Glossary L – M
dictionary definition and accompanying description by Peter ...
Peter: When I read this I immediately thought of the most potent example of life that I have seen, which was an image of the formation of a human foetus.
‘The physical universe is infinite and perfect – the ‘stuff’ of the universe being defined as animal, vegetable and mineral. The ‘energies’ of the universe are purely the physical forces of the universe, regulating the ‘stuff’ of the universe. And I, as a flesh and blood human being animal, am made of the very same stuff as the universe. Undeniably, I am the product of the meeting between a sperm and an egg. I remember once looking at my hand and it was obviously the claw of an animal, and a sexual one at that. I was not here before birth and I will not be here after death. There is nothing ‘insideme, this body, or ‘separate’ from me, this body, to continue after I die. As a physical animal in the physical universe I have made it my aim to be happy and harmless, and the universe did its ‘universe thing’ to aid in the creation of the best possible.
I remember pondering this one day while walking along a country road and seeing a tree that had seeded beneath a log. It had bent around the log and then grown out at a steep angle towards the light. It only grew limbs on one side of the trunk so as to maintain its balance and strength. To say there is a God who looks after every tree, giving instructions, is plainly ridiculous. It is a life-force, if you like, but the tree was growing in the best way possible.
Another image that struck me was a film showing the beginning of the formation of a human foetus. It showed the growth in the first days when the main activity is the fervent multiplication and creation of new cells. The cells lined up to form an ever-thickening line which was to be the child’s backbone. As the cells began to form the beginnings of limbs and a head, a sack formed in the chest area, and a pulsing motion could be seen. All in the first few days! Astounding to see, and so extraordinary, that to put a God or anything else in the way was to entirely miss seeing the physical universe in operation. To call life ‘sacred’ is to completely miss the point. Removing God, energies, emotions and feelings is seeing and experiencing the actual world free of a skin or film layered over the top. That I, as this body, am a collection of intelligent cells that forms a whole, which is sensate, mobile, able to think, reflect and communicate with others, and that this whole bundle eventually wears out and dies is so extraordinary, so amazing!’
Here is where we begin to get off the facts of life and into the beliefs about life. There are literally countless beliefs, superstitions, pseudo-scientific theories and the like, that have been trotted out over the millennia to explain why we are here, as human beings, on this planet. The search for the cause, the source, for the beginning, the creation, or the creator, the meaning, the reason for it all, has always obsessed humans, solely because of the fear of being here in the first place and the subsequent resentment at continually feeling an alien in an alien place. This obsession with ‘ why we are here ’ has fuelled the perennial search for a greater or higher meaning to being here. This ‘search’ inevitably leads to the discovery that there is a Greater and Higher meaning – that there is a ‘person or thing’ (or energy) ‘that makes or keeps a thing alive’. To make this ‘discovery’ is effortless: one needs only slide over into the spiritual world, let go, surrender, close one’s eyes and go in. One enters the spiritual world that exists ethereally and is layered over the actual world. This is the world of animating spirits, Gods and Goddesses, ancient healings and esoteric medicines, divinations and prophecies, energies and auras, folk tales and legends, gurus and shamans, fairies and goblins, sacred sites and cosmic planes, chakras and levels of consciousness, telepathy and spiritualism, visions and entities, ESP and UFO’s, Chi Gong and Feng Shui, somas and souls, mysticism and meditation, rituals and rites, reincarnations and past lives, karmas and dharmas, devils and demons and so on. This whole phantasmagoric ‘other-world’ has been so embellished, so documented, so believed in, and made so substantial in the human psyche as to be convincingly real – and it is no small task to wrench oneself free from the common beliefs and Truths of a spirit world.
One would not bother unless one had a direct experience of the actual world and then one would never settle for the imaginary, the ethereal, the second-rate. One would never settle for ‘right-suffering’, or being ‘grateful’ to some-one or some-thing for ‘life’, when one could eliminate the instinctual source of fear and sorrow that is the very cause of suffering and resentment in the first place. One would never bother with being Here and Now with one’s head stuck in the clouds, searching for True meaning, when one could be here and now in the actual world with one’s feet firmly on the earth, with meaning abundantly and extravagantly apparent everywhere.
