Selected Correspondence Peter
GARY: In a way, it almost seems that it is exceedingly difficult for a human being to recognize the immediate and actual as exactly what it is, rather than what it is not. I wonder if it would be possible to raise children with an immediate appreciation and delight in what is actually present, something they have innately anyway, with no imaginative fabrication of what is not there.
PETER: Also innately present in children are the instinctual passions and these passions will always take precedent over any potential for an ‘immediate appreciation and delight in what is actually present’ – in fact, the crude animal survival passions exist to do precisely this. Which is not to say that it makes good sense not to indulge a child’s natural tendency for fantasy and imagination – a tendency that will anyway be fostered by interaction with their peers, despite the wishes and actions of any parent.
GARY: Yes, of course. In hindsight, I see I made a rather big speculative leap in considering the raising of children who are devoid of the instinctual passions. While such speculation is interesting, it is just a sidetrack from the main event: freeing oneself from malice and sorrow. In my work with children, it is amazing to me to see the degree to which malice and sorrow are inveterate to the human condition. I have also seen a large degree of denial about the presence of malice in children – people are wont to believe in the innocence of children and cannot seem to see that sometimes their actions are most malicious. I was at a training recently and the trainer was describing a child lashing out in anger and hurting someone else’s feelings, and added the proviso: ‘But it wasn’t really a malicious action’ or something of that sort. There seems to be a deep-seated human need to believe that childhood is a time of innocence which malice and sorrow cannot intrude into. But this is obviously not the case.
PETER: Whenever an adult observes a child there can be a degree of envy at what seems to be a carefree state. This is due to the fact that the instinctual animal ‘self’ is not substantially formed until about age 2 in children, i.e. the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire are not yet fully functioning. The other relevant aspect is that the child’s social identity – the befuddled mishmash of an individualistic persona and a collective social conscience – is not yet fully formed until the age of about 7 years, which means much of the childhood years are spent in ignorance of the grim everyday reality that every adult experiences. Whilst very early childhood is an ignorance of the grim instinctual battle for survival in the real-world – as well as the repercussions of the socialization process – this psychological and psychic battle will inevitably be experienced first-hand by every child in family interactions, playground exchanges and, after puberty, in the world-at-large.
The deep-seated belief that the ignorance of the formative, preoperational years of childhood is an innate innocence is what fuels the whole fanciful notion that nurture is the panacea for instinctual malice and sorrow, and that ‘proper’ nurture can even prevent their onset. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the faith that nurture can assuage or overcome malice and sorrow is seen as inviolate within the human condition. Like all belief and faith, it only has legs for want of a new and effective workable alternative.
PETER: Hi Gary,
Whenever an adult observes a child there can be a degree of envy at what seems to be a carefree state. This is due to the fact that the instinctual animal ‘self’ is not substantially formed until about age 2 in children, i.e. the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire are not yet fully functioning. The other relevant aspect is that the child’s social identity – the befuddled mishmash of an individualistic persona and a collective social conscience – is not yet fully formed until the age of about 7 years, which means much of the childhood years are spent in ignorance of the grim everyday reality that every adult experiences. <snip>
GARY: The envy can be for the child’s spontaneity and energy – they seem to have an inexhaustible supply of spontaneity, wonder, and excitement. And children can say things that are remarkably perceptive and ‘off the cuff’. This contrasts with the adult mode of functioning which seems to be ever-vigilant lest one defies some social convention or one of one’s imbibed and socially inculcated ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought to’ irrational beliefs. The spontaneity of childhood is soon enough trained out of one by one’s teachers, parents, etc. and the social identity becomes calcified and rigid. Then people try, through various means, to regain that ‘lost innocence’ but never seem to succeed.
PETER: It has been a good many years since my days of being a father, but I have recently had occasion to observe a 2½ year old, which rekindled my memory of my own children. What I observed is that there is a ‘natural’ – as in instinctually programmed – emergence of a very distinct ‘self’-awareness at about this age. There is a growing realization in all children that others think and feel differently to them – that other children, parents and adults, are separate and alien beings who had thoughts and feelings that were not only different but very often at odds with the child’s own thoughts and feelings. This stage of growing up sees the emergence of a natural cunning in the child, whereby the child learns by trial and error to be controlling and manipulative – to seek reward and avoid punishment by whatever means.
Whilst this ‘loss of innocence’ is to some extent socially learned by the child’s observation of parents, siblings and other children’s behaviour, the underlying and primary impetus is instinctual – the result of a natural development of rudimentary survival skills as opposed to imbibing social skills. Observation of other animal species confirms that both cunning and forcefulness are essential qualities needed to enhance the chances of any newborn animal’s survival and an observation of human infants reveals this same basic animal functioning at work.
I remember seeing in my own children the emergence of what could be described as an independent will at about age 2 – an independence that was definitely not taught, as it was very often displayed in behaviour and moods that were contrary to the children’s social training and the best intentions and efforts of both parents. This observation, combined with the fact that my two children had such distinct and divergent personalities, first led me to be suspicious of the nurture-can-cure-all belief.
After my younger son died, I found that I really had to question and examine this belief deeply or else I would have spent the rest of my life wallowing in guilt and sorrow because I had not been ‘loving’ enough as a parent. The belief that nurture can counter, cure or overcome the instinctual passions of malice and sorrow serves to cripple all parents and child carers with guilt, as well as being an all-to-convenient excuse for the human need to lay the blame at someone’s door rather than look deeply within themselves.
Having previously experienced that nurture fails to shelter children from the ills of humanity, the death of my son convinced me that I needed to devote my life to seeking a way to open the possibility for future children to escape from suffering the inevitable trails and traumas of being a human being within the human condition. My father’s advice to me, post Second World War, was ‘be happy’ but he wasn’t able to tell me ‘how to’. Standing beside my son’s coffin, I was suddenly faced with a task in life – I passionately wanted to be able to pass on to the next generation the missing ‘how to’.
I know I am at risk of labouring the point about nurture as the cure-all, but I do so with good reason. Understanding and acknowledging the fact that the genetically-encoded instinctual passions were the root cause of human malice and sorrow – the root cause of every war, of every murder, of every child molestation, of every rape, of every suicide, of every act of violence, of every bout of despair – was crucial to my turning away from being a believer in the tried and failed truisms and beginning to looking deep within myself in order to root out these instinctual passions.
