Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER: The fact that I know I am having a PCE and that I know that it is temporary and that it will end is a sure sign to me that, although for all intents and purpose there is no ‘I’ present, only ‘I’ could know that the experience is temporary because only ‘I’ can know that ‘I’ will eventually return.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t there a simpler explanation? Is it not just as likely that a mind capable of noticing the absence of ‘me’ is also capable of anticipating the return of ‘me’?
PETER: In my experience your explanation could well be more confusing and even has the potential to be totally misleading.
The key to a PCE for me is unmediated sensate experiencing and this sensuousness happens whether thinking is happening … or not happening. In a PCE it is palpably experienced that the sensation of touch happens at the skin-air or skin-object interface and not in the brain, that the sensation of sounds happen in the ears and not in the brain, that smell is perceived in the nose and not in the brain, that taste happens in the mouth and not in the brain and that it is the eyes that do the seeing and not the brain of this body. In a PCE, the brain is the organ that makes possible an awareness of this sensate experience, a feedback loop that allows an awareness of this awareness, the ability to make sense of sensate experiencing if necessary as well as a capacity for abstract thinking.
Because this fundamental shift in the nature of experiencing – from subjective/ restricted to objective/ unfettered – is the prime most obvious aspect of a PCE, it can be confusing to give particular emphasis to ‘a mind’ as it can indicate, and usually does as indicated in spiritual teachings, that the mind is an object/ entity separate from the body. For example, you are probably familiar with the phrase – ‘I am not my body, I am not my mind’ and have heard of people who talk of ‘no-mind’ experiences.
RESPONDENT: This explanation would eliminate the problem of an absent ‘self’ being present enough to know of its eventual return.
PETER: What problem? I can see that it well may be a philosophical conundrum for some but it would not be a problem for someone who has experienced the direct intimacy and immediacy of the actual world in a PCE and it is most certainly not a problem whilst one is having a PCE, despite the fact that I know that ‘I’ will reappear ‘on stage’ again, as it were, be it with a swagger or be it as a fervent lurker and inevitable spoiler.
If you are seeking a simpler explanation – if someone asked me during a PCE if was I free of the Human Condition, my immediate answer would be no because I would know by experience that what I was experiencing was a temporary experience simply because the event that precipitates an actual freedom had not yet occurred.
RESPONDENT: It is quite consistent with your experience, and also with Richard’s.
PETER: On a few occasions recently I have had clients who have proceeded to tell me not only how to design their building but also how it should be built, despite the fact that they have had little to no hands-on trial-and-error experience in either the process of designing let alone the nitty-gritty business of actually building a building. What they inevitably do is make what is simple and obvious to me by experience into something that is complex and problematic due to a lack of hands-on experience.
RESPONDENT: I would hazard a guess that your ‘simpler’ explanation than my explanation of my experience, let alone Richard’s ongoing experience, may well fall into that same category … but I may well be wrong. In the interest of clearing up any confusion about the matter, the question is – are you talking from your own experience or are you merely offering a supposition?
PETER: If you are talking from experience, then we can swap notes as it were. If you are making a supposition, then my explanation of the experience may well be helpful in coming to grips with making sense of the temporary experience of the perfection and purity of the universe – an experience that is mostly forgotten, has rarely been documented and even remained unlabelled until Richard coined the term ‘Pure Consciousness Experience’.
RESPONDENT: You did not know that your first PCE would be temporary. In subsequent PCE’s your brain was equipped with the knowledge that past experiences of that nature were temporary. Such knowledge cast a slight shadow over the experience without there necessarily being a ‘self’ present to cast that shadow. Richard, on the other hand, knows that his AF/PCE is permanent and immutable. A PCE and AF could be identical in all ways but one: in AF there is no shadow cast by the knowledge that this experience will be temporary.
PETER: I notice that you have now changed from using the word ‘mind’ to using the word ‘brain’. Nevertheless, given the profound influence that Eastern spirituality has had on current understandings on not only the nature of consciousness but also on the extent of human experiencing, the use of the term ‘a mind’ in this context usually indicates the almost universal belief that the mind is of itself an entity, an entity that is the source of not only anguish, but also of all evils.
RESPONDENT: It may sound spiritual but I have called this ‘mindfulness’. The action of the brain functioning unimpeded by an entity.
PETER: It does sound spiritual to me. An actualist who applies the method of actualism will find the method leads to an expertise in identifying and investigating the feelings and emotions that impede the clear and benevolent functioning of one’s own brain. Methinks ‘you’ are a watching entity who is being mindful of what your body/mind is doing – the classic spiritual practice of dissociation. There is a ‘you’ who is being aware and mindful, which is most definitely not a bare awareness – the capability of the human brain being aware of its own functioning ... when it is functioning. A bit of reading on the spiritual practice of watching can be found here, if you are interested.
RESPONDENT: Yes. I think I am reinforcing my ego/soul by believing ‘I’ am the doer of the happening moment ... from experience this can degenerate into further problems. This is not my experience of the happening delightful serendipity though.
PETER: I am confused. Which is your experience?
RESPONDENT: Yes ... with a mindfulness awareness of the ugly rising head should it venture forth, like a discordant note, from places unknown ... so that we may observe and benefit. Apperception we call this?
PETER: Could you describe ‘the ugly rising head’? What forms does it take? How is it manifest in your daily life and in interactions with those around you? Why do you say it ventures forth ‘from places unknown’? Surely the point of utilizing the actualism method is to find out about ‘the ugly rising head’, the ‘unknown places’ and the ‘discordant notes’ such that they are eradicated?
This is where the method of actualism is of genuine benefit to others but there is nothing in it for No 13 except happiness and harmlessness. This process is both tumultuous and disorienting, fearful ... and iconoclastic. One does not cruise through this process unscathed and soothingly ‘self’-benefited for one is actively demolishing one’s safe and secure social/spiritual identity and then embarking on a journey of truly epic proportions – the extinction of one’s instinctual animal self, one’s very being. What you are describing is not apperception at all – it sounds very much like playing the usual spiritual game of being superiorly mindful. Being ‘mindful’ is but to adopt the moral high-ground, feeling ‘above others’ and remaining very selectively aware of one’s own feelings, thoughts and actions.
I don’t know if you have been watching the news lately, but in the Middle East at the moment there is a classic confrontation between religious/ spiritual groups who each insist that they have the moral high-ground. The monotheist religions are blatantly obvious in their battle for supremacy of their respective Gods and their God’s loyal and faithful followers. Eastern religion has a twisted version of this psychic power battle whereby any pundit can, with practice and diligence, get to feel so morally superior, become totally self-deluded and end up truly believing themselves to be God-on-earth. Whatever the source, East or West, the result of religious/ spiritual belief is the same – malice towards others and the perpetuation of sorrow.
The battle between the monotheist Gods has produced some of the West’s most horrendous wars, crusades, pogroms, perversions and atrocities but none rival those found in the East. Even the Nazis where appalled at the butchery at Nanking (http://www.darkzen.com/) which was directly fuelled by the dissociative spiritual practice of Zen Buddhism. Not only were the enemy seen as mere evil spirits, but the perpetrators of the slaughter believed themselves to be disembodied Holy spirits and, as such, the butchering of other bodies held no qualms for these moral high-grounders. Similarly the practice of deliberate suicide was upheld as the noblest of actions for these ‘Zen warriors’.
It is only by fully comprehending the horrendous violence and mindless slaughter that is triggered, sustained, reinforced and actively perpetuated by religious/ spiritual belief that one is forced to do something about it in oneself.
To practice ‘mindfulness’ is to be a fence-sitter to this violence – hardly the business of an actualist vitally interested in peace on earth. Why, if you can see maintaining any religious/ spiritual belief whatsoever actively perpetuates superstition, fear, isolationism, ignorance, recrimination and retribution, would you want to have anything at all to do with it? Why do you claim to have a certain clarity of thinking and yet show no evidence of having seen the utter futility and stupidity of clinging on to any religious/ spiritual belief? Why do you not see the fact that maintaining any religious/ spiritual beliefs whatsoever is what initially prevents one from beginning the process of becoming a free and autonomous human being?
Debunking religious spiritual belief is not a side-issue for an actualist – it is the main issue in the early stages leading to Virtual Freedom. You can read my Journal if you are interested in a passionate personal story of an ex-insider to the spiritual world and you might get a taste of what is involved in stepping out of the world of spiritual belief.
This is no little thing that is offered on this Mailing list and The Actual Freedom Trust website – this is no rehashed or ‘new’ belief system or something that can be clipped-on to one’s old beliefs. If that is how you treat it, it is your business, but you will get no support for mindful fence-sitting here on this list – the benefits of actualism are far too profound and pragmatic for that, both for No 13 ... and for the actualizing of peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: I’ll answer more when I have time. (As I have arthritis I am sometimes limited in my staying power on the typewriter). You obviously object to the term ‘mindfulness’, Peter?
PETER: I don’t object to the term mindfulness at all ... after all it is only a word. However, the spiritual practice of mindfulness is obviously silly for it only leads to the creation of another, and higher, identity – ‘the watcher’. This new identity, ‘the watcher’, is even more dissociated from actuality than one’s ‘normal’ identity, for he/she/it is selfishly obsessed with the practice of spirit-ual awareness.
RESPONDENT: Please ... do not mistake the word for some ethical ‘right mind’ controlled by some external authority ... I am my own highest authority until I am actually free not enlightened.
PETER: Ah, give me a monotheist any day. Their belief is much simpler, for monotheists believe in a single external ‘highest authority’. Eastern spiritualists believe in an inner ‘highest authority’, an entity that can only ever be fully satiated and fulfilled by the final ‘realizing’ of personal Godhood aka Enlightenment.
If you insist on remaining your own highest authority you may well find that, as you put it, ‘... this can degenerate into further problems.’ The simple, direct way to eliminate problems is to make facts the highest authority in your life and then you get to experience the experiential thrill of all your precious beliefs collapsing like a stack of cards.
Facts are the very death-knell of all beliefs.
RESPONDENT: If you prefer I will use a word with which you are more comfortable?
PETER: Do you have any suggestions? I much prefer dictionary definitions of words unless you clearly qualify your meaning to be something other. It is what is known as calling a spade a spade and is most useful in communicating facts and demolishing beliefs – which is why so many people object to the practice.
