Peter: The three ways a person can experience the world are:
1: 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