Vineeto’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
VINEETO: Hi Alan
Good to here from you, from a person on the other side of the planet who got a enticed from what Richard discovered and from what is for me the answer to everything that didn’t work on the spiritual path, where I trotted along for 17 searching years.
Today is Monday and I am finishing one of the delightful 3-day weekends, where I can devote every hour of the day to delight and to finding out more about freedom and the human or typical female obstacles to it. This weekend, for instance, I discovered that I was safely hiding behind Peter, him having written the journal and being more of an authority about freedom, because he met Richard first. Suddenly it dawned on me that I had decided to wait for Peter to be completely free first before I would dare to consider it for myself – not the virtual freedom that I am enjoying most of the time, but the actual irreversible freedom that Richard is experiencing 24 hours a day. So armed with this understanding about the typical female role of staying in the shadow of the man – like I have seen most women do with Rajneesh and others, I went to Peter and told him, ‘we are on a race now, watch out, I might be first!’ Funny, hey. Of course it is not a race in the usual sense, but I have come out behind the oven, so to speak!
This understanding changed gear in my life in terms of intensity, it put me more into this moment than before, it broke a restricting veil and gave me the courage to write something in Peter’s journal. I’ll put it on the website, as soon as it is finished, if you are interested. So the printing press is been put on hold until I finished my chapter. Will be a bummer for all the former friends of the sannyas ‘club med’ who are still hanging out with the Rajneesh religion, but what can I do, I have moved away from them already.
Well, Alan, that is where I am at in the moment. It is great to hearing from you. Tell me more about what you are doing in the day, how you are living your life, what ‘bumps’ on the wide and wondrous you are coming across... The weather here is brilliant, autumn-like warm, rainy and sunny, just in case you might consider a visit...
VINEETO: I apologise for not answering for such a long time. Peter and I were intensely involved in the last part of the book – which was my ‘Bit’ – he had to edit all of the German expressions out of my writing – but now it is finally with the printer! Now I am having fun with the website again, replacing the pictures with better quality ones and finding new ones. Since I wrote to you last I have quit my job in the Sannyas company as a bookkeeper and will only go back there for four week, giving the woman replacing me a holiday break. My giving notice came by surprise after a week’s holiday, both for me and for them and was quite a shock for the ‘old friends’. It also evoked quite some survival fears on my side like ‘can I make it on my own?, will I survive without this safe income?’ – but what a wonderful new freedom to have cut the umbilical cord of 17 years of depending on the Sannyas community and to now be able to spend ‘days without names and hours without numbers’, as Peter puts it – on and on and on and on.
So I can, in a way, relate to your story that you are selling out and leaving your past life in terms of house, dog, partner and friend of many years, and losing all of the identity that goes with it! I found that in order to get permanently free of a particular emotion connected with a situation, I had to dig into that issue until I had explored it to exhaustion. I have to both feel and experience the issue on hand with its ensuing emotions and examine its ramifications for my life, understand in what way the needs and fears express and then identify them as silly, unnecessary and redundant – and take care of the practical side. I suspect from my own experience that in the package of ‘house, dog, wife’ you will find most of your remaining identity. I wish you all the thrill of the discovery and the delight of success.
I will attach ‘my Bit’, because it will take a few more weeks until the website will be polished and decorated with pictures. Maybe your wife will find some interest in a woman’s exploration into her own psyche and beyond. After all, I have started my journey fully raised and conditioned as a woman and the obstacles on the path of freedom had a slightly different colouring than Peter’s. But above all, it was the sincere intent for freedom and perfection that kept me going.
So I wish you a wonderful weekend.
ALAN: Weird stuff has been going on this evening and I know none of it is real. Or rather it is real, very real, but only something ‘I’ am creating. From heart palpitations, pressure in the head (like it is about to explode), shivering, melancholy, floating sensations, light headedness – and underlying it all a nothingness, sense of meaningless, a vast doubt (knowledge?) that it is all just me making it up. Is this just ‘me’ trying to pretend there is a process going on or is there a process going on? Or is there a process going on and ‘I’ pretend to know there is a process going on, in an attempt to cover up the process going on.
VINEETO: It is interesting you should just now describe this experience! It reminds me of a weird and fascinating experience I had just two nights ago. I had had a light smoke, when I suddenly started to feel nauseous and very dizzy in the head. The physical symptoms came along with an acute fear to throw up, to black out, in short, to lose control over my body and my life.
While Peter kept inquiring if there maybe was also some fear involved, not just a physical reaction, I was desperately trying to obtain control over my body. At the same time I was, of course, suspicious that it was all a play up of the ‘self’ trying to survive, but didn’t know how to deal with it.
When I finally laid down on the floor and ‘surrendered’ to the option of being unconscious and was actually getting interested and thrilled by the possibility of observing the experience, it very quickly disappeared like a ghost. It left me astounded about the power of ‘reality’, the vividness of the experience that fear created with all the ingredients of a ‘serious’ disease, becoming unconscious.
Only by accepting it as an adventure and at the same time doubting its actuality it lost its power over me, leaving me battered but proud like after a victorious, well-fought battle. The next night it happened again but was all much less dramatic, the temptation was there to delve into the fear, the physical symptoms were ready to emerge again, but this time I didn’t believe in the actual danger and it quickly went.
Then appeared another temptation – to divert into a journey into the psychic world, with all its ‘deep and meaningful’ insights and glorious ‘enlightenments’. But I had explored that area enough, I wanted to see what actuality there is without fear and beyond or beneath the psychic world. What I found is a magic, a stillness, unemotional, without excitement and strangely enough without ‘form’. The best description I could come up with is the definition we have here for an idiot: ‘All the stubbies are there for the six-pack, but the plastic between them is missing that would keep them together!’
Senses are operating but nobody is seeing or hearing, and then there is no difference between me and the desk that I am seeing, no distance, no ‘I’. Last night I experienced life beyond ‘being’, in a strange way hollow, but very alive and sensate. Now I can slowly and diligently examine the ‘plastic between the stubbies’, what it consists of, because recognized and understood it disappears. Sometimes it consists of fear, sometimes a vague feeling, sometimes a sense of continuity, of having past and future and definition...
I am immensely fascinated by your experiences and look forward to your next mail.
VINEETO: You wrote on your web site:
ALAN: Still having difficulty accepting giving up <name deleted>. I understand only too well what she is going through (the Human Condition, as Richard calls it) and it is painful to experience. The attacks and comments, in an attempt to get ‘me’ back, made out of fear and loneliness. ‘I’ still hope she will join me and ‘I’ am using this as an excuse for not putting the house and business up for sale. Also the knowledge that this action will cause her yet more grief. On the other hand, delaying the sale only prolongs her hope that ‘I’ will return and everything will be ‘normal’ again.
VINEETO: I have read about half of your website and I am fascinated by your stories. Isn’t it a roller-coaster, up and down, up and down and all of it can be a delight – or not, when the Human Condition takes over...
I got particularly interested each time you referred to your wife and was wondering about some feelings that you possibly had, or still have. Surely my interest has to do that I am enjoying a mate-ship with Peter that is beyond anything I could ever dream up, or that I have ever come across in people around me. After all, it was the wish to be living in peace and harmony together with a man that made me investigate into the dreams and beliefs of love and successively all my other beliefs. And now his company, someone to talk to, someone to nut out the upcoming different emotions was and still is an immeasurable help.
