dictionary definition and accompanying description by Peter ...
self — Any of various conflicting personalities conceived of as coexisting within a single person. A person’s or thing’s individuality or essence at a particular time or in a particular aspect or relation; a person’s nature, character, physical constitution or appearance, considered as different at different times. A person loved as oneself. Personal identity, ego; a person as the object of introspection or reflexive action. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: What is a feeling-fed ‘self’? A ‘self’ is not something ‘you’ have ... being an identity in whatever way, shape or form is what ‘you’ are and is an inevitable result of being born. Thus any blame is pointless – and worse – it creates resentment. Being an identity is because the only way into this world of people, things and events is via the human spermatozoa fertilizing the human ova ... thus every human being is endowed, by blind nature, with the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. These passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to think and reflect upon its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary ‘self’ into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. This process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born ... which is conditioning and programming. It is part and parcel of the socializing process. Thus ‘dissolving the ego ’ is not sufficient ... there is a ‘me’ lurking in the heart to take over the wheel.
We are each instilled with an instinctual animal ‘self’ that is the very core of the self-survival program. Although this instinctual survival program is genetically-encoded to ensure the survival of the species and not the individual, in humans it is ‘self’-centred, as it is in apes – our nearest genetic cousins.
Our instinctual-rudimentary ‘self’ is based firmly on the surge of chemicals arising from the instinctual programming in the primitive brain. This ‘self’ is our instinctual ‘being’ at our very animal core – thoughtless and instinctual-emotional.
Further, this primitive ‘self’ is made more complex in human beings by our ability to think and reflect and, as such, we have a more elaborated ‘self’ consisting of ‘who’ we think ourselves to be and ‘who’ we feel ourselves to be. ‘Who’ we think and feel ourselves to be is a psychological and psychic ‘self’ – both a mental and an emotional construct – that develops in the neo-cortex as a discordant and alien identity that appears to be located in the head and felt in the heart and gut.
Given the human elaboration of the instinctual animal ‘self’ into a sophisticated and cunning psychological and psychic identity that appears to live within the flesh and blood body, the instinctual passions – mainly fear, aggression, nurture and desire – can only be eradicated by eliminating both the psychological ‘self’ and the instinctual ‘self’.
The bad news is that the elimination of one’s ‘self’ needs to be total – both ‘who’ society has taught you to be and ‘who’ blind nature has programmed you to instinctively feel you are ... or in spiritual terms, both the ego and the soul.
The good news is that what you are will emerge – a flesh and blood human being, free of malice and sorrow and free of any metaphysical delusions whatsoever.
Self-awareness –– awareness – being cognizant or conscious (of); informed.Oxford Dictionary
This particular aspect of awareness is not a natural phenomenon and needs to be actively cultivated and persistently practiced in order to ensure success. As such, one needs to proceed with a bloody-minded persistence the likes of which one has not mustered before. To do so, one needs firstly to establish a simple, unswerving and primary aim in life – a sincere intent to become as happy and harmless, as one was in a pure consciousness experience, for 24 hrs. a day, every day.
The method of becoming happy and harmless, 24 hrs. a day, every day, is both devastatingly simple and ruthlessly efficient. One needs to continually ask oneself the question … ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’
The continuous asking of this question is the key to cultivating and developing ‘self’-awareness but it does require persistence and perseverance in order to ensure success …
The essential method is to undertake a total investigation into anything that is preventing one from being happy and harmless now – after all, if one’s aim is to be happy then one needs to be happy now, not at some time in the future, nor some time in the past. The question to ask oneself is – ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This moment is, after all, the only moment I can experience being happy.
Any emotion such as anger, frustration or boredom that is preventing my happiness now, has to be traced back to its cause – the exact incident, thought, expectation or disappointment. At the root of this emotion is inevitably found a socially-instilled belief or an instinctual passion. The awareness, investigation and understanding of these morals, ethics, beliefs and the animal instincts ‘in action’ actually weakens their influence on one’s thoughts and behaviour. The process, if followed diligently and obsessively, will ultimately cause them to disappear completely. The idea being, of course, to eliminate the cause of one’s unhappiness, so that one can experience life at the optimum, now. If one is happy now, then good. One can then ‘raise the bar’ to feeling very good, then excellent, then … perfect.
