Selected Correspondence Peter
Uppaluri G. Krishnamurti
RESPONDENT: I went for the answers to bookstores: science, philosophy, religion, whatever. Then I started to use www as the information source and in January 2001 I somehow found myself on a page dedicated to what U. G. Krishnamurti said. Some of his words had incomparable impact on my knowledge, while other of his stuff seemed strange. He blamed thinking and culture for the human condition, but did not say much about the role emotions play. He also said nobody can help me, so it was fresh air to read about actual freedom (my first contact with actual freedom page happened about a month ago).
PETER: U.G. Krishnamurti is a strange fellow indeed. I remember reading him in my spiritual years and much of what he said condemning the spiritual teachings rang true and yet he obviously had no solutions. For days afterwards I was noticeably despondent and listless which I now put down to the spiritual nihilism that is the core of U.G. Krishnamurti’s message.
As you have observed, his teachings follow the Eastern spiritual teachings in that he lays the blame for the human condition on thinking and culture. Given his traditional antiquated viewpoint he obviously has nought to say about the very recent discovery about the pivotal role that the instinctual passions have in creating and maintaining a psychological and psychic alien ‘self’ within each and every flesh and blood human body.
His ‘non-message’ of having no solution and being of no help is but an extreme version of much of Eastern fatalistic teachings. He seems to have lobbed himself into a type of pathological desert – devest of a real-world identity but rejecting the power and glory inherent in adopting a new Divine identity. When he describes his own personal state it does not sound at all attractive, which is also why I soon lost interest in him. It was obviously no fun to be U.G. Krishnamurti in this world. Methinks his message would only attract those with a cynical view of life on earth.
As for somebody to help you, you will find all the help you need in the words on The Actual Freedom Trust website because there is a lot of information about how you too can become actually free of the human condition. And the other thing is that there is a do-it-yourself method available – you need not be beholden to anyone, what you chose to do with the information provided is entirely your choice. And with regard to this mailing list, it is really just a supplement to that information – a forum for actualists to communicate with other actualists ... if they’re moved to.
RESPONDENT: Finally, what I find is a common theme in my journey with actualism so far is that there are all these issues that keep popping up that immediately generate a good deal of fear – then it seems I come up with an intellectual solution or compromise – then later the same issue comes back to bug me again. I must admit this is a real pain. What am I doing wrong? I wonder if I’m allowing emotional analysis to dominate over any sort of ‘apperception?’
PETER: The idea of change, or of tackling something new, usually generates a good deal of fear. From this feeling of fear can come doubt, reluctance, inertia, stuckness and so on, but the same feeling can also generate a sense of adventure, thrill, curiosity, fascination, determination and so on.
Several years ago, I experienced the same range of feelings when I gave up drawing with pen on paper on a drawing board and changed to CAD (computer aided drafting). At first I just wanted to muddle along in the old style that I had been taught in my youth, but then one day I realized I might still be drawing for a good many years to come and that, unless I changed to CAD, I would eventually end up a Neanderthal architect. After that came the resistance to starting something new, then came the trials and tribulations of having to throw out all I had learnt in the past about drawing and starting all over again. After a few weeks I found I had to actually get rid of my drawing board so that I fully committed myself to one thing only – learning a whole new way of drawing.
With hindsight, I had to undertake exactly the same process when I stopped being a Neanderthal spiritualist and wanted to become an actualist – the initial resistance, a period of trial and tribulation, the necessity to cut all ties with the past, and finally throwing myself in the deep end and getting on with it. Needless to say the effort, in both cases, has been worth it – but I do acknowledge that the process of change is, in itself, always a challenge.
RESPONDENT: Most of the time, when I ask these questions – I am stuck with ‘I don’t know’ as the answer – and it doesn’t seem that I can do much better than that. But the major challenge seems to me right now the fact that ‘I’ want to be free – so the questioning is intense – yet the desire to be free causes a good deal of pain through uncertainty.
PETER: Whilst the process of change is, in itself, always a challenge … the hardest part of all is making the decision to fully commit yourself to the process.
RESPONDENT: I have to wonder sometimes whether U.G. Krishnamurti is right by saying that the desire to be free is what causes misery? Is there an easier way?
PETER: Well, if you are into Eastern mysticism and you want a delusionary state of spiritual freedom, there’s always the U.G. Krishnamurti way. From what I have read of U.G., his bottom line is a nihilistic acceptance of the inevitability of human suffering and misery on earth – a view rooted in the spiritual dogma that it is impossible to change human nature.
