Selected Correspondence Peter
Evil and the Diabolical
PETER to No 23: A bit more about the subject of politics that has come to mind in the last week –
I have recently been watching the television coverage of the first anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Centre towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. I was particularly struck by how well documented these acts of carnage were whereas our knowledge and understanding of most other such acts of violence throughout history are based on written accounts, bland official records, sketches and paintings, black and white photographs and official war films or, more recently, brief film clips on TV news reports. This has meant that while everybody is familiar with the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews, there is no similar close familiarity with, for example, the Japanese ritual slaughter of Chinese at Nanking, the Stalinist and Maoist systematic murder of tens of millions, or with the Communist genocide in Cambodia. Few deliberate acts of bombing of civilians have been recorded as they happened – the obliteration of whole cities in Europe and Asia in the Second World War was often only recorded from a distance or as piles of rubble, after the act.
I have a somewhat hazy but vivid memory of the very first time I became aware of the sheer horror of what human beings do to each other. I was about 10 years old at the time and my parents had just purchased their first television. I snuck out of bed late at night in order to watch and came across a film showing piles of skeletal corpses in a concentration camp. Whilst I vaguely remember being stunned at seeing this appalling and inexplicable act of evil, I can only assume that I thought that it was an aberration from the past and had nothing to do with me, i.e. the only way I could cope with what I saw was to dissociate from what I saw.
This memory surfaced again when I watched the two planes crashing into the World Trade Centre towers and then seeing both towers collapsing. Nowadays, as an actualist, I know that such acts of mass murder are in fact not an aberration and that dissociating or turning away from such acts means that I am only avoiding the opportunity of investigating my own social conditioning that makes me liable to be complicit to such acts as well becoming aware of my own instinctual passions that are the root cause of such actions.
As I watched the anniversary reports, the Mayor of New York commented in the aftermath of the attacks that he now knew what Londoners had endured for months in the Second World War and he could well have added the names of many other European and Asian cities. In a similar vein, I now know that the Holocaust, although horrific in itself, was not in itself an aberration because the persecution and murder of religious groups and tribal factions has a long history stretching back thousands of years. I also know that persecution and bigotry is inherent to all faiths, be they Western or Eastern. This is so because, by the very nature of all religious and spiritual belief, each faith believes that their particular morality, belief, God, Prophet, Guru or Godman is the only true, right, good and therefore, either implicitly or explicitly, that all other faiths are false, wrong, evil.
But I also know – thanks to Richard’s pioneering discoveries and my own experiential investigations – that tribal and religious conflicts are but the symptoms and the real cause of all human conflict lies where no-one dares to acknowledge, let alone investigate. I know by personal experience that the root cause of the violence, misery and mayhem that human beings continue to inflict upon each other is not the result of some metaphysical Evil force that continually needs to be opposed by the forces of Good but is solely due to the maladroit instinctual survival programming genetically-encoded by blind nature into each and every human being. And I know by experience that this programming can be changed – if one so desires.
There is another event that happened this week that I would also like to relate to you as it relates to the topic at hand and it helped me to throw some light on some of the feelings that have surfaced around the bombing of the WTC towers. I happened to have a chance conversation with a teenager who had been given a school assignment to comment on the rights and wrongs of the US attacking Iraq. As he read out some of the questions he was supposed to address, it became clear to me that whoever had posed the questions had an anti-US bias. What also became clear was that the teenager had very little knowledge of the facts of the situation. He didn’t know anything about the recent history of the Gulf war, of the Iranian-Iraq war, of the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein and the gassing of the Kurds, let alone the long history of conflicts in the region.
It struck me that he, like each and every other child born on the planet, had been inculcated with a particular point of view and opinion about other people, in ignorance of the current and historical facts of the situation. In common with every other child he was being taught – whether by his parents, peers or teachers – not only that there are good and evil people and tribes in the world but specifically who these people and tribes are. In this way, these beliefs then becomes set in concrete for a lifetime, only ever changed in order to remain compliant to the mood swings of society in general or one’s peer group in particular.
