Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT: Can’t criticism be another expression of interest?
VINEETO: There is a world of difference in criticism expressed by unsolicitedly putting other people down based on reading between the lines of actually written or spoken words as opposed to an interest in how to become free from malice and sorrow oneself for the benefit of this body and every body.
Maybe this is an apt moment to point out that actualism is neither a (therapeutic) group-dynamical process nor a purely subjective process as to what people gathered here want to keep or change, or throw out about the process nor is it a demographic exercise about how many people within the human condition feel about the style of the reports.
When I met Richard and realized after weeks of establishing a prima facie case that what Richard was talking about was a new paradigm – an actual freedom from the human condition, something no spiritual teacher had ever talked about, let alone had any experience of – I wanted to learn from him as much as I could. As such I knew and acknowledged that I was not at all equal to him in that I was an apprentice who wanted to learn something that Richard knew by his lived experience day by day. I was ignorant of the topic and was attentive to what Richard had to say because he knew what ‘he’ as an identity had done in order to become free from the human condition.
I also knew myself well enough to realize that I was handicapped, stymied and bound by the human condition and driven by the instinctual passions whereas Richard clearly wasn’t. As such I knew that I was easily prone to misunderstandings in my conversations with Richard, prone to emotional misinterpretations, to instinctual knee-jerk reactions, cognitive dissonance, blind spots, cunningness, and that ultimately I was fearful to be exposed as ‘me’.
But I was determined to nevertheless become free from these handicaps and from the human condition in total and therefore I knew that all these expressions of ‘me’ resisting and fighting ‘my’ diminishment and ‘my’ demise needed to be neither expressed nor repressed but clearly looked at if I were to become free of them – I also knew that any notions of wanting Richard to change in order to suit ‘my’ whims, or any notions of criticizing his style, his facial expression, his choice of words, his body-posture, his preferences and predilections was really only a distraction and a diversion from ‘me’ doing what was necessary – changing the only person I can change and needed to change – ‘me’.
Given that I was frustrated with the results of 17 years of spiritual search and eager to become free from being driven by malice and sorrow, it was not at all hard to do.
In short, after I satisfied myself that Richard is indeed free from the instinctual passions and their resultant feelings/ imaginations I stopped wasting my time and this opportunity in defending the human condition which is ‘me’, and got on with the business of learning from him as much as I could about the practical business of how to become free myself. And I still do.
RESPONDENT: Just for an example, when No 60 mentioned a long time ago that he was questioning the canonical question to ask oneself each moment again, his criticism was born of his intense interest to be successful in his quest to be happy.
VINEETO: I don’t know whether it has occurred to you or not but an interest in being happy is at best an interest in freedom from sorrow, not an interest in freedom from malice, and as such has nothing to do with an interest in becoming free from the human condition in toto.
RESPONDENT to No 58: … is nothing compared to what happened to me... all my posts from the ‘Some Personal Accounts’ section of the website have been consciously removed. I don’t even exist as a Number at the present time, I am all but extinct ... can you imagine how it feels like? I don’t know why precisely... but I remember thinking a few days ago that it would be better if my posts were to be removed to make room for the new... it isn’t clear though if these thoughts were the cause or a consequence of that abominable snowman action. Same Questions, 18.2.2005
RESPONDENT to No 58: They sacrificed No.7 to make place for my atomic number, nevertheless that says a lot about the promoters of actualism... they never expected to be more than six ‘others’ ... so they were caught unprepared. Sane Questions, 19.2.2005
VINEETO: Following your comments the directors have taken the opportunity to revise the relevant section of the website. The section ‘Some Personal Accounts’ has been deleted and the ‘Other Selected Correspondence’ section has been amended in that the correspondents’ numbers have been emitted. This should ensure that the focus remains on the content of the correspondence rather than the identity of the correspondent. [...]
RESPONDENT: Nevertheless, if someone reaches the stage of virtual/ actual freedom (who knows, someone might just pop up one day without even much participating in this list discussions), it will be interesting to have his/her experiential report/ account available for reading on the website.
VINEETO: If other actualists consider their reports about practicing actualism beneficial for others, they may well find a way of publishing it themselves – the writings published by the Actual Freedom Trust are only the beginning of people discovering actuality for themselves.
RESPONDENT: I am very glad that this alternative now exists, it might seem strange but it perfectly matches my life-long preoccupations/ longings/ interests/ personality. Very often I wondered what will be the use of all these technological advances/ wealth/ leisure time if one was not to be happy.
VINEETO: … and harmless.
My life-long dream was to live with a man in utter peace and harmony and I had almost given up the possibility after many years of search in both secular and spiritual circles. It was only when I came across actualism that I found the tools to make it happen. And not only can actualism deliver living with one person in peace and harmony but I can then utilize the very same method to become free from all anger and anguish in the world-as-it-is with people-as-they-are, no matter what the circumstances.
RESPONDENT: … an individual is an individual with its own idiosyncrasies, …
VINEETO: I have found that I became much more of an individual (and retained my idiosyncrasies) as I proceeded to become virtually free from the human condition because I am now far less driven by the common-to-all instinctual passions and common-to-particular societal groups fashions, and in doing so I have also abandoned the ubiquitous feeling that I am special. In other words, fairly early into the process of becoming more attentive I had to admit that I am as sad, as bad and as mad as everyone else – an admission that was instrumental in my becoming virtually free of the common-to-all human condition.
The actualism method gives clear instructions how to leave ‘the world of the psyche’ in order for actuality to become apparent. You can open the door to freedom with one hand or both hands, with your foot, your nose or your behind, or decide never to open it at all, but it will always be the same door, the one that has ‘EXIT’ written across. The actualism method is specifically designed to lead you to this exit door and make life easier while you proceed.
RESPONDENT: [an individual is an individual]… not a borg.
VINEETO: As the characteristics of a ‘Borg’ have sprung from the imagination of Gene Rodenberry you may well be talking about a feeling that resembles his imagination. Here is what Richard had to say when someone compared him to ‘Borg’.
RESPONDENT: Do actualists view consciousness as epiphenomenon of matter?
VINEETO: Yes, for an actualist initially this view is based on down-to-earth common sense, a view which soon becomes obvious in one’s everyday experience, whereas spiritualists would have us believe that matter is merely an epiphenomenon of some disembodied ‘Consciousness’.
RESPONDENT: In this respect, then actualism is not different from materialism (that the universe is comprised of matter and the conscious phenomenon is a by-product of it)?
VINEETO: No. Actualism is an alternative to both materialism and spiritualism and in this sense 180-degrees opposite to the usual either/or alternatives within the human condition – either spiritualism or materialism. In essence materialism is the experience of a grim reality, as in ‘life is a bitch and then you die’ as distinct form spiritualism, which is an imaginary experience of a supposed ‘other-reality’. A materialist’s experience of matter is distorted and corrupted by the instinctual passions and life is experienced as a continuous struggle and a perennial competition with one’s fellow human beings.
In actualism I know that matter – the physical material universe – is pure and perfect and it is only ‘I’ who stands in the way of experiencing this purity.
RESPONDENT: Is that what you mean by ‘matter is not merely passive’?
VINEETO: No. Consciousness, the condition of being conscious – as in being alive, not dead, awake, not asleep, and sensible, not insensible (comatose) – is, as the definition suggests, a condition found in sentient beings, i.e. not all matter is conscious. As for a detailed description in what way matter is not merely passive I suggest ‘Frequently Asked Question No 54/2’:
RESPONDENT: I see what Peter is saying about the matter being circulated from inanimate to animate world continuously. Is that what he and you mean by matter is not merely passive?
VINEETO: In part, yes. Have a good look at your hand – do you notice how matter, your hand, is changing right in this moment? Blood circulates through the veins, calorific energy is absorbed and changed into moving-energy, tendons help moving the fingers, bits of your skin fall off, fingernails and hair grow and need to be cut regularly, the skin can heal over a cut and so on.
Whilst it is obvious that animate matter is not passive, what is rarely appreciated, let alone experienced, is that inanimate matter is not merely passive. The minerals and gases that are the very substance of the universe are not inert as in static, immutable, unchanging, rather they exist in perpetuus mobile and this is the quality of matter that one can experience as a sensuous vibrancy and an immediate intimacy in a pure consciousness experience.