And what a delight it was when for the first time, after several struggling months of investigating our beliefs and emotions, we were able to see each other for the first time in actual intimacy, one human being meeting another human being. In intimacy I am not a woman nor is Peter a man. Just seeing, what a wondrous combination of thoughts and senses the other one is, ever curious what sense he/she is making of life, what is going on in his/her head, the delight of exploring how we live and think and function and tick, an area that has been a mystery to me unto now. Now I am having a spy in the other camp, Peter tells me how men normally feel or react in a situation, how he had felt, thought or reacted in the past – such good fun!
Of course you are in a totally different situation, but still – until everything is sorted out – you are living together with a woman. Peter and I had a contract with each other to investigate the Human Condition together, but nevertheless, I think you can aspire to live with her in peace and harmony as far as you are concerned. Peter was such a good indication for me to see bits of the Human Condition when they were coming up, for instance, when I was getting irritated, when I wanted attention, wanted to live life through him or had authority issues. That has always been the checkpoint in any ‘feeling’ good for me: do I simply see Peter as a human being or do I hang any kind of relationship, security or any other emotion unto the fact that we enjoy living together?
The other can be a very precise tool to find the hiding bits in the ‘cupboard of the self’, I tell you! And why not, even when you both are preparing to separate, you are simply two human beings living in the same house, taking care of the same business... But I warn you: it might open a Pandora box of yet unexperienced emotions or feelings to tackle. But it is such a great challenge and a thrilling adventure to examine one’s emotions and feelings and eliminate them forever, one by one, the very thing the ‘self’ is made of. And every obstacle worked through leaves such a wonderful freedom and delight!
So I wish you good fun, whatever you are up to next.
ALAN: I went through several crises, and the necessary self examination afterwards, before I was able to see my attachments to my wife.
VINEETO: It’s been very good to hear from you. You verily took the cue and ran with it – all the way through the tunnel and out the other glorious sparkling ordinary side of ‘just’ being with another human being! I like your courage to tackle your attachment to your wife and your years of living with her!
ALAN: Also, what is it that actually happens to cause a PCE?
VINEETO: As for your question how to make a peak-experience happen I can say that I started to approach it the other way around. Given that peak-experience is our actual state when no emotion or belief is in the road, I am going for whatever obstacle I find at the time whenever I don’t experience this moment of being alive as perfect as I remember those moments of the peak experience. As you may know, I have been finding lots of interesting ghosts in my cupboard, often unexpected, expressions of pride, fear, impatience, annoyance, competition, love, loneliness, boredom and yet again another fear.
Whenever I am taking the bull by its horns and dig around in that specific emotion, explore, understand and eliminate it, what’s left is the perfect experience of the world as it is, delightful, safe and imminently fascinating – there it is, the searched-for peak-experience or PCE! So my approach is kind of indirect, being busy with the obstacles rather with the outcome. Of course, my intent and my goal is to eliminate those obstacles and each time round it becomes more easy and more of an adventure and a scientific enquiry rather than a ‘having-to-do-thing’. This way I am becoming more and more confident, I stop believing in my own emotions and I know that absolute everything will be examined under the microscope. By now, the ‘cupboard’, which was packed full of ‘ghosts’ is getting pretty clean...
This weekend I have been ‘busy’ on and off with being sick. Being listless to do things and feeling a bit weaker than usual I would have preferred not to have a cold. But then, as the weekend slowly went by being as delicious as ever, the walk on the beach as delightful as ever, I turned my attention to the famous sentence: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ I, this body, is obviously very busy getting better, and isn’t it fascinating how it feels when inside the ‘protection army’ is fighting in different places against the invading viruses? ... and isn’t the pouring rain making a wonderful sound on the roof?! So my complaint turned into an observing fascination without any emotion or wish for anything to be different, just experiencing the facts and events of me, this body and my surrounding. Back here again!
So I wish you all the success and fascination with possibly upcoming ‘ghosts from the cupboard’ called the Human Condition.
VINEETO: For the last two days I have understood and experienced close to the skin what it is to be ‘hanging in time’, to be nowhere in particular.
The memory of what happened to me an hour ago is just a memory, taken from the ‘filing cabinets’ of my brain. I found that memories are in fact just patches of faces, events and situations. Therefore they have no emotional relevance to what I am now, they only exists as a memory, like a movie replayed on the TV screen.
I just saw on TV Clive James’ ‘Postcard from Bombay’, his witty report about people living in Bombay in poverty, heat and overpopulation, but now there is no more emotional reaction when I remember my six or seven years that I had lived in India. The Vineeto then had quite a lot of personal and emotional reactions to ‘those Indians’, who never did the thing I wanted them to do or who were so poor that I didn’t dare look at their circumstances.
Similarly, when I walked out of the office today after seven hours of figures and telephone calls, accounting, sorting and filing, there was nothing to shake off from the day. There was nothing from the day that would stick as being of ‘vital’ importance or that created emotional disturbance. I walked out into the moist, warm night-air, fully alive and delighting in the drive home, the moonlight peeking through the cloudy night-sky. Absolutely delightful. Hanging in time, each moment fresh and crisp...
And ‘hanging in space’, living nowhere in particular becomes obvious to me when I look at our little cozy flat. It could be anywhere, anywhere in this town, anywhere in a country where it is sensible and comfortable to live in, anywhere on the planet, up or down-under. The planet itself is nowhere in particular in this universe anyway! If it were not this particular flat, it would be a similar comfortable one, non-descript without ‘home-y’ attributes. Lots of people have walked through this flat in the last weeks when it was up for sale, examining it and commenting about it in one way or the other. There was no sense of intrusion or disturbance of privacy, no pride or sense of ‘my’ flat, which I can remember having had in a similar situation 2 years ago. Our flat is, after all, just a nice place with a balcony where we put our favourite toys and couches. If it had been sold to someone else, we would have easily and with pleasure looked for another place to put our things. What a freedom.
So the ‘plastic between the stubbies’ – to refer to an earlier used allegory – is disintegrating and freeing the senses including the intelligence of the brain for even more intense pleasure in experiencing this moment of being alive.
VINEETO: Good to hear from you again! I guess you enjoyed your holiday.
I want to tell you about a movie we watched lately, called ‘Fearless’ by Peter Weir. I found it interesting for various reasons. First, the hero has a near-death experience shortly before the plane crashes. He encounters an altered state of consciousness, being fearless and driven to help people, in particular the survivors of the crash. As I see it, the film describes well the delusion of an altered state of consciousness and even more so because the hero is an American, living in a Western society and not in the East. One can see the oddness and the ‘loony-ness’ of his state.
The only person who is not impressed by his heroic efforts to save people is his wife – as a down to earth, common sense and practical woman she can see that he is in severe physical danger indulging in his fearlessness in many silly ways. (He believes that he has already died and can only die once). She is then able to convince the woman whom the hero is currently saving and both try to reach his common sense.
He ends up seeing the point and in a dramatic second near-death experience he seems to come back to his senses. At least, that is how I would like to interpret his exclamation: ‘I am ALIVE!’ It could very well mean something completely different! Unfortunately, this is how the film ends. I guess that both the playwright and the director have no idea what happens when one actually comes to one’s senses! Peter sent him his journal to show that there is an option for a life after the altered state of consciousness.
I think, not many people would interpret the film like this. But the ‘state beyond fearlessness’ is definitely what I am aiming for! Promptly after this movie, I had a few sleepless nights contemplating death. The days were sparkling and gay but the nights brought up my fears. The picture in my mind is that of a death-cell, being sentenced to death, anticipating the day of my execution.
