Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT: Hi Vineeto, I feel like I totally don’t belong here and don’t want to be here and that I am not welcome here as I have no intention of being a bonafide actualist. However, I am curious about this belonging issue. Can you shed some light on belonging such as which instinct that it is associated with, etc.?
VINEETO: Since asking me about instinctual passions, you have posted the following to the list. Vis:
I do find it intriguing that, first asking me about instinctual passions, you now consider me ‘a complete robot’, as a real robot, being just a machine, does not know about feelings, emotions and passions. However, as you have asked, I will give you my two cents on my experience with ‘this belonging issue’.
All my life I wanted and needed to belong – to a family, a country, a group of mates, a boyfriend, a political movement, a therapy group and, most dedicated of all, a spiritual movement. When I had a strong sense of belonging to one particular spiritual group – Rajneeshees – I began to question other groups, religions and tribes I had belonged to before, thinking I was doing great liberating investigation.
However only when I questioned the act of believing itself, which is the cornerstone of belonging to any spiritual movement, did I come to realise that all my questioning of belonging so far had not even scratched the surface of my identity. Investigating the act of believing itself, of course, brought up all kinds of fears, the strongest of which was that then I would not belong to anyone or any group – I would be on my own.
As I said to Gary, when I was questioning my spiritual belief of being a Sannyasin there was great concern that I did not replace one belief with another – I wanted something tangible, stable, permanent, something that I would never ever have to question again, something that did not depend on me believing in it to be true. Therefore I had to investigate my emotional reactions to stepping out of that protective group as I was leaving behind all my friends, my spiritual identity as a Rajneeshee and the security of feeling as though I belonged to a close-knit community.
Those emotional reactions were not only my fear of being lonely and unprotected, but I was also haunted by my own adopted spiritual morals and ethics – was I doing the ‘right’ thing?, would I be punished if there was a God or an afterlife?, what if I was wrong and Rajneesh was right?, who am I to decide the ‘right’ path? ... and so on. It was just as well that I did not blame Richard or Peter – or actualism per se – for these fears and distressing emotions that arose from my own questioning, otherwise I would have never been able to investigate my own spiritual values and my need to belong to a protective spiritual tribe.
Now I belong to no group and to no one and by investigating not only my social identity of beliefs, morals and ethics but also my instinctual survival passions, I am leaving behind ‘who’ I thought and felt I was. For me, the notion that practicing actualism is the equivalent of belonging to a cult is complete and utter nonsense because by taking apart my social identity I am free from the debilitating need to belong to any group, family, nation, race and gender, and by investigating my instinctual passions I am free from the biggest club of all – humanity itself.
VINEETO: In my spiritual years I have assisted leaders in several Vipassana groups although I have never lead or wanted to lead a group myself.
RESPONDENT: I see, that was in your pre-virtualfree-stage.
VINEETO: No, it was in my spiritual years, well before I had even heard of the possibility of an actual freedom – the discovery of which now makes enlightenment redundant.
RESPONDENT: So as to: [Have you ever been a leader of a Vipassana-group?] You have in your spiritual years assisted leaders in several Vipassana groups but you have never been a leader of any groups. So... might one say that this assisting leaders in several Vipassana groups was during your pre pre-virtualfree-period as it seems to be reasonable to consider your spiritual years as a period in your life, that preceded your virtualfee stage and that there was thus a period in your life that not so much preceded the stage of virtual-freedom but was more a preparation of becoming virtual free (reaching the state of virtual freedom), nevertheless i find no difference in pre-virtualfree-stage and my spiritual years.
Could it perhaps be that you have found my conclusion [I see, that was in your pre-virtualfree-stage] to be somewhat premature and had perhaps you preferred to have it phrased in the form of a question?
VINEETO: The years of spiritual search preceded my coming across actualism but there is no causal connection between my having been on a spiritual search and being virtually free from the human condition.
On the contrary, being virtually free from the human condition is the result of abandoning all of the spiritual beliefs I had taken on my spiritual years.
Becoming free of spiritual belief was only the start because being virtually free of the human condition is also the result of abandoning my beliefs about humanistic psychology and social education that I had acquired in my years at university. Further it is the result of abandoning my social conditioning as a women’s lib promoter and a female member of society, of abandoning my cultural conditioning as a middle-class German, of abandoning my professional conditioning as a social worker in a drug addiction clinic, of abandoning my religious conditioning as a Roman Catholic, and so on.
None of the above-described conditioning (which includes my conditioning as a Rajneesh disciple) was ‘a preparation of becoming virtual free’ as you propose – it was all baggage that I had to leave behind. To say that you ‘find no difference in pre-virtualfree-stage and my spiritual years’ only points to your persistence in ignoring the fact that becoming free from the human condition is about abandoning one’s beliefs, as opposed to redefining them, reshuffling them, refurbishing them and relishing them.
VINEETO to No 23: The years of spiritual search preceded my coming across actualism but there is no causal connection between my having been on a spiritual search and being virtually free from the human condition. On the contrary, being virtually free from the human condition is the result of abandoning all of the spiritual beliefs I had taken on my spiritual years.
Becoming free of spiritual belief was only the start because being virtually free of the human condition is also the result of abandoning my beliefs about humanistic psychology and social education that I had acquired in my years at university. Further it is the result of abandoning my social conditioning as a women’s lib promoter and a female member of society, of abandoning my cultural conditioning as a middle-class German, of abandoning my professional conditioning as a social worker in a drug addiction clinic, of abandoning my religious conditioning as a Roman Catholic, and so on.
None of the above-described conditioning (which includes my conditioning as a Rajneesh disciple) was ‘a preparation of becoming virtual free’ as you propose – it was all baggage that I had to leave behind. To say that you ‘find no difference in pre-virtualfree-stage and my spiritual years’ only points to your persistence in ignoring the fact that becoming free from the human condition is about abandoning one’s beliefs, as opposed to redefining them, reshuffling them, refurbishing them and relishing them. Vineeto, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No 23, 17.11.2004
RESPONDENT: I am wondering exactly what you mean by ‘abandoning’ one’s beliefs. It seems more to me that I didn’t consciously abandon my beliefs. It was more like I kept questioning my beliefs and they just disappeared.
VINEETO: Could you provide a practical example of ‘I kept questioning my beliefs and they just disappeared’ in order that we can discuss the topic more specifically?
RESPONDENT: I think it was more like confronting others’ beliefs on a spiritual list. For example, when someone would say something about ‘otherness’ I would tell them that I don’t believe in any otherness. There would then be a discussion about otherness and I could see what an obvious belief it is. Through this process any beliefs I had seem to have disappeared. It wasn’t as if I decided to ‘abandon’ any beliefs I still had.
VINEETO: I did some research on this spiritual list so as to find out more about what you mean by ‘confronting others’ beliefs’ given that you liken this to ‘questioning my beliefs’ – I see these as opposite processes, not at all alike.
