Selected Correspondence Peter
(a Pragmatic, Methodological Virtual Freedom)
RESPONDENT: Hi folks, I was initially going to ask this just of Peter it equally applies to any who are willing to reply, and who consider themselves in a state of virtual freedom. How is virtual freedom going for you? Do you still find yourself making much progress these days despite 99% perfection?
PETER: I remember some 9 years ago designing and building a house for a client on the beachfront of the small country town I live in. The owner was well pleased with the job and invited myself and all the other workmen on the job to a barbeque meal in the courtyard of the finished house. As I looked around I was struck by the fact of what a good job it had been – nobody had been injured on the job, everybody had been promptly paid for their efforts, everybody had enjoyed working on the job, the client was well satisfied and the house worked very well as a holiday house. I was also struck by the fact that the success of the job was largely due to my putting into practice all of things that I had discovered by trial and error to be the essential priorities in the process of building – basically that the worksite be as safe as possible such that nobody is injured, that everybody gets paid for their work and that working on the job was an enjoyable experience, i.e. that the people employed are interested in doing what they do.
I was well pleased, as was everyone else at the gathering that night, not only because the end product was admirable but because the hour-to-hour process of building the house had been enjoyable for all involved. What came to mind was ‘this is as good as it gets’ and as I reflected on this afterwards it became clear to me that I had come to the end of the road with building houses – there was no more to learn, no more to discover, nothing more to put into practice – all I was confronted with in continuing on was ‘more of the same’. It had taken me twenty five years to get to this stage and getting there involved unlearning a good deal of what I had been taught at school, a lot of trials and many errors, a persistence in not mindlessly following the latest fashion or falling into line with the ways of others and a constant desire to always see the bigger picture as it were … and yet a few years later I found myself retiring from active building work and focussed on the more leisurely activity of design work.
The reason I am relating this experience is that I find it analogous to my experiences in the next pursuit I undertook after retiring from building work – wanting to become actually free from the human condition. At the start I found the whole issue personally confrontational to say the least, not to mention an utterly audacious proposition. Despite this I found myself inexorably drawn into making being happy and happy and harmless the most important thing in my life. Once I did this my previous comfortably numb life was literally turned upside down as I began to become aware of dark feelings that were lurking inside, of my hypocritical ‘good’ persona that I presented to others and ultimately of the fact that, deep down, inside ‘I’ was as mad, as bad and as sad as the rest of humanity.
The first years of throwing myself head long into actualism were, in hindsight, tumultuous indeed because ‘I’ was ultimately on my own in my trial and error efforts – exactly as I had been when I left the comfort and security of my parents’ nest and struck out for myself by myself into the world at large, only this time I was leaving the ‘comfort and security’ of the biggest of all ‘nests’ – humanity itself. I won’t go into more detail about these early years as I have written of them in my journal, but like all journeys and all explorations eventually one comes to an end point … in the same way as my life as a builder did.
RESPONDENT: I would be fascinated to hear what types of practices you do beyond HAIETMOBA, what types of progress you make, if any.
PETER: The whole point of asking oneself ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ was to overcome my inherent lack of attention as to how I am experiencing this very moment, the only moment I have ever been able to experience being alive, the only moment I can ever experience being alive, and the only moment I will ever experience being alive.
By remembering to ask myself the question, I was for the first time in my life starting to focus my attention on being here and subsequently upon how I am feeling about being here, right now. I recently related it as narrowing the focus of my attention down – firstly to this, my only life, by progressively eliminating any of the spiritual fairy tales of a ‘life’ after death and then to this very moment, the only moment I can actually experience being alive … all by the utterly simple process of remembering to be aware of how I am experiencing this moment.
It is a struggle at first as I, like everybody else, had a lifetime’s ingrained habit to overcome – the habit of wallowing in past memories, daydreaming, tripping off into fantasy worlds, settling for being comfortably numb, indulging in philosophical discussions or concocting future scenarios and then vicariously living them out in my own imagination. But once I got the gist of becoming aware of what was happening in this moment and how I was feeling about what was happening … or not happening if that was the case … in this moment, I soon came to the stage where this awareness became so automatic that I could not turn it off and then I could no longer escape from the fact that this is the only moment that I can experience being alive.
So to answer your question, there is nothing ‘beyond HAIETMOBA’ – bringing one’s attention to how one is experiencing this moment of being alive – focusing one’s attentiveness on this moment of being alive is both the means and the end to an actual freedom from the human condition of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: I suppose I am very much reminded of Richard’s journal entry (excuse the paraphrase) that it was after six weeks of experientially considering ‘what am I in relation to other people?’ that he achieved actual freedom – rather than HAIETMOBA itself.
PETER: If you re-read the passage in question you will find that the reason Richard asked what turned out to be a seminal question (for him) was that Richard, the identity was apparently ‘putting out’ some – dare I say it – vibes to another person such that the other person wanted to become his disciple. It’s not that ‘he’ asked himself ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ – it’s that ‘he’ was constantly aware of how ‘he’ was experiencing this moment … so much so that this very awareness ultimately led to ‘his’ demise.
