Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER to No 15: I remember when I first met Richard I joked to him that he should have a sign above the door that says – ‘Abandon hope – all who enter here’. I was fortunately ready to abandon hope (and trust) that following the traditional methods could ever make me happy and harmless. I had seen too much of the hypocrisy, power-plays, corruption, deception and duplicity in all religious and spiritual worlds. The utterly ‘self’-ish search for immortality that has forever plagued human beings must be clearly seen for what it is – narcissism in the extreme.
But it is not something that one person convinces another of – it is for each to make their own discoveries, make their own decisions as to what they want to do with their lives. It takes a bold decision to admit to failing to find peace and happiness, to admit that one is not being the best one can be, to admit that one is neither happy nor harmless. And then to decide to set out in completely the opposite direction to what everyone else is doing, one needs to be both desperate and daring.
For me, I always enjoy writing of the third alternative to remaining ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’ and participating in – and documenting – its success. To not only point out what doesn’t work but also to report on what does. This physical actual universe is too grand, too magnificent, too amazing for human beings to be forever trapped in primitive survival mode – endlessly battling it out for survival, endlessly living in fear. And we have all had glimpses of that – now there is a chance to put an end to malice and sorrow for those who want to.
RESPONDENT: I’m satisfied for now, and need to do some more reading and practicing so I can come up with yet more probing questions. Oh yeah, and study the dictionary.
PETER: Reading and practicing is a good combination.
RESPONDENT: As in most matters of any value.
PETER: And yet when it comes to the search for freedom, most people never bother to read the source material that their particular belief or faith is based on, they do not bother to recognize, let alone address any anomalies or inconsistencies in the teachings and never question why these beliefs and faiths have always failed to deliver their promises despite the fact that millions upon millions of people have arduously and diligently attempted to put them into practice. I can certainly remember how gullible I was in my spiritual years – the shamans of old demanded faith, hope, trust and unequivocal loyalty of their followers in order to silence dissent and to nip in the bud any outbreaks of questioning the teacher and the teachings. There is a vast difference between gullibly accepting the imaginary dreams of the spiritualism and sincerely investigating the down-to-this-earth pragmatism of actualism. (...)
PETER: I have appreciated your sincerity in our communications – it is an essential attribute that will stand you in good stead in your future reading and practicing.
RESPONDENT: One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that I have no interest in wasting my or anyone else’s time with untruths, or even neurotic fabrications. I did a therapy stint for a while, and while it did have some value, I got very tired of regurgitating my own schtick repeatedly. I could well imagine that others were as tired of hearing mine as I was of hearing theirs. Sort of reminds me of a colony of chimps picking nits off each other.
PETER: I saw an interview the other day with that doyen of therapy, Woody Allen, where he was asked whether therapy had helped him in his life and even he dismissed it as being of not much use. From what he said in the interview he seems to have now slipped into a stoic resignation or a begrudging acceptance of his lot in life – a condition that is common to many men of his age.
It’s good to find out and recognize when a door is the wrong door, when a revered wisdom has obviously failed and to eventually abandon hope that any of the old ways will bring peace and happiness. I remember once saying that actualism should have a sign on the door saying ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’ and by that I meant the hope that the traditional long- tried and always-failed methods would somehow, sometime, miraculously deliver the goods. When I recognized and acknowledged to myself that everything I had tried so far had failed to provide happiness and peace, I was then ready to try out something radically new.
RESPONDENT: Just an additional point to this perfection. It is apparent in the absence of a judgmental emotional self. So I am more interested in the assertion that this world is not perfect or that I am not perfect that is more butter for the bread.
PETER: I wrote a bit in my journal that may be relevant to what you are talking of. It was at a time when I was busy with investigating love – its promise and its failure.
What I ‘saw’ is that the actual world is perfect, pure, infinite and eternal – it is just that we humans are inflicted with a soft-ware program called the Human Condition. It is made up of nothing more than beliefs and instinctual emotions, and, being software, we can delete them if we really want to. This deletion allows an incremental emergence of what is factual, what is actual, as evidenced by the senses and one’s own apperceptive awareness. The experiencing of the perfection and purity of the actual world as experienced in the PCE is essential as this provides the ‘pure’ in the pure intent. Having experienced the actual one then will be better prepared to avoid the power-crazed state of Enlightenment.
