Selected Correspondence Vineeto
VINEETO: I would like to comment on something you recently wrote to No 39 –
RESPONDENT No 39: I’m not an advocate of any spiritual teacher or practice! Since this is something unique here-to-fore unexperienced in the annals of humanity I have had some difficulties. When I first encountered the works of Rajneesh, either of the Krishnamurti’s etc. and so on I was initially very excited about the potentiality for myself. <snip>
RESPONDENT to No 39: I’m as sceptical as they come (except for a couple of embarrassing minor detours), and have to say that this bunch is about as ego-less as they come.
RESPONDENT to No 39: Consider...
Does this sound like a bunch of gurus? Not. There’s simply a wealth of information and a group of generous individuals. There seems to be some commonality between yours and mine (and many others) initial approach to this new subject, but hang with it a bit. The veils start to lift when the observed ‘I’ starts to quieten down.
VINEETO: Yes, you are right, there is a wealth of information – not theoretical knowledge but common sense and lived experience that anyone who wants to can take advantage of.
However, your last sentence caught my attention. Your expression of ‘the observed ‘I’ starts to quieten down’ reminds me of J. Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer becomes the observed’. The traditional Buddhist and Advaita teachings that so many of our generation follow, is to observe the ‘I’ and then disidentify from one’s feelings and thoughts in order to quieten and transcend the observed ‘I’ and strengthen and empower one’s higher self.
In actualism I do the opposite – I experience, label and then actively investigate each feeling as it occurs in order to find out where it comes from, how my moral and ethical beliefs conspire to feed my emotions until I am eventually able to experience the underlying bare instinctual passions. Every emotional upset is an excellent opportunity to gather information about my identity – and each part of the identity that is understood in its entirety will disappear without a trace. In this process it becomes apparent that a quietened ‘I’ cannot be investigated.
This difference between quieting down the ‘I’ and investigating each emotion and their respective beliefs is not a matter of semantics. It took me about a year of unrelenting examination to uncover layer upon layer of my spiritual beliefs such that I could clearly understand the difference between spiritualism and actualism. I found that even supposed ‘non-beliefs’ like agnosticism, indifference, detachment, acceptance, tolerance, dismissal or denial were manoeuvres within my belief system – they were strategies to prevent me from leaving my comfort zone and probing deeper into the core of my beliefs.
In short, I had to question everything that I did not know for a fact, i.e. that was obvious, tangible, a provable certainty. Actualism is a scientific moment-to-moment non-discriminatory investigation of one’s own psyche in action. It is not a matter of adopting a right-thinking, right-feeling, right-behaviour belief system such as Buddhism is.
VINEETO to Gary: Recently Peter and I were talking about this very quality of virtual freedom – after sufficient explorations into the human condition I am now able to ‘nip these reactions in the bud’ shortly after they appear and many events that usually would have triggered an angry or sad response in the past now fail to do so.
At my stage of the process the job now is to remember to stop the once essential but now redundant habit of rummaging around in my psyche in order to regurgitate issues that I have already explored, resolved and understood so as to get on with being happy and harmless as soon and as uninterruptedly as possible. Strangely enough that leaves ‘me’ increasingly with nothing to do, which in itself sometimes stirs the uncomfortable feeling of being redundant – a sure sign that my efforts of actively diminishing ‘me’ have had tangible effect. Vineeto, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Gary, 12.2.2003
RESPONDENT: This is akin to taking the training wheels off the bicycle.
VINEETO: I don’t quite relate to your metaphor. What I described was my acquired habit of searching for trouble-spots in my psyche that I could investigate when there is really nothing going on.
In the process of practicing actualism over the past years I have uncovered and explored many parts of my identity with the aim of eliminating my social identity and experientially understanding the instinctual passions as much as humanly possible. The part of my identity that for obvious reasons has remained as the tail end of my enterprise in ‘self’-immolation is ‘Vineeto the researcher’ or Vineeto the ‘‘self’-investigator’. Lately I began to realize with occasional trepidation that even this part of my identity will eventually have to come to an end if ‘I’, in my totality, am to come to an end – i.e. one day the search is definitely going to be over.
However, given that for actualism to work ‘I’, the identity, willingly and consciously agree to take myself apart, I would not advise anyone to attempt a shortcut and start to question the ‘‘self’-investigator’ at an earlier stage of the process. That would be mere self-deceit, akin to the Advaita slogan that ‘if only I stop my desire to be free then I am ok as I am’ and bingo, ‘Thou Art That’!
VINEETO to No 66: U.G. Krishnamurti’s statement that ‘any ‘freedom’ is an illusion’ is a statement based on his own illusionary freedom and merely goes to show that he has yet to find a non-illusionary actual freedom – a freedom from one’s social conditioning as well as one’s genetically-encoded instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT No 45: She does not discus the statement. The statement is ‘A priori’ wrong. It in not in the line of actual freedom. <…> At least U.G is authentic, speaks out of his experience and not out of believing, because if I had never taste sugar and I am saying that is a nice thing, means I believed somebody else.
