Peter’s Correspondence on Mailing List B
Correspondent No 5
PETER: Thanks for your post.
RESPONDENT: Well you certainly have clearly stated and outlined your point of view.
PETER: I take that as good feedback. We humans have a unique capacity of being able to communicate with each other via language and personally I find the challenge of ordering my thoughts by writing an excellent means of ensuring clarity. As for my point of view, I have presented facts to substantiate my radical proposition that human beings’ pursuit of spiritual and religious belief has done nothing to bring peace on earth and is not even mentioned in spiritual dogma – either ancient or current. Further I have presented a modern alternative process single-pointedly aimed at eliminating malice and sorrow. No one yet has questioned the facts I presented – ignoring, dismissing or denying facts does not make them go away – but you have raised some questions, which I appreciate.
RESPONDENT: I am left wondering why there is always this struggle between ‘self’ and ‘Self’, with the supposed answer being the creation of a ‘third alternative’.
Thus far humans have attempted to escape from being a thinking ‘self’ seemingly trapped within a mortal flesh and blood body and shifted their identity to becoming ‘who’ they instinctually feel they are – their soul, atman, spirit, Self, Isness, etc. – an immortal ethereal being, ‘just passing through’ this illusionary physical world.
To actively undertake the process of one’s own ‘self’-immolation is a third alternative that results in the progressive eradication of both the instilled social identity and the encoded instinctual identity, thus causing the cessation of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. This is not ‘the creation’ of anything new but the deliberate elimination of all that is illusionary, instinctual, ancient, rotten and redundant.
What remains at the end of this process is ‘what’ you are, not ‘who’ think and feel you are.
RESPONDENT: This seems to be a very basic formula, but knowing that the mind can only deal in division and loves to split and then reassemble the pieces of the fractured wholeness back into what appears to be something ‘new’, there is some sense that we could be playing the same old, never-ending game again here.
PETER: Indeed, there is a plethora of claims made for a new spirituality, a new way, an ordinary spirituality, the real Truth, a third way, a middle path etc. In my spiritual years I remained loyal and faithful to one teacher for most of my time but when he died I saw the inevitable fragmenting and formaldehyding of the religion so I moved on to others who all claimed to have unique new insights and revelations. I never quite managed to replicate the love affair I had with my first teacher which, in hindsight, was very useful. I was more able to clearly look at what the others were saying and offering and I eventually came to see that they all parroted versions of that old seductive message – there is life after death and we are just ‘passing through’ before we go to a better place ‘somewhere else’. Sweet music and sweet poetry for the soul. The more one soaks up this message, the less one becomes interested in, and involved in, life on earth, where we flesh and blood humans actually live.
What I saw was that I was playing the same old denial, renunciation and transcendence game that has been played – with undoubted sincerity, conviction and intensity – by billions of my fellow human beings for millennium. That’s why I went for something new and radical – to cut to the quick of the problem –’me’ (as ‘self’ or ‘Self’).
‘I’ am an illusion, not the physical material palpable world.
RESPONDENT: The several modern day sages that I have encountered were not propagating any ancient belief structures but were speaking from their own realization of a living perspective and I think you are generalizing when you refer to ‘Eastern religion’.
PETER: I have no doubt that many are speaking from their own realizations, either from having had a glimpse of the Divine as in a Satori, epiphany, revelation, awakening, etc. or as a full-blown permanent realization where their own personal ego-program has crashed and their identity has shifted to their instinctual feeling-only ‘Self’. This experience, commonly known as an altered state of consciousness, does have cultural, religious and fashionable variations, and you are correct in saying that I am generalizing, for not all of these experiences are related to Eastern religion. I was referring to the Eastern religious realization of Enlightenment for that is the broad field of enquiry of this list.
What is common to all religious /spiritual experiences and realizations is the ages-old belief that there is life after death and we are just ‘passing through’ before we go to a better place ‘somewhere else’.
RESPONDENT: You have divided everyone into the two camps of ‘normal’ and ‘becoming spiritual’, leaving only your view as the third alternative. Could there be other alternatives that you have not yet discovered?
PETER: The wonderful thing about the Internet is that everyone and anyone who has something to say, usually gets around to ‘sticking their poster up’ on the Web. So far, extensive searching has revealed that everyone is either trying to cope, as best they can, in the ‘normal’ world or propagating some form of spiritual alternative to what is seen as, and felt to be, the human dilemma. Many, many humans have tried to find a solution to human malice and sorrow and many have tried to break the stranglehold that spiritual belief has over the search for freedom, peace and happiness. It is only now, thanks to modern rapid travel, instant world-wide communication and access to written material and religious texts that we are able to scrutinize both the teachers and their teachings, free of the fear of ostracization, retribution and retaliation. For the first time we are able to make sensible choices of our own, based firmly on facts, rather than merely believe what others tell us.
Unless I find otherwise, and I would be delighted to find that I am wrong, everyone is either coping with being normal or escaping by becoming spiritual. There are only a handful of people, thus far, who are trekking the other way.
RESPONDENT: I also have a question regarding the fact that your experiment concerns only you and your companion living together in utter peace and harmony.
PETER: My experiment, as you put it, does not only concern my companion and I living together in utter peace and harmony. I included that fact as a down-to-earth, here and now, proof that peace on earth is possible. What bothered me in my spiritual search was that the idea of male-female companionship and the sensuous delight of sex were always placed second to one’s own spiritual ‘attainment’. Indeed, at the root of most ancient belief is the yearning to leave the problems and failures of human one-to-one intimacy behind, together with the ‘evils’ of instinctual predatory sexual urges, and seek a ‘higher consciousness’, above and beyond the mundane domestic and instinctual animal.