The method soon presents success incrementally, as freedom from beliefs and instinctual passions is indeed a freedom that results in increased peace and harmony for oneself and in one’s relating with one’s fellow human beings. The method does bring up fear and resistance, because one is dismantling one’s very ‘self’, those very beliefs and passions one holds so dearly.
It sounds so simple, but very few people are even willing to take a small step along the way. Most people would seemingly like their life to be better, but faced with the prospect of actually having to do something themselves, or having to change the way they are, they soon sneak away, only to re-run the old ancient ‘tried and failed’ methods.
Of course, the major fear is that it will work and ‘I’ will ‘be’ no more.
This method of ‘self’-awareness is both concise and down-to-earth in that it concentrates one’s awareness on this moment in time – this very moment, right now, in this very place. The whole emphasis is on ‘how am I experiencing myself now ’? This is not to deny that one doesn’t have a goal and that this goal is in the future – to be happy and harmless, 24hrs. a day, every day. It does take time to work through each of the beliefs, morals, ethics, psittacisms and instinctual passions – to thoroughly investigate them.
By bringing one’s attention to the fact that this is the only moment I can experience being alive, and that if I was happy ten minutes ago and I am not happy now, the fact becomes obvious: I am not happy now. If not, why not? What is the cause, the source? One then has something to do, something to investigate. It is simply nonsense to delude oneself with the spiritual belief that one is already perfect, ‘That’, or ‘Enlightened’ when one knows otherwise.
Always one’s immediate aim is to be happy now, in this only moment one can experience being alive, and one’s ultimate goal is to be happy and harmless 24 hrs. a day, every day.
A curious thing begins to happen when one contemplates upon what it is to be a human being, when one ponders the Human Condition, when one becomes ‘self’-obsessed. Soon every interaction, every emotional reaction, every thought and every feeling is scrutinized in terms of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ This is definitely not meditation – it is 180 degrees opposite. This is being fully occupied in the world of people, things and events: not sitting with one’s eyes closed, retreating ‘inwards’ and fearfully hiding from the world as-it-is and people as-they-are.
The vowed aim of meditation is to escape from the world, transcend the ego and ‘become’ the soul – an imaginary and delusionary shifting of one’s identity from mortal to Immortal, from animal to Divine. On the other hand, the whole point of the process of Actual freedom is to be aware of, identify, investigate and eliminate one’s social and instinctual identity – both ego and soul – that is the source of one’s malice and sorrow, and the goal is to become actually happy and harmless, on earth, in this very lifetime.
self-immolation –– (immolation) 1 Sacrificial slaughter of a victim. 2 Deliberate destruction or loss for the sake of something else. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The other day I had a musing that concerned the common view of the word freedom as used in spiritual circles. Freedom is seen as an event, usually termed Enlightenment, whereby one miraculously escapes from the illusion of the real world, its problems, concerns and worries and is magically re-united with one’s Source from whence one came from originally. Thus ‘I ’ am no longer lost, lonely and frightened for I have come Home and am overwhelmed by feelings of Divine Love. Thus one leaves the ‘real’ world and emerges into the ‘divine’ world – an illusion based on an illusion. The process usually undertaken is to devote oneself to living the ‘divine’ life, in preparation for a final ‘crossing’ over whereby one becomes Divine. This is, of course, all played out in the fantasy world of passionate feelings and has not a fig to do with the actual. Enlightenment is but a shift of identity from normal and afraid of death to Divine and believing one’s Self to be immortal.