Another point worth making is that it is fashionable in some quarters to make a distinction between things that are natural as in unmodified by human beings and things that are unnatural as in modified by human beings – hence wood is deemed to be natural, aluminium unnatural, Aloe Vera is deemed natural and antibiotics unnatural. A little thinking reveals that this distinction is disingenuous as all of the things that human beings make are made of the matter that is this planet, and hence none of it is unnatural, foreign or alien.
In order to experientially understand this you only need to reach out and touch the computer with your hand whilst reading these words and you can experience that the plastic/ silicon/ metal/ glass object is as ‘not merely passive’ as is your hand. Contemplation reveals that this object is fashioned from minerals of this earth; it is the same stuff as the hand that is touching it. And if you are wont to take it a step further you may well experience the fact that the separation between your hand and the monitor can magically disappear such that a sensuous intimacy can occur … particularly so if you bring your awareness to the finger tips where the touch is actually occurring as opposed to where the intellectual and affective interpretation of touch usually happens.
RESPONDENT: The post below from Richard talks about an ‘aliveness’. Is that a complimentary interpretation of ‘matter is not merely passive’?
VINEETO: It is not an interpretation, but the description of his ongoing everyday, every moment experience that matter is not merely passive.
RESPONDENT: I keep wondering about this because ‘actualism is defined (by Richard) to be the direct experience that matter is not merely passive’. So an actualist, by extension, is who has this experience... probably the PCE... and understands it.
VINEETO: An actualist is also someone who, based on a memorable experience that matter is not merely passive, dedicates their life to do whatever it takes to being able to live this magical experience 24hrs a day.
RESPONDENT: Can you elaborate on this aspect? Can you describe it further? What is the aliveness, magic you are talking about?
VINEETO: Given that there are no spirits outside the fervent imagination of passionate beings, can you understand that you *are* the matter that is not merely passive – and not only that, you are also matter that can marvel at its own existence?
Rather than trying to affectively feel or cerebrally (via thoughts) understand the magic and aliveness, you will be more successful when you begin to experience it sensately and sensuously for yourself.
RESPONDENT: Do you experience it whilst not in a PCE?
VINEETO: No. Whilst I nowadays feel excellent almost all the time, the magic only happens in a PCE. Sometimes it is so close that I can almost touch it, or smell it or sense it on the summer wind – but I never kid myself as I know that it only happens when ‘I’ let go of the controls completely (as in disappear) and allow it to happen.
RESPONDENT: Why choose this as the defining characteristic of actualism?
VINEETO: Ah, but it’s the other way around. When Richard became actually free and searched for a word that could best describe his ongoing experience of life he came across the word ‘actualism’ defined as ‘the theory that nothing is merely passive (now rare)’ Oxford Dictionary.
RESPONDENT: Do you think that it will be possible to assemble molecules in a laboratory to produce life one day? And nothing mysterious is going on?
VINEETO: As far as I know, scientists have yet to discover where and how inanimate matter transformed into animate matter on this planet but I have heard that some favour the notion that it may well have been undersea vents where the hot mineral-rich magna from the earth’s core meets the salty water of the ocean.
RESPONDENT: The materialism has it that the difference between animate and inanimate matter is that of complexity and constituents: both are essentially matter. Do you differ from this viewpoint?
VINEETO: From my everyday observations, the difference between animate matter and inanimate matter is far more than ‘complexity and constituents’. The processes that make matter animate – cell division, reproduction, consumption, digestion, movement, aging, death, to name but a few, are astounding … and the addition of the ability of animate matter to be conscious is absolutely astonishing … and further the ability of animate matter be conscious of being conscious is truly wondrous.
VINEETO: As to whether this, or any other animate-matter creating scenario can be duplicated in a laboratory one day I wouldn’t know, but given the astounding advances in biological knowledge and research of the last 100 years in particular it would be foolish to say no.
RESPONDENT: So, is a living thing an assembly of molecules and nothing else? In other words, ‘life’ is an epiphenomenon of matter?
VINEETO: Life is not an epiphenomenon of matter but is the very quality of animate matter. The physical universe is not inert.
RESPONDENT: Also if it is all a product of matter, can physics describe the dynamics of the evolution of a living being by a mathematical formula (albeit complex) one day?
VINEETO: Mathematical formulas are but a human concept, an anthropocentric attempt to define the universe by equations, models and principles, …
RESPONDENT: What do you think about Newton’s laws of physics? They are mathematical formulas describing the dynamics of mechanical objects. Problems like protein folding try to understand the components of living creatures from physical standpoint. So just like we can describe the dynamics of a jet plane by formulas, we maybe able to model a living being by formulas (though actualism is not about this, but I am trying to evaluate the consequences of the ‘matter is primary, the rest is secondary’ – please correct me if this does not represent your views).
VINEETO: Matter/energy is not only primary but it is all there is. That’s what makes it so magical. The universe is a physical material universe and there are no disembodied spirits anywhere to be found except in the hearts and minds of human beings who yearn for immortality.
Nor was the universe created according to humanly conceived mathematical formulas or models – such beliefs arise from the stifling anthropocentric thinking and self-centred feelings that continue to inhibit the possibility of clear thinking from operating.
VINEETO: … whereas my interest as an actualist lies in sensately and apperceptively experiencing this moment of being alive and delighting in this eternal and infinite universe in its abundant magical splendour.
RESPONDENT: Yes sure. You do not rule out thinking – factual thinking right?
VINEETO: Not at all – attentiveness on its own gets one no-where. It was the combination of attentiveness, contemplation and determination that got me out of the mess of my beliefs and the tangled web of associated feelings.
Here is how Richard describes this very essential ingredient –
Richard, Articles, ‘This Moment of Being Alive’
RESPONDENT: Thus, the free will only being an illusion due to the absence of total knowledge?
VINEETO: As for free will – the whole notion of free will gradually become more absurd the longer one practices actualism and the more one becomes free of the human condition. The more one becomes free from malice and sorrow, the less the need for will – as in fight and struggle against societal impositions and instinctual compulsions.
RESPONDENT: I see what you are getting at. I was merely using the term ‘free will’ to indicate freedom... free choice.
VINEETO: Perhaps I can put it this way – when I came across actualism I realized that I was anything but free, i.e. I realized that the very notion that I had ‘free will’ or ‘free choice’ was nonsense. What I did see, however, was that I was now confronted by a simple choice – to stay as I was or to set my sights on becoming happy and harmless, no matter what the consequences.
VINEETO: What happens is that in the process of practicing actualism I am now much more able to make intelligent choices due to becoming free from my social conditioning and from being driven by my instinctual passions and in this process I discovered that my choices nowadays are not based on ‘free will’ but rather on acknowledging the facts of the situation and then making the best possible choice according to the given circumstances. Very often that means there is only one choice – the best. ‘T’would be silly to use ‘my’ free will to obstruct the best, wouldn’t it?
RESPONDENT: Yes. Let me correct my query: If the living being can be described by a mathematical formula, is freedom of choice an illusion?
VINEETO: The connection you are apparently making escapes me entirely. The description of a process, mathematical or otherwise, is not the process itself – or to put it simply, a thing is a thing, no matter what word or words are used to describe it or what mathematical formulas are used to describe it. As for freedom of choice, choice is always governed by the actual situation … and observation reveals that surprising little choice is needed, or is indeed available, in the everyday acts and circumstances that constitute being alive. To say it again for emphasis – when I acknowledge the fact, very often there is only one choice according to the given circumstances – the best.
RESPONDENT: It is obvious to me that my communication on this list has deteriorated to the point where Richard and actualists view my messages as a negation of actualism. I will try to renew my communication to be that of a learner again. Therefore, I will be refraining from replying to certain folks such as No 53. I do have my doubts on a few issues, but I will renew my investigation into actualism to see where it leads.
VINEETO: Personally I don’t view your messages ‘as a negation of actualism’, but rather an indication of your not-yet-understanding actualism, something which is quite understandable given that actualism is a very recent discovery.
When I came across Richard’s writings and listened to what he had to say, at first I had great trouble understanding what he said because my mind was cluttered with beliefs, perceptions, worldviews, opinions, thought-patterns both spiritualist and materialist as well as the full range of disregarded self-centred feelings and instinctual passions churning about. Over time I could see some parts of actualism as being common sense and because of this I tentatively began to question some of my beliefs, but again and again I failed to ‘get the picture’, so to speak, because I could not comprehend what Richard meant when he described the ‘pristineness and perfection of the actual world, where nothing dirty can get in’. His descriptions were not part of my experience or of my memory of experiences I could remember at the time.
