Selected Correspondence Peter
Male and Female Conditioning and Instincts
PETER: Observation will reveal that all feelings and emotions have physical sensations associated with them.
RESPONDENT: Yes. I feel stupid for not having noticed this before.
PETER: Due in part to their social conditioning and in part to their traditional instinctual role, men in particular are not very good in getting in touch with their feelings. They often find it difficult to distinguish between thinking and feeling and none more so than those Eastern men who lived in monasteries and caves and concocted a philosophy that proposes that the way to become free is to cease thinking.
RESPONDENT: A couple of years ago I would have written this off as applying to other men but not to me. Now I’m inclined to agree.
PETER: I have spent a good many years being a SNAG and hanging out in the women’s camp because I thought this was a way of becoming more in touch with my feelings. Women tend to claim the moral-high ground as they regard themselves as being the natural custodians of the tender passions and yet I found the women’s camp to be as full of animosity, anxiety, confusion, bluff, bluster and one-up-manship as is the men’s camp. As a generalization it could be said that men are taught to repress or deny their feelings whilst women are taught to express and indulge in their feelings – and it is obvious that one cannot become attentive to one’s own feelings whilst one is either busy repressing or denying them or whilst one is constantly being overwhelmed by them.
RESPONDENT: What I need to look at within myself is my emotional response to life – although this statement would probably make those who are close to me laugh out loud since I am continually being berated (albeit jokingly) for having very little or no emotional side.
PETER: Gender conditioning is the strongest aspect of social conditioning. It starts from the very moment a baby emerges from the womb and continues unabated until death. As you would have read in my journal, my desire to make sense of, and break free of, this conditioning was paramount in my becoming a practicing actualist. And being born and conditioned a male, the very first thing I needed to do was to stop feeling aloof and stop being detached and start to get in touch with my feelings.
RESPONDENT: I am also looking at my ego and becoming more aware of how it gets in the way in normal day-to-day interactions using HAIETMOBA. I am also aware that what I’m probably doing is bolting on some actualism to my current life style, …
PETER: If you are aware of this then you will also be aware that you are wasting the opportunity that the actualism method offers.
RESPONDENT: I certainly don’t have the pure intent to ‘go all the way’ although I think I do have what you refer to as PCEs but only fleetingly. These moments usually come when sitting looking at the trees through the windows of my conservatory.
PETER: The fleeting moments you describe may well be what are sometimes referred to as Nature Experiences whereby one feels an inner peace by making an affective connection with the inherent stillness of this paradisaical planet. Nature Experiences are commonly experienced as being precious ‘time-outs’ from the rat-race or the real-world and whilst they could be a precursor to the onset of a PCE they are more generally experienced as spiritual experiences in that ‘I’ as spirit being connect with the spirit of nature, or ‘I’ as feeling being feel connected with the Whole.
GARY: As another form of ‘nurturance’, apart from what is commonly called Love, is ‘understanding’.
It is often thought that if only we ‘understand’ and acknowledge the grievance or sorrow of a person or people, then the solution can be found, or at least the ‘understanding’ will ameliorate the person’s sorrow. From this arises the old adage, sometimes used to quell another’s disturbance: ‘I understand your pain’. Internationally, warring nations and other parties sit down at the conference table to hash out and ultimately accommodate to each other’s grievances in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance and ‘understanding’. Such an approach does not address the ultimate cause of war in the first place and only produces yet the need for more conferences, more negotiation, and more accommodation. Accommodation seems to be one of the outstanding characteristics of the Human Condition, as we are using the term here. One makes countless accommodations in order to continue on ‘being’.
PETER: And a little reading of history reveals that these international accommodations produce at best a temporary lull in hostilities and a provisional cessation of suspicions and grievances, whilst many only serve to become the basis for future resentments. Inter-tribal suspicions and grievances run far too deep to be ever eliminated via accommodation, conciliation, compromise, pact or the like. The first and only step towards a practical workable solution is for sufficiently motivated individuals to take unilateral action by ceasing to be tribal members – to be a pioneer global citizen rather than continue to be a paid-up passionate member of one or other of the warring tribes.