GARY: I seem to recall, as a child, having times when I had the most intense fascination with what I was doing at the time, whether I was playing with something or studying something, or just experiencing something. Later, these experiences I tried to re-create through drug use. The ordinary cares and woes fell away and there was this intense fascination and absorption in the moment and what I was experiencing. Later, and more recently, I found in the Pure Consciousness Experience what I was looking for: this incredible vibrancy, aliveness, scintillating, coruscating (all those Richard-words and more to describe the experience) quality. It is the most amazing thing when one shifts into apperception, and one experiences naiveté.
It is not for nothing that Richard describes naiveté as ‘the closest approximation to innocence one can have whilst being a ‘self’’. In this state of naiveté, there is such an experience of wonder and one is in touch immediately with the purity and pristine-ness of the physical actuality of the world around one. When this happens, one has connected with the long-sought Meaning of Life. The search is over – there is nowhere else to go.
PETER: One thing about the spiritual path that did not sit well with me, apart from feeling increasingly isolated and dissociated from the world of people, things and events, was the fundamental cynicism that underpins all spiritual belief – that the human experience is one of essential suffering. Because of this spiritual cynicism about life on earth meeting Richard, hearing of his experiences and reading his words was quite literally a breath of fresh air.
By taking on board what he had to say, and being able to relate to what he was saying by my own experience in a PCE, I was very soon able set off on the path to actual freedom. In doing so, I was able to forgo my cynicism and reconnect with my naiveté, I was able to cease practicing dissociation and begin being fascinated with being here, and I was able to begin the enthralling business of investigating all of ‘my’ beliefs and passions that make ‘me’ an inseparable constituent of the human condition of malice and sorrow.
Cynicism is the pits. It’s so delicious to have abandoned cynicism, to get in touch with my naiveté and devote myself fully to the business of becoming free from malice and sorrow.
GARY: You went on to say:
At the present time, since the ‘real world’ is such a grim, dangerous place, there is no alternative but to shelter the child from the ‘grim instinctual battle for survival’ as long as possible. This only makes sense from a real world perspective.
PETER: Speaking personally, I very quickly came to understand that sheltering my children from the world as-it-is was not only impossible but not even a good idea. Even in those days I had the acumen to know that learning happens only by the trial and error process of lived experience, and the wider the experience and the more completely involved in the experience the better chance of learning.
GARY: Since humans are for the most part all engaged in this grim instinctual battle, too many children unfortunately fall prey to the predatory nature of human beings. Compared to spiritualism, Actualism has its eyes wide open to the widespread phenomenon of child abuse. This is one of the things that attracted me to Actualism – we are concerned with finding a solution to problems which concern everyone and which are universal – although the ultimate solution of these problems is most radical indeed ... only when humans cease ‘being’ will there be an end to all the child abuse, war, rape, murder, torture, etc.
PETER: Yep. Actualism is as hands-on and as down-to-earth as you can get.
PETER: The deep-seated belief that the ignorance of the formative, preoperational years of childhood is an innate innocence is what fuels the whole fanciful notion that nurture is the panacea for instinctual malice and sorrow, and that ‘proper’ nurture can even prevent their onset. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the faith that nurture can assuage or overcome malice and sorrow is seen as inviolate within the human condition. Like all belief and faith, it only has legs for want of a new and effective workable alternative’.
GARY: You have again hit the nail on the head, so to speak, with this observation, and I must say that it is a remarkably persistent notion. I find myself falling into it too – that if these children only had enough love, everything would be all right. It is the old ‘What the world needs now is Love Sweet Love’ idea, sung once as a pop music, expressing the hopes of a Generation, but repeated yet again and again.
PETER: As I understand it, you have been trained as a social worker and core to this training would be the belief that nurture is the panacea for malice and sorrow. As such, it is no wonder you find it a remarkably persistent notion. I know that it has taken me a long time to prise apart the beliefs and passions that were instilled in me as part of my training in architecture.
I was taught that there was a higher spiritual good in architecture – that ‘good’ architecture could nourish the soul, raise the spirits and make the world a better place. The instilling of these beliefs and passions formed the backbone of my identity as an architect and gave ‘my’ work a higher, nobler meaning. This meant that not only did I bring ‘my’ demands and expectations, worries and anxieties to my work and to all interactions with others through my work, but also a good deal of self-righteousness. Not only did ‘I’ always come first, but ‘I’ always knew better and ‘I’ was always right – whereas everyone else came second, never understood and were always wrong. It was a recipe that invariably led to conflict at worst or begrudging compromises at best.
As I began to realize how much these instilled beliefs and passions prevented me from being happy while working and caused me to be in conflict with others while working, I began the procedure of investigating the nature of them every time that I became aware of these beliefs and passions in action. This being aware of the tell-tale signs of holding a belief dear to your bosom reveals reactions ranging from feeling personally affronted or defensive if your belief is questioned, to denying, dissociating from or obscuring any facts that contradict or make your precious deary-held belief a non-sense.
When I finally traced the passions evoked by my work back to my training, I could see that all vocational training is spiked with beliefs that would have us fighting for the good in the battle over evil – be they a social worker combating the evils of society, an architect combating the evils of bad design or a doctor fighting the evils of death and disease. A PCE finally revealed the fact that my identity as an architect was made up of a mishmash of ‘my’ instilled beliefs and ‘my’ personal passions and to be able to do my work when free of this identity is to be unconditionally happy and effortlessly harmless.
So I wouldn’t be at all concerned that you find yourself falling back to the notion ‘that if these children only had enough love, everything would be all right’. Because of your vocational training you have had the belief that nurture is the cure-all for the ills of humanity doubly reinforced, as it were. You have had an extra layer of belief laid on top of what everyone else believes, in a similar way that I had another layer of beliefs about beauty instilled into me. I found that after a good deal of investigation I was able to identify ‘my’ belief as being nothing else but a belief in that it had no basis in fact … and then I ‘had the bugger by the throat’ as it were. Then it was only a matter of being attentive as to when and how the belief manifested itself. Each instant of awareness threw more light on the belief and its associated passions, enabling me to dig a little deeper into my psyche and discover its workings.
ALAN: I wrote the above almost two weeks ago and since then have been in a real ‘zombie’ state. There has been an overwhelming sense of ‘what is the point of it all?’ and by that I mean what is the point in doing anything when I know it is all a fantasy of ‘my’ creation – what is the point of writing this, when I know it is only ‘my’ imagination. Perhaps the above realisation was too much to take all at once, perhaps it was getting, for the first time, that as ‘I’ was all that was standing in the way of peace on earth, ‘I’ had to go before this peace on earth could actually be realised. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of ‘me’ – I’ll let you know what transpires.
