Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER: When I look back over the last few years I am amazed how much I have written about actualism and my experiences. I say amazed because I was never interested in writing, failed English at school and generally scorned those who wrote and taught as those who weren’t the doers. As such, when I found myself writing about actualism and my experiences I have always been cautious to be able to stand behind what I write – as in, I know it is factual and I know by my experience, and the experience of others, what works and what doesn’t work. This is why I am able to endorse and confirm all that Richard writes about.
GARY: Actualism is such an eminently sensible method that I find it surprising that so many people seem to scoff about it. I know it works from my own experience. All of it is so simple and obvious. I too feel I can confirm and validate all that Richard writes about. It struck me with renewed clarity on my drive home from work yesterday, after having a simply excellent day, that the actualism method of asking oneself ‘How am I experiencing this present moment of being alive’ is so simple yet so powerful.
Everything is contained in that question. If I am experiencing anything less than excellence and perfection in my life at that moment in time, then that is simply something to investigate and look into to find what is keeping me from experiencing the perfection and purity of life in this physical universe. While ‘I’ can never be perfect, life on this earth the way it is with people the way they are is already perfect. Life is not a grim joke, or a ‘shit sandwich’ (and every day you take another bite!) as I used to think.
PETER: About a year after meeting Richard, I had a PCE where I saw clearly that this physical universe was perfect and that this planet was a breathtaking verdant ambrosial paradise. What was also clearly evident was the appalling grim instinctual battle for survival that is fought out physically, psychologically and psychically amongst all human beings on the planet. Human beings, uniquely amongst all the animal species on the planet, not only exhibit instinctual malice and sorrow but get pleasure from being malicious and sorrowful.
Human beings are far, far from being perfect, but I knew from that ‘self’-less experience that it is possible to directly and sensately experience the perfection and purity of the actual world – with people as-they-are.
Whenever I write about the perfection and purity of the actual world on spiritual mailing lists, I often get the comment back that ‘everything’ is perfect as-it-is. This is the demented, egocentric spiritual ‘I am already perfect, as in God by whatever name, and all ‘I’ have to do is Realize it’ syndrome. Not that I am saying this is what you are saying, but I always keep firmly in mind that ‘my’ aim is to step out of Humanity, for Humanity is rotten to the core. For ‘I’ am Humanity and Humanity is ‘me’, as Richard puts it.
For an actualist, altruism is not to be fretted away by trying to make ‘me’ or others perfect – the only action that will make a difference is for ‘me’ to step out of Humanity. To facilitate this step, what ‘I’ can initially do is to become as happy and harmless as possible – to progressively and deliberately dare let my instinctive guard down.
PETER: I liked what I have heard about the success of cognitive therapy, but I have little knowledge in psychology/ psychiatry/ sociology fields. At some stage, no doubt, more will be investigated and written about this particular area of study of the Human Condition. Gradually the emphasis in investigation and dealing with neurosis and psychosis will have to turn from coping and ‘normalizing’ – as in reducing the more extreme symptoms – to finding fixes and cures and thus eventually to seeking elimination – and actualism provides the method to completely eradicate one’s own malice and sorrow. The next 30 years are going to be fascinating indeed ...
GARY: Yes, I agree, if we do not blow each other up in the mean time.
PETER: Given that all life on this planet is estimated to cease when the life-sustaining sun burns out and ceases to be in a period estimated in terms of millions of years, and that the universe has always been here and always will be here, this would be of no significance whatsoever. Human beings have a pointless fascination with the past, a morbid anxiety about the future and a compulsive disregard for what is happening now. This neurosis is a universal neurosis, blindly driven by the instinctual drive to survive – at all costs. Given that this drive is species-specific, human beings think and feel themselves collectively to be the centre of existence – that Humanity is primary and of central importance and significance and ‘the rest’ – the physical universe, the actual world, is peripheral, remote and alien. The instinctual drive is also ‘self’-centred, which results in the perverseness of each and every human inevitably regarding the actual world, including their fellow human beings as separate, remote and alien.
The spiritual practice of further turning ‘in’ only serves to strengthen this ‘self’-centred myopic view resulting in narcissism and solipsism.
The idea of a ‘we’ as a species is a psychic illusion based upon these primitive survival instincts, hence Humanity thinks and feels it is essential that it survives, whereas this feeling is simply a crude operating program reinforced by social conditioning and religious beliefs resulting in senseless and relentless breeding, tribal conflicts and religious battles for supremacy.
It is a weird Humanity – 6 billion ‘selfs’ involved in a grim instinctual battle for survival. From within the human condition it seems an impossible dream that there will ever be a species of fellow human beings living together in peace and harmony, concord and consensus. However, as I experience my own successes in eliminating malice and sorrow and witness the successes of others, the possibility of peace on earth changes from a future fantasy to a current fact.
PETER: I do appreciate the conversations we have had about the process of actualism, even more so because they have been in the form of posts to this mailing list. Vineeto and I have had many conversations with Richard, and Richard has had many conversations with people that have not been recorded in any way – the spoken words have all disappeared. Up until recently most of the correspondence on The Actual Freedom Trust website has been from objectors, very few of whom were willing to acknowledge that there might well be something new under the sun in the way of human experiencing. While this correspondence served as an excellent peer review process and has drawn a prolific amount of writing from Richard, it seems as though there could be a new phase beginning to happen where there will be increasing discussion about the doing of becoming happy and harmless rather than objections to becoming happy and harmless.
GARY: Yes, I think a slight shift is discernable in the tenor of the discussions on this list. The virulence of the objections to being happy and harmless seems to have diminished somewhat lately. And there are a couple of new people coming on to the list. I enjoy it when someone new turns up here as there is a freshness and vitality injected into the discussions. But, getting back to a possible new phase in the list, I wonder to what extent world events are spurring, for some at least, a desire to find a way to live in peace and harmony with others. News coverage in the past few weeks has included the grim news that a major clash is possible between Pakistan and India, two powers with nuclear capabilities. Too, there has been speculation as to whether humanity once again finds itself in the ‘deep muddy’ of world war – there have been enough indications of late of an increasingly violent and pernicious process at work in world events. All this goes to show that in spite of the spectacular progress made in scientific and technological realms, human beings are still fettered to a stone-age mentality in their dealings with one another. So, I find myself wondering if, on the whole, these world-wide events might be contributing to an increased interest in becoming happy and harmless.
PETER: Two things occur to me in response.
I recently watched a CNN programme where some 30 Nobel Peace Prize winners were part of a televised forum set up to discuss world peace. It seems that some of the panel had compiled a report declaring that talking and negotiation were the only way to end conflict and they were proposing themselves as a roving peace force for the world. However, not all of the peace prize-winners agreed and some were dissenters from the report. Amongst these were resistance leaders from Bosnia and East Timor, both of whom said that the only way suppression, torture and murder had been ended in their countries was by intervention of armed peacekeeping forces and that there was no way possible for the unarmed and suppressed to negotiate peace and freedom with armed and determined repressors.
There was polite applause from the audience at this point but the discussion quickly turned away from the pragmatic freedoms gained by meeting force with even more force and moved back to idealism and morality. Apart from re-running the old tried and failed notion that discussion and negotiation can resolve and end conflict, there were the usual noises made about religious tolerance as a way to resolve and end religious conflict, the fashionable railing against globalisation and pleas for a return to tribalism and a strengthening of cultural differences. What was blatantly obvious from watching the show was the marked aversion that human beings have towards facts and pragmatism and the fondness they have for beliefs and ideals.
I was reminded yet again that Humanity plays its game by a fixed set of rules – the inviolate morals and ethics that ensures that ‘this is the way it is, because this is the way it has always been, and this is the way it will always be’. At one time I used to waver between optimism and pessimism for Humanity until I realized that Humanity is unchangeable by its very nature. Humanity is locked into a perpetual cycle of conflict between those who willingly submit to the social morals and mores and the angry and frustrated who rile against them.
