Selected Correspondence Vineeto
What is Actual Freedom
RESPONDENT No 38: …actual freedom might be only a unique quirk of nature, located at Richard.
RESPONDENT: I have wondered that too. Is Actual Freedom a quirk of nature located in Richard. The facts as expressed by Richard make the most sense to me that I have come across in my 30 odd years of searching. I’m just in the beginning of applying the method and could not call myself happy and harmless at this point. When I try to lean on memory of the old PCEs I get suspicious of myself that I’m faking or misunderstanding the PCE, and I just keep discovering more fear and malice and compassion.
This morning, after waking up with the usual anxiety attack I thought, ‘what if I stopped this investigation?’ The interesting thing is that there seems to be no going back. I can’t recreate for myself what is now so obviously false. It’s a bit raw here in the wind without the shelter of my old spiritual self soothings and sense of entitlement to the divine kingdom.
Amazingly my partner of 20 years who used to leave the meditation, and retreats, and self help studies and prayers to me has now become, just at this juncture, a born again Christian. Wonders never cease.
VINEETO: It appears by your post that you are well on your way to freeing yourself from your ‘old spiritual self soothings and sense of entitlement to the divine kingdom’. In my experience of actualism, I always found it encouraging when I noticed that I could not go back to my old ways although it was often a shock to discover that the bridge was burnt. After all, this not being able to go back to being ‘who’ I was means that I am actually, i.e. irrevocably, changing and that I am not just kidding myself.
When you really discover something to be ‘obviously false’ then there is indeed no way to go back and that realization accounts for the anxiety that ‘I’ generate whenever ‘my’ status quo is challenged. It reminds me of a certain type of spiders, which begin to strongly vibrate when their net is being touched so as to deter any attack. In the actualism practice of dismantling my ‘self’ I soon learnt to see my anxiety attacks as sure indicators that I was on the right track to becoming more happy and harmless because ‘I’ was rocking at my core.
As for ‘I just keep discovering more fear and malice and compassion’ – it is quite amazing what is revealed when the light is switched on in the hidden corners of one’s psyche, so to speak, and all the previously unseen and unknown ‘ghosts’ come to the fore. Whilst this can appear at times as if things are getting worse, this discovery is the very result of taking the lid off the hypocritical morals and ethics and paying exclusive attention to what is really going on.
It is important to always keep in mind that actualism is not about abandoning the spiritual world and going back to reality. Actualism is about leaving both grim reality and its panacea Greater Reality behind and stepping into the actual world of benevolent perfection that is temporarily but unmistakably evident in a PCE. As such, it is vital to remember that actualism is not about dwelling on the invidious emotions that one invariably becomes aware of in the process of actualism but that the aim of the process is to encourage the flourishing of the felicitous/ innocuous feelings – those that are happy and harmless.
As for being ‘suspicious’ that you are ‘faking or misunderstanding the PCE’ – the most obvious and certainly stunning quality of a PCE is the sudden recognition that the world is already perfect – when ‘I’ am out of the way. From the way you described both pure consciousness experiences and altered states of consciousness you seem to know them both well and also can tell them well apart. Personally I was never much plagued by suspicion but I remember doubt being a considerable obstacle in my early days when I had cycles of fear turning into doubt turning into stagnation turning into more fear and more doubt and more stagnation. Eventually by observation, I learnt to recognize my diffuse feelings of doubt as a component of the feeling of fear and learnt that it is easier and more practical to stay with the feeling of fear and waiting for it to run its course, as it inevitably does, rather than letting fear deteriorate into debilitating feelings of doubt.
Doubt can also arise when one is questioning one’s beliefs because doubt is simply the flip side of trust. I learnt to replace specific doubts I had about certain beliefs with the certainty of the facts of the matter and to contrast unspecific doubts with the confidence of the practical successes of utilizing the actualism method.
Now at last to your first question – ‘Is Actual Freedom a quirk of nature located in Richard.’
As we are the pioneers of a brand-new discovery to human history right now, there are no others who are actually free and thus it could be assumed that actual freedom is merely a ‘quirk of nature’. However, from the standpoint of a PCE where the perfection and benefaction of the universe becomes so stunningly apparent, such a view is plainly cynical because how in a perfect and pure universe can a permanent actual freedom be available to one only person and out of reach for everyone else? Or, to put it in other words, the perception that human beings should forever be doomed to live in misery, suffering and violence without the prospect of a cure is but to view life on earth as a sick joke. For that very reason I have never subscribed to the view that Richard’s actual freedom is just a quirk of nature. He is simply the first.
An actual freedom from the human condition is neither esoteric nor unrepeatable. Speaking personally, the reason why Richard is still the only one to be actually free is that I simply do not have the courage yet to become permanently free from the human condition – there is always this last bit of ‘me’ hanging onto ‘my’ precious existence. ‘I’ am tethering on the edge, toying with my thoughts of, and my longing for, ‘my’ extinction but I am putting off the final, irrevocable, jump. Lately I have experienced the beckoning of sweet oblivion whereupon ‘I’ will finally resolve the conundrum that ‘I’ can never be perfect by disappearing forever – but so far I’ve been too scared to take the plunge. Yet I know by my experience of the utter perfection of this actual physical universe that it is only a matter of time until one of the practicing actualists will dare to take the final plunge and prove to all the doubters and cynics that Actual Freedom is possible for everyone on this fair planet.
RESPONDENT No. 50: HA! That’s amazing how that works!
RICHARD: It is indeed ... and yet so simple too. And, speaking of simplicity, this may be an apt moment to provide the reminder that, by having already established feeling good (a general sense of well-being) as the bottom line for moment-to-moment experiencing then if, or when, feeling happy and harmless fades there is that comfortable baseline from which to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the feeling of being happy and harmless ceased happening ... and all the while feeling good whilst going about it.
