Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT: I think what I want to do with my life is only apparent from one moment to the next and that seems to be constantly changing but it seems to do with being curious, seriously curious about the workings of self. I had actually decided to end this ego self 10 years or so ago but because it was self trying to end self without a ‘relentless inquiring attention’ there was bound to be failure. Now with the aid of ‘How am I question...’ more of the moments are caught rather than the usual see one moment then skip a few moments and get lost in self intellectualization again. Curiosity I think, needs to be given complete leeway.
PETER: I was trained as an architect but on graduating found working in an office to be too removed from the building site where the business of building buildings actually happened. Consequently I became an architect-builder-carpenter as my interest was more in the practical implementing of a idea.
When I came across Richard I had spent 17 years on the spiritual path attempting to end the ‘ego-self’ but was ready to abandon the effort. I had begun to have some Altered State of Consciousness experiences but the suspicions and doubts I had of the Master-disciple business, the God-men’s lifestyle, how they were with their women, etc., meant that Enlightenment was losing its attraction. I was also becoming more and more aware of the fact that Eastern Spirituality is nothing more than Eastern Religion. I soon came to see that there were two identities preventing me being happy and harmless – the ‘normal Peter’ who was father, man, architect, etc. and the ‘spiritual Peter’ – the believer, searcher, superior one, etc. So I set about dismantling both these ‘I’s by actively challenging the beliefs, feelings, emotions and instincts that gave substance to both the psychological and psychic entity that was ‘me’.
What I increasingly discovered was that the brain of this flesh and blood body has an inherent ability to be aware of itself, an ability of apperception. When I ask ‘What am I thinking?’ or ‘What am I feeling?’ or ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ it is this apperceptive awareness that can provide the answer. It was enormously difficult and bewildering sometimes at the start but as fact replaced belief, clarity replaced confusion and pure intent replaced ‘open-ness’ and listlessness, ‘what’ I am – not ‘who’ I am – gradually emerged and became apparent. At first, the whole exercise can feel like a weird ‘self trying to dismantle self’’ exercise, but soon one realises that it is fact dismantling belief, apperceptive awareness dismantling self that is happening.
So for me, in hindsight, it was apperceptive awareness – the ability of the brain to be aware of itself – that does the job, dismantles and demolishes both the normal and spiritual, both the psychological and psychic entity. When one has a realization about a belief and ‘sees’ the facts there is an actualisation that can occur which is not of ‘my’ doing. In the face of the blinding and glaringly obvious fact, sensible down-to-earth action can ensue. In the spiritual realm, one merely ‘realises’ and takes on board a new belief such as ‘I am really God after-all!’ or ‘I am Immortal – thank God!’ – and non-sensical action inevitably occurs.
Many people who have read a bit of the Actual Freedom writings think that the dismantling of spiritual beliefs is some sort of side issue, or a sort of ‘put down’ as is common in the spiritual world between various teachers and Gurus. This is to miss the essential iconoclastic nature of Actual Freedom. To live in the spiritual world i.e. to have spiritual beliefs is to be twice removed from the actual world. The spiritual world is an imaginary world that the spirits dwell in. The psychic entity or soul within the flesh and blood body is a ‘spirit’ ie. non-actual and metaphysical. The self as soul ‘dwells’ in the spiritual world while the self as ego ‘dwells’ in the normal world.
RESPONDENT: One other point – No 33 brought into this discussion the idea of a ‘bird’s eye view’. I think that point is relevant here to the general issue of semantics. Tom Nagel, the philosopher, has brought into recent philosophical discussion a distinction of a ‘view from nowhere’ versus ‘what it’s like from the inside’.
PETER: Personally I don’t relate to the idea of a bird’s eye view, let alone ‘the distinction of a ‘view from nowhere’ versus ‘what it’s like from the inside’’. When I recalled my first substantive PCE, I wrote about how I experienced the actual world and it was a sensual experience – as ‘down-to-earth’ an experience as you can get.