The little town I live in is a cesspool of conflict between family members, neighbours, rival community groups, competing spiritual groups, opposing political organizations, and the like – all of whom are endlessly blaming others for not seeing or respecting, let alone agreeing with their particular point of view. Consensus, consideration, care and co-operation are nowhere to be seen.
The traditional ways for Humanity to seek to end conflict have always been, and always will be, bound to morals and ethics and this compulsive fixation does nothing but ensure that Humanity will always be exemplified by a battle betwixt good and evil – by whatever name good is called and by whatever name evil is called. Within this perverse game, those who claim to be peacemakers are those who claim the moral and ethical high ground – notably the pacifists who live in counties where law and order is well maintained by efficient armed police and disciplinarian legal systems, and the priests and God-men who advocate egalitarianism and tolerance whilst simultaneously preaching that their own God is the greatest.
As you might have gathered by now, I have abandoned any hope for Humanity as it simply keeps going around in circles, endlessly re-running the tried and failed methods, ideals and beliefs. The next generation frantically digs through the trash bin of history, looks for something that feels good or seems right, dusts it off, blindly ignores all of the evidence of the past failures, forms a group around a charismatic leader and starts to passionately fight the good fight. Enough is enough.
PETER: Because Vineeto and I share a common interest in actualism, the main focus of our relationship was a mutual agreement that each would investigate what stood in the way of our living together in utter peace and harmony. Once I stopped my habitual program of trying to change others to suit ‘my’ whims, moods, foibles, demands and expectations, I was then able to become aware of, and be fully responsible for, my feelings, passions and behaviour that were causing me to not be able to live with Vineeto in peace and harmony. Just to make it clear – you don’t need another’s agreement to do this work, because it is something only you can do for yourself and for others you come in contact with.
It is an enormous step you take when you fully grasp the reality that expecting or demanding that your companion, wife, husband, son, daughter or whoever, should change in order to please ‘you’ is an essentially malicious intrusion – and that wanting to or trying to change them is an utterly futile exercise that can only provoke hostility and resentment. Then and only then, can you can get on with your own business of changing yourself. This does not negate the fact that you, as an actualist, can share your discoveries with a fellow human being – provided they are interested, of course.
GARY: I must say that I don’t think I have fully grasped the reality that expecting or demanding that the other change is a malicious intrusion, as I have not completely ceased expecting or demanding. I would like to stop, however, as it is no fun whatsoever expecting or demanding anything of anybody. Thus, my relationship with my ‘significant other’ is precisely the place where these expectations and demands can be examined and uncovered. I know through my own experience that it is possible to live without these expectations and demands, as I have had this happen for brief periods of time, and it is most delicious. During these ‘self’-less interludes, one’s normal petty expectations and demands are nowhere in evidence. It must require extremely pure intent to continue on and demolish all of these so-called ‘normal’ expectations of intimate relationships.
PETER: It is no small thing to break with the habit of meddling in the lives of others because it is an activity that is universal within the human condition. The psychological and psychic bonds that tie human beings together condemns everyone to think and feel they have to live vicariously through others, via relationship and contracts, comparison and competition with others. The resulting cycle of expectations and disappointments, doubts and suspicions, demands and conflicts as well as hope and despair the ensues from ‘normal’ human relationships means that people are always friend or foe, with me or against me, right or wrong, good or bad, and so on – anything but fellow human beings.
When you say that you ‘haven’t yet fully grasped the reality that expecting or demanding that the other change is a malicious intrusion’ I can understand this totally. The whole process of actualism is a step-by-step process of extracting yourself from the human condition and it is my experience that the most difficult aspect of this process is breaking free of the social and passionate bonds that tie people together. It is this passionate and instinctual involvement in the lives of others that directly leads us to inevitably expect or demand that others change – that ‘I am right and you are wrong’, that ‘you’re hurting my feelings’, that ‘I need to stand up for my rights’, that ‘I want you to respect my wishes/ opinion/ feelings’, and so on.
The only way to fully grasp ‘the reality that expecting or demanding that the other change is a malicious intrusion’ as an experience and not merely an intellectual understanding, is to be actually free of the human condition. The process of actualism is a step-by-step process of experiencing, becoming attentive to and cutting the emotional ties and passionate bonds that give substance to ‘me’ as a social identity and as an instinctual being. You don’t step out of humanity and leave your ‘self’ behind in one step – it takes many steps to get from A to B. But the longer you practice actualism, the more bits of your social and instinctual identity fall by the wayside, as it were, which in turn means the less you demand, expect or hope that others change.
PETER: Hi Alan, hi Mark,
(...) Mark summed up the success he is having compared with his years in the spiritual world so well recently, and it is well worth repeating what he wrote –
This is written by someone with 20 years experience on the spiritual path – an experiential understanding of the significance of those three words, ‘fellow human beings’. Whomever you meet is simply a fellow human being – and one finds oneself increasingly regarding and treating others as such on the path to freedom from malice and sorrow.
Those three words – ‘fellow human beings’ – are the very key to peace on this planet and it will eventuate incrementally as more and more people have the experiential understanding that Mark has written of.
Other than spiritual and religious morality the ‘best’ that Humanity has come up with in order attempt to bring some semblance of ‘civilized’ behaviour to the planet is the ethical concept of Human Rights. Human Rights do naught but enshrine the differences and separateness in noble moral and ethical codes that are not only unliveable but actively perpetuate the continuation of division, conflict and war – an endless fight for one’s Rights, and the endless despair at having them ‘denied’ by others who are fighting for their Rights. One man’s God is but another man’s Devil. What is right for one is wrong for another. Justice for one means that someone else has to have revenge wrought upon him or her. Retaining one’s ‘heritage’ means retaining the prejudices, superstitions, ‘hurts’ and angers of one’s parents and tribe. The concept of Human Rights is a well-meaning, but futile, attempt to force human beings to try and stop the instinctual urge to kill each other. ‘Twill never bring peace and harmony.
So Mark, you have ‘hit the nail upon the head’ in your seeing through of the failure of the ideals of Love and Compassion in the spiritual / religious world. It is, after all, no different to the love and compassion that continuously fails in the real world. All are but failed attempts to ‘keep the lid’ on the animal within us. The only way to peace and harmony is to get rid of the animal in us completely and Actual Freedom does just that.
Actual Freedom heralds the beginning of peace on earth for human beings, an end to the appalling suffering, violence, oppression, corruption and despair. An end to all the wars, ethnic cleansing, sectarian troubles, fights for Rights, revenges, genocides, repressions, rapes, murders and suicides. One at a time, we will step out of that real world and leave our ‘selves’ behind. Fear and aggression – the animal survival instincts of a dog-eat-dog world – are now redundant for modern human beings. They need to be eliminated in order that we can begin to treat each other as fellow human beings and not as ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’ in a perpetual battle for succour, security and survival. Its such a buzz to get to the bottom of what it is that ails the Human Condition.
To see that it is naught but the ‘self’-centred survival instinct that is at the root of sorrow and malice and to set about eliminating it in oneself.
PETER to No 7: I got to musing a bit more about the reaction to my Journal, and to Richard’s Journal, and wondered at the lack of reaction evident in most. I remembered back to my first reading of Richard’s Journal and what my reactions were at the time.
Firstly, what he was saying made sense – it was obvious to me that everyone has got it wrong; everyone knows that because fear and aggression in the form of sorrow and malice are endemic on the planet. It took a bit of digging into both Richard’s writings and those of the Gurus to understand that what he was saying was brand spanking new and a quantum leap in the opposite direction to the spiritual. When a Guru says ‘everyone has got it wrong’, what he means is ‘everyone else has got it wrong and only I have got it Right, for I am the messenger of the Divine’. This shallow Guru-bashing then is passed off as ‘the real Truth, the only Path’, whereas what can initially appear as the Wisdom of the God-man is no more than his particular condemnation of the religions of other God-men. Merely to claim that others have got it wrong while blindly ignoring their own role in the on-going tragedy is both ignorance and denial, but then again, if one feels oneself to be God, one is undeniably deluded and absolutely blinded to any common sense.