Furthermore if, or when, there is a sinking below the bottom line, and feeling bad (a general sense of ill-being) is the moment-to-moment experiencing then, rather than trying to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the general sense of well-being (feeling good) ceased occurring, it is far more useful to first get to a stage of being neutral, because, when in the feeling bad position, feeling good can appear to be so, so far away ... indeed, at times, feeling good can seem to be but a dream, a fancy, a chimera, a will-o’-the-wisp, from that position, and what’s the point anyway, that method didn’t work either (of course), it’s all stupid, life sucks, and ... and all the rest of those self-pitying, self-justifying, defeatist assertions.
Plus, as already mentioned previously, any analysing and/or psychologising and/or philosophising whilst one is in the grip of debilitating feelings usually does not achieve much (other than spiralling around and around in varying degrees of despair and despondency or whatever) anyway.
Needless is it to add that the step from being neutral to feeling good is not such a big step?
RESPONDENT: Delirium n : a state of excitement and mental confusion often accompanied by hallucinations
Hallucination n : illusory perception; a common symptom of severe mental disorder Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
VINEETO: Ah … actualism is not about silly academic word games, it is a hands-on enterprise. I’m playing for keeps, the real McCoy. Beware, the wide and wondrous path is a one-way street, ‘I’ am instigating my own disappearance for the benefit of this body and that body and everybody.
No wonder, you perceive this as ‘delirium’ and ‘hallucination’. From the perspective of those within the human condition the door to an actual freedom has a warning sign on it which says ‘insanity, do not enter here’.
But once I had seen through and through, over and over, the madness of what is called sanity, this warning no longer holds sway. Funny, today I perceive the instinctual battle between human beings as ‘delirium’ and the search for a spiritual Higher Self as a particularly mesmerising ‘hallucination … a common symptom of severe mental disorder’.
RESPONDENT: It’s starting to dawn on me how radical a proposition AF is making. I’ve been generally trying to view everything that happens in the context of AF, and how it would all change if these principles were commonplace. We would be without wars.
VINEETO: Yes, the world would be without wars, genocides, murders, suicides, domestic violence, rapes, robberies, police, jails, and locks on our doors. Hunger and poverty would disappear from the news reports as would protests, demonstrations, corruption, pollution, overpopulation and desolation in the face of natural disasters. Ingenuity and technology would make this earth a lush, safe and sustainable paradise for everybody.
There would be no hackers on the Internet, no need for security and anti-virus software and probably most of the sex-sites would also disappear for lack of customers. Richard describes more of this utopia in his journal –
RESPONDENT: We would also be without most competitive sports, ...
VINEETO: Yes, I can certainly think of more fun-things to do than training for the Olympics.
RESPONDENT: ... most of the great art works, ...
VINEETO: Why shouldn’t we have works of art in a world free from instinctual passions? People certainly would have more time at their hand to play when they are not driven by fear, aggression and greed, and one’s favourite pastime could very well be an artistic one. If you take away the social and affective values of beauty and fashion, then playing with the materials of the earth can be very sensuous and pleasing indeed.
RESPONDENT: ... maybe most of the buildings.
VINEETO: Why should buildings disappear? I certainly prefer to live in a modern comfortable building compared to a cave or straw hut. When the affective faculty disappears, people will be free to build what is sensible, comfortable, practical and sensuously pleasing. But there would certainly be no need for police stations, law courts, jails, army bases, martial art dojos and the like, nor would there be need for churches, cathedrals, temples, monasteries, ashrams or the like.
RESPONDENT: I’m being a bit extreme here perhaps, but most of the progress of human civilization (term is used loosely, ok?) has been driven by that amygdalic reaction. This is a big change.
VINEETO: No, ‘the progress of human civilization’ has been engineered by human inventiveness, ingenuity, intelligence and the inbuilt drive for betterment but has been continuously hampered by fear, righteousness, religious superstition, greed and corruption. It is, in fact, astounding what excellence in technology, safety, leisure and pleasure has been achieved despite ‘that amygdalic reaction’.
RESPONDENT: The question: is the AF model overly simplistic?
VINEETO: An actual freedom from the human condition is indeed very simple – it only seems complicated to those who find such a total freedom too radical and would prefer instead to hang on to some of the seemingly ‘nice’ parts of the human condition, such as love, compassion, beauty, gratitude, loyalty, bliss or cool detachment or who want to just stay the way they are. But for those who have come to a point of being utterly fed up with living within the parameters of the human condition, actualism holds the key to a normally unknown world – the actual world as experienced in a PCE.
RESPONDENT: A while back there was the thread on humour. I puzzled then and since. Richard, as the only person living in actual freedom, expressed a fondness for darker humour. How does a sense of humour fit into a fully apperceptive universe? It seems to me that a sense of humour is a program itself, with the brain responding to a certain external stimulus, resulting in a predictable response. That sounds like a program to me. Maybe I’m missing the point... if one of the stated goals is to eliminate all the programs, how does one rationalize this apparent humour program? And if humour is a running program, then actualist are not eliminating the programs, and merely selecting the programs they prefer.
VINEETO: Yes, here you are ‘missing the point’. The stated goal for me is to become free from malice and sorrow, not to ‘eliminate all the programs’. Although the ‘self’ consists of a social programming and an instinctual survival program, the process of becoming free from my ‘self’ does not equal (¹) questioning all programs per se. Actualism, the process of becoming free from my ‘self’, it is the practice of observing and investigating ‘me’ in action, and the way to do this is to examine my beliefs, feelings and emotions when and as they occur. In this process humour only enters as an issue of investigation if it contains malice or sorrow.
As is evident in a PCE, the sense of the humour intrinsic to many of life’s situations and events is not eradicated but is magically bereft of any trace of malevolence, pathos or pity. An actual freedom is squeaky clean but far from humourless.
RESPONDENT: I suspect this is the case, and it’s fine, because the implication is that the human is merely a collection of programs, then we make our choices and attempt to make the best ones.
VINEETO: There is only one program I am concerned about and that is the human condition consisting of the social-spiritual programming and the animal-instinctual survival program of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
RESPONDENT: I could venture even further out on a limb and suggest that a PCE is in fact a program itself, but that sounds like a topic for another day).
