Selected Correspondence Peter
PETER: A post came in from No 99 a while ago that I had earmarked to respond to but didn’t get around to. The relevant part of his question was this –
No 99, Coffee with Richard 24/4/06
Recently a post came in from No 100 asking very similar questions so I thought to respond to both together –
Whilst I can understand the difficulty that some people have with the notion that peace on earth already exists and has always existed, let alone grasp that this is a fact – and particularly so if they cannot remember having had a pure consciousness experience themselves – this need not be so, particularly in the current times we live in.
One of the most telling examples of the already existing and always existing peace on earth for me was looking at photos and videos taking by human being beings from spacecraft whilst orbiting earth, journeying to and from the moon or even whilst standing on Earth’s moon. I have written of this before to another correspondent –
I was so taken by the blue and fluffy white actuality of this planet that for a long time I had a photo of an earthrise taken from the moon’s surface as a desktop image on my computer in order to remind me everyday again of the sheer magnificence of the peerless perfection and peacefulness of this planet.
Of course one does not have to leave the planet or see photos of the planet taken from afar to gain such a perspective or to have such insights – I had a similar experience in the desert one evening whilst watching the red ball of the sun setting over the western horizon only to happen to turn around and be confronted by an equal-in-size red ball of the moon rising over the eastern horizon, directly opposite. It was immediately apparent that this very earth itself was also a similar ball hanging in space and a little reflection revealed that the borders and boundaries, conflicts and chaos, emotional trials and self-centred tribulations on this ball are all human impassioned fabrications. The reason I mention this experience is that this experience in the desert was not a ‘self’-less pure consciousness experience (and nor was it an altered state of consciousness) – it was simply an opportune moment whereby the actuality of the perfection of this physical planet became apparent and obvious.
I have also written of similar experiences in my Journal–
Many people I have talked to have had comparable experiences or similar insights such as these at some stage in their life whilst sensately experiencing the magnificence of the physical universe but most have affectively interpreted – or misinterpreted – what they are experiencing in exactly the way human beings have always habitually done – by feeling awed (at the work of some mythical Creator), by feeling grateful (to some mythical Creator) or by becoming totally delusional (by feeling that they are at one with the Creator or indeed that they are the Creator himself, herself or itself). When the emotions take hold of the experience in this way what is totally obscured is the actuality of the physical experience itself – a taste of the already and always existing peace on earth.
What I am attempting to point out in this response is that one does not necessarily have to remember having had a PCE to twig to the fact that peace on earth already, always exists – there are a myriad of clues laying all round that allude to this fact – providing one is willing to let go of one’s accrued real-world cynicism or one’s imbibed spiritual-world fantasies that is. And the cute thing is once you start to become aware of these clues, one’s own innate naiveté will be not only rekindled but will begin to blossom … and this will in turn allow for the circumstances to be ripe for a PCE to occur, all by itself as it were.
RESPONDENT: Now, the real question goes to Vineeto & Peter only, as Richard never claims any quality except those which RIPEETO is so naively describing.
But why don’t you, Peter and Vineeto, have to stress more than once that you are honest and of pure intent aka heart? Because only to those endowed with these qualities shalt the gates of heaven be opened? But, then again – of what concern is it to your audience that you ARE honest & pure? You will notice the results yourself, anyway, and your state of virtual freedom seems to me to be quite comparable to what a lot of other reasonable beings, on this list or not, have achieved in this lifetime. The difference is that many of those other people don’t CLAIM honesty all the time – they LIVE it – no fuss about it. OTOH, your repeated stressing of purity & honesty makes me wonder even more why, then, the process Richard is describing has not occured in you yet. But then again, patience and perseverance are of the essence, we know. In your OSHO time and before, have you done a lot of Mantra practice? Honest vs. dishonest, pure vs. dirty 6/9/2005
RESPONDENT: Peter, Vineeto, may you not find your lives completely wasted but profit in the best possible way from your ‘big leap’. I’m certain you will enjoy life with Richard. For taste’s sake, try not to be too hypocritical about honesty – and don’t, if possible to avoid, tell people you’re just being honest about honesty. Well, I guess it’s impossible to avoid. Human Comedy Goodbye List. 7/9/2005
PETER: Despite the fact that you asked a loaded question and not a real question and that your question was but a prelude to a premature evacuation the very next day, I’ll post the following as it is what I wrote immediately preceding the quote I sent to No 60 last night with regard to my honest-to-myself attentiveness of the full range and extent of my feelings –
I remember once talking to someone on our balcony about the business of taking a good clear look at my feelings and beliefs – ‘to bring them out into the open in order to shine the bright light of awareness on them’ is the way that Richard has put it. As we talked, my visitor was somewhat bewildered as to why I would want to do it. He indicated that I was somehow kidding myself by wanting to be as happy and harmless as humanly possible – in fact, I got the impression that he thought me dishonest and insincere because his conviction was that to be ‘honest’ meant to cherish one’s feelings and to be ‘sincere’ meant to let them all hang out and to hell with everyone else.
