Selected Correspondence Vineeto
Authority and Expertise
RESPONDENT: I’ve just been reading your writings about ‘How to investigate your feelings’ and am currently looking at the teacher, follower, seeker, devotee, authority identities that seem to be the underpinning of all special relationships – I don’t know whether you wrote down you’re questions and inquiry as you looked at your feelings of love and loyalty for your former teacher and all the feelings of abandonment and loss that went with it – I’d really like to read over them or perhaps talk to you a bit about this whole deconstruction process – I really need to see/understand this whole structure of identity plainly and clearly in order to see I can let it go – I used your questions today to have a look at a specific grievance
VINEETO: Personally, it took two months and a lot of discussions with Peter until I began to grasp, and then understand experientially, what the term ‘spiritual’ really means. In my years of spiritual search, the term ‘spiritual’ implied a superior way of life to crass materialism, following the highest aspirations of mankind, a dedication to be good and to be part of the group of people who also aspire to the same goal. The day I finally understood the literal meaning of the word ‘spirit-ual’, a whole new world opened up. Suddenly I understood that I – like everyone else – was producing this spiritual, non-physical world in my head and heart – with my very spirit, so to speak – and this world consisted of spiritual morals, ethics, ideas, beliefs, emotions, loyalties, pride and the belief in the immortality of the soul.
I also began to understand that spirituality teaches one to enhance the ‘good’ affective feelings and distance oneself from /dissociate from the ‘bad’ and unpleasant feelings. One is actively encouraged to indulge one’s intuition, trust, love, loyalty, belief, faith, hope and imagination and is encouraged to ‘feel out’ a situation. This is diametrically opposite to what one needs to do if one aspires to become actually free of the human condition whereby one explores the actuality of the situation by applying thought, common sense, contemplation, practicality, intelligence and undertakes an investigation into verifiable facts of the situation.
Actualism is not really a ‘deconstruction process’ as you call it because when one begins to inquiry into one’s beliefs and discovers that they are based on hearsay, belief, trust and faith and not on facts, they disappear of their own accord, in a similar way as you stopped believing in the existence of a tooth fairy and Santa Claus once you found out the facts of the matter. ‘Deconstruction’ per se could well lead to feelings of utter meaninglessness which in turn can lead to the despairing feelings of nihilism or the angry feelings of anarchy – all of which is in marked contrast to the groundswell of happiness and harmlessness that is revealed if one taps into one’s innate naiveté and dares to run with it as it were.
To get back to your question, in my own process of disentangling myself from being a disciple I discovered two components to religious belief – one was the lure of ‘immortality, Truth, Timelessness’, and my aspiration to achieve an imaginary perfection in enlightenment, and the other was love and loyalty, my affective belief in the master’s ultimate authority and in my inferiority and thus dependency on his wisdom and compassion.
For me, questioning authority itself and tracing it back to my belief in God, by whatever name, was the first step out of the spiritual world, and questioning the authority of the master (either as a God-like figure or a father-like figure or as a bit of both) was the second step. When my belief in and my need for authority disappeared, my feelings of love and loyalty for the master successively disappeared as well. I was then able to watch videotapes of Rajneesh’s discourses without the blinding/ distorting veil of love and trust, and I squirmed in disbelief at the lies, inanities, half-truths, power games and outright ancient mumble jumble that was suddenly revealed. In my spiritual years I had used the discourses as a hypnotic device to be lulled into ‘silencing the mind’, feeling good and feeling love for all – however, this time, without the affective cloak the ‘great words of Wisdom’ looked shockingly inane.
Of course, for some time I tried to find excuses for Rajneesh as well as the other god-men, but eventually that turned out to be an impossible task the more I allowed myself to admit to having been conned through and through by one who was a master of his trade. God-men are nothing but con men, sucking and luring admiring disciples into their scheme of self-aggrandizement, and most of the time they seem to be convinced of their own delusion. But they are bound to have times of doubt or even clarity, when the delusion is less thick – that’s why Richard says the enlightened ones have ‘feet of clay’. Nobody except Richard, particularly no enlightened master, has ever dared to ask the obvious question – why, with all this all-encompassing Love and Compassion is there no improvement upon peace on earth after 3,500 years of enlightened history? They claim to have all the knowledge and yet they are leading everyone into the land of fantasy and fervent imagination.
However, when I first started to investigate the issue of my spiritual loyalty, my thoughts tended to shift from this uncomfortable subject as a way of avoiding the issue, I invented diversions and furphies not to stick to the issue at hand, I experienced hot and cold flushes, I caught myself wanting to start a fight, I suddenly became tired if confronted with the issue, etc. … you might get the picture. The whole cunning ‘me’ swung into action so as to desperately defend ‘my’ precious beliefs and feelings in exactly the same way an addict feels that he is fighting for survival when his drugs are withdrawn.
Only sincere intent and stubborn determination to get to the bottom of this addiction-like dependency on being a believing, belonging and feeling ‘being’ allows one to continue whittling away at whatever stands in the way of becoming unconditionally happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: I’ve been holding for which was acutely triggered 5 years ago and really it had been triggered by the same one 6 years before that – there seems to be every human issue that could arise bound up with this one and I’m a bit at a loss how to really delve into it and get my teeth into it and get some real deconstruction happening rather than just floating around on the surface – Please let me know if I could speak to you sometime or have a look at how you got into and approached these relationships.
VINEETO: As an actualist I discovered that in order to get to the roots of my feelings of love and loyalty I had to have a close look at my general attitude towards authority, something that had plagued me in most of my relationships during my life. I discovered that the only way to stand on my own two feet was to tackle and dissolve the emotionally charged issue of authority. I had to look at all of my feelings towards people who I ascribed authority to, particularly those who claimed a special knowledge of what was right and wrong, true and untrue, good and bad – in short, a moral, ethical and spiritual authority. I realized their power over me was derived from and maintained by my belief that there is an ultimate absolute authority in those matters, a Supreme Ruler of moral codes, a Weigher of Souls, a Divine Intelligence, a Big Daddy, a Higher Power of some sort who instated and enforced those values. It didn’t make any difference that I had abandoned the belief in a personal God in my youth because the spiritual belief in an all-encompassing divine energy running the universe kept me obedient, dependant and fearful.
The final realisation that dissolved my problems with authority forever is recorded in ‘A Bit of Vineeto’ –
For me, the end of God was at the same time the end of hope, trust, faith and postponement, the end of debilitating waiting and cowardly pondering, the end of humbling myself in the face of an almighty invisible power, the end of a stupefying fear of God’s judgement of my right and wrong deeds. The end of my belief in God also freed me of the belief/trust in and the loyalty for God’s earthly representatives such as my former master and all the righteous moral authorities that I had either dutifully followed and/or dutifully rebelled against. The end of my belief in God and my belief in an afterlife marked the beginning of standing on my own two feet with dignity and joy and for the very first time of relying on my intelligence and my common sense to find out the meaning of life for myself.