Curiously this is what I found, amongst other posts –
Considering that on the same day you said to me ‘it seems more to me that I didn’t consciously abandon my beliefs’ I am somewhat confused as to what difference you make between ‘abandoned’ and ‘consciously abandoned’.
For me, abandoning my beliefs was the conscious and deliberate determination to peel away all the conditioning I had taken on board in my life that prevents me from experiencing the magic and perfection that I had experienced in my first major pure consciousness experience.
In order to peel away the layers of ‘me’, the social and instinctual identity I had clearly seen as standing in the way of experiencing the magic of this actual physical universe, I found that it wasn’t enough merely to question my beliefs (or the beliefs of others) for questioning sake, as I had done before. Also, it wasn’t sufficient to question what I considered to be beliefs, mine or other’s – I had to dig into what I felt to be unquestionably true and what I was sure to be right in order to determine whether they were fact and whether they worked in practice.
In other words, I made a deliberate decision to uncover my beliefs in order to abandon them, beliefs that were disguised as truths, held by me as well as my peer group to be valid and right, good and fair. What made them appear to be right and true were not only my own passionate feelings but the fact that others around me also felt them to be true.
Given that beliefs are nothing other than emotion-backed thoughts the task to uncover my beliefs was fairly easy in principle – whenever I got upset about what someone said I could then reasonably assume that one of my dearly held beliefs or values was challenged. In practice, however, it was often not so easy because each belief I uncovered in fact challenged the very person I felt myself to be.
So, the answer to your question ‘what’s left when all beliefs and ideas including the spiritual is abandoned?’ in my experience was that what is left is the feeler. Consequently I then began to investigate the feelings that do not necessarily have beliefs attached to them but that nevertheless stand in the way of me being unconditionally happy and harmless – the necessary prerequisite to becoming free from one’s ‘self’ altogether.
RESPONDENT: My formal education is in psychology. It’s been a while, but reading all the psychological terms used here on the list have encouraged me to refresh my memory. Cognitive dissonance is a theory of one of the ways the mind or brain functions. What it says is that if something is presented to a mind that is different enough from the thought/ memory/ belief of that mind, the mind receiving the dissonant input will not recognize it. The dissonant input will not be consciously recognized. It may not even be accepted on an unconscious level (we don’t know yet). Getting annoyed at something is not cognitive dissonance. We can be aware of annoyance. The theory of cognitive dissonance is that we are not aware of the too-foreign input. Why it is interesting in the context of this group is that it may be that some ideas do not get across because they are so at odds to what has been previously accepted or believed that those ideas are not even accessible to the person receiving them. I’m not saying that this is happening in the case of No 60 – I actually don’t know. I do think that AF has a lot to say to psychology and I’d like to see the terms used in ways that I understand or at least redefined so that we all know what we are talking about.
VINEETO: I don’t know whose correspondence in particular you are referring to but since I have written about cognitive dissonance I will attempt to clarify the issue for you. Here are four instances where I have written about cognitive dissonance and each time I made it quite clear that it is a very common reaction whenever one comes across new information that contradicts previously-imbibed ideas, understandings and beliefs –
Nowhere in those correspondences did I indicate or imply that ‘getting annoyed at something’, as you say, was the same as cognitive dissonance. I am well aware that they are not the same thing.
What is clear, however, is that the misunderstanding and confusion that invariably arise from cognitive dissonance can very easily lead to feelings such as frustration, annoyance, irritation, and even anger. This is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica says about cognitive dissonance –
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: 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.
RESPONDENT: Hi Vineeto. Thanks for your reply. You’ve got it right. Children have little defence against virulent mind viruses such as Christianity.
Oh, and not only Christianity but the whole range of Eastern religion and spirituality as well. The monotheistic religions have a person-like god whom they worship while the pantheistic religions largely found in the East have many gods, so many that everyone is invited to join the ranks of the gods by becoming one themselves. I know, enlightened Zen Buddhists are a bit coy about calling themselves god but ‘the Eternal’, to quote from your other post, is but a synonym of an immortal amorphous divinity. Investigating Christianity is only a small step in the direction of getting rid of all of one’s beliefs.
VINEETO: 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.
RESPONDENT: Very true. Have no problem with that – just Richard’s claims of uniqueness.
VINEETO: If you had no problem with actualism being brand new in human history you would not object to Richard being the pioneer of this brand new discovery. What you really are saying is that you think actualism is not brand new because you compare it to the Tried and Failed spiritual methods of Byron Katie and Zen teachers, therefore to you Richard’s discovery is not unique.
It is interesting that thus far only those who are well and truly disenchanted with all religious and spiritual teachings – and that includes Buddhism and Zen – have been able to discover the transparently palpable difference between practicing dissociation and the elimination of both one’s social identity and one’s instinctual ‘being’ that allows the actual world to become apparent.
RESPONDENT: I am currently investigating Actualism and using the methods.
VINEETO: There is only one method in actualism. If you think that actualism has any similarity to Byron Katie’s four questions or to Zen Buddhist teachings then you need to further investigate in order to discover the genuine actualism method. To give you a hint, the actualism method has an inherent non-spiritual and down-to-earth intent – to become happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. There is nothing other-worldly, nothing self-aggrandizing, nothing nihilistic, nothing negative, nothing dissociative and nothing self-centred about that intent.
RESPONDENT: I’m also finding Byron Katie’s four questions (The Work www.thework.org) to be an excellent means of disengaging from all sorts of thoughts, stories and beliefs. Using feelings as a guide, you can investigate the stories you’ve attached to. Investigation uncouples complex intertwined stories and feelings. The mutual induction between story and feeling unlocks and they dissolve naturally.
VINEETO: I read her website and the interview with Sunny Massad the first time you mentioned her. Her method is very similar to other methods of Eastern spirituality – one is to disengage, i.e. dissociate from one’s ‘stories’ or projections in order to become one’s true Self, which she calls ‘total love’ or being God. Elements of this particular method were common tools in the Personal Growth Movement (Esalem Institute) and the New Age therapy groups that subsequently blossomed and which were later to be refined by Eastern spiritual teachers to the dissociation tools that they are today – ‘you’re projecting’, ‘you are yourself what you hate in others’ and so on. I have spent years doing and assisting in the running of groups where such methods were used – at best the doing of such groups and the use of such methods offer a temporary period of dissociation from the burdens of being a self, at worst both the groups and the methods become an addictive way of dissociating from the business of being here.
Whereas actualism is paying exclusive attention to the business of being here in this physical universe in this only moment I can experience. (...)
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.
RESPONDENT: The Work is definitely not spiritual – it’s a method for self investigation.
