Selected Correspondence Peter
If you can provide some examples for the emphasized statement, it would be most appreciated.
PETER: I wrote this some time soon after I had seen a documentary on the work of a scientist who had reported what he termed genetic adaptations in frogs. He had noticed varying physiological features in a single species of frogs that were dependant upon the varying altitude that the frogs were found within a single mountain river. Unfortunately I did not take note of the scientist’s name at the time and I could not find any reference to his work on the Internet. Because I could not verify the comment I made, I soon after changed the statement to read –
You will find this changed statement is repeated on the Actualism website but an unaltered relic that escaped updating still remained in the ‘Introduction to Actual Freedom’ and I shall now update this as well.
Following your question, I again searched the Internet and I did come across an article which made reference to what could have been the research referred to in the documentary I saw but it stated that the research has now been largely discredited.
As I scouted around I came to understand that there is a good deal of discussion and research currently being undertaken on the issue of genetic mutations in order to come to a more complete understanding of the processes involved. According to modern theories and studies of heredity and evolution the tremendous variation amongst living organisms comes about in two ways, namely through spontaneous mutation and through chance hybridisation during sexual reproduction. Such spontaneous mutations and chance hybridisations are essential components or instruments of the evolution of all living beings on earth. Such mutations are not determined by environmental conditions but arise mainly through replication of the material of inheritance.
There is also a theory which proposes a complimentary process occurs, that of adaptive mutations. The term ‘adaptive mutations’ expresses the fact that the constraints of life and the environmental conditions not only work selectively on preformed characteristics, but also can determine new ones. Such characteristics can be described as ‘goal-directed’ without presupposing an evolutionary goal. Although I personally find the empirical evidence collected thus far to support the theory of adaptive mutations to be somewhat confusing, some scientists apparently have no doubt –
I have no scientific expertise in the field but the following quote from the same paper did make sense to me –
Thus it would seem that I am on reasonably safe ground in saying –
and leave others to debate whether beneficial physiological changes do lead to genetic adaptations, or ‘genetic assimilations’.
PETER to Alan: I have been watching a bit of afternoon TV lately and have been particularly fascinated by the nature programs. In my childhood the word ‘environment’ was not even known. 40 years ago human beings on the planet simply used and often abused the land, water and air. Resources needed for human survival were seen as endless, and it was only with world-wide communications that more people are aware of the fact that we are very much a planet bound species – we are earthlings. This global view allowed the majority of humans to think about pollution and overpopulation. We are moving from a position of being hunters and gatherers on the planet into one of sensible custodianship. I use the word custodianship in the sense that humans are the predominant and intelligent species. This whole set-up is, after all, for our enjoyment, our delight as free humans. The tough business of early human beings – the very real struggle to survival involved fighting for territory, struggling for food, struggling against disease and sickness, etc. Despite the romantic ideal that ‘things were better in the old days’ or ‘in Ancient Times’ the facts point to millennia of warfare, plagues and famines – a constant battle to survive.
Now the ‘tough battle’ for human beings is to accept the challenge of being happy and harmless – to put an end to the battle to survive and rid ourselves of malice and sorrow. It is now possible for us to send people to Mars on a space ship but the major difficulty is that the voyage would be 18 months long and it’s impossible for the crew to live together without fighting for so long a time. The main problem is the human inability to relate to each other, let alone live together, in peace and harmony. The elimination of the very source of malice and sorrow is the next and vital stage in human evolution. This is the very cutting edge – an actual freedom from the Human Condition – the ending of a species.
It’s cute, isn’t it. We first have to stop believing the fairy tales of the God’s and God-men that we are meant to suffer on earth and that there is a ‘some-where’ else, and then we can get on with the job of ‘cleaning’ ourselves up.
And what a great adventure, what an extraordinary thrill to find it is possible, and what sensate, sensual pleasures and delights become increasingly obvious on the way. I was commenting to Richard the other day that the path to Actual Freedom is like a journey out of sorrow, and I would add, a journey out of fear. The amazing thing one becomes aware of is that sorrow is so endemic in Humanity that the only way is to make a complete break – nothing less will do. To rid oneself of malice and sorrow one has to step outside Humanity, or to quote Richard – to step out of the real world into the actual world and leave yourself behind.
I remember a period where I would look for a solution to the human dilemma within Humanity – the ‘If only everyone would stop fighting’ or ‘Look, if only everyone would ...’ or ‘Why can’t we just get along with each other?’ T’was just another way of blaming someone else or expecting someone to sort it out. Well, if you count out God, you will see that there is no one in charge of human beings on the planet – we are still fighting it out – then it’s up to me to abandon ship – to free myself of Humanity’s insidious grip.
To devote one’s life to being happy and harmless is no little thing we do.
Just to get back to the environmental issues – bit of a jump – but I told you this was a rave.
I was struck by the effort and care to prevent pollution happening from the accident – something almost unheard of 40 years ago.
The yacht moved on, midst more talk of ‘threats’, so I watched on. They visited an island in an inlet that was a significant breeding ground, not only for penguins but for many bird species as well. It was this island that was threatened and they then revealed the nature of the ‘threat’. It appears that the scientists of a nearby research station were interested in putting a hut on this island in order to study the island and its inhabitants more closely. The yacht people felt that this represented a threat to the penguins and birds – the ‘threat’ was in being studied by humans, not hunted, not polluted nor driven off their territory.
Now that wasn’t the case 40 years ago – we hunted, polluted and conquered of necessity for our own survival.