The very same thing applies to being a paid-up passionate member of one or other of the warring sexes – the only way to begin to end the cycle of hostilities, grievances, suspicions and resentments is to firstly stop being a part of the male tribe or stop being a part of the female tribe. Having done so, one rids oneself of most of one’s social masculine or feminine identity such that the deeper instinctual levels are more readily available for scrutiny. This is the only practical way to bring an end to the battle of the sexes that invariably prevents an unconditional and actual intimacy between the male and female genders.
PETER: Hi Gary & No 38,
I’d just like to add my comment to your discussion about relationships.
GARY: I think I also experienced a momentary feeling of pity for my partner whose expressions of ‘love’ to me are usually not reciprocated, perhaps in they are in tender expressions of caring but certainly not in word, as I never speak the ‘love’ word anymore. I think there was an irrational belief operating in me at the time that went something like this: ‘What kind of partner are you after all – you should be telling your partner that you love her’.
One could easily substitute any number of words in the place of ‘partner’ such as ‘son’, ‘daughter’, ‘friend’, ‘coworker’, etc. The irrational belief that I ‘should’ be expressing love to these people caused me to feel momentary sadness, regret, and guilt. Gary to No 46, 4.10.2002
RESPONDENT: I had found myself in a very similar position a while back, and it provided plenty of (painful) opportunity for observation. I think I came out of it with increased clarity, but one question still remains:
Unlike Vineeto/Peter, I am not in a relationship with that level of shared determination and application. We do, however have a certain degree of caring for each other. It does give her pleasure to hear the word ‘love’ come out of my mouth towards her. Is it not reasonable to provide her that pleasure on occasion? Is it likely that we have been working through the whole concept of ‘love’, and as it slowly releases its iron grip, it is being reduced to merely a word? And in withholding this pleasure to others, we are hanging on to our concept of ‘love’?
PETER: I thought it might be useful to this particular discussion to explain my initial interest in actualism and how and why I came to be living with Vineeto. Although I have told the story in my Journal, most people who have read the story manage to misunderstand, misinterpret or re-interpret it.
When I first came across Richard I spent a good deal of time checking out the sensibility of his story, as well as checking out whether he lived what he talked. I eventually got to the stage where the story made sense and, unlike those I had followed on the spiritual path, it was clear to me that he lived what he talked. As I found myself becoming more and more interested in actualism I found myself faced with a dilemma. How best to road-test actualism in order to find out if the method worked in practice?
Previous to this time I had been full-on on the spiritual path, was not in a relationship, had lived in shared houses for several years and had spent the last year living alone. It was in this latter monk-like period that I gradually lost my grip on reality and had a substantial Satori experience – a glimpse of what enlightenment would be like. It occurred to me that if I continued to live alone then it would be very easy to treat actualism as a philosophy or a belief and the danger was that I would go tripping off into all sorts of fantasies as I had done in my spiritual period.
However, as I have said often before, what really challenged me was Richard’s comment in the Introduction to his Journal –
There was such a blindingly obvious sensibility to this statement that I decided that this too would be my starting point in actualism.
In making this decision, I knew I would be testing actualism not only in an utterly down-to-earth arena – one-on-one male-female relationship – but one that Eastern spiritualism failed to address. The appeal of this method of testing actualism was that, whilst I knew from experience I could very happily live by myself, I preferred to live with a companion. I had always wanted to understand the nature of the odious gender divide and I had always wanted to be free from sexual inhibitions as well as instinctive sexual predatoriness. Deep-down I knew that if I wanted to be happy and harmless in the world-as-it, with people as-they-are, then the big issues in life had to be tackled and understood – not dismissed, denied or avoided. And one of the really big issues was man and woman living together in utter peace and harmony.