VINEETO to No 45: Tell me, what is ‘‘a priori’ wrong’ about saying that U.G. Krishnamurti’s statement that ‘any ‘freedom’ is an illusion’ is a statement based on his own illusionary freedom? You yourself say U.G. Krishnamurti ‘speaks out of his experience’ and he himself called ‘any freedom ... an illusion’. I simply pointed out that contrary to U.G. Krishnamurti’s belief that ‘any ‘freedom’ is an illusion’ that a way has now been found to an actual freedom from the human condition, something that surpasses any illusionary freedom of any kind of altered states of consciousness for the simple reason that this freedom is actual.
What many people don’t seem to like about an actual freedom is that in order to get onto the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom one has to actively roll up one’s sleeves and irrevocably change oneself and for many that is too much of a shift from their present comfortable belief that ‘I only need to stop desiring freedom and then I will at least not have to be bothered doing anything at all about my unhappiness, let alone my acrimony’
RESPONDENT: Don’t you see how illusory your actual freedom is? How fabricated? Don’t get me wrong... I think you should give it your best if it makes you happy. But it’s still an illusion.
VINEETO: Ah, but from the point of view that you keep presenting to this list – you called it once ‘Advaita land’ – there is no such thing as an objective reality, objective reality is at best an assumption. According to this point of view everything – one’s own thoughts and feelings, including the world of things, events and people – are nothing but an illusion and the only thing that is not an illusion is one’s own capital-A Awareness. For you to state that actual freedom is illusory or that I am living in a bubble is merely a reinstatement of your belief that everything is Maya.
Given that you posted a definition of consciousness with a link to the ‘Course in Consciousness’, your definition of consciousness and ‘capital-C Consciousness’ apparently is in accord with that of Stanley Sobottka, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Virginia. Mr. Sobottka starts with the following hypothesis –
How a Professor Emeritus in physics who presumably has devoted his life to study the physical world can propose that this material physical world he touches, smells, sees, hears, tastes and lives in is only an assumption which ‘cannot be proved’ is beyond my comprehension. His hypothesis implies that, for instance, the very keyboard he writes his thesis on is an assumption that ‘cannot be proved’, that his senses perceiving his keyboard and the senses of his readers seeing the pixels of his thesis appear on their monitors are only perceiving ‘mental images’ – and yet apparently Professor Sobottka assumes without questioning that his readers, all of whom he perceives as being mere ‘mental images’, are in fact reading the words he has written on their assumed monitors that he typed out on his assumed keyboard. It does beg the question as to why he would bother to write to other human beings informing them that he cannot prove that they are anything other than mental images arising out of his own perception.
Given that Mr. Sobottka starts with these solipsistic assumptions that ‘all of our perceptions, without exception, are mental images’ it is no wonder that he then moves on to the ancient wisdom of Eastern sages and mystics such as Nisargadatta Maharaj whose definition for consciousness he adopts –
Apparently Mr. Sobottka has no qualms in taking Nisargadatta Maharaj’s word for it that a ‘changeless state of pure awareness’ does in fact exist – presumably this is an assumption that can be proved – and from this assumption it is only a hop and a jump to the following conclusions –
And from these conclusions that ‘Awareness … is the fundamental Reality’ he reaches the following solution … and it comes to no surprise that this solution is the ancient-old recipe of disidentification and dissociation –
Or to say it in Mr. Sobottka’s spiritual teacher’s own words –
‘That to which it owes its own existence’ is another way of saying that I as Awareness am the creator of the ‘external’ world of people, things and events – Awareness is all there is and the objective, i.e. physical, world is but an illusion, at best an assumption that ‘cannot be proved’.
This is what ‘capital-C Consciousness’ is according to the Advaita teachings.
Given that you said that –
– I would appreciate if you could explain to me how you come to believe that this ‘capital-C Consciousness’ is ‘in fact the same thing’ as an actual freedom from the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire or is ‘in fact the same thing’ as the ongoing direct, as in non-affective and non-imaginary, experience of the actuality of the physical material world when the identity in toto, ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul, has ceased to exist.
VINEETO: The final realisation that finished my problems with authority forever is recorded in Peter’s Journal –
RESPONDENT: Mine was dissolved over longer periods of time, intellectually at first, on an emotional/reflex level more slowly. Churches know how to condition their followers.
VINEETO: When the belief in the God of the Churches is dissolved, then one can begin to question the God by any other name, such as the autotheism of the Enlightened beings, the pantheism of Advaita and Jiddu Krishnamurti, the geotheism of modern environmentalism, the belief in an amorphous existence of an eternal all-pervading divinity, the belief in the wheel of Karma, the belief n Nirvana, Samadhi, Mahaparinirvana, etc., etc.
Most Westerners believe that by abandoning Christianity and taking on Eastern spirituality they have eliminated their belief in God whereas they have but moved from the frying pan into the fire, from a clear-cut belief into beliefs and teachings that are so amorphous and chameleon-like that any Tom, Dick or Martha can hang up a shingle and gather a crowd. Abandoning Christianity is merely scratching the surface of the over-arching human belief that Someone or Something has created and/or is running this physical universe.