Actual Freedom is a freedom from the insidious fairy-tales told by all the Gurus – no exceptions, no maybes, no ‘it’s only the same thing that everybody else is saying’. For me, this meant that I would have to desert my Master, not only being ungrateful but disloyal as well. It soon became obvious that this meant I would also have to desert Humanity – be a traitor to Humanity – to be ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’, as Richard put it recently.
And the only way ‘out’ – to actually become free – was to do it, despite these values, ethics and morals that bound me to Humanity’s perpetual suffering and fighting. Once one begins to break these bonds and ties, to actualize one’s own freedom, one discovers that one has been instinctually programmed to be a member of the species, and to break with Humanity – the emotional-backed concept that binds the species together – necessitates an extinction of the these instincts in operation in this flesh and blood body. The ending of ‘my’ connection to Humanity is the ending of ‘me’.
So, even in the first weeks after reading Richard’s Journal, I knew what the consequences of my actions would be if I gave the path to Actual Freedom a ‘go’. But I had had enough experience to not get into the trap of believing what others said merely because it sounded ‘right’ – so I wanted some practical proof that Actual Freedom worked. In the beginning of the Richard’s Journal are the chapters on living together in peace and harmony, ending the battle of the sexes and unravelling the mystique of sex, and this is what I decided I would ‘cut my teeth on’ – to see if this would work. I simply acknowledged that what I, and every body else, had been doing didn’t work and would never work, and decided to actually try something new. Not just read, study and understand, but put it into practice and see if it worked. To see if I could live with one other person in peace and harmony and get to the bottom of the mess of human sexuality. Actualism is not a cerebral pastime nor a feeling-based escape from ‘reality’ – it is a full blooded commitment to expunging the alien entity within this flesh and blood body that prevents one being the universe experiencing itself as a human being. Anything less is chicken shit.
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.
The return for the effort is peace, on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body. Peace is a simple, unambiguous term meaning actually free of malice and sorrow.
So, maybe this has been of use to you. I personally always find it useful to dig in and find out what the common objections to being happy and harmless are – in other words, what ‘my’ objections are – and then dare to look at the facts of what it is to be a human animal.
To explore, within one’s own psyche, the emotional passions of malice and sorrow and to investigate the commonly held beliefs that perpetuate their existence.
To discover the illusions, ‘within’ and ‘without’, will bring one – inevitably and inexorably – to one’s senses.
And then you get to find out the meaning of life.
And it’s the journey of a ‘life’-time.
PETER to Alan: Just a rave about a few things –
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.
PETER: Hi Alan,
Well, I am up off the couch again having another writing day. It’s good to get a grasp of Humanity in action, the Human Condition in operation on a global scale – it breaks one out of the ego-centric mould of ‘who’ I am and enables me to see clearly ‘what’ I am. To see that there are 6 billion human beings on the planet fighting for survival. To see that fight is waged psychologically and psychically as well as physically. To see the appalling results of this ‘fight’ continuously beamed into our living rooms makes denial and escape into fantasy no option for the caring.
ALAN: I enjoyed your ‘rave’ the other day. There is no doubt that humanity is doing a much better job of cleaning up the planet and, as you say, is now faced with the task of cleaning itself up.
PETER: And since Humanity is nothing more than the ‘you’s’ and ‘me’s’ of this world, the ‘task’ befalls you and I. Good Hey. What a thing to do with one’s life. What an incredible adventure ...
ALAN: (...) We are currently having an extremely violent demonstration of the ‘sickness’ of the human condition, which you have probably seen in the media. Blacks, Asians and gays have so far been targeted – watch out, actualists could be next! Which, of course, could never happen – with no beliefs to defend, there is nothing to attack – and all that is required is to come to one’s senses!
PETER: Well ... It is pretty certain, given the Human Condition, that, as Actual freedom gains momentum, the ‘shit will hit the fan’ at some stage. Probably the most virulent and vitriolic of objectors will be those who protest at the elimination of feelings, despite the fact that these feelings are sorrow and malice. The cute thing about Actual Freedom is that one becomes anonymous – a nobody – and one does whatever one can to sensibly maintain this anonymity. The Net is ideal for this – we could pass each other on the street and not know that we both are actualist. The checkout girl at the local checkout hasn’t a clue that I am not a part of the ‘real’ world, exactly as my former spiritual friends have not a clue that I am no longer in the ‘spiritual’ world. The anonymity is delicious, and I will do my utmost to sensibly preserve it.
Still, I fully expect that the ‘shit will hit the fan’ one day ...
ALAN: ‘Political correctness’ is also rampant here – a leading judge made a joke at a dinner party last week, along the lines of ‘someone made great advances in the legal profession after having three transplant operations – he was given the breasts of a lesbian, the penis of a black man and the buttocks of a gay man’. I thought it quite amusing, but such is the power of the three lobbies he ‘insulted’ that he is likely to lose his job. The military are also engaged in peace keeping operations, which do not amount to ‘war’. If bombing the shit out of someone and firing dozens of cruise missiles (costing in excess of a million dollars each) is not ‘war’, I’d like to know what is.
PETER: I used to think that there was a solution for Humanity’s ills, that if only ... I would watch TV or participate in the typical male conversations about what was right or wrong with the world, what needed to be done. Now it is apparent that Humanity is terminally ill – finished, kaput, stuffed, going around in circles, revolution after revolution, cycle after cycle, old wound after old wound festering to the surface again. It’s time to abandon ship – to have the courage to stand on one’s own two feet as it were while being sensible enough to keep one’s hands in one’s pockets and one’s ‘opinions’ to oneself. Except if you find someone who is interested in freedom, and then it is hard to stop raving ...
PETER to Alan: It’s a weekend morning, my business is done for the week, and I have ‘itchy fingers’ so I thought I would drop you a note. Some things come up in conversation with Vineeto or I pick up little tit-bits of information that I think might be of interest to another actualist – so it’s a good chance to trot them out.
I was watching a BBC program on ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland where a journalist who had been raised and schooled there went back for a reminisce and re-look. He talked about the history of the war that has raged for hundreds of years and noted that he had been taught at school what he termed the ‘safe’ version of history. He had been taught that the British were the enemy and the British were at fault, but no mention was made of the on-going civil war where Irish have slaughtered Irish for centuries. Fellow country-man against fellow country-man.
Another news clip mentioned the ambivalence of the Spanish people towards the bitter civil war fought only 60 years ago where country-man fought country-man in a ferocious war that left a half million people dead. The American Civil War is yet another of these civil-wars that get scant consideration in the chronicles of man’s inhumanity to man, yet 600,000 died in a fight over ‘principles’. How many Russians killed their own countrymen, how many Chinese died fighting Chinese, how many neighbours slaughtered neighbours?
Man’s ‘inhumanity’ to man is legendary and now that it is increasingly well documented as endemic on the planet, it will be increasingly difficult to deny. The Holocaust conveniently gets most of the press – it’s the classic opportunity to put the blame on one evil man as being the sole cause of the genocides.
The Oxford Dictionary defines genocide as ‘The deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group’ . The words ‘deliberate and systematic’ are what distinguish human animal violence from the violence exhibited by the rest of the animals on the planet – we think and plan our violence, adding a ruthless efficiency to the business of killing our fellow human beings. So it was that during World War 2, some 300 U.S. planes incinerated 120,000 civilians in the Tokyo firestorm raid, and only months later it needed just 2 planes to obliterate 105,000 people in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Within a few short years the development of the hydrogen bomb was to bring a 700-fold increase in destructive force compared to these first crude atom bombs. And since then developments is such that a man can push a button and fire an ‘arrow’ with many such bombs on board and hit multiple ‘bulls-eyes’ anywhere on the planet. A ruthless efficiency.
PETER to Alan: I thought I would pen a letter to you about one of those ethical values that is so instilled in human beings that it not only clouds any common sense operating but also acts to forever lock malice and sorrow into the human psyche.