The path to an Actual Freedom is to devote one’s life to being the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood human being, and if undertaken with scrupulous integrity, will inevitably and inexorably lead to one’s self-immolation. This final act will be one of self-sacrifice for it is evident from the Pure Consciousness Experience that only ‘I’ stand in the way of the perfection and purity of the universe being experienced as this flesh and blood body called Peter. This full-blooded devotion, as in …
has recently resulted in heady glimpses and experiences of the infinitude of the physical universe. These experiences of vastness and limitless freedom offer tantalizing previews of an inevitable destiny after ‘my’ extinction and have had the unmistakable ring of the authenticity of my first ‘self’-less PCE. The other clue as to their genuineness is the recognition of the seductive parallel of the Altered State of Consciousness whereby ‘I’ am tempted to instinctually grab to become the experience. Thus, ‘I’ become infinite and eternal, whereas in the PCE it is startlingly clear that it is the universe that is infinite and eternal, and what I am is this mortal flesh and blood body, well able and equipped to think and reflect and go oooh and ahhh at the perfection and purity that is obviously apparent when ‘I’ cease to rule the roost. But that won’t happen to me – it’s but a cheap cop-out once you have tasted the actual.
These glimpses are the direct result of this boots and all approach and send a thrill up one’s spine, a tingling in the skull, or an involuntary wobble of the head. It’s fascinating to see that the fear that was there in the days of thinking about the end of ‘me’, or trying to imagine the end of ‘me’, is now replaced by a physical thrill as in – this is what I am doing, or this is what is happening. This is no esoteric explanation and has parallels in the prosaic activities that involve fear or danger whereby, when you get to the stage of actually doing something rather than thinking or worrying about it, one is then too busy with the doing of it that one has no time for fears or worries. And it’s not as though the experience is frantic, or too much – I am at present doing normal things like doing a job, earning a living and reporting, as accurately as I can, on what is going on inside with ‘me’ as it happens. Utterly down-to-earth, normal and anonymous.
sensation –– The consciousness of perceiving or seeming to perceive some state or condition of one’s body or its parts or of the senses; an instance of such consciousness; (a) perception by the senses, (a) physical feeling. b The faculty of perceiving by the senses, esp. by physical feeling. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The three ways a person can experience the world are: cerebral (thoughts); 2: sensate (senses); 3. affective (feelings).
The aim of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is to become aware of exactly how one is experiencing the world and to investigate what is preventing one from being happy and harmless in this moment. It is therefore important to discriminate between the pure sensate sensual experiences, as in sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, and the cerebral thought and affective feeling experiences that are sourced in the instinctual animal survival passions.
Feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts – thoughts arising in response to the flooding of chemicals that originate from the animal instinctual brain, the amygdala. As the amygdala quick-scans the incoming sensorial input it is programmed to automatically respond with an instinctual reaction – essentially those of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. The instinctual reaction is such that response-chemicals are almost instantly pumped into the body and neo-cortex and are most usually ‘felt’ in the head, heart and stomach areas.
Fear produces hormones which quicken the heartbeat, tenses the muscles, and heightens the senses – ready for either ‘fight or flight’. When neither option is exercised one ‘freezes’ and the ongoing chemical input results in feelings of helplessness, doubt, angst, depression or dread. Jealousy, based on the nurture instinct, prepares the body to attack one’s competitor. Sexual desire similarly causes well-known reactions in the sexual organs, and so on. It is important to recognize that these reactions, while felt in the body as sensations, and interpreted by the brain as feelings, are actually instinctual passions in action – they are the very substance of ‘who’ we feel ourselves to be, deep down at a bodily level, in both heart and gut.
It is this emotional ‘self’-centred experiencing that prevents our direct sensate-only sensuous experience of the actual world of sensual delight, purity and perfection. ‘Who’ one thinks and feels oneself to be is but an elaborate extrapolation of this instinctual, fear-full animal ‘self ’. This emotional, feeling interpretation – based on the sensations of chemicals flowing in the body and brain – results in feelings of loneliness, separateness and alienation from the world as it is. It is as though there is a veil or film over the actual that one yearns to break through – to become free of – in order to be fully alive, to actually be here, now.
It is entirely new territory to dare to question feelings, both those we arbitrarily denote as ‘good’ and those we label ‘bad’, but there is a fail-safe method of navigation through the maze of sensations produced by instinctual passions. The aim is always to facilitate in oneself peace and harmony – to become happy and harmless – and this sincere intent will prevent one from settling for anything less than the genuine article. The genuine article is you, the flesh-and-blood-body-only you, that seeks freedom from the feelings of malice and sorrow that ruin your happiness.