God not only exists in people’s passionate imagination because of the conditioning of the priests – the belief in some kind of a protective and guiding higher power arises from a deep instinctual need in every human being for a Big Daddy or a Big Mummy to look after them. Some choose to be aloofly agnostic about the existence of god, but in order to root out from one’s guts this ultimate need to rely upon, or rebel against, a higher authority one also has to eradicate the archaic passionate belief that there is a soul, or non-physical life force, within each and every human body – a soul or spirit that desperately craves union and unity, meaning and purpose in a mythical spirit-ual world populated by spirits and Higher Beings. This might give you a hint as to what a down-to-earth non-spiritual freedom implies.
VINEETO: You commented on something I wrote to No 60 –
Over the years there have been many correspondents to this mailing list who consider their particular spiritual teaching as non-spiritual, thus making a nonsense of the meaning of the word non-spiritual. Only lately one correspondent announced that he practiced Byron Katie’s methods and believed in the Advaita Vedanta teachings and yet had no reservations about labelling himself as being non-spiritual. Yet another correspondent is convinced that UG Krishnamurti is non-spiritual despite the fact that he is living in a state of undivided consciousness.
RESPONDENT: Yo, you lying bitch.... where did I ever say that UGK is non-spiritual? Go ahead and dig through your archives. If you find something, I will take back that ‘you lying bitch’ comment... maybe. Perhaps you are assuming because I ask what makes you say he is spiritual?, this is the same as saying he is non-spiritual. How convenient, how very convenient. Have any of you bone-headed spiritual accusation hurlers defined undivided consciousness yet or asked UG what he means by it? You continually put words in his mouth like you know what he’s talking about.
VINEETO: Ah yes, I forgot, you play the game that you learnt from U.G. Krishnamurti, which is not to label things or people. Obviously your practice of ‘not labelling’, first made popular in the West by the spiritual teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, doesn’t apply when you go about pasting explicit labels on me.
VINEETO: My so-called assumption today is that you have yet to understand the difference between spiritualism and actualism and between the spiritual world and the actual world. Without understanding and acknowledging the difference between the two, you cannot genuinely begin to practice actualism. Actualism by its very nature has nothing at all to do with spiritual practices aimed at discovering the ‘fountain of Truth’.
RESPONDENT: Your assumption is based on your interpretation of what was said in the past. Here and now I thoroughly understand the difference between the spiritual and the actual and I am definitely not spiritual.
You sound no different than a street corner preacher to me. You keep trying to shove your religion down my throat even though I have clearly stated that I don’t want it. I don’t have to use the actualism method to investigate myself.
VINEETO: Whatever method you have used so far to investigate has not helped you to recognize what is meant by the word non-spiritual, otherwise you would recognize the silliness of your religious concepts about actualism. In Actual Freedom you won’t find God or Love or a Higher Self or life after death or any kind of spiritual non-physical energy or any Supreme Intelligence. This absence is not a clever linguistic ploy but a direct result of the fact that in the actual world there is no God nor Love nor a Higher Self nor life after death nor any kind of spiritual non-physical energy nor any Supreme Intelligence. That you ignore all this factual evidence and still keep persisting in you own religious concepts of actualism may well be because you want your teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti to appear non-spiritual despite the fact that his teachings are littered with spiritual-religious words. Here are only two examples of J. Krishnamurti’s spiritual teachings –
I make this assumption on the basis of experience with many people who I have talked about abandoning the spiritual path and so many of them have immediately said they are non-spiritual as well and then talked about Rajneesh, Krishnamurti, Buddhism, and the like as saying exactly what I am saying. I can only assume that too many years on the spiritual path means that words get to have no meaning whatsoever.
Spiritual methods are based on the idea that one only needs to change one’s concept of oneself and then Everything, or better, God, the Truth, the Good and the Beauty will be revealed. The Advaita method of ‘You are already That’ and you only need to remember this often enough makes the spiritual concept of no change most obvious.
When one applies the actualism method one does not merely change one’s concepts but investigates every inkling of spiritual-religious belief, concept, idea and all its related feelings. In actualism one dedicates oneself to bring about actual and irrevocable change in one’s software programming, both the social-spiritual conditioning and the instinctual survival program. Only continuous practical commitment and stubborn effort will bring about an actual change and free one’s senses from the social shackles we grow up with and the instinctual passions we are born with, and that is one of the main reasons why actualism is so unpopular.
VINEETO: During my process of actualism there was a time when I watched the biography of many people who made it to being famous enough to have a biography report made about them. I wanted to find out what exactly it is that made people successful in what they wanted to achieve in life, be it a gold medal in an Olympic sport or the winner of the Tour de France, be it a successful business entrepreneur or a famous dancer or painter, be it a well-known architect or a renowned author or inventor or, in the spiritual realm of achievements, become an enlightened master. What all these people had in common was a burning passion to be successful at their chosen field of interest and an unwavering determination to do whatever it takes to reach their goal.
RESPONDENT No 23: This shows that likely you have not (yet) understood what a spiritual master is.