RESPONDENT: I was recently reading Time and they had an article about meditation and the mind and such. One part of the article talked about how scientist monitored the brain activity of buddhist monks while they meditated and they found that these people had high activity in the part of the brain where happiness is experienced like nothing they had seen before. The subject title is all in fun, but I wonder if an actualist can produce similar results. Just something I was thinking about.
PETER: I recently watched a television show along the same lines as the article you are referring to and what struck me was the inanity of people seeking an ethereal happiness by deliberately cutting themselves off from the world, a pursuit which stands in stark contrast to the utterly down-to-earth aim of an actualist – to become actually free from the human condition of malice and sorrow in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. A dissociated happiness is, after all, dissociative.
RESPONDENT: But to me peace on earth and actually being happy and harmless must take precedence in a human life if we are to live life fully and survive successfully as a species.
PETER: Yep. 160 million died in wars in the last century, an estimated 40 million committed suicide, not to mention all the murders, rapes, torture, corruption, despair, loneliness, domestic violence, child abuse ... and there is no end in sight. It’s clearly time for intelligence to be freed of its burden of the animal survival instincts so we humans can live in utter peace and harmony, perfection and purity.
RESPONDENT: So if extirpation of the whole kit and caboodle, psyche, imagination and instinctual passions, is the only way to bring it about, then so must it be and I have my work cut out for me. But these are early days for this fully programmed necktop computer, so reflecting on the human beings use of imagination, love and whether this tiny mind is really open, occupies every moment of the day at the moment.
Each time I consciously experience any of them, I ask myself, are they real expressions of happiness and harmlessness? Can I, can the human race really live a fuller direct experience of life without them?
There is a lethargy in the human mind, from what I have observed in my own psyche and those I discuss these things with. A reluctant to concentrate at length and look deeply and ruthlessly at ones mental and emotional behaviour. Perhaps something to do with not wanting to expose the flaws in what Richard calls ‘what we hold most dear’ the self.
Open mindedness, standing in an opening of possibilities is also very dear to me. I love the space of it, as I love the vastness of Australia. To accept nothing other than the material facts of actualism is very difficult for this human mind. We are so much our love of stories and dramas and new possibilities.
PETER: I used anything I could as a motivation to get off my bum and do something about miserable, confused, second-rate ‘me’. I was charged by the possibility of being able to live as I had experienced in a PCE 24 hrs. a day, every day. To walk upright, free, beholden to no-one and to be pure and perfect in that no instinct-driven entity lay in wait in this body, ever-ready to spoil my happiness and of those around me. This is a possibility that is beyond human imagination, yet is now available for those who are willing to devote their life to the effort.
PETER to No 18: Being free of the belief in an after-life, I am now free to actually be here, fully acknowledging the fact. <Snip> Having no belief in a past or future life enabled me to tackle the issue of my behaviour, my actions, my feelings and emotions, my experiences and, of course, my happiness, right now.
RESPONDENT: Yes. Of the many uncoveries Richard made, one that has been of tremendous import to me has been that nothing is mine. That this sensate body I had considered as mine, is in fact the universe experiencing itself as a human being, and it brings about many interesting perspectives. Without the claim of my behaviour, actions, feelings and emotions, experiences and, of course, happiness, one is free to tackle them NOW without referring to the past ‘me’. Now I’m beginning to see how my this, my that, has been feeding the beast, the idea of a separate selfish identity.
PETER: What I wrote is the opposite of what you are agreeing with – 180 degrees opposite.
When I still had spiritual beliefs, I separated myself out from my behaviour, actions, feelings and emotions for I was a goody-two-shoes spiritual seeker. When I met Richard, I stopped pretending that my behaviour, actions, feelings and emotions were not mine. Then I discovered that I was, underneath the sugar-coating, both malicious and sorrowful. It was only by stopping this act of denial of splitting myself in two that I could accept the responsibility of cleaning myself up, so to speak. This splitting oneself in two, or creating a new identity, is what is known as dissociation, epitomized in spiritual belief by such phrases as ‘I am not my body’, ‘I am not my mind’, ‘I am not my feelings’, etc.
An actualist does not fall for the trap of merely pretending he or she is a flesh and blood body - adopting yet another identity or belief and thus ignoring or denying his or her unwanted or covered-up behaviour, actions, feelings and emotions. One doesn’t wave a magic wand by changing the name of things or learning a new language – the extinguishing of the instinctual passions that are ‘me’ at my core is the commitment of a life time.
As you said above, there are realizations everywhere at the moment about the stark differences between what spiritual people theorize about and how they actually are.
What I did was take my ‘self’ on – lock, stock and barrel, the lot, everything - and I will not stop until all of ‘me’ is extinguished, for only then will what is actual become apparent.
RESPONDENT: Okay, I’ve had my afternoon walk, pondering this and wondering what the heck I’m doing, when I could be 100% absorbed in breathing in the magnificence of this semi rural area where I live :) and this is what I discovered.
First of all, I’m experimenting in virtual reality, with the concept of having no *me*, for that is all I’m capable of at the moment. And a strange oxymoron it is too, using the imagination to imagine what it would be like to have no imagination. In that experiment I have been failing to make a distinction between the actual senses and the instinctual passions.
When I still had spiritual beliefs, I separated myself out from my behaviour, actions, feelings and emotions for I was a goody-two-shoes spiritual seeker. When I met Richard, I stopped pretending that my behaviour, actions, feelings and emotions were not mine. Then I discovered that I was, underneath the sugar-coating, both malicious and sorrowful.
RESPONDENT: I would like to ask a question that is a bit off topic. I have read on the AF site that most if not all people experience themselves as having an ego rather than being an ego. Why?
PETER: The process of socialization that very child inevitably undergoes means that all children are taught to suppress, deny or subjugate their ‘dark side’ hence the seeds of dissociation are sowed early on in life. Those who go on to succumb to spiritual or religious belief, or the ethical beliefs of secular humanism, take this dissociation a step further in that they actively practice sublimating their dark side and aggrandizing their good side.
What broke me free of this ingrained habit of dissociation was the realization that deep down inside I was as mad and as bad as everyone else.
RESPONDENT: Is it the ego that is experiencing it self as having an ego? In other words is the watcher (not to use a spiritual term I just can’t think of better way to put) the ego or is the watcher consciousness that has an ego layered over it?
PETER: Have you ever done any meditation? The reason I ask is that if you have you might well be able to answer the question yourself from your own experience.
Put briefly, the idea of meditation is to cut off from sensate experiencing and to stop thinking (as in become the watcher) and allow imagination and affectation to take over … and lo and behold … a new very-grand ethereal-like alter-identity emerges.
Personally, I don’t favour using the terms ego and soul as they are terms that have such historical baggage that their meaning has become so confused as to be often meaningless – for example, in those cultures yet to be afflicted by Eastern Mysticism, someone who felt themselves to be God-on-earth would be regarded as the ultimate ego-maniac. I much prefer the terms social identity and instinctual identity to describe the two aspects (nurture and nature) that together make up ‘me’ as an identity simply because they accurately and succinctly describe the sources, causes and resultant effects of being a feeling ‘being’.
RESPONDENT: On a relative scale, isn’t enlightenment a better state than the normal state of fearing and scheming and conniving and killing others?
PETER: On a relative scale of comparing degrees of the carnage that following one’s instinctual passions can produce, I have read that Nazi officers who witnessed the Nanking slaughter by Japanese soldiers – soldiers who followed the common Eastern religious belief that ‘I am not the body’ – where appalled at the utter callousness of this belief put into action. The following excerpts may well be of interest –
But why bother about ‘relative scales’ within the human condition when it is obvious that there is something rotten at the very core of the human condition – something so fundamental that everyone is busy either denying it, turning away from it, covering it up, fervently hoping that ‘Good’ will triumph over ‘Evil’ or frenetically praying that there is a life after death.
RESPONDENT: It may not deliver the goods totally but I don’t think it delivers nothing at all.
PETER: Indeed, the whole pursuit of Enlightenment has ensures that billions of people in the East have remained in denial of the animal instinctive roots of the human condition and have avidly practiced dissociation, all in the hope of ending up in la-la-land – and this malaise is now infecting the West at an astounding rate. This worldwide obsession with Eastern religion and philosophy has delivered a New Dark Age – this time around based on the morals, ethics and superstitions of pantheism as distinct from monotheism.
RESPONDENT: After all the only person who has so far achieved actual freedom arrived their stage ‘through’ enlightenment.
PETER: And that same person has made it abundantly clear that it would be utterly silly for anyone to follow in his footsteps.
RESPONDENT: Is it not possible that the way to actual freedom lies through enlightenment for all?
It stands to reason that it is much easier to come to one’s senses from the condition of being a relatively normal human being than from being trapped in a delusionary state, whereby all of one’s passions are aggrandized.
RESPONDENT: Why is it that others should avoid treading the same path?
PETER: I can’t speak for others but integrity, sincerity and common sense are my reasons for avoiding Enlightenment.
RESPONDENT: Whether it is easier to be actually free without being enlightened must be an open question as no one else has become actually free till date.
PETER: Your statement makes no sense to me given that the only person thus far to become actually free has reported that there is an easier and more direct way – and he is speaking with the benefit of hindsight.
Your post leaves me wondering whether you have any particular personal experience to draw upon in making such a definitive statement to your fellow correspondents on this mailing list … or are you just mounting a defence for the status quo, in this case the revered state of Enlightenment?
RESPONDENT: Most attractive were the very basic principles presented by Zen – I particularly liked Bankei, he seemed to have a grasp of the real essence. Why did they then have to bring in all the goofy chanting and incense, and what about that stick? Sheesh.
PETER: Have you ever considered that maybe there was something essentially rotten in Bankei’s ‘real essence’?
RESPONDENT: I have since realized that what I was attracted to in Zen – that stripped down elemental simplicity – I have found in these parts.
PETER: In order to make clear the ‘stripped down elemental simplicity’ of Zen, I’ll post a précis of the essence of Bankei’s teaching –
A human being who imagines they are ‘the Unborn’ subsequently imagines that they can never die, which in turn means they waft around feeling themselves to be immortal. Such a person then teaches the wisdom of detachment to others – thereby locking yet another generation of seekers out from experiencing the peace on earth that already, always exists in the actual world.
