Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT: Do actualists view consciousness as epiphenomenon of matter?
VINEETO: Yes, for an actualist initially this view is based on down-to-earth common sense, a view which soon becomes obvious in one’s everyday experience, whereas spiritualists would have us believe that matter is merely an epiphenomenon of some disembodied ‘Consciousness’.
RESPONDENT: In this respect, then actualism is not different from materialism (that the universe is comprised of matter and the conscious phenomenon is a by-product of it)?
VINEETO: No. Actualism is an alternative to both materialism and spiritualism and in this sense 180-degrees opposite to the usual either/or alternatives within the human condition – either spiritualism or materialism. In essence materialism is the experience of a grim reality, as in ‘life is a bitch and then you die’ as distinct form spiritualism, which is an imaginary experience of a supposed ‘other-reality’. A materialist’s experience of matter is distorted and corrupted by the instinctual passions and life is experienced as a continuous struggle and a perennial competition with one’s fellow human beings.
In actualism I know that matter – the physical material universe – is pure and perfect and it is only ‘I’ who stands in the way of experiencing this purity.
RESPONDENT: Is that what you mean by ‘matter is not merely passive’?
VINEETO: No. Consciousness, the condition of being conscious – as in being alive, not dead, awake, not asleep, and sensible, not insensible (comatose) – is, as the definition suggests, a condition found in sentient beings, i.e. not all matter is conscious. As for a detailed description in what way matter is not merely passive I suggest ‘Frequently Asked Question No 54/2’:
RESPONDENT: I see what Peter is saying about the matter being circulated from inanimate to animate world continuously. Is that what he and you mean by matter is not merely passive?
VINEETO: In part, yes. Have a good look at your hand – do you notice how matter, your hand, is changing right in this moment? Blood circulates through the veins, calorific energy is absorbed and changed into moving-energy, tendons help moving the fingers, bits of your skin fall off, fingernails and hair grow and need to be cut regularly, the skin can heal over a cut and so on.
Whilst it is obvious that animate matter is not passive, what is rarely appreciated, let alone experienced, is that inanimate matter is not merely passive. The minerals and gases that are the very substance of the universe are not inert as in static, immutable, unchanging, rather they exist in perpetuus mobile and this is the quality of matter that one can experience as a sensuous vibrancy and an immediate intimacy in a pure consciousness experience.
Another point worth making is that it is fashionable in some quarters to make a distinction between things that are natural as in unmodified by human beings and things that are unnatural as in modified by human beings – hence wood is deemed to be natural, aluminium unnatural, Aloe Vera is deemed natural and antibiotics unnatural. A little thinking reveals that this distinction is disingenuous as all of the things that human beings make are made of the matter that is this planet, and hence none of it is unnatural, foreign or alien.
In order to experientially understand this you only need to reach out and touch the computer with your hand whilst reading these words and you can experience that the plastic/ silicon/ metal/ glass object is as ‘not merely passive’ as is your hand. Contemplation reveals that this object is fashioned from minerals of this earth; it is the same stuff as the hand that is touching it. And if you are wont to take it a step further you may well experience the fact that the separation between your hand and the monitor can magically disappear such that a sensuous intimacy can occur … particularly so if you bring your awareness to the finger tips where the touch is actually occurring as opposed to where the intellectual and affective interpretation of touch usually happens.
RESPONDENT: The post below from Richard talks about an ‘aliveness’. Is that a complimentary interpretation of ‘matter is not merely passive’?
VINEETO: It is not an interpretation, but the description of his ongoing everyday, every moment experience that matter is not merely passive.
RESPONDENT: I keep wondering about this because ‘actualism is defined (by Richard) to be the direct experience that matter is not merely passive’. So an actualist, by extension, is who has this experience... probably the PCE... and understands it.
VINEETO: An actualist is also someone who, based on a memorable experience that matter is not merely passive, dedicates their life to do whatever it takes to being able to live this magical experience 24hrs a day.
