Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER to Alan: For me, it was such an adventure to get to the bottom of the stifling mystery, the conspiracy of silence, the moralistic mumbo-jumbo and beliefs that actively prohibit free sexual enjoyment and a direct intimacy between any couple, be they normal or spiritually inclined.
Which brings me back to people-as-they-are – (a feeble attempt to round this rave back to some semblance of order). Whenever Vineeto and I talk or write of becoming free of the Human Condition, we are often seen (judged?) as being judgemental or attacking and not tolerant or respectful of the other’s position. In considering this, the only sense I make of it is that we are threatening in that we are putting into practice the concept that one can become free of the Human Condition – i.e. how human beings think, feel, believe and imagine themselves to be and how they are instinctually programmed by blind nature to function. Now any sensible investigation of the Human Condition involves observation, investigation, comparison, contemplation, consideration and judgement. One has to come to a conclusion as to what is silly and what is sensible, otherwise the whole exercise is merely intellectual wanking. Having made a judgement as to what is best, then action is required – one is compelled to action, unless one wants to settle for second-best – but that’s another story. So no bleatings of ‘you’re being judgemental’ will work with me – it’s a furphy that’s been bandied around since morals and ethics were first chiselled in stone and devised to silence the sensible. ‘Judge ye not’ is a platitude invented by God-men and other charlatans in order that no one would question the rest of their inane platitudes. It is one of many dimwitticisms, passed off as Guru-wisdom, that have no other meaning or purpose than to keep their followers and disciples under control, humble, grateful, loyal and above all non-thinking.
But if anyone wants to remain as they are, second-rate, rooted in the past, or off in la-la land, then fine. Somewhere there is a Peter or a Vineeto who might appreciate a bit of ‘judgemental’ straight talking, a first hand account about becoming free of the Human Condition, what it’s like to challenge all beliefs, what it’s like to leave one’s ‘self’ behind. I strongly recommend being judgemental – making a judgement, an evaluation, a discernment, a decision, a finding, an appraisal, an assessment, a conclusion. At the very least one practices thinking, at best it may provoke action, at worst you may be inaccurate and need to re-assess. This is the process of learning called trial and error. One simply proceeds to what is sensible and what works, and one finds one has discovered a fact. And one can rely on a fact. It takes a little practice but eventually ‘you’ become redundant in the game as the facts start to speak for themselves.
RESPONDENT No 6: Resistance is the No.1 enemy of change.
RESPONDENT: Resistance ... In a way all suffering is a form of resistance.
PETER: Is this the wisdom you would offer the rape victim, the child who has been abused, the tormented suicidal teenager, the terrorist hostage, the anguished hapless victim of senseless act of violence? That their suffering is due to a form of resistance? Resistance to God? Are they being somehow punished by God or were they born to suffer because of some bad karma in a previous life? Are they but cannon fodder in some perverse game plan by Existence which you, like countless others, have managed to see through and thus feel grateful to not have to play the game any more? Has it ever occurred to you that human malice and suffering might well have another cause – a more down to earth reason?
RESPONDENT: If we experience without judgement or predisposition then we have experience. Just experience.
PETER: But you already have a judgement – that suffering is a form of resistance (to God) – and a definite predisposition – to becoming God-realized – and then you have your experience – feeling God-realized. In fact, your judgement is so doctrinaire and your predisposition so complete that your resistance to change, or to consider anything new, is absolutely total. The church has fought change and progress tooth and nail for millennia and nowhere harder than in the East.
RESPONDENT: Only now. There are no timetables.
PETER: No, God never has a timetable for he is eternal. For Him there only is what IS and human suffering is accepted as an essential ingredient of HIS IS-ness.
RESPONDENT: There is no good or bad.
PETER: Is this the wisdom you would offer the rape victim, the child who has been abused, the tormented suicidal teenager, the terrorist hostage, the anguished hapless victim of senseless act of violence? This unequivocal and unyielding acceptance of the human condition is glorified as part of IS-ness. IS-ness obviously means turning a blind eye to human suffering.
RESPONDENT: There is just whatever is happening now. It falls to us to find out what this moment is offering us and make the most of it. In order to do this we free ourselves of expectation.
PETER: Except the spiritual path is littered with signs of expectation, beacons of Light beckon one on to God-realization, Gurus wax lyrical and the churches are full of expectation. Why else does one have faith, trust and hope, if not for some expectation? (...)
RESPONDENT: Expectation we address by cultivating spontaneity and freedom within the context of Harmony. Another way to say this is we practice ‘unconditional acceptance’.