Good, I thought, at least I know now that it is inevitable, no messing around, no escape, no argument about that. And then I looked for the reason: why was I sentenced to death? Why am I convinced that I have to disappear, to vanish into oblivion, what for? Life now is pretty good already. I thought of all the people I know, who I had contact with lately, who I had called my friends a year ago. Most of them are women. And then I knew what the self-sacrifice is for. For all the women I know I am willing to disappear, in order to declare and prove that there is a third alternative, a way out of suffering and fighting, defence and fear, useless meditation and hopeless escape.
Last night I watched another movie, 1960’s, a red-neck American Western. A woman trying to survive with her son after her husband had died, without becoming a prostitute or just marrying for protection’s sake. She wanted to have a cattle-farm, an unheard-of outrage in those days for a woman to do. Every single man in town tried to put her off, some were quite fiercely threatening her. The pain of having been born as a woman hit me with full force. The obstructions, the arrogance, the insults, the suffering, but also the violence, the fights, the fears, seeking protection and emotional support, dependency and resentment – the whole drama of female identity.
It is so damn good to leave all that behind, to dare and stop being a woman, to peel off that skin of conditioning, both personal and collective, and to be free just to be a human being, enjoying other human beings, be they male or female. Life is definitely delightful beyond my wildest dreams, and the remains of the ‘self’ are wilting like a plucked flower. Absolutely perfect!
I am getting really odd lately in my letters because I hardly refer to any previous correspondences – I just take the pleasant opportunity to tell my story. So I hope you enjoy it too.
VINEETO: Here things are going very well indeed. I encounter heaps of fear. But that is not all of it. There is so much thrill to it, I can hardly believe it. I have got tired of virtual freedom, of ‘just’ scheduling pleasures throughout the day and night, I am going for the ultimate prize. I want actual freedom, not just virtual freedom, but the genuine article. The name of the game is death, oblivion, obliteration, extinction, going all the way. The name of the game is 100%. And that is the thrill, that gives everything the sparkle, the magic, the depth in terms of richness, that gives every pleasure a single purpose: to add to the extinction of Vineeto, the psychological and psychic entity .
Irene’s letter came at the right time. She did me a great service. For the reply, I had to put myself under utter scrutiny because I know she would not let me get away with anything. She has scrutinized me unsparingly – but so do I. Questioning myself continuously is the essential ingredient of the journey to freedom. And the countdown started, I have left the safe plateau of the delights of virtual freedom and I am on the roller coaster. What a ride! I can recommend it absolutely, it is the crowning glory of the journey started long ago. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
So good to talk to you. I see you are having fun with Konrad. And I like your writing.
ALAN: I got into a right mess trying to divide my posting to Konrad into 10kb chunks – any suggestions on the best way to do this, or is it just trial and error? As I now need a bit of kip, I am copying the message to you, for the moment.
VINEETO: Yes, I thought you would have a problem there because the correspondence with Konrad is always so lengthy. That is the main reason why I never asked him to have our conversation through the mailing list. What helps a lot is go into Format and choose the Plain Text Format instead of the HTML, that shrinks it at least by 1/3 of the size. I then close the letter as a draft and look under properties what size it is. This gives me an indication into how many parts I will have to split the writing to get it to 10 KB.
We have discussed here to maybe paying the necessary $ 70 per year to have unlimited size for the mail, but according to Richard there is another catch. We would have ca 1000 messages free per month – which is quickly reached by sending each message to each of the already 15 participants of the list (most of them don’t write but receive). Above that there is a fee for each message. We will inform you about the exact conditions. So for now the Actual Freedom Trust has decided to stay on the free service size.
You wrote to Konrad and I enjoyed the letter from beginning to end – especially those quotes below are wonderful for a ‘thickhead’ like Konrad. To stay up to date on Richard’s correspondence with Konrad you will need to look on Richard’s website, he is adding them by the day.
VINEETO: Good to hear from you, each time again. I will keep you up to date as soon as something worthwhile reporting is happening. It is gathering intent, struggling with impatience, frustration and sometimes doubt, if it is all my imagination here. But since there is no way back and no other alternative that is of any significance I might as well stay in the corner I painted myself into.
About Peter you will have to ask Peter. He sends his regards.
And here are mine.
VINEETO: Just a quickie to you to say what a fascinating find you had on the web! As you can figure from the letter I wrote to Metta I have been fascinated to read her web site and understand where she is at. I am very curious now as to how she will respond. Thank you.
Everything is going well here Down Under. Two mad scientists are exploring death with themselves as the guinea pigs. Since we are mainly talking to each other we don’t notice the madness so much, but once we switch on the TV – wow, worlds apart...
More can only be said in hindsight, I suppose.
VINEETO: Good to hear from you.
ALAN: I have spent the last few days exploring sorrow. It is something I had not experienced for quite a while and thought it may have been eliminated. I was wrong. Last Wednesday my wife and I accepted we were keeping our dog alive for us and not for him and so, my companion of the last 7 years is no more. Many of my recent insights, discoveries and PCEs happened during my daily walks with him.
I have experienced that love, or rather the loss of it, is indeed a physical, as well as psychological, pain. Despite intensive ‘rooting around’ I can find no reason for the sorrow that has overwhelmed me at times. I see the sense of loss, as in missing him being around and the loss of the enjoyment he used to bring. I read again Peter’s chapter on the death of his son, but have not yet discovered any sense of this death confronting me with the actuality of my own death. What I have seen (got) is that sympathy and compassion only perpetuate sorrow, which is so obvious once one ‘sees’ it – how can they do anything else? Following on from this, I would like to explore something Irene wrote to Vineeto a little while ago:
IRENE: The richness, the depth of each human feeling reveals the understanding of what it is to be a human being in such an empirical, intimate way that it is later instantly recognized in a fellow human being who is going through the same emotional, human experience and who can then be met by compassion, that very kind understanding that you will have enjoyed with another, not only when life was being particularly difficult or sad, but also when you wanted to share your utmost joy or love.
ALAN: Now my experience over the last several days is that compassion only served to perpetuate sorrow, so I would ask Irene how her compassion (assuming she is feeling such for me over the loss of my friend) is going to assist me?
VINEETO: Yes, I know sorrow. Sometimes it has been raging through me that I thought I would never be happy again in all my life. And yet, a few hours or a few days later, when it has done its thing and I have understood what I needed to understand, sorrow has disappeared without an emotional scar, and hardly a memory at all.
Quite amazing, isn’t it.
VINEETO: Hi Alan,
and everyone else interested...
It’s good night for me now.
VINEETO: I am enjoying your correspondence both with No 12 and with Irene, just being lazy myself right now. Whatever happens inside my head is neither substantial enough to make a story nor is it in any way reliable – beliefs and concepts falling apart and I am very hesitant to make a new concept out of what is happening. I can’t avoid me trying to do it, but I can resist the temptation to put it on paper to avoid a later embarrassment.
But I am having good fun to put the existing writings in nice format, add some flowers – you can pinch for your website to your heart’s content – and thus play with website and computer. Otherwise we are both exercising being as lazy as possible and doing it the best way possible.
