rigid religiosity nor slippery spirituality in it at all. It is an experience where there is no psychological or psychic entity whatsoever present in the flesh and blood body. There is no ‘I’ to feel glorious, to feel Oneness, to feel Divine, to feel Whole. There is no Love, God, Essence, Source, etc. that is the grand reason, plan, creation, essence, energy, life-force, etc. that gives the psychic entity in the body a grand and glorious place or part to play. In the pure consciousness experience there is no affective faculty, nor any capacity for imagination in operation. So vast, so perfect and so pure is this physical universe directly experienced by the body’s physical senses that the immediate becomes vibrant, alive, sensuous, tactile and actual. There is no feeling of separation, nor any feeling of unity for it is obvious and apparent that I am this body, made of the same stuff of the universe, live cells made from the union of sperm and egg, sustained by eating the stuff of the earth, swimming in and breathing the air of the earth, surrounded by stuff made from the earth – and when this body dies the stuff left goes back to the earth. Finish, kaput, finito, gone, extinct, stuffed, no more. Perfect.
Because a pure consciousness experience is a temporary ‘self’-less experience with no emotions or feelings operating whatsoever there is no emotional memory of the experience afterwards. As such it can be lost in the memory or can easily be dismissed as an aberration and not taken for what it is.
PETER to No 7: A marvellous opportunity is now available for any who are willing to face facts. No longer do we humans have to feel guilt or shame, pray to God for redemption or salvation, seek to escape from evil into an ‘inner’ world of isolation and feeling-only existence, no longer do we have to humble ourselves before God-men. Simply acknowledging the fact that our malice and sorrow results from an instinctual program instilled by blind nature in order to ensure the survival of the species is the first step towards becoming actually free of malice and sorrow. To continue to deny factual empirical evidence is to indulge in denial and this denial actively prevents your chance at experiencing peace on earth in this lifetime. Peter, List B, No 7, 24.5.2000
RESPONDENT: Beautiful. I couldn’t agree more. But ultimately only through seeing the empirical evidence objectively will this statement serve the manifestation of peace and sanity.
PETER: Methinks seeing things ‘objectively’ is at the root of Buddhist philosophy. Objectively means –
On the face of it, being objective can sound reasonable until you note the words –
To see things objectively means one has to become an outside observer and not involved which fairly describes the Buddhist philosophy. By cool objective observation, practicing ‘right concentration and right action’, one lives one’s life in objective detachment and thus transcends desire and suffering. Where I come from, this is dissociation.
Give me subjective investigation any day. It does mean facing the facts of the human condition, both of the real world and the spiritual world, but the rewards are palpable, tangible and actual.
RESPONDENT: The important thing is the relationship we have to our emotions and instinctual passions, if we can see clearly what’s going on inside of us we can eventually (or even suddenly) take full responsibility for our actions and live in a harmless way. Once again it is important that we stop fooling ourselves and dare to see what we’re actually doing. So when you talk about eliminating the instinctual animal passions do you mean that they disappear or that they still exist in our body but that we’re looking at a totally different landscape so to speak.
PETER: Not only am I talking about the elimination of instinctual passions but the ‘me’ who feels sad, angry, lost, lonely, frightened, etc. If ‘you’ maintain a separate relationship to your emotions this is dissociation for ‘I’ am my passions and my passions are ‘me’ – they are not separate. Likewise if ‘I’ maintain control over ‘my’ emotions it is ‘me’ maintaining control over ‘me’ – a task that requires almost constant vigil and on-guardness. Self-immolation, or the ending of me is the only way to be actually free of ‘my’ instinctual passions for they are one and the same thing.
RESPONDENT: Because I don’t think that you imply that we’re going to change our biology that fast, evolution has showed us that even small changes in our construction can take millions of years. As I said, I think that we need to go into this even more, I’m sure you can clarify this for me.
PETER: If I can paste a relevant piece –
RESPONDENT: When you get thru with all of these methodologies of consciousness, you are still left with ‘the witness’... ie, the Soul. The Soul is innocent; it is the ‘experiencer’ of the All That Is. It does not judge, it experiences. So it does not get into the idea of good and bad, there is pleasant experiences and unpleasant experiences, when the Soul decides it has had enough, it withdraws its focus from an area of experience and focuses ‘somewhere’ else to expand its experience of All That Is.
PETER: This process is called dissociation – an active withdrawal from unpleasant earthly experiences and a total focusing on pleasant ‘other-worldly’ experiences. As I said to No 8, all one is doing is splitting the ‘self’ in two, creating and reinforcing the idea of an earthly, mortal ego-self and a spirit-ual, immortal Soul-self.
RESPONDENT: In a reality that believes in beginnings and endings, that could look like a ‘death’ of a physical form, or in the case of a ‘master’, the ‘disappearance’ of the form. Note the scripture which refers to the taking on of incorruptibility. When one accepts one’s own ‘immortality’, and acts accordingly, your physical form goes thru a physical chemical process, which changes the form from carbon base to a crystalline base. All fear is ‘leached’ from the form, as well as, the ‘little me’. The Soul then stands forth, uncompromised by limitations of any kind. Flesh and blood is not what we Truly are. That, my friend, is what we have come to this limitation to show, the Truth of the ONE. Incidentally, I am a Master of Light and Love, I have already ascended this plane and returned. I Know of what I speak.
PETER: ... And thus darkness, evil and suffering are regarded as intrinsic to the human condition on earth where we human flesh and blood humans actually live. Personally I find this a deeply cynical view of human life on earth. Who, or what, God was so perverse to set this system up? Why do we insist on believing this scenario?
RESPONDENT: What if you Are Spirit having a human experience?
PETER: What you are is a flesh and blood body inhabited by a spirit (non-physical) entity. This spirit has two parts – a social identity commonly termed ego and an instinctual identity commonly termed soul. By transcending, or rising above, the ego one gets to feel one is one’s instinctual self which can, provided one looses all grip on reality, lead to the full-blown delusion of being Spirit or God-personified.
RESPONDENT: What if you are only having a dream in which you are pretending you are not free? What if someone like myself walked up to you, in the dream, and said, ‘Wake up, you are only dreaming’?
PETER: As the Eastern spiritual path splutters to an inglorious end it is obvious that the dreamer’s dream of spiritual freedom is only a dream and not an actuality. The God-men are coming under increasing scrutiny and are being exposed as not being what they claim to be. (...)
RESPONDENT: This is ‘tough country’ because you can’t include anyone or anything else, in your analysis of yourself. What ‘Anyone says’ is all hearsay evidence. Not admissible in the ‘inner court’. You are your only witness!
