Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT to No 78: Good luck No 78. I don’t think you or I are going to ever get any girls if they know love is not going to be involved. Maybe after we have attained a virtual freedom, we might be so enjoyable to be around that perhaps we’d then have a chance.
You think I’m joking? Tell me how it goes when you tell a girl about actualism. I’m betting 99.99% of them would run away like Leatherface was running after them with a chainsaw.
PETER: What made sense to me was the fact that I needed to do whatever was necessary in order to clean myself up such that I didn’t impose my own innate antagonism and sadness on someone with whom I wanted to share my time with.
If you don’t happen to be with a partner right now then even better because you have the opportunity of getting a head start such that you will become an attractive companion to someone when the opportunity presents herself.
RESPONDENT No 73: I disagree, I am also a 21-year-old male in the States, and I get different reactions from people when discussing what is meant by actual freedom (females for this topic). Some are genuinely interested, and I have had many an intimate conversation relating to what it means to be alive and here now. The bottom line is that you could find people interested in eradicating misery in the forms of sorrow and malice and those that are not.
RESPONDENT: Finding people interested in giving up sorrow and malice is easy compared to find people willing to give up compassion, empathy, sympathy, and love (particularly girls/ladies). You let me know when you have a live-in companion or even a wife who is not only happy that you’re involved in this, but even ready to do it herself (by the way, it is the last part that would insure success, I think). One can ‘disagree’ till the cows come home, and that don’t mean shit. Prove it for a fact; yes this is a challenge! Go!
PETER: Quite a few people have casually dismissed my being able to live with a companion in utter peace and harmony on the basis that I have been lucky enough to find a like-minded compatible companion, thereby completely ignoring the fact that I am reaping the rewards of my own efforts to change myself (exactly as Vineeto is reaping the rewards of her own efforts to change herself). It is clear to me that such people were merely offering an excuse for not bothering to make the requisite effort to become happy and harmless themselves.
RESPONDENT: What criteria is best to use when choosing a partner of the opposite gender to live with (or the same gender if one is so inclined)? The goal being to live peacefully together.
PETER: What I discovered was that if my goal was to live together with a partner in peace and harmony then the doing of it was entirely my own business and that it had nothing to do with my partner whatsoever. I found that to make my happiness and my harmlessness someone else’s business was a cop-out.
RESPONDENT: I understand from your response (very considerate and useful by the way) that both you and Vineeto live in a virtual freedom from the human condition. It’s suggested that the process of living together with a partner who is also interested in becoming free may enhance the actual experiencing of the world. I’ve also considered lately such an alternative, but here the available girlfriends are more interested in the latest parties or fashion trends.
PETER: No. I have never suggested ‘that the process of living together with a partner who is also interested in becoming free may enhance the actual experiencing of the world’, nor is it suggested anywhere on the website.
Human sensate experiencing of the actual world is a function of the sense organs of human flesh and blood bodies and this experiencing is largely a common-to-all experience given that the human species has the same genetic makeup with the same sense organs. Whilst ever-so-slight variations may occur from individual to individual, the sensate experience of the matter that is the actual world is a common-to-all experience in that each and every bodies’ sense organs experiences the exact same actual world – the universe being universal.
Because of this over-arching commonality of sensate experience it is a delight to be able to swap notes as to the sensual experiencing of the actual world with a fellow human being who is equally capable of delighting in the sensuousness of the actual world. It is impossible to delight in the sensuous of the actual world if one is feeling resentful, aggrieved, annoyed, melancholic, detached, cynical, blissed-out and so on, and it is impossible to swap notes about the sensuousness of the actual world with a fellow human being who is feeling resentful, aggrieved, annoyed, melancholic, detached, cynical, blissed-out and so on.
In my case, living with a fellow human being who is virtually free of the debilitating feelings of malice and sorrow is an added bonus to my own ongoing experience of delight – it is not, as you imply, the reason I delight in being here. The sole reason I delight in being here is that I have, by my own efforts as an actualist, become virtually free of the feelings of malice and sorrow as well as the antidotal feelings of love and compassion – i.e. virtually free of feeling resentful, aggrieved, annoyed, melancholic, cynical, detached, blissed-out and so on.
Very, very rarely nowadays am I affected by the ungracious moods and emotional maladies of others such that it impinges on my feeling excellent or on my experiencing delight, so much so that I could live with any other person without inflicting any emotional demands upon them. The process of actualism is about ridding oneself of malice and sorrow – it is not about finding a companion who has rid themselves of malice and sorrow, or is in process of doing so, in order to attempt to live a vicarious happiness and a surrogate harmlessness by association.
At some seminal stage soon after meeting Vineeto, I realized that the only way I could live in peace and harmony with her was for me to clean myself up – for me to get my head out of the clouds and to get off my bum and set about ridding myself of my feelings of malice and my feelings of sorrow such that I didn’t deliberately or unwittingly continue to impose them upon her. When I realized that the only way I was ever going to be able to live with any of my fellow human beings in peace and harmony was for me to become happy and harmless, I set about the business of making it happen.
This is what I wrote about the realization soon after –
RESPONDENT: There is however this very close friend of mine and ex-lover (the one whose Self I’ve experienced in an ASC when we broke up) who at this moment is a psychology student and who is also exploring various ways (gestalt – have any idea what it is?, psychotherapy, Jung, etc.) of making her happy and others sane. It makes her a suitable candidate for me at this stage but at the same time I have some problems with the idea of a RE, those things like ‘the second time won’t work’, ‘once you brake it, you cannot make it back the second time’, etc. I’m aware now that our first relationship (1, 2 years) hasn’t worked as a result of the love involved and its constant companions (jealousy, possessiveness, hurt, boredom, fury, etc.), I can also see that these popular beliefs about ‘second try’ are quite irrelevant viewed with AF eyes (sometimes opened) as this is a completely new way of relating to people, different from love.
PETER: Yep. One of the first things I had to acknowledge to myself before I set about wanting to change myself was that my past attempts to live with a companion failed because of my feelings of ‘jealousy, possessiveness, hurt, boredom, fury, etc’. It was a significant step to acknowledge the role I played in the previous failure as opposed to indulging in the usual diversionary tactic of blaming the other. Such an acknowledgement can lead to wanting to do something about having these feelings – regardless of whether you are currently in a relationship or not.
As I have indicated above, only you can do something about your ungracious moods and emotional maladies. If you make the effort to become happy and harmless now you will then be doing all you can to make yourself a better, and presumably more appealing, companion for someone to live with in the future – and this will be so regardless of whether that companion is interested in becoming happy and harmless or not.
