Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT: I realize how long it’s been since I indulged in really good discourse. It seems most times anything resembling conversation devolves into emoting or posturing. And this is with ostensibly intelligent persons. When I was a young ‘un, we used to engage in this pastime regularly and I loved it, get the old noggin working. Is the planet just getting stupider? Even more amazing, this conversation doesn’t even occur face to face!
PETER: I don’t know that the planet is getting stupider, but the latest fashionable fixation called the New Age should be more rightly called the New Dark Age. The New Dark Age has seen a re-run of almost every conceivable ancient superstition, myth and legend – a return to fear-ridden imaginary worlds of good and evil spirits, Gods and Goddesses, ancient healings and esoteric medicines, divinations and prophecies, energies and auras, folk tales and legends, gurus and shamans, fairies and goblins, devils and demons, sacred sites and cosmic planes, chakras and levels of consciousness, telepathy and spiritualism, visions and entities, ESP and UFO’s, Chi Gong and Feng Shui, somas and souls, mysticism and meditation, rituals and rites, astrology and geomancy, reincarnations and past lives, karmas and dharmas and so on.
I have tried to have face-to-face conversations with New Dark Agers about their beliefs but soon gave up as I discovered that spiritualists do not like having their beliefs questioned. The difference with conversations on this list is that questioning beliefs is part and parcel of the actualism method and any emotional reactions that do occur in this process are but a sign that you are identifying with the belief – in other words, that particular belief forms a discernible affective component of your identity. While abandoning your cherished beliefs can be difficult, by doing so you end up becoming free of that part of your identity and also palpably free of the affective responses that automatically arise from the need to constantly maintain and/or defend your beliefs.
RESPONDENT: My trepidation re AF stems from an aversion to detachment, and while some of the feedback you’ve given me has seemed ‘slippery’, I think I understand enough now to grasp that that is not the case.
PETER: Spiritualism teaches detachment as in believing ‘I am not the body’ and that ‘who I really am really’ is a disembodied spirit. But following this spirit-ual teaching is to remain forever cut off from the magnificence and purity of the actual world we flesh and blood bodies live in.
Actualism is utterly and completely non-spiritual and as such, the actualism method of asking ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is specifically designed to break free of the ingrained habit of dissociating from one’s feelings and detaching from sensual experiencing. I am not asking you to believe me, however your own on-going observations and investigations may well reveal this to be the case.
RESPONDENT: While ‘attachment’ is clearly a culprit, the usual Buddhist response of non-attachment, or detachment is 180 degrees out. I see that now. The actual world suggested by AF seems to have the qualities that I had envisioned the Buddhist model to have, but never quite lived up to.
PETER: The actual world already delivers, and always has delivered, because it exists as an actuality. It is already, always here under our very noses, as it were. The actual world is pure and perfect in its peerless infinitude, whereas the real-world is but an illusionary ‘self’-created nightmare and the spiritual world is but a delusionary ‘self’-imagined dream.
It is my experience that even a virtual freedom from the human condition is vastly superior to suffering from the exalted state of Self-realization, God-realization, Buddha-hood or whatever other name is used.
RESPONDENT: I’m satisfied for now, and need to do some more reading and practicing so I can come up with yet more probing questions. Oh yeah, and study the dictionary.
PETER: Reading and practicing is a good combination.
RESPONDENT: As in most matters of any value.
PETER: And yet when it comes to the search for freedom, most people never bother to read the source material that their particular belief or faith is based on, they do not bother to recognize, let alone address any anomalies or inconsistencies in the teachings and never question why these beliefs and faiths have always failed to deliver their promises despite the fact that millions upon millions of people have arduously and diligently attempted to put them into practice. I can certainly remember how gullible I was in my spiritual years – the shamans of old demanded faith, hope, trust and unequivocal loyalty of their followers in order to silence dissent and to nip in the bud any outbreaks of questioning the teacher and the teachings. There is a vast difference between gullibly accepting the imaginary dreams of the spiritualism and sincerely investigating the down-to-this-earth pragmatism of actualism.
RESPONDENT: The Holoscience people discount the notion of higher dimensions, but I still maintain we may be constrained by our sensory apparatus to only those detectable inputs. Of course, I could be entirely wrong about that ... maybe we are seeing all that there is. Maybe it is adequate, and complete. I’ll have to mull this over some more and rein in my skeptical bent a tad.
PETER: Human beings have an obsession with ‘the notion of higher dimensions’ – the belief that the world is subject to the influence of good forces and evil forces is prevalent in every tribe and every culture on the planet. This belief is somewhat understandable considering that it emerged in the days when it was universally believed that the world was three layered – a flat earthy plane full of dangerous animals and dangerous humans, a mystifying heavenly realm above and a mysterious underworld below. Eventually it was empirically observed that the earth was not flat but was spherical and subsequent explorations over centuries proved that this was in fact so. Nowadays photos of earth taken from spacecrafts have subsequently convinced all but the wacky that the earth is not flat.
The next belief to be demolished by empirical observation was the notion that the earth was the centre of the solar system – an empirical observation only made possible by the invention of a mechanical enhancement of our ‘sensory apparatus’ – the telescope. As telescopes got bigger and better, the belief that our galaxy was all there was to the universe – a conviction held in Einstein’s time – was replaced by the discovery that there are in fact countless other galaxies in the universe. The subsequent invention of radio telescopes and the like has meant that we are now able to observe and measure spectrums of the electromagnetic energy of the universe that lay outside the range human eyes can detect.
And yet, despite this long history of scientific discoveries about the extraordinary magic that is the physical universe, the eons-old search for some sort of ‘higher dimension’ or metaphysical energy – the famed spirit-energy of mythology – still persists.
The same long trek from belief and superstition to actuality and wonder can be seen in the discoveries about the creation of animate life. The process of animal reproduction was unknown to early humans and all sorts of beliefs and superstitions flourished in ignorance. Now, thousands of years later, the science of observation and investigation – mightily boosted by the invention of the inverted telescope, the microscope – has revealed the facts to be far more wondrous than the puerile myths dependant upon the belief in supernatural spirit forces.
I could go on tripping through other fields of scientific discovery and endeavour, but you probably have got the gist of what I am saying – human beings will never be free from the fear and hope inherent in superstition if they insist on believing in higher dimensions, supernatural forces, metaphysical realms, divine beings, good and evil spirits and so on – or persist in hoping that one day science will provide the empirical evidence that spiritual belief so tellingly lacks.
RESPONDENT: I also need to read some more on the premise about close planetary encounters in recent history ... that does sound a bit wild at first.
PETER: Unless someone discovers some substantive empirical evidence to back up a theory, I am also sceptical of many of the suppositions that are presented along with the theory of a plasma universe or an electric universe. But I see these as add-ons to the central thrust of what is presented – an alternative evidence-based explanation for the thus-far empirically observed matter of the universe as opposed to the fashionable creationist explanations of Einsteinian Cosmology.
PETER: Are the Gurus an endangered species?
The latter half of this century has seen some scientific discoveries that will have as profound an effect on the Eastern spiritual view of the world as did the discovery that the earth was not flat and was not the centre of the cosmos had on traditional Western religious views.
In the 16th Century Copernicus proposed the concept that the world was not the centre of the cosmos, and this was later confirmed by Galileo empirical observations. This was to put yet another dent in the belief that the heavens above were another world populated by Gods and that below earth was a hellish world populated by Demons. This fact was to relegate the last of what was regarded as ancient wisdom to the realm of mere fairy-story beliefs. The idea of a white-bearded God sitting on a cloud and overseeing all this became silly to most. And as for sending his son down so he could do a few miracles, start a religion, be nailed to a cross, and after a few days, go back up to sit alongside Dad and see how it all works out...!!
Fierce battles were fought by the churches to deny and repress Galileo’s findings, but by the 19th Century the Christian church was beginning to bow to a general acceptance that their sacred dogmas and texts were allegorical fables and not factual. Darwin and the evolutionists were to further dent religious creationist theories and the cosmologists have stretched time further back than when most of the Gods were deemed to have done their ‘creation thing’. The de-bunking and de-mystifying of Western religious superstitions has been an on-going process since the studies of biology, astronomy and earth sciences broke free from the bosom of the churches some 400 years ago.