PETER: All spiritual people talk of ‘unconditional acceptance ’ of others but it is a classic doublespeak and hypocrisy for they talk of the masses, the ignorant, the householders, the lesser evolved, the lower consciousness, the evil, the heathens, the non-meditative, the unawake, those who suffer because of their bad karma, etc.
As for ‘unconditionally accepting’ oneself – now popularized as ‘accept yourself’, ‘love yourself’, ‘forgive yourself’, ‘empower yourself’ – this is merely a way of ignoring what you don’t like about yourself and disassociating from your unwanted feelings, emotions and behaviour. This includes ignoring the effect your feelings, emotions and behaviour have on other people.
Spiritual/religious ‘unconditional acceptance’ always means ‘conditional on my spiritual viewpoint’ – hence there is neither harmony nor Harmony – it is a myth, a fable, a fairy story. There is no harmony in the spiritual/religious world and never has been. So much so, that religious tolerance laws exist in most countries specifically to prevent religious people literally getting at each other’s throats.
Peace and harmony is only possible with the extinction of one’s instinctual passions. There is no other way – billions of humans have tried and failed.
PETER: To avoid vagueness do you have a number-of-words limit per post? It seems a fairer way of avoiding arbitrary judgements based on prejudice.
MODERATOR: No limit. Let’s hope for judgments based on good discrimination.
PETER: What do you need to hope for? You’re making the judgements and all you need to do is decide what is good and what is bad according to your terms of reference. But I do appreciate your dilemma. Throughout the spiritual world, moderators all have the same problem in how far do they allow their faith to be questioned before imposing discrimination. It’s usually a delicate balancing act unless the perceived threat becomes significant, in which case, more draconian measures are needed which can then lead down the path of repression, conflict, hostility, retribution, vengeance etc. ...
Judgements based on sensible discrimination as in reviewing the facts and considering what works is very straightforward but in the spiritual world making ‘judgments based on good discrimination’ is indeed a tricky business.
It is unfortunate that your magazine is not willing to question all that is illusionary for that is the key to an actual freedom. The ages-old spiritual idea of Good and Evil needs to be questioned in its totality for the impassioned mind-game of transcending Evil in order to find God is on its last legs. It may well whimper on for a few hundred years, sustained by a few renunciate fundamentalists, but fear-driven spiritual belief has less and less relevance in these times of increasing knowledge, safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure.
RESPONDENT: 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.
PETER: ‘Millions, if not billions’ is a reference to all the devotees of Eastern spirituality (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shintoism, Taoism, Zen, etc.) in all the thousands of years, many, many of whom spent their lives secluded in monasteries or ashrams (in Tibet, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, India etc.) or devoting hours of their days in meditation, ‘watching’, praying, or the like. The recent influx and western interest in spirituality is but a ‘blimp’ on the vast sweep of history. The point of my statement was that once this became evident to me I was able to put my position in perspective. The failure rate of producing profound individual awakenings (Enlightenment) of the Eastern religions became startlingly evident, as did my arrogance in assuming that I could do any better. The other issue was that despite (or because of) the numbers, sincerity and effort of all these people the countries had appalling levels of poverty, disease, corruption, repression of women, and often downright theocracies. I fail to see this as speculation and projection. A study of history and an open-eyed visit to the East will still confirm this to be the case in many countries.
RESPONDENT: This response is a example of the twist I said you put on the topics... This is what I said; ‘Millions?Billions? give their lives? for nil?? just speculation and projection. As far as I am concerned... these people devoted what they wished, learned what they learned, and went on to live long productive peaceful loving ordinary lives... maybe some didn’t. So what!
PETER: On re-reading my response I see that I clearly made the point of what it meant for me – that in the light of these facts I was able to clearly put my position in perspective rather than merely following what everyone else was and had been doing for millennia. If this is of no concern to you, so be it. It does nothing to alter the facts.
RESPONDENT: The issue I have with your speculations and projections does not have to do with history but with the judgement that you recolor and edit the history in order to create support for your opinions – that you like to call facts. How you choose to view, edit and interpret history has no bearing on the reality of the history itself.
PETER: No, you yourself said ... ‘as far as I am concerned’ which, as it turned out, meant that you are ‘not concerned’ – as evidenced by ‘So what!’
I, on the other hand was vitally concerned as to what I was doing with my life and what other human beings had done with their lives. Had it bought them the promised peace of mind and had this whole spiritual pursuit contributed to bringing forth a state of peace on the planet?
My own open-eyed direct observation of Eastern Counties, a common sensical reading of the Ancient texts, and 17 years of intensive search on the spiritual path forced me to the pride-shattering conclusion that I had been sold a dummy and that I had fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
RESPONDENT: You are unable to know the experiences of others.