RESPONDENT: I initially thought (after the ASC) that our relationship hasn’t worked, despite her and mine best intentions, because there was no ‘True Love’ and that ‘earthly love’ was only a pale and false substitute for the divine state of experiencing the other as his/her True Self. I’ve even wrote a poem titled Love, these two verses are quite relevant for what I thought back then about ‘earthly love’ – here is a very approximate translation: ‘Alchool tear fallen from the skies, arrived to end the humans longing for immortality’. I’m still left wondering about it, her intentions and the means to reach them have to be taken into account as well ... and at this point they are not too clear.
PETER: The turning point in my being able to live in peace and harmony with Vineeto only came when I realized that I had to stop wanting to change her intentions and her behaviour because the only person I could change – and needed to change – in order to live with her in peace and harmony was me.
PETER: You recently wrote a post to everyone on the list and I would like to comment on a few of your statements as well as directly address a few of your questions.
RESPONDENT: I don’t want to become an actualist but a free, happy and fully autonomous human being.
PETER: This is rather like saying, I don’t want to be a materialist but I want to be a rich, famous and universally-envied human being, or I don’t want to be a spiritualist but I want to be a rich, famous and universally-worshipped God-man (or Goddess). I am somewhat bemused that so many people who profess they have an interest in actualism – the method by which to actually become ‘a free, happy and fully autonomous human being’, to use your words – have an aversion to the word actualist.
I simply see it as a useful label. I was a materialist for the first stage of my life until I gave it up because I found it be wanting. I then became a spiritualist for the next stage and eventually found it wanting. Then I came across actualism and became an actualist. I even use the term practicing actualist to make the point that I don’t hold it as a philosophy – a nonsensical thing to try and do – I am putting it into practice.
I can only speculate as to why people have an aversion to the word actualist. It would appear that many confuse the autonomy that is on offer in actualism – I am what I am, this flesh and blood body as distinct from other flesh and blood bodies – with the real-world independence – as in ‘I’ am ‘who’ I am, and to hell with anyone else. And most people are so world-weary that they cannot understand that calling oneself an actualist is a descriptive term and that it does not imply being a member of any of the competitive and hierarchal groupings that typify all the materialist and spiritual associations between human beings.
Or maybe it is simply a sign of a refusal to commit to being an actualist – having a full-blooded commitment is seen as foolishness by many.
RESPONDENT: The question is: Can Peter and Vineeto still live in a virtual freedom for let’s say a month, without practicing actualism? If not, then someone is in control there creating its actual world. Maybe an actualist I.
PETER: A pure consciousness experience is evidence that this flesh and blood body is effortlessly jovial and benign when ‘I’ am not around to continually stuff things up. By practicing the actualism method I have got to the stage where I am virtually free of malice and sorrow, which means that it is only very rarely that ‘I’ and my problems and passions interject such that my happiness and harmlessness is momentarily disrupted. Any such aberrations are of minor consequence and in no way spoil my sensual delight in being here in the world-as-it-is with people as-they are.
As you would know, whilst I make no claims to being actually free of malice and sorrow, I have no hesitation in recommending a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow to anyone who is interested – it is to live beyond human expectations. (...)
RESPONDENT: Seems to me like an artificial paradise you two have created, like the one advertised on the tourist booklets.
PETER: Ah! Far, far better than that. The paradise I live in is not artificial, it is actual and I now have an almost constant sensual appreciation of that fact. And further to this, I would now have the same sensual appreciation no matter where I lived on this luxuriant and cornucopian planet. I have simply chosen to live in the best bit of the planet I found in my travels – I voted with my feet to find a place I prefer to live, as millions of migrants do every year on the planet.
As for ‘you two have created’, I presume you are referring to the fact that we live together in the same flat in utter peace and harmony, 24/7. This is not a mutual creation – the fact that I live this way with Vineeto is testimony that the actualism method does work in that I am now virtually free of malice and sorrow, which means that I am a pleasurable companion to live with. And I can attest to the fact that Vineeto, also being virtually free of malice and sorrow, is a delightful companion to live with – we have none of the disputes, disagreements, altercations, withdrawals, retreats, estrangements, holding-backs, holding-ons and time-outs that typify normal relationships.
In short, I am every moment reaping the rewards of my full-blooded commitment to living with a companion in utter peace and harmony. (...)
RESPONDENT: What would happen if Peter and Vineeto would end their relationship and start a new one with a non-actualist? Would they have the same 99.9 happiness 24 hours a day / 7 days a week with their new business man/woman?
PETER: Of course. My happiness is not dependant on who I live with. It was serendipitous that the last companion I chose to live with was someone who was also interested in ridding herself of her animosity and her misery, but my happiness is an autonomous happiness that comes from the inherent sensuous pleasure of being alive in this paradisiacal actual world – no matter where I am in this moment, no matter whom I am with in this moment and no matter what I am doing or not doing in this moment. Living with a companion is a bonus on top of this on-going happiness and being able to partake of the intimate delights of sexual play with a willing companion is a bonus on top of that bonus.
RESPONDENT: Or maybe the cause was that I’ve read Richard’s response to Gary concerning friendship/love relationship, as this is one of the most sensitive issues for me. What strike me most in Richard’s comment was that love is a separative connection. I still love and long for a deeply affectionate and meaningful relationship with my ex-girlfriend or with someone else. This is the toughest part of my identity in so far, it’s like an axis around which my life evolved for 15+ years. This was the only way I believed and trained I could be happy by various books and by my parents example: the old romantic dream of humankind of Romeo and Juliette living their love ‘till death tear them apart. Right now I’m having a relationship with somebody else, yet there is from time to time this longing for being together with her and this has some undesired consequences over my present relationship; the aggressiveness I’m talking about being just one example. If you have any feedback in this area I would greatly appreciate it.
PETER: The only feedback I would give is to swap stories and tell you what I did, the changes I made and the steps I took in order that I could live with a companion in peace and harmony. If you are interested, I suggest reading the relevant chapters in my journal – Living Together, Love and Sex and you could try Peace and People for good measure – as its much more fresh than I could write it now from memory.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps that’s why I’m so puzzled by the relationship between Peter and Vineeto; if you were to separate would you feel no emotional pain (sorrow)? I know you’re not connected like in-a-love affair, but there is nothing to feel when you’ll have to live separate lives?
PETER: Perhaps I should preface my reply by saying that at the start of my living together with Vineeto I made a boots-and-all commitment that I would do anything and everything I needed to do in order that I would be able to live with her in amity and harmony. This once and for all commitment left me with no excuses, no escape route, no ‘next time’, no ‘other woman’ – my commitment ensured success as I was unwilling to accept failure yet again.
