Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT: I think it is true that the anticipation, excitement about the expected ‘final event’ in one’s brain is a form of dreaming, escaping the reality. Is it a final barrier? I don’t know.
PETER: Of course there is only one way for you to find out for yourself, otherwise you will never know or you will have to resort to believing what others say. Merely believing is a poor substitute for a full-blooded finding out for yourself. The act of finding out for oneself, by oneself, is the adventure of a lifetime. And who would have it any other way.
This patent nonsense of sitting at the feet of Masters who then tell you in mystical poetic terms of a Truth that cannot be spoken of, cannot be put into words is nothing but twaddle. ‘The Divine Mystery that can only be lived ...’ The reason is that their Truth is nothing more than a feeling – a splendid, all encompassing, overpowering, enveloping, Self-aggrandized feeling of Unity, Oneness, Divinity and the like. Beneath the wonderful feelings lies a dim, dark and ancient ignorance – a turning away, a turning ‘in’ that is epitomized by the aesthetic retreats and lives of denial and renunciation lead by the spiritual pundits, monks, Gurus, etc.
The classic expose of the pride of ignorance of the ‘Ones Who Do Not Know’ was Richard’s meeting with a contemporary Guru. Richard stated that he had been Enlightened and had found something that was beyond Enlightenment and was he interested in knowing about it. The Guru said he doesn’t know with firm conviction as though ‘not knowing’ was in itself the Answer. When asked straight up whether he wanted to know, the answer was no. You hear it often in spiritual ‘jargonese’ – ‘I find I know less and less nowadays and its SO good’ What they mean is they can’t make any sense of anything on the spiritual path, so they give up any common sense and let their feelings and imagination run riot – and run riot they do!
Ignorance is proudly proclaimed in the spiritual world as Wisdom and this is most clearly evident in Eastern Spirituality.
As Mr. Mohan Rajneesh said in reply to a question –
Behind the lauding of ignorance and the perverse relating to a supposed childhood ‘innocence’ – the ancient Tabula Rasa theory – there exists nothing more than a belief in a ‘Something Else’ or a ‘Somewhere Else’ – traditionally masqueraded as the Truth.
In some Religions this ‘Something Else’ is defined as a particular mythical figure, spirit or God; in others it becomes an amorphous Energy, Source or Intelligence. Likewise, the ‘someplace else’ is defined as a particular place, a Heaven, a celestial realm, a Paradise, while in other beliefs it becomes an Energy field, an Ocean of Oneness, a ‘Home’ for the soul or spirit or a cosmic womb. Modern spirituality often cleverly and conveniently ignores the more inane historical interpretations of the original ancient texts and substitutes totally amorphous and nebulous concepts that are naught but a frantic and senseless chasing of blissful feelings. As such, the more ignorant one is, the less one attempts to understand, the less one knows – and the more revered, Holy and Wise one is deemed to be!
There is none more ignorant than the spiritual seeker – the more ignorant, the better the seeker – for they seek that which cannot be known, only imagined as thoughts and given sustenance by feelings. It can only be accessed by imagination and feelings for it only exists in thoughts and feelings – none of it is actual. Ignorance may well lead to blissful feelings, but it is still ignorance.
PETER: I thought you had disappeared from the list, but it appears you can’t help but trying to save us atheists from our foolish path. I see you are trying to goad Richard into getting ‘his hands dirty’ again, which I take to mean that he should get back to suffering like the rest of humanity.
The God-business is a curious business, hey? With a little clear-eyed looking at the whole business, it can be seen that any belief in a God – by whatever name He or She or It is called in whatever tradition and in whichever culture – arises out of and is dependant upon human suffering. No feelings of sadness, misery, anguish, resentment or animosity – no need to dissociate from being here, no need to believe in a redemptive God and no need to believe in life after death.
If one dares to dig deeper into the God-business it gets a whole lot murkier because it can be seen that religiosity and spirituality feed off human suffering, rather as a predator feeds off carrion. In religious belief, Good is sustained by a belief in Evil and the notion of Salvation is promulgated by a belief in Damnation, whilst in spiritual belief the feeling-fed conviction of a peaceful ‘inner world’ is reliant upon a feeling-fed belief in a chaotic ‘outer world’ and the much-lauded dissociated state of Enlightenment feeds off the belief that suffering is part and parcel of being here on earth.
What we are talking of on this mailing list – a do-it-yourself method specifically designed to eliminate the animosity and anguish that ensue from the primitive genetically-encoded instinctual survival programming – pulls the very rug out from under all religious and spiritual belief. An end to feelings of sadness, misery, anguish, resentment or animosity brings with it an end to the need to dissociate from being here, to the need to believe in a redemptive God or to the need to believe in life after death.
RESPONDENT: First and foremost I’m in the Truth-business, Peter.
PETER: The reason I said God-business is because you have used the word God in the past –
If you now want to call your God by another name then you are in good company – keeping God anonymous, impersonal, obscure or shrouded in mystery has become very fashionable nowadays given that Eastern religion has so heavily infiltrated Western philosophy and religion in the last century.
My point was that actualism is not about the God-by-whatever-name-business, it is about the business of becoming happy and harmless – a soul destroying business and not a soul enhancing business, if you like.
RESPONDENT: Predestined for the abyss one might say. And whether it brings me a profit or a fatality, I would add.
PETER: What abyss are you talking about – Eastern religion’s abyss or ego-death after which comes Glory for the soul before physical death, or the monotheist religion’s abyss or physical death after which comes a Glorious life for the soul?
I remember reading a book by an elderly Westerner of Christian upbringing who had spent years on the spiritual path and was nearing death and she wrote that was convinced that she would become Enlightened when she died. I remember being perplexed at the time because it seemed that it was such an odd mixture of Christianity and Eastern spiritual teaching … but nowadays nothing much surprises me about the God-by-whatever-name-business.
RESPONDENT: I find your ‘rubber stamp’ critique/rant on ‘believers’ to be old hat and rather simple minded, even though it’s indeed fairly accurate.
PETER: I like it that you see my comment as simple-minded – taking a clear-eyed look at something can be seen by some as being simple minded. But I do wonder how you make your judgement of ‘fairly accurate’ – what part is accurate and what part is not accurate. Does ‘fairly accurate’ mean that it is an accurate statement about some believers and/or some Gods but not about other believers and/or other Gods?
RESPONDENT: Believer, agnostic, atheist, whatever the label, genuine freedom is about abandoning the false conditioned self …
PETER: I remember when I first came across Eastern religion I felt like I had discovered ‘the Truth’, or the meaning of life, and that all I had been conditioned to believe, mainly materialism and monotheism, was nothing but false conditioning. Now I know that the Truth by whatever name is a fabrication based on the notion that there is a conditioned Non-Truth by whatever name. The Truth and its hand-in-glove Non-Truth are but products of impassioned human imagination – neither have any existence whatsoever in the actual world of the senses.
RESPONDENT: … and becoming fully human-fully alive, and I’ll throw in here, for more complete measure, fully male.
PETER: Does your desire to become ‘fully male’ refer to a prior anatomical incompleteness?
RESPONDENT: And of course leaving NO stones unturned in this ultimate adventure, as I mentioned previously.