VINEETO: Has it ever occurred to you that the method is only as good as the goal one wants to achieve with using the method? And you made it clear what you use Byron Katie’s method for –
In my spiritual years I thought that self-investigation was for the purpose of becoming more humble – the aim being to enhance my good emotions and sublimate and transcend my bad emotions. I believed that this work would diminish my ego so as to bring me closer to the Divine, and I strongly believed that if I could succeed in surrendering to the Divine I would solve the problems that my ego caused.
Only when I met Richard and learnt about an actual freedom from the human condition did I realize that I had been following the fashion of concentrating on only one aspect of the problem, my ego, yet completely ignoring the major aspect of the problem, my soul. By only investigating the unwanted parts of my self I had empowered the cherished parts of my self – and thus only aggravated the problem of being a ‘soul-self’, an instinctually driven identity.
In short, if the aim is not ‘self’-immolation it is inevitably ‘self’-aggrandizement and ‘Self’-empowerment.
RESPONDENT: The whole God concept is so loaded up with preconceptions.
VINEETO: Yes, ‘the whole God concept’ is pure fantasy, all of it, from beginning to end.
RESPONDENT: I prefer the term ‘nature’ or ‘universe’ in which case physical matter would be a significant subset contained within ‘God’.
VINEETO: ‘Physical matter … a significant subset contained within ‘God’’ is still a concept ‘pertaining to a spirit’, i.e. a spiritual, whereas actualism is utterly, completely, absolutely, totally, without exception non-spiritual. God by whatever name and by whatever preference is a spiritual fairytale invented and kept alive by passionate minds and contumacious souls. In other words there is no such thing as an actual physical God. To believe that the physical universe is Divine is subscribing to Pantheism –
This physical universe is experienced as far, far more extraordinary when stripped of the veneer of being relegated to ‘a significant subset contained within ‘God’’. (...)
RESPONDENT: So far my investigations have not led me to invalidate my misgivings about the anti-guru guru Richard’s self proclaimed status of being the one and only human being to have ever achieved an actual freedom from the human condition.
VINEETO: Given that you make no distinction between a spiritual freedom and an actual freedom your ‘misgivings’ are based on voluntary ignorance and as such irrelevant. You could just as well have ‘misgivings’ that Rome has no Eiffel Tower because you insist to ignore the many road signs that say that Rome is not Paris. You are driving by the wrong map.
RESPONDENT: Wrong map? Depends where you want to go.
VINEETO: Looks like you are still a few country miles away from understanding the difference between spiritual and non-spiritual. To understand the diametrical opposite requires a weariness of the empty promises and haloed wisdom of spiritual teachings, a non-antagonistic attitude from the reader, a suspense of his or her suspicion, cynicism, sarcasm, doubt and pride and a good dose of naiveté. But above all, in order to understand what actualism is on about, one needs the intent to do so – and this intent is none other than the intent to be harmless towards others in order that one can be happy.
RESPONDENT: I certainly don’t want to go to planet Vineeto where the mental ecology has been clear felled and replaced with a dogma.
VINEETO: It’s not the ‘mental ecology’ (whatever that is) that ‘has been clear felled’ but the whole fantasyland of spiritual ideas, sacrosanct concepts, dearly-held beliefs, sacred psittacisms, venerated truths, ancient superstitions and so-called wisdom. Of course, for someone who still holds the pantheistic notion that ‘physical matter’ is ‘a significant subset contained within ‘God’’ any description of a god-less physical universe appears like a ‘dogma’ or worse.
I remember that at some point in my investigations into my spiritual beliefs the world seemed terribly bland and bleak without the comforting assurance of the shared-by-all fantasy that a divine force is looking after things. But I soon came to realize that this was an image solely created by my fears and with the encouragement of Richard’s report that there is an actual world hidden by my beliefs and feelings I proceeded to question my cherished ideas and feelings and eventually discovered the vibrant splendour and the vivid abundance of actuality in a stunning PCE.
VINEETO: Your letter intrigued me such that I decided to disregard your suggestion and write a reply.
RESPONDENT: Firstly, may I thank you for an excellent site, which I have found extremely useful, especially the information on PCEs and the method set forth – HAIETMOBA. However, there has been something bothering me about your position which I haven’t been able to put my finger on until now. There seems to be a war going on here between Spiritualists and Actualists. There’s never smoke without fire.
VINEETO: Ha, this is quite an astounding picture you are creating here. There are almost 6 billion people who believe in some spiritual being, in some God or Goddess or in a whole range of gods and goddesses, in good and evil spirits, in some Divine Force … and here is the actualism mailing list explicitly stating right-up-front that it is not only non-spiritual but that it is dedicated to discussing matters that are down-to-earth, i.e. non-spiritual. And do you know what happens? Spiritualists come here, sometimes in twos, threes and fours, to challenge and attack, question and complain that how can actualists be so preposterous as to suggest that you can get rid of all your spiritual beliefs and become utterly happy and harmless.
For you to propose that a small group of practicing actualists are somehow conducting a war against spiritualists when all that is on offer here is a third alternative to being normal or being spiritual does seem to be somewhat missing the point.
RESPONDENT: In this actual Actual world, in its wondrous, and infinite subtlety, there is no need whatsoever to destroy/eradicate anything at all, including, may I add, the Evil Spiritualism.
VINEETO: What ‘actual Actual world’ are you talking about? The actual world described on the Actual Freedom Trust website is invisible to anyone harbouring spiritual beliefs because beliefs are feeling-fed thoughts which are a substantive part of ‘my’ identity. ‘I’ can only experience ‘my’ affectively tainted ‘self’-centred world and ‘I’ am forever locked out of the pure and magical actuality.
Spiritualism is not ‘Evil’, as you try to make it out – there is no Good and Evil in actuality. But for those interested in becoming unconditionally happy and unconditionally harmless, spiritualism is the first of the blindfolds that needs to be questioned and removed in order to experience the splendour of the paradisiacal actuality that is right here under our very noses.
RESPONDENT: Everything, and I do mean everything, is seen to be perfect just as it is, including the Human Condition you so desperately want to be free of.
VINEETO: Well, if everything is as ‘perfect just as it is, including the Human Condition’, then why are you subscribed to a mailing list that offers a way of becoming free of the human condition? Why do you even bother to write to this list complaining that there is ‘a war going on here between Spiritualists and Actualists’?
For me, the human condition is not perfect at all, for me there is something utterly wrong with the way human beings have been arguing and fighting, killing and torturing, suffering and agonizing for millennia – that’s why I took up the offer to radically (at root) change the only person I can change. And the first thing I had to change was my being a loyal spiritual believer.
RESPONDENT: Before you rush to your computer, itchy mouse fingers at the ready to cut and paste me into oblivion, I suggest you take an even closer look at your intentions behind the destruction of Spiritualism from this wonderful, multi-facetted, infinitely subtle world we live in. ‘tis only a suggestion mind.