PETER: This is what is known as practicing denial – one cuts off from, or dissociates from, the ‘real’ world and the world of people, things and events and enters fully into an inner world, where Lo and behold, you find your true Spirit. The major reason this act of delusion is ‘tough country’ is because one needs to totally deny common sense and sensate experience in order to fully dissociate from the physical world completely and utterly as do the Enlightened Ones.
It’s extremely difficult stuff to convince yourself that this physical world is a dream, that this keyboard and monitor are but figments of ‘your’ dream and the only thing real is ‘you’ inside this body. Further, you would have to believe that these words you are reading upon the screen are part of your dream and that the person who has typed these words is also part of your dream. If you have managed to fully realize this state of solipsism then you are a truly rare being.
RESPONDENT: LOLOLOLOL ... if you want to ‘cut to the chase’ and Know Freedom again ... go into your ‘closet’ and have a ‘sit-down’ with you ... You are All that matters, in the final analysis!
RESPONDENT: What is the one immutable thing no being can deny? Easy ... one’s existence.
PETER: If you are talking about your physical existence as a flesh and blood human being, then I would agree. I have no trouble agreeing with you because you and I are having this conversation – you know, real fingers tapping on real keyboards, real pixels appearing on real screens. Now ‘who’ you think and feel you are is another thing – you claim that your existence is ethereal, spirit only, non-material, Self-centred and ‘immutable’ as in absolute, unchallengeable, supreme. Sounds awfully like a delusion of Grandeur to me.
RESPONDENT: If Freedom means anything, it means I am the sole responsible party for my existence, as well as, my only accurate historian.
PETER: Are you saying that you are the sole responsible party that caused the sperm to impregnate the egg that grew to be the flesh and blood body called No 12? If so, you truly are laying claim to being a creator being – the sole creator of your own existence.
Further, you are your own historian, as in creating your own history. In psychological terms this is the definition of delusion – the creation of an illusion ‘innocent beingness ’ from an illusion – the social/psychological and instinctual/psychic ‘self’.
RESPONDENT: Therefore all ideas ‘about’ existence and my personal being are under my own authority to claim or discard according to whether I determine they are ‘workable’ in my reality.
PETER: In other words, you are creating your own reality, or your own truth.
RESPONDENT: Freedom has nothing to do with ‘consensus’, it has to do with personal volition.
PETER: Are you saying Freedom is your personal volition – as in desire or choice – to create your own ‘ideas about existence’ and your ‘personal being?’
RESPONDENT: For any being to return to true freedom, that being must have the courage to jump out of the ‘herd’ and be honest enough to face everything that would restrict them in determining the meaning and experience of that freedom.
PETER: From where I stand in the actual world, I see two herds – those who suffer in the grim reality of the ‘real’ world and those who imagine and feel themselves to be above it all because they choose to believe in and create their own Greater Reality in accordance with Bronze Age religious/ spiritual beliefs and superstitions.
RESPONDENT: I am Still a Being of Light composition having a human experience, and no amount of well-formed phrases can change my birthplace. It is not wise to tell people that what they Know of themselves is faulty.
PETER: Indeed, even now on the planet people are being killed for daring to question the spiritual beliefs of others. The good thing about the Net is that punishment for daring to question and face everything is limited to flaming, cyber-censorship or cyber-execution.
RESPONDENT: Until one has developed full trust in the Love of All That Is, one has no real knowing on a conscious practical level, they remain in the 3/4 dimensional worlds of ‘faith and belief’. For example, I can move, at will, to any ‘location’ I so choose, dissolving and recombining these atoms and molecules into any form I choose, now that’s the freedom I talking about. Practical Freedom 101.
PETER: Excellent news. Then I can stop replying to your posts and you can ‘recombine’ on my porch and we can have an in-depth discussion about life on earth, as-it-is with people as-they-are. And you can tell me more about your ‘ideas about existence and your personal being’, ‘true freedom’, and about your own personal ‘reality’.
RESPONDENT: That is what I am on this planet to remind folks of, their God given rights, the Right to Love and Be Loved. When Love is embraced and allowed to work its magic thru the Heart, all of mankind will again be free ... free to create an even grander vision for themselves. Perhaps, they will even move from this world, flying into the stars giving living testimony, as to the nature of Love.
PETER: From where I stand in the actual world it is those who have suffer from an Altered State of Consciousness such that they believe themselves to be Saviours of mankind that have led ‘herds’ of followers to think and feel that they are the Chosen Ones and believe in an ‘other-worldly’ freedom and peace. This man-made delusion is the basis of all religious and spiritual belief and the cause of all the religious conflicts, wars, retributions, persecutions and vilifications.
RESPONDENT: There had been within this being a very subtle sense that this was all somewhat spiritual. Then about a month ago the last vestige of that feeling fell through. It was like another deeper Satori only this time it destroyed even that subtle sense of otherness. We are just life taking place. It is so profound and yet so very very simple. No one becomes enlightened. There is no one there to become enlightened. It is all a wonderful mystery, that shall always remain a mystery. It is joy beyond any thing the mind can conceive of and yet it is as simple as pure sound. There are no Godmen or gods. There is just THIS. It is far more than any words can ever express, yet it is the nothing that is everything, yet never a thing. Get simple.
PETER: What you are describing is the process of dissociation from the ‘real’ world and its miseries and violence. Unfortunately one also dissociates even further from the actual physical world thus going even further away from the chance of peace on earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body.
What I am saying seems pretty simple to me but I live in the actual world and not the spiritual world.
RESPONDENT: Sorry for this being so long. No amount of words can express the real.
PETER: I think the spiritual ‘real’ has been very well described by billions and billions and billions of words over the millennia. Thanks to the marvels of the Internet anyone can access them and anyone can clearly understand what is being expressed if they care to dig in a bit. One site on the Net lists 502 awakened beings, listed by alphabetical order.
RESPONDENT: It was about 8 years later after looking ever deeper into it that I awoke one morning and from the time the eyes opened until they closed in sleep that night there took place a complete transformation of what was left of this being. The ego was dead, there was no god to take its place. It was clear that the very words we use to communicate were a symptom of an underlying illness of misidentification. That we had evolved in such a way as to turn everything into abstractions and rarely, if ever, saw what was real before our eyes.