Exploring and investigating the dark side of one’s own psyche while neither expression nor repressing is only one aspect of the business of examining one’s own feelings and passions – there are some very sweet aspects to be discovered as well. One exploration that is fascinating to make is to get in touch with one’s childhood naiveté. A lot of people are well acquainted with getting in touch with their childhood hurts and wounds – the times they were bullied, the times they were wrongly accused of something they didn’t do, the feelings of indigitation, the feelings of resentment, loneliness and so on … but I found that there were also wonderful memories of carefree days of leaving home in the morning and riding my bike for hours on end, either alone or with mates, simply riding for the fun of riding, exploring for the fun of exploring, being aimless for sheer exuberance of being aimless – the only restriction being that I needed to be home before dark. They were days immersed in a childhood guileless naiveté, the closet to being innocent that is possible within the human condition.
By the simple act of getting in touch with this childhood naiveté once again, I realized that it had never ever quite gone away in my later life – that despite all the trials and tribulations of later life I had never quite lost it entirely and bowed under to cynicism. On reflection, I guess this is why I was such a ‘fool’ or so ‘dishonest’ or so ‘insincere’ or so ‘hypocritical’ as to want to eliminate malice and sorrow from my life in order that I could again become as guileless and as carefree again as I was in those childhood days.
Of course, as you have rightly pointed out, this is not an actual freedom from malice and sorrow – it’s still ‘me’ being a feeling being – but for me feeling felicitous and being once-again naïve sure beats feeling miserable and being resentful.
PETER: However, the subject matter of this simplified presentation obviously passed you by because whilst you think the Introduction may be of use to others – ‘common food for the masses’, as you disparagingly put it – you yourself continue to show not the faintest interest in actualism itself. This clearly indicates that you have completely missed the most fundamental point made in the Introduction – that actualism is a do-it-yourself business, and not an ‘if-only-everybody-else-did-it’ philosophy.
RESPONDENT: If I ‘continue to show not the faintest interest in actualism itself’, then I wouldn’t have read it in the first place.
PETER: Which begs the question as to what motive and what attitude you had whilst reading it – to sincerely want to find out or to nit-pickingly find fault. There’s a world of difference between these ways of reading, as you may well discover if you read what is on offer on the Actual Freedom Trust website with less cynical eyes.
RESPONDENT: Obviously, I am exploring, albeit with perhaps, too healthy a dose of cynicism.
PETER: I noticed Richard made a comment about cynicism in his post so I won’t labour the point, other than to say that I never found anything healthy about cynicism. From what I remember, it’s not only a lead weight on one’s shoulders, it’s like walking around immersed in a grey fog of one’s own making.
Here is an exchange that you might find pertinent –
PETER: As you read more on the website I can recommend stopping every now and again and deliberately making the effort to recall that experience.
By remembering the flavour of that experience you will be more able to access the naiveté necessary to understand what is on offer on the site and you will thus be more able to read what is on offer with the clear eyes that I assume you had during that experience.
RESPONDENT: I do see the necessity for the naiveté that is mentioned here.
PETER: Naiveté is something that you have to actively rekindle. Given that you have said – ‘it’s more important for me to get rid of the negative than to seek the positive’ – you may well find it a little difficult to re-discover your naiveté.
RESPONDENT: So then give me a tip to rediscover naiveté if you would?
PETER: Obviously I can only talk about the things that tweaked my own naiveté – some things may strike a common cord whilst others may be idiosyncratic. My memory of my early stages of actualism is a bit fuzzy nowadays but contemplating on Richard’s writings was an absolutely vital aspect for me. I went looking for this passage as it is one that still sticks in my mind –
There is a lot in Richard’s writings that evokes naiveté, yet reading it is one thing but taking the time, and making the effort, to contemplate on what one reads is quite another. This is the work that is up to ‘you’ to do.
I had Richard’s journal by my bedside and would read a few paragraphs and then lay back and think about it a while or I would take myself off for a walk in a favourite place and just sit down and gaze at the world with soft eyes thinking about what I had read, what I had done with my life, what I was doing with my life and what I wanted to do with my life.
I also found it essential to stop beating myself up and start liking myself, to start to enjoy my own company which in turn led me to start being interested in being here, which in turn led to a naïve curiosity about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being.
I don’t know if that is of use to you but the first is obvious – read – and the second is equally important – contemplate – and the second will be best done at a time when you feel most relaxed and at ease.