PETER to No 3: 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 7: The spiritual path eternally promises, dreams and offers hope but it never has, and never can, deliver peace on earth. Actualism delivers the dream of peace that many humans sincerely seek and puts it into practice, but only for those willing to head in the opposite direction to the ‘Tried and Failed’. My friend who said I was living what Rajneesh taught was half-right in that I am living beyond the wildest dreams of Humanity. But I only do that because I abandoned the hackneyed spiritual Wisdom based on denial and ignorance, ‘back-tracked’ all the way out of the spiritual world and set off down the path of intrepid investigation in pursuit of common sense. The path that is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to that which every one else follows. The path that everyone says don’t go on or you will end up irresponsible, evil, insane, and a traitor to Humanity to boot! That is the meaning of everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong.
But the first thing one needs to do is find out whether you have been ‘sold a dummy’, or not. That was my first reaction to the idea that there is a third alternative to staying ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’ – ‘Does that mean I have been sold a dummy?’ But the only way to know that was to find out for myself. And to undertake that investigation is to go against one’s instinctual programming that binds one to being a member of the herd called Humanity.
PETER: Hi Alan,
Just a note about something I have been wanting to write about for some time now – the world as it is.
A conversation I had with a woman the other day seemed to typify the New Dark Age spiritual view of the world, so I’ll start with that. She was a woman probably in her mid forties, had been educated and bought up in a wealthy, stable western country and was studying part time for an arts degree at university. She has a teenage daughter and lives in a nearby country town. The conversation got on to the wonders of computers, but she was critical of the difficulties in using them. Rebuffing my enthusiasm for the current information-technology revolution that is currently in full swing, she proclaimed that she didn’t like it that her daughter watched television and that everything was becoming ‘Americanized’. When I stated that I liked the fact that the global wide access to information made the world less insular and isolated she said she didn’t want it all to be the same, for people to be all the same – she thought it was good that we held on to our traditions and differences. When I pointed out that we fought over these differences, be they religious, moral, ethical or traditional territorial, she seemed a little stunned. Then I said I had found John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ inspirational in my youth – a world with no heaven or hell, nothing to kill or die for and no religion too, all the people living life in peace.
She said it was a nice idea, but ...
She is but typical of a generation that held high ideals, hopes and aspirations to change the world, but as life takes its toll and the disappointments of life set in, she now imbibes ‘traditional’ values in her daughter, exactly as her mother would have done to her. She sees Globalization as a threat to individuality, she sees the spread of one language throughout the world as a threat, she sees the spread of instant world-wide communication and the astounding access to information as a threat. The conversation petered out, but if we had gone on, she would have held all the common beliefs that the world-as-it-is is an awful place and getting worse by the year. She would have offered up the Global Warming Theory – the theory that human habitation, ‘progress’ and pollution will give rise to a dramatic climate change. She would have ignored the fact that it is but a theory that there could be a problem, based on what appears to be a new event – the hole in the ozone layer – based on what is assumed to have happened in the past – based on past suspected climate changes and in spite of any previous knowledge of the condition of ozone layer. The G.W. theorists then fervently propound worst-case scenarios as to what may happen in the future, and very quickly the whole theory has become a fact. There is a stifled debate in the scientific community as to the validity of this theory, seemingly only championed by those whose reputations or jobs are not intimately at stake, but it receives little media publicity.
RESPONDENT: I remember someone explaining that to save an endangered species one needed to exploit the species commercially, to ensure its survival. An unconvincing argument for anyone interested in the species’ quality of life, but it had a pragmatic kind of logic.
PETER: I think there is no doubt that the human species is an endangered species but not from external threat, nor from any ‘environmental’ disaster or earth resources’ depletion, but from the simple fact that human beings cannot live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony. As a practicalist, when I came across Richard, I chose to disprove the logic of Ancient Wisdom that you can’t change Human Nature. Otherwise a human existence of perpetual malice and sorrow is indeed a sick joke. I saw in a PCE that the universe is too magnificent, too grand, too perfect and too pure for me to continue to be sorrowful and malicious. So I set out to change the only thing that was wrong – as in silly and senseless – and that was a ‘me’ inside this flesh and blood body.