PETER: To regard that which is physical, tangible, palpable, visible, touchable, smellable, eatable, audible as an illusion is a trick of the impassioned mind that requires enormous effort. In the East this effort requires the torturous abandonment of sensible thinking and common sense – giving rise to the term ego death and the emergence of what could well be termed soulism – a feeling-only state of delusion. The lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning psychological and psychic entity that is the self becomes the Self – cunningly feeling Oneness, Wholeness, Timeless and Spaceless. The Eastern pursuit of ‘Ego-death’ has proven to be a very tragic delusion, for one becomes completely dissociated from what is actual as evidenced by the senses. This means that one renounces the world, both real and actual and begins a process of turning away, turning in, letting go, withdrawing, disidentifying and finally complete dissociation aka Enlightenment. The reason I use the word tragic is that spiritual seekers – many of whom began the spiritual search to find a way to bring about peace on earth – have now been seduced into turning away from the endemic malice and sorrow in the physical world we human beings live in and now regard it as illusionary, not real. They regard the spiritual world as REAL, the normal world as a nightmare to be avoided and the actual physical world as a dream created in their own minds. .
The question I ran for a long time is ‘Has everyone got it 180 degrees wrong?’ The fact that all these theories of human existence on earth were cooked up thousands of years ago was the beginning of my doubts. The other thing I found as I contemplated on the question was that it started to explain an awful lot of things about why the spiritual path that didn’t work.
RESPONDENT: I do not regard the above as illusion. I totally enjoy all the wonder of this world.
PETER: Again a look at what you have said on this list might help clarify your position on what it is you sensately experience with your eyes, ears, smell, touch and taste and how you see all the fighting and suffering in the world–
So, you see all the fighting and suffering in the world as madness that we are dreaming and not as an illusion. Is this not the difference between seeing something as a dream and seeing something as an illusion splitting hairs? Do not both descriptions point to the fact that you regard the madness as unreal – i.e. not actual?
Again you clearly say that you see we are living in a dream.
Now you indicate that we ‘turn everything into abstractions’, yet another word that indicates that our perception of the world, prior to awakening, is unreal as in dreamlike/ abstract.
Again, prior to awakening, you had developed ‘the ability to abstract life’ – which presumable includes ‘all the wars, all hatred, all suffering’ – into ‘words pictures and concepts, etc.’. This abstraction is the result of the ego – as personal identity, as our image we have of ourselves or just conditioned thought – and when the ego disappears and we awaken, ‘all the wars, hatred and suffering’ are seen to be the result of the abstraction of our conditioned thought. This torturous explanation as to the reasons for human malice and sorrow leaves me lost for words – a rare occurrence, indeed.
So we can add ‘surface images’ to dreamlike and abstract as words used to describe the pre-awakened perception of the world, but you don’t regard it as an illusion. Hmmmm.
As for ‘I totally enjoy all the wonder of this world.’ you have also posted –
What you describe doesn’t seem to be an unconditional enjoyment and wonder. The main condition you place on your enjoyment is that you regard all ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ as being just the result of a process of ‘conditioned thought’ – i.e. a dream/ abstraction/ surface image that merely goes on in the brain. This sounds awfully like dissociation to me.
RESPONDENT: It is obvious to any one who thinks that we are all part of the problem. Who was I blaming?
PETER: So, are you now switching positions and saying you like the way ‘this world is ran by our governments’?
RESPONDENT: Because I see what you see. Even to the unawakened mind it is obvious that some things are worse than others and even the people in government can control the madness to some degree, but far too often they choose not to.
PETER: How do you think that ‘the people in government can control the madness to some degree’ ? Are you advocating more police, more armies, more laws? Or should they adopt the Tibetan Buddhist government’s pacifist approach of fleeing to the next country and leaving the people to fend for themselves when madness manifests as invasion by a neighbouring country? This is choosing not to ‘control the madness’ in action. How would you go about controlling the madness given that it is all so obvious to you?
RESPONDENT: Of course they are acting from the same illness as every one else. I shouldn’t have to say anything about this, it is all so obvious.
PETER: Aye. The illness, as you see it, is that most people are un-Enlightened or un-awakened to the Truth. To use your words, the Truth is
Hence the way to cure ‘the illness’ is to stop identifying with human fear, suffering and hatred. This approach does nothing at all to cure the illness but it does offer a way of psychologically distancing oneself from the illness. This approach to dealing with trauma is commonly known as dissociation.
In the case of spiritual Awakening or Enlightenment, the resulting condition is of an altered state of consciousness where certain concepts such as ‘beliefs, images, fear, suffering, hatred, etc., etc.’, are separated from the conscious personality. Thus, the illness continues unabated and untreated but the traumatized victim no longer associates with the symptoms of the illness and no longer believes he or she has the illness. (...)
RESPONDENT: Again it has nothing to do with feeling. If the teachings you followed didn’t show clearly what is needed to go beyond the instinctual aggression, passions of fear, etc., then you weren’t following an enlightened teacher.
PETER: What they taught is exactly what you teach – a transcendence of unwanted and undesirable instinctual passions and an increasing disidentifying with them to the point where complete dissociation occurs as in an altered state of consciousness experience. All teachers in the Eastern spiritual traditions teach the same thing with only minor cultural or fashionable variation to techniques employed and jargon used. I know you insist your teaching is non-spiritual, non-traditional and unique but you have yet to demonstrate that this is so. (...)
RESPONDENT: Why not? I am awake, I harm nothing or no one. If everyone just lived that simply were would the wars and killing come from? It is true that the mind of the unenlightened is the same mind as the enlightened, except for the enlightened have awakened to a clear direct seeing the fact before our eyes.
PETER: Okay, let’s look at the facts before our eyes. The Dalai Lama is an avowed Buddhist who would claim that he would harm nothing and no one. He is a pacifist, which meant when someone invaded his country he fled. Now if everyone in the country you lived in was a pacifist it is like hanging out a sign – pleas invade – we won’t stop you. The Dalai Lama, now safe behind the protection of the Indian army is busily trying to get someone else to free his country. Pacifism is an unliveable ideal in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. Do you not rely on the guns of the police and army for the privilege of feeling a pacifist? Would not it be more sensible to tackle the root cause of malice and sorrow – the instinctual animal passions in humans – rather than striding the moral high ground sprouting unliveable ethics that completely ignore the facts before our eyes.
The Enlightened not only cop-out from acknowledging any malice in themselves but they also cop-out from acknowledging sorrow in themselves. As you yourself stated Enlightenment means that one no longer identifies with one’s personal suffering but that one feels universal sorrow or compassion for others. This is easily seen in action whereby they continually rile against the unenlightened as the cause of wars and suffering. The excuse for this malevolence is that they feel compassion towards those who have yet to realize that the wars and killing is all a dream – created by their ego – from which they haven’t yet awakened.