The path to Actual Freedom now offers a realizable and actual freedom from the insidious grip of instinctual passions.
Peter: As can be seen from the definitions the word sense has two distinct meanings (a, b and c, d), but in the emotional turmoil of real life, or the fantasy meta-physical world of spiritual life, the distinction is rarely, if ever, discerned.
The first two definitions point to a practical, pragmatic view or sense, such that a tree is a tree, the universe is infinite, when you die you die, the sky is blue, and this is the only moment you can experience being alive. The world, as perceived by the body ’s senses, the ‘stalks’ of the brain, is a physical one only. The physical senses of the brain allow us the sensual feel of touch (the skin of another), the aromatic delight of smell (a frangipani at dusk), the complexity of sight (colour, light, movement, depth, focus), the variety, intensity and layering of sounds and tastes. Further, the human brain has an awareness of this sensorial input and can think, reflect and communicate with others. The brain, when freed of the dominance of ‘self’-centred feeling and thought and the chemical based instinctual passions, is able to function with startling clarity and common sense and the faculty of apperception – the mind’s ability to perceive itself – comes to the fore. This sensate-only experience is known as a Pure Consciousness Experience – a temporary state of ‘self’-lessness.
The ability of the brain to function sensibly – as in definition (b) – is essential for the individual and collective functioning of human beings and is seen in operation in the superb objects, systems and in operation of services, communication, trade, transport, etc. in the world.
The second pair of definitions points to a different scenario, a different perception of the universe. This definition alludes to an emotional, feeling and cerebral (thought) perception of the world – the perception of the psychological and psychic entity within the flesh and blood body. With the continual operation of instinctual feelings of fear, aggression, nurture and desire combined with one’s social identity of morals, ethics and values, one is forever ‘feeling’ or ‘thinking’ one’s way in any place, at any time and with all other people. As such, we are continually psychically afraid of the world. We tend, when operating in a psychic-instinctual mode, to see everything as though coated in sorrow or malice. Our only relief is to add a coating of beauty, ‘spirituality’ or gratitude in order to make our perception a tolerable one. But one can never ever make any sense of the world this way, for it is all seen and experienced as either a ghastly nightmare, or a beautiful dream, depending on one’s feelings or thoughts at the time. As a social identity we are instilled with a perception of the world alluded to in definition (d). We are thus bound to having a moral or ethical interpretation or perception of things, people or events – relentlessly evaluating everything as good or bad, right or wrong.
The consequences of the human brain functioning under the influence of instinctual passions, emotions, feelings, nightmares and dreams is most clearly seen in all the wars, rapes, murders, tortures, corruption, depression, suicides, etc. that continually plague Humanity.
The consequences of the human brain functioning under the influence of socially instilled morals, ethics, principles, values and psittacisms is most clearly seen in all ethnic conflicts, religious persecutions, ethical disputes, fights for rights, demands for justice and retribution, etc. that are used as a justification to indulge in war, rape, murder, torture, etc.
There is now a practical down-to-earth solution, such that will bring an end to this madness. When actually freed of a psychic and ‘self ’-oriented affective and cerebral sensing of the world – the ‘who’ one thinks one is and the ‘who’ one feels oneself to be – one can’t do anything other than perceive the world directly, sensately, sensuously and sensibly. To experience the physical universe without the emotions of fear and aggression is to continually delight and wonder in amazement at it all. One at last comes to one’s senses, both figuratively and literally.
sensuous — Of, derived from, or affecting the senses aesthetically rather than sensually; readily affected by the senses, keenly responsive to the pleasures of sensation. Also, indicative of a sensuous temperament. Apparently first used by Mr. John Milton, to avoid certain associations of the existing word ‘sensual’. Thus: ‘sensuousness’ (n.): the quality of being sensuous; also: ‘sensuously’ (adv.): the experience of being sensuous; and: ‘sensuosity’ (n.): the capability of being sensuous). Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Sensuousness is the wondrous awareness of the marvel of being here now at this moment in time and this place in space.
Sensuousness enables the experiencing of things without distorting feelings, and seeing the world of people, things and events as-it-is in apperception.