As for ‘endangered species’, I realized I was not alone in this exercise of seeking peace on earth. It is an almost universal hope and wish, but everyone looks to others to bring it about, to actualize it. Peace on earth is already here, of course, and only you can find it for yourself.
RESPONDENT: Maybe this is where I’m still questioning your doctrine; can we be ABSOLUTELY convinced that we can rely on the so called facts ... I mean psychology, biology and other sciences investigating the human body and mind haven’t been known to be that exact this far. I agree that these findings are MORE likely to qualify as a ‘truth’ or ‘facts’.
PETER: Given that a simple definition of a fact is that it is something that can be verified by seeing, touching, hearing, smelling or tasting and that it demonstratively so to anyone. For instance, the computer monitor you are watching and these words on the monitor are facts. This may seem simplistic but many meta-physically inclined people have trouble with even this level of sensibility. The other definition of a fact is that it should work, and this should be able to be demonstrated, replicated and substantiated by repeatable experiments. This eliminates belief, trust, faith, hope, conviction, intuition and doubt from any investigation for one always has fact as a reliable touchstone.
In a PCE it is startlingly evident that the human condition we are born into doesn’t work – it begets either cynical acceptance or fanciful denial as the prime mechanisms of coping with malice and sorrow. It then becomes an imperative to question all the morals, ethics, ideals, theories, ideas, concepts, truths, doctrines and dogmas that have been passed on to us by those who were here before us. Once begun in earnest, this process does not result in endless questioning loops for as one replaces fact with belief one’s confidence grows to the point where one no longer needs to believe others – the very action of believing stops. This is not a meta-physical ‘knowing’ or feeling, but a sensible down-to-earth discovery and acknowledgement of the facts of human existence on earth. From this feet-on-the-ground state of increasing confidence and heightened sensuousness one is then able to step out of the human condition with gay abandon and impunity. (...)
RESPONDENT: My conviction is that it is only about extraordinary individuals, regardless of what tradition (spiritual or non-spiritual) that one comes from.
PETER: What comes from the spiritual extraordinary beings such as Mr. Jesus of Nazareth and Mr. Siddhartha Gautama, to name but two of the many, are shaky mythical stories of their lives and character, a set of unliveable morals and ethics and an idea of human existence on this planet that is firmly rooted in ancient superstition and ignorance. We have dismissed the old views of the earth being flat, that women are full of little people that pop out every now again for some strange reason, that the planets are gods in the sky, that good spirits do battle with evil spirits in the cosmos, etc. And yet we still desperately cling to the concepts of a spirit-ual world in whatever image, a God by whatever name, and an ongoing life after death, in whatever form. We now know that we humans come from the meeting of a sperm and an egg, and after at least 3,500 years of spiritual belief, trust, faith and hope there is still no empirical evidence of an ‘other’ world apart from this physical, actual universe.
Any of the traditional stories, teachings or wisdoms coming from the extraordinary ancient spiritual ones still require faith, trust and hope for us to believe the stories to be true.
Non-spiritual is another matter. While the spiritualists have been busy sitting with their heads in the clouds in their churches, monasteries and ashrams other human beings have been getting on with the practical down-to-earth business of making life on earth more safe, comfortable, leisureable and pleasurable for human beings. Actualism is firmly in the latter category, for it is all about eliminating malice and sorrow in oneself. The next step in human progress is both obvious and urgent ... actualizing peace on earth.
PETER: It is our fellow human beings, the practical scientists, chemists, engineers, explorers and the like that have given we humans very useful things. The Gurus, philosophers, theoretical scientists and the like have given us nothing but theories, beliefs, concepts, ideas, scenarios, dreams, nightmares, hope and hopelessness. As I began to abandon the spiritual world, I serendipitously discovered someone who had abandoned Enlightenment and had worked out a ruthlessly effective empirical method for eliminating one’s social identity and all of one’s instinctual passions. Give me something that works over an ideal or a theory any day.
RESPONDENT: You’re quite a fundamentalist yourself, Peter. Now you ditch theoretical science and philosophy! I must say that you’re doing very well in taking YOUR position at least. Nobody can accuse you of not standing up for your views.
PETER: An actualist is a more accurate term, for it is not ‘me’ taking a position but the facts speaking for themselves. You could add pragmatist to the description but I’ll leave the word fundamentalist for the religious crowd.