If you have realized that the ‘stripped down elemental simplicity’ of ‘I am the Unborn’ can also be found in actualism, then you have either totally misinterpreted, or completely ignored, the words published on the Actual Freedom Trust website.
RESPONDENT: Whereas you may have been ‘gullible in my spiritual years – my faith was indeed blind’, I tended to the other extreme, that of sceptic to a fault. Nothing was ever true, a cold place to be indeed.
PETER: It is important to distinguish between scepticism and cynicism because it is impossible for someone who is cynical about, or detached from, life and the universe to crank up enough innate naiveté to be an actualist.
PETER: You wrote to No 14 a note of such breathtaking duplicity that I am moved (as in ... up off the couch) to reply before all the spiritualists on this list start to declare Rajneesh and other similar God-men to be actually free from the Human Condition. Still people do believe that Jesus walked on water, that the planets influence their moods and the sun goes around the earth. It’s just that this list is about facts and actuality – and not fiction, hopeful imagination, wishful thinking, slippery re-interpretation, Ancient Wisdom or ‘Truth’.
RESPONDENT to No 14: I did not get this PCE stuff on this list in the beginning. I kept thinking about it for a while. For weeks I would get stuck on 2-3 experiences which stood out and seemed close to the way PCE was being described here. The first PCE happened to me after I did rigorous dynamic everyday for 2 months. This PCE happened 2 ½ years ago. I also noticed that for last 2 ½ years, I have always wanted to repeat that experience. I have had some much tinier ones but nothing compared to the first one.
Now I understand the whole thing about PCE. Osho created situations in which we could get PCEs and hence have a bench mark to work with. While Richard is asking us to remember a PCE, defined with a description, to take it as a bench mark.
PETER: It does seem a waste of all that thinking time to have come to the conclusion that there is a God after all, and that Rajneesh is your God. Still Humanity’s obsession with believing the fairy-tales of the God-men is both legendary and endemic and has been around for thousands of years. This is the very beginning of a new down-to-earth non-spiritual Actual Freedom and, as such, will not be for all. It does take a certain courage, tenacity, stubbornness and bloody-mindedness to strike off on one’s own to discover and investigate.
So, let’s look at your preposterous proposition that ‘Rajneesh created situations where we could get PCEs’.
Let’s start with a quote from Rajneesh about the path from Satori to Samadhi –
Well, as the man says – the whole process is a deep insight into the mind, nothing else. In other words, it all happens in the mind i.e. it is a passionate imagination. Now how you can equate this description of a glimpse of the ‘sky’ with Richard’s descriptions of the direct sensate ‘self’-less experience of the actual world is beyond me. (...)
Let’s dig a little deeper and see the extent of his delusion. Again a quote from the man himself –
Cute Hey. With a leap of imagination he is no longer responsible for his actions even to the point of killing. He becomes quite literally ‘above’ the mundane, the ordinary, the laws, the earthly, the sensate. One leaves the wheel of suffering, or earthly existence and transcends. This ‘lofty perch’ of the God-man has relevance in the Sannyas world as to his denial of any wrong doing in Rajneeshpuram – not that the American law courts believed him. No. 14 will recognize the dis-association of Rajneesh from any of his actions as identical to the position taken by Zen warriors in the ritual slaughter of 300,000 Chinese at Nanking – enthusiastically supported by the Buddhist Masters. (...)
Further on in the discourse comes the ‘big hook’ for his Sannyasins – the chance to not be identified, to ‘let-go’ and everything will be okay –
With a promise like that from the Master it is no wonder Sannyasins are seduced into and trapped in the spiritual world. Sounds not a fig like Actual Freedom to me – not a skerrick like a PCE.
I thought I’d leave you with a bit that I wrote to Swami Deleeto on the Sannyas List. You obviously know him well and as such would have missed this bit –
Rajneesh ‘created situations’ not to give you a PCE but to make his disciples ‘feel good’, be totally dependant, be grateful and loyal and above all to stay HIS PEOPLE – and 10 years after his death he still has thousands trapped imagining themselves as HIS PEOPLE.
PETER: (...) These investigations and discussions into the myths of Religions and the theories of science can literally shake the very ground you – and Humanity – stand on. For aeons the Sacred has been held as inviolate and the ‘upper’ echelons of philosophical and scientific theory as meaningful explorations. When one begins to understand that it is all a search for a somewhere else, a someplace else or a something else apart from the physical universe, then one understands that the ‘scientific’ beliefs, concepts and theories are all nothing more or less than a search for God. ‘Anywhere but here and any place but now’ is how Richard puts it.
RESPONDENT: Obviously you have read and thought over this subject lot more than I have. I have not finished reading the book. So I can’t say much about it. However, I did not say, suggest or imply that Roger Penrose was giving a prescription to eliminate Human Condition and/or obtain Freedom.
PETER: I have really only done a ‘skim’ over science and philosophy in order to see where it is they are coming from. In terms of the Human Condition there is a set-in-concrete belief that ‘you can’t change Human Nature’, and that is understandable from their point of view. The Human Condition is, after all, ‘the way it is and the way it has always been’ for human beings and no-one up until now has found an actual freedom from its instinctual clutches. As such, any investigations to date have been a study of what exists, a re-vamp of old ancient ‘solutions’ that have failed or an ‘escape’ into denial or fantasy.
RESPONDENT: From the little I read and the talk several years ago, I got the impression that he might have done a good job in researching on physics and biology of mind and trying to answer the question how mind works.
PETER: From what I read and from his own words that I pasted he is re-interpreting the research in physics and biology into a philosophical-mathematical theory of consciousness that is metaphysical in nature. We tend to think of metaphysics as the domain of the mystics and shamans but modern cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics and the like are mostly concerned with metaphysics.
You will remember, Sir Roger said –
By ‘beyond computation’ he means unable to be computed, calculated, reckoned, worked out, demonstrated, or made sense of. Or to use Mr. Oxford’s words – not empirically verifiable.
RESPONDENT: For my taste, explaining of physics and biology of mind is an important task in itself even if its importance may pale in comparison to the task of achieving Actual Freedom.
PETER: Yes indeed. The modern scientific empirical discoveries of neuro-biology and genetics, with regard to the human brain and how it functions, have revealed two very fascinating aspects –
RESPONDENT: On the other hand, achieving Actual Freedom being as important (since I can’t think of a better word right now, I will go with important) as it is, does not answer, I think, the questions about mechanisms involved in ‘one is this very actual universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being.’ Or does it? Or does it become a moot question to ask?
PETER: What the practical, down-to-earth scientists are indicating is that the mechanism involved in achieving an Actual Freedom from the Human Condition is all of this very actual, earthly, physical universe, is located in the human brain and capable of being tampered with. What actualists are busy pursuing is an active ‘self’-immolation to the point of a mutation or a physical disconnection from the instinctual primitive brain areas. These are all factually scientifically substantiated activities – nothing esoteric or other-worldly – no intervention of a mythical Higher Force or Greater Intelligence required.
But what an extraordinary set-up, what a magical evolutionary device. This physical universe is indeed actual as in not merely passive, and evolutionary change is the most startling evidence of this fact. That consciousness and intelligence evolve from physical matter, and are ever evolving – albeit in 40,000 years or so jumps. And for a conscious, sensate, reflective human being, what an incredible voyage and adventure to be involved in! The cutting edge ...
As No 3 would say ‘Thank goodness not Godness for that’.
When the human flesh and blood body is free of the psychological and psychic entity then ‘one is this very actual universe experiencing itself in all its magnificence as a sensate and reflective human being.’ And what an extraordinary adventure.
PETER to No 71: The fact that I know I am having a PCE and that I know that it is temporary and that it will end is a sure sign to me that, although for all intents and purpose there is no ‘I’ present, only ‘I’ could know that the experience is temporary because only ‘I’ can know that ‘I’ will eventually return. Peter to No 71 29.12.2005
RESPONDENT: I think you have hit on the one thing that does remain in a PCE that indicates that the SELF has some influence.
PETER: I notice that you have used the term the ‘SELF’ rather than ‘I’ (or ‘me’). Personally I favour using ‘I’ of ‘me’ as it is more indicative and descriptive of an identity that is entirely personal – ‘who’ I think and feel myself to be – whereas talking about ‘I’ or ‘me’ as ‘the SELF’ or ‘a self’ can often lead to dissociative discussions of a purely philosophical kind.
RESPONDENT: Although the emotions are truly in abeyance, the self-reflective mind can ‘kibbitz’ as it were, during the experience.
PETER: Whereas in a PCE, there is awareness that awareness is going on, the mind can be aware of itself and the ability to reflect is well and truly intact – what is obvious is that there is no ‘I’ let alone a ‘me’ usurping these functions. In short, it is evident that it is not the mind that stuffs things up – it is none other than ‘me’.
RESPONDENT: On AF the focus is primarily on the emotions as the seat of self in all its manifestations and the mind is given short shrift.
PETER: Whereas in spiritualism the mind is seen as the source of all anguish and the root of all evils, thereby avoiding the fact that the instinctual passions, manifest in this body and every body as ‘me’, an instinctual being’, who is the root cause of human malice and sorrow – whether it be self-inflicted or inflicted on others, whether it be deliberate or unconscious.
It was such a relief to ditch this belief; it was the beginning of allowing intelligence to relace passion as a means of discernment.
RESPONDENT: It is my opinion that self-reflection [the mind commenting on its state] is another aspect of self. Until the system goes down in toto the ability to self-reflect will remain.
PETER: And yet in a PCE, it is readily apparent that apperception is free to operate, unimpeded by ‘me’, i.e. in a PCE there is no self-refection, no self-obsession, no self-centredness, no self-castigation nor any self-glorification.
RESPONDENT: The ‘no thought’ paths seem to put the emphasis on elimination of self-reflective thinking. Maybe they are putting the cart before the horse.
PETER: Am I to take this as an endorsement of the no-thought paths? If so I can only say that rather than putting the cart before the horse any beliefs that promote no-sense are well and truly putting a spanner in the works. This is what I wrote in my Journal –
RESPONDENT: Or not. In either case, the percipient certainly feels or thinks that the self is nowhere to be found.
PETER: Given your comment immediately above, I am somewhat confused as to which ‘case’ you are referring to. If you are talking about what happens as a result of following a ‘no-thought’ path, the percipient – to use your word – can get to the stage where they perceive their personal self, aka ego, to be missing thereby allowing an impersonal aggrandized Self to rule the roost. This switch of identity is what has passed for freedom till now, but this sleight of mind has now been exposed for what it is – narcissism writ large, albeit often masquerading as a divine-like Humbleness.