RESPONDENT: The relevance of that sort of distinction is to see that from a ‘bird’s eye’ view – my life and all it comprises can be ‘puny’ or ‘pathetic’ – even from the point of view of a PCE, my life in the ‘real’ world can be seen as ‘death-like’ – but it is due to the sheer contrast of perspective – when one resumes life in the ‘real’ world – it just won’t work to see one’s life as ‘pathetic’ or ‘death-like’. From the subjective point of view, people describing your life from the ‘bird’s eye’ view or even the ‘PCE view’ are to be disregarded as irrelevant – or worse, can become a ‘threat’.
PETER: The other point that is relevant to your objections is how I experienced other human beings in my PCE – they were fellow human beings.
No matter what others read into the actualism writings, the intention of the Actual Freedom website has always been to simply convey information to fellow human beings that it is now possible to become actually free of the human condition. Speaking personally, an integral part of this process of becoming free of the human condition is the essential understanding that we are all fellow human beings and this understanding has always been an undercurrent in my intent in writing to others. Whilst others may instinctively react to what I am saying and feel it to be polarising in some way, what is in fact being offered is information that is invaluable to any of my fellow human beings who wish to become from free of the human condition of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT No 37: What I see now is that you have not only applied the word ‘spiritual’ to religious belief, but also to ‘being’ itself. In other words, to ‘be’ is to be ‘spiritual.’ Personally, I think that usage is ripe for misunderstanding.
PETER to No 37: With regard to my use of the word spiritual, the preceding entry in the glossary may throw some light on the subject, particularly as I did write the glossary sequentially.
RESPONDENT: No, this doesn’t clarify anything, it just muddies the waters again. It’s another example of the lack of discrimination between: (1) Having spiritual beliefs (eg. belief in a God; belief in an immortal soul; belief in a spirit that is separate from matter, etc); and (2) Having the feeling of ‘being’ or ‘Being’.
PETER: Personally I discovered that there was a very close association between spiritualism (as in having spiritual beliefs) and having a feeling of ‘being’ or (as in ‘me’, a non-material entity or spirit, so much so that I very often wrote the word spiritual as spirit-ual in my journal and other early writings so as to emphasize the association of the words spiritual and spirit.
RESPONDENT: In the discussion between Richard and No 37 it emerged that U.G. Krishnamurti is alleged to be ‘spiritual’ because of (2), not (1).
PETER: Yep. In one quote U.G. Krishnamurti clearly makes reference to his ‘state of being’ and in another he defines this state of being as ‘the state of samadhi, sahaja (natural) samadhi’. In other words, he doesn’t hold spiritual beliefs, his has permanently realized a spiritual state of being.
RESPONDENT: Now once again the distinction is blurred to the point of non-existence.
PETER: In the (1) and (2) example you provided, it is an either or situation – one is either spiritual because of the beliefs one holds or one is spiritual because of one’s state of being. Either way, the person is spiritual.
PETER to No 37:
RESPONDENT: Perhaps they ‘manage to deny’ it because they actually DON’T believe in such things?
PETER: In my case I don’t have any spiritual beliefs left due to my own intent to expose my spiritual beliefs but I do acknowledge that ‘I’ am a spirit-like being and will remain so until ‘self’-immolation occurs. Unless I am having a PCE, ‘I’ experience myself as being inside this body, looking out at the outside world through the body’s eyes, hearing through the ears, smelling smells through the nose and so on. There is no question of my not believing ‘I’ am a spirit being – sincere observation reveals that ‘I’ am a non-material entity.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that No 37 went to a fair bit of trouble to tease out the two very different ways in which a human being can earn the ‘spiritualist’ label. He suggested that using the same word to describe such different things is begging for misunderstanding, and I agreed with this based on my own experience in discussing these matters with actualists. Unfortunately, you seem to be oblivious to the problems this creates for your readers, and it seems that no amount of discussion will penetrate your head on this issue.