In my life I have observed and investigated both gender worlds, and eventually came to see them as culturally instilled and instinctually programmed. Together with my companion, I was able to break free of my social and instinctual identity as a man and she was able to break free of being a woman and thus we were able to free ourselves from the perennial battle of the sexes. No-one won, no-one lost, no-one compromised, we were simply able to step out of the whole mess. The process involved some 9 months of intense and oft scary investigation, exposure and elimination of all that stood in the way – I cleaned myself up, she cleaned herself up, and we had the fun of doing it together.
This is, in fact, the main event – the process of irrevocably changing oneself to eliminate malice and sorrow. It is futile, degrading, hypocritical and aggressive action to attempt to change anyone else. Being able to live with another person in peace, harmony, equity and parity is certainly not the be-all and end-all of human experience, but I used it as a touchstone, a down-to-earth proof that my explorations and investigations were not mere wankings but could be verified by my on-going, everyday experience in that toughest of tests – man-woman companionship and sexual play.
RESPONDENT: There would be room here for self-delusion should your companion choose to compromise, to go along to get along.
PETER: Yes, indeed. What I see, and personally experienced, in human male-female relationship is a battle of the sexes, either covert or overt. Much of this is passed on from father to son and mother to daughter and is an integral part of our social identity. Certainly the first thing we notice about others is their gender and this instant classification invariably colours our interactions as human beings. The other thing that kicks in automatically, and with disarming ferocity at puberty, is the sexual instinct, and it forever lurks, no matter how well controlled or ‘transcended’, to act as a spoiler to most male-female interactions and to actively inhibit free and sensuous sexual play.
As for self-delusion, I have already said one of the things that I didn’t like about the Enlightened Ones was how they were with their companions. The mere fact that one is more ‘evolved’, more ‘conscious’ or more ‘realized’ than the other, actively prevents equity and parity. If you remember, what I said in my post was –
I don’t doubt that many Enlightened Ones achieve a feeling of living together in peace and harmony but it is always at the expense of parity and equity – someone is higher and someone is lower.
Even the thought of having another human being fawn over me, surrender to me, be devotional, or feel they have to compromise because of me, was beneath my dignity as an autonomous human being – neither would I be free nor would the other person. This fact alone was enough to put me off any self-delusion. So when I eventually came across a woman who was equally willing to strip away everything that stood in the way of peace, harmony, equity and parity between us, I leapt at the chance and gave it 100%. And it worked ... beyond my wildest dreams.
RESPONDENT: Of course it is quite possible that you have indeed proven that two human beings can choose to live in utter peace and harmony, and if two can accomplish this then it would be possible for ‘all’ to do likewise.
PETER: As I said, I have proven it for myself and it is beyond my wildest dream. It has been going on for 24 hrs. a day, every day so long now that I regard it as normal and cannot understand why others bicker, fight, need to take space, or give up. I have to rack my memory and think back on my past relationships and how I was then. It is only by freeing myself from my social identity and the instinctual animal programming that I have become a delightful and fun companion to be with, and a rompacious sexual playmate. Before that, I was straight-jacketed ‘normal’, only to then become sanctimoniously goody two-shoed ‘spiritual’ – and both of them were a pain in the bum for any woman to live with.
I’d like to write more, but there are more questions, so I’d better move on. However, I think you probably get the gist of what I’m saying.
And yes, it is possible for anyone but, given it is pioneering stuff, in these early years not everyone who hears of it will be willing to take the risk, be prepared to do the hard work or to pay the price. It is possible for anyone who is vitally interested and that will not be everyone – as in ‘all’.
RESPONDENT: Can the peace and harmony you are experiencing with your partner remain inviolate when all about you the ignorance and suffering of human misery abounds?
PETER: Firstly, the word ‘ignorance’ is usually used in spiritual terms as meaning ‘those who are ignorant of the Truth’. Spiritual seekers who have the Truth revealed to them feel both specially blessed and humbly grateful to Existence, God or the Guru, for having seen the light, felt God in their heart, etc. From this exalted position, they see others as ignorant – as in following a false Guru or God, having ‘false’ beliefs, being the perpetrators of violence and the cause of suffering in the world. When I abandoned my skewered good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, enlightened vs. ignorant, them and me view of the world, I was able to clearly see the fact that I am one of 6 billion human beings on the planet.
When I was born there was little programmed in my brain, in fact, I remember nothing of my first years and my earliest memories are about age four. Before that I was like this computer before the Windows operating system was installed. This fact is confirmed empirically by modern brain scanning equipment. There was, however, a DOS-like base operating program – genetically encoded – and this began to fully kick in about the age of 2 years. This is easily observable in children when fear, aggression, nurture and desire begin to surface, no matter how or where the infant is raised. We are, contrary to ancient belief, not born ‘innocent’ but every human being comes into the world pre-primed with a set of crude animal instincts. With the first signs of the emergence of this instinctual behaviour we all begin to be instilled by our parents and peers with a social identity consisting of morals – ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – and ethics – ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – together with a full set of social beliefs and psittacisms. This social identity is instilled essentially to curb the excesses of the instinctual passions and to make one a fit member of society.
No one escapes this instinctual and social programming – it is the way-it-is.
The recognition and acknowledgement that this simple biological and social programming forms the very substance of ‘who’ we think we are and ‘who’ we feel we are deep down, is in itself immensely liberating. One can then begin the process of gaily abandoning the whole duality of good and evil, resentment and gratitude, and guilt and pride that underpin all the religious beliefs as to why we are here, and why we are the way we are.