I watched another program where a turtle had been rescued from a fishing net in the Mediterranean and taken to a Turtle study facility. It was placed on an operating table – X-rayed, given a video lapo-something-or-other – video tube down the gullet – and operated on by 2 veterinarians and 2 nurses to remove a fish hook. He was then put into a hypo-aerobic chamber to get a super-oxygenated environment to aid his healing and then they heated his tank with special heaters to aid his recovery. 40 years ago it would have made a delicious meal for someone – now it got better medical attention than half the humans on the planet could expect.
A good deal of environmental extremism is tainted with theories lacking any factual evidence, a rampant belief that the physical planet is somehow Divine, Godly or Maternal, and a debilitating fascination with Doomsday-ism – but then again this global awareness is indicative of the enormous changes that are occurring in our lifetimes.
PETER to No 3: Good to hear from you again. I was sitting back the other day wondering what you were making of LeDoux’ research and the schematic we did of the brain’s circuitry. I do like what the practical scientists are discovering about the brain’s functioning and the role of instincts on human emotions and behaviour. Of course, there will be a limit as to what they will risk saying about their research as both ethical reputations and funding will be at risk, but the ‘tide’ will turn one day. Even the Popes had to eventually give up insisting that the sun went around the earth – ‘because the Book says so’. It did take about four centuries – I seem to recall that the Vatican only recently tidied up the paperwork on the issue.
The other point is that the findings will not only be ignored and misinterpreted by both lay and professional people, they will be deliberately twisted and perverted in order to maintain the enormous vested interests of the Ancient Wisdom Business. It will be fascinating to watch the twists and turns, the ethical and moral arguments that ensue. Already we have seen the banning of genetic ‘meddling’ which could have eliminated inherited diseases and abnormalities because ‘we can’t play God’. So the suggestion that we deliberately set out to eliminate all feelings, self and our survival instincts is not going to be popular consumption for a goodly while. It is so radical, so confrontational, so 180 degrees in the opposite direction, that it will take intrepid pioneers and adventurers to be the first ones to journey out from the Human Condition.
It has only now become possible to become free of the Human Condition because of the extraordinary change that has occurred in the last 40 or so years, as a significant proportion of the population does not now have to fight for survival – be it territory, food, defence, battling rampant diseases or the like.
The actual world is a safe and benign world – we have won the fight over marauding wild animals, we have tamed most deadly plagues, we produce enough food, we enjoy good living standards, but still humans suffer from sorrow and inflict malice on others. The only ‘solution to date for temporary relief from instinctual fear and aggression has been to conjure up ‘good’ feelings of compassion – feeling sad for others – and love – desperately trying to feel good about, and be ‘kind’ to, at least one other person on the planet.
Isn’t it so bloody good, so liberating, to know the reason for sorrow and malice, to not feel guilty about it, to have a method for eliminating the buggers and to get on with the job? To see clearly that the whole instinctual package was only necessary for the survival of the species and that it is now redundant. Not only redundant but plainly lethal in that most of the 160,000,000 that died in wars this century died not fighting for survival but for passionate feelings such as Honour, Country, God, Justice, etc. And all the murders, rapes, tortures, suicides, sadness and despair occur only because of the ‘animal’ still wired within each of us.
What a grand thing to journey out of sadness and fear, spite and envy, deception and confusion – to more and more experience the sensate delights of this very actual world, happening right now. The only way that such a journey is possible is because one is eliminating all that is in the way of experiencing what is actual – the process is one of elimination, not of building a new belief or concept about how to be, how to cope or how to escape from the world as-it-is and people as-they-are. As such, each step on the path is a factual step, a sincere investigation, a fact replacing a belief, with more and more happy and harmless moments replacing fearful, sad or angry ones.
One would not proceed ‘where few have gone before’ without a glimpse of the paradise that this actual world is – a Pure Consciousness Experience. It is not enough to rely on others’ stories, for then it is only yet another belief, and with belief comes doubt, hand in hand, and the subsequent need for trust, hope, and faith. Merely adopting another belief will not instil the necessary pure intent to guide one through the maze of one’s own psyche.
PETER to No 4: Sensible thought, intelligent observation and un-emotive reflection have been so suppressed and derided by the Gurus, priests, teachers, parents and one’s peers that it is astounding what has been achieved to date by the human species on the planet. This was driven home to me when I watched a TV program that investigated the extent of genetic research into eradicating genetically inherited diseases and weaknesses causing tendency towards disease. One scientist spoke enthusiastically of the possibility of screening and eradicating many genetically inherited diseases but when questioned about the ethics of conducting such research, let alone its implementation, he said ‘Of course, we have to do what is the right thing to do, not what is the best thing to do’. In other words we should be careful in interfering with nature, albeit blind nature, for that is God’s territory. In other words, we should continue the suffering, pain and disabilities on the planet because human suffering, pain and disabilities are part of the ‘Master Plan’. In other words, even although we are capable of stopping it we shouldn’t.
In other words, even if I am capable of stopping suffering and pain, I won’t? Well – not for me.
‘Of course, we have to do what is the right thing to do, not what is the best thing to do’.
I think that one sentence sums up the fact that it is clearly the perfect time for human beings to begin to put an end to needless human suffering. It will not happen collectively or by mutual agreement or by prayer or legislation or social or political movements or the pursuit of ‘higher consciousness’ or by Alien intervention. It will happen incrementally as each of us frees ourselves of the shackles of dearly-held beliefs and our socially and religiously instilled virtuous morals and righteous ethics, and then digs in deeper to acknowledge and work towards eliminating the instinctual passions in ourselves. And why not? Only because the Gurus, priests, teachers, parents and one’s peers all say you shouldn’t or you can’t?