So it could be said that my deliberately finding a companion with whom to road-test the actualism method only meant I was catching up to where you guys started – faced with the challenge of living with at least one other person in utter peace and harmony. From feedback over the years, it is clear that many people have misunderstood the nature of this challenge. It is not about waiting for, or demanding, that the other person changes – that they become happy and harmless in order that you can be. Nor is it about waiting for some like-minded person to come magically wandering into your life in order for you to change.
Everybody who comes across actualism starts from where they are now, in the life circumstances they find themselves in. If you are already with a companion, then that is where you start, if you are alone, that is where you start. No matter what age, culture, gender, life experience or life circumstances – if you want to become happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are, then right now is always the time to start and right here is the place to start.
This is not to say that you may not want to change your life circumstances in order to make life easier – contrary to popular belief there is no virtue in suffering – or that you may want to take on an adventure or a challenge of some sort. But no matter what an actualist’s life circumstances are, his or her main priority in life will always be to be happy and harmless right now.
I do remember that I spent a lot of time comparing my life experience and life circumstances with Richard’s. Eventually I came to see that making such comparisons was a red herring because my life experiences and life circumstances are what has happened as a fact and what is happening now as a fact. The only salient thing that stood out in Richard’s stories of his time before he became actually free was his whole-hearted intent and stubborn persistence to explore every avenue of his psyche in his quest to become actually free from the human condition – to leave no stone unturned, as it were.
Just to add another thought to the discussion that might be relevant. The last century has seen a remarkable revolution in women redefining their traditional social/gender roles and this seems to have left many men bemused about their own social/gender role. Whilst many women are now refusing to play the role of slave in their relationships, men generally seem reluctant to dare to take the same step.
My own experience is that this social/gender programming, both the male and female, needed to be scrupulously examined in order that I could become free of the effects of both. These investigations were an oft-confronting business because there is a lot of darkness hidden beneath the generally well-meant goodness – however the tangible rewards far exceed the unfulfilled and fickle promise of love.
By putting becoming happy and harmless as a higher priority to hanging on to the mores, habits and hopes of a traditional man-woman relationship, I am now able to relate to women as fellow human beings and not members of the ‘opposite sex’ – not only the woman I choose to live with, but all women.
RESPONDENT: I had meant to respond earlier to this post, but our area was hit with a nasty ice storm, which knocked out power (and internet access) over a large area for most of a week. It did afford the opportunity to experience instinctual fear, as tree limbs came crashing down on the roof repeatedly... that elicited a response that could only be from the lizard section of the brain. It was followed then by the fabricated worry response, which anticipated with dread the next limb. Anyways, it was an interesting (as in the Chinese curse?) observation of the whole range of fear responses.
PETER: Careful observation will reveal that the worry response emanating from instinctual fear is not fabricated – as in made-up or manufactured – but rather it is directly associated with the automatic instinctual response. The genetically programmed thoughtless instinctual response together with its immediate feeling aftermath, whether it lasts a few minutes or a few hours, are inseparable and any attempts to intellectually separate them can only result in dissociation.
RESPONDENT: In this case, I wasn’t attempting to separate them, it was merely interesting to notice that the total fear package had parts that originated in the genetic program, and parts in the conditioned response. I do have a tendency to ‘divide and conquer’, which happens to be one standard engineering practice ... I know it doesn’t work in these cases.
PETER: And yet what I was pointing out that in the case of an instinctive fear reaction to physical danger, it makes no sense to divide the reaction into two parts. In my experience of observing the feeling of fear, whenever the feeling of fear kicks in, whether it is in response to an actual danger or an imaginary one, there is no two-part reaction – no discernable first stage and no discernable, fabricated or conditioned, second phase to the feeling.
It may also be worthwhile considering that the male of the human species has been conditioned by his peers to rationalize his feelings in lieu of deeply experiencing his feelings. The significant understanding for an actualist is that this tendency to rationalize or intellectualize is only social conditioning and, as such, this habitual behaviour can be quite easily abandoned.
RESPONDENT: I hadn’t considered that my gender would play a significant role re dissociation, but what you say makes sense. Generally, males distance themselves from the emotions, while females wallow in them; neither is simply recognizing them with the intent of eliminating them.