With an actual freedom from the human condition, one is living in the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are, but everything is alive as in actual – ‘not merely passive’ ). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence ... the ‘actualness’ of everything and everyone. We do not live in an inert universe ... but one cannot experience this whilst clinging to the delusion of immortality.
serendipity — The making of happy and unexpected discoveries by accident or when looking for something else; such a discovery. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The long life lived by most humans with multitudinous events and interactions with people and things provides for many opportunities for the making of serendipitous discoveries. Most people are so emotionally overloaded or trapped in repetitive behaviour patterns that serendipity goes unnoticed or, if seen, is so astounding as to be put down to some divine blessing or intervention or is being dismissed as luck. Serendipity is often claimed to be a prayer answered, good luck, God’s will, or ‘existence providing’, while blindly ignoring the other times when prayers go unanswered, ‘life’s a bitch’, it was bad luck or ‘someone else’s fault’, or it was ‘good’ to suffer as a ‘growth’ experience.
On the wide and wondrous path to actual freedom serendipitous discoveries are a constant occurrence. With the ever-running of the question ‘ How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ one is continuously presented with opportunities to discover, investigate and understand what particular feeling, resulting from an event or interaction, is preventing you from being happy now. Yesterday’s happiness or some future – imaginary – happiness or harmlessness has absolutely no relevance right now, this only moment you can experience being alive. If you miss the opportunity this time around, this moment, you have another chance immediately, this moment, for one’s life is perpetually experienced in this moment only. And serendipity will always present you with the next issue, belief, instinctual pattern, mood or emotion, etc. – right on cue.
But, as serendipitous as the incident or discovery or event may be, it is what you make of it that is of more significance. A serendipitous discovery, if dispassionately contemplated upon, can lead to a realization such that it becomes a life-changing event.
social identity –– conscience: A moral sense of right or wrong; a sense of responsibility felt for private or public actions, motives, etc.; the faculty or principle that leads to the approval of right thought or action and condemnation of wrong; still small voice; a sense of guilt with regard to a thought or action; scruple, compunction, remorse, principles, ethics. Oxford Dictionary
Richard: A social identity is a psychological creation manufactured by society to act as a guardian over the wayward rudimentary self one was born with. All sentient beings are born pre-primed with a biologically coded instinctive drive for physical survival which, when one is operating and functioning with a group of people, is potentially a danger to the survival of other group members. Hence the need for principles and morals and ethics to regulate the conduct of each person ... with appropriate rewards and punishments to ensure compliance. In a well-meant but ultimately short-sighted effort to prevent gaols from being filled to over-flowing, a social identity – a psychological guardian – is fabricated in an earnest endeavour to prevent the offences from happening in the first place. This ‘guardian’ is programmed with a set of values and charged with the role of acting as a conscience over the wayward self. A conscience is made up of a sure knowledge of what is Right or Wrong and Good or Bad ... as determined by each society. By and large this enterprise has proved to be effective – only a small minority of citizens fail to behave in a socially acceptable manner.
Something can definitely be achieved in regards to this culturally-imposed social identity ... one can readily do something about it if one is suitably motivated to do so. One can bring about a benediction from the perfection and purity of the infinitude of this material universe by contacting and cultivating one’s original state of naiveté. Naiveté is that intimate aspect of oneself that is the nearest approximation that one can have of actual innocence – there is no innocence so long as there is a rudimentary self – and constant awareness of naïve intimacy results in a continuing benediction. This blessing allows a connection to be made between oneself and that perfection and purity which is the essential character of infinity and eternity. This connection I call pure intent. Pure intent endows one with the ability to operate and function safely in society without the incumbent social identity with its ever-vigilant conscience. Thus reliably rendered virtually happy and relatively harmless by the benefaction of the infinitude, one can begin to dismantle the now-redundant social identity. To end the separative social identity, one can whittle away at all the social mores and psittacisms ... those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning. One can examine all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions ... and all the other schemes and dreams. One can become aware of all the socialisation, of all the conditioning, of all the programming, of all the methods and techniques that were used to control what one finds oneself to be ... a wayward ego and compliant soul careering around in confusion and illusion. A ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and cunning psychological entity overlaying a psychic ‘being’.