PETER: There is nothing unique in the Human Condition. One is either normal or spiritual. I have had the experience of 32 years of ‘normal life and 17 years of spiritual life so I see myself as well qualified. I am also well qualified in the ‘new business’ of actualism, although by no means as well qualified as Richard.
He was Enlightened for 11 years until he saw through the sham.
Mind you, writing on this list is certainly an eye-opener as to the reactions one gets when one dares to question anyone’s dearly-held beliefs.
RESPONDENT: Your unfulfilled expectations of specific rewards and results has nothing to do with the History and lives of the people who lived it. You are not in possession of authority (except in you mind) to determine lives were lived and given for nil...or anything else.
You’re welcome to have your opinion. But, it was the judgement of lives given for nil that I said was speculation and the facts you created out of the speculation is what I called projections.
PETER: So, in the world according to No 10, I am allowed to have an opinion but the sin of all sins is to make a judgement.
If by judgement you mean the ability to judge wisely in matters affecting action, good sense, discretion then I make judgements based on all the facts I can gather. I then make a judgement on what is the sensible action to take.
The operation of common sense is essential if one is to be free of such moralistic and self-serving nonsense as ‘thou shalt not judge’.
RESPONDENT: A fact is: a piece of information presented as having objective reality; (objective reality would be undistorted-actual reality).
PETER: If a fact to you is undistorted-actual reality then does that mean you call a tree a tree, or do you call it a ‘piece of information’? Is the keyboard in front of you a fact as in visible, touchable, audible when you type – i.e. is it actual?
PETER: Your statement – ‘which is not to say your comments are not without validity’ makes little sense to me. Judging something as valid or invalid is a subjective evaluation that is most often applied in the form ‘what you are saying has some validity, but I believe ...’ What about examining and evaluating a comment on the basis of whether it is factual and sensible. Is it a statement of fact and does it make sense, or is it silly?
Most people live their lives on the basis of feelings, imagination, hope and belief and stubbornly ignore facts and sensibility. My exchanges on the Sannyas Mailing List offer ample evidence of the stubborn hold that fervent belief and impassioned feelings have on human beings. Hiding behind, and wallowing in, spiritual belief makes any sensible consideration and discussion of facts an impossibility, and forestalls any consideration of the third alternative that is now available to remaining ‘normal’ or becoming ‘spiritual’.
One of the reasons I was moved to write to you was that your magazine seemed to indicate a willingness on your part to question spiritual belief, but it is now evident to me that it was simply written in sarcastic style and was aimed at deriding the beliefs of others who are not part of your religion.
It is an impossibility to engage in a discussion about facts – what works and what doesn’t work and why – with those who fervently believe something to be true and desperately uphold it to be the Truth. But if someone is sufficiently motivated and willing to take stock of their lives and examine what has worked and what hasn’t, then a sensible and dispassionate investigation of facts of spiritual belief is possible.
PUBLISHER No 1: I think you’re being overly pedantic here and also ascribing your experiences of others to me. Others may say ‘but I believe etc...’ please don’t ascribe this to me, it’s not factual and it’s not true.
PETER: My general observation, as in ‘most often’, has proved a touch inaccurate in your case. What you seem to do is, whenever you begrudgingly acknowledge the validity of something I have written, you then say ‘So what, it doesn’t mean anything to me, or it doesn’t apply to me’. You are obviously not a firm believer otherwise you would defend your belief against what you would perceive as attacks on it. You appear to be following the currently fashionable ‘ordinary spirituality’ school that preaches that one should be unconcerned about, and therefore disconnected from, everything.
PUBLISHER No 1: Oh well never mind – and I thought it was getting interesting even though your only response recently has been to stereotype judge and label. I can understand how you dropped Sannyas with such a mechanistic mind and a lack of courage and imagination.
PETER: I take it when you say I have a ‘mechanistic mind’, and I ‘lack courage and imagination’, that this is not a judgement on your part. Personally I find judgement very useful and necessary – how else does one determine what is silly and what is sensible. Spiritual people do it all the time by judging things as good or bad, right or wrong. They simply use Eastern religious and New Dark Age morals and ethics which are but a variation on the Christian one’s that many of them rejected or rebelled against in their youth.
As for your judgement, I have a mind freed of impassioned emotion – instinctual fear, aggression, nurture and desire. As such, I have no passion for fighting, which you see as lack of courage, and I don’t suffer from fanciful dreaming or fervent belief, which you see as lack of imagination. We live in different worlds – I live in the actual world, you live in the spiritual world.
PUBLISHER No 1: ‘Mechanistic mind’ is based on what you actually said so that is not judgement, the ‘courage’ bit is certainly judgemental and was said rhetorically and ironically to see if you would bite, and you did. I was doing exactly what I perceived you to be doing.