PETER: In a similar vein, the male of the human species, precisely because of their male gender conditioning, could well be philosophically attracted to eliminating the feelings and emotions that are part and parcel of the instinctual passions. Because of this it is vital to remember that actualism is not about eliminating feelings and emotions – a negation that could only lead to sociopathic states – but that actualism is about becoming happy and harmless – a positivity of intent that serves to expose any feelings of malice and sorrow to the bright light of awareness.
PETER: Feelings and emotions on the other hand are a different matter – they are not the result of fabricated, conditioned nor taught behaviour. Feelings and emotions are rooted in the instinctual survival passions – an understanding that is vital to understanding the essential nature of the actualism method.
RESPONDENT: Interesting point you made about dissociation. If I understand correctly your last statement above, you are suggesting that pigeon-holing the various responses serves to reinforce the identity by defining or creating new components: this is No 38’s genetic response, this is No 38’s conditioned response, etc. Making the identity more complex is of course contrary to the actualist’s work.
PETER: Well, the first aspect is that your pigeon-holing of feelings seems to be intellectual rather than experiential and, as you would know from your engineering background, there is often a vast dichotomy betwixt theory and practice. Men in particular have been unwittingly taught since very early childhood to suppress, intellectualize or rationalize their feelings and emotions as a way of dissociating from their feelings. In the East, the God-men and monks simply took this taught behaviour to its extreme.
Secondly, keeping it simple is anathema to the human psyche – the confusion that arises from the combination of passion and imagination nearly always eclipses any chance of intelligence and common sense operating. The only way I found that I could utterly focus my attention on ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ was to keep it simple – I made this attentiveness my number one passion in life. There are countless examples in human history where individuals have devoted their lives, and their passion, to a single cause and by doing so have contributed mightily to the betterment of their fellow human beings. Richard’s single-minded intent and eventual discovery of a way to bring an end to the insidious influence of the instinctual passions is but one example.
RESPONDENT: Most of my life I have put the ‘blame’ on the male part of humanity for making such a mess of this planet, hence my relationship with men always carried subtly traces of either finding them guilty or feeling myself guilty but because of my ‘awareness’ that women were better I always found myself a little better so less guilty.
Vineeto put it very well the other day when she wrote –
I fell for that one for quite a while and it was reinforced by my immersion in Eastern spiritualism with its Ying-Yang belief. The male-female divide runs deep since most of the old spirit forces and Gods were either male or female, most of the societal structures were divisively either male of female, most of the responsibilities and tasks were split into either male or female.
But it’s a fascinating time to be alive since in an increasing number of societies these old divides are crumbling and we can clearly see that nearly all of the supposed differences between male and female are founded on belief and not on fact.
RESPONDENT: From this feeling better I never was able to ‘compete’ like so-called real man do and found the way they generally treated women repulsive.
PETER: The school playground taught me this very early on but I was only emboldened to try something different when I discovered over the years that ‘becoming less male and more feminine’ did nothing to bridge the divide between the sexes. To attempt to switch sides in the game or continually try to walk a middle path only means you are still a player in the game.
RESPONDENT: When coming up home link G:\ACTUAL FREEDOM\VINEETO.HTM after having typed in guilt I came to read about Vineeto’s observation; vis:
I shan’t comment on Vineeto’s observations except to say that living with a woman who has dared to investigate and eliminate her social and instinctual female programming is grand indeed. But of course, being born a man, your job is to investigate and eliminate your male social and instinctual programming and by doing so you get to understand the whole picture – both gender’s programming is inexorably intertwined in that it both creates and reinforces separate gender identities and, as such, sustains the gender divide.
IRENE: Living with Richard made it eventually clear to me that it is not nature that is to blame but the overlaid male interpretation of human life; how it should be instead! In other words knowing better than nature the universe itself. I don’t have to explain to you how every culture and religion (all invented by male minds, based on their interpretation of how life should be organised and regulated for women as well) denigrates particular aspects of our natural faculties and have tried to suppress them, repress them, to forbid them and demand that they must be changed into unnatural behaviour and beliefs, in order to keep the male supremacy intact.