RESPONDENT: But as I pointed out before I think that you might be going a bit too far in being that categorical and narrowing everything down to the extreme. I mean, if you don’t watch yourself you’re going to find yourself in the same predicament as the spiritual teachers, they also have a habit of oversimplification and trying to narrow down their worldview to fit their purpose. I’m just sceptical of that kind of approach, it only leads to division amongst human beings.
PETER: The teachings of the spiritual teachers, particularly those espousing Eastern religion and philosophy, are anything but simple and anything but narrow. The Western theological discussions about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin are nothing compared with the Eastern obscurations about what is Enlightenment, is Enlightenment a perfect state, what is ego, what is illusion and what is real, who or what survives after death, etc. What a confusing and bewildering mess it all is, and it is only clear to me now that I am outside the spiritual world, why this is so. They are indeed attempting to describe the indescribable for the spiritual world does not exist beyond their impassioned imaginations.
I do find your change of tack a bit abrupt, for you were speaking somewhat in actualist terms in your last post when you said –
Something in our recent conversation does seem to have changed your mind a bit from your previous stance.
RESPONDENT: You of course would argue that your point of view is evidently more sane since you have the empirical proof to back it up. But I can’t see the use of dismissing the theoretical side of science and everything else that isn’t possible to verify directly by empirical methods.
PETER: The problem I found with believing others’ theories and ideals was that they are changeable over time as more factual evidence became available, or as fashions changed. Further theories and ideals are culturally and spiritually influenced and the many variations only open up rich avenues of conflict, confusion, fantasy and fear, hope and hopelessness. Believing theories merely added more fuel to the fire of my instinctual passions, imaginations, dreams and nightmares – which is why I eventually abandoned the very act of believing.
MODERATOR: Perhaps the greatest challenge for anyone who discovers the utter simplicity of the ‘PCE’ is to remain humble, to realize that, for all the ‘malice and sorrow’ that has been waged in the name of religion, at the heart of each tradition is a vast body of REAL wisdom about not only the ultimate fact of our essential non-dual nature, but about how a human being can come to realize and ultimately express that nature as themselves – an area about which all but those few perfected beings among us still have much to learn.
PETER: (...) There is no good and evil in the actual world.
There are simply human beings who are still driven by their instinctual passions and rather than ditch the lot, they deny the ‘bad’ ones and pump up the ‘good’ ones like all get out. Better to ditch the lot and then one is aware that any ideas of duality, non-duality or even beyond non-duality are but figments of human imagination and not actual.
How long will we continue this denial of the central role that genetically-encoded instinctual passions have in causing human malice and sorrow?
And how long will people keep turning away from the facts and proudly indulging in utterly ‘self’-ish theories and beliefs?
What I did was keep asking questions until all of my beliefs were replaced by substantiated verifiable facts. I would not settle on anything if I only felt something to be right and true or because someone else said it was so. I kept asking myself questions until I removed all doubt from my life. It became obvious that if I had to trust, have faith, believe or hope that something was so then it was not a fact but merely a belief or a feeling. When I came across the radical proposition that there was a third alternative to remaining normal or becoming spiritual I ran with the question: ‘What if there isn’t a God, by whatever name?’
This question can easily lead people into despair and hopelessness but when combined with the question: ‘What if there is a way that I can actually rid myself of malice and sorrow’, a whole new exciting and challenging ball game opens up.
A marvellous opportunity is now available for any who are willing to face facts. No longer do we humans have to feel guilt or shame, pray to God for redemption or salvation, seek to escape from evil into an ‘inner’ world of isolation and feeling-only existence, no longer do we have to humble ourselves before God-men. Simply acknowledging the fact that our malice and sorrow results from an instinctual program instilled by blind nature in order to ensure the survival of the species is the first step towards becoming actually free of malice and sorrow. To continue to deny factual empirical evidence is to indulge in denial and this denial actively prevents your chance at experiencing peace on earth in this lifetime.
PETER: ... you hope I will go away.
MODERATOR: We welcome all participants. Why do you think I’ve been posting your comments?
PETER: It is obvious that the only reason you began posting my comments was because you thought I was posing questions in the usual spiritual mode – question anything but the teachings and the teachers and question in such a way as to find only one answer. The only answer possible, if one chooses to question others beliefs and not your own, is that my beliefs must be TRUE because everyone else’s beliefs are false. I find both your statement and question ingenious, given that you have now stopped posting my comments because peace on earth is not a current or past topic of your spiritual magazine.