PETER: Unless you are interested in investigating whatever is under the stone you label ‘the Truth-business’ you are wasting your time on this mailing list. Actualism is entirely upfront about the necessity of abandoning all spiritual beliefs if one aspires to become free of the human condition – for the obvious reason that spiritual and religious beliefs are part and parcel of the human condition.
GARY: Recently, we had an election in the USA, and the results of that election are being hotly debated and legally challenged by the political aspirants. The entire thing seems so volatile to me. Passions are running high here. There were clips on the tele of Republicans storming the polling places where the votes were being recounted. Again in all this we come back to the powder keg of passionate feeling, whether it be political loyalties or for a particular religion or sect. it is all productive of misery and mayhem.
PETER: Democracy seems the best system so far invented to give some order to the running of a country. It is politics that sucks for it is based upon adversarial ideological conflict.
GARY: One is wise to side-step passionate feeling in any form.
PETER: Just an observation that may be useful. Be wary for the words wise and wisdom are loaded with emotive meanings. It is common for wise men to end up living in caves or ivory towers, or else sprouting their wisdom from podiums and making a living selling it to others. When I first came across Richard I naturally saw him as a wise man until I realized he was speaking facts and actuality, not wisdom, truth and spirituality. actualism is not about being wise and there is no wisdom in actualism.
PETER to Gary: Just thought I’d write a note about some aspects of the human condition that have particularly struck me in the last few weeks. Most relate to items I have seen on television – a marvellous way to observe and experience the full gamut of the human condition from the comfort and safety of one’s own house.
I recently watched a documentary called ‘Reason for Hope’ about Jane Goodall, anthropologist, environmentalist and renowned chimp researcher. After her early years of studying chimp behaviour, she went through a difficult period in her life when her husband died and she came to observe what she described as the ‘dark side’ of chimp behaviour – sadness, depression, anger, warfare, murder and cannibalism. After initially being shocked that chimps were not ‘innocent beings’, she came to regard the fact that chimps have a dark side to their nature as evidence that chimps were ‘even closer to being human’ than she first thought.
Jane Goodall then described a seminal event in her life, an experience of what is sometimes called a nature experience. From her description, her experience seemed to be a pure consciousness experience – a sensate-only experience of the purity and perfection of the actual world. Thinking about it afterwards, she felt the experience must have been a mystical experience or a spiritual revelation – simply because there was no other explanation available to her. This experience proved to be a turning point in her life – she changed from sceptic to spiritualist, from scientist to saviour, from feeling lonely to being loved, from feeling hopelessness to having a ‘reason for hope’. She saw human evolution as the eventual triumph of Good over Evil and began to cement her place as a champion of the good in the battle against evil – a Saviour, not only of Mother Earth and ‘her’ creatures, but also of Humankind.
It was a classic story, common to many. A period of loneliness and depression, an experience of personal loss or grief, a life-changing experience and a life born again as a Saviour – by whatever name, for whatever cause. What was of most interest to me in Goodall’s case was her description of what appeared to be a pure consciousness experience, her after-the-fact interpretation of the experience as a mystical experience and that she then went on to claim the experience as ‘her’ own – as being a personal revelation from God.
I find it always useful to remember why spiritual belief and superstition have thus far cornered the market in the human search for freedom, peace and happiness. Once someone has had ‘the Truth’ personally revealed to them in an altered state of consciousness – or as appears to have happened in Goodall’s case, misinterpreted a PCE as an altered state of consciousness – they are bound by a combination of gratitude and their own inflated sense of self-worth to spread the word that, while earthly life is a bitch, there is really truly a God who loves you.
RESPONDENT: I was merely asking for facts in the form of your own personal observations / experiences in life from which you make many of the statements in your original post titled ‘Legacy of Gurus’.
PETER: You were not asking for facts at all. As you have said to me before – ‘I showed you once how your posts are meaningless for me’, and you were simply saying the same thing again in different words in your last post. Whenever I engage in a discussion with you, you attempt a summary dismissal. You have said to me in the past that ‘what I will not allow you to do is for you to shove your experiences and your interpretations down my throat’ – which doesn’t sound as if you are at all interested in my personal observations / experiences. The next ploy is to continually move the goal-posts of the discussion whenever it gets a little too close to actually discerning what is belief from what is fact – a ploy that is useless on a list devoted to actualizing peace on earth and exposing the ancient beliefs that have castrated human intelligence for millennia.
To quote the spiritual version of fact vs. truth from Rajneesh aka Osho –
Another quote –
Ooops – that’s a personal observation / experience – but you did ask for one! Any Guru who says that the factual actual experience of life, as evidenced in a PCE, is ‘utterly meaningless’ has most definitely got their head in the clouds. As for when ‘your eyes open to the real’ and you see ‘God green in a tree’, what does one see in war, murder, rape, torture, domestic violence, etc. – God anger?
But, then again, you must know this difference in perception – spiritual vs. actual – from your personal PCE, so I am curious as to why you have such a beef about defending the God-men and the belief in God, the truth, etc.
RESPONDENT: P.S I see you are finding the truth about yourself painful indeed Peter?
PETER: Aye. If you want to find out how painful it was finding out the truth about myself you only have to read my journal. All of the pain came from trying to hang on to my favourite beliefs and truths in the face of facts and sensibility.
Hanging on to what doesn’t work is what causes pain, giving up what doesn’t work is what brings relief, discovering what does work is what delivers freedom.
Once started on the path to freedom from malice and sorrow, the adventure of self-discovery and the successes it bought propelled me along quite nicely to the point where I now take no offence at what you provocatively write – no matter how many exclamation marks you use, how many capital letters, how many fantasies, innuendoes, allusions, insinuations, accusations, or how much blatant abuse. I was, at some stage, a little bemused as to what purpose there was in you riling against your own inventions but I couldn’t come up with an answer in my own experience, so I gave up.
One of the first things I took on board in actualism was that it was impossible to eliminate my own malice and sorrow unless I stopped blaming other people for causing me to feel angry, pissed off, sad, lonely, frustrated, resentful, etc. Once I did this it became very clear that it was ‘I’ who was feeling angry, pissed off, sad, lonely, frustrated, resentful, etc. Once I acknowledged that ‘I’ was stopping me from being happy and harmless and no-one else, I began to see others as fellow human beings and not as friends to be leant on and clung to, or enemies to blamed and battled with.
Becoming free of malice and sorrow is a relief from an immense burden that I had no part at all in creating in the first place – and therefore ‘I’ need not feel guilty for having malice and sorrow, it is part and parcel of the human condition. But a way has now been pioneered to become free of the human condition, to become free of malice and sorrow ... and it is this that you are busily ‘busting’ with relish.
RESPONDENT No 95: I fail to see how a subjective observation could deliver a definitive answer to the question though. Watching your kids and animals may be explainable by your theory but it could be explained by other theories too. Self observation cannot yield much in the way of internal physiological data. I cannot yet see the factors that make your theory necessarily true.
PETER to No 95: My suggestion is that, provided you are old enough to have experienced puberty, you too have sufficient life experience to be able to make up your own mind on this issue based on your own experience of how ‘you’ yourself tick and your own observations of other animals, be they non-sentient or sentient, rather than having a subjective opinion one way or the other based solely on what others believe to be true or false. Peter to No 95 17.1.2006
RESPONDENT No 95: Quite right.
