Glossary E – F
dictionary definition and accompanying description by Peter ...
ego –– Metaphysics. Oneself, the conscious thinking subject. Psychoanalysis. That part of the mind, which has a sense of individuality and is most conscious of self. Self-esteem, self-importance; a person’s sense of this in himself or herself. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The sense of self, seemingly located in the head, is composed of the rudimentary animal self which is then overlaid with the social identity imposed since birth. Who you ‘think’ you are. The ego is wrongly assumed to be the total self, whereas it is only half of it. The other half, the soul, or who one ‘feels’ one is and felt to be located in the heart, is given substance by the instinctual passions and subsequent hormonal surges. It is the soul that, up until now, has been held as too ‘sacred’ to question, let alone dared to be eliminated. The Eastern insistence on eliminating only half the ‘self’, the ego, while giving full credence to the other half, the soul, leads to a narcissistic shift of identity whereby one can ‘realize’ one’s true identity – the ‘Self’. Huge problems then ensue as yet another God or Goddess is realized, to peddle yet another ‘unique’ and ‘profound’ version of the same old God-story with the newly Self-Realized one as the latest star on the block.
The other foolishness inherent in the Eastern insistence on eliminating the ego is that the source of malice and sorrow was wrongly imagined in ancient times to be evil spirits or wrong thought, whereas modern research and scientific study has confirmed the instinctual programming of the primitive brain as the seat of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. This instinctual programming is experienced as emotional passion and, at its core, is felt as the soul, or sense of being. It is feeling with its roots in instinctual passion that is the reason that humans find it impossible to live together in peace and harmony – not thought as the ancients imagined. To hobble intelligence, as does the Eastern practice of mindless dismissal of sensible thought, is to avoid the main issue.
It is only with the elimination of both ego and soul, the ‘self’ in its entirety, can we be free of malice and sorrow and their fanciful, imaginary equivalents – Divine Anger and Divine Compassion.
emotion –– A physical agitation or disturbance. Agitation of mind; strong mental feeling. Any of the natural instinctive affections of the mind (e.g. love, horror, pity) which come and go according to one’s personality, experiences, and bodily state; a mental feeling. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The root core of human emotion is the instinctual program of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, instilled by blind nature to ensure the survival of the species. This operating program is almost constantly functioning, sensing and monitoring both real and imagined dangers, and perpetually gives rise to a complex range of feelings – feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts. These emotions are upheld to be natural and indeed they are. Given they are part of the same instinctual package, fear and aggression are as natural to humans as are nurture and desire.
Usually we divide emotions into groupings of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and try either to repress or deny the bad ones – fear and aggression – while giving full vent and validity to the good ones – nurture and desire. Unfortunately, this attempt to curb fear and aggression has had no lasting or substantial success, as is evidenced by the all the wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, corruption, suicide, despair and loneliness that is still endemic on the planet. Good and evil, Love and hate, compassion and selfish indifference, etc. come inseparably in pairs as is testified by the continual failure of humans to live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony. Eastern religions point to the essential duality of the human emotions but, by assiduously practicing denial and transcendence, merely create a Grander vision whereby they, the God-men and women, become earthly representatives of the ‘Divine Good’ and do battle with the ‘bad’ and the Diabolical, thereby merely perpetuating the whole sorry saga.
Up until now, no one has dared to attempt the elimination of not only the instinctual emotions of fear and aggression, but nurture and desire as well – the whole of the instinctual programming. It was always imagined, and reinforced by a blind adherence to Ancient Wisdom, both Eastern and Western, that it was only the ‘good’ that kept the ‘bad’ in check and prevented us from running amok. This well-meaning experiment of repressing, denying or transcending the ‘bad’ instinctual emotions has been tried for some 5,000 years and has proved a resounding failure to bring anything even remotely resembling peace on earth.