Which brings us to the definition of a person’s life as in ‘my’ life. I find ‘ a person’s animate existence viewed as a possession of which one is deprived by death ’ the most telling definition. As human beings, we have no memory of how we got here, we resent being here, we try to make the best of it, we seek an escape from life in the form of redemption or salvation, we desperately fear death and, as old age sets in, passionately hope for life after death . And this little lot of sad, sorry and fearful continuum of emotional memories and reactions, we call having a ‘life’. A person’s life is, in fact, no more than the bundle of emotional memories of the past and emotional-backed anticipations of the future and the whole lot is typified by see-saw swings of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. ‘I’ – as the thinker – desperately seek to keep the instinctual ‘me’ – as the feeler – under control and in check by being good, being loving, being caring, etc. As one’s life progresses this leads to the development of a cunning cynicism that obliterates any naiveté and fosters a continual need for ‘self’-control that actively inhibits one from breaking free from the shackles of one’s social identity. Thus one is fated by nature at conception to be an instinctually-driven being and is then fettered by nurture from birth onwards to be a social identity bound by morals, ethics, values, traditions, and psittacisms and – as Frank Sinatra sang, so bitter sweetly – ‘That’s life’.
But actualism provides the solution to the Human Condition and ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is the path to the door marked Freedom from the Human Condition. By continuously asking oneself this question, and doing whatever is necessary to substantiate happiness and harmlessness in this moment, one begins to disrupt the continuity of one’s emotional life and weakens its stranglehold and dominance. The exclusive attention paid to this moment of being alive actually reduces the tendency to dwell on past emotional memories or be emotionally occupied with future events. This has the effect of shrinking one’s life to this moment only – which is the only moment I can experience being alive. Thus one gradually eases out from having an emotional life and begins to live this moment, and this moment, and ... The aim is to string more and more of those moments together, and one day you get to lay in bed at night time and say ‘What a perfect day I had!’. And then the aim becomes to string more and more of those days together and you find that you are on a path that frees you from malice and sorrow. And then you find yourself living a Virtual Freedom – ‘virtual’ as in ‘that is so in essence or effect, although not recognized formally, actually’ . And then you know that your ‘life’, as you knew it, will never be the same again – in fact, it is soon to end completely and not a trace of the old ‘me’ will be able to surface ... ever again. Virtual Freedom is the first step – ‘self’-extinction the next.
The final relevant definition points to attaining a new life, as in being Born Again or becoming Enlightened or Self-Realized, whereby one realizes a new identity – a new imaginary life in a new imaginary world – thus becoming ‘freed’ from the state of sin (or life in the real world). This new state is commonly known in psychiatric terms as an Altered State of Consciousness . For those not so dedicated to the pursuit of a spiritual New Life there is the more secular version offered by some therapists whereby the aim is to strengthen, en-richen or empower one’s existing ‘life’ such that one wins more than loses, one overcomes adversity, one fights for one’s rights, one becomes better, stronger, more powerful, more self-fulfilled, more self-centred, etc. Both approaches – denial or making the best of it – fail to address the fact that human beings are innately programmed with an instinct to survive that makes fear, aggression, nurture and desire an integral part of the Human Condition. Actual Freedom is the only approach to the human dilemma that addresses this fact – every other approach avoids this fundamental fact.
Actual Freedom is the third alternative to the spiritual avoidance or the traditional acceptance of one’s ‘lot in life’.
What an excellent thing to discover – the chance to actually do something about one’s lot in life – to become happy and harmless.
love –– ">That state of feeling with regard to a person which manifests itself in concern for the person’s welfare, pleasure in his or her presence, and often also desire for his or her approval; deep affection, strong emotional attachment. Strong predilection, liking, or fondness for, or devotion to something. That feeling of attachment which is based on sexual qualities; sexual passion combined with liking and concern for the other. In Christian use: the benevolence and affection of God; the affectionate devotion due to God; regard and consideration prompted by a sense of a common relationship to God.Oxford Dictionary
Peter: How is it that love promises so much and yet delivers so little and what it does deliver is fleeting, conditional, demanding, demeaning, consuming, neurotic and erratic? How come it has a ‘down-side’ of dependency, possessiveness, jealousy and when love is spurned can turn to hatred and violence? And yet this feeling is perennially upheld as the only hope humans have to end suffering and violence on the planet – as in ‘ All you need is love ’. And yet all the love songs and stories are tales of heartbreak and sorrow, failure and despair, depression and suicide? The feeling of love, or the spiritual version of divine love, has been the direct cause of so many violent crimes of passion, murder and warfare that it requires enormous blind faith to believe it could hold the solution to ending suffering and violence. To evoke, enhance and trumpet one segment of the instinctual passions in order to seek a solution to problems that result from the full package only perpetuates the seemingly endless cycles of the malice and sorrow inherent within the Human Condition . It requires courage to stand in the face of the current fervently fashionable obsession for romantic and divine love that has arisen in the last few centuries. But facts are facts – the feeling of love arises in the instinctual passions and, as such, is inseparable from malice and sorrow and the concept of divine love is no more than fantasy.