VINEETO: I take it then that you have not read Mohan Rajneesh’s autobiography ‘The Golden Childhood’ or any other autobiography or biography from a genuine enlightened person? They all describe, without exception, that they were pursuing enlightenment like all get-out for many years with a strict discipline of meditation, fasting, yoga and other spiritual disciplines and then, when after years of arduous practice they exhaustedly relaxed and gave up control enlightenment happened. Face it, there is no such thing as a free lunch – not even enlightenment happens on its own accord – you’d have to work really, really hard if you wanted to achieve it.
RESPONDENT: Here are 3 cases for consideration that seem to me like ‘genuine enlightenment’ without the typical meditation and preparation that goes along with seeking it.
Suzanne Segal – http://www.angelfire.com/realm/bodhisattva/segal.html
John Wren-Lewis – http://www.spiritualteachers.org/john_wren_lewis.htm
Meher Baba – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meher_Baba
VINEETO: Let me start by saying that I fully agree with Richard that it would have been more accurate to use the word ‘and/or’ rather than ‘and’ in the second paragraph above – ‘with a strict discipline of meditation, fasting, yoga *and/or* other spiritual disciplines’. Apart from that I am actually fascinated if there is indeed an exception to my generalization that one has to put effort into becoming enlightened even though many report *after* their enlightenment that it was dead easy and one shouldn’t try so hard. (...)
VINEETO: As for John Wren-Lewis – he was not a complete novice to religion and spirituality before his near death experience incident. He had developed strong interest in problems of relationship between science and religion, leading to frequent broadcasts and to over 300 articles in leading periodicals, as well as contributions to numerous books and he also developed a strong interest in psychology and religion, leading to publication of the now famous essay in Psychoanalysis Observed and to appointment as Advisor to the Association of Psychotherapists in the United Kingdom. In 1971 left industry to become Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at the University of California and thereafter at New College, Sarasota, Florida. His book, ‘What Shall We Tell the Children?’ is widely used as study of the basis of religious education in a scientifically oriented culture (excerpted from http://www.geocities.com/eckcult/lane_live/lotus_feet.html). Additionally he is married to, and very likely influenced by, Ann Faraday who is a self-realized person in her own right.
Nevertheless, his near death experience after eating a poisoned lolly on a bus in Thailand did not make him enlightened as for instance Dan Sutera tries to make him out to be (http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/arConversation.htm). John Wren-Lewis himself describes the experience of ‘the Void’ as fluctuating in a Spiritual Magazine published in 1991 –
His NDE was rather the cataclysmic event that sparked an intense interest in enlightenment just as similar near death experiences have either initiated or intensified the search for enlightenment for other people. Ramana Maharshi and Mohan Rajneesh are examples that spring to mind.
RESPONDENT: What I do know of John Wren-Lewis is although he had an interest in science and religion, etc – he has often characterized his ‘enlightenment’ as being quite opposite in nature to his former dismissals of such. For example, from http://www.geocities.com/jiji_muge/dazzdark.html –
VINEETO: Yes, I came across this quote in my research on him. It goes to show that being skeptical is not the same thing as having investigated and abandoned one’s beliefs, doesn’t it?
RESPONDENT: If one admits that the experience of John Wren-Lewis was a ‘genuine enlightenment’, …
VINEETO: Why would you say ‘if one admits…’ when John Wren-Lewis himself admits that he still slips ‘back into that old clouded state frequently’? Do you have a different definition of enlightenment than that of a *permanent* altered state of consciousness, a *permanent* transcendence of the ego?
RESPONDENT: … then it does certainly seem to be an exception. Of course, the wavering quality, its here now, gone now quality might lead some to disqualify it as genuine.
VINEETO: I would certainly disqualify his experience as genuine enlightenment, but I have come across a lot of people, particularly of the Advaita/Non-Dualistic persuasion who have a vested interest in watering down genuine enlightenment into varying states of ‘self’-realization whereas all genuinely enlightened beings point to a single edifying moment of awakening (with a variety of descriptions) (for 3 examples see ).
VINEETO to Alan: How a PCE occurs? Peter called it a ‘glitch’ in the program, the ‘self’ goes in abeyance for a certain period of time. That would explain that many PCEs happen after near-death experiences, after a shock, during an intense period in life or as a result of a drug experience. After my first PCE I knew what to look for, I intentionally searched for the alternative to my normal programming and thus created new ways to think in the brain, functioning better each time. But I think that originally a PCE happens when the normal functioning of the program in the brain comes to its limits and ‘crashes’ – and then the actuality of the world without the program of the self becomes apparent. But there is always the possibility that a certain chemical in the brain is triggering this ‘crashing’ on normal thinking and maybe scientist will one day be able to produce it for everybody who wants it...
My first major peak experience happened after 3 months of emotional turmoil while I was trying to figure out how I could live with Peter and his new ‘philosophy’ and at the same time not give up my spiritual beliefs and friends of the spiritual community. It became more and more obvious that this was impossible. Within my ‘normal’ way of thinking, feeling and believing there was no solution, and the need for a solution became increasingly vital for my mental sanity. Further, my intent to not settle for second best made any compromise within myself impossible. Then, with the help of a mild joint and some wine, my whole belief system crashed – I popped through the fog of beliefs and saw the actual world for the first time in its – then shocking – purity.