However, I was determined to get to the bottom of what I could see as a very sensible and genuinely beneficial way of living life, firstly because I had serious doubts about the sensibility and beneficence of many of my spiritual beliefs and practices and secondly because I could see no point in simply abandoning spiritualism only to return to the materialism I had deliberately and for good reason left behind when I joined the club of the spiritual seekers. My determination grew into an obsession to find out what is undeniably factual and universally actual and one day my entire worldview cracked – resulting in a ‘self’-less pure consciousness experience (PCE) that lasted all evening and the major part of the following day. In this PCE I finally gained an experiential understanding of the actual world Richard talks about and that he experiences day-in, day-out – a world that only becomes apparent when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul leave the stage.
In the beginning it is natural for you to misunderstand actualism, and that you, like everyone else at the start, attempt to fit what you read into familiar worldviews, philosophies and concepts. Nevertheless, if you genuinely want to find out what actualism is really about, then you can’t afford to be deterred by your misunderstandings nor to take offence when these misunderstandings are made evident to you – developing the ability to take a clear-eyed look at the facts of the matter is the only way an intellectual understanding and then an experiential understanding of actualism can eventually take place.
It’s no little thing to embark on a journey that breaks with not only thousands of years of human conditioning but with the human condition itself, a condition that afflicts every single human on this planet – with one exception.
VINEETO: This conversation also confirmed that unless someone is sufficiently discontent with their life as it is, their interpretation of what is on offer in actualism will always be inhibited by the framework of their familiar spiritual teachings.
GARY: I think people will interpret and translate new information into their customary cognitive or experiential framework, much as your spiritual acquaintance did. Recently I had mentioned to someone at work something about not wanting to dwell in emotion about something or preferring not to make a fuss of something or other, and the person stated that I was being ‘philosophical’ about it all. I did not think I was being ‘philosophical’ at all, but I merely made a mental note of what the person said and mulled it all over afterward. I think if one is clinging passionately to one’s identity, and nursing malice and sorrow, the only way to approach living in peace and harmony with other humans is to be ‘philosophical’, in other words live one’s life in accordance to some type of philosophy and religious or moral system by which one creates compartments between how one actually feels and how one conducts oneself in society.
This is not what actualism is about at all.
VINEETO: Yes, I had similar commentaries from people. In a conversation with a neighbour I responded to some environmental doomsday scenarios that were being promoted as ‘most likely to happen’ by saying that most of them are driven by fear rather than fact and was met with the comment ‘you rationalize everything away, don’t you?’
I also liked No 38’s comment when he said –
Not only it is considered ‘a deficiency to actually pay attention’ to one’s emotions and beliefs in order to diminish and finally eliminate one’s automatic instinctual programming but this very process also sets you on the path to a condition considered to be a severe mental disorder within the human condition. After Richard succeeded to become free from the human condition, he was officially examined by two accredited psychiatrists and officially classified as suffering from a pronounced and severe mental disorder.
It’s such a hoot … and proof that an actual freedom from the human condition is indeed the departure from all the values of the human condition. Being sane means being able to function reasonably well within the human condition and being sane also entails being sad, lonely, anxious, cynical, grumpy, jealous, righteous, angry and cunning. When ‘I’ cease to exist, not only temporarily in a PCE but permanently as in an actual freedom, then this state will not and can not be categorized as being sane by those who are deeply convinced that the current human condition is the end and the culmination of the evolutionary process.
GARY: You had asked how I am doing. I am very well.
I am returning to the list after a lengthy hiatus during which time I mainly lurked, reading the posts occasionally, and sometimes in depth. I had rather lost my interest in writing to the list, but had not lost my interest in Actualism.
VINEETO: I can relate to this, as I am now in a phase where I seem to have lost interest in writing to the list unless there is some sensible conversation to be had about practical experiences. But no matter if I write or not, I never cease to be vitally interested in this moment of being alive and in what prevents me from being actually free. There is a commitment that happened deep down inside a few months after I came across actualism, after I experienced what being free from ‘me’ is like. It is a commitment that is irreversible, unlike the new-year’s resolutions that are abandoned days after they were made. I think I have told the story before but it signifies for me the day I realized that I was hooked for life.
At one time I was particularly troubled by doubts and fears so much so that after a couple of miserable days I decided to talk to Richard about it. I said to him that the way I feel now I don’t think I am able to go through with becoming free, I am too much of a coward, I don’t have the strength and saying it I felt as despondent and scared as one can be. Richard listened attentively as he always does and then said, okay, if that is so, what are you going to do with the rest of your life, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and so on? I didn’t have to think long, it was pretty obvious that although I was in the grip of my feelings at the time that they wouldn’t last forever and then I would not be able to resist pursuing the freedom I knew to be the genuine article. There simply was, and still is, nothing else I want to do with my life.
The other day someone asked if Peter and Vineeto ever take a holiday from actualism to which I could only say ‘holiday to where’. I am pleased to be here, I enjoy being here, I am vitally interested in being alive, I am aware of what I do, think, feel and sensately experience – why on earth should I want to take leave from that? It took me much effort to get this awareness going to the point were it happens by itself and now it is impossible to switch it off. The alternative could only be to deliberately do something to dull down, to get lost in imagination, to wallow in feelings, to be half-conscious or drugged and to pretend not to be here. The capacity to be aware of being aware is exactly what makes the human species unique amongst sentient beings and to work towards ridding this awareness of selfism – in any form – is a great adventure.
GARY: I can tell you this: that I have during this period of time always used the Actualism method and have not found it necessary nor desirable to take side-detours or short cuts. I have never found it necessary to find add-ons to supplement my use of the Actualism question. Unremitting attentiveness and cranking up my pure intent have been the keys to pulling through what have seemed like unbearable onslaughts of deep dread and fear.
VINEETO: It’s so simple, isn’t it and yet almost everyone feels the urge to concoct their personal addenda in order to avoid its ‘self’-diminishing effects.
GARY: But along with complacency and a relative backing-off from the deeper sources of resistance at times, there has been for a long time steady progress too. I think of a graphic presentation of in which there are peaks and valleys, and regressive movement, but on the average a steady overall increase in happiness and harmlessness.
VINEETO: Yep, and with the increase of being happy and considerate towards others comes a waning of ‘me’ because ‘I’ need an arena of problems and passions in order to thrive.
GARY: I do think that one of the very interesting things here on the list is the vital opportunity for so many different people to share experiences with one another. I think experiences with Actualism are going to be variable. And of course unlike the snake oil salesmen and charlatans, no guarantee is offered or otherwise implied. Naturally different people have different life experiences, different personalities and constitutions, different temperaments, different motivations, etc. Sometimes it seems like the issues that I have struggled most greatly with have been the issues that I have struggled with my entire life.
VINEETO: I can’t quite see how experiences with practicing actualism are going to be essentially variable at core if one fully commits oneself to becoming free from malice and sorrow. The result, if intent and effort are genuine, can only be a decrease in malice and sorrow and the progress is conditional to each actualist’s own effort and intent. Once I got my attentiveness up and running eventually all of the issues that I had struggled with in my life have come to the surface, as you observed happened with you, and this is where the intent born of a PCE always leads me to take the particular action that I know I need to do in order to become free of each of these issues.
VINEETO: When I left the Sannyas world I began to relearn the English language, this time with dictionary in hand, and was quite often astounded how far Rajneesh and his followers had redefined words into meaning something other than what they were meant to mean.
RESPONDENT: I know I wrestled with terminology for quite some time (as clearly have other newbies). I suppose it’s an outcome of attempting to fit what’s on offer into a pre-existing perceptual model. That’s not unusual when making a significant shift... that’s why learning to play music (e.g.) is difficult, not easy.
VINEETO: It is not an easy task to take off one’s ‘spiritual glasses’ yet this is necessary to at least grasp that an actual freedom is not ‘of the spirit’ but is for this flesh-and-blood body. I am presently revisiting mailing list archives from 1998 and 1999 and I found some telling examples how – quite naturally – people tried ‘to fit what’s on offer into a pre-existing perceptual model’.
This is the reason that actualists keep repeating that ‘an actual freedom lies 180 degrees opposite to all spiritual belief’. The natural-instinctual way the human brain works is to attempt to assimilate new information into previous experiences. Thus far human experience has been based on the ancient duality of materialism vs. spiritualism and given that spiritual belief is pure fantasy anyway it is natural, easy and very tempting to expand one’s fantasy to accommodate a new promise for happiness.
