Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT: I would like to ask Peter and Vineeto to write about some difficulties they found in this part when they practised this method initially.
PETER: Although I will answer your questions I suggest that it would be best to read what I have written previously when I was in the throws of making these investigations as what I wrote then was more pertinent in that it was written closer to the events.
RESPONDENT: What does one do when one feels bad?
PETER: Get back to feeling good as soon as possible as nothing good that can be said about feeling bad – and I say this despite the fact that many people laud the bitter-sweet feeling of sorrow.
RESPONDENT: How much of study is required?
PETER: None at all if one realizes that nothing good can be said about feeling bad.
Having said that, it is generally not that easy because not only is feeling good disparaged within the human condition – the ultimate Catch-22 put-down being that feeling good about being here means that one is uncaring or even callous because one is not feeling bad for those who are feeling bad – it is also the default instinctual condition given that the prime instinctual passions are those of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, all of which contribute to ‘feeling bad’.
RESPONDENT: Just the right amount to get back into feeling happy and harmless once again?
PETER: Yes – with the proviso that if one finds oneself repeatedly feeling bad when a similar event happen or in similar circumstances then it obviously makes good sense to get to the bottom of why it keeps happening so as to not have feeling bad happen again when a similar event happens or in similar circumstances.
RESPONDENT: If one has 100% intent can one just look at the feeling and get back to being happy and harmless instantaneously?
PETER: Yes – with the proviso that this is often difficult to do initially as one discovers that one has had a life-long habit of being angry – of holding a grudge against someone, of feeling righteous about something or another, of blaming others for doing something or of not doing something that I believe they should be doing or not be doing and so on – or of feeling sad about my lot in life, of being envious of others, of feeling resentful of others, of feeling as though I don’t belong and so on.
RESPONDENT: Is the amount of work that is needed inversely proportional to the amount of pure intent to be happy and harmless?
PETER: Does it not make sense that unless one has a 100% intent to do something then one will never be successful in doing what it is that one wants to do?
RESPONDENT: And is it inversely proportional to one’s grip on the method?
PETER: As for ‘one’s grip one the method’, the main difficulty with the method is its simplicity and straightforwardness – denial and obscuration being the main tricks a social/instinctual identity employs in order to evade exposure. The good thing is that attentiveness combined with sincere intent allows you to understand and experience this aspect of the human condition in action and thus prevent it from getting in the way of your being happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: When I look into the feeling – there is the cause of the feeling and there is the effect of the feeling and there is no clear boundary in between ... at least in the beginning.
PETER: It’s good to keep in mind that many a person is in prison solely because of the effects of a feeling, be it anger, jealousy, envy, resentment, greed and so on. They are locked up away from mainstream society for many and varying reasons of course and the courts by and large take note of the varying causes in order to determine what are called mitigating circumstances but by-and-large they are there because of the effect of a feeling.
RESPONDENT: The effect (the expression and evolution) of the feeling dominates the cause. One may feel irritated because his boss said something about him and might discharge that irritation on his child’s undone homework thinking that it is the cause. I guess more attentiveness reveals the actual cause. But is there always a cause? How about when one deals with instincts? Is there a cause or trigger?
PETER: Given that I have written millions of words on this subject I am reluctant to track over it again … other than to say that if you are being attentive of the consequences your feeling irritated has on your own wellbeing and on the wellbeing of those upon whom you inflict your irritation and this is not enough of an incentive to stop feeling irritated, then no amount of musing about cause and effect will help.
I am reminded of those who argue about the possible link between violent videos and violence and whether or not one is the cause of the other, all the while blithely ignoring the fact that both are expressions of violence and that violence is and always has been endemic to human nature. The current popular argument is about the ‘causes’ of terrorism, a by and large diversionary argument that completely avoids the fact that such acts of senseless anarchical violence are part and parcel of the human condition and always have been part and parcel of the human condition.
I am in no way discouraging you from doing all you can about eliminating malice and sorrow from your life – it is the very best practical contribution that one can make towards ending all the wars, rapes, murders, child abuse, conflicts, despair and suicides that plague humanity – but when all is said, and all is done, an actual freedom is only to be had by stepping out of the real world and into the actual world.