RESPONDENT: I notice something in the conversation between Vineeto and No 66. There is a camaraderie as in between I am already there but you are trying to be me, good.
VINEETO: This is what camaraderie can mean –
The only synonym for camaraderie that comes close to what is actually happening is ‘fellowship’, or better still ‘fellowship regard’.
All I did in my post to No 66 was share my experiences with a fellow human being about becoming virtually free from malice and sorrow, just as I have shared my experiences with you only two days ago about investigating the feelings that prevent one from being happy and harmless. The only difference is that No 66 appreciates this sharing due to his interest in the topic whereas you seem intent on putting your own ‘spin’ on things based solely upon your own feelings. (...)
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.
There is far, far more to actualism than feeling happy. (...)
RESPONDENT: Or from No 66’s side, hey shucks you are there, I am getting there mommy, say cheese.
VINEETO: You already made your feelings unambiguously clear that you find No 66’s behaviour ‘reprehensible’ –
Repeating a feeling does not turn it into a fact – your insistence only indicates that you have not yet understood that peace on earth in this lifetime for this flesh and blood body entails changing one person and one person only – ‘me’– and as such what other people choose to do with their lives is entirely their business.
RESPONDENT: I understand.
VINEETO: I wonder if you do as your following query indicates that this is not the case. (...)
RESPONDENT: If every time I criticise another person on this list, the defense sounds like Mind your own business, you can only change yourself, then this list would have just become a vehicle for AF propaganda, not a genuine discussion in which all parties are open to change and criticism.
VINEETO: Several points for clarification –
RESPONDENT: It is all quite pathetic, this hierarchy business.
VINEETO: If you had understood that peace on earth in this lifetime for this flesh and blood body entails changing one person and one person only – ‘me’– and that *your freedom is in your hands and your hands alone*, then you would also comprehend that a hierarchy is only possible if your freedom is constrained by or is dependant upon someone else and whilst you may feel this to be the case a little research and some clear thinking about the matter will reveal that this is not the case.
RESPONDENT: You know in Vipassana (as taught by Goenka), there are stages of seekers. And everybody is trying to attain the recognition as an advanced seeker from everybody else while in the meanwhile forgetting what the whole hoopla was about in the beginning (to be free from suffering and desire).
VINEETO: Ah, I see now where your notion of hierarchy in actualism comes from.
RESPONDENT: No. The above is an example only. My notion of hierarchy in actualism does not ‘come from’ Vipassana. Vipassana meditators are also driven by competition to out-race each other and get a venerating label. That is just another instance of a hierarchy.
VINEETO: When you say as an example ‘meditators are *also* driven’ do you mean actualists are driven like Vipassana meditators – because that’s what ‘an example’ means?
And when you say ‘*another* instance of a hierarchy’ do you mean there is hierarchy in actualism just as there is a hierarchy in Vipassana? If that is what you mean then you are imagining something to exist based solely on your previous experience of spiritualism that does not exist in fact.
Actualism is a completely new paradigm and as with any new paradigm, it’s a waste of time trying to see it with old eyes/ understand it based on old preconceived ideas, previous moral and ethical values and prior social conditioning.
VINEETO: If you see similarities between the procedure of Vipassana, a Buddhist meditation technique devised to achieve an *imaginary* state of nirvana, and the method of actualism to become *actually* free from malice and sorrow …
RESPONDENT: If I may interject? I am only talking of the hierarchy aspect of the Vipassana meditation (in the Goenka sect) and not of its procedure to become happy.
VINEETO: You are welcome to interject but just because you see a parallel based on your past experience doesn’t mean there is a hierarchy in the way you see it operating in the spiritual dog-eat-dog world. What exists is pragmatic, varying levels of expertise – the expertise of the contributors to this mailing list based on their practical experiences with actualism as well as the expertise of those who are either virtually free or actually free of the human condition of the human condition.
VINEETO: … then it is no wonder that you see actualism in terms of hierarchy and it is no wonder that you keep ignoring the fact that actualism is about autonomy, the very antithesis of the hierarchy that is inherent in all spiritual belief.
RESPONDENT: Let me tell you that even in Vipassana, each seeker is told in no uncertain terms that ‘you, and only you, can achieve your salvation, no Guru, no messiah can effect it’. Autonomy is the hallmark of most Buddhist meditation techniques where the meditation teacher is only there as a guide, not as a giver of liberation. But even there, as people start practicing, the normal competitiveness/ rat-race/ medal-gathering that we witness all about in the real world starts to evince itself.
VINEETO: The autonomy you talk of in ‘most Buddhist meditation techniques’ is only established after the disciple has taken on board the goal, the direction and the method from the words of the late Mr. Buddha or one of his representatives/ interpreters, an imaginary state of nirvana, whereas you can easily verify Richard’s reports of an actual freedom *by your own experience* in a pure consciousness experience.
The hierarchy you are referring to when you say – ‘it is all quite pathetic, this hierarchy business’ – is clearly a hierarchy ‘with respect to authority or dominance’ and in actualism there is no such hierarchy but varying levels of expertise, and any imagined hierarchy simply gets in the road of being able to clearly see what is on offer and how it is offered. Actualism is about autonomy because peace on earth in this lifetime for this flesh and blood body entails changing one person and one person only – ‘me’ – and as such your freedom depends on no one but you.
In fact, by incrementally becoming free from my social identity and by diminishing the grip of the instinctual passions have on me I was able to stand on my own feet for the first time in my life.
The second reason why in actualism there is no hierarchy ‘with respect to authority or dominance’ is because the basic prerequisite for such hierarchy is an affective power that people hold over other people. Richard, having no affective faculty, is incapable of holding power over anybody. As such all notions of an affective hierarchy are presumptions generated by the identity of those who choose to correspond with him. In short, they invent a hierarchy ‘with respect to authority or dominance’ and then proceed to rile against it.
RESPONDENT: That way, the fear that is the reliance on external authorities, becomes redundant.
VINEETO: I am curious about your expression ‘the fear that is the reliance on external authorities’. I discovered that it is vital to make a distinction between my adverse and/or loyal feelings towards authorities and a reliance on the expertise of my fellow human beings, be it my computer repair man, software experts, my accountant, the doctors I visit, my optometrist, the car mechanic … or Richard who is an expert in how become free from the human condition. Nowadays I have no fears associated with relying on the expertise of others because I have investigated, understood and dissolved my emotional issues around authority.
RESPONDENT: This site has taught me (whether that was the intention or not) that underneath all the confusion and problems, we are essentially safe and that there is really nothing to be scared of apart from our own interpretations.
VINEETO: The main thing that makes life on this lush and magical planet unsafe is the genetically encoded instinctual programming that relentlessly drives human beings to feel aggrieved and to feel sad and the resultant ‘confusion and problems’ are certainly not the result of ‘interpretations’ – be they mine or anybody else’s.