RESPONDENT: Are you fully committed to achieving an actual freedom?
PETER: Of course … I was fully committed the moment I fully devoted my life to becoming happy and harmless.
At the start of the process of actualism the means to becoming free from the human condition is to be as happy and as harmless as one can be in this moment and the end goal is to become actually free form the human condition.
I never separated one from the other at the start because for me they were inseparable.
RESPONDENT: I have not fully committed to achieving an actual freedom yet. But I have fully committed to achieving a virtual freedom at least.
PETER: Is not a full commitment to a partial success by definition only a partial commitment to total success, and if this is the case surely the best outcome would only be partial success? Whilst partial success is not be sneezed at in that you do get to live a life that is way, way beyond normal human expectations anyway, I personally set my sights higher than that right at the start.
RESPONDENT: Many people have pointed out the fact that no one but Richard has achieved an actual freedom yet – but I think they fail to realise (1) that virtual freedom must be pretty damn pleasant anyway and (2) fully committing to an actual freedom means going beyond a lot of fear, no doubt moments of raw unadulterated fear but also a subtle lingering fear.
PETER: If I had taken heed of the naysayers and had settled for forever remaining an instinctual ‘being’, I would never had had the gall to set off down the path to becoming actually free of the human condition which, in hindsight, means I would never have become virtually free.
RESPONDENT: I expect there could be a lingering hesitation for anyone who achieves a virtual freedom. I mean let’s face it, a virtual freedom is probably like having one’s cake and eating it too... a position usually considered too good to be true.
PETER: Indeed. But what I have more and more discovered is that, whilst prior to becoming an actualist ‘I’ was constantly anywhere but here and anywhen but now, I now find that the ongoing attentiveness I found so hard to get going at first has now becomes so effortlessly automatic that there is no escaping the fact that this is the only moment I can experience. This has lately led to glimpses of what I call the ‘end’ joke – that I have unwittingly been a player in a game, a very real game and an instinctually vicious game, but a game nevertheless and that only by coming to my senses can I be free of ‘being’.
As you would know, having glimpses and having realizations is one thing, actualizing them is another.
RESPONDENT: Furthermore, it’s no one else’s business whether one is hesitating, and the sad fact is that there are people on this list just looking for ammunition to continue attacking actualism. But from one practitioner to another, I am curious how it’s going for you.
PETER: One of the first things I learned as an actualist is that other people’s business is their business and the only business I need be concerned about is my business because the only person I can change, and indeed need to change, is me – if I really want to become free of the human condition of malice and sorrow that is.
RESPONDENT No 60: Well, the big problem seems to be that the experience can’t be imparted. Without the experiences there are only ideas, suggestions, clues. To be fair to the intellectualisers, it’s pretty hard to understand what is implied in a PCE without having experienced it. And without that, none of this verbiage, however colourful, is worth the bandwidth.
PETER to No 60: Thus far there have been people who have recalled having had a PCE and yet have turned away from actualism and there have been people who have not recalled having had had a PCE and yet have been sufficiently attracted by the common sense inherent in actualism to have stuck with it to the point where their investigations into their own psyche in operation have provoked a spontaneous PCE. Remembering having had a PCE apparently does not necessarily translate into having the necessary intent to become happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: One last note to ‘this verbiage’ Peter, did you write this in a PCE?
PETER to Gary: I remember when I first read Richard’s Journal I had to read it very thoroughly and repeatedly in order to understand exactly what he was saying, and when I did, it was as if I was struck by thunderbolts of common sense, or realizations, or flashes of pure thinking unfettered by any beliefs, ethics, morals, values or passions. This was not the spiritual Truth I was reading, but the facts of how to become free of the Human Condition. My life-long longing for peace on earth meant I could not turn away – this was an opportunity to be seized with both hands. I needed to find out not only for myself, but for the many others I knew who longed for peace on earth, whether this worked or not.
I certainly knew what was possible from my pure consciousness experiences – glimpses of the vibrant sensuous purity and peacefulness of the actual world we live in. I eventually came to realize from these experiences that it was ‘I’ who stood in the way of the 24 hrs. a day, every day living of peace on earth.
The process of actualism happens in two consecutive stages – firstly a period of deliberate active dismantling of one’s social and instinctual identity such that you diminish this identity to the point where you are virtually free of malice and sorrow. This reasonable stable plateau is known as Virtual Freedom, whereby one is happy and harmless for 99.9% of the time. Virtual Freedom, with the bulk of the active work having largely been done, is a period of becoming accustomed to living in increasingly long periods of near self’-lessness. In this stage, apart from a few remaining issues and investigations, one’s social and instinctual identity, or ‘self’ – who I think and feel I am – has increasingly nothing left to do but to get out of the road. Eventually the ‘self’ becomes so thin and ethereal as to be understood, recognized and eventually unequivocally experienced as being non-substantial, i.e. non-actual.
The permanent experiencing of ‘self’-lessness is to be actually free of malice and sorrow – you then have arrived, sans ‘self’, permanently and irrevocably in the actual world. (...)