Better to be rid of the whole package of instinctual emotions – for something extraordinarily magical lies in the direct sensate, sensuous and sensible experience of the purity and perfection of the physical universe.
enlightenment –– The action of mentally or spiritually enlightening; the state of being so enlightened. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Upheld in the Eastern religions as the ultimate state of Godliness that is possible to be achieved by a human while remaining ‘in the body’. Contrary to popular belief, the Enlightened Ones are not without a sense of self ; they merely shift their identity from ego to soul, from head to heart, from little self to big Self. The Enlightened Ones become kings of the psychic world, their powers derived from the surrender and unquestioning devotion of their disciples. In actuality, enlightenment is a massive delusion wherein one is convinced one is God or ‘at one’ with God. In the West, before the recent fashion for all things spiritual, anyone declaring themselves to be God would have been locked up or given psychiatric help, but now the Enlightened Ones are held in awe and reverence. With the possibility of eliminating the total identity, both ego and soul, the venerated state of Enlightenment and the exalted profession of Guru are now doomed to extinction, and those who have deliberately inflicted this psychic aberration or Altered State of Consciousness on themselves will be clearly seen as narcissistic megalomaniacs.
Peter: The first definition is the actual ; the latter the wishful and imaginary hope of a ‘self’ being fearful of death . The fact of time being eternal – without a beginning or an end – has produced some of the most convoluted thinking and imagination known to humankind. The fact so boggles the minds of scientists that they are forced to invent all sorts of spurious meta-physical theories, such as ‘space-time continuums’, ‘bent time’, ‘black holes’, ‘cyclic time’, ‘time reversing universes’, etc. rather than acknowledge the fact. The mystics and shamans ply similar other-worldly theories, lapped up by those souls eager for their message and desirous of securing a ticket to ‘eternity’, some mythical dwelling place of their ‘eternal souls’. For scientists, the fact of eternity negates the myth of a creation-event for the ‘beginning’ or a doomsday-event for the ‘ending’ of the physical universe . For the mystics, the fact of eternity negates the myth of a creator-God, a doomsday-God, or a Greater Eternity.
Eternity allows no before time, no after time or no other time – an uncomfortable fact for an alien entity trapped within a mortal flesh and blood body to acknowledge. The only direct experience of the eternal nature of time is that experienced in the PCE, and the experience is so overwhelming that it is usually misinterpreted in spiritual terms.
The experience of time in a PCE is one of being fully alive, here, now, without the time-line continuum of any emotional memory of the psychological and psychic entity that is usually interpreting this moment of being alive. With no past or future as ‘I’ normally experience ‘my’ life as consisting of, there is only this moment to experience. It is impossible to experience the moment just passed and it is impossible to experience a future moment – for when it comes, it will be this moment. This is not to deny the passage of time or the movement of the clock or the sun in the sky. The physical universe is eternal and yet is happening only at this moment of time.
This experience of the immediacy of the actual, eternally existing only in this moment, is corrupted and personified by those suffering from an Altered State of Consciousness into a feeling of Timelessness. The Deluded Ones imagine that they, and not the universe, are eternal, giving rise to the impassioned feeling that they are Immortal – in short, not a mortal flesh and blood mortal being, but a God.
The experience of being located ‘in time’ – of being only able to experience this moment of being alive – is to directly experience both the eternal and infinite nature of the universe. Without a ‘self ’, one is always here and it is always now.
ethics –– A set of moral principles, esp. those of a specified religion, school of thought. The science of morals; the branch of knowledge that deals with the principles of human duty or the logic of moral discourse; the whole field of moral science. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Ethics and morals are the basis of the laws that various societies and religions impose on its citizens and followers in order to try to curb the worst excesses of instinctual malicious behaviour. Ethics generally refer to what is regarded as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, while morals deal with ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
Many people in each generation, seeing the failure of ethics and moral principles, have set out to question and examine the ‘flawed’ ethics of the previous generation firmly believing some noble and significant advance is being made in a quest to find the answer to the human dilemma. Thus, we lurch from one ‘ism’ to the other, swing from one hoary ideal to the next, dust off yet another ancient concept that has already proven useless and proclaim it as ‘the Solution’. The New Dark Ages comes complete with its own set of ethical platitudes which are but the same old ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of generations passed, dressed up in current clichéd jargon. Ethics remain firmly in the ‘nice idea, but ...’ category. To live one’s life believing the ethical rules of others as to what is considered right and what is considered wrong is the antithesis of freedom. Surely it is time to try a new approach to the ‘nice idea, but ...’ failure.