RESPONDENT No 16: The only ones who I have ‘felt’ intimidated by here are P and V. More so by V because I actually spent a lot of time trying to have a discussion with her. I realize that this was because of my own stupidity because no one forced me to continue trying to discuss it with her. Anyway, that was the reason I was so turned off to actualism when I first came here. I felt that she was trying to shove it down my throat and asserting her authority to do it. P and V are the reasons I never committed to actualism and probably the reason I never will. The only thing I am committed to at this point is becoming free of the human condition. Intimidation 1.2.2005
RESPONDENT No 60: I haven’t heard it stated so boldly before, but I’ll second that. They have been the strongest deterrent to me too. Intimidation 1.2.2005
RESPONDENT No 59: I’ll third that. Intimidation 1.2.2005
PETER: I am always somewhat bemused when correspondents on this mailing list claim that I am preventing them from being happy and harmless.
Such declarations always set me wondering who or what else is preventing them from being happy and harmless? Is it really only me or do they get annoyed by other people as well – doesn’t their boss at work occasionally say something that causes them to be unhappy, doesn’t their partner, siblings or parents sometimes say or do something that causes them to feel irritated? Do they not on occasions feel frustrated when their computer breaks down … or when the weather is not as they would want it … or when the traffic slows to a crawl? Do they not feel morose when listening to sad songs or when watching a movie about the trials and tribulations of human relationships? Or am I to presume that if Vineeto and I were run over by the proverbial bus tomorrow then all of a sudden these correspondents would be magically both happy and harmless?
Besides which, is it not the case that the website is set up such that Richard’s writings are separated from those of Vineeto and myself and that if they want to follow Richard’s lead and set their sights on becoming happy and harmless then they are not only utterly free to do so but that they also have available a complete set of instructions as to how he went about it?
RESPONDENT: I’m starting to see that it is always ‘happy and harmless’, it’s a package deal.
PETER: Again, this is one of the most crucial understandings in actualism and one that clearly separates it from all of the past failed methods to find a way to become free of malice and sorrow. The pursuit of happiness has been a long and fruitless search thus far for human beings solely because everyone has put their own happiness first and being harmless second – if being harmless gets a look in at all, that is.
Once you begin to observe in yourself the malicious element of merely pursuing your own happiness you also begin to see that it is normal behaviour within the human condition, i.e. everybody blames someone else for being the cause of their unhappiness and blaming others can only be a malicious act. And then you begin to see that this ultimately ‘self’-centred focus on ‘my’ happiness is why human beings do not, and cannot, live together in peace and harmony.
Speaking personally, it was the desire to be harmless that attracted me to begin the process of actualism and it was the desire to be harmless that has provided all of the impetus to push on beyond the limits of the measly ‘self’-centred pursuit of happiness only.
PETER to Alan: Recently I heard a lunatic defined as someone who continues to do something again and again despite the fact that it doesn’t work.
So things are going extraordinarily well. The numbers of people interested is growing exponentially as a confidence gathers as many can see that the practical benefits to themselves of becoming happy and the relief of becoming harmless to others. It does seem that the essential first step is for people to be honest enough to admit that they are not happy, whereas to admit that they are harmful to others is seemingly impossible. It is always the others fault or the fault of ‘society’ or the ‘system’.
P.S. – Heard this recently – ‘Between grief and nothing, I chose grief ...’ – some French philosopher whose name I missed. Sums it up really, the stubborn insistence on maintaining grief and sorrow as Noble human traits.
RESPONDENT: I have clearly identified that I am both a lunatic and an unhappy producer of suffering, and so your statements have attracted my full attention. I would like to read the Journals you describe. Are the HTML documents on your web site the same in content as the Journals you refer to?
PETER: Good to hear from you. The lunatic definition I heard from the chief executive of Continental Airlines who joined the company when it was well on its way to its third bankruptcy crisis and he was trying to change the ‘mind-set’ of the employees.
