Selected Writings from Peter’s Journal
Apperception vs. Choiceless Awareness
And this body’s intelligence does have a few quirks and eccentricities due to my experiences and genes, I guess: diversity and variety are two of most delightful characteristics of the physical universe. The common sense part of the brain has the ability to observe the thinking in the brain – a sort of checking-out function. This is what Richard calls apperception – the mind’s ability to be aware of itself. It is simply a function of me, this body, not some foreign entity or spirit. Apperception enables me to monitor my thoughts and words, checking their appropriateness to the situation happening in this moment. This very function is the anchor point or reference point in this process of eliminating the psychological entity within me. The instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurturing and desire contaminate this bare awareness to produce an illusion of a ‘self’. It is illusionary in that it does not actually exist, but real in the malice and sorrow it produces – not to mention all the wars, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, suicide, etc. When the self is eliminated, or absent as in the peak experience, what remains is bare awareness or apperception.
Apperception is best understood as experienced in the ‘peak experience’, when the bare awareness gives what appears to be a 360 degree vision. One experiences life with heightened physical senses and one’s intelligence operates without obstruction, free to respond to each situation appropriately – to people, things and events. All emotions and feelings (sorrow and malice) simply do not exist. Everything is then perfect, immediate, effortless, actual and delightful – free of the psychic entity. But, of course, recalling or remembering the ‘peak experience’ is tricky since there are no emotions happening at the time and therefore no emotional imprint is left to anchor the memory. I found it useful to deliberately attempt to bring whatever information possible ‘back’ from the peak experience to the ‘me’ functioning in the real world. Peter’s Journal, ‘Intelligence’
I used a technique that Richard suggested which was invaluable, and that was to try to mimic or move as close to the peak experience of being in the actual world when back in ‘everyday’ moments. I described it at the time as pushing myself as far as possible to the surface of the eyes – to be focused purely as my senses. This means definitely not creating a watcher or ‘Self’ with a different set of morals and beliefs – usually vastly superior to that which is being watched – but simply practising to establish a direct connection between the senses and the actual world. It is 180 degrees the opposite of the spiritual ‘awareness’, which is to focus on some blissful, still or peaceful space inside. The aim is to bring myself out of my inner world of the psyche into the actual world of my senses – to become fully engaged in the actual world as much as possible. It takes constant effort and vigilance at the start not to be sucked back into misery and sorrow, not to resort to malice.
The usual constant interacting with other similarly afflicted people creates a common ‘psychic world’ of fear, malice and sorrow as everyone battles it out for survival. It all, of course, simply happens in the imagination. This world appears to be real because of the commonly shared emotions and feelings, but it is not actual, factual. Many people I know are constant travellers in this psychic world and have developed quite an expertise in interpreting the many and varied highways and byways. Therapists, astrologers, psychic readers and mediums are the experts in this world with the spiritual teachers as the indisputable Masters. Peter’s Journal, ‘Intelligence’
And what a wide and wondrous path dissolving this entity is. The process of getting there involves devoting as much time as possible to lazing around in comfortable positions talking with someone about what it is to be a human being – making sense of it all. I only say with someone, because that is my experience – it is just good fun to do it with a ‘mate’. It is delightful comparing notes, delving into things, no matter how outrageous, how embarrassing or how fearful. It is like flexing the brain muscle, using it more than I have ever done before. Initially it can sometimes be quite tiring and bewildering, as the psychological entity screams for survival.
Also I personally sometimes found marijuana useful, when used with intent, as an aid to discussing a particular issue or when musing over some aspect of the human condition. I found it gave me the ability to delve deeper or see more clearly. It is a stimulant that somehow allows an opening to the actual: free of the primitive brain. Used socially to get ‘out of it’, it is a dead loss, of course, but to get ‘in’ to the psyche, I found it was useful to me. Also, marijuana is possibly useful in order to induce a peak experience of the actuality of being here in the physical world, with all its accompanying delights, its purity and perfection. Peak experiences are like signposts on the way – invaluable as knowledge of what I am aiming for, of my destiny from the moment I decided to give this one hundred percent, from the moment I determined I had nothing left to lose.