All spiritual teachers preach the doctrine of acceptance for the basic reason that the idea of men and women taking it upon themselves to become free of malice and sorrow is anathema to all religious and spiritual belief that there is an omnipresent and omnipotent God or Presence, by whatever name, who is really running the show. The priests and gurus wield the admonition of ‘acceptance’ like an axe in order to cut people down to size, to keep them humble and in their place – on their knees.
However, if you sincerely desire to become happy and harmless in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are – and you are not happy and harmless now – then you need to stop accepting your lot in life because it is obvious that there is work to be done and changes to be made.
RESPONDENT: A nice analysis is all. I read some Gurdjieff, but that was an endless infinite loop going nowhere. Some Castaneda.... that was too occult and mystical for me to apply. Some UGK, I liked him but there is nothing one can do with that. That’s a dead end.
PETER: I remember reading U.G. Krishnamurti once and it left me feeling gloomy for a day or two. I finally shook it off when I realized he was a nihilist with nothing to offer to anyone.
RESPONDENT: I don’t find U.G. gloomy at all. He is a bit nihilistic perhaps, but at the end of the day, U.G. seems to say to forget all this freedom, enlightenment, guru & philosophical talk, and go live a happy life and enjoy it. Even if he claims no happiness for himself or rather says ‘I don’t know what happiness is’.
PETER: Perhaps the difference in our assessment of U.G. Krishnamurti was due to the fact that I was actively searching for happiness and for a way to live harmoniously with my fellow human beings and U.G. Krishnamurti made it plain that not only did he have no solutions, but also that he himself was neither happy nor harmless.
RESPONDENT: How is U.G. not harmless? How is he harmful?
PETER: I’ll repost a U.G. Krishnamurti quote that Richard recently posted to you as you might have missed its significance first time around –
I have also watched several videotapes of U.G. Krishnamurti with gatherings of his followers and I particularly remember him being scornful and dismissive of an elderly gentleman who had made the effort to travel a good distance simply to ask him a question. I found his action to be offensive – far from harmless.
RESPONDENT: I don’t think UG has any doctrine that says he should act in a certain way, whether that is harmless or free from anger.
PETER: That’s precisely my point, and the reason I said U.G. Krishnamurti was a dead-ender. He makes no claim to be either happy or harmless, nor is he happy and harmless, so I saw no point at all in following him or trying to emulate him because I have always been interested in the possibility of living with my fellow human beings in peace and harmony.
RESPONDENT: You certainly don’t have to condone his behaviour.
PETER: I neither condone nor condemn his behaviour – despite his reports of what he thinks and feels, he is simply a fellow human being who has landed in some sort of weird psychological state. And nor do I condone nor condemn those who follow him – it is but a testimony to the desperate lengths that many people go to in their search for the meaning of life. I know this well, because I have literally sat at the feet of a few shamans and snake-oil sellers before I became an actualist.
RESPONDENT: And Richard has said he has no psyche or I as ego, so does that mean he has ‘me as soul’ with the instinctual passions? UG has said ‘There is no self, there is no I, there is no spirit, there is no soul, and there is no mind’. Is he missing something that renders him ‘harmful’ or is he simply fooling himself?
I won’t repost it here but it does make very plain why U.G. Krishnamurti is a dead-ender as far as eliminating the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire are concerned.
RESPONDENT: These instinctual passions sound fairly similar to other theories I have read about conditioning being transmitted though the genes or DNA. On this list, No 59 has pointed out several instances where this is the case, none to your satisfaction but close enough for me.
PETER: Yep, it is clear that you both are intent on fudging the differences between actualism and spiritualism – ‘close enough is good enough’.
RESPONDENT: UG says the body experiences fear for its own protection. When you are looking over the edge of a cliff, some people may walk to the edge and look over fearlessly and others will keep a ‘safe’ distance. Does that mean you or Richard will walk right up to the edge on a windy or windless day? What will you do? What keeps you from the very edge? Fear? Intelligence? Self preservation? How are you splitting up these three and dividing them?
PETER: No. Such matters are matters of common sense. Nowadays I am always careful to avoid situations in which I can be either injured or killed, which was not necessarily the case in the years when I was occasionally stirred to do dangerous things in order to break the monotony I used to experience in doing the mundane activities of everyday life.
RESPONDENT: How will you behave when you come across a dangerous snake on a walk in the wilderness? Will you instinctually jump back? Is that fear?