PETER: Well I think this will be the last in this series of book reviews, for I’m inclined just to skim through the rest of Mr. Lowe, only briefly demolishing his ‘fresh and unique’ re-interpretations of Eastern religion and philosophy. It’s interesting that his ‘ordinary spiritualism’ serves only to strip away the aura of mystique that has been deliberately created and maintained by the shamans about what it is that the ancient texts are actually saying. He does the usual thing of saying that one needs not to read the words and try and make sense of them, that one needs to put aside the mind, etc. but, to me at least, he manages to exposes more than is usually considered wise about what the Truth is, in fact.
So, let’s demystify the mystique of ‘some of the key facets of Paul’s perspective’
PAUL LOWE: Choicelessness and Being Present
Go with the feelings, the intuition, not with the mind. That is choicelessness. All that I have said about choicelessness applies to presence as well. Presence is being in this moment with acceptance, including all the facts and disconnecting from them. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Put so clearly, choicelessness is a choice made by one’s feelings, a decision solely based on the emotions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Deciding anything this way is guaranteed to produce an utterly selfish and self-centred result or decision, not the best decision, the most appropriate and most sensible. In deciding ‘not with the mind’, the spiritual claim of choicelessness can be best described as thoughtless and senseless, selfish decision making.
As for ‘being present’, it is clear that the Eastern religious philosophy is to ‘choicelessly’ accept and then disconnect from the facts – facts such as the physical body, one’s emotions and thoughts, one’s physical surroundings and other people, the fact of one’s mortality, etc. If being ‘present in this moment’ is so good then why would one want to disconnect from the facts that are evident in this moment. Why would there not be delight in thinking, delight in being conscious and alive as a flesh and blood human being, delight in this paradisiacal planet floating in this wondrous universe?
If this is not the case, in this moment, then why would one not want to do everything possible to evince delight, happiness and harmlessness? Why would one want to continue to practice denial, acceptance and ‘disconnecting’ as the East have done for millennia? The results of these religious practices are readily evident in the present cultures of the East, where poverty, corruption, duplicity, hypocrisy, repression, violence, arrogance and greed abound.
PETER: (...) The method soon presents success incrementally, as freedom from beliefs and instinctual passions is indeed a freedom that results in increased peace and harmony for oneself and in one’s relating with one’s fellow human beings. The method does bring up fear and resistance, because one is dismantling one’s very ‘self’, those very beliefs and passions one holds so dearly.
It sounds so simple, but very few people are even willing to take a small step along the way. Most people would seemingly like their life to be better, but faced with the prospect of actually having to do something themselves, or having to change the way they are, they soon sneak away, only to re-run the old ancient ‘tried and failed’ methods. Of course, the major fear is that it will work and ‘I’ will ‘be’ no more.
RESPONDENT: Peter, it sounds like you just reinvented the beginning stages of every existing Spiritual/Religious teaching ever conceived.
Lets see ... mindfulness to achieve presence in the moment ...
PETER: All Spiritual /Religious teachings emphasize mindfulness, watching or awareness as a way of disidentifying or dissociating from wrong, bad or Evil thoughts and feelings, so the practitioner can identify or associate with the right, good or Divine thoughts and feelings. This is what is known as adopting ethical codes – rights and wrongs – or moral values – goods and bads. There is no way a person who has followed spiritual/religious teachings to the point where they have convinced themselves that they are absolutely right, perfectly good and completely Divine would ever admit that I am upset, I am sad or I am fearful, let alone recognizing there is evil in ‘me’. The best they get to is ‘I felt anger arising’ but it was not the real ‘me’ – this is called denial and dissociation from one’s own feelings. The method I am proposing, should you care but to skim over it, is the opposite of this spiritual method of ‘self’-deceit. It is a thorough, ongoing, moment-to-moment, ‘self’-investigation of both the good and bad feelings that arise from the instinctual passions with the sincere intent to eliminate their insidious influence.
This is directly opposite to the spiritual/religious teachings where ‘I’ struggle to be mindlessly ‘present in the moment’ in a grim reality with the aim of becoming a grand and glorious ‘Me’ who feels eternally Present in a Greater Reality of ‘my’ own imagination. The method I have outlined is aimed at eliminating any ‘I’ or ‘me’ being present that inevitably prevents the always ever-present purity and perfection of this moment from becoming apparent.
RESPONDENT: One of my teachers worded it thus... ‘the three obstacles to the path are: self importance, habits, personal history’. You could just as easily say: ego, mindlessness (opposite of mindfulness), expectation (those we impose upon ourselves and those others impose upon us). We could address these things thusly. Ego we address by comprehending that life is an aspect of spirituality so ego becomes miniscule finding itself within a vast and unfathomable context (as opposed to the contemporary view that spirituality is an aspect of life).
PETER: Except that the miniscule ego finds itself within a vast, unknowing context that is grand, glorious and utterly self-gratifying. There is no greater feeling than to feel oneself Love, God, Impersonal or whatever other name. I know, for I have experienced the utter self-centredness of these affective experiences and know it to be 180 degrees opposite to the purity and perfection of a totally ‘self’-less experience.
The Eastern view that human life on earth is a transitory, secondary experience to one’s spirit-centric life is exactly why spiritual people never can be fully here on earth – sensately and sensually, intimately involved in this paradisiacal world of people, things and events.
RESPONDENT: Mindlessness we address by paying attention in the moment, to the moment, by looking at our situation and asking ourselves the question: What is this moment requiring or offering?
PETER: Again a rhetorical question that one already knows the answer to. Whenever a spiritual person asks a question they are never genuine, for they are already on the spiritual path and have clear unequivocal goals and desires – they want to get out of being here and go there and as soon as possible. Thus if I pay attention and I find myself in the real world, the aim is go inside and mindlessly find my real self, the Real Me.
PETER: Just a comment on your teaching post entitled intelligence –
RESPONDENT: Intelligence... An aspect of mind that accesses memory and reason, and looks for patterns based on past experiences and programmed expectations to formulate a plan of action within the moment.
PETER: Human beings are remarkable among the animal species in that we have a large ‘modern’ brain or neo-cortex, capable of thinking, planning and reflecting, that envelops the primitive ‘lizard’ brain, the source of our animal instincts. Intelligence – the ability to think, plan, reflect and communicate – has resulted in the astounding development of the human species, from a grim and deadly fight for the survival of the species, to one of increasing safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure. This last century, in particular, has seen astounding advances made in agriculture, manufacturing, health, life expectancy, wealth, transport, information processing, instant and world-wide communications, social services and education. An increasing proportion of the human population is enjoying comfort, safety, leisure and pleasure the likes of which has never, ever, existed before.
Yet, despite the amazing technological advancements and organizational development of the human species on this planet, the Human Condition is still epitomized by two major factors – malice and sorrow. It is clearly time to tackle the problem of human malice and sorrow in the same intelligent manner that has bought so many other advances in the species. The ages old method of seeking spiritual ‘freedom’ and an end to malice and sorrow by praying to mythical Gods or inducing an Altered State of Consciousness whereby one feels oneself to be God, must now to be abandoned in favour of seeking an actual freedom from our genetic endowment of animal instinctual passions. Anything less is simply to repeat the abysmal failures of the past to bring an end to human violence and suffering.
PETER: Just a comment on your teachings of the spiritual superstitious version on the functioning of the human body that you posted to No. 30 –
RESPONDENT: I am reminded of something I needed to ‘connect’ many years ago. Something that represents a common ‘mis-location’ in understanding the functionings of the ‘body consciousness’. I am going to ‘split hairs’ here to make a point.
PETER: An understanding of exactly what is consciousness is essential for anyone seeking a genuine freedom from malice and sorrow.
Thus consciousness has three meanings –
In a normal person consciousness is what is happening when one is alive and awake. Unconsciousness is what is happening when alive and in deep sleep, concussed or anaesthetized and is epitomized by oblivion.
The second meaning is the one that is commonly used to describe the awareness of oneself and is epitomized by three faculties ... the sensate, the cerebral and the affective. Thus in a normal person consciousness refers to the consciousness of the psychological and psychological entity only, who we ‘think’ and ‘feel’ we are, as opposed to what we are. It is only in a Pure Consciousness Experience that the psychological and psychic entity’s affective and cerebral dominance is temporarily absent that the extraordinary perfection and purity of the actual is sensately evidenced.
This collective sense of consciousness forms such a strong illusion as to appear real.
Unfortunately the actual evidence of this collective ‘consciousness’ is that it varies from culture to culture and religion to religion and, as such, is merely a socially imbibed and adopted belief system. The collective sense of consciousness is the direct result of the automatic instilling of a culturally appropriate conscience in each group member with its associated values, ethics and morals. This collective consciousness is epitomized by a feeling of belonging to a group and gives rise to such feelings as ‘we are all one’, ‘we are all God’s children’, ‘we are all That’ or other similar platitudes. As is evidenced by the facts of ethnic, territorial, religious and ethical wars these feelings are utterly fanciful and nonsensical.
The over-riding selfishness inevitably proves stronger for those willing to grab for power, and in the spiritual world the most powerful leaders inevitably declare narcissistically that ‘I am the One’, I am God’ or ‘I am That’. For the mere followers, the collective consciousness operates such that one will inevitably surrender one’s will for the supposed ‘good of the whole’, and if ‘push comes to shove’ to willingly and passionately kill and die for the group and its leader. It is this instinctive feeling of a collective consciousness that lies at the very heart of one’s social identity and forever enslaves the individual to a particular group and all human kind to the Human Condition of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: The Brain is a computer; it processes information and relays it to the proper centres. The information is brought in thru attraction by attention of the mind.
PETER: What about the sensate input from the eyes, ears, mouth, nose and skin? Or is this purely illusionary for you? Are you so self-obsessed that you run on a closed mind-loop of only ‘I’ exist and everything else and everyone else is ‘Me’? Are you still being the sole creator of your own existence again? To remind you of a previous correspondence that you failed to reply to –
If you insist on creating your own reality, I guess it doesn’t matter a fig how your mind operates or what you think and feel because it has nothing to do with anyone else who exists in your reality. No wonder you desperately need to feel ‘We are all one’ and need to connect with others because it must be very, very lonely living in a reality of your own making and of which you are the ultimate authority.