RESPONDENT: There has been no one in my life who I let believe I was some high and mighty being because I was awake. I have had a problem with people who have tried to put me on a pedestal for just being awake. If I let them it would just be ego playing another game.
PETER: Why should people want to put you on a pedestal in the first place? Just what Guru-energy are you radiating? Is it you or your seductive message of dissociation from the symptoms of the animal instinctual passions in operation in humans? Do you find you have to be humble to put them off? Again your actions of putting yourself above Father Dionysus, Otto Kernberg and Ammachi on the list does seem to weaken your case for being an ordinary man. It must be a tricky business getting these balances just right.
RESPONDENT: Do you have to ‘ignore’ anything to maintain this state?
PETER: No. It was only by ceasing to ignore and deny the fact that I was as mad and as bad as everyone else in the world, that I was able to get stuck into doing something about myself. To see that, at the core of my ‘being’, I am an instinctual animal – robotically programmed for fear, aggression, nurture and desire. To explore and plumb these depths and see the dread and despair, the lust for violence and the diabolical was to experience the raw animal passions at ‘my’ core. Most people who have glimpses of this dark side in themselves, as in dark nights of the soul, frantically seek to identify with the supposed good passions and become good, more loving, grateful, humbly superior and God-identified. It was only by ceasing to ignore and deny the animal instinctual passions in me, and abandoning my seductive indulgence in ancient spiritual belief, that I was able to free myself of the instinctual passions and live happy and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. Practicing denial and renunciation leads to rejection of, and disassociation from, the sensuous delight of this actual physical palpable world we live in.
It was only when I stopped ignoring facts and stopped indulging in my beliefs and feelings that I could begin to experience the ever-present actual world of sensate delight, purity and perfection.
RESPONDENT: No matter how we dissect and analyze what we perceive to be ‘out there’, other humans, nature, the universe etc., there are no words for the peace that passeth understanding.
PETER: The perennial quandary for human beings is that ‘who’ they think and feel they are is an alien entity trapped ‘inside’ in a flesh and blood body. Thus ‘I’ look out at the world through the eyes, ‘I’ touch with the hands, ‘I’ hear through the ears, ‘I’ smell with the nose. Being an alien psychological and psychic entity is the very cause of feeling lost, lonely, and frightened and forever cut off from the physical actual world. To retreat totally ‘inside’ in search of the real ‘me’, and the true meaning of life, is to become even further isolated from the sensual delights of the actual world. Those who succeed come to experience the outer world as a dream-like illusion and eventually create their own inner reality. No 12 described this process very well and others on this list have alluded to it. This process of total psychological withdrawal is known as dissociation.
As for no words to describe this inner peace that passeth understanding – to the contrary, there have been billions of words, metaphors, poetry, songs, sonnets, books, texts, teachings, scriptures, scrolls, parchments, etc. for thousands of years in hundreds of different languages and cultures.
As for – ‘or whether you are already convinced it is impossible (to become free of the human condition of malice and sorrow)’.
It is impossible to bring an end to human malice and sorrow whilst remaining trapped within the human condition and this includes being trapped within any of the multitudinous spiritual belief-systems or mind-sets. Surely 3,500 years of belief, trust faith and hope in Gods, Goddesses, Spirits, Sources, Higher Selfs, Essences, Creators, Doomsdays, Good and Evil, is long enough to declare that the experiment has failed.
Currently some 6 billion human beings are involved in a grim and desperate instinct-driven battle for survival on this planet. The human condition is typified by malice and sorrow and the man-made idyllic antidotes of love and compassion have failed to stem the carnage. It is well-documented that the last century was the bloodiest to date – over 160 million human beings died at the hands of their fellow human beings and over 40 million people killed themselves in suicides – and there is no end in sight. Religion, be it Eastern or Western, actively contributes to this carnage as is evidenced by the countless religious wars, persecutions, recriminations, repressions, ostracizations, denials, retributions, perversions and conflicts that are ever ongoing ... Eastern religion is particularly insidious for it deliberately promotes the practice of turning away and withdrawing from the physical world of people, things and events where we human beings actually live to a spirit-ual, meta-physical world, to an ‘inner’ private isolated world of furtive imagination and impassioned feelings.
So, I am vitally interested in ‘becoming free of the human condition of malice and sorrow’. Becoming free of the human condition of malice and sorrow is to actualize peace on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body. It is impossible to become free of instinctual malice and sorrow whilst remaining trapped within the human condition, either battling it out in a grim world ‘normal’ reality or by escaping into an imaginary delusionary Greater Reality by practicing disassociation via denial and transcendence. In the spiritual world, any chance of an actual peace on earth is readily and eagerly forfeited for an imaginary peace after physical death ... or, for the rare few, the chance to become God-on-earth.
Which is why I asked the question for anybody who is interested in peace on earth, in this lifetime –
To do this, sincere seekers of freedom, peace and happiness would have to break through the sacred ceiling that traps them within the human condition. This daring to question the sacred and taking action to break free of ancient beliefs in Gods, God-men and Spirits is analogous to the pioneering women who have had to break through the glass ceiling of religious, social, moral and ethical restraints that bound them to the woodstove and the washing line.
Does that make the question ‘Surely it’s time to consider...’ clearer to you and do you understand why I was moved to ask it of myself? I did say to No 1 that this was a radical proposition, but spirituality (a belief in God, by whatever name) has had 3,5000 years to deliver the goods and has lamentably failed. There must be something that works and the evidence that peace on earth is possible is startlingly obvious in a pure consciousness experience when the ‘self’ – both as ego and as soul, both as thinker and feeler – is temporarily absent. The pure consciousness experience clearly indicates that peace on earth, an actual end to malice and sorrow, lies in total self-extinction, both ego and soul, not an ego death only, as in an altered state of consciousness.
RESPONDENT: One of which is the impeccable law of karma. When I was at the angry stage of criticizing, (and trying to understand) the gross inequities here, the most extreme in most people’s eyes being such as child starvation, and the various examples you made, I was willing to do everything and anything to ‘know’.
PETER: Why did you stop seeking an answer and settle for the traditional ancient Bronze Age wisdom?
RESPONDENT: I couldn’t reconcile the beauty and perfection at the atomic, and cosmic level, with the apparent ‘stuff ups’ within the human situation.