PETER: I haven’t had occasion to come across a dangerous snake in the last few years but I have noticed a few occasions when I have had a reaction to an unexpected noise or an unexpected movement close by. What I noticed was that an instantaneous preparedness to act, or even an instantaneous evasive action, had kicked in before I had a chance to make a reasoned assessment of the situation, but I also noticed that there was no increase in heart rate and no tensing of the muscles as I used to experience when in the past the feeling of fear accompanied the instantaneous thoughtless response to danger. I liked the fact that the feeling of fear did not occur for it was a matter-of-fact confirmation that I was indeed becoming actually free of the instinctual feeling of fear.
RESPONDENT: Is that the body’s fear that UG is talking about?
PETER: No. In the practical example I gave above, it was clear to me that the body itself does not feel fear – ‘I’ feel fear. This does not mean that this body is reckless and fearless when ‘I’ no longer rule the roost – it means that common sense is then free to operate, unimpeded by the brutish and debilitating instinctual passions.
I did have a snake-related incident that is worthwhile recounting because it is also an experiential confirmation that not only do ‘I’ feel fear but also ‘I’ can cause the bodily symptoms that we associate with the feeling of fear even when the body itself is in no danger at all As I was asleep one night I had a dream in which ‘I’ was bitten on the thumb by a very poisonous snake. Immediately there was excruciating pain and the thumb started to discolour and the skin was withering and dying before ‘my’ eyes. I then woke up out of the dream and I could still feel the pain in my finger and I still felt in shock despite the fact that I could see my finger was okay and that I had no bodily signs normally associated with fear. In other words, I experienced psychosomatic symptoms of fear bought on solely by ‘my’ dream.
RESPONDENT: Maybe he calls it fear and you call it intelligence. A difference in semantics but no difference in actuality, in the movement of the body away from danger.
PETER: No. Fear and intelligence are not the same thing at all. Fear is an instinctual passion, whereas intelligence is a function of the human brain. I don’t know whether you have noticed it but instinctual passions inhibit the free operation of intelligence.
RESPONDENT: … a few nights ago after I got off work at 4pm; I may have experienced what is termed a PCE around here. [A term btw, that I had never heard of before coming here, the same for ASC and many others] ... anyways ...
just to borrow a few words from this site that seemed to fit the description of that experience were pure, purity, direct, in the sense that a film or veneer had been removed from the world. Its like before there was always a thin film and now it was gone. I was helping my father fix a household appliance in the evening and there was an intimacy with him never before experienced. There was a minimum of the internal dialogue that generally goes on and on. This lasted the whole afternoon and evening, till bed and I woke up like that but then it was finished. That was something different than I had ever felt before.
PETER: I would take it from your description that the experience was something that you would like to have more of.
RESPONDENT: It’s not so much that I want more of that type of experience, as much as I don’t want the pain, sorrow, depression. It’s more important for me to get rid of the negative than to seek the positive. Eliminating the negative is positive enough for me.
PETER: I can see why you have been attracted to U.G. Krishnamurti. He eliminated what he saw as the negative aspects of spiritualism and ended up in some type of permanent nihilistic state. Aiming to get rid of the negative was never enough for me because I had a positive aim – to find the meaning of life.
Having said that I know of several people who have been interested in actualism and took on board that spiritualism is a fraudulent, self-indulgent business. By doing so they stopped practicing dissociation and became more interested in being here. They were more easy with the business of making a living, were more happy being on their own, were less cynical about life, were more easy with other people and so on.
RESPONDENT: What meaning could be found?
PETER: Aren’t you looking for the meaning of life or are you content with your life as-it-is?
I remember when I left home and school, I was bewildered by what could be termed the mainstream of life. I remember wondering to myself – is having a wife, two kids and two cars the meaning of life? The same thing happened when I left the materialistic world and threw myself into the spiritual world. I remember wondering to myself – is becoming an Enlightened Guru and having my ‘money for nothing and my chicks for free’ the meaning of life?
Neither meaning stacked up as far as I was concerned.
RESPONDENT: If there is any must it not be found in the moment to moment living? If not there, then where?
PETER: The phrase moment to moment living implies ‘me’ having a ‘life’ that starts at birth and continues as an unchanging feeling-fed continuity until death.
If ‘I’ seek meaning for ‘my’ life then narcissism can be the only result – and the long history of the famed spiritual search attests to this fact. If ‘I’ simply reject the traditional meanings of life then meaninglessness aka nihilism can be the only result and this seems to be where U.G. Krishnamurti has ended up.