We all know ‘shouldn’t’ from our childhood. It comes along with ‘who do you think you are?’, ‘don’t get smart with me’, don’t get too uppity’, ‘this is right’, ‘that is wrong’, ‘this is bad’, etc. etc. etc. Morals, ethics, values and psittacisms.
As for ‘you can’t’ – if one human can do it – then the door is clearly open for whoever else wants to. Evidence of genetic mutations, behavioural modifications, environmental adaptations and evolutionary change abound in carbon-based life forms. One of the most stunning recent discoveries involved growing plants from seed in the weightlessness of the space. Standard, un-modified seed grew into a plant that immediately adapted a different growth form – the cells that formed the outer casing of the stems had arranged themselves to form in a thinner layer because less strength was needed to support the leaves in zero gravity. This was no divine plan or master intelligence in operation that oversaw the change, nor was the change the result of a slow progression over eons of time. The change was immediate, the adaptation an appropriate response to the change of physical circumstance. The Japanese scientists who were monitoring the experiments were astounded at the results and were literally bubbling with excitement at the discovery and its implications for our views as to the speed of adaptability and extent of changeability of carbon-based life-forms.
So the point for me became – can I radically and irrevocably change to adapt to a new situation, here and now, that has SFA to do with Mr. Buddha’s times and bugger-all to do with my father’s time. Of course – it’s scientifically possible, one man has done it, a handful are actively doing it, a handful are intellectually interested and a further handful are cautiously curious – so who am ‘I’ to stand in the road! ‘I’ end up small, so mean, so utterly selfish and rotten, that to stand in the way is an impossible tenure.
RESPONDENT: I watched a TV program about primitive cultures and their world view is full of taboos, believes, shamanism, ghosts, etc which they use to make sense of things and to preserve the structure in their society. Not much has changed...
PETER: The current New Dark Ages is proof indeed that not much has changed. What has changed is the current information age and the easy access to a prolific amount of information and facts about the spiritual world. Not too many years ago, it would have been impossible to obtain an over-view of the spiritual belief-system. The holy texts were hidden in temples, the property of the priests; many were not translated or access was prohibited and they were physically scattered all over the planet, making a comprehensive view impossible. These days you just type (whatever you want to know) into the search engine and ... away you go. Of course, discretion, intelligence, perseverance, intent and awareness is required, but one can get to the root of what Ancient Wisdom is all about.
The other thing that has changed is that discussion, questioning and investigation of religion and spirituality can now be undertaken in the comparative safety of the Net. In joining the Sannyas List, all we got was objections, abuse and some ‘Fuck off and die somewhere else’ comments – whereas not too long ago ‘silencing’ those who dared to question ‘the Teachings’ or the ‘Teacher’ was a much more brutal and violent affair.
PETER to No 7: Just as a bit of an aside, I recently read a newspaper article by a clinical psychologist decrying happiness as an aim in life and saying it was causing all sorts of problems. He said that what people should seek is fulfilment. He was totally vague about what this fulfilment was and threw in a few fashionable psittacisms about creativity, spirituality and a few demeaning comments about money and career pursuits. From the tone of his article I gathered that many of his clients were suffering from depression because of the futility of seeking happiness, and no wonder. They are trying to go against nature and are both ill equipped and ill advised in their pursuit by the likes of clinical psychologists and spiritual pundits. The Gurus’ ignorance is understandable in that scientific progress has outstripped Ancient Ignorance but the denial of instinctual programming in psychological studies and teachings is a bit more bewildering. The scientific study of instinctual behaviour broaches the areas of ethics, sails in the face of morals and runs aground on the old hoary one of ‘you can’t change human nature’. Those who dare to push the limits, such as the current researchers in genetics, are deemed to be ‘meddling in God’s work’. If there is a God then he/she/it is a very cruel sadistic bastard from what I see on TV, and it is clearly time to ‘meddle’ in order to put an end to human suffering on the planet.
As a human on the planet, at this time, we clearly see that much of the essential explorations have been undertaken in order to provide comfort, shelter, food and safety from wild animals and that the next major exploration and effort will be to end ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. Many people are still seeking excitement, fame, meaning and a sense of purpose by physical exploring and adventure pursuits but it has got a bit ridiculous such that it comes as no surprise to hear of someone being the first to hop all the way to the north pole or being the first woman to circumnavigate the globe the wrong way in a bath tub. Many people are now devoting there lives to helping wild animals survive, having abandoned the post-WW2 hope of peace on earth for humans. The focus has shifted to the fashionable ‘saving the earth’ rather than saving the human species.
An actualist is one who devotes his or her life to actualizing peace on earth in the only way possible and gets to have the adventure of a lifetime on the way. It is the most significant thing one can do with one’s life – one’s ‘three score and ten’ of existence as a human being.
RESPONDENT: In order to best understand what I encounter on the second page of the introduction recommended to all newcomers, I would like to ask some preliminary questions that may not be found in the content of that same second page.
In the understanding you are of the world view being called actualism, what is the best definition of ‘matter’ as it is used in:
In the understanding you are of the world view being called actualism, what is the best definition of the word ‘universe’ as it used in:
PETER: For ‘this astonishing universe’, see http://www.nasa.gov/gallery/photo/index.html.
I recently watched a television program documenting the first Voyageur spacecraft flyby of the planets in our solar system. It was intriguing to watch the scientists’ reactions as the first photos and data streamed in from the first planet. They were stunned at what they saw as the pictures began coming in – what was actual was indeed beyond their wildest imaginations and theories. As each successive flyby happened the scientists’ astonishment only increased to the point that by the last flyby of the outermost planet they had already abandoned their theories and concepts and were utterly fascinated by what they were seeing with their eyes. In a similar vein, I heard an entomologist say that the insects that exist in the average rubbish bin are far more astonishing than any imagined creature from another planet thus far dreamt up by any science fiction afflictionados.