PETER: I have been tootling along with a few more words and a bit of tidying up of the Glossary on the web-site recently, and the latest word was ‘benevolent’. I found myself writing it slanted a bit towards naiveté – that ‘oh so, so essential’ ingredient on the path to freedom. It takes a bucketful and more to counter one’s personal fears and resistance and a mountain full to overcome the cynicism, despair and gloom of Humanity. One needs to concoct it, remember it, access it, resurrect it, find it, dig it up, fuel it, play with it, carry it in your pocket, stash a bit under the bed, season your meals with it, and stock up on it as much as possible from a peak experience.
Be foolish, gullible, silly and extremely naïve in ‘real-world’ terms for you are actually doing what is foolish, gullible, silly and extremely naïve in real-world terms – not to mention ‘spiritual-world’ terms – you are becoming free of the Human Condition. One needs to be naïve to believe it is possible in the first place, but as one gets into it you find your naiveté is supported by facts and incremental success (ie. finding that it works). This then produces confidence which then grows into surety, then an obsession takes over, naiveté‚ blossoms, and a benevolent inevitability ensues.
For me, naiveté was absolutely essential to counter any fear that arises. With pure intent as a golden cord, as Richard saw it, and naiveté‚ as a constant companion, becoming free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow is inevitable. It would be foolish to think otherwise.
I’ll leave you with the bit I wrote on benevolence –
PETER to Alan: The path to Actual Freedom is not at all attractive for there is nothing in it for ‘me’ – no phoenix arises from the ashes to claim the glory, no acclaim of adoring disciples, no wonderful overwhelming feelings, no fame, no recognition, no power – neither overt nor covert. Extinction is extinction. It is for this very reason that one needs a goodly dose of altruism.
In my experience there is yet another quality which may well be as important, if not more important, than altruism in evincing self-immolation. This quality is integrity –
Having experienced this integrity of innocence, benevolence and undividedness in pure consciousness experiences it then becomes a prime motivation to experience it 24 hrs. a day, every day. The absence of conflict, confusion, deceit and duplicity – the absence of both the social and instinctual entity that are in constant battle has to be experienced to be understood. One cannot understand it unless one experiences it although it certainly helps if one is prepared to risk rocking one’s boat. By digging into one’s self one is certainly much, much more likely to induce a pure consciousness experience. By doing nothing, one gets nothing in return. Unless one investigates, one never finds out. Unless one changes, one stays the same. Unless one is motivated by integrity then one will remain a very, very cunning entity either fighting it out in the ‘real’ world or travelling on the spiritual path of self-discovery seeking self-satisfaction and self-aggrandizement.
Being guided by integrity or being guided by sincere intent ensures that I will not deceive myself, that I will be honest with myself, that I will not settle for second best – that I will not stop until I live the pure consciousness experience, 24 hrs a day every day, until I am irrevocably free of the Human Condition.
Ah well. It was a bit of a rave again. I am trying to put into words my thoughts and experiences of the direct path to Actual freedom as opposed to Richard’s experience of travelling through the dementia of Enlightenment and out the other side. At the moment of self-immolation the instinctual and traditional urge to become a Saviour kicked in and it took him some 11 years to rid himself of the delusion. For ‘me’ there will be no fame, glory, glamour or glitz – simply extinction. T’is no wonder that denial is so endemic and integrity so scarce.
But for those willing to launch themselves on the path to Actual freedom the incremental rewards are such that one is driven on by success, integrity and naiveté. It does take a wee touch of courage to ditch the familiar old programming from the brain, to wipe the hard drive clean of all the old rotten corrupted programming but, as is evident in the pure consciousness experience, an actual freedom from the human condition in total is the inevitable result.
Peter to No 3: 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.
I think I am on a rave again. So back to the BrainBomb web-site whose address you sent. It would seem that many people will use the research on instincts to justify the ‘bad’ in us and continue to flog the old ‘be good – find God’ methods that have relentlessly failed to end suffering and failed to bring peace, despite the sincere efforts of billions upon billions of people. This ‘wishful thinking’ involves nothing more than accentuating and identifying with the so-called good instincts and sublimating and dis-identifying with the ‘bad’ instincts. If one is successful in the effort one becomes totally identified with the Good and in full-blown delusion one can even become God or Cosmic Consciousness, so self-aggrandizing is the exercise in the end.
But given the current research efforts, at very least, the ancient belief in Tabula Rasa will be harder to maintain in the face of scientific fact.
A little definition may be appropriate at this point –
(...) It is hard to conceive that there are no pre-natal emotional memories stored in the Amygdala of a new-born baby. Medical evidence of the transmission of narcotics and other chemical substances to the foetus through the mother’s placenta would very strongly suggest that emotionally-sourced chemical substances also are transferred. Thus the foetus would be experiencing the effect of these substances that are the tangible physical evidence of fear, aggression, excitement, sadness and the like. The emotional-chemical pattern is set, the pump is primed, and the baby’s emotional memory has a preview of life in the world into which it will soon emerge.
To insist on the belief in Tabula Rasa in the face of these facts, all easily observable by anyone willing to look with both eyes, is to bury one’s head in the sand. Human beings will do anything but admit that we are but animals ‘at heart’, that indeed what we share with animals is our instinctual passions and emotions – fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
Our dearly held feelings and emotions – the same feelings witnessed in animals, are the cause of all the malice and sorrow, violence and despair, and we come pre-wired, at birth, to be animal at heart.
RESPONDENT: I think it is true that the anticipation, excitement about the expected ‘final event’ in one’s brain is a form of dreaming, escaping the reality. Is it a final barrier? I don’t know.
PETER: Of course there is only one way for you to find out for yourself, otherwise you will never know or you will have to resort to believing what others say. Merely believing is a poor substitute for a full-blooded finding out for yourself. The act of finding out for oneself, by oneself, is the adventure of a lifetime. And who would have it any other way.