What was in my own hands, however, was the possibility to become virtually free of my own grievances and my own grieving. For instance when I succeeded in abandoning my spiritual beliefs I subsequently lost most of my fears regarding moral and ethical rewards and punishment, and the more I diminished my social and instinctual identity (not my ‘interpretations’ but the beliefs and feelings that made up my identity), the more I am now able to act and behave sensibly and intelligibly and as such safely.
In other words – only ‘I’ feel fear, fear is not an actuality.
RESPONDENT: I wish you all the best
VINEETO: Thank you. The best that ever happened to me was that I came across Richard and decided to learn how to become free from the human condition. Now life is almost always a breeze and a delight.
RESPONDENT: As for me, I’ve managed to break-free from the spiritual dreams and schemes and now they are of zero interest.
VINEETO: I remember I was immensely relieved when the full implications sank in that there is no omnipotent omniscient God, no Divine Judge, no mysterious Power running the show and consequently no Life after Death to plan for. It was as if I got my life back, I could finally live now instead of worrying about my mythical non-physical life and the ‘health’ and virtue of my spirit and my soul. A huge burden fell off me and with it my fear of divine punishment disappeared which in turn freed me from my fear of human authorities – everyone became just like me, a fellow human being, living their life for the first and only time just like me. It’s not that I abandoned the belief in a Greater reality and fell back into grim reality because I had set my course on becoming unconditionally happy and harmless – the best possible thing I could do for my fellow human beings.
VINEETO to No 38: For example, following my extensive investigating into my emotional problems with authority, an insight revealed the root cause – my belief in a disembodied Higher Authority. Once I realized, without doubt, that the existence of a God by whatever name was nothing but a commonly held belief and not a fact, the whole range of emotional charges around authority – any authority – disappeared completely, never to return.
I described the process of this realization in Peter’s Journal –
RESPONDENT: A while ago Vineeto you used the term ‘disembodied authority’. I looked into that for a while and I came to find that this might be the issue at large why with what human beings basically are struggling. What generally we do in order to avoid taking responsibility for our own ‘personal power’ ...
VINEETO: I was talking about taking responsibility for every action in my life, i.e. my words and deeds, which is something completely different to ‘taking responsibility for our own ‘personal power’’. Modern self-love preachers like Oprah Winfrey espouse to love yourself, to empower yourself, to take back your power, to assert yourself, and so on, and this process only attempts to shift one’s identity from being powerless towards being powerful. In actualism I don’t attempt to gain or take responsibility for my own ‘personal power’, because power is in itself a feeling and an emotion-based concept.
In actualism I became aware of my feelings and thoughts and I took responsibility in that I made it my single-pointed aim to become free from my malice and sorrow and that included the fervent need to either follow or fight authority figures, be they flesh-and-blood or disembodied. And just to head off an objection at the pass before it breaks loose – it is eminently sensible not to violate the authority of the law and police of the country you are in.
... is projecting a portion of that into an authority figure and next disembody that authority in such a way that this authority can no longer be questioned/ approached in a way that there can be dialogue between the questioner and the authority figure.
VINEETO: What I meant by my belief in a disembodied Higher Authority was the notion that there is a Somebody or Something that is the supposed arbiter of the human-made values of good and bad, right and wrong. An example of a ‘Somebody’ is a God or Goddess, by whatever name, a mystical Jesus or Buddha, a dead Rajneesh or Krishnamurti, and so on. An example of ‘Something’ are material things that are often revered and deified such as Mother Earth, the Universe, the moon or the planets, Energy, Chi, Intelligence or faceless amorphous forces such as the Government, Globalization, Materialism, and such like, that are the usual fuel for conspiracy paranoia.
During the time I struggled with my feelings about authority figures I did not ‘disembody that authority’ but I came to realize that I simply wanted to have the same power that the authority figure seemed to hold. The very reason I made a person into an authority figure was because they had something I wanted, either material as in riches or worldly position, or non-material as in spiritual powers, blissful altered states or a booked seat in spiritual heaven. In practicing actualism, my solution was not to have a ‘dialogue between the questioner and the authority figure’ (for instance a dialogue between Rajneesh and me) but I looked into my own psyche in order to find out why I felt compelled to make a person into an authority figure in the first place.
And just to head off another objection at the pass before it breaks loose, I am not talking about a person who is an authority as in an expert in a particular field of expertise. If I find someone who is an expert in computers or accounting for example, then I am all ears because I may learn something that I did not know and can try out for myself to see if it works and is useful.
RESPONDENT: With regard to this I like to let God outside of that as an example I rather look at what I see is happening through the effect i.e. the television has.
VINEETO: If I may ask, why would you rather ‘let God outside of that as an example’ – or any other disembodied authority figure for that matter? Why not start with the obvious and most basic issue of authority ‘with what human beings basically are struggling’?
RESPONDENT: The same process is happening watching i.e. a political leader on TV (is watching the image <which has become a symbol of an authority>). We accredit him with worldly authority (which is assigned power/ responsibility) hence creating disembodied authorities hence draining our own reasonability to be present on a political level (the powerful me as a social identity). Just a short thought that came to mind.
VINEETO: A person that is alive is not suddenly disembodied because he or she appears on television. If you see the Dalai Lama on TV then that is an image of the flesh-and-blood Dalai Lama and if you see the Dutch queen on TV, that is an image of the flesh-and-blood Dutch queen. Further, it is not the image that ‘has become a symbol of an authority’ but ‘I’, the identity, project ‘my’ feelings of authority on to the actual flesh and blood person and relate to him or her with feelings of admiration, awe, devotion and/or envy, hate and resentment.
You seem to be suggesting that you should go out and become an admired/resented authority figure as in becoming ‘a political leader’ yourself in order to resolve your emotional conflict with authority. Then when you become a political leader, yet another ‘powerful me as a social identity’ will come along and will want to dethrone you because they too like to rile against authority. Have you ever contemplated on the fact that the whole system of democratic government is an adversarial system consisting of competing ruling and opposition parties, forever in conflict and never in harmony? And just to head off another objection at the pass before it breaks loose, I am not saying a dictatorship is better because at least a democracy offers a watchdog against endemic outbreaks of corruption.
The actualism method, however, is designed to do the opposite of blindly following or thoughtlessly riling against authority – you become aware of, investigate, understand and become free from the feelings of admiration, awe, devotion and/or envy, hate and resentment in your own psyche – then you are free to see the flesh and blood fellow human being bereft of your own emotion-based projection of authority and you are also able to see the facts as opposed to simply carrying on believing what everyone else believes underneath the ‘self’-centred feelings of power and powerlessness.
Now that I am my own authority, deciding what is silly and sensible, using the common and practical intelligence of the human brain, I can see that an assigned and elected political leader is nothing more than someone doing his or her job in the complex administration of a country just as a clerk, a farmer or scientist is doing his or her job in the running of their business. Personally I found ‘to be present on a political level’ unnecessary because a lot of other people are doing their job in running the country as best they can in the circumstances. I also found that, as Richard put it in his recent post to No 37 – ‘the human world gets along as it always does even when I do not keep abreast of current affairs!’
