Vineeto’s Correspondence on the Actual Freedom List
VINEETO: Hi Alan,
Thank you for you feedback and your recommendations regarding the latest schematics. We have discussed every single idea of yours with Richard back and forth and decided in the end to leave it as it is. No description seemed short enough for the arrow of ‘What I am’ in Actual Freedom and the little thundercloud seems more impressive without its description of self-immolation.
Further, I am going through my past correspondence, editing for typos and grammar and collecting the correspondence for the library topics in separate pages, so that there will be only one link each instead of 25 individual links. I am in the middle to doing the same thing with Richard’s correspondence – something to keep me busy for quite a while longer, particularly now that he has started to add more to his writing on a daily basis. As you have already discovered, all the latest correspondence is available when you click on ‘Latest Correspondence’ on the homepage.
Our recent discussions and the schematics has inspired me to talk a bit more about the double approach to Actual Freedom.
Among the many other topics, we have talked about – ‘Why is it that one seems to have less PCEs in Virtual Freedom than at the beginning of the discovery journey?’ I remember an earlier correspondence with you on that issue – what is this change in the experience of a PCE when one settles in the daily delights of Virtual Freedom? But I will start at the beginning –
This schematic diagram depicts the dynamic between
‘who I think and feel I am’, ‘me’ as a selfish, self-centred, lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning entity inside this body, afflicted with the Human Condition of malice and sorrow, thereafter called ‘the grey arrows’
‘what I am, this flesh and blood body only, living in the actual world, the universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being’, thereafter called ‘the green arrows’.
The green arrows: During Pure Consciousness Experiences one is taking short excursions into the actual world, for minutes or hours, experiencing life as a kind of holiday stripped of the restricting, burdening, agonizing selfish and self-centred worldview of everyday life. In the beginning those PCEs open one’s eyes to a world never experienced before, never considered possible. On the path to freedom those PCEs are vital, absolutely necessary to determine the direction, to kindle one’s naiveté, to tap into pure intent. The actual world is seen for what it is, and everything is self-evidently clear and obvious, and one recognizes that ‘what I am’ has always been here, I just never got a word in edgeways.
Nevertheless, once the PCE is over and the ‘self’ takes control again, there is only a faint memory left. The world of ‘grey arrows’ and the world of ‘green arrows’ never meet. Given that during a PCE one is without beliefs, feelings and emotions, there is consequently no emotional memory to draw from when one comes back to the ‘real’ world, and the experience can vanish without a trace unless one is very aware. Likewise, back in the world of beliefs, feelings and emotions, the faint memory of the purity and perfection can only be vaguely remembered but not relived or imagined. That’s where naiveté and pure intent are absolutely essential if one wants to experience an actual freedom state for 24 hours a day.
One other important point – spiritually inclined people, and that is almost everyone who is on a search for freedom, peace and happiness, usually confuse the ‘green arrows’ with some sort of spiritual higher ‘self’, Satori, god-experience, beauty, love, bliss or enlightenment. The ‘green arrows’ have clearly nothing to do with any emotion- or feeling-based experience, any Altered State of Consciousness or anything happening in the head or in the heart. ‘Green arrows’ is the sensate-only, sensuous and pure experience of the actual physical universe in its pure, magical, delightful and sparkling perfection.
The grey arrows: Due to the intrinsic quality genetically built into the physical fabric of the universe to be the best it can be, every human being has the potential to evoke naiveté and intent – the innate drive to look for a way out of the grim everyday experience of life. Given that Richard has discovered that one can totally eliminate one’s identity, conditioning and instinctual passions, and has also devised a practical and effective method to do so, it is now possible to use the experience of a PCE to reach to a permanent actual freedom from the Human Condition.
It is no longer necessary to interpret one’s glimpses of the perfection and purity of the actual world as some kind of ‘god-given Grace’, thus degrading and distorting the experience of pure magnificence into a feeling-based self-centred interpretation of beauty, love or ‘the divine’. Out of those moments of a pure consciousness experience one can dare to acknowledge ‘what I am’, a living and apperceptive organism, lived by this splendid and perfect universe, without any sense of ‘being’ whatsoever – and take the first step in direction of an actual freedom.
In order to get closer to one’s avowed aim, the living of a PCE for 24 hours a day, one then has to get off one’s bum and dismantle the ‘grey arrows’ – who one thinks and feels one is. The change that needs to happen can only happen in the ‘grey arrows’. The only thing ‘I’ can do is actively diminish ‘me’ – examining and investigating my social and spiritual conditioning and my set of survival instincts – all my passionate beliefs and my affective imaginations. So when I get confused, or impatient, or fearful, or greedy for more PCEs or discouraged, or, or, or ... this is where I have to look, this is where I can change something. This is where ‘I’ can speed up ‘my’ demise. When I am emotional, slightly off-track or very disturbed, I am the ‘grey arrows’ – and I can only do something about the ‘grey arrows’. That means, ‘I who I think and feel I am’ is the thing that needs to be taken apart, the thing that needs my full attention, intent and concentration. The ‘grey arrows’ is the only thing I can do something about, because that is ‘me’, obstructing and preventing the perfection that is already here from becoming apparent. In that sense the ‘green arrows’ don’t really get bigger, ‘what I am’ becomes more and more apparent.
As I pointed out to No. 4 in a previous post, there is no point in waiting for the ‘Grace of Existence’ to descend and deliver a PCE. When all is said and done, waiting for a PCE derives from a grim-world view where one doesn’t want to be here but wants to go somewhere else – into a PCE. There is nothing I can do about the ‘green arrows’ – ‘what I am’ is already perfect, it is already as it should be. But I can actively do something about the obstacles that prevent me from experiencing the actual world; I can remove, slowly and meticulously, the stuff that the identity consists of. I can investigate into each belief, each hope, faith and ‘truth’, examine experientially each feeling and emotion that is triggered by people or situations, until I finally uncover the bare animal instincts. By that time the ‘grey arrows’ have become rather thin and transparent so that the ‘green arrows’ of ‘what I am’ can be more and more clearly experienced.
During the first year on the path to Actual Freedom I could clearly distinguish when a PCE started and when it ended. It was like a chandelier had been switched on in a very dim room, and suddenly everything was stunningly clear and obvious, the emotional problems from minutes before suddenly disappeared and – if I wanted to – I could also determine which problem and belief to tackle next.
In Virtual Freedom the situation is a bit different. The size of the ‘grey arrows’ diminished and the ‘green arrows’ – ‘what I am’ – becomes more and more prevalent and apparent. The days are filled with delight, hardly any emotions interfere with my happiness and life itself becomes more and more obvious, there are neither problems to solve nor insights to achieve. I simply know that every belief is wrong just because it is a belief – it is only a question of ‘where’ or ‘how’ this belief is false. At this stage, the instincts can be clearly seen for what they are – chemical surges of the dying entity. When the ‘who I think and feel I am’ becomes so weak and transparent, a pure consciousness experience is not as outstanding and not as sought after as in the beginning.
But PCEs are not my main concern now. My main concern is the ending of ‘me’. My main concern is sitting it out and enjoying the final jerks of the dying identity as much as possible, with as little emotional worry or fear as possible. Life is fantastic as it is, I know my direction as clearly as I can see the moon in a cloudless sky. Now there is no question of going off-track, which had been one of my biggest worries, and now there is no question about the inevitability of success. All the ‘grey arrows’ only point in one direction and that is towards the ‘pop’.
And so everything is perfectly perfect, and utterly normal, deliciously excellent and thrillingly delightful – with sometimes the curious experience that I want to stop being here because it gets all too much – but that seems to have become impossible. So I go for a walk, jump up and down and then ‘give in’ to enjoying the thrill of it all.
VINEETO: Two weeks ago I had a conversation with a devoted meditator of my former tribe (Sannyas) which I found interesting in many aspects. First of all I was both happy and astounded at how well and easy the discussion went – I didn’t have to struggle with any of the vagueness, psychic confusion, doubts or fears that I knew so well from earlier discussions with spiritual people. In the conversation I could easily state that with Actual Freedom I know now where I stand, what I want and how I go about reaching that goal, while he maintained that to reach enlightenment you are supposed to give up the desire and certainty of ever attaining it! The perspective and understanding of the actual world is all so easy and simple, so obvious and transparent that the hazy, mysterious hocus-pocus of ‘Truth’, ‘That’, the ‘Grace of God’ or ‘Existence’ seem nothing but passionate and silly childish fairytales.
It was interesting that in the discussion we constantly needed to define the words we used. He had different connotations about ‘instinct’ as only meaning the physical startling response or the change of breath or heartbeat at imminent danger. So he could easily hold on to his belief that without instincts one would die, not be able to breathe, or maintain one’s heartbeat. When I asked him what he would call our instinctual reactions of anger, fear, sex or rage, he had no appropriate word at all. Similarly we had to different definitions of the word ‘emotion’. Emotion to him only meant a very strong feeling, easily noticeable as emotional outbursts like screaming, crying, fighting or being shocked. When I asked what he would call emotions like hope, trust, attraction or apprehension, those feelings did not seem to exist at all and had no specific name, but were definitely not emotions. Thus he could maintain that he hardly had any emotions and that they are not the problem with human beings, since they only happen ‘once in a while’.
For him the problem lies in the mind, in thoughts, which start, trigger and continue emotions. Out of this reasoning he had to deny that children have any emotions at all before they develop the ability to think. They only suffer physical pain, but no emotional pain. I was simply astounded by such ignorance and stubborn denial. Even monkeys have been observed to suffer when their mother dies to the extent that they grieve to death, even at an age where they could easily survive by themselves.
From the premise that thought is the source of all evil it was only logical to conclude that meditation is the right method to stop the inner dialogue. By persistently watching the mind, the mind is supposed to disappear on its own accord. As with all spiritual believers, he was of the firm conviction that once one succeeded in stopping one’s thoughts there will be perennial peace of mind, no-mind as in dead mind. When I reported that I had succeeded in eliminating 95% of my inner dialogue by investigating emotions as the source and breeding ground for my ‘troublesome’ thoughts he exclaimed: ‘But I don’t want to investigate. Investigation is an activity of the mind and I don’t want to strengthen the mind .’