An essential liberation is from the feeling of sorrow, both from having being born into this world in the first place – ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’ and from feeling sorrow or pity for others – compassion. Compassion literally means suffering together and being free of sorrow means being free of the mutual agreement that human life on earth is ultimately a suffering existence. In the spiritual world compassion is upheld as a virtue as it justifies one’s feeling of superiority by looking down on, or back at, those who are suffering. To be free of sorrow one must be free of the mutually-agreed sorrow that is inherent in the human condition.
By becoming free of the feeling of sorrow is it possible to take a clear-eyed look at the world-as-it-is and people as-they-are. Then one is moved to get off one’s bum and do something about the appalling malice and sorrow that is endemic in the human condition.
RESPONDENT: Do you have to ‘ignore’ anything to maintain this state?
PETER: No. It was only by ceasing to ignore and deny the fact that I was as mad and as bad as everyone else in the world, that I was able to get stuck into doing something about myself. To see that, at the core of my ‘being’, I am an instinctual animal – robotically programmed for fear, aggression, nurture and desire. To explore and plumb these depths and see the dread and despair, the lust for violence and the diabolical was to experience the raw animal passions at ‘my’ core. Most people who have glimpses of this dark side in themselves, as in dark nights of the soul, frantically seek to identify with the supposed good passions and become good, more loving, grateful, humbly superior and God-identified. It was only by ceasing to ignore and deny the animal instinctual passions in me, and abandoning my seductive indulgence in ancient spiritual belief, that I was able to free myself of the instinctual passions and live happy and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. Practicing denial and renunciation leads to rejection of, and disassociation from, the sensuous delight of this actual physical palpable world we live in.
It was only when I stopped ignoring facts and stopped indulging in my beliefs and feelings that I could begin to experience the ever-present actual world of sensate delight, purity and perfection.
Paradise is here on earth – not in our hearts, nor in heaven.
RESPONDENT: I would like to hear more about the dynamics of your alternative. How does it ‘work’?
PETER: As I have indicated, the first step is to fully take on board the modern discoveries that ‘who’ we think we are and ‘who’ we feel we are is nothing other than a social identity overlaying an instinctual identity – and that both are nothing more than operating programs in our brain.
This alien identity, or ‘self’, stands in the way of the already existing purity and perfection of the actual world becoming apparent and this is made startlingly clear in the ‘self’-less pure consciousness experience or peak experience.
From this experience one is clearly able to identify this alien entity as the source of one’s malice and sorrow, and one merrily sets in motion the process that will lead to living the pure consciousness experience, 24 hrs. a day, every day.
The first step is to actively demolish the first layer, one’s social identity – all the beliefs, morals, ethics and psittacisms that each of us have been programmed with since birth. In my case it was Peter the son, Peter the man, Peter the father, Peter the spiritual believer, Peter the good, Peter the bad, Peter the builder, etc, etc. It is only when I had substantially eliminated or deleted this program that I could clearly look at, and sensibly investigate, the core instinctual being that is ‘me’.
This second stage is where all seekers, up to now, have been seduced into denial of the ‘bad’ instinctual passions of fear and aggression and attempted to transcend them in order to develop a new spiritual identity based on the ‘good’ passions. It takes sincere intent to avoid this atavistic seduction and instinctual grasp for survival (nurture) and self-aggrandizement (desire) and to dig deep to actively eliminate the insidious robotic influence that the instinctual passions have on one’s actions and thinking.
Finally the day comes when the whole program becomes so shaky and so nebulous that it crashes as one sees and experiences the fact that ‘who’ I am is nothing other than an illusion, given substance and credence by the chemical surges from the ancient instinctual brain.
This de-programming works exactly like the delete button on your computer. As you see something being redundant, preventing you from being happy now, or causing you to make someone else unhappy – delete! If it comes back again, see what it is, name the feeling, root around, see if you can function without it, delete it and empty the recycle bin this time. And get back as quick as you can to the sensate, sensual enjoyment of this moment of being alive. Each deletion and subsequent tangible freedom from malice and sorrow gives you the confidence to delete a bit more and soon you find yourself actively searching through each experience to see what is preventing you from being happy and harmless here, now, in this only moment you can be alive.
‘Self’-immolation is such an adventure ... and such fun.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.
PETER: Thus far humans have attempted to escape from being a thinking ‘self’ seemingly trapped within a mortal flesh and blood body and shifted their identity to becoming ‘who’ they instinctually feel they are – their soul, atman, spirit, Self, Isness, etc. – an immortal ethereal being, ‘just passing through’ this illusionary physical world.
To actively undertake the process of one’s own ‘self’-immolation is a third alternative that results in the progressive eradication of both the instilled social identity and the encoded instinctual identity, thus causing the cessation of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. This is not ‘the creation’ of anything new but the deliberate elimination of all that is illusionary, instinctual, ancient, rotten and redundant.
What remains at the end of this process is ‘what’ you are, not ‘who’ think and feel you are.
RESPONDENT: Thanks Peter for clarifying your dis-covery of the Truth of Being that can only be experienced NOW.
PETER: No, what I am talking about is the ending of being. The search for the Truth of Being is an utterly selfish pursuit for Meaning by the psychological and psychic entity that dwells within the body. Having discovered a self-gratifying Truth the entity then attempts to live this inner truth NOW, moment to moment, in the actual physical world, with varying degrees of success. The only way this can be pulled off successfully, as every spiritual seeker knows, is to dissociate completely from the physical world. Thus the search for Truth of Being is a process of turning away, turning in, letting go, withdrawing, disidentifying, and finally complete dissociation aka Enlightenment.
There are three ways a human being can experience being here –
RESPONDENT: The several sages that I referred to in my previous reply are definitely pointing to the same FACT. None of these ‘teachers’ have spoken of a belief in life after death and all have been speaking from a very PRESENT realization of what I would describe as Absolute Wholeness.