With the breaking free from the shackles of strict church dogma and its doctrines of belief and faith came the beginning of Western intellectual interest in Eastern spiritualism in the late 19th Century which flourished into a popular movement by the 1970’s. The spiritual search was a search for happiness and peace on earth fuelled by the emergence of a youthful generation dedicated to the pursuit of both. Parallel to this burgeoning Western interest in spiritualism in the last 30 years, neuro-biological science has been making some discoveries about instinctual human behaviour that could well have as profound an affect on Eastern spiritualism as Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin have had on Western religion.
At the core of the Eastern spiritual view of the world is the concept that humans are born ‘innocent’ and have only been conditioned with ‘evil’ thoughts since birth, and that it is possible to retain this natural innocence in this lifetime, on earth – hence the search to find one’s original face or divine self. Human behavioural studies and the recent neuro-biological researches by Joseph LeDoux, Steven Hyman and others are revealing that the passions of fear and aggression – the cause of human suffering and ‘evil’- are actually the result of a genetically inherited instinctual program instilled by blind nature in order to ensure the survival of the human species. Thus, there is explicit verifiable scientific evidence that we are not born ‘innocent’ but come with genetically-encoded instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire which are the direct cause of human sorrow and malice.
The other fundamental Eastern spiritual concept is that life on earth is ultimately ‘unsatisfactory’ with some even believing in a continuous cycle of re-birth into earthly suffering and that the true meaning of human existence lies ‘elsewhere’ – ultimately after physical death. Journeying ‘in’ to find one’s true spiritual self or soul is deemed to be the answer, resulting in Enlightenment as a release from ‘gross’ earthly suffering.
However, the studies of the genetically inherited instinctual program, located within the primitive section of the human brain, reveal that the survival instincts are centred upon an instinctual self, which we share in common with other animal primates, namely apes and chimpanzees. Studies of our closest animal cousins reveal startlingly similar instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire and very similar social behaviour patterns.
This instinctual sense of ‘self’ in humans is the very basis of the feeling of separateness and alienation that haunts human beings and fuels the spiritual search for oneness and unity. Undoubtedly the human brain is more complex than that of other animals but our prized ‘self’ is proving to be, at core, nothing other than our animal instinctual self. At present, 6 billion human beings are still ‘battling it out with each other’ in a grim primitive game of survival while those on the spiritual path seek to transcend it all, aiming to transform the animal self into a divine Self.
The scientific proof that humans are not born ‘innocent’ and the implication that the feeling of separateness that drives humans to seek solace in spiritual pursuits is but an instinctual ‘self’-ish program is as heretical to Eastern spirituality as Galileo’s proof was to Western religion. However, this genetically-encoded program, first evidenced by animal and human behavioural studies, is now able to be directly observed and empirically mapped in humans due to the extraordinary development of modern brain-scanning equipment and genetic research techniques. These scientific discoveries by LeDoux and others will prove as difficult to deny or repress as were those of Galileo and may well eventually prove to be fatally damaging to Eastern spiritual wisdom.
Which does beg the question – are the Gurus an endangered species?Published in ‘Here and Now’, Byron Bay, November 1999
RESPONDENT: Although I have been working on beliefs and emotions for a long time this area of instincts is new to me so I don’t know exactly where I’m at with it.
PETER: From the ‘introduction’ I have been working on I did a brief summary of the animal instinctual passions as evidenced in human beings. I am sure you can relate to many of these facets of the instincts ‘in action’ in your own life. The Human Condition of malice and sorrow that is obvious in human beings collectively – 160,000,0000 killed in wars this century and an estimated 40,000,000 suicides worldwide this century – is a universal condition that no individual human being escapes. We are all born with a genetically-encoded set of instinctual passions that are fully developed by the age of about 2 years when the first signs of fear, aggression, nurture and desire become obvious in every infants behaviour. What is so appallingly evident global-wide is potentially in each of us, should we submit to, or be overwhelmed by, the instinctual animal passions. From the ‘introduction to Actual Freedom’ –
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 seek immortality. Fear drives us to seek power over others or to support the powerful in return for their protection.
Aggression causes us to fight for our territory, our possessions, our ‘rights’, our family and our treasured beliefs – seeking power over others. At core, we love to fight or see others fighting..
Nurture causes us to care, comfort and protect but also leads to dependency, empathy, pity, blind 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 relentless instinctual drive.
Desire relentlessly drives us to needless sexual reproduction and sexual hunting, senseless avarice, corruption and insatiable greed for possessions and power.
There has been an ongoing denial, repression and cover-up about the role of the animal instinctual passions that has been actively instilled in each human being as an integral part of our social conditioning. This conditioning takes the form of spiritual beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that are designed to make us ‘good’ citizens, do the ‘right’ thing and keep our instinctual passions ‘under control’. Unless this social identity is firmly tackled and eliminated it is impossible to even begin feeling and experiencing the instinctual passions in operation, let alone begin the investigation necessary to evince their extinction in oneself.
Many, many people who see ‘rotten’ in the world, turn to a personal search for freedom, peace and happiness and turn to the spiritual path. Thus they shackle themselves with spiritual metaphysical beliefs – the current fashion being Eastern religious belief. They then adopt the Eastern version of what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong and off they go into ancient belief, superstition, imagination and fantasy.
‘Eastern spiritual belief has it that human existence on earth is a ‘necessary suffering’ and that ultimate peace and fulfillment lies ‘elsewhere’, after death. This ‘necessary suffering’ is in fact the Human Condition of malice and sorrow and includes war, murder, rape, torture, domestic violence, corruption, despair and suicide. With this belief that all this suffering is necessary to human existence firmly habituated on the planet it is no wonder that human suffering and resentment continue to flourish.’ Introduction to Actual Freedom, The Human Condition
Of course, the Eastern religions also believe that one is born ‘innocent’ and only corrupted by ‘evil’ thoughts and that ‘right’ thinking will lead to a state of Divine purity! Unless one back-tracks out of all this nonsense, one has no chance of undertaking the common sense investigation necessary to re-wire one’s brain – to reprogram what society and blind nature has programmed your brain to think and feel to be real, true or the Truth.
Maybe a bit I wrote at the time I was undertaking this very process of reprogramming will be useful to the discussion. Actual Freedom is not a philosophy or a theory – it offers a practical, down-to-earth method that is life changing and ‘self’-eliminating.
RESPONDENT to Gary: Am ‘I’ running the question knowing full well that it means that ‘I’ will eventually expire? I would say the implications of that is realised more the longer the question is on going. I guess what I’m saying is that ‘I’ am probably initially, somewhat seduced into continuing with running the question.
PETER: The bottom line seduction in actualism is ‘Do you want to be happy and harmless, in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are?’
RESPONDENT: I would also add Altered States, PCEs, Peak Experiences and Expanded awareness.
PETER: Ah, t’is a weird world we live. To add to your list – animating spirits, Gods and Goddesses, ancient healings and esoteric medicines, divinations and prophecies, energies and auras, folk tales and legends, gurus and shamans, fairies and goblins, sacred sites and cosmic planes, chakras and levels of consciousness, telepathy and spiritualism, visions and entities, ESP and UFO’s, Chi Gong and Feng Shui, somas and souls, mysticism and meditation, rituals and rites, reincarnations and past lives, karmas and dharmas, devils and demons and so on. What is disingenuously known as New Age should be more correctly labelled the New Dark Age. If you have noticed, the same applies when people use the term Alternative Medicine when what they really mean is Traditional Medicine, as in – folk lore remedies, black magic and white magic, faith cures, colour therapies, aura readings, dietary regimentations, prana regenerations, psycho therapies, psychic development, soul soothings, chakra aligning, yin and yang balancing, spirit nourishing, chi boosting, energy re-focusing, stress reducing, bio-electric pulsing, corona divining, and so on. I deliberately left out Tibetan kneecap reading because people tend to get serious and want to know more about it in case they are missing out on the latest fashionable belief.