RESPONDENT: The ‘hardware’ that attracts the mindal energy is intelligence, the software that governs how that energy/info is used is intellect.
PETER: The hardware is a two brain system – an ancient instinctual brain that is primary and thoughtless emotional and a newer neo-cortex that is the seat of human intelligence. The software consists of two facets – a social programming that forms one’s social identity and an instinctual survival program that forms one’s instinctual self. Being software, both these programs can be deleted – i.e. although they are felt to be real, cause immense pain and suffering both in oneself and to others one comes in contact with, they can be changed and ultimately deleted.
This deletion of the instilled social and genetically-encoded instinctual programming results in a beneficent clarity of intelligence freed from the insidious influence of the animal passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
RESPONDENT: Of course the more refined the intelligence, the more refined the information being processed.
PETER: The more conditioned the programming, and the more passionate one is about this conditioning, the less intelligence is free to operate.
RESPONDENT: The real discovery here is that the ‘seat of intelligence’ and also the governing software, are located in the same place ... the Heart.
PETER: There was an enormous outcry by the church when heart transplants were first proposed. The reason the ancients believed the heart was the centre is that the ancient reptilian brain – the seat of the instinctual passions – pumps chemicals to the heart as a response to fear, aggression, nurture and desire, thus these responses are sensately experienced in the heart region.
RESPONDENT: One of the problems people experience is mistaking the Heart for the centre of emotions. That centre is in the pit of the abdomen. When the emotions are allowed out of their ‘pit’, they are brought up into Heart for purification, and ‘intelligently’ dispensed with.
PETER: The more savage emotions of fear, dread and despair are sensately experienced as chemical flows in the gut or abdomen whereas the tender emotions of nurture and desire tend to be sensately experienced as chemical flows in the heart region. The source of these emotions has been empirically demonstrated to be the ancient reptilian brain and we that humans share these instinctual passions – both the tender and the savage – with other sentient animals. These genetically-encoded instinctual passions are blind nature’s rather clumsy software package designed to ensure the survival of the species – to endow each and every human with fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Being only software, this programming can be consciously and deliberately deleted if one is daring enough.
RESPONDENT: The mind is just a big sea of information, nothing to be ‘glorified’, as has been done on this planet.
PETER: And yet it is the process of thinking that has brought the amazing technological advances in safety, comfort, leisure and pleasure that an increasing number of we modern human beings are beginning to enjoy. And yet the church, the priests and their faithful followers would have us condemn and demean intelligence in favour of believing some mythical God or Higher intelligence is going to actualize peace on earth – an end to the grim instinctual psychological and psychic battle for survival still fought between all human beings on the planet.
It’s time to get real and stop mouthing ‘self’-gratifying psittacisms from the past.
RESPONDENT: The brain can only ‘process’ the feeling/emotion, that’s where one finds themselves ‘looping’ on some issue and staying awake all night.
PETER: So why blame the brain for this self-centred neurosis – why not turn one’s attention on the real issue that is inhibiting peacefulness – one’s precious feelings and emotions – both the savage and the tender? Why not look somewhere different than the traditional, fashionable hackneyed solution that has failed again and again?
RESPONDENT: If that information is taken out of the realm of the mental/mind and embraced/accepted by the Heart, the ‘looping’ ceases.
PETER: Indeed, one can dissociate from these churning emotions by going inside and imagining oneself to be above it all to connect with the Light, to feel God, to become an Impersonal Higher Self, or whatever other feeling state one gets into. One gets out of grim reality and escapes into a Greater Reality, by whatever name or whatever God, but it is all a fantasy, an illusion based on an illusion. The pioneering challenge is now for those willing to abandon both reality and Reality in search of the ‘self’-less experience of actuality.
RESPONDENT: The ‘intelligent’ manner to handle ‘the problem’ is then sent into the mental, if a physical action is needed ... or an ‘understanding’ appears in processing centres that puts the mental to ‘bed’. The ‘ah hah’ thing.
PETER: The ‘‘ah hah’ thing’ is the enormous relief that one doesn’t have to do anything except realize that the world of people, things and events is all an illusion and ‘who’ you really are is a spirit in transit – a grandiose ‘me’ of Godly power and immortality.
RESPONDENT: There is a ‘sister’ of mine from India, who has been known as Hazur. She said something I really appreciated, ‘A quiet mind is a Divine Mind’. That’s kind of opposite of what is taught, isn’t it?
PETER: Not nowadays, No 12. This advice is taught in the popular press and is fashionable in both East and West. The extreme form of mind quieting is those people who spend hours a day, sitting in a quite corner with their eyes closed, hiding from the world seeking Divine Realization.
The churning of the mind that everyone experiences is ‘self’-centred neurotic thoughts and worries that are underpinned by the feelings and emotions arising from the passions integral to the instinctual animal ‘self’. To trip off into a fantasy of a real Self with a ‘Divine Mind’ is a self-indulgent ancient fantasy that is to head 180 degrees in the opposite direction to actually eradicating the problem.
RESPONDENT: I am always counselling my clients to stop thinking, so they can Know. I get a lot of funny looks ...
PETER: But I bet when they get a taste of thoughtless dissociation from the world of people, things and events they find it addictive. It is such a cheap way out for one has to do nothing, there is no work to be done, there is no tough stuff to do, no changes to be made – just an acceptance of things the way they are, i.e. that humans will always be malicious and sorrowful and that the solution is to feel oneself to be Divine and above it all. It’s called copping out and I did it for years before integrity forced me to stop kidding myself, and others, that I was being genuine and honest. I finally realized that if I was fooling myself, I was being really, really silly.
RESPONDENT: For many years meditation was a struggle for me because I couldn’t get out of my mind. I was born into an intellectual family, my father being a university professor. I was very fond of the intelligence I inherited from him. My mind was my most prized possession, opening doors of opportunity for me, giving me power and influence over people of lesser intellect. Thus it was very hard for me to let go of the hold that my intellect had over me. I still cherish all the gifts that God has bestowed on me, but I am no longer ruled by my intellect. Neither am I a starry-eyed bliss ninny. What I am is abundantly happy, endlessly grateful and consciously connected with the Pure Source.
PETER: Indeed. The intellectual person is totally out of touch with their feelings, any common sense, any sensuality and disconnected from world of people, things and events. Similarly, the spiritual person is totally indulgent in their feelings, is totally disconnected to any common sense and any sensuality and is absolutely unattached from the world of people, things and events. It is the identity, the personal ‘I’ inside the head and the impersonal ‘me’ inside the heart that prevents the purity and perfection of the actual world becoming apparent.
To blame one’s woes on thinking, repress one’s savage passions and indulge in one’s tender passions, completely unrestrained by any common sense, is truly a thoughtless exercise, and can only lead to thoughtless affective experiences. It took me months and months of running the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ before I began to see that it was ‘my’ precious feelings that caused my malice and sorrow – and not bad thinking or wrong thinking, as I had been taught.
Feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts and always has its roots in ‘my’ crude animal survival instincts.
PETER: This new and non-spiritual down to earth path to freedom has only recently been discovered and is now in its initial pioneering phase.
RESPONDENT: The path you describe sounds very similar to what Krishnamurti espoused beginning in the early part of the 20th Century, and thus hardly qualifies as ‘new.’
PETER: I take it when you say ‘sounds very similar’, you mean feels very similar. If you had read what I am saying you would have understood that I am an atheist through and through whereas Jiddu Krishnamurti was a God-man through and through.
To quote the man himself –
He is describing well your desired state of ‘pure, thoughtless awareness’. I find it a blatant deceit for the great and revered teachers to claim they are thoughtless, for it is clearly nonsense. A human being has to think to operate and function at a level of intelligence beyond a dog or a chimpanzee. What they are talking about as thoughtless is, in fact, the training of right thinking – thinking in a certain trained spiritual way so that one can eventually ‘realize’ – as in think and feel – oneself to be God.
RESPONDENT: I too am fascinated by the discoveries in the field of neurobiology but fail to see how an understanding of the origin and functioning of the reptilian brain gives us any advantage in controlling it.
PETER: Human beings have been forever trying to control their instinctual passions and it has clearly failed, for law and order in the world is still only maintained at the point of a gun. Further the Eastern religious practice of Divine Transcendence, whereupon one suppresses one’s bad feelings and savage passions and identifies solely with one’s good feelings and tender passions, does nothing but spawn human beings who believe themselves to be Gods and thus reek even more malice and sorrow on a blighted Humanity. I am talking about a new method that results in the elimination of the blind instinctual passions – not the failed methods of controlling or transcending. I am talking about a third alternative.
RESPONDENT: It was only then that life started to show where the real problems were and what could be done about them. I will try to condense what I have come to see in as few words as I can. After my first awakening/ satori/ enlightenment it was clear that life was one. That some how all the seeing of separate parts was a trick of the thinking mind. This left me with a deep love for all being, but it also brought up more questions. It had turned my life inside out.
PETER: When you say ‘it was clear that life was one’ you must be referring to a feeling that life was one. As I look about me I see that there are 6 billion human beings on the planet all battling it out in a grim instinctual battle for survival. And this same battle has been going on for millennia while half the world thinks that suffering is God’s way of testing us and violence is the work of the Devil, and the other half keeps insisting it is all an illusion.
The fact that over 160,000,000 human beings have been killed by their fellow human beings in wars in the last century alone, that over 40,000,000 humans killed themselves in suicides and that over 1,000,000,000 human beings were affected by warfare belies you feeling that ‘life is one’. These are flesh and blood human beings, not illusionary and not ‘a trick of the thinking mind’. And much of the killing was done in the name of love, be it earthly or Divine.
RESPONDENT: It was about 8 years later after looking ever deeper into it that I awoke one morning and from the time the eyes opened until they closed in sleep that night there took place a complete transformation of what was left of this being. The ego was dead, there was no god to take its place. It was clear that the very words we use to communicate were a symptom of an underlying illness of misidentification. That we had evolved in such a way as to turn everything into abstractions and rarely, if ever, saw what was real before our eyes.