RESPONDENT: For example, I have had this feeling that there is something wrong with feeling good all the time and so never attempted to feel good all the time. Then I looked at this in more detail and found that there was an additional objection to feeling good (at times) and what was behind that was a belief that as a human I was unworthy to feel good all the time. In other words it was an opinion of personal worth.
PETER: I remember well my father’s only advice to me was ‘be happy’. It was at the time when I had to make a decision as to what direction my studies would take – would it be technical, scientific – would I go on to university? His advice was ‘It doesn’t matter what you do in life – you can be a brain surgeon or a sewerage worker – just be happy’. Of course he didn’t tell me how to be happy and, as I was eventually to find out, nobody knows how to be happy all the time and nobody even expects to be happy all the time. I often mused, when I sat down to work out what course to do at university, would I have taken the 2 year course on ‘How to be Happy and Harmless’, and then followed it up with some vocational course. Yep, you bet I would have.
It’s just that it wasn’t available at the time so I bumbled off into marriage, family, business, career, spiritual searching for the next 30 years but never did find happiness. Then I ran into Richard and his method to become happy and harmless and took it on with Gusto. And I can report, as one of the first to take the ‘course’, that it works, that it works incrementally, and it is such fun on the way. You do lose your friends who stubbornly refuse to even consider doing something new and different with their lives, but what to do – stay miserable and grumpy, resentful and spiteful?
The issue of worthy or unworthy seems to me to be a bit of a side issue. The main question is what do you want to do with your life? If you want to be happy and harmless then nobody does it but you. Nobody judges you worthy or unworthy as in success, money, power and prestige or spiritual advancement, hours meditated, Guru followed, Satoris attained, etc. From early childhood we have been taught by the carrot and stick, right and wrong, good and bad – but always within society’s limits. Once anyone dares to step outside the limits – it’s ‘You can’t do that – Who do you think you are?’
Once the decision is made to devote oneself to being happy and harmless one simply ‘weathers the storm’, both in the ‘inner’ maelstrom that is often evident as one dismantles the beliefs that form one’s social identity and frees oneself from the instinctual passions, and in the reactions of one’s fellow human beings to the radical course you are taking. It’s all just a storm in a tea cup, or a bit of mental and emotional drama that is but par for the course. That’s where pure intent comes in – you can lift your head up out of what may seem a very convincing and real drama and remember the goal, what all the hard work is really about. I wrote a piece on Perfection for the Glossary of our web-site which I think may be useful to put the business of being a human being in 1999 in perspective –
Just a side reflection. Don’t you find it cute that it is not okay for a human being to be happy and harmless, free of malice and sorrow – i.e. perfect – but it is okay for a human being to call himself or herself a God, or God-realised? Such is the insidious perversity of the Human Condition. I could even say the atavistically insidious perversity but t’would border on baroque verbosity.
So, maybe that was of some use or interest. It’s such a pleasure to be able to write about how to be happy – to have found out for myself and then on top of it all, to get an opportunity to write about it as well ...
RESPONDENT: One thing I have discovered about ‘me’ is that I want it now and any investigation is considered a detour from this moment, how clever am ‘I’ eh.
PETER: This seems a contradiction, yet it is not. As you are discovering, the aim is always to be happy and harmless now and if that is happening in this moment, lap it up, wallow in it, say YES to being here now. If you find you’re not feeling happy now or if someone or something has upset you, name the feeling, nip it in the bud as quickly as possible, get back to feeling good and then find out when and why you went ‘off-the rails’ – i.e. make your investigation. This way you always get the immediate benefit of actualism now, and the rest takes care of itself as a fascinated curiosity as to how you have been programmed to operate.
It eventually dawned on me at some stage in the process that it made no sense to not enjoy being here because I was feeling frustrated at not being here. The only thing ‘I’ could do was devote myself to being here, happy and harmless, in the physical world as much as possible and this very zeal means ‘I’ will do everything possible to remove any impediments that stand in the way of this happening. This process inevitably means ‘it’, Actual Freedom, will hasten towards me, for ‘I’ am doing ‘my’ bit and when ‘it’ happens ... it will be one of these moments.