This patent nonsense of sitting at the feet of Masters who then tell you in mystical poetic terms of a Truth that cannot be spoken of, cannot be put into words is nothing but twaddle. ‘The Divine Mystery that can only be lived ...’ The reason is that their Truth is nothing more than a feeling – a splendid, all encompassing, overpowering, enveloping, Self-aggrandized feeling of Unity, Oneness, Divinity and the like. Beneath the wonderful feelings lies a dim, dark and ancient ignorance – a turning away, a turning ‘in’ that is epitomized by the aesthetic retreats and lives of denial and renunciation lead by the spiritual pundits, monks, Gurus, etc.
The classic expose of the pride of ignorance of the ‘Ones Who Do Not Know’ was Richard’s meeting with a contemporary Guru. Richard stated that he had been Enlightened and had found something that was beyond Enlightenment and was he interested in knowing about it. The Guru said he doesn’t know with firm conviction as though ‘not knowing’ was in itself the Answer. When asked straight up whether he wanted to know, the answer was no. You hear it often in spiritual ‘jargonese’ – ‘I find I know less and less nowadays and its SO good’ What they mean is they can’t make any sense of anything on the spiritual path, so they give up any common sense and let their feelings and imagination run riot – and run riot they do!
Ignorance is proudly proclaimed in the spiritual world as Wisdom and this is most clearly evident in Eastern Spirituality.
As Mr. Mohan Rajneesh said in reply to a question –
Behind the lauding of ignorance and the perverse relating to a supposed childhood ‘innocence’ – the ancient Tabula Rasa theory – there exists nothing more than a belief in a ‘Something Else’ or a ‘Somewhere Else’ – traditionally masqueraded as the Truth.
In some Religions this ‘Something Else’ is defined as a particular mythical figure, spirit or God; in others it becomes an amorphous Energy, Source or Intelligence. Likewise, the ‘someplace else’ is defined as a particular place, a Heaven, a celestial realm, a Paradise, while in other beliefs it becomes an Energy field, an Ocean of Oneness, a ‘Home’ for the soul or spirit or a cosmic womb. Modern spirituality often cleverly and conveniently ignores the more inane historical interpretations of the original ancient texts and substitutes totally amorphous and nebulous concepts that are naught but a frantic and senseless chasing of blissful feelings. As such, the more ignorant one is, the less one attempts to understand, the less one knows – and the more revered, Holy and Wise one is deemed to be!
There is none more ignorant than the spiritual seeker – the more ignorant, the better the seeker – for they seek that which cannot be known, only imagined as thoughts and given sustenance by feelings. It can only be accessed by imagination and feelings for it only exists in thoughts and feelings – none of it is actual. Ignorance may well lead to blissful feelings, but it is still ignorance.
It would all be a hoot except for the wars, rapes, murders, genocides, ‘cleansings’, tortures, repression, perversion and corruption that are all the direct result of passionate feelings run riot.
PETER to No 13: Look, all I am saying is that the facts, the results, don’t stack up with the beliefs and hopes.
What I now live as an actuality 24 hrs. a day, every day, no matter what I am doing, or not doing, far exceeds anything that I have experienced or know is possible to achieve through meditation. I live in the actual physical world and nothing churns in my head or heart. There is direct sensate experiencing that is magical, fairy-tale like, perfect and pure. Colours are vivid, hearing is multi-layered, tastes are sensational, touch is exquisite, interactions with people are invariably delightful, events are serendipitous. The brain is capable of astounding clarity, I can communicate directly with others and reflect on my actions and thoughts. An innocence is readily apparent that has only been wished for before in humans and is beyond my wildest dreams.
This is far superior to Enlightenment. This way you get all of the benefits of Enlightenment and none of the down-sides such as power, delusion, being a Saviour of others, having to spread the message, having disciples follow you, celibacy, ... to name a few.
But you can’t get that by clinging on to any beliefs at all – we are, after all, talking about an actual freedom, a freedom from all the Ancient Wisdom. That appears to be the tough bit, but it is only fear that stops us trying anything new.
PETER: Whilst I admit it does take a certain courage to dare to examine one’s own dark side, at the very least it may help one to break free of the craving to self-righteously blame others for all the evil in the world.
RESPONDENT: Ahhhh! There is, as I remember, a refreshing feeling that accompanies the recognition of the foolishness of blaming others for the experience one is being. I do not, however, remember any particular courage necessary to develop the recognition. Courage, as I remember, was more necessary to the effort to face each day before recognizing the said foolishness. A pleasure to communicate with you Good Friend Peter. Be well.
PETER: That’s all very well, but you are speaking of the spiritual recognition of the Truth whereby a shift of identity happens and a new re-born identity now feels itself to have transcended the afflictions that other mere mortals suffer from. I agree with you that it doesn’t require any particular courage to do this, it’s merely the common and garden cop-out offered by Eastern spiritualism.
As a rough rule of thumb, spiritualist’s have only ever experienced a few passions deeply, usually those of despair and fear. These experiences then scare them so much that they instinctually clutch for the traditional social elixirs, the feelings of hope and bliss. Provided they remain fanatical about suppressing and/or denying their dark side they can eventually ‘ see the Light’ on a some-what regular basis, or in some rare cases, even become ‘the Light’ themselves. To expect someone who is so immersed in, and identified with, such altered states of consciousness experiences to have an interest in examining the dark side of human nature is foolish because it takes a certain courage to dare to examine one’s own dark side.
The first step in being able to examine one’s own dark side is to be able to acknowledge that you have a dark side – something we have been taught by carrot and stick never, never, ever to do. For those who have a hefty personal investment in being Good, or in being God – be it kudos, fame, glory, or simply making a living out of it in some way – the idea of backtracking can be quite daunting because they fear they will only end up in despair and fear again – the very feelings they sought to escape from.
This fear is unfounded because what actualism offers is a method of coming here to the actual world, a paradisiacal world of sensual pleasure, innocence and delight. Everybody has briefly experienced the actual world at some stage in their lives. Often in childhood, despite our own instinctual malice and sorrow, we had occasional glimpses of the magic and purity that is this physical world we humans live in. In hindsight, I can recognize that as I became an adult I always had an unquenchable yearning for those innocent experiences of perfection that had sometimes occurred in childhood – sometimes as flashes of intimate mateship with another or sometimes as what is termed nature experiences.
When I came across Richard and discovered that he lived this innocence, but with all his adult sensibilities fully intact, I was intrigued. When it became clear that the belief that we are born innocent and only corrupted by our parents, evil forces, or the like, or that suffering and evil are essential parts of some Grand Plan, was based on ancient ignorance and superstition, I was fascinated. When Richard talked about the purity and perfection of the actual world, it rang a bell with me because I remembered having had similar experiences myself – and when he explained how it was possible to live that experience as a constant on-going experience, I knew I could never settle for second best, no matter what.