Last night we were invited for a dinner party and one of the men described a peak experience he had when he was 19 years old. He had been diving off the West Australian coast when he got caught in the high surf while looking for an interesting ship wreck and, being completely exhausted after one hour in the cold water, did not know how to cover the long distance through the wild surf to the beach. He decided to take the risk to be smashed unto the rocks which were closer by – and just survived. His brother helped him out of the water unto the cliffs. Coming out, he experienced the world as pristine, perfect, without emotions, without a personal self and was simply astounded to be still alive. This remarkable PCE, which lasted for several hours, unfortunately later got diverted into the spiritual search and ‘translated’ into the ‘non-dualistic reality’ of Advaita Vedanta, where you are supposedly already ‘here’ and only need to stop believing in your ‘imaginary’ ‘self’. There is more in a Library about this spiritual version of complete insanity, 180 degrees in the wrong direction – if you are interested.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for the url’s and I agree with you about experimental exploration and I take you to be generalising in referring to the armchair philosophy. Yet I don’t agree with you about ‘If you am not feeling good then you have something to look at to find out why and get back to feeling good as soon as possible.’ I would ask ‘How am I experiencing this ‘not feeling good’ feeling in this moment of being alive’, and slip deeper into the delight of this not feeling good.
VINEETO: You already said that you find nothing wrong with malice and sorrow and that ‘‘prefer to experience the human condition fully rather than perpetuating or eliminating it’.’ ‘T’is no wonder then that you ‘don’t get a sense of what is left after all is gone’ – you are not at all interested in what is left after the ‘self’ is gone but prefer to ‘slip deeper into the delight of this not feeling good’.
RESPONDENT: Why should ‘not feeling good’ be any different to ‘feeling good’. It’s only the human program telling the difference or preference and this is carried into actualism under the guise of ‘getting free’.
VINEETO: Your suggestion to re-define one’s preference to include malice and sorrow is generally publicized as Advaita.
RESPONDENT: I also disagree when Richard says in his url ‘For starters: one needs to fully acknowledge the biological imperative (the instinctual passions) which are the root cause of all the ills of humankind.’ To me, it’s the misinterpretation this ‘biological imperative’ that is the cause and is perpetuated here. It supports your paradigm, yet very dissociative.
VINEETO: Here you are merely reiterating the tried and failed spiritual teachings that there is nothing wrong with the instinctual passions and that ‘wrong thought’ and ‘wrong conditioning’ are the culprits. However, what you call ‘very dissociative’ is actualists calling a spade a spade and stating the obvious and observable fact that instinctual passions are the root cause of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: This is where I leave actualism to its own business and move on.
VINEETO: Move on as in turning another 180 degrees to arrive back at 360/0 degree as you suggested at the bottom of your post?
RESPONDENT: Yet, it’s the snippets of true actuality that draws me back and we come together to experience the ‘actual’ and differences don’t exist.
VINEETO: Would you care to expand on the ‘snippets of true actuality’ that you agree on with actualists?
RESPONDENT: Where does it say that the universe is peaceful and perfect?
VINEETO: When there is no identity to experience the universe as malicious and sorrowful then this body can sensately experience the inherent quality of the universe, which is perfection (peerlessness), benevolence (no malice) and purity (no identity/ spirituality).
RESPONDENT: Where do you get that from, Vineeto?
VINEETO: From the ‘self’-less experience of a pure consciousness experience, of course.
RESPONDENT: What makes these preferred qualities more ‘inherent’ to malice and sorrow?
VINEETO: Malice and sorrow are the results of the animal instinctual passions – only feeling beings have malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: I see that that belief is the problem to be experienced and not to be got rid of.
VINEETO: Yet it is not a belief as there are no beliefs in a pure consciousness experience.
RESPONDENT: This belief of yours is no different to any religion or spiritual creed that you claim to be opposed to.
VINEETO: To put your own affective spin on my report and then argue against it is known as a straw-man argument.
RESPONDENT: That opposition in itself creates an illusion of separation and opposition, and still follows similar lines. You make something wrong, try to eliminate it and live happy and harmless ever after. Maybe the Germans thought the same about the Jews. ‘If we eliminate them all, then we will be happy.’ Is there a difference?
VINEETO: You are not the first, and will certainly not be last, to liken the elimination of one’s own malice and sorrow to fascism and the holocaust. It is usually one of the last resorts before the conversation becomes completely silly and disintegrates into name-calling and schoolyard-taunts. So much for ‘… I was exploring on my own, a third alternative and was thrilled to see others doing the same’ (First step, 22.4.2006), hey? (...)
VINEETO: A genuine and persistent exploration of what is on offer on the actual freedom website will easily reveal that the ‘third alternative’ you were exploring on your own is not the third alternative of an actual freedom from the human condition – the extinction of both ego and soul.
RESPONDENT: I agree it’s not. I’ve moved on to the fourth alternative via a 360, a further 180 to you. Maybe I’ll call it ‘Actual Freedom without extinction’.