Surely it’s time to look beyond what forever promises and never delivers and seek what is actual, available here and now, and that does deliver – a direct and actual intimacy with one’s fellow human beings felicitously/ innocuously available with the extinction of instinctual passions.
malice –– Badness; esp. wickedness. The desire to injure another person; active ill will or hatred. In later use also, the desire to tease. Malicious conduct; a malicious act or device. Power to harm, harmful action or effect, malignancy; wrongful intention. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: A study of the animal world quickly alerts one to instinctual fear and aggression operating, and an honest appraisal will admit to it operating in humans as well. As is evidenced in such tests as those carried out by Milgram and others, humans have an active instinct for malice and aggression that requires the point of a gun or severe moral constraint to hopefully keep them in check. That 160,000,000 have died in wars this century alone is surely evidence of the on-going, inherent malice in humans. Curiously it is always someone else who is malicious or has caused us to be malicious back (this is then regarded as a ‘right’ for justice and not as malicious). The acknowledgement of malice within one’s own bosom is an essential prerequisite to begin to eliminate it. Merely ‘watching it’ is a big cop-out from doing something about it in oneself. Merely transcending it to the extent that one believes oneself to be Good, Right, Holy and above it all is to directly contribute to all the mayhem and carnage of the religious wars and persecutions on the planet.
The third alternative is to rid oneself of all of the instinctual passions – an actual extinction, thus freeing oneself from the shackles of moral constraint or the delusion of transcendence.
materialism –– The doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications. Also, the doctrine that consciousness and will are wholly due to the operation of material agencies. A tendency to lay stress on the material aspect of the objects represented. A tendency to prefer material possessions and physical comfort to spiritual values; a way of life based on material interests. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Who said that being comfortable, safe, warm, well fed, well clothed, well informed, well entertained, healthy, etc. creates our misery? How many people in the world haven’t got even a basic material level of shelter, food, water, education, medicine, etc – and is this not real misery?
This nonsense about the evils of materialism is put out by those miserable souls who have a vested interest in human beings believing that existence on earth is essentially a suffering existence – because it always has been, it always should be. All of spirituality, both Eastern and Western, teaches that human existence is essentially a suffering existence and also that ultimate peace is only possible after physical death – i.e. anywhere but here and anytime but now. Added to this, the modern day religion of Environmentalism preaches that there is far too much material comfort and its believers actively work to deny others in less developed countries the material comforts they themselves enjoy.
I started my search for freedom peace and happiness on the understanding that despite the fact that I had been successful in ‘real’ world terms I was neither free, nor peaceful nor happy. For me the question was ‘How come I have everything I could desire and yet I was neither happy nor harmless?’ I discovered that to blame materialism for human malice and sorrow is to believe the spiritual viewpoint that life on earth is ultimately unsatisfactory, and to see physical comfort and sensual enjoyment as a sign of indulgence and evil.
What I eventually discovered was that the answer lay in an area considered by all to be impossible to question – the very feelings, emotions and instinctual passions that humans beings hold so dear.
meditation –– 1. Continuous thought on one subject; (a period of) serious and sustained reflection or mental contemplation. Musing over, reflecting on; considering, studying, pondering. 2. The action or practice of profound spiritual or religious contemplation or mental concentration. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: There is a vast difference between the clumsy translation of the Eastern Spiritual trance-inducing practice (as epitomised by the word ‘dhyana’) and the Western meaning of meditation: ‘thinking upon; considering’.
In the West to meditate means to be thoughtful; to engage in contemplation about, to exercise the mental faculties, contemplate, think about, think over, muse upon, ponder upon, reflect on, deliberate about, mull over, have in mind, plan by turning over in the mind, fix one’s attention on, observe intently or with interest, concentrate on, consider, ruminate, study, intend, project, design, devise, scheme or plot. And meditation is continuous thought on one subject; a period of serious and sustained reflection or mental contemplation, consideration, reflection, deliberation, rumination, mulling over or being in reverie, musing, pondering or brooding.
Whereas in the East to meditate means to be thoughtless; meditation is the concentrated action or practice of a profound spiritual or religious state of consciousness for whose description words are considered to be totally inadequate. It is the highest state of consciousness, associated with direct mystic experience of reality and cannot be experienced until a condition of mindlessness has been created through the deliberate elimination of the objects of thought from consciousness. The organs of sense perception are so controlled that they no longer pass to the mind their reactions to what is perceived. The mind loses its identity by absorption into a higher state which precludes any awareness of duality, although a form of unitary awareness of the conventional world is retained. Entering into Eastern meditation, one experiences the heart as being wider than the universe and experiences infinite bliss and immeasurable power exceeding any occult power. It is a yogic state of formless ecstasy when there is absorption in divine reality and a loss of body sense ... and the ego has been transcended. In this state one rests in highest consciousness ... one has become lord and master of reality. Very few spiritual seekers have reached this level for one is manifesting God in every second, both consciously and perfectly. There is identification with the transcendent, radiant being in which all phenomena are seen as temporary, non-binding modifications of this all-inclusive divine being. The divine self is realized beyond the view point of the physical body, or the mind or the independent personal consciousness. When phenomena arise to notice from this formless and unqualified presence or love-bliss there is ecstasy of perfect spontaneity.