GARY: There is one more thing that I would like to ask you about though. In a previous post (I tried to find it in the archives but could not find the exact passage), you stated that you had had recently a glimpse or a preview of Actual Freedom, and that it occurred to you to mention that one would have to be considerably well prepared to ‘self-immolate’. I responded to you from that previous post, but skipped over this section entirely and then, after I sent the post off, found myself wondering just exactly what you had gone through. So it has occurred to me to question you about this experience you had:
PETER: In the period leading up to Virtual Freedom I had many realizations and many PCEs in what was a fairly tumultuous period. It was as though my familiar normal/ spiritual world was collapsing and any pure consciousness experiences literally felt as though I was entering another world, which the actual world is compared to ‘my’ reality. These PCE offer a glimpse of the human condition while standing outside of it, as it where, and the trick is to not only experience the delight of the actual world but also take a clear-eyed look at the appalling malice and debilitating sorrow of the human condition. Thus informed, I always had something to do when entering back into ‘my’ reality.
The next period of Virtual Freedom was largely concerned with removing any of these residual feelings that create the gulf and that stand in the way of a permanent pure experience of the actual world. In Virtual Freedom pure consciousness experiences are more like glimpses of normality, as in ‘I have always been here, it’s just that this ‘person’ keeps getting in the way’.
In both these stages I always knew that the PCEs that crept up on me were temporary experiences and that eventually they would imperceptibly fade away and some neurosis or feeling would creep in, no matter how subtle or how fleeting.
However, twice during this period of Virtual Freedom, I have had experiences that were more explicit in nature. In these PCEs I clearly and startlingly realized that in order for me, this body, to permanently experience actuality, ‘me’, this identity, would have to die or disappear entirely.
The experience I recently wrote about was of the same ilk, I simply walked through the sliding door one morning out on to our balcony and had a glimpse of how it would be if there was no way back to being normal. I remember thinking – ‘this is how it must have been for Richard when his whole psychological and psychic identity collapsed and he had no way back’. I understood then the nature of his angst at being the first human on the planet to have no psychological and psychic identity whatsoever – to have no ‘self’ dwelling inside his body.
The latest experience on our balcony was very brief and the automatic fear and subsequent thrill took my breath away for a second or two before the realization of the nature of the experience kicked in. The fear quickly passed as I began to muse on the consequences of what I had experienced. From this experience I realized that what I needed to do was to slip out from control, now that I had sufficient practical experience of the utter safety, purity and perfection of being here, sans identity, in this actual physical tangible world.
Since then more often than not, whenever I ask myself ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ I do not get an ‘I’ - answer for there is no ‘I’ operating in this moment. A similar thing would occur whenever someone asked me, as a greeting, ‘How are you?’ – I could muster no ‘I’-answer for the answer was always that I was excellent as a near ‘self’-less experience is always ambrosial. Another thing that has happened since this experience is that I have no interest in, or desire for, realizations any more. It is clear to me that the time for realizations is over and I am now ready for the real thing – the final ending of any ‘self’ centred thoughts or inner conversations and the final ending of the entire affective faculty, i.e. the end of the chemical flows that are automatically experienced as instinctual passions.
PETER: The next period of Virtual Freedom was largely concerned with removing any of these residual feelings that create the gulf and that stand in the way of a permanent pure experience of the actual world. In Virtual Freedom pure consciousness experiences are more like glimpses of normality, as in ‘I have always been here, it’s just that this ‘person’ keeps getting in the way’.
GARY: I can gather your meaning here. Yesterday I felt possessed by the resentful entity. It would be nice to get away from this chap’s clutches. Fortunately or unfortunately, this chap is ‘me’.
PETER: I admit to being a touch reluctant to expand on my experiences in my period of virtual freedom, lest you became a seeker of experiences rather than a diligent seeker of irrevocable tangible change. I like it that you seem to have your feet firmly planted on the ground, although at times you may well feel this is not so. The only way to get to Virtual Freedom is to persistently whittle away at the beliefs, morals, ethics and the extremes of the passions that give substance to ‘me’.
There are no shortcuts to this process – and who would have it any other way than to earn your own freedom by your own efforts. (...)
GARY: How long have you been experiencing what is called Virtual Freedom?
PETER: The writing of my Journal firmly set me in a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow. By the time I finished writing it I had a very good understanding of the human condition, both in general terms and, far more importantly, how it operated in me. This information I initially gleaned from Richard’s words and experiences and then I verified each understanding by my own investigations and directly by my own experience. At the end of some eighteen fairly tumultuous but utterly fascinating and fun-filled months, I was able to say with utter confidence and no bullshit that I was virtually free of malice and sorrow and that my social identity, in particular, was in shreds. The extremes of the debilitating passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire had disappeared and whenever unpropitious, overwhelming or debilitating feelings arose they were quickly and thoroughly investigated and I got back to at least feeling very good, and more often than not, feeling excellent.