PETER: No, all sages have their wisdom firmly rooted in the past. The lotus flower they proffer has its roots firmly in the mud of past ignorance. They still talk of good and evil, going in, finding one’s true self, discovering the Truth or whatever. Many are shifty about how they present their message and many are selective in their interpretation the underlying message of the Ancient ones – but their essential message is still the same – be anywhere but here and anywhere but now, for human existence on earth is ultimately a suffering existence. Increasingly a discernable shift can be seen as many attempt to convey a more sophistic and less radical spirituality, but the spiritual world is the spiritual world, be it Franklin Jones at one end of the spectrum or Oprah Winfrey at the other.
I am not advocating a return to the ‘real’ world for that would be silly for those who have at least seen its follies.
But there is a third alternative – step out of the real world, and the spiritual world, into the actual world and leave your self behind where ‘you’ belong.
RESPONDENT: The old belief structures of organized religion, be it eastern or western, certainly never attracted my attention with the promise of an answer after death. I think you are separating yourself from a huge community of sincere fellow beings who want to know the Truth of What Is ... Now!
PETER: Yes, the attraction for me on the spiritual path was the seductive promise of enlightenment – a period of experiencing freedom, on earth, not after death as in Western religion. It certainly was a better deal. I only abandoned it because I began to be suss of those who had obtained this state of freedom, suspicious of turning away from tangible sensuous delights, of feeling more withdrawn from my fellow human beings, and of feeling special. A further realization came when I realized the famed spiritual path was nothing other than a dressed up, fashionable, more casual reinterpretation of old time Eastern religion.
But the final straw only came when I realized there was now, at last, something better on offer. Even then it took me months and months before I was finally willing to let go of my spiritual world-view. By giving up belief I am no longer part of the ‘huge community ’ of spiritual seekers but I have become a citizen of the world, free of all religious, metaphysical, cultural and social beliefs. I am released from the burden of having to be someone, of being an identity, of being remorselessly driven by instinctual passions, be they good or evil. This freedom is palpable and tangible – I find myself living in sensuous delight in the actual magical paradise of this verdant planet.
RESPONDENT: I think this is an Impersonal Fact rather than a personal belief.
PETER: Are you implying there is such a thing as a personal fact or a belief that is an impersonal belief? To avoid confusion and aid communication I like to keep to simple dictionary definitions of words.
A fact is a fact, it stands on its own – it is neither personal nor impersonal and it requires neither faith, trust or hope for it to be so.
Beliefs are always personal and are usually said to be real if other people share the same belief. The more people who believe the more real the belief appears to be and is often claimed to be a truth or Truth in spiritual terms. However, even if everyone believes something to be true it doesn’t make it a fact.
Long ago everyone believed the earth was the centre of the cosmos and the sun went around the earth, but now we know it was just a belief based on the limited viewpoint of at the time. It took nearly 400 years for the Pope to finally acknowledge only in the last decade that the Bible was wrong.
Long ago everyone believed that humans were born innocent and corrupted by evil in this world but we now know this was just a belief based on an idea that the world was populated by good and evil spirits. It may well take 400 years for Eastern religion to acknowledge that Mr. Buddha and the other Ancients were wrong.
RESPONDENT: Surely when one experiences the falling away of all false belief structures and human conditioning and programming it becomes obvious that there are no separate selves in the first place.
PETER: Now you are introducing the notion of a false belief. Are you implying there are false beliefs and true beliefs and that your belief is true? To believe means to ‘fervently wish to be true’. The action of believing is to emotionally imagine, or fervently wish, something to be real that is not actual – actual as in tangible, corporeal, material, definitive, present, obvious, evident, current, substantial, physical and palpable. A belief is an assumption, a notion, a proposition, an idea that requires faith, trust or hope to be sustained in the face of doubt, uncertainty and lack of factual evidence. Whereas a fact is a fact, demonstratively evident to all that it is actual and/or that it works.
Many beliefs are masqueraded as ‘truths’ or are merely accepted as facts in lieu of any serious scrutiny, or are protected by the blatant and stubborn refusal to question the facticity of that which is ‘dearly held’ to be true.
As for ‘there are no separate selves in the first place’ you are talking of the spiritual belief that we have a false self who feels separate or thinks itself to be separate (ego in spiritual jargon). The spiritual Truth is that if we dissolve this identity and become our true self who feels unity or oneness or God, or whatever, then that new self lives in a state of Nirvana, Oneness, Wholeness, Unity, Timelessness or whatever. This cunning shift of identity, called Enlightenment, Awakening, Freedom, Liberation, or whatever, is not an elimination of the psychological or psychic identity – nor does it claim to be, if you read any spiritual offerings with a clear eye.
RESPONDENT: I have experienced dropping a personal ego to then find later that I was hiding in a spiritual ego so I can relate to what you are saying about taking on a new spiritual identity.
PETER: Ah, then you will see that the creation of a new non-separate self is merely adopting a new spiritual identity. It does take immense courage to keep peeling away at the layers of the onion and not stop at the ages-old spiritual layer as everyone else has done. To not be seduced by good feelings or scared off by bad ones in one’s search for freedom from malice and sorrow requires an intrepid pioneering spirit. The end result of eliminating beliefs is that eventually one gets to the stage of ceasing the very act of believing and an immense and palpable freedom ensues.
RESPONDENT: It is a very subtle business... and I think the danger is in stopping along the way to draw conclusions. I really like your computer metaphor of the delete button and not forgetting to empty the re-cycle bin!