Thus Eastern meditation, as in being thoughtless imagination, can evince an Altered State of Consciousness whereupon one realizes ‘I am God on Earth’. For an actualist meditation, as in thoughtful contemplation, can evince a Pure Consciousness Experience – a direct ‘self’-less experience of the perfection and purity of the infinitude of the physical universe.
metaphysical –– Excessively subtle or abstract. Not empirically verifiable, immaterial, incorporeal, supersensible; supernatural. That transcends matter or the physical. Fanciful, imaginary. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: All things metaphysical are fashionable at present as we enter the ‘New Dark Age ’ that is dominated by ancient, sacred, spiritual and other-worldly concepts. Ancient healings and esoteric medicines, divinations and prophecies, energies and auras, folk tales and legends, gurus and shamans, fairies and goddesses, sacred sites and cosmic planes, chakras and levels of consciousness, telepathy and spiritualism, visions and entities, ESP and UFO’s, somas and souls, mysticism and meditation, rituals and rites, reincarnations and past lives, karmas and dharmas, devils and demons … they all testify to the vast extent of metaphysical beliefs . When one really investigates one finds that everyone believes in the metaphysical – without the hope of a ‘something else’, ‘someone else’ or ‘somewhere else’ the suffering of humanity would be unbearable.
Actual freedom offers a freedom from this ‘self’-imposed, imaginary meta-physical world of good and evil, right and wrong as the very instinctual biological roots of suffering and malice are totally eliminated with the extinction of one’s own psyche.
mind –– 1 Memory. The faculty of memory. Remembrance, recollection, memory. 2 Thought; purpose, intention. 3 a. The action or state of thinking about something; the thought of. Chiefly in have mind of, think of, give heed to. b. Attention, heed. 4 a. Purpose, intention. b. An inclination, a wish; a liking. 5 The direction of a person’s thoughts, desires, inclinations, or energies. 6 A person’s opinion, judgement, or view. 7 The intellect, intellectual powers, esp. as distinguished from the will and emotions. 8 The healthy or normal condition of the mental faculties. 9 a. A (usu. specified) disposition, character, or way of thinking and feeling. b. A particular feeling or attitude towards something. 10 The state of a person’s thoughts and feelings. 11 Mental or psychic faculty. 12 a. The seat of awareness, thought, volition, and feeling; cognitive and emotional phenomena and powers as constituting a controlling system, spec. as opp. matter; the spiritual as distinguished from the bodily part of a human being. b. A person or a group of people collectively as the embodiment of mental faculties. c. A controlling or directing spiritual being or agency. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: What a potpourri of a definition – no wonder people are so confused when the word ‘mind’ is mentioned, and Mr. Oxford seems to aim at satisfying all comers including the spiritualists.
Perhaps a good starting point in sorting the confusion is to simply regard mind as the brain in operation.
The human brain is the most advanced of the all the sentient beings and is biologically exceptional in having a large neo-cortex or modern brain covering and overlaying the primitive, reptilian brain. Thus it is that the human mind retains all of its animal instinctual functions and primitive sense of self, and these are combined with an ability to think, reflect and communicate to a degree unsurpassed in any other species.
The human brain, in its present state of evolution, is thus two brains – primitive and modern – and it is this very duality that is the cause of human sorrow and malice and results in a mind almost continually in a state of confusion, fear and angst. For millennia, humans have relentlessly sought freedom, happiness and peace as an escape from this torturous state and yet have found no solutions save the fickle solace offered in believing and hoping for an imaginary ‘better life’ after physical death .