VINEETO: I don’t need to ‘take an even closer look at [my] intentions behind the destruction of Spiritualism’ because I abandoned my spiritual beliefs one by one, never to have them return. Actualism is not about destroying spiritualism, actualism is an alternative to spiritualism, which is quite a different matter.
As for ‘this wonderful, multi-facetted, infinitely subtle world we live in’ I can only suggest you sit down and take a clear-eyed look at this ‘multi-facetted’ world by watching some evening news, some real-life stories, some historical contemporary reports of tribes and nations in order to gain a clearer picture of the fact that nowhere do human beings of different gender, family, race, tribe, nation, religion and political conviction live together in peace and harmony. Rather human beings are continually arguing and bickering with each other and many are even killing, maiming, torturing and persecuting other human beings for being a different ‘facet’ than themselves. Take a candid look at how human beings are relentlessly driven to ensure their survival through fearing and attacking, bonding and accumulating. The passionate world of human interaction is quite horrendous and not ‘infinitely subtle’ at all. Human beings are neither happy most of the time nor are they harmless most of the time and most people don’t even like to be here.
‘This wonderful, multi-facetted, infinitely subtle world we live in’ is a world up in the clouds, a dream world to where spiritualists retreat in order not to be confronted with the pain and suffering and misery and mayhem of the dreadful, impassioned world of instinctual ‘self’-survival. I know because I had escaped into this dream world for many, many years – but in the end I had to admit that it didn’t work, that I could never shut out reality completely – it kept creeping in, be it through a fight with the boyfriend, a death in the family, a picture of a starving African tribe or the need to go back into the ‘marketplace’ to earn a living.
Now I don’t have to escape, now I can live with a companion in utter peace and harmony, I can be in the world-as-it-is and live in peace with my fellow human beings, I can earn a living and be happy while I am doing it, I can do nothing and be happy doing nothing, now I enjoy being here – and it all started when I began to investigate my spiritual beliefs, all of them.
RESPONDENT: The AF usage of the word ‘belief’ is deficient.
Here’s first part of what is in the AF online dictionary on Belief...
It seems that AF definition of belief is only part of the meaning of the word belief. Yes, belief is often emotion-backed thought – it’s also often based upon insufficient evidence – but that doesn’t mean it’s always the case. Sometimes the word belief is synonymous with ‘educated guess’ where one doesn’t pretend certainty. In my job, I do phone technical support and I know as a matter of experience that educated guesses are indispensable in the troubleshooting process – one makes hypotheses until everything clicks in and the solution is found – one doesn’t know the educated guesses are true – but must make those guesses to proceed to getting a solution.
There seems to be a similar confusion over the word ‘opinion.’ Mostly an opinion is used on this list as synonymous with belief – why would you think something is true without sufficient evidence? I suppose it depends on what you think is ‘sufficient.’ But there are also common usages of the words ‘opinion’ and ‘belief’ that do not imply ‘fervently wishing to be true’ or an ‘emotion-backed thought.’
VINEETO: The reason Peter took the time and made the effort to write a glossary of terms for the actualism website was to explain how particular words are used in the actualism writings –‘a glossary of words and meanings as used in the Actualism writings and correspondence’ as it says on the Library homepage. Given that Actual Freedom introduces the third alternative to either being normal or becoming spiritual, it makes sense to be as precise as possible in one’s vocabulary in order to convey the discoveries made in using the actualism method as clearly as possible so as to make the difference clear between an emotional-spiritual and an actual experience.
RESPONDENT: Take for example the following passage from Vineeto’s writing... (from Vineeto’s correspondence on ‘Imagination’)
Now, Vineeto was incorrect about the philosopher’s cave. It wasn’t Mr. Kant’s cave – rather, it was Plato/Socrates’ cave from The Republic.
Now, she said she ‘thinks’ it was Kant’s cave – meaning there was uncertainty – so it seems she was making an educated guess that turned out to be wrong. So, my question is – was the idea that the cave was Kant’s a belief since it was discovered to be incorrect? Does the fact of the thought being wrong make it ‘emotionally backed?’
Again, it seems like Vineeto was merely giving an opinion or belief in the ‘educated guess’ sense and not the ‘emotion backed’ sense. Also, I could come up with all kinds of scenarios where I have ‘sufficient’ evidence to think something is true and factual, where it turns out later to be incorrect – but those aren’t necessarily emotion-backed thoughts.
VINEETO: Exactly. I remember writing the story and wondering what word best to use for not being sure as to who was its author. I chose to use the word ‘think’ instead of ‘believe’ because I knew for sure that I had no emotional investment as to who the author was.
RESPONDENT: So it seems that either there must be beliefs that are not emotion-backed thoughts – or the things we think can turn out to be incorrect that are not emotion backed thoughts need a new name – like ‘educated guesses.’ But they already had a name – the rest of the world knows them as beliefs.
VINEETO: For me as an actualist it is vital to make the distinction between an emotion-backed thought and an ‘educated guess’ and as such I use different words for distinctly different meanings. Because I want to investigate all of my emotion-backed thoughts, i.e. beliefs, I need to make sure I don’t confuse them with mere ‘educated guesses’. In other words, I reserve the meaning of the word belief to mean what it means in the actualism writings – both for the sake of my own clarity and for clarity in communicating with others.
RESPONDENT: Finally, for anyone who thinks it’s just me that’s confused and not the usages of ‘belief’ and ‘opinion’ on the AF list – here’s a quote from Richard... (from Richard’s Selected Correspondence on What is Actual Freedom)
So Richard allows the usage of the word ‘opinion’ to mean ‘make estimations, find it reasonable to presume and so on’ – why not make the same allowance for ‘belief?’ I find myself using the word ‘believe’ in that context quite frequently – where I am making an educated guess.
It’s synonymous (sometimes) with ‘I think so’ or ‘to the best of my knowledge’ or ‘yes, according to the best available evidence, I believe it to be the case.’
This is very common usage, folks – but I find that the word ‘believe’ and likewise ‘opinion’ has turned into a hot button word on this list – lest you be reproached and sent back to square one. Maybe just maybe it doesn’t always mean ‘emotion backed thought.’
VINEETO: I wonder what clarity would be achieved by the word ‘belief’ to mean something other than it is meant to mean in the actualism writings? Or, to say it in your own words from a few months ago –
I take it that when you said ‘rooted in belief’ you did not mean ‘rooted in educated guess’. As such you understood that the activity of investigating one’s beliefs is the activity of investigating one’s emotion-backed thoughts, heartfelt passions, cherished opinions, esteemed worldviews and precious theories and not one’s ‘educated guesses’.
The specific use of words and their associated meanings in the actualism writings is designed to aid this hands-on investigation, not to confuse or obscure it by vague or ambiguous jargon as is the wont in the revered spiritual teachings.