PETER: Up until now, every body who has tried to delete their social and instinctual identity has stopped when they got to the bad bits and frantically grabbed for the good bits. In doing so they merely installed a spiritual program, gratefully relieved to be able to find safety again. It takes audacity, persistence and bloody-mindedness to investigate one’s own instinctual passions at their very core for one is investigating, dissecting and deleting the very core of one’s own being. It is not something that can be done without the pure intent gleaned from a pure consciousness experience. My experience is that if it’s a subtle business then you are snorkeling around on the surface, for when one goes deep sea diving into one’s own psyche the business is not subtle but so profound as to totally change one’s life, irrevocably and irretrievably.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t the fact that we can communicate like this together proof of the basic unity and understanding from which everything springs?
PETER: The belief that there is a ‘basic unity and understanding from which everything springs’ is a fundamental spiritual belief. By believing there is an energy, life-force, hidden meaning, creative force, Isness, Essence, spirit, Godliness, Universal Consciousness, or whatever, that is creating, operating or controlling within, above or beyond this infinite, eternal physical universe is succour for the soul. The only way the lost, lonely frightened and very cunning entity that dwells within the flesh and blood body can feel connected to the physical world is to imagine that it is primarily spirit based and what is physically perceived by the flesh and blood body’s physical senses. The only way to sensately experience the sensuous delights and always already-existing peace, purity and perfection of the actual world is to eliminate this illusionary entity in total.
RESPONDENT: It seems that even our inventions can’t help expressing this reflection of the facts of being!
PETER: I always find it curious that spirituality, be it Eastern or Western, always pours scorn on materialism yet it is the inventions of empirical science, engineers, chemists, doctors and the like that has given human beings unprecedented levels of leisure, pleasure, comfort and safety. In the west the scientists, chemists, engineers, traders, craftsmen and the like managed to break from the church hundreds of years ago and the West blossomed. In the East this stranglehold was much stronger and more insidious but this century may well see the influence of the Eastern church weaken as well. The shamans are loosing their grip because the people are becoming increasingly freed to find out for themselves rather than merely believe what is spoken from the pulpit or podium or followed the ancient wisdom that is chiselled in stone or written on rice paper.
We modern humans only have to move the direction of search for freedom peace and happiness from the old one of liberation of the human spirit to a new search for liberation from the impassioned illusion of the human spirit ... and peace on earth will incrementally become a fact as each new person does it for themselves.
RESPONDENT: You say every human being born into this world has a pre-programmed instinctual ‘self’ that is fully developed by about age two.
PETER: I don’t know if you have ever had children or had the opportunity to closely observe a baby’s development from birth to toddler. If so, you would have seen the gradual emergence of what could best be described as an independent will. The infant changes from being a pliant demander of food and comfort to showing signs of aggressive behaviour, fear of people, likes and dislikes, moodiness, stubbornness and the classic temper tantrums. All this is the sign of an emergence of an instinctual ‘self’ and this stage marks the beginning of the parent’s carrot and stick approach to teaching the infant what is right and good, and what is wrong and bad, behaviour. The infant is taught an appropriate social code of ethics and morals by a combination of reward and punishment in order that the infant can eventually learn appropriate behaviour to make him or her a fit, able and good member of society. Thus it is that the instinctual ‘self’ we are born with is overlaid with a social identity consisting of the morals, ethics, values, psittacisms and beliefs of our peers. I know this genetic programming and social programming very well for I have parented two children and have observed identical behaviour in all children and parents I have come across.
This programming is common to each and every infant born into the world. No-one escapes this genetic and social programming that eventually makes up ‘who’ we think and feel we are – an instinctual ‘self’ overlaid with a social identity.
The instinctual ‘self’ is located in the primitive brain, commonly known as the reptilian brain, and the associated instinctual are animal in nature and very crude and brutish in operation – and when push comes to shove, readily able to override any common sense or moral and ethical considerations.
Thus, despite the myth of ancient wisdom, we humans are not born ‘innocent’ and then corrupted by our peers and evils of the material world. Nor are we eternal spirits who forget ‘who’ we really are when loaded into a foetus and born into a material world with the task of remembering ‘who’ we really are – an immortal spirit – and when we do become ‘who we really are’, we seek to tell others that they should remember that they too are eternal spirits who ...
The facts about ‘who’ we think we are, and ‘who we feel we are deep down inside, is deeply abhorrent to spiritual seekers, for it reveals that freedom, peace and happiness can only be found by abandoning all of the notions of ancient wisdom, tuning one’s backs on one’s precious spiritual achievements and dismantling one’s prized spiritual identity – something few will dare to do for the lot of a pioneer is a daunting one to say the least.
From this modern, clear-eyed, empirical understanding of the source of human malice and sorrow it is readily apparent that freedom, peace and happiness is only possible when both one’s social identity and one’s instinctual ‘self’ – both ego and soul – are eradicated from the flesh and blood body.
RESPONDENT: My question: Who or what did the pre-programming?
PETER: Well, on the planet at the moment there are evidently over 2,000 active religions, each with a different story about ‘Who’ did it, and the current New Dark Age has seen a fashionable revival of many ancient beliefs and theories and the creation of quite a few new ones. The spiritual world offers a potpourri of Gods, Goddesses, spirits, Demons, Energies, aliens, Forces, stories, reasons, explanations, theories and beliefs as to the existence of Good and Evil on the planet. It is curious to note that all the explanations put the praise or blame on a ‘Who’, a Higher Power, with the exception of the Eastern Religions who tend to blame a ‘what’, as in Mr. Buddha’s first Noble Truth – ‘life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering’.
The ineludible answer to your question is far more extraordinary and amazing than any of the fairy stories that humans have concocted over millennia.