RESPONDENT: In the understanding you are of the world view being called actualism, would it be correct to understand the posit:
to be factually equal with the posit:
If the posits are found not to be factually equal, could you please provide the differences observed between the facts described by the former posit and the later?
PETER: As for the quote – ‘this astonishing universe has manifested an event of no little significance...’ – have you ever simply sat down and looked at your hand and contemplated upon the amazing physicality of it? Wave it through the air and you will notice that the whole of the surface is a sensate receptor, touch one finger with another and you will notice that not only can the hand feel the texture of the skin of the hand but that you can be aware of the texture. And not only the texture, but the temperature, the moistness and the softness as well. I find animate life an event of no little significance and that I am it, that I can think about it, that I can be aware of knowing it and that I can write about is extraordinary to say the least.
I know that in your current state you regard all that is physical, palpable, tangible, touchable, seeable, smellable, tasteable and audible as so insignificant as to be illusionary, so writing this to you is as meaningful as trying to sell coloured pencils to a blind man.
As for your own posit – ‘through the utterly chance arrangement of random material substance, a resulting circumstance of the same significance as every other resulting circumstance that appeared’ – this does sound a bit like that dismal materialist-nihilist view that human beings are but randomly produced scum infecting a randomly produced planet in a random event called the universe ... or something like that.
RESPONDENT: In the understanding you are of the world view being called actualism, would the tenets of that world view include the following posits:
PETER: You could try ‘inevitable’ as in – it has obviously happened and it exists in fact. According to one estimate –
I would say that the inevitability has blossomed into a copious cornucopia of bewildering diversity.
As for randomness it does seem that quite specific and, as far as we know, quite unique circumstances existed on this planet for matter to become animate matter.
PETER: Physical evidence such as fossils and skeletal remains does indeed support this statement. It is certainly the only explanation that is supported by tangible substantiated evidence. There are many other theories as to the origins of human existence – about as many as there are religions or philosophies on the planet. The only proviso I would have is that ‘advancement’, as you put it, appears to have occurred as the result of spontaneous genetic mutations and not as some gradual process, as is commonly believed. In other words, the ‘missing link’ from animal to human is still a missing link.
PETER: ‘Simple to more complex’ is not a description I would use to describe the manifestation of both consciousness and intelligence in the human animal. It is only humans who see these attributes as increased complexity, for humans have a predisposition to always make what is simple into something complex. You do seem to be fixated on randomness as being the only alternative to being premeditated, as in deliberately created, controlled or ordered by Someone or Something.
PETER: When you refer to consciousness being separate from matter you are referring to ‘I’, as a disembodied consciousness, looking out through the eyes at the physical world and feeling separate from it? A pure consciousness experience is an experience where this separation simply does not exist for it is evident that ‘I’ am an illusion and my consciousness is a none other than this physical body’s consciousness. Or, to put it succinctly for you, this flesh and blood body is conscious animate life.
However if you really go with this feeling of ‘you’ being a separate disembodied entity and practice dissociation from the physical world, ‘you’ can feel as though you are Real and the outer world can appear unreal or illusionary. I have had a few of these experiences myself but when a God-man confirmed I was ‘on the right track’ I started to seriously doubt the sensibility of my glorious, ‘I am the centre of all existence’, experience. I began to see that becoming a God-man was a poor career choice because I had seen enough of the God-men up close to know that I did not like how they were with their women, I didn’t like their lifestyle, and I didn’t like how they were with their disciples and with each other.
PETER: Has this got something to do with that solipsistic nonsense that goes something like ‘if nobody sees a tree falling in the forest, does it really fall?’ I remember walking around the house once and turning around very quickly to see if I could catch some object that was a little slow in appearing to my senses. I gave up pretty quickly as I realized how foolish I was and how totally ‘self’-centred my neurosis was.
PETER: As I said, humans have a predisposition to always make what is simple into something complex. In a normal person consciousness is what is happening when one is alive and awake. Unconsciousness is what is happening when alive and in deep sleep, concussed or anaesthetized and is epitomized by oblivion.
But I do understand your particular problem. The common interpretation of consciousness is self-consciousness or self-awareness and is epitomized by three faculties – the sensate awareness of what appears to be a separate ‘outer’ world and the cerebral awareness and affective awareness of one’s inner ‘self’. Thus in a normal person, consciousness usually refers to the consciousness of the psychological and psychic entity only. Thus ‘I’ am conscious of ‘me’ only – the normal ‘self’-centredness of normal people.
It is only in a Pure Consciousness Experience when the psychological and psychic entity’s affective and cerebral dominance is temporarily absent that the extraordinary perfection and purity of the actual is directly and sensately experienced.
Whereas, as you well know, in an Altered State of Consciousness the psychological and psychic entity’s affective and cerebral dominance becomes total and ‘I’ think and feel ‘I’ am absolutely Real and totally disembodied, and what is actual as in physical, tangible and palpable is experienced by ‘me’ as being unreal, dreamlike or illusionary.
RESPONDENT: The sharing of explanations you believe would add clarification to either actualism’s agreement or disagreement with the above posits is greatly appreciated. Also, I am deep appreciation of the attention you have offered to provide. In truth, there are several more preliminary enquiries I would like to share with you, but being the awareness of the complexity that may arise from what has been asked here above, will wait until these basic matters are addressed and distilled before adding to them.