In most cultures and religions we can observe, for instance, that sex was the culprit – it had to be either repressed completely (like the catholic priests) or limited to the wishes of the man only. In both scenarios a shocking amount of victims were created: repressed sexuality reveals itself in perversity, as is more and more exposed in the use of young children by grown men for their own benefit only and to the detriment of many, many children, as they were made helpless and guilty by intimidation and threats.
The other alternative was the licence granted to men over women and girls by cultural and religious authorities, whereby women and girls are seen as just cattle, for the men to use as they please. It lies all in the mistake of man believing himself to be the authority over woman, as was decreed by their ancestors who were to be believed to be in direct contact with a creator-god.
If men and women will ever want to live in peace and harmony, the very root-cause must be addressed: a law can only be fair if both genders define that law, not only men. But men would not voluntarily choose to share all responsibilities and rights with women, because they are too proud of and too used to their supremacy, plus they would – quite understandably! – feel afraid that they might become redundant altogether, once women were given the chance to have equal say in the decision-making processes that are necessary for the organization of all men, women and children into a peaceful and fair living together.
PETER: I find myself bewildered in the face of the depth of resentment women have towards men. As a man said to me the other day: ‘Do they want us to wear skirts?’ As you say above ‘they feel afraid that they might become redundant altogether, once women were given the chance to have an equal say in decision making processes’. This seems a statement not about equity at all but about justice which is but a nice word for revenge. Your Matrilineal dreams are of a Golden Age when women ruled over men and there was supposedly peace on earth.
There seems to be a lack of understanding among women of the suffering and sorrow that men experience. This is understandable, as the instinctual male role is one of provider and protector. As such he displays courage, bravado and strength to impress the female. In her selection of a mate this is what she demands, albeit sub-consciously, in many cases. This instinctual behaviour has resulted in the typical male displays of toughness, competitiveness and aggression, essential for the hunter and protector in the past and still played out in sport, business, politics and unfortunately in war. It is simply the male role – as it is the role of the female to procreate, mother and nurture and be protected.
This leads directly to the assumption that all violence is the fault of the male and women are but innocent victims. And yet it is the men who are still expected to die for family or country.
The other common belief is that men are not emotional or feeling ‘beings’. I had thought I had experienced the full gamut of human emotions and wrote a lot about them in my journal, smugly thinking I had not repressed anything. But recently when I stuck my head into fear to see if I was maybe avoiding something I found more. Beyond fear I discovered stark terror, angst and a dread the like of which I have never experienced before or want to experience again. I had previously, at the death of my son, experienced a form of dread that I would describe as personal, but this dread was as though I was experiencing the dread of humanity – every tortured soul, every rape, every horror, every fear. It literally tore my heart out as I realised what lay at the very core of my ‘being’ and every other being – I had tapped the very source of human psychic fear – the psychic opposite of the Divine Love and Bliss of Enlightenment.
So maybe this will illustrate the point as to why I truck little with those who accuse men of having no feelings. Feelings rule and ruin the lives of both men and women equally; this is my experience. After a near fatal illness, my father deliberately went back to work with the avowed intention of at least leaving something to my mother – he died two years later and she got a house. One night I witnessed a car crash. Going to help I was confronted with a seriously injured teenager who muttered over and over through the blood ‘she left me, she left me’. I have suffered from the fear of getting a girl pregnant and of being forced to become a husband and provider in my teens and as such was a fearful bumbling virgin when married. I have suffered heartbreak, jealousy, dependency, loneliness – need I go on?
RESPONDENT: The other day I wasn’t feeling well and after a meeting here at the hospital as I stood up to leave, splitting headache, tremulous, I almost fainted, and when it was happening, I felt nothing like concern for myself, for someone who was sick, or anything like that.