But if you are sincerely interested in improving the lot of your fellow human beings, I have yet to hear of a better contribution that any one person can make towards the betterment of the human species than for that individual to prove that it is possible to eliminate their own feelings of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: From No 45’ postings I get the impression that he thinks that there is some sort of Hierarchy in AF. Vis:
VINEETO: Incidentally, the greatest number of objections accusing actualists of being cult members, forming a hierarchy and following a guru have thus far come from followers of Jiddu Krishnamurti, closely followed by objections from followers of Mohan Rajneesh. And yet, when they come to a mailing list set up by a man who was once enlightened and managed to free himself from the delusionary state along with two others who had trod the spiritual path intensely enough and for long enough to have witnessed the duplicity of the revered God-men first-hand, they then proceed to accuse the very whistleblowers as being either gurus or disciples.
But it is all quite simple – as long as I had an issue with authority, I assumed that everyone else also must have a similar problem with authorities. It was only when I, once and for all, realized that there is no God (by whatever name) in this infinite, eternal and perpetual universe – a He/She or It who pulls the strings, grants bonuses to goodie-two-shoes and punishes sinners – that my issues with God’s authority vanished into thin air, never to return. Since then I have discovered what thinking for yourself and standing on your own two feet really means – and it is delightful.
RESPONDENT: Also I have understood that politics is not really your concern as neither it is mine; however on some levels in this game I think each one of is affected by decisions that are made by the top so to speak.
VINEETO: I follow with interest many reports and stories as to how human beings live their lives, how they relate with each other, how they solve problems and face challenges. I am continuously amazed at the ingenuity of human intelligence and human practicality and how well many functions of society are organized despite the sabotaging effects of the human condition. Western societies in particular have managed an astounding amount of administrative tasks like hospitals, police, courts, emergency services, traffic control, road and rail service, electricity and water, telephone and post, social security and education.
I have also come to see that there is no ‘top so to speak’ because the decisions that affect my everyday life are primarily made by public administrators in response to public demand, be they the road authority, the electricity company, the local council, the police, telephone and postal administration, and so on. Other decisions are made by industry in response to public demand, be they agriculture and trade, manufacturing, service industry and so on. Medical progress is influenced by many factors, among them public demand for better health, research funding, the ingenuity of scientific researchers, economic and practical issues as well as moral and ethical restrictions.
The same holds for almost every other aspect of social administration. Politicians are only one spoke in the wheel of the organizational network, they are but the front men and women for the underlying administrative system. Despite popular opinion, politicians are not in control of everything that happens in their particular country, region or town. Far from it in fact, as most practical decisions are made at the administrative and executive level and most political decisions are made according to an ever-swaying popular opinion.
Recently it occurred to me that the emotional issue with authority – either worshipping and following a chosen authority figure or rebelling against adverse authority figures – is related to an instinctual reluctance to admit that nobody is in charge of running the world – neither an almighty God nor a Mother Nature, neither a collusion of corporations nor a conspiracy of politicians. Despite common belief and social inculcation, we are all fellow human beings doing this business of being alive for the very first time.
RICHARD: ... hundreds of people have been poking away at what is on offer, especially since coming onto the internet, trying to find the flaws they are convinced must be there – which is one of the reasons why all correspondence is archived – and this only goes to show how badly people have been sucked in for millennia by the many and varied snake-oil salespersons.
RESPONDENT to Richard: Richard, this is well said. It’s why I am unsatisfied with your claims of being historically unique in being actually free from the human condition. That said, I’m finding your site useful and insightful. I’m grateful for the content and the attractive interface as well. Kind Regards
VINEETO: Do I understand you right that when you say ‘it’s why I am unsatisfied’, you mean the reason you are unsatisfied is because you have been badly ‘sucked in’ ‘by the many and varied snake-oil salespersons’? If so, then you have arrived at the right place because actualism is an opportunity and a method to root out any and all beliefs that you have inadvertently taken on in the course of your life. But don’t expect anyone else to do it for you, only you can – by direct experience – determine the veracity of what is on offer on the Actual Freedom Trust website and only you can determine whether actualism is indeed brand new in human history. And if you did find out that actualism had nothing to do with any of the archaic spiritual traditions, the question of Richard’s discovery being unique would be satisfied.
Going by my personal experience I am still surprised how people are so persistently suspicious because that is not how my own mind works.
When I met Richard I was not particularly concerned that, or if, he was the first one to discover something that goes beyond enlightenment but I was more interested about the fact that he discovered something which I could confirm for myself as to whether or not it was utterly new and far better than spiritual enlightenment. I had previously been on the spiritual path for most of my adult life, looking for the meaning of life and the solution to the woes of humankind and here was someone who said he not only knows why spiritualism has failed to manifest peace on earth but also why. And not only that but the alternative he was offering was practicable, down-to-earth and worked instantly.
Of course, in order to be able to take his words at face value it was necessary that I had a good look at what caused me to be doubtful and suspicious of the discovery of an alternative to spiritualism in the first place. I discovered with surprise how loyal I felt towards my previous spiritual group and master and that it was exactly this loyalty that caused me to be cautious towards anything new. I knew I could go on being suspicious forever and a day but I came to see that holding on to such an attitude was preventing me from finding out for myself how I can be happy and live with my fellow human beings in peace and harmony.
As an actualist I discovered that in order to get to the roots of my feelings of suspicion I had to have a close look at my general attitude towards authority, something that had plagued me in most of my relationships during my life. I discovered that the only way to stand on my own two feet was to tackle and dissolve the emotionally charged issue of authority. I had to look at all of my feelings towards people who I ascribed authority to, particularly those who claimed a special knowledge of what was right and wrong, true and untrue, good and bad – in short a moral, ethical and spiritual authority. I realized their power over me was derived from and maintained by my belief that there is an ultimate authority in those matters, a Supreme Ruler of moral codes, a Weigher of Souls, a Divine Intelligence, a Higher Power of some sort who instated and enforced those values. It didn’t make any difference that I had abandoned the belief in a personal God because the belief in an all-encompassing divinity kept me obedient, dependant and fearful.
RESPONDENT: That’s a good tip. Authority needs to be thoroughly investigated but especially my responses and reflexes. It is indeed an emotionally charged issue for me too and I realise now it could be something of a gold mine to investigate. Thankyou, Vineeto.
VINEETO: You are very welcome. When I said ‘authority needs to be thoroughly investigated’ I mean my feelings about authority and that is also all that needed to be investigated.
RESPONDENT: That’s the meaning I took too.
VINEETO: So what did you find out when you investigated your feeling of authority towards Richard – apart from your feelings of doubt? Seemingly you have yet to start investigating.
In the last post to me you said –
and yet in this post you say –
It seems that your duty to feel doubt towards ‘men of historical destiny’ overrides your need to ‘thoroughly investigate’ the emotionally charged issues you have about authority.