PETER: Yes indeed. Why is it on this paradisiacal and bountiful planet where increasing numbers of human beings are enjoying unprecedented safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure that the Human Condition is still epitomized by malice and sorrow? I saw the enormity of this perversion one day in a pure consciousness experience. I clearly remember driving up the escarpment that encircles the lush semi-tropical coastal plain where I live. I stopped and looked out at the edge of the greenery, where a seemingly endless ribbon of white sand neatly bordered it from the azure ocean. Overhead great mounds of fluffy white clouds sailed by in the blue of the sky. Right in the foreground stood a group of majestic pines towering some thirty meters tall. I was struck by the vastness, the stillness and the perfection of this planet, the extraordinariness of it all, but ... and the ‘but’ are human beings! Human beings who persist in fighting and killing each other and can’t live together in peace and harmony one on one, let alone collectively.
It was one of those moments that forced me to do something about myself, for I was undoubtedly one of those 6 billion people. It was exactly one of those moments that forced me to do something about my anger, my sadness, my avoidance, my selfish disinterest – and stop either hiding my head in the sand or continuing to stick my head in the clouds, pretending I was ‘above it all’.
RESPONDENT: I now realize that to blame the recent crash of the Concorde on ‘the law of gravity’ is extremely limited. I am saying the suffering you talk of is simply a result of the consequences of each individual’s own action.
PETER: So, are you saying everyone killed in the Concorde crash was killed as the result of karma? Karma means –
– is directly translatable as God’s will. If you are evil, you get punished, if you are good you get to go to Heaven or Mahaparinirvana or the Further Shore.
RESPONDENT: Why are some children born badly malformed, for example. You can take the chaos theory if you choose, or absorb the higher understanding.
PETER: Well, according to your higher understanding they must be born deformed because of the law of karma. Given that they are born malformed, they presumable got their bad karma from something they did in a previous life. This higher understanding only adds an even more perverse twist to Mr. Buddha’s central tenant, the first of his Noble Truths, – ‘life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’. Not only do you suffer once, you get to do it again and again and again and if you’re really bad you get to be re-born malformed, or get to die in a plane crash.
RESPONDENT: We all ultimately do (that answers your Self-ish comment). WE ALL ULTIMATELY GET THERE.
PETER: ... unless we stuff up, become a disbeliever, or do something really bad and then get to be re-born malformed or die in yet another plane crash. With this sort of a horrendous scenario running it is no wonder people desperately want to ‘get there’ ... and out of having to be here, on earth.
RESPONDENT: To quote another of ‘Their’ songs. ‘The long and winding road’.
PETER: To believe in karma is to believe in an endless, torturous road with no hope other than getting there – to a meta-physical ‘other-world’. Thus a spiritual seeker eagerly forfeits any chance of peace on earth for the utterly ‘self’-ish pursuit of an eternal peace after physical death.
RESPONDENT: I totally associated with your views and how you expressed them.
PETER: I’m flabbergasted. You have managed to sidestep everything I have said by claiming a higher understanding and a higher moral position. You stated –
– thereby implying that you have graduated, while I remain at undergraduate level.
This is not associating with the facts I have presented at all – this is saying they don’t apply to you because you have risen above them.
RESPONDENT: The same ‘miracle of life’, (laws), that illuminated my anger, also gave me the answers. To most, this just doesn’t make sense. They ‘k-NO-W’ of many that didn’t make it, and some that have no hope. They don’t yet K-now that the law of karma and reincarnation are aspects of the same law.
PETER: Well, given you passionately believe that it is all God’s will I guess it is your way of justifying the appalling malice and sorrow that result from our genetically encoded instinctual passions. You say the ‘miracle of life’ – God by another name – illuminated your anger in order that you could see it is all God’s will. So God created your anger and then illuminated it, to show you His power in order that you have a Higher Understanding. This only makes sense if you are into circular thinking predicated upon a false premise and can see no further than a ‘self’-centred or ‘Self’-centred viewpoint of the physical universe.
A ‘self’-less view of the vibrant pure and perfect actuality of the physical universe only happens in a pure consciousness experience and not in an affective ‘Self’-centred experience such as an epiphany, Satori or a similar Altered State of Consciousness.
PETER: We have had a good bit of de-bunking of the spiritual lately on the list, so I was interested to come across a piece on Awareness written by a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at California University. It indicates very clearly that spiritual concepts are not confined to those living in Ashrams or those following Gurus on the so-called spiritual path. The professions involved in studying the psyche, consciousness, human behaviour, brain functioning, etc. have a deep-seated and inherent spiritual viewpoint – after all they are studying the ‘spirit’, the ethereal entity that dwells within every human body. Jung and Freud, for example, were both steeped in Eastern mysticism, but then again, so is the whole of Western science and philosophy. Science and philosophy only emerged from the incestuous bosom of the church in Europe in the Middle Ages and, after some valiant attempts at independence, eventually came under the fashionable influence of Eastern religious thought in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
So, it’s useful to shine our torch on the ‘mainstream’ and see what is on offer in comparison with the words of the Gurus that can often be too easily dismissed as the more ‘lunatic fringe’ of Eastern spirituality.
It’s a fairly long piece, so I’ll break it up to comment on it as the Professor’s story unfolds –
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: Awareness = ‘I’
We seem to have numerous ‘I’s. There is the I of ‘I want’, the I of ‘I wrote a letter’, the I of ‘I am a psychiatrist’ or ‘I am thinking’. But there is another I that is basic, that underlies desires, activities and physical characteristics.All quotes from: Arthur Deikman, Journal of Consciousness Studies: http://www.imprint.co.uk/online/Deikman.html
PETER: So, very quickly we have located the psychological ‘I’, and he defines it well. It is beyond ‘desire’, and I assume he means physical desires such as food, warmth, comfort and sex (and hot showers), beyond ‘activities’ like going for a walk, shopping, having a chat or typing a letter, and beyond ‘physical characteristics’ such as the sensately evidenced, solid, verifiable, factual, active, vibrant, tangible, see-able, feel-able, smell-able, hear-able, down-to-earth, sensual, actual world, here in space and now in time. Beyond people, things and events.
Note also the dis-association from the process of thinking, as in: ‘I’ am not my thoughts. This is to completely negate what the brain does as its business. The brain thinks, just as heart pumps blood and the liver ‘livers’ (or filters the body’s wastes or whatever it does). What absolute nonsense to deny the brain and its functioning! Basically, the human body is a walking brain and sense organs. In fact, the brain and the sense organs are one – the eyes are the seeing stalks of the brain, the ears are hearing cones of the brain, the nose is the sniffing snout, the mouth its taster and the skin its direct interface as in touch and feel. The brain and body are one and part of the brain’s job is to think and reflect. It is the sole function that distinguishes the human animal from the rest of sentient beings. How do you deny all that and shut it all down?