PETER: I can assure you the complexity is all yours. There are approximately 10,000 words in the Introduction to Actualism and thus far you are busy studying the meaning of 17 of them. You are certainly not joking when you talk about ‘preliminary enquiries’.
But given that both the words on this screen and the screen itself are but illusionary matter to ‘you’, as a disembodied Consciousness only, answering any of your posits is as useful as ringing the doorbell of a deaf man’s house.
PETER to No 22: With reference to the text you forwarded to this list which was sourced from the Creation Evidence Museum,
I am left wondering why you are now posting posts from a fundamental Christian group’s virulent crusade against scientific fact. Have you converted to Christianity, perchance?
It took the Catholic church some 400 years to begrudgingly acknowledge the fact that the earth revolves around the sun and some 150 years to again ignore the Bible, reluctantly accept the facts and declare that evolution could be seen as the way in which God goes about being creative within the world. The Creationists in the U.S., however, choose to take what the Bible says to be literally true and insist that the Christian God created the world in 6 days, some 6,000 years ago.
The Christian Church succeeded in prohibiting the teaching of anything that contradicted the Bible in most American schools until the 1960’s but common sense eventually prevailed as the biological, geological, anthropological and archaeological evidence to the contrary became so overwhelming. Nevertheless, the fundamentalists were in no mood to compromise, as the Catholics did, and instead they cooked up a pseudo scientific Creation Science, demanding that it be taught in schools and universities alongside the physical evidence-based sciences. This challenge went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was decided that the science curriculum could only include evidence-based teachings and that Creationism did not fit this criteria.
The battle between faith and science is a fascinating on-going battle. Much of scientific theory is heavily influenced by faith – as can be readily seen by the influence of Eastern mysticism on the theoretical sciences of quantum physics and cosmology – and much of faith has bent over backwards to either accommodate and/or assimilate evidence-based science into their ancient beliefs and we have even seen spawning of many new pseudo-scientific religions. All this conflict, compromise and confusion is but the current episode in an eons-old attempt reconcile the irreconcilable – faith and facticity, belief and common sense, passion and intelligence, the super-natural and the natural.
This battle on-going has always been fought solely on the spiritually-led agenda of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, spiritualism vs. materialism, meaning vs. meaningless, hope vs. despair, consciousness vs. ignorance, and so on. And the battle is even more complicated by the fact that there are over twelve hundred reported Gods and untold spiritual faiths on the planet, each with their own version of the Truth. This plethora of spiritual belief in itself is the cause of yet another battle that wages between human beings – exactly which Good is best, whose Right is right, whose Meaning is more meaningful, whose Love is more loving, whose Compassion is more deep, and whose Truth is the one and only.
In the midst of this madness and conflict, it is no wonder that most people choose to sit on the fence, quietly going about their lives, occasionally indulging in a bit of feel-good spirituality – in whatever form – when things get too tough. What has been lacking up until now is a genuine alternative – a way of living that cuts through all of the faith, superstition, belief and calenture that has held human beings captivated since time immemorial. A way of living that is sincere in that it is rooted in facticity, common sense and intelligence and that, if pursued with pure intent, leads to the eventual elimination of the animal instinctual passions that are the root cause of all of human malice and sorrow.
As you have posted the text to the list without any personal comment from yourself, it is impossible to precisely know your motives. I can only assume that your intent mirrors that of the Creationists – that you too are desperately trying to reconcile the gulf between faith and facticity, belief and common sense, passion and intelligence, the super-natural and the natural. Given that the world is so awash with pseudo-scientific spirituality, it would have better served your purpose to have selected a less transparent example other than a fundamental Christian group unwilling to follow the well-worn ploy of confusion, compromise or assimilation.
PETER: It’s pertinent to point out that ancient Eastern spirituality teaches that the illusionary identity (‘I’ as ego only) is borne exclusively of the process of conditioning … whereas actualism establishes by observation and experimentation that the social/ instinctual identity (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) is borne of the genetically- encoded instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT: Big deal about nothing – instinctual passions are still conditioning. Evolutionary conditioning, in fact. There are others who say much the same thing. Read writings by David Bohm, for example.
PETER: A quote will reveal what David Bohm saw as being the root cause of human malice and sorrow –
And another quote reveals the apparent source of this conviction –
I cannot find anywhere that David Bohm has mentioned the words ‘evolutionary conditioning’ or anything like these words let alone where he indicates that the instinctual passions are the root cause of human malice and sorrow – all I could find made it patently clear that he lays the blame for the ills of humankind on thinking and not feelings.
Given that you have made the claim, perhaps you could provide the evidence that any of the spiritual teachings mention ‘evolutionary conditioning’ … or did you just coin the term on the fly, as it were?
RESPONDENT: Actually he doesn’t separate thinking and feeling. In his book ‘Thought As A System’ he considers thought to be one aspect of a larger system that not only includes feelings in the body but the all the myriad of connections with the body and world at large. Put aside regular conceptual boundaries placed in the word thought (ie the idea that thought is only internal and ephemeral ‘whispers in the mind’) and consider it to be part of a larger whole.
PETER: What you appear to be suggesting here is that if I ‘put aside regular conceptual boundaries placed in the word thought’ then I could consider it to ‘be part of a lager whole’, which presumably means that it includes the genetically-encoded instinctual passions. Therefore when David Bohm says that ‘the ultimate source of all these problems is in thought itself’, I am to assume he is saying that ‘the ultimate source of all these problems is in the genetically-encoded instinctual passions’? Are you for real?
RESPONDENT: You can see that the movement of thought influences the brain, the body and the environment at large (buildings, roads, pollution, cultural influence, government etc) and that feedback returns into our bodies through the senses to make us feel and act in certain ways.
