Peter: Within the current limitations of the Human Condition, happiness is a
temporary state at best, totally dependent on fortuitous circumstances and, as such, is notoriously fickle. Some people create an imaginary
world of bliss and happiness which is based on transcending or denying the misery, violence and suffering both in themselves and others. When
one eliminates the opposites of good and evil, right and wrong, as well as the animal instincts of fear and aggression, there remains an actual
innocence, purity and contentment that far exceeds anything promised by the spiritual and religious zealots. The direct, pure, sensate
experience of the actual world, the perfection of paradise only on earth, here, now is pretty hard to beat.
A personal description of becoming happy and harmless on the path to Actual Freedom
[Peter]: ‘I became vitally interested in ‘How am I experiencing this moment
of being alive?’ And if that meant I was feeling angry, sad, melancholy, lacklustre, depressed, then I would track back to find out what
it was that bought on that feeling. What was said, what happened, when did it happen? I wanted to understand feelings, their source, how they
worked, what caused them to kick in, etc. Only by understanding them, could I begin to get free of their insidious grip. I also knew that until
I was rid of the source of feelings entirely – ‘me’ – I would have to live with them. So best to understand them and best to aim for
the felicitous and innocuous ones – and feeling happy and feeling harmless are surely the best one can aim for of the feelings.
For me the clue was in my aim to be happy and harmless. Even in my spiritual
days I wouldn’t have described myself as unhappy. Probably that I was reasonably happy, particularly when things were going well. But what I
had to admit, almost force myself to admit, was that I was not harmless. Well-meaning, yes, but when push came to shove, or when things weren’t
going my way – certainly not harmless.
My inability to live with a woman in peace and harmony was ample testimony to this
fact. When I read Richard’s journal for the first time it was the first chapters on ‘living together’, ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ that
pricked up my ears. It was to prove to be my test of fire. I asked myself a simple question. ‘Could I live with a woman in peace and harmony?’
The honest answer was ‘no’. The next question was – ‘Why not?’ The answer to that question took me off on a 12 month investigation
into the beliefs, emotions, passions instinctual programming, morals and ethics of gender, sex and living together. As a man, I was fascinated
to discover the extent that my social and biological programming actively conspired to prevent anything remotely resembling intimacy – hence
the need for the feeling of love to bridge the chasm.
To be reasonably happy is relatively easy. To be totally harmless – to have no instinctual fear or
aggression – to be actually free of malice and sorrow is an evolutionary leap. The stakes are high in this game … but so are the rewards.’