RESPONDENT: You are correct that I understood that believing (in the actualist sense) is emotion-backed. I suppose that there is more than one way to do things in the interest of clarity – one could always use a qualifier in front of the word ‘belief’ – like ‘emotion backed beliefs’ or ‘passionately held beliefs’ etc – as to distinguish from estimations and guesses. I suppose that where much of this is coming from not wanting to butcher ordinary language too much. If I find myself saying for example, ‘I believe her middle name is, uh, Joanne’ – I don’t want to be concerned about modifying it to say ‘I think her middle name is...’ or ‘My best guess is that...’ or whatever.
VINEETO: Personally I found it very useful to adjust my language to aid my ongoing inquiry into beliefs. For me, it seemed easiest to reserve the word belief for the fervent emotion-backed activity of my thoughts and use different words for simply being uncertain about a fact. But then, I guess, each actualist decides what works best for themselves, by themselves.
RESPONDENT: This probably also comes from bumping up against this issue in my ordinary speech – for example, does saying ‘I hope you have a nice day’ necessarily mean I’m ‘hoping?’ I could just as easily change to wording to ‘Have a nice day.’ So, I sometimes use the word ‘hope’ without the emotion of hope behind it.
VINEETO: Well, after I had inquired into the bigger issues of my beliefs I became increasingly attentive to my way of thinking and use of language in order to not inadvertently overlook something. I discovered that when someone said to me ‘I hope you have a nice day’ they were implying that I might not have a nice day because having a nice day is generally considered to be a matter of luck or a matter of avoiding misfortune. As an actualist I no longer rely on hoping that I will have a nice day – I can be sure of it, because I have been busy ridding myself of my feelings of sorrow and malice such that I now always have an excellent day.
As for other people – I can sincerely say to someone ‘have a nice day’ as a kind of encouragement but I know by experience that hoping for it is a no-brainer. I know the human condition and I know that normal people, and spiritual people, regularly stuff up the possibility of having a lovely day by feeling upset, frustrated, annoyed, bored, melancholic, sad, angry or even furious.
RESPONDENT: Sometimes it seems that actualism cuts into one’s ordinary speech a bit too much. Or at least it has the potential to do so, if you let it – and it can be disorienting. ‘I Looove ice cream!! Uh, I mean ice cream tastes great!’
My solution for this dilemma is to look for the emotion – not the words, but to remember that words can be, but aren’t necessarily, indicators of an emotion or particular mental state.
VINEETO: To practice actualism is certainly ‘disorienting’ – it is bound to. After all, the psyche that you are inquiring into is the result of millions of years of human conditioning and billions of years of instinctual programming – if that is not upsetting the applecart I wonder what is. I remember I had days, even weeks, of being on an emotional roller-coaster because I wanted to question everything, often including things that made sense.
Slowly I began to understand that how I am experiencing this moment of being alive is what is vitally important, as this is the only moment I can experience being alive. As such what I need to experientially investigate is whatever feeling is preventing me from being happy now.
RESPONDENT: So anyway, I suppose a sensible way of keeping our words clear is to keep them within well defined limitations for the purpose of clearly communicating about Actual Freedom – along with the clearly stated provision that this is the purpose for doing so.
VINEETO: Of course. Clear communication is the very purpose of using words … unless one is has a vested interest in muddying the waters, that is. (...)
RESPONDENT: It’s funny now that you point that out – I almost never scroll down to the actual ‘glossary’ on that page – but usually select one of the ‘topics’ above – so I wasn’t aware of the statement ‘a glossary of words and meanings as used in the Actualism writings and correspondence.’ I certainly have no objection to refining word usage in the interest of clarity, and with that provision – it seems that the definition of ‘belief’ is sufficient.
What I had been noticing lately is a tendency to pounce on any beliefs or opinions whatsoever – possibly even in the ‘educated guess’ form.
VINEETO: Ah, in the light of ‘a tendency to pounce on any beliefs or opinions whatsoever’ I understand your query that ‘the word ‘belief’ is deficient’. However, I think that as long as you stick to pouncing on your own ‘educated guesses’ there is no way you can astray because you will find out soon enough if your ‘educated guesses’ qualify as being beliefs and as such need further examination. It is the passionate intent to get to the bottom of all of your beliefs that is crucial for uncovering all the borrowed knowledge and all of the ideas, principles and convictions that you, like everyone else, have inadvertently taken on board.
RESPONDENT: Here’s an example...
This is from Gary to No 49 ‘No 49 re: choices (pt.2)’ (April 18, 2003)
Now this is an interesting statement because Gary is basically telling No 49 that opinions are synonymous with beliefs and both are emotion backed thoughts – and he adds at the end of this particular sentence ‘in my opinion’. This may have just been a slip-up on Gary’s part – no big deal I suppose, yet the confusion is a result of the word opinion being used in a more confined way that it’s normal usage. And it’s that extended, normal usage that slips out at the end of that sentence. Maybe a better word would have been ‘judgement’, or ‘estimation’. I suppose that’s for Gary to decide.
VINEETO: Funny you should think that it ‘may have been a slip-up on Gary’s part’ – I thought it was a good pun, particularly because right after saying the above he quoted the Merriam-Webster dictionary with the various meanings for the word ‘opinion’.
I know from experience that most of my former opinions were feeling-backed and as such fell into the same category as beliefs. Forming an emotion-backed opinion to everything I encountered has been a tenacious habit arising from ‘my’ compulsive need to always categorize everything as being either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but it is also firmly rooted in the instinctual need to ‘fall into line with one group or another’.
Only lately have I been able to read a report or watch a documentary on TV, or hear someone tell a story or propose a theory without automatically forming an emotion-backed opinion one way or the other. I am discovering the carefree ease that comes with not needing to have an opinion on everything that is going on or everything that other human beings do.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for answering. When I met the AF site, and I read enough in its sites, I said to my self, that I don’t like to begin, by believing what other people are saying. I wanted to try and find out if what they say is actual. They may be wrong or they may be right.
VINEETO: If you want to benefit at all from what The Actual Freedom Trust website is offering, then the first question to ask yourself is if you are vitally interested in becoming free from the human condition of malice and sorrow. Unless you are utterly fed up with your life as it is now, there is no point in even investigating the third alternative to being normal or being spiritual. Without such an overarching desire one inevitably will keep trying to prove that the materialistic and spiritual beliefs that uphold the human condition are right and object to actualism as being wrong.
RESPONDENT: The first thing that attracted my attention, was the statement of the infinity of the universe. As sometime passed through you brain some questions, like if the universe is infinite, then there is no place for god, in the same way passed through my mind certain questions, like: The universe, either is created, or exist since ever. There is no other alternative.
This is very important for me, because if the universe is finite, then the whole AF collapses. Because if in AF is a false statement, then must inevitably AF being based on a wrong statement must be wrong. So please understand my doubt, about the whole thing of this infinity.