The reason I was able to say I live in Virtual Freedom was that I had road-tested actualism in that most difficult of arenas, constantly living with another person. In my case I found I was now able to live with a woman in utter peace and harmony, with no disagreements, no power trips, no resentments, no secrets, no desire or need to change the other, no gender war, no feelings of dependency or need for independency – something I have not seen in any other relationship I know of, or have read of. Add to this I experienced an intimacy which, although not yet complete, was beyond my wildest dreams anyway and is vastly superior to what passes for relationship between men and women – the bondage of compromise or the initial feverish torture of love, its inevitable waning and the recriminations of failure. Add to this a sexual freedom which, although not yet complete, was beyond my wildest dreams and you probably get the picture as to why I not only live in Virtual Freedom but also why I am no slouch in extolling its delights and benefits.
PETER: It’s good to hear you say this as well. I take being virtually free from malice and sorrow for granted nowadays even though being almost free from these passions is unparalleled within the human condition. And what I especially like is that while a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow is unparalleled it is in no way preciously unique as we can both swap notes about a common down-to-earth experience based on the application of the same straightforward method.
GARY: I cannot say that I ‘take for granted’ this freedom. Perhaps I still feel like a relative newcomer to this ... after all, you have been at this much longer than I have. There seems to be nothing ‘granted’ about it ... it has occurred with much hard work, and I feel I am reaping the rewards. Maybe I am not understanding your meaning here.
PETER: The reason I say I take being virtually free from malice and sorrow for granted these days is that it is extremely rare that I am not happy and it is extremely rare that I am of harm to others. Again I use a PCE as my benchmark. I know from these experiences that when a human body has no social/instinctual identity whatsoever ‘inside’ it – no ‘I’ or ‘me’ to rule the roost – then a human body has neither sorrow nor malice, exactly as a tree or cloud is neither sad or angry.
Having now done sufficient work and expended sufficient effort to reduce the substance of ‘me’ to a point where any of the myriad feelings of malice and sorrow almost never occur ‘I’ now take virtual freedom for granted. ‘I’ have become redundant as it were, ‘I’ have done my job, ‘I’ have swept the cupboard as clean as I can of the morals, ethics, values, beliefs, psittacisms and passions that make up ‘me’. It’s high time for ‘me’ to finally let go of the controls as it were and exit stage left.
In a PCE it is patently obvious that there is neither malice nor sorrow in the actual world – that the actual world is already-always peaceful and perfect, always has been, always will be, is right now. As the actualism method begins to gather its own momentum, one edges closer and closer to living this peacefulness and perfection – not as an ‘I’ feeling sanctimoniously peaceful, but as an on-going understanding that only ‘I’ stand in the way of the ‘self’-less sensual experiencing of the peacefulness and perfection of the actual world. This is why I take being virtually free from malice and sorrow for granted these days.
Having said that I realize that there are those who will read these words and who will want to experience such peacefulness before they have done all they can to become happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. Those who do so will risk following the traditional path of denial and fantasy and, instead of becoming actually free of the human condition, will opt for the traditional ‘self’-aggrandizing escape from grim reality – the delusion of Enlightenment.
As Richard says, the only risk in using the actualism method is that one might well become Enlightened – and avoiding this is where the pure intent arising out of one’s own pure consciousness experience of the perfection and purity of the actual world comes to the fore.
PETER: You recently wrote a post to everyone on the list and I would like to comment on a few of your statements as well as directly address a few of your questions.
RESPONDENT: I don’t want to become an actualist but a free, happy and fully autonomous human being.
PETER: This is rather like saying, I don’t want to be a materialist but I want to be a rich, famous and universally-envied human being, or I don’t want to be a spiritualist but I want to be a rich, famous and universally-worshipped God-man (or Goddess). I am somewhat bemused that so many people who profess they have an interest in actualism – the method by which to actually become ‘a free, happy and fully autonomous human being’, to use your words – have an aversion to the word actualist.
I simply see it as a useful label. I was a materialist for the first stage of my life until I gave it up because I found it be wanting. I then became a spiritualist for the next stage and eventually found it wanting. Then I came across actualism and became an actualist. I even use the term practicing actualist to make the point that I don’t hold it as a philosophy – a nonsensical thing to try and do – I am putting it into practice.
I can only speculate as to why people have an aversion to the word actualist. It would appear that many confuse the autonomy that is on offer in actualism – I am what I am, this flesh and blood body as distinct from other flesh and blood bodies – with the real-world independence – as in ‘I’ am ‘who’ I am, and to hell with anyone else. And most people are so world-weary that they cannot understand that calling oneself an actualist is a descriptive term and that it does not imply being a member of any of the competitive and hierarchal groupings that typify all the materialist and spiritual associations between human beings.
Or maybe it is simply a sign of a refusal to commit to being an actualist – having a full-blooded commitment is seen as foolishness by many.
RESPONDENT: The question is: Can Peter and Vineeto still live in a virtual freedom for let’s say a month, without practicing actualism? If not, then someone is in control there creating its actual world. Maybe an actualist I.