VINEETO: The PCE is marked by the absence of ‘me’, the social-instinctual program, in other words, the absence of my ‘self’, the psychological and psychic identity that has taken residence within this flesh-and-blood body. The temporary absence of ‘me’ provides the opportunity to see the workings of my social-instinctual program from the outside, so to speak. When ‘I’ am not present, the actual world, which is already always here, becomes apparent.
You can compare the human condition with wearing gloomy or rosy filters in front of you eyes and actualism as a method to successively remove those filters. According to your supposition a PCE – when those filters are temporarily totally removed and one sees clearly – would be a new ‘seeing program’ as if one only exchanges filters. However, in a PCE you know without doubt that the ‘filter’ is completely removed – in a PCE there is no ‘me’ to be found anywhere.
At this point it might be appropriate to mention that the actualist writings can only give you information so as to establish a working hypothesis for yourself. This hypothesis can only be confirmed experientially. Only when you have – or remember having had – a pure consciousness experience, will you know for sure by your own experience that a PCE is not another program or ‘filter’ but that it is an experience of pure sensual perception and clear thinking, completely unrestricted by any psychologic or psychic program whatsoever. As Richard phrased it in his recent post to No 34 –
In a PCE you experience, without doubt, for yourself, that there is indeed an actual world already here, all the time, and that this actuality exists regardless of whether human beings object to it or rile against it, what they feel about it, how they imagine it to be otherwise or how they want to change it to suit their whims.
GARY: When I got involved in actualism, I thought something like the following: ‘OK, I am dismantling the social identity, exposing and extinguishing the instincts. Eventually, if I go far enough along this course, I am going to self-immolate.
What do I have to look forward to? Being declared officially insane like Richard? Yeh, right. Losing my job, my home, my mate? Being a blithering blithe and carefree individual, walking the streets alone? What am I – crazy for pursuing this method?’
VINEETO: If people knew what you were doing they would certainly consider you crazy – it is utterly new in human history to attempt to diminish and eradicate one’s instinctual passions. Even exploring and acknowledging that we are instinctual beings is a very, very recent and tentative science.
What I found so convincing in Actual Freedom was that after years and years of dabbling in meditation and therapy, I had finally found something that has tangible, demonstrable and repeatable results right from the start. In actualism I have a method that lets me eradicate the problem instead of pasting it over with positive feelings and sweet fantasies, which need constant adaptation, reconstruction and renewal.
Also, if at any point you do decide to stop and go no further, your life will be better for having replaced at least some of your instilled morals and ethics with down-to-earth common sense and consideration for others. This is diametrically opposite to stopping on the spiritual path – one encumbers oneself with an additional, spiritual, set of morals and ethics and also feels guilty for having failed to fulfill the expectations and desires of one’s Master(s).
What do you have to look forward to? At some point in the journey I experienced a notable shift from pursuing Actual Freedom for my own peace and happiness to doing it because it is the best thing to do with my life and doing it because it is the only sensible contribution for peace on earth. My self-immolation is freeing my body and everybody from the ‘self’-centred burden of my identity and, as we are all fellow human beings, everybody will benefit from it – if they want to.
GARY: It has been said by some great comedians and satirists that humour stems essentially from sorrow (Mark Twain being one). Being truly happy and harmless does not seem to involve anything that in any way, shape, or form stems from sorrow and unhappiness. Maybe I am beating a dead horse here, but I wonder what other list contributors have discovered about mirth, laughter, and good humour. To what extent are feelings involved? If feelings are involved, is it not then an affective experience? Based on my own PCEs, I do not seem to remember any side-splitting laughter or similar emotions running in me at the time.
VINEETO: Mark Twain is only partially right in saying that ‘humour stems essentially from sorrow’. Human beings are mostly occupied by malice and sorrow and therefore most humour stems not only from sorrow but even more so from malice. When I took up actualism I found that I incrementally began to loose interest in malicious humour, i.e. humour that is predominantly based on tearing others to pieces but I do enjoy those comedians who are able to poke fun at themselves or the absurdity of the human condition in general. I also noticed that with far less sorrow and misery, disappointment and frustration in my life, hysterical laughter as a vent for tension disappeared almost completely.
But I can say that overall I am laughing more than before in my life for the simple reason that I am happier than ever. As I am far less occupied with my own problems because they have pretty much disappeared, I am also far more aware of the many, often hilarious, absurdities of human behaviour in general and of the various forms of social conditioning in particular. Given that there are so few things that engross me emotionally, I can now really ‘look at the bright side of life’ ... and its very sensuous deliciousness makes me often chuckle for no particular reason. So yes, there is a lot more ‘mirth, laughter, and good humour’ in my life than ever before.
Richard once said in a correspondence that to his surprise he developed a taste for black humour, which he didn’t have before becoming free from the human condition.
I often can’t laugh about black humour. There is something to it that is too close to the bone. It’s sometimes a real exercise in attentiveness to catch myself when I become affectively involved in the needless violence and endless suffering of humanity.
However, here is a piece of information whose black humour really tickled me, considering the general fashion to believe that life in ‘the good old days’ was far better than the safety and comfort of today and that the materialism of technological progress per se is the cause of all evil –
IRENE: Your courage shows itself in the preparedness to go all the way to reach your potential, even though I dispute the picture you have formed of your ultimate freedom according to what you believe and perceive Richard to be.
After following and believing several authorities in your life, you owe it to yourself to be a lot more scrupulous this time (careful down to the last detail) in checking out the person who – you believe – lives in the state of actual freedom that you aspire to. You told me that you already had, but I find that hard to believe as you only meet him about once a week over lunch and have only partly read his book, which to me is even less than your involvement with your former master.
Every person can be affable and welcoming for a few hours a day or a week, that in itself is no prove of his state. Moreover is his state indeed what you aspire to? and why?
VINEETO: You see, it is not Richard’s state I am aspiring but Actual Freedom. Richard is living it and has discovered it. But I have tasted it many times and have had lots of chances to acknowledge that the taste is not some personal Richard-freedom belief-system. Actual freedom is what is left when I dismantle ALL the beliefs, emotions, instincts. It is the naked facts of life on this planet, in this universe. So to me it does not matter in the least if he spills his coffee on the carpet or has any other kind of flaws that you would have in mind. He has pointed out what is possible for every human being. I am out to prove that what Richard did is possible for me to do and therefore for everyone.