In at least one solar system, this astonishing universe has manifested an event of no little significance, by providing a fresh opportunity for carbon-based life-forms to emerge out of itself ... and thus matter became animate matter. This shimmeringly blue verdant planet exudes a humid and nutrient-rich atmosphere that is the primordial womb of the only life that is so far known to exist in the universe. The circumstances on earth were ripe for the chemical processes that gave rise to the cellular structures of a prolific vegetate life and for amoeba to form, grow, combine and recombine to develop into extraordinary and bizarre variations of animate life and to begin the inevitable progression towards conscious animate life. So abundant and luxuriant is carbon-based life on the planet that it is estimated that there are currently between 2 and 4.5 million individual animal and plant species on the planet.
The multiplicity of organisms that has developed and redeveloped has done so through the biological feed-back mechanism of the primal creature’s involuntary response to environmental dictates. Their ‘life-successful’ reactions are genetically encoded as automated survival instincts. The human species, the most sophisticated of life forms, the only intelligent animal species on Earth, capable of thinking, planning and reflecting, and of being conscious of their own thoughts and actions, represents the pinnacle of the emergence and development of carbon-based life forms known in the universe.
... Isn’t the actual so much more remarkable, breathtaking and vital than the imaginary grim fairy tales we have been taught?
There is no ‘Who’ running this universe and no helpless despairing ‘what’ that makes human malice and sorrow an unalterable fate. As is clearly evidenced in a Pure Consciousness Experience, this physical universe is perfect and pure for it is infinite and eternal – there is no outside to this universe and it is always happening now. In a PCE it is abundantly clear that it is ‘me’ and ‘my’ feelings and passions that stand in the way of this purity and perfection being actualized in this flesh and blood body.
The ending of one’s own malice and sorrow is thus in one’s own hands ... and not in the hands of some imaginary ‘Who’.
Good, hey. It was the best news I had ever heard in my life.
PETER: You wrote to No 30 on the subject of clarity and perception –
RESPONDENT: Your follow-up question regarding the change in how we perceive ‘the world’ when our mood changes is an interesting one. I think there is a direct correlation between our level of consciousness and how we ‘see’, even in a physical sense. I too have noticed the dramatic lightening-up effect when the fearful or angry thoughts pass.
PETER: Fearful or angry thoughts are feelings, not thoughts. Fear is a feeling, as is anger. Feelings are most commonly expressed as emotion-backed thoughts. A feeling is sensately experienced in the body, either in the heart area or the gut, due to the flow of chemicals from the instinctual brain.
Spiritual belief is that bad thoughts and wrong thinking are the cause of our malice and sorrow and completely ignore the fact that it is the feelings that arise from the instinctual passions that are the real problem.
RESPONDENT: I am starting to experience these episodes as energy fields passing through consciousness and resisting the urge to identify them as ‘my’ problems or fears. This gives them a relatively short life-span. I notice that when I am experiencing these heavy energy fields they seem very real and I can’t imagine that I will ever feel happy again, and yet when they pass I do indeed experience happiness, love and joy once again.
PETER: What you label ‘energy fields’ are in fact your very own feelings and emotions. It is common in the real world to blame others for one’s own fear and anger and it is common in the spiritual world to blame others in general – the unconscious, evil or normal people – while disowning these same feelings in oneself.
This is what is called dis-identifying with one’s feelings. This is the quintessential religious/spiritual practice whereby one dis-identifies from the bad feelings that arise from the savage instinctual passions – it is not ‘my’ anger or ‘my’ fear – and identifies with the good feelings that arise from tender instinctual passions – the real ‘me’ who is all-loving and all-encompassing.
RESPONDENT: I always think I have to do something to ‘fix’ the problems or to protect ‘myself’, but I am really starting to see that they will just dissolve and this is giving me the freedom to just watch them come and go.
PETER: This Eastern spiritual method of denying one’s own bad feelings of malice and sorrow, and accepting that they just come and go, means that one avoids the possibility and opportunity to irrevocably change oneself such that the animal instinctual passions can be eliminated altogether. This is the classic spiritual formula of ‘denial pus acceptance equals no possible change’.
RESPONDENT: There is always the compulsion to project the problem outward so I can do something about it but now I am seeing through that temptation sometimes as well.
PETER: Curiously, in Eastern spiritual teachings there is never the compulsion to look inwards so as to seek the very source of the fear, aggression, nurture and desire. One is only encouraged and taught to look inwards for the grand ‘self’-fulfilling feelings of Love, God, Bliss, Timelessness, etc. Ye shall find what ye seek ... and ignore what you want to ignore.
RESPONDENT: It is fascinating to be alive!
PETER: I take it your fascination does not include the periods when ‘these heavy energy fields ... seem very real and I can’t imagine that I will ever feel happy again’?
RESPONDENT: I also noticed some years ago that I would ask for ‘help’ within, to what seemed an impossible situation or need, and then the answer would come in such a normal and simple way that I would forget my desperate helplessness and just carry on like it had never happened. Since seeing this ingratitude in myself I have been much more conscious of how I was ignoring the miracles that did and do occur all around me. Now walking on the green grass seems as much a miracle to me as walking on water would be.
PETER: The only way to be happy here on the planet is to be grateful to some Higher Authority in order to overcome the innate resentment every human being feels at having to be here in the first place, in this awful real world. Feeling gratitude in order to overcome resentment is a paltry substitute for the direct moment to moment intimacy of ‘self’-less living, free of both ego or soul, in this extraordinary ambrosial actual world of purity and perfection.
RESPONDENT: So to relate all this to the question of ego, I can see that when lost in identifying with these energy fields, I become unavailable to others, and can easily cause pain and suffering in my desperate struggle for survival...to myself and others. Are you able to realize the difference in perception when you are experiencing a dark mood No 30? I think that would be the beginning of the end and you could identify with that clarity of perception rather than with the heaviness of the mood to give yourself some space to breathe and just ‘be’.