For me as an actualist, any investigation into my feelings – and any hang-ups or issues about authority are merely feelings – is only finished when the feelings disappear, and the feelings only disappear when the part of my identity that created and maintained such feelings is firstly understood and then abandoned.
VINEETO: When my emotional issues with authority disappeared so did the ‘authorities’ themselves, which leaves me free to relate to fellow human beings as what they are, fellow human beings.
RESPONDENT: Well said.
VINEETO: It’s one thing to like what is said, it is a completely different matter to emulate the process another describes.
VINEETO: Then a man becomes a fellow human being with slight anatomical differences to a female, a policeman becomes a fellow human being who wears a uniform and maintains law and order, a politician becomes a fellow human being who is involved in the making of laws, a fellow human being who lives in another country is a fellow human being who lives in another country, the Pope is a fellow human being who wears funny hats, Mohan Rajneesh and Jiddu Krishnamurti were fellow human beings who became famous by teaching Eastern religion to Westerners who were disenchanted with Western Religion, and Richard is a fellow human being who happened to be the first to find a way to become actually free of the human condition. It is very simple really.
RESPONDENT: Simple to believe but impossible to verify.
VINEETO: Oh, and why are you adamantly convinced that it is impossible to verify? I have verified it for myself, why can’t you? But then, I don’t subscribe to a duty to doubt or the ‘dynamism of absolute doubt’, I go by what are the facts of the situation … and facts can be verified.
VINEETO: I realized their power over me was derived from and maintained by my belief that there is an ultimate authority in those matters, a Supreme Ruler of moral codes, a Weigher of Souls, a Divine Intelligence, a Higher Power of some sort who instated and enforced those values. It didn’t make any difference that I had abandoned the belief in a personal God because the belief in an all-encompassing divinity kept me obedient, dependant and fearful.
The final realisation that finished my problems with authority forever is recorded in Peter’s Journal –
In the final analysis it is only you who can dare to put aside your world-weary suspicions in order to sufficiently to be able to practically and experientially determine whether what is on offer on the Actual Freedom Trust website is indeed as it says it is – new, non-spiritual and down-to-earth.
As you said to Richard in your latest post – ‘it’s a shame that such doubts can detract from what’s on offer’ – it is a shame indeed to let your feelings of doubt and suspicion prevent you from putting into practice what is on offer.
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: In the final analysis it is only you who can dare to put aside your world-weary suspicions in order to sufficiently to be able to practically and experientially determine whether what is on offer on the Actual Freedom Trust website is indeed as it says it is – new, non-spiritual and down-to-earth.
As you said to Richard in your latest post – ‘it’s a shame that such doubts can detract from what’s on offer’ – it is a shame indeed to let your feelings of doubt and suspicion prevent you from putting into practice what is on offer.
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your concern but I am putting things into practice. For me, questioning is part of the process and not just questioning myself.
VINEETO: Personally I found that questioning anyone but myself is a total waste of time.
In fact I found it detrimental to my own happiness and harmlessness to question other people – it is none of my business. I found it entirely sufficient to focus on questioning my own beliefs, my own resentments, my suspicions and superstitions whenever they stood in the way of my being happy and harmless. The outcome is a virtual freedom from the human condition and there is only one thing better that this – an actual, permanent freedom from the lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning alien entity inside this flesh-and-blood body.
RESPONDENT: So you don’t question your doctor when they prescribe medicine to you?
VINEETO: No, I don’t feel compelled to question my doctor, he is the expert in his field and knows far more about medicine than I do, so I tend to take on board what he says. I only know my symptoms, he might know the cause, and more importantly, he may well know the remedy. I then observe what his prescribed medicine does to me and if it helps I keep taking it. If it has side effects I weigh the pros and cons and maybe have another consultation or get another opinion. If the medicine does not work within a reasonable time, I abandon it.
RESPONDENT: If someone claims to be an authority then I question them to learn.
VINEETO: Richard claims to be an authority with regards to an actual freedom from the human condition and yet you clearly haven’t questioned him to learn about actual freedom, you have thus far done nothing else but question his authority. In other words, you are not doing what you say you do. If someone is as obviously an expert in his field as Richard is about the human condition and how to become free from it, then I try and gain as much information as possible in order that I can also become free from the human condition. It’s all very simple, really.
RESPONDENT: My questioning is for my own benefit and I question all sources, especially myself.
VINEETO: It appears that you have had a change of motive in your questioning because previously you said that the reason for questioning Richard was for the benefit of others, ‘to inspire some doubt in other minds’ as you put it –
Methinks your claim that ‘I question … especially myself’ is still a long way from being put into practice.
As for ‘questioning’ for your ‘own benefit’ – I still can’t see how questioning others is for your ‘own benefit’ – extracting information yes, but I found that objecting and questioning others only fed my malice and sorrow, so I gave it up.
Also, when I question myself I do so with the sole intent to become happy and harmless, for no other purpose. I don’t question myself without rhyme or reason because I found that this leads me nowhere fast. When I am not happy now I question when I stopped being happy and inquire into what prevents me from being happy now. Then I investigate the causes for having stopped being happy. Very often I found that it had to do with not having been harmless, so becoming happy and becoming harmless are really one and the same thing.
Once I made my goal in life to be unconditionally happy and harmless, everything else fell into place – I had an anchor point, a touchstone, a measure by which I needed to change. And then I changed, step by step.
RESPONDENT: Why can’t I benefit from Actualism without a fundamental faith in Richard the First? Consider this – I HAVE already benefited from Actualism without swallowing the party line! Imagine that! I’d appreciate your comment on this point please.
VINEETO: Seeing that you consider a statement of fact – that Richard has discovered a way to become free of the human condition in toto – to be the ‘the party line’, whilst busily ignoring every answer I have provided so far on this topic, not to mention Richard’s numerous posts on the same topic, clearly shows that you have an either/or emotional approach to actualism – either maintaining a duty to doubt with its accompanying impulse to denigrate, or envisage a necessity to trust with its accompanying requirement to have blind faith.
This was the very reason I told you the story about how I discovered that I needed to investigate my emotional issues with authority before I could take someone’s words at face value, i.e. with naiveté, common sense, sensibility and intelligence. Reasonable-ness only comes into play when the emotions are out of the way.
As for ‘I HAVE already benefited from Actualism without swallowing the party line! Imagine that!’ – I can’t imagine how you have benefited because I am not a mind reader. But you are welcome to provide more detailed information as to how you ‘already benefited from actualism’.
VINEETO to No 2: Yet most people are not able to differentiate between an emotion-backed belief in Authority and drawing on the obvious expertise of a fellow human being who has discovered something far superior to Enlightenment.