I often wonder what people make of the simple statement that one has a social identity that consists of all the morals, ethics, values and psittacisms that have been instilled by one’s peers in order to keep one ‘under control’ and to make one a ‘good’ citizen. It seems such a straight forward statement yet there is no discussion or questioning whatsoever regarding morals and ethics and their failure to stop the barbarous human warfare that rages on the planet between various tribal, religious or ethical groups. Despite the fact that countless well-meaning people have been following these pious morals and unliveable ethics there is still no end in sight to the sadness sorrow, depression and suicides. Having to live one’s life bound – as in bondage – to a set of morals and ethics is to be shackled to Humanity.
What twigged me to write was a conversation I had with a man recently about tolerance. It was one of those convivial evenings as we settled back after dinner at his beach-side house. We had bought a whole coral trout and some baste for the sunset barbeque meal, his wife had concocted a wonderful salad and he had provided some delicious soft Merlot wine. Vineeto and I, he and his wife contentedly lazed back after the particularly tasty meal, and their newly born baby slept in the corner after her meal at the breast. We started swapping life stories as one tends to do in good company and his wife began chatting to Vineeto about her upbringing as a Japanese and how she had come to leave Japan and ended up in Australia. She evidently was of mixed Japanese-Korean parents and, as such, was very much regarded as a second-class citizen in Japan – something which she didn’t take too kindly to. I then proceeded to explain to her some of the religious and ethnic divides that are rife below the surface in the country I grew up in at all levels of society.
I soon trotted out one of my favourite stories about the insanity of Humanity – the fact that my father, like many other young Australians during the Second World War, was sent to Europe to help England fight Germany. He ended up in the Middle East fighting the Italians in the desert and then came back to fight the Japanese in the jungles of New Guinea. When I went to university to study architecture two of my best friends were an Italian and a Japanese – of the same tribes that my father had been busy trying to kill only 20 years earlier. What struck me as even stranger was here I was some 30 years on telling this story of muddled madness to a woman of Japanese stock, and a woman of German stock, both now residents in this country.
It was at this point that the man came out with the statement that ‘we are all different’ and that all children need to be taught ‘tolerance’ from the beginning. He said the trouble was that ‘some people’ weren’t tolerant. When I asked him who were these people he looked a bit befuddled as he sensed he would have to trot out his prejudices by coming up with an example. To let him off the hook a bit, I stated that it was only in recent years I had come to see the extent of my own ‘limits of tolerance’ having being born into a largely Christian society. As such I was imbibed with the view that say Muslims, in particular, were ‘evil and intolerant’ people, and I could tell that it was this particular religious group that he had in mind when he talked of those whose children needed to be ‘taught tolerance’.
I backtracked the conversation a bit for his plea for tolerance was based on his preceding psittacism that ‘we are all different’. I looked around at the four of us sitting there and could obviously see that two were males and two were females, so I stated that beyond that physical fact, we were no different in that we were all flesh and blood human beings. We had no differences apart from some physical differences – plus a good deal of social conditioning but I was trying to isolate that fact out for a bit. At core we were all the same passionate beings – German anger is the same as Japanese anger, Australian sorrow the same as English sorrow – yet this man insisted that we are all somehow different and therefore we should be tolerant of each other’s differences.
I was going to pursue the point that we are all the same animal species and that it is a fact that we are only taught to think we are different and unique via our social conditioning – to not only be loyal and good tribal members but to cherish and be proud of our being ‘different from’ and ‘better than’ other tribes and to be ready to fight for and defend our ‘being different’. Oh yes, and then we are further taught that it is good to be ‘tolerant’ of others who happen to be ‘different’ than us.
One needs to be taught that we are different and be prejudiced and intolerant of others first in order to then feel the need to be tolerant. These ethical values are but societal conditioning that sits like a sugared, feel-good layer to cover over our instinctual love of aggression – we love a good fight and the tribe next door, that ‘different’ mob, was always the best target as there was always some old score to settle – some pay-back for a past deed. It has the added advantage of giving us someone to hate and fight that isn’t our own kin or our own tribe.
But I didn’t pursue the point as he was already confused enough, and it was senseless to spoil the evening.
Perhaps the failure of the principle of tolerance is most clearly seen in Europe where, after two horrendous wars fought in the first half of the century that decimated whole generations and lay ruin to the continent, some enterprising politicians decided enough was enough. The idea of a European Union was born, whereby national barriers would be gradually demolished to form a more unified, less tribal and more peaceful European community. Just on the brink of implementing this policy it seems as though the threat of ‘loss of national identity’ is becoming too much for many to contemplate. In fact, it appears, from reports, that there is a ground swell for increased regionalism with even smaller, more nationalistic groupings clamouring for power, independence and autonomy. Identical fears are heard in the raging and anger against ‘globalization’ – people desperately wanting to cling to the past and to their tribal and ethnic groupings – to remain the same and part of a traditional warring group.
This behavioural evidence is in direct contradiction to the spurious argument that ‘we are all different’ for everyone fervently wishes to remain part of the traditional group into which they were born, to hold the same values, morals, ethics, truths and psittacisms – to be the same as everybody else and not different.
An identical scenario also operates with our spiritual/religious beliefs that have been passed on to us as a social conditioning. Later on in the evening, the husband made a comment about religions at one point and when I asked him his views he said he was not religious but found much to his liking in Buddhism. When I pointed out that Buddhism was an Eastern religion he looked at me as though the thought had not occurred to him. Goodness knows what all those statues are about, what all those temples, all those monks and nuns, all that prayer, worship, devotion, sacred texts and objects are about if not to denote a religion. And yet those on the ‘Eastern spiritual path’ somehow manage to think themselves unique and ‘different’, on the cutting edge of ‘consciousness raising’, whereas in fact they are (as I was for 17 years) merely dedicated followers of fashion. A New Dark Age fashion that unabashedly aims to turn the clock back to belief in ancient mythical, mystical mumbo-jumbo. Of course, whatever brand of religion one follows, believes in, trusts, and regards as the One and Only, one is then bound to vociferously support it and faithfully fight to defend it. This superstition, prejudice, bias and intolerance then necessitates that one espouses and practices ‘tolerance’ for other religions purely because of one’s imbibed hatred and suspicion of other creeds. My former spiritual group, the Rajneeshees, are notorious Christian haters – as was Rajneesh himself. The Christians are notorious Muslim haters – a feud that dates back thousands of years and that no amount of ‘tolerance’ has managed to quell. Protestant and Catholic feuds are notorious and the list goes on and on ...
Tolerance is pretty thin on the ground and when push comes to shove it simply disappears into thin air. As does ‘civilized behaviour’ when war breaks out, as does being good when rage wells up in one’s bosom, as does love disappear when jealousy rages, and the list goes on and on ...
Yet despite the abysmal failure of ethics and morals to curb our instinctual passions people desperately cling to rights and wrongs, good and bad, rather than look at the third alternative – a common sense judgement of what is silly and what is sensible, based firmly on facts.
For me, the first and most freeing of these common sense, silly/sensible judgments was to ditch any tolerance of religions whatsoever. Too much blood has been shed, too many have humbly prostrated themselves to the God-men’s Super-Inflated Egos to be tolerant of this errant puerile nonsense. And yet, whenever I care to point out the facts of the failure of religious belief to bring peace to earth and an end to human suffering, I am accused by some of having some sort of personal vendetta or grudge running. Most curious.
Yet another current development I find interesting in these days of ‘human rights’ is the reported move of some Balkanites to sue the UN peacekeepers for failing to stop a massacre of one ethnic group by another ethnic group. Does this mean if there is a murder in one’s neighbourhood the victim’s relatives can now sue the police for failing to stop it? Does this mean that we now put the police in jail and let the criminals go free – it’s an interesting approach that should provide a novel ethical dilemma for some time to come.
It is fascinating to see the convoluted and twisted moral and ethical arguments that rage on the planet, combined with the convoluted and twisted forms of denial of the existence of instinctual animal passions in humans.