I do acknowledge that what goes on in one’s own head and the heart can be tough stuff to sort out. All human beings, through no fault of their own, live their lives either trapped within the real-world or within the spiritual world ... or within both, which is most often the case. Actualism offers a way out of being imprisoned in these psychological and psychic worlds and all the help you need to become free is available on the Actual Freedom Trust website.
If you want to discuss the process of actualism or the delights of the actual world, you have my ear, but if you come to this list not to listen and discuss but to preach and pontificate the virtues of the spiritual world, I’ll pass, because I’ve been there and done that and found it to be rotten to the core.
RESPONDENT: Can the peace and harmony you are experiencing with your partner remain inviolate when all about you the ignorance and suffering of human misery abounds?
PETER: Firstly, the word ‘ignorance’ is usually used in spiritual terms as meaning ‘those who are ignorant of the Truth’. Spiritual seekers who have the Truth revealed to them feel both specially blessed and humbly grateful to Existence, God or the Guru, for having seen the light, felt God in their heart, etc. From this exalted position, they see others as ignorant – as in following a false Guru or God, having ‘false’ beliefs, being the perpetrators of violence and the cause of suffering in the world. When I abandoned my skewered good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, enlightened vs. ignorant, them and me view of the world, I was able to clearly see the fact that I am one of 6 billion human beings on the planet.
When I was born there was little programmed in my brain, in fact, I remember nothing of my first years and my earliest memories are about age four. Before that I was like this computer before the Windows operating system was installed. This fact is confirmed empirically by modern brain scanning equipment. There was, however, a DOS-like base operating program – genetically encoded – and this began to fully kick in about the age of 2 years. This is easily observable in children when fear, aggression, nurture and desire begin to surface, no matter how or where the infant is raised. We are, contrary to ancient belief, not born ‘innocent’ but every human being comes into the world pre-primed with a set of crude animal instincts. With the first signs of the emergence of this instinctual behaviour we all begin to be instilled by our parents and peers with a social identity consisting of morals – ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – and ethics – ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – together with a full set of social beliefs and psittacisms. This social identity is instilled essentially to curb the excesses of the instinctual passions and to make one a fit member of society.
No one escapes this instinctual and social programming – it is the way-it-is.
The recognition and acknowledgement that this simple biological and social programming forms the very substance of ‘who’ we think we are and ‘who’ we feel we are deep down, is in itself immensely liberating. One can then begin the process of gaily abandoning the whole duality of good and evil, resentment and gratitude, and guilt and pride that underpin all the religious beliefs as to why we are here, and why we are the way we are.
An essential liberation is from the feeling of sorrow, both from having being born into this world in the first place – ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’ and from feeling sorrow or pity for others – compassion. Compassion literally means suffering together and being free of sorrow means being free of the mutual agreement that human life on earth is ultimately a suffering existence. In the spiritual world compassion is upheld as a virtue as it justifies one’s feeling of superiority by looking down on, or back at, those who are suffering. To be free of sorrow one must be free of the mutually-agreed sorrow that is inherent in the human condition.
By becoming free of the feeling of sorrow is it possible to take a clear-eyed look at the world-as-it-is and people as-they-are. Then one is moved to get off one’s bum and do something about the appalling malice and sorrow that is endemic in the human condition.
RESPONDENT: Do you have to ‘ignore’ anything to maintain this state?
PETER: No. It was only by ceasing to ignore and deny the fact that I was as mad and as bad as everyone else in the world, that I was able to get stuck into doing something about myself. To see that, at the core of my ‘being’, I am an instinctual animal – robotically programmed for fear, aggression, nurture and desire. To explore and plumb these depths and see the dread and despair, the lust for violence and the diabolical was to experience the raw animal passions at ‘my’ core. Most people who have glimpses of this dark side in themselves, as in dark nights of the soul, frantically seek to identify with the supposed good passions and become good, more loving, grateful, humbly superior and God-identified. It was only by ceasing to ignore and deny the animal instinctual passions in me, and abandoning my seductive indulgence in ancient spiritual belief, that I was able to free myself of the instinctual passions and live happy and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. Practicing denial and renunciation leads to rejection of, and disassociation from, the sensuous delight of this actual physical palpable world we live in.
It was only when I stopped ignoring facts and stopped indulging in my beliefs and feelings that I could begin to experience the ever-present actual world of sensate delight, purity and perfection.
PETER to No 7: As for our ‘essential non-dual nature’, I take it you are talking of the idea that we were born innocent, the ancient Tabula Rasa theory. The spiritual aim is then to return to our natural state of innocence – our true selves as we came into the world and before we were corrupted by evil. This is old-fashioned and out-of-date thinking that requires a blatant denial of modern empirical scientific research on the subject of human genetically encoded instinctual behaviour by Josef LeDoux and others. A sensible clear-eyed observation of the startlingly obvious similarities between human beings behaviour and that of other animals is further evidence of human instinctual behaviour. Most animal studies focus on the similarities of the passions of nurture and desire, but murder, rape, infanticide, warfare, cannibalism, sorrow, despair and suicide have all been documented in our closest genetic cousins, the chimps. Jane Goodall was shocked when discovering and documenting this behaviour and she has since backed away from further research. Other research on human behaviour that I personally found profoundly revealing were the studies by Stanley Morgan that clearly indicate ordinary human beings’ willingness to inflict pain on their fellow human beings. The results were so disturbing in their revelation of our human nature that any similar studies have been banned as being ‘unethical’.
As for our ‘non-dual’, ancient spiritual belief has it that we are a spirit trapped in a physical corporeal body in a physical material world and the only way to transcend this duality was to becomes spirit only, or pure being. This duality is most often expressed as material / spiritual or evil / divine for in ancient times the material world was imagined as evil and the spirit-ual world was felt to be divine. Anyone who has plumbed the depths of their essential non-dual nature’ sees the terror, dread and the diabolical and goes for the divine feelings which does nothing but confirm, sustain and make very REAL the human invention of good and evil.