PETER: If your sole aim is ‘to get rid of the negative’, as in stopping being cynical, the tendency is then to not replace it with anything – to not feel anything – to become an emotional emasculate if you like. Contrary to what some people think, actualism is not about not feeling. The actualism method is about minimizing the debilitating effects of the ‘bad’ emotions (malice, anxiety, resentment, sorrow, etc.) as well as minimizing the debilitating effects of the antidotal ‘good’ emotions (love, bliss, compassion, etc.) and actively promoting the felicitous/ innocuous emotions – the feelings that are associated with naiveté – a childlike curiosity, a fascination with being here, bonhomie, friendliness, amiability, cordiality, delight, wonder, amazement and so on.
Such a radical change does require the intent to do so, and does require a good deal of effort to do so, as felicitous feelings do not come naturally to world-wary instinctually-impassioned adults.
RESPONDENT: World wary or world weary?
PETER: Both. The constant need to be world-wary inevitably makes for world-weariness. Fear is the strongest of the instinctual passions and its effects are utterly wearying.
PETER: When I recalled my first PCE, it became clear to me that the way to get from ‘A’ – being normal – to ‘B’ – having an ongoing direct experience of actuality 24/7 – was that ‘I’ had to devote my life to becoming happy and harmless … and that this commitment had to be so total as to be an all-consuming obsession. I don’t want to gallop ahead too much, but the reason I mention this is to point to the essential link between becoming happy and harmless and becoming free of the human condition – they are one and the same path.
RESPONDENT: On another note and a popular topic of discussion on this list: while I have brought this up in the past regarding Richard’s claim of being the 1st to be fully free of the human condition (I will use the actualist term). First I would like to say that regarding the ongoing discussion between No 59 and the ‘defenders of the faith’ (my term – no offence intended referring to Richard, Peter, Vineeto, No 23, et al) that I can clearly see No 59’s points.
PETER: I don’t find that particularly surprising given that you both apparently think highly of U.G. Krishnamurti. If you believe the words of someone who says that it is impossible to become free of malice and sorrow as is evidenced in his quotes, then it is understandable that both of you find Richard’s claim an anathema for it directly contradicts what U.G. Krishnamurti says.
RESPONDENT: That said, how can Richard or anyone know whether there was not some American Indian, Mayan, Incan, Aboriginal or any other from such an uprooted, extinct or rubbed-out indigenous culture and peoples who hadn’t accomplished the very same thing?
PETER: In your attempts to disprove Richard’s claim you have yet to provide any evidence that anyone else has become free of the human condition of malice and sorrow … let alone evidence of anyone who has said, or is saying, that it is possible for anyone to become free of the instinctual passions that are the root cause of human malice and sorrow. In the light of this failure you are reduced to clutching-at-straws propositions, which do nothing but highlight the lack of facts that support your case.
RESPONDENT: Clearly the writings of Carlos Casteneda point to the Indians of the Mexican peninsula devoting their entire existence to such goals. One is not likely to find such evidence scouring the internet.
PETER: Speaking of straw-clutching, Carlos Castaneda’s writings have long been exposed as being fiction masquerading as fact. All one needs to do is type ‘Carlos Castaneda’ into a good search engine and one can readily see that his fictional stories have nothing to do with actualism and everything to do with shamanism, spiritualism … and pop-psychology.
If I can just return to the topic of naiveté and the question you asked earlier –
At some seminal point in my early days of being interested in actualism I came to realize that the only way I could rekindle my naiveté was for me to be prepared to question all of what I had taken on board to be right, good and true. Eventually I came to see that this meant abandoning all of my previous conceptions about the nature of what it is to be free that I had imbibed from others. No doubt, whatever it is that is standing in the way of you rekindling your naiveté will gradually becoming equally clear to you.
RESPONDENT to No 66: Of course the process would accelerate if you force yourself to become a blind fanatic. It’s like the above. If you disable your ability to question and criticise what you’re doing, you’ll have certainty ... but refusing to listen to your objections does not render them invalid.
I understand your desire to throw doubt and caution to the wind, but I think the only thing you’ll get by switching off your ability to question is another religious conversion. If actualism is ‘fair dinkum’, it should not be necessary to turn a blind eye to anything.
PETER: I vaguely remember at one stage thinking such thoughts but what I found was that much of my thinking was plagued by the world-weary cynicism that I had unwittingly taken on board in my life. Once I managed to scrape sufficient of this cynicism away I was able to rekindle my naiveté such that I could unreservedly question the wisdoms, truths and psittacisms that caused me to have a cynical view of life in the first place. I do understand that most people equate naiveté with foolishness but I found that I had to be naïve in order to even consider that peace on earth was already always here and only ‘I’ stood in the way of it become apparent 24/7.
As for your comment about becoming ‘a blind fanatic’ – have you ever paused to consider that allegedly ‘clear-sighted’ people see this paradisaical planet as a grim and awful place, that allegedly ‘questioning’ people passionately cling to their dearly held beliefs, that allegedly ‘reasonable’ people are of the view that you can’t change human nature, that allegedly ‘sane’ people pray to mythical Gods or Goddesses for peace on earth, that supposed ‘wise’ people continue to revere ancient fairy tales and to venerate archaic superstitions and that allegedly ‘intelligent’ people fervidly object to those who set their sights on becoming both happy and harmless.