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: Introspection and Subjectivity
When we use introspection to search for the origin of our subjectivity, we find that the search for ‘I’ leaves the customary aspects of personhood behind and takes us closer and closer to awareness, per se. A Deikman, Awareness = ‘I’
PETER: So, we have an introspective search going on – a looking inwards for the real ‘me’. We leave the rotten old ‘me’ behind and the physical, mortal body and the real world and go off looking ‘inside’ in a search for the origin. And we come closer to awareness per se; in other words, not an awareness of something but awareness itself. This act of being aware – awareness itself – takes precedent over and supersedes the customary aspects of personhood – such as mortality, sexuality, fear, aggression, sorrow, malice, resentment, growing old, etc.
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: If this process of introspective observation is carried to its conclusion, even the background sense of core subjective self disappears into awareness. Thus, if we proceed phenomenologically, we find that the ‘I’ is identical to awareness: ‘I’ = awareness. A Deikman, Awareness = ‘I’
PETER: Thus, as one carries this process on to its conclusion, any personal sense of self disappears as the new ‘I’ becomes the watcher of the other ‘I’ – the one who is selfish, self-obsessed and neurotic, and this new watcher has got nothing to do with the flesh and blood body and its sensate experience, instinctual passions and fears. One proceeds phenomenologically as in
Thus ‘proceeding phenomenologically’ is to abandon facts and common sense and opt for pure intuition and as such we opt out of the real world of people, things and events and we become the awareness of these phenomena. Thus ‘I’ am not my feelings, ‘I’ am not my thoughts, ‘I’ am not my body, ‘I’ have nothing to do with the real world – ‘I’ am awareness only.
All this does nothing but more strongly confirm that ‘I’ am a disembodied entity who has taken up residency in this flesh and blood body. At its most basic this new stripped-down ‘I’ is really just the awareness of what is going on around me. Thus, the real world appears as an illusion or a picture show that ‘I’ am watching, initially from inside this body, but then even this bodily phenomena disappears into awareness itself. Thus ‘I’ = awareness = nothing at all to do with the real world of people, things and events and most definitely nothing to do with this flesh and blood body. Complete and utter dis-association is the result.
Prof. A. DEIKMAN: Awareness
Awareness is something apart from, and different from, all that of which we are aware: thoughts, emotions, images, sensations, desires and memory. Awareness is the ground in which the mind’s contents manifest themselves; they appear in it and disappear once again. A Deikman, Awareness = ‘I’
PETER: The Professor goes on to confirm this being ‘apart from’ and being ‘different from’. This new ‘I’ ‘is apart from, and different from,’ anything the other ‘I’ thinks, feels, senses, sees, touches, remembers, desires, worries about, etc. It’s a pretty cosy little set-up, especially if one keeps one’s eyes closed and withdraws from the senses. Desires like sex have always proved a tough hurdle for the inner journeyers, and going out into the real world can often be a trial, particularly in the early days of cultivating this new ‘me’. The new, basic ‘I’ is the ‘ground’ in which all the mind’s contents appear – the thinking, reflecting and the brain’s sensory inputs that directly experience the physical world. Thus ‘I’ am neither my brain nor my body. This new ‘I’ is basic, prior and becoming more and more ‘real’, in direct proportion to the emphasis and kudos it is given.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter One. In the Beginning Are the Words
Source is unexplainable, yet it has been given many names. It has been called the Tao, the Hidden Harmony, ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’, ‘the Kingdom of God’. This is the way the mind interprets it in order to share it. When we let go of all forms identification with time and space, with knowing, with the need for safety, security and predictability, there is a disappearance, which means there is no identification with what we call the ‘self’. Then there is no self as we know it and the mind cannot understand that. I call this state the unformed. The source is the unformed. <Snip> Then from this state we create form according to our desires, although we usually do not recognize them as desires. <Snip> We are not aware we are doing this, but we are holding this reality as we know it by identifying it as such. If we did not do that, we would go to the source, which is life in an unformed state. Each person is that state of the unformed, not a part of that state. Many of the eastern philosophies express the idea that everything in existence is created from this unformed state, from the whole, and the whole remains intact and undiminished. Each person is not part of existence, each person is existence <Snip> ... is the whole and is the source. The game in this dimension is to have a direct experience of source. Once this is realized, the struggle is over – nothing is ever serious again; life becomes fun, a series of events to experience and savour deeply. We are not here to understand or control life, but to be present and enjoy the maximum potential of each moment, just as it is. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: It is obvious that ‘ordinary spirituality’ includes dropping the common convention of using capital letters to denote reverence to the Divine spirit or energy that is believed to be the origin of the physical universe. The Oxford Dictionary defines source as –
Interestingly the source of this passionate belief in an originating source of the physical universe is also defined –
Thus it is that those who believe in a source are themselves the very source of perpetuating and maintaining the idea of a source , energy, God, Mother Earth, Grandmother Universe or whatever other puerile nonsense is offered up. In this sense, Mr. Lowe himself could be seen as the source of the belief in a source, energy, God, Mother Earth, Grandmother Universe, etc. – a mere figment of his passionate imagination for there is no factual evidence to support this belief beyond what he and countless others feel to be the truth.
The pertinent question is: how do otherwise seemingly intelligent people get to a state where they so totally believe in ‘the source’ and passionately feel or experience ‘the source’ that they believe themselves to be ‘the source’? Paul, in fact, describes the process reasonably well.
What he describes is a process of dis-association not only with the ‘real’ world but also with the actual, physical, material world of time and space. This dis-association with what is evidenced by the bodily senses, combined with a dis-identification with one’s psychological ‘self’ leads to the imaginary creation of a new self or identity whereupon one feels that one ‘is existence <Snip> ... is the whole and is the source’. In honest, forthright spirituality this is spoken and written of as transcending self to become ‘Self’. In ordinary spirituality this apparently becomes a transcendence from ‘self’ to ‘source’. As for – ‘I call this state the unformed. The source is the unformed.’ – the idea of a source is so ancient and primitive it would be better said that the source is the un-informed rather than unformed.
All this traditional belief is understandable, for up until now the seeker has had only two choices. Either to remain ‘normal’ in the ‘real’ world, or to attempt to feel one is divine in the ‘spiritual’ world. In the spiritual world ‘the game in this dimension is to have a direct experience of source’ which, as we know, is then to swoon around pretending one is above it all and immortal to boot.