VINEETO: If your interest does not lay in becoming happy and harmless, you will remain a defender of the status quo, in this case the belief that someone or something created the universe. Actualism is only of use for those intrepid pioneers who passionately want to become free from the Human Condition in toto.
RESPONDENT: I might gave the impression that I am a person full of believes, but on the contrary I don’t want to begin with believes.
VINEETO: Living within the Human Condition you are bound to be full of beliefs, everyone is. Like everyone else, you have imbibed beliefs with mother’s milk. The vital question for someone coming across actualism is – do you want to examine the beliefs you have taken on board in the course of your life. Your insistence that you ‘don’t want to begin with’ beliefs only prevents a sincere investigation.
RESPONDENT: So I said to my self, if the equation E=mc squared, is right, then the universe must be finite, because the above equation can be transformed to: c=square root of E/m. Now the c (speed of light) is a constant and very accurately measured. And the transformation of energy to mass is established. That means that that the square root of energy/mass and thus, E/m is a finite number, which means that the universe must be finite, because its mass and energy are finite.
VINEETO: In making the statement that ‘energy/mass is a finite number which means the universe must be finite’ you are ignoring the fact that in an infinite and eternal universe both the energy and the mass of the universe are also infinite.
RESPONDENT: Then I had to reject the 2nd law of thermodynamics (law) not theory, who says that in any working system, as the energy becomes less the entropy (disorder) tends to become bigger. And the universe is not in a state of entropy. Logically if it is always existing, means existing for infinite time, supposed to be in a state of entropy. And so we are contradicting a physical and scientific law.
VINEETO: In an infinite universe energy does not ‘become less’, therefore it appears that the 2nd law of thermodynamics works to describe local events and does not apply to the universe as a whole.
Editorial note: I was informed that it is more accurate to say that the 2nd law of thermodynamics works to describe a closed system – which means that it cannot apply to the universe as a whole given that an infinite system is, per definition, not a closed (as in finite) system.
RESPONDENT: Then I thought more naive questions, like if the universe is existing from ever, then is existing for an infinite time. And how we arrived to the present moment, in the case that we had to pass from infinite present moments?
VINEETO: I presume you were born from a father and mother like the rest of us humans? If so, it is obvious how you ‘arrived to the present moment’ and that you have thus far only existed for a finite time and that you will only exist for a finite time.
RESPONDENT: To give one explanation to that I had to reject time all together and say that the present moment of (let’s call it minus infinite) is the same present moment of now and any now. So exist only the present moment and everything will always be a present moment, so time is loosing its meaning altogether.
VINEETO: The fact that the universe has no beginning and no end does not ‘reject time all together’. Here is a quote from Richard that explains the difference between eternal and timeless –
RESPONDENT: From the other hand we have the phenomenon of expansion of universe, and recently they found that this expansion is also accelerated. That means the space between two galaxies let’s say in a billion of light years will be doubled. How can one infinite thing become doubled?
VINEETO: ‘The phenomenon of expansion of universe’ is a theory that is solely based on a particular interpretation of positive redshift values and this interpretation has remained sacrosanct because it appears to prove a beginning and as such a creation of the universe. There are many, many refutations of the ‘Big Bang’ theory as well as alternative explanations to the ‘Red Shift’ theory available both in print and on the internet – you have simply chosen to selectively present only those theories that agree with your already existing belief about a finite universe and a creator.
In other words, you would need to be interested in questioning your pre-existing beliefs in order to be able to even consider that the universe might in fact be infinite and eternal. So far all you have done is present your pre-existing beliefs in order to prove that you are right and actualists are wrong.
RESPONDENT: Then I thought that may be there are other dimensions and here as we see the space, might be like someone living in 2D and sees the shadow of a man tries to understand how a man looks. After I thought that the universe might be something like a 2D earth (to give one absurd example) who is limited but without boundaries. That means if a rocket goes up (does not exist up and down) but we need language to speak, will come back from the other side.
VINEETO: Human imagination of what the universe ‘may be’ is inexhaustible. Imagining what the universe ‘may be’ only produces yet more science fiction.
RESPONDENT: And finally I can not understand how sensorially somebody can understand the nature of finite or infinite universe. I thought that may AF uses the word infinity not literally but metaphorically. May be it uses it to show that we are not in a spot in particular, but then what difference makes if the universe is finite or infinite?
VINEETO: The human elaboration of the instinctual animal ‘self’ into a sophisticated and cunning psychological and psychic identity makes it almost impossible to conceive or consider how this flesh and blood body would experience the universe without this parasitical identity … unless one remembers a pure consciousness experience. In such a ‘self’-less pure experience the usual ‘self’-centred restrictions on one’s normal perception and understanding are temporarily out of order. Only in a ‘self’-less state can the universe be perceived as it is – infinite and eternal.
As long as ‘I’ am governing this body’s sensual perception, my ‘self’-dominated and ‘self’-oriented perception will always inflict its own limits on what I perceive and as such will impose its ‘self’-centred nature onto the physical universe. Similarly, the thinking process is contaminated by ‘self’-dominated and ‘self’-oriented thoughts and feelings – the identity is running the show all the time – and therefore a clear understanding of the actual world is impossible whilst ‘I’ insist on ruling the roost.
That’s why I said that in order to understand the nature of the universe, the first unavoidable step is to rigorously question one’s own beliefs and feelings in order to incrementally diminish the dominating role of one’s ‘self’-centred thoughts and feelings so as to slowly enable a more clear-eyed perception to come about – there is no other way.
RESPONDENT: Not many people of the list are interested on the subject, so if you think that the subject does not need to be discussed don’t be bothered please.
VINEETO: I had great fun talking about the infinite nature of the universe as it always gives me an incentive to experience the infinity I am writing about.
However, a theoretical, i.e. non-experiential, discussion about infinitude can never produce satisfactory results because unless you question and investigate your pre-existing beliefs first, you are actively preventing the possibility of an intellectual understanding that the physical universe is infinite and eternal, which is the prerequisite for an experiential understanding of the infinitude of the actual world.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that most of your ideas were based on your own projections/expectations rather than on the ideas set forth by Osho – My understanding of his words was more along the lines of understanding that the search was for ‘where is this ‘self’?’ And given enough introspection trying to find where this ‘self’ was – one comes to the conclusion that there is no self – (have you been able to localise this self through your indoctrination into Peter/Richard’s way of looking at life? If so, where does it end and the ‘other’ begin?
VINEETO: Yes, I have been able to localize this self many times, both in experiencing times without the ‘self’ in operation and from observing the details of its components operating in me. First I will give you the dictionary definition and then tell you about my discoveries.