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. Peter, List B, No 7, 24.5.2000
RESPONDENT: You continue:
I’m not sure that this is what the term non-dual is getting at. The fact that we are animals driven by instinctual behaviour (and I agree with you on this) in no way means that it is a forgone conclusion that another human possibility, one that enables us to care rather than compete, create rather than destroy, give rather than take – because we are not separate from a greater whole – does not exist.
PETER: Western spiritual seekers have only discovered Eastern spirituality in the last 50 years, yet they arrogantly think that it is some new discovery or new possibility. I know I felt that way when I ‘discovered’ it and was full of enthusiasm. The possibility to feel ‘not separate from a greater whole’ has existed and has been thoroughly investigated by billions of people both in the East and the West for millennia with no perceivable reduction in human malice and sorrow. ‘We are all God’s children’ is a common feeling in monotheist religions as well, and yet despite all these good intentions and good feelings ... the last hundred years are well documented as being the bloodiest century to date.
My point is that despite all the well-meaning efforts and heart-felt feelings the human condition is still one of malice and sorrow. Which is why I pose the question, for anyone daring enough to investigate further –
PETER: A freedom from ancient belief and spiritual superstition. A freedom from being a social identity attempting to obey pious spiritual/ religious morals and follow unliveable social ethics in order to keep one’s instinctual passions under control. And, finally, the elimination of the instinctual ‘being’...
RESPONDENT: Ok, but how do we eliminate it?
PETER: Well the first step would be that you – not we – would have to be interested in questioning the veracity of your own spiritual/religious beliefs. Thus far on this list, no-one yet seems willing to do this, so any posts to me have been of the usual dismissive objection type defending spirituality, rather than anyone daring to investigate their own feelings that arise from their own instinctual passions. Ridding oneself of malice and sorrow is a purely personal responsibility – not a mass ‘let’s all retreat from the world so we can all feel good together’ movement.
RESPONDENT: The spirit, or Self, Oh there it is, the self with a capital S. I was meaning to ask you, how are you defining ‘Self’? What is it (attributes, properties)? And is it finite? Or is it not-finite – the All, the totality of all there is? A part, or the whole?
PETER: At the core of the Eastern religious view of the world is the concept that all humans are born ‘innocent’ and have only been corrupted by ‘evil thoughts’ since birth. It is further believed that it is possible for a chosen few to regain this mythical ‘natural’ innocence, in this lifetime on earth, hence the search to find one’s ‘original face’ or Divine Self.
The fashionable practice of meditation, sitting silently and retreating from the world as-it-is, is but an escape from the ‘real’ world into an imaginary ‘inner’ world where feeling and fantasy can run riot. One is actively extolled to abandon sensible thought, to surrender one’s will to a Divine Energy or Entity, and to trust one’s feelings. Giving full reign to one’s ‘good’ tender instinctual passions while ignoring and denying the ‘bad’ savage instinctual passions has led to impassioned delusion – human beings who believe themselves to be God-realized or God-men.
The Eastern religious fervour for worshipping mortal men as immortal Gods is an affront to intelligence that does nothing but perpetuate human misery and suffering and human enslavement to ancient fears, superstition and ignorance. Any chance of an actual peace on earth is readily and eagerly forfeited for an imaginary peace after physical death ... or, for the rare few, the chance to become God on earth.
RESPONDENT: Let me start by explaining my understanding of a few concepts that I mentioned in my mail a little further.
Humility: My view is that there actually is something that could be called true humility, not meaning that we should bow to higher powers or to some authority. Not some kind of pretence that we’re trying to portrait in a suitable manner. True humility can be expressed as openness, spontaneity, non-rigidity and lack of self-consciousness, at least to some degree.
PETER: Well, openness means ‘absence of secrecy, or reserve; frankness, candour, sincerity’, according to the Oxford Dictionary. I think you might agree that these qualities fall into the ‘ideal’ basket as far as human beings are concerned. The lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity that dwells within the flesh and blood body of every human has a dark side of instinctual passions that needs to be hidden from others. It is only when this entity is absent, as in the ‘self’-less state of a pure consciousness experience, that the ideal of openness is seen as but one of the many unachievable human ideals that attempts to mimic actual innocence and perfection.
The spiritual version of openness is being vulnerable, which means
Many spiritual seekers distort the word vulnerability to be a sign of being ‘sensitive’ to others or being psychically ‘tuned in’ to others. However, human beings are sometimes open, sometimes closed, sometimes defensive, sometimes attacking but always wary and on-guard, for this is our instinctual programming in operation. Whilst one remains a ‘self’ one cannot help but have one’s guard up, both psychologically and psychically, for the body is programmed for self-defence, which the entity inside automatically interprets as ‘self’-defence.
The other qualities you mention are also ideals that humans struggle to maintain in a constant battle to control their instinctual emotions. Most do reasonably well, except when push comes to shove, and all ideals, morals and ethics are off in times of threat, conflict and war.
Actual innocence lies beyond ‘self’-immolation. Given that the very nature of the actual universe is both pure and perfect, these same qualities are then automatically and spontaneously the qualities of one who lives in Actual Freedom.
RESPONDENT: Taking no position = The ending of all fixed ideas and defensiveness.
PETER: This sounds as though it is the advice of someone who doesn’t want you to make your mind up about anything. This theory is not applied in the world of practical things and events. We humans take many positions. Where we work, where we live, who we live with, what we wear, what we eat, what we want to believe and what we chose not to, what car we drive, what computer program we use, etc. And yet, when it comes to the most vital questions as to human existence, the universe and what it is to be a human being, we are extolled by the Wise Ones to abandon taking a position? Should Galileo not have taken a position, should Columbus have never left Spain, should Pasteur not have taken a position, should Darwin not have taken a position, should LeDoux not take a position? Why should you not take a position about your life?
In the spiritual world taking a position in support of a belief is deemed highly desirable and is rewarded and welcomed by other like-minded believers, but taking a position based on facts and empirical scientific evidence has always been roundly condemned by the church, for facts are anathema to believers. All of the great leaps forward that have increased human safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure have been resisted by spiritual believers and it is only when empiricism broke from the church in the Middle Ages that intelligence began to hold sway over fear-ridden superstition and arcane belief.
Should you take a position based on fact and discard belief you too will run the gauntlet of scorn, derision and ostracization for that is the price to pay for walking upright and free in the world; but the rewards are far in excess of the spiritual ideals for they are actual, tangible, palpable and ever-present. Once you get a taste of what is actual, any synthetic feeling is seen as a paltry second-best.