RESPONDENT: Can you elaborate on this aspect? Can you describe it further? What is the aliveness, magic you are talking about?
VINEETO: Given that there are no spirits outside the fervent imagination of passionate beings, can you understand that you *are* the matter that is not merely passive – and not only that, you are also matter that can marvel at its own existence?
Rather than trying to affectively feel or cerebrally (via thoughts) understand the magic and aliveness, you will be more successful when you begin to experience it sensately and sensuously for yourself.
RESPONDENT: Do you experience it whilst not in a PCE?
VINEETO: No. Whilst I nowadays feel excellent almost all the time, the magic only happens in a PCE. Sometimes it is so close that I can almost touch it, or smell it or sense it on the summer wind – but I never kid myself as I know that it only happens when ‘I’ let go of the controls completely (as in disappear) and allow it to happen.
RESPONDENT: Why choose this as the defining characteristic of actualism?
VINEETO: Ah, but it’s the other way around. When Richard became actually free and searched for a word that could best describe his ongoing experience of life he came across the word ‘actualism’ defined as ‘the theory that nothing is merely passive (now rare)’ Oxford Dictionary.
RESPONDENT: Do you think that it will be possible to assemble molecules in a laboratory to produce life one day? And nothing mysterious is going on?
VINEETO: As far as I know, scientists have yet to discover where and how inanimate matter transformed into animate matter on this planet but I have heard that some favour the notion that it may well have been undersea vents where the hot mineral-rich magna from the earth’s core meets the salty water of the ocean.
RESPONDENT: The materialism has it that the difference between animate and inanimate matter is that of complexity and constituents: both are essentially matter. Do you differ from this viewpoint?
VINEETO: From my everyday observations, the difference between animate matter and inanimate matter is far more than ‘complexity and constituents’. The processes that make matter animate – cell division, reproduction, consumption, digestion, movement, aging, death, to name but a few, are astounding … and the addition of the ability of animate matter to be conscious is absolutely astonishing … and further the ability of animate matter be conscious of being conscious is truly wondrous.
VINEETO: As to whether this, or any other animate-matter creating scenario can be duplicated in a laboratory one day I wouldn’t know, but given the astounding advances in biological knowledge and research of the last 100 years in particular it would be foolish to say no.
RESPONDENT: So, is a living thing an assembly of molecules and nothing else? In other words, ‘life’ is an epiphenomenon of matter?
VINEETO: Life is not an epiphenomenon of matter but is the very quality of animate matter. The physical universe is not inert.
RESPONDENT: Also if it is all a product of matter, can physics describe the dynamics of the evolution of a living being by a mathematical formula (albeit complex) one day?
VINEETO: Mathematical formulas are but a human concept, an anthropocentric attempt to define the universe by equations, models and principles, …
RESPONDENT: What do you think about Newton’s laws of physics? They are mathematical formulas describing the dynamics of mechanical objects. Problems like protein folding try to understand the components of living creatures from physical standpoint. So just like we can describe the dynamics of a jet plane by formulas, we maybe able to model a living being by formulas (though actualism is not about this, but I am trying to evaluate the consequences of the ‘matter is primary, the rest is secondary’ – please correct me if this does not represent your views).
VINEETO: Matter/energy is not only primary but it is all there is. That’s what makes it so magical. The universe is a physical material universe and there are no disembodied spirits anywhere to be found except in the hearts and minds of human beings who yearn for immortality.
Nor was the universe created according to humanly conceived mathematical formulas or models – such beliefs arise from the stifling anthropocentric thinking and self-centred feelings that continue to inhibit the possibility of clear thinking from operating.
VINEETO: … whereas my interest as an actualist lies in sensately and apperceptively experiencing this moment of being alive and delighting in this eternal and infinite universe in its abundant magical splendour.
RESPONDENT: Yes sure. You do not rule out thinking – factual thinking right?