This statement made it clear to me again why so few spiritual people are willing to investigate their beliefs, feelings and emotions. The very word ‘investigate’ is evil, the very action of contemplation is considered the ultimate no-no. And one doesn’t even have to bother to change one’s malicious or sorrowful behaviour, because that is only one’s ‘personality’, which won’t interfere with the ‘higher self’ of enlightenment – so why investigate one’s personality or want to change it in the first place?
This conversation reminded me of an advertisement that I found in a woman’s magazine for meditation. It said:
Pretty clear, eh.
And now to something completely different. I enjoyed very much your letter to No 13 last week, and triggered a contemplation about altruism. You had said:
ALAN: Then tonight, catching up on reading what had been written while I was away, it suddenly got to me. This, what I am engaged on, is of far, far, too much importance to give up this easily. Can I live with the fact that every suicide, every war, every rape, every murder, every abuse, every instance of malice is unnecessary – and do nothing about it? No. Whatever is necessary must be done.
VINEETO: My practical mind has always had trouble with ‘altruism’ for the simple fact that even if I become free, everybody will have to discover and achieve freedom for themselves. And, as we have seen, up to now not many people have been intrigued to investigate the proposition. So I figured, cunningly, that it wouldn’t make much difference to the world at large if I became free or not. I pursued freedom simply for my own benefit and delight, knowing that this is the very best I can do with my life.
But in the last few weeks this line of pursuit has proved to be insufficient. I noticed that I kept losing my happiness and sparkle of Virtual Freedom as it was sometimes replaced by complaining about physical inconveniences like headaches or a ‘pain in the neck’, weirdness, feeling odd, fear attacks and bouts of doubt. Assessing my situation objectively, I realised that the option to stop or go back to ‘normal’ had disappeared altogether. What would I want to go back to? I had left my old life because it was unsatisfactory and that would still be the case.
But something else was needed to get me through the oddness. Stubbornness, guilt for ‘being’ an intruding entity and the glittering prize of actual freedom were not enough. And I found another line of Richard’s writing – a benefit of my extensive playing with the web-site:
There it was again – ‘altruistically self-immolated’ – and this time I could see the word from another angle. It has nothing to do with being altruistic for other people – whether they get something directly out of my becoming free or not. It has to do with being unselfish as in my ‘self’ getting out of the way, so that the perfection can become apparent. ‘I’ won’t even get a medal for my altruistic behaviour – ‘I’ will simply not exist anymore. And thus my hang-up with the Christian – and spiritual – morality of being selfish or un-selfish has finally been resolved.
Now I can see the sparkling morning, the dewdrops glittering thousand fold on the thin tea-tree leaves, moving and shining like river stones, the birds chirping their birds-sounds and the air moist and warming for another glorious spring day. Everything is perfect when I stop insisting of keeping my ‘self’. Suddenly it is all easy and I am back on the wide and wondrous path – and the pain in the neck is just a signpost for the right direction. Ah, fantastic.
Since I finished this letter I had another discussion with Richard about being here now, in this moment in time, with having a past or a future, and I experienced again the eerie wonderful and odd thing of being here now without a ‘self-induced’ story that keeps the moments together like pearls on a string. From this point of view, from simply being here each moment again there is no question whatsoever that Actual Freedom is what I want, 24 hrs a day.
And, being back in having a bit of a past and a bit of a future, I am still determined to make it happen, no other reason needed. The continuing oddness of not really knowing where I left the ‘meaning of life’ that had tied my life together so nicely before, can only be a good sign. Ahoi.
VINEETO: How is life in the midst of selling your house and business, moving place and changing relationship? Maybe you don’t even have time to think about it because you’re so busy doing what is happening?
I have just finished two weeks of working again, replacing the bookkeeper for her holiday in a sannyas-business. For the few recent months I had been doing some secretarial work in that same sannyas-business about twice weekly, marketing a new product after I had quit my full-time job there 1½ years ago. It had all been going along fine until last week when I went there every day and my past habits caught up with me again. The woman who is running the business had been a close associate for many years and ‘naturally’ I set out trying to help her solve her – what at first seemed to me purely practical – problems.
A week later I found myself tossing and turning one night, slowly comprehending the full implications of the tricks and pitfalls in the marketing business she has been taking on and my emotional involvement in wanting to help, feeling loyal and sympathetic – the whole lot. Because I was attempting to find a solution within the Human Condition, I got lost in a spiralling quagmire of fear, horror and dread, until it became devastatingly obvious that there was indeed no solution for the situation. Unless I quit trying to solve ‘real-world’ problems for her, I will only keep suffering myself. To stop means abandoning her and her ever continuing problems, being a traitor to helping her, giving up finding solutions and admitting to failure. But that means abandoning humanity and humanity’s problems, being a traitor to the ‘real’ world, giving up finding solutions and admitting to failure – yippee!
Richard described it well on Mailing List B:
Yes, a sinking ship, and the eerie feeling as if going down a plughole when I stay emotionally involved in the situation...
It is so good there is now a third alternative. It is so good to step out of the ‘real’ world, into the actual world and to leave my ‘self’ behind – being a traitor and a failure, but happy and harmless.
VINEETO: Thank you for your letter. I have nothing more to add to your apt comments.
I want to chat a bit about the subject that Peter has raised in his last post to you – the ‘good’ and – ‘tender’ instinctual passions. It was a good reminder for me when he said that it took Richard only a few months to eliminate anger, yet eleven years to eliminate the ‘good’ – pacifism, love, compassion, beauty and bliss.
So, as part of my investigation I watched a movie today which could be called a classic regarding this very issue. It is called ‘Good morning, Miss Dove’, a film made in 1955, full of the straightforward morals and ethics of post-war America. Miss Dove turns down a marriage proposal in order to become a teacher of her little town and teaches generation after generation not only geography but in particular how to behave like perfect moral citizens. Every word and gesture of hers is oozing the ‘good’ and the ‘right’, teaching the distinction between the respectable and the disreputable. In her subtle and ‘humble’ way she has got the whole town under her thumb, not only because almost everybody has been her former pupil and thus imbibed the very same ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, but also because she is flawlessly incorruptible. As such, she can even tell the priest how to pray with her on her death-bed.
The interesting part for me was that the concept of a morally flawless life could still touch me. Humans of all ages have strived for the best, have tried to be ‘good’ and have partly succeeded to keep the ‘bad’ under control. But ...
It’s been a good exercise to examine and analyze the stronghold of the ‘good’, to see the emotional attraction and the hidden traps. I find it harder to recognize than being angry or fearful because the ‘belief in the good’ only becomes apparent as a slight tug on the heartstring, a sweet feeling, an attraction for the ‘good’ hero in a story or a disappointment when the corrupt wins. But leaving Humanity behind means leaving the ‘bad’ and the ‘good’ behind and every catch needs to be investigated.
A fascinating business.
VINEETO: What a pleasure to hear from you again. You have answered the question of how you are doing even before I had sent it! And great you enjoyed my playing with your writing, it has been interesting for me as well to re-read bits of our previous adventures and discoveries.
We have just come back from a soft and balmy night walk through town. The air is moist and warm with a slight breeze. It is Saturday night, the town is bopping with people and every restaurant had a second row of tables on the walkways to serve their hungry customers. On the beach the young tourists had gathered for a night-entertainment of doof, drumming and fire dancing. The simple act of walking through the streets was such a perfect sensate pleasure with the breeze caressing the skin and the soft late-evening colours and sounds – and now I am ready for the next pleasure of writing to you.
And I am fascinated to read you describing your experiences of the last weeks and I can relate to them very well.
ALAN: I have been extremely lax about writing recently. Perhaps it has been an unwillingness to further exploration, I have not even yet read any of the last couple of weeks postings to the list. It has been a bit like the ‘zombie state’ which Vineeto and I discussed a while ago. This has not meant I have not been doing and enjoying things – far from it – I simply have not been willing to further my exploration into the human condition. Perhaps that is now coming to an end, as evinced by the writing of this mail. I have started to write something a few times and then ‘lost interest’. I wrote the following about three weeks ago: <snip>
You have both touched on the ‘good’ emotions and instincts in your last postings. A subject well worthy of further exploration and something which has been much occupying me, recently. Over the last few weeks I have been experiencing an emotion which can most closely be described as compassion or empathy. Every time there has been an ‘emotional’ scene on the TV, I have started ‘filling up’ (as Billy Connelly puts it) and the tears have run freely. Attempting to discover the cause of this reaction, I have been unable to trace little or no emotion present, while this was happening. There was no ‘tugging on the heart strings’, no feeling of love – just the tears running down the cheeks and a sniffly nose.
VINEETO: The last weeks or months I could describe as a time for me where almost nothing of significance seemed to happen and therefore there was nothing worth reporting. Yet the process of investigating ‘good’ and ‘right’ and ‘nurture’ that went on very quietly and almost unnoticed is as significant as investigating the more obvious emotions. I found, like you, that the grip of being part of Humanity is far more sticky through the good feelings than the bad ones.
ALAN: My investigations, so far, lead me to ‘guess’ that I am touching on the basic instinct of nurture (though I am only seeing it as compassion or empathy, at the moment) and I am finding it very difficult to ‘get the bugger by the throat’ – hence my writing of this mail, to further my deliberations. I also have a sense that it is very much tied up with ‘belonging to humanity’ – and the mere act of writing these words has produced the ‘slight tug on the heartstring’ Vineeto mentioned, above. So, I guess I am on the right track. Yep, what I have been experiencing is a ‘pathos’ for humanity, a desire to see the ‘good’ and ‘loving’ in the actions of others – a desperate attempt to cling to the belief that humanity is not all bad and is worth holding on to. ‘I’ believe that there is something worth saving, that there is something ‘noble’ in sacrifice for others, that humanity is ultimately ‘good’.