PETER: Sort of a polite pre-sentence comment, prior to cyber-execution?
MODERATOR: You’re welcome to keep posting in accordance with the new focus.
PETER: Which means I can only talk about, or raise questions about, the things you want to talk about and not at length.
PETER: To avoid vagueness do you have a number-of-words limit per post? It seems a fairer way of avoiding arbitrary judgements based on prejudice.
MODERATOR: No limit. Let’s hope for judgments based on good discrimination.
PETER: What do you need to hope for? You’re making the judgements and all you need to do is decide what is good and what is bad according to your terms of reference. But I do appreciate your dilemma. Throughout the spiritual world, moderators all have the same problem in how far do they allow their faith to be questioned before imposing discrimination. It’s usually a delicate balancing act unless the perceived threat becomes significant, in which case, more draconian measures are needed which can then lead down the path of repression, conflict, hostility, retribution, vengeance etc. ...
Judgements based on sensible discrimination as in reviewing the facts and considering what works is very straightforward but in the spiritual world making ‘judgments based on good discrimination’ is indeed a tricky business.
It is unfortunate that your magazine is not willing to question all that is illusionary for that is the key to an actual freedom. The ages-old spiritual idea of Good and Evil needs to be questioned in its totality for the impassioned mind-game of transcending Evil in order to find God is on its last legs. It may well whimper on for a few hundred years, sustained by a few renunciate fundamentalists, but fear-driven spiritual belief has less and less relevance in these times of increasing knowledge, safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure.
RESPONDENT: I think this is an Impersonal Fact rather than a personal belief.
PETER: Are you implying there is such a thing as a personal fact or a belief that is an impersonal belief? To avoid confusion and aid communication I like to keep to simple dictionary definitions of words.
A fact is a fact, it stands on its own – it is neither personal nor impersonal and it requires neither faith, trust or hope for it to be so.
Beliefs are always personal and are usually said to be real if other people share the same belief. The more people who believe the more real the belief appears to be and is often claimed to be a truth or Truth in spiritual terms. However, even if everyone believes something to be true it doesn’t make it a fact.
Long ago everyone believed the earth was the centre of the cosmos and the sun went around the earth, but now we know it was just a belief based on the limited viewpoint of at the time. It took nearly 400 years for the Pope to finally acknowledge only in the last decade that the Bible was wrong.
Long ago everyone believed that humans were born innocent and corrupted by evil in this world but we now know this was just a belief based on an idea that the world was populated by good and evil spirits. It may well take 400 years for Eastern religion to acknowledge that Mr. Buddha and the other Ancients were wrong.
RESPONDENT: Surely when one experiences the falling away of all false belief structures and human conditioning and programming it becomes obvious that there are no separate selves in the first place.
PETER: Now you are introducing the notion of a false belief. Are you implying there are false beliefs and true beliefs and that your belief is true? To believe means to ‘fervently wish to be true’. The action of believing is to emotionally imagine, or fervently wish, something to be real that is not actual – actual as in tangible, corporeal, material, definitive, present, obvious, evident, current, substantial, physical and palpable. A belief is an assumption, a notion, a proposition, an idea that requires faith, trust or hope to be sustained in the face of doubt, uncertainty and lack of factual evidence. Whereas a fact is a fact, demonstratively evident to all that it is actual and/or that it works.
Many beliefs are masqueraded as ‘truths’ or are merely accepted as facts in lieu of any serious scrutiny, or are protected by the blatant and stubborn refusal to question the facticity of that which is ‘dearly held’ to be true.
As for ‘there are no separate selves in the first place’ you are talking of the spiritual belief that we have a false self who feels separate or thinks itself to be separate (ego in spiritual jargon). The spiritual Truth is that if we dissolve this identity and become our true self who feels unity or oneness or God, or whatever, then that new self lives in a state of Nirvana, Oneness, Wholeness, Unity, Timelessness or whatever. This cunning shift of identity, called Enlightenment, Awakening, Freedom, Liberation, or whatever, is not an elimination of the psychological or psychic identity – nor does it claim to be, if you read any spiritual offerings with a clear eye.