I can now look back, astounded to realise that the solution traditionally followed in order to eradicate the psychological and psychic entity – attaining an altered state of consciousness (Enlightenment) – is actually a denial of our intelligence, as well as a denial of the physical, actual world. To regard the world as an illusion and to become God is to miss the point entirely. The East has been denying the ‘mind’ for centuries, and the poverty, repression, lack of technological progress and basic education are the obvious consequences that I see. The Eastern religions are actively and insidiously promoting the retention of the primitive spirit-ridden and fearful brain when they talk of no-mind and promote practices like meditation.
Exotic and mysterious the East may be to some people, but I like the intelligence of enjoying the comfort, health, cleanliness and ‘goodies’ of Western life. Why would I possibly deny myself these pleasures? I find it delightful and sensible to have hot and cold water and power on tap, to have a supermarket full of delicious food down the road and information available through TV and this computer. By condemning the ‘mind’ as the source of the problem in human beings the Eastern Religions have denied the intelligence of the brain and condemned billions to poverty and superstition. Seeking to become God is actively contributing to the problem, it is not the solution. I remember watching a video of an Enlightened woman deriding the Western mind as the problem in the world. She had just been boating on the Ganges, and I wondered if she had seen or smelt the water, let alone had a swim – I guess she just saw it all as an illusion anyway. Peter’s Journal, ‘Intelligence’
Furthermore, I saw that the spiritual path involved surrendering your will to ‘Someone’ or ‘Something’. I then understood that in surrendering my will, I simply became a puppet of others – a total slave. Becoming free is to become free of the authority, opinions and beliefs of others – to be autonomous. I remember Richard saying that at one stage he had to ‘reach deep inside himself’ to regain his will, which he had surrendered to the ‘Absolute’. My will is the very engine needed to make me free – it is my ability to function as an autonomous human being – and to surrender that will to someone else is to be defeated before I start.
This is definitely 180 degrees in the other direction to the spirit-ual; it is definitely a third alternative. I liked the stage when I did not even need to question any more the ‘tried and true’; I knew that it was not the solution, for it had not worked. I then simply looked at what was sensible to do in each situation. It then becomes apparent that Richard is actually trying to seduce people out of feeling sorrowful and acting maliciously, by saying ‘Why don’t you stop?’ It is really so easy to be a human being, effortless – you simply do what is happening. With no substantive ‘self’ to mindlessly run amok, to constantly be wary of, an utter ease and confidence pervades the physical universe – and I look forward to the day when I will simply be what I am as distinct from ‘who’ I think and feel ‘I’ am.
The experience of living with Vineeto in virtual peace and harmony is proof that applying common sense works.
My experience is: ‘Get it while you can’… Peter’s Journal, ‘Intelligence’
It is obvious that this body does very well by itself to survive; in fact, any emotions on top of are actually a hindrance in a genuine situation of danger. I remember recently walking across a field and coming upon a snake. By the time I had registered any emotional reaction, I had seen the snake and had responded automatically before my attention even became focused. I noticed that fear was a redundant emotion, occurring after the fact. And it could well have turned the situation into a danger if I had ‘frozen’. As it was, it was nice to stand and watch the creature for a while, and then move on, giving it a suitable wide berth. It is well chronicled that many people who have experienced life threatening situations have not had an emotional feeling of fear during the event. Often a feeling of calmness or bare awareness was apparent. I see this as the innate intelligence of the body over-riding the ‘natural’ fear. To live in this unemotional state of bare awareness permanently is possible if ‘I’ and its inherent psychological instinctual fear eventually disappear. Peter’s Journal, ‘Fear’
If my awareness is constantly focused on ‘How I am experiencing this moment of being alive?’ as a silent attitude, a non-verbal attentiveness, there is simply no room for a past or future, a sense of continuity. There is no room for feelings or emotions or for ‘going inside’ as a way of avoiding and withdrawing. Should they occur then there is something to look at – the aim being to get back to being happy and harmless as soon as possible. Practised assiduously, the psychological and psychic entity actually withers and will one day eventually die, as does anything starved of nourishment or sustenance.
Then ‘what I am’ will eventually emerge one day, I as this body, the one that was here anyway, the one that had been struggling at the shackles for freedom. Fresh each moment … again and again and again.
I am now beginning to discover the meaning of life. Peter’s Journal, ‘Time’
Freedom from the Human Condition – Happy and Harmless