VINEETO: Sometimes I was looking for indications that I could share others’ ideas of ‘good’, of ethical values, and of similar goals so as to stay part of the great family of Humanity. I noticed tucks on my heartstrings when watching ‘good’ events experienced by a large group of people like the ending of WW II or the fall of the Berlin Wall, times of immense relief after long periods of suffering. Also I noticed sometimes an emotional reverence for outstanding human achievements like a breakthrough in medical science or engineering triumphs such as the building of the London Underground in the 19th century. Human beings are indeed capable of amazing achievements despite the lead-weights of the Human Condition but beneath my honest respect for such accomplishments there lurked a desire to belong – just for a few seconds, but long enough to be noticed.
What I have discovered is that if ‘I’ can find any reason to feel that Humanity is ‘good’, then there is no reason for me to leave it behind. The more I meticulously questioned those ‘good’ feelings whenever they get triggered and I investigated the facts of the so-called ‘good’ intentions, ‘good’ deeds and ‘good’ morals, the more I noticed that I cannot hold on to the feeling of belonging. This stepping out of humanity sometimes makes me feel estranged – as if I belong to a different species altogether.
Films, particularly the American goody-goody type are a great source of investigation. The other day I had an opportunity to look into the feeling of love in a movie depicting the tumultuous friendship between a pregnant young woman and her gay ‘best friend’ who is living with her. ‘The Object of My Affection’ describes the romantic disaster of mixed up relationships with possessiveness and jealousy, loneliness and insecurity, social mores and old hurts, both from the heterosexual and gay point of view – very transparent. One can easily see that love is nothing other than a combination of loneliness, insecurity, sexual attraction and nurture instincts – the woman was looking for a man to protect her baby, the man was doing his moral duty. Recognizing yet again what love consists of is a good anchor point when bitter-sweet feelings of ‘caring’ responsibility, love for all, compassion or empathy are triggered. These feelings ain’t nothing but a failed remedy for loneliness.
ALAN: I have been very busy doing nothing – it is amazing how much there is to enjoy and marvel at when one has nothing in particular to do – such as the mass of rooks which have just passed by on their early morning flight from their roosts to, presumably their feeding grounds for the day.
VINEETO: I have had very little work since Christmas and so I had weeks and weeks of doing nothing, one day seamlessly changing into another and I forget what day or hour it is until I look for a TV program. Pondering about this absence of programmed and structured time – when there has been a plan for the day, a need to do something that was driven by fear or desire – I suddenly noticed that I had lost ‘my future’ – there is nothing that I want to do or have to do, no desire to chase, no meaning to realize, no plan to fulfill – not even a particular project. Now, you would say, future is only one’s imagination anyway so it does not matter when one loses it, but nevertheless, the discovery left me pretty shocked and disoriented.
It was a feeling that any minute I could be falling off the ‘edge of time’ because, without a future, time would stop. Strange concept, I know, and I wonder where it comes from. But this is obviously how I have regarded time and lived up until now, and I bet I am not the only one – ‘securing’ the continuity of time by imagining, desiring, designing, planning and controlling a future. Now this ‘secured time’ has disappeared – and with it another ingredient of the ‘self’ has gone missing.
Slowly, slowly I am getting used to having no grip on ‘reality’ yet I still expect to fall off the ‘disk of sanity’ one day. Strangely enough, it never happens. The fact is that I am always securely in this moment, it can never not be this moment. I am always here and it is always now.
ALAN: On further consideration I find that I have, indeed, been ‘burying my head in the sand’ over the last few weeks. Much as I have enjoyed what I have been doing, I was aware there was something ‘missing’, an incompleteness – and that ‘incompleteness’, I now find, was the ceasing to investigate and actualize what it is to be alive as this body, at this moment in time. It is so, so, easy and attractive to try to live a ‘normal’ life that one is easily seduced into ignoring what is possible. And yet, all the time, running in the background, was this nagging doubt, the niggling thought – ‘this is not what it was meant to be’.
What I have been doing, the last few weeks, is wanting to ‘belong’. It is hard work, very hard work, to go against the tide of ‘humanity’, to turn one’s back on all that one knows and loves, to ‘boldly go where no man (except Richard) has gone before’.
As I write this, I am again entering that magical world of the PCE, this world where all is actual and I am the doing of what is happening. What joy, what delight! There is an overwhelming sense of ‘I’m back’ and an ongoing theme of ‘just do it’. I became aware of ‘me’ chattering – the constant ‘struggle’ to find a way, to do what is right, to try to live the perfection – and ‘I cannot do it. Everything is SO LOUD and so vibrant.
VINEETO: Just an additional thought to ‘burying my head in the sand’ –
I find these ‘detours’ into the Human Conditions necessary and an essential part of the investigation itself. For example, I need to experience ‘longing’ and ‘belonging’ in order to experientially know that it does not work and in order to gather the courage to ‘boldly go where no man (except Richard) has gone before’.
Of course, if I linger too long the taste gets stale and stuffy and that is enough incentive to step out of ‘reality’ into actuality. I don’t see the process of actualism as having ‘good’ times – a PCE – and bad times – ‘head in the sand’. For me both experiences are part of investigating the Human Condition in action.
ALAN: After the above experience, I went out for a long walk. It was such a wonderful, bright, crisp, winter’s morning that I just had to be part of it. Several miles later, my deliberations had led to no further conclusion, except this overwhelming sense of ‘just do it’. Evidence shows that, for the last ten days, I have again been ‘sticking my head in the sand’. The tearful episodes have abated, but the ‘sparkle’, the joie de vivre, has again been missing.
No one said it was going to be easy – do I have the necessary intestinal fortitude to proceed. Time will tell – or, I could ‘just do it’ as ‘seen’ in that PCE – it is that simple.
VINEETO: I may be completely wrong but I have come to understand the later part of the process to Actual Freedom more and more as a withering away of the old skin, the ‘self’, and it is not anymore a matter of ‘just do it’ but rather a matter of stop patching and gluing the slipping skin.
What do you think?
PS There is a lovely screensaver for free that Richard found, which creates ripples in any desktop-picture with optional mirroring. Water in the front is ideal, of course. The pleasure of watching it saves me going to the beach. You can check it out under http://www.pnc.com.au/~garethth .
VINEETO: Good to hear from you too.
I am still looking forward to meet you here in Australia whenever you coming – particularly for the Billy Connolly show!
Well, ‘doing nothing really well’ – it was originally Richard’s phrase – is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. We’ve got to prove Konrad right and be bloody good Hedonists, we have a reputation to defend. That reminds me – we’ve just had another chance to see Monty Python’s Baron Münchhausen again, what a great send off it is for all matters spiritual, particularly the man on the moon with his un-screwable head, that despises the body and wants to be free of it. (One has actually nothing to do with the other, just me being a twit... Peter said today that I am the only person he knows that gets up and dressed in the morning to then go and sleep on the couch for another hour.)
ALAN: How about you? You say you have no story to tell, so what are you up to? Days without name and hours without number, or lost in the mists of time, or???
VINEETO: Definitely hours without numbers and days without names – and hardly any work. Not only is Australia’s great holiday time, a time which puts everybody into slow mode, except the people providing the service, but the Sannyas company where I worked for 1-2 days/week is slowly going broke and does not need me for that. There is another small business where I started a bit of bookkeeping last year, but they employed somebody halftime for organizing most of the business and I was glad to pass it on. Now I only go there once or twice a month to do the more complicated stuff. Since I just upgraded my car for a smaller and later model and the computer still works well, there is not much money that I need.
I followed Richard’s example and cleaned up the website a bit more of typos like spaces before commas or consistent design. All with the excuse of an upcoming CD, which might take some more time to appear. But as you probably noticed, the demand is not overwhelmingly pushing...
Doing nothing over a long period provides me with an opportunity to get into the more subtle stuff of dullness, loss of sparkle, wallowing in fear or longing for a project. Mind you, this is only once in a while, maybe when the identity gets so thin that it almost wears through ‘I’ invent some problems... In the meantime I have altogether downloaded ca. 300 pictures from space, formatted them into right shape, sharpness and size and sorted them into the webshots screensaver. After the space trip I ‘walk’ through forests and mountains in all seasons, then watch waterfalls and lakes and beaches. Sometimes when there is nothing interesting on TV, which is often, I just lie on the couch and watch the sky go by ... and then the forest ...
ALAN: Glad to see Peter has not lost the writing ‘bug’!
VINEETO: Well, in case I come across some more insights how to leave the platform of Virtual Freedom, I will report on the mailing list. It’s a bit like Hamlet, ‘to be or not to be’ and how to move from one to the other. Until then I rely on others to twig me into writing.
Good fun to talk to you again.
VINEETO: How are you doing? How is life 200 miles west from where you were before? Are you settling in yet? Spring must be about to break out and the days are getting longer. Here in Australia, of course, it is the other way round – after the change of day-light saving the evenings are coming on fast after breakfast – we are late sleepers and don’t go to bed until 3 or 4 am. I enjoy the ever so slight change of season, the autumn days seem to be warmer than they have been all summer and a soft northerly breeze is caressing the skin. The sunsets are utterly magnificent and the parrots having a daily feast next door where the red seeds that they like are fully ripe.
It’s a fascinating business ‘to be or not to be’ and how to move from one to the other. When we watched the report on Timothy Leary that Peter wrote about, I could relate very well to the flavour of those times, the idealism, the peace movement and the ‘tune in, turn on and drop out’ scene. My ‘drop out’ was not into drugs, but into religion. I went to India to find God. My God was called Rajneesh and he claimed to have all the answers. I learned to be more sophisticated with my labelling, he was ‘an Enlightened Master’, the best, of course, something which every master claims to be. And if we did what he told us, surrendered and meditated earnestly, we would get to experience heaven on earth, i.e. become enlightened and thus reserve a place for our soul in Nirvana-land after death.