VINEETO: Not at all – attentiveness on its own gets one no-where. It was the combination of attentiveness, contemplation and determination that got me out of the mess of my beliefs and the tangled web of associated feelings.
Here is how Richard describes this very essential ingredient –
RESPONDENT: Thus, the free will only being an illusion due to the absence of total knowledge?
VINEETO: As for free will – the whole notion of free will gradually become more absurd the longer one practices actualism and the more one becomes free of the human condition. The more one becomes free from malice and sorrow, the less the need for will – as in fight and struggle against societal impositions and instinctual compulsions.
RESPONDENT: I see what you are getting at. I was merely using the term ‘free will’ to indicate freedom... free choice.
VINEETO: Perhaps I can put it this way – when I came across actualism I realized that I was anything but free, i.e. I realized that the very notion that I had ‘free will’ or ‘free choice’ was nonsense. What I did see, however, was that I was now confronted by a simple choice – to stay as I was or to set my sights on becoming happy and harmless, no matter what the consequences.
VINEETO: What happens is that in the process of practicing actualism I am now much more able to make intelligent choices due to becoming free from my social conditioning and from being driven by my instinctual passions and in this process I discovered that my choices nowadays are not based on ‘free will’ but rather on acknowledging the facts of the situation and then making the best possible choice according to the given circumstances. Very often that means there is only one choice – the best. ‘T’would be silly to use ‘my’ free will to obstruct the best, wouldn’t it?
RESPONDENT: Yes. Let me correct my query: If the living being can be described by a mathematical formula, is freedom of choice an illusion?
VINEETO: The connection you are apparently making escapes me entirely. The description of a process, mathematical or otherwise, is not the process itself – or to put it simply, a thing is a thing, no matter what word or words are used to describe it or what mathematical formulas are used to describe it. As for freedom of choice, choice is always governed by the actual situation … and observation reveals that surprising little choice is needed, or is indeed available, in the everyday acts and circumstances that constitute being alive. To say it again for emphasis – when I acknowledge the fact, very often there is only one choice according to the given circumstances – the best.
RESPONDENT: (...) I had been musing on an (admittedly poor) analogy in tipping a waitperson in a restaurant. While using money as a medium for judgement is mildly abhorrent to me, it does make the server have a momentary good feeling. I do exist in a world of imperfect beings and I can choose to either follow my principles and piss off the waiter, or get off my high horse and do something that greases the skids for the immediate micro-culture. I guess that example constitutes a reasonable compromise.
VINEETO: I wonder why you say that ‘using money as a medium for judgement is mildly abhorrent to me’ when thinking about tipping a waiter or waitress? I have been working as a waitress myself and, although I enjoyed a good chit-chat with amicable guests, I much appreciated their tip because it helped paying for my bills. Today I am on the other side of the service contract and when I enjoy friendly service in a restaurant I am happy to contribute to the waiter-customer deal with a tip. I can’t see anything ‘abhorrent’ about this deal – after all, most of us sell our time, skills and services in exchange for money that pays for livelihood, toys and pleasures.
Whilst it is sensible to abide by the legal laws of the society you live in, whether or not you follow the social mores is a matter of choice. To make that choice a matter of principle on the basis of right or wrong, good or bad, can only lead to a surrender in the form of a begrudging acceptance or a victory in terms of a defiant belligerence. It’s my experience that ‘my’ principles stood in the way of me being happy and harmless which is why, whenever ‘my’ principles arose, I always binned them and looked for the sensible approach.
What you term ‘the immediate micro-culture’ I would call the fact that humans exchange goods and services with each other in order to earn a living. If I may say so, I would think your ‘high horse’ in this case is to consider yourself to be outside of this common-to-all necessity of earning a living, from which position you then ‘grease the skids for the immediate micro-culture’. In actuality I am part of the exchange game whenever I am in business with my fellow human beings and, given we humans all play the same game in order to earn a living I aim for a win-win situation for all involved in the situation.