What I instantly liked – even before I understood the finer details of the human condition – was that actualism is about actually changing myself rather than changing my beliefs and ideals. This offered an end to the eternal dichotomy between spiritual ideals and life in the marketplace – a conflict that all spiritual people have such trouble with. As a practical person I was delighted to find that there was a down-to-earth solution after all – come out of the clouds, onto this magnificent planet and successively sort out my problems that made me escape into fantasy-land in the first place.
RESPONDENT: From your and also Peters general responses I have a fair impression that when you refer to the Big picture of the human condition that in comparison with for instance Richard’s understanding of it, your’s and his are perhaps only different when it comes down to scale.
One experimental viewpoint when using a computer program analogy merely has a different ‘zoomfactor than another’s. So applied that to the human condition the closer one watches the more detailed the picture becomes observable.
VINEETO: Judging by the responses Richard gives on this mailing list to correspondents regarding numerous areas of the human condition, less detail is not the distinguishing factor between his description of the human condition and mine. He writes from outside of the human condition because he is free of it whereas I cannot 100% rely on the accuracy of my understanding because I am not yet totally free of it. But when it comes to describing in detail the process of how to become free from the human condition my description about my experiences can be more detailed and more relevant that Richard’s descriptions because they happened more recently.
In that respect descriptions from other practicing actualists of their pure consciousness experiences are even more recent and possibly of use for those who are contemplating beginning to practice the method of actualism.
RESPONDENT: Or to use a space analogy you may have an observer located on Venus Peter has one on Mars and Richard is looking from Pluto at Planet earth. Incidentally when I refer to the human condition I refer as it is now and hence is experienced by me as to be living on that condition as it is now.
VINEETO: I understand what you are trying to say but ‘having an observer’ is a dissociated, spiritual worldview and as such the analogy is not applicable to actualism – I never sat on the fence and ‘observed’ the human condition in others as the spiritual teachings would have us do – I learnt what I leant first-hand by the ongoing process of being attentive as to how ‘I’ functioned and operated. Secondly I am deliciously aware that I am living on planet Earth, and far more so than in the days when I practiced dissociation by trying not to be here and when I believed that the more significant part of my life would start after I became fully dissociated from being here or after I had died.
It would be more accurate to say that the more I understand the numerous aspects of the human condition as they operate in me as ‘me’ the easier I can recognize them as being universal to all human beings because the human condition – as the name suggests – applies to every human being. And the more I recognize the human condition in me – and each time opt for being less obsessed with ‘my’ ‘self’-preserving feelings – the more the bigger picture, i.e. the interests of my fellow human beings, comes into view and this then allows me to be considerate of others and as a consequence I become more happy and in peace.
As for Richard – because he has lived entirely free from the human condition for more than a decade and has far more experience in talking to people than I do, he has the added advantage of more easily and precisely recognizing and more clearly exposing the human condition.
VINEETO: Oh yes. Being interested in ‘the direct experience that matter is not merely passive’ as experienced in a PCE can be but a sweet dream once the PCE has faded … unless one becomes interested in ‘the process of becoming actually free from the human condition’.
When I began the hands-on process of doing something practical to become actually free from the human condition I noticed that I not only stopped indulging in my own malicious and sorrowful feelings but also found it impossible to support my former friends and allies in their passionate fights against what we had previously conceived as ‘our common enemies’ – within the sisterhood: ‘chauvinist men’, within the Sannyas community: ‘all non-Rajneeshees’, within the lefty’s network: ‘all capitalists’, within the purist community: ‘all non-vegetarians’, and so on. Correspondingly I also ceased to actively support and encourage people in their sorrow and resentment of being here because I could more and more see the silliness and harm of doing so.
Delving into the human condition as part of my process of becoming actually free inevitably resulted in changes in my behaviour and this behavioural change was of course noted and responded to by my former friends, mostly in form of a quiet retreat from their association with me, but sometimes in form of passionate accusations that I was a traitor for abandoning the cause(s) they felt compelled to fight for.
The good news is that having given up belonging to various camps there were no more ‘enemies’ or adversaries to be wary of – everyone became a fellow human being to me.
VINEETO: I admit that in the beginning the difference can appear obscure as I remember having first to grasp the full meaning of the word ‘spiritual’ as in ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul, pertaining to or consisting of spirit, immaterial’ Oxford Dictionary, in order to understand the full implications of the word ‘non-spiritual’. However, a vital requisite is that one has to want to find what the differences are, instead of assuming that actualism is yet another spiritual teaching replete with a resident Guru and wanting to find fault from the start.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I’ve done that. I’ve also seen similarities. I believe the differences are overblown.
VINEETO: Spirituality and actuality have nothing at all in common. In case you are interested in suspending your duty to doubt and really finding out the nature of Actual Freedom as compared to a spiritual freedom then the link I had provided in my last post lists twenty-five clear-cut examples as to how spirituality and actuality are diametrically opposite. The link to Richard’s correspondence on this topic at the same page contains answers to questions and objections that are very similar to yours. Reading it with both eyes open will save a lot of needless repetition in posts to the mailing list.
RESPONDENT: I do realise that Actualism is something I can investigate and possibly confirm.
VINEETO: Whatever you can ‘possibly confirm’ at this stage is definitely not actualism.
RESPONDENT: It’s true to say I can’t confirm actualism at this stage but Richard assures me I can possibly confirm actualism. Sorry, just being linguistically picky.
VINEETO: The reason I said that you can’t ‘possibly confirm’ actualism at this stage is because you haven’t begun to try to understand what actualism is. To understand actualism you would have to recognize the vast difference to spiritualism. At the following link you will find a list of topics complete with related correspondences, and ‘actual’, ‘actual freedom’ and ‘actualism’ are an excellent start.
RESPONDENT: They should teach this stuff in school.
VINEETO: I like it that you appreciate what is on offer on the actual freedom website. I do, however, think that it takes at least several generations for enough people to value the common sense and significance of actual freedom to consider offering it as a voluntary part of a school or university curriculum.
It’s worth considering that it is now some 150 years since Charles Darwin made public the first scientific evidence that life on this planet evolved as a result of an always on-going, utterly magical, completely natural process – and not as a result of some imaginary supra-natural Energy, Divine Intelligence, Spirit, Creator, Mother or Father. One would have thought that the recent discovery of the genetic coding that underpins the life-creating and life-sustaining process would have finally put paid to any notions of supra-natural energies, forces, spirits, or Gods and yet these fairy-tales continue to beguile and bewitch a hapless Humanity. Such is the stranglehold that religious beliefs have over the human mind.
No 21 recently reported from his own experience that he had to abandon his spiritual beliefs in order to understand what actualism is all about. Given that abandoning all spiritual belief is prerequisite to understanding actualism, actualism can never be taught as a compulsory subject in schools because the decision to dare to let go of all such beliefs is one that each person can only make for themselves. The choice to make such a personal and life-changing decision can never be taught or spoon-fed, let alone force-fed, to anyone.
The other aspect worth noting is that actualism is neither a philosophy nor a belief-system – it is an active process, initiated by making an irrevocable decision to devote one’s life to the thrilling and fascinating business of becoming free of the Human Condition. Despite the obvious down-to-earth nature of actualism, those philosophers who remain stuck in their heads and those spiritualist who remain stuck in their hearts will no doubt clip-on actualism to their beliefs and their vocabulary, rather than rise to the challenge that is most immediate and pressing – actualizing peace, here on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body.
VINEETO: For me nothing justifies ‘a cessation of investigation’, until the fat lady has sung. That is my aim in life and it does not matter how long it takes because for me there is no other game to play that is worth playing. I left the real world behind when I found that it sucks and I left the spiritual world behind when I found it to be a shallow fantasy and a hypocritical delusion.
ALAN: And, for ‘me’, ceasing the investigation is what ‘I’ most want.
VINEETO: The other day I heard a woman say in a TV drama discussing her emotional state: ‘I like being messy because that’s who I am’. I find her statement a good description of normal existence because to be a social-instinctual identity is to be emotionally messy. In that context, my sincere intent is that I don’t ‘like being messy’, both for my own sake and for that of others, no matter what consequences it has to ‘who I am’. Speaking personally, rather than wanting to ‘cease the investigation’, I have found the process of self-investigation both thrilling and fascinating – it gives ‘my’ life both meaning and purpose.