PETER: I freely admit that I don’t see this as a problem at all. The best way to get to the bottom of any misunderstanding is to discuss the matter, which is what we are doing. It was only by discussing our misunderstandings that Vineeto and I came to get to the bottom of the issues that stood in the way of us living together in peace and harmony –
PETER to No 37:
RESPONDENT: Sure, and many of us grew out of these fairytales in adolescence, which is why we do not regard ourselves as ‘spiritual’.
PETER: And, of course, a good many people were then suckered into the Eastern spiritual fairy tales since it became a fashionable thing to do in the 60’s – myself included.
RESPONDENT: In the short time that I’ve been posting here, there have been at least half a dozen people who have no apparent ‘spiritual’ beliefs: me, No 58, No 59, No 38, to name a few.
PETER: As you know I was a full on-spiritualist for many years but when I started to disentangle myself from these beliefs I was surprised at the extent and the subtlety of the spiritual beliefs I had taken on in my life. And yet none of these beliefs were apparent to me as being beliefs before I started to investigate them – if that is what you mean by ‘no apparent spiritual beliefs’.
No 33 described it well when he said –
RESPONDENT: To call any of us ‘spiritual’ (derived from the definition of ‘spirit’ above) is plain ridiculous, and it’s just asking for unnecessary trouble.
PETER: I have already explained that I had no trouble at all associating ‘me’ as a spirit being with my spiritual beliefs – indeed it is because ‘I’ am a spirit being that the imaginary freedom to be had in the imaginary spiritual world was so seductive. Curiously enough, understanding this direct association between the words spirit and spiritual proved to be a seminal event in Vineeto understanding the underlying motivating force of spiritual belief which in turn led her to question her own spiritual beliefs.
I am not saying that this would necessarily be the case for everyone for that would be silly – I am simply reporting that the particular association between the words spirit as in spirit being and spiritualism as in having spiritual beliefs, was of significance for me. If you don’t make the same association, then any trouble that arises from it is obviously unnecessary.
RESPONDENT: On the other hand, if the mere fact of being a ‘feeling being’ is sufficient to warrant the ‘spiritualist’ tag, then spiritualists we all are – regardless of what we do or don’t believe. Is there any possibility of getting some clarity on this issue? What, for instance, is the ‘spiritual’ status of a person who does not believe in any ‘disembodied and separate entity esp. regarded as surviving after death’, or any ‘supernatural, immaterial, rational or intelligent being, as an angel, demon, fairy, etc.’?
PETER: I have already laid my cards on the table as to what I mean by the word spiritual – in short, although I have spent years ridding myself of all of my spiritual beliefs, ‘I’ am still a spirit-being until self-immolation happens. (As distinct from UG Krishnamurti who spent years ridding himself of spiritual beliefs until he attained a state of being known as sahaja (natural) samadhi’).
PETER to No 37: With the benefit of hindsight, much of my early writing could have been better but as the very act of writing was one of the means I found most effective in beginning to think clearly, it is inevitable that it has occasional flaws and that nowadays I could do better.
RESPONDENT: Yeah, well ... some days clarity and precision are regarded as the hallmarks of actualist writings. Other days clarity and precision are portrayed as unnecessary pandering to a bunch of quibblers, quite beneath you, eh?
The problem with re-editing my writing is that I know I would end up re-writing most of it because I would inevitably write it differently now which means that that the writing would no longer be experiential account. Besides, I would much rather spend my time discussing any objections people may raise as the very act of laying one’s cards on the table and openly discussing and thinking about these matters is the means to clarity. To seek clarity by believing the words of others is to court gullibility. .
I also went on to say this in the piece you snipped –
And yet whilst I am still writing on this mailing list correspondents get to question me on the meaning of words and phrases I have used and are thus able to become clearer about the issues. And if they are so inclined they can even utilize the interactions on this mailing list as an opportunity to understand the their own psyche in operation and thereby gain valuable insights into the human condition.