ALAN: On further consideration I find that I have, indeed, been ‘burying my head in the sand’ over the last few weeks. Much as I have enjoyed what I have been doing, I was aware there was something ‘missing’, an incompleteness – and that ‘incompleteness’, I now find, was the ceasing to investigate and actualize what it is to be alive as this body, at this moment in time. It is so, so, easy and attractive to try to live a ‘normal’ life that one is easily seduced into ignoring what is possible.
And yet, all the time, running in the background, was this nagging doubt, the niggling thought – ‘this is not what it was meant to be’. What I have been doing, the last few weeks, is wanting to ‘belong’. It is hard work, very hard work, to go against the tide of ‘humanity’, to turn one’s back on all that one knows and loves, to ‘boldly go where no man (except Richard) has gone before’.
PETER: Again from my experience, at the start of the path to Actual Freedom, the difference between the PCE and ‘normal’ experience are black and white, startlingly different. The further one progresses on the path this difference diminishes as one’s very ‘self’ is incrementally diminished by the very process. For an actualist, the trick is always, when one is experiencing a PCE, not to sit back and go ‘wow’ but root around a bit to see what it is that one needs to do when the ‘normal’ state re-establishes and ‘I’ resume control. This then gives ‘me’ something to do and then ‘I’ experiment with, and implement, ways to remove what is causing me to be unhappy and causing harm or ripples to other people. In my experience the causing harm or ripples is the most easily avoided and most life-changing to implement. It’s what the spiritual avoid by transcendence and what the actualist will tackle with sincere intent.
The PCE thus becomes one’s standard to achieve by stubborn bloody minded effort, rather than a state to achieve by grace of something or other. This means that one cleans oneself up as much as possible – this is the work to be done. And this involves change, not just superficially but fundamentally. A way to look at it is – ‘I’ got myself into this mess and ‘I’ need to clean up the mess and ‘get off stage’ in order that I as this flesh and blood body can be here. This is ‘my’ job and there are no short cuts and no quick fixes.
PETER to No 5: This is a discourse where Mr. Rajneesh talks on anger, one of the fiercest of the instinctual passions, and a topic that is directly related to Gurus, their legacy (written words) and peace on earth (the eradication of human anger). Rajneesh –
‘Anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities’ has resulted in 160 million people killed in wars in this century alone, not to mention all the murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, suicides, etc... There can be no more obvious expression of people ‘being totally angry’ than war.
From this direct quote I would have thought that it was obvious that peace on earth was definitely not on Rajneesh’s agenda and therefore cannot possibly be part of his legacy.
I await your considered comment on this quote so as to avoid any ‘opinions / speculations / guesses’ which, I agree, are of no use to anyone.
PETER to Richard: This PCE has confirmed for me that Actual Freedom as the only game to play in town. As I watch the sacrifices of countless people who fight for ‘freedom’ of their particular group, suffer themselves for the ‘betterment’ of others, who blindly sacrifice all in a vain attempt at ‘betterment’ for Humanity, this sacrifice is so much more sensible and valuable. And it seems to require no special heroics, no super-human qualities. It is but the inevitable and welcome consequence of sincere intent and a refusal to settle for second best. Let’s face it, the mountains have all been climbed, the continents discovered, technological discoveries, while still amazing, are a crowded field and awash with meta-physics. The human search for the beginning of time or the edge of the universe are as futile as the search for God. Wherever I looked the field was crowded – the chance of making a contribution, dwindling. The next challenge facing the human species is to rid ourselves of malice and sorrow – and a few days ago I glimpsed the ‘mountain top’ of the challenge. Of course, as I come off the peak experience I also realize the mountain top is here under my very nose, on earth at this moment – so I use the words ‘mountain top’ with a touch of poetic licence. So, after the PCE, it is obvious that my destiny lies beyond psychological and psychic self-immolation, that this event will be a definitive and decisive moment, that it is willingly and eagerly anticipated ... and that Enlightenment will be avoided. So, far from being an ‘unfair’ or ‘perverse’ exercise to cause a self-immolation or psychic death, it is the most exciting, amazing, wondrous, extraordinary journey possible for a human to make – a journey into one’s own psyche ... to the very end.
PETER to Richard: Secondly, the other faculty I see as essentially pre-coded is an instinctual need to ‘belong’ to the herd – the herding instinct, as Vineeto puts it. It might seem banal and obvious given that humans, as a species, have perennially needed to maintain, at very least, a family grouping in order to ensure the survival of the species. Given that the human infant is helpless for such a long time compared with most other species, the immediate family group was the basic minimum need, and the chance of survival was considerably increased with larger and stronger groupings. This is an instinctual program that over-rides the individual’s own survival instincts for one is ultimately programmed to ensure survival of the species – not one’s own, as in self-preservation. Given that these involve more sophisticated programming than mere instantaneous ‘fight and flight’ reactions they must be encoded in the genetic memory of the amygdala, passed on from ‘way back there’, in the mists of time.
This instinct, implanted by blind nature to ensure the survival of the species, pumps the body with chemicals that induce the feeling of fear whenever one is straying too far away from the herd, abandoning other members of the family or group or being on one’s own. I remember particularly, in my early twenties, travelling across Europe and the Middle East on my way home from London and arriving at the border with Iran. I was turned away at an isolated border post as I didn’t have a visa and I was struck with a deep sense of panic, a feeling of utter loneliness. Looking back, it was as though I had gone too far striking off on my own and had hit the limit. This feeling of loneliness was to haunt me for many years – the image of becoming a lonely old man on a park bench, outcast and abandoned. It coincidentally was to prove one of the images that made me leap into the spiritual world with such gusto. I was to lose this fear later in life but living alone was always accompanied by a bitter-sweet feeling of loneliness. My major period of living alone was also the period when I began to have spiritual experiences, Satoris and an experience of Altered States of Consciousness aka Enlightenment.
From my investigations and experiences it is obvious that ‘who’ I think and feel I am – ‘me’ at the core – encompasses both a deep-set feeling of separateness from others and the world as perceived by the senses as well as a deep-set feeling of needing to ‘belong’.
This over-arching feeling of separateness – of being a ‘separate self’, who is forever yearning to ‘belong’ – is the root cause of sorrow in me and the all encompassing ‘ocean’ of human sorrow in the world.
The traditional approaches to these conflicting feelings has been either –
Thankfully I’m pursuing a third alternative, which is the total elimination of my ‘self’ in total – the whole of the amygdala’s instinctual programming that gives rise to the animal passions. The startle, quick-scan function of the amygdala still operates as a physical safety function but the chemical surges that give rise to the emotions of fear, anger, nurture and desire have almost ceased to be of influence. I am left with a lot of shifting sensations in the head, neck, heart and belly that tell me something chemically is still happening but these very rarely translate into emotions or reactions.
I remember in the first few weeks of coming across Actual Freedom and realizing that to become actually free of the Human Condition would not only mean the ending of ‘me’ but also it would mean being a traitor to Humanity. To live without malice – to have no ‘me’ to defend and therefore no need to attack, no need to struggle to survive, achieve, be somebody – was to cop-out of the struggle. To live without sorrow – to not be sad, to not commiserate with others, to not seek consolation, to not wallow in self-pity or to pity others, to not play the game of ‘Oh what a miserable existence being a human being is’ – would be to be judged heart-less. And yet, here I am doing it and riding out the chemical surges that warn me – don’t do this, or else...! The thing that I have discovered is that there is no ‘or else...!’ As long as I don’t goad a fanatic, and I obey the laws of the land and sensibly avoid trouble, the world as-it-is is an eminently safe place – chock full of sensuous pleasure, delight. A life of consummate ease is readily and freely evident when one’s fears are seen for what they are.
I fully realize that this process has taken a considerable time – over 2 ½ years now – but I had to explore the nuts and bolts of it, finding out for myself. It’s a bit like when I first worked in an architect’s office after having studied the theory of design and building for 5 years. After 2 years of office work I gave up and ‘went building’ on building sites to find out what really happened in building. Same thing with Actual Freedom, but in this case a large part was unlearning the spiritual teachings and cynical view-point of the world as-it-is. To dare to consider that there is a third alternative to the human dilemma and then set off exploring it, on one’s own, has taken a while. I fully acknowledge your writings and guidance, Richard, and that my journey was only possible due to your efforts. What I do like is that I can explain the process, not in esoteric, poetic terms but in down-to-earth terms that fully concur with modern scientific studies and that can explain exactly why all past attempts at freedom have ended in narcissism.