When I took this on board, I realized that I was starting to think in a way that was fundamentally different to the rest of my fellow human beings, and I do mean fundamentally. This inexorably lead to me coming face-to-face with the realization that it is a deeply cynical viewpoint to think that we human beings will never ever be able to live together in peace and harmony – and the flip-side of this realization was the beginning of a hundred percent certainty that this is not only possible but that it is inevitable now that the way out of the human condition has been forged.
PETER: I remember once pricking up my ears at something Richard said. He said something like ‘Do you really believe that human beings will never find a way to live together in genuine peace and harmony – that there will never be an end to all the wars, rapes, murders, child abuse, domestic violence and corruption that human beings inflict upon each other?’ It sure made me understand how cynical the universal conviction is that there can never be a workable straightforward down-to-earth solution to ending human malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: Interesting... I hadn’t really about the insidiousness of cynicism (and I have it in yards), but it surely must colour everything. Thanks for (yet) another ‘opportunity’.
PETER: If I remember rightly, you have been upfront about cynicism on the list before and I appreciate anyone who freely admits to feelings such as these. I remember being quite shocked as to how deeply cynical all of the spiritual teachings were and being stunned at my gullibility in that I had not seen this whilst I was on the spiritual path. The realization helped to show me how my own feelings of self-righteous and moral superiority had blinded me to the dark and sinister underbelly of all spiritual teachings.
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: Although it took a while, I soon came to take Richard’s observation that the human condition is epitomized by malice and sorrow as a given – the global-wide evidence is overwhelming, whilst the evidence of the predominance of feelings of malice and sorrow on a personal level is somewhat disconcerting when initially acknowledged and unmistakeably observed in operation in oneself, and as one’s ‘self’. I also had a strong flash of realization when I first met Richard and he said ‘everybody’s got it 180 degrees wrong’ – the realization that everybody, including me, had been trolling through the garbage bin of history’s tried-and-failed philosophies, beliefs and theories, dusting them off for recycling, denying their shortcomings and ignoring their failure to elicit anything remotely resembling peace on earth between human beings. This brief flash of realization was sufficient to embolden me to consider abandoning my life as-it-was and embarking on a path that no one else had trod but Richard.
RESPONDENT: Agreed. You have to look no further than the impending ‘war’ with Iraq to find proof of that.
PETER: And I had to look no further than the war ‘I’ continuously conducted with all of my fellow human beings. Ending the habit of pointing the finger at others and acknowledging one’s own feelings of malice and sorrow is an essential starting point in the process of actualism.
The next realization I spoke of requires an abandonment of real-world cynicism – and spiritual romanticism – for it requires an astounding naiveté to consider that ‘everybody’s got it 180 degrees wrong’ – that there might be a third alternative that can actually bring an end to human malice and sorrow, in this body, and every body.
PETER: Speaking personally, when I began to put the actualism method into practice I simultaneously began to focus my attention on my own life. This was because I came to understand that the only person I can change, and need to change, is me. By doing so I took what Richard was saying personally whilst also regarding it as being universal in that I am but one of an estimated 6 billion human beings on the planet ensnared within the human condition.
RESPONDENT: Is it worth bringing children into the ‘real’ world?
PETER: It seems that you are a bit late in asking that question.
RESPONDENT: What sort of happiness can we want for them?
PETER: My experience is that children learn a lot from observing their parents.
This meant that, like it or not, I had to lead by example – which is why I found it impossible not to take up the offer to devote my life to becoming happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: If one sees a life in the ‘real’ world as worthless – then it can get rather depressing – very quick.
PETER: If I may suggest, the alternative to becoming depressed is to make sure you do something worthwhile with your life.
RESPONDENT: Now, I don’t see you, Richard, and Vineeto as saying that a life lived in the ‘real’ world is without worth – yet it seems hard to reconcile a description of life in the ‘real’ world as ‘death-like’ with a description of life in the ‘real’ world as ‘valuable’ or ‘worthwhile.’ But, maybe I’m reading too much into the description of ‘death-like.’
If it’s possible to be both ‘reasonably happy’ and ‘death-like’ at the same time, then I suppose we can just call it a quirk of language and how our experience is expressed with language.
PETER: And yet you said at the start of this post –
I don’t see your difficulties in reconciling living life in the ‘real’ world with the experience of being free of the human condition as a quirk of language at all, but rather that you are trying to reconcile the description in question from the standpoint of two distinct experiences. For someone who is reasonably happy with the experience of being a being in the ‘real’ world the description can be felt to be offensive, but for someone who remembers a PCE – the experience of being fully alive, sans identity, in the actual world – the description is a matter of fact statement.