With diligent questioning and factual investigation it is possible to replace the banal ethical rules of right and wrong with a common sense classification as to what is ‘silly’ and what is ‘sensible’. This simple classification allows a freedom from the society’s imposed restraints of conforming, ‘fitting in’, being ‘right’, ‘toeing the line’ or the opposite of not conforming, rebelling, being ‘right’ and ‘protesting’. This same ruthless questioning of ethics, morals, values, traditions, beliefs and psittacisms will inevitably lead one to be free from instinctual malice and sorrow – free from the very need of ethical and moral restraint.
Then, in a single bold action, one steps out of Humanity, out from the control of others to an actual freedom in the actual world. One then becomes autonomous, unique and anonymous – free from the Human Condition.
evil –– Wickedness, moral depravity, sin; whatever is censurable, painful, malicious, or disastrous; the evil part or element of anything. A wrongdoing, a crime, a sin. The evil people. A disaster, a misfortune. A disease, a sickness Oxford Dictionary
Peter: In ‘normal’ society we are socially trained to be good and have good feelings. As a back-up when the ‘good’ fails we have laws, lawyers, psychiatrists, police, fines, jails, armies, etc. to stop the ‘bad’ feelings from running amok. The spiritual solution is to pump up the good feelings to become divine feelings resulting in feelings of superiority, grandness, oneness and wholeness which, if practiced assiduously, leads to the feeling that one is indeed Divineness Itself.
Rajneesh says ‘Unconsciousness is evil and consciousness is Divine’ which is nothing other than the Eastern version of Western morality of good and bad.
Good and bad (or conscious and unconscious) is as pathetic a division of instinctual passions as is right and wrong a pathetic division of social values. Human beings actually fight horrendous wars over these divisions. The initial stage of Actual Freedom involves investigating these socially and spiritually implanted morals and ethics in order to discover what lays beneath – the genetically implanted instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
Of course, there is no Divine or Diabolical, bliss or despair, malice or sorrow or any of the instinctual passions in the actual world. All these feelings and beliefs, ideas and fantasies exist only because they are the psychological and psychic machinations of a wayward identity within the flesh and blood body. These feelings may well be real, and are felt to be so because of the chemicals that surge through the human body from the reptilian brain … but they are not actual, as in existing in the physical world.
evolution –– The development of an animal or plant, or part of one, from a rudimentary to a mature state. Any process of gradual change occurring in something, esp. from a simpler to a more complicated or advanced state. A process by which different kinds of organism come into being by the differentiation and genetic mutation of earlier forms over successive generations. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: There is no evidence of any significant evolution in human behaviour in the last 40,000 years since Cro Magnum’s seeming leap forward. Despite the tangible benefits of vastly improved health, safety, food supply, shelter, comfort, transport, communications, education, etc. the Human Condition is still epitomized by malice and sorrow – exactly as it was for ancient Cro Magnum. Technological advances have simply allowed modern humans to fight with nuclear bombs and cruise missiles instead of spears and arrows. Despite the scientific investigations and factual knowledge of the human body and the physical universe we still believe in, worship, and fear good and bad spirits .