It is not the fact that money is used in the exchange of goods and services that is ‘abhorrent’ but the fact that human beings are instinctually occupied in a ruthlessly-competitive impassioned battle for survival against each other. This is the basis of the deeply ingrained and instinctually-fuelled automatic reaction of judging the other as friend or foe, higher or lower in rank, useful or useless to my desires, and this is what I needed to address in me because this ‘self’-centred habit was continuously interfering with having a peaceful and equitable interaction with people.
RESPONDENT: I have some long-standing tax and credit problems, which I find make it difficult to free myself from identity issues. I owe tens of thousands in taxes and creditors and they want their money. I would appreciate any advice you have regarding dealing with pragmatics like debts and finances incurred before my interest in actualism. When I ask myself ‘the question’ regarding these matters, I feel angry and afraid that I will have a good part of my money taken from me and also have to do disagreeable jobs in order to rectify the situation.
VINEETO: When I became a practicing actualist, I found it vital to sort out the practicalities of living because I can’t be happy as long as I have debilitating financial worries and I can’t be harmless if I withhold other people’s money or property. As for ‘I will have a good part of my money taken’ – when you owe money to other people it is not really yours, is it?
Spiritualists attempt to spend as much time as possible in their imaginary feel-good world in order to escape having to solve the pragmatic problems of their life. An actualist wants to be here in this physical world as totally as possible and that focus precipitates and involves sorting out one’s day-to-day life in the most sensible and straightforward manner.
As for ‘disagreeable jobs’ – it is a fact for most people that they have to work for money for food, shelter and clothes. When you ask how you are experiencing this moment of being alive and find yourself objecting to the fact of having to do a certain job, then you know that there is something to look at. It was only by slowly whittling away at my objections to the facts of life – the facts of the world-as-it-is and people-as-they-are – that I have incrementally succeeded in becoming happy and harmless.
VINEETO: Did it [your version of the actualism method] enable you to become free from any aspects of your social identity – as a Dutchman, as a white man, as a son, brother, as a male, etc.?
RESPONDENT: The social identity I see basically as a collective belief as to what is appropriate and/or necessary behaviour as for protection of what is agreed upon to be a private space. Basically it comes down to a more or less strict definition as to what is criminal and non-criminal behaviour implies as a Dutchman that differs from ie. a German or a Japanese and so on … depending on the country’s beliefs, as to what law and order is and how it is to be maintained.
On the other hand what is funny and/or tragic is also rather much depended on how one’s conditioning in the nationalistic shell has been brought about. Clearly within this shell is a rather fundamental belief as to what part money plays in daily life and hence my way of going about this issue which is still under investigation as it only seems to become evident as a major aspect in social interaction most interesting btw.
VINEETO: I have learnt to differentiate between the practical value of money as a trading tool for different goods and the emotions surrounding money such as greed, jealousy, envy, competition desire and resentment. The feelings and passions associated with money are not – as many like to believe – the fault of money per se or of the capitalist trading system itself but are caused by natural forces – the instinctual survival passions instilled in every human being.
Money is an immensely useful invention that simplifies the comparison and exchange of services and goods. Only by introducing a commonly agreed upon monetary system was it possible to expand the trading from swapping goods and gossip with one’s immediate neighbour to a world-wide market of goods, services and technology.
VINEETO: Some time ago you commented to No 38 about something I wrote to him –
RESPONDENT: I for one get the impression that Vineeto is underestimating the (invisible) part that money plays in human interaction. … This sounds to me like a statement made in idealist modus. Yes, it is a fact that one could say we all are in the business of surviving in anyway at any cost, however to say that this is the name of the game, is to blur the line between business and privacy which is as far as I can observe rather sharply drawn by most people when doing business, that is when push comes to shove. To explain; business for making a livelihood, is strictly speaking for most of the ‘players’ far from a game, hence those who actually ‘play’ with and/or for money are very few most call this game working.