Perhaps this will be of some use in understanding the nature of the quandary you seem to have arrived at, at this stage of your investigations. All sorts of doubts and hesitations arise whenever anyone is faced with chucking out the old and beginning something entirely new. Despite this resistance for things new, the universe itself has an inbuilt propensity for betterment that can be seen in action in the human species as a combination of daring, curiosity, naiveté, altruism and intelligence.
RESPONDENT: I have just taken your lead and purchased my own computer... I want to write down my story... but I don’t know how it will unfold as yet... essentially it will be for myself... or should that be for the demise of myself ...???
PETER: I do find it odd that I now write as a hobby given that it was never an interest, I was not a great reader of books and struggled with English at school. I always thought that those who wrote and taught were not necessarily those who did things well. I chose the doing things well path but it is delightful to mix the skills these days. I remember buying the computer and setting it up and wondering what I was doing and more particularly how and where to start. So I took a note pad out to the balcony with a cup of coffee and sat down .... ‘As I sit on the balcony of our small flat contemplating life, I am moved to start writing my story.’ ... and away it went.
It proved to be an amazing introspective process ... to see that all ‘I’ am is nothing more than the sum total of the beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that I had been instilled with since birth. To see that all ‘I’ am is automaton from a social and genetic assembly line, both fettered and fated to be malicious and sorrowful, is such a blow to one’s pride. But naiveté and genuine intent produces such an honesty that one finds oneself gladly ‘spilling the beans’, so to speak. To conduct a review of one’s history, one’s actions, thoughts and feelings in the light of being ensconced and trapped within the Human Condition is an extraordinary ‘inner’ journey that beats any other form of therapy hands down. One literally puts oneself under a microscope and amazing discoveries are there for the making – things one was avoiding, things one was ignorant of, things one dared not to look at, things no one had told you, things that were completely different from what you assumed and believed to be so. This is the very business of an actualist – it is only by making this ‘inner’ journey of discovery by oneself, for oneself, that one is able to become free from belief. You get to find out what you are as distinct from ‘who’ you think and feel yourself to be – the ‘who’ that others and blind nature have programmed you to be.
I particularly remember writing of my spiritual years and making discovery after discovery that literally shocked me to my core. Events that I had doubts or misgivings about at the time became crystal clear – insights and realizations came clanging along, one after the other. One that particularly sticks in my memory was of being with thousands of other disciples in a hall in India shouting ‘Yah Hoo’ to an empty chair where a dead God-man, ‘my’ Master, had sat. The Sacred Chair where He last sat – the symbolic equivalent of the Cross for Christians. I had had a peak experience at the time – a brief moment of startling clarity – and saw the stupidity and desperation of my situation, and of the whole Master-disciple business in general, and yet it still took me years to act on the realization and get out of spiritual world. It was only by meeting Richard that I finally garnered the confidence to go all the way.
Writing my Journal was excellent in aiding and abetting a Virtual Freedom. The realizations about, and knowledge of, the Human Condition in action, both in others and myself, was liberating to the extent that a virtual freedom from the Human Condition was possible. ‘One establishes a firm and stable base camp from which to launch the final assault’ was how I once described Virtual Freedom.
Methinks you are about to launch yourself on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a fascinating business being a human being. It never ceases to amaze me.
So, sounds bloody excellent news to me.
RESPONDENT: I have the sense that this virtual reality and all that goes along with it are sure to test some of our closest ideals, well mine at least. To think that the letter of olde, as confidential as they were and the rarity of them, can so boldly be changed.
PETER: One of the ideals I refused to forsake to cynicism was that of peace on earth. Another was the ideal of being able to live with a woman in utter peace and harmony. I also refused to exchange my deep-seated ideal and yearning for a genuine freedom and autonomy for the utter selfishness of becoming a God-man or the crippling servitude of bowing down to a God or God-man. Actualism is about turning sensible ideals into practice in the market place, not abandoning them to cynicism and selfish pursuits. The simplest way of seeing this is to see idealism as naiveté – if you can abandon ‘real’ world cynicism and spiritual world gullibility and crank up your naiveté it will stand you in good stead in the process of actualism.
In a similar manner, I did not suppress my tender passions but rather utilized them to turn my ideals into practice – compassion for others when stripped of sorrow and pity revealed a genuine caring and concern, desire when stripped of avarice and greed revealed an altruistic urge to achieve the very best possible, and the base passion of fear, when stripped of debilitating doubt, revealed a thrill of adventure that served to spur me on.
Actualism is not about suppressing feelings – actualism is initially about eliminating the debilitating excesses of malice and sorrow, such that the felicitous feelings can come to the surface. This will then enable you to dig deeper into the very core of both your social and instinctual identity with safety and confidence – while still maintaining the naiveté and intent to always put one foot in front of the other on the path to Actual Freedom.
RESPONDENT: My continuing attempts at communicating with past friends and new www.users is a challenge which I liken to the question about what hits the ground first, the brick or the feathers? Only my feathers seem to be dispersed by the gentle breeze that occasions such heights.