PETER: Hi everyone,
Another ‘new millennium’ message that is worth thinking about –
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s (the incarnated Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion, the Holy Lord, the Gentle Glory, the Compassionate, the Defender of the Faith, the Ocean of Wisdom, the Wish-fulfilling Gem) New Millennium Message
With Wisdom like that, let’s not hold our breathe for peace on earth. (...)
One of the most interesting aspects of the wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom is the de-bunking of mythical heroes, both ancient and current. The Peter I was 3 years ago still held the spiritual Masters in awe, the great philosophers in reverence and unquestioningly accepted the theoretical scientists as being in touch with reality. It was only a matter of overcoming my trepidation, and laziness, in order to investigate the facts and sense of what the philosophers and theoretical scientists were proposing before they toppled from their ivory tower perches. The spiritual Masters were a different kettle of fish as in order to become free of spiritual belief, one needs to break free from the psychic power of the spiritual world.
There is most definitely an aura or psychic field that surrounds the Masters and God-men – this is the very source of their power. Underpinning this aura is an almost tangible and palpable fear that locks one in to unquestioning faith, unwavering belief and unswerving loyalty. All of the ancient texts offering salvation or redemption have parallel stories of eternal suffering or hellish realms for those who are non-believers. I remember passing through an intense phase of fear-induced dreams when one of the Masters I had ‘betrayed’ was hunting and chasing me all night long – to pull me back into the fold, ‘or else’.
Once one has seen a fairy tale to be nothing other than a fairy tale it is impossible to go back to believing, if one is at all sincere. Then it simply becomes a matter of riding out the storm and dreams are sometimes outlets for the storm to surface. Realizing these fears to be nothing other than chemically induced fantasies is the clue to keep going. I always figured that whatever emotion-backed thoughts went on in my head, or whatever emotional-backed sensations that occurred in the body, were real but not actual. What is actual is what I can sensately perceive – the rest is nonsense.
The business of not only leaving the fold of a particular spiritual Master but of leaving the whole spiritual world is not for the faint of heart. One can pass through some hellish psychic realms on the way to freedom. One needs to become free not only of mythical Gods and the beguiling Good, but free from the pernicious Devil and the awful Diabolical as well.
What a thrilling adventure – a journey into one’s own psyche is a journey into the human psyche for ‘I’ am Humanity and Humanity is ‘me’. And on the path the God-men and Gurus, Lamas and Popes, Geniuses and Heroes topple off their thrones like nine pins, to become mortal flesh and blood human beings merely suffering from an overdose of megalomaniacal dementia.
Being an actualist is such good fun and well worth every dark night or fearful wobble.
P.S. The leader of the strongest country in the world, Mr. Clinton, gave his ‘new millennium’ message saying that ‘we human beings need to have dreams that are stronger than our memories’. In other words, let us all try to forget the fact that the last century was the bloodiest to date and dream for some miraculous peace in the next century.
PETER: I do sometimes wonder if anyone does or ever will read what I write because all of it gets filed away on the Web-site and one can often count the weekly hits on one hand. Long ago it became obvious that I was writing for myself and for my enjoyment and if it was of use to someone else it was a bonus. I did enjoy the book review as it bought home to me the fact that making denial and acceptance into fashionable ethical and moral values and then aspiring to Transcendence is indeed institutionalized insanity. And how actual peace on earth is eagerly sacrificed by all those who indulge in self-centred spiritual belief. (...)
Personally, I gave up talking to other people about Actual Freedom about 6 months into the process. By then I had none of my former friends left for the simple reason that I had nothing in common with them. They were happy to cling to their beliefs and indulge in their emotions, whereas I was moving rapidly in the other direction.
RESPONDENT: Benevolent living, concern for all and quality of life improves because of, and in spite of, Human Nature.
Warring, vicious and malicious behaviour is on the decline in this new millennium, in this perfectly improving perfect universe. Why? Because it doesn’t work as a life style in most cases. People eventually are learning.
PETER: There is a good deal of factual information and statistics available that document the fact that the last century was the bloodiest to date. Given the present millennium is only two months old, I think it is too early to document a decline and I see no reason to predict a decline, given the natural predilection of human beings to fight and feud with each other and their on-going blatant state of denial of their animal instinctual passions.
War deaths have risen dramatically in the 20th century.
There is no information available for number of deaths per 1,000 people in the 1st-15th centuries. 20th century data is up to 1995.
(Source: William Eckhardt, ‘War-Related Deaths Since 3000 BC,’ Bulletin of Peace Proposals, December 1991 and Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1996)
The universe is perfect, infinite and eternal – it is not ‘perfectly improving’, for it would have to be less than perfect in order to improve. What is less than perfect are human beings and this is only so because they insist that human nature is indeed Human Nature – a set-in-concrete inviolate condition epitomized by malice and sorrow.
In many places on the planet a degree of what is termed civilization is imposed by strict enforcement of a moral, ethical and legal code reinforced and maintained by police and armies, lawyers and judges, fines and jails, Gurus and priests, etc. In these places, war, rape, murder and torture is kept to a tolerable minimum and human malice and sorrow is evidenced in more cunning and subtle ways such as corruption, fighting for causes and rights, innuendo, gossip, sad and violent entertainment, etc.
All this is accepted as a life style – to be the best one can be within the Human Condition is a poor second-rate life whereby an actual freedom is sacrificed in order to remain part of Humanity, the fighting and feuding mob. To feel above it all, or to feel superior to others, is a poor substitute to stepping out of it all. The Human Condition has been on-going for thousands of years and there is no sign of any change eventuating. This is particularly so given the current fashion of denial and acceptance of ‘ Human Nature’ that masquerades as some sort of wisdom or means to cope with life as-it-is.
RESPONDENT: While people are saving lives by the thousands ... life keeps getting better ... but this should not make us complacent. It takes on-going mindful action when required ... necessitating the need for, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ methodology. It works because I have been using it since 1986.
PETER: Are you saving people by the thousands? Is your life getting better? Are you getting complacent? I am a bit confused as to what you are saying here. Personally, I see no lives getting better, despite the increasing level of physical comfort, safety, leisure and pleasure that is available for many human beings. For me, as my life got better in terms of comfort, safety, leisure and pleasure, I found the yearning for genuine freedom, peace and happiness became unbearably urgent. The contrast between the actual and what was going on inside me was too obvious to continue denying and I saw the spiritual solution was merely to stick one’s head in the clouds, or to go around wearing rose coloured glasses.
As for ‘on-going mindful action’, it is not a term that I can relate to as being relevant to running the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’
‘Mindful action’, to me, relates to the Buddhist ethic of acting with right mindfulness or right mind. The whole point of Actual Freedom is to be free of any need for moral or ethical restraint such that one can rely on oneself 100%, in each and every situation, to not act instinctually, to not give or take offence. It is obvious from one’s PCEs that this is only possible in a ‘self’-less state. No ‘self’ to be offended or to give offence. No malice, no sorrow. Mindful action is to maintain a strict control over one’s actions – the antithesis of freedom. One only needs to observe the rigid, self-disciplined and restrictive lifestyles of monks and nuns to see mindful action in operation.
RESPONDENT: The world is changing in case nobody notices this wonderful fact.
PETER: Yet the Human Condition, or Human Nature is not changing. This is not a problem – unless one is concerned about all the wars, rapes, murders, tortures, corruption, domestic violence, sadness, depression and suicides.
RESPONDENT: I evolve with the world as it is and move on ... to crystallize my thinking and doing is to die. Which means anyone can prove all this right or wrong in whatever context they wish to dream up.
PETER: I decided to seek the perfection evident in the PCE, step out of humanity, and live in the world as it is.