RESPONDENT: Your reliance upon your own authority by applying a method to living an ‘enlightened’ life is predicated upon the authority of Richard’s discovery which you do emotionally defend as the ‘obvious expertise of a fellow human being.’ What is obvious to me is that Richard claims authority and then tries to ‘razzle-dazzle’ everybody into believing there is no more than what is known or can be known, and that is why Richard hoards so much knowledge about all the world and the events thereof. That way he can be ‘the undisputed ruler and sole owner of all that he knows and understands.’ Ah, another ‘ism’ ... actualism.
VINEETO: I see you are backing up your opinion of actualism with a quote from the authority of Krishnamurti. But doing that is not an ‘ism’ because Krishnamurti is only confirming what you already have decided to hold true ... or is it the other way round?
The quote you offer says the important thing is firstly to discover and realize that ‘you’ don’t know, and then ‘you’ die to that discovery – i.e. the thinker dies, so ‘you’ as feeler can flow with the unknown or be at one with the unknown. The problem with the thinker dying is that all sensible thinking and common sense goes with him or her and yet another impassioned soul is let loose on the world. This ‘self’-perpetuating belief system is aimed at keeping ‘Me’, the feeler, in existence but it also perpetuates the ancient mythical belief in Gods, spirits and other-worlds.
Spiritual teachings always point to the ‘unknown’, the ‘unlimited possibility’ or the ultimate authority of God by whatever name and by that very ‘knowledge’ of the unknown the master stays in power and remains the authority on what he ‘knows’.
Actualism is a very simple method and utterly down-to-earth, because its application involves neither energy nor god nor devotion nor faith in any unknown mystery. Contrary to spiritual practice where I had to solely rely on the words of the master, I can now rely on my own ‘self’-less experiences to know where I am heading and appraise my success by the diminishing of the instinctual drives and the disappearance of my social identity. It is so simply that hardly anyone can understand its simplicity.
I am applying many methods in my life that I have learned from other people – how to boil eggs, for instance, or how to speak and write English. In fact, nothing that I apply in life is my own invention because babies, when they are born, don’t know anything except how to suck milk. But the moment I apply a practical, down-to-earth method and find out that it works for me then the experiences of its success make me my own authority. The one who taught me how to drive a car is not an authority anymore because he taught me all I needed to know about driving a car – the same is the case with Richard and the method of actualism. Actualism is something you do for yourself, by yourself, in order to become happy and harmless, and I do it for the benefit of my fellow human beings because I cease to inflict ‘my’ malice and sorrow upon them. With ‘my’ demise will come the ending of malice and sorrow in this flesh and blood body.
RESPONDENT: Why does mankind, we, continue to look to others, i.e. LeDoux, Richard, or anybody who expounds theories as to what is there and why it is there? Why do we say that there is no ‘authority’ and then turn to others to quote them, look for answers, or substantiate our desire to find the answers?
VINEETO: Authority according to Mr. Oxford means –
Quite obviously neither Joseph LeDoux nor Richard have the ‘power to enforce obedience’, but they both are in the category of ‘experts in a subject’ field and can therefore ‘influence action, opinion, belief’, provided the person who learns about their scientific research is willing to experiment with such findings. Verifying scientific research for oneself is called utilizing the expertise of others as in definition (8) and is the opposite of ‘following an authority’, which is epitomized by affectively following, fervently believing, devotedly relying upon and unquestioningly and faithfully trusting one’s beloved authority. However, it is part and parcel of the Human Condition that everyone judges people according to their power – in what way they can assist me achieving what I desire – and, as such, charismatic powerful leaders are revered as an authority and abetted to wield their power.
As I explored my issues about authority, I came to understand that authority has been inextricably intertwined with my desire to pass on the job of living my life to others who then became the admired or feared authority figures. It was my hope for shortcuts, for help of the powerful ones that had fuelled and maintained my debilitating reliance upon, or mindless rebellion against, authority. I desired my father’s money, my boyfriend’s promise of love and security, my girlfriend’s sympathy and support, my Master’s psychic Power, Compassion and Grace, God’s miracles and protection, Mother Nature’s Intelligence, the Supreme Power of the Eternal Unknown, etc.
First I had to acknowledge that I was utterly on my own – nobody, but nobody could do anything for me, change me, give me happiness, redeem me from my fear, malice and sorrow or fulfil my desires. It is all up to me. Now I can learn from whomever I find worthy of emulating or learning from, whilst remaining perfectly autonomous.
RESPONDENT: Why do we say that there is no ‘authority’ and then turn to others to quote them, look for answers, or substantiate our desire to find the answers?
VINEETO: Using another’s expertise and knowledge of facts has nothing to do with the emotional issue of relying on authority – you couldn’t write a letter on the computer without relying on the ‘authority’ of millions of other people over generations who have contributed to the research, the inventions and the superb technology we take for granted. A sensible way of looking for practical answers will always include what my contemporaries or other people before me have discovered, otherwise we would all still be sitting in caves gnawing on sable tiger bones. The obsession to denigrate and to dismiss someone you disagree with as being ‘an authority’ such that you stubbornly deny and mindlessly refuse to use his or her expertise is plainly silly.
Merely following one authority’s advice to not follow any other authority is still following an authority and only prevents one from questioning one’s own emotional-instinctual need to be dependent and need to belong. Resolving the issue of authority does not lie in choosing and following one authority and rejecting and fighting against all other authorities.
The moment I acknowledged that I am on my own and that I have to instigate the desired changes in my life myself, I could use anyone’s expertise without losing one iota of my autonomy, dignity and freedom.
RESPONDENT: Why don’t we just look at fear; see fear; follow fear; and find out where it comes from? Can anybody do that?
VINEETO: Even with the research of Joseph LeDoux and Richard one will still have to ‘look at fear’ and ‘find out where it comes from’ for oneself. It is something anyone can do – provided they are sufficiently motivated and willing to eliminate their emotional dependency on higher authorities, by whatever name.
Both LeDoux’s research and Richard’s discoveries have been of immense help to me in disentangling myself from ancient beliefs and superstitions and have, for the first time, thrown light on the physical observable facts of instinctual passions. Ancient superstition has it that bad emotions are caused by bad spirits, and ancient belief teaches us to disidentify and dissociate from bad emotions and smother them with Love and Compassion. Neither peace-on-earth nor the elimination of suffering and malice has ever been on the agenda of any of the religious/spiritual teachings.
I have looked at fear, I have explored fear and I have found out where fear comes from. But when I tell you what I have found out, I am merely dismissed or disparaged as an authority or a follower of an authority.
Funny, if someone tells you how to make really good chocolate chip cookies, you don’t call them an authority and insist on inventing the recipe all over again, or do you? Why then the immense effort to keep the Human Condition as an ancient metaphysical mystery and thus prevent a practical approach to eliminating malice and sorrow in the world?
Well, c’est la vie. People like their emotions, they like to invent doomsday prophesies in order to perpetuate their fears, they like to aggressively defend their rights and beliefs, they like to demean and blame others in order to feel powerful and they like to wallow in the bitter-sweetness of sorrow – it is all part and parcel of the ‘self’-defence mechanism of ‘me’ wanting desperately to stay in existence.