Doesn’t this sound very similar to the good old Christian religion of Big Daddy in the sky who knows it all and promises you heaven after death if you are good? With the only difference being that my ‘God’ was still alive and the Christian God-man had died 2000 years ago. Therefore the transition out of normal society into a spiritual community wasn’t such a big jump as I had thought at the time. Emotionally and instinctually I was still feeling safe with the higher authority of the ‘Good’ and secure with the reassuring feeling of belonging to a religious tribe.
With that understanding in mind, the report of the ‘great drop out’ of Timothy Leary, the ‘high priest of the his times’ could be seen for what it is, a ‘shifting of furniture on the deck of the Titanic’, staying safely within the parameters of the ‘self’ and of an imagined life after death for that very ‘self’. Yet I find it very serendipitous that crazy people, including myself, have experimented with all kinds of possible options of what it is to be a human being. It gives me an opportunity to study what I as well as everyone else have discovered, to investigate the uselessness of the traditionally offered solutions and to stop repeating the mistakes of the past.
That brings me back to ‘not to be’, self-immolation – the door to the actual world and the only solution I find worth pursuing after my experiments with the normal and the spiritual world. Once in a while I get hit by bouts of self-doubt with questions like ‘have I fallen off the path to freedom’, ‘have I gone comfortably numb with no emotions happening’, ‘am I overlooking something essential’, ‘how come it takes so long’ and similar mental churning. Often, after a period of a really good time without feelings or emotions, this nagging doubt appears again to drag me down. Trying to think it out leads nowhere, it only spoils the enjoyment of this moment. Having explored the doubt exhaustively before, to now go deeper into the feeling of it for exploration’s sake only leads to more doubt, guilt and pointless frustration.
Finally it dawned on me that this self-doubt, like other repetitive feelings before, is simply a bad habit and needs to be treated as such – not to be given any attention at all. Gee, it took some repetition to find out that one!
The other story I wanted to report to you started with that familiar feeling of fear and thrill, surging through the back of my neck, pounding in the heart area and then down into the belly. The ‘self’ in action was distinctively felt and easily identifiable, yet had me fully in its grip. I was contemplating Richard’s latest correspondence with No 3, the self-acclaimed enlightened teacher on mailing list C and thinking particularly about Richard’s description and classification of enlightenment as the mental disorder of dissociation. It is a fascinating reading to have enlightenment perfectly explained in psychiatric terms and not as a religious achievement. Richard’s scientific explanation makes perfect sense, as I have seen (and admired) this mental disorder, aka enlightenment in action for years on the spiritual path, and several times I have experienced it myself ( detailed description). I now understand that my 17 years of spiritual practice have been a training course in how to dissociate, how to develop a mental disorder, how to become insane. ‘Close your eyes and repeat after me: I am not my body, I am not my mind and the world is an illusion.’ What a hoot!
The question running in my head now was how to self-immolate without dissociating – the well-known spiritual practice of ‘this is not me’. When I told Peter he laughed and thumped me on the shoulder. The hit immediately changed my perception – from thinking and feeling as all there is to experiencing the physical sensation of the thump. Right, I am this flesh-and-blood body, I forgot! The difference between these two experiences was so stunning, so obvious – and the thinking and feeling entity inside of my body, ‘me’, was once again revealed as just that, an alien entity.
The fascinating question is how to facilitate this shift of attention? It doesn’t happen through thinking but it can be stimulated by contemplation. But most of all it is a memory job, experientially, sensately remembering to not believe the emotion and to step out. I had found another piece in the puzzle of how to move from ‘to be or not to be’.
It just occurred to me that immolation, the final ‘stepping out’, will happen out of a situation of a distinctly felt emotion when the ‘self’ in action is clearly experienced. It won’t be a soft glide from happy to more happy but a deliberate tearing away from the grip of the instinctual entity. I will have to be experiencing at the time exactly what it is that I am stepping out of.
VINEETO: What a pleasure to hear from you.
As you said – ...it looks like being a very wet and very windy Easter here – a sure sign that God must be upset with the British people, if ever I saw one!!
So you get the last of the winter in a godless, therefore actual and perfect stormy rain while we have the autumn wet with the tail-end of a cyclone coming from the northwest of the continent. The 50,000 people who have come to the town to enjoy Easter at a blues festival and a surf competition get very mixed weather conditions indeed. Many of them are camping, so they would experience the weather closely when it pours and when the sun comes out. Yesterday we had a soft and balmy northerly – here that is a warm wind – and today I needed a jacket for the fierce southerly – as you guessed, here that is a cold wind.
ALAN: No, Vineeto, you are not writing on a ghost list – I have been reading all the postings and much enjoying Peter’s ‘raves’. It is simply that I have had nothing to write about.
To expand on that statement, I am completely ‘stuck’ in ‘there is no point in writing because it is ‘me’ who is writing’. Until both ego and soul are eliminated, everything I do is ‘me’ doing it. So, I am unable to write from the on-going experience of life as it actually is, as Richard puts it. At best, I could write with a memory of life as it actually is (the PCE), but not out of my direct experience (unless having a PCE at the time of writing).
This does not mean I am not enjoying life. Peter recently wrote about his interactions with others ‘with an impunity and salubriousness that I would have deemed an impossibility a few years ago’ and I can 100% endorse this – I am virtually without malice and virtually without sorrow. But that is not enough.
VINEETO: I remember a while ago indulging in a feeling of listlessness bordering on boredom mixed with growing dissatisfaction about not knowing what to do to become actually, irrevocably and permanently free. Of course, there were things to do and pleasures to enjoy but I missed the gist and the passion of the earlier discoveries and startling realizations. The ‘landscape’ of the wide and wondrous path has surely changed and the gross, unwanted behaviour of the ‘self’ has almost completely disappeared. But the challenge remains to identify the ‘self’ in action – cunning as ever – and return to being unconditionally happy and harmless as soon as possible. Now it seems important to identify the more subtle feelings, moods and affections that indicate ‘me’ coming to the foreground. And they are more the ‘good’ feelings and the ‘no-feelings’ – as I called them once – that I need to be aware of.
I have re-vamped parts of our website, re-dressed some pages, so to speak, and came across a story I told on list C, that seems relevant for our topic:
Waiting is one of the insidious qualities inherited from the overall spiritual approach to life – the ingrained belief that ‘Something Bigger’ influences our lives, that ultimate salvation is in the ‘hands of Existence’, ‘none of you doing’, ‘God’s control’ and ‘anyway not available in this life-time’ ...
When I wait, I am frustrated ‘that it is not happening’ but I am also bypassing the responsibility to take action – not as an automatic instinctual re-action but as a deliberate contemplated action of sticking my neck out. This avoids playing ‘safe’ as I experiment in order to see what possible emotions would pop up if I did something new, unusual and daring (but not silly). Postponement, a side effect of the fear to stick my neck out, is one of my tricks that let ‘me’ stay in existence. When I postpone, ‘I’ don’t do what is happening, ‘I’ maintain emotional control, ‘I’ pull the levers.
I found that becoming autonomous and independent, free from ‘Humanity’, is a process of many little steps, disentangling myself from fears and apprehensions, beliefs and hesitations, restrictions and self-limitations and giving up the hope that something outside of me is going to change my life.
ALAN: To expand on that statement, I am completely ‘stuck’ in ‘there is no point in writing because it is ‘me’ who is writing’. Until both ego and soul are eliminated, everything I do is ‘me’ doing it. So, I am unable to write from the on-going experience of life as it actually is, as Richard puts it. At best, I could write with a memory of life as it actually is (the PCE), but not out of my direct experience (unless having a PCE at the time of writing).
VINEETO: A few months back I had stopped writing thinking I had nothing to contribute until I was free. A bit like – I’m not going to breathe anymore until I get what I want – which won’t get me closer to my goal. Or, to use another metaphor, one is standing on the brakes and wondering why the car doesn’t move. Now I have recently discovered another hump to overcome – ‘I might as well stop writing because Peter and Richard can say it much better than I ever will be able to anyway.’
When I look at it sensibly I can see the silliness, of course. Firstly this way I will never get better, both in English grammar and in versatility, experience and resourcefulness. Secondly, I deprive myself of the pleasure of writing and exploring what happens when I write. I thoroughly enjoy whatever conversation is happening, sometimes I think about what I am about to write while lying on the couch zonked out from a romp or while playing FreeCell. The challenge of being as clear and precise as possible, of exploring the topic according to my experiences is such a pleasure when responding to you or others.
Why shouldn’t you write from what is happening now? Why does it have to be ‘a PCE at the time of writing’ or ‘a memory of life as it actually is’? I see this list as a unique playground and an empirical reporting place for the ongoing various experiences of what happens on the journey to Actual Freedom, applying the method, encountering the pitfalls and sharing the discoveries. The process of writing is always beneficial for oneself and with hardly a dozen people interested to date, every report may be valuable for everyone also pioneering the enterprise of becoming free of the Human Condition and leaving humanity behind. As pioneers, we don’t even have a timeframe to compare ourselves against as nobody else has ever taken the direct route – good, hey.
VINEETO: The last few days I have been searching the Internet for another mailing list to stir the possum, both my own and that of others who might be looking for a genuine freedom. It is a process of becoming clear what kind of list I want to write to and how to go about it. Most followers of contemporary gurus don’t even consider discussing the teachings and there are not many relevant mailing lists – but my search is not finished. I found a site with alphabetical listing of 502 awakened ones and/or wannabe’s, a staggering figure, taking into account that I had only a few years ago followed a guru who I considered to be unique. I think, the more watered down the revered Ancient Teachings and the sacred state of enlightenment becomes, the better. It may be facilitating a possible outbreak of common sense.
Anyway, this ‘going off on my own’ has already stirred the possum quite noticeably and culminated in an eruption of chemicals rushing through my system, transporting me for half an hour into a world I thought I had left behind. Emotions tumbled over more emotions, upset and fear, anger and resentment, spiralling into doubt and self-flagellation. By then I thought it was high time to get out, urgently, and started to talk to Peter about it.