It is a fact that [money is used in the exchange of goods and services] is basically ‘an exchange’ with my fellow human beings. And also it is a fact that [human beings are instinctually occupied in a ruthlessly-competitive impassioned battle for survival against each other] hence whenever money plays a part one enters either the field of this [ruthlessly-competitive impassioned battle] while making deals. Or one is making compromises accepting money as a basically not fair and/or adequate (as it is now) belief-system based on reward and punishment accordingly to legal aspects and/ or ethical aspects of the local (national) situation.
I question that money is actual, in fact I think that it is a collective belief-system that apart from its being a collectively upon agreed tool, it also is a very personalized belief closely related to lifestyle and that’s where the friction part in human interaction is likely to occur as in essence money is a rather spiritual concept. I think that Vineeto may overlook, that though money cannot buy love, it seems to have become in many cases a more dearly held value then the belief in love thus a tougher to deal with aspect of the social identity at large.
VINEETO: When I began to examine the reasons why I was tense and serious whenever I was dealing with money and working for money, I quickly discovered that it was ‘me’, as a passionate identity, who was responsible for all of the ‘bad vibes’ around money. I discovered my anxiety of not being a success, my greed to acquire as much as possible combined with my resentment at having to work for it, my fear of being cheated, my competitiveness to get the best deal come what may and my general reluctance to relate to people in a straightforward manner and fair service-for-money contracts.
The issue of money is an excellent field for investigation for an actualist because it brings a whole range of morals and ethics to the surface for close inspection, not to mention the basic survival instincts that are activated when one is dependant upon money for sustenance and shelter. As you mention, one can also have a particular spiritual slant on one’s assessment of money such as – money is dirty, it’s the work of the devil, it’s lead weight for the soul, money corrupts, money stinks, etc, etc. But money itself is neither dirty nor evil – it is only made to be so by the fervent beliefs and passionate survival instincts of human beings.
Money – notes and coins – is unquestionably actual stuff and there is a common usage of money as an exchange medium for goods and services. When one begins to remove one’s rose-coloured and grey-coloured glasses – the good and evil spirits concerning money – one can experience that money is a simple straightforward tool. I also found I didn’t have to solve the problems that other people have with money in order to be able to use it sensibly rather than passionately – I only had to investigate my own emotions and beliefs in order to get rid of the aversion, tension and greed that money used to trigger.
Today my dealing with money is indeed a game – an utterly non-serious play, which in no way denies the necessity of having or earning sufficient for my shelter and sustenance. I delight in my paid work of putting order in people’s financial records – which is the adult version of ‘playing shop’ that I enjoyed as a girl. Peter recently pointed out that his work is playing the adult version of his favourite childhood game called ‘builder bricks’ – drawing houses and gardens for people in order to pay for his living and his toys. As for assessing how to spend my money, I found it useful to consider the time I need to work in order to pay for my necessities and then make a judgement as to how much more time I want to work in order to buy luxury items such as technical toys. This way common sense prevails over greed because time is my most valuable asset – time to do nothing really well.
I can highly recommend looking into all one’s beliefs and passions concerning money because, when they are uprooted and exposed, then dealing with money is but a trading game, utterly easy and delightful.
RESPONDENT: Like every person, except for the ones living in virtual or actual freedom, I am emotional when it comes to money. It seems like a good idea …
VINEETO: Personally I found it a better idea to discover why I was, and on rare occasions am, emotional when it comes to money. I learnt what originated my disdain for money (usually other people’s), what jump-started my fear of not having enough money, and what caused my desire for having more money/goods. Not surprisingly all these emotions about money arose directly from the instinctual survival passions which, when brought to the bright light of awareness, rapidly lost their intensity and their grip.
RESPONDENT: [It seems like a good idea] to establish an income that comes in with very minimal/no work so that if I become unable to work, I can still pay for what I need.
VINEETO: Your suggestion merely tackles the symptom (money) and not the root cause (the instinctual survival passions). Of all the people I know who are sufficiently well off to pay for what they need even if they stopped working, none have stopped being emotional about money.