PETER: Well as I type away the world is busy celebrating the birthday of a man who most probably did not even exist and who supposedly died 2,000 years ago and rose into the heavenly realms to sit at the side of his father, God. The overwhelming worldwide popularity of this Christian event does say something of the pre-eminence of the Anglo-Saxon tribes that are currently driving the technology and information revolution. But what I found most interesting were the reviews of the last century and the previews of the next. Predominant were the fears that emerged about technological progress, and the few commentators that were hesitantly optimistic for the future always couched their comments in terms of hope. When the situation is desperate and hopeless, humans always have to revert to hope, prayer and faith.
I just watched His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, ‘the Grand Lama, formerly the chief pontiff and governmental ruler of Tibet’ (the Macquarie Dictionary), being interviewed and he was asked about the possibility of an end to war and violence in the new millennium. He said that as the world ‘got smaller’ then we would see that we are all one people and that, ‘like it or not’, we would have to be more compassionate and tolerant towards each other. He went on to say that, of course, ‘there will still be conflicts’ but this should be the ‘century of dialogue’. Here is a man who preaches non-violence, yet firmly believes that one cannot change human nature. It is understandable for the concept of human suffering-on-earth is intrinsic and central to the Buddhist religion. Eliminate suffering and violence – no need for religious beliefs, therefore no mythical reincarnation for Grand Lamas. Not only Lama unemployment, but Lama mortality as well. A genuine case of endangered species.
It’s amazing to sit in my living room watching the frantic cranking up of hope in the face of despair. This current era of world-wide instant communication and access to information makes a global study of the Human Condition ‘in action’ so simple and so easy. The failure of belief, morals and ethics to bring an end to human malice and sorrow is transparently evident, as is the human passion for malice and sorrow.
Which brings me back to D + A = nc, the spiritual formula espoused by the Dalai Lama, The Pope, Mr. Rajneesh, both Mr. Jiddu and Mr. U.G. Krishnamurti, both the mythical Mr. Buddha and Mr. Jesus, and their ilk.
Given that few spiritual seekers have bothered to read the ancient texts to ascertain what it is their gurus are saying it is useful to dissect the modern NDA reinterpretations of Eastern religion and philosophy to see exactly what is on offer and why it has such popular appeal. So, I’ll continue on with my review of ‘In Each Moment’ by Paul Lowe.
I don’t know Mr. Lowe personally and have never met him which is why I find it useful to critique his book in particular. There are many I could write about, some of whom I have met and had dealings with. To write of them always leaves one open to attacks of bias as was obvious from the response to my journal from Rajneeshees. Mr. Lowe, while not famous, is indeed ‘a highly trained spiritual teacher’ and, as such, his words can be taken as an accurate modern re-interpretation of the ancient classical myths and beliefs.
PAUL LOWE: Remember you are the spirit in the machine – you are always watching. <snip> The machine has a life of its own. It is up to you to be conscious and present and not let it live you. <snip> The game is to be in the machine and feel free. <snip> You can start to remember who you really are, right now. You can start to come home. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: To be ‘conscious and present’ there, in the body, is most definitely not to be sensately here in the actual world, as a flesh and blood body only. ‘The [spiritual] game is to be in the machine and feel free’ says it really all.
The game for an Actualist is to rid oneself of both the grim illusion of the real world and the divine delusion of the spiritual world. To take off one’s grey coloured glasses and to take off one’s rose coloured glasses.
Some sanity to finish this post, from the The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary –
— The action of imagining or forming mental images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. Scheming or devising; a fanciful project. The faculty of fanciful thought. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The human brain with its ability to cogitate, reflect and communicate is the only intelligence known to be currently manifest in the universe. These unique functions, when overlaid over the instinctual rudimentary ‘self’, produce in humans a much more sophisticated and complex self than in any other animal. Further, this individual self has been painfully aware not only of a ferocious world of wild animals and a harsh environment, but also of the fact that it could die or be killed at any moment. At some seminal moment in evolution, there began a faculty of fanciful thought, an escape from harsh reality and a retreat into the world of imagination. The sun became a thing of awe in the face of fear of darkness, the night skies and stars things of wonder in the face of the hell of life on earth. Thus the world of the heavens was to be eventually seen as populated by good and evil spirits, later to be personified as gods and goddesses, demons and devils. In the face of instinctual fear, humans escaped into a fanciful imaginary world that was to become so strong, so powerful, and so convincing as to be eventually accepted as being as real, and as substantial, as everyday reality.