When you said to Irene ‘zombie period’ – do you mean a rather grid-lock like period or ‘zombied’ out by laziness? I ask because when I call a period ‘zombie’ it is usually a very interesting time but very difficult to convey at the time because everything seems to tumble. Only afterwards I notice what ‘sanity’ went missing and then it takes a few days to get used to that! Sometimes I even think that now I know what scientist are so frantically trying to find: black holes. Some guy said on TV the other day: ‘The trouble finding black holes is that they are black and that they are holes... and all in a black sky!’ He was serious about it too! And on top of it, they don’t exist in the first place!
But coming out of zombie, the rain-storm on the roof is even more delicious and the air on my skin even more delicately exquisite. It’s a great journey, specially since the brakes of the ‘vehicle’ don’t function anymore... uuuiii.
VINEETO: I thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit of your mail, when you talk about the ‘zombie period’ and slowly, slowly, with every sentence you are building up to the final Yipeeee. I also very much enjoy your ample humour, so dry, so English!
Yes, the Sannyas list certainly keeps Peter and me occupied since the last few weeks, good fun to find yet another way of saying how good actual freedom is. But rarely anybody gets beyond being offended, often a cheap excuse not to change anything or examine how they experience their lives. For me it is learning to write, but also to check each time again on my motives, why I am writing. It is so good that my happiness does not depend on somebody agreeing with me, although it would be more fun to communicate with someone really interested... Still, as Peter says, it’s early days.
ALAN: My ‘zombie periods’ are certainly characterized by laziness, but I think you are correct in the description of a ‘grid-lock like period’ – a sense of ‘stuckness’, with little time spent actually ‘here’. So, I suppose it is ‘me’ attempting to regain control and put the brakes on, to stop the headlong rush to oblivion. As you say, the brakes do not work so well anymore, so ‘my’ attempt is only partially successful, resulting in this ‘stuckness’. I have not had any sense of things ‘tumbling’ – not yet at any rate! I like your black hole analogy! And I am sure when I do come out of it, as I seem to be doing, life will be even more delicious and exquisite, in fact it is starting to get that way already, as I type these words. What a delight to not only be able to discuss these matters and discoveries, but to do it with a person on the other side of the world! – this is such a marvellous time we live in – how can anyone not want to be here!!! Is it not incredible how we can ignore the simple joy of being able to do whatever it is we are doing. Before switching on the computer, I spent about half an hour doing ‘chores’ in the kitchen. Why are they called chores? To have my hands in lovely warm, sudsy water, to be able to produce sparkling clean crocks – what a delight! To get ready the poussins we are having for dinner tonight and decide on the abundant choice of vegetables – how can anyone possibly find objection to this life? – it is overflowing with sensate pleasures.
Yep, looks like the zombie period is at an end for now – and whether that be seconds, minutes or hours, who cares – this wondrous moment exists and I am here, now living it – yipeeee!!!!!
VINEETO: Yes, I agree, ‘chores’ in the kitchen is a definitely a redundant word.
When you say: ‘I suppose it is ‘me’ attempting to regain control and put the brakes on’ it sounds like an overall interpretation, not necessarily a description of which tools this ‘me’ is using to do the controlling? Have you discovered any particular issues or emotions that are the cause for putting the brakes on? Ah, right, you say it yourself...
ALAN: So, to get back to the subject, what causes the ‘zombie period’? For me, it is not living this moment of being alive. As I said above, it is ‘me’ desperately trying to regain control, the fear of ‘my’ extinction. But, these are intellectual answers. At the time of ‘stuckness’, there is no obvious way forward (suggestions welcome) and it is a bit a case of waiting. What helped was recalling my PCEs and concentrating on this moment of being alive. But, it is a bit of a ‘Catch 22’ situation. When ‘here’, it is the easiest and most effortless thing to do, to enjoy this moment – as you know, it is impossible to do otherwise, and the question becomes meaningless. When ‘stuck’, one has no idea how to get out of it – except reading what Richard, you and Peter write, and have written, maybe eventually gets through and one realizes that it is the simplest and most obvious thing to do. Maybe it is a sort of tricking ‘me’ into not being here?
VINEETO: I have always liked Peter’s story about the science-fiction story in his journal:
I see the path to freedom as a double approach. One is to have as many peak-experiences as possible to get all the information about the actual world I can get. The other is to remove the shackles and lead-weights, whenever they occur, made up of various beliefs and their ensuing emotional reactions until underneath I find the bare instincts.
So when in a peak-experience, or at least in a clear, unemotional state I would deliberately go towards the issue that had troubled me last and search for the underlying belief that still had a grip on me. In the PCE I could much easier examine it in its complete structure, understand it and compare emotions and beliefs with the facts of the present situation. To generally call it ‘me’ or ‘fear’ usually was not enough to do the trick. I look at it like a detailed scientific investigation into the Human Condition, wanting to find out not only how I am operating, but how all human beings function, more or less similarly, with their ‘me’ intact. Pride was the first thing to be thrown out, feeling offended the next. Seeing it operating in everybody makes it easier to put the particular issue on the table and not consider it some private disability that only I was struck with.
And with each issue examined and thus eliminated, the lead weights became lighter, the access to being here easier and longer lasting.
A word about stuckness: the emotion that usually kept me from looking at the issue was mainly fear, sometimes disguised as confusion, mental laziness or simply avoidance. But after a few days, or a few hours, I would simply see the silliness of avoiding the issue and thus wasting my time by not being ‘here’ and then start off the examination. It often would go like this: OK, damn, what is it this time? What has happened just before I turned numb, or grumpy or zombie? Ah, that person said something. No, can’t be it, I’m over with this. Oh, well, maybe still a little trace? Wow, big fear now. What belief made me react? Where is the hook? And then, like a dog, I would pick up the scent and follow the trail until I had the bugger by the throat. The first resistance was the most difficult to overcome – once I had started to investigate, thrill would keep me going, and curiosity, of course.
Sometimes I would find a childhood issue, like in my early mail with Konrad, some attachment to a cozy feeling or simply the instinctual fear of stepping outside of all of humanity’s concepts and beliefs. The wish to get out of the emotion (fear or whatever) into ‘here’ before I had checked it out thoroughly and understood it in its complexity was often a hindrance and would only prolong the process. One can’t go in two directions at the same time. Once I reached the bottom of the ‘pit’ and saw what the particular issue consisted of, being here was the natural by-product.
Yes, being here is the simplest thing to do – once I am here; but cleaning oneself up entirely so as to not to be pulled back by anything is also the most courageous thing to do. When an emotion gets you into its grip it is quite a bit of work to find out all its implications, and rarely someone dares to do it. Like, when you thoroughly investigated sorrow...
I wrote in my ‘bit’ of the journal:
I wish you good fun on your holidays, contemplating and lazing around.
PS. If I may butt in on your conversation with Richard – what did you mean by expectations? Are they questions? I have asked heaps of Richard and he always answered my questions to satisfaction. Or did you expect something else?
VINEETO: What a delight your letters always are, and this one in particular. Since I received it last night I had ‘itchy fingers’ to reply, sentences going through my head while I waited for them to settle into a congruent piece. But then, they never do, until I actually sit down and type.
We have the most marvellous summer weather here, some days of delicious heavy rain, tingling on the roof for hours in the night, then again hot days sometimes with a cooling ocean breeze. The fans are blowing all day and half the night while Peter and I are sitting at the keyboard typing away.
It is good to be back on the net after the ‘dictated’ holidays. It was interesting not to write for two weeks, take the mind off the ongoing communications with the Sannyas-list and do nothing really well. At first, we both noticed withdrawal symptoms but soon the rhythm changed and we have slowed down, watching TV, walking to town and back and playing FreeCell for the main parts of the Christmas-days.