All in all a valuable experience because it tells me several things –
What I did was blurting out, blaming Peter, knowing that it was stupid, unsubstantiated and silly. But nevertheless, it broke the vicious circle of useless arguments and self-accusation in my head and very quickly caused the chemicals and subsequent emotions to diminish and subside. Commonsense was back in charge.
I could compare the experience to a PCE standing on its head for its rare outstanding other-worldly qualities compared to my pleasant harmonious everyday life – Peter suggests to call it a trough.
Now I think that writing or walking or a cuppa would have been a more sensible and considerate solution to initiate the stepping out of the ‘trough’.
ALAN: I have just been rereading both your latest postings and also some correspondence I had with Richard on this point, some time ago. I guess my way out of this ‘stuckness’ is twofold:
I’ll let you know how I get on.
VINEETO: I just had another train of thought concerning ‘doing something to initiate the stepping out’ of a ‘self’-dominated situation. ‘Action’ as opposed to mere contemplation for me means putting the realization into action, making it public, manifest, visible, irrevocable and thus ‘reaching out’, as Richard called it, and extending the limitations of the fearful ‘self’. To act upon an understanding for me can mean talking to partner or friends, writing about it, even changing job or moving house, stopping silly behaviour or exploring the next topic I am apprehensive about – this time it is looking on the net for a new mailing list to explore writing about Actual Freedom all on my own. Oooh, what a thrill! But, I already know that when I don’t do it, wait or postpone, life gets slowly dull, I start feeling inadequate, then guilty, then ... And now that I told you I’ve got to do it.
ALAN: And to answer your question, Vineeto, bloody excellent. We move to our new house, in the seaside village, at the end of May, which I am looking forward to. Although the village where we now live is friendly enough, it is very dreech (a good Scottish word pronounced as though the ‘c’ is not present), meaning drab, grey and life is bloody serious. So, it will be good to be living in a holiday ‘resort’, where people are generally enjoying life and living. Since moving here we have been on trips to Scotland, London and have just returned from a stay in the New Forest village, where we used to live and it has struck me how much people (with rare exceptions) want to be miserable and allow petty irrelevancies to dominate their lives. I can no longer live in the ‘land of lament’, so there is only one place left to go – and it ain’t going to be enlightenment!
VINEETO: When I walked through town today – the memory of my recent outbreak of emotion still fresh – and looked into people’s faces it struck me again how much everyone’s life is centred around feeling – just as mine was three years ago. Feeling happy because I got what I wanted or someone likes me for 5 minutes while having a nice talk or not much trouble happens ... or feeling sad and listening to sad songs. The feeling being is so utterly predominant in everybody’s everyday life that to investigate its source and then, again and again, to step out of it, is really the only sensible solution to getting out of ‘dreech’ and being happy and harmless, gel?
You say, ‘there is only one place left to go’ – I experience the process as coming ever more often here, and hardly ever being lost in a ‘trough’ of instinctually based feelings and emotions. This idea of going to another place might very well be a remnant of religious belief that there is some better place to go – either to heaven or to Nirvana-land. Freedom and the actual world are not another ‘place left to go’, but my job is to keep finding and removing every single obstacle that keeps me from being here, here where the magic and the perfection are already happening. It’s the discovering, understanding and removing of the obstacles, the occurrences of the ‘self’, that are the vital, fascinating and thrilling bit of the journey.
Good to have you back on the list, Alan.
VINEETO: Hi Alan,
A pleasure to hear from you and to read that you are doing really well.
I have just spent at least three days under the bonnet of my computer. With the new big hard drive there seemed to be a flaw in the basic configuration and so I decided to format the hard disk and start from scratch. Wow, what a journey and what a learning curve, too. It’s like moving house, first there is this very empty computer, nothing looks familiar, and everything has its specification and customization. And then the essential net-work connection to Peter’s computer with all my files just didn’t want to work out, whatever I tried. Try and reboot, change and reboot ... for hours. Well, day two in the evening I finally succeeded and now almost everything, icons, shortcuts and all is back in place. Nevertheless, I’m just back to square 1, because the same complaint about a flawed configuration is still there. But I am a lot more confident with computers now, having fiddled with it for so long. And I only got tense and irritated twice, which is pretty good, considering the task.
VINEETO: I would like to add something concerning my occasional trouble with writing that I wrote to you about last time:
Doing some more ‘reflective contemplation’ on the issue I began to understand that comparison is almost a constant undercurrent whenever the ‘self’ is in action. Sometimes as a slight tension in the background, sometimes an obvious sadness invoked by feeling inadequate, comparison to others and my own standards seems to be almost synonymous with being a self. Getting this far in my contemplation there was the conclusion, bright and clear – I not only feel inadequate, I am inadequate, because according to my own standards I haven’t finished my job and my destiny. If I ever want to be adequate, then self-immolation is the only way to achieve my aim. Until then I can strive or resign, toss and turn – there is no solution within the Human Condition. It’s cute how every follow-up of and digging into issues always ends up at the same point, giving me more fuel to live on the edge of the imminent inevitable.
In Actual Freedom, of course there is no comparison – everybody is doing what is happening and one is doing it the best one can because that’s where the fun is. It is really that easy.
I liked what Peter said to someone on mailing list B today –
That’s the fun about actualism, the wide and wondrous path – the adventure is my life and my life is an ongoing adventure and exploration – and everyone does it differently according to what is happening and what issue they are tackling at the moment.
Looking back there were always issues that I explored, feelings and beliefs that I was deeply involved in, experiencing and exploring. Initially, the exploration was highly twisted and obstructed by morals, ethics, spiritual beliefs and social conditioning; torturous straightjackets that made every move seem wrong or bad. But only because I had experienced the failures of those beliefs, morals and ethics, could I then apply the understanding that the solutions offered are in fact not leading to a happy and harmless life, let alone peace on earth. On the contrary, they all lead 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
One of the later explorations was experiencing time. By exploring the emotions and instinctual passions that prevent me from being here, I am more and more able to simply be here, in this moment. First I realised that the future is slipping away. The past had been gone with all the emotional issues resolved that had tied me to past memories. It is fascinating to notice how by being here the notion of ‘real’ time – this imagined web of ideas and feelings about past and future and their supposed implications for this moment – is falling by the wayside and disappearing with alarming speed, leaving me at times disoriented as if a fairytale has turned into a pumpkin. But as I recovered from the confusion and its ensuing insecurity the ‘pumpkin’ turns out to be utterly delicious – each moment is a delight because it is actually happening, it is neither felt nor imagined but happening right this very moment – whatever is happening is actual. There is such an innate pleasure and satisfaction in the experience of the very actuality of this moment that whatever I do is a bonus on top of it – what abundance.
The other thing that I discovered is the seemingly inexhaustible persistence of ‘me’ inventing myself all over again after hours of happily doing what is happening. Spoiling the fun ‘I’ start furphies such as self-doubt, worry, comparison, impatience, fear or begin looking for some other self-centred emotional issue. Sometimes I wonder if my female-tinged emotional conditioning is particularly sticky or if male conditioning provides a similar fertile affinity to being an emotional being.
What is your experience?
VINEETO: I liked your description how to get out of stuckness. Apperceptiveness combined with sensuousness will eventually get one around, out of or through every obstacle. Specially the last bit:
ALAN: Discovering it for oneself is what is necessary.
So, to anyone who may be interested, how does one activate ‘reflective contemplation’?
Simply by reading what is written here, on the Actual Freedom Trust web site and, best of all, Richard’s Journal. Then, by pondering on what has been written and applying it to oneself, one can move into ‘reflective contemplation’. If an emotion gets in the way, one is immediately presented with the opportunity to explore and discover and eliminate the emotion. To put it another way one asks oneself, each moment again, ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ Another excellent method of invoking ‘reflective contemplation’ is to write to this mailing list, especially when one does not feel like doing so! Maybe I should post that above my computer on a yellow sticky, eh.
VINEETO: May you invoke many more ‘reflective contemplations’ ... it always gets me contemplating when I start writing.
VINEETO: I followed up a few thoughts the other day, which might be useful to you or others.
I started my investigation about the feeling of impatience. Impatience has always been one of the driving forces in my life and kept me going, counteracting the innate inertia to get me back on the track of what I wanted to achieve. But the more I am actually here and enjoying life, the more the feeling of impatience becomes a nuisance and is, in fact, preventing me from enjoying what is happening here in this moment.
Of course, for most of the process on the path to an actual freedom I need a lot of impatience, a burning discontent and dissatisfaction with life as it is and with the second rate compromise of living that both real-world and spiritual-world solutions have on offer. But with the incremental dismantling of all the emotions that constitute my self I come to understand the role that impatience is playing now – preventing ‘me’ from disappearing.
The main fuel for this feeling of impatience comes from the notion that there is something better ‘out there’, in the future – that magic ingredient that will then make life as perfect as the ending of children’s fairytale – and then they lived happily ever after. And yet it is this very feeling of impatience, that particular bit of my ‘self’, that prevents me from the sensate-only experiencing the perfection of this moment.
Impatience is the ‘self’ telling the ‘self’ to go away in order for life to be perfect thereafter. What a furphy! Who am I trying to fool? This is what cunningness in action looks like. It is fascinating to see the self splitting itself into two yet again in order to pretend that there is change happening without really having to change anything. Seeing through the charade, I experience the thrill that accompanies the shift from a furphy to an actual experience, from ‘feeling impatient’ to actively dismantling the ‘self’, from stepping out of the ‘real’ world to arriving here. I understand that the only way to approach self-immolation is by welcoming the death of ‘me’ with free will, open arms and a full YES. It is a magic formula, that turning around 180 degrees again, a yes to immolation rather than a no to life as it is.
When death is welcome with the same thrilling anticipation as a sexual playmate then I know I am on the right track.