Curiously, this world of imagination is not only confined to the spiritual world but is also rampant in all scientific communities as is evidenced by the meta-physical ruminations of theoretical physics, pure mathematics, psychology, anthropology, psychology, astronomy, etc. Various attempts have been made to crack through, or escape from, the stranglehold this imaginary psychic construct has over humanity, but all have failed to go all the way (up until now). This capacity for imagination is imbibed with mother’s milk – the first stories we are told, and therefore the first world view we have, is of an ‘other-world’ of fairy stories, fictionary romance, heroism, tales of good and evil – all totally imaginary and having no relevance to the physical, actual world of people, things and events in which we live.
We are, in fact, inducted into believing the imaginary world to be primary and real, and consequently to regard the physical, actual world as secondary and illusionary. This primary imaginary world includes both a ‘real’ world-view and its associated ‘spiritual’ world-view, neither of which are actual. This obsession with imagination, belief, trust, faith and hope offers a continuing haven of denial of the facts of the Human Condition and prevents us from getting up off our bums, or up from our lotus position, and taking the necessary action that will lead to the eventual elimination of malice and sorrow from this fair planet. The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary
What a grand adventure to prick the balloons of imagination and belief, illusion and delusion, and increasingly discover and experience the safe, benign, benevolent, perfect and pure, paradisiacal actual world that is happening, here and now.
PAUL LOWE: You have been conditioned from the moment of your conception by things about which you have no idea – there are billions of influences. You will never be free of these and even if you could free yourself in this lifetime, what if there was a previous life and another one before that? The ‘work’ would never end. There is another way – disconnect from it all. You can allow the reactions, the feelings and the past to be there, yet you do not need to identify with any of it. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: I am astounded when I meet spiritual people these days as to how little they understand of the Human Condition and how unwilling they are to do any ‘work’ in order to understand it. And when I read any spiritual writing, such as this book, I realize why. Believing in, and practicing, denial and acceptance combine to ensure that they will do nothing to evince any change in themselves. They only want to work on and indulge in their good feelings.
D + A = nc.
To finish off with a Actualist’s understanding of identity from The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary –
— The condition or fact of a person or thing being that specified unique person or thing, esp. as a continuous unchanging property throughout existence; the characteristics determining this; individuality, personality. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Consists of two parts – the ego (who one thinks one is) and the soul (who one feels one’s self to be). This ‘unique’ identity is no more than the program of social conditioning that we are instilled with from birth onwards and which overlays our instinctually- programmed innate self. We then assume that we are unique individuals, but, in fact, we are forever bound both to society’s beliefs, morals and ethics and our instinctual animal passions. This dual bondage and the ensuing lack of freedom results in either rebellion against or resentful acceptance of one’s ‘lot in life’. Many people seek to escape from the bondage of ‘real’ world beliefs, morals and ethics and pursue the spiritual path of ‘freedom’ from everyday reality. For some .0001% of spiritual seekers an Altered State of Consciousness (aka Enlightenment) is achieved resulting in a delusionary shift of identity from mortal human to Immortal Divine. For the followers on the spiritual path the adoption of a new spiritual persona – an escape from everyday reality – suffices by imagining ‘mortal earthly life’ a necessary and acceptable passing phase on the way to a better ‘some-where else’, after death.
A personal down-to-earth view of identity –
The challenge facing modern modern humans is to rid themselves of all past identity in order to become free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow. The first step is to rid oneself of one’s socially instilled identity – all the morals, ethics, values and psittacisms that bind one to be part of the traditional waring groups be they ethnic, tribal, religious, spiritual, social, ethical or political. Stripped of the illusion that the world is a grim place, and stripped of the delusion that there exists a meta-physical world, one is then able to tackle one’s animal instinctual heritage – the innate ‘being’ that is programmed by blind nature to survive at any cost. This program of fear, aggression, nurture and desire needs to be eliminated if one is to achieve one’s destiny – an actual freedom, the like of which has not been possible before.