RESPONDENT: You can see that the movement of thought influences the brain, the body and the environment at large (buildings, roads, pollution, cultural influence, government etc) and that feedback returns into our bodies through the senses to make us feel and act in certain ways.
PETER: The ‘larger whole’ – the ‘we all live in one big thought-system’ theory – still lays the blame for the ills of humankind at the feet of thinking and conditioning, not feelings borne of the instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT: Come on, you’re not playing fair. If you wish to critique the ‘we all live in one big thought-system’ theory then you must respect the internal logic, even if you believe the assumptions to be flawed.
PETER: Why must I respect the internal logic – I gave up believing Eastern spiritualism years ago. The internal ‘logic’ of spiritualism is a crock and an utterly ‘self’-centred crock at that. James Randy amongst others offered substantial prize money to anyone who can demonstrate paranormal feats – including the claims that thought can influence matter – and no-one has thus far succeeded.
As someone who has worked in the building industry for years I have yet to hear of anyone who has evidence that ‘the movement of thought influences … buildings’. I have had people tell me that a house should be sited on a certain position on a block of land because of an imaginary ‘energy line’ that runs under the ground and that a particular internal arrangements of the house will bring either good or bad ‘Chi’ if that’s what you mean by thought influencing matter, but I don’t believe in superstition.
RESPONDENT: You’re not playing fair when you conclude that the ‘we all live in one big thought-system’ theory ‘still lays the blame for the ills of humankind at the feet of thinking and conditioning, not feelings borne of the instinctual passions’.
PETER: You keep coming up with these spiritual theories and then, when I don’t agree with them, you accuse me of not playing fair. I take it that a fair game to you is one in which I would sit here saying ‘Yes, No 59 … yes No 59… oh yes No 59’. If this is your idea of a fair game I can only suggest you stop playing it with me and start playing it in front of the mirror – that way you would not only have a captive audience but no doubt an admiring one as well.
RESPONDENT: The theory does not say that. In this theory you can’t separate the feelings borne of instinctual passions from the larger system of thought.
PETER: This theory only appeals to those who are either incapable of, or are not interested, in making a distinction between feeling and thought … whereas I, along with others, can and do make a distinction.
RESPONDENT: The instinctual passions are an important part of the larger whole, being drivers and reactors to other elaborately interconnected parts of the thought system.
PETER: From what I understand of the brain’s operation – both intellectually through reading LeDoux and others and experientially by being attentive as to how this brain and other brains operate – there are no ‘elaborately interconnected parts of the thought system’, it’s all very simple really.
As I said above – ‘the ultimate source … is in genetically-encoded instinctual passions which are not only primary ‘quick and dirty’ reactions but they also feed back into thinking such that reasoned responses, sensibility, sensitivity and clear thinking have little if any chance to operate’.
Once I understood this intellectually I then ditched the ‘‘we all live in one big thought-system’ theory’ and all other spiritual concepts and started to find out for myself the experiential evidence that this is so. In short, I started to get in touch with my own feelings and passions and began to observe them in action – something that men, in particular, have been conditioned not to do.
RESPONDENT: Clearly the writings of Carlos Castaneda 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.
RESPONDENT: I didn’t know his writings had been ‘exposed as being fiction masquerading as fact’. There seems to be too many nuggets of truth in his tales for it to be completely fictional.
PETER: Yep. People do find it hard to completely dismiss fictions such as these. The fact that the hoaxers who perpetrated the first crop circles owned up did nothing to daunt the true believers let alone discourage the copycats who keep the hoax running. I noticed that the hoaxer who perpetrated the Bigfoot hoax in the U.S. was recently revealed but this did little if anything to dint the hopes of those who are still ‘searching for Bigfoot’.
RESPONDENT: I never said he had anything to do with your actualism.
PETER: So I’m now to take it that when you said –
you weren’t referring to the goals of actualism? This does make the conversation somewhat surreal.
RESPONDENT: There is obviously shamanism, spiritualism and other isms intertwined in his tales.
PETER: As I understand it, shamanism and spiritualism are not just intertwined in his tales, they are the very substance of his tales and hence the very appeal of his writings – the belief that they contain nuggets of truth.
RESPONDENT: All I meant was that if there is any truth at all to his writings, [which I think there is] then this points to some subculture of peoples devoting their lives to uncovering the meaning of life, not unlike the goal of actualism.
PETER: Shaman, sages, gurus, spiritualists and the like all believe that the meaning of life for a feeling being (a spirit being) is to be found in the spiritual world (the world of spirits) – where else? Whereas an actualist devotes his or her life to eliminating his or her feeling being, along with ‘his’ or ‘her’ associated malice and sorrow, in order that the already existing meaning of life that is the actual world can become apparent 24/7.
RESPONDENT: Which reminds me, it was when Jane Roberts began her intense contemplation of the universe as idea construction that Seth, the so called personality energy essence, made its entrance, from his discarnate multidimensional view point, (don’t laugh :-)) and began explaining (in the distorted terms that our linear and limited minds could understand) how beliefs create what Richard would call the ‘real world’ of the human condition and conditioning. Beliefs which Seth says are dispensed with when a human being makes certain realizations. But he also says ...<Snipped>
PETER: I do like to write to people who are interested in how to become actually free of malice and sorrow for this is the only way we human beings can stop fighting and feuding with each other – the only way we can put an end to all the rapes and murders, tortures and bloodshed, child abuse and persecution, conflict and wars. Given that this empirical approach to bringing an end to human malice and sorrow is so radically new, this writing often involves a lot of demolishing of Bronze Age spirit-ual perceptions and beliefs of good and evil spirits, loving beings and hateful beings, after-lives and other-worlds, etc. which people still espouse as being the ‘Truth’ about human existence on earth. Thus I inevitably find myself writing to passionate believers, the firmly convinced and even the fully deluded. Often, in order to justify or defend their beliefs, the stout defenders of the status quo will quote the supposedly truth-full teachings of long dead holy men, despite the fact that there is considerable doubt as to whether these holy men really existed as flesh and blood human beings. However, I do draw the line, particularly on this list, as to making any comment on the so-called ‘Wisdom’ of a disembodied entity who has no existence other than in the fertile and passionate imagination of ‘his’ earthly channeller ... and of those who believe her story.
PETER: I noticed you made a comment on the following post to the list, and I thought I’d put my two bob in –
GARY to No 8:
PETER: I find it curious that these words of wisdom about physical self-defence supposedly come from a disembodied entity. As such, I would say that an ethereal entity without a physical body would be the least qualified to offer gratuitous moral advice to we corporeal earthly humans.
Personally, I enjoy being here and have no problem, should the need arise, in aggressively countering another’s obvious intent to destroy me. Obviously I would do all that was reasonable to avoid being in the situation in the first place, or get out of it with all the cunning I could muster, but if all else fails, to lay down and die for a moral principle is clearly silly.
The last platitude offered is the usual spiritual karmic nonsense that is easily dismissed by considering the ‘violent thoughts’ of the toddlers killed in the Oklahoma bombing, those villagers killed in the Lockerby plane crash, the school children shot at Columbine, the children hacked to pieces in Rwanda, etc.
All religious/ spiritual wisdom, no matter what its source, is a minefield of unliveable morals and pious ethics, aimed solely at crippling, controlling and burdening wayward souls with guilt and shame.
Well, I’ve blown it now – I’m now commenting on the writings of an imaginary disembodied entity – a bit like commenting on the words and actions of the Son of God in the Christian Bible or the Buddha who was an elephant in a previous life.
GARY: But I can honestly say that I could not go back even if I wanted – and I do not want to. Because these ‘bonds of instinct’, even though they have not been completely and totally eradicated, have been so weakened and the benefit is so tangible from this that there is no comparison to before. I was reminded of this yesterday. We had a mass staff gathering for the purposes of having a corporate retreat to discuss work issues. To make a long story short, the powers that be made it perfectly clear that they expect and recommend an approach to problem solving that says ‘If I have a problem with you, I’m going to tell you about it’. I was reminded of the drab results that I personally had always gotten from this confrontative approach, and how many times it backfired and made things worse. I was, at the same time, reminded of Vineeto’s recent remarks on this approach to ‘letting it all hang out’.