PETER: The ‘larger whole’ – the ‘we all live in one big thought-system’ theory – still lays the blame for the ills of humankind at the feet of thinking and conditioning, not feelings borne of the instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT: He considers the effect that evolution has had as well.
PETER: Simply repeating a claim over and over does not make it a fact. Could you perchance provide some evidence where he David Bohm indicates that the genetically-encoded instinctual passions are the root cause of human malice and sorrow and not that thought is the root cause?
RESPONDENT: And please note that just because I quote or paraphrase someone does not mean that I endorse all they do and say. David Bohm spent far too much time and energy with the reprehensible J Krishnamurti.
PETER: If I may point out, it was you who made the comment –
When I provided quotes that clearly indicated that Mr. Bohm specifically said that the ultimate source of all the problems that plague humanity is thought itself, you then offer a disclaimer that you are not prepared to endorse all that Mr. Bohm said. That puts an end to the possibility of any sensible discussion, hey?
PETER: I cannot find anywhere that David Bohm has mentioned the words ‘evolutionary conditioning’ or anything like these words let alone where he indicates that the instinctual passions are the root cause of human malice and sorrow – all I could find made it patently clear that he lays the blame for the ills of humankind on thinking and not feelings. Given that you have made the claim, perhaps you could provide the evidence that any of the spiritual teachings mention ‘evolutionary conditioning’ … or did you just coin the term on the fly, as it were?
RESPONDENT: Interesting person that No 58 mentioned a while back: John Wren-Lewis. Wren-Lewis has also been thinking about the effects of instinctual conditioning. Here’s a quote and reference:
However he does not come up with a system for dismantling the psychological survival-system, which is where Actualism is to be commended.
PETER: For a start, there is no such thing as ‘instinctual conditioning’, a point I made clear in the last post and one which you chose to ignore.
Secondly, Mr. Wren Lewis makes reference to what he terms a ‘psychological survival-system’, indicating that the survival-system is a mental process – and not a sequential process that is firstly physical, secondarily affective and only lastly cognitive. Not only does he not understand how the survival-system operates, he has no idea how it is passed from one generation to the next and it has apparently never occurred to him that it originated in the human species because the survival-system is common to all sentient animals.
So much for Mr. Wren Lewis’ thinking about the effects of instinctual survival passions – he is doing no more than trotting out the Eastern spiritual party line that thinking and conditioning ‘cuts off so-called normal human consciousness from its roots in that other, impersonal consciousness’, that which is also known as God by whatever name.
I can only assume that this will be another of those quotes you offer in support of your stance but then don’t necessarily endorse?
PETER: By the way, this survival program is not conditioning endowed by evolution over time – it is genetically encoded as an indivisible package in each and every human being born, i.e. it is not a progressive conditioning, it is an instantaneous condition. The instinctual program is the (human) condition and it is universal to every human being whereas social conditioning is individual in that it has slight cultural and gender variations.
RESPONDENT: I was talking about evolutionary conditioning of a species, not an individual.
PETER: Yes but the instinctual survival mechanism that gives rise to the instinctual passions (fear, aggression, nurture and desire) is universal to the human species – each and every human being is born with them. The instinctual survival mechanism is not conditioning – ‘evolutionary conditioning’ is something you have made up, it is not a fact.
Social conditioning is somewhat individual and slightly varied but the instinctual survival mechanism – that which is the root cause of all human animosity and all human anguish – is universal in that it is genetically-encoded within all the sentient animal species and not just the human animal species.
RESPONDENT: So none of your books endorse the term ‘evolutionary conditioning’? So what if I ‘made it up’? You make up whole sentences.
PETER: I don’t ‘endorse the term ‘evolutionary conditioning’ for the simple reason that ‘evolutionary conditioning’ is a not a fact
RESPONDENT: Let me define the meaning for you – ‘naturally selected patterns imprinted across entire species, that guide the behaviour and appearance of individuals’.
PETER: Nice try, but you have again ignored the fact that there is no such thing as ‘evolutionary conditioning’ – the instinctual passions are genetically encoded as one cohesive package and they are not a matter of conditioning because the word conditioning means something that happens over time.
RESPONDENT: It’s true to say that the genetic coding is supplied complete to each individual.
PETER: Oh, good. Can we agree then that the instinctual survival mechanism – that which gives rise to the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire in human beings – ‘is supplied complete’ to each and every member of the human species?
Do realize that this is no little thing to agree to because it is completely at odds with all of the spiritual teachings that have it that we are born innocent beings and only corrupted by conditioning or that we are all blank slate souls who have to suffer the trails of being trapped in a corporeal body in an alien physical world?
RESPONDENT: The conditioning, however, takes huge amounts of time and works on species.
PETER: Well if you can see the sense – and accept the scientific evidence – that the instinctual survival passions are genetically-encoded and as such are ‘supplied complete’ to each and every member of the human species – then can also probably see that conditioning – be it ethnic, racial, social, cultural, religious or whatever – is what happens to each and every human being after birth?
Let me put it another way. The instinctual passions are universal to all human beings – there is no difference between the fear a Greek woman feels or the fear a Liberian man feels, there is no difference to the anger a Roman centurion felt to that which a Stone Age girl felt. In other words, whilst there are undoubtedly ethnic, racial, social, cultural and religious differences between these people, the feelings they feel and the passions they are driven by are universal to all human beings.
RESPONDENT: Hey, I never disagreed with that!
PETER: Then why do you insist on using the word ‘conditioning’ which means something that happens over time. And not only that, you continue to post quotes from spiritualists who also believe that conditioning is the problem and not the ‘supplied complete’ condition itself.