VINEETO: Without extinction of ‘me’ it is not an actual freedom from the human condition – you might as well call what you are doing by what it is known in spiritual circles – ‘Advaita Vedanta’ or ‘Acceptance of What Is’, which is not the fourth but the first alternative to real-world cynicism. Proper labelling of what you do will help you in finding like-minded people.
RESPONDENT: The Actual Freedom Trust site has a lot of explanations about how the Actual Freedom path is 180 degrees opposite to the spiritual path. It often focuses on, and emphasizes the Love Agape and Devine Compassion aspect of the spiritual path. There are, although, seekers, which are into what I’ll call here the ‘final Advaita’, (there’s the Advaita which is Osho, Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, and there’s the Advaita which even not talks about Love Agape) their path is transcending love and compassion and bliss finally reaching Nirvana, which is beyond all that.
UGK talks a lot about that, that love is the final triumph card, and emphasizes its silliness, claiming it’s only something that people hold to when all is lost. There are also others who emphasize the ‘awareness’ as the final thing, or ‘no-self’. Here, for example, is the Wikipedia definition of Nirvana:
The ‘final Advaita’ people (UGK, Jed Mckenna if anyone have heard of him, very popular now between the spiritual seekers (http://www.wisefoolpress.com/articles.htm) they kinda ridicule the message of Love and Compassion, seeing that ‘place’ as possible to indulge into, but as something that needed to be transcended if you wanna be the final/real thing (jnanna, or ‘seer’ (UGK) or spiritually realized)
It’s important to add that for spiritual seekers, those who are into the ‘final Advaita’, the ‘final Advaita’ seems like kind of 180 degrees opposite of the old-feel-good abide-into-love/being message (Osho, and all the folks who talk of love, ecstasy and bliss), especially the new age spirituality which talks of transcending the bad feelings. They (Jed Mckenna for instance) speak of and emphasize the importance of the ‘zen sword’ that will cut off all the emotional attachments to all beliefs and things hold dearly to the heart, which is finally the fear of death or no-self, a process which is painful (dark night of the soul).
So those seekers who are into ‘final Advaita’ will have a harder time of distinguishing between the not-deeply-checked-by-them Actual Freedom Trust message, and the ‘final Advaita’ message and put if off quickly, especially those who are deep into ideas and can misinterpreted the self-immolation message of Actual Freedom and the self-extinction message of the ‘final Advaita’.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I read. And I read your material about ASC. Found it helpful. Great to be here.
VINEETO: Helpful for understanding the difference between an ASC and a pure consciousness experience?
RESPONDENT: I think that for some people, specially those who are into the ‘final advaita’, it will be difficult to see whether there’s a difference between AF and what they’re into just by reading the front information that is on the AF site and the main sections.
VINEETO: Never mind other people, what about yourself?
Just so there is no misunderstanding –
Other people will do with actualism whatever they please and whatever suits their present agenda and unless someone has a burning discontent with the life they are leading (and that includes the practice of any kind of spiritual teaching) they won’t be interested in learning anything about an actual freedom from the human condition.
VINEETO: For instance, none of the Enlightened Ones has ever been reported as living with a woman in peace and harmony, equity and parity – it is not even on their agenda. The girlfriend of Mohan Rajneesh was so depressed in the end that she committed suicide whereas he is known to have indulged in blow jobs from a number of female disciples, Franklin Jones aka Da Free John is notoriously famous for his sexual orgies that included under-aged young girls, Jiddu Krishnamurti is reported to have had a longstanding secret affair with his best friend’s wife, a globe trotting guru from the town where I live has just separated from his wife and two children because of too many domestics, married man John deRuiter is said to have invited two additional wives into his home because the Truth told him so ... The list of dysfunctional human relations in the master-disciple-world goes on and on, if one is at all ready to see with both eyes open what a rotten and corrupt profession the guru business really is.
To be able to say this with unwavering conviction one needs to have put one’s heart and soul with 100% commitment into a live, hands-on investigation of the spiritual principles, methods and directives – otherwise one only ends up questioning and doubting one’s effort instead of the teachings and the teacher.
With Richard’s encouragement to go all the way in questioning the Tried and obviously Failed, I not only questioned my own teacher Rajneesh but all the antiquated wisdom from which Rajneesh drew his religious eloquence. Upon extensive investigation I found there to be hardly any difference in principle between Advaita and Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, Sufism and Christianity – in the end it is always God, by whatever name, that one tries to please and that one relies on. Take the Metaphysical Caretaker out of the equation and every spiritual belief pops like a balloon – hot air and nothing to hold it together.
RESPONDENT: Like people judging the whole Christian civilization only from the Inquisition, the Opus Dei and the Borgia popes. I mention Ramana, Nisargadatta and Aurobindo and you reply with the ‘enlightened Ones Rajneesh, Da Free John and John deRuiter’. Please be honest enough to consider they don’t play in the same category. Please be honest to acknowledge you use caricatures.