ALAN: Both your mail and Richard’s gave me considerable cause for reflection and it has been an interesting few weeks. <...> You and Peter have certainly been busy on the Sannyas list. I have read some of the material on your web-site and had a look at the Osho site, but could not find any archives...
VINEETO: No, they don’t have any archives, the list-owner doesn’t want to keep them. But you get the most interesting mails through our web-site. We are still writing, although I have pulled out a bit and want to write more on our own list now. I enjoyed finding a lively conversation between you and No. 3 while we were off air. Writing on the Sannyas list has been a very interesting exercise for me, with each letter I was ‘lifting the bar’ in terms of sticking my neck out, writing about something so unpopular as Actual Freedom turns out to be. And the other exercise was to ‘not let the buggers get me’ (Richard calls it ‘Non Carborundum...’) when a particular snide reply came back. It all helps to ‘clean out the cupboard’ from remaining emotions and illusions.
ALAN: Your mail has prompted me to investigate further the ‘zombie state’. I discovered that I was waiting until I had more ‘time’ to actually be ‘here’ – what a joke – this moment is all I have and here I am waiting – and what a lovely excuse for not being ‘here’. I discovered doubt – doubt that you, Richard and Peter are living a delusion, doubt that you and Peter are blind followers of Richard – and what a lovely excuse for not being ‘here’.
VINEETO: Yes, I do understand the doubts you are talking about. After all, we are just a handful of pioneers compared to the whole world of believers. I had these doubts again and again, they usually took the form of doubting my effort, ‘Am I really on the right track’?, ‘Am I doing all that is needed’? or ‘What if I end up enlightened?’ Peter and I found emotions going round and round in a circle: fear – frustration – doubt – fear and the only way out was to muster our intent and investigate the facts of the situation. I take it that when you are ‘here’ there is no doubt that you are not following a delusion?... or following the only sanity there is?
As for being a blind follower of Richard – Konrad’s favourite objection – yes, I did and do watch Richard very closely, taking him as a mentor and teacher to find out as much as possible about living in freedom for 24 h a day. And compared to Osho and other authority figures which I had tried to emulate in my life, Richard is the most candid, the most approachable and ‘ordinary’ teacher I ever had. On the other hand I notice again and again with delight that there is no authority issue neither from my side nor from his, our discussions are lively, equal and open, and never before have I been able to ask so many questions, investigate all my objections and pursue my own trail of thoughts without restriction. By now, the ‘madness of 180 degrees in the opposite direction to normal and spiritual beliefs’ has reached such a degree that there is no way back – so I might as well ignore upcoming doubts and pursue what I have experienced so often as an actual experience of delight.
ALAN: I also found a great reluctance to examine the above two subjects (a sure indication they were of importance). Any distraction would do, just to get me away from looking closer. I had incredible difficulty focusing on (or even remembering) what I had been contemplating, just a moment before. Then the heart palpitations started, the sense of dread. Then the ‘am I thinking this because Vineeto mentioned it?’, ‘who am I?’, ‘what is real?’. Perhaps this is the ‘tumbling’ you described. Today, I wrote a mail to someone, which caused me tonight, while in the bath, to question what I am doing. In writing that mail, and the words above, what am I doing? – seeking approval, desperately wanting someone to say I am doing well, on the right track. Then an investigation into praise – a discovery that all praise achieves is to perpetuate and reinforce ‘my’ existence.
VINEETO: I can well relate to those experiences. The whole time of my ‘mad scientist’ period, I was trying to work out a scheme, a psychic map, symbols and strategies of where I am going and what I am doing. To discover that all those grand experiences were nothing but figments of my imagination was a great blow to the ‘self’ in general and to my orientation in particular. Since then, I think, I lost most of my contact with ‘reality’, at times drifting about in an apparent limbo, because none of the old measures of orientation apply anymore. Very strange indeed. Richard is right, it requires pure intent and nerves of steel, but then, who wants to go back and be ‘normal’ again? Now I seem to be standing firmly on the ground of my senses but with the head and eyes in the thickest fog, unable to locate myself. I have the choice to freak out about it, which I sometimes do, or to adjust to this new situation and enjoy it. I have no idea, if that ‘fog’ will ever settle or if I eventually will stop worrying about it. It’s just another picture of my imagination, after all.
I am not surprised that you are looking for approval and confirmation, that you are on the right track. Going mad all by yourself is a giant task, and I am full of admiration for your courage. I had and have Peter to go mad with together, so it did not seem so weird all the time. A bit like walking on your feet while everyone else is walking on their hands, getting blisters and headaches and finding it perfectly normal. It is weird. I think, from what I read, you are doing very well in your post office in good old England without even a dog to talk common sense to. Quite thrilling too, isn’t it?
ALAN: And all the while the pervading doubt, the questions – why am I doing this? what is the point? what am I doing wrong? And underlying the doubt was fear – fear of the unknown. Then the realization of the enormity of the task I am undertaking – the actual elimination of my ‘self’. Sure, I have written these words, or similar, many times but I suddenly ‘got’ that this was what I was engaged n – there would be no more Alan in any shape or form, other than a collection of memories of the life and experiences of this body known as Alan. But Alan, the person will no longer exist.
VINEETO: It is strange, I remember similar fears and thoughts, but now, looking back, I can hardly relate to the Vineeto that had those fears. Afterward a long process of elimination of the social identity, the ‘self’ appears as nothing but a big idea with knots and ties to everyone and everywhere. Unhooking those ties one by one made the ‘self’ so loose and insignificant that now even its disappearance may be gentle compared to the big fears and stories of death a few months ago. But, nothing can be said ‘until the fat lady sang’.
And when you think back, the Alan from a year ago does not exist anymore, the Alan who started the journey has long ago changed into someone else. And yet, it is enormous, it’s the adventure of a life-time that we are engaged in. Wonderful, delightful, thrilling, scary and occupying every minute of my life. I have never been so alive.
ALAN: Perhaps it was reading what you have written on this subject, Vineeto, which triggered this experience. You have written much on your experience of sensing imminent death, but up until now I had no sense of it. And along with this sense of ceasing to exist a constant question and uncertainty has been running of the ‘who am I?’, ‘what is real?’, variety mentioned above. Every thought and action raises the question of who is doing it. At times a wave of ‘meaninglessness’ (that is the best I can describe it) washes over me and the world seems to tremble.
VINEETO: I noticed a certain sequence with fear: first I object: ‘here it comes again, I thought I was over with this one, I don’t want it now, I want to sleep, enjoy, etc...’ Then, becoming more aware and seeing that I don’t get rid of fear in this way anyway, I take on the job and start investigating. And with ‘acceptance’ comes the understanding that fear is actually the door and the fuel to freedom, and by welcoming it I discover the thrill that rides me forth to the delight of coming ‘here’.
I had found the ‘who am I’ question quite confusing and even an obstacle to getting on with my ‘demise’ and freedom; it would entangle me in the different ‘who’s’ that were trying to run the show in my head. In confusion, I rather look for my intent, look for the reason why I am searching for freedom and for the goal that I want to reach.
ALAN: At the same time as experiencing the above, I have been contemplating what Richard wrote on getting out of the ‘zombie state’, which is well worth repeating and has been of immense benefit:
VINEETO: Yes, it is such a wonderful piece of writing, I stick it right back in again. I read it numerous times and it always has its effect.