In the Eastern Religions the mind is seen as the problem, and a sophisticated yet puerile belief-system and associated torturous practices have evolved, deliberately aimed at stifling and eradicating sensible thought such that imagination and feeling are given free reign. A common theme in all ashrams, temples and sanghas is that the devotee is admonished to ‘leave your mind at the door, surrender your will, and trust your feelings’. This stifling of the mind has left much of the East wallowing in poverty, ignorance and disease with repression, suppression, corruption, fatalism, subjugation, servitude, despotism, and theocratic rule rampant. That these Ancient traditions and wisdoms are still practiced is witness only to the desperation of those seeking freedom and obviously has nothing to do with the sagacity or success of the belief-system. In the Buddhist tradition, one estimate is that there have been at least 1 billion followers over the centuries, and no more than one thousand have achieved Enlightenment – the Altered State of Consciousness that masquerades as freedom. This is a success rate of 0.0001% – and the rest dutifully believe that they get recycled to suffer earthly existence yet again until they manage to achieve freedom from the cycle of birth and death – the wheel of misery. ‘There is always next lifetime’ is a common belief. What a depressive and oppressive, mindless belief-system!
Thus far one has had two choices. To accept one’s lot in life, coping as best one can with a mind that is almost continually in a state of confusion, emotional turmoil and angst, or to escape into a fantasy mind-world created by stifling and eradicating sensible thought such that imagination and feeling are given free reign. There is now available a non-spiritual, down-to-earth solution to the current evolutionary state of the human mind. With diligence, perseverance and pure intent, one can dismantle one’s social identity – all of the morals, ethics, values and psittacisms that one has been imbibed with since birth. One then achieves a Virtual Freedom from the need to continually be on guard lest one’s instinctual passions flare to the surface. One finds oneself living in an almost constant state of being happy and harmless. With the confidence so gained from living in this state, one can then proceed to devote one’s life – literally – to evincing the mutation in the brain-stem that causes the extinction of one’s identity in total, both social ‘I’ and instinctual ‘me’ (both ego and soul for the spiritually minded). One is then freed from the Human Condition in its entirety – freed from the need to abide by futile and unliveable moral and ethical standards for one is actually released from the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that are sourced in the primitive brain.
The traditional frivolous, futile and imaginary pursuit of the meta-physical can not, and can never be, a solution for the emotional turmoil of the instinctual passions and the resulting psychological angst that is intrinsic to the human mind. The problem is a neuro-biological one, not a spirit-ual one. The solution is a modern, practical down-to-earth one – to free oneself from the instinctual passions located in the primitive reptilian brain.
moral –– Of or pertaining to human character or behaviour considered as good or bad; of or pertaining to the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Morality is a well-meaning concept designed to serve as a guide for people to curb their instinctual aggression such as to be able to live together reasonably peacefully between the recurrent wars that break out. Generally the forced imposition of moral codes and laws works well enough but they do come at a price – a severe restriction of freedom most usually strongly felt at adolescence, and often the cause of youthful rebellion. This rebellion usually eventuates as they begin to see and experience the hypocrisy evident in the gulf between the moral and ethical codes they have been taught and what actually happens in the world. This rebellion is wrongly assumed to be a search for freedom and at best results in a slight alteration to moral codes with each generation. The famed youth rebellion of the 60’s resulted in nothing other than a switch from Western formal religious morality to Eastern spiritual morality – the emergence of the New Dark Ages . There are as many versions of what constitutes moral behaviour as there are religions or tribal groupings in the world, and that’s a lot. These differing moral values as to what is good and what is bad is the source of so much confusion, conflict and bloodshed and the principle of ‘human rights’ only serves to preserve these differences forever.
These unliveable moral tenets, passed down from generation to generation and reinforced by family, church and state are upheld at the point of a gun by the police and at threat of imprisonment or death by the courts. This system of enforcing ‘civilization’, maintained by carrot and stick, generally does reasonably well to preserve what we have come to accept as ‘normal’ human existence – an endless series of wars, murder, torture, rape, repression, corruption, suicide and despair. When push comes to shove, moral values very quickly crumble and instinctual animal passions immediately blossom unimpeded. 160,000,000 people have been killed in war this century alone – the bloodiest to date – and 1 billion people have been directly affected by war in the last 20 years alone. The ancient social and religious distinctions of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad form the very basis of one’s social identity – instilled upon one in order to make one a fit member of society. Unless one has the courage to dismantle one’s social identity by a process of thoroughly investigating the validity and sensibleness of these morals one cannot proceed further to eliminate one’s biological heritage of instinctual passions.
Once I got rid of the instilled morals that made me ignore the signs of unwanted feelings and emotions, a whole other side of ‘me’ became evident. Malice tops the list, with being sad second. ‘Don’t do that, stop it’ drilled in as a child, runs very deep. ‘Don’t mope around looking miserable’ is another.
Simply by breaking free of these moral and ethical barriers one is then able to have a clear-eyed look at one’s very psyche ‘in operation’ and that very investigation, if conducted with gusto and pure intent, is the ending of ‘me’.
The prize for doing so is peace on earth.
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.