PETER: A pure consciousness experience is evidence that this flesh and blood body is effortlessly jovial and benign when ‘I’ am not around to continually stuff things up. By practicing the actualism method I have got to the stage where I am virtually free of malice and sorrow, which means that it is only very rarely that ‘I’ and my problems and passions interject such that my happiness and harmlessness is momentarily disrupted. Any such aberrations are of minor consequence and in no way spoil my sensual delight in being here in the world-as-it-is with people as-they are.
As you would know, whilst I make no claims to being actually free of malice and sorrow, I have no hesitation in recommending a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow to anyone who is interested – it is to live beyond human expectations. (...)
RESPONDENT: Seems to me like an artificial paradise you two have created, like the one advertised on the tourist booklets.
PETER: Ah! Far, far better than that. The paradise I live in is not artificial, it is actual and I now have an almost constant sensual appreciation of that fact. And further to this, I would now have the same sensual appreciation no matter where I lived on this luxuriant and cornucopian planet. I have simply chosen to live in the best bit of the planet I found in my travels – I voted with my feet to find a place I prefer to live, as millions of migrants do every year on the planet.
As for ‘you two have created’, I presume you are referring to the fact that we live together in the same flat in utter peace and harmony, 24/7. This is not a mutual creation – the fact that I live this way with Vineeto is testimony that the actualism method does work in that I am now virtually free of malice and sorrow, which means that I am a pleasurable companion to live with. And I can attest to the fact that Vineeto, also being virtually free of malice and sorrow, is a delightful companion to live with – we have none of the disputes, disagreements, altercations, withdrawals, retreats, estrangements, holding-backs, holding-ons and time-outs that typify normal relationships.
In short, I am every moment reaping the rewards of my full-blooded commitment to living with a companion in utter peace and harmony.
RESPONDENT: What would happen if Peter and Vineeto would end their relationship and start a new one with a non-actualist? Would they have the same 99.9 happiness 24 hours a day / 7 days a week with their new business man/woman?
PETER: Of course. My happiness is not dependant on who I live with. It was serendipitous that the last companion I chose to live with was someone who was also interested in ridding herself of her animosity and her misery, but my happiness is an autonomous happiness that comes from the inherent sensuous pleasure of being alive in this paradisiacal actual world – no matter where I am in this moment, no matter whom I am with in this moment and no matter what I am doing or not doing in this moment. Living with a companion is a bonus on top of this on-going happiness and being able to partake of the intimate delights of sexual play with a willing companion is a bonus on top of that bonus.
RESPONDENT: Virtual freedom (99% happy and harmless) seems to be achieved by some of the current actualists, yet I wonder would 100% not be a completely different ballgame.
Just a thought.
PETER: If you are acknowledging that the incremental process of eliminating one’s social identity and instinctual identity seems to be successful, then I take this as good feedback. I, for one, daily reap the rewards of my own efforts – which only leaves me wondering why the majority of people, who have so far come across actualism, either ignore it, sit on the sidelines or vehemently reject it.
As for ‘a completely different ballgame’ – personally I find the experience of being 99% happy and harmless to be extraordinary compared with how I was when I was normal or spiritual.
RESPONDENT: Is it not so that one is either part of humanity or not part of it?
PETER: No. The process of actualism is incremental – you progressively extricate yourself from humanity by progressively eliminating the beliefs and passions that bind you to humanity. Becoming free of the human condition does not happen effortlessly in a blinding flash of light – an actual freedom from malice and sorrow is earned by one’s own efforts, otherwise one would end up being obliged to, or grateful to, Something or Someone for one’s freedom. You could hardly call such a state of bondage freedom, though many do.
The bottom line of being virtually free of malice and sorrow is that 99% is not 100%, but 99% is a darn sight better than zilch. Unlike the all or nothing approach of spiritual freedom – either becoming so deluded that one feels like God-on-earth or humbly surrendering and accepting that life on earth is essentially a suffering existence –actualism delivers the goods incrementally – one becomes incrementally free of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: ‘I’ realize the delusion of community but can the delusion become aware of itself?
PETER: Most have too much invested in their escape into the spiritual world to be aware of what is actual and the Truly Deluded are beyond being aware of their delusion, as in ‘Above and Beyond’. An actual freedom is up to you and you only – that is both its purity and its perfection.
RESPONDENT: Any ideas? Workshops without the tried and failed God, guru or ego-centred methods?
PETER: Well, I personally have no interest in ‘changing the world’. The Human Condition is unchangeable – it simply needs to be abandoned for it is rotten to the core. The only people I could possibly help would be those who are interested in changing themselves. And even then, all I can do is relate my personal experience and success at applying the method to becoming free from the Human Condition.
Having said that I also have the ‘sheep in the field’ theory. I see everyone as ‘sheep in a field’ busy doing what they have been told to do and programmed to do – fighting with each other and being miserable. One sheep manages to break free and finds that he can be happy and harmless but it does mean he is no longer a sheep and he is on his own. A few other sheep look over the fence and see that this sheep is having a good time on his own – he suffers not, quite the contrary he is having a bloody good time of it. So, a few more break out and as even more break out a momentum builds up, as it seems more and more silly to stay with the fighting, feuding miserable herd. But it’s always a free choice – whoever wants to break out can – you just have to be willing to pay the price of leaving the herd.