RESPONDENT: Yeah sure it’s ‘me’ or ‘you’ having a life until death. What else could possibly be having the life? You will probably say it’s the flesh and blood body ... fine ... that is me or you , no?
PETER: I wasn’t making an intellectual comment, I was making a pragmatic comment as to ‘who’ people think and feel they are. Normal experience has it that ‘I’ am an entity who looks out through the eyes of ‘my’ body in order to see whatever is happening outside, who listens to sounds through the ears of ‘my’ body in order to hear what is happening outside and so on. Everybody has a feeling of being an alien entity isolated from or cut of from the outside world – this is the primal feelings of loneliness and alienation that everybody feels and vainly attempts to assuage. This is the basis of spiritual belief – the belief that ‘who’ I really am is a spirit-ual being, i.e. a non-corporeal spirit, temporarily residing in a mortal flesh and blood body and thus capable of living on after the death of the mortal flesh and blood body.
PETER: When I recalled my first PCE, it became clear to me that the way to get from ‘A’ – being normal – to ‘B’ – having an ongoing direct experience of actuality 24/7 – was that ‘I’ had to devote my life to becoming happy and harmless … and that this commitment had to be so total as to be an all-consuming obsession. I don’t want to gallop ahead too much, but the reason I mention this is to point to the essential link between becoming happy and harmless and becoming free of the human condition – they are one and the same path.
RESPONDENT: On another note and a popular topic of discussion on this list: while I have brought this up in the past regarding Richard’s claim of being the 1st to be fully free of the human condition (I will use the actualist term). First I would like to say that regarding the ongoing discussion between No 59 and the ‘defenders of the faith’ (my term – no offence intended referring to Richard, Peter, Vineeto, No 23, et al) that I can clearly see No 59’s points.
PETER: I don’t find that particularly surprising given that you both apparently think highly of U.G. Krishnamurti. If you believe the words of someone who says that it is impossible to become free of malice and sorrow as is evidenced in his quotes, then it is understandable that both of you find Richard’s claim an anathema for it directly contradicts what U.G. Krishnamurti says.
RESPONDENT: That said, how can Richard or anyone know whether there was not some American Indian, Mayan, Incan, Aboriginal or any other from such an uprooted, extinct or rubbed-out indigenous culture and peoples who hadn’t accomplished the very same thing?
PETER: In your attempts to disprove Richard’s claim you have yet to provide any evidence that anyone else has become free of the human condition of malice and sorrow … let alone evidence of anyone who has said, or is saying, that it is possible for anyone to become free of the instinctual passions that are the root cause of human malice and sorrow. In the light of this failure you are reduced to clutching-at-straws propositions, which do nothing but highlight the lack of facts that support your case.
RESPONDENT: Clearly the writings of Carlos Casteneda point to the Indians of the Mexican peninsula devoting their entire existence to such goals. One is not likely to find such evidence scouring the internet.
PETER: Speaking of straw-clutching, Carlos Castaneda’s writings have long been exposed as being fiction masquerading as fact. All one needs to do is type ‘Carlos Castaneda’ into a good search engine and one can readily see that his fictional stories have nothing to do with actualism and everything to do with shamanism, spiritualism … and pop-psychology.
If I can just return to the topic of naiveté and the question you asked earlier –
At some seminal point in my early days of being interested in actualism I came to realize that the only way I could rekindle my naiveté was for me to be prepared to question all of what I had taken on board to be right, good and true. Eventually I came to see that this meant abandoning all of my previous conceptions about the nature of what it is to be free that I had imbibed from others. No doubt, whatever it is that is standing in the way of you rekindling your naiveté will gradually becoming equally clear to you.
RESPONDENT: Why don’t one or all 3 of you actualists go face to face, mano a mano, with Mr. UGK and throw your spiritual and other accusations at him in person? You are all so good at kicking the dead and buried, rotten, decomposing corpses of defenceless former flesh and blood bodies. Don’t you think it would further your research, validity and future accusations if you would face a living flesh and blood body (UGK) instead of sitting behind your keyboard, safe from those you criticize, those people as they are? I am sure you could film the entire event and we could make our own judgement, after all you are all for exposing the truth, are you not?
You have also recently reported that you have tried yourself and had similarly negative response –
Respondent, re: money (No 58, No 53), 18.2.2004
What point you are making in continuing to challenge us to do that which is not possible?