Not only has this interpersonal approach of confronting others not worked for me in the past but it was always governed by the unspoken expectation that the other change their behaviour to suit me and my whims. If I have a problem with someone else, first of all it is my responsibility to do something about it, not expect the other person to change. I think that approaching a co-worker and speaking to them about their behaviour is almost always motivated by irritation, annoyance, resentment, fear, etc., all emotional states that one can do something about to eliminate from their life, yet people never carry this work through to eliminate the source of the ‘problem’ with other people, and the reason why we cannot get along with others.
PETER: In the same vein, the prime minister of the country where I live recently announced a new initiative to promote harmony within the 200 odd ethnic groups that live in this country and suggested as part of this initiative that people should ‘celebrate their differences’. It obviously never occurred to him, or those who wrote his speech, that it is precisely because people cling to their differences – their old cultural, social and ethnic conditioning – that there is ethnic conflict and disharmony in the first place. In the case of your observation, the idea that encouraging people to continually air their grievances towards each other can achieve peace and harmony in the workplace makes no sense at all.
Humanity is chock a block full of examples of people digging up old failed notions and beliefs and presenting them as some new initiative or declaring that they didn’t worked in past because no one did it well enough. The classic current example is humanity’s fascination for Eastern religion – so much so that I have even heard it said that the mythical Jesus was an Enlightened Master, totally ignoring the fact that he is said to be the son of the Christian God. I have also noticed that Western followers of Buddhism are very quick nowadays to declare that Buddhism is not a religion despite the fact that it has a strong moral and ethical structure, that it is founded upon a belief in an other-than-physical world complete with an after-life and is predicated on the teachings of a mythical being of which there is no evidence of his flesh and blood existence other than in the sacred texts themselves.
In my line of work, the latest belief to be trotted out for another run is the ancient Chinese superstition of Feng Shui. When one of my clients mentioned using Feng Shui I responded that I didn’t believe in good spirits and bad spirits. There was a silence that indicated that my client had not considered that believing in Feng Shui meant that he believed that his happiness , wellbeing, good fortune and wealth was solely dependant upon encouraging good spirits and appeasing evil spirits
As you no doubt have experienced, it takes quite an effort to give up our revered beliefs and stop the habit of being a believer because beliefs are so much a part of our identity. Each group within society has its own set of beliefs and if you stop believing what a particular group believes then you find yourself outside of that group. As more and more beliefs are replaced by facts you eventually get to the stage where you stop being a believer and you start to rely solely on facts and sensate experience and evidence. Rather than feel an social outcast or outsider you start to feel an earthling for the first time in your life – and an attentive sensuality gradually replaces the normal fearful, uncomfortable, feeling of alienation.
PETER to Alan: Another fascinating fact to consider is that it was only in 1670 that Reiner de Graaf, a Dutch physician, discovered the follicles of the ovary in which the individual human egg cells are formed. This was the first factual evidence that human reproduction was the result of a fertilized egg in the female. One wonders what the theories and myths abounded before this discovery – that a ‘spirit’ entered the body of the female seems the most likely from the tales of Ancient Wisdom. And nil understanding that sex had anything to do with reproduction! No idea at all of the functioning of the human body, let alone instinctual programming and its pivotal role in human behaviour. Even after Graaf’s time, many people argued that inside the sperm was a miniature human being, ready and waiting to grow to eventually emerge into the world. Why humans insist on turning back 3,000 years or more to times of ignorance and superstition, and then stubbornly declare that some profound Wisdom is to be found, continually leaves me dumbfounded.
Of all the Ancient God-men, Mr Buddha is the current the most fashionable (and not un-coincidentally, I suspect, the most mythical). Phrases such as ‘One’s Buddha nature’, ‘Buddha-like’, ‘Buddha Consciousness’, etc. all point to an almost universal un-questioning acceptance of his Kingship of the Divine realm in spiritual circles.
It is well worth re-posting an ancient Buddhist text that Richard sourced and posted recently to another list in order to see exactly what is on offer in Buddhism.
‘And thus it is written that a monk shall sit in the corner with his eyes closed, withdraw from the world of sensual, sensate pleasure, stick his head in the clouds and dream of nirvana – anywhere but here and anyplace but now’ – a simplified stripped down version of Buddhism for the intellectually challenged. Ah! Nothing like a bit of Guru-bashing, and none better to take on than the undisputed King of Denial and Withdrawal. Is there nothing sacred to an actualist? No. Both the good feelings that arise from the supposed good instincts and the spiritual search for immortality that arises from the core survival instinct have to be questioned, examined, dissected and scrutinized in order to weaken their insidious influence on our lives. It took Richard ten times as long to rid himself of these good feelings as it took him to eliminate the bad ones. It is essential to tackle the whole of the instinctual programming – no half measures will work.
Another musing I had the other day concerned the common view of the word freedom as used in spiritual circles. Freedom is seen as an event, usually termed Enlightenment, whereby one miraculously escapes from the illusion of the real world, its problems, concerns and worries and is magically re-united with one’s Source from whence one came from originally. Thus ‘I’ am no longer lost, lonely and frightened for I have come Home and am overwhelmed by feelings of Divine Love. Thus one leaves the ‘real’ world and emerges into the ‘divine’ world – an illusion based on an illusion. The process usually undertaken is to devote oneself to living the ‘divine’ life, in preparation for a final ‘crossing’ over whereby one becomes Divine. This is, of course, all played out in the fantasy world of passionate feelings and has not a fig to do with the actual. Enlightenment is but a shift of identity from normal, afraid of death to Divine and believing one’s Self to be immortal.
PETER to Alan: Just a little gossip from this side of the planet.
A most interesting development is that Richard’s reputation is beginning its inexorable spread in the spiritual world. He has started writing on another mailing list, the DeRuiter Mailing List. DeRuiter is the new kid on the block in the Guru business. In very-American style he manages to re-invent the mythical Mr. Jesus as a misunderstood, and obviously very misinterpreted and misreported, Enlightened One. The ‘spiritualization’ of Western One-God religions is fascinating to observe – the gall and the blatant two-faced denial of historical fact and record is quite breathtaking.
From the comments that are flying around on the DeRuiter and another associated list, Richard is becoming a figure of growing interest and controversy. The cat is amongst the pigeons and the feathers are flying. It’s good news for those willing to read and think and daring enough to investigate beyond the sacred ceiling that inhibits and limits the search for an actual freedom from the human condition. One hears a lot about a glass ceiling that inhibits women’s freedom to rise up the business ladder and the other day I heard the expression ‘concrete ceiling’ to describe a bureaucratic ceiling that inhibited a free investigation into corruption.
A similar ‘ceiling’ exists for anyone searching for freedom, peace and happiness. There is a sacred ceiling in operation, franticly maintained and policed by the Gurus, shamans and holy men and their followers. All sorts of tactics, threats, dimwitticisms and inanities are strutted out to enslave the spiritual searcher as a loyal suppliant and stop him or her from searching anywhere else.
As an example of this sacred ceiling in operation I came across one of the plethora of Mailing Lists devoted to spiritual enquiry and investigation the other day. They posted an introduction to the list that is atypical of the current state of the human search for freedom –
I joined another spiritual mailing list the other day that proudly trumpets ‘a spirit of open dialogue and inquiry’ and I was most interested to find that it was, in fact, a ‘moderated’ list. I waited a bit and read the usual spiritual ‘mutual admiration society’ in operation, complete with the usual humble pride and mindless parroting of the Master clearly evident in the posts. I was twigged to write when someone wrote in and very clearly and concisely described a Pure Consciousness Experience (or peak experience) that had seemingly followed the usual twist to become a full-on Altered State of Consciousness (or Satori). It proved a too-tempting opportunity for me to describe to a sincere seeker the difference between the two experiences and I will be curious to see the reaction from the List Moderator. There are two chances of it being posted – Buckley’s and none – but it is such good fun to poke another hole in the sacred ceiling. I already observe that Richard has put some whopping stress cracks in it and it won’t be long before some breaches are made by other intrepid pioneers.