So my ‘breaking out’ means freedom for me and it encourages others by proving it is possible and adding to the numbers on the other side of the fence.
It’s a win, win and more win situation.
Perfect, in fact.
Like all analogies and metaphors, the story is a little flawed for one does not ‘escape’ from it all into a ‘next field’ but an actualist mixes, mingles, works with and lives with, one’s fellow human beings as-they-are in the world-as-it-is. The trick is to do this while being free of the shackles of feeling and being part of a group – of needing or having a social identity. The next level is to be free of being blindly, obsessively and instinctually driven to impassioned acts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that give rise to malice and sorrow. For this to happen one needs to have lived a virtual freedom in the world-as-it-is with people-as-they-are in order to gain confidence that one can stop being a being who is instinctively on-guard or ready – and eager – to attack one’s fellow human beings.
This confidence, surety and experience also means, when the moment of self-immolation occurs, one will not instinctively grab for the delusion of freedom – feeling one is free rather than being actually free. The simple check is that those who merely feel themselves to be free are inevitable ‘up themselves’ and passionately feel themselves to be so, so superior that they truly believe themselves to be God-on-Earth. It is a ‘sincere’ and commonly held delusion, given credence both by Ancient Wisdom and impassioned feelings – but a delusion never the less.
So, I find myself sitting on a cusp – irrevocably locked into the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are, and perpetually locked into this moment with no ‘other place’ to escape to and no ‘other time’ to escape to. Experiencing that the only impediment to perfection and purity is ‘me’ – ‘who’ I think and feel I am – whatever is selfishly going on in my head and heart and that is often very weird, very strange. But, then again, this is a very weird thing to do – to re-wire one’s brain to the point of self-extinction. Something has to give in this tension and it is bound to be ‘me’. It seems to me that one can make sense of the Human Condition such that one can be virtually free of it but ‘making sense’ then has to be abandoned for direct sensate experiencing.
So, at the moment, this is enough of a ‘workshop’ for me. But there is no doubt that I am interested in different aspects of the path to freedom than Richard, will make different contributions, will write and do different things. As will Alan, and whoever else manages to get off their bums, or out of the lotus position, and does something about the Human Condition as it is manifest in themselves. I am currently putting together a PowerPoint audio visual computer presentation that will give a simplified introduction as to what Actual Freedom is on about. Richard is prolifically writing on the Krishnamurti mailing list, Vineeto is doing wonders with the Actual Freedom Trust website and Alan is establishing an actualism ‘toe-hold’ in Europe. The field for innovation, individual contribution and initiative is wide, wide open. The scope is limitless, the opportunities endless.
So, I am not discouraging you – quite the opposite, my experience is that you will find the experience of investigating and communicating invaluable. I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm and writing as it gives me an opportunity to enthuse and write as well.
After all, naiveté beats cynicism, communication beats silence and being an actualist in the world-as-it-is with people as-they are beats escaping to an ‘inner world’ – by much more than a country mile.
RESPONDENT: Richard states that if he were locked in a prison with nought but bread and water, it would not affect his happiness and harmlessness one whit. I suspect that he is not blowing smoke, based on everything else he has written.
PETER: Not that he would choose to do so, or be so silly as to get himself into a situation where he had broken the law of the land. But yes, he is not blowing smoke. Both Vineeto and I have observed him very closely over a period of 6 years and he is what he says he is and he does what he says he does. You don’t need to believe me that this is so because everyone has had a glimpse of what Richard says he is – a flesh-and-blood body sans identity – and how he experiences being alive, because everyone has had at least one self’-less experience of the utter purity, the consummate stillness and the peerless perfection of the actual world. In other words, it is possible to verify what Richard is saying by your own experience – there is no need to rely on belief.
RESPONDENT: However, as one who lives in virtual freedom, did you find that the conditioned and/or instinctual passions re-emerged to some degree? Your statement perhaps hints at such. Did anger still rear its head?
PETER: I make no claims whatsoever that a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow is an actual freedom from malice and sorrow. The comment I made about ‘dipping back into the dog-eat-dog world of business recently’ was not meant to indicate that I went back to participating in the battles that inevitably go on, it was rather that I had an in-my-face reminder of why I exited the battleground all those years ago.
I was surprisingly unaffected by the emotional goings on that people went on with, but I was occasionally perplexed by the level of both covert and overt animosity that human beings feel towards each other. By deliberate choice, I have been living in effortless harmony with another human being for so long now, I am somewhat bewildered that other people not only find it impossible to do so, but that many aren’t even interested in making the effort to do so.
I always took consideration for one’s fellow human beings to be a given.
I suspect that this is why I found actualism irresistible.