VINEETO to No 4: See, the quality of the actual world is delight. The very actual-ness of everything is pure delight. Actualism is ‘the experiential understanding that nothing physical is merely passive; the personal experience of the universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being as opposed to a cerebral or affective perception.’
For instance, listening without the layer of emotions, morals, values, beliefs and instincts, to the hum of the fridge, the sound of cars passing by, the rumbling of the computer doing its thing, is delighting in being alive and this very hearing is one function of being alive. No love is needed to layer on top of the very happening of things, it only destroys the purity and perfection, it only binds it into a man-made system of conditions, belonging, control and fear. If you love one sound, you reject another. To love silence is to despise and be upset by noisy business. Love would utterly spoil the game of being happy, here, now, each moment again, for no other reason than being alive, fully and sensately experiencing the universe around me. Without the self being sorrowful and malicious, fearful and lonely, loving and belonging, compassionate and grateful – nothing else is needed to delight in each moment again.
You might remember moments of comfortably stretching out on the couch, an ease and a well-being spreading through every cell, no feeling or emotion interfering in the peaceful moment, everything is perfect for that particular period, be it a second, ten minutes or longer. This is when you come closest to experiencing the actual world – the world as it is and people as they are. This is the most intimate one can be – as a ‘self’ – when, for a moment, there is no emotional demand on how the situation should be. That’s when you are closest to a peak-experience...
VINEETO: Living and working ‘out in the world’ has always been the thermometer for me, so to speak; it is the test to find the various remainders of my cunning self, of my objections and complaints to being here, appearing as ‘if’s’ and ‘if only’s’. And what a pleasure to be alive it is now, and those if’s and only’s have almost completely disappeared, and I can simply enjoy things as they happen and people as-they-are.
Actual Freedom, for me, is distinctly different from the spiritual people ‘letting go’ of their ‘worldly’ ambitions, failures and achievements. In the process of becoming free of my instinctual programming and my social and religious conditioning I have achieved happiness beyond my wildest dreams, and I have fulfilled all the goals that I dreamt of in my youth – and much, much better and much, much more. I had fought for peace, hoped for a peaceful relationship, devoted most of my adult life to eliminating the ego, which I was told was the cause of fear, anger, greed, self-consciousness and of my continuous ups and downs. And I had always wanted to explore sex and enjoy it without guilt, fear or pretence.
Starting the journey to an actual freedom meant taking my life back into my own hands, abandoning the idea of surrender and devotion and the hope that someone else is going to fix me up, be it God, Guru or ‘Existence’. I re-defined my goals and set them higher than ever, seeing in Richard that being happy and harmless is indeed possible.
So, you see, I am really curious what you mean by ‘letting go’, the expression being so dangerously close to the spiritual expression of letting go of the worldly desires, only to strive to achieve eternal bliss ...
Freedom for me is first and above all questioning everything I have ever been told to believe, investigating the underlying emotions and fears and changing my life in an active, actual and tangible way. And the ensuing success has proved the method right. In this process I have lost a lot of fears, beliefs, emotions, conditioning, not as a result of letting go but rather as a result of an overall new understanding of the very makings of ‘me’ and of my sincere intent to sacrifice that ‘me’ for freedom and peace. [...]
RESPONDENT: Freedom is innate, is it?
VINEETO: Freedom is innate in the sense that after you remove everything non-actual only the actual remains. The actual world has always been here and the actual me, this body, has been here since birth, but I could hardly ever get a word in edgeways.
But freedom is not innate in that one can wait for it, let go into it, let it happen in due time, let Existence take over, or such NDA twaddle. Freedom is to take one’s life in one’s own hands, determine the course to extinction, assess the obstacles, gather all the intent, courage and bloody-mindedness one can muster and then ... ‘sleeves up’. And, as you say, looking at one’s conditioning is one big step towards freedom, but there is much more magic to be discovered.
RESPONDENT: As you and your partner have stated, you are at the stage of virtual freedom ... it is great that you have the opportunity to hang out with Richard who, I feel (affectively) exists (existentially and experientially) in a state of Actual Freedom that you clearly do not know as yet. You state as much yourself. I recall a few days ago you wrote about your unhappiness...
VINEETO: Sure, I am not actually free yet, but that is only a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. One of these days, I will experientially understand the last of the illusionary ingredients of my instinctual identity and simply be what I have always been – this flesh and blood body, brimming with sense organs, experiencing the vastness of the infinite universe as a sensate and reflective human being. And I can be so sure because numerous pure consciousness experiences have shown me the direction, have given me glimpses of the freedom that lies beyond self-immolation.
VINEETO: Then I met Richard and the third alternative and left the vast circuit of feelings and imagination, the endless web of the psychic world, the emotional security of the Sannyas tribe of friends and acquaintances – to explore the actual world in pure consciousness experiences and involve myself in honest investigation of all my beliefs to bring about actual peace. Now I have no affective friendships, there is only a very small circle of people I hang out with and I am completely disappearing from both the real world and the spiritual world – no ‘love, friendship and meaning’ – if you get my meaning.
Yet, what you call ‘the tiny trotting circuit that my mind currently runs in’ is the determination to leave humanity behind, to facilitate the extinction of my alien self in order to permanently experience what I had only glimpses of in numerous PCEs – the incomprehensible actual infinitude, the unthinkable magical perfection, the delicious sensuousness of the physical universe, infinite and eternal, happening here and now, each moment again, ever fresh and new, happening under our very noses. This vast infinitude of actuality is always available for those who dare to step beyond their ‘tiny trotting circuit’ of everyday normal life or of the imaginary other-world of spiritual life.