RESPONDENT: ‘Death from diseases’ is the main cause in this (attached), study ... life is not all suicide, war and revenge. From this information I can postulate all kinds of cause and effect scenarios depending on the colour of ‘my’ glasses on the day. ‘I’ took all my glasses off years ago.
PETER: The graph didn’t arrive my end, so I can’t comment on it. A fact is a fact – it needs no interpretation, it stands on its own, regardless of one’s own predilections or beliefs. Such as the fact that the last century was the bloodiest in human history.
Your last two sentences seem to be contradictory. Once one takes one’s coloured glasses off permanently, then one can see facts clearly for what they are.
RESPONDENT: Concern and hope may push or pull ‘me’ towards an AF ‘belief system’ and it binds while ‘I’, (and others), persist in being superior, inferior, unequal instinct-ridden or problem-ridden.
PETER: Is this you writing this or is this ‘I’ writing this? I’m not being clever here but are you, No. 13, saying you are persisting ‘ in being superior, inferior, unequal instinct-ridden or problem-ridden’ ? If you are, why would you want to do this? Why would you not want to change? If you can see this – be mindful of it, to use your term – then how can you not do something about it. Not only for you, but for those around you? The question is – do you want to be free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow and are you willing to pay the price?
IRENE: Living with Richard made it eventually clear to me that it is not nature that is to blame but the overlaid male interpretation of human life; how it should be instead! In other words knowing better than nature the universe itself. I don’t have to explain to you how every culture and religion (all invented by male minds, based on their interpretation of how life should be organised and regulated for women as well) denigrates particular aspects of our natural faculties and have tried to suppress them, repress them, to forbid them and demand that they must be changed into unnatural behaviour and beliefs, in order to keep the male supremacy intact.
In most cultures and religions we can observe, for instance, that sex was the culprit – it had to be either repressed completely (like the catholic priests) or limited to the wishes of the man only. In both scenarios a shocking amount of victims were created: repressed sexuality reveals itself in perversity, as is more and more exposed in the use of young children by grown men for their own benefit only and to the detriment of many, many children, as they were made helpless and guilty by intimidation and threats.
The other alternative was the licence granted to men over women and girls by cultural and religious authorities, whereby women and girls are seen as just cattle, for the men to use as they please. It lies all in the mistake of man believing himself to be the authority over woman, as was decreed by their ancestors who were to be believed to be in direct contact with a creator-god.
If men and women will ever want to live in peace and harmony, the very root-cause must be addressed: a law can only be fair if both genders define that law, not only men. But men would not voluntarily choose to share all responsibilities and rights with women, because they are too proud of and too used to their supremacy, plus they would – quite understandably! – feel afraid that they might become redundant altogether, once women were given the chance to have equal say in the decision-making processes that are necessary for the organization of all men, women and children into a peaceful and fair living together.
PETER: I find myself bewildered in the face of the depth of resentment women have towards men. As a man said to me the other day: ‘Do they want us to wear skirts?’ As you say above ‘they feel afraid that they might become redundant altogether, once women were given the chance to have an equal say in decision making processes’. This seems a statement not about equity at all but about justice which is but a nice word for revenge. Your Matrilineal dreams are of a Golden Age when women ruled over men and there was supposedly peace on earth.
There seems to be a lack of understanding among women of the suffering and sorrow that men experience. This is understandable, as the instinctual male role is one of provider and protector. As such he displays courage, bravado and strength to impress the female. In her selection of a mate this is what she demands, albeit sub-consciously, in many cases. This instinctual behaviour has resulted in the typical male displays of toughness, competitiveness and aggression, essential for the hunter and protector in the past and still played out in sport, business, politics and unfortunately in war. It is simply the male role – as it is the role of the female to procreate, mother and nurture and be protected.
This leads directly to the assumption that all violence is the fault of the male and women are but innocent victims. And yet it is the men who are still expected to die for family or country.
The other common belief is that men are not emotional or feeling ‘beings’. I had thought I had experienced the full gamut of human emotions and wrote a lot about them in my journal, smugly thinking I had not repressed anything. But recently when I stuck my head into fear to see if I was maybe avoiding something I found more. Beyond fear I discovered stark terror, angst and a dread the like of which I have never experienced before or want to experience again. I had previously, at the death of my son, experienced a form of dread that I would describe as personal, but this dread was as though I was experiencing the dread of humanity – every tortured soul, every rape, every horror, every fear. It literally tore my heart out as I realised what lay at the very core of my ‘being’ and every other being – I had tapped the very source of human psychic fear – the psychic opposite of the Divine Love and Bliss of Enlightenment.
So maybe this will illustrate the point as to why I truck little with those who accuse men of having no feelings. Feelings rule and ruin the lives of both men and women equally; this is my experience. After a near fatal illness, my father deliberately went back to work with the avowed intention of at least leaving something to my mother – he died two years later and she got a house. One night I witnessed a car crash. Going to help I was confronted with a seriously injured teenager who muttered over and over through the blood ‘she left me, she left me’. I have suffered from the fear of getting a girl pregnant and of being forced to become a husband and provider in my teens and as such was a fearful bumbling virgin when married. I have suffered heartbreak, jealousy, dependency, loneliness – need I go on?
RESPONDENT: This question arose as I was thinking about what you wrote. It seems possible that when an emotion looses its hold then so do all the associated beliefs. So I wonder why the beliefs have to be questioned one by one. Why not get down to the task of seeking out the emotions and not the beliefs as such. Or is it that it does not really matter which belief is questioned, as once the associated emotion is disbanded, other beliefs based on the same emotion will also loose their authenticity.
PETER: It may be useful to look at the different path and process that Richard took to Actual Freedom and the one we are pursuing. As you will probably have read, Richard experienced a Pure Consciousness Experience wherein he experienced a ‘self’-less state of purity and perfection lasting some 4 hours. Over the next 9 months he used the method of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ to question and virtually eliminate all the bad feelings and emotions. At the end of this period, instead of achieving what he was aiming for – the PCE as a constant state – he died an ‘ego-death’ to emerge into what he called Absolute Freedom – a state he soon discovered was akin to the coveted Enlightenment of the Eastern Teachings. While his aim was the PCE, he had lobbed inadvertently into an Altered State of Consciousness. He was not at all familiar with Eastern teaching or philosophy during this process, so it would appear that the inevitable result of tackling and eliminating the ‘bad’ is that one can end up with a new identity – the ‘Good One’, or in full blown delusion ‘God’. I suspect many seekers of freedom have befallen this trap despite their sincere intentions at the beginning of their search, while others have made a blatant and obvious bee-line for the Glamour, Glory and Glitz. As you know, it then took Richard a further 11 years to dismantle and eliminate this second identity – soul, Self, spirit, being, or whatever. Now, the path I am following is to run these two stages together, if you like – to eliminate both ego and soul, to eliminate both good and bad feelings to achieve a complete ‘self’-less state as is evident by the PCE.
The path to Enlightenment is a well-worn track and given that the bad, ‘evil’ and socially frowned-upon values are the easiest to eliminate, and one gets enormous kudos for doing so – to be adored and worshipped as a God-man or Goddess is about as much kudos as one can possibly get! But in questioning and eliminating the so-called good there is nothing in it for ‘me’ – indeed, it is the end of ‘me’ as a social identity and instinctual being. I become an anonymous non-entity, or non-identity, as well as having no instinctual-based self. It became very apparent to me that this social identity held the clue to tackling the other half of the feelings and emotions – the social identity is the ‘guardian at the gate’, as I have written recently. It is impossible for a ‘moral’ person to tackle the so-called good feelings, it is impossible for a ‘spiritual’ person to tackle the idea of a spirit, it is impossible for a ‘ethical’ person to tackle right and wrong, it is impossible for a ‘prudish’ person to tackle sexual issues. One must dismantle these values taught by Humanity in order to dig deeper – to get below the surface, as it were.