PETER: This process, if undertaken with a sincere intent, will inevitably lead to a state of virtual freedom. One then goes to bed in the evening knowing that one has had a perfect day, and knowing that tomorrow, without doubt, will also be a perfect day. Unless one is willing to contemplate being happy and being harmless, virtually free of malice and sorrow, 99% of the time – then forget the whole business. The challenge of virtual freedom is to be the best one can be – to mimic the perfection and purity of the actual as much as one can while remaining ‘human’ – an alien entity and not a free flesh and blood body. Then, and only then, does one have the confidence and surety to step out of the real world and into the actual world – leaving one’s ‘self’ behind.
RESPONDENT: Now I’m getting worried Peter ... ‘to mimic the perfection of the actual...’ is that what it’s all about? There’s no real possibility to manifest freedom on the planet so we have to do the next best thing; namely pretend that everything is perfect and then eventually we might stumble on the real deal. Is this something equivalent to spiritual practice!?
PETER: A poor attempt at a bluff. This is clearly not what I am indicating, nor what is on offer. Did you conveniently ignore the ‘then and only then’ bit as a way of avoiding –
You’re obviously getting worried for your objections are getting sillier, pettier and more frantic the further this post goes. You even manage to shoot yourself in the foot with this argument by belittling the spiritual practices that you have previously been busily defending in this post. May I suggest a little more careful aim in the future?
It’s a tough business defending the indefensible, for any belief, by its very nature, is ultimately indefensible. No wonder the final fall back position is that the Truth cannot be put into words or it cannot be explained – for such is the nature of fervent belief and blind faith, both are indeed beyond comprehension, sensibility and sanity.
RESPONDENT: And how can we know that the next day and the day after will be perfect even when we’ve left ‘the self’ behind? It might in fact be a total disaster and we might become extremely depressed or whatever. Is the ultimate state really to be perfectly happy all the time?
PETER: You can’t know until you have experienced the perfection and purity of the actual world in a pure consciousness experience. If you have already and can remember it then you and I both know that your question is yet another furphy. But if you steadfastly believe that human existence is meant to be a suffering existence then you will forever cut yourself off from finding out.
The key to the ultimate ‘self’-less sate of purity and perfection is to maintain an equal focus on the ‘harmless’ bit of becoming happy and harmless, for one can never be happy unless one is harmless. This harmlessness is an unconditional harmlessness in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are – not hiding away in some spiritual community of like-believers, run on strict moral and ethical codes in order to keep a lid on undesirable behaviour. Actual harmlessness is not an ideal, as in pacifism, but comes from having no identity or person ‘inside’ who can feel offended, feel attacked, who is constantly and fearfully on-guard and ever-ready to defend or attack.
RESPONDENT: But maybe you’re talking about the foundation for happiness first and foremost and not the actual experience. It would be very unrealistic, I think, to imagine perfection as constant sensatory bliss, if that’s the case then I surely see the need for mimicking life instead of actually living it. This could potentially be the ultimate delusion, a way to create a fairytale and not living in any world other than one’s own fantasy and imagination.
PETER: As I said, unless one is willing to contemplate being happy and being harmless, virtually free of malice and sorrow, 99% of the time – then forget the whole business. From your objections to my statement it is obvious that you find it impossible to contemplate that you, as-you-are, would be willing to sacrifice enough of your ‘self’ to even get to this state.
Do you think that a change as radical as becoming actually happy and harmless happens by some blinding flash of light, that it is an effortless achievement that requires that you do nothing? Even on the spiritual path those who have success build a foundation of spiritual experiences and assiduously practice transcendence. The same applies for any achievement or goal in the real world.
For anyone interested in becoming actually free of malice and sorrow, it is obvious that unless one is willing to contemplate being happy and being harmless, virtually free of malice and sorrow, 99% of the time – then forget the whole business.
RESPONDENT: I can contemplate being harmless but not happy 99% of the time, my view is more that we’re basically the same person (after the breakthrough) but with different priorities and greater confidence in our ability to live a sane and harmless life. Just as enlightened teachers can’t be perfect as they claim neither can one who reaches the ‘self-less state’ be perfect. There’s always going to remain some conditioning and sense of identity. The third way seems to be a powerful alternative to spirituality (now I’m bringing in spirituality again, sorry) and much more down to earth, but I don’t think it’s leading to perfection. It can help (along with other forces) to make this world a better one but I’ve stopped believing in ONE way that can save us.
PETER: It sounds to me that you are saying you have stopped believing that peace on earth is possible for No. 10, in this lifetime. I find it useful to keep this conversation personal and pointed, lest we get off the rails. Our topic is peace on earth and you do seem to agree that the only person you can change is you, you are not interested in spiritual freedom, so we are talking about peace on earth, for you, in this lifetime.
RESPONDENT: Well Peter, there’s not much more for me to say, you are in control of your dream. You too have the ability to allow contentment, peace of mind when you are doing whatever it is you do. You can even allow the world to be worldly... all the options still exist, but an option is not the same as a promise. Options come with personal responsibility.