My mail now not so confidential or rigid takes on a new form as who can tell whose eyes shall read my words. In this fact I enjoy the prospect of the opportunity to interact with like-minded people from whom I may realize anything.
PETER: As you will come to realize, if you already haven’t, there are no Gurus or disciples, teachers or teachings, dogmas or mantras, Sanghas or ashrams in actualism. This list is not a mutual-admiration society, a cosy club of conformists, a forum for disgruntled spiritualists.
This mailing list operates under the unabashedly naive banner of ending human malice and sorrow – to bring to an end all the wars, rapes, murders, domestic violence, child abuse, torture, corruption, selfishness, anguish, despair, depression and suicide that epitomize the human condition.
There is no other website that so devastatingly exposes the human condition for what it is – a horrendous and senseless instinctual ‘self’-centred battle for the survival. There is no other mailing list as challenging as this, for what is being discussed is how to become actually free from the human condition – deliberately and with forethought setting in motion a process that can lead to the extinction of one’s social and instinctual identity – both ego and soul.
Of course you don’t have to go all the way, for, as you have already indicated, even a little bit of awareness, common sense and down-to-earthiness can bring many benefits in normal life. Your interest and your tempo is entirely up to you in actualism. If you want to take it on 100%, or just dabble a bit, is up to you and if you want to slow down or even stop at any stage, you can.
RESPONDENT: It is this territorial instinct that is being superimposed on my environment, thus allowing for generating the belief that: my possessions (money, clothes, living space and so on) are actually mine, thus this mine is experienced as an extension of me so in fact it is me, yet cleverly disguised as my legal rights maintained at the point of a gun. This mine-ness does not exist otherwise then as an agreement, as to what I am legally (as determined by nations law) entitled to claim to be ‘mine’. From that it becomes clear that my social identity ticks with, and can only keep going on ticking, so long as it is fairly primed with hypocrisy.
PETER: There is no need to beat yourself up for being a hypocrite because everybody is passionate about ‘their’ possessions, be it land, house, objects, kith or kin. This passion is more than a belief, it is in fact instinctual as can be readily seen in the behaviour of other animals.
Most societies have put in place a set of morals, ethics and laws that specifically deal with the issue of possessions so as to suppress and prevent the worst excesses of fighting and feuding over possessions, such as prevailed in the supposed good old days of humanity. Generally this carrot and stick approach works reasonably well, but locking one’s doors and windows is still a prudent action in all societies.
Yet however careful one is, things can still be stolen, lost or damaged which can cause inconvenience or even hardship, but to then suffer emotionally on top of this is but to compound the situation. As such, it is useful to become aware of any feelings associated with your possessions, as they occur, because it is feelings and passions such as these that prevent you from being happy and prevent you from being harmless.
PETER: At the end of our conversation about hypocrisy you wrote the following –
RESPONDENT: Very good Peter, (sort of basketball as a way of dancing while playing ball ‘disclaimer’) Any negative attribution as to the use of ‘hypocrite/hypocrisy ‘ has as such now been rendered ‘neutral’.
PETER: Speaking personally, I never rendered the feeling of being a hypocrite neutral, for in order to do so I would then have to be insincere. In my spiritual years, what I did was puff up my feelings of superior righteousness whereby others where the bad guys, others were the problem and so on and these feelings then masked and shielded my hypocrisy to a large extent. Two facts served to shatter my veneer however. One was the failure of yet another relationship and my acknowledgement that I was equally responsible for its failure and the other was an outburst of anger one day that demolished my self-image as a being a peaceful man.
Both these incidents nagged me, for it made it obvious that despite my beliefs and fine ideals, I was being insincere and hypocritical, i.e. I was sprouting one thing and doing another. When I came across actualism I was presented with the challenge of doing something practical about my insincerity and hypocrisy and the challenge was to devote my life to becoming actually happy and actually harmless. Thus it is that sincerity – the ending of hypocrisy – is both the starting point of actualism, the driving force on the path and the end of the process of actualism.
I strongly recommend cranking up sincerity, not neutralizing it.
RESPONDENT: As an ex-hippie I know what you’re saying about seeking solutions in disregarding the world as is and dream of a better world with peace and flowers and love songs, yet ignoring the intimate interwoveness with all the technical progress that has been made and one’s dependency on that.
PETER: What I am saying is give up dreaming about peace on earth and start doing something practical about it. As for ‘intimate interwoveness’, you are obviously not talking about human beings whose interactions with each other are anything but intimate.
RESPONDENT: So ... me thinks that you have more or less demonstrated that hypocrisy is in fact a form of self imposed perfectionism with at its core the clinging to the realization of an idealistic utopian goal and one tends to flagellate oneself for feeling not sufficiently living up to that to be realized ideal.