PETER: I have looked back through our correspondence and I have never said ‘mechanistic mind’, neither actually ... nor virtually. Since I haven’t said those words, ‘mechanistic mind’ must be an interpretation, a judgement of yours. As I have said I have no problem at all with judgement based on facts, experience, direct knowledge, discernment and a sensible considered assessment. Your judgments fail all categories.
PETER: Personally I find judgement very useful and necessary – how else does one determine what is silly and what is sensible. Spiritual people do it all the time by judging things as good or bad, right or wrong. They simply use Eastern religious and New Dark Age morals and ethics which are but a variation on the Christian ones that many of them rejected or rebelled against in their youth.
PUBLISHER No 1: Yes, I agree totally, you may have noticed the glossary in our magazine, the pity is that you also judge in the same way, Peter, as you have demonstrated in your responses to me, they are seldom based on the facts of what I said but on what you believe I mean.
PETER: If you agree with me totally then what is the pity about? Do you mean it is okay for you to judge me and not okay for me to do the same. Is it not because I make judgments based on different criteria to you?
Your judgments of me are based on the criteria of Eastern religious belief and philosophy whereas I make my judgments made from the criteria of the actual world. The actual world is what is always here, pure and perfect, and happening in this moment. It is a world stripped of the veneer of everyday gloomy reality and stripped of a meta-physical Greater Reality. It is a world that is evident only when the ‘self’, the illusionary entity inside the flesh and blood body is non-existent, extinct. The actual world is, however, briefly glimpsed in Pure Consciousness Experiences when the ‘self’ is temporarily absent. The aim of an actualist is to live that PCE, 24 hrs. a day, every day.
The PCE offers a glimpse or window out from the ‘real’ world everyone is born into (and therefore assumes to be all there is), and one suddenly finds oneself in the unimaginable, magical, fairytale-like actual world.
The PCE is a sensuous, sensate-only ‘self’-less experience of the perfection and purity of the actual universe. There is no ‘self’ as an interpreter, censor or spoiler. All is directly evidenced by the physical senses to be pure, perfect, delightful. One’s intelligence is freed of any emotions and affective feelings – thinking becomes benign, clear and concise – free of malice and sorrow. The already-existing innate purity and perfection that becomes stunningly apparent in this ‘self’-less state instantly renders redundant the need for any morals, ethics or any kind of ‘self’-control. With awareness and intelligence operating totally freed from the Human Condition, ‘I’ can then be clearly seen for what ‘I’ am – the very source of ‘my’ suffering and malice, given credence only by the chemical surges sourced from the primitive animal brain.
This physical universe is then seen to be already perfect and it is obvious that it is only what goes on in human heads and hearts – the dis-ease called the Human Condition, manifest in each of us as a separate, personal ‘self’ – that is the cause of the appalling human malice and sorrow. What has always been avoided up until now is the fact that the affective instinctual passions are the root cause of human malice and sorrow – the loves and loyalties, impulses and urges, ideals and beliefs that human beings are willing and eager to fight and kill for, or to suffer and die for. One’s own ‘self’-inflicted problems lie in the feelings and emotions that arise from the animal instinctual passions – and the PCE experientially confirms this fact.
PUBLISHER No 1: Also your response was to cut and paste from all over the place only to support your argument and I see that you do not understand some quite simple things that I say. You use the General to legitimate the Particular and as far as I’m concerned this is not on, e.g. ‘Some Jews are very good with money’ becomes ‘all Jews are good with money’ This is why I perceive you as stereotyping so often. Your stereotyping of me is wrong most of the time.
PETER: Another furphy.
What about ‘all Jews believe in the Jewish god and are therefore religious people’ – exactly as ‘all Sannyasins believe that Rajneesh was a God-man and are therefore religious people’. At least this example has some relevance to the discussion.
As an aside, I have heard Sannyasins described as New Age Jews which I take it is not that ‘all Sannyasins are good with money’, which is clearly wrong, but it may relate to their small numbers, their fierce isolationism, their feeling of ultimate superiority and their identification as the persecuted one’s.
Whose commandment is it that thou shalt ‘not use the General to legitimate the Particular’? Why are you back in denial when you have already agreed on the value and necessity of sensible judgement –
And yet here we have another version of ‘thou shalt not judge’. A spiritual person is encouraged not to use the mind, not to sensibly judge – or label, or stereo-type, or ... – instead one is encouraged to practice denial and acceptance, both of which are as judgemental as all get out. These imbibed habits can be tough to break but the rewards are freedom from following yet another psittacism.
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