To do this as a flesh and blood human being on this planet is to turn away from the very physical, very real fact of the ongoing malice and sorrow that exemplifies the Human Condition. It is an act of utter selfishness, an act of self-aggrandizement, born of ancient ignorance and passionately fuelled by the ‘self’s’ will to survive – at all costs.
Transcendence is not a self-less state, transcendence is a delusion and a cop-out. Seeking the ‘source’ that underlies or underpins the actual physical universe is but a search by the psychological and psychic entity for a place to feel at ‘home’, and a place where to go to after ‘the body dies’. The ‘maximum potential’ that inevitably results from the search for the ‘expansion of human consciousness’ is to end up believing and feeling oneself to be the ‘source’ of it all, for to be the ‘source’ is as BIG and EXPANDED as humans can imagine themselves to be.
It is only by the patient, stubborn and persistent elimination of all belief, indeed the very act of believing, that one can arrive at the magic, perfection and purity of what is actual. When both ego and soul, both who we think and feel we are, is made to disappear. When belief, imagination and impassioned feelings are made to disappear. This is the ‘maximum potential’ of intelligence – that unique faculty of human beings which separates us as a species from the other animals – to be actually free of the Human Condition, in total.
One only needs to dare to relentlessly pursue the process of actively re-wiring one’s brain to free oneself of all illusion – only then will what is actual be evident as an on-going experience – while awake and until death.
Next of the fresh and unique re-interpretations are ‘Choicelessness and Being Present’.
But, enough for now. The day is cloudy and deliciously cool and the time is perfect for a stroll downtown.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Eight Relating – An Invitation to Expand
When something pleasant happens and you feel good, it is not the circumstances that make you feel that way. When the event takes place you say ‘yes’ – you expand and make yourself available to what is. The acceptance and the expansion produce the good feelings. When something unpleasant or unexpected happens, you say no to what is happening, and that contraction, not the incident itself, produces the bad feeling. It is never the event, but how you are with the event that creates your experience. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: This is not a theoretical, philosophical critique. It is vitally important for an Actualist to understand precisely what is being said and to determine whether one is falling into the trap of denial and transcendence.
The trap goes like this –
When a good event happens then you accept it and practice an expansion of the good feelings. When an unpleasant event happens you feel bad but it is then you who are creating the bad feeling by not expanding yourself. To do this you need to deny that the event is causing the feeling and practice expanding, or ‘rising above’ the bad feeling. Thus you practice disassociation from any unpleasant events and the resulting bad feelings until you identify as someone who has transcended bad feelings and become a person who only has good feelings. This is ‘self’-aggrandizement – 180 degrees opposite to ‘self’-immolation.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Nine When the Spirit Takes Over
Suggestion to the reader: The experience of this chapter can be deepened if you have it read to you while you close your eyes. <snip>
I invite you to join me in exploring the possibilities suggested in this reverie. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: The classic way to listen to fairy stories is to close one’s eyes and imagine the story being told to you is real. It is a well-used device for instilling moral tales of good and evil in children, in hypnosis and psycho-therapy sessions, and in the spiritual world it is used in Satsangs, meditations, discourses, past-life recessions and the like. Closing one’s eyes is a way of cutting off the primary sensorial input and disassociating from the physical world, thereby allowing one to become more fully engaged in unfettered imagination – i.e. thinking totally unrelated to reality and therefore twice removed from actuality.
PAUL LOWE: Imagine that we are all together in a dimension that has no form. It is not material, it is pure spirit. There is no separation as we know it. We can all move in and out of each other. Then we hear about a dimension that has form, and something called ‘experience’, which we do not have in this unformed state. This dimension, we are told, is created of material, tangible substance. <snip> We are told that before we can enter the dimension called planet Earth we have to adopt a form that will enable us to touch things and be touched. We will still be free spirits but we will be contained in a structure. This structure consists of a body that can have sensations in the mind, in the emotions and at a physical level. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: The fairy story begins. This story has been told for so many thousands of years that its original source is blurred in the mists of time. It would seem that both Eastern and Western religious fables share a common heritage in Middle Eastern God-stories. The basis of all religious belief is that ‘who’ we feel and think we are is a disembodied ‘spirit’ who has taken up temporary residency in the mortal flesh and blood body.
PAUL LOWE: We will not easily be able to drift out of this body and then back in. In this new dimension we will become attached to the form and the game will be finding a way to detach ourselves, in order to be free, while continuing to exist in this form. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: ‘Detach’ is the important word here and the name of the spiritual game is to practice detachment. To imagine that one really is a spirit who can ‘drift out of this body and then back in’ is to imagine that one can survive the death of the body and go ‘somewhere else’ after death. ‘Ordinary spirituality’ is often careful to avoid directly mentioning the promise of life after death lest it be seen as ordinary religious pap, but the seductive lure is nevertheless there and the willingly gullible fall for the story, hook, line and sinker.
PAUL LOWE: When you take a form, it already has built-in programs. These programs have been inherited from parents, society and thousands of years of conditioning. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: 180 degrees in the wrong direction! The spirit – ‘who’ you think and feel you are – is the program in the brain. This is easily observed in a new born infant which has a genetically encoded, but minimally developed, instinctual programming and one’s social programming begins later.
The spirit, the alien entity within the flesh and blood body, is the program, and all spirit-ual belief is part of this social programming. To get rid of the alien spirit one simply needs to get rid of both the societal and instinctual programming. One then becomes ‘what’ one is – a mortal flesh and blood body only, free of the illusion of being a spirit.
PAUL LOWE: The mind in this machine is untamed – wild. It has will and thinks thoughts on its own. Emotions can be disturbed at any time. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: The spiritual people always think of themselves as being civilized or of having a higher consciousness – this feeling of superiority is the direct result of practicing transcendence. As a meta-physical ‘spirit’ only, one disassociates from, and transcends, the wild beast – the human animal body. Delusions of Divinity are the inevitable result of these spiritual practices.
PAUL LOWE: When you enter the machine, you are stuck there until you find a way out. <snip> As you enter the machine you forget who you are, that you are pure spirit. Yet it is possible to become conscious of the automatic parts of the machine and as you do, you move towards remembering who you really are, you move towards your freedom. <snip> Eventually you will be totally free within the machine; then it will start to balance itself. You and the machine will become one and you will be free to be here or to leave. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: So, each and every spirit entering a human body perversely has their memory erased and has to suffer to the point where, in sheer desperation, they turn to the Ancient fairy stories and then realize it was all God’s sick joke. Having realized this they can then sit in their Ashrams, Satsangs, meditations, therapy groups and spiritual communities and feel superior to those who have not yet got the joke.