VINEETO: Why do you think that Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Aurobindo Ghoose don’t play in the same category as Mohan Rajneesh, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Franklin Jones and John deRuiter’? Are they not all declaring themselves to be enlightened and are they not all offering their teaching as the solution to a suffering mankind? Do you think there is ‘good’ Enlightenment and ‘bad’ Enlightenment? Usually people have one or several pet gurus and a particular pet teaching, which is, of course, ‘better than everybody else’s belief’ in the typical competitive style common to all beliefs.
However, in order to investigate what those teachings have practically contributed to peace on earth, one needs to step back and look at the whole guru business per se. Upon honest inquiry you will find that no spiritual master has ever lived in peace, harmony, equity and parity with a woman and no Goddess has ever lived in peace, harmony, equity and parity with a man because of the holier-than-thou nature of Enlightenment itself. The companion of a master, if He or She chooses to have one, will always be a devoted disciple and willing servant, humbling and belittling themselves to earn shares in good karma by serving and pleasing God’s latest representative or God’s latest incarnation.
I am not using particular ‘caricatures’ but well-known teachers – or do you consider Jiddu Krishnamurti being a caricature as opposed to ‘Beedi Baba’ as Nisagadatta used to be called? It seems to me that you are stretching your case a bit thin here. However, if you investigate the Holy Men’s and Women’s lives you will become shockingly aware that living in peace and harmony with a partner is not even on their spiritual agenda – it is not part of God’s message, it is part of the ‘Maya’ that has to be transcended. The very principle of Eastern spiritual teaching is rotten to the core – every enlightened teacher is a caricature of a mythical non-existent God as in ‘an exaggerated or debased imitation or version (of), naturally or unintentionally ludicrous’ Oxford Dictionary. To say that some are better than others is to defend the indefensible.
Of course, at first, it is an enormous blow to one’s pride to have bet on the wrong horse, but then again, to be spiritual has been the only alternative so far to being normal. Now that there is a third alternative available, anyone who is willing can put God and his/her mind-numbing devotion for God’s Go-Betweens into the dustbin where they belong and get on with the business of becoming free from malice and sorrow.
It is so good to be free from spiritual belief. Not just Rajneeshism, but free from all spiritual belief – all belief in any God by whatever name, in life after death, in good and evil spirits or in the supposedly theomorphic nature of our planet. This freedom from all spiritual belief gives one dignity for the first time in one’s life. (...)
RESPONDENT: I don’t write that to defend religions or the spiritual world, in fact I am closer to you than you think ...
VINEETO: Indeed, you are not defending religions or the spiritual world – you are presenting the spiritual viewpoint as being the inviolate Truth – the truth that does not need defending as it is unquestionably right.
If, however, your words ‘closer to you than you think’ indicate that you already have some doubts about the effectivity of the spiritual-world beliefs and methods to bring about peace-on-earth, then ... then hey, fill your tank and get ready for a thrilling journey into your own psyche.
RESPONDENT: In a self-conscious state there is no time, we become aware that the constant stream of change happens here and now in the present moment. According to the General Theory of Relativity, change happens in 4-dimensional space-time, where time represents the fourth dimension. When the roundness of space-time is increased, the speed of change gets slower and stops at the centre of black holes. Einstein’s understanding of time indicates that with clocks we do not measure time, we only measure duration, speed and the numerical order of irreversible changes of reality that happen here and now in gravitational field. Experiencing change indirectly through the mind creates time. Mind experiences change 1 as past, change 2 as present and change 3 as future. Having direct experience we become aware that all change happens in the present moment, here and now. The whole past has happened in this present moment and so will the whole future.
By watching the mind we become aware that scientific experience is also indirect. Our experience is through the rational part of our mind, which has a limited understanding of the universe. A significant example can be seen in our understanding of universal space. In the beginning, universal space was considered to be infinite, Euclid space. After the discovery of Riemman spherical geometry, universal space was also considered to be finite.
Therefore, the question arises: Is universal space finite or infinite? By becoming aware that our understanding of universal space depends on which geometry we use to describe it, we can also suppose that universal space is neither finite nor infinite, but something else. Three-dimensional logic allows us this speculation.
By presenting universal space as infinite Euclid space, it’s possible that the distance between two material objects in the universe is infinite. The term ‘infinite distance’ only functions in mathematics, in cosmology we do not know exactly what it means, because an infinite distance plus 100 miles is still an infinite distance. In the universe, we can only observe finite distances, so we can conclude that the universe is finite. To say that it is infinite makes no sense.
Do you the above logical?
VINEETO: I notice that you have directly quoted from an article entitled ‘Direct Experience of the Universe’, originally published as ‘Science of Consciousness for Planetary Civilisation’, by Dr. Amrit Sorli of Osho Miasto, Italy, (http://unesco-cairo.org/_disc1/00000006.htm). Dr. Sorli is, by his address, apparently a follower of the dead Indian guru Mr. Rajneesh, and has also published other articles such as ‘Non-dualistic Psychology’, ‘Watching the Mind as an Individual Research Method’, ‘Inner Science’, ‘Dark Energy Associated with Life?’ and ‘Watching the Mind as an Individual Healing Method’, all of which give an insight into his spiritual approach to science. (http://www.musarium.com/commentpages/cmts_matteroflife.html).