PETER: The problem I found with just ‘being’ was that I had to deny my bad and wrong feelings as not being ‘me’, accept that I could not change and therefore nothing could change in the world, such that I found myself increasingly living in ‘my’ own inner world of spiritual fantasy. When I had profound experiences such that ‘I’ was the centre of all that is, and everything around me appeared to be dream-like, I really started to question the sagacity of spiritual experiences and spiritual teachings. What I found was that my dearly held beliefs were obscuring my clarity and restricting my perception such that a direct sensate-only experience of the perfection and purity of the actual world was impossible.
RESPONDENT: We believe it is a comfort to ‘know’ or ‘believe’ that we ‘understand’, and feel a great deal of discomfort in facing the fear of ‘not knowing’.
For myself, no matter what words are woven together from the mind, no matter how deeply thought out ... it’s all noise. We want to commune-i-cate and think we need words to do so, but have you ever sat in silence in the forest?
PETER: Indeed, and I presume that what you are indicating is that one can then commune with Nature, to feel that one is not, after all, alone but that there is a Higher Power, be it Mother Earth, God, What Is, Love or whatever other name. It is indeed a deep feeling of connectedness and one’s psychological self or ego can diminish and temporarily disappear while one’s psychic self or soul is deeply nourished, vindicated and expanded. These experiences of ‘who we really are’ and of our connectedness to the Whole are so overwhelming as to appear very real, overarchingly convincing and revealing of the true meaning of our existence. These affective experiences are purely personal and ‘self’-centred and are culturally/spiritually influenced such that an Environmentalist feels Mother Earth, a Buddhist feels Buddha in his heart, a Jew feels Jehovah, a spiritual follower feels gratitude to his or her Master or teacher, etc. It is these bodiless, affective-only experiences that are upheld as the ultimate proof for the existence of a God or a Higher Power and have consequently kept Humanity enthralled and entrapped in the belief of a Higher Power in the universe ... and a Greater Meaning for ‘my’ existence.
The spiritual practice of meditation mimics these affective experiences in nature and the practice of closing one’s eyes is specifically designed to eventually eliminate all sensory input from the physical world in order to gain an inner bodiless experience of ‘who’ I really am.
RESPONDENT: No matter how we dissect and analyze what we perceive to be ‘out there’, other humans, nature, the universe etc., there are no words for the peace that passeth understanding.
PETER: The perennial quandary for human beings is that ‘who’ they think and feel they are is an alien entity trapped ‘inside’ in a flesh and blood body. Thus ‘I’ look out at the world through the eyes, ‘I’ touch with the hands, ‘I’ hear through the ears, ‘I’ smell with the nose. Being an alien psychological and psychic entity is the very cause of feeling lost, lonely, and frightened and forever cut off from the physical actual world. To retreat totally ‘inside’ in search of the real ‘me’, and the true meaning of life, is to become even further isolated from the sensual delights of the actual world. Those who succeed come to experience the outer world as a dream-like illusion and eventually create their own inner reality. No 12 described this process very well and others on this list have alluded to it. This process of total psychological withdrawal is known as dissociation.
As for no words to describe this inner peace that passeth understanding – to the contrary, there have been billions of words, metaphors, poetry, songs, sonnets, books, texts, teachings, scriptures, scrolls, parchments, etc. for thousands of years in hundreds of different languages and cultures.
RESPONDENT: But still, we try ... and sometimes when a master weaver is able to totally disarm us, there is a cessation in our mind-created thought stream. Suddenly we have a moment of silent peace and experience the wonder of WHAT IS.
PETER: Yes. The psychic power and authority of a shaman or spiritual teacher is directly proportionate to his ability to enthrall and entrance his audience, to lead them inside, to abandon sensible thought and wallow in the feeling of What Is or God. I know how overwhelming this experience is for I have experienced it myself over many years on many, many occasions. It was only when I got to the point where it was evident that I was soon to become one of these all-powerful men that I balked. By then I had started to see the inherent maliciousness in a system whereby human beings worship other human beings as Gods and prostrate and humble themselves in order to get a bit of feel-good inner bliss. I somehow knew there must be something better than this, something more genuine, something more down-to-earth, something that did not rely on ‘me’ and ‘my’ feelings to sustain it, something pure and perfect in itself.
And there is.
RESPONDENT: I have had the incredible good fortune to come across a few master weavers in my time and can see that they are living in that Silent, thought-free, belief-less Conscious Awareness of WHAT IS. What is being communicated is more than words, beyond concepts of time or theories of creation. To those who only hear words, these ONES are easily dismissed ... to those who experience the cessation of thought as a result of ‘hearing’ beyond the words, there is eternal gratitude and (dare I say it?) LOVE.
PETER: I find it significant that you said ‘those who only hear words ... are easily dismissed’ which means that it is impossible to question what is said and also that it doesn’t matter what is said. Belief in such platitudes is exactly why religion has had such a stranglehold over Humanity.
Well, I for one dare to question, for religious/spiritual belief and affectations have wreaked havoc on this planet for far to long to be mindlessly dismissed by such hackneyed clichés.
There is no need to take what I write personally, for these words are not for the faithful but for those who have doubts about religion being the answer to Humanity’s woes.
RESPONDENT: Speaking of words, here are a few I would like to ask you to consider ... why do they exist in our vocabulary ... where did they come from ... what are they trying to express?
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers humble themselves in the face of some mythical Higher Power. As I well know from my spiritual years, there are none so proud of their humility than spiritual seekers, for the more one humbles oneself, the more one debases and humiliates oneself and the more faithful and loyal one is, the more one’s personal self will be diminished and the more one’s Divine Self will be strengthened and enhanced.