T’would all be a joke except for the fact that any chance of an actual peace on earth is readily and eagerly forfeited for an imaginary peace after physical death or, for the rare few, the chance to become God-on-earth.
For an Actualist, a sincere interest in actualizing peace on earth is vital in order to prevent the seductive lure of ‘self’-aggrandizement and the instinctual lure of ‘self’-preservation from diverting him or her from the path to ‘self’-immolation.
PAUL LOWE: As you settle into this form you will probably find that this machine has a mind and it never stops. It thinks all the time. Without you doing the thinking, it keeps thinking on its own. It also has feelings and sensations in the body all on its own, that have nothing whatsoever to do with you. All you have to do is to be aware of being in there. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: This ancient ignorance of the functioning of the human mind, and the source and makeup of one’s ‘self’, actively prevents one doing anything about the situation one finds oneself in as a human being on this planet.
Denial and transcendence undoubtedly lead to the feeling of freedom but the feeling of freedom is but a paltry substitute for an actual freedom from the Human Condition in toto.
Did you notice his last sentence – ‘All you have to do is to be aware of being in there’? When spiritual people talk of being ‘here’ they always mean ‘there’, as in – inside the body.
PAUL LOWE: You may notice that this machine can hear things; it picks up sounds outside of itself. It might have some pain or discomfort in the body. But remember, you are a visitor, you are simply noticing all this and watching the activity of the mind <snip> You are here, now. You are watching. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: And we have the subtle word-slip from being ‘there’ to being ‘here’. One moment he was ‘there’ – the ethereal visitor, the spirit, the ‘watcher’, ‘aware of being in there’, meaning inside the flesh and blood body and the next minute he is claiming to be here.
‘There’ is an imaginary world and is most definitely not here in the physical, tangible, sensately experienced actual world.
Everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong. Everyone. Everyone who has sought freedom has sought to go ‘there’ – to the imaginary spirit-ual world.
The challenge is to come here to this actual world as experienced in the PCE. To be an Actualist is to be an adventurer, a pioneer, original, unique, a trail blazer, a forger of new ground, a breakaway.
PAUL LOWE: Remember you are the spirit in the machine – you are always watching. <snip> The machine has a life of its own. It is up to you to be conscious and present and not let it live you. <snip> The game is to be in the machine and feel free. <snip> You can start to remember who you really are, right now. You can start to come home. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: To be ‘conscious and present’ there, in the body, is most definitely not to be sensately here in the actual world, as a flesh and blood body only. ‘The [spiritual] game is to be in the machine and feel free’ says it really all.
The game for an Actualist is to rid oneself of both the grim illusion of the real world and the divine delusion of the spiritual world. To take off one’s grey coloured glasses and to take off one’s rose coloured glasses.
PAUL LOWE: You are the one who knows you have a body, a mind and emotions. You are in a highly unstable vehicle. It gets set off by illogical things. It can get upset about the same thing again and again for its entire life. It never seems to learn. It is as though it has an allergy and when somebody says something it gets upset. No one was hurt, no one has damaged it; it just did not want to hear what was said, so it gets upset. It is not you who is upset. Your mind heard something and created a reaction in the body and the emotions. The essential you is the one who can watch the reaction. However, you forgot to watch, you get caught up in it and you think you are angry. You are not angry. The body, mind and emotions have become disturbed, chemicals have been released and there is nothing you can do about it. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: Denial and disassociation abound.
What about saying – I am a highly unstable person. I get set off by illogical things. I can get upset about the same thing again and again for my entire life. I never seem to learn. Etc. An honest, simple, straightforward assessment of the situation one finds oneself in, no avoidance, no denial, no being a watcher, no cunning sideways shift.
It is only by not denying one’s feelings and actions and by not disassociating from them that one can begin to do something about them.
PAUL LOWE: Anything created out of the will, out of contraction and control, never produces an enduring sense of satisfaction and contentment. Rather, your meditation can be in each moment, being as sensitive and choiceless as possible. When you are present, you can sense a demand coming up in you because you can feel yourself contracting, you can feel the tension inside you. Catch it as early as you possible and then ask ‘Now what am I demanding or resisting?’ and just be there with it. Give yourself the experiment of going for your maximum potential with love and sensitivity, without demand or control. See if you can invite what you would most like in each moment and allow it to emerge without interference. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A new Way to Live
PETER: Ah, the last sentence makes a mockery of the advice offered in the previous ones. Surely inviting ‘what you most like’ is nothing other than making a judgement or choice as to what you like or don’t like and ‘inviting’ is but a soppy word for demand. When you say ‘allow it to emerge without interference’ I would remind you that you have also said directly above that the method you applied was ‘when I have gone unconscious, saying, ‘Oh – slipped up there’, and beginning anew’ which sounds very much like making a judgement or choice, deciding not to ‘be there with it’ and interfering such that you immediately get back control in order that you can feel transcendent or at your ‘maximum potential’.
The phrase ‘going for your maximum potential with love and sensitivity’ is worthy of comment for so many utterly selfish actions and so much malicious manipulation of others is done in the name of love that it beggars description. Practicing disassociation from one’s fellow human beings and dressing it in the name of love and sensitivity is a but a sleazy and smaltzy attempt to avoid the traditional increased loneliness and alienation that transcendence brings with it.
The enormous gap between what is written and said by spiritual people and what is practiced and realized in action is due to the blindness induced by self-centred spiritual belief.
To believe anything is to ignore, and be ignorant of, facts and sensibility. To passionately believe is to deliberately choose to ignore and be proud of being ignorant of facts and sensibility – a dangerous and volatile mix that readily leads to delusion and fanaticism.
It’s so good to get into the meat of the matter and sort out what it is that these ‘non-spiritual’ spiritual people are saying, where the contradictions, lies, anomalies, confusions, seductions, misinterpretations, twists, deceptions, illusions and delusions are. The transcribed words of Mr. Rajneesh, that most prolific of God-men, are a testimony to contradiction, deceit and deception – so much so that he was forced to make a Divine virtue out of the fact.
Shamans are magicians of the emotions, imagination and the psychic world, and their tricks, stories, tales and methods have been passed down from generation to generation. It is no easy or small thing to demolish the Eastern variety of religious belief – cunningness and slight of hand abounds. Even the use of the word spiritual has been slyly adopted to imply it is non-religious belief. Paul is now trying to imply a non-spirituality for his ‘ordinary spirituality’ but we Actualists shall have that phrase back, thank you.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.