PETER: What I am saying is that the human search for peace on earth is based on dreams and ideals that have been run and re-run by billions of people for millennia and they don’t work. These dreams and ideals are based on ancient spiritual concepts and beliefs – fairy tales in fact – that has it that the physical world is underpinned by a spirit-ual world, a world populated by good spirits and evil spirits. Thus the human battle for survival is believed to be a noble battle between Good and Evil – a wretched nonsense that has held and still holds mankind enthralled.
To flagellate yourself for not living up to the morals, ideals and beliefs that are part and parcel of this puerile scenario makes no sense if you want to become free of the madness of the human condition. What I did was use my feeling of being a hypocrite trapped within a hypocritical-ridden humanity to re-spark my sincerity to actually do something practical about peace on earth.
PETER: You said recently,
I like what you said here. The problem I always had with self-esteem is that esteem is a societal value. Esteem is a judgement or estimation of one’s worth that ultimately relies on the fickle opinions and attitudes of others. As I dug into the matter of self-esteem I found that living my life dependant upon the esteem of others was rather like being a puppet with others pulling my strings.
What really pulled the rug out from esteem was when I discovered that the greatly esteemed Masters were all hypocrites in that they were ‘normal’ in their off-stage life – they all got angry and they all got sad, they were all seduced by the need for power over others and they all relied upon others’ adulation in order to maintain their Self-esteem.
I found, and still find, integrity to be streets ahead of self-esteem because integrity is solely my own business based on my own assessment and is not reliant on the fickle judgement of others.
RESPONDENT: Certainly we are driven by our instincts to a degree but that doesn’t mean that we need to surrender to our instincts. I think that that is what you are implying in a way.
PETER: Quite the opposite, in fact. The grand experiment of suppressing the savage instinctual passions by the carrot of instilling ‘good’ morals and ‘right’ ethics and the stick of imposing and enforcing regulations and laws has clearly failed, and will continue to fail, to actualize peace on earth. The current fashionable notion of transcending the savage instinctual passions while giving full reign to, and indulging in, the tender passions, has clearly failed as it has done for millennia in the East.
What is now available, for anyone sufficiently interested and motivated, is a method whereby they can eliminate these redundant instinctual survival passions, thereby actualizing peace on earth for themselves and freeing one’s fellow human beings of the burden these passions impose on others.
RESPONDENT: This is important, how to eliminate these ‘instinctual survival passions’? This is where I’m getting stuck, I think. You mean that repressing the ‘negative’ instincts and indulging in ‘good morals etc’ is the spiritual predicament and what we need is to free us from ALL survival passions, good and bad, and in doing so we’re released from our ‘instinctual cage’. So I suppose the outcome of this would be that we aren’t creating suffering for ourselves and others through our ignorance anymore. Is that it? When we see actuality there’s no need to for pretence anymore ...?
PETER: It is not a matter of ignorance. This is the spiritual concept whereby we are born innocent and then corrupted by ignorance (or evil, in the more fundamental traditions) and it is only when we discover the truth or Truth do we become free of ignorance ... or evil.
The understanding that we are born the way we are and are fated to be ‘who’ we think and feel we are is enormously liberating in itself. No longer do we need to feel guilty for the way we are, no longer to we need to pray to God or grovel before God-men, no longer are we helpless victims, no longer do we need to feel resentful at having to be here in the first place.
The fact is we are here and the challenge then becomes how to fully embrace being here.
RESPONDENT: Questions: Does this mean that there are no good or bad actions!?
PETER: Until one is actually free of one’s animal instinctual passions, all actions, no matter how well intentioned, are liable to cause harm to others, no matter how minor.
RESPONDENT: Aren’t we supposed to judge each other?
PETER: I leave that to the police and judges if other people’s actions step beyond the limits of what the particular society I happen to live in deems appropriate – which is not to say I don’t see a lot of people doing a lot of silly things. It would all be amusing but for the fact that human beings actually torture and kill each other. It was only by seeing this fact with clear eyes, and acknowledging that I too was capable of such actions when push comes to shove, that forced me to want to radically and irrevocably change – to step out of Humanity.
RESPONDENT: Is this the end of morals as we know it? I sincerely hope that you’re not suggesting that anything goes ...
PETER: Again, we are not talking about others but an individual change. It is possible to dispense with the needs for morals and ethics only if one finds something better to replace them with and that something better is to have no wayward ‘self’ who needs to be kept under control. The key to knowing this is possible is the pure consciousness experience whereby the already-existing innate purity and perfection that becomes stunningly apparent instantly renders redundant the need for any morals, ethics or any kind of ‘self’-control. When returning to ‘normal’ again you take this information and begin the task of ‘self’-immolation with confidence that you will not run amok as you progressively loosens the stranglehold of morals and ethics.