RESPONDENT: I looked up ‘amygdala’ on my search engine not long ago, and was surprised to find how many ‘developmental’ groups had picked up on this recent neuro-scientific discovery, and were advocating various ways of affecting a modification of its function in order (presumably) to achieve perpetual happiness.
PETER: As you may have observed, all religions have a chameleon-like ability to eventually clip-on or adapt any discoveries into their belief-system. The one I find real cute is that Jesus was Enlightened, conveniently ignoring the fact that he was sent by his father to do a job of instilling everlasting guilt in a benighted Humanity.
RESPONDENT: My instinct (maybe one of the automatic functions you wish to eliminate?) tells me that it’s a red herring, but I’ve no objection to anyone else exploring the possibilities.
PETER: For me, I observed that my intuition or gut-feeling was always ‘self’-centred and was always a fear-based guestimate, as accurate or not as most guesses. When I realized this, it gave me fuel to totally eliminate fear from my life.
RESPONDENT: What I find interesting about the concept is that your amygdala is monitoring your inputs about itself, and loading them with emotional tags in favour of the ‘Actual Freedom’ idea. Hmmmm, things get tricky when you start fooling with the brain, don’t they?
PETER: This assumption is predicated on the notion that the primitive reptilian brain is capable of intelligent thinking and sensible reflection whereas there is no evidence of this at all in any of the animal species. Actualism is a method of freeing intelligence from the insidious influence of the crude instinctual animal passions. It’s so simple and glaringly obvious that eliminating the influence of the instinctual animal passions is the only way to bring peace on earth and bring an end to human suffering – so dauntingly obvious, that people will do anything, including turning back to believing in ancient mythical Gods and spirits, rather than acknowledge the fact.
RESPONDENT: If this was a sci-fi story, I’d characterize the ‘lizard brain’ as definitely not wanting to be eliminated. After all, it contains about 99% of all human evolution!
PETER: Contrary to popular belief, evolutionary development is not a gradual imperceptible process but has always occurred by mutations as an adaptation to changed circumstances. Until the emergence of intelligence in the human species, these mutations meant the strongest and most brutish survived. It is clearly time, for those who are interested, to rid intelligence of the brutish blind passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
RESPONDENT: You say every human being born into this world has a pre-programmed instinctual ‘self’ that is fully developed by about age two.
PETER: I don’t know if you have ever had children or had the opportunity to closely observe a baby’s development from birth to toddler. If so, you would have seen the gradual emergence of what could best be described as an independent will. The infant changes from being a pliant demander of food and comfort to showing signs of aggressive behaviour, fear of people, likes and dislikes, moodiness, stubbornness and the classic temper tantrums. All this is the sign of an emergence of an instinctual ‘self’ and this stage marks the beginning of the parent’s carrot and stick approach to teaching the infant what is right and good, and what is wrong and bad, behaviour. The infant is taught an appropriate social code of ethics and morals by a combination of reward and punishment in order that the infant can eventually learn appropriate behaviour to make him or her a fit, able and good member of society. Thus it is that the instinctual ‘self’ we are born with is overlaid with a social identity consisting of the morals, ethics, values, psittacisms and beliefs of our peers. I know this genetic programming and social programming very well for I have parented two children and have observed identical behaviour in all children and parents I have come across.
This programming is common to each and every infant born into the world. No-one escapes this genetic and social programming that eventually makes up ‘who’ we think and feel we are – an instinctual ‘self’ overlaid with a social identity.
The instinctual ‘self’ is located in the primitive brain, commonly known as the reptilian brain, and the associated instinctual are animal in nature and very crude and brutish in operation – and when push comes to shove, readily able to override any common sense or moral and ethical considerations.
Thus, despite the myth of ancient wisdom, we humans are not born ‘innocent’ and then corrupted by our peers and evils of the material world. Nor are we eternal spirits who forget ‘who’ we really are when loaded into a foetus and born into a material world with the task of remembering ‘who’ we really are – an immortal spirit – and when we do become ‘who we really are’, we seek to tell others that they should remember that they too are eternal spirits who ...
The facts about ‘who’ we think we are, and ‘who we feel we are deep down inside, is deeply abhorrent to spiritual seekers, for it reveals that freedom, peace and happiness can only be found by abandoning all of the notions of ancient wisdom, tuning one’s backs on one’s precious spiritual achievements and dismantling one’s prized spiritual identity – something few will dare to do for the lot of a pioneer is a daunting one to say the least.
From this modern, clear-eyed, empirical understanding of the source of human malice and sorrow it is readily apparent that freedom, peace and happiness is only possible when both one’s social identity and one’s instinctual ‘self’ – both ego and soul – are eradicated from the flesh and blood body.
RESPONDENT: My question: Who or what did the pre-programming?
PETER: Well, on the planet at the moment there are evidently over 2,000 active religions, each with a different story about ‘Who’ did it, and the current New Dark Age has seen a fashionable revival of many ancient beliefs and theories and the creation of quite a few new ones. The spiritual world offers a potpourri of Gods, Goddesses, spirits, Demons, Energies, aliens, Forces, stories, reasons, explanations, theories and beliefs as to the existence of Good and Evil on the planet. It is curious to note that all the explanations put the praise or blame on a ‘Who’, a Higher Power, with the exception of the Eastern Religions who tend to blame a ‘what’, as in Mr. Buddha’s first Noble Truth – ‘life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’.
The ineludible answer to your question is far more extraordinary and amazing than any of the fairy stories that humans have concocted over millennia.