PETER: At the time of writing there is a handful of others involved, Vineeto included, making their own escape, but everyone has to do it for themselves. I thought a personal account of my journey could be useful to anyone else who wanted to ‘escape’ from malice and sorrow and allow the delights of the actual physical world to become apparent.
RESPONDENT: It is your own spiritual arrogance that sees the rest of the world (outside of you, Vineeto and a few others) as needing to escape from malice and sorrow.
PETER: As there is not a spiritual bone or spirit entity in this body I’ll pass on the spiritual bit. As for arrogance, as I have written many times before I regard it as the height of arrogance to call oneself God and have others as fawning disciples ‘loving’ and worshipping you. That this sick system has prevailed for so long, and has been revered as The Solution to the human dilemma begs the question – Why?
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: Hi Anand Deleeto, I see that No 27 has just freshly initiated you into the world of Sannyas.
You don’t know me at all but I thought I would write to you as a fellow human being to offer you a couple of Web addresses if you want some facts about the spiritual world you are in and information on a new, non-spiritual down-to-earth Actual Freedom.
I wish you well with your new life, but if you find it isn’t working, that you still have doubts, that you still feel something is missing, I offer Richard’s web-site and the Peter and Vineeto web-site.
You will probably hear on the grapevine that we are disgruntled ex-Sannyasins with a grudge, the ‘terrible twins’, or that we didn’t ‘get it’, or that we are flogging some rival version of the Truth. That we are pretending it is ‘something new’ when it isn’t Really – the usual stuff.
It’s just an offer, something to check out, if you are interested.
And just a comment on No 27’s words to you after your initiation – but only if your interested, Deleeto ...
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.
The Net is such a good thing like that. You are free to follow up anything you want to know about or deleeto anything else.
RESPONDENT: What if you Are Spirit having a human experience?
PETER: What you are is a flesh and blood body inhabited by a spirit (non-physical) entity. This spirit has two parts – a social identity commonly termed ego and an instinctual identity commonly termed soul. By transcending, or rising above, the ego one gets to feel one is one’s instinctual self which can, provided one looses all grip on reality, lead to the full-blown delusion of being Spirit or God-personified.
RESPONDENT: What if you are only having a dream in which you are pretending you are not free? What if someone like myself walked up to you, in the dream, and said, ‘Wake up, you are only dreaming’?
PETER: As the Eastern spiritual path splutters to an inglorious end it is obvious that the dreamer’s dream of spiritual freedom is only a dream and not an actuality. The God-men are coming under increasing scrutiny and are being exposed as not being what they claim to be. (...)
RESPONDENT: This is ‘tough country’ because you can’t include anyone or anything else, in your analysis of yourself. What ‘Anyone says’ is all hearsay evidence. Not admissible in the ‘inner court’. You are your only witness!
PETER: This is what is known as practicing denial – one cuts off from, or dissociates from, the ‘real’ world and the world of people, things and events and enters fully into an inner world, where Lo and behold, you find your true Spirit. The major reason this act of delusion is ‘tough country’ is because one needs to totally deny common sense and sensate experience in order to fully dissociate from the physical world completely and utterly as do the Enlightened Ones.
It’s extremely difficult stuff to convince yourself that this physical world is a dream, that this keyboard and monitor are but figments of ‘your’ dream and the only thing real is ‘you’ inside this body. Further, you would have to believe that these words you are reading upon the screen are part of your dream and that the person who has typed these words is also part of your dream. If you have managed to fully realize this state of solipsism then you are a truly rare being.
RESPONDENT: LOLOLOLOL ... if you want to ‘cut to the chase’ and Know Freedom again ... go into your ‘closet’ and have a ‘sit-down’ with you ... You are All that matters, in the final analysis!
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