The way you formulated your reply it appears that there is a ‘me’ who wants to be actually free and a ‘me’ who doesn’t. Yet in fact there are not two ‘me’s’, there is only one entity, who may sometimes want to be free and other times not want to be free.
With the memory of the PCE ‘I’ could clearly see that ‘I’ am standing in the way of perfection and therefore ‘I’ agreed to take ‘myself’ apart. The impetus to examine, investigate and change comes from ‘me’ – ‘I’ am willing to die because ‘I’ have unmistakably understood it to be the best and only solution to the human condition. Once ‘I’ made the full-hearted decision to actively stage my own disappearance, the journey became easier and I could make use of my instinctual passions to help ‘my’ mission. Now desire helps me to achieve the best possible, aggression to stubbornly stick to my goal, nurture to altruistically sacrifice my ‘self’ for the benefit of this body and every body, and fear, well, fear gives me the impetus to end fear forever.
But it is ‘me’, and only ‘me’, who is willingly doing all the work of becoming free. For comparison –
ALAN: Perhaps this is where there is an advantage in living with like-minded people – it is more difficult to ignore?
VINEETO: Other like-minded people, i.e. practicing actualists, are of no benefit whatsoever as long as ‘what ‘I’ most want’ is ‘ceasing the investigation’. Unless an actualist is eager to roll up his or her sleeves and do something in order to become free from the human condition, other people who talk about their experiences with the method and demonstrate its success by being increasingly happy and harmless can even be perceived as nosy intruders.
Personally, I cannot ‘ignore’ the lure of actual freedom, not because I live with Peter or occasionally chat with Richard, but because I am haunted by the memory of the perfection that already always exists and that only becomes apparent when ‘I’ am absent. My backpressure to become free doesn’t come from ‘like-minded people’ asking probing questions but from having tried the normal-world and spiritual-world solutions and found that they failed.
ALAN: During my sojourn in the sun, I again experienced the pain at the base of the skull, which Richard well described. Despite the excellent search facility, I have been unable to find the pertinent quote – it was something like he experienced it as a rearranging of the brain cells.
VINEETO: I presume this is the part of Richard’s journal that you are talking about –
The ‘turning over’ happened as part of Richard’s enlightenment experience, and so far nobody knows if it also occurs when one is becoming actually free. Given that there are no comparable data on physical symptoms relevant to the process of becoming actually free, I have learnt to disregard physical phenomena such as tensions in the neck or ‘pain at the base of the skull’ as having any relevance to where I am on my journey to actual freedom. I measure success rather by the tangible increase of happiness and harmlessness and by the fact that I sensately enjoy being here for longer and longer periods of time. In that I consider it great success that the desire to ‘go somewhere else’ into some imaginary feeling state has completely disappeared.
ALAN: I am convinced that this is what is occurring and was greatly encouraged by a recent television programme about people who have had strokes. Using brain-scanning equipment, it showed that new pathways were formed in parts of the brain, which had not been damaged, which enabled the stroke sufferers to regain some of the functions, which had been lost. So, it is possible to realign the neurones and eliminate the instincts – the brain is not ‘hard wired’.
VINEETO: As far as I understood the brain research from empirical scientists like Joseph LeDoux, the brain is indeed capable of re-wiring. It seems to be capable to form new synapses and old, unused synapses seem to wither away. However, this is but a working theory, as there are no verifiable visible data on what the brain cells actually do when the ‘self’ is expunged nor what happens while I am investigating my social conditioning and my instinctual passions. What is verifiable, however, is how I experience life, how I am with other people and how clearly I am now able to understand how ‘I’ tick.
ALAN: And therein lies the problem. Having stepped up to the brink, so to speak, in the first half of last year, ‘I’ know there is nothing more to investigate, no more discoveries to be made. The only thing left is the final step, the complete elimination of ‘me’.
VINEETO: How can you say that ‘you’ ‘know there is nothing more to investigate’, when ‘you’ are the very entity that is to leave the stage in order for you, the flesh-and-blood body, to be free? How can you say that there are ‘no more discoveries to be made’ when you just reported discovering a belief ‘that it seems to be just as difficult to attain a condition of actual freedom as it is to ‘achieve’ enlightenment’?
ALAN: As I said, above, perhaps it was not a ‘belief’. There was certainly not the ‘seeing of a fact’ that accompanies the discovery of a belief.
VINEETO: Even thoughts can contain beliefs because your statement was certainly not a fact. Further, the moment ‘there is nothing more to investigate, no more discoveries to be made’ will be the exact same moment of ‘your’ extinction. For me as an actualist, the examination of the psyche is not over until that happens. If you read Richard’s description of becoming actually free, you will notice that he describes ‘a vast understanding of the enormity of the Human Condition’, brought on by contemplation about ‘attitudes toward the environment’, that pulled the carpet from under his psyche, so to speak. He continually searched, contemplated, questioned, probed and examined until his understanding ‘of the enormity of the Human Condition’ was complete – and there was no time gap between that complete understanding and actual freedom. ( see Richard, A Brief Personal History)
RESPONDENT: 5. you can only do your best in this moment of being alive, now. No need for self recriminations.
VINEETO: Yes, that’s right. One has to be careful, though, because there is a vast difference between the actualism practice and the spiritual teaching of ‘you are all right as you are right now, no need for change’ à la Paul Lowe and company.
The question is what is this ‘your best’? By what standard is ‘your best’ measured? How do I determine what is my best? In spiritual years my best was measured according to the dream of ‘good’ and ‘bliss’, the morals and ethics of Eastern religion, and my failures were excused by the obvious ongoing failures of most human beings to achieve the goal of enlightenment. ‘That’s life’ or ‘Existence wants you to be like that’ are two of the common excuses for not being the best, for being sad, worried and malicious.
As an actualist I have a different aim and a different evaluation of what is the best I can be. Having experienced the actual world in its purity, perfection, magic and benevolence in PCEs, my best is always oriented on this experience and my effort to change is always directed to eliminating the ‘self’ that is preventing me from experiencing this perfection 24 hours a day, every day. Then instead of ‘self recriminations’ I examine my errors in order to stop repeating them, investigate what caused them in the first place and aim to be as happy and harmless as I can be.
RESPONDENT: As you have managed to input this new information into the tiny trotting circuit that your mind currently runs in; and it now sits comfortable classified as alien to you and retro to you and ‘NOT US’ to you –
VINEETO: I think you are being upset quite unnecessarily because by ‘alien’ I mean the alien entity, that lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity that each of us is genetically programmed with, usually known as the ‘self’. Vis:
The only difference between ‘us’, a handful of actualists, and the other six billion people on this planet is simply that we actualists have decided to move beyond the tried and failed. When I had my first significant pure consciousness experience, which everybody has occasionally in their lives, I decided to act on the insights that I gained from this experience. The experience of the purity and perfection of a state without the instinctual emotional alien entity is each time so delicious, so superior to anything known before that I am determined to reach this purity 24 hrs a day. It is only by cleaning myself up that I am now able to enjoy the freedom and harmony of virtual freedom. Only by going for my avowed aim boots and all, with sincere intent, persistence and dedication have I been able to live in peace and harmony, happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: It is a pity that ... the new religion known as actualism – is imperatively and actually wrong, as it does not work –
VINEETO: You might be mislead by the –ism at the end of the word ‘actualism’. The term ‘actualism’ was coined to describe the path to Actual Freedom, using Richard’s method. I know that Richard’s method works for me to extract myself out of the Human Condition and it works for some other people that have reported success. The fact that it does not seem to work for you might have some completely different reasons altogether and might need some further investigation.
RESPONDENT: I see there are not a lot of people in this new actualism cult, so I do not wish for you to run away. Actualism needs you, and me; and I would like us each to remain a member of actualism; the reason being that I like religions because they give the members a chance to hang-out together and discuss things so that they get to understand each other. As someone once said ‘Isn’t it interesting to live in a world where we actually have to interact with each other in order to understand where the other is coming from’.