PETER: To regard that which is physical, tangible, palpable, visible, touchable, smellable, eatable, audible as an illusion is a trick of the impassioned mind that requires enormous effort. In the East this effort requires the torturous abandonment of sensible thinking and common sense – giving rise to the term ego death and the emergence of what could well be termed soulism – a feeling-only state of delusion. The lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning psychological and psychic entity that is the self becomes the Self – cunningly feeling Oneness, Wholeness, Timeless and Spaceless. The Eastern pursuit of ‘Ego-death’ has proven to be a very tragic delusion, for one becomes completely dissociated from what is actual as evidenced by the senses. This means that one renounces the world, both real and actual and begins a process of turning away, turning in, letting go, withdrawing, disidentifying and finally complete dissociation aka Enlightenment. The reason I use the word tragic is that spiritual seekers – many of whom began the spiritual search to find a way to bring about peace on earth – have now been seduced into turning away from the endemic malice and sorrow in the physical world we human beings live in and now regard it as illusionary, not real. They regard the spiritual world as REAL, the normal world as a nightmare to be avoided and the actual physical world as a dream created in their own minds. .
The question I ran for a long time is ‘Has everyone got it 180 degrees wrong?’ The fact that all these theories of human existence on earth were cooked up thousands of years ago was the beginning of my doubts. The other thing I found as I contemplated on the question was that it started to explain an awful lot of things about why the spiritual path that didn’t work.
PETER: In order to keep this discussion simple and on-track, I’ll summarize your position as you have recently posted it on the list,
Thus it is our personal identification (ego) which has caused the untold suffering on the planet but the suffering is necessary so that a few people can undergo an ego-death.
Thus the suffering is endemic, cannot be stopped – and is indeed necessary – and all we can do is go deeply into a process of dis-identifying with the suffering on earth.
So you propose that human suffering on earth is not a problem, but identifying with it is. From where I live that sounds awfully like a process of denial and dissociation – the essential process espoused by all Eastern religion and philosophy.
RESPONDENT: It was about 8 years later after looking ever deeper into it that I awoke one morning and from the time the eyes opened until they closed in sleep that night there took place a complete transformation of what was left of this being. The ego was dead, there was no god to take its place. It was clear that the very words we use to communicate were a symptom of an underlying illness of misidentification. That we had evolved in such a way as to turn everything into abstractions and rarely, if ever, saw what was real before our eyes.
PETER: To regard that which is physical, tangible, palpable, visible, touchable, smellable, eatable, audible as an illusion is a trick of the impassioned mind that requires enormous effort. In the East this effort requires the torturous abandonment of sensible thinking and common sense – giving rise to the term ego death and the emergence of what could well be termed soulism – a feeling-only state of delusion. The lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning psychological and psychic entity that is the self becomes the Self – cunningly feeling Oneness, Wholeness, Timeless and Spaceless. The Eastern pursuit of ‘Ego-death’ has proven to be a very tragic delusion, for one becomes completely dissociated from what is actual as evidenced by the senses. This means that one renounces the world, both real and actual and begins a process of turning away, turning in, letting go, withdrawing, disidentifying and finally complete dissociation aka Enlightenment. The reason I use the word tragic is that spiritual seekers – many of whom began the spiritual search to find a way to bring about peace on earth – have now been seduced into turning away from the endemic malice and sorrow in the physical world we human beings live in and now regard it as illusionary, not real. They regard the spiritual world as REAL, the normal world as a nightmare to be avoided and the actual physical world as a dream created in their own minds.
The question I ran for a long time is ‘Has everyone got it 180 degrees wrong?’ The fact that all these theories of human existence on earth were cooked up thousands of years ago was the beginning of my doubts. The other thing I found as I contemplated on the question was that it started to explain an awful lot of things about why the spiritual path that didn’t work.
RESPONDENT: I do not regard the above as illusion. I totally enjoy all the wonder of this world.
PETER: Again a look at what you have said on this list might help clarify your position on what it is you sensately experience with your eyes, ears, smell, touch and taste and how you see all the fighting and suffering in the world–
So, you see all the fighting and suffering in the world as madness that we are dreaming and not as an illusion. Is this not the difference between seeing something as a dream and seeing something as an illusion splitting hairs? Do not both descriptions point to the fact that you regard the madness as unreal – i.e. not actual?
Again you clearly say that you see we are living in a dream.
Now you indicate that we ‘turn everything into abstractions’, yet another word that indicates that our perception of the world, prior to awakening, is unreal as in dreamlike/ abstract.
Again, prior to awakening, you had developed ‘the ability to abstract life’ – which presumable includes ‘all the wars, all hatred, all suffering’ – into ‘words pictures and concepts, etc.’. This abstraction is the result of the ego – as personal identity, as our image we have of ourselves or just conditioned thought – and when the ego disappears and we awaken, ‘all the wars, hatred and suffering’ are seen to be the result of the abstraction of our conditioned thought. This torturous explanation as to the reasons for human malice and sorrow leaves me lost for words – a rare occurrence, indeed.
So we can add ‘surface images’ to dreamlike and abstract as words used to describe the pre-awakened perception of the world, but you don’t regard it as an illusion. Hmmmm.
As for ‘I totally enjoy all the wonder of this world.’ you have also posted –
What you describe doesn’t seem to be an unconditional enjoyment and wonder. The main condition you place on your enjoyment is that you regard all ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ as being just the result of a process of ‘conditioned thought’ – i.e. a dream/ abstraction/ surface image that merely goes on in the brain. This sounds awfully like dissociation to me.
RESPONDENT: Over these many years, things have become ever clearer. I have seen that it isn’t so much that we are acting from our animal instinctual conditioning as it is what took place as we developed the ability to abstract life into words, pictures, concepts, etc. As that process developed what had been our instinct to protect our bodies was carried over into feeling a need to protect the images we had of ourselves. The ego has always been just conditioned thought that formed as a sense of personal identity.
PETER: This is the old-fashioned out-dated Eastern philosophical view of human existence on earth. The East has always seen the physical world as a dream, an illusion, Samsara, Maya, etc., and thinking was seen as the link to suffering in this dream world. Basically the idea is if you stop thinking about the suffering in the physical world it will go away.
RESPONDENT: Where I am coming from will never be out-dated. It has been around forever because it is real. But few have seen it. You must have been into a Hindu spiritual teaching. They are always talking about this sort of thing, the higher teachings of Buddhists see the wonder and beauty in this world. It is not that the world is not real, it is the images that separate the human mind from that reality are illusion. No one I respect says to stop thinking. Just watch it and see what it tells you about the way you see the world and how the mind works. When one is just simply aware in the moment thinking can stop by itself. It is in those moments one can awaken to the real.
PETER: In other words, when thinking stops, awareness happens and one can awaken to the real. Therefore it is thinking that stands in the way of what is real being revealed. All Eastern spiritual practices, that ‘have been around forever’, point to this way of awakening to what is real, hence the emphasis on meditation, stilling the mind, practicing ‘right’ thinking and ‘right’ awareness to steer you away from the illusionary dreamlike, abstract images as well as the seductions of earthy sensual pleasure. Or, as you put it –
This ‘far more subtle view of the world’ does require that one shuts down or distorts sensible thinking and sensate perception in order to see ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ that are actually happening to flesh and blood human beings as only images or believe that they are only caused by conditioned thoughts of the thinking mind.
PETER: As for ‘the higher teachings of Buddhists’ perhaps we could look to the source of these teachings. The essence of the Buddha’s teaching was said to be the Four Noble Truths:
No mention of ‘the wonder and beauty in this world’, quite the contrary. Like all spiritual teachings one needs to look at the fundamental principle upon which it is founded. In Buddha’s case his core principle upon which all his teachings are founded is that ‘life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’. The ‘Noble Eightfold Path’ can then be seen quite clearly as a ‘right’ re-conditioning of the mind which is very similar to your teachings of
For someone whose declared position is that ‘I have never followed any Eastern religion or philosophy’ you do seem to make a habit of using Eastern religion and philosophy to support your case for peace on earth and your ‘non-religious’ philosophy does bear a very striking resemblance to that of Buddhism.
PETER: The survival instincts are not ‘conditioning’ – they are a genetically-encoded program that automatic responds to input producing almost instantaneous robotic bodily reactions. In human beings these bodily reactions cause chemicals to flood the thinking and reflective neo-cortex and thus become passionate reactions or deep-seated emotions. The instinctual reactions are thus psychological and psychic reactions in human beings.
Fear hobbles us with a desperate need to belong to a group, to cling to the past, to hang on to whatever we hold ‘dear’ to ourselves, to resist change, to fear death and consequently to desperately believe in a life-after-death. Fear impels us to seek power over others or to mindlessly support the powerful in return for their protection.
Aggression compels us to fight for our territory, our possessions, our family, our ‘rights’ and our treasured beliefs and values – striving for power over others. At core, we love to fight or to see others fighting.
Nurture causes us to care, comfort and protect but also leads to dependency, empathy, pity, resentment, senseless sacrifice for others and needless heroism. Women are programmed to reproduce the species and men are programmed to provide for, and protect, the offspring – a blind and unremitting instinctual drive.
Desire relentlessly drives us to needless sexual reproduction and sexual hunting, senseless avarice, inevitable corruption and insatiable greed for possessions and power.
These instinctual animal passions in humans are not ‘feeling a need to protect the images we had of ourselves’, they automatically operate to protect both body and self and unless they are eliminated they will continue to run amok and forever act to spoil our peace and happiness.
RESPONDENT: That is the definition of conditioning.
PETER: Well, let’s look have a look at what your previously stated definition of conditioning and see if we see any similarities –
Just to remind you that you also said elsewhere that ‘The ego has always been just conditioned thought’ and from this it is clear that your definition of conditioning is not something that is a ‘genetically-encoded program that automatic responds to input producing almost instantaneous robotic bodily reactions’. The animal instinctual passions programmed in human beings are something very real. They are the very cause of human malice and suffering. To call them ‘a phantom in the mind’ is to call all ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ that these instinctual animal passions cause a phantom of the mind.
To regard the genetically-encoded animal instinctual passions as a phantom in the mind is the old-fashioned out-dated Eastern philosophical view of human existence on earth that comes from the ancient superstitious belief in spirits – hence the very world spiritual.