All of this I know from my own observations of my own social identity in action – of becoming aware as to how I was gullibly sucked into believing that what I was told and taught to be true by others was fact. Whilst it is obvious that I knew no better as a child, this is not the case nowadays. Nowadays if I catch myself feeling anti-anything feelings, I want to know why. I want to investigate the facts of the situation. I remember at the time of the bombing of the World Trade Centre towers being particularly curious about the amount of anti-US feeling that the event aroused. Many people of all nationalities were expressing the opinion that the US was at fault and that it had ‘got what it deserved’. Often I would hear that ‘it was terrible, but …’
I was reminded of school ground taunts and fights when there was general gloating when someone paid-back someone else for some wrong, and it often made no difference at all whether the wrong was actual or perceived. What I see in the human condition, and have discovered operating in ‘me’ and as ‘me’, is a basic feeling of resentment intrinsic to being a human being. This base-line feeling is what fuels much of the resentment against other individuals, groups, tribes or countries who are seen to be, or who are, more powerful, more wealthy, more fortunate, and so on. Many seek to counteract their feelings of resentment with the antidotal feeling of self-righteousness whereby they aspire to feeling ‘above’ the ‘ignorant’ behaviour of others, whilst many others seek solace in feeling grateful to their own personal protector-God.
I came to understand by scrupulous ‘self’-observation that many of the so-called ‘good’ feelings and opinions I held were based on a socially-inculcated and instinctually-natural feeling of self-righteousness and that this feeling is always predicated on the ‘wrongness’ of others. In my case for example, I believed being a spiritualist was ‘good’ because religion was inherently evil, I believed being a socialist was good because capitalism was inherently evil and I believed being an Environmentalist was good because consumerism was inherently evil. It was only when I became an actualist that I was emboldened to question and set aside these beliefs so that I was able to find out by myself, for myself, the facts of the situation.
I’ve come to understand – by carefully observing my own beliefs, feelings and passions and, most importantly, thinking about them – that the root cause of this intrinsic feeling of resentment is that ‘I’, by my very non-physical nature, am forever cut off from the perfection and purity of the actual physical world. However this very act of observation also means that increasingly I am able to rid myself of the social and instinctual programming that gives substance to ‘me’ as a social and instinctual identity. This deliberate act of elimination in turn means that I am more able to be unconditionally happy and effortlessly harmless, which is also why I am able to report from my own experience that actualism can never be a belief because it only works in practice.
It’s so good to be able to do something about one’s lot in life, to incrementally eradicate one’s own self-centred programming and start to marvel at this astonishing, utterly peerless, universe in action.
RESPONDENT: I remember Osho once said that the reason people are trained to have good feelings is that so that they do not cause damage to other people. Or something like that.
PETER: Indeed. In ‘normal’ society we are socially trained to be good and have good feelings. As a back-up when the ‘good’ fails we have laws, lawyers, psychiatrists, police, fines, jails, armies, etc. to stop the ‘bad’ feelings from running amok. The spiritual solution is to pump up the good feelings to become divine feelings resulting in feelings of superiority, grandness, oneness and wholeness which, if practiced assiduously, leads to the feeling that one is indeed Divineness Itself.
By the way, Rajneesh aka Osho says ‘Unconsciousness is evil and consciousness is Divine’ which is nothing other than the Eastern version of Western morality of good and bad.
Good and bad (or conscious and unconscious) is as pathetic a division of instinctual passions as is right and wrong a pathetic division of social values. Human beings actually fight horrendous wars over these divisions. The initial stage of Actual Freedom involves investigating these socially and spiritually implanted morals and ethics in order to discover what lays beneath – the genetically implanted instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
PETER to No 60: My description was that there was a ‘goody-two-shoes’ Peter – a front-man if you like – beneath which lay a not very pleasant person who had a ‘dark side’ that was literally diabolical. (24.12.2003)
RESPONDENT: Diabolical as in evil minded?
PETER: No, one’s dark side is a passionate being at heart – ‘he’ or ‘she’ does not merely think dark thoughts, ‘he’ or ‘she’ feels dark feelings and ‘he’ or ‘she’ has an inherent potential to do dark deeds.
RESPONDENT: As you speak in the past tense I wonder if you could give some description of that person that no longer exists.
PETER: I am struggling to find a better description than
I can’t describe the character of the person per se, because ‘he’ was in no way unique or special – ‘he’ was merely a bundle of passions and neuroses exactly as is every other passionate ‘being’. I am not saying that I am actually free of this identity, but as ‘he’ no longer rules the roost as ‘he’ used to, I have little affective memory of how ‘he’ thought and felt at the time. I can only suggest reading my journal because it might give you more of an idea of ‘who’ I was at the start of this process.