VINEETO: From this spiritual perspective of yours you are bound to interpret actualism as a ‘cult’, a ‘religion’, a ‘hang-out’ of ‘members’ ‘to get to understand each other’. Actualism is none of these things. It will take more than brief scanning and first impressions to understand this fact. It takes sincere interest and authentic effort, a discontentment with one’s present situation, guts and intent to find out that actualism is atheistic through and through, that everyone can only do it for themselves and that the only authority is one’s own pure consciousness experience. This mailing list is a ‘forum for discussion about an end to malice and sorrow forever and an actual freedom for all peoples’ who are genuinely and sincerely interested in peace-on-earth. Vis:
Quite a collection of wrong impressions so far, given that you endorse –
It is interesting – and most puzzling – that your version of interacting is to stubbornly refuse to even begin to try to start to understand anything at all about Actual Freedom.
VINEETO: You see, an actualist is one who has understood that peace on earth can only be actualized by total extinction of the self, both ego and soul, and who then goes for it boots and all. For an actualist, such spiritual advice is silly, a mere waste of time and of no use at all. In my spiritual years I had strived to change my identity from lower ‘self’ to higher ‘Self’ and have therefore first-hand experience that this method fails miserably, for peace-on-earth is traded for an other-worldly peace. As I learnt about Actual Freedom, I decided to change actually, radically, irrevocably and permanently. And my every day experience proves that it works. Life was meant to be easy, delightful, scrumptious, sparkling, peaceful and immense fun.
IRENE: Well-executed lyrics learnt by rote were performed smugly by the 3 chief-disciples in turn, not only boring like hell because of the predictable repetitiveness but alienating in no uncertain terms the other 3 people present, including the hostess... whom you all failed to acknowledge even politely, but simply used as your servant only and a pair of ears...
VINEETO: [...] As for ‘chief-disciples’ – there will be a draw from the hat for the chief of all chief-disciples and other disciples on January 1, 1999. Applications can be placed on this mailing list, deadline: December 31, 11.59pm. Necessary qualifications: none. The elected chief disciple will then be sitting in the front row of the discourses that never happen.
MARK to Alan: Now – on to some business – The town where I and Peter, Vineeto, Richard and Grace live is full of cars with bumper stickers that say things like ‘The Goddess is Dancing’, ‘Truth Is’, ‘Thou Art That’ and so on. So I have this plan to make actual freedom bumper stickers that say things like ‘I am not’, and my favourite ‘I want to be reborn as worm’s poo’. With the funds raised from the sale of the bumper stickers we could open a plot shop where we sell second hand plots, recycled lost plots, plots handed in voluntarily by actualists. This could be the beginning of an empire!!! You-being head disciple and all, I thought I’d run it by you first and see what you thought
VINEETO: Grace and I were busy thinking about more phrases for your bumper stickers but we haven’t come up with a sensible and sellable sentence – if there is one! How is ‘happy and harmless’ for a start? With the second line of ‘It’s as simple as falling off a log’. All pinched phrases, but I like them.
I like your plot-shop very much. It will really be a great business. When I thought about it I realised that we are already running a substantial plot shop here on the Actual Freedom list – people hand in all kinds of plots. It would probably need a shop-keeper to keep stock and sort them by subject and sizes and do the advertisement. What do you think?
From what I can remember from the last few mails there has been ‘imagination’ handed in twice, ‘lust’ once, someone lost the plot of a well-balanced house of cards of a triangle relationship, Peter wanted to shop for a plot, and I am sure there are others who just haven’t reported in about their own lost plots. It’s literally raining plots here.
VINEETO: I have always found it fascinating to discover in the course of my correspondence, meeting people and reading New Age publications, that the new fashion in spiritual circles is now introducing words like ‘non-spiritual’, ‘actual’ and even ‘apperception’ into their current vocabulary, because it sounds good and ‘feels right’. The New Age search that started in the ‘sixties now needs a new polishing, as it has become a bit of a well-worn path that hasn’t delivered the desired results for millions of seekers. This re-vamping process can be compared to taking one’s rotten old Ford car, giving it a new paintjob and a flashy bumper-bar and re-naming it ‘Lamborghini’. Now one can show it again, all the while it remains rotten to the core. A face-lift, à la Hollywood, is accomplished by creating a few new terms and labels – and the spiritual search can continue on for another fifty years without being considered out of date.
Actualism writings are an excellent source for such face-lift words, particularly when applied in creative combinations. The postmodern Non-Spirituality that is evolving from the New Age Spirituality now reads like this (and most examples are not even invented by me) –
Flesh-and-blood body mindfulness, apperceptive presence, non-spiritual reality, direct actual experience of truth, factuality of one’s ordinary self, a feeling of pure consciousness approaching, direct divine experience of the physical universe, non-spiritual self, spiritual ... oops, non-spiritual intimacy, thoughtless perfection, emotional facts, virtual commitment, physical Being, ever improving perfection, extremely free, exploring beyond appearance into ‘actual reality’, the all-consuming universe experiencing the moment, personal sensate-only experience, such sensuous no-mind image, natural non-spiritual living, factual emotional remembrance, timeless sense of actuality, watching without being a watcher, unfragmented observed actuality, virtual facts, greater actuality, beyond the realm of the apperceptive mind-entity.
I am sure there are plenty more examples to describe the verbal assimilation that will take place in the transformation from Eastern Religion to New Age Spirituality to Post-modern Non-Spirituality. A hilarious and highly entertaining example of such effort can be found in Richard’s correspondence, List A, No 5. No 5 took a particular liking to the word ‘apperception’.
Richard sums up his experience of years of talking to people like this:
RESPONDENT: PS Napster is the second best invention after the sliced bread. Don’t you all agree?
VINEETO: Is ‘Napster’ the latest production in video games? I have discovered ‘Riven’ after it was sitting unopened in my cupboard for two years and it is good fun. For the latest 3D games I would have to upgrade my computer and that needs money and therefore some thought.
But I keep thinking about how we could make our own Actual Freedom video game with delightful landscapes of happy and harmless moments, finding and burning secret scrolls of useless spiritual teachings, removing shackles of moral and ethical programming, falling into various caves of emotions and instinctual passions and getting out again, discovering treasures of common sense, piecing together contemplative thought, plunging into a pure consciousness experience, testing one’s connection to pure intent, gathering a supply of altruism and finally winning the game when the hero goes out in a blaze of glory, fulfilling his destiny...
RESPONDENT: In the spiritual process (even if you have not achieved perfect control of the thoughts and feelings) once you’ve gotten the clue that you are not the things you are witnessing, you start looking for the witness itself or, I should say, the Witness Itself. If you are rigorous in your investigation, you will finally come to the conclusion that there is no Witness to be found. Then you are left with witnessing. The question is will it be Witnessing or is there simply a flesh and blood body present with the capacity to be aware of its own awareness?
VINEETO: This is where Actual Freedom lies 180 degrees opposite to all spiritual belief. As an actualist I am not concerned about witnessing at all but about removing any belief, emotion and feeling that prevents me from being happy and harmless in this very moment. I don’t witness the Witness in order to remove him/her, I use awareness to scrutinize my accumulated beliefs, investigate the underlying causes of my emotions each time they occur. When this investigation is undertaken with sufficient intent and depth, a realization will occur such that action inevitably follows changing my behaviour towards becoming more harmless and happy. ‘I’ am my emotions and instinctual passions and the witness/Witness is merely a by-product of these emotions and passions.
Coming from spiritual practice I had to unlearn passive watching and undo the ‘dissociating from feelings and thoughts’ in order to apply sensible thought to question and eliminate beliefs and to experience and investigate emotions and feelings. Once you abandon the idea of a Witness, there is only one self, ‘me’, my identity, whatever hide-and-seek games we have been taught to play with it. It makes it all so very simple, practical and effective.
VINEETO: I enjoyed reading your letter. It is such a surprise when, for once, there are no objections, no denial and no beating around the bush. You have obviously done enough practical spiritual research for yourself to know that it doesn’t deliver the goods and are ready to change shop.
I can assure you, for whatever it’s worth to you, that actualism has delivered the goods for me, even though I am not yet actually free. But my life has already changed beyond recognition and the Vineeto who has started the process three years ago has long since disappeared along with all ‘her’ ‘normal’ or ‘spiritual’ reality.
VINEETO: It’s cute that once one dares to inquire 180 degrees in the opposite direction of what everyone else is proposing as the solution, it all starts making sense. As you said,
Peter wrote to another list in a witty play of words –
Strangely enough, the simple, actual, sensible approach of Actual Freedom can only appeal to those who have tried all the other nonsensical but highly ‘self’-gratifying approaches to finding freedom, peace and happiness and found them badly wanting. Without an utter discontent with the real world and the spiritual world no self-respecting (great term, Alan!) seeker would appear to be ready and willing to give up hope, faith, trust and the option of divinity.