RESPONDENT: Facts in themselves are always susceptible of diverse explanations and so never have been and never will be able to guarantee the truth of any theory.
PETER: You can trot all the theories you want about the truths of theories but I live in a world of fact, a world inexorably based on the surety of cause and effect.
If the roof of any building I design or build leaks, the fact is that the occupants and/or their possessions will enviably get wet when it rains. If I design or build a building on ground that is susceptible to movement, as all ground is to varying extent, then the foundations of the building needs to be strong enough not to break in order that the building does not crack or the foundations and building need to be designed and constructed in such a way that any movement that does occur, occurs in a way that does not damage the building or impact on its functionality.
None of these facts are ‘susceptible of diverse explanations’, none of this requires a guarantee of ‘the truth of … theory’ – these are facts or givens that are known by any adult hands-on building practitioner, regardless of their age, gender or culture, no matter where the building is located on the planet.
Now the topic of this conversation is whether the deep-seated emotions of fear and aggression, nurture and desire are instinctual, as in biologically inherited, or whether they are the result of imperfect nurturing/environment. Your contribution to this discussion is presumably that one can never know which is fact given that –
This in effect means you are, exactly as the previous correspondence has done, sidelining yourself in any discussion about the means to bringing an end to the deep-seated emotions of fear and aggression, nurture and desire that are the root cause of human misery.
The other thing that is worth noting is that whilst you are busy telling me that it is impossible for me to know – by my own observation and my own experience and verified by the observations and experiences of others – that something is a fact, you are busy challenging someone else on the list to disprove that what you say is not fact. Vis –
Nothing like telling someone one thing and then telling another something entirely contradictory, hey.
RESPONDENT: Or put it differently: Such hypotheses as ‘genetic coding’ of instincts are really not inspired by the result of experience to nearly the same extent as they are by certain ‘preconceived ideas’.
PETER: Indeed they are not – personal experience and global-wide experience is most often ignored or in many cases even denied in favour of ‘preconceived ideas’, as the following illustrates –
I’ll try and stop whistling ‘Give me that old time religion’ long enough to relate to you another personal on-the-ground observation I made that demonstrated that the instinctual passions are universal to all human beings on the planet and have existed for as long as human beings have existed – in other words, that fear, aggression, nurture and desire are biological inherited. As a somewhat callow young man aged 20, I went to Europe for the first time and was particularly struck by the fact that literally every square metre of Europe had been soaked in human blood at some stage in history, be it in pre-historic times, the stone age, the iron age, the bronze age, medieval times or modern times, given that World War Two had only ended less than a quarter of a century prior to my visit.
Wherever I went I found monuments to some battle or other and remnants of defensive walls and embattlements from all cultures and all epochs and visited field upon field, village upon village, and city upon city where hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of human beings had either deliberately killed and maimed their fellow human beings or had been deliberately killed and maimed by their fellow human beings. I was also struck by the fact that these same disputes, skirmishes, battles and wars are still being waged all over the planet, either overtly or covertly, and will keep on doing so for no other reason that it is human nature for human beings to keep doing so. Faced by the utter futility of ever being able to do anything about the situation, I, like countless others before and since, learned to turn a blind eye to what I had seen with my own eyes and in doing so desensitised myself from feeling such feelings as sorrow, grief, despair and hopelessness when confronted with the extent of human beings’ perpetual animosity towards other human beings.
RESPONDENT: Easy is clearly not the right word. Obvious would probably be more suitable. I do have to watch my word selection in this list. ‘We’ cling to our instincts with an iron grip.
PETER: I had similar problems with words when I first came across actualism. I started to become aware how loose I was in the meaning of words but that this was generally the case in any discussions about freedom. I realized that it suited me not to question too deeply what was being said because the freedom I was seeking was a feeling-only, other-worldly experience and not a sensate-only down-to-earth experience. After writing my journal, I set about writing a glossary of common terms used in actualism, giving their dictionary definitions and an explanation of the difference between the word’s actual meaning and its varied and confusing spiritual meanings.
RESPONDENT: It’s really a substantial paradigm shift. The spiritual traditions do adhere to a the-truth-that-can-be-spoken-is-not-the-truth kind of schtick.
PETER: Not to mention that other traditional spiritual teaching – the-word-is-not-the-thing. I remember having a conversation with an ardent spiritualist in my lounge room one day and he started down the spiritual line that matter does not exist and that only spirit or energy exists. I picked up a coffee cup and said ‘Are you telling me this coffee cup doesn’t exist?’ He said something like – ‘That’s the word coffee cup, not the thing’ to which I replied ‘No, that’s the thing we call a coffee cup’. He looked at me bewildered for a second because he almost started to consider that the coffee cup might be actual, i.e. existing in fact, in this case made of the material stuff of the earth, exactly like he and I. He quickly continued on with his particular spiritual party line for a bit until I pointed to the television set and asked him what he would call that? ‘God’ he replied and the conversation was all down hill from then on.
PETER: Some comments on your reply to Gary’s query, given that I was mentioned by implication –
GARY: I found it cute upon a pit-stop to the Krishnamurti Listening-L list to find a reference to myself having left that list and joined the Actual Freedom list, which according to the poster is ‘the ultimate cult’. According to this poster, supposedly I am too blind to see that I am in a cult with other cult-members, and several names were mentioned (No 13, Richard, Vineeto, No 21, Peter, etc.). Also, supposedly, there is no ‘communication’ or interaction among members of this list, according to said poster. The cult business has been visited time and again on this list, yet I find it behoves me to ask current participants to this list what they think: is Actual Freedom a ‘cult’? How would one know it is a cult or not a cult? Since some on this list have belonged to *actual* cults (Sannyasins, Krishnamurtians, etc), how is one to know that one is not just getting involved in a cult again, since one has been duped before?
To anticipate a possible answer to this question, something was written recently, I think by Richard, about not trusting in another person (thereby inviting betrayal), but evaluating the validity of a claim through reference to one’s experience, thus enabling one to separate fact from fancy, the actual from the imagined or hoped for. I have never felt that this is a cult. But of course those who believe it is a cult would think that I cannot see the forest for the trees because I am in ‘denial’ of this being a cult, and me being a ‘follower’ of Richard.
Since there are other people participating in the list now, I would like to know what others think.Gary to the Actual Freedom Mailing List, 25.7.2002
RESPONDENT: Excellent query as it may lead to some discussion about the recent heated list activity. The common interpretation of the word cult has as a primary characteristic the wielding of power by one or several over a group of others. This power can only exist with the mutual agreement (at some conscious or unconscious level) of both parties to honour the hierarchal arrangement.
PETER: This deduction does not account for the fact that there are many, many cults founded upon dead people, in fact the deader the person the stronger the cult in many cases. Such cults, ‘with (its) primary characteristic the wielding of power’ ‘only exist(ing) with the mutual agreement of both parties’, can hardly exist by mutual agreement in these cases since a dead person is incapable of either agreement or disagreement. The power of any cult-leader, be they a living person, a dead person or a purely mythical figure, is entirely dependant on his or her followers believing in, and surrendering to a leader, thereby making him or her into a higher authority or Big Daddy/Big Mommy figure.