KONRAD: What do you mean by harmless? I do not consider it harmless to redefine the word ‘perception’ to be meaning ‘apperception’, to redefine the word ‘precepts’ to be meaning concepts, and to equate concepts with fantasies. For this leads to alienation with others, who either do not use these terms, or use these terms differently. When somebody does this kind of redefinitions, he is therefore NOT harmless. For by this act of redefinitions he will make you think that the things everybody knows from his own experience to be proof of being special, just by accepting this redefinitions. And that is what this ‘apperception’ has in common with LSD. It also destroys the functioning of the brains. Especially why I say that enlightenment is something beyond apperception, and not the converse has been made clear in this mail. Still, I have gone beyond apperception, so that apperception itself is apperceived, and I say that beyond it there is pure potentiality, and therefore the possibility of continuous growth during the rest of your life.
VINEETO: I don’t know how you do it that you don’t get confused yourself with all these contradictory statements!
As for the re-defining of words, maybe I have to tell you a fairy-story to explain. Let’s say, someone has discovered a new world, where nobody has ever been before. You can call it ‘Jupiter’. How should the discoverer describe what he sees there? Everything is experienced different to earth. He cannot invent new words, nobody would understand him. He has to use earth-language to describe his experience in this new world. But all earth-words have already a meaning. What to do? The description can only describe approximately what the discoverer is experiencing, to give enough incentive for people to go out and discover this world for themselves.
Richard is such a discoverer of a New World. Nobody has ever discovered it before. Now you come along and attack Richard, that he is using the wrong words, you argue that they already mean something in your world of thought. But that attacking of words is nothing but a Don Quichote fight, proclaiming that the Windmill is an enemy and then fighting against it. You are missing the point entirely. This is exactly what I mean with ‘authority complex’, the world you so vehemently reject for yourself. Instead of objecting, you could try and understand the facts that Richard describes instead of arguing which words he should use. You don’t know the facts that he is talking about, the experience that he describes, so how can you say he is using the wrong words.
You would be more successful if you tried and remembered one of your peak-experiences. From the memory of your peak-experience, where the world is seen as a perfect and magical paradise without malice and sorrow, you could understand from your own experience what Richard is talking about – that there is an actual, physical world without emotions, judgments, good and evil, beliefs and concepts. It has always been here, just humans are and were so busy with their personal problems and psychic imaginations, that they hardly ever experience it. Only when you experience this actual world yourself, can you decide for yourself, if you want to discover more about it or not. Everything else is simply a waste of time.
KONRAD: [Richard] makes the error, though, to equate the social intelligence with the biological intelligence. An understandable mistake, though, because the source of this form of intelligence is identified correctly by him as being situated in the limbic system. And since this is misidentified by our culture as some animal part, he has taken this over.
VINEETO: Since Richard never uses the expressions ‘social intelligence’ and ‘biological intelligence’ your statement is nonsensical. However, what Richard makes clear is that to experience an ongoing actual freedom from malice and sorrow it is not enough to slip out of one’s social identity (one’s cultural-spiritual set of morals and ethics) but that one needs to eliminate one’s very ‘being’ –
KONRAD: Yes, and that is exactly why I am against his vision. What he fails to see, is that you then throw away all of your skills, all of your knowledge, all of the very things that make you human. As such this is not bad, if that what you become is better, but I seriously doubt that. I can predict what then happens. I can make certain definite statement about actualism. There are no mathematicians among you, actualists. There are no physics professionals among you, actualists. Both together meaning, that every tool of civilization cannot be improved on by any of you. Therefore the things our present civilization offers us, individuals are not present in a possible society based on actualism.
That is not all. There are no practicing musicians under you, who are capable of playing Bach at level 7 or 8 from memory. Maybe there are painters, but they are preoccupied with the least interesting part of painting, namely the ‘down to earth’ concrete. A photograph then is a better form of art than any of the paintings actualists make. Why? Because to represent reality, you need perspective, and that implies abstract thinking. So the paintings are probably of objects on a flat surface. Realism with no perspective. And that applies to actualism itself. Does this make you angry? Or does it provoke an emotion of ‘I am holier than thou, and do not need to take you serious’ reaction? Then that is the reptilian limbic system generating an emotion from actualism itself!
VINEETO: Indeed, if you would take up the practice of actualism, you would probably be the first actualist who is ‘capable of playing Bach at level 7 or 8 from memory’. So far there are only a handful of people who have dared to question the tried and failed solutions of materialism and spiritualism and who actively inquire into the possibility of becoming happy and harmless. But contrary to your picture of doom and gloom, a world where people are happy and harmless would be paradise on earth.
There would be no wars, genocides, murders, suicides, domestic violence, rapes, robberies, police, jails, and locks on our doors. Hunger, poverty and injustice would disappear from the news reports, as would protests, demonstrations, corruption, overpopulation and desolation in the face of natural disasters. Countries, with their artificial borders would vanish along with the need for the military. As nationalism would expire, so too would patriotism with all its heroic evils. People would live together in peace and harmony, happiness and delight. Pollution and its cause – over-population – would be set to rights without effort, as competition would be replaced by cooperation. There would be no hackers on the Internet, no need for security and anti-virus software and probably most of the sex-sites would also disappear for lack of customers. Ingenuity and technology would make this earth a lush, safe and sustainable paradise for everybody.
Your objections to actualism are exactly the same as four years ago – they have not changed a bit. With your projections about actualism you can join the queue of the many other objectors to Actual Freedom who also choose to hold on to their religion, their affective art, their particular conceptual view of the world, their precious emotions and their pet beliefs. Objections to actualism don’t make me angry at all, after all it is you who misses out on being happy and harmless. To question one’s dearly held beliefs and one’s precious identity is observably not everyone’s cup of tea. I am, however, astounded at how many people are content with second-rate solutions to the human condition of malice and sorrow when they could have perfection and purity 24 hours a day.
VINEETO to No 4: The whole issue of actual freedom is the freedom from the instincts, passions, feelings and emotions. ‘Heart’-felt passions have been the source of both religious and tribal wars, of domestic violence, and of the misery and gulf between men and women. Any questioning of the love and devotion that the followers have for the enlightened ones and the religious leaders has led to emotional responses which you can now see happening on the sannyas mailing list.