My success has meant that I have found my longed-for life-long companion, my best mate as it where, and I have no need at all to maintain an exit strategy, no need to ‘take space’, no need to keep an eye out for someone better or someone younger or whatever it is that normal men do. Because I have fully committed to this companionship I have never held anything back, which means I will have no regrets should it come to an end before I die. If it were to end before then, for whatever reason, I would miss her being around, but the missing would not be emotional in that I would have neither regrets nor guilt that I had held anything back, that it ‘could have been better if …’, no ‘self’-indulgent feelings of mourning or loss or grief, no feeling of loneliness, and so on.
RESPONDENT: Vineeto/Peter, How do you live with a single partner without experiencing loyalty?
PETER: Because I live with a woman who is invariably happy and harmless, the question of loyalty never arises.
Or to put it another way, I am constantly aware that I am living with the best woman I could live with, so the idea of changing partners or looking out for someone better or someone new never enters the picture.
RESPONDENT: Is that a preference or socially conditioned behaviour?
PETER: Neither, it is simply common sense in operation. Looking for better than best makes no sense to me.
RESPONDENT: I prefer having sex with different partners.
PETER: Speaking personally, I have always preferred quality over quantity.
RESPONDENT: At this stage I don’t know if it is simply a preference or my instinctual passions in action.
PETER: When I first came across actualism one of its major attractions was my interest in getting to the root of the sexual malaise such that I could freely enjoy the sensual delights of sexual play – something that I found impossible to do whilst shackled by religious/spiritual morality, be it either the Western variety or the Eastern, whilst remaining firmly ensconced on one side of the gender divide, let alone whilst being compelled by the animal instinctual passions to be a sexual predator.
In hindsight, it was fortunate that I had made living with at least one person in utter peace and harmony my number one priority in life at the time and this meant that I then had sufficient motivation to experientially investigate the mores and moralities of societal sexual and gender conditioning as well as the murky depths of the human instinctual sexual drive – to push on beyond where I had always stopped before.
Personally, I have found the whole investigation into sexuality to be one of the most daunting of practical investigations as well as one of the most rewarding. Daunting in that one inevitably confronts the most strident of societal moralities and taboos as well as the strongest of the human instinctual drives both of which make the investigation close-to-the-bone as it were – and rewarding in that, as each murky layer is seen through, one moves closer to the intimacy that living with another person in utter peace and harmony actually is.
Again with the benefit of hindsight – and something which is obvious to me now – the only reason I was able to make such an investigation, and reap such rewards, was that I made intimacy my first priority which meant that getting to the roots of the sexual malaise became a subsequent preference.
PETER: When I first came across actualism one of its major attractions was my interest in getting to the root of the sexual malaise such that I could freely enjoy the sensual delights of sexual play – something that I found impossible to do whilst shackled by religious/spiritual morality, be it either the Western variety or the Eastern, whilst remaining firmly ensconced on one side of the gender divide, let alone whilst being compelled by the animal instinctual passions to be a sexual predator.
RESPONDENT: My sexual social conditioning is both family derived and spiritual (Christian). It sounds something like this: find a suitable good looking/loving woman, bond/marry with her (eventually have 2 kids), respect her and ‘enjoy’ a lasting relationship without cheating on her.
My instinctual nature is like you described it: ‘find woman, fuck woman, move on’. Variations include having a constant number of women available for sex, like a harem while living with a single partner.
The problem is that after I am involved in a relationship for a longer period of time the sex is not as great as in the beginning so I tend to look for new partners.
PETER: Yet again evidence that the instinctual passions are ultimately stronger than social conditioning, hey?
RESPONDENT: Is your sexual pleasure diminishing/increasing/remaining constant in quality as time passes?
PETER: Nowadays sex is such an ever-fresh sensual experience that I no longer suffer from the problem of feeling trapped, being bored, wanting to move on, imagining I am having sex with someone else, retreating inside in order to evoke a personal bliss, being senselessly driven to ejaculate, and so on.
It’s quite remarkable what is to found at the end of the path that humanity has always hung a sign that says ‘do not enter here’.
PETER: In hindsight, it was fortunate that I had made living with at least one person in utter peace and harmony my number one priority in life at the time and this meant that I then had sufficient motivation to experientially investigate the mores and moralities of societal sexual and gender conditioning as well as the murky depths of the human instinctual sexual drive – to push on beyond where I had always stopped before.
RESPONDENT: What I notice is that after sex there is a very pleasant atmosphere, anxiety-free, relaxing and the problems, mores and moralities vanish albeit for a brief period. I enjoy these moments more and more and as they begin to slip away I track the gradual arising of the anxiety level and what causes it.
PETER: As a suggestion, I found it vital to check out the precise nature of the feelings I was having not only after having sex but also whilst having sex. It’s also found it good to keep in mind that any prolonged or strenuous physical activity can produce an increase in hormonal levels that induce feelings of well-being and even euphoria – I have friends who get a high from the hormones produced from prolonged running.
PETER: Personally, I have found the whole investigation into sexuality to be one of the most daunting of practical investigations as well as one of the most rewarding. Daunting in that one inevitably confronts the most strident of societal moralities and taboos as well as the strongest of the human instinctual drives both of which make the investigation close-to-the-bone as it were – and rewarding in that, as each murky layer is seen through, one moves closer to the intimacy that living with another person in utter peace and harmony actually is.
RESPONDENT: It’s so easy when not in the grip of the values, beliefs and instinctual urges that dominate 99% of my waking life. In such moments it’s surprising that they exist at all and have such a debilitating effect on my well-being. In the after-sex moments I can see the utter futility of real-world struggles and controls, they don’t exist at all.
PETER: I can only reiterate what I have said about putting the desire for an actual intimacy first – unless you are interested in the tantric ‘sex-for-the-sake-of-getting-blissed-out-of-it’ approach that is becoming more and more fashionable these days.
PETER: Again with the benefit of hindsight – and something which is obvious to me now – the only reason I was able to make such an investigation, and reap such rewards, was that I made intimacy my first priority which meant that getting to the roots of the sexual malaise became a subsequent preference.
RESPONDENT: The sexual act is the most direct form of intimacy that I experience and I usually experience it not with my partner as social conditioning somehow gets in the way (I’m working on that) but with (new) partners that are interested only in sex with no subsequent expectations.
PETER: And as I have said, the intimacy that I sought was the intimacy that comes from living with another person in utter peace and harmony – from the shared mundane experiences of eating a meal together, watching a television program together, having a coffee in a café, shopping for food, strolling through town, tending the garden, having a chat as well as the mundane experience of mutually enjoyable sex. As is evident from a pure consciousness experience – there is far more to intimacy than having sex with someone.
RESPONDENT: First I want to let you know that Vineeto’s writings have been invaluable to me in understanding women, my relation towards them and their relation towards me. She has made sense of something I had thought to be genuinely senseless and put it into words that are so easily read.