The turning point came when I got to be fascinated by these investigations and understandings of how my psyche operated – there is no more exciting and thrilling thing to do for an actualist than to be making these investigations, for ‘I’ am doing the very work that will hasten ‘my’ demise.
RESPONDENT: So I have now modified the question to ‘Am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This has been quite useful in reminding me to experience rather than feel this moment.
PETER: Well, I did it the opposite way. I became vitally interested in ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ And if that meant I was feeling angry, sad, melancholy, lacklustre, depressed, then I would track back to find out what it was that bought on that feeling. What was said, what happened, when did it happen? I wanted to understand feelings, their source, how they worked, what caused them to kick in, etc. Only by understanding them, could I begin to get free of their insidious grip. I also knew that until I was rid of the source of feelings entirely – ‘me’ – I would have to live with them. So best to understand them and best to aim for the felicitous and innocuous ones – and feeling happy and feeling harmless are surely the best one can aim for of the feelings.
RESPONDENT: In fact, for some time, I was also trying to do the same as you described. The problem was that I was already feeling happy most of the time. This happiness was generated by ‘winning’ over most bad feelings, by simple spiritual techniques like Vipassana and deep breathing. Indeed, compared to most people around me, I was much happier. But I was finding myself stuck with this and somehow I had a feeling that there was nothing positive about it. It was just an absence of ‘bad’ feelings. Especially when I realized the trap of love and gratitude. But now with this the direct experience in my fold, I decided not to worry about ‘me’ being happy or not. Instead, let me enjoy whatever moments I am able to, of sensate experiencing. Perhaps it is too early. It may be just be a childish enthusiasm on my part. Let me see how long it lasts.
PETER: For me the clue was in my aim to be happy and harmless. Even in my spiritual days I wouldn’t have described myself as unhappy. Probably that I was reasonably happy, particularly when things were going well. But what I had to admit, almost force myself to admit, was that I was not harmless. Well-meaning, yes, but when push came to shove, or when things weren’t going my way – certainly not harmless. My inability to live with a woman in peace and harmony was ample testimony to this fact. When I read Richard’s journal for the first time it was the first chapters on ‘living together’, ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ that pricked up my ears. It was to prove to be my test of fire.
I asked myself a simple question. ‘Could I live with a woman in peace and harmony?’ The honest answer was ‘no’. The next question was – ‘Why not?’ The answer to that question took me off on a 12 month investigation into the beliefs, emotions, passions instinctual programming, morals and ethics of gender, sex and living together. As a man, I was fascinated to discover the extent that my social and biological programming actively conspired to prevent anything remotely resembling intimacy – hence the need for the feeling of love to bridge the chasm. As a practical example – the feelings of male superiority, again the result both of social and instinctual programming, was a shocking thing to discover in myself – but it is universally a part of the Human Condition. It is a belief, covertly reinforced by men, and it is a feeling but not a fact, and therefore possible to eliminate. It proved, for me, to be a large and necessary step to live with a woman in peace, harmony and equity. This step towards intimacy was the direct result of being in touch with my feelings.
Actualism is the practical implementation of scientifically and historically proven facts – a radical departure from the myth of spiritual celibacy, transcendence and ‘watching’. It is implementation, not avoidance. It is involvement, not detachment. It is change and action, not acceptance and procrastination. It is sensible, not silly.
So, to be reasonably happy is relatively easy. To be totally harmless – to have no instinctual fear or aggression – to be actually free of malice and sorrow is an evolutionary leap. The stakes are high in this game ... but so are the rewards.
I am not at all discouraging you from ‘enjoy(ing) whatever moments I am able to, of sensate experiencing’ – quite the contrary. What I am pointing to is a way of having more of those moments and then stringing more of them together and one day being able to live that way 24 hrs. a day every day – in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are.
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: Ummm, I feel some gap between you and me. But I try to bridge it.
PETER: If you mean that you want me to agree with you that the spiritual path offers the possibility of actually being happy and harmless, then you are going to need more than a bridge.
As you have said –
As I say – I am happy and harmless 99% of the time 24hrs. a day, 365 days a year, so the ‘gap’ seems to be between ‘seeing a possibility’ and actualizing it.