RESPONDENT: I enjoy the conversations that I have read on this list. I’ve especially enjoyed your writings on gender issues on the website. One of my big gripes with spiritualities is the prevailing belief that existence is divided into masculine and feminine, or any other duality for that matter – and then there is all the ensuing gobbledygook, which I was taken in by as much as anyone, I suppose.
VINEETO: I am curious as to what you have found out so far concerning gender issues. For me, actualism started with the investigations into the supposed differences of gender because they were the most obvious issues that prevented our living together in peace and harmony. At the start of our relationship, Peter and I had plenty of vigorous discussions about the subject of male and female and we wouldn’t rest until we were both satisfied with the facts that we discovered underneath our beliefs, conditionings and ensuing feelings. Soon I was to find out that ‘gender’ was only the prelude to my questioning all that I had held true and right and good – love, intuition, beauty, music, sexual taboos and conditioning, compassion, gratitude, faith, trust, honesty, loyalty, authority, spiritual beliefs, etc. It’s good that I have written about most of this adventure in the last chapter of Peter’s Journal because by now almost everything is wiped from my memory. This enterprise leaves no emotional scars whatsoever.
RESPONDENT: Maybe if you were not so convinced of having the reason, the appropriated orientation in this question of human life and happiness, maybe then we could discuss together, examine together. If not, I could feel you only speaking to yourself, to reassuring you more and more. It’s not maybe this another facet of the self we have to explore and dismantle? The self of my intellectual reasons, of my intellectual systems.
VINEETO: Why should I not be convinced of having found the solution to human happiness and harmlessness when each pure consciousness experience confirms the fact that genuine peace-on-earth is possible right here right now? Why should I not report that there is now a method to become free from malice and sorrow when I experience every day that the method has been and is being successful?
My position is really very simple –
VINEETO: Your letter intrigued me such that I decided to disregard your suggestion and write a reply.
RESPONDENT: Firstly, may I thank you for an excellent site, which I have found extremely useful, especially the information on PCEs and the method set forth – HAIETMOBA. However, there has been something bothering me about your position which I haven’t been able to put my finger on until now. There seems to be a war going on here between Spiritualists and Actualists. There’s never smoke without fire.
VINEETO: Ha, this is quite an astounding picture you are creating here. There are almost 6 billion people who believe in some spiritual being, in some God or Goddess or in a whole range of gods and goddesses, in good and evil spirits, in some Divine Force … and here is the actualism mailing list explicitly stating right-up-front that it is not only non-spiritual but that it is dedicated to discussing matters that are down-to-earth, i.e. non-spiritual. And do you know what happens? Spiritualists come here, sometimes in twos, threes and fours, to challenge and attack, question and complain that how can actualists be so preposterous as to suggest that you can get rid of all your spiritual beliefs and become utterly happy and harmless.
For you to propose that a small group of practicing actualists are somehow conducting a war against spiritualists when all that is on offer here is a third alternative to being normal or being spiritual does seem to be somewhat missing the point.
RESPONDENT: In this actual Actual world, in its wondrous, and infinite subtlety, there is no need whatsoever to destroy/eradicate anything at all, including, may I add, the Evil Spiritualism.
VINEETO: What ‘actual Actual world’ are you talking about? The actual world described on the Actual Freedom website is invisible to anyone harbouring spiritual beliefs because beliefs are feeling-fed thoughts which are a substantive part of ‘my’ identity. ‘I’ can only experience ‘my’ affectively tainted ‘self’-centred world and ‘I’ am forever locked out of the pure and magical actuality.
Spiritualism is not ‘Evil’, as you try to make it out – there is no Good and Evil in actuality. But for those interested in becoming unconditionally happy and unconditionally harmless, spiritualism is the first of the blindfolds that needs to be questioned and removed in order to experience the splendour of the paradisiacal actuality that is right here under our very noses.
RESPONDENT: Everything, and I do mean everything, is seen to be perfect just as it is, including the Human Condition you so desperately want to be free of.
VINEETO: Well, if everything is as ‘perfect just as it is, including the Human Condition’, then why are you subscribed to a mailing list that offers a way of becoming free of the human condition? Why do you even bother to write to this list complaining that there is ‘a war going on here between Spiritualists and Actualists’?
For me, the human condition is not perfect at all, for me there is something utterly wrong with the way human beings have been arguing and fighting, killing and torturing, suffering and agonizing for millennia – that’s why I took up the offer to radically (at root) change the only person I can change. And the first thing I had to change was my being a loyal spiritual believer.
RESPONDENT: Before you rush to your computer, itchy mouse fingers at the ready to cut and paste me into oblivion, I suggest you take an even closer look at your intentions behind the destruction of Spiritualism from this wonderful, multi-facetted, infinitely subtle world we live in. ‘tis only a suggestion mind.
VINEETO: I don’t need to ‘take an even closer look at [my] intentions behind the destruction of Spiritualism’ because I abandoned my spiritual beliefs one by one, never to have them return. Actualism is not about destroying spiritualism, actualism is an alternative to spiritualism, which is quite a different matter.
As for ‘this wonderful, multi-facetted, infinitely subtle world we live in’ I can only suggest you sit down and take a clear-eyed look at this ‘multi-facetted’ world by watching some evening news, some real-life stories, some historical contemporary reports of tribes and nations in order to gain a clearer picture of the fact that nowhere do human beings of different gender, family, race, tribe, nation, religion and political conviction live together in peace and harmony. Rather human beings are continually arguing and bickering with each other and many are even killing, maiming, torturing and persecuting other human beings for being a different ‘facet’ than themselves. Take a candid look at how human beings are relentlessly driven to ensure their survival through fearing and attacking, bonding and accumulating. The passionate world of human interaction is quite horrendous and not ‘infinitely subtle’ at all. Human beings are neither happy most of the time nor are they harmless most of the time and most people don’t even like to be here.
‘This wonderful, multi-facetted, infinitely subtle world we live in’ is a world up in the clouds, a dream world to where spiritualists retreat in order not to be confronted with the pain and suffering and misery and mayhem of the dreadful, impassioned world of instinctual ‘self’-survival. I know because I had escaped into this dream world for many, many years – but in the end I had to admit that it didn’t work, that I could never shut out reality completely – it kept creeping in, be it through a fight with the boyfriend, a death in the family, a picture of a starving African tribe or the need to go back into the ‘marketplace’ to earn a living.
Now I don’t have to escape, now I can live with a companion in utter peace and harmony, I can be in the world-as-it-is and live in peace with my fellow human beings, I can earn a living and be happy while I am doing it, I can do nothing and be happy doing nothing, now I enjoy being here – and it all started when I began to investigate my spiritual beliefs, all of them.
VINEETO: Life has become very, very simple when hardly any emotional stress interferes with the sensate enjoyment of being alive.
RESPONDENT: Hope to get there. I have acquired a bunch of books on a variety of topics at a low cost in a recent book fair… looking forward to peruse them and learn a couple of things. My physical health is not that good and I plan to do some simple things like biking and walking to set it right. Haven’t done nature exploring much… should add that to the list.
VINEETO: I recommend focusing on sensual and sensuous perception as much as you can – it is particularly delicious when exploring nature.
RESPONDENT: I might still not be at ease regarding the everyday mundane repetitive tasks and once I start enjoying even those, I would think that I have changed for good.
VINEETO: Part of being able to enjoy ‘everyday mundane repetitive tasks’ for me was to have a close look at what was really necessary. For instance I decided to reduce my overheads in order to be able to sell less of my time for money. Having adjusted the balance of my time as compared to ‘their’ time it was then much easier to enjoy the time I had to sell for money and the fact that when I do my work well this in itself is a satisfying activity helped in enjoying the process of it.
The other thing with ‘everyday mundane repetitive tasks’ was that I had to look at some underlying resentments – as if someone else was making me do those task and not that I had in fact chosen the situation where those tasks were a necessary part of my life. For instance, what’s the point of objecting to having to wash the dishes when I clearly made the choice that I prefer to eat from clean dishes rather than have last night’s dinner still on them? Once I am aware, and am able to determine, that all I do is in fact my own choice, if possible my deliberate choice, then any resentment goes out the window. And without resentment any task can be a joy, a sensate pleasure or a mental challenge to do, if only I apply enough attentiveness to all that is involved in accomplishing it.