To call this technological progress evolution is to bury one’s head in the sand – or stick one’s head in the clouds – and deny the extent of malice and sorrow on the planet. Although it is hard to see anthropology as a precise science, the evidence of the intelligence levels of so-called ‘stone-age’ tribes found in the last centuries clearly indicate they were mentally capable, given suitable training, of being able to fly a jet plane, or use a computer. This intelligence in the human brain has resulted in enormous technological advances over the centuries, with the information and communication revolution of the last 50 years being amongst the most spectacular. These developments now make available to modern humans a global view of the human species and the Human Condition that supersedes the narrow tribal, ethnic, traditional, and limited territorial view of the past centuries. The time is now appropriate and perfect for humans individually to devote themselves not to fighting for survival but to becoming happy and harmless – free of the survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire .
The ancient evolutionary change that apparently resulted in the formation of the neo-cortex addition to the original primitive brain in homo-sapiens has now played its course. We have now reached the stage where technological advances have made the survival instinct, located in the amygdala or primitive brain, not only redundant but an out and out danger to the very survival of the species. The next evolutionary step is the enforced redundancy of the amygdala and its survival programming – an actual freedom from instinctual fear and aggression.
Actual Freedom is the method to bring about that next evolutionary change.
fact –– What has really happened or is the case; truth; reality: in fact rather than theory, the fact of the matter is; something known to have happened; a truth known by actual experience or observation: scientists work with facts. Oxford Dictionary
To experience the factuality of the ending of ‘being’ whilst this body is still breathing is of the utmost importance, if one is to penetrate into the ‘Mystery of Life’ and discover the ultimate fulfilment ... here on earth. To come upon a fact, all that is fiction must be stripped away. All Sacred Cows must be mercilessly exposed to the most extreme scrutiny, nothing or no-one being exempt from critical examination. Common usage has blurred the distinction betwixt fact and belief so much so that anyone using sufficient sophistry can get away with anything at all and still be considered wise these days.
Religious teaching brainwashes people into believing nonsense instead of observing facts and actuality. For most people seeing a fact means betraying their belief ... thus they are rendered incapable of seeing it. One of the ways of ascertaining whether a ‘truth’ is a belief or a fact is that a belief demands loyalty; you give allegiance to it and to the group that espouses it. If you have more than one belief it causes difficulty, as your loyalties can be torn apart. You can feel chaotic, not knowing which belief is ‘true’. It makes you very insecure ... at moments like that you wish that there were one person who could tell you what to do and what not to do ... what to believe and what not to believe. You desire some Big Daddy or Big Mummy to tell you what is ‘Right’ and what is ‘Wrong’. Most people try to resolve their different beliefs through compromise. Two people, holding on to their own beliefs, will get into an argument, a fight. They are separate. One is always trying to get the other to believe in their own belief through manipulation and persuasion ... and by giving or withholding love. The one who is stronger, the most adept in this, wins the other over. As neither can stand separation, they will grab any means to come together – even if this means mutual concessions, or the swapping of one’s belief for the other’s. Seeing that both beliefs are irrelevant, by virtue of the fact that they are beliefs anyway, they can dissolve completely. Then there is nothing to resolve, the problem itself is eliminated. Hence a permanent lack of conflict. With the absence of belief there is no more power battles over whose belief is ‘Right’. Separation is no more ... equity prevails. The result is actual intimacy between autonomous individuals.
Just because something is an experience in common, it is not necessarily factual. If something is communally experienced it is said to be objective and it is automatically implied to be true. If one is said to be objective it is taken as an accolade; whereas by being subjective, one is said to be prone to bias, to error. If no-one was bold enough to say that the accepted ‘truth’ is a mistake, then the sun would still be revolving around the earth! In the face of public opinion, one needs to be bold to question the collective wisdom and find out for oneself the fact of the matter. One of the best ways of doing this is to see that something held to be true is not working. Instead of vainly trying to make it work through intellectual dishonesty, one takes stock and applies lateral thinking. One needs to be audacious to proceed where no-one has gone before – and trail-blazers are often castigated for their effrontery. Fancy being ridiculed or ostracized for ascertaining the facticity of something ... for establishing a fact.