RESPONDENT: Not knowing: To acknowledge the fact that there still is very much that our human minds can’t grasp and that we might never comprehend fully. To be open for the unthinkable possibility.
PETER: This physical universe is infinite – as big as it gets – and eternal – without a beginning or end – so it is inconceivable that humans will ever know all there is to know. Already the published discoveries are so much more than is possible for any one person to know. Even in one field of science or practical endeavour the amount of study, research and papers published would exceed the capacity of any one person to comprehend, let alone absorb.
But 3,500 years on from the ancient Wise Ones we do know that praying to God, or believing in and surrendering to God-men, has not brought peace to earth, quite the contrary.
Up until now spiritual teachings have been impossible to question openly and sensibly for they were jealously guarded by the priests and their fervent followers, and even then to abandon belief would have meant going back to a God-less existence in the ‘real’ world, bereft of any hope. Thus it is that people usually swap beliefs – Western for Eastern, Heavenly God for Mother Earth, etc. – rather than stop believing in God by whatever name.
Thanks to the Internet we can now conduct our own independent research as to the facticity of Ancient Wisdom and trace it back to its original teachings, we can compare the many Truths on offer and stop the game of pretending that not knowing is a sign of wisdom rather than of stubborn ignorance. There is simply no excuse for not knowing what the Truth is, and when this is discovered each of us is then capable of taking a position as to whether to keep believing in it or abandoning it.
We humans now have enough information at our fingertips to stop ‘not knowing’ and begin to know about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. This knowledge, when combined with the experiential knowledge of the human potentiality as experienced in a pure consciousness experience, is the key to freedom from the human condition.
‘To be open for the unthinkable possibility’ usually means to be open to God, by whatever name, or ‘to be open’ to all sorts of spurious meta-physical theories, such as space-time continuums, dark matter, black holes, cyclic time, time reversing universes, parallel universe, etc.
RESPONDENT: These qualities/values can be very useful when investigating in a serious manner. I don’t think they contradict with empirical studies either, they could be used when formulating theses and in theoretical science for example. They might not be that useful in every execution of a study in the laboratory, then it’s of course our rational ‘side’ of our minds that are good at structuring and comparison that rule.
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: Don’t you think that these qualities actually could help in experiencing the PCE? If one is going to be able to perceive life directly as it really is instead of trying to force reality upon us (ASC) I think that we have tremendous use of humility and openness.
PETER: If one begins by feeling humble and then goes searching for an experience of something other than grim reality, I suspect one will end up finding a Greater Reality to feel humble to and feelings of gratitude will come sweeping in. By being ‘open for the unthinkable possibility’ any form of impassioned imagination is possible.
However, if your search is for purity and perfection and you keep whittling away at your beliefs, then one day while wistfully contemplating and softly relaxing, you might notice a sensuous delight, a vibrancy in things around you, a perfection and purity, a silence and infinitude beyond imagination. But be careful not to seize the experience as yours or you will feel the chest swell and the head swoon and in will flood passionate imagination to replace actual delight.
RESPONDENT: Certainly we are driven by our instincts to a degree but that doesn’t mean that we need to surrender to our instincts. I think that that is what you are implying in a way.
PETER: Quite the opposite, in fact. The grand experiment of suppressing the savage instinctual passions by the carrot of instilling ‘good’ morals and ‘right’ ethics and the stick of imposing and enforcing regulations and laws has clearly failed, and will continue to fail, to actualize peace on earth. The current fashionable notion of transcending the savage instinctual passions while giving full reign to, and indulging in, the tender passions, has clearly failed as it has done for millennia in the East.
What is now available, for anyone sufficiently interested and motivated, is a method whereby they can eliminate these redundant instinctual survival passions, thereby actualizing peace on earth for themselves and freeing one’s fellow human beings of the burden these passions impose on others.
RESPONDENT: This is important, how to eliminate these ‘instinctual survival passions’? This is where I’m getting stuck, I think. You mean that repressing the ‘negative’ instincts and indulging in ‘good morals etc’ is the spiritual predicament and what we need is to free us from ALL survival passions, good and bad, and in doing so we’re released from our ‘instinctual cage’. So I suppose the outcome of this would be that we aren’t creating suffering for ourselves and others through our ignorance anymore. Is that it? When we see actuality there’s no need to for pretence anymore ...?
PETER: It is not a matter of ignorance. This is the spiritual concept whereby we are born innocent and then corrupted by ignorance (or evil, in the more fundamental traditions) and it is only when we discover the truth or Truth do we become free of ignorance ... or evil.
The understanding that we are born the way we are and are fated to be ‘who’ we think and feel we are is enormously liberating in itself. No longer do we need to feel guilty for the way we are, no longer to we need to pray to God or grovel before God-men, no longer are we helpless victims, no longer do we need to feel resentful at having to be here in the first place.
The fact is we are here and the challenge then becomes how to fully embrace being here.
RESPONDENT: Questions: Does this mean that there are no good or bad actions!?
PETER: Until one is actually free of one’s animal instinctual passions, all actions, no matter how well intentioned, are liable to cause harm to others, no matter how minor.
RESPONDENT: Aren’t we supposed to judge each other?
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: Is this the end of morals as we know it? I sincerely hope that you’re not suggesting that anything goes ...
PETER: Again, we are not talking about others but an individual change. It is possible to dispense with the needs for morals and ethics only if one finds something better to replace them with and that something better is to have no wayward ‘self’ who needs to be kept under control. The key to knowing this is possible is the pure consciousness experience whereby the already-existing innate purity and perfection that becomes stunningly apparent instantly renders redundant the need for any morals, ethics or any kind of ‘self’-control. When returning to ‘normal’ again you take this information and begin the task of ‘self’-immolation with confidence that you will not run amok as you progressively loosens the stranglehold of morals and ethics.
PAUL LOWE: That is really what the mind is: a program full of someone else’s ideas based on the past. In our natural state the mind does not judge, because the mind is lean and clear and carries only neutral information, such as what name you are calling yourself, your address, the practical things needing your attention. That is the function of the mind in its natural state, but its natural function has been distorted and it has developed in such a way that it continually judges. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The old Tabula Rasa theory trotted out again. ‘Born innocent and only corrupted by evil since birth. Naturally good and pure, tainted by evil or wrong thoughts’. Superstition, fear and ignorance persists in the face of current empirical scientific research of the animal instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire genetically programmed in the brain and universally operational in all humans by the age of about 2 years – no matter what one’s upbringing is. One does have social conditioning layered on top of this core programming but to perpetuate the denial of the instinctual animal program in us is insanity in the extreme. We can no longer hide behind ignorance. The earth is round, the earth orbits around the sun and we are born with animal instinctual passions. The question then is what one does about this fact.