So impatience gets replaced by an understanding of redundancy – the more I experientially understand about the human condition the more ‘I’ become redundant because life in the actual world is utterly safe and already perfect. ‘I’ am not needed to stay alive. The more I understand the chemical, psychological and psychic programming of the brain, the more I can see that this programming is outdated, faulty and redundant in every single aspect – ‘I’ am not needed at all. Virtual Freedom is the ongoing increasing experience of ‘my’ redundancy, kind of getting used to not interfering with perfection. The way I see it now is that death is simply an extension of this continuing discovery of ‘me’, the spoiler, being redundant, turning 98% redundancy to 99% and 99% to 100% ... ... pop.
The only way I can reach this 100% redundancy is by being here all the time, doing what is happening without emotionally interfering – and if there is an emotion, then investigating it, nutting it out, sitting it out, thinking it through, understanding its follies and furphies. In the end, every emotion is understood as nothing but an objection to and fear of being here – and an objection to being redundant as an entity.
I am reminded of Richard’s writing:
To begin to experience embracing death is exquisitely delicious like an orgasm.
A death sought after, because of frustration with being here, can only lead to an Altered State of Consciousness because a strong negative feeling can only produce a strong good feeling as a chemical balancing act. A similar balancing act happened when my frustration with real life had lead me to fall in love with a spiritual master twenty years ago – I was desperate to escape the ‘real’ world, eager to seek a feel-good recipe to get out of ‘real’ life.
Self-immolation is different in quality, a more and more dispassionate, yet utterly sensate and thrilling experience. In the process of experientially understanding my tender and savage instinctual passions in operation they lose their grip, fire and reality ... and finally their credibility, until I simply observe a process of chemicals rising and subsiding.
What a marvel is the human brain!
VINEETO: Great to hear from you and to hear that you are having immense fun! And now you have got all your new toys to play with! This communication highway is becoming more and more comfortable and sophisticated, easier and faster – and what a great advantage to access and exchange information, for leisure and pleasure. I often marvel that by a simple dial tone one is connected to the biggest information centre in the world, the Internet, and it is growing with enormous speed. Methinks that it is very beneficial to have one’s computer technology up to date.
The main fuel for this feeling of impatience comes from the notion that there is something better ‘out there’, in the future – that magic ingredient that will then make life as perfect as the ending of children’s fairytale – and then they lived happily ever after. And yet it is this very feeling of impatience, that particular bit of my ‘self’, that prevents me from the sensate-only experiencing the perfection of this moment. Impatience is the ‘self’ telling the ‘self’ to go away in order for life to be perfect thereafter. What a furphy! Who am I trying to fool? This is what cunningness in action looks like. It is fascinating to see the self splitting itself into two yet again in order to pretend that there is change happening without really having to change anything. Seeing through the charade, I experience the thrill that accompanies the shift from a furphy to an actual experience, from ‘feeling impatient’ to actively dismantling the ‘self’, from stepping out of the ‘real’ world to arriving here. I understand that the only way to approach self-immolation is by welcoming the death of ‘me’ with free will, open arms and a full YES. It is a magic formula, that turning around 180 degrees again, a yes to immolation rather than a no to life as it is.
ALAN: By the way, what is a ‘furphy’?
VINEETO: A furphy according to Mr. Oxford is
Strange connection – ‘sanitary carts’ and ‘an absurd story’! I like the sound of the word, it reminds me of a silly little furry animal running round in circles. I used ‘furphy’ as in a useless emotion that prevents me from getting closer to my pursued goal – freedom. To find out that I have been going round in circles of doubt, impatience or self-deception means I can stop wasting my time. The more I investigated reoccurring silly emotions that did not seem to be triggered by anything in particular, the more I considered them to be furphies – the ‘self’ buying time or ‘me’ being busy postponing my demise.
VINEETO to No 7: Lethargy, for me, is the same feeling that Alan calls ‘stuckness’, a seemingly non-feeling dull state where feelings are kept under the carpet because they are too scary to acknowledge and explore. Lethargy is simply another word for not wanting to be here, for whatever reason.
ALAN: I agree on the ‘a seemingly non-feeling dull state’. I am not sure that ‘where feelings are kept under the carpet because they are too scary to acknowledge and explore’ applies to my current ‘stuckness’ – but I may discover differently. It has occurred to me that I may be in what Richard referred to in Article 26 of his journal.
I am certainly seeing life as flat and two-dimensional. Apart from the ‘fear’ mentioned above and a flash of irritation a few weeks ago, I have felt no emotions for some time. As you said, above, a ‘non-feeling dull state’. I do not even have any longing, or nostalgia, for the feelings to come back. It is a ‘nothingness’. Not even frustration at being ‘stuck’. Nor is there any sense of ‘the feeling is that one cannot survive this appalling emptiness without going mad’, as Richard described it. And it does not mean I am not enjoying life – I am, immensely.
VINEETO: This wide and wondrous path is indeed a fascinating journey with all sorts of landscapes. In our past correspondence, we have talked about ‘ghosts in the cupboard’ and now you say you seem to be in what Richard describes as a desert like place. I remember sometimes I likened the path to wild water rafting or a roller coaster and yet another time to a ‘limbo lake’. I wrote about it nine months ago – maybe it is similar to what you experience –
It is always the doing of being alive that leads me to the next understanding, the next discovery of what prevents my freedom.
ALAN: Nor is there any sense of ‘the feeling is that one cannot survive this appalling emptiness without going mad’, as Richard described it.
VINEETO: Well, the issue of ‘going mad’ has been on my mind a lot for the last few months. I find it very reassuring that psychologists have classified Richard as mad in real-world terms, which is only logical as he has stepped out of the ‘sane’ world of wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, child abuse, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide. However, it is quite a challenge to get used to leaving humanity behind and going mad – ‘mad’ according to my previous standards and to society’s standards. Sometimes there is an almost audible ‘clack’ in the brain, when an old synapse snaps, when I fail to understand how other people think and feel. More and more I fail to understand people’s emotional reactions, their psychological reasoning or the psychic vibes that I occasionally pick up, when people report that they are feeling insulted, misunderstood, threatened or when they are desperately defending some non-sensical belief. It is sometimes very strange and bewildering indeed.
The other aspect of going mad is that I am experiencing the limitations of sensible thought in comprehending the infinitude of the actual world. The other night, in a flash of a PCE, I looked at Peter and experienced the abundance of an exquisite intimacy with another human being in our mutual delight of being alive, while thinking at the same time – ‘I am glad that I don’t have to believe it, it is unbelievable and incomprehensible. It is simply too vast to understand.’ I can only sensately yield to the immensity of the experience of copious perfection and magical actuality.
Freaky stuff. My thinking has been, up to now, the reliable guide for making sense of the world, after I had abandoned feelings as dependable arbiters of understanding. Yet this experience was so stunningly obvious that it cannot be brushed aside anymore – the making sense of the world, that up to now gave me confidence and security, has very clear limitations. Beyond those limits lies the thrill of the coruscating (thanks for the word, Richard) abundance of the infinite and eternal universe, clearly experienced with my senses but beyond comprehension through thought alone.
As I see it, the first stage on the path to Actual Freedom was epitomized by questioning beliefs and eliminating emotions and feelings and making sense of the world by using thought, reflective contemplation and common sense. This exercise has been a major part of the journey out of the Human Condition, leaving belief, feeling, intuition, imagination and Ancient Wisdom behind. By applying common sense I could venture out of the restrictive and myopic self-centredness of my social identity and discover the underlying bare instinctual passions at the core of my being.
These passions can be experienced and sensibly understood by reflective comprehension but not eliminated. As Richard made it clear again in his latest correspondence –
Experiencing the limitations of thought and understanding in an undeniable obviousness created a ‘glitch in the program’ that floods me now with sensate experiencing without the usual stifling attempt or ability to categorize it or intellectually comprehend it. My brain is at times as though wrapped in cotton wool, stunned by the change of perspective and the immensity of the experiential understanding that nothing is merely passive. It is utterly thrilling to be alive.
It is great that you are back on line, Alan. I always enjoy writing to you because I never know what observations and experiences of the adventures on the path to freedom will emerge from the keyboard.
VINEETO: Great to hear from you. How is the weather on your beach.
We had some fantastic tropical rain, giving a water-fall like backdrop sound all through the evening and the night.
Sometimes the sensual input is so close ‘to the bone’ that my stomach trembles and the amygdala gets under pressure and I go YES, something is actually happening. I can’t make any sense of it anymore, the brain simply refuses to finish the thoughts into that direction, very strange feeling, as if I lost a crutch. But I also notice being less occupied with thoughts that are not right here, right now, which gives a sense of ‘discontinuity’, each moment stands on its own. It reminds me of an earlier peak experience that I described as the ‘plastic between the stubbies of a sixpack is missing’. It is not gone missing completely but the holes in it are very substantial, if you can use that word for holes...
Ok, here is the address of the 502 – swanning along all on one site – http://www.wideopenwin.com/alphaover.html
Have fun and consider that the author of the grading system is a Rajneeshee and very loyal in his opinion.
Good night from me
VINEETO: A furphy according to Mr. Oxford is
Strange connection – ‘sanitary carts’ and ‘an absurd story’ ! I like the sound of the word, it reminds me of a silly little furry animal running round in circles. I used ‘furphy’ as in a useless emotion that prevents me from getting closer to my pursued goal – freedom. To find out that I have been going round in circles of doubt, impatience or self-deception means I can stop wasting my time. The more I investigated reoccurring silly emotions that did not seem to be triggered by anything in particular, the more I considered them to be furphies – the ‘self’ buying time or ‘me’ being busy postponing my demise.
ALAN: Thank you. I agree, the notion of a ‘silly little furry animal running round in circles’ excellently depicts the ‘self’ in action.
VINEETO: In the meantime I have heard some more information on this interesting word –
The Furphy’s were a company that made water carts that serviced the trench lines in the First World War in France – they provided the men with the essential supplies of water, sanitary service and ... gossip from further up or down the trench. So these poor soldiers, being more or less cut off from what was happening around them, waited for the water cart to get a little information – a furphy. As most of the tale was inevitably a little bent and distorted the further it went down the line, it was just that – a furphy – and not the facts.
ALAN: Nor is there any sense of ‘the feeling is that one cannot survive this appalling emptiness without going mad’, as Richard described it.