A little reading of the experience of pioneers and first-timers in any field of human endeavour will reveal that one’s own instinctual fear and the fear of ostracization by one’s peers are among the major hurdles to overcome. All the pioneers who dared to break the shackles, who refused to kow-tow to ignorance and superstition, who broke from the herd, who found it impossible to compromise and live a second-rate life, who acted altruistically and not selfishly, had to overcome these hurdles. In our case the sacred ceiling has been breached by Richard but it is up to each of us to make our own journey to freedom. By doing nothing one remains a spectator, an interested by-stander or curious onlooker, but not a player in the game. To think one is free or to feel one is free is not an actual freedom. An actual freedom comes from action and change not thinking and feeling.
Many, many women were pioneers in women breaking free of the yoke of domesticity and their hard-won free access to education, business, government, law, professional work, sport, armed forces, etc. Each of those women did it by themselves, for themselves, yet many had altruistic motives as well. Each gained support from others doing it, each stood on the shoulders of those who went before, but each had to do it for themselves. What was an extraordinary upheaval and a hard slog has now largely succeeded in many parts of the world, and curiously it is religious dogma that is proving a final recalcitrant hurdle to progress in many countries. Even more curious is the female response of current stoking the fires of feminist religion as the Goddesses arise to do battle with the male Gods.
But I’m straying from the point, which is the role of pioneers in the search for an actual freedom, peace and happiness. The major force in resisting human change and progress has always been the shamans, priests and Popes, God-men and Gurus. Always they look backwards for the answers, desperately clinging to the musty trite and dogma of a long distant past. Always cleverly trying to be seen to move with the times, adapting their message, window dressing it to current fashion and demand. Thus we see the Western religions adopting trendy Eastern concepts and all religions adopting the Earth-as-God religion of the Environmentalists, the modern day worshippers of earth spirits. The foundation and driving force of all religious belief is fear – fear of death is transformed into a passionate belief in an after-life and fear of inevitable approaching death is transformed into a doomsday outlook and a desperate fear of the future and change. Consequently, any human progress in leisure, pleasure, comfort and safety have been fearfully resisted throughout history and any attempts at finding a genuine, actual freedom have been met by the sacred ceiling of spiritual and religious beliefs.
This sacred ceiling is as real as the ceiling facing women a century ago – they had to shed the shackles of their upbringing, they had to free themselves of the imposition of moral taboos and ethical rules and they had to run the gauntlet of the abuse and disapproval of others, thus breaking free of much of their instilled social identity. Secondly, they had to overcome their own instinctual fears and many risked much in their striving for freedom. Many did it as rebellion, many actively sought fame and notoriety, many riled merely for the sake of expressing their anger and frustration, but many just got on and did it anyway. When I was in England some 30 years ago, I remember meeting a woman who was in her 80’s who had been the first registered district nurse in Devon. She was a pioneer at a time when women were not in any of the professions and certainly not in an autonomous and responsible position in the community. Hearing her stories I was struck by both her integrity and her altruistic motives. She did it for herself and the fun and adventure of it, but she also did it to be of practical help to others and for the thrill of pioneering – being amongst the first, being at the forefront, the cutting edge. Hers was not a story that will be known, she was not famous, yet the women who have followed and emulated women like her were able to stand on her shoulders – follow in her footsteps.
It is exactly the same with becoming free of the human condition. There is a sacred ceiling that is being broken by pioneers and it will be broken only by people doing it, and the subsequent subversive spreading of the word that it is now possible. Those who firmly believe in the sacred believe the sacred ceiling to be actual, inviolate and impenetrable. For those who don’t believe it doesn’t exist – it is an illusion constructed by human beings themselves, given credence by ancient fear-ridden fairy stories and one’s own instinctual passions. How to break through? Make it your passion, your ambition, your goal, your work. Devote yourself fully to the task, ride upon the thrill of pioneering, take up the challenge and in my experience you will find altruism – right there with you, as an innate companion.
Ah, Alan. Another rave. I met someone the other day who had read my Journal. There is a copy that is limping around the local spiritual community and his comment was that my life ‘didn’t sound all that great’. I was curious until I discovered that he was one of the few spiritual seekers who were honest enough to say he wanted to become Enlightened. As such, a life free of the psychic power of being a Guru would have been most unappealing for him – no glamour, glory and glitz, ...‘no money for nothing and your chicks for free’. Just a life of carefree sensual pleasure, delightful companionship, ease and comfort. Vineeto and I sometimes look at each other in utter bewilderment that so many people raise so many trite objections to being happy and harmless, free of malice and sorrow. We sit here knowing that the sacred ceiling is in fact an illusion, and are oft moved to the pleasure of trying to tease other people to at least dare to stick their head through the ceiling and experience the actual world of utter perfection.
PETER to Alan: Just a follow up to my last post. Soon after posting it I came across the following article which is relevant to the ever shifting chameleonic nature of religious belief.
I wrote in the post –
And the article from Brittanica.com –
The other bit I found relevant was
And I had written –
PETER to Alan: I came across this little snippet of news that particularly struck me as a telling indictment of New Dark Age therapies. It particularly reminds me of the frantic attempts to induce an Altered State of Consciousness involved in ‘breath’ therapies, re-birthings, the Rajneeshees’ dynamic meditation, Trance dancing, the ‘radical highs’ of bungee jumping and the like.
[quote]: Neurological Disorder Inspired European Dancing Tradition ST. PAUL, MN –
An annual European dancing procession that blends legend and tradition may have roots in a neurological disorder causing dance-like movements, according to a historical review in the December 10 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
‘As a child growing up in Luxembourg, I danced in the Dancing Procession of Echternach,’ said neurologist and study author Paul Krack, MD, of the University of Kiel in Germany. ‘It wasn’t until later when I studied neurology that I learned of its significance to modern day movement disorders.’ According to legend, the Dancing Procession of Echternach originated in the late eighth century after patients with tremor and paralysis were miraculously healed at the grave of the missionary Willibrord. News of the miracles spread and people began to dance at Willibrord’s grave seeking protection from and cures for neurological disorders, and Willibrord soon became the patron saint of patients with neurological disorders.
During the 14th century plague epidemic in central Europe, Christians and pagans danced to seek protection from illness. These dances, based on religious fervour, pagan tradition or superstition, may have led to epidemics of mass hysteria. Neurologists later surmised that these epidemics were outbreaks of a disorder known as hysteric chorea, which caused involuntary dance-like movements. These movements became known as the dancing disease or Saint Vitus’ chorea. A chorea is an abnormal involuntary movement that occurs without purpose. The word stems from the Greek word chorea, which means dance. Saint Vitus’ dance later became a term synonymous with Sydenham’s chorea, a childhood condition associated with rheumatic fever.
Today the most common disease causing chorea is hereditary Huntington’s disease. Neurologists most frequently see choreic-like movements as a side effect of levodopa treatment in Parkinson’s patients.
Neurologists have sought to determine the significance of these dancing traditions. In the 1900s, neurologist Henri Meige studied the Dancing Procession of Echternach to look for chorea in the dancers. Throughout the procession he found no signs of chorea. He attributed the lack of chorea to two things. First, police took away people having epileptic or hysteric attacks during the dance. Second, patients could send a relative or hire a professional dancer to take their place.
Meige also examined epidemics of dancing disease of the medieval era. He believed that singing, dancing and laughing that occurred during these epidemics influenced brain functioning, and this may have led to the dancing disease of medieval times. He suggests that some people are more suggestible than others. Krack agrees with Meige’s conclusions of the medieval dancing disease. ‘Emotion, behaviour and the movement systems are tightly linked in the brain,’ said Krack. ‘You’ll see this in Parkinson’s patients. On a smaller scale, think of the elation that a person feels while dancing, singing and laughing at a party.’