It is never too late to start in on uncovering and discovering what one actually is.
Please note: It is only on the clearly-stated (above) and utterly fundamental proviso that pure intent be dedicatorily in place – as an overriding/ overarching life-devotional goal which takes absolute precedence over all else – before any such whittling away of the otherwise essential societal/ cultural conditioning be undertaken.
sorrow — Mental distress caused by bereavement, suffering, disappointment, etc.; grief, deep sadness. Used in imprecatory phrs. expr impatience, anger, regret, etc., or emphatic or negative force. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: In investigating one’s instinctual self – which is programmed into the amygdala – one is not only investigating the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, one inevitably encounters the instinctual ‘memory’ as well. LeDoux’s studies are seemingly primarily concerned with the emotional memories imprinted onto the amygdala’s memory since birth. Thus we have imprinted the traumatic incidents in life since birth and those fears instilled in us, largely by our parents, in the very early years before the development of our cognitive memory. There is also scientific evidence that the foetus is influenced by the flow of chemicals via the placenta which would allow for a pre-birth encoding of emotions.
But it is obvious from a study of animals that certain actions and behaviour patterns are not taught after birth but must be genetically pre-programmed in the instinctual memory. The reaching for, finding and suckling the nipple in mammals, the waddle to the ocean of baby turtles, the unlearned migration patterns of birds, etc. There are multitudinous examples of non-cognitive animals who exhibit quite sophisticated behaviour and ‘knowledge’ that is not learnt but must solely be due to a pre-coded memory that is genetically inherited.
Given that the human animal is the most advanced of the primates, it does beg the question as to how much pre-memory is genetically programmed in the human amygdala and therefore ‘set in the flesh’, as it were. Two of these pre-codings are vital in understanding the human psyche – ‘who’ one thinks and feels one is.
Firstly, there is most obviously an instinctual sense of self-recognition, a faculty we share with our closet genetic cousins – apes and chimps both recognize ‘themselves’ in a mirror. This instinctual primal ‘self ’ is made more sophisticated in humans, for the cognitive neo-cortex (the ‘conscious’ to use LeDoux’s term) is only capable of detecting the chemical flows of the amygdala (non-cognitive and ‘unconscious’), and these are ‘felt’ as basic passions or emotions and interpreted as feelings – ‘my’ feelings. Thus, we ‘feel’ this genetic instinctual programming to be ‘me’ at my core. This program thus gives every human being an instinctual self which is translated into a ‘real’ self that is both psychic – LeDoux’s ‘unconscious’ made obvious and real by the ensuing flow of chemicals from the amygdala – and psychological – interpreted as thoughts by the modern cognitive brain. (The modern brain is also taught much after birth – one’s social identity – but I’m interested in the deeper level at this stage.)
This explains that the spiritual journey ‘in’ is thus a journey to find one’s instinctual self – one’s roots, one’s original face, the Source, etc. If, on this inner journey, one ignores or denies the passions of aggression and fear and concentrates one’s attention on the passions of nurture and desire, one can shift one’s identity from the psychological thinking neo cortex – the ‘ego’ to use their term – and ‘become’, or associate with, or identify with, the good feelings of nurture and desire. This is a seductive and self-gratifying journey, for one is actively promoting the flow of chemicals that give rise to the good, pleasant, warm, light-headed, heart-full and ultimately ecstatic feelings. These flow of chemicals overwhelm the neo-cortex to such an extent that they become one’s primary experience, and the input of the physical world as perceived by the senses and the clear-thinking ability of the cognitive modern brain are both subjugated – or ‘transcended’ to use the spiritual term. One then ‘feels’ one has found one’s original ‘self’, which one has of course, though t’is all but a fantasy of one’s imagination.
Secondly, the other faculty I see as essentially pre-coded is an instinctual need to ‘belong ’ to the herd – the herding instinct, as Vineeto puts it. It might seem banal and obvious given that humans, as a species, have perennially needed to maintain, at very least, a family grouping in order to ensure the survival of the species. Given that the human infant is helpless for such a long time compared with most other species, the immediate family group was the basic minimum need, and the chance of survival was considerably increased with larger and stronger groupings. This is an instinctual program that over-rides the individual’s own survival instincts for one is ultimately programmed to ensure survival of the species – not one’s own, as in self-preservation. Given that these involve more sophisticated programming than mere instantaneous ‘fight and flight’ reactions they must be encoded in the genetic memory of the amygdala, passed on from ‘way back there’, in the mists of time.