PETER: Yes, I found it most useful to have a companion who was willing to reveal the inner-workings of the woman’s camp in what is tellingly known as the battle of the sexes. Of course, as a practicing actualist, this willingness to divulge secrets was part of her desire to do all she could to change herself so that she could live with at least one fellow human being in utter peace and harmony.
RESPONDENT: What a marvellous cooperation between the two of you.
PETER: It was definitely a fortuitous meeting in that we both came to have the same intent – to do all we could to rid ourselves of all traces of malice and sorrow – but it would be wrong to think of it as a co-operative effort. The whole point of actualism is that no-one can do it for me, or with me – it is solely a do-it-yourself business.
You might have read the sea-side café incident that I recently posted to the list and if you did, you might also have noticed that my awareness of my feelings of anger towards her prompted me to take the unilateral action necessary to change myself. Contrary to popular belief, stopping being angry or resentful or melancholic or sorrowful does not require the co-operation of others.
RESPONDENT: In wondering about the younger generation, I am only seeing the change in two people, myself and my partner. The difficulty has come in creating the opportunity for him to have an experience and having the courage and patience on my behalf to see it out honestly.
We have been together 9 months and his realizations have begun to take place since about a month ago. They occur daily as he goes about life, and he is keen to tell me what he is discovering at the end of each day.
PETER: I can only comment on my experience with Vineeto. I tried for many months to influence her or change her until it dawned on me one day that it was not only a futile exercise but it was a gross intrusion into her life.
When we met my contract with her was that I would look at everything that came up in me that prevented me living with her in peace and harmony – not that she had to change to suit me or that she had to be in to what I was in to. When I realized I was slipping back into my old ways of wanting to change the person I had chosen to live with it came as quite a jolt, but it did mean that I was finally able to focus on the main issue – ‘me’ and ‘my’ moods, ‘my’ anger, ‘my’ resentment, ‘my’ sadness, ‘my’ loneliness, ‘my’ beliefs, ‘my’ values, etc.
Curiously enough, the fact that I actually stopped trying to change her after I had this realization also made her very curious as to what changes were actually possible by practicing actualism. This indicates that the best way for an actualist to help someone is by practical example – by proving that it is possible to eliminate your own malice and sorrow – and then allowing the other person the total freedom to be interested, or not.
Again just a note that I don’t know your personal circumstances and this is not to be taken as a direct comment on your situation. I am only relating my own experiences in what may well be different circumstances, but what is common to all is the Human Condition – notably the human fascination with others’ lives and with trying to change others and the legendary reluctance of human beings to examine their own lives and to change themselves.
PETER: (...) I am also curious that you say ‘could we start again?’ and then in the next sentence proceed to dredge up your fuzzy emotional recollection of a long past event – as distinct from the facts about our exchange. This is the ‘let’s wipe the slate clean ... but I just want to tell you that I haven’t forgotten that you hurt me in the past’ approach that is common to all relationships were the promise to ‘forgive and forget and start afresh’ is never kept. In normal human relationships there is inevitably a scorecard of emotional memories and past wounds that either build up to form an undercurrent of mutual resentment or are dusted off and waved under the other’s nose when ‘payback time’ comes. Thus it is that eventually each side learns to ‘play safe’ and be wary about what they say and how they say it, how much they expose and how honest they can be with the other for they always run the risk that whatever is said will be used against them later. ‘The right to remain silent’ is eventually seen as the best option and antipathies, compromises or accommodations naturally accumulate. Each side comes to have an increasing collection of ‘things that are not to be talked about’ and soon a strict limit is imposed on any mutual understanding that proves impossible to break.
Actual intimacy with others is impossible unless one has the courage and sense to break this cycle.
RESPONDENT: Yes; my communications are emotional catharsis. Every word had been me trying to mirror you and Vineeto. And it all fails dismally. Ok. Fine. I see now that it cannot work.
PETER: By your use of the words ‘trying to mirror’, I take it that you are justifying your emotional catharsis because you were only being a mirror of others. This is a very New-Agey psycho-spiritual approach to mitigate all sorts of emotional outbursts, behaviour and reactions whereby one’s catharsis – as in abreaction or emotional release – is justified in that ‘I am simply innocently reflecting back others completely misguided and unwarranted antagonism towards me’. Any relationship or friendship based on mutual mirroring is bound to be an emotional roller coaster of blame and recrimination, an emotional fight with the best ‘mirror-or’ winning or a dull and insipid affair based on mutual wariness.
The New Age cliché of mirroring is a way of avoiding taking responsibility for one’s own emotions – it is always the other and not me, it is always me mirroring the other’s anger – not me being angry and certainly not me doing anything to provoke, cause or instigate the reaction. It is a game ‘I’ play where ‘I’ always get off scot-free and ‘I’ can always falsely claim to be innocent and pure. The Gurus and God-men use a similar ploy when they say their anger is really a device to make the disciple wake up and I have seen this in action many a time.
Unless one is willing to take responsibility for being resentful, unhappy, moody, unkind, aggrieved, angry etc., then any relationship or friendship is doomed to fail or to be second-rate at best. Unless one deliberately sets about removing the debilitating effects one’s own emotional outbursts and reactions have on oneself, and on all of the people one interacts with, one will be forever forced into the belittling prospect of having to apologize ... after the harm is done. I always found having to apologize a degrading business for myself, and a futile exercise that did no good to redress the situation for the other.
It was my inability to always keep my emotions ‘under control’ such that I inevitably caused harm to others that attracted me to the proposition of being able to eliminate these automatic thoughtless malicious reactions.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps the offer of friendship is open. I respect you greatly. Anyone who manages to get out of Sannyas and all the spiritual conditioning and find living day to day pleasure with a woman I admire.
PETER: And yet you obviously don’t want it for yourself. When I met Richard I wanted to be how he was and was willing to do anything to achieve it.
When I previously looked on your website on 25th June, I found that you offer counselling in Spiritual Intimacy –
This does not sound like someone who has managed to get out of spiritual conditioning and yet all the while you have defiantly maintained a position on this mailing list that you are not spiritual ... in any way, shape or form.
When I asked you ‘where you were coming from, what your point is, what your motive is, what is your interest in writing on an Actual Freedom mailing list, what was your interest in meeting Richard’ and got no answer, I again checked your web-site.
You have since altered your website and now offer ‘Intimacy Coaching’ via email. Whichever way you phrase it, the advice you offer on your web-site is the very antithesis of the process I used – and that I described in my journal – to attain an intimacy with my fellow human beings which is why I find your admiration and respect a touch baffling.
The cure for feeling admiration and respect for others is to emulate them – this is the only practical way to eliminate feeling inferior to others. (...)