The God-men have been offering the possibility for peace on earth for millennia ‘if only’ everyone follows and worships them as a God and by some miracle everyone on earth becomes Their people. The God-men having been touting Enlightenment as a possibility but only .0001% of disciples achieve it. And those who did offered the possibility of peace on earth ‘if only’ ... and this insanity has gone on for millennia. But now that Richard has blown the lid on the Enlightenment business there is a third alternative – an actual personal peace and an actual peace on earth.
I am also curious how did you get the phrase ‘happy and harmless’ from your time with Rajneesh? I sent the search engine through all of Rajneesh’s writings and no-where at all does he mention being happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: You close your eyes to complexity and call it simplicity. Fun game isn’t it? It has all kinds of other applications too!
PETER: My investigations into my own psyche – the human condition in action as ‘me’ – led me to understand that I was merely inculcated into believing that life is full of complexities. As such it took a good deal of effort to get in touch with my naiveté such that I could firstly intellectually understand and then experience the utter simplicity of doing the business of being alive.
Here is a bit from my journal that is relevant to your comment. One of the particular events that twigged me to the utter simplicity of being what I am was making breakfast one morning and realizing that I had done this about 17,000 times in my lifetime and would continue to do so until I died – that, after all, the doing of everyday events such as this are what being alive is actually about.
PETER: A snippet of a conversation on The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List – a mailing list specifically set up to facilitate discussion about the new discovery that it is possible for human beings to become both happy and harmless – which struck me as typifying the reaction to actualism that comes from those who have been influenced by the philosophy and teachings that emanate from Eastern religion.
One correspondent basically states that it is not possible to be happy in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, because wanting to be happy only feeds the problem because we know we can do nothing about becoming happy. Presumably the correspondent would say exactly the same about wanting to be harmless – it is not possible to be harmless in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, because wanting to be harmless only feeds the problem because we know we can do nothing about becoming harmless
The other correspondence is in total agreement with this philosophy and picks up on the first correspondent’s lead that there is a possibility for the problem – how to be happy in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are – ‘to transform to something else’ and suggests that her awareness reveals that there ‘begins to be a plane which is established out of this continuum’ – alluding to her own method of dealing with the endemic sadness and acrimony that are the most disquieting features of the human condition that every child born eventually finds themselves confronted with.
I say this because I too have experienced the angst of growing up and gradually becoming aware of the harm that human beings are capable of inflicting upon each other and also of the harm that they can inflict upon themselves. My father, who had experienced the horrors of being a soldier in Europe and the Pacific in World War Two, only gave me one piece of unsolicited advice as I was growing up, which was – ‘It doesn’t matter what you do in life, whether you are a street cleaner or a brain surgeon, just be happy’. The only thing was that he didn’t say how because he didn’t know how to be happy.
And here I am, many years later, telling my fellow human beings how it is possible to be both happy and harmless and they are busy telling me that the very desire to be happy is the problem and declaring that that happiness can only be found on ‘a plane outside of this continuum’.
RESPONDENT: Let’s see the situation from another angle. Your father gave you the advice to be happy. He did not know how to be happy, but he new that happiness exist. He was not that, but that must exist. Somebody told him so, a priest, a friend, your grandparents, and they also have been told by someone else.
PETER: No. He knew what happiness is – every one knows what it is to feel happy, even if only for brief periods, even if it is only a relative happiness or a conditional happiness.
RESPONDENT: It was one wish for him, one ideal, but not a reality, not one actuality. So he advised you to be something that was not really actual. Do you see the contradiction here?
PETER: Indeed. I experienced this contradiction for the first 35 years of my life because whenever I felt happy I was aware that it was at best a temporary feeling, that it was at best a relative happiness and it was at best a conditional happiness. When I abandoned the normal world and trod the spiritual path I eventually became aware that nothing had fundamentally changed – whenever I felt happy I was aware that it was at best a temporary feeling, that it was at best a relative happiness and at best a conditional happiness.