Today, the Dancing Procession of Echternach occurs on the Tuesday following Pentecost. Dancers, in groups of four or five, take three steps forward, then two back; five steps are needed to advance one pace. The procession is a religious ceremony where people dance to folk music. ‘People join in the procession for fun or to pray for a disabled relative,’ said Krack. ‘Though the people involved in the dancing procession today are not choreics and are not likely to be hysterics, the event shows the close interface between society and early medicine and between Christian and pagan traditions in Europe,’ said neurologist Christopher Goetz, MD, of Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL. ‘It represents an early glimpse at self-help therapies.’ http://www.aan.com/public/newsreleases/Dance2.htm Copyright (C) 1999 Science Daily
I find the last sentence particularly telling and would only add my personal observation of ‘the close interface between NDA society and alternative medicine and between ancient animalist, religious and meditation practices in the East’ to his observations.
PETER to No 4: That was quite a loop, so I’d better get back to ‘sensate experiencing’, which was the starting point of this post. You have probably seen the new ‘180 degrees diagram’ by now, so you will have a picture to expand on the multitudinous words describing and articulating the difference between spiritual and actual. One of the many things that the spiritual path fails to address is human sexuality and sensuality. Denial of the instinctual sexual passions is rife – after all we are talking of the ‘wisdom’ of cave-men – and sublimation as the principle of celibacy is common. For the less-evolved, moralistic control, as in Tantric practices or ‘love’-making, is practiced but is considered a lesser path. Ignorance, superstition and fear are intrinsic to both normal and spiritual understanding of sex, human reproduction and sexual pleasure.
When one dares to lift the lid on all this nonsense and get stuck into the whole business of human sexuality one can discover a sensate experience that is deliciously sexual – free of instinctual drives and wallowing in sensuality – free of the necessity for prudish morals and restrictive ethics. And sex is but the icing on the cake, an abundant extravagance, on top of everyday sensate experience. For an actualist, everyday sensate experiencing is sensual, luxuriant, lush, abundant, prolific, verdant, extravagant, profuse, ever present, immediate, right here and now.
By the way, the Oxford Thesaurus lists only two antonyms for the word sensual – Antonyms: SPIRITUAL; ASCETIC . Need I say more? Probably not, so I’m off for a little sensual lie on the couch.
So, I will add the word sensual to sensate experiencing from now on so as to make the distinction between what is actual and what is spiritual. It’s good to lay down an accurate description in words of the experience of actualism – after all, it is a totally new human experience.
RESPONDENT: The only way we differ, if I understand you correctly, is that you see that the whole population will achieve this understanding ‘this lifetime’. If that is the case, do you see a ‘shift’ in the biological laws?
PETER: We differ enormously for, if I read what you are saying correctly, you have one leg in the real world and one leg in the spiritual world. I would see this as fence sitting where I come from. I don’t have a leg in any of these illusionary ‘self’-created worlds, for I am vitally interested in a ‘self’-less freedom from malice and sorrow that is eminently liveable in the marketplace.
What I am writing about is not some fashionable movement that will somehow cause the Heavens to open and a peaceful golden light descending to wipe out evil and make it all better. The freedom I am writing about is purely an individual matter of personal integrity such that one does the only practical, pragmatic and sensible thing one can do to contribute to peace on earth – actively facilitate one’s ‘self’-immolation.
RESPONDENT: The book The Celestine Prophesy had an interesting way of describing this phenomenon. Up to the eighth ‘insight’ (of nine) ... to this point a great book of ‘confirmation’ for me), the ninth is where disciples simply move to a higher resolution of vibration, supposedly similar to that of the Mayan race.
PETER: I find the supposed wisdom of the Celestine Prophecies and similar books to be utter nonsense – a sort of a mass-appealing nonsensical mish-mash of morals, ethics, feel-good homily and escapist fantasy in typical New Dark Age style.
As for the Mayans, it was trendy in the West many years ago to laud them as an advanced civilization but the accumulated evidence of their sheer brutality and fondness for offering human sacrifices to the Gods has since dimmed their shining light to almost black.
RESPONDENT: By the way, I have been puzzled with many reports from people (described in hundreds of books, movies, internet pages, etc) about their psychic abilities, out of body trips, massive alien abductions, exploding chakras, angels, channelling, etc. Because I have never got any of these extreme and strange experiences I can not say anything about them, but it would be interesting to hear directly from the people who had some of these – what are these experiences as it. Are they 100% mind creations without any real substance? (I think the idea of Soul and life after death came directly from these experiences and stories, like: Jesus being resurrected, miracles, etc).
PETER: Yes, I have had a few in my time. In the days of Sannyas I had a ‘classic’ out-of-body experience of startling clarity, some past-life experiences, re-birthings, and many experiences of Altered States of Consciousness culminating in the major experience I described briefly above. They are par for the course on the spiritual path – actively sought after, much encouraged and exalted. Indeed the prized Enlightenment is the ultimate psychic delusion whereby one becomes God-Realized!
It is all pretty simple really –
The spiritual path is merely a failed attempt to negate the cerebral while giving full reign to the affective – hence the abundance and seeming reality of all sorts of imaginary experiences and psychic events and powers.
And the crowned and worshipped kings – and queens – of this psychic (imaginary) world are the Enlightened Ones.
RESPONDENT: Here is something interesting... anybody use this stuff?
Take Charge of Your Life Using Feng Shui
Flushing Your Life Station
If you have a bathroom in any of your life stations, you will be flushing the energy of that life station down the drain. Remember to keep the toilet seat down before flushing. If you think this sounds ridiculous stand in front of the toilet and flush it. You will see that there is a counter-clockwise vortex created in the flushing (re-read the section on vortices). If you have a sink in a life station, place a red dot on the ceiling above the drain.
PETER: Just a note on your post –
Ah, I’ve discovered the Real Reason for my happiness.
The water in my toilet (and sink) has a clockwise vortex. So it follows that if everybody moves to the southern hemisphere there should, no doubt, be a significant ‘shift in consciousness’ on the planet. At the local market where I live there is a stall that sells big metal spikes as acupuncture needles that one bangs into the walls of one’s house to cure various ailments, keep at bay various evil spirits and energies and evoke the good ones.
I watched a program on TV. recently where a muzzled dog was given acupuncture to cure his ‘emotional’ problems. I suspect he was expressing his anger too overtly at the vet/healer who stuck needles in him, hence the need for even more acupuncture.
Makes you wonder about the New Dark Age we live in ...
PETER: I have no trouble at all disagreeing with Osho’s words. He is wrong and history has proved him wrong.
RESPONDENT: I have read your mail, and it seems for now you have found your third alternative of searching after having tried searching in the spiritual and in the material. Isn’t it all about searching? If this third one works for you, fine, if Osho works for me, fine, it is all about searching, and what are we searching for? You seem to look for enlightenment, so do I, I guess so do we all, within our own concepts of what enlightenment is. But when the search is something on the outside, it will fail. When you say that the world of Osho is like another eastern religion, it is because you think the happenings, like white robe, meditations etc. are the main stuff. Well, in my experience it is not. They are only means to take us into the realms of ourselves, tools to dig out the direction inwards, they are nothing in themselves. Screaming Yahoo in front of an empty chair – didn’t you scream Yahoo for yourself? To see what it did to you? If you don’t have your focus on yourself, you can go on searching for the third and then the fourth and fifth alternative, you are searching on the outside just the same, and that doesn’t take you anywhere.
PETER: I suggest that what you will find in searching ‘inside’ is vast and limitless. There seems no limit as to what the human mind can imagine depending on the input. Human superstition and fears have conjured up countless good and evil spirits and gods in almost every possible form, resulting in about 6,000 religions on the planet. Within the ‘inner’ world of every human a passionate Ancient battle rages, while the physical outer world has moved on.
PETER: You wrote in answer to my comment about silence –
RESPONDENT: ...this Ancient Wisdom talk of spirits and Gods and going Somewhere Else rather than being here... not the ancient wisdom, but the ancient superstition.
PETER: Ancient wisdom is ancient superstition – there is no difference. Soon you will be inventing Real ancient wisdom or True ancient wisdom.
RESPONDENT: This ancient wisdom all originates from a common belief system of Gods, spirits or energies that represented both good and evil on the earth.
PETER: No disagreement here. You seem to have got the gist of what they all say.