RESPONDENT: Peter I am a human being. So are you. Period.
PETER: But there is a marked difference – the most pertinent to both your professional and personal interest may be the fact that I live with a woman in utter peace harmony, simply because ‘I’ dared to make it happen. I full-bloodedly took up the challenge that ‘if I couldn’t live with at least one other person in utter peace and harmony (... on my part!) then life on earth is indeed a sick joke.’
You may remember I wrote of my first meeting with Vineeto in my journal –
What serendipity to meet her ... but then again, life abounds with unnoticed, or easily dismissed, serendipitous events.
Serendipity is, after all, what happens when you take the opportunity that comes along.
And to finish, I will just dismiss any presumption that intimacy is only possible with others if both parties are willing to undertake a mutual contract such as Vineeto and I did. Whenever anyone is free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow they are able to be intimate with everyone they meets for the other is a fellow human being after all ... not an ally or an adversary in a perverse and bitter instinctual game of survival or avoidance.
PETER: Freedom and perfection is only possible with the extinction of the animal instinctual passions in human beings...
RESPONDENT: As for your confusion about Peter’s words, No 14, I guess what we are supposed to believe is that a ‘24-hour relationship’ ... ‘in this paradisiacal planet’, as well as those ‘intense romantic encounters’ suggested by Peter’s partner months ago has absolutely nothing to do with ‘passion’, it’s totally free from it!!
PETER: Again you use inverted commas as though you are directly quoting words that were written. Vineeto never used the words ‘intense romantic encounters’. In fact, it was only by removing the passions of needing to be loved, feeling sexual cravings, feeling hate, feeling dependent, wanting ‘space’, wanting to be open but keeping secrets, promising to forgive but looking for revenge, wanting to surrender but feeling resentful, making compromises that satisfy neither, wanting to give fully but being afraid to, etc. that we are able to live together in utter equity, peace and harmony.
One often hears in the spiritual world the admission that human love does not work and the only solution is to feel Divine Love for all, but this experiment has been found wanting for feelings of Divine Love, no matter how grandiose, are but feelings based upon the same instinctual passions. Divine Love includes right and wrong, good and bad, jealousy, anger, blame, retribution, disappointment, demand, loyalty, power, surrender, etc.
Actual intimacy is not possible between humans who are programmed by blind nature to feel they are separate beings, and merely adopting a new identity who then feels non-separate and all-loving does nothing to tackle and eliminate the instinctual passions at their very source.
RESPONDENT: I just wonder where one can learn such technique! I am sure many of us would be interested in the subject, especially the ones who practice celibacy.
PETER: Indeed. None of what I am talking about can be learned by spiritual techniques for one-to-one peacefulness, an extinction of instinctual passions and the delights of free sexual play are not even on the discussion agenda, let alone part of any religious teachings
I always found it curious that those who were serious about attaining Enlightenment for themselves had to turn away from the ‘temptations of the flesh’ to achieve it.
There is a long and on-going tradition in both Eastern and Western religion for men and women to become celibate monks and nuns. In the East there is also a tradition of Tantric ritual copulation that is for both partners, a form of sacralization, the act being a participation in cosmic and divine processes. However, Tantric practices often involved much abuse of women and acts of bizarre rituals as a method of ‘purification’ particularly for the man. The compulsive nature of the sexual drive has always both terrified and confused the spiritual seeker and the easiest way out has always been the practice of avoidance leading to the denial of celibacy.
I always wanted to get to the roots of sexual evil and mystique and the method of investigating and eliminating the instinctual sexual drive has freed me from the brutish and senseless sexual imperative and allowed me to discover the sensuous delights of intimate sexual playfulness.
RESPONDENT: I also have a question regarding the fact that your experiment concerns only you and your companion living together in utter peace and harmony.
PETER: My experiment, as you put it, does not only concern my companion and I living together in utter peace and harmony. I included that fact as a down-to-earth, here and now, proof that peace on earth is possible. What bothered me in my spiritual search was that the idea of male-female companionship and the sensuous delight of sex were always placed second to one’s own spiritual ‘attainment’. Indeed, at the root of most ancient belief is the yearning to leave the problems and failures of human one-to-one intimacy behind, together with the ‘evils’ of instinctual predatory sexual urges, and seek a ‘higher consciousness’, above and beyond the mundane domestic and instinctual animal.
In my life I have observed and investigated both gender worlds, and eventually came to see them as culturally instilled and instinctually programmed. Together with my companion, I was able to break free of my social and instinctual identity as a man and she was able to break free of being a woman and thus we were able to free ourselves from the perennial battle of the sexes. No-one won, no-one lost, no-one compromised, we were simply able to step out of the whole mess. The process involved some 9 months of intense and oft scary investigation, exposure and elimination of all that stood in the way – I cleaned myself up, she cleaned herself up, and we had the fun of doing it together.
This is, in fact, the main event – the process of irrevocably changing oneself to eliminate malice and sorrow. It is futile, degrading, hypocritical and aggressive action to attempt to change anyone else. Being able to live with another person in peace, harmony, equity and parity is certainly not the be-all and end-all of human experience, but I used it as a touchstone, a down-to-earth proof that my explorations and investigations were not mere wankings but could be verified by my on-going, everyday experience in that toughest of tests – man-woman companionship and sexual play.
RESPONDENT: There would be room here for self-delusion should your companion choose to compromise, to go along to get along.
PETER: Yes, indeed. What I see, and personally experienced, in human male-female relationship is a battle of the sexes, either covert or overt. Much of this is passed on from father to son and mother to daughter and is an integral part of our social identity. Certainly the first thing we notice about others is their gender and this instant classification invariably colours our interactions as human beings. The other thing that kicks in automatically, and with disarming ferocity at puberty, is the sexual instinct, and it forever lurks, no matter how well controlled or ‘transcended’, to act as a spoiler to most male-female interactions and to actively inhibit free and sensuous sexual play.
As for self-delusion, I have already said one of the things that I didn’t like about the Enlightened Ones was how they were with their companions. The mere fact that one is more ‘evolved’, more ‘conscious’ or more ‘realized’ than the other, actively prevents equity and parity. If you remember, what I said in my post was –
I don’t doubt that many Enlightened Ones achieve a feeling of living together in peace and harmony but it is always at the expense of parity and equity – someone is higher and someone is lower.
Even the thought of having another human being fawn over me, surrender to me, be devotional, or feel they have to compromise because of me, was beneath my dignity as an autonomous human being – neither would I be free nor would the other person. This fact alone was enough to put me off any self-delusion. So when I eventually came across a woman who was equally willing to strip away everything that stood in the way of peace, harmony, equity and parity between us, I leapt at the chance and gave it 100%. And it worked ... beyond my wildest dreams.