RESPONDENT: When using that word diabolical, have you fully explored the implications of i.e. putting yourself in the position of i.e. a hacker with really malicious intentions?
PETER: No. I didn’t need to invent scenarios or resort to imagination in order to understand that ‘I’ had a dark, diabolical side, I simply became attentive to the full range of my feelings, as and when they were occurring in my everyday life, with people as-they-are, in the world as-it-is.
RESPONDENT: I most likely won’t be part of the mailing list group for much longer. I can only deal with groups for a short time then I just want to be quiet. I am very interested in the whole ego thing so I will be responding to what I read in the magazine when I get my copy here. Just be open-minded and see what I have to say. You may not agree with any of it, which is fine, but you may also see where I am coming from.
PETER: Yes, I did note with interest your post on the subject of ego. Given that my interest is peace on earth and I like to reply in detail I can’t comment on your post on the list so I will take the opportunity to do so here.
You say you can’t hate but you obviously can still blame other human beings for as you said at the start of this post –
These feelings usually range from being upset, miffed, impatient, perhaps even angry or swing back the other way to feeling pity for them, sad, despairing, hopelessness and perhaps even depressed. If you ‘can’t hate’ which of these other feelings do you ‘still have’? When you say
do you include the human beings who are in the governments that run this world and do you include all the wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, despair and suicide in this wonder-full creation that is not ‘separate from your own being’?
RESPONDENT: Just because I can’t hate doesn’t mean I can’t see the facts before my eyes. I find nothing wrong with feeling many ways about things in this world. That does not for a moment make me feel separate from the whole. That would be nonsense. It saddens me deeply to see what is happening in the world.
PETER: I presume you see what I see – people being malicious or angry to the point of killing others and people being sorrowful or sad to the point of killing themselves. You have said you don’t feel hate any more and now you say you can feel deeply sad in your awakened state. It is good to find someone in an awakened state who is willing to be honest about what is going on with them and how they experience the world rather than say it can’t be put into words. I am curious though when you say that after your ego-death, if I can use that term, you no longer identify with the nightmare of ‘fear, suffering, hatred’ yet you still feel the suffering of others. Is it that you no longer think you are identified with other human beings but you still feel identified? If so, this would be in accord with my experience in that transcending the thinking self still leaves a feeling self, often denoted as an impersonal self or a grand Self.
RESPONDENT: When you see what is real, and the false is still acting on the world, you do all you can to help stop that process. And that is what it is: A process of misunderstanding based on a false belief brought about by the ego dream. I know at the core of all those people doing all the things that cause suffering is the same being I am. I know that by going through what I did changed all that for me and it can change it for everyone.
PETER: But curiously enough you still say you suffer as in ‘it saddens me deeply to see what is happening in the world’. I presume this deep sadness for others is a suffering for others as in feeling compassion for others. This again would be in accord with the transcendence of a personal self and personal suffering to a state of being an impersonal self who then feels sorrow for others – an impersonal, non-identified suffering. Again this is in accord with my experience – the ending of personal psychological suffering is not the end of suffering for then one has the experience of suffering for all of humanity, a psychic suffering, whereby misery and pain can literally drip off everything. My experience in the psychic world is that this type of suffering can be far deeper than one’s own personal suffering for one then takes on everyone else’s suffering. No wonder the Enlightened Ones are driven to save the world and desperate to entice others to join them in their crusade, for underpinning the Divine lays, ever lurking, the desperation of universal suffering – often referred to as the Diabolical.
Of course, there is no Divine or Diabolical, bliss or despair, malice or sorrow or any of the instinctual passions in the actual world. All these feelings and beliefs, ideas and fantasies exist only because they are the psychological and psychic machinations of a wayward identity within the flesh and blood body. These feelings may well be real, and are felt to be so because of the chemicals that surge through the human body from the reptilian brain ... but they are not actual, as in existing in the physical world.