RESPONDENT: The Ancient Wisdom talks about being here and now, seeing that all forms (thoughts, emotions, feelings etc) arise and vanish and are utterly empty.
PETER: Ah! And now comes the slide. Ancient Wisdom in the East talks about realizing your original face, your original self, your Buddha nature, that you are That, This, God, at One with All, Divine, etc.
Anything other than being ‘here’, as a flesh and blood human, on this physical earth, as it is. Further, they all talk of an after-life, Parinirvana, the Further Shore, the Ocean of Oneness, Paradise, the Cosmos, the Universe, etc.
Any-time other than ‘now’ as a flesh and blood mortal human being with a terminal life span.
Your second part about seeing ‘forms arise and vanish’ obviously refers to the dis-association of the watcher, and I have gone into that at length in other posts.
RESPONDENT: The ancient Wisdoms says that nothing is spiritual,
PETER: Now it’s getting really silly. What it is that they point to surviving the death of the body if not the spirit – or soul, atman, essence, bundle of memories, etc. and what is it that merges with, melts into, realises, becomes One with, etc. if not the ‘spirit’ – or soul, ...?
RESPONDENT: that you either are awake or asleep
PETER: All point to being asleep as in ‘normal’ ... or awake as in Awake, Realised, Enlightened, Self-Realised, God-Realized, Agapé-Realised, Awakened, etc.
RESPONDENT: and the ancient Wisdom says that whatever the ancient wisdom says is totally unimportant and not is to be bothered about – that insight frees.
PETER: So why bother to read it or take any notice of it in the first place? That insight frees the Ancient God-men from any sensible scrutiny, ensuring their followers remain in a state of ‘no-mind’-devotion.
You seem to have twisted what Ancient Wisdom says so much that you can make out of it what you want, which is what everybody does anyway. I certainly did in my spiritual days.
It was only when I found it wasn’t working for me, and others around me, that I began to dig in a bit deeper.
‘If all else fails, read the instructions’, as it says on the Cabot’s paint tin.
When I did read the instructions, without rose coloured glasses, I saw that it was all bound to fail and why it was bound to produce only God-men and followers, why it was bound to, not only endlessly perpetuate misery and suffering, but to produce multiple Religions and continuous religious wars.
Eastern Spirituality and Philosophy is nothing more than a convoluted form of Western Religion – they have the same ancient roots in the world of good and evil spirits, Gods and Demons, all from the cave-man days when the earth was flat and a horrendous place to be.
Ancient Wisdom produces and perpetuates religious wars, ‘sectarian’ violence, repression, torture, persecution, enslavement – anything but silence, and certainly not peace.
RESPONDENT: Discussion is never bad since everybody is forced to at least make up his own ‘mind’ instead of consoling him/herself with borrowed knowledge.
PETER: Yes, this level of discussion usually involves talking about things on a ‘surface level’ and then maybe taking on board what someone else has said as a bit of one’s ‘self’. Sort of a ‘that sounds good’ – I’ll add it to my bag and maybe re-arrange things a bit to ‘clip it’ on to ‘me’. This sort of response is most evident in the New Dark Age where yet another ‘new’ ancient knowledge sweeps through town. Feng Shui is one that comes to mind – all of a sudden relationships haven’t been working because the Chi has been flowing out the back door or into the toilet seat (if you left the lid open).
It is all simply a re-arrangement of one’s ‘self’. For me, I was Peter the husband, father and architect and when that ‘me’ collapsed in a weeping heap ‘I’ became Prabhat, the Sannyasin. The taking of a new name was symbolic of taking on a new identity and boy ... was I proud to be with the ‘Master of Masters’.
I simply took on the Eastern spiritual philosophy with all its mythical tales, all passed down for millennia.
The sort of discussion we are attempting to have here is one that investigates and exposes all the ‘borrowed knowledge’, Wisdoms, psittacisms and beliefs. And it is not only confrontational to dig deeper, it is downright threatening. It is life-threatening to the ‘self’ – the who you ‘think’ you are and who you ‘feel’ you are that in fact consists of nothing more than this ‘borrowed knowledge’, overlaying a primitive instinctual self.
It is so scary that most people will not even begin the process of a serious discussion of these matters – blindly flapping that they already ‘know’ it all, this is ‘nothing new’, it’s just another ‘truth’, they have no beliefs or ‘borrowed knowledge’, they have found an ‘authentic self’ or a Divine self, an unconditional Love or even a ‘no-self’ self.
For me, when it was scary or confrontational I knew it was ‘me’ who was feeling scared, or fearful. It was fear in my body and I wanted to be free of fear.
The only way to be free of fear is to get rid of ‘me’ who was fearful. When I met Richard and understood that what he was offering meant the end of me, I plunged right in. I figured ‘I had nothing left to lose’ except more of what I knew was a second-rate life, and then I’d die.
PETER: As a child, it was always so strange to me that if there was such a thing as a God-creator, <snipped> why the hell didn’t he just come down and sort it out!
RESPONDENT: Luckily for me, I wasn’t brought up with a religious background, so this question never occurred, I had the outsider’s view, and hence another question. It was all so illogical, why did people believe this crap in the first place?
PETER: Everybody has had some form of religious background. It permeates every facet of every society, no matter where we were born on the planet. To be an outsider is to feel detached, remote, removed, alien or inferior / superior.
As to why people believe in a superior Being / Energy / Force – as is common in both the East and in the West?
Again a bit I wrote in the Fear-chapter that is relevant –
PAUL LOWE: Chapter One In the Beginning Are the Words
‘One of the powerful aspects of language is its capacity to take familiar concepts and amplify them to encompass new dimensions. In his talks, Paul uses a number of words and expressions that may seem familiar, yet they convey fresh and unique ideas. In order to avoid misinterpretations it seemed wise to identify these phrases as early as possible and include the reader in a common understanding of their meaning.’ (Introduction from the editor) from Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The last thirty years, in particular, have seen countless attempts to re-interpret, re-invent and re-vitalize the ancient traditional superstitions and beliefs in Gods, Spirits and Life-after-death in a ‘fresh and unique’ way. These attempts have included the modern interpretation of the celestial spirits as aliens involved in great cosmic visions; the revision of earthly spirits, animism and spiritualism as the belief in Mother Earth, Gaia or the fervent religion of environmentalism; the resurgence of Divination; the popular practice of meditation as a ‘turning away’ from the world and going ‘in’, to name a few.
The old and ancient, the tried and failed, when re-interpreted in a ‘fresh and unique’ way ends up either banal and hackneyed (Oprah Win-fried) or bizarre and deadly (Heavens Gate, etc.) Whichever way the spiritual teachers, God-men and shamans twist and turn, duck and weave, however much they ‘take familiar concepts and amplify them to encompass new dimensions’ it’s still that ♫ ‘old time religion’ ♫ by yet another name.
Does all this spicing up, reinventing and reinterpreting not beg the question why it is necessary to continuously do so? If the old and ancient message is so good, so True and so Right why hasn’t the message of love and peace bought universal love and peace to Humanity? Could it not be that the message is wrong?
PAUL LOWE: Maximum Potential
I use the term ‘maximum potential’ to express in a fresh way an indescribable state that we have endowed with many names. <Snip> Heraclitus called it the Hidden Harmony’, Lao Tzu named it ‘the Tao’, Jesus referred to it as ‘the Kingdom of God’ and ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’. Currently, the word ‘enlightenment’ is frequently being used. <Snip> When we use a word such as enlightenment, each person interprets it through the mind, which, of course, is the only way you can make an intellectual interpretation. Yet, in this case, we cannot really know the state this word is attempting to describe, for we cannot know it through the mind. This inexplicable experience occurs when the mind stops or is bypassed, therefore it is impossible for the intellect to comprehend it. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Well I do beg to differ, Paul. You stated quite clearly in your introduction that prior to your awakening ‘My life became devoted to the possibility of expanding human consciousness’. After years of search you ‘really gave up. Then suddenly it happened’. What you found you put very clearly in words in your opening statement of the book – ‘a way of living where you can feel happy and joyful and free of fear.’ Why all this ‘beyond words’ mumbo-jumbo? One of the most powerful aspects of language in the hands of mystics is their capacity to weave an aura of mystery around a simple feeling. If one assiduously searches for an expansion of one’s human consciousness with enough intent one eventually arrives at a point where one realizes one’s maximum potential – which is to be a God-on-earth who has transcended the mundane dualities. For those who are suffering from Post-Satori Syndrome (PSS) this is typified by ‘feeling happy, joyful and free of fear’. For most, this state wears off after days or weeks as ‘real’ world reality seeps back in. For those who go all the way, an Altered State of Consciousness can occur whereby one’s personal ego collapses to be replaced by a new identity that is Divine and Immortal, Timeless and Eternal.