The Human Condition is a transitory stage in the evolution from animal to human, and a method is now available for those who want to achieve freedom from the burden of being a sorrowful and malicious social identity and of being biologically bound to instinctual animal-survival passions. The ‘survival’ phase of human evolution is finishing – the challenge for humans now is to be happy and harmless. To be a pioneer in this process is to be both unique and individual and to evince an Actual Freedom is to be more free than a bird on the wing. The Actual Freedom Trust Glossary
So Paul has explained very clearly that practicing denial and acceptance and developing a spiritual watcher is but a cunning trick that does nothing but creates a new spiritual identity.
RESPONDENT: Well Peter, there’s not much more for me to say, you are in control of your dream. You too have the ability to allow contentment, peace of mind when you are doing whatever it is you do. You can even allow the world to be worldly... all the options still exist, but an option is not the same as a promise. Options come with personal responsibility.
PETER: Option implies choice, and yes, I certainly exercise choice based firmly on what is silly and what is sensible, what is a fact and what is merely a belief, what works and what doesn’t work. It takes the angst, doubt and fear out of choice and is magically freeing. I don’t even have to ‘feel’ responsible any more given that I am no longer malicious (hence no guilt, shame or repentance arise) nor am I sorrowful (hence no sadness, compassion or resentment arise)
RESPONDENT: I hope you find what you look for. All I could ever offer would just be more Promises and Options.
RESPONDENT: Well Peter, there’s not much more for me to say, you are in control of your dream. You too have the ability to allow contentment, peace of mind when you are doing whatever it is you do. You can even allow the world to be worldly... all the options still exist, but an option is not the same as a promise. Options come with personal responsibility.
PETER: Firstly, I do not dream any more, nor do I have any need to as the actual sensate experience of being here in the actual world far exceeds my wildest dreams anyway. Secondly, I don’t allow contentment or peace of mind, it is my on-going experience 24hrs. a day, and I get to do pleasurable things like eat superbly tasting food, enjoy delicious sex whenever I want, watch TV, type letters, etc. The options I exercise, apart from doing what is sensible, is usually around where to eat lunch and when to have sex. Apart from these few I find myself fully occupied in doing whatever I am doing at this moment. Living fully is an activity that involves me to such an extent that there is simply no room for any ‘self’-centred thoughts, feelings, or instinctual emotional responses.
Option implies choice, and yes I certainly exercise choice based firmly on what is silly and what is sensible, what is a fact and what is merely a belief, what works and what doesn’t work. It takes the angst, doubt and fear out of choice and is magically freeing. I don’t even have to ‘feel’ responsible any more given that I am no longer malicious (hence no guilt, shame or repentance arise) nor am I sorrowful (hence no sadness, compassion or resentment arise).
RESPONDENT: The impression I get from these words is they come from a Mind enjoying its delusion. But like I said before, I too enjoy a good dream, so I’m sorry if I disturb yours, it’s not entirely my intention, but I guess I get a kick out of brat every now and then too. I hope you find what you look for. All I could ever offer would just be more Promises and Options.
P.S. The night before last I had a wonderful dream that is still yanking my chains. I was travelling in a mini van type of bus with a group of people and Osho. We were going to meet up with a large group of people and we were asking Osho if he was willing to speak to the people...He turned around and looked deep into my eyes and said ‘I am amazed that after all these years you are still attached to my words’ and I responded, ‘Oh, no, It’s not for me...It’s just that so many people there have never heard you speak.’.. and he just smiles and turns back around in his seat...
But of course I do have attachments to his words. And I watch them all the time, the attachments and the words floating around in my brain. But two days later from that dream, I still feel that love stuff from him and from me for him swelling my chest...how can I let go of an attachment like that? It feels the same as it did many years ago...
It’s weird too... I’ve never owned a white robe and no plans of getting one.
PETER: The whole Eastern spiritual world is based on ‘feeling’ devotion and love, either for a god or a Master. This feeling good, when practiced assiduously, leads to bliss, Divine Love, Universal Compassion, and Timelessness, Oneness with the Whole, Truth, That, God or whatever. If successful one becomes One, self becomes Self, separation becomes Unity, and away we go again as yet another Divine Saviour is born, to eventually ‘leave the body’, leaving yet another Religion on earth. It is all a passionate dream which most people can see clearly played out in other Religious beliefs but love, loyalty, devotion and gratitude prevent them from seeing, let alone acknowledging it, in themselves. It is an insidious trap, one at which the Enlightened Ones are indeed Masters at playing.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.