What I am saying is that there is now solid empirical scientific evidence that confirms what we see with our very eyes and can confirm in our own experience, if we are sufficiently aware – that human malice and sorrow is the direct result of our instinctual animal passions in operation. This is a shocking thing to realize, let alone acknowledge, and one only does so with the firm knowledge that it is possible to eradicate them otherwise one stares into a black hole of terror and dread. This is where the pure consciousness experience is invaluable as it provides the proof that it is not only possible, but utterly essential, to eradicate all of these instinctual passions in order to actualize peace on earth.
You are also on record as saying ‘but if any science can find it, (the truth) it will come by way of the ‘theoretical mystical science’’ – a further indication of your denial that the instinctual passions are real and genetically-encoded i.e. physical. You go even further into denial and insist that the source of ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ is meta-physical – ‘a phantom in the mind’. Vis:
Here you make a cautious but clear distinction between ‘animal instinctual conditioning’ and your meta-physical, mystical view of the cause of ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’. (...)
PETER: You are firstly inventing a ‘false sense of self’ and then you go through a process that leads you to declare ‘There is in reality no such entity.’ Thus your real self is then free to blame the ego or false self as the reason for ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ . Thus your real self survives as an increasingly dissociated and disembodied entity and meanwhile ... ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ continue given that the real culprit has got off scot-free. The spiritual search will never bring peace on earth. ‘Self-immolation is the only solution.
PETER: Which part is nonsense? You are on record as saying that it is the mind identifying with suffering and hatred that is the problem and awakening from this dream is the solution –
And as you awaken you discover that your mind is no longer ‘identifying with beliefs, images, fear, suffering, hatred, etc., etc.,’ all because you have had a shift in perspective, commonly known as an altered state of consciousness. This does not bring an end to ‘all wars, all hatred, all suffering’ but merely ensures that your mind no longer identifies with it.
This is why I said the spiritual search – the search for Awakening, Enlightenment, Self-realization, Wholeness of Being, or whatever other name – will never bring peace on earth.
To dismiss my statement as nonsense does nothing to refute it at all. You can’t just bluster and blather away what you have clearly stated as your teachings.
RESPONDENT: There had been within this being a very subtle sense that this was all somewhat spiritual. Then about a month ago the last vestige of that feeling fell through. It was like another deeper satori only this time it destroyed even that subtle sense of otherness. We are just life taking place. It is so profound and yet so very very simple. No one becomes enlightened. There is no one there to become enlightened. It is all a wonderful mystery, that shall always remain a mystery. It is joy beyond any thing the mind can conceive of and yet it is as simple as pure sound. There are no godmen or gods. There is just THIS. It is far more than any words can ever express, yet it is the nothing that is everything, yet never a thing. Get simple.
PETER: What you are describing is the process of dissociation from the ‘real’ world and its miseries and violence. Unfortunately one also dissociates even further from the actual physical world thus going even further away from the chance of peace on earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body.
What I am saying seems pretty simple to me but I live in the actual world and not the spiritual world.
RESPONDENT: More nonsense. I am perfectly aware of the suffering going on it this world. As is all the members of this group who you keep telling as though you are the only one who sees this. I do not dissociate with the actual physical world. No awake person does. It is from seeing the need to bring about peace in this world that I do the little that I am able to point out where the real problem is.
PETER: Okay, again you seem to be engaging in petty shifty semantics –
To quote from your teachings on the list –
It is clear from the words you use that you are talking of disidentifying from ‘all suffering, hatred etc.’ that is going on in the actual physical world. No amount of bluster will blow away your words for they are accurate transcriptions copied from your posts to this list.
RESPONDENT: Because I see what you see. Even to the unawakened mind it is obvious that some things are worse than others and even the people in government can control the madness to some degree, but far too often they choose not to.
PETER: How do you think that ‘the people in government can control the madness to some degree’ ? Are you advocating more police, more armies, more laws? Or should they adopt the Tibetan Buddhist government’s pacifist approach of fleeing to the next country and leaving the people to fend for themselves when madness manifests as invasion by a neighbouring country? This is choosing not to ‘control the madness’ in action. How would you go about controlling the madness given that it is all so obvious to you?
RESPONDENT: Of course they are acting from the same illness as every one else. I shouldn’t have to say anything about this, it is all so obvious.
PETER: Aye. The illness, as you see it, is that most people are un-Enlightened or un-awakened to the Truth. To use your words, the Truth is
Hence the way to cure ‘the illness’ is to stop identifying with human fear, suffering and hatred. This approach does nothing at all to cure the illness but it does offer a way of psychologically distancing oneself from the illness. This approach to dealing with trauma is commonly known as dissociation.
In the case of spiritual Awakening or Enlightenment, the resulting condition is of an altered state of consciousness where certain concepts such as ‘beliefs, images, fear, suffering, hatred, etc., etc.’, are separated from the conscious personality. Thus, the illness continues unabated and untreated but the traumatized victim no longer associates with the symptoms of the illness and no longer believes he or she has the illness.
RESPONDENT: I have also seen what a mess we are in and how much needless suffering is going on and want only to see an end to it.
PETER: I don’t doubt the sincerity or fervour of your belief. All the priests, shamans, God-men, Gurus, Enlightened Ones and their followers for thousands of years, have offered the same spiritual message and yet the last century was the bloodiest to date.
RESPONDENT: Is that the guru’s fault? Were the warring parties enlightened? I too would wish that the teaching of so many enlightened people had changed things to where we stopped all the needless killing. Again, is that the teachers, or teachings, fault? Of course it isn’t.
PETER: Well, you could hardly accept that it is the fault of the teacher or the teachings for you are one of the teachers teaching those teachings. In order to avoid a confrontation that might raise your defences, let’s have a look at the sacred teachers and teachings of Zen Buddhism as exposed in two recent books –
It does seem that at least some are willing to lay some blame for war and suffering at the feet of the revered and sacred teachers. There are some serious cracks beginning to appear in the ‘sacred ceiling’, No. 8. It could be a good time to consider a career change. (...)
RESPONDENT: I am awake, but I am not perfect in the eyes of some, perhaps most. So what? Most people have such a misunderstanding of what it means to be enlightened. Enlightened people are just people who have seen the fact of our being one with all life. I just live my life not harming any one or any thing. That is simple, we can all do that, awake or not.
PETER: Well, that’s a bit of a come down for the exalted and much prized state of Enlightenment. This seems to none other than the ‘we are all enlightened, we only have to realize it’ psittacism that is floating around the spiritual world. So now, I assume your teaching is simplified even further to – if everyone sees ‘the fact of our being one with all life’ and ‘just lives (their) life not harming any one or any thing’ then there will be peace on earth.
RESPONDENT: Why not? I am awake, I harm nothing or no one. If everyone just lived that simply were would the wars and killing come from? It is true that the mind of the unenlightened is the same mind as the enlightened, except for the enlightened have awakened to a clear direct seeing the fact before our eyes.
PETER: Okay, let’s look at the facts before our eyes. The Dalai Lama is an avowed Buddhist who would claim that he would harm nothing and no one. He is a pacifist, which meant when someone invaded his country he fled. Now if everyone in the country you lived in was a pacifist it is like hanging out a sign – pleas invade – we won’t stop you. The Dalai Lama, now safe behind the protection of the Indian army is busily trying to get someone else to free his country. Pacifism is an unliveable ideal in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. Do you not rely on the guns of the police and army for the privilege of feeling a pacifist? Would not it be more sensible to tackle the root cause of malice and sorrow – the instinctual animal passions in humans – rather than striding the moral high ground sprouting unliveable ethics that completely ignore the facts before our eyes.
The Enlightened not only cop-out from acknowledging any malice in themselves but they also cop-out from acknowledging sorrow in themselves. As you yourself stated Enlightenment means that one no longer identifies with one’s personal suffering but that one feels universal sorrow or compassion for others. This is easily seen in action whereby they continually rile against the unenlightened as the cause of wars and suffering. The excuse for this malevolence is that they feel compassion towards those who have yet to realize that the wars and killing is all a dream – created by their ego – from which they haven’t yet awakened.
RESPONDENT: Your conclusions are obviously coming from the mind and not from a knowing from within.
PETER: Some brief replies.
No, my conclusions come from a study of the facts. I undertook a great deal of reading of exactly what it is the spiritual Masters offered, promised and actually delivered. I decided to look beyond the limits of what was accepted as true or ‘known’ another word for accepted) and venture into the unknown. I rather dramatically referred to it as ‘going where no man has gone before!’ Except for Richard, but he got ‘here’ by going through Enlightenment and out the other side. A far tougher journey and not to be advised. It is a bummer coming out off the delusion that you are the Absolute.
RESPONDENT: First of all, how can you help others when you yourself are helpless? First you have to help yourself and this means knowing yourself and accepting it (not changing yourself by force or doing something to change yourself). Then, the way to work to help one another is just a sharing, being yourself. This will bring the change on this earth. Religions and beliefs will not bring change.
Neither will a person who is mind oriented. A heart-oriented person can bring change and that too not by force or trying to help others.
PETER: So, by not changing yourself and accepting yourself as you are, the world will be changed. Does this process involve waving those fairy wands I see in fashion at the moment? I fail to see how this method of yours works. Everyone fights and even kills with a heart-felt passion be it the rejected lover his competitor, the man for his country, the woman for her beliefs, the rebel for a cause.
RESPONDENT: The Mind is an awesome resource.
PETER: Whereas human intelligence, freed of all of the social conditioning (particularly the belief in God or some form of afterlife and immortality) and the animal instinctual reactions is capable of such clarity and common sense that it has to be experienced to be appreciated. Such is the functioning that I am capable of understanding the whole of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow as I am immediately outside of it and no longer dwell in the normal world or in the spiritual world. It is the actual physical universe, not some ‘inner’ world of imagination.
RESPONDENT: There is such a space as no-mind. I sometimes like to refer to it as real energy. In my experience, no-mind has two poles, male and female. In my male energy, I experience no-mind as silence...meditation. In my female energy, I experience heart energy ... love. And all, without cross-dressing ;-)
To me, the poem in question celebrates no-mind.
PETER: I agree with your interpretation of the poem, this is indeed what underlies all Eastern spirituality and philosophy. It is the very foundation upon which all the temples, ashrams and monasteries are built.
No-mind means an unquestioning trust and faith in the Ancient texts. This calls for the setting aside of intelligent thinking and common sense in order to not only believe in God but to arrive at the state whereby you believe yourself to be God (or Realized or That, or Awakened or whatever other term ...).
