It is possible to live in this modern era, freed from out-dated Philosophy and Psychiatry, challenging every Spiritual and Metaphysical tenet and surpassing any of the Altered States of Consciousness. Discarding all of the beliefs which have held humankind in thralldom for eons, the way has now been discovered which cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anybody to be, for the very first time, a fully free and autonomous individual, living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
The way of becoming actually free is both simple and practical. One starts by dismantling the shadowy social identity which has been overlaid, from birth onward, on top of the innate self until one is virtually free from all the social mores and psittacisms (those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning). One can be virtually free from all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams. One can become aware of all the socialisation, of all the conditioning, of all the programming, of all the methods and techniques which were used to produce what one feels and thus thinks oneself to be: a wayward identity careering around in confusion and illusion. A ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity. However, it is never too late to start in on uncovering and discovering what one actually is.
RICHARD: Unlike within the ancient ‘human’ purview on life, compromise, allegiance, authority, hierarchy, tolerance, acceptance and other methods of coping, play no part here. What does play a part here is consensus, independence, autonomy, equity, reciprocal understanding based on clear articulation and a general ease of living together in mutual peace and harmony
GARY: I’m having a little difficulty seeing the difference between assertiveness and autonomy. Assertiveness is concerned with ‘me’ and ‘my rights’. Assertiveness is commonly described as a way of discharging angry feelings through sticking up for one’s rights in a situation. Autonomy, on the other hand, is something that one can practice without putting forward one’s beliefs or views or asserting one’s rights.
PETER: You have done a good job defining the difference between assertiveness and autonomy. I’ll just take the opportunity to follow up on this issue, as it is a good topic to explore.
The two common human reactions can be crudely summarized as fight or flight – assertiveness, standing up for ‘my’ rights, making ‘my’ point, demanding justice, etc. are in the fight ⚔️ category and being humble, surrendering ‘my’ will, being grateful, turning the other cheek, being a pacifist, etc. are reactions in the flight 🏃 category. These typical reactions are prevalent both in the spiritual world and the real world and are socially instilled and/or instinctually programmed.
The one common denominator in all these reactions is that there is a ‘me’ involved – a ‘me’ who is strong or weak, a ‘me’ who is right or wrong, a ‘me’ who is good or bad, a ‘me’ who stands and fights or slinks away. The only way out of this seesawing emotional turmoil is to become autonomous – to become free of one’s own social and instinctual programming such that your being happy and harmless is independent of external influences and conditions.
Autonomy isn’t something that can be practiced because this only leads to feeling independent with its inherent qualities of feeling separate and feeling superior. Becoming autonomous is the inevitable result of becoming actually free of the shackles of the human condition.
Just as an aside to the issue of assertiveness, it is both interesting and informative to see the parallels between the psychologically-based movements aimed at establishing a strong and assertive self and the Eastern religious-based movements aimed at establishing a dissociated and superior self. The distinctions are seemingly nowhere more blurred than in the U.S. where the utter ‘self’-ishness and ‘self’-centred nature of both movements are so intermingled that every pursuit and every activity has the tag spiritual added to it.
There is really scant difference between a self-help Guru and a Self-realized Guru. Both make their living, and get their kudos, from appealing to deep-seated narcissistic urges within every human psyche.
PETER: When I started to become free of malice and sorrow, I found my emotional bonds or ‘neediness’ with other people became noticeably weaker. The most noticeable effect of this was that I lost my former spiritual ‘friends’ because I was no longer a member of a group of fellow believers. As I progressively became free of malice, I was no longer interested in participating in conversations where the ills of the world were blamed on others. And as I became progressively free of sorrow, I was no longer interested in participating in conversations where being here was regarded as a miserable business and where it was firmly believed that succour or relief could only be found by retreating ‘inside’. There was a period of time where I felt an outsider or a loner but recently I had occasion to meet quite a few old friends at a social event and all feelings of being an outsider and a loner had totally disappeared. I had a pleasurable time with a group of fellow human beings, regardless of their beliefs, gender or cultural conditioning.
My experience is that autonomy leads to neither isolation nor ostracization as I feared it would at some stage, but if it is pursued diligently and persistently it leads to an actual intimacy and ease with all of my fellow human beings – and I, once again, experienced the peace on earth that already, always exists.
PETER: The feeling of being an outsider (Loner) is common to everyone, for ‘who’ I think and feel I am is an alien entity, cut-off from the actual world that seems to be happening outside of ‘my’ body. Similarly other humans I meet are seen and regarded as separate and alien to ‘me’. ‘I’ am ever fearful, ever on-guard, ever isolated, and ever lonely. The only relief from these terrible feelings is to be found in the good feelings of being needed, being useful, belonging to a group, and producing, providing for, and nurturing offspring. In the ‘normal’ world, these worldly fulfilments are often insufficient for some and the search begins for the other socially acceptable alternative – indulging in the feeling of ‘inner’ fulfillment and contentment.