RESPONDENT: My question is for those in virtual/actual freedom, what is the investment vehicle and strategy that creates this kind of income, that makes the most sense?
VINEETO: The ‘investment vehicle’ for me is to put my attention and effort into eliminating the cause of any worry about money and let my intelligence take care of the practical needs as and when they occur.
VINEETO to Gary: Last week I sent a letter to a German correspondent commenting on two newspaper articles that he had sent me analysing the latest events in the US. As I thought the topic might be of interest to you or others, I am posting the English translation on the list. For you, here is the link for the German version.
[Vineeto]: You sent me an article from Peter Lock, ‘Researcher for Peace and Conflict’, on the topic of ‘A Replaceable Figure’, ‘Politics Must Do More Than Hunt For Single Perpetrators’, which I found to be idealistic-ideological rather than pragmatic-practical. The author presents a number of well-known fashionable beliefs and ideas that have little to do with facts or common sense. For instance, he says –
I consider people who indiscriminately, and at any cost including their own life, set out to harm and deliberately destroy another group of people as a dangerous assembly, even more so in the latest case as they seem to have not only a strong following but also the avowed aim and the means to wage a war of terror. The behaviour and action of such a group, wielding such weapons as hijacked aircrafts laden with jet fuel, cannot be excused by anything, whatever may be the political situation in their country, the tenets of their religion, the ideals of their particular social/political philosophy or whatever injustices they claim to have suffered or how righteous they consider their cause.
In other words, if someone decides to hate me and attack me, I don’t have to understand the particular justification for his or her aggression in order to stop him or her. When someone threatens me I will call the police, whatever the aggressor’s reason or justification for his or her attack may be. It may be pertinent to note that throughout history the only thing that ultimately stops violence is more violence – which is why we have armed police and armies to maintain law and order. The system may not be fair on some but whilst human beings continue to nurse malice and sorrow in their bosoms, what passes for peace will be ultimately maintained at the point of a gun.
Peter Lock continues –
I don’t know what kind of economic development the author has in mind, but in contrast to popular opinion, my impression from the countless television reports that I have seen is that globalisation and world trade are enormously beneficial to economic improvement, particularly in developing countries. Economic globalisation often creates work and income in poor areas, brings information and technology into remote regions, supports productivity and innovation, improves communication and trade and gives a lot of people the possibility to earn more money and lead a more comfortable, healthy, pleasurable and safe life than their parents could have ever dreamt of.
In the developing countries, health and education can only improve with increased economic living conditions, and the tackling of the problem of overpopulation – one of the major reasons for hunger and poverty – is only possible through improved education, medical advancement and economic growth. Don’t expect any support from the religions in reducing overpopulation, as pure self-interest drives all religions to increase their numbers by all means. Religions are unison against any kind of birth control – one of the few points of agreement between the various religious beliefs.
However, apart from the ever-growing overpopulation in vast parts of the world, ‘the structural inability to overcome the hunger in the world’ is due to the fact that human beings are continuously and instinctually fighting each other for territorial, religious and tribal-political reasons. This grim battle for survival has gone on unabated for thousands of years – the only difference being it is now fought with much more sophisticated weapons and even more convoluted and pious moral arguments. And yet despite this continual vitriol and maiming and blaming of others it is amazing that at least one third of the world’s population lives in considerable wealth, relative security and enjoys the highly advanced technology that we are using today. It is pertinent to observe that all of the advances in civilizing the human species have come from the practical application of intelligence whilst all of the suffering of the human species has come from a senseless clinging to archaic beliefs, unliveable morals and ethics and a lauding of our instinctual animal passions.