In at least one solar system, this astonishing universe has manifested an event of no little significance, by providing a fresh opportunity for carbon-based life-forms to emerge out of itself ... and thus matter became animate matter. This shimmeringly blue verdant planet exudes a humid and nutrient-rich atmosphere that is the primordial womb of the only life that is so far known to exist in the universe. The circumstances on earth were ripe for the chemical processes that gave rise to the cellular structures of a prolific vegetate life and for amoeba to form, grow, combine and recombine to develop into extraordinary and bizarre variations of animate life and to begin the inevitable progression towards conscious animate life. So abundant and luxuriant is carbon-based life on the planet that it is estimated that there are currently between 2 and 4.5 million individual animal and plant species on the planet.
The multiplicity of organisms that has developed and redeveloped has done so through the biological feed-back mechanism of the primal creature’s involuntary response to environmental dictates. Their ‘life-successful’ reactions are genetically encoded as automated survival instincts. The human species, the most sophisticated of life forms, the only intelligent animal species on Earth, capable of thinking, planning and reflecting, and of being conscious of their own thoughts and actions, represents the pinnacle of the emergence and development of carbon-based life forms known in the universe.
... 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’.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t it a gas that Peter says in his last diatribe: ‘If the posts are brief and concise we will try to respond in kind.’ Give us a break.
PETER: I am well aware that many want us to ‘go away’ so they can get on with their spirit-ual ways.
But your writing to me gives me a chance to say this – briefly and concisely...
We humans – the homo sapiens species – are at an interesting stage of evolution.
We have all been born with a primitive self and a programmed in set of survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. This is evidenced by behavioural studies of our closest genetic group – apes and chimpanzees: similar studies in humans have been banned as un-ethical. However, simple observation of the species as a whole and oneself in particular will reveal these instinctual feelings and the resulting behaviour to be the case.
The instinctual self, feelings, emotions and instincts can now be eliminated in whoever desires to make the effort.
The result is to free oneself of malice and sorrow.
This shift from instinct driven ‘self’-ish behaviour will eventually result in a genuine peace on earth when humans stop fighting and fearing each other.
It may take centuries, but I write to let others know of this option.
PETER: Well for me it ‘hit me like a ton of bricks’ one day when I realised that the spiritual path is not a new thing – millions if not billions of Easterners have painstakingly and diligently practiced meditation, witnessing, watching, retreating from the real world, etc. for thousands of years with so few ‘reaching’ and no tangible, actual change in the Human Condition for the rest – humans are still firmly in the grip of malice and sorrow. The problem with the world AS IT IS is that humans still fight horrendous wars 160,000,000 killed in wars this century alone and the proffered hallowed solutions are a mere fantasy escape from this reality.
RESPONDENT: The last 20 years has seen a drastic change of the number of people killed in wars. Actually since shortly after WW II there was a sharp drop-off of deaths. Now the mortality rate of a soldier in the world is the same as that of a nurse. It always is helpful to have additional facts when one is writing about the ‘world AS IT IS..’
PETER: There have been two major wars fought this century – the first, a horrendous war as the leaders of both sides fought a war of attrition sacrificing millions for a few kilometres of ground gained. The second world war saw the innovation of aerial bombing such that all sides slaughtered not only soldiers but women and children living in cities far behind the ‘front lines’. The culmination of this new phase saw the development of REALLY BIG BOMBS called atomic bombs. It is no exaggeration to say that for the first time Humanity ‘scared even itself’ as to it’s collective insanity.
Further we had the ‘Mexican stand off’ with tens of thousands of nuclear armed missiles held by two sides in a scenario termed MAD – mutually assured destruction. And further still, modern communications and TV coverage (Vietnam, Iraq, Israel, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan etc.) has increased our awareness of the horror of war. Less and less is it a thing that men go off with honour and dignity to do for ‘a clear and just cause’. Further innovation has led to the development of smart stand-off weapons which radically decrease the likelihood of soldiers on the more wealthy side being killed.
So, the reduction in deaths has been wrought by the advances in technology and communications that have occurred this century – the cruise missile has replaced the bayonet charge, and I for one welcome it. It has meant that I have lived my life, to date, without having to be ‘cannon fodder’ in some imperialistic or religious war.
It is not for a some mythical ‘change in consciousness’ that deaths have been reduced given that the ‘friends’ of Jesus still battle it out with the ‘friends’ of Mohamed in the Middle East, the ‘friends’ of Krishna battle it out with the ‘friends’ of Nanak in India, etc. etc. The most telling issue is that any ‘peace’ or ‘truce’ in the world is still maintained at the point of the gun and at the present time in history we have ‘one big policeman’ for the world at large – with lots of guns, or missiles. Hence, we have a ‘relatively’ peaceful period in history at present.
All this has done little or nothing to reduce the murders, rapes, terrorism, domestic violence, repression, depression, suicides, etc that are still endemic in the world, but it is a definite and decisive change – as you have noted.
The thing I really like is that these same technological advances and marvels of communication, such as this very one we are now using, allows for the first time in history, a free and open conversation and discussion to happen about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. Uncensored and unfettered, freewheeling and as instant as mouse click to send anywhere in the world. It is only now with this freedom and access to information that an actual freedom from the Ancient, Holy and Sacred is possible, and available, for those who wish to take it on. For those willing to do something about ridding themselves of the instinctual fear and aggression that is the cause of the continual ‘battles’ that the human species still wage with each other on this paradisiacal planet.
RESPONDENT: ‘It is always helpful to have some additional facts when one is writing about the world as it is’ – as you so well pointed out.
PETER: It is so very essential, as it is the only way to make sense of it all in this place, and this time, that we find ourselves living in.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.