Granted, this is a grand, overwhelming and self-consuming feeling, but it is only a feeling. The ancient search for ‘expanding human consciousness’ has, and always will, produce passionate feelings of freedom inevitably intertwined with delusions of divinity. When one seeks to ‘expand’ one will instinctually become ALL (as in expanded to be Really Big) for if you seek hard enough you can become anything you want – or believe anything you want to believe.
As for ‘it is impossible for the intellect to comprehend it’, it is all very easy and simple for the intellect to comprehend once one is free of the spiritual belief-system, when one has moved past ancient belief and superstition and the instinctual passions that fervently sustain it. This comprehension comes from human consciousness bare of the delusions produced by ancient impassioned attempts to expand human consciousness.
PAUL LOWE: That is really what the mind is: a program full of someone else’s ideas based on the past. In our natural state the mind does not judge, because the mind is lean and clear and carries only neutral information, such as what name you are calling yourself, your address, the practical things needing your attention. That is the function of the mind in its natural state, but its natural function has been distorted and it has developed in such a way that it continually judges. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: The old Tabula Rasa theory trotted out again. ‘Born innocent and only corrupted by evil since birth. Naturally good and pure, tainted by evil or wrong thoughts’. Superstition, fear and ignorance persists in the face of current empirical scientific research of the animal instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire genetically programmed in the brain and universally operational in all humans by the age of about 2 years – no matter what one’s upbringing is. One does have social conditioning layered on top of this core programming but to perpetuate the denial of the instinctual animal program in us is insanity in the extreme. We can no longer hide behind ignorance. The earth is round, the earth orbits around the sun and we are born with animal instinctual passions. The question then is what one does about this fact.
This Eastern religion solution is ‘disconnecting’ as in
An Actualist is committed to deleting this instinctual programming – to becoming actually free of malice and sorrow.
A world of difference – to be here in the actual world as opposed to ‘being there’ in the spiritual world.
PAUL LOWE: Your system – the mind, the body and the emotions – has been damaged by your conditioning. It is not irreparable and it is damaged. The pressures you live with have put your system out of balance. <Snip> Now you can start to let go. The way you are living is not all right. Deep down, very little has truly felt fine. All that can change now. It is time to move closer to your to your truth and to feel more deeply. It is time to return to your essence of love. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Rotten at the core, programmed with a set of animal survival instincts, we love to suffer and we love to fight and yet we are willing to sell our illusionary ‘soul’ to a mythical God or God-man in return for an imaginary life after death. We readily and eagerly swap a selfish feeling of ‘The peace that passeth all understanding’ for an actual peace on earth. All this nonsense comes from ancient superstition and myth – a belief in a life after death fuelled by the human fear of death. A firmly entrenched frantic belief that ‘who one’s essence is’ is really a Godly spirit or immortal soul that dwells within the physical body. This is then upheld as the Truth – the basis of all spiritual belief is but a fairy story aimed at perpetuating and aggrandizing this alien psychological and instinctual entity rather than eliminating it.
PAUL LOWE: As you settle into this form you will probably find that this machine has a mind and it never stops. It thinks all the time. Without you doing the thinking, it keeps thinking on its own. It also has feelings and sensations in the body all on its own, that have nothing whatsoever to do with you. All you have to do is to be aware of being in there. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: This ancient ignorance of the functioning of the human mind, and the source and makeup of one’s ‘self’, actively prevents one doing anything about the situation one finds oneself in as a human being on this planet.
Denial and transcendence undoubtedly lead to the feeling of freedom but the feeling of freedom is but a paltry substitute for an actual freedom from the Human Condition in toto.
PAUL LOWE: The events that have been prophesied are starting to happen. Things that have not been considered to be ‘real’ in the past are now being commonly accepted. People on the leading edge of scientific exploration are beginning to realize this, and while many conventional scientists, particularly in the medical community, continue to resist, there are still many breakthroughs. For instance, on the European continent, homeopathy has become widely accepted, as well as other alternative healing methods. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Historically, the prophetic times of impending doom were always accompanied by a rise in the belief in psychic phenomena, a turning back to, and a revival of interest in ancient belief, mysticism, divination, superstition as well as a fear of, and deliberate obstruction of, factual, scientific and technological progress. This current New Dark Age is typical of many other periods in history and is made ‘exciting’ only by a foreboding of impending doom and the expectation of a New Age that is always nearly about to happen ... but always in the future.
When he talks of ‘breakthroughs’ what he really means are ‘U’-turns – turning back to the past. When he talks of ‘alternative healing methods’ he is talking of traditional methods – those practiced by the ancients. The spiritual world is a world in which everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong and it is blindingly obvious if one dares to look at it sensibly. The spiritual world is steeped in fear and superstition and is forever looking backwards in a futile and desperate search for meaning, security and identity.
PAUL LOWE: Physicists are postulating scientific theories that mystics have declared for centuries. But even these changes still belong to a mode of life that we have known for thousands of years. There is a shift coming that is far beyond anything we have imagined possible and that heralds the beginning of a totally new way of living. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Theoretical physicists, cosmologists and the like are merely postulating and parroting the traditional ancient theories that there is a creator for the universe and that there will be a cataclysmic end for the universe. They are as stubborn in their belief that the universe is not eternal and infinite as were the ancient mystics. The ancient mystics had a vested interest as their very livelihood, their reputation, power and cherished belief in an after-life was based on fostering and spreading these metaphysical theories. Ditto the theoretical scientists.
The promised ‘totally new way of living’ will presumably spawn yet more spiritual communities of devotees who vainly attempt to subjugate their naturally hostile and suspicious feelings towards each other by devoting and surrendering themselves to a ‘higher’ cause. How many of these communities attempting to practice a ‘totally new way of living’ have come and gone over the millennia? How many have stood the test of time? Are the surviving relics joyous harmonious places, totally free of crime, animosity, corruption, elitism, power struggles, etc? How many have become introverted, isolated and archaic institutions that act as hiding places for the fearful, the incapable and the insecure?
PAUL LOWE: Reality as we know it is melting down, changing, shifting far beyond what we have expected. <Snip> When something is found to be possible that was previously thought to be impossible, it suddenly starts to occur all over the world. In the past, we rarely heard of people who had experienced spontaneous healing from illnesses that were said to be terminal. Now, many people are having this experience. We used to hear only occasionally about anyone who had clinically died and been bought back to life. Many cases have now been documented and the people who have had this experience tell us that we will not die. Thousands of people are saying ‘We do not die when the body stops functioning.’ Of course, Zen and Hindu masters have been saying this for thousands of years. Bankai said ‘We are not born, we will not die.’ Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live
PETER: Ah, the miracles are happening to the true believers, consciousness is rising, the evidence is pouring in that God is with us, we are not alone, there is life after death, salvation is nigh! A brief reading of the history of religion will reveal that these promises, signs, omens and portents of a Golden Age dawning have been an ongoing and recurring beat-up. This same investigation will reveal that the shamans’ promised good times and signs of miracles are inevitably and inseparably accompanied by promises of evil, hell-fire and signs of doom and damnation.
‘Ya can’t have one without the other’ as the old song goes.
It is curious that Paul should quote Bankai and not Mr. Rajneesh who had ‘Never born, never died’ chiselled on his tombstone. Paul was a follower of Rajneesh for over 20 years that I know of, yet he makes no mention of him in his book.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.