And when I came across Richard I became aware that I had been avoiding the fundamental problem of my unhappiness and my acrimony towards others all my life and that it was high time to begin actually do something about it.
RESPONDENT: So you were not happy and you decide to become happy. Because if you were happy then you should not have any reason to want to become something that you are. So the unhappiness began to move toward its opposite. You did not know what happiness is, but you knew what unhappiness is, so you saw the happiness like the opposite of the unhappiness. It makes sense no?
PETER: No, I knew what happiness was and I knew that it was at best temporary, relative, and conditional and I also knew what unhappiness was, both in my own experience but more tellingly I saw that others where afflicted by the feeling of sorrow, so much so that they suffered horribly from its effects.
RESPONDENT: So happiness was a goal for you, you was moving towards something that you don’t know.
PETER: As I said, everyone knows what happiness is, especially the feelings of happiness that are temporary, relative and conditional. What really made me sit up and take notice that there was something far better than this type of happiness was the memory of the perfection and purity that is evident in a PCE – a ‘self’-less experience whereby the entire affective faculty is temporarily non-functioning.
Whilst I remembered that the direct sensate experience of perfection and purity far surpasses any feeling of happiness, it made absolute sense to me that unless ‘I’ was willing to devote my life to ridding myself of ‘my’ feelings of malice and sorrow I would never, and could never, expect to ever be actually free of the human condition in toto. In other words, if I wasn’t willing to do something about ‘me’ and ‘my’ unhappiness and ‘my’ acrimony, then who or what did I expect would do something about it?
RESPONDENT: The unhappiness was real, but the happiness only one ideal, one non actuality.
PETER: Have you never felt the feeling of happiness – no memories at all of ever being happy, even as a child? Maybe even moments of unconditional happiness, a feeling of joy at simply being alive?
RESPONDENT: And I am asking you now, can the movement of the unhappiness produce anything else than unhappiness?
PETER: If you don’t think you can do anything about your feeling of unhappiness then it may go way by itself, or it may get worse or it may linger a little longer and then abide for a while and so on.
Speaking personally and as an actualist, any feeling of unhappiness that did occur was a warning light that I had wandered off the track of being happy and harmless and it caused me to get off my bum and root around so as to understand why I was feeling unhappy in order that I was less likely to fall into the same trap of feeling unhappy again.
RESPONDENT: I am bad and I for some reason decide to become good. I don’t know what good is, but I say it must be the opposite of what I am. So the badness, me the bad begins to move towards my ideal, formed from my fantasy, which I called good. I move but I am bad, I am trying to become good but in the meantime I am bad. I go to bed in the night to sleep and I am bad, and of course the morning I wake up bad. And I move again. I say give me time and I will be good. (Here enters the factor of psychological time). Because takes time to build a house, I mistakenly made this time enter in my psychological world. Trying to become good, is the best way for me not to look and be involved with my badness.
I don’t try to look at my badness, but all my energy is going in becoming good. You see the game? I don’t care any more about my badness, because I will be good in the future. So I have all the time now to enjoy my badness, is not any more a problem for me, because I will be good in the future. If exist the future or not is another story. I need a psychological future one illusion, because in this future I will be good. If I force my self to be good striving meditating etc, then this that I call good is the outcome of the movement of badness and necessarily must be bad. The bad with another mask. Because this good came from the bad and knows the bad. Now even if it was possible to become good, how shall I recognise this state of goodness? Re-cognise means I recognise something because I new it. So I will recognise it from the description of what the so call holly books say or the priests, this pest, or my parents will say to me bravo now you are good. But all that is the condition itself part of the condition. They don’t go to the church on Sunday and on Monday they take their neighbours to the court? They don’t say the priests be good don’t compete love your neighbours and the priest him self wants to become bishop? So I ask you Is the real good, if exist the opposite of badness? Is happiness the opposite of the unhappiness? Because the opposites include it’s other because the one comes from the other. So what if instead to try to become good or happy, we give all our attention to badness and unhappiness?
PETER: I do realize that there are a lot of moral and ethical issues involved in wondering whether or not to devote your life to becoming happy and harmless – is it a good thing to do, isn’t it a selfish thing to do, what about everybody else, what about fighting the good fights, how can I be happy when others are unhappy and so on.