Richard was indeed the first one to question the state of enlightenment because it did not match the way he experienced the world in the peak experience. In arduous years of investigation he discovered the massive delusion that enlightenment is and, by eliminating not only the ego but also the soul, all the heart-felt emotions, he managed to get himself out of this delusion. What was left after the complete elimination of ego, soul, identity and being was simply the physical human flesh-and-blood body, perfectly functioning in this magical fairy-tale like world. Without the Human Condition, without the overlaying fear, aggression, nurture and desire this world is experienced as-it-is, benevolent, friendly, easy and magically delightful.
As for your notion of us looking down on others – that is a curious matter. Of course, the actual world is superior to any state of enlightened delusion in that it is not merely a creation of human imagination but factual, obvious and perfect, as evidenced by the physical senses. If you have experienced it once in a peak experience – or remembered one you had, you would easily agree with me. Many people seem to have peak-experiences, if only for a short period of time. In my writing I am simply sharing the joy of having been able to clean myself up with Richard’s method and becoming virtually free. It is possible for everybody because I am nobody special. Everybody with enough intent and courage can indeed become happy and harmless.
I find it strange that most people seem to get stuck with their opinion, objecting to this freedom because of their personal feelings instead of investigating the contents and facts of what we are talking about. When Galileo first discovered the fact that the earth went around the sun, many people have objected, because this was contrary to the ancient beliefs. It took centuries until it became accepted as a fact. The same will be the case with actual freedom. For most people it is too radical a thought that emotions and even instincts might not be necessary for survival, but that they are, to the contrary, the very cause for all the misery happening on the planet.
RESPONDENT: I find the colours you repaint the past with to be only yours. For me they are not valid as I perceive the past with my own mind’s filter. As long as I find that you holding up a false past to compare your new third way to, I find your whole story to be contaminated with a false past.
If you were able to write from a clear space without telling me everything I have experienced in the past is a shit brown colour... then perhaps... But as it is, your notion that you have eliminated all dualities is just another falsehood ... because you keep making the same old comparisons in every paragraph you write. Your third way seems nothing more than another illusion created by a tense mind.
VINEETO: When I took Sannyas I had been raised and conditioned as a catholic middle-class German. In order to understand Osho I had to at least question those religious and social conditionings. But I was ready to do so, because life wasn’t all that wonderful, burdened as I was with those conditionings. I attempted to leave the ‘normal’ world of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behind and entered the ‘spiritual’ world of ‘good dharma’ and ‘bad karma’.
At that time, I could have blamed Osho for ‘telling me everything I have experienced in the past is a shit brown colour’. But my search was for freedom and I was willing to investigate what other people had told me to be the truth.
With Actual Freedom a second de-conditioning took place, a spiritual de-conditioning. And again, I was ready for it, because after all those years of sincere effort my search did not show the results I had been aiming for. This second de-conditioning was much more radical and went far deeper than the first, it is going to eliminate all of me , ego and soul, emotions and beliefs, instincts and ‘spiritual achievements’. It leaves me as this physical body with its senses, free to delight in this pure, perfect and infinite universe as a sensate and reflective flesh-and-blood human being. Nothing more, nothing less.
VINEETO: I have learned to see all our human ‘heritage’ simply as the Human Condition ... the Human Condition, which is made of the genetically inherited animal instincts we are equipped with, overlaid by the social identity we learn and, in later years, refine into the much tooted identity, be it secular or spiritual. And unless you have discovered and eliminated this Human Condition in yourself, clear thinking and straight seeing of the facts without projection, the distorting interpretation of the ‘self’ is not possible. And with clarity, common sense, benevolence and consideration operating, who needs compassion?
When I compare my life now to my life as a spiritual seeker, I could say I am now driving a Rolls Royce compared to the old bicycle of spiritual methods. Who would want to swap back to the old bike, even if it is offered with compassion? You will have to book me as a failure. And, seeing that you are in the ‘old bicycle’ business I can give you the information that ‘old bicycles’ are pretty out of date by now. The Ancient Wisdom of ‘trust and surrender’ has been superseded by an actual freedom where everyone can experience the purity, perfection and magnificence of the actual world for themselves in a pure consciousness experience, where everyone can explore and discover for themselves their beliefs, feelings, emotions and instinctual passions, and where everyone can become free for themselves. Neither gurus nor counsellors are needed and they are of no use at all. They are now exposed for what they are – power-hungry and Self-centred narcissists who use their compassion to trap as many followers into their net as possible. As you have stated yourself:
RESPONDENT: And as for the term harmless, I don’t care for the implications of powerlessness that I hear in this word. Reminds me of an image of an impotent over-the-hill codger. I prefer compassionate.
VINEETO: I have found the genuine article, I have found the ‘Rolls Royce’ of Actual Freedom. When you not only examine your ego but give particular attention and scrutiny to your soul, i.e. your feelings, your ‘truths’ and particularly the so-called ‘good’ emotions of Divine Love and Compassion, then you will find lurking underneath the instinctual passions all humans are programmed with. Divine Love is nothing but the cultivation of the ‘good emotions’ instead of the ‘bad emotions’, and with the ‘ego’ of the ‘lower’ emotions gone – whoops, there the ‘self’ appears again, this time as ‘I AM THAT’, ‘I AM THE UNIVERSE’, ‘I AM IN ALL OF YOU’ – I think you will recognize the terms.
Taking the third alternative to normal and spiritual you can now eliminate both ego and soul and come into this actual world of purity, magnificence, infinitude and perfection. But then you will end up a happy and harmless old codger, a delight to yourself and everyone else, but without control, magnetism, secret power or any other mystical twaddle produced by collective imagination. You will end up like Alan described it in a letter to our list:
VINEETO: Actual Freedom means coming out of the ‘real’ world of beliefs, emotions, – including love – imagination and instinctual passions into the actual, factual, material, corporeal world of the physical senses. Usually one cannot be fully in one’s senses, because there is this little man in the head and the little man in the heart, that make up ‘you’, the thinker, the feeler. Only when we get rid of this identity by investigating and eliminating every emotion and every belief it is possible to be the eyes seeing, the ears hearing, and the skin sensing the touch. Only then our senses won’t be not filtered or censored. Then, simply being alive is pure delight.