VINEETO: Well, the issue of ‘going mad’ has been on my mind a lot for the last few months. I find it very reassuring that psychologists have classified Richard as mad in real-world terms, which is only logical as he has stepped out of the ‘sane’ world of wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, child abuse, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide. However, it is quite a challenge to get used to leaving humanity behind and going mad – ‘mad’ according to my previous standards and to society’s standards. Sometimes there is an almost audible ‘clack’ in the brain, when an old synapse snaps, when I fail to understand how other people think and feel. More and more I fail to understand people’s emotional reactions, their psychological reasoning or the psychic vibes that I occasionally pick up when people report that they are feeling insulted, misunderstood, threatened or when they are desperately defending some non-sensical belief. It is sometimes very strange and bewildering indeed.
ALAN: I would hazard a guess that the three of us would now be classified as ‘insane’ by any ‘self respecting’ psychiatrist. Cute phrase that, isn’t it? When I first started to explore this actual world of the senses, there was a definite sense of ‘you must be mad’. As I scoured the texts, and then the Internet, seeking others’ descriptions of what I had experienced, ‘madness’ was a definite ploy ‘I’ employed in the attempt to keep ‘me’ sane. Fortunately I came across the website of someone who had been certified as insane and the rest, as they say, is history!
VINEETO: As far as I can still make sense out of what is happening, my ‘going mad’ is a feeling response to going 180 degrees in the opposite direction of everyone else and of my own old beliefs and emotions and my natural instincts. Further, there is the continuing disbelief that ‘how come it is so simple?’ and ‘how come, if it is that simple, nobody is doing it?’ – or almost nobody. Actual Freedom is like the magic elegant equation of mathematicians – one single solution for the whole bloody mess of the problems of the Human Condition, all of them are going to be wiped out in one stroke, forever!
In the last days I have been busy coming to terms with the fact that I am locked into ‘here’ and there is no escape possible. Since my last PCE, which I described to you in my post, I have experienced the limitations of thinking whenever I tried to use thought in order to grasp or comprehend the vastness and magic of the actual world, the immensity of this moment, the aliveness of being here. For a few days it was rather shocking, I felt disoriented, as if grasping for an outline that no longer existed. Thinking now is more episodic, stimulated when needed for practical situations or sorting out a particular issue. The outcome is that I am here in this moment with no way out – no imagination, no feeling (t’would be silly, I tried...) and no intellectualizing.
There was a feeling, though – a disorientation, a feeling of being trapped, a feeling of it all being too much.
I was reminded of Michael Ende’s ‘Unending Story’ – the boy has a wish granted and he wants to be not fat anymore. In the first stage he enjoys being thin and beautiful, but to complete the satisfaction he then has to forget that he ever was otherwise, that he had been ridiculed and suffered before for his appearance.
In a similar manner, with each item of identity that is eliminated, I am going through a transition period until the old synapse in the brain atrophies and emotional memories of former events disappear. Then the unfamiliarity, the oddness, the feeling of ‘going mad’ simply evaporates. As I know well from other issues, like believing in God, I now consider everyone else silly who believes in a bodiless entity, a divine spirit, a God or suchlike.
It is all a matter of perspective, you see.
ALAN: You say ‘More and more I fail to understand people’s emotional reactions, their psychological reasoning or the psychic vibes...’ I think I understand what you are saying – that you can no longer ‘empathise’ with others. I have found that the actions of others becomes more and more easy to ‘understand’, when one is lacking this ‘empathy’. Being driven by the human condition means ‘their’ actions and responses are very obvious and, oft times, very silly – and one is not thanked when one points this out!
VINEETO: Yes, I automatically empathized with people as a main tool of communicating, whereas now I am rather bewildered about certain actions or reactions of people. I can say that I understand the Human Condition in principle, how it works and how it worked in me, but I cannot understand anymore why someone wouldn’t apply intelligence and awareness instead of getting angry, sad, silly or spiritual. I cannot put myself into ‘their’ shoes anymore, so to speak. The advantage of this experience is that I have to actually inquire what is going on, instead of attempting to assume, guess, intuit or fill in the details myself.
I also noticed a change in how I perceive information about human beings, how they cope and try to make sense of their lives. Watching reports on TV, for instance, I more and more fail to understand what is going on in their minds and hearts and I have given up trying. Watching the different aspects of people’s lives all over the world I am amazed, astounded, astonished and impressed by the variety, the complexity, the wide range of human life on earth.
On one side there is this amazing technology that is galloping in many areas such as computer technology, engineering, medical science, biochemistry etc. and I see the intelligence, the effort, the altruism and heroism that people show. On the other side there is immense suffering and violence, brought close up through TV with story after story from all over the world. Every single human being suffers, in one way or another, all six billion of them. I am only able to fully acknowledge this fact because I know and pursue the only sensible way out. Seeing the immensity of the unnecessary, instinctually driven suffering only intensifies my intent to make my contribution for peace-on-earth.
Another outcome of not being able to empathize with others is that I start seeing the funny side of beliefs and emotions, particularly when I read Richard’s correspondence on other mailing lists. There is definitely a learning curve how not to be stumped by doubly twisted stupidity soul-d as deep wisdom, the latest spiritual insight, silly psittacisms and atavistic humbug. How is this for a sample –
Or this one from Richard’s latest –
There is no point in trying and understand this, it is simply a load of fervent imagination. The only way out is common sense –
VINEETO: I wanted to comment on a sentence you wrote to No 7 about you visiting Richard –
ALAN: It is not only rare to see a person enjoying themselves every minute – so far in human history, it seems that only one person has achieved it. So, for that reason, it would be interesting to spend some time with Richard. Amusingly, I cannot make up my mind whether to visit Richard, Vineeto and Peter, or not visit until I have proved that it is possible to achieve an actual freedom without being in the ‘master’s presence’. Altruistically, it has to be the latter – so I had better get on and do it!
VINEETO: Is that the reason why you have postponed your visit so far? Although I would enjoy very much to meet you in person, I can understand the ambition and your reasoning to become free without meeting Richard in person. I wonder, though, if it is really altruistic in the practical sense of the word, i.e. if it is sensible and the best benefit for future actualists.
Personally, I am of the opinion that the more people become free, the better. How we pioneers pop through into a permanent actual freedom is not really a concern to me because I figure that everyone will benefit from the coming reports about life in Actual Freedom and they will be able to compare notes and experiences of actually free people. Up to now, we still don’t know the direct route (avoiding enlightenment) to the very end – although Peter has described the path as far as can be mapped up to now brilliantly in his essay to No 3. So I think that anything that helps me to become free as soon as possible, as easily as possible, is of benefit for others – which means, I can do what I like.
As I said to No 7, when you meet Richard you will know for sure that there is no ‘master’s presence’ whatsoever, so coming or not, you will have to achieve Actual Freedom without being in the ‘master’s presence’ anyway. But I can also confirm to you that I have benefited immensely from the smorgasboard of detailed information, from observing a lifestyle of an actual free person and from being able to communicate my thoughts, questions, feelings, imaginations and doubts with two other actualists on a daily and weekly basis. It helps to nip a lot of superstition in the butt and has prevented me, many a time, from getting lost up the wrong alley – in short, it saved me a lot of time and gave me a lot of fun, to say the least. After all, we are pioneers on a path that will change the face of the earth forever.
Nevertheless, I am the only one who knows what I feel, what I believed, what I hide or fear and which are ‘my’ most cunning tricks. I had to do all my own investigations, face my fears by myself, question my feelings and beliefs myself and muster the purity of my intent myself.
Alan, I don’t want to influence your decision to come or not to come – I simply wanted to put in my two bob about my experiences with meeting Richard in person and talking to Peter in person. Of course, Richard won’t be changing his lifestyle to personally spend time with future ‘acolytes’, but once there are reports of a handful of actually free people, that won’t be necessary at all. As for being altruistic – becoming free can never be a selfish thing, self-immolation is altruistic by default. Who knows, maybe it is even more altruistic to leave the honour of becoming actually free without meeting Richard to someone else?
VINEETO: Your letter is a perfect launching pad for defining various terms that we actualists frequently use – Altered State of Consciousness, peak experience, Pure Consciousness Experience and the new one, ‘excellence experience’. I have found it immensely useful both for my own investigation and for communicative purposes to be accurate in my use of terms – something that I have learned from Richard and Peter. It is one of the notorious and ‘belief-maintaining’ habits of spiritual practice to be vague, loose, empathetic, accommodating and intuitive when communicating my beliefs and feelings. Interestingly, Peter and I got scolded many times on the Sannyas list for not being flexible enough with our definitions of words.
Here we go, starting with Peter’s definition of ‘excellence experience’ and Abraham Maslow’s term of ‘peak experience’ –
ALAN to Peter: Good points, Peter. Your post, my recent experiences and Richard’s reply have led to much reflection on the subject. Here are some initial thoughts.
I have started by redefining ‘peak experience’.
Peak Experience: A phrase first used, I think, by Mr. Abraham Maslow to describe something experienced by all peoples to a lesser or greater degree. The prevailing characteristics are that one feels good, one’s problems seem trivial and there is a general sense that all is right with the world. Feelings of elation, love and happiness may be experienced. One may see beauty one has ignored before, often resulting in tears of joy.
The experience may be brought on, in many cases, by events or circumstances – a mother looking at her new born baby, a magnificent sunset, a promotion and pay rise, doing a job well.
At the ‘top end’ of the scale, it may be described as an ‘excellence experience’ – the best one can be while a ‘self’ is still present. One experiences life as perfect and one is virtually happy and harmless, virtually free of sorrow and malice. However, in this condition, ‘I’ am still extant, even though subdued and this is one of the main attributes differentiating the peak experience from the pure consciousness experience.