I racked my head about all these issues, mulling them over and over but in the end there was one simple down-to-earth fact that I couldn’t avoid and that was – if I couldn’t live with at least one other person in utter peace and harmony, how could I expect to be able to do it? And I knew that if I wanted to do this then I needed to do whatever it took to become both happy and harmless, knowing full well that this commitment would be the end of ‘me’.
In other words, I abandoned the moral and ethics I had imbibed from past generations of unhappy and acrimonious people who were here before me and did what was sensible and obvious.
RESPONDENT: If badness ends and if unhappiness ends might be replaced by something unknown. Don’t ask what is this. The unknown, if you try to imagine it you make it know.
PETER: Every human being has had a glimpse of ‘the unknown’ at some time in their life, very often in childhood before the real-world reality closes in on them. The pure consciousness experience of the perfection and purity of the actual world is what makes all people think and feel there is more to life and it is the dormant memory of this experience that motivates people to seek peace and harmony … and it is this experience that the human beings who came before us have corrupted to the search for an imaginary ‘Unknown’ inner peace and harmony.
To put it bluntly, it’s high time for human beings to stop believing in fairy tales and to stop being seduced by delusory altered states of consciousness.
PETER: Presumably this is the very same advice that they would pass on to the next generation – it is impossible to be happy, let alone harmless, in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, what you need to do is follow the teachings of the East and seek happiness and fulfilment somewhere else other than in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. The conversation only served to remind me that those in the post-WW2 generation who by and large rejected the fairy-stories of the Bible and yearned for peace and harmony have squandered these youthful yearnings and settled, in their latter years, for ‘olde-time religion’, albeit with an Eastern flavour this latest time around.
It’s times like this that I am especially pleased to have to extricated myself from the quagmire of Eastern religion, philosophy, spirituality, superstition, metaphysics, supernaturalism, cosmogony and mysticism.
RESPONDENT: If you were really happy you should not know how to describe this new state. You should change the name also. But seems to me you have more of what humanity had since ever.
PETER: I have no trouble at all describing how excellent it is to be virtually free of malice and sorrow. The very process of becoming free of malice and sorrow strips much of the veneer of grim reality that ‘I’ previously coated over the actual world so much so that I more and more experience the world I live in as both benign and extraordinary in its innate vitality. And that all this can be experienced without a skerrick of religious, spiritual, metaphysical or mystical belief whatsoever running is what makes this experiencing brand new in human history.
KONRAD to Vineeto: From Richard’s mail.
Note the following sentence: ‘The perfection of this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space is so pleasurable’
Hedonism as an ethical principle is: ‘Pleasure as the guiding principle with which the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, and/or better and worse’ is determined. In both the first quote and the second quote Richard demonstrates that he does not understand Hedonism as an ethical principle. He uses the term to designate a certain INTENSITY of pleasure. The intensity of pleasure is not important for the determination of whether hedonism is used as a guiding principle or not. Only that pleasure IS used in that capacity is. Therefore: ‘hedonism is nowhere near as pleasurable as this that is my on-going experiencing’ is only an expression of not understanding the meaning of the term hedonism. On the contrary, it clearly demonstrates that pleasure IS used as a guiding principle, but he refuses to use the word hedonism as an expression of this fact. A refusal that only demonstrates, once again, either an incapability of abstract thinking or an attempt to redefine meanings of words. In other words, actualism is completely based on hedonism. No fantasy of mine, simple observation is enough to see this. Konrad to Vineeto, 21.11.1998
PETER: Just to correct you a bit. The quotation about the pleasure of sex that you have in your last E-mail is from me and not Richard. I wrote to you some few weeks ago about sex, given that you said you had taught others about sex.
You didn’t reply, so I left it at that.
I see you are still riling against the possibility of being free of sorrow and malice and becoming happy and harmless. Not only do you deny that it is possible but you question whether it is even desirable. And further not only do you say it is not desirable for humans to be free of suffering and violence, you say anyone who is proposing it as desirable, is somehow evil.