What I felt was fear, not about my condition or possible damage to my physical self, but fear about having my weakness exposed to others, and what normally would call this fear is ‘embarrassment.’ This is simply the truth. That is the kind of a creature ‘I’ am – I don’t actually care for myself but only my appearance – am I safe? will they like me? – in the eyes of others. I recognize it as delusion.
PETER: I think this is particularly true for the male as we have been conditioned to hide or repress our feelings and the discovery of these feelings that emerge can be quite astounding. I discovered that the traditional spiritual way of regarding them as illusionary was no longer acceptable to me as I would no longer tolerate their presence as I found that not only did they cause my unhappiness but were the direct and real cause of all the violence and suffering in the world. The opportunity to actually do something about bringing peace to the planet is no small thing.
I have been doing a lot more work in the real world lately and have been able to observe the male hunting competitiveness and see the men suffer under the ethical responsibility and moral bondage of providing for and protecting their family. Behind the scenes the women equally suffer under the ethical responsibility and moral bondage of nurturing and caring for their family. Underscoring this suffering, responsibility and bondage is the overarching core instinctual drive – the propagation and survival of the species come what may. I say suffer, for many men I see can now comfortably provide and protect with little effort and, apart from the early years of helpless infants, the women are also capable of fulfilling their instinctual role quite comfortably. The problem comes not in the doing, but in the social and instinctual programming itself that causes the needless emotional suffering and debilitating feelings of responsibility and bondage. There are signs that the traditional social roles are being questioned by many of both sexes mainly in wealthy countries such that the relentless population growth is beginning to be stemmed, but entrenched social mores and blind instinctual urges still cause untold emotional suffering for both men and women. It is indeed wonderful to be free of being a normal male and to have as a companion someone who is no longer a normal female.
So that’s about it from me.
It is important for an actualist to be able to see how the combination of a socially-instilled identity and genetically-encoded instinctual passions conspire to form a closed-loop Human Condition where resentment and denial, combined with malice and sorrow, is an ingrained inevitability. Having done so, it becomes clear that changing Humanity is not possible – it is a closed-loop – and the only way to become free is to step out of it entirely and abandon one’s social and instinctual, psychological and psychic identity.
PETER to Konrad: So, of course actual freedom will have no gurus, no pretenders as the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak. The Americans say: ‘can you walk the talk?’ Australians say: ‘Can you put your money where your mouth is?’ And its success will be that it is actual, it does work, it does bring change that is tangible. So I will watch with amusements your attempts at hobbling a bit of actual freedom talk into your philosophy – you are doomed to failure, but what the heck! What I am saying to you is that Enlightenment is finished, now that Richard has exposed it from the ‘inside’. Discipleship and the Spiritual Path are also finished and Vineeto and I have exposed the fraud that it is anything other than Eastern Religion masquerading in sheep’s clothing.
So maybe, just maybe, it is worth while considering that everybody (including yourself) has got it 180 degrees wrong. Not just a bit wrong but all wrong.
It can be an enormous blow to pride, particularly male pride – I know it was for me – but I am immensely pleased I let go of the ‘tried and failed’. I did however have to acknowledge I was neither happy nor harmless in order to even begin to become free of the crippling Wisdom of the Past. And then I got to be a pioneer on the path to actual freedom and I always liked to do a bit of pioneering occasionally, to dare to be authentic and original is such a hoot.
PETER: In the human animal, sex is equally and identically run by hormones. In other animals once the act is done, it is most usually end of story. In human beings, once one’s instinctual reproductive duty has been done – find woman, impregnate woman ... or find man, get impregnated – the sexual imperative for both sexes begins to keep an eye out for gratification elsewhere. Both sexes usually resort to playing their societal role as partners and parents and usually have to indulge in fantasy or dreams to maintain interest in staying with the same sexual partner, or sex simply wilts and is shelved as a mutual pleasure.