KONRAD: Superiority? If you cannot judge a certain method to be superior, and therefore you applying this method as making you being somebody superior, you will never defend this method to others as really being superior. In this way you will never try to make things better.
VINEETO: I have talked about superiority before. I judge a method as being superior if it works. That is simply applying my brain as to what is sensible and what is stupid. There is no need to feel superior because I can see the obvious, if a method works, has results in daily life or not. And if it is obvious then anybody can check it out. It does not need an extra authority applied to it to make it more True. Why believe an authority if I can find out for myself? I can tell from my life that Richard’s method works, there is no need for feeling superior. Whoever objects is simply silly, blinded by beliefs that have been repeated for centuries.
VINEETO: By the way, you have quoted me saying: ‘Richard is an absolute expert in the matter’ and deducted from this that I am a blind follower. You don’t even seem to know the difference between expertise and belief in authority. I can understand that you, trying to be an authority in your own right, only can see other people being supposedly inflicted with the same disease (believing in authority and not thinking for themselves). I have never had a conversation with someone who quoted and relied on so many authorities for his conviction as you do. Still, you go to a doctor in the hospital to get yourself fixed up and don’t consider yourself a blind follower of this doctor. He is simply an expert to you.
And then you claim you have found the explanation for what emotions are in human life, jumping proudly and condescendingly up and down in your living room, happy as Larry but not telling anyone what it is. This is the behaviour of a five-year-old. You are not even aware what emotions you exude writing this, how can you claim you found the answer to what emotions are as the very first in human history if you can’t identify them in yourself?
Don’t bother to prove me wrong, Konrad, by quoting old and failed philosophies and gurus. I am very happy and content with the way I live. But I am interested if you set your goal a bit higher and come up with experiences that are not based on the premises of failed authorities, philosopher and gurus of the past. I’ll be interested when you are willing to take the ‘nail’ out of your foot that makes you go round in circles and walk the first steps, freely, on your own, with your own common sense, into the unknown.
VINEETO: Excellent to get the difference right between expert and authority.
KONRAD: An expert is somebody who is knowledgeable in a certain field, or has know/how in a certain field. For example: you can have an expert in medicine.
VINEETO: We seem to agree on what the definition is for an expert : someone who has an expertise in a certain field per experience and/or knowledge of facts.
It gets more complex when we talk about authority : To make someone an authority and relate to someone as an authority is an emotional behaviour. The other is not an expert – the conveyor of facts or experience, which then has to be examined thoroughly whether or not to apply to one’s life what he/she says. An authority figure is someone who you admire, taking his every word for granted truth and consider him or her superior in knowledge and character to yourself. Or it is someone who you consider superior and therefore have to fight against to defend your own position on the ladder. Rajneesh used to be such an authority figure to me. Richard is an authority figure to you – you might not have noticed, because you are so busy trying to prove him wrong. But he evokes an emotional reaction in you, which is the sure proof for your treating him as an authority. For me, Richard is simply an expert in the Human Condition and how to become free of it.
I will explain the phenomenon of authority with another example:
Remember, when you were 17 years old and you went to school or university and there was a teacher who taught history. At 17 most pupils regard their teachers as authority figures. This teacher then told a story about Friedrich der Grosse, an appalling story about babies been taken away from their mothers for an experiment. Considering that this teacher had been strongly influenced by his own history – Hitler did unbelievably cruel ‘experiments’ with human victims – it is possible that this teacher had not been very correct with his facts. After all, Friedrich der Grosse was a Prussian, a German emperor, representative of the hated Germans. So the facts of his story might have been emotionally loaded, exaggerated and distorted.
But as a 17-year-old, believing the teacher’s emotions as well as his ‘facts’, you would not question his sources. You don’t even question or bother verifying them today. This blind belief is the outcome of an authority-based relationship. Once someone is considered an authority for whatever reason, nothing he says is seen as pure facts, questionable or verifiable, but that person is seen as someone who has a personal emotional relationship to oneself. Thus you either admire the authority figures, defend them and use them to prove your own convictions right – like Ayn Rand, or your teacher then – or you fight and compete with other authority figures to get to the top yourself – like you do with Richard.
You can’t understand that, for me, Richard is not an authority figure. You yourself can only see him as an authority figure. Gratitude, admiration, revenge, resentment and competition are all faculties belonging to an authority complex, all of which are clearly noticeable in your writings.
KONRAD: An AUTHORITY is somebody who is considered to be very special in the eyes of persons around him because of certain personal characteristics, ie. characteristics that make him act with total confidence in the social domain in the sense that the uncertainties that others have he does not seem to have. These personal characteristics go by many names, for example, ‘enlightenment’ ‘charisma’, but also this ‘apperception’ Richard talks about. An authority always bases his ‘proofs’ on an essentially ‘hedonistic’ base. Since a hedonistic proof of every position can be given, including that of drugs that are clearly detrimental to health, it is a false proof. Therefore hedonistic argumentation are the hallmark of an authority, and should be distrusted. In fact, if the only argumentation for the defence of a certain position is hedonistic, this alone constitutes a ground for rejection. Not that feeling good is wrong, but there HAVE to be other defences for a certain vision. As you can see in my mail I have NONE in actualism that could stand its ground without hedonism. If there was even ONE such ground, I would take it seriously.
VINEETO: Goodness Konrad, your fantasy has had a ride with you. Where do you get the idea that Richard takes a hedonistic base as a proof for actualism? See, that is what I mean by the joke with the foot nailed to the ground. First you take a premise that is wrong, and then you go round and round in circles, proving your own false premise as false. Unless you question your premises, you will never be able to see beyond your thus limited horizon.
KONRAD: I have the strong impression that you have (almost?) no ability to think for yourself.
VINEETO: And in the next post you write:
I don’t know which of your evaluations is valid at the time you read this mail. But I agree the intelligence and courage are the only qualities one needs to discover freedom, to get rid of every bit of ‘I’, ‘self’, ‘being’ and whatever names you like to call that ‘what you think and feel you are’. Nothing else is needed. Everybody with sufficient intent can tackle their shackles that prevent us from being free.
KONRAD: Yes, that pure intent part is also something I consider to be rubbish.
VINEETO: Why ‘also’. I for my part find it definitely essential and imperative for becoming free. Without intent there is no way to question the very carpet one has built one’s world on. I don’t know how you can get on with your ‘process’, which must be quite scary at times, without the intent to become the best one can be?
KONRAD: However, to put your mind at ease with that contradiction. Sometimes I do not express myself too clearly.
VINEETO: Do you mean I have to take everything you say with the option of being not clear. I wonder how we can have a decent conversation unless each expresses himself or herself as clearly as he/she can?
KONRAD: You have an ability to think for yourself. Only, there is also an UNWILLINGNESS. For there is too much at stake for you. This is what I tried to say.