In my experience, this social identity is a conglomerate of all the beliefs, morals, ethics, values, principles and psittacisms that I have been programmed with since birth. It is only when I have eliminated or wiped this programming back to a stage where I cease to be a believer, where I cease the very act of believing, that I can look and investigate the core instinctual being that is ‘me’. A lot of work is done on the way in eliminating the effect of these emotions on one’s daily life such that one achieves a virtual freedom – a stable ‘base’ from which one can look with clear eyes at one’s instinctual self, without the guardians of the social morals, ethics, principles, etc. relentlessly churning and stirring. Another way of putting it is that one is then able to dismantle the psychic entity without the psychological entity ‘jumping up and down’ so much. You have reduced the effects of the instinctual emotions in daily life to almost zero such that ‘I’ is almost ephemeral, ethereal, ghostly and hardly able to maintain its existence.
Now this is, at the moment, just the experience of a few but I would say, on the basis of the evidence so far, that in order to avoid the trap of enlightenment, one needs to dismantle the beliefs that form one’s social identity in order to avoid the trap of becoming yet another Grand and Glorious identity. I would suppose that, as more and more people become actually free, that this ‘step outside Humanity’ will become less fearful and dramatic as one will have the confidence of knowing that others have done it.
As I wrote in my Journal –
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your post. Just one point, I notice that there is a lot of repetition in your post. Is there a reason for that?
PETER: No. I was responding to your post and in writing to you I was sorting it out for myself and most often that ‘sorting it out’ is a repetitive business. I know I have spent countless hours studying, considering and contemplating upon the Human Condition and it certainly seemed to me to be endlessly repetitive at times. What I see now is that the ‘real’ world view and ‘spiritual ‘world view are so invasive, so persuasive and so ingrained that they are almost indelibly wired into my brain and a constant repetition of fact rather than belief is a vital necessity for freedom. Again and again I seemed to go over the same point to get the new brain-pattern working so the realization was not merely intellectual but became a cellular change, a synapse re-routing, or whatever the physical process is. The habits and archaic thinking of a life-time have to be deleted from the brain’s programming, and this takes time and repetition, for me at least.
The other point is that this whole question is a new realisation for me – that one needs to substantially dismantle the social identity in order to be able to get a clear-eyed, unemotional look at the instincts in operation in their rawest and crudest terms. I had never seen the point so clearly before. In writing to you I have had a few shocking glimpses of the insanity, horror and hopelessness of the Human Condition in operation. These glimpses would not have been possible for the old moralistic, ethical and ‘good’ Peter. It is only with the elimination of the social ‘me’ that I can abandon the concept that there is a solution within the Human Condition and gaily consider ‘my’ demise, for ‘I’ am Humanity and Humanity is ‘me’. The other issue is that only when ‘my’ personal feelings are sufficiently diminished can I ‘get at’ the almost palpable psychic net that binds me to the Human Condition. Freedom is then firmly in sight.
RESPONDENT: I’m sure that many people would be extremely thrilled to hear about your view, than they would get even more confirmation of the fact that we’re just human animals of flesh and blood and not really responsible for our actions. It’s all chemicals rushing around in the body, we just can’t help but acting upon our instincts.
PETER: I leave that to the police and judges if other people’s actions step beyond the limits of what the particular society I happen to live in deems appropriate – which is not to say I don’t see a lot of people doing a lot of silly things. It would all be amusing, but for the fact that human beings actually torture and kill each other. It was only by seeing this fact with clear eyes, and acknowledging that I too was capable of such actions, when push comes to shove, that forced me to want to radically and irrevocably change – to step out of Humanity.
RESPONDENT: Step out of humanity? Isn’t one still a human being after the ‘shift’? Or would you say that the transformation is so radical that the person that emerges isn’t even a human being anymore?
PETER: Every human born on this planet is programmed to be a ‘who’ – a psychological and psychic alien entity, a being who lives inside the mortal flesh and blood human body – and when one is free of this entity, one is no longer a human being as the term is currently understood. One is neither a self nor a Self, the two alternatives currently on offer. A new species is thus created via a mutation of the primitive brain such that the animal instincts and the associated animal self no longer function. One becomes what one is – a flesh and blood mortal human, able to think and reflect, and able to be aware of that thinking and reflecting, and bristling with sense organs such that one is able to directly and sensually experience the infinitude of this magical physical universe.
RESPONDENT: It is certainly necessary to see the many failures of mankind but why do you need to detach yourself totally from humanity? This kind of approach can create separation and distance between humans and ‘evolved beings’. I actually believe that the solution to our mess is to be found within the human condition because that’s where we are now and will always remain.
PETER: If that is what you believe then you have two choices – to make the best of living in the grim reality of materialism or search for the realization of a Greater Reality of spiritualism. There are only two solutions – ya takes ya pick – either way it’s a battle. Either it’s a dog-eat-dog world or it’s a God-eat-God world.
RESPONDENT: Even if we can eliminate the animal passions we’re still human beings, different yes, but still human.
PETER: Now you are merely speculating and philosophizing about something you have already said you believe is not possible. One can only know by directly experiencing the facticity of being no longer normally human or divinely realized human such as is experienced in a pure consciousness experience. When this experience occurs, and one is sufficiently forewarned, then you can look inside and find no one at home, no personality, no identity, no self, no being whatsoever. (...)
RESPONDENT: You will see this as ‘objections to peace on earth’, I’m sure, but I still insist that it’s useful to be more inclusive than exclusive. Otherwise the third way can become an elitist club with very few members even in the long run and the chance for peace on earth is diminished a little.
PETER: So what you are proposing is that the first ones who become free of the Human Condition are, by definition, ‘an elitist club’, so therefore we should all wait until some mass event causes some ‘more inclusive’ club to become free? Following this logic, no one should be first, or at least in the early group and therefore we should do nothing towards pioneering a third alternative. I, for one, don’t buy your logic.
RESPONDENT: They claim to see clearly, but they miss totally that humanity exists of individuals. Hence they speak of their own experiences as if it was the truth of mankind – which it isn’t!
PETER: ‘Humanity’ is the name we give to the 5.8 billion individual ‘I’s’ that, imbued with the instincts of fear and aggression, ‘battle it out’ for survival on the planet. ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’, and there are 5.8 billion others.
When I saw this clearly it was obvious that ‘I’ was the problem and the only person I could change was me. It was senseless to try and change 5.8 billion others, useless to blame others since ‘I’ was one of them, and it was silly in the extreme to wait for the Gods to do it as they were too busy fighting amongst themselves anyway!
It is only when ‘I’ voluntarily abdicate the throne in this flesh and blood body, will there cease to be malice and sorrow in me. I will have then stepped outside of humanity and become a non-contributor to the endemic malice and sorrow of humanity.
PAUL LOWE: These things we are beginning to integrate into our everyday life. The structure as we know it is starting to collapse and the predictors say this, too, is part of the design. The book of Revelations states there will be plague, pestilence and famine, and that the weather will alter radically. The weather is changing all over the world – global warming, El Niño, La Niña are having radical effects on the climate. We have more indescribable and incurable illnesses than we ever had. Strange, virulent viruses are appearing regularly; epidemics are spreading. It is all happening. Everything is starting to shake. Deep down, we are beginning to recognize that what we have taken for granted is no longer secure. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Yep. What a fearful, doom-laden beat-up of human existence. He is not talking of the Human Condition here but is making out that the physical, material world in which we live is collapsing and becoming more horrific by the minute. The proof he offers is nothing more than fear-ridden theory and belief and the subsequent popularist doom and gloom embellishments. If you want to find theories and postulations about doom and gloom, it is not at all difficult – doom and gloom is rampant in the media, in all forms of entertainment, in the theoretical sciences, in environmentalism, conspiracy theories, anti-globalization movements, divinationists, etc. etc.
Don’t get me wrong here. For Humanity the past, present and foreseeable future is epitomized by malice and sorrow, war and suicide, doom and gloom, but to project this scenario on to the physical material actual world, as spiritual belief would have us do, is a leap of imagination that defies factual evidence to the contrary.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.