What a massive ego-trip if ever there was one.
Do you honestly believe that this earth is some sort of horrible place that we humans have been sent to in order to suffer and fight with each other endlessly, and that the ‘chosen few’ will gain Immortality and be whisked away to a better place after death? That we are alien visitors sent to some cosmic penal colony?
Yes, the East certainly celebrates and demands ‘no-mind’, for when exposed to the bright light of awareness, the Ancient Texts are clearly seen as fairy tales.
For me, way back then, I wanted to believe because the only alternative to giving up the ‘spiritual’ was to go back to ‘normal’. In the end I could no longer live a lie when I saw that Eastern Spirituality was no more than Eastern Religion, when I saw I had got ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’. It was only when I serendipitously met Richard that I started to even begin to dismantle my spiritual beliefs – despite the many times I had of ‘bleed throughs’ of good old fashioned doubt and scepticism. Those ‘doubts’ were in fact the native intelligence and common sense that operates in this brain of this body, and is hidden in the brain of every human.
As such, everybody is capable of becoming free of the Human Condition – if they stop believing.
Without the belief in God, our destiny is in our hands.
RESPONDENT: If you go beyond the mind first all the stupid belief systems are exposed for what they are!
PETER: Again, for me, I came to see that the Eastern religions and philosophies tackle the mind (ego) only to give full reign to the heart (soul). This has the effect of completely stifling and denying any clear intelligent functioning of the brain. This stifling causes the mind to retreat into the fantasy world of blissful and divine feelings and taken to it’s extreme can result in an altered state of consciousness (ASC) whereby one becomes Love or God. The second ‘I’ of Ramana Maharshi’s fame, the Self, is a mere delusion – a self-aggrandizement.
RESPONDENT: Giving people, things to do with their minds is a waste of time!
PETER: The most intelligent thing in the universe is the human brain. The technological achievements wrought by this intelligence never ceases to astound and amaze me. This physical universe, in its perfection, purity, infinitude and fairy-tale like magic is indeed a paradise beyond our fantasies. And yet we humans feel sorrow and malice, sad and lonely, separate and alien. And the remedy to this – the spirit-ual way – is to cultivate ‘feelings’ of bliss, Love, and Divinity.
What about questioning ‘feelings’ themselves – the passions and feelings that we kill and die for, the instinctual urges that take us over in fits of rage or depression, the instinctual needs to belong to a group, blindly follow and trust a leader, the need to belong?
RESPONDENT: Ask yourself the question ‘Who is thinking?’, what is beyond the mind?
PETER: If you ask this question you end up with the Buddha Nature, God, Love Agapé, That, Self, The Universe, Existence, or whatever other name. It’s funny isn’t it that one always discovers one is ‘God’ at heart.
By asking ‘what’ am I, one discovers a different answer – the third I, this flesh and blood body and definitely mortal – free of the illusion of ego and the delusion of soul.
RESPONDENT: Nothing else matters except discovering ‘THAT’!
PETER: It matters not at all what we humans discover, feel, experience, discover, proclaim as the ‘truth’ or the ‘way’. Nothing has fundamentally changed on the planet – there is still depression, loneliness, grief, despair, murders, rapes and suicides – even in the spiritual world.
So far, there have only been two choices, remain ‘normal’ or become ‘spiritual’, and I am pointing out that a third alternative now exists.
PETER: On the spiritual path one merely ‘feels’ silent on those occasions when one is in a trance-like state of ‘no-mind’ or when one has the delusion of feeling ‘one with the Universe’. A synthetic silence achieved by turning away from the physical and the actual – to the metaphysical and imaginary.
RESPONDENT: Peter you have not experienced silence, you are talking a load of horseshit.
Silence is our nature, silence I am while the world happens around me, and then noisy I am when I want to be.
Silence is always the backdrop of my noise!
You are firmly stuck in your mind and to you that is the only possibility.
I’m telling you, you are wrong, silence is not a trance like state, it is our natural state!
PETER: From my observation sadness, loneliness, despair, melancholy, anxiety, fear, excitement, anger, jealousy, resentment, etc. are our ‘natural state’ and we attempt to escape by turning in to a silent inner world – usually achieved by stilling the bad selfish thoughts and concentrating on the good divine thoughts. A temporary imaginary silence. Easily disturb-able by again finding a post from the terrible twins – from the actual world.
RESPONDENT: You have opted for a convenient way out for your mind!
I’m sure your mind is very happy with this option!
PETER: The path to actual freedom is not only convenient, it comes with an easy-to-follow set of instructions, you don’t have to bow down or pay allegiance to anyone, it’s totally free, it’s available to anyone, it’s obligation free – and it works.
RESPONDENT: Although I have the option to avoid the kind of energy that is dominating nowadays the list by unsubscribing, I hope you might become a little bit more sensitive about what is worth sharing and what is only mind-fucking.
PETER: I think you have other options to cut out what I say and still stay on the list, but that is up to you. Curiously, I was thinking of abandoning the list but your plaintive cry for ‘sensitivity’ spurred me on. ‘Sensitivity’ is such a mis-used word in spiritual circles in my experience. When meditators become more ‘sensitive’ they usually talk in terms of the market-place being so hard and so tough, and everybody else being so insensitive and unloving. This creates a superiority and separation from others that is both palpable and insidious. What spiritual people really mean by ‘sensitive’ is that they are intolerant of others and other beliefs. This is, of course, a common feeling of all believers of all faiths and is part and parcel of the spiritual and religious worlds. Not that I am a defender of the ‘real’ world. What I write of is a third alternative – an actual down to earth freedom that is eminently liveable in the market place. It requires not retreat, withdrawal, or exclusivity.
I take it by mind-fucking you mean the ability to think, talk, write and make sense of things rather than feel, emote, assume, accept, trust, surrender or have faith. Yes, thinking has such a bad press in the Eastern Religions. I remember as a kid being told don’t think, don’t question, don’t argue ... just do it!!!
It was okay when I was a kid at home or at school but it was a habit that I retained all my life, until I met someone who pointed out that it was my life I was living, and to unquestionably accept what others told me was a second-rate way to live. It did mean eventually challenging the hallowed and sacred Ancient Truths and Wisdoms, but an actual freedom emerges that is so vastly superior to the synthetic and Divine freedom on offer to date, it bears no comparison.
I find it curious that spiritual freedom means retreating from the physical into the meta-physical, from the real world into the spirit-ual world, from the market place to the Ashram, from the senses to the imagination, from the actual to the cerebral, from the outer to the inner, from thinking to feeling – from head in the sand to head in the clouds.
People have been sharing their ‘feelings’ since time immemorial, and still hope that love (or Love) will overcome our innate feelings of fear and aggression.
RESPONDENT: This will be your new name, Swami Anand Deleeto. Will it be difficult to pronounce? Anand means Bliss and Deleeto means clean, wiped away. The bliss of wiping away.
PETER: Ah, yes. The feeling of leaving the ‘normal’ world behind – to take on a new name, a new identity and a new role – the spiritual seeker – and to join a commune of fellow seekers. The Club.
RESPONDENT: It is such a bliss to silence the endless stream of words. Sometimes one has to do it again and again because the words keep coming. The words are so alluring, perhaps I am missing something, one thinks. So one stops a bit and looks and listens, but after a while one sees that it is only a repetition.
PETER: Ah, Anand Deleeto. I see here that Sw. No 27 is alluding to silencing the ‘endless stream of words’ from the actual world, from this very computer. He is advising you that it is boring repetition, and not to get trapped in it. But I guess if you bother to wade through the words you will make your own evaluation. I just like it that there is now an alternative to the ‘Tried and True’ spiritual path. I would also point out that the Tried and True is the ‘Tried and Failed’ in that it has been persuade by millions, if billions of people for millennia with only .0001% achieving Enlightenment and the countless religious wars, cleansings, perversions persecutions, tortures and repressions are the inevitable result of the whole spiritual – i.e. spirit-based – belief system.
RESPONDENT: The mind can only endlessly repeat thousand year old arguments. There is nothing new under the sun. It is all a futile exercise like moving furniture around in an empty room.
PETER: Anand Deleeto, here he is obviously referring to the Ancient texts and myths. Indeed within the spiritual world there is nothing new under the sun. Rajneesh himself talked endlessly about all sorts of Masters and all sorts of other religions and teachings and was a master at telling old myths, stories and legends
What I am talking of is outside of the spirit-ual world. You see, I am an atheist – I live in the actual world where Good Spirits and Evil Spirits, Gods or Demons simply do not exist. They are but a collective fantasy of the psychic world. These Spirits or ‘energies’ – all generated in the psyche by a fear ridden ‘I’ do not actually exist.
So, No. 27 has told you, there can be nothing new under the sun and that this is the best we human beings can expect. To be born into a world where everyone is fighting and squabbling and you end up doing it yourself because ‘this is the way it is’. And there is a ‘reward’ for our suffering ... we simply turn away, go inside and imagine there is a ‘somewhere’ better or a ‘someone’ who is looking after me. Surely there has got to be something better under the sun, and there is. An actual freedom from sorrow and malice is now available if you are interested.
RESPONDENT: Slowly, slowly one gains courage. Be brave, Anand Deleeto, trust your intuition. It was not there before, it is not there now. Dare to wipe away and enjoy the bliss.
PETER: On the spiritual path, Deleeto, you will be admonished to leave your mind at the door, surrender your will, and trust your feelings. You will be encouraged to sit silently and go within to encourage a stilling of personal thoughts in order to begin to feel Bliss and Oneness. In short, you will give full reign to your feelings and emotions. ‘You’ who you feel you are will become grander and grander, bigger and bigger, and if you really work hard at it, one day – POP! ... you will realize that you are GOD!
So if you trust your intuition, trust your feelings – you are but doing a wonderful job in keeping your ‘self’ in existence – from ‘self’ to ‘Self’.
For me, I knew my ‘self’ was the problem and eventually saw that to blow it up in self-aggrandizement was to be going 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
But this is just what I have found. You will obviously make your own observations and judgements as to what you do with your life-time on earth.
It has been nice to drop you a line (... or a post, as it is these days), Deleeto.
It was really just to give you a couple of sites to check out if you are ever interested, and have the time ... but then I got off on one of my raves again.
But then again, if you are true to your name, you won’t even be reading this, but maybe someone else will, and maybe they will be intrigued.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.