The fact that the power of a cult leader comes from the followers, and is entirely reliant on the followers, can also be seen by looking at a few examples from recent times. Mr. Hitler was revered as a Messiah-like figure in Germany by his followers who believed in the message of Nazism, whereas most of the rest of the world regarded him as a pathological megalomaniac. The loving followers of Mohan Rajneesh regarded J. Krishnamurti as a second-rate, too-intellectual, Guru, whereas the followers of J. Krishnamurti were generally scornful and dismissive of Rajneesh and his followers.
There are currently hundreds upon hundreds of self-declared Gurus on the planet, all of whose fame, power, influence and wealth is totally dependant upon the fervour and numbers of their followers. I am not denying that many of these Gurus have the capacity to wield considerable psychic power over their followers but the follower has to be fully compliant and blindly loyal in order for this power to operate. When I was a loyal follower of Mohan Rajneesh his word was God to me, yet when I stopped believing that what he said was the Truth he no longer held any power over me – in other words, I gave him power over me, it was not a matter of mutual agreement.
RESPONDENT: As I’ve explained, rather than having spiritual beliefs that I must let go, I was never able to acquire them in the first place. I just couldn’t convince myself that these comforting beliefs in supernatural entities were actually true/ correct/ factual. I couldn’t believe them if I tried (and I did try). So I find it ludicrous when someone who a few short years ago was shouting ‘yahooo!!!’ at an empty chair tells me how necessary and how difficult it is to lose those precious spiritual beliefs.
PETER: Swapping one’s beliefs or changing one’s beliefs or even rejecting beliefs is one thing but intentionally undertaking a process of deliberately exposing all of one’s own beliefs is quite another. When I was a normal bloke, I became very disillusioned with the materialistic beliefs that I was told were the way-it-is and when I came across Eastern spirituality and its beliefs they appeared to me to be ‘the truth’ because they pointed to the paucity of material beliefs and they pointed to the possibility of a freedom from these beliefs based on the experiential observation that one can become free of one’s personal identity.
Abandoning the spiritual path and turning around proved to be only the start of a long and intense process of exposing all of the beliefs I either held dear or had not previously bothered to investigate for lack of interest and intent. I was not only amazed at the extent to which Eastern spirituality has permeated Western philosophy, sociology, psychology, psychiatry, science, eduction and medicine, but also at the extent to which I still held many religious/ spiritual beliefs, values, morals, ethics, ideas and opinions as a result of my childhood social conditioning – the beliefs that I thought I had rejected or thought I had transcended still lay dormant for lack of the genuine intent to actively dismantle my social and instinctual identity.
RESPONDENT: Here is something that might help you (addressed mainly to Peter) to deal with newcomers in future: When it comes to seeing through false beliefs, you came down in the last shower. You are a beginner. You think that seven years of unlearning your supernatural beliefs now makes you a seasoned expert in seeing through self-deception, but it doesn’t work that way. (On the contrary, your approach to actualism still has all the hallmarks of the ‘true believer’ mentality; it is strongly suggestive of the same old head-down, forehead-first, truth-be-fucked approach that you’ve had all along, only this time you’ve got a new and better set of ideas to give your life meaning, direction, purpose.)
PETER: I have already pointed out that what you feel about me is far from fact and I can only suggest that you read my journal if you want to acquaint yourself with the facts of the matter.
RESPONDENT: Anyway, to summarise: in my opinion there is quite a difference between ‘spirituality’ that is characterised by (a) impassioned investigation that is satisfied only by truth/factuality; and (b) impassioned adherence to and defence of a set of ideas, principles or practices that provide emotional comfort and/or promised benefit to the believer, regardless of their truth/falsehood.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for your reply, I have reached the correct site. Good to hear from you too.
There is a great mix of personalities in our society. The SBS program ‘Front UP’ reminds me of this. They all hold on so tightly to what they perceive to be the truth of their lives, I can not disagree, but in relation to my parents’ generation and my generation???
PETER: Before I took on actualism I too held on tightly to what I perceived to be the truth of my life until I began to discover I had been sold a dummy. ‘My’ beliefs were beliefs, totally unfounded in fact, i.e. ‘I’ lived in la la land, my ethics were unliveable, i.e. ‘I’ was a wanker, my morals were subjective and very flexible, i.e. ‘I’ was a hypocrite and my values were imbibed from others, i.e. ‘I’ was a fraud. Having largely got rid of this person who made my life and others around him a constant emotional turmoil, I now find that I can disagree with others who dearly cling to their beliefs, ethics, morals and values, without being emotionally affected myself. The only way that this is possible is for me to be free of malice and sorrow – to have no axe to grind, no truth to maintain, no belief to defend – in short to have no ‘me’ to take offence or be offensive.
Richard asked himself – ‘can I emotionally accept that which is intellectually unacceptable?’ If you pursue such a question ruthlessly you will eventually discover that the only solution is to eliminate the passionate being inside ‘who’ endlessly has to practice tolerance in order to reconcile the vehemently conflicting views of others, ‘who’ endlessly needs to crank up love to rise above deep-seated resentment and hatred, ‘who’ has to continuously be good in order to rise above the perceived evil of others.
Being a social and instinctual being is ultimately a wearying and stressful business and even the blessed-out God-men look forward to physical death as an ultimate relief from the effort of being a Being.
What is on offer on this list is an end of being. (...)
RESPONDENT: I am aware that I have been exposed to things and been confronted with things from a younger age, but in comparison of our two lives our emotions of sadness, sorrow, fear, are the same. As I read and re read parts of yours and Richards’s journals I am able to relate those stories to a time in my own life. I wonder if this is where clarity occurs.
PETER: I remember when I first came across the writings of Eastern spiritualism and was struck by the wisdom of what was said. Eastern Spiritualism points to the fact that grim reality is an illusion – that it is only a layer of despair, sorrow and fear that ‘I’ as a psychological entity impose on the physical world we live in. The problem with Enlightenment, the prized achievement of Eastern spiritualism, is that it doesn’t eliminate this entity – it only does half the job. They merely dissociate from their ‘bad’ psychological identity, or ego, and aggrandize their ‘good’ psychic identity, or soul, resulting in an altered state of consciousness or God-realization.
It took 17 years of hands-on experience in Eastern religion, and meeting an ex-Enlightened whistle blower, to see that what I initially saw as wisdom and truth was nothing but an elaborate fairy tale. What I initially thought and felt was clarity in Eastern spirituality was a half-truth elaborated into the big fantasy of the Truth – it states that grim reality is an illusion of ‘my’ creation but then trips off into a further impassioned illusion of a Greater Reality.
It takes a good deal of courage to abandon the seductive half-truths/big lies of Eastern spirituality, particularly when it empowers such glorious narcissistic feelings as Goodness, Godliness and immortality.
PETER: I know that in your current state you regard all that is physical, palpable, tangible, touchable, seeable, smellable, tasteable and audible as so insignificant as to be illusionary, so writing this to you is as meaningful as trying to sell coloured pencils to a blind man.
RESPONDENT: You will be better able to assist, and more honest in your answers, if you will make an effort to avoid drawing imagined conclusions about me. Thank you.
PETER: Could you perhaps point out where you think I am being dishonest in my answers, as I have done nothing other than rely on your own words in these discussions?