RESPONDENT: Of course it is quite possible that you have indeed proven that two human beings can choose to live in utter peace and harmony, and if two can accomplish this then it would be possible for ‘all’ to do likewise.
PETER: As I said, I have proven it for myself and it is beyond my wildest dream. It has been going on for 24 hrs. a day, every day so long now that I regard it as normal and cannot understand why others bicker, fight, need to take space, or give up. I have to rack my memory and think back on my past relationships and how I was then. It is only by freeing myself from my social identity and the instinctual animal programming that I have become a delightful and fun companion to be with, and a rompacious sexual playmate. Before that, I was straight-jacketed ‘normal’, only to then become sanctimoniously goody two-shoed ‘spiritual’ – and both of them were a pain in the bum for any woman to live with.
I’d like to write more, but there are more questions, so I’d better move on. However, I think you probably get the gist of what I’m saying.
And yes, it is possible for anyone but, given it is pioneering stuff, in these early years not everyone who hears of it will be willing to take the risk, be prepared to do the hard work or to pay the price. It is possible for anyone who is vitally interested and that will not be everyone – as in ‘all’.
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.
Paradise is here on earth – not in our hearts, nor in heaven.
RESPONDENT: I would like to hear more about the dynamics of your alternative. How does it ‘work’?
PETER: As I have indicated, the first step is to fully take on board the modern discoveries that ‘who’ we think we are and ‘who’ we feel we are is nothing other than a social identity overlaying an instinctual identity – and that both are nothing more than operating programs in our brain.
This alien identity, or ‘self’, stands in the way of the already existing purity and perfection of the actual world becoming apparent and this is made startlingly clear in the ‘self’-less pure consciousness experience or peak experience.
From this experience one is clearly able to identify this alien entity as the source of one’s malice and sorrow, and one merrily sets in motion the process that will lead to living the pure consciousness experience, 24 hrs. a day, every day.
The first step is to actively demolish the first layer, one’s social identity – all the beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that each of us have been programmed with since birth. In my case it was Peter the son, Peter the man, Peter the father, Peter the spiritual believer, Peter the good, Peter the bad, Peter the builder, etc, etc. It is only when I had substantially eliminated or deleted this program that I could clearly look at, and sensibly investigate, the core instinctual being that is ‘me’.
This second stage is where all seekers, up to now, have been seduced into denial of the ‘bad’ instinctual passions of fear and aggression and attempted to transcend them in order to develop a new spiritual identity based on the ‘good’ passions. It takes sincere intent to avoid this atavistic seduction and instinctual grasp for survival (nurture) and self-aggrandizement (desire) and to dig deep to actively eliminate the insidious robotic influence that the instinctual passions have on one’s actions and thinking.
Finally the day comes when the whole program becomes so shaky and so nebulous that it crashes as one sees and experiences the fact that ‘who’ I am is nothing other than an illusion, given substance and credence by the chemical surges from the ancient instinctual brain.
This de-programming works exactly like the delete button on your computer. As you see something being redundant, preventing you from being happy now, or causing you to make someone else unhappy – delete! If it comes back again, see what it is, name the feeling, root around, see if you can function without it, delete it and empty the recycle bin this time. And get back as quick as you can to the sensate, sensual enjoyment of this moment of being alive. Each deletion and subsequent tangible freedom from malice and sorrow gives you the confidence to delete a bit more and soon you find yourself actively searching through each experience to see what is preventing you from being happy and harmless here, now, in this only moment you can be alive.
‘Self’-immolation is such an adventure ... and such fun.
RESPONDENT: As for your experiments in your relationship I think it is really great to have that open of an approach to getting beyond our conditioning. Far too many relationships never bother to question such things. They just seem to blindly go on and no one grows from them to the degree that is possible. I was married for almost 20 years to a wonderful woman and we went through much of what you wrote about. At the end of our marriage it wasn’t out of not caring for each other that we ended it. It was out of a deeper love and openness to the fact that we had different directions to go and freely and lovingly let go of each other. It has been good for both of us and we are still very close to each other.
My last relationship was with another wonderful woman. We were together for 8 years and never had any harsh words toward the other or any problems at all. We are still very close and talk with each other a few times a week. We saw that it was time to move on and did so lovingly. I am much older than her and wanted her to be able to learn from others. She saw my need to be alone to go deeper into what has been my life’s work. I have been a hermit for 12 years now and it has been very good for me. When I talk with people about my relationships that ended they can’t relate to us still being such good friends. As though we should hate each other like too many people do.
PETER: We have totally different approaches to relationships with totally different results. The only thing that brought total success for me in the relationship was in eliminating all my instilled social, cultural and spiritual conditioning in order to get stuck into the animal instinctual passions. The first layer is what most people fiddle around with by trying to find a way of compromising, accommodating or following the latest fashionable theories and beliefs. In past relationships I went from real world male to SNAG and finally had to delete the lot in order to fundamentally change. That was the thrilling bit, for underneath is a not too pretty set of animal passions. I went through many a scary time exposing layers of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that had been covered over by beliefs, ethics and morals. I came to see my social identity as the guardian at the gate of the instinctual passions. It is instilled in us to control them and unless you remove your social identity you can never dig in to explore the underlying survival instincts – ‘me’ at my very core.
What serendipity to find someone who was equally willing to remove absolutely everything that stood in the way of living together in peace and equity. I decided to give it 100% commitment – all or nothing. I came to understand and face the fact that I was at least as much at fault as my partners in all my past failed relationships. I also came to understand and face the fact that in past relationships most of time I was not really living with the woman because I was usually ‘some-where’ else. By ‘some-where’ else I mean avoiding, withdrawn, self-absorbed, resentful, suspicious, defensive, careful, worried, fearful, annoyed, scared, etc. This time I wanted to know that if we did part at any time it would be with me knowing that it was not my fault – that I had given it 100%.
What a delight it is to now live with a woman in easy companionship, where I can simply be myself with no pretence, no effort, no compromises, no bargains, no bonds. I am with her because I enjoy her company in all the activities we do together – just in her ‘being around’. It is delightful to have her as a companion. ‘It’s good you’re here’ is our favourite expression to each other. People around think that we are in love (little do they know!), and that it will wear off, as it always does; or that we are ‘soul mates’, having by some miracle found the ‘right one’. It is silly to worry whether this will last forever or that, given a change in circumstances, either of us may have a different companion at some future time. But I live with her as though it will be forever; totally, with no doubt – one hundred percent!