This instinct, implanted by blind nature to ensure the survival of the species, pumps the body with chemicals that induce the feeling of fear whenever one is straying too far away from the herd, abandoning other members of the family or group or being on one’s own. I remember particularly, in my early twenties, travelling across Europe and the Middle East on my way home from London and arriving at the border with Iran. I was turned away at an isolated border post as I didn’t have a visa and I was struck with a deep sense of panic, a feeling of utter loneliness. Looking back, it was as though I had gone too far striking off on my own and had hit the limit. This feeling of loneliness was to haunt me for many years – the image of becoming a lonely old man on a park bench, outcast and abandoned. It coincidentally was to prove one of the images that made me leap into the spiritual world with such gusto. I was to lose this fear later in life but living alone was always accompanied by a bitter-sweet feeling of loneliness. My major period of living alone was also the period when I began to have spiritual experiences, Satoris and an experience of Altered States of Consciousness aka Enlightenment.
From my investigations and experiences it is obvious that ‘who’ I think and feel I am – ‘me’ at the core – encompasses both a deep-set feeling of separateness from others and the world as perceived by the senses as well as a deep-set feeling of needing to ‘belong’.
This over-arching feeling of separateness – of being a ‘separate self’, who is forever yearning to ‘belong’ – is the root cause of personal sorrow and the all encompassing ‘ocean’ of human sorrow in the world.
soul — The principle of life in humans or animals; animate existence. The principle of thought and action in a person, regarded as an entity distinct from the body; a person’s spiritual as opp. to corporeal nature. The spiritual part of a human being considered in its moral aspect or in relation to God and his precepts, spec. regarded as immortal and as being capable of redemption or damnation in a future state. The disembodied spirit of a dead person, regarded as invested with some degree of personality and form. The seat of the emotions or sentiments; the emotional part of human nature. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The soul is the big one! For what is a human being without a soul. Ancient Wisdom has it that a body without a soul is but an animal. A body without a soul is inhuman and evil.
Seems pretty impressive for something that does not factually exist. The instinctual programming of the amygdala or primitive brain includes a primitive animal sense of self that is most highly developed in the primates. This self in relationship to other members of the species is most evident in apes and chimps and leads us to see in them human behaviour at a less sophisticated level of operation. Fear, aggression, nurture and desire are seen operating unimpeded by developed intelligence, which simply translates to apes and chimps being less cunning and less efficient in killing than the human animal. We think them cute when they display instinctual nurture but are in denial of the mounting evidence of rape, murder, infanticide and war in chimps and apes that are the result of instinctual fear, aggression and desire.
This very-same primitive self, complete with its automatic survival program, operates in humans, but we manage to divide the instinctual passions into two groupings – the good passions and the evil ones. The self that is the good instincts we term ‘me at my core’, the ‘real me’, or my ‘very soul’. We simply deny the existence of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, as it is usually too shocking to contemplate these aspects within us. Thus we are usually ‘overcome’ or ‘overwhelmed’ by anger or violence or despair, for that is what appears to happen when instinctual passions surface. The amygdala automatically responds to a threat, real, perceived or imagined, and the hormones automatically flow – flooding the neo-cortex and away we go… Murder, rape, revenge, despair, torture, war, etc., all occur in a ‘blind’ rage – be it hot or cool.
As if this wasn’t enough of a heritage, we then have the universal fairy-tale of a life after death for this very-same soul, and the same instincts are then bought into play in defending this belief; for the soul – ‘me’ at my core – believes it is fighting for its very life (its life after death). Thus humans not only fight for real things like territory and food but we add fighting for causes, beliefs, ideals, rights and dreams to the list.
Fearing for survival is our main pre-occupation, and fighting for survival is our main occupation. Such is the Human Condition.