VINEETO: I can assure you that I indeed can think for myself, more than ever in my life. Because there is no emotion for or against an authority figure clouding my thinking I can judge for myself what is silly and sensible. As for unwillingness, I don’t know how you assume that. Unwillingness is based on emotion, usually fear, sometimes resentment against an authority figure. Since I have removed the very capacity in me to regard anybody as an authority figure (not an expert, we have been through that discussion), the only unwillingness I sometimes experience in me is based on fear. With sincere intent that fear is overcome and I can move again in the direction of actual freedom.
KONRAD: If being free from suffering is paid by the price of not being able to think abstractly any more, it cannot be applied on any grand scale. For our lives depend on that faculty.
VINEETO: I don’t know how you assume that I cannot think abstractly.
I apply the result of my thinking to sensible action. The trouble with you is that you don’t seem to think ‘concrete’, as in practical, using common sense and applying the practical intelligence we are also equipped with. You seem to try and figure everything out by meditation or imagination, but Actual Freedom can only be experienced, not imagined. That’s where we don’t agree.
VINEETO: I can only be free without ‘feeling’ that I am in an advanced state, without ‘being’ the One in the advanced state. The moment there is a ‘feeling’ superior, a ‘feeling’ advanced, a ‘feeling’ grand, then the ‘self’ has found yet another identity to thrive on...
RESPONDENT: So true and so obvious.
VINEETO: You have cut out the second half of the quote, which answered No. 8’s question. I’ll give the full reference:
RESPONDENT: So true and so obvious.
VINEETO: What is so true and obvious?
Is your comment a remark that ‘feeling’ and the ‘feeler’ are the problem and that you have known it all along? The ‘feeling’ as in feeling sadness, feeling anger, feeling love, feeling bliss, feeling God, feeling Oneness? The ‘feeler’ as in ‘being in the heart’, the soul, Atman, Essence? Do you say that that is ‘so true and so obvious’ to you?
Or do you mean that you think that Vineeto ‘feels’ superior to someone else?
Feeling superior is but a quaint substitute to the vast superiority compared to anything else I have ever experienced in my life. It is vastly superior to ‘being the watcher’, ‘being the disciple’, ‘being the seeker’ or ‘being the experiencer’.
But instead of objecting or ‘feeling about it’ you could, just as an option, check out why it is so superior and how to achieve it for yourself.
Let’s say, I offer you a vacuum-cleaner called ‘a ‘self’-demolishing method’. I tell you that it works wonders, you will only need to apply it yourself. I tell you that it is far superior to the old way of cleaning with a broom and dustpan.
What would be your reaction? Blame me for claiming to be superior? Or check out if the vacuum-cleaner is really superior to the broom and dustpan used up to now?
It is the method and the result of the method that is superior, not ‘me’. It completely demolishes any ‘I’ that would be feeling anything, superior or inferior, angry or sad, compassionate, blissful, desperate, murderous or just annoyed. What is left is the blithesome at-easeness as a sensate and reflective human being.
RESPONDENT: First of all, I’d like to thank you for your straight forward manner. It is refreshing to see that you are patient with people even though they rebel.
VINEETO: Good to talk to you again.
Rebelling has been a strong issue for me in my life. When I lived at home with my parents, I rebelled against my father. Later I extended that rebellion against my university professors, my employers, the government, the police and men in general. Beneath all my rebellion I was still relying on authority for comparison, orientation and approval, while rebelling against it at the same time.
Interestingly, I could only get rid of authority by tracing its cause to the very root: What do I want or need authority for in my life? Why do I create authority? What do I get out of it? What was the ultimate authority behind each representative of power? Which version of good and bad, right and wrong was I to follow? Could I consider living without an external or internal authority in my life? And what would be the consequences?
But I can say, I had to tackle my belief in the ultimate authority before I was able to stand upright and autonomously on my own feet. Now I am my own authority, deciding what is silly and sensible, using the common and practical intelligence of the human brain. I am responsible for every action in my life and I can acknowledge that now. However, this means that from now on I cannot blame anybody for making me jealous, miserable, grumpy, afraid, angry or frustrated over any petty issue. Now there is no more excuse, no more hiding place. They are my reactions and my behaviour, which I have to face and change in order to be free.
So, in my experience, it is worth rebelling, but rebelling against someone else does not lead anywhere. For freedom, I rebelled against everything that I have been taught, every thought, every truth, every teaching, every feeling – and it is damn worth it.
VINEETO: This belief in eternity comes in many forms and disguises, but if you take a closer look, you will always find that the Divine, the Melting with the Universe, the Dissolution into the Greater Whole – life after death – are part of Eastern teaching.
RESPONDENT: ‘Eastern Teaching’... this again illustrates your tendency to generalize. There are many different so called Eastern teachings. And certainly Osho isn’t part of it. You’re on a sannyas-list and ‘Eastern Teaching’, or what you present of it, is irrelevant here.
VINEETO: Ok, if you want to – I can give you two quotes to ponder about:
I have come to see Osho’s teaching as a modern version of Eastern Teaching. He talked on Buddha, Krishna, the Zen-Masters, Zarathustra, the Sufi-Masters, Lao-Tzu, Ramakrishna, on all the important representatives of Eastern and Western religions.
But in order to question the Master after a devotional relationship of almost two-thirds of my adult life, I first had to question several ingrained concepts in me. I found the belief in authority was a big issue and a strong need, to always have somebody to guide me, love me and to belong to. Surrender to his authority was an easy option. There was also the belief in God or Existence, the ultimate and invisible authority, some (non-physical) energy outside of me and outside of the physical universe. This energy represented the ultimate power and Wisdom.
Dismantling the need and belief in authority allowed me to stand on my own feet for the first time in my life. What a freedom not have to react to people, men in particular, out of superiority or inferiority, but to be able to communicate with everybody as fellow human beings! Now I am my own authority, deciding what is silly and sensible, using the common and practical intelligence of the human brain. I am responsible for every action in my life and I can acknowledge that now. However, this meant that from then on, I could not blame anybody for making me jealous, miserable, grumpy, afraid, angry or frustrated over any issue. Now there was no more excuse, no more hiding place. These emotions were my reactions and my behaviour, which I had to face and change in order to be free.
And then there was love. The need to be loved and the hope to become Divine Love one day. Love for the Master made it impossible to question anything he said; I was following him not only for bliss, but for love. And yet, so many things didn’t add up. I had needed to explore the nature of the bonds with the Master and face the fears which came along with dismantling my relationship with Him – he who claimed to represent the ‘Absolute Truth’ in the spiritual world. Once I had seen through the belief in the ultimate authority of God or Existence, I could then more easily set out to investigate the facts of enlightenment.
You see, all those beliefs I had to tackle first in me, before Peter and I could begin to talk openly about Osho without me being offended.
If you are ready to look for proof that Osho was in fact talking about godliness, divinity, merging with the Universe, etc. you can send the search function through one of the discourses on the Osho-website, read without Sannyas-eyes and find out the answer for yourself.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.