As you can see, my approach to living with someone in equity, peace and harmony was to bring to an end the process of forever learning, from having good endings, and from continuing to grow and move on. I had already moved on from three relationships and I wanted an end to continually growing and learning – I was challenged to prove that peace on earth was possible in this lifetime. The idea that we grow from our suffering or should be continually moving on is a bit like the idea of a never-ending spiritual search – one is supposed to be in a state of not-knowing, life is a journey to somewhere else, life is a mystery that cannot be solved, etc.
I became vitally interested in peace on earth is this lifetime – with people as-they-are, in the world as-it-is.
RESPONDENT: Sometimes the real test of a relationship isn’t so much being together but how does it end, if it does? And how free is it?
PETER: For me the main event is always here and now, which means if I am living with someone then I have no concern about when, how or if it will end. If I am not happy now, if I am annoyed, moody, discontent, out of it, lacklustre, sad or whatever then I am somewhere else but here and now, not doing what is happening in this moment of time. By fully taking on board the fact that this very moment is the only moment I can experience means that I have abandoned the idea of postponement. For me there is no end of this relationship for, if it happens, it is not happening now. The exquisiteness and sensual delight of being here, doing what is happening, means the ending of the idea that I am coming from somewhere or that I am going somewhere. Freedom lies in being absolutely locked into, and fully committed to this very moment of time – to fully embrace being a flesh and blood human being on this paradisiacal material earth.
RESPONDENT: A friend of mine had his lover leave him for another man. He was heart broken and was talking about how evil his lover had been for leaving him and how bad the other man was for taking her away. I asked him if he loved her? He said he did. I said, then if you love her you only want for her happiness. It became clear that he was not speaking from love, but from insecurity and a feeling of loss that was coming from the ego. He saw the point and changed his perspective and showed her love and understanding. In about a week she came back to him. They are now far more open with each other. Relationships are a very rich field for growth and learning to express more love.
PETER: My experience with Vineeto is that love and its accompanying roller coaster of deep-seated emotions and feelings is what really prevents actual intimacy – the direct experience of the other. How can two people relate to each other as human beings with this constant churning of deep-seated emotions and feelings? Love is but a failed antidote to fear and loneliness, an attempt to bridge the separateness that inevitably occurs when two lost, lonely, frightened and very, cunning entities attempt to live together. The only solution is to get rid of the fearful and lonely ‘self’ in order to allow the direct intimacy hidden beneath. To get rid of all imagination and belief enables one to experience the wonder of the actual and physical. We have found that living without this emotional burden of love allows us to live together with an ease, comfort, delight and level of consideration that we never thought possible.
The Eastern approach of blaming thinking and letting the emotions that arise from the instinctual passions get off scot-free is a process that can only lead to an altered state of consciousness – not peace on earth, in this lifetime. Instinctual passions when freed of any sensible thought and earthy sensuousness results in impassioned delusion, altered states of consciousness and finally, the infliction of theomania.
Human beings are unique among the animal species in that we have a large ‘modern’ brain – the neo-cortex – capable of thinking, planning and reflecting which overlays the primitive reptilian brain – the amygdala – the source of the animal instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Recent studies by LeDoux and others empirically confirm that the ‘quick and dirty’ instinctual, passionate responses of the primitive brain are primary and automatically over-ride the thoughtful, considered responses of the neo-cortex. We humans are, in fact, genetically programmed to be driven, consumed or overwhelmed by the animal instinctual passions that give rise to malice and sorrow. Thus, in spite of all our best and well-meaning efforts to keep our malice and sorrow under control, we are but ‘animal’, at our very core.
These instinctual passions produce the feelings of love and hate, compassion and sorrow, humility and pride, belonging and loneliness, bliss and dread, etc. The constant tightrope of balancing the extremes of mood swings produced by the chemical flow from the amygdala is exhausting work but to seek solace and succour in a fantasy world of so-called good feelings does nothing to eliminate the instinctual animal passions.
The Ancient Ones have got it 180 degrees wrong – it is feelings and emotions arising from the instinctual animal passions that are the problem, not sensible thinking, contemplative reflection or sensate sensuousness.
I noticed No 20 is beginning to cotton on to this fact as well, when he said in a recent post to you –
‘Self’-immolation is the only way to eliminate human instinctual malice and sorrow because it brings a permanent irrevocable end to the psychological and psychic reactions caused by the primitive reptilian brain.
RESPONDENT: They (relationships) too can be gone beyond. Now I feel my relationship is with Life Itself, and that includes all beings.
PETER: I gave up on going beyond anything because I found, by a wonderful process of deleting absolutely everything that was illusionary and instinctual, that I like being here on earth. I like my fellow human beings, I like my householder life, I wallow in the sensual pleasures of delicious food, intimate companionship, sumptuous sexual play, espresso coffee, TV watching, couch lazing, computer play, hot showers, soft pillows, warm bodies, afternoon walks, etc. Life on earth was meant to be simple and easy ... and peaceful.
Being here on earth as a flesh and blood mortal body is such a yummy experience I am nowadays fluxomed when I come across people who want to go beyond.
RESPONDENT: Peter, what you are describing here, between your excessive discursive pronouncements is simply... taking responsibility for one’s feelings. And I know, it is not popular, widely accomplished, frightening, etc, etc,... BUT IT IS HARDLY NEW!!!! New for you obviously.
PETER: It is a good opportunity to examine that hoary old platitude ‘taking responsibility for one’s feelings’.
I always wondered what was at the core of it? What it really meant?
Let’s stick to some practical personal examples – those that concern the actual world of people, things and events.
I had a number of relationships with women in my life that all degenerated to the point where neither I, nor my partner, were happy. I saw that my feelings, be they jealousy, anger, sullen withdrawal, resentment or whatever, were not only making me unhappy, they were directly causing my companion to be unhappy. And that further, on many occasions the feelings I had towards her were malicious (albeit psychically conveyed). To ‘feel’ anger towards someone is to be malicious – one does not have to resort to physical or verbal violence.
When I began to realise this I was so horrified that I withdrew from relationships altogether. It was only when I met Richard that I decided to do something about my feelings and emotions. Eliminate them entirely so not only could I live happily – free of sorrow, but that I could live 24 hrs. a day with someone else and not cause unhappiness in other – free of malice.
PETER: I see that I scored a side-mention in your post to Vineeto, so I thought I would comment –
RESPONDENT to Vineeto: I have perceived your care, which with pure love is compassion by the way, in most of your posts. So my next question is, How did you get stuck with a head-fucker like Peter? ;-) Love ...
PETER: Simple. Within weeks of meeting Richard I was challenged by the obvious fact that unless I could live with a woman in peace and harmony 24 hrs a day, every day, then life was indeed a sick joke. If I couldn’t live with one other person in peace and harmony, how could I expect there ever to be peace on earth. So I propositioned Vineeto and asked her if she was interested – which she was. I have posted the story before, but in case you were practicing the Sw. Deleeto ‘no-mind’ deletion-meditation at the time, the story is told in Introduction, Living Together, Love, Sex and a bit of Vineeto in my journal.