Right now the same people that a little while ago were morally outraged about violations of human rights in Afghanistan are now morally outraged that the Americans are bombing the strongholds of the Taliban, the very regime they originally saw as suppressing the Afghani people. A little reading of history tells us that the Afghani people have been at almost constant war with each other and against their neighbours for centuries. Warfare, with its inevitable suffering and impoverishment is inherent to Afghan history in this barren mountain-desert region. As far as this country is concerned, the unvanquished ‘hunger in the world’ has nothing at all to do with a so-called ‘economic globalisation’ – for decades this country has never known anything but tribal wars and war and conflict causes more suffering and hunger than any other cause. According to a Red Cross estimate some one billion people were effected by warfare in the last half of the twentieth century alone.
As far as ‘the growing importance of violence to regulate economic operations’ is concerned, I don’t see that violence per se has increased but that information and media coverage about violence has improved. Peter Lock does not say relative to which time ‘violence to regulate economic operations’ has increased. Is he comparing today to the times of the brutish Viking invasions, the time when the Romans violently expanded into northern territories, when the Huns overran Europe, the time of the Hundred Year’s War or the time before World War Two? Since which time does the author think the violence between human beings has increased, which is what he seems to be implying? Human history is but a history of territorial warfare, violent conquest and asset raiding. Regulating of economic operations were almost always done at the point of a spear or sword whereas so much is done nowadays by negotiation and exchange of tokens. T’is often no less hard-nosed and ruthless but at least it is less physically violent.
It is fairly easy, one could say even hypocritical, to live in the comfort of a rich democratic, capitalistic nation and attack capitalism, world trade and ‘economic globalisation’ and make them responsible for all the evil of humankind. If, however, one puts aside one’s personal anti-capitalist beliefs and takes a closer look, then the facts of the situation are quite obvious. Money itself is not the problem. In a wealthy country most people’s life expectancy, comfort, health and physical security are usually superior to those in poorer countries. And yet even in wealthy countries the emotions of corruption, greed, righteousness, aggression, fear and competition – that most people consider synonymous with and can’t separate from money and wealth – invariably turn one’s own life and that of others into a living hell. To deny others the benefit of economic and social development via economic globalisation – the opportunity and ability to trade information and goods with others worldwide – due to this emotional misconception is a truly myopic and self-centred opinion.
In short Peter Lock, like countless others of his ilk, has got it 180 degrees wrong in his attempts to lay the blame for violence and suffering at someone else’s door.
Wouldn’t it be much easier, far more realistic and pertinent, to abandon the moral confusion and ethical pros and cons of assorting blame and apportioning guilt and conduct ‘research for peace’ on oneself instead of endlessly pointing fingers at others? Any sincere ‘researcher for peace and conflict’ worthy of his or her name could begin to investigate how it is possible to live with their fellow human beings in complete peace and harmony, be it at home or at work, no matter where they live or who they live with. A ‘researcher for conflict’ could begin to learn about and meticulously investigate the causes of conflict in himself or herself because the causes for conflict are exactly the same in all human beings – our inherent instinctual passions, our animal heritage.
Unless this instinctual animal heritage is acknowledged, recognized, investigated and finally eliminated, what passes for peace on earth between human beings can only ever be maintained at the point of a gun – with police, army and a strong justice system. It is not, as is commonly believed, the social, political or economic environment that makes people aggressive but it is our inherent animal-instinctual aggressive nature that can, when push comes to shove, explode at any time. Everyone knows such out-of-control impulsive moments from one’s own experience. Therefore it is completely useless to blame society – not to mention being practically impossible to change society – because the very people who would form the ‘new’ society would still be inevitably driven by their instinctually passions.
Peter Lock, Researcher for Peace and Conflict. An Exchangeable Figure. Politics Must Do More Than Hunt For Single Perpetrators. Frankfurter Rundschau 13.9.2001
[Vineeto]: The article from Dieter Lutz on September 22, 2001 in the Frankfurter Rundschau under the title ‘The Terrorist Attacks Are Also A Warning, Maybe The Last’ reads like yet another description of doomsday. Under the influence of his own emotional impression about the attacks on the World Trade Centre the author offers everything he always hated about the present situation in the world. He lays blame to western society, global warming, the exploitation of natural resources and the battle of the rich and powerful against the poor and weak. He conjures up major catastrophes, chemical warfare, the dying of the forests, the ozone hole and war over drinking water. The article reads like a description of Judgement Day as he mobilizes whatever fear and guilt he can. One could think from his tirade that he was happy that his personal enemies, the Rich and Powerful Ones, had received a severe blow from the terrorists.