RESPONDENT: One thing I do not agree with that I read on the actualism site is that part about their being no reality to the intuitive, precognition, etc. This is the only thing I meant when I wrote to you about there being more than the surface. I am not seeing anything other than the rock solid real world, but it is broader than most seem to see. I cannot, and will not, deny experiences that have happened most of my 61 years. I have seen events happening many miles away, and had them confirmed by people who were there. I have seen what was going to happen before it happened many times. I have seen objects jump off the wall from just my thinking about them doing it. I could write a book about all of this. So for me to say it is unreal would be to lie. That is all I meant while talking about there being more. In the latest findings of many scientists these things are just a part of the nature of the reality we all share.
PETER: This is exactly what I mean by the fact that we live in two different worlds. The awakening from the nightmare of reality to the realization of Reality is to subjugate a false personal sense of self and replace it with a true, impersonal sense of Self. The evidence of the truth of this ‘other-world’ is the feelings that arise and the experiences that are experienced. This other-world is a psychic world – thus one feels psychically linked with all other humans and the feeling of ‘We are All One’ is realized. In my case the experience was ‘I am love and Love is me’ – and any personal sense of self was completely overwhelmed by this new experiencing. I have also experienced the opposite of Grand, seductive and glorious in this psychic world and that is the Diabolical – a world so repulsive, so horrendous as to literally tear at one’s innards. I didn’t stay there long, but long enough to know that the Grand and glorious psychic experiences are underpinned by the Diabolical, and the dream of good, immortality and unity is but the opposite of the nightmare of evil, death and a hellish eternal lonely damnation. Duality isn’t eliminated, it is reinforced by the creation of a new world of imagination – that of Reality.
I don’t deny your experiences and I don’t deny that they are real. I have had many psychic experiences, all of which could be explained as psychic aberrations although I have never experienced physical objects moving – but my question would be ... ‘so what?’ If your psychic abilities were such that you could actually stop wars and suffering on this planet then I would willingly be sitting at your feet and following your teachings. We could then point you in the direction of trouble spots in the world and you could use your powers to end malice and sorrow in the world rather than moving objects and playing with clairvoyance. Until then, it is obvious that you have got yourself stuck in the spiritual world Reality – exactly as thousands upon thousands of others have in their search for a way out of being in the nightmare of real-world reality.
I have already stated my position about the spiritual world and many people miss the fact that spiritual means
as well as
While you insist that your awakening, your experiences and your current state are non-spiritual, as in non-religious, it certainly is spirit-ual, as in being psychic in nature. Methinks you are splitting hairs, yet again.
RESPONDENT: I really did enjoy that Web site. I will return to it many times in the future. It is very much like the one I have been building, in mind only so far, but I felt it may not do any good. I have the domain name for it already, which is Friends of Reality. If I get it done someday I will let you know. Maybe then you will see where I am really coming from.
PETER: You have written thousands of words to me and on the mailing list and you have failed to indicate that ‘where you are really coming from’ is anywhere other than your own unique and personal version of the traditional spiritual world. What I find most telling is that everyone who has Awakened from the nightmare or illusion of reality has declared ‘We are All One’ and yet they illustrated by their words and actions that they indeed retain a very personal and ego-centric view of Unity such that theirs is a distinctive and original version – different from others. This fact alone makes a mockery of the feeling that ‘We are All One’.
In actuality, all of the psychic world is seen for what it is – a fear-driven world of either doom and gloom reality typified by ‘Life’s a bitch and then you die’ or the phantasmagorical Reality of awakened souls awaiting their final release into Nirvana-land.
An actualist is concerned with peace on earth, in this lifetime and, as such, turns away from all psychological illusion and psychic delusions, no matter how seductive and powerful.
PETER: It’s good to get a response from you, so we can continue to discuss these matters. It does seem a long while ago now, but I know of many who are still suffering from the collapse of the Ranch and the many unresolved questions. ‘Time heals all wounds’ is a platitude I was never fond of, as emotional memories from the past would often return to ‘haunt’ me.
I deliberately chose to investigate my feelings, emotions and instincts as they arose in my daily life in order to experience life at the optimum, here, now, in this only moment of being alive that I can experience. Delving into the past, as in childhood stuff, is most often a futile skimming of the surface and an attempt to blame others, but the Ranch became pivotal for me in investigating the instincts of fear and aggression that we are all instilled with by blind nature.