Good to be rid of a soul – and all that it represents – as far as I’m concerned. Everybody regards it as inconceivable to be without a soul but next time you have a peak experience have a good look around and see if you can feel one in operation. If you can, it’s not a Pure Consciousness Experience. In the PCE, as if by miracle, the soul and the ego, the self in total, disappear from consciousness, and if it can happen once, why not more times, and why not 24 hrs. a day every day?
Why not indeed?
spirit — The animating or life-giving principle in humans and animals. This as a disembodied and separate entity esp. regarded as surviving after death; a soul. A supernatural, immaterial, rational or intelligent being, as an angel, demon, fairy, etc. The divine nature or essential power of God, regarded as a creative, animating, or inspiring influence. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: Spirit is the basis of the word spiritual and yet many spiritual people, when asked, somehow manage to deny that they believe in spirits or that a spirit lives within them which will be going ‘somewhere’ – after physical death. Religious and spiritual leaders are but the representatives of the good spirits on earth or practice the cultivating of a good spirit within themselves that will then go to the place where all good spirits go. Of course, the good spirits are there to counteract the bad or evil spirits which are deemed to make human beings violent, murderous and sadistic. All this is a gigantic play of the imagination resulting from ancient mythical interpretations. We now know that the ‘evil’ of malice and sorrow is simply an instinctual programming of fear and aggression instilled in all human beings by blind nature in order to ensure the survival of the species The elimination of this ‘evil’ can now be taken out of the hands of priests, gurus and imaginary Gods and put where firmly it belongs. It is now up to each of us to eliminate instinctual fear and aggressions from within ourselves – and with it the complimentary so-called good instincts of nurture and desire.
Those who present themselves as the spokesman and representatives of the forces of ‘good’ are going to put up a hell of a struggle, such is their vested interest in keeping everyone miserable and dependant. The lure of an Actual Freedom from malice and sorrow will eventually win out for there is nought but purity and perfection, delight and fascination in the experiencing of the actual world.
spiritual — Of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul, esp. from a religious aspect, the immaterial element in human beings. Of a person: devout, pious; morally good. Of, pertaining to, or concerned with sacred or religious things, holy, divine, prayerful; of or pertaining to the church or the clergy; ecclesiastical. Pertaining to or consisting of spirit, immaterial. Of or appropriate to a spirit or immaterial being. rare highly refined; sensitive; not concerned with material things. Oxford Dictionary
Peter: The last half of the 20th century may well be re-called in history for the four major events –
As this is being written, only a handful of people are interested in becoming free of the Human Condition while those others sufficiently motivated to be concerned with the Human Condition on the planet are still stubbornly pursuing the spiritual solutions of Eastern Religion. This spiritual view of the world is so all pervading that literally everything is deemed to be Spiritual, Sacred, Holy or Divine. The extent of denial and piousness of spiritual people is plainly evident when they state that the Human Condition of suffering, poverty, despair, war, torture, murders, rape, child abuse, domestic violence, etc. is either ‘an illusion’ or part of ‘everything is perfect as-it-is – one just needs to go ‘in’ ...’ This introverted attitude to life, actively encouraged by Eastern Religions, has led to a remarkable outbreak of self-absorbing, self -centred, self-interested and ultimately Self-seeking behaviour. The avowed aim of many on the spiritual path is to achieve Self-realization – a blatant act of disassociation from being a mortal human being in the world as-it-is given that to be Self-Realized is to believe oneself to be Divine and Immortal.
To be spiritual, indulge in spiritual practice or regard the world as a spiritual world is to not only put one’s head in the clouds and deny and ignore the reality of the Human Condition on the planet, but more particularly is to deny and ignore one’s own behaviour and actions.
When I was leaving the spiritual world and began to really investigate what others had to say about the human condition, I was amazed to discover that everyone – and I do mean everyone – has a spiritual outlook on life. The spiritual viewpoint permeates philosophy, science, medicine, education, psychology, law, etc.
No one dares to question the sacred ceiling for the atavistic fears and peer pressure are shockingly real. It is an act of extraordinary gall to even consider that everyone – and I do mean everyone – has got it 180 degrees wrong.
But it does explain why after millennia of so-called civilization and spiritual search, there is nothing even remotely resembling 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.