In an atmosphere of promoting and maintaining the divisiveness of class warfare and ethical polarisation, theoretical political alienations and moral indignation conflict is only increased and further inflamed, not diminished or dissolved. The author is amplifying the worry and fear of his readers for his own political and emotional satisfaction in a rather irresponsible way when he says –
Which he then answers with Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker’s advice that –
And in his final conclusion Mr. Lutz explains how his world peace should look like –
Who, may I ask, will be the leader or leaders of this ‘world order’, who decides which ‘law’ of the ‘world order’ is being enforced, what are the rules of their ‘global home policy’ and who determines what is a ‘just peace’ and for whom it is just? Who are the powerful ones in this new ‘world order’? And what happens to the critics of this ‘world order’, people who criticize the new order – the next generation of Dieter Lutzes? I do find it amazing that those who have the greatest objections about the way societies are run today are exactly the ones who then propose their own global solution that is more unpractical and dictatorial than the one they see to be so disastrous.
[Vineeto]: I am glad that I don’t have the task to finding a political solution to ending violence and suffering because there is no solution to be had within the Human Condition. There is no general political solution, no permanent solution and particularly no world-order solution that will work to bring a genuine peace between human beings as long as people are driven by their instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Right now, however, there are only pragmatic law and order answers to be had to present situations and pragmatic solutions are best arrived at by putting aside beliefs and passions as much as possible.
My own solution to finding peace on this paradisiacal earth has been to become aware of my own social and religious conditioning and beliefs, my own ethical and moral values, and my own underlying emotions and instinctual passions. By becoming aware of all this programming that society and blind nature had inevitably thrust upon me I was able to incrementally bring them to light and thus render them impotent. The peace and tranquillity that is achieved in this way is independent from the society I live in, independent of any religious belief whatsoever, independent from the emotions of other people and therefore indestructible. Also, it is much easier, and indeed it is only possible, to change oneself to be a peaceful person rather than changing 6 billion people so as to fit them into a mythical new ‘world order’ of ‘just peace’.
The simple solution of getting rid of malice and sorrow is now available, applicable by anybody who is interested in being happy and harmless, right here on this very earth and right now in this very lifetime.
Artikel 2: Dieter Lutz. The Terrorist Attacks Are Also A Warning – Maybe The Last. Are We Standing On The Eve Of Destruction And Annihilation? / Dieter Lutz About Mistakes and Failures of the Rich and Powerful States. Frankfurter Rundschau 22.9.2001
GARY: Working full-time and having other interests undoubtedly plays a role in this, although I am sure that both you and Peter probably work full-time and somehow find the time to be both very consistent and involved in writing to the list, with brief periods of silence from time to time.
VINEETO: My present job as a self-employed bookkeeper allows me to work ‘in fits and starts’, not according to my whims but according to the requirements of my various clients. Some clients need weekly work but many only need a monthly or even a quarterly visit. But because the quarterly added value tax reports are due for everyone at the same time, those months are always very busy. Right now I am working full time but, come the end of July, I will have only half-time employment until the next busy season.
After I quit my full-time job some four years ago, I discovered that I could reduce my work time simply by reducing my expenses. In fact, the more I unravelled my social identity the less I needed to spend on fashionable accessories in order to be ‘someone’, and the more I became happy the less I needed to buy things to make me happy. To work for sufficient money to provide shelter, food, clothing and a few toys like a computer, a TV and running a small car still leaves me with a good deal of free time to enjoy doing nothing really well.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.