RESPONDENT: *deep bow*
Respectfully, there has been no offering that you have been dishonest in your answers. It would be paranoid and defensive to think that there has been. There was the offering:
PETER: *Mind the keyboard ...*
What a load of devious codswallop, No 22. I am immune to the typical God-men ploy of diverting any direct questioning of their alluded-to or implied comments by turning on the questioner and then piling on even more alluded-to or implied comments. This type of holier-than-thou trickery doesn’t wash with me – I was played for a sucker for 17 years by God-men who would run rings around you.
So I will take your bluff as meaning you don’t chose to reply to my direct question.
PETER: In this case your quoted position is – ‘There is no objective standard defining real/unreal ... There is no objective anything.’ Have you been wrongly misquoted perhaps?
PETER: I have already acknowledged that my thinking was ‘wrong’ in your terms, but that does nothing to alter the fact that you regard all that is physical as being illusionary – i.e. spirit-ual or ethereal in nature.
RESPONDENT: *deep bow*
Respectfully, I do not regard all that is physical (of or relating to matter and energy or the sciences dealing with them, especially physics) as being illusionary. Being respectful of the material under study, I will not offer further explanation of the truth of all that is physical here.
PETER: *Mind the keyboard ...*
Thank you for not sharing your truth. In my experience God-men tend to get almightily convoluted when they attempt to explain their Truth – that which cannot be described but can only be experienced as a feeling.
PETER: This head in the sand, or head in the clouds, approach of pretending to study what is happening, while ignoring what is actually happening in the world, is typical of Oxford Dons and Eastern God-men. Why do you insist on carrying on like all three wise monkeys rolled into one by obstinately pretending that you don’t know what actualism is really on about and persistently refusing to talk about it?
RESPONDENT: There is no familiarity with the metaphor ‘carrying on like all three wise monkeys rolled into one’, and no ‘Oxford Dons’, nor God-men are known, however, with certainty in can be said that there is no obstinacy (the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome) present.
PETER: Then it all must have been a misunderstanding on my part, no?
RESPONDENT: I am happiness to follow the authority of truth (and I am the assumption that you would have me be the following of no other authority?).
PETER: Speaking personally, I am no fan of the truth as the term is used in the spiritual world.
The Godmen I have known flaunted the word in their Godly work but have all shown by their personal behaviour, words and deeds anything but up-front honesty. All of them blatantly contradicted themselves, all of them hid their private indiscretions from their public, all of them reverted to blaming their followers, all of them cunningly did all they could to further Themselves at the expense of everyone else and all of them took the moral high ground while their off-stage life and relationships were a sham of deceit. From my readings and investigations it appears that these are traits common to all God-men.
As for ‘the authority of truth’ – spiritual truth only has authority if you believe it to be true.
Once you stop choosing to believe, what is factual and actual is increasingly revealed, as layer upon layer of belief and fallacy simply drops away. What is revealed is not grim reality, for that too is a human creation. What is revealed is neither terror nor dread, for these emotions are but instinctual animal passions and these too can be stripped away.
But when you stop choosing to believe, what is in fact revealed is the perfection and purity of the actual world.
RESPONDENT: Further, you needn’t be concerned with me being recalcitrant (stubbornly resisting the authority or control of another, somebody who stubbornly resists authority or control by another).
PETER: You must have a different dictionary to me – I have recalcitrant as meaning stubborn, obstinate, intractable, strongly opposed, headstrong – no mention of authority at all, and none is implied or imposed from my side. I have repeatedly said this is your study, I am simply offering my expertise in both actualism and Spiritualism, so as to freely assist your efforts in the only way I can.
RESPONDENT: Of course, if there is the belief that this is ‘huffing and puffing’ you are welcome to continue to be the concern.
PETER: I couldn’t find that I had used the words ‘huffing and puffing’ as quoted, let alone ‘be the concern’ that I was the belief that what you are doing is huffing and puffing. I simply take your words at face value.
PETER to No 12: ... I’m wrong. I know I am wrong, you don’t need to keep telling me. I turned around 180 degrees from where everybody else is headed and went down the wrong path. I simply stopped ding the ‘right’ thing, being ‘right’ and insisting I was ‘right’. I put on my dunce’s hat, went back to school and unlearnt all that I had been told was right.
You are also very busy with the issue of me being a liar. Of course I am a liar from your perspective because what I am saying is not your truth, let alone the Truth. However by insisting I am wrong and a liar, you ignore the very point of actualism – it has nothing at all to do with the traditional, the ancient, the normal or the spiritual wisdom of what it is to be human. Actualism is radically different, it is diametrically opposite – it is a path never travelled before. It literally involves going where no man or woman has gone before – from a real-world perspective it is madness and from a spiritual world perspective it is a complete and utter rejection of everything spiritual.
Consequently I gave up the traditional well-worn spiritual path years ago. I no longer believe in 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 pranas, 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, other-worlds and other-dimensions, devils and demons and the like.
Then, when I was halfway ‘normal again’, halfway and no more, I then finished the job I half-started before I got sucked into the spirit-ual world – I got myself free from the clutches of the real world. Having done that, I found I had literally taken the wind out of my instinctual passions. I can’t remember the last time I got annoyed by something or someone, let alone angry. Sadness has passed so long ago I still am a bit taken aback at how people manage to complain about life and bitch about other people. But I’m getting used to the fact that being malicious and feeling sorrowful is what passes for ‘being normal’, whether it be in the real world or the spiritual world.
RESPONDENT: Peter makes a very important point about attaching any kind of credit to teachers instead of the Truth of the teachings.
PETER: I truck not with the Truth, for the Truth is but a lie told over millennia and blindly believed by everyone. I say ‘everyone’, for scratch an agnostic and you will find an ‘I’ll wait and see’ fence-sitter. God is not dead, He/She/It is still very much alive and thriving, which is ridiculous given that He/She/It was nothing but a fear-filled fairy story to begin with.
RESPONDENT: Many organizations require subservience of some kind. There is a great difference between required subservience and the exercise of true surrender within a guru-disciple relationship.
PETER: If you are saying that disciples willingly surrender, I agree. Few people have the courage to stand on their own two feet and the lure of leaving it all up to, Big Daddy, God, Existence, the Teacher by proxy, etc. is legendary in the human species, as in ‘place your fate in the hands of the Lord’, ‘trust in me and have faith, my son’, ‘Bow down to the Buddha’, trust Existence’ ...
RESPONDENT: Many individuals with a glimpse of the sublime find themselves caught within the Egotism of their own authority.
PETER: It’s called the instinctive lust for power where I come from, and there is no more powerful feeling than feeling Immortal.
RESPONDENT: This leads them to use their authority to remain an authority and in the ensuing egotistical exercise the value of these individual’s teachings, which in many cases was very useful in the beginning, becomes a muddled ego-mish-mash.
PETER: In case you haven’t noticed, all teachers ultimately use the ancient teachings as their ultimate authority for there is no greater fear than the fear of God and no greater love than the love for God. What most people miss is the fact that if there is no fear of God, then the desperate need to love and revere God, or His/Her/Its earthly representative, disappears.
RESPONDENT: So I understand Peter’s frustration with the whole process.
PETER: I am not at all frustrated for I no longer believe in God or the whole ingratiating ‘ surrender and humble yourself before God’ business. There is not a skerrick of spiritual belief left in me.
RESPONDENT: However, it is not just the teachers who are responsible in these cases. Much of the time the students are at least as responsible.