One of his articles entitled ‘Prana Has a Measurable Weight’, published on a website called ‘Living on Light’, particularly caught my attention. In this article Dr. Sorli reports that he measured 70grams of Californian worms both when live and 15 minutes after their death and reported an overall weight loss of 93.6 micrograms postulating that this was evidence of Prana energy leaving the living organisms upon death. He has presented his findings to James Randi claiming the one million dollar prize offered to those who can provide scientific proof of the existence of supernatural forces or paranormal events.
James Randi commented that ‘essentially, this is the same claim that has been made many times in the past by spiritualists who have attempted to weigh souls. It appears that to determine the average weight of a worm’s soul, Dr. Sorli only needs to divide 90 micrograms by the number of worms he murdered…’ James Randi goes on to explain why several of Dr. Sorli’s ‘scientific’ conclusions are in fact very unscientific. (http://www.randi.org/jr/011802.html, second half down the page).
Now that Dr. Sorli’s credentials and inclinations are established I will take a look at what he has to say about the nature of physical universe.
RESPONDENT: [Dr. Sorli]: ‘In a self-conscious state there is no time’ <snip> ‘Having direct experience we become aware that all change happens in the present moment, here and now. The whole past has happened in this present moment and so will the whole future.’
VINEETO: Dr. Sorli seems to suggest that time is completely dependent upon human consciousness, and that time can be altered by human consciousness. However it is a sensately observable fact that time passes – be it measured by the progress of sun’s passage across the sky, the daily cycle of night and day, sunrise and sunset, the monthly cycle of the moon’s orbit of the earth and the growth and decline life-cycle of individual human beings. This inexorable passing of time happens regardless of whether a human being is conscious and awake or is unconscious and asleep – or whether he or she has gone ‘somewhere else’ (as in meditating) or if she or he is sensately aware of actually being here in this the only moment of time that can be sensually experienced.
I find it quite amazing that Dr. Sorli proposes that time is a creation of human consciousness – [Dr. Sorli]: ‘experiencing change indirectly through the mind creates time’ and that [Dr. Sorli]: ‘Mind experiences change 1 as past, change 2 as present and change 3 as future. Having direct experience we become aware that all change happens in the present moment, here and now. The whole past has happened in this present moment and so will the whole future.’ [endquote].
Is this your experience? Does your mind experience past changes or does your mind hold a memory of a change that happened in the past? Does your mind experience a future change or do you anticipate, or imagine, a change that may, or may not, happen in the future. Is it your own experience that the whole past has happened in this present moment and that the whole future will happen in this present moment or, as you sit and watch the hands of the clock moving, do you notice that the time when you got out of bed this morning is not happening now and the time when you will go to bed tonight is not happening now?
RESPONDENT: [Dr. Sorli]: ‘By watching the mind we become aware that scientific experience is also indirect. Our experience is through the rational part of our mind, which has a limited understanding of the universe. ’
VINEETO: Maybe this is a good opportunity to introduce the definition of awareness from The Actual Freedom Trust Library –
The way Dr. Sorli looks at the world is with spiritual awareness, typified by his statement ‘our experience is through the rational part of our mind, which has a limited understanding of the universe.’ If one so readily dismisses rationality, one also forfeits any chance of common sense operating, which then leaves the mind completely free to imagine all sorts of scenarios and invent all sorts of theories. For someone who has cultivated a spiritual awareness, an entity who is completely separate from both the flesh-and-blood-body and the outside world, is thus given licence to dwell in an inner imaginary, eternal, spirit-ual world and by doing so is given licence to imagine a host of nonsensical scenarios and theories about the nature of the physical universe.
RESPONDENT: [Dr. Sorli]: ‘By presenting universal space as infinite Euclid space, it’s possible that the distance between two material objects in the universe is infinite.’
VINEETO: How can ‘the distance between two material objects in the universe’ be infinite when, in the infinite space of the universe, there will always be objects that are further apart than those two objects. You ask if I find this to be logical and yet the author makes it clear that he believes that scientific experience is indirect, and that his understanding of the universe is limited by the rational part of his mind.
RESPONDENT: [Dr. Sorli]: ‘The term ‘infinite distance’ only functions in mathematics, in cosmology we do not know exactly what it means, because an infinite distance plus 100 miles is still an infinite distance. In the universe, we can only observe finite distances, so we can conclude that the universe is finite. To say that it is infinite makes no sense.’
VINEETO: Dr. Sorli simply states that because infinity does not fit in the finite mathematical equations that cosmologists use to justify their theories the universe must be finite and because human beings have no tools to measure infinity the universe must therefore be finite.
It is apparent that whilst the author declares that ‘our experience is through the rational part of our mind, which has a limited understanding of the universe’ he himself insists upon limiting the size of the universe to a finite dimension in order that the universe accords with the demands of mathematical computations, the whims of cosmology and the limitations of the current measuring instruments. Does this not strike you as a limited awareness of the physical universe, based on a completely anthropocentric view of the universe – in other words, an utterly ‘self’-centred view of the universe?
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.