GARY: That has certainly been true for me. Fantasy and dreams prevent actual intimacy. Sex, in our case, has wilted, but there are stirrings of mutual sensual delight and innocent experimentation. I have been recently been thinking about and mulling over the whole business of the nature of imaginative psychic activity – how such activity removes one from the actual, maintaining and supporting the real world. I have become more aware of the flights of fancy and imagination that fuel ‘me’, with some of the strong affective states that accompany them.
PETER: Personally I found thinking about and understanding some aspect of how I function to be an essential activity, but the real change came in change – overcoming my innate resistance and fear of doing something and doing it anyway. This always involved taking a risk, ‘letting my guard down’ as I tend to call it these days.
PETER: In human beings instinctual sex is made bewildering and confusing by our social/spiritual conditioning and our knowledge that it can result in pregnancy and parenthood. However, no matter how much control we may exert or how sublimated the instinctual drive is, it is always lurks beneath the surface inhibiting or preventing the free sensual enjoyment of sex. So in order to gain free sensual enjoyment of sex the first thing is to investigate the social morals and ethics and then dig into the instinctual drive itself.
GARY: Sex is certainly a raw instinctual energy. After digging into the social morals and ethics that control the wayward self, one can more easily see the primacy of the sex drive in humans. I think there is a basic urge to physically be close, as expressed through sexual contact, between people, both males and females. It is ever present when people get together.
PETER: The sexual urge acts to overcome the basic fear people have of other people. As for a basic urge in humans to be physically close, other than the sexual imperative, this is another matter. You probably missed it, but there was a discussion on this list some months ago about a herding instinct in humans – the fear-driven need to huddle together in tribal or family groups for protection against other competing aggressive animals. This is why love and loyalty is trumpeted so strongly in the human condition as a way to overcome the psychological and psychic fear that is the basic genetic endowment of all human animals.
Humans desperately fear actual intimacy because it is too raw, too close – with no barriers, shields or guards available as psychological or psychic defences.
GARY: There are also, of course, strong taboos against homosexuality in both males and females, yet the fact remains that homosexual behavior occurs. Large scale sexual surveys, like Kinsey’s, have shown that homosexual behavior is remarkably common in many people. I remember myself having homosexual experiences when younger. Mostly they were innocent gropings and explorings with male friends. I have never been a homosexual, but the urge was there nevertheless to indulge in sexual play with another male. Due to the strong taboos and forbidden nature of such gropings, I felt a keen sense of shame about these encounters and was greatly confused about my own sexuality when I was a young person. Level-headed and sensible discussion with a reasonable, more knowledgeable person might have dispelled these doubts and confusions, but none was forthcoming and I was too ashamed to divulge my internal turmoil.
PETER: Homosexual behaviour is documented in many other animal species as well, but I have no idea what proportion is genetic/natural, what is behaviourally caused and what is fashionable in humans.
PETER: Just a comment, based on my experiences in this business of getting to the roots of instinctual passions. Actualism is both practical and down-to-earth and, as such, one needs test out one’s realizations and understandings to see if they can be put into practice – if they are factual, if they work, and if they work in the world as-it-is with people as they are. In the case of sex, my investigations were serendipitously easy – I had a willing and eager partner who proved equally interested in investigating, discovering and unveiling the social and instinctual taboos that inhibit the free enjoyment of sexual play.
However, even in a pre-established normal relationship I see no reason why one partner cannot initiate an investigation by themselves, for themselves, if they are willing to take the risk.
GARY: My partner is a lot more willing to explore these things than I probably give her credit for. I am finding more and more that it is getting easier to talk matter-of-factly about sexual hang-ups and problems. Humour about these matters is also good medicine. I think talking about these things in this forum, with others, is making it easier to talk to her about it. I think we are gradually beginning to tease this thing apart and, though it will probably take considerable time to investigate all this, I am confident that better things are possible for both of us.
PETER: Yea. Women tend to be a bit more down-to-earth about sex than men. Contrary to popular male belief, it is women who are more interested in action and are usually the initiators, whereas men usually like the idea, talk and think about it a lot, but are hesitant to open up in sex lest they get consumed. I’m for mutual consumption – it’s simply the most fun.