As I see it, human beings have a rudimentary sense of self (as do other primates with larger brains) which is expanded by our ability to think, reflect and communicate with others. The combination of both results in an individual self, our ‘social identity’, underpinned by our instinctually driven animal-self, the innate instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. The self is very real, especially when interacting with other people and it usually becomes apparent through our emotional reactions to people and situations. It consists both of ‘who we think we are’, usually called ‘ego’ and ‘who we feel we are’, usually called ‘soul’. (See The Actual Freedom Trust Library)
Once I understood that the ‘self’ includes beliefs, emotions and instinctual passions, it was much easier to get a handle on it. Still, in the beginning it has been very scary to investigate emotions and beliefs, and the ground under my feet seemed to disappear many times. To explain to you how I came to understand ‘self’ in its complexity I will post you the description of my first peak-experience in our journal, where I left the realm of the ‘self’ for several hours and experienced the world without its distorting layer of emotions, beliefs and instinctual passions. <snip quote from ‘A Bit of Vineeto’>
From then on, naturally I tried to have this pure consciousness experience more often and then I would take information ‘back’ from that realm of clarity. From such a view ‘outside’ of the ‘self’ it was relatively easy to make out what it consists of, an entity of mainly fear-based beliefs, preventing my direct experience of the world-as-it-is. I decided that I wanted to get rid of this ‘self’ in its entirety, so I would take a particular belief that I wanted to examine and view it in its complete structure. It has been a fascinating journey of one discovery after the other! Every single issue that I encountered and thoroughly examined ended up being exposed as yet another product of the ‘self’, this lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity in me that wants to stay alive and kicking, selfish, self-centred and self-related. With every dismantled belief or recognized emotion-related conviction my ‘self’ became weaker and more transparent – allowing me to experience the actual world again and again and again.
Now, stripped of most beliefs and their inherent emotions the ‘self ’is not very powerful anymore. Once in a while fear rears its head, reminding me of the last bits of ‘self’, resisting to give up their control-function. But the changes in my life are already so significantly for the better, and as I am fully in my senses most of the time, my experience of people, things and events is fresh, sparkling, actual, magical and delicious. There is no question as to the inevitable death of this alien entity. It will happen in one of these days...
The film ‘The Truman Show’ depicts the making of and living in a belief-structure blatantly obvious. The hero grows up in his surroundings, designed to film and broadcast his daily life around the clock, and he has work, friends, wife etc. Then somebody comes along and plants the first doubt into his head. He examines his situation at close hand, finds more and more strange inconsistencies, plans to escape and is finally able to leave the whole constructed ‘universe’ – he steps outside his known belief-structure and enters the unknown, a world which is neither protected nor planned nor restricted by ready-made beliefs...
RESPONDENT: Wonderful, but now I see that you are again unconsciously believing. Believing there is no god, no love, no soul, no other lives, etc, etc, etc.
VINEETO: Not so. I don’t believe, either consciously or unconsciously. I only take my information about life from what I can see, hear, smell, touch and taste, the very physical substance. Everything that goes on in the head and the heart is belief and imagination – it is the very stuff the ‘self’ is made of. Once you stop believing in the soul you experientially understand that it does not exist outside of your belief. To believe that there is life after death needs the act of believing. It is not a proven fact. And it doesn’t make it more of a fact that millions of people have the same belief. Once you stop feeding that belief you will suddenly see the fact that this body dies when it dies and that there is nothing else left, no soul to live on for eternity. Once god, love, soul, other lives etc. are not supported, i.e. passionately believed in, by our psychic entity, they disappear. They have as much substance as a ghost – none whatsoever.
RESPONDENT: Seeing that most of the world is unconscious of their repressions which keep them stuck in their beliefs, you have formed a new belief that all of what the masses believe is wrong. I am not saying they are right. I am saying that if you re-awaken, see your current beliefs, AND NOT REPLACE THEM as Osho has said, you may find your heart and life as a mystery to be lived, not as a believing robot.
VINEETO: Once I experienced the actual world I could see there is no need to pollute it with any kind of ‘human produce’ – call it heart, love, mystery, divine consciousness. From the clear experience of a Pure Consciousness Experience I could see that all my feelings and beliefs are part of the Human Condition, a product of the basic survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. I understand that you would want to label my experience of the actual world according to your belief-structure and put it into the drawer of ‘another belief’ because all we have known up to now is consists of beliefs. In fact, belief, trust, hope and faith are held as the highest human values.
The moment you sincerely inquire into the activity of believing, you will find yourself nibbling away at the very substance of the ‘Self’. Very, very scary, but utterly thrilling and immensely rewarding.
Did you ever consider how do you determine if what you believe is actually the case? Well, if it is actually the case, it must therefore exists without the support of your belief – so believing is an unnecessary activity. My honest investigation into my acts of believing and one year of diligently applying the method of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ has led me to experiencing the world in its magnificent, sensuous and delightful actuality – unclouded and unfiltered by any emotions, feelings, beliefs or instincts.
VINEETO: Osho may have said not to replace the beliefs of your secular conditioning and beliefs, but he certainly replaced them with his version of spiritual conditioning and beliefs.
RESPONDENT: As I said before, I don’t get that you hear me ... so since I am not addicted to endlessly arguing, as apparently you both are ... I’ll make this short. Pray tell, what spiritual conditioning and beliefs did Osho replace in us?
VINEETO: So now we are investigating what is a belief and what is a fact, are we? Remember, belief per dictionary means ‘fervently wishing to be true’, while fact means ‘what has really happened or is the case’ . You say that nothing that Osho tried to instil in us was based on belief, do you? Do you say that everything he talked about were mere facts, evidenced by our senses? That one did not need to believe or trust what was said, one could simply see it, touch it, hear it, taste it or smell it?
I try to avoid battling with quotes, Osho said billions of words and everyone makes their own interpretation of it. But since you seem to claim that there was no spiritual conditioning or any beliefs involved, I found some of his words that point to his belief in God, divinity, soul, immortality, the mysterious ‘inner space’ and the Universe as animated by divine intelligence
As I said to No 10:
RESPONDENT: As I said before ... you missed Osho. All of what he said was to break with ritual, tradition, conditioning, and programmed mindset.
VINEETO: Yes, as I said, he was to break the tradition of the ‘normal’ conditioning, the programming that we had when we came to India. I never denied that he tried to ‘brainwash’ our ‘minds’ from the conditioning of childhood and society. To a certain extent he even succeeded – and then he installed in us the beliefs of the spiritual world i.e. re-incarnation, eternal soul and karma, God as a Divine Universe, afterlife, ‘I am not the body’, ‘I am the watcher’. These are the spiritual beliefs which I have decided to investigate.
RESPONDENT: Now if your bent is to believe, for example, your belief that you have no ego, then you can make a belief out of anything.
VINEETO: Yes, you can make a belief out of anything, that is the nature of belief. It is produces in the head and the heart of the person who believes and has nothing to do with facts.
This time, upon meeting Richard though, I was determined not to give up my belief in Osho for yet another belief. It all sounded great, plausible and sensible what Richard said, but I did not want to just believe another authority. But what Richard said made me prick up my ears and be interested enough to inquire as to the facts of the whole spiritual situation, for myself.