ALAN: And sure enough, earlier today, while doing something in the kitchen ‘here’ I am again, the shivers of delight up the spine, much more intense than previously, a ‘crinkling’ sensation all over the head. I realise my body is trembling all over, though there is no fear, only delight and wonder at the simplicity of it all. It is as though a second pair of eyelids have opened – 360 degree awareness as Richard calls it – and I am, indeed, the experiencing of what is happening. Everything is brighter, clearer, louder and I am free to delight in the absolute fun and joy of simply being alive.
VINEETO: What an immense serendipity to have stumbled across Actual Freedom and then to have had the curiosity, discontent and courage to investigate it – it beats every single adventure I ever had in my life so far. And then to be able to communicate about it to someone on the other side of the world, you, who is enjoying winter and snow, maybe – life is truly magical.
ALAN: So, that is where I am up to for now – more interesting times ahead, no doubt. What have you been up to? Ain’t life fun.
VINEETO: Yes, indeed fun and delight and – I think we need to invent some more words, I am always short for synonyms of delight...
So good to talk to you, Alan.
VINEETO: Hi Alan, Hi Richard,
Just by coincidence I found an address where for some mysterious reason they keep all the archives of the Sannyas list. http://www.egroups.com/. We were happy too, because in the air-off time we lost quite some e-mails, and now we had a chance to read them anyway.
VINEETO: I had found the ‘who am I’ question quite confusing and even in the road of getting on with ‘death’ and freedom; it would entangle me in the different ‘who’s’ that were trying to run the show in my head. In confusion, I rather look for my intent, for the reason why I am searching for freedom and for the goal I want to reach
ALAN: I completely agree, Vineeto. It is a nice excuse to get lost in intellectualizing, like Richard and I are doing above. There is, however, a difference between the discussion we are having, which is great fun, and getting ‘lost in one’s head’ – then, like you, I have found the easiest way out to be focusing on intent, recalling a PCE and concentrating on ‘what is my purpose’ – and reading the following:
VINEETO: Just a short comment on your letter to Richard and your in-built answer to me:
Well said. I think it is worth getting all our words used as straight as we can. You are doing a great job here with Richard, I am enjoying the discussion immensely. And I would not call that ‘intellectualizing’ at all because, as I understand, with Richard you are 100%, boots and all, involved in the enquiry and description of facts and experiences. It is the first time that the difference between ASC and PCE is pinned down so clearly for anyone who wants to can see it for themselves – and avoid enlightenment for themselves too.
But in a way, all this is happening in the head, you are right, but ‘lost in the head’ ? I think you are just kidding!
I had to think about what I actually do when ‘focussing on intent’ and ‘concentrating on what is my purpose’. Yes, it is always best to activate delight and a PCE, but then, as important, to untie the hooks – emotional, instinctual and ‘eventual’ – that keep or kept holding me back, hooked into the normal state of dullness, worry or fear. I am a well-trained detective now, having searched so many alley-ways of this very cunning ‘self’, unlocked so many emotions, beliefs and instinctual passions, all with that innocent looking question: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’. Being lazy I shortened it inside my head as ‘What is happening?’, ‘what emotion is keeping me from being completely at ease and fully in my senses?’ The obsession has grown to such an extent that even when I have an occasional afternoon nap – a very pleasant activity, by the way – the investigation is running in the back of my head while I linger in that wonderful delicious state between sleep and waking consciousness. Not always do I remember the content of my investigations, but then I just start again...
ALAN: This should go on the back cover of your book, or an introduction if too long and certainly on your web page!!!
VINEETO: Hello, old chap, how are you experiencing..., – just kidding, I mean, how are you?
I am great, excellent, perfect, enjoying each minute.
ALAN: I always wondered a bit why Richard, in particular, railed so much against the gurus and spiritual masters. I even accused Richard of having a ‘bee in his bonnet’, which he readily admitted.
Sure, I knew these people were to blame for leading people up the garden path and I have examined for myself the delusion of enlightenment. But, responsible for all the wars, tortures, rapes, domestic violence and suicides – I was not so sure. Then today, reading Richard’s reply to No 12, I suddenly ‘got it’ – a fact is so obvious when you see it. Of course the gurus and maters are responsible for all the wars, tortures, rapes, domestic violence and suicides, because they have not eliminated the Human Condition in themselves and they continue to perpetuate the misery, sorrow and malice, while telling all and sundry they are the embodiment of peace on earth. I may well have a ‘bee in my bonnet’ myself in future!
Because of the above realisation (and my current discussion with Richard about the PCE & ASC), I was able to look at my remaining tenuous belief in some form of life after death, ‘Oneness’, ‘Universal Consciousness’ or, whatever you like to call it. Close examination has caused this belief to vanish, leaving me even more free to enjoy this moment. As a fact, there is no ‘life after death’ – what a relief!!!!! Thank you Richard and No 12.
VINEETO: Wheeeeeeee, Alan, that is truly an occasion to get the bottle of Champagne out of your fridge and have a big toast on yourself! What a day of remarkable significance when you stop being immortal – or potentially immortal – and become alive in this moment.
I can take the analogy that I wrote to you the other day a bit further – everybody walks on their hands and suffer blisters and headache, and then we wonder why we feel so mad and weird walking upright. To come to one’s senses and walk upright, one first has to fall on to one’s nose, or bum, and most people object to that position... Leaving immortality behind is a big step towards walking upright, at least in my experience. Welcome to the ‘bee in the bonnet’-club.
Oh, I forgot to say, we have elected the chief-disciple of the Actual Freedom Trust from the applications that came in and it is ... you. Because, you are the first one who found Richard per web-site on your own accord and because your name starts with A. I congratulate you to the honour of your new position. Part of your duties is to make a list of duties and privileges for the chief-disciples.
(As explanation for everyone else who is new to the list – there was a discussion on about chief-disciples in beginning of December. It can be looked up in the archives Nos. 189, 190, 195, 198, 204, 210, 214) and/or in my letters to Irene).
Cheers with ringing champagne-glasses.
ALAN: I think it was you who introduced me to FreeCell, you ... ...!,
VINEETO: Bugger? good-for-nothing? Moron?...
VINEETO: I take it that when you are ‘here’ there is no doubt that you are following a delusion?
ALAN: No doubt at all. When ‘here’, I am absolutely sure I am following a delusion – only joking. When I am ‘here’ I could not care less whether I am following a delusion, an illusion, or raving lunatics. I know where I am – here – and whatever anyone else does is wholly a matter for them.
VINEETO: Well, that is our advantage compared with all the hundreds of religions and philosophies, isn’t it. When ‘here’, we experience, this is it, this is the obvious, actual, undoubted factuality, the bottom-line. That’s why I could finally give up the highly valued and cherished belief in Osho and Zen-mystics – I had a day of belief-less actuality and the experience was far superior to any belief.
ALAN: At one point, I tried to make a ‘guru’ out of Richard, but he would not play.
VINEETO: In the first few months with Peter I sometimes tried to land a sarcastic or snide remark on him. He simply didn’t ‘get it’. He just said, ‘I lost you here, what do you mean’ – and it was a sincere question. I then would only feel embarrassed and investigate my outbreak of malice.
ALAN: What I find so useful, in talking with Richard (and you), is that I know there is no hidden agenda, nothing ‘going on’, so whatever reaction I have, I know it is ‘me’. Do you understand what I am saying – I have not put it very well. All of the passions require a ‘reflection’ and if that ‘reflection’ does not exist, then one knows that all that is occurring is in one’s own head.