RESPONDENT: Osho says: meditation and love go hand in hand. Is it not the same as what you guys have been saying? Meditation defined as aliveness, watchfulness, investigation, paying attention to one’s feelings.
VINEETO: When you are trying to fit what we say into what Osho said you will miss the point entirely. In the last days I have talked to two old girlfriends, both enthusiastically and devotedly on the spiritual path, and I have tried to tell them about my findings and experiences. It was bewildering to see how they both said it was all the same like the spiritual. It leaves me at a loss what words to use. But, I will try again –
Meditation is based on the watcher. You watch your thoughts and feelings in order to rise above them, to dis-identify from them, which in the end amounts to going somewhere else, where you are not the body, not the mind, not the emotion. You are to identify with the watcher and thus move away from the source of your troubles, your body and brain inflicted with the emotions and instincts of the Human Condition. If you persist and identify with the watcher strongly enough, you become the watcher and simply ‘watch’ your body doing its number. Nothing is changed in the Human Condition except ‘you’ become someone other than this flesh and blood body. Then you become the ‘soul’ (the heart), and maybe you even become so deluded as to flip into an altered state of consciousness, aka enlightenment.
Actual Freedom is firmly based on this flesh and blood body with its physical senses as the only actuality there is. Everything that not perceivable by the physical senses is feeling and imagination, deeply ingrained in our genetic heritage and our socially absorbed psyche, but nevertheless imagination and as such non-actual. The aim of the path to actual freedom is to come out of the psychic and psychological structure of the ‘real’ world, the instinctual passions, emotions and beliefs, and step into the actual, sensate and sensual world of the physical universe, where everything is already here, perfect, magical and pure.
In order to come out of the real world one needs to investigate into the ‘hooks’ that keep pulling one back into misery, malice and fear – and investigate and eliminate them whenever they appear. That is done by running the question: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ Then everything that is preventing you from feeling good will be examined and traced to its root.
RESPONDENT: ... you, as an actualist advocate the use of common sense. You say that benevolence is the attribute of the physical universe. Since the universe is infinite, we can assume that anything limited in space, say a chair, is not benevolent.
Maybe you can see it from the other side – in the physical universe there is neither good nor evil; both good and evil are values of the Human Condition – the basic instincts of aggression, fear, nurture and desire, overlaid by our ‘identity’. Remove that construct and what you are left with is neither good nor evil, but a benign and benevolent physical actuality. But as we are all inflicted with the Human Condition, we perceive the world only in terms of human emotions, interpreting everything according to the way we have been programmed and taught, according to morals and ethics, fear, love and hate.
Take rain as an example – somebody might find it beautiful, another feels sorrowful, another angry when a rainy day is disturbing his plans. Everyone has an emotional interpretation, a self-centred reaction. Rain is just rain, in itself benign and benevolent. It is benign in that it intends no harm, and it is benevolent in its quality of bringing nourishment and delight, the delight you experience when you yourself are benign.
RESPONDENT to No. 23: I don’t want to exactly define what happened to Peter, but the impression I get from actualism is, that it is a good means of becoming at odds with the rest of the world, while at the same time interpreting this as proving one’s right. This seems to be a mental strategy, to feel more justified the more resistance an ‘actual’ attitude provokes.
VINEETO: You obviously decided make your points about me now via No 23.
When you say ‘mental strategy’ I assume that you refer to actualism as being not ‘affective’, as in eliminating emotions and feelings in order to experience the actuality of the physical world. What your impression overlooks is that there are three ways to experience the world: cerebral (mental), affective (feeling) and sensate (through the senses). Actualism is the experiential understanding that nothing physical is merely passive; the personal experience of the universe experiencing itself as a sensate (sic!) and reflective human being as opposed to a cerebral or affective perception. Therefore both of your impressions of it being ‘a mental strategy’ and of it evoking a feeling in me as in ‘feel more justified’ are false.
RESPONDENT: Actualism feeds on resistance, isn’t it. Discussing with P & V always turns out to be a confrontation of two different worlds, two continents pushing against each other with actualists always managing for the opposing continent to slide under theirs, pushing it upwards; I guess that to be on top is an indication of superiority, and must really feel good.
VINEETO: Actualism doesn’t ‘feed on resistance’ but, as it is a different world to the spiritual-feeling world, it certainly provokes resistance as it offers an alternative that goes against everything that has been taught as wisdom up to now. It is non-affective and non-cerebral, has no beliefs, no spirits, no soul, no life after death – and to top it off, it makes you aware of the fact that every human being is born with primitive animal instincts ... brrr, and who wants to hear that! And yet, as you have noticed, facts are superior to beliefs and common sense, with its capacity to distinguish between silly and sensible, is superior to any morals of good and bad. Furthermore, a direct experience of the magic and magnificence of the physical world is far superior to any affective experience, and being happy and harmless, as the direct result of the elimination of ‘self’, beats enlightenment by a country mile. Just facts. It is not merely ‘feeling’ good, it is simply living perfection. [...]
RESPONDENT: Asking pertinent questions only refines [Vineeto’s] system of thought, it seems, to the point of eventually becoming infallible. Now it is typical and for the mind very appealing to try and create such a system of thought, isn’t it. And who would want to further participate in that?
VINEETO: Actual Freedom is infallible – because it is actual and not a system of thought. How can this rain pouring down be fallible, how can the wind rustling the leaves be fallible, how can the clicking of the keyboard be fallible, how can the taste of ‘liverwurst’ and cucumber pickles in my mouth be fallible – it is already here, sensately actual. Human beings, with their clouded perception of feelings, emotions, beliefs and instincts – the ‘self’ – are unable to experience the universe in its abundance, magnificence, purity and perfection. As you can see by the reaction on this list – it is obvious that to acknowledge those facts and to question dearly-held beliefs and feelings is not ‘appealing for the mind’ at all – nor for the heart.