This Eastern religion solution is ‘disconnecting’ as in
An Actualist is committed to deleting this instinctual programming – to becoming actually free of malice and sorrow.
PAUL LOWE: Chapter Six Freedom and Joy – Right Here, Right Now
There is a state of being that has been described as ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’, the Tao, the Hidden Harmony. Closer to our own experience we tend to describe it as happiness, spirit, freedom, source or inner peace. Yet no word or phrase can really express the nature of this state.‘In Each Moment. A new way to live’ by Paul Lowe Looking Glass Press 1998
PETER: Yawn. The old Divine Experience that mere mortal humans cannot understand and that cannot be described in words. Feeling oneself to be Divine, the source, an immortal spirit or whatever is indeed a grand and overwhelming experience but many, many accounts exist describing the spiritual Altered States of Consciousness or the brief experience commonly called Satori.
PAUL LOWE: This indescribable state exists equally in everyone. It has been covered up by what we have been told is and is not possible. From this conditioning, we have created patterns of behaviour that have literally buried our essence, our joy and our spirit. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Here he adds a dash of ‘we are born innocent’ – the ancient Tabula Rasa theory – which is always music to the soul. It means that ‘I’ need to do nothing, that everything is okay with ‘me’, ‘I’ simply have to realize ‘I’ am That or ‘I’ am God.
PAUL LOWE: We have assumed there is something wrong with us and we have spent our lives attempting to put it right. In fact there is nothing wrong; all we need to do is become aware, in each moment, of the behavioural patterns with which we have covered our essential self. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: So ‘in fact there is nothing wrong’ also includes all the wars, rapes, murders, domestic violence, corruption, tortures, despair, suicides, etc. If nothing is wrong then the Human Condition of malice and sorrow is okay with Paul. Nothing needs to change on the planet, for it is all the ‘outer world’ and, when full delusion sets in, it is all regarded as an illusion anyway. D+A = nc!
The use of awareness in the spiritual world is a total abuse of the word. To call practicing and becoming ‘disconnected’ from the physical world ‘awareness’ is an utter effrontery to intelligence. This is not awareness – this is to ignore, to deny, to encourage ‘not knowing’, to cut off, to turn away – the very antithesis of awareness.
Conscious, sensible, not ignorant, having knowledge, well-informed, responsive to conditions etc., informed about current developments. Oxford Dictionary.
If you hear a spiritually trained or influenced person (which is everyone) use the term awareness, what they are talking of is a selective, narrow, ‘self’-centred, ‘self’-serving viewpoint deliberately practiced in order to ignore and turn away from the Human Condition.
PAUL LOWE: However, your conditioning on this has been so pervasive that most of your life revolves around the belief that you are controlled by external events. P. Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Spiritualism has it that we are ‘conditioned’ by evil and wrong thinking since birth, an adaptation of the root belief that humans are born innocent and then ‘possessed’ by evil spirits. The ‘conditioned-since-birth’ theory has been strengthened and given a false credence by Mr. Freud and others who combined their avid interest in Eastern philosophy with their studies of human behaviour and collared together some very unscientific theories. The denial of animal instinctual passions in humans is deep-set, ongoing and entwined not only as religion, but in all human thought, literature, philosophy and theoretical ‘sciences’.
RESPONDENT: You also said... ‘I had actually experienced what it is that makes people kill others, to die for their belief or to protect their leader.’ And maybe to protect a loved one? Or am I not being cynical enough?
PETER: (...) The point is that I was concerned about what was it that caused the Religious wars on the planet. When I contemplated on my Sannyas years I had to admit that I probably would have killed to protect my Master – exactly as the followers of any other Master, Guru, Prophet, God would do. The killing is done to ‘protect a loved one’ as you rightly pointed out, but it is killing, whatever the motive.
What I was interested in was the willingness to kill – the instinct of aggression. This instinct is often triggered by fear, but has been implanted in humans to ensure that the offspring are protected sufficiently to ensure the survival of the species. Having had 2 children, one of whom died at an early age, I know the powerful urge to give my life as a sacrifice to ensure my offspring’s survival. It is this ‘blind’ instinct in me that I was interested in investigating, understanding and eliminating. Such that I would never again blindly kill, or be killed, for ‘love’ of country or ‘love’ of God. To free myself of malice.
As I said recently on the list –
‘To even consider a journey into yourself to free yourself of the Human Condition requires a burning discontent with life as it is – both for yourself and for your fellow human beings’.
Or am I being too naïve ...?
RESPONDENT: Recently, I was speaking to someone who was carrying a gun there, in fact many of them were friends of mine, and interestingly, he was of the opinion that many of them would not have been able to kill anyone. So maybe that is why you weren’t given a gun!
PETER: T’is interesting writing on this list. When I said I was a Sannyasin to find peace of mind and peace on earth (the New Man), I was told I was silly. When I said I was seeking Enlightenment, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was talking about God, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was teaching in the Eastern spiritual tradition, I was told I was silly. When I said I saw the Religion forming, I was told I was silly. When I said that I probably would have killed to protect Rajneesh – all of a sudden I am the only one who loved him that much!
The level of denial is quite breath-taking. Most take the facts we are talking of and take them personally, whereas we are talking of the Human Condition – common to all. Any personal experiences we relate, as evidence of the Human Condition in us, is then used against us, as a defence for the status quo.
RESPONDENT: <Preach-Mode> Well, try and drop naiveté, and move into pure innocence </Preach-Mode>
PETER: I assume you are talking of the Divine ‘pure innocence’ that includes such things as Divine Anger – as a ‘device to wake up the sleepy’, Divine Jealousy as in ‘I am the Only God’, Divine Sorrow as in ‘feeling Compassion for all sentient beings’.
No, innocence is only possible with the complete and utter eradication of both ‘self’ and ‘Self’. The total extinction of ‘me’ who is sorrowful and malicious is the only option.
Given the abounding cynicism of the spiritual world, it is an essential quality to re-discover one’s naiveté in order to even begin to contemplate innocence. One needs to travel 180 degrees in the other direction from a cynical view-point.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.