PETER: There is a paramount unwritten commandment in all religious teachings that has been specifically developed to quell any questioning of the ongoing perennial failure of religion to produce the goods. It goes – ‘regularly and persistently blame the followers for not being good enough, but never, never, never, ever question, let alone blame the sacred teachings, for that is Blasphemy ... and it shall bring down the Wrath of God, or the mob, upon you’. Given that God is a myth, it is always left to the faithful mob do the job.
RESPONDENT: As soon as someone manifests some form of Divine Inspiration there are a host of people just waiting to credit that person. As if the person created something.
PETER: The Gurus and shaman have created an illusion of their own Divinity in a Greater Reality out of the illusion of Evil in a grim reality. If someone becomes completely deluded such that they are absolutely convinced they are Divine, then they are compelled to spread the message. Being a Saviour of Mankind is part and parcel of the grand delusion – not an optional extra.
RESPONDENT: First I would like to say that we are more alike in our thinking than not. I, too, am a product of the 60’s, and 50’s, and I had, and still have, all the feelings about the way this world is ran by our governments.
PETER: No, No. 8, we are not alike in our thinking. I gave up blaming others for the violence and suffering in the world and saw that I was the cause of violence and suffering for those very same feelings were in me. It was only by firmly grasping this fact, which is startlingly obvious in a pure consciousness experience, was I able to even begin doing something about it. It was only by seeing the inherent power and crippling humility that causes so much malice and sorrow in the spiritual world, which was startlingly obvious in the pure consciousness experiences I had while in the spiritual world, was I able to dig myself out of religious/ spiritual belief and to begin to tackle both the good and bad emotions in me that give rise to human malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: It is obvious to any one who thinks that we are all part of the problem. Who was I blaming?
PETER: So, are you now switching positions and saying you like the way ‘this world is ran by our governments’?
RESPONDENT: Because I see what you see. Even to the unawakened mind it is obvious that some things are worse than others and even the people in government can control the madness to some degree, but far too often they choose not to.
PETER: How do you think that ‘the people in government can control the madness to some degree’ ? Are you advocating more police, more armies, more laws? Or should they adopt the Tibetan Buddhist government’s pacifist approach of fleeing to the next country and leaving the people to fend for themselves when madness manifests as invasion by a neighbouring country? This is choosing not to ‘control the madness’ in action. How would you go about controlling the madness given that it is all so obvious to you?
RESPONDENT: Of course they are acting from the same illness as every one else. I shouldn’t have to say anything about this, it is all so obvious.
PETER: Aye. The illness, as you see it, is that most people are un-Enlightened or un-awakened to the Truth. To use your words, the Truth is
Hence the way to cure ‘the illness’ is to stop identifying with human fear, suffering and hatred. This approach does nothing at all to cure the illness but it does offer a way of psychologically distancing oneself from the illness. This approach to dealing with trauma is commonly known as dissociation.
In the case of spiritual Awakening or Enlightenment, the resulting condition is of an altered state of consciousness where certain concepts such as ‘beliefs, images, fear, suffering, hatred, etc., etc.’, are separated from the conscious personality. Thus, the illness continues unabated and untreated but the traumatized victim no longer associates with the symptoms of the illness and no longer believes he or she has the illness.
RESPONDENT: If anyone wants to make an observation on what the difference makes on a physical level, look at how the Dalai Lama carries himself, his body movements, his facial expression, and compare them to the Pope.
PETER: Your assessment does seem superficial and no doubt biased by your passion for Eastern religion as opposed to Western religion. Curiously both men both hold similar positions within their religions. Both are theocrats, one of Vatican municipality, the other of a country he has fled, both are supported by ‘the masses’, both lived in idle Holy splendour surrounded by the finest riches of the country, both have humble servants, adoring followers and enormous unquestioning power over their administration and the masses in general, and both have been chosen by the high priests.
RESPONDENT: Truth is self evident when looked for honestly ... no excuses. Truth, when intentionally hidden, becomes heavy and burdensome.
PETER: The more one feels oneself to be Divine, the more one is burdened and obliged to spread the message. After all, one has discovered the Truth that we are not mortal grubby flesh and blood bodies, that there is no death, that this physical world is just an illusion and ‘who we really are’ is an Immortal Spirit. The problem is that this is purely a Self-centred realization for the realization is that ‘I’ am Divine and every thing, and every one else, is but an illusion. This inherent Self-centred nature of the experience is exactly why all of the Enlightened beings, why each claim they have a unique message, why they are apt to put down or criticize the Teachings of others and why they compete with each other for followers. This inherent Self-centredness of all spiritual experiences is the direct cause of all the disharmony and rivalry amongst the present crop of teachers and Gurus and all the ongoing religious conflicts and wars between the followers of Long Dead Gurus on the planet. This inherent Self-centredness applies whether one calls one’s new identity an Impersonal Self or a Self – it is still a Self-experience.
Purity and perfection can only be realized when both the personal self, as ego, and the instinctual self, as soul, are extinct, and this is clearly evidenced in a pure consciousness experience of the actual world.
PETER: I wanted an actual freedom that is applicable in the marketplace, available to all, perfect and pure, untainted by power and authority.
RESPONDENT: So, why does an enlightened being have to wallow in power and authority?
PETER: Just a note to the questions you raised –
The Enlightened Ones, having found God and Love, are compulsively driven to spread their message and to gather their disciples. It is intrinsic that if one discovers the Truth then one is impelled to teach it. Truth does not exist without the teachings. They are in effect teaching their versions of the Truth, but a Truth must be told, must be passed on, otherwise it withers. And the one who teaches the Truth has the power and authority, for people are hungry for the Truth with its promise of salvation, bliss and immortality.
RESPONDENT: And when the truth is beyond words ... then the telling is less than the truth, is it not?
PETER: I think you missed the point here. History is littered with teachings of Gurus and Masters whose profound Truth and Divine message has withered on the vine for want of re-telling or being ‘kept alive’ by followers and disciples. I recently saw a TV. program on the last of the Shakers in America who are down to seven people after numbering in the tens of thousands only last century. No-one worships the Greek or Roman Gods any more. Zeus worship is not at all big, even in this New Dark Age, although the female Gods have recently had a fashionable comeback. The point is, One needs One’s followers in order to keep the message ‘alive’, or the Truth withers – it is after all but a fairy tale given validity and realness only by the re-telling.
When I was a kid I was told there was a Santa Claus who came in the middle of the night and left presents. I would try and stay awake so I could see him sneaking in. It was only after someone told me he didn’t exist that I realised he had never existed. He was just a myth, a tale re-told over the centuries – but I believed he was real at the time.
PETER: For those who reach Enlightenment the reward for having found the Truth is having others be grateful to you, love you and worship you. Having achieved the altered state of consciousness, whereby one is God, it is also a very lonely business and one needs love from others.
RESPONDENT: Is not Enlightenment the realization that there is only Agapé (unconditional love) and this is not only all about you, but is within you as well?
PETER: Aye indeed. In my full-blown delusion I was Love and Love was me. The feeling was Grand, ‘I’ had realised Love at last ... I find it curios that you have changed your position a bit on your definitions here. You started off writing to me with the statement –
RESPONDENT: After one has the PCE the ‘I’ is lost and only the here and now is experienced.