RESPONDENT: There is a good possibility that Richard does not know all that is actual.
VINEETO: Of course not. Nobody can know everything that happens on this planet and in the infinitude of the universe.
From my own experience in a PCE one doesn’t ‘know all that is’, one simply looks around in amazement that the actual world has been happening all along, while ‘I’ as a separate identity was always cut off from it or while ‘I’ as a separate identity vainly attempted to become a non-separate Identity, and dissolve into a not-knowing timeless Truth.
RESPONDENT: For example, I do know without a doubt that the spirit that was my father effected a certain physical happening and then appeared to me to tell that he did it. This was actual occurrence which Richard dismissed as ‘my’ delusion. It seems to me that true actualism would include within its realm all that is possible to be actual. But no! If Richard doesn’t know it, then it isn’t possible.
VINEETO: Personal affective experiences are the only evidence that the spiritual world exists, whereas a fact is something that is sensately and repeatedly demonstrable to all human beings.
RESPONDENT: To believe that all that exists is what is sensed, known, and experienced by the human body seems to be the height of egotism, rather than the death of the ego. There are so many possibilities in this universe that the little bitty human mind can’t even begin to comprehend, but here is one of the possible scenarios:
Richard reached the limit of all that he had experienced, read, remembered, sought out, tried, tested, and faced, but the final step of stepping into the unknown was more fear than he could handle, and he reverted into the philosophy of actualism – all that could be experienced in time. He has accepted the limits of actualism.
VINEETO: Actual Freedom is not about the death of the ego but the extinction of the passionate survival instincts that flood my brain with chemicals causing ‘me’ to fervently believe, imagine and to feverishly defend the very entity that ‘I’ think and feel ‘I’ am. Everyone is born with this instinctual survival program but it is new to human history that one can remove this now redundant program.
Personally I find human imagination about Gods, other-worlds, other-lives, spirits, demons and devils, very limited – nothing much has changed for thousands of years. Any discoveries made by humans have always exceeded human imagination. The ancient idea of a flat earth was puerile compared with the discovery that this planet is an immense globe, with an orbiting moon, and orbits the sun together with other planets, is part of a galaxy of millions of suns which is but one of squillions of other galaxies ... ad infinitum. Human beings stand in wonder and amazement at the actuality of this physical universe and yet ancient myths and fears would have us desperately seek to be ‘somewhere else’ other than here and now, where I as this physically body exist. I stopped believing, imagining and feeling how things are or should be, and can now experience the actual world as it is – and its vast magnificence and sparkling excellence is beyond my wildest dreams. ‘I’ as a psychological and psychic entity will always be limited by imagination and passions whereas the actual physical universe is infinite and eternal.
RESPONDENT: Something that is actual cannot ever be put into words. Words can only describe it. Words can also deceive you when you use them to tell yourself that you are living in actuality, when, in fact, you are living through a philosophy of actualism. Ah! But of course, actualism is REAL, whereas, universal consciousness is only a troubled theory, right? What I am describing is what cannot be known because it is not of thought. The eyes never know what they are and what they see. The hands never know what they are and what they feel. The whole body doesn’t know what it, itself IS. Nor does it actually know what anything is. And when you so live in the body, that is, when the body is YOU and not the you of thought, what is operating that body is the intelligence that operates all other bodies. It is not your intelligence. Now if you can see that much, it will become clear to you that such presence of living is living ACTUALLY, not living through actualism. That means that your actualism is a synonym for the god you so heartily reject. If the body is living itself without your interference, why would it need actualism, or any other beliefs and methods to ‘become alive’? So you are ‘actualism intoxicated’. Ring a bell? Now if I call ‘the body living itself without interference from you’, transformed or universal consciousness, then I am not using the word consciousness meta-physically. It is another term for ‘body in harmony with all other life’.
Or it may be referred to as ‘being totally down to earth’.
VINEETO: As you insist on having your own meta-physical interpretation of the word actual and therefore of what the term actualism means to you, I again see, as a fact and not a feeling, the futility of any further communication. To try to talk sense to someone who is proud of being ignorant – as in not knowing and most definitely not wanting to know, let alone listen – is nonsense.
As you said to No. 1 –
Ah, we do indeed live in two completely different worlds.
I, for one, wanted to know, I wasn’t content with the kafuffle that the spiritual teaching presented – ‘Thou Art That’ in many colourful variations, invented by ancient soma-drinking Vedic ‘seers’, regurgitated by hundreds of sages, and presented in yet another ‘new and originally’ phrased language, shrouded in mystery to hide its fallacy. No. After seventeen years I started to doubt, things did not add up, meditators couldn’t live happily in the marketplace, wars did not stop, petty fights between followers did not stop, religious rites and fights sprung up the moment the master died – all of this did not make sense.
Strangely enough, the simple, actual, sensible approach of Actual Freedom can only appeal to those who have tried all the other nonsensical but highly ‘self’-gratifying approaches to finding freedom, peace and happiness and found them badly wanting. Unless one has an utter discontent with both the real world and the spiritual world, proud and self-respecting seekers are not ready and willing to give up faith, trust and the hope of attaining ‘supreme intelligence’.
Richard: Actual benevolence is the ingenuous condition of a body innocent of any ‘being’. I wish well upon my fellow humans ... but I am not driven to bring The Truth to humankind with all its eventual appalling atrocities as has happened since time immemorial. Richard’s Journal, Article No 12
RESPONDENT: So actualism is not The Truth after all?
VINEETO: No, actualism is not ‘The Truth’. The Truth is an invention as part of the Human Condition. There are, in fact, many variations of ‘The Truth’ – the multitude of religious wars are ample and passionate expression of those variations ... actualism is a tried and tested way of being here in the world as it actually is ... stripped of the veneer of reality that is super-imposed by the psychological and psychic entity within the body. And actualism is not a vision or belief, it is simply an accurate description of the actual world of sensual delight. [...]
RESPONDENT: Likewise it could be said that it is you who wants it to be different. If you insist on being different you may end up creating another movement thus adding to the division in the world and hence intensifying atrocities already there.
VINEETO: ‘It being different’ and ‘me wanting it to be different’ are not the same thing. ‘It’ is different and that is a fact. Me objecting to that fact would simply be silly. To acknowledge the fact that compassion is a feeling of ‘me’ within the Human Condition and that benevolence is a quality experienced with ‘me’ absent is anathema to ‘me’. It is not something ‘I’ would want. Actualism is not a movement and never can be, only individual people can clean themselves up and discover the actual world for themselves. Everybody has to do it for him/herself. In actualism, power and compassion simply do not exist, and they are very ingredients needed for atrocities to happen. No passions, no wars.
VINEETO: Now we come to the last bit of the fascinating discussion. You know, I delight in the challenge your questions give me, to find the right description ... maybe you might understand what I talk about.
RESPONDENT: The last bit indeed. And I do understand... It was perfectly clear to me from the very beginning that my pertinent questions would only incite you to plug the many holes in the ‘Ark of Noah’ of actualism. As a matter of fact I may be mentioned in the history books to have been at the cradle of actualism as one of its founding fathers, especially if they are written by ‘jokers’ like No. 1, but what to do... As for your posts they are lengthy indeed, something one expects more from chapters in a book than from messages to a list. I will have to read them some other time if at all. But then others more in tune with actualism may read them, to their advantage or not, I leave this for them to decide. No doubt they will ask you many more questions, so you can look forward to some more ‘fascinating’ discussions.
VINEETO: Ah, so the name of the game is asking ‘pertinent questions’ to poke ‘holes in ... actualism’ – is this the pirating game that No 30 was talking about? It reminds me of the game we played as kids, we called it ‘sink the ship’ – blindly ‘shooting’ into the other’s territory of imaginary warships. The only thing I don’t understand is why you don’t even bother to check if you have sunk the ‘Arc of Noah’ – you don’t read the answers. So it’s blindly shooting and no communication – a strange pirating indeed. I had taken your questions for genuine interest and answered accordingly – explaining something radically new and different to both ‘normal’ and ‘spiritual’. Since actualism is not a vision or belief, philosophy or movement, but simply an accurate description of the actual world of sensual delight, it has no ‘holes’ – only delights that have not been described before.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.