We have also had face-to-face discussions with spiritual teachers and Realized Beings on several other occasions but on all occasions they refused to engage in a sensible dialogue and several subsequently posted warnings to their followers to stay away from actualism and actualists. It is clear that spiritual teachers are among the least interested in, and most antagonistic towards, actualism as they have the most to loose in terms of their status and livelihood should they dare to turn their backs on spiritualism.
I’d much prefer to dialogue with those fellow human beings who are open-minded about actualism than waste my time talking to those who are already close-minded due to the feelings of aloofness that inevitably accompanies a permanent altered state of consciousness.
As for the validity of actualism, you have already had a glimpse of the fundamental simplicity and straightforwardness of actualism and its relevance to those who might be open-minded to its inevitable consequences for peace on earth.
Because of actualism’s radical nature it will not and indeed cannot be taught to children by rote. Those adults who wait and hope for the next generation to demonstrate that is possible for human beings to live in peace and harmony are merely following the age-old tradition of passing the buck.
RESPONDENT: Do you have something better to do than to face the living you are throwing stones at? Are you hooked on comedies as well and sitting behind your keyboard? You say you are dedicating your life to this whole thing, why not take a little road trip and further your studies?
PETER: I am not ‘throwing stones at’ either U.G. Krishnamurti or any other spiritual teacher, be they dead or alive – I am simply pointing out the inherent flaws of the spiritual teachings and of the very state of enlightenment itself, no matter who presents it and whatever form it takes.
I’ve done my ‘road trip’ to the East and discovered first-hand the failings of spiritual teachings and the experienced first-hand the duplicity of spiritual teachers. I’ve sat at the feet of more than a few God-men and delved into several teachings sufficient enough to know that the whole pursuit of spiritualism is passé.
There is nothing to be found in searching through the dustbin of history, finding a discarded belief or philosophy, dusting it off and re-running with it. It will become, and indeed is already becoming, increasingly obvious to the astute seeker that only a radical new approach will actually bring an end to human malevolence and sorrow … and that is the total elimination of human malevolence and sorrow.
PETER: 3,000 years of well-meaning effort by billions of people give proof to the failure of the traditional methods to end suffering and violence in human beings. I decided to give something new a whirl and am simply reporting that it works. It is a fact that the ‘tried and true’ doesn’t work.
RESPONDENT: It is very clear that every belief system may lead to suffering. Many have said that in the past and everybody criticized everybody else from the past (for example U.G. Krishnamurti). Hundreds have pointed to being here-and-now. Many have said: Don’t look at my finger but see the moon for yourself and ‘there is no path’. Many Poonjaji-related people are spreading the message of ‘instant freedom this moment’. If, as you say, ‘tried and true’ doesn’t work then either you believe that your system is not true or you are saying it is true and so obviously it will not work (as a ‘packaged method to be followed’, ‘an instant beyond enlightenment pill’). Can you point out how the actual-ism is different from any other here-and-now-ism?
PETER: Yes, I saw many similarities between what Richard was saying and what the spiritual Gurus were saying (or anti-Gurus in the case of U.G). Both point to the ‘self’ as the problem and that its elimination will result in freedom. The problem is that the self is both a psychological entity – who we ‘think’ we are – and a psychic entity – who we ‘feel’ we are. In the East, freedom is freedom from the psychological self (‘mind’ is a common word used), and the personal identity shifts to the ‘heart’ resulting in an enormous self-aggrandizement wherein one becomes God or at One with God. So the ‘self’ in fact survives – to become the ‘Self’. One then lives in a psychic, imaginary world of bliss, wonder and Universal Love. This is most definitely not the actual physical world, and an astute study of all spiritual writings will attest to this. Look for clues such as any words with capitals – like ‘That’, ‘Truth’, ‘Universe’, ‘One’, ‘Existence’ etc (read as ‘God’), any talk of an ‘inner’ world (read as imagination), any talk of spirit, essence, Atman, true self (read as that which survives physical death) and any words such as absolute, universal, cosmic, oceanic, moon, (read as heavenly realm).
Actualism is firmly based on what is actual, factual, physical, sensate and sensible as opposed to ethereal, imaginary, affective, spirit-ual and based on ancient wisdom and tradition. See ‘Time-Chapter’ of my journal for a description of the spiritual here-now as opposed to actually being here.
Do you remember the scene from the Life of Brian when he is queuing up and the guy asks him in for ‘crucifixion?’ or ‘freedom’? and he says ‘freedom ... no, just kidding!’
I liken it now to the question ... ‘Enlightenment?’ ... and most will opt for the traditional.
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