PETER: So your ‘new’ philosophy is based on acceptance of anger and suffering. What is new about it then? This is as good as it gets? No wonder people give up in despair or wish like hell for some better after-life. Surely you can offer something better than acceptance...it hasn’t worked up until now.
IRENE: The richness, the depth of each human feeling reveals the understanding of what it is to be a human being in such an empirical, intimate way that it is later instantly recognised in a fellow human being who is going through the same emotional, human experience and who can then be met by compassion, that very kind understanding that you will have enjoyed with another, not only when life was being particularly difficult or sad, but also when you wanted to share your utmost joy or love.
PETER: Compassion is, as per definition, an agreement to share pathos – share suffering. Do I recognise a touch of Buddhism in your philosophy? The Dalai Lama’s title means ‘the Lord who looks down (with compassion) on all sentient beings’ and despite the compassion of millions of Buddhists for thousands of years the East has appalling poverty, repression of women, corruption, violence, etc. Or maybe it is part of your philosophy that women suffer so much more than men, that suffering and being able to share your suffering is a noble human attribute. In this way I could be tempted to agree but then I would just fall in to the same old gender trap. Both genders are just playing out their instinctually assigned roles and both are sorrowful and malicious. To argue degrees and apportion blame is to miss (or avoid) the point.
RESPONDENT: Once you wrote to Alan something of the kind that: Whenever you (Peter) ask people about the way Gurus behave towards women, you get blank faces. What did you observe in reference to Osho’s (or any other Guru’s) behavior towards women. Do you have some first hand information ? You want to write about them. Those personal observations/experiences would be facts. Your facts, but facts.
PETER: How on earth can you have a fact that is ‘your’ fact – that would mean that you have your own versions of facts. Methinks you are talking about truths which are definitely not facts, as Mr. Rajneesh has clearly pointed out above. As I wrote to Alan, Richard has written an excellent piece on facts, if you are interested.
Some ‘first hand information’ from a post to the Sannyas mailing list about the same question that you have asked –
I would only add an additional fact and that is that Guru is a Sanskrit word meaning elder or teacher and as such is one who propounds Eastern Religions. It is common in Eastern Religions to regard women as second-class citizens, needing to be re-born as a man in order to be worthy of even undertaking spiritual practice, being excluded from temples, being mere possessions of men, etc. This attitude is still very prevalent in the Eastern Religions and permeates into popular spiritualism. All of the male Gurus have women disciples who worship them and regard them as Gods, and this is actively encouraged by the Gurus – a pathetic and abysmal behaviour towards women.
RESPONDENT: So, why does an enlightened being have to wallow in power and authority? Can they not just live without malice and sorrow, with unconditional acceptance of everything, as a quiet light to those who are seeking a way out of the darkness they find themselves in?
PETER: Well seemingly not, if history is any guide. I’ve heard a lot of theories about humble Enlightened Ones, the un-seen and un-heard of ones, but if no-one hears of them then they are a myth.
As for the declared one’s – in becoming a saviour of others, a light on the path – they are obviously in the power and authority game.
RESPONDENT: Can not more be done by example, by walking the talk rather than talking the talk?
PETER: Precisely my point about the Enlightened Ones when I said ‘I didn’t like their lifestyles, I didn’t like how they were with their women and I didn’t like the whole God-man / disciple business. But when you really look at where Eastern spirituality, and dare I say Osho, was pointing to, it is that you would end up single, celibate and become God. That is ‘walking the talk’ in the East. If there are any women around, their role is as servants and worshipping carers.
For me, I wanted to walk the talk here on earth, as this flesh and blood body, here, now. That’s a major reason why I wanted to live with a woman in peace, harmony and equity – the fire test. That is why I invite scrutiny on this list – the fire test. No Truth that cannot be spoken, no secrets, all open, simple, direct and obvious. I think sometimes people are looking for some hidden agenda, some weird cult or something, some trap.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.