VINEETO: Yes, I know what you mean. It is indeed very helpful in sorting out one’s projections and emotional reactions to know that the other has no hidden agenda except sharing delight. But then later, I came to a point where I am only concerned with my own reactions regardless of what anyone’s hidden agenda could have been. That’s what is so good about writing on the sannyas-list and now here – whatever is thrown at me is not my concern unless I have a reaction to it. I sort out my reaction – should there be any – and then answer to the facts. An invaluable exercise!
Now, I often can’t recognize hidden agendas anymore. The other day I got a reply on the sannyas list which didn’t make sense to me. Two days later I suddenly said to Peter: ‘Maybe it was sarcasm, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense!’
VINEETO: I can well relate to those experiences. The whole time of my ‘mad scientist’ period, I was trying to work out a scheme, a psychic map, symbols and strategies of where I am going and what I am doing. To discover that all those grand experiences were nothing but figments of my imagination was a great blow to the ‘self’ in general and to my orientation in particular.
ALAN: I have not really been through a period of building schemes and strategies. I think my ‘crunch’ came when I realised that all the dramas and histrionics (cold sweats, feeling sick, feeling dizzy, tiredness, heart palpitations and more) were just part of ‘my’ objections to being ‘here’ – sort of death throes. I called it being a ‘drama queen’ at the time. As you say, since then I have largely lost touch with ‘reality’ (I’m pleased to say).
VINEETO: Good, hey. Yes, my ‘drama queen’ has been on stage many, many times with an amazing repertoire of fantasies and a great skill of playing them out. Absolutely fascinating to watch. It saves going to the theatre. It was one Hamlet after the other, one Lady MacBeth after the other. The art for me became to see them all as comedies. Maybe women have a different set of plays as part of their conditioning than men. I am very interested to hear more of your ‘drama queen’ plays, should they re-occur – just for scientific reasons, they may be worth recording!
VINEETO: Going ‘mad’ all by yourself is a giant task and I am full of admiration for your courage. I had, and have Peter, to go mad with together, so it did not seem so weird all the time. A bit like walking on your feet while everyone else is walking on their hands, getting blisters and headaches and finding it perfectly normal. It is weird. I think, from what I read, you are doing very well in your post office in good old England without even a dog to talk common sense with. Quite thrilling too, isn’t it?
ALAN: It certainly is thrilling and it would be good to share the experience with another. However, I have you, Richard and Peter to discuss these matters with and the knowledge that others have and are experiencing similar things gives me sufficient courage to continue. And after all, at the end of the day, everyone has to do this by themselves, for themselves – that’s what so great about it, no guru or ‘master’ for me, thank you very much! One advantage – I suspect I have had less difficulty severing the ‘relationship’ with my wife than you had with Peter?
VINEETO: Yes, everyone has to do it for themselves. I have met several people who read Peter’s book and say they are intrigued or fascinated – but they don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend to do it with, so what to do? I can understand the hesitation to take up such a task, but then it is everybody’s life. How can they make it dependant on a boyfriend or girlfriend! Would be more to the point to say: ‘It scares the shit out of me.’
I can’t say much about advantage or not, because the situation is different. My experience severing the relationship to my last boyfriend, which had not worked for years, was very different to being with Peter and taking my ‘self’ out of the living together. It took me a lot of determination and utter honesty, examining myself where I had hooks and ties still connected to him. My back-pressure was the thought: ‘What if he dies, what if he walks out on me tomorrow, will I be still happy and free?’ I did not want to wait until that happened to find out. So I ran that question again and again and found one bit of attachment after the other...
One time I remember clearly, the experience was like cutting a thick cord that appeared to run from the bottom of my spine to his, like a telephone cord of sharing delight. Afterwards it felt like my very bone marrow was being drained out of me, most of my strength, determination and will to ‘fight for freedom’. A very strange experience, I was almost physically curling back into my self and became autonomous, not relying on him. Any need for emotional support vanished with that event.
Also I was eager to challenge the spiritual belief that you can only become free ‘in your cave’, meditating on your own. One should transcend sex, transcend relationship and be completely alone, physically. That’s what they say... Well, I have proved them wrong. It is possible to become free living with a partner – it needs a lot of awareness and honesty. But that is what is needed anyway.
ALAN: Life is, indeed, a wonderful adventure and I look forward to meeting you in this magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is one of these days!
VINEETO: Yes, me too!
ALAN: I enjoy the cold, crisp, clear winters mornings, when all is white, Just occasionally we get a morning where fog has descended during the night, to be followed by a sharp frost and morning sunshine and, for a short time, all is transformed into a real winter wonderland. Hundreds of spiders’ webs glisten in a million billion sparkling crystals, footsteps crunch over blades of grass, each encased in a glistening white sheath and tree branches bow under the weight of frozen water. All is white, all is still, all is quiet, until the first early birds proclaim the new dawn and this moment is truly frozen in time.
VINEETO: Thank you for your wonderful description. Having lived in Germany for many years I remember towed up on the ski-lift on clear crisp sunny mornings with pine-trees laden with snow, everything pristine and sparkling like on the first day. Now, I only see it on TV.
ALAN: Working in a village shop is a great opportunity to see the full range of humanity trudging on through their dreary lives. It is great fun when someone remarks what a miserable day it is to reply ‘Yes, it is absolutely marvellous, isn’t it?’ I have to be a bit careful, as I cannot afford to lose too many customers! Mind you, I find many do not even hear a remark such as the above, as it often elicits a response like ‘never mind it may be better tomorrow’.
VINEETO: I can almost ‘see’ the scene in front of my eyes, what a cute scene. Someone on the sannyas list inadvertently did me a great favour and sent a list of synonyms for excellent – here you are:
‘Excellent: outstanding, superior, superlative, exceptional, superb, classic, choice, capital, sterling, great, tremendous, terrific, wonderful, fine, superfine, top-notch, first-rate, first-class; admirable, notable; matchless, peerless, pre-eminent, exemplary; Informal prime, super, swell, aces, tops, grade’.
Well, some of them are useable.
It is always such a joy to talk to you, have fun too.
VINEETO: Good to hear from you. Wonderful, to talk again about my favourite subject – freedom.
ALAN: ... nice person for introducing me to such an addictive game – on reflection, maybe bugger is better. Be warned everyone – do not start playing FreeCell!!
VINEETO: I take ‘the bugger’. It is a good description for someone who is continuously rocking the boat, as well. When you read our correspondence with the Mailing List C you can see how people object to the ‘rocking of their boat’. But I am rocking all the boats, including my own. And that is the selfish reason why I write, to rock my boat until it tips over and facilitates my extinction...
ALAN: In the light of my current discussion with Richard, it would be interesting to hear of any enlightenment experiences you had.
VINEETO: I had only one, which lasted for about three days, because I really wanted to investigate all its implications. It was an experience first of great love and compassion for all, together with the Great Wisdom that I wanted to spread to all those ‘poor’ beings whom I considered needed my advice. (oops, I knew then, that I really had to keep my mouth shut and my hands in my pocket. I did not want to do or say anything I would have to regret later or feel embarrassed about!)
With the grandeur came a great satisfaction of finally standing on the same podium that I had put Rajneesh on – now I knew from my own experience from which inner space he was talking and how he had been taking us all for a ride. I felt the power and authority and the wonderful tempting glory of it all. What a grand world it is – you know it all, you feel it all, you can help them all and you are superior to them all. Love pours out of every thought, grandeur is your nature and you swan in timelessness and eternity, forever relieved from the pain and sorrow of the personal little world of the poor mortals you left behind.