PETER: Now all of a sudden there is ‘Agapé that is all about you and within you as well’. There is a ‘you’ who feels Agapé and as such what you are describing is an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) – typified in the spiritual world by the delusion of divine grandeur.
RESPONDENT: One realizes they are the source of all the love in the Universe, they are part of the whole and never experience loneliness and a ‘need’ for others or for love; they already have it all; the idea of separation is no more.
PETER: The ‘feeling’ of separation is no more – except one is separate from those who have not found the Truth yet. They become mere ‘sentient beings’ for they have not yet discovered the Truth – or have ‘yet to realize that they are God’.
And, of course, since it is all only a feeling inside one’s head there is no such thing as a generally-agreed Truth, each have their own slightly different version or flavour. This means that the Enlightened One’s lead a solitary life, ‘above’ their own disciples and fighting and competing with each other for a share of the disciple market.
There is no universally agreed upon Truth or even a semblance of one. Hence we have over 6,000 religions and the competition and fighting between them is ‘realized’ as the horrendous wars, persecutions, tortures, suspicions and fears that plague Humanity.
RESPONDENT: It is not a lovely thing to see world financial collapse due to ignoring that which is obvious, driven by short-term profit motivations and the idea that this is an ‘us vs. them’ game we are playing here on Earth.
These results, however, are what we will ‘enjoy’ if we continue to make choices that ignore this basic truth – the truth that We All Are One.
PETER: I see you use the word ‘truth’ rather than fact. That ‘We All Are One’ is a belief, and belief means ‘to fervently wish to be true’. The fact is that 5.8 billion of us fight it out for survival against each other.
RESPONDENT: This is what we get if we decide that ‘survival of the fittest’ is the name of the game, though very few will survive.
PETER: We don’t casually decide that ‘survival of the fittest’ is the name of the game, we are instinctually driven. It is wired in us in what is commonly known as the Lizard brain, the seat of our instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Unless one faced this fact one either spends one’s life trying to be good or chasing some Altered State of Consciousness wherein one became ‘not the body’. Head in the sand or heart in the clouds?
RESPONDENT: And it will not necessarily be those surviving who now call themselves ‘fittest’ today, but rather those who listen to their inner voices – the ‘chosen ones’ as some would call them. The choosing for the ‘chosen ones’ is not done by some outside entity, but through our own personal decisions to wake up, remember who we really are, and love again – working to help others, knowing that there is enough for everyone. If we do not, this Earth will soon be unable to support us given our collective irresponsible actions.
PETER: Ah. So here is the rub. After the Doomsday, only the ‘chosen ones’ will survive. I have often wondered which of the chosen ones it will be – the Rajneeshees, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Hindus. Who chooses which of the chosen ones survive, or go to some other planet or ethereal realm. Maybe it depends on who causes the End to happen, whether it is Jehovah, the Christian God, Technology, etc. And how to sort out the various claimants as to who’s God caused the End, and which disciples therefore deserve the right to a ticket ‘out’.
RESPONDENT: What you say above here: ‘Certainty and surety comes from facts and common sense’ doesn’t fit my experience. My exp. of certainty and surety comes from knowing who I am, knowing my own truth. And my truth is for me what your facts are for you. This you shouldn’t argue on, ...
PETER: Everybody has what they fondly declare to be their ‘own’ truth and passionately defend it – even declaring their ‘right’ to do so.
Unfortunately, what I discovered was that ‘my’ truth was no more than ‘me’ taking on some particular versions of Ancient Wisdom and interpreting them to fit ‘my’ selfish motives. This ‘I’ did in order to become a member of some particular group and gain a sense of belonging – all to soothe the lost, lonely, frightened, and very, very cunning entity ‘I’ really am. ‘My’ truth was nothing more than a phantasm, designed to perpetuate ‘my’ existence and once I saw and acknowledged this, it was impossible to defend any more.
All this would not matter one iota but people do fight with each other as to whose ‘truth’ is ‘right’, or gang together in religious or social groups and fight horrendous wars as to whose collective ‘truths’ are right.
RESPONDENT: You could try to be a little more understanding that others can have similar experiences and express them differently.
PETER: The only way we can determine whether experiences are similar is by comparing notes, as it were. Everybody on this list is following a path devoted to obtaining an altered state of consciousness (ASC) whereby one feels Divine, Oneness, Immortal, Spaceless and Timeless.
I am talking of experiences that are pure consciousness experiences (PCE) whereby I am this flesh and blood body, mortal, made of the same stuff as the earth, doing what is happening right now, right here. I am the universe experiencing itself as a human being.
PETER: I just watched a TV program on war and it highlighted the main causes of warfare as territorial, religious and ideological. Territorial conflicts are perhaps understandable, but religious wars fought over whose God is the only God defy sanity. And ideological wars are equally inane as both sides always believe they are right and the other is wrong.
Whatever the reason, it was is always one group against another group.
RESPONDENT: So, what’s the problem? This is how it is on Earth right now. To quote Doris Lessing, ‘This planet is allergic to the truth.
PETER: That you don’t see the problem, obviously relates to your being on a higher level of consciousness. The only higher level of consciousness that exists in the spiritual world is the level of Divine delusion that one can imagine and sustain. To be Enlightened is the ultimate altered state of consciousness whereby one is convinced one is God or at one with God, a sort of ‘God and I are best mates’ scenario.
As for ‘That is how it is on Earth right now’ you should have added ‘and that is how it always will be’ – according to Ancient Wisdom.
As for Doris Lessing, she also wrote – ‘We are all of us made by war, twisted and warped by war, but we seem to forget it.’
Then in the 70’s and 80’s she got in to Sufi Mysticism and ‘evolution of consciousness’ theories. She then wrote cosmic fantasies, dreamscapes, and science fiction and she turned away from the concerns of war. She indeed seemed ‘to forget it’ herself in her later years.
RESPONDENT: Do you get that everyone must leave this body?
PETER: No, when I die, I die, for I am this body. There is nothing to ‘leave this body’.
RESPONDENT: You’re in for a very rude awakening I’m afraid.
PETER: Ah, no doubt you see me in some sort of Sannyas hell. Will I be there with all the Christians, National Guards and Ronald Reagan? Will the Buddhists of Nanking be there or will they be with Buddha in the Buddha-heaven? A few moral and ethical problems posed by the concept of heaven and hell?
PETER: ... That the next generation will finally get around to doing something about the endemic suffering and fighting on the planet.
Why is it always the ‘next’ generation that is going to find the answer as this generation fails yet again to find the solution to the Human Dilemma and inevitably turns to praying to the Gods for salvation and redemption?
RESPONDENT: Indeed. Absolutely. Why? It is because this generation hides behind political, religious and spiritual answers. In other words this generation, like those that have come before, hides behind fantasies, reacts against the truth. Doris Lessing, ‘This planet is allergic to the truth.’
PETER: No, there is this myth that everybody reacts against the truth. Each peddler of the Truth accuses the other peddler of the Truth of missing the point. Thus, Mr. Rajneesh attracted many Western followers with the simplistic message that all Western religions are at fault, while he himself was merely a peddler of Eastern Religion. Thus his followers were seduced into the idea that what he was saying was revolutionary, and of some significance. Everyone loves to rebel and fight against authority and perceived evil and wrongs. Rajneeshees against Christian, Christian against Muslim, Catholic against Protestant, ... the slaughter that has resulted from inanities like that of Doris Lessing or Rajneesh’s tirades against the Christians is legendary and the near-disaster of the Ranch did little or nothing to stop Rajneeshees from desperately clinging to their version of the Truth.