The very fact that there is a method that works that eliminates the ‘self’ completely – and not merely transcends it into a grand ‘Self’ – makes it non-appealing to people who are keen to keeping their ‘self’ intact. You are right here – ‘who would want to further participate in that?’ Being the universe experiencing itself as a human being – once experienced – is so blindingly and obviously superior to anything else that I have ever come across in my spiritual search. So much so that I am ready to sacrifice all that ‘I’ am – to establish a peace on earth for myself and prove it possible for anyone who may be desperate and daring enough to become free. Life is not a vale of tears and one can change Human Nature. Now there is something ‘new under the sun’. To insist on believing that it is not possible is utter foolishness.
RESPONDENT: I have enjoyed their writings and subscribed to their mailing list. They have talked with confidence. I like any kind of confidence.
VINEETO: There are two options about someone being so confident as to take on a hundred objections and to talk about something so unpopular as changing yourself ...
Now I am searching for the words to describe this actuality in as concise and as accurate words as possible. I only write to trigger such an experience in whoever reads my words, to trigger maybe a peak-experience or a clear memory of it – and then you can find out for yourself – what are the facts and what are the beliefs and concepts distorting and interpreting the facts. That’s all.
RESPONDENT: I think that in order to confront our fears, we have to validate them. We have to recognize that they are there and look for where they come from. As children, we were not taught to be in touch with our fear, so how can we, as adults, be aware of our fears if we are not even in touch with them? We cover them with protection, denial and unconsciousness, hiding our vulnerability with a ‘mask’ as it is one way that we need to protect ourselves.
One way or another we manage, pretending that everything is okay. We have learned how to cope. We remain hypnotized by our ‘coping trance’, not realizing how much fear we are covering inside. That is the point of the poem ‘Masks’. That which comes from a person who exposes this fear by admitting that he wears many masks. It is something that strikes a cord with me and I assume with a lot of people.
VINEETO: Yes, I understand what you want to point out. The problem is that none of the ‘tried and true’ methods to deal with fear has had any valuable solution applicable for everyone. Love, which is sought to be the solution has failed to bring peace to the world, since at least 2500 years of teachings of love and compassion.
That’s why I was moved to consider Richard’s outrageous statement that love itself is part of the problem. Investigating into myself and together with Peter I have found it factual. Love creates a cover on top of fear or aggression, it does not eliminate fear or aggression. I am not merely repeating what I have heard, this is my very experience. I have had experiences of ‘Divine Love’, of days being filled with overwhelming and sweet love and I could have started a guru-ship then and there. I do have genuine experience of the delusion it is.
On the other hand, uncovering and eliminating fear and aggression leaves me in an exquisite delicious purity, where I can be intimate with everyone I meet, actually and physically here, fully in my senses and delighting to use my intelligence as much as experiencing the pleasures of the senses. This actual world does not need to be proved, it exists in its own right. It only has to be discovered by removing veil after veil of emotions, instincts, fears and beliefs.
I know, it is a radical discovery, as radical as Galileo’s discovery of the earth not being the centre of the solar system. There are more people objecting to it than I have hair on my head. What gives me the courage to stand alone against myriad objections is the experience of this actual world during long and repeatedly happening peak-experiences. Beliefs can be shattered, facts stay facts, no matter how many people disagree to those facts.
And furthermore, it is so utterly fulfilling, delicious, self-evident and immensely pleasurable to be here and alive, to meet people as they are, human beings, not as projections of my desires and fears, that it is worth to die for it – psychically, not physically.
RESPONDENT: Until I experience that place where you’ve been I cannot tell.
VINEETO: I had described this peak-experience so one can root around in one’s memory to find maybe a similar experience, where one was neither in the heart nor full of worries (‘in the head’), an experience where the ‘self’ is completely absent. Many people actually experience this state many times in their lives although most people forget about it – for there is no emotional ‘I’ present to record the moment on its affective ‘tape-recorder’. So you have to look for this memory, it does not just pop up, you have to root around to recall a situation where you experienced life and the world around you as crisp, clear, perfect and peaceful, without a feeling of beauty or love and without any separate sense of ‘self’.
The advantage of the actual world is, you can reach it from anywhere, it is always here. Everybody can see a coffee cup as a coffee cup, a tree as a tree and hear a cricket as a cricket. No spiritual achievement is needed for that – on the contrary, it leads you further away from the actual experience of the physical senses. But to keep God in existence you need many beliefs – the belief that God is all-present, all-knowing, all-pervading, the belief that God loves you, that God created the universe, that God will take care of you and take care of your soul after death. Question those beliefs and you will watch God disappear in front of your very eyes. God, by whatever name, actually does not exist.
You don’t have to go anywhere ‘first’, you can experience it any time. You can start today by relentlessly questioning everything that is not evidenced by the physical senses, and what is left after all beliefs are dismantled is the actual, the factual. It needs courage and a bloody-mindedness and a good deal of common sense – but it is possible, one can start immediately.
RESPONDENT: Does, what you call ‘elimination’, happen without effort, or is it something that has to be ‘done’?
VINEETO: While I am taking a particular emotion or belief apart, digging deeper and deeper into its root cause, something is ‘done’, effort is applied. I am using my brain, contemplating, investigating, searching, daring, asking, questioning, doubting, until I get to the bottom of that particular issue. It is part of ‘me’, an alien, but fiercely defended, entity inside my body, for ‘I’ am nothing but my feelings, emotions, beliefs and instinctual passions. Hence ‘I’ will do everything to obstruct this questioning, this investigating and this eliminating, for ‘I’ am terribly afraid to die.
To investigate in spite of that fear requires courage, effort and a burning intent. Only after I have dug deeply into that issue, exposed it to the light of awareness and understanding, it will disappear ‘without effort’, never to rear its ugly head again.
At the same time, removing the filtering veils of beliefs and fears, my senses become heightened, I am more here and less in fear, love, hope, churning emotions or in remote fairy-worlds. I am on this planet, on the chair, the rain pouring on the leaves sounds deliciously in my ears, the fridge is humming, my toes curling in delight. Life is eminently easy and wonder-ful, magically abundant and carefree. Once all discoveries are made, all beliefs dismantled, all instincts laid bare, they go up in smoke and ‘I’ will die the illusory death that ends the existence of the ‘self’. To investigate into the survival instincts of the ‘self’ is effort, living in this actual world is utterly effortless, an ongoing delight.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.