It was bloody good to have Peter as a landmark for common sense and Richard’s story and warnings as the blinking light-house and so it came that I did not ground on that wonderfully glimmering, seductively promising ‘Rock of Enlightenment’.
It took a lot of effort and re-starting my intelligence and common sense to dismantle the glory of Truth and the seduction of Power. I had to use all doubt and scepticism available to be able to discover the Truth-production machine in my head. The next thing to deal with was the attraction to power and glory. But without being able to rely on Truth, which was now impossible, how much power can you keep up? ( full description)
But it was not all over yet. The sense of love and warmth that had resided in the heart moved further down into the belly, what Japanese call the Hara. I found it to be the seat of ‘being’, of bliss. It was a less fiery passion, more of a calm prevailing blissful state of eternal ‘being here’, as opposed to the actual being ‘here’. I don’t remember much of it except for the seductive invitation to stay there, ‘you have now found your destiny, this is what they are all talking about, this is your ‘ground of being’, you have arrived’.
I knew it was time to gather all my intent and my common sense and get out of this elusive, imaginary state of swanning in imaginary bliss and ‘being’. It was time to leave the wonder-full magician-castle in the clouds and enter the actual world of senses, sex and coffee.
ALAN: Yes, I think I likened it, in a post some time ago, to a fisherman casting hooks. The ‘cleaner’ one becomes, not only are less and less ‘hooks’ thrown, but others barbs simply ‘slip off’ unnoticed, as you confirm in your next remark.
VINEETO: We had an interesting conversation with a friend last night. She asked me: ‘What about affections? Don’t you think, it would be of help to feel other’s feelings, while not having them yourself, and then you can really understand what they are going through?’
I found that a very interesting question and while I answered her I realised that this was exactly what I was trying to do in the last months when I was writing. Once in while I would slip into the emotional world of the sannyasins, trying hard and sincerely to understand where they were coming from, what emotions were behind their words, what fears behind their snide remarks. The outcome was always confusion, I ended up emotional and fearful myself and was unable to answer clearly. I first had to work myself out of the self-constructed mess before responding.
Understanding that this had been my investigation in the last few months, I could see that this option had failed each time. It is simply not possible to empathically understand someone without ending up in one’s own mess of feelings. And the other way round also proves the point: the moment I am ‘here’ and not in my feelings and emotions, I don’t ‘feel’ the other, I understand his or her words, but not the hidden agenda.
ALAN: I quoted wrong – it was Richard who used ‘drama queen’ – I called it ‘prima donna’ – not that it matters as they both mean the same thing. From what I have read of your experiences, it appears ‘you’ had a much more vivid imagination than ‘me’.
VINEETO: I guess you are right. Last night the drama queen appeared again with another drama:
Based on the above explained understandings I felt like the door of my ‘death-cell’ opened where I had been sitting for month waiting for the execution. The door was open to the next step, closer to extinction. The little man in the head, the ‘feeler’ had been discovered and in the light of apperception could not maintain its existence. ‘Feeling’ and empathy are now no more options.
ALAN: Since that time, with the realisation that none of what was occurring was ‘actual’, though very, very ‘real’ and simply a product of ‘my’ imagination, I have not again experienced such dread. This is not to say ‘I’ may not be a ‘prima donna’ again and I shall certainly recount any similar experiences.
VINEETO: One never knows how many actors are still waiting behind stage until they had their appearance. It is fascinating, when I think about it. The moment I discovered the ‘drama queen’, it lost its conviction. The moment I discovered ‘me’, the Truth-producing faculty of Enlightenment, it became impossible to believe in the ‘truth’ that I had just produced. The moment I discovered the ‘believer’, the mechanism of believing I could not believe anymore – the mechanism was switched off and disappeared. I had to investigate the facts. One piece after the other fell off ‘me’, while at the same time taking the veil off my physical senses. The colours are now more vivid, the sounds multi-layered, the skin awakes to sense the air in temperature and consistency, the little hair on my forearm being touched by the soft breeze when I walk into town.
VINEETO: One time I remember clearly, the experience was like cutting a thick cord that appeared to run from the bottom of my spine to his, like a telephone cord of sharing delight. Afterwards it felt like my very bone marrow was being drained out of me, most of my strength, determination and will to ‘fight for freedom’. A very strange experience, almost physically curling back into my self and became autonomous, not relying on him. Any need for emotional support vanished with that event.
ALAN: Like I said – a vivid imagination!
VINEETO: Yes, imagination is one thing, and it stopped once I became aware of the very act of imagining. But besides imagination there is an event or realisation and it often has an affective colour to it. That event is ‘real’, not actual and yet it seems to be necessary to finish a certain part of the ‘real’ belief or emotion or instinct that is presently under investigation. Then the whole thing disappears – the ‘real’ belief as well as the ‘real’ event both go up in smoke.
ALAN: The emotion I had most difficulty with was guilt. Guilt at ‘leaving’ my wife behind, guilt at being happy and guilt for making her unhappy.
VINEETO: Yes, guilt is a bummer! Not only did I find it rooted in my social or cultural conditioning, but also in the religious upbringing (catholic and even deeper, Jewish as the basis belief of Christianity). And underneath I found the instinct: Peter and I talked a lot about the male and female versions of the instinct of nurture and how they express. The man instinctually has to take care of his woman and child, secure their survival and work his whole life for it. Further he has to be strong and go out and fight should the family – or country – be in real or assumed danger. So guilt could also be rooted in not acting according to that instinct. We wrote a good definition on male and female instincts in Peter’s glossary.
ALAN: All of these boiled down to an examination of me being ‘responsible’ for others (which is, of course, nonsense) and underlying that, the fear of being on my own and of being different. As Richard has often said, it takes nerves of steel to break free from the safety of the herd and I was often accused of being obsessed, having a ‘one track mind’ and ‘twisting her words’. Another favourite was being ‘clever-clever’. As more emotional ties were severed and these taunts began to more and more miss their mark, so their frequency diminished – with nothing to hook into, there is little point in ‘casting’, as mentioned above.
VINEETO: Yes, the other ‘bummer’ for me was moving away from the herd, being on my own, moving away from the group of Sannyasin I knew and the women’s circle. It is another instinct, and it was accompanied with lots of fear – hence the nerves of steel.
The longer I am writing on the sannyas list, the more I understand the meaning of ‘twist’. I am looking at the world in a different way than they are (180 degrees, in fact) and they see it as me twisting reality, while I know that the Human Condition is twisting everyone’s perception. I have ‘untwisted’ myself.
‘Clever-clever’ is one of the typical male-female issues, I know it well from my past relationships. And women are often right in their accusation, when men go off into their cerebral world of logic and theoretical conclusions. But then, when the ‘hooks don’t catch’, you know that you experience the world neither cerebrally (more male territory) nor emotionally (more female territory), but sensually. And that’s where the male-female battle ends. Utterly fascinating!
ALAN: I am shortly off to a millennium committee meeting (I am the treasurer) – it is such good fun. Everyone sits around waffling and I am none too popular for pointing out the facts and not joining in with the ‘games’ everyone wants to play.
VINEETO: Treasurer of a millennium committee? I think I have some information for you here which has Wisdom, because it is 2000 years old. It is a text translated from Latin (dated 2 BC):
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.