The solution lies not in the Truth – or it would have worked by now. It is as simple, clear, obvious and direct as that.
Just like your computer, if the program not only doesn’t work but has a serious virus, then just get rid of the lot, and the result is a freedom the likes of which has never been before in history.
True courage and intelligence is to investigate and discover the facts for oneself – no matter what the dire consequences may appear to be. I can reliably report that the Devil and Evil is as much a fantasy as God and the Good.
RESPONDENT: I am surprised that you do not find it a fact that people react against the truth. You say it is a myth. This seems strange to me.
As I read your correspondence on the sannyas list one of the most outstanding things is the extent to which people react against facts. This is exemplified by the resistance or refusal of some people to have their words fed back to them. Most people want to tread lightly, sticking in the arena of beliefs and spiritual ‘experiences’. You tend to bring in facts, and people just don’t like it. I can see much evidence of an allergy to truth.
What does the word truth mean? It means that which is in accordance to the actual state of things; conforming to fact. Truth is not about beliefs. Certainly, as you rightfully point out over and over again, the proponents of each belief system or religion or spiritual path take it that they have found the truth and that the others have not and many are prepared to fight bloody wars to support that.
You say ‘True courage and intelligence is to investigate and discover the facts for oneself’. Yes. That is so. True courage and intelligence is to investigate and discover truth for oneself. Have you not discovered facts? Have you not presented those facts to people on the sannyas list. Have you not presented truth? And do you not find a gross allergic reaction to the truth – the facts – that you are presenting?
I agree with Doris Lessing. It is my observation also. The more one presents the facts, the more reaction is generated.
PETER: This is nonsense. Doris Lessing was talking of meta-physical truth not facts. They have as much similarity as Santa Claus and his ‘flying reindeer’ do to Neil Armstrong and the Apollo moon mission. One is a fairy tale belief and the other is factual – as evidenced by sufficient witnesses, written, audio and film evidence, as well as physical objects, such as capsule, rocket, etc. such as to very reliably taken as a fact.
No wonder people ‘assume wrongly’ what you say. As you yourself said –
It does seems a deliberate policy in that it enables you to attempt to assimilate what is obviously new and factually based, into what is obviously the same old fairy tale of truths.
The spiritual world is literally twice removed from the actual world, in that common sense is completely absent in the spiritual scriptures and in those who follow them.
To equate a ‘truth’ and a fact is nonsense.
RESPONDENT: Yes Peter, [Peter]: ‘There is indeed a perfect and pure actual world right under our noses, right now, right here.’ [endquote]. And most people are allergic to being told anything about it.
PETER: As you yourself said – ‘I can report what I like, to myself or to you. It does not necessarily make it true.’
And just because everybody believes something to be the true, doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. A brief, open eyed, look at history will affirm this as a factual statement. At one point everyone believed the earth was flat. At one point everyone believed the sun went around the earth. At one point everyone believed that there was a physical bit in the body called the soul. At one point everyone believed malice was the result of evil spirits possessing the body. At one point people believed that we humans were meant to forever suffer on earth as some sort of cosmic penal colony – woops ... I’ve jumped ahead a bit there ...
PETER: It does seems a deliberate policy in that it enables you to attempt to assimilate what is obviously new and factually based, into what is obviously the same old fairy tale of truths. The spiritual world is literally twice removed from the actual world, in that common sense is completely absent in the spiritual scriptures and in those who follow them. To equate a ‘truth’ and a fact is nonsense.
RESPONDENT: I think before we talk further about this you might consult a good dictionary. You might add a definition of ‘truth’ to the Glossary on your web-site. I like the definition in Macquarie, which reads, in part [quote]: ‘the true or actual facts of a case’, ‘conformity with fact or reality’, ‘a verified or indisputable fact...’ [endquote].
PETER: We have been corresponding with the Sannyas list for about three months and have made it a constant point, in many, many posts, to distinguish between the spiritual truth and facts. The spiritual pundits have made the word truth meaningless to give credence to their particular philosophy or mythical tale. Many, many times in the spiritual world one will see the word truth used, often with capitalisation to denote a Divine Truth. Given that there are about 6,000 religions on the planet, there are at least that many versions of truth or Truth (as in God’s Word). My local new-age bookshop has thousands of books all proclaiming a truth about human existence – and most, if not all, offer contradictory versions, and wildly so. Even within one religion, such as Rajneeshism, there are so many versions of the truth, as he spoke on so many religions and philosophies offering a broad church of Eastern Mysticism to his followers. It is in this context that the word truth, both in the spiritual world and the real world, has lost any meaning, any sense, any credibility as to what may have been a useful dictionary definition.
It is for this reason that the words actual and fact are used in our correspondence and deliberately so. We leave the word truth to the duplicity and deviousness of the spiritual world.
RESPONDENT: You will surely find that the word truth refers to facts not beliefs. Once you understand that I use the word truth to refer to facts rather than ‘one’s own truth’ you will see that what I say is very close to what you are saying.
I cannot speak for Doris. You seem to know a lot more than me about her. I take her words at face value. Whatever she meant from it, I mean that the world is allergic to truth, as in facts. I am not talking about meta-physical truth, I am talking about facts.
PETER: This is a good illustration of the dangers of interchanging the words truth and fact. Doris Lessing clearly points to a meta-physical truth, not a fact.
No 12 first quoted Doris Lessing, ‘This planet is allergic to the truth’ in the context of a post about war.
I responded –
She is without doubt, for sure, absolutely, undeniably, talking of a spiritual, ethereal, other-worldly, mystical, meta-physical truth.
So when you say that you agree with Doris Lessing and indicate that she is talking of the same thing as we are, I do get a little confused.
RESPONDENT: I am interested in finding out what spiritual beliefs I still hold on to, and examining them, finding out if any facts are associated with them and getting rid of the garbage. Keeping the facts.
I am learning to state things more clearly and to drop the allusions.
But in the end one can be as clear as glass and people will still come to what one writes with their rose coloured glasses. Surely you experience that through your conversations on the Sannyas list. Did you not find that no matter how you precisely formulated your posts, most of the responses came from people who twisted what you were saying? I find your writing pretty clear, but still it does not get through. Perhaps slowly some begin to understand what you are talking about, through repetition and through your tenacity. Good on ya.
PETER: When I first came across Richard’s writing it was totally bewildering to me. It would give me headaches trying to read it, it was as though the world was upside down. I would try and fit it into my concepts by changing the meanings of words or missing out a few words here and there to make a sentence more readable. It is as though one is reading a different language, although the words are in English so it seems we should be able to easily understand. It takes patience, effort, contemplation, perseverance, sincerity, interest, curiosity, and a desire like you have never had before, to dig in to the job of demolishing one’s very self.
I like your tenacity – maybe we can move on from the more pedantic issues and get to discuss the differences between the spiritual world and the actual world.
For therein lies the chance of a meaningful discussion and exploration – the interesting, the new, the vital, the alive, the challenging, the confrontational, the life changing, the adventure, the fun.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.