RESPONDENT: So it works out a strategy for survival (ain’t that what it’s supposed to be best at?) which includes encouraging the delusion that it is being eliminated. It achieves this by influencing the amygdala to tag ‘actual freedom’ inputs approvingly – thereby providing a jolt of pleasure to the prefrontal cortex every time ‘actual freedom’ activities are pursued. The poor old pre-frontals can then go on believing the lizard’s power is vanquished, while the beast itself remains the back-room power-broker it has always been. Naturally, Bruce Willis would play the lead, and the lizard would sometimes make itself all-too-clearly manifest as a hallucination which scares the girlfriend – played by Jennifer Lopez.
PETER: The prerequisite for being interested in actualism is to abandon one’s cynicism and re-activate one’s naiveté, a seemingly impossible task for those who have been involved in the spiritual world for years and have become aware by experience of its perennial failure to deliver the goods. Seemingly it is an equally impossible task for those who have devoted their lives to changing human nature and have become aware of the perennial failure of any real-world idealism to deliver the goods.
RESPONDENT: You also said... ‘I had actually experienced what it is that makes people kill others, to die for their belief or to protect their leader.’ And maybe to protect a loved one? Or am I not being cynical enough?
PETER: (...) But I have digressed off on to another of my ‘raves’. The point is that I was concerned about what was it that caused the Religious wars on the planet. When I contemplated on my Sannyas years I had to admit that I probably would have killed to protect my Master – exactly as the followers of any other Master, Guru, Prophet, God would do. The killing is done to ‘protect a loved one’ as you rightly pointed out, but it is killing, whatever the motive.
What I was interested in was the willingness to kill – the instinct of aggression. This instinct is often triggered by fear, but has been implanted in humans to ensure that the offspring are protected sufficiently to ensure the survival of the species. Having had 2 children, one of whom died at an early age, I know the powerful urge to give my life as a sacrifice to ensure my offspring’s survival. It is this ‘blind’ instinct in me that I was interested in investigating, understanding and eliminating. Such that I would never again blindly kill, or be killed, for ‘love’ of country or ‘love’ of God. To free myself of malice.
As I said recently on the list –
‘To even consider a journey into yourself to free yourself of the Human Condition requires a burning discontent with life as it is – both for yourself and for your fellow human beings’.
Or am I being too naïve ...?
RESPONDENT: Recently, I was speaking to someone who was carrying a gun there, in fact many of them were friends of mine, and interestingly, he was of the opinion that many of them would not have been able to kill anyone. So maybe that is why you weren’t given a gun!
PETER: T’is interesting writing on this list. When I said I was a Sannyasin to find peace of mind and peace on earth (the New Man), I was told I was silly. When I said I was seeking Enlightenment, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was talking about God, I was told I was silly. When I said Rajneesh was teaching in the Eastern spiritual tradition, I was told I was silly. When I said I saw the Religion forming, I was told I was silly. When I said that I probably would have killed to protect Rajneesh – all of a sudden I am the only one who loved him that much!
The level of denial is quite breath-taking. Most take the facts we are talking of and take them personally, whereas we are talking of the Human Condition – common to all. Any personal experiences we relate, as evidence of the Human Condition in us, is then used against us, as a defence for the status quo.
RESPONDENT: <Preach-Mode> Well, try and drop naiveté, and move into pure innocence </Preach-Mode>
PETER: I assume you are talking of the Divine ‘pure innocence’ that includes such things as Divine Anger – as a ‘device to wake up the sleepy’, Divine Jealousy as in ‘I am the Only God’, Divine Sorrow as in ‘feeling Compassion for all sentient beings’.
No, innocence is only possible with the complete and utter eradication of both ‘self’ and ‘Self’. The total extinction of ‘me’ who is sorrowful and malicious is the only option.
Given the abounding cynicism of the spiritual world, it is an essential quality to re-discover one’s naiveté in order to even begin to contemplate innocence. One needs to travel 180 degrees in the other direction from a cynical view-point.
PETER: Being a down-to-earth sort of ‘old chap’ and a bit naïve to boot – I believed it was about a New Man, a city to challenge the world, a new way of living and working together, a new way of being together as human beings. A city of higher consciousness than the rest of the world. A city free of crime, a city of love. But as you say I am only one of the many who ‘didn’t get what the ranch was about’, perhaps you can tell me what the Ranch was really about? What is the true overview as you see it?
RESPONDENT: I am rather down to earth also, but I am rarely naïve growing up in New York City, rather I am innocent when I am. Unlike you who ‘believed’ the ranch was about the things you mentioned, I saw that it was indeed about these things and more. It was to create a Mecca, a magnetic force to bring all open people to Osho.
PETER: Okay, so whereas I merely ‘believed’ what the ranch was about, you ‘know’ and you ‘see’ due to your higher level of consciousness. It does rather strain my neck a bit, as I am forced to forever look ‘up’ to your level. It does make discussion, on the basis of us being two human beings, more than a bit difficult.
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.