Please note that Peter’s Journal was written by the feeling-being ‘Peter’ while ‘he’ lived in a pragmatic (methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom before becoming actually free.

Selected Writings from Peter’s Journal

Apperception vs. Choiceless Awareness

Then, increasingly, a curious thing began to happen. I remember talking to Richard one day, realising that I had got to a point where I was actually for the first time understanding what he was saying – or at least, most of it. I was hearing what he was saying rather than trying to interpret it as either fitting in with or opposing my belief system. An ability to see the facts of a situation through the fog of belief. It was as though I could see a common intelligence operating – a common sense in the literal meaning of the word. Not that there is an ‘Intelligence of the Universe’ – a concept that only turns the physical universe into another God. No doubt most of the intelligence in the universe is located in the human brain. I know you will say, ‘what about the dolphins’, and yes, I do know of people who talk to their dogs or to trees, but I am being sensible here. There is also no doubt that an intelligence that can put a man on the moon, construct a network of computers spanning the world, and perform the medical and scientific miracles that we see today is indeed amazing. I see this intelligence within the human brain as the ‘cutting edge’ of evolution.

Therefore, the intelligence within my brain is simply the intelligence of the universe – common sense, if you like. Common in the terms of it being readily available to everybody when one’s self or separate psychological entity is absent, even if only temporarily.

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’

What I found happening was that as ‘I’ became thinner and was less in the way, an innate intelligence or awareness became obvious as functioning in my brain. A common sense was operating that made any morals, ethics, or any need to believe anyone else, simply redundant. I came to a sort of delicious point where I found I was not so much doing ‘the clean-up’ but, rather, it was happening to me. The right circumstances or event seemed to occur – an ease, a rush, as though I was on a kid’s slide, and all I had to do was let go and stop resisting … and then whoosh, I would become more free of the psychological/psychic entity.

It appeared as though I could eventually even let go of the burden of being ‘me’ – the pretence, the trying, the struggle, the effort – and would just relax into being the actual me: not who I am, but what I am. Not to become some super-ego inflated ‘Man of God’, but the me as this flesh and blood body who has been there all along; the one who was searching for a way out of the madhouse he was in; the one who knew he was similarly inflicted as the other inmates and was searching for a cure. From then on I had no more doubt that I was increasingly becoming free of this psychological and psychic entity that was ‘me’.

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.

But this fades into insignificance as the sheer exhilaration of finding things out for myself gripped me. Nobody told me there could be days like these. This path is definitely not about suffering – it is about being happy and harmless. Soon a daring, then an obsession takes over, as it becomes the most incredible thing to do – to actually fix yourself up. Just as the body repairs itself, so can the brain be re-wired. As it becomes re-wired – more and more freed of the primitive brain and its instinctual fear and aggression – an actual freedom becomes increasingly apparent as being possible. The brain is the tool: I apply liberal doses of common sense to the affected areas and watch the beliefs fade away. Facts replace beliefs. It is so simple – and it works.

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.

I knew someone who had a gambling habit and would consistently put his hard-earned money into a gambling machine, which was programmed with the odds stacked heavily against him. He consistently lost, and as he got deeper in debt he saw no other solution but to keep hoping and putting even more money in. I see those on the spiritual path as doing a similar thing. Despite the odds (remember the 0.0001% success rate!) people stand in front of the ‘spiritual machine’ and put years of their lives into it and keep believing, trusting and hoping for a result. I know it sounds strong but that’s how it is – the odds are that impossible – and even if you did succeed you only would end up aground on the ‘Rock of Enlightenment’ anyway!

So what I initially saw as a paradox actually works: the only way to fix up the problem which was inside my brain was to use the only tool left available – the intelligence of my brain.

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’

By doing what is happening in this moment, ‘I’ momentarily cease to exist, for my awareness is involved fully in what is happening, in this case typing these words, feeling the cooling breeze on my legs and occasionally being aware of traffic and bird calls outside.

It is all becoming so eminently effortless, near-perfect but, as I discovered, it does take time to get used to living this way. There was a ‘can it be this easy, this simple, this lazy, this effortless, this good, this near-perfect?’ It goes totally against the ideas of struggle, effort, achievement, being creative or useful. I now see everyone else as wasting time by avoiding this very moment by living with their past, usually sad memories, or by dreaming and planning their future in a futile attempt to give purpose or meaning to their lives. They all are avoiding or missing out on the thrill of experiencing this moment of being alive as a sensate human being. The method Richard devised to eliminate the ‘self’ – malice and sorrow – is flawless and ruthlessly effective.

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’

Peter’s Selected Writings

Peter’s Journal

Library – Awareness

Freedom from the Human Condition – Happy and Harmless

Peter’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.

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