PETER to No 12: You didn’t comment on what was the main point of the story – a disciple’s willingness to kill, and be killed, for the love of his Master. How do you stand on this? What were you willing to do, if the National Guard came over the hill? <snip> I usually dislike hypothetical questions but this situation was very real and evidently only days away from happening, according to some reports. Peter to No 12, 7.2.1999
RESPONDENT: As one who was there, in residence, full time for over four years, all I can say is I’m not there now and I am no longer able (or willing) to answer hypothetical questions or comment on ‘some reports’.
PETER: Why are you responding to me then, if you are ‘no longer able (or willing) to answer hypothetical questions or comment on ‘some reports’? Are you taking up No 12’s point that because I wasn’t there at the time I can’t ask myself this question. Are you denying the facts of what I am saying or merely indulging in ‘point scoring’. I remember No 11 had me 3-nil at one stage in point scoring and now seems to have disappeared over the cyber-hill.
RESPONDENT: You say it ‘was’ very real... that’s the operative word, WAS, as in not presently happening in this very moment, and not coming from your own experience of being there at that time so it is meaningless as well as a waste of time to speculate.
PETER: I spent a lot of time in the last two years contemplating on life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. My motive was two-fold – to find a personal peace on earth for me and to find a solution such that peace on the planet could actually eventuate rather than remain forever a dream.
In order to do this I had to stop ‘turning away’ from the world as it is. This meant to abandon the methods prescribed by the Ancients of closing my eyes and going ‘in’ to find an ‘inner’ imaginary peace. The peace I sought was such that it was liveable in the world as it is, in this lifetime, here, now, as this flesh and blood body, 24 hrs. a day, everyday. In short – the genuine, down to earth variety rather than the ethereal, spirit-ual, feeling version that is commonly sought after.
To do this, my ‘meditation’ became of the down-to-earth variety as in –
As I said, I usually find hypothetical questions not very useful, but given this was a situation that I could very well have found myself in, it was very a appropriate one for me to ask myself. In exploring into my ‘self’, I wanted no dark corners unexplored, nothing fudged over, all the ‘evil’ to be exposed.
I was exploring all the facets of the Human Condition, this collection of beliefs and instincts that are common to all human beings. The lot, every single bit.
RESPONDENT: As for this situation being ‘very real’, on what experience of your own do you base this generalization? Actualism = generalizations about ‘the rest of us’.
PETER: Are you saying that there was not, at the time, the ‘distinct possibility’ that armed force would be used against the Ranch? Certainly the Ranch put on a show for the media of arms training. Certainly Rajneesh riled against both the Christians, the local community and various government officials. I read and heard many reports, including some from Sannyasins who were on the ranch at the time, of the National Guard being at least on ‘stand-by’, if not in readiness for ‘action’. Presumably they would have had guns (and I assume bullets in them!)
Surely then, my question was not all that hypothetical. I explained in my post to No. 30 why I asked myself the question – to find out why we human beings so passionately fight and kill each other for ‘love’ of Country and ‘love’ of God ... or Master.
Actual Freedom provides, for the first time, a tried and proven way to become free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow. An essential first step for anyone interested in becoming free of the Human Condition is to recognize oneself as one of the 5.8 billion human beings on the planet – the same species as everybody else.
To consider oneself one of the ‘chosen few’ is to be in complete denial of this fact. One is then ‘special’, removed, remote, and has no interest in, or connection with, the world as it is and further develops a ‘them and us’ attitude towards other human beings that is set-in-concrete. This is a general feature, common to members of all Religious groups. Some even go to the extent of denying that they have instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire and that they ever feel sorrowful, let alone malicious.
Denial is after all, an essential prerequisite to Transcendence...
RESPONDENT: If you are experiencing some other personality in this space of being that you call witnessing, as far as I’m concerned you are not just witnessing! There is no personality in this space what so ever. There is no me in this space! There is just witnessing! Feelings are nothing more than subtle thoughts, and I’m not talking to you about thoughts,
PETER: Feelings are indeed nothing more than subtle thoughts, but it may be useful to dig in a bit deeper here rather than gloss over this. Feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts. To give you a practical example – once Vineeto was late for an appointment and I started to think why she was late. Very soon the underlying emotion grabbed hold and soon I was feeling jealous and the longer it went on the more it raged. It is the feelings and the underlying emotions that are the cause of our sorrow and malice as human beings and yet we stubbornly refuse to even acknowledge that they may be the problem. We still insist on following the Eastern Religious and philosophical notion that it is thinking that is the problem. Hence the doctrine of no-mind!
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