I assume from the above that you are also saying that you find my posts lacking in compassion. Given that compassion is ‘Participation in another’s suffering; fellow-feeling, sympathy. Pity, inclining one to show mercy or give aid. Sorrowful emotion, grief’ you are right. When one has eliminated sorrow in oneself it is then an impossibility to share it with others. To uphold compassion – an agreement that we all must suffer together – as a Noble ‘set-in-concrete’ feeling is to forever condemn Humanity to suffering.
I simply stepped out of the whole mutually-agreed scenario that says ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy, you only grow through suffering, no pain – no gain, you can’t change Human Nature, etc.’ I could only manage this by fully experiencing the range and depths of human feelings and emotions, by not ‘turning away’, by neither repressing nor expressing, but looking with open eyes at the Human Condition and acknowledging the facts. This then evinced an action such that the only option open was to do what I could about the appalling situation we humans find ourselves in on the planet.
That action was to do all that was possible to actually eliminate malice and sorrow in me.
With the elimination of malice, the need for love is extinguished to reveal what is intrinsic in the actual world – benevolence.
RESPONDENT: (...) I agree with you about relationships. Mine have been futile, always ending in frustration, misunderstanding, hurt and disagreement. My only way out was to walk away, instead of confronting the other person. What was the point, since men to me were always these creatures who did not understand me.
In a relationship, the more I gave, the less I received. The more manipulative I became, as a trial, the more the guy liked me. What nonsense is that. I believe in peace and harmony. To me relationships, unless they are harmonious, do not work. If they are not harmonious, they bring resentment, bad feelings, depression, revenge, etc. All these feelings that one is trying to get rid of. It is an endless circle. You want to be loved, yet when you open up to someone, the other person wants to manipulate and control. Then, you withdraw and go back to not being with another because the idea just brings memories of hell.
What you are proposing sounds like a good idea, but it takes two people who are willing to go into it the whole way, without any fear, any doubts and any conditions. If that is the case, i would definitely be willing to try such an undertaking, if only I met someone who was true to himself and his quest, that of having a harmonious, balanced relationship with a heart that is open and willing to grow.
PETER: For me the idea of being able to live with a woman in peace and harmony was something I wanted to do all my life, and had a few failed attempts. It seemed to me in the end that it was but an impossible dream. Like a lot of other seekers of freedom I put it on the back burner and pursued the spiritual path. On the spiritual path it is assumed that the search has priority over the relationship as can be clearly seen in the East with the emphasis on celibacy, retreat, monk-ship or nun-ship. Women mostly are servants to men, and are considered incapable of attaining Enlightenment unless re-incarnated as a man. The Masters and Gurus I met or read about all had or have relationships with women as their disciples – loving slaves who worship them. for me this was one of the things that first caused me to begin to the spiritual. How come the answer to it all does not include man and woman living together in peace, harmony and equity – not to mention sexual delight. It would all be a sick joke if paradise does not include this as an actuality.
Well I’m pleased to report and write about the fact that it does. When I first met Richard and contemplated trying this new path to actual freedom (as opposed to the spiritual) I wanted an actual way of determining if it works on the way. So I picked a woman ‘out of the hat’, literally by random except for a physical attraction. I’ve told the rest in the journal but the important thing I would emphasize is that I wanted to do it for me and it involved me focussing exclusively on changing me and not trying to change her. Vineeto wrote about the process of actively getting rid of everything that stood in the way between us. It has been a fascinating journey, the bulk of which was accomplished in 12 months of intense, exciting and scary times. We are both literally different people than when we started in that nether of us are malicious or sorrowful. We have not had even the hint of any disagreement or ripple of unease for 12 months or more. The change is permanent and is not dependant on us being together exclusively. We would each be capable of living with another in exactly the same way if the other had the same commitment – to investigate and eliminate in themselves everything that is in the road of peace and harmony. You do, of course manage to achieve what the Enlightened aim for the demolition and annihilation of the self as well – but that was my real aim anyway.
So maybe this is of use. If you are really interested it could be good to re-read the journal because unless your intent is pure and unless you make it the most important thing in your life, failure is guaranteed – you only have to look around to see the litany of failure of men and women living together. No wonder cynicism abounds.
RESPONDENT: Hi, Peter. I usually am pretty swift with my delete key when reviewing postings to the sannyas list, so I never read some of your postings which, I gather, may have been criticized?? Loving and harmless, men and women relating... this is the gold of life, in my estimation. I’d like to refer you to a very active, very open minded, very stimulating list, moderated by a lovely woman who is the founder of ‘Loving More’ magazine, which espouses the philosophy of just that – loving more, poly-amory, being in open non-monogamous relationships, successfully.
PETER: If you had read any of my journal particularly the Living Together, Love and Sex chapters, you would have discovered that my companion and I undertook an intense and extensive investigation into the failure of men-women relationships.
We began our relationship with a simple commitment – that we would investigate everything that stood in the way of us having a perfectly peaceful, harmonious and equitable companionship. Absolutely everything! – no holds barred, nothing hidden, no bargains, no deals. The essential addendum was that we would look at what it was in each of us – not the other.
What we found was astounding to say the least. Not only are men and women socially conditioned to be forever in two camps in the battle of the sexes, but that we are genetically programmed with instinctual drives and emotions that actively prevent any chance of a direct intimacy being at all possible. To adopt the traditional approach of love, love and yet more love as a solution to temporarily bridge this gap is to either invite the usual failures or at best a set of hopeful bargains and deals. These very compromises cause either a simmering resentment or feeling of sacrifice that covertly conspire to prevent not only the actual freedom of each party, but inevitably result in a second-rate life being lead by each of the parties.
To cobble oneself with a partner, as a succour to loneliness, is but a sad compromise.
However all is not lost.
Given sufficient intent, courage and sheer bloody-mindedness one can overcome and eventually eliminate both one’s personal fears, social conditioning and instinctual programming and succeed in enjoying the delights of living with a companion in a free, mature and direct intimacy that leaves love for dead!
One is then neither a man nor a woman, not blindly driven by instinctual behaviour, not beholden to the other as a sop for loneliness. One finds at last one’s ‘best mate’, as they say in this country, one whose company is constantly and irrevocably delightful, interesting and ever-fresh. And the mystique of sex is exposed and laid bare such that each and every sexual encounter is a new, sensate, sensual experience of such astounding physical pleasure as to leave no room for such interfering emotions as love.
So, as you can see, the web-site you offer would be of no use to either me or my companion.
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.