VINEETO: In my university days, Abraham Maslow used to be my favourite psychologist because he was not so much concerned with the misery of human emotions but researched ‘self-actualization’ and outstanding experiences. He was a refreshing alternative to the nihilism and existentialism that were fashionable in Europe in those post-war / cold war years. He has definitely done some good research and drew scientific attention to the fact that there is more to life than simply being a well-adapted member of society. Nevertheless, he had only two alternatives in his interpretation of people’s experiences – psychological and spiritual-religious. The third alternative had not been discovered yet.
I went searching on the net for Mr. Maslow’s definition of peak experience and found plenty of references. The quotes below are from his book ‘Religions, Values and Peak Experiences’ and I have copied some relevant text at the end of this letter.
Peak Experience is obviously a generic term used for a wide variety of exceptional experiences, which can range from being very happy to feelings of great love or beauty, from pure consciousness experiences to epiphanies, Satoris or full blown Altered States of Consciousness. Mr. Maslow often uses religious and emotional terminology when describing people’s experiences –
As you said, Alan, the thinking and particularly the feeling ‘self’ is extant in most cases of the described peak experiences and this ‘self’ will either during the experience, or later on, define and interpret the event as an emotional (‘good, loving, beautiful’) and/ or a religious experience (‘awe, humility, surrender’). Many people clearly categorize their peak experience as a spiritual or religious experience, which is confirmed by Mr. Maslow’s list of intrinsic values of reality derived from a peak experience. ‘Truth, goodness, beauty’ correlate precisely with ‘Satyam-Shivam-Sunderam’ (the Truth, the Good, the Beautiful) of Eastern Mysticism ascribed to the ultimate god-experience of an Altered State of Consciousness and also correlates with the venerated Christian values of ‘the Good, the True, the Beautiful’ of Mr. Wolfgang Goethe’s philosophical essay.
Personally, I stopped using the term ‘peak experience’, because for an actualist it is absolutely vital to make a clear distinction between a selfless pure consciousness experience and an emotional / spiritual peak experience, including any Altered States of Consciousness. Both ASC and PCE have been clearly defined and exhaustively written about on the Actual Freedom Trust website – thus I am of the opinion that introducing ‘peak experience’ would only confuse the distinction.
For above reasons, an actualist’s ‘excellence experience’ is not at the top end of what is normally termed ‘peak experience’ but it is a new and therefore unambiguous term for a new experience, being without malice and sorrow and utterly happy to be alive, an experience free of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and any spiritual connotations. In an excellence experience, life is simply scrumptious, superb, delightful, delectable, sensate, exciting and effervescent. In an excellence experience one enjoys the felicitous/ innocuous feelings and there is an absence of any feelings of the ‘bad’ and ‘good’ category, which means that one feels neither worry nor love, neither fear nor beauty, neither sorrow nor compassion, neither misery nor grandiosity. When I am excellent, my senses are heightened, no emotions are bothering me, life is delicious as it is and interacting with people is easy and enjoyable. It is a delight to be alive for the very reason that I am alive. However, from the corner of my eye, so to speak, I can see ‘me’ lurking about – the ‘self’ is weakened but clearly discernible. In Virtual Freedom most days are experienced as excellent whereas a pure consciousness experience happens once in a while – enough to remind me that I have not yet arrived at my destiny.
ALAN: Pure Consciousness Experience: A PCE occurs when ‘I’ as ego is temporarily ‘stunned’ and ceases to have any control. It is more than a difference of degree when compared to the peak experience, it is almost as if one has stepped into a different dimension. One can no longer even recall the problems one had, but a moment ago. Everything seems alive, sparkling, as if one has eyes in the back of one’s head; there is a three hundred and sixty degree awareness and all is self-evidently clear. This is knowing by direct experience – one knows that life is actually perfect.
The affective content of the PCE varies according to the extent to which ‘me’ (as soul) is prevalent. At one end of the scale is the ‘epiphany’, the mystical experience, the Satori experience. Feelings of love, bliss and rapture are common and one can even imagine oneself to be the saviour of mankind. This reaction is largely caused by the person’s environment, upbringing, social conditioning and experiences. It is this experience which gives rise to the ‘Awakened Ones’ and, should (rarely) the ego be permanently expunged, the ‘Enlightened Ones’.
VINEETO: In the interest of having clear, definable terms, a pure consciousness experience is just that – an experience of pure consciousness, where the ‘self’ is temporarily absent, completely. This means that there is no affective experience in a PCE whatsoever, no ‘love, bliss, rapture’ or the imagination of being ‘the saviour of mankind’. Whenever there is any feeling or emotion experienced whatsoever, it is not a PCE. For most people, the experience may well start as a PCE, but invariably ‘I’ will step in and seize the experience as ‘mine’ and interpret and feel it to be a spiritual experience. One needs to understand and practice actualism to be sufficiently aware of one’s beliefs, feelings and instinctual passions in order to avoid the trap of Enlightenment on the path to Actual Freedom.
The way the Human Condition works, ‘this reaction’ of ‘love, bliss and rapture’ is not merely ‘caused by the person’s environment, upbringing, social conditioning and experiences’, but it is the instinctual passions – ‘me’ at my very core – that inevitably cause ‘me’ to grab the experience as a way of ensuring not only my survival, but also my immortality and my ultimate power. On the path to Actual Freedom, those instinctual passions need to be investigated deeply and thoroughly because they constitute what ‘I instinctually know myself to be’. These instinctual passions are the core ingredient of the ‘self’ whereas one’s social identity of ‘environment, upbringing, social conditioning and (life) experiences’ is merely the outer layer. Unless these instincts are seen through, understood and weakened by experiential investigation, ‘I’ will seize every opportunity to re-establish my identity, particularly after the ‘time-out’ of a pure consciousness experience.
ALAN: If the social conditioning and beliefs are
reduced or eliminated, the PCE takes on a new meaning. One no longer interprets the experience as religious or spiritual and can
see that ‘I’ am all that is standing in the way of the perfection and purity being evident. Then, one has the opportunity to
avoid the pitfall of ‘enlightenment’ and heading straight ahead for an actual freedom.
As you know, I have had difficulty reconciling the experiences I had, before
encountering actual freedom, with what I have subsequently discovered, because they were very, very, similar to what Richard was
calling the PCE (indeed that was what first attracted me to his site). Yet, I could recall no sense of ‘‘I’ was all that was
standing in the way’ in these previous experiences. And this would explain it. A PCE is when ‘I’ as ego ceases to have any
control, but the affective element of the experience will vary according to the extent that ‘me’ is extant. What do you (and anyone else) think? Magnificent adventure this pioneering business, is
As you know, I have had difficulty reconciling the experiences I had, before encountering actual freedom, with what I have subsequently discovered, because they were very, very, similar to what Richard was calling the PCE (indeed that was what first attracted me to his site). Yet, I could recall no sense of ‘‘I’ was all that was standing in the way’ in these previous experiences. And this would explain it. A PCE is when ‘I’ as ego ceases to have any control, but the affective element of the experience will vary according to the extent that ‘me’ is extant.
What do you (and anyone else) think? Magnificent adventure this pioneering business, is it not?
VINEETO: ‘The opportunity to avoid the pitfall of ‘enlightenment’ and head straight ahead for an actual freedom’ only presents itself when one has experientially explored and understood the role that our instinctual passions, ‘me’ as soul, play in the whole spiritual scenario of enlightenment. The difference between PCE and ASC is not merely a matter of religious or spiritual interpretation and conditioning; a pure consciousness experience is 180 degrees opposite to a spiritual experience. In order to become actually free, it is not enough to reduce one’s social conditioning and eradicate one’s spiritual belief system, one then needs to dive deep into one’s psyche and investigate the core of one’s being – ‘me who I instinctually know I am’, the animal instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Any shortcut at this point would inevitably lead to Being – ground on the Rock of Enlightenment.
As Richard wrote earlier about PCEs –
As for ‘reconciling the experiences [you] had before encountering actual freedom with what [you] have subsequently discovered’ – I can only say that, after investigating all of my past beliefs and my spiritual conditioning, any reconciliation of my former outstanding experiences with a PCE is impossible. Before encountering Actual Freedom I simply did not know that one could eliminate one’s emotions, that there is more to extinguish than my ego and that there is more to the Human Condition than social conditioning.
However, it has been of great benefit to remember in detail some of my outstanding experiences of my spiritual days in order to investigate the cunning entity in action. For this exploration I was more interested in the differences between my former experiences and the pure consciousness experience in order to determine at what point of the experience ‘I’ was taking over and what were the reasons that a stunning experience turned into an indulgence of feelings.
Now, having become familiar with the intensity and power of my instinctual passions, I agree with Peter’s theory that atrophying them in a period of ongoing excellence experiences is the most promising approach of success –
Finally, to emphasize a clear distinction between an ‘excellence experience’ and a pure consciousness experience, I endorse Richard’s latest correspondence –
VINEETO: Reference from Abraham Maslow on Peak Experiences –
Practically everything that happens in the peak-experiences, naturalistic though they are, could be listed under the headings of religious happenings, or indeed have been in the past considered to be only religious experiences. <snip>
In peak-experiences, several kinds of attention-change can lead to new knowledge. For one, love, fascination, absorption can frequently mean ‘looking intensely, with care,’ as already mentioned. For another, fascination can mean great intensity, narrowing and focusing of attention, and resistance to distraction of any kind, or of boredom or even fatigue. Finally, what Bucke (10) called Cosmic Consciousness involves an attention-widening so that the whole cosmos is perceived as a unity, and one’s place in this whole is simultaneously perceived. A. Maslow, Religions, Values and Peak Experiences, Appendix D
The following may be seen either as a list of the described attributes of reality when perceived in peak-experiences, or as a list of the irreducible, intrinsic values of this reality.
Truth, goodness, beauty, wholeness, aliveness, uniqueness, perfection, completion, justice, simplicity, richness, effortlessness, playfulness, self-sufficiency. A. Maslow, Religions, Values and Peak Experiences, Appendix G
Quotes from Abraham Maslow, ‘Religions, Values and Peak Experiences’, Penguin Books 1964, Appendix A, D, G, for complete reference see http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/maslow.htm
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.