PETER: Firstly, I do not dream any more, nor do I have any need to as the actual sensate experience of being here in the actual world far exceeds my wildest dreams anyway. Secondly, I don’t allow contentment or peace of mind, it is my on-going experience 24hrs. a day, and I get to do pleasurable things like eat superbly tasting food, enjoy delicious sex whenever I want, watch TV, type letters, etc. The options I exercise, apart from doing what is sensible, is usually around where to eat lunch and when to have sex. Apart from these few I find myself fully occupied in doing whatever I am doing at this moment. Living fully is an activity that involves me to such an extent that there is simply no room for any ‘self’-centred thoughts, feelings, or instinctual emotional responses.
Option implies choice, and yes I certainly exercise choice based firmly on what is silly and what is sensible, what is a fact and what is merely a belief, what works and what doesn’t work. It takes the angst, doubt and fear out of choice and is magically freeing. I don’t even have to ‘feel’ responsible any more given that I am no longer malicious (hence no guilt, shame or repentance arise) nor am I sorrowful (hence no sadness, compassion or resentment arise).
RESPONDENT: Let me get this straight. Are you saying you have no feelings, emotions or instincts?
PETER: The amazing thing about running ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ as opposed to being a ‘watcher’ to this moment of being alive is that one is inexorably drawn to eliminate anything in the way of one’s own happiness in this moment – the only moment I can experience being alive. If I was happy ten minutes ago, it is of no consequence if I am not happy now. If I am not happy now, then I have something to look at, something to root around in, something to discover. Inevitably the root of my unhappiness will be some belief or psittacism (parrot-fever), some instinctually driven pattern, that is causing me to feel fearful, angry, melancholy, peeved, guilty, resentful, etc. And searching, finding, investigating, understanding, contemplating upon and realizing will have the same effect as one does when one shines a light in a dark corner – all becomes startlingly clear and obvious, and eventually the feeling, emotion or instinct withers and dies, never to return.
It is a scary process, for these feelings and emotions are ‘who’ we ‘think’ and ‘feel’ we are – one is demolishing one’s very ‘self’. This is the reason that most people will firstly deny that it is possible to eliminate them, (much, much safer to merely watch one’s ‘self’ and cultivate a superior spiritual Self) or if they do allow the possibility that it might just work – they ‘head for the hills’.
When I met Richard I remember thinking ‘What if he is right?’ and ‘What if it works?’ It would mean the end of ‘me’, extinction, finished.
But I figured I was on a search to find freedom, in this lifetime, as this body, and if this was the cost – so be it. The alternative was more of the same, obviously second-rate life, or going back into the spiritual to search where I had already looked fruitlessly for 17 years.
After all, the definition of a lunatic is someone who endlessly keeps doing something despite the fact that it doesn’t work.
So, yes. The last time I was angry was some 2 years ago and the last time anyone got me upset was 18 months ago. I can’t remember the last time I was sad, and even melancholy has disappeared from my life. I actually enjoy being alive, and in the last 12 months have come to like my fellow human beings – and not to react to them out of fear (with its partner – aggression).
After all – to be happy one needs to be harmless, to be harmless one needs to be happy.
This process of eliminating feelings, emotions and instincts one does oneself – one does not wait for some mythical Divine intervention. Hence it is essential to rid oneself of the belief in a God, an after-life, an Existence that is ‘looking after you’ ... all an ‘escape route’ for the very ‘self’ you are aiming to eliminate to stay in existence.
Only when one has done all one can do eliminate one’s very ‘self’, when one lives in a virtual freedom, is it possible that a final, and irrevocable, death of the psychological and psychic entity – a self-immolation – will occur.
This virtual freedom – obtainable by anyone, given sincere intent – far exceeds the wildest dreams of what is possible to experience as a human being, as I have described in my journal.
So, I hope this gets it a bit straighter for you. I know it is difficult, if not downright inconceivable, that everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong. It took me months and months, but I always remained ‘open’ to the possibility that it might be the case. And it sure explained a lot that was wrong, and why after all that time and diligent effort spent on the spiritual path, I could not honestly claim to be either happy or harmless.
PETER to No 13: Look, all I am saying is that the facts, the results, don’t stack up with the beliefs and hopes.
What I now live as an actuality 24 hrs. a day, every day, no matter what I am doing, or not doing, far exceeds anything that I have experienced or know is possible to achieve through meditation. I live in the actual physical world and nothing churns in my head or heart. There is direct sensate experiencing that is magical, fairy-tale like, perfect and pure. Colours are vivid, hearing is multi-layered, tastes are sensational, touch is exquisite, interactions with people are invariably delightful, events are serendipitous. The brain is capable of astounding clarity, I can communicate directly with others and reflect on my actions and thoughts. An innocence is readily apparent that has only been wished for before in humans and is beyond my wildest dreams.
This is far superior to Enlightenment. This way you get all of the benefits of Enlightenment and none of the down-sides such as power, delusion, being a Saviour of others, having to spread the message, having disciples follow you, celibacy, ... to name a few.
But you can’t get that by clinging on to any beliefs at all – we are, after all, talking about an actual freedom, a freedom from all the Ancient Wisdom. That appears to be the tough bit, but it is only fear that stops us trying anything new.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.