The criterion of a fact is that it works, it produces results. An insight is seeing the fact. When one sees the fact there is action ... and this action is the actualizing of the insight so that one’s personality is changed, irrevocably.
faith –– To trust. Confidence, belief. Confidence, reliance, belief esp. without evidence or proof. Belief based on testimony or authority. What is or should be believed; a system of firmly-held beliefs or principles; a religion. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Just reading the definition is enough to question why anyone would continue to have faith in any God, Truth or Authority to bring peace to earth when they all have failed after thousands of years. Much more sensible to abandon the need for faith based on belief, hope and trust and go for an actual confidence based firmly on facts and actual sensate experience.
fear –– The painful emotion caused by the sense of impending danger or evil. Apprehension or dread of. In for fear (of), in order to avoid the risk (of). A feeling of mingled dread and reverence towards God. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Fear is the core instinct in animals and human beings directly linked to the instinct of survival. There is no fear in the actual world – there is no fear in a flower, a tree, a coffee cup. Only sentient beings experience fear, and for human beings this fear is experienced both psychologically and psychically. We ‘feel ’ fear in ourselves and in others, and feel fear of other humans. In the face of danger or risk the body instinctually produces a rush of chemicals such as to better deal with the impending danger. Unfortunately when ‘I’, the psychological and psychic entity inside the body, feels psychologically or psychically threatened or fearful (almost constantly, in most people) the resulting chemical surges triggered produce the feeling that the fear is actual. It is real, as evidenced by the chemical surge, but it is not actual . The distinction is clearly made when physical danger is encountered such as while driving a car. The response to the danger is so rapid that the foot is on the brake and the car is stopped before the ‘feeling’ of fear (rapid pulse, thumping chest, etc.) is felt, usually a second or two later. The feeling of fear in humans is an affective response. Psychological and psychic fear is a feeling not a fact and as such can be eliminated. To live without fear, while sensibly being careful of the inherent dangers of crossing the road, goading a fanatic or parachute jumping, is a freedom and delight not to be missed.
Much interesting research is being done on the emotion of fear, its source in the brain and how it operates. To quote from one of the leading research institutes –
EMOTION, MEMORY, AND THE BRAIN: What the Lab Does and Why We Do It
LeDoux Lab. Centre for Neural Science. New York University.
Joseph LeDoux: The work of our lab has been focused on the neural system underlying the formation of implicit emotional memories.
We have used classical fear conditioning as a behavioural assay for studying emotional memories. In fear conditioning, the subject receives a neutral stimulus in connection with some unpleasant event. As a result of its past association with the unpleasant event, the neutral stimulus acquires the capacity of elicit protective reactions in anticipation of danger. If you were bitten by your neighbour’s dog yesterday, the sight of the beast today (and for some time to come) will certainly put you on guard, causing you, for example, to freeze dead in your tracks, or perhaps to run away, and will also lead to a host of physiological responses.
Using fear conditioning as a behavioural assay of the emotion humans experience as ‘fear’, it has been possible, through studies of experimental animals, to map out in great detail just how the fear system of the brain works. Although much of the research has involved laboratory rats, there have also been studies of a variety of other mammals. Remarkably, the results in all these species lead to the same conclusion. Learning and responding to stimuli that warn of danger involves neural pathways that send information about the outside world to the amygdala, which determines the significance of the stimulus and triggers emotional responses, like freezing or fleeing, as well changes in the inner workings of the body’s organs and glands. There is also evidence that the amygdala of reptiles and birds has similar functions. And recent studies of humans with damage to the amygdala, due to neurological disease or as a consequence of surgery to control epilepsy, show that our brains also work the same way. The implication of these findings is that early on (perhaps since dinosaurs ruled the earth, or even before) evolution hit upon a way of wiring the brain to produce responses that are likely to keep the organism alive in dangerous situations. The solution was so effective that it has not been messed with much, and works pretty much the same in rats and people, as well as many if not all other vertebrate animals. Evolution seems to have gone with an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ rule when it comes to the fear system of the brain. The things that make rats and people afraid are very different, but the way the brain deals with danger appears to be similar. We can, as a result, learn quite a lot about how emotional situations are detected and responded to by the human brain through studies of other animals.