Humbling oneself to a Higher Power, trying to become God, or cunningly becoming ‘one with Him’ – a sort of a ‘God and I are best mates’ scenario – taps into a deep pathological dependency that has been cunningly utilized by the Gurus to wield power over others and to wage horrendous wars on rival Gurus, shamans, priests and God-men for centuries.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers surrender their will and blindly and unquestionly follow. To surrender is but to give in. One surrenders to the tried and true belief in God and thus accepts that nothing will ever change. I for one would not, and could not, stop until I found something better than old time, or New Dark Age, religions. Of course, the first step was when I realized, right in the middle of one of those sublime moments of surrender to a Master, that I was but a sheep and far, far from being a free human being.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers listen but what they really mean is feel not listen, for as you yourself said ‘those who only hear words, these ONES are easily dismissed’. What the God-men are saying is feel what I am saying in the heart and turn ‘inwards’, away from the evils of the ‘outer’ world. Unfortunately the Jew who fights the Arab feels god in his heart, the Catholic fighting the Protestant both feel God in their hearts, the Indian fighting the Pakistani both feel God in their hearts, the awakened ones who accuse others of not being awake feel God in their hearts, the Rajneeshee who riles against the Christians feels God in his or her heart, the seeker who feels his or her Master is the best and only true Master feels God in his or her heart. To hold someone dear in your heart often means you are willing to kill or die for that person. When that someone is a mythical God, by whatever name, that very same passion has fuelled all the religious and spiritual warfare that has caused countless millions of human beings to kill, maim, rape and torture each other over the millennia.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers be open to the teacher and the teachings. They simultaneously demand utter faith, trust and unquestioning loyalty – consequently their followers remain forever closed to any other possibility but the teacher and the teachings.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers be empty whereas what they are saying is fill the emptiness you feel inside with the feeling of God or Being or Is-ness. This is not being empty inside, as in ‘self’-less, this is being full inside as in ‘self’-fulfilled or ‘Self’-satisfied.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers seek stillness of thought and thinking so as to allow the traditional, much sought after, feelings of fullness, completeness, wholeness, oneness, timelessness and spacelessness to come welling in to fill ‘the void’. In the East millions of monks have isolated themselves from the world and practiced sitting with their eyes closed for hours upon hours as a way to achieve the prized feeling of stillness. From isolation, sensory deprivation and physical pain comes the relief of stillness and, if one is passionate enough, the prize of feeling Fullness.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers abandon any notions of actualizing peace on earth for what they preach is a feeling of ‘inner’ peace as an escape from the necessary suffering and inherent evil of the world and they dangle the alluring promise of an eternal peace after physical death.
It really matters not a fig what the faithful feel or preach, for they are but supporting the religious wars of the Gods and the petty battles of the Gurus. But for someone who is genuinely interested in peace on earth, the true messages of spiritual/ religious teachings are worthy of serious scrutiny rather than blind unquestioning loyalty.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers feel there is only ‘one’, for usually they are the representatives of the ‘One’, they are in tune with the ‘One’, ‘One and I are best mates’ or even ‘I am the only One.
As for the feeling of oneness – why is it that despite these grandiose feelings of ‘we are all one’ in the spiritual/religious world, there are still petty battles between Gurus, ongoing religious wars between Gods. Not even two people can live together in utter peace and harmony, let alone any spiritual/religious community.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers treat what they are saying and the energy they are giving out as a mystery – never to be doubted, never to be questioned, never to be unravelled, never to be debunked. If one dares to do so, one is threatened with the withdrawal of the Guru’s love, incurring the wrath of God, and suffering the scorn and anger of the mob. So far, if anyone was dissatisfied, doubting or questioning, they have had no alternative but to shift allegiances in the spiritual world or simply give up and return to the real world of grim reality. There is now a third alternative.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers believe that what they are offering and the energy they are giving out is miraculous. Thus, every follower is led to believe that their God or, by proxy their Guru, is responsible for all the astounding life-forms and happenings on this planet and all of the majesty that is evident in the physical universe. Christians believe it is all God’s work, Hindus believe it is all Brahma’s work, Environmentalists believe that this planet itself is a living-entity populated by living spirits, the ancient Greeks believed the heavens were a battle ground for the Gods, Buddhists believe the physical universe is all a dream-like illusion, many even believe that their God will one day wipe out the planet and the universe in an act of vengeance. I could go on, but I think you might have got my gist. I don’t find these fairy stories to be miraculous at all, I find them to be ancient fear-ridden puerile nonsense.
I experience the actual physical universe to be a place of wonder, amazement and marvel. The universe is infinite – there is no outside to it, no other-worlds – and the physical universe is eternal – there was no beginning, there is no end. There was no Creator, there will be no Destroyer. There is no Higher Power, there is no-One in charge.
The actual world is the miracle – to claim it is the work of a higher power is but spirit-ual twaddle. To believe otherwise is to forever shut oneself off from the opportunity of ‘self’-lessly experiencing the perfection and purity of the actual world.
PETER: Gods and God-men, shamans and priests have forever demanded that their followers accept that ‘what is’ is in fact all God’s creation, hence the term IS. This is why followers have to believe that it IS and feel IS-ness rather than seek a permanent ‘self’-less sensate-only experience of the actual world.
RESPONDENT: No matter what we think, or how we intellectualize this amazing experience of BEING ... IT JUST IS!
PETER: If you want an amazing experience, ponder a while on what is actual, as in sensately experienceable, as opposed to what you feel and imagine is amazing. See if you can find a forest without a God or a divine energy in it and you may well be astounded at the experience. What is actual always beats imagination and impassioned feeling, for it is actual and it requires no ‘me’ to believe or feel it is amazing.
Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.