And all this is logical thought!
Being a practical down-to-earth sort of a guy, I say if something doesn’t work like ‘why ain’t I happy and harmless all the time?’ and all the other methods on offer to fix up the problem haven’t worked for me after 30 years of adult life, and further, I see that they haven’t worked for anyone else after thousands of years... And then someone comes along with a new method ... then I would give it serious consideration.
And if becoming happy and harmless is my main intent in life then I’d give it a go because I figure I would have nothing left to lose.
Then I can happily throw out theory and apply the good old scientific method of ‘suck it and see’.
And my experience is that it works. It is possible to become free of malice and sorrow.
Still, at least, you are providing copious written objections for others to see.
RESPONDENT: But maybe you’re talking about the foundation for happiness first and foremost and not the actual experience. It would be very unrealistic, I think, to imagine perfection as constant sensatory bliss, if that’s the case then I surely see the need for mimicking life instead of actually living it. This could potentially be the ultimate delusion, a way to create a fairytale and not living in any world other than one’s own fantasy and imagination.
PETER: As I said, unless one is willing to contemplate being happy and being harmless, virtually free of malice and sorrow, 99% of the time – then forget the whole business. From your objections to my statement it is obvious that you find it impossible to contemplate that you, as-you-are, would be willing to sacrifice enough of your ‘self’ to even get to this state. Do you think that a change as radical as becoming actually happy and harmless happens by some blinding flash of light, that it is an effortless achievement that requires that you do nothing? Even on the spiritual path those who have success build a foundation of spiritual experiences and assiduously practice transcendence. The same applies for any achievement or goal in the real world. For anyone interested in becoming actually free of malice and sorrow, it is obvious that unless one is willing to contemplate being happy and being harmless, virtually free of malice and sorrow, 99% of the time – then forget the whole business.
RESPONDENT: I can contemplate being harmless but not happy 99% of the time, my view is more that we’re basically the same person (after the breakthrough) but with different priorities and greater confidence in our ability to live a sane and harmless life. Just as enlightened teachers can’t be perfect as they claim neither can one who reaches the ‘self-less state’ be perfect. There’s always going to remain some conditioning and sense of identity. The third way seems to be a powerful alternative to spirituality (now I’m bringing in spirituality again, sorry) and much more down to earth, but I don’t think it’s leading to perfection. It can help (along with other forces) to make this world a better one but I’ve stopped believing in ONE way that can save us.
PETER: It sounds to me that you are saying you have stopped believing that peace on earth is possible for No. 10, in this lifetime. I find it useful to keep this conversation personal and pointed, lest we get off the rails. Our topic is peace on earth and you do seem to agree that the only person you can change is you, you are not interested in spiritual freedom, so we are talking about peace on earth, for you, in this lifetime.
RESPONDENT: So I can relate to a very sound and almost perfect foundation that gives oneself confidence to live in a new and even radically new and positive way but I just can’t see the end result being permanent bliss, but maybe that isn’t what you’re suggesting anyway?
PETER: No. Bliss is a passionate emotion and like all emotions it has a duality, an opposite emotion. Underlying all feelings of bliss is the feeling of dread, exactly as underlying Enlightenment lies the Diabolical and underlying the good is the bad and underlying God is the Devil, etc.
In the actual world, all the duality of human emotional passions does not exist at all.
RESPONDENT: So there is only life then ... sounds like utopia I must say, at least on a permanent basis. (What’s this, am I becoming cynical or realistic ... ... I wonder?) I don’t really mean to sound casual but I just have a hard time picturing that kind of individual, when we come this far I see someone resembling an enlightened master. Almost nonhuman, but you don’t see it that way naturally.
PETER: What attracted to me to the spiritual path was the idea that one could reach a state of freedom, peace and happiness on earth, in this lifetime. What I discovered was fraudulent self-aggrandized God-men posing as purity and perfection personified. Human beings know from their PCEs that purity and perfection is possible to experience – it’s just that ‘we’ instinctually grab the experience as ‘ours’ – narcissistically turning the actual experience into a feeling experience for our-‘selves’.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.