Obviously, this is not the whole story of an emotion, especially not in humans. Once the fear system detects and starts responding to danger, a brain like the human brain, with its enormous capacity for thinking, reasoning, and just plain musing, will begin to assess what is going on and try to figure out what to do about it. This is when the feeling of fear enters the picture. But in order to be consciously fearful you have to have a sufficiently complex kind of brain, one that can be aware of its own activities. While this is undoubtedly true of the human brain, it is not at all clear which (if any) other animals have this capacity.
The point is that the so-called fear system of the brain is very old, evolutionarily speaking, and it is very likely that it was designed before the brain was capable of experiencing what we humans refer to as ‘fear’ in our own lives. If this is true, then the best way to understand how the fear system works is not to chase the elusive brain mechanisms of fearful feelings, but instead is to study the underlying neural systems that evolved as behavioural solutions to problems of survival. This is not to say that fear and other conscious emotions are not important, or that they should not be studied. They are important, but in order to understand them we may need to step back from their superficial expression in our own conscious experiences and dig deeper into how the brain works when we have these experiences.
Many of the most common psychiatric disorders that afflict humans are emotional disorders, and many of these are related to brain’s fear system. According to the Public Health Service, about 50% of mental problems reported in the U.S. (other than those related to substance abuse) are accounted for by the anxiety disorders, including phobias, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety. Research into the brain mechanisms of fear help us understand why these emotional conditions are so hard to control. Neuroanatomists have shown that the pathways that connect the emotional processing system of fear, the amygdala, with the thinking brain, the neocortex, are not symmetrical the connections from the cortex to the amygdala are considerably weaker than those from the amygdala to the cortex. This may explain why, once an emotion is aroused, it is so hard for us to turn it off at will. The asymmetry of these connections may also help us understand why psychotherapy is often such a difficult and prolonged process – it relies on imperfect channels of communication between brain systems involved in cognition and emotion. LeDoux Lab. Centre for Neural Science. New York University.
Actual freedom offers a method of incrementally freeing oneself from the debilitating influence of the amygdala in generating an almost ceaseless emotional fear in humans. The extinction of the psychic and psychological entity causes a mutation in the brain-stem whereby the amygdala is rendered incapable of functioning in its animal instinctual survival mode. Thus one is freed of the insidious grip of psychic and psychological fear as well as the associated instinctual aggression.
feeling –– Physical sensibility other than sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell. The condition of being emotionally affected or committed; an emotion (of fear, hope, etc.). Emotions, susceptibilities, sympathies. A belief not based solely on reason; an attitude, a sentiment. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The three ways a person can experience the world are: 1: cerebral (thoughts); 2: sensate (senses); 3. affective (feelings). The arising of instinctually-sourced feelings within the body automatically produces a hormonal chemical response in the body, which can lead to the false assumption that they are actual. Given that the base feelings are malice and sorrow (resentment, anger, revenge, jealousy, hate, etc. and sadness, depression, melancholy, loneliness, etc.) we desperately seek relief in the ‘good’ feelings (love, trust, compassion, togetherness, friendship, etc.). When the ‘good’ feelings fade or disappear – as they inevitably do after the disappointments of life, some people resort to the imaginary world of Divine Love, Gods and Goddesses to escape from or transcend the bad feelings. To live life as a ‘feeling being’ is to be forever tossed on a raging sea, hoping for an abatement to the storm. Finally, after a particularly fierce storm, one ties up in port to sit life out in safety or putters around in the shallows, so as not to face another storm again. We are but victims of our impassioned feelings – but they can be eliminated. Feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts and as such we can free ourselves of their grip upon us.
A Down-to-Earth Freedom from the Human Condition – Happy and Harmless in this Lifetime
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.