So I started to investigate if what I had so long taken to be the ‘Truth’ was factual or just fantasies of Ancient Wisdom. The deeper I looked, and the longer I investigated, the more I had to admit that I had been sold a dummy. Yes, this fantasy is backed up by great feelings of bliss and love and it is supported by the belief of millions of people, but it is nevertheless a passionate fantasy, produced in everyone’s head and in everyone’s heart. It is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. It is not factual as in corporeal, actual, tactile, material, physical and tangible. It is not even sensible.
I don’t believe that I have no ego. I examined each of my beliefs and each of the many surfacing emotions and eliminated them in the light of awareness. Further I discovered and investigated the underlying instincts that feed both one’s beliefs and emotions to the extent that they have now lost their power over me. In seeing them as the software they are I realised that they can be deleted. For the first time in history humans can free themselves from their animal heritage which has raged in each of us and bound us since millennia. This journey to freedom is more than just eliminating the ego, it is dissolving and eliminating the soul as well, the very core of my ‘being’.
RESPONDENT: But by rightly hearing Osho, one would see his whole effort is to destroy all beliefs.
VINEETO: He might have thought so himself, and yet it was a belief and not a fact that ‘he is not the body’, that ‘he only visited this planet’, that ‘his soul is immortal and dissolves into the Whole’, that ‘real life starts after death’ – that’s what’s the meaning of ‘Maha-Parinirvana’, the true and great Nirvana after death. You can find many, many words for what he taught to be the truth – still, it is just ancient Eastern beliefs. It needs trusting and believing, it needs surrender to the master’s wisdom in order to keep up this imaginary world. The moment you stop feeding the belief, for instance in an afterlife or immortality, it will gradually disappear and be revealed the mirage it is.
RESPONDENT: My insight into his messages is rather blunt. But I like it. I say all that he said boils down to two messages. One is ... everything that you believe is bullshit ...
VINEETO: Could it be that, for your convenience, you call ‘belief’ what you have thrown out, and label as ‘truth’, what you want to keep? If the very act of believing is ‘bullshit’, why do you believe in trust, in God, in surrender? As you say on your web-site:
– and to No 14 and to No 4 you said:
It simply requires no trust to be here in the actual world as this flesh and blood body.
In my ruthless and relentless investigations of what are my beliefs and what are facts, I found an amazing guideline: Everything that needs ‘my’ doing in any form, thinking, believing, feeling, intuiting, channelling etc. is not actual. Whatever is actual can be questioned and examined till the cows come home, it will stay actual and factual. You can doubt the existence of a tree, it will still be there as a growing plant with a trunk and branches and leaves. But if you question the soul, you’ll end up with nothing substantial. Applying this guideline to all my dearly held beliefs has been at times quite devastating – but now I can be certain and confident for the first time about the facts that I had uncovered under the layer of passionate beliefs. Anything that requires belief or feeling such as ‘trust’, ‘surrender’ or ‘hope’ is not actual – it is obvious and devastatingly simple.
Trust is believing or hoping that something exists (ie that Existence cares for us, that the Master knows what he is doing or talking about, that God is looking after His children). Confidence, on the other hand, is knowing the facts as evidenced by the physical senses.
RESPONDENT to No 4: ... but more to do with people stuck believing that where they are is the only truth.
VINEETO: I assume that with ‘people stuck believing that where they are is the only truth’, you mean Peter and me and not yourself?
But before deciding about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ prematurely, why not first completely understand what we are presenting? Then you really know what you are accepting or dismissing.
As for ‘stuck believing’ – it’s like ‘believing’ the Santa-Claus story – as a child you might have believed in Santa Claus or the Dutch equivalent. So he was Father Christmas, who knows all your sins and who brings you presents. But once you have seen through the scheme that the guy in front of you is just the neighbour with a wig and a false beard, then there is neither fear nor hope for reward. After seeing through it once, you can never believe that fairy-tale again. It’s not that you now ‘believe’ that there is no Father Christmas, you simply know that he never existed.
The same is the case with the belief in a ‘soul’ or God. I do not believe that there is no ‘soul’ or no God, I simply have seen through the passionate imagination it all is. In several pure consciousness experiences I have gathered enough confidence that my ego and soul are nothing other than my ‘self’, and knowing the purity of living in the actual world without the presence of this ‘self’ I am determined to get out of the way, I aim for self-immolation.
The point is that without ‘me’, the feeling entity inside me, the very act of believing is simply not possible. To be able to believe you need feelings and imagination. Without feelings and imagination there is no ‘me’ that would do the believing, and no ‘me’ that has any investment in believing anything. The faculty that believes is non-existent.
RESPONDENT: In my waking up, first I learned I was full of shit. That all I believed was somehow flawed, programmed, not me. Then I learned that I could use the feeling sensations in my body, which are tied into the ego-conditioned-mind, to go beyond it all by totally sensing the body. I learned to move this energy around, transform it into other energies. I think P&V are stuck somewhere around here. And it is easy for the tricky ego to regain control. The spiritual ego, and in their case, the non-spiritual spiritual ego, believing it has no beliefs, yet blind to their believing they know-it-all.
VINEETO: It is a bit disconcerting not to be quite able to place P&V, isn’t it? I have never heard of a ‘non-spiritual spiritual ego believing it has no belief’. It is a completely new definition you have invented here to give us the ‘appropriate’ place us in your belief-system. Sounds like a new gene. Quite an amazing invention, really.
RESPONDENT: Once you drop ALL ideas and beliefs about if someone does or does not live on, if there is a soul or not and just be, then I suggest you can truly be in the here and now. Richard sounds like someone who has his own belief system and is convincing others that his ideas are the TRUTH. What is the difference between that activity and others you so easily condemn?
VINEETO: I don’t talk about the truth, I talk about facts, verifiable by the physical senses. No belief, no truth is needed for finding out about facts. Just common sense.
But as long as you move in the realm of believing rather than investigating the facts for yourself, everything will be a belief to you. Believing, you can only choose between a favourable belief and a not so favourable belief. If you wish, you can make it a belief, what Richard or I say. Then it won’t make any difference if you accept it or reject it.
But you can also check out his suggested method and apply the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ and eliminate everything in you that is not verifiable by the physical senses. You can use the method for yourself to become happy and harmless, free from the Human Condition. Then it is not a belief, then it becomes actuality for you.
RESPONDENT: No one likes their beliefs being questioned, but, in this case Osho did always tell everybody to question everything and he purposefully changed his statements in order to make people question even him. So you are right. Being someone who spent years with Osho, it does give you a right to examine anyone’s belief’s including your own.
All I know is that I know nothing. Who said that? As long as I question everything I will be in the ‘search’ mode.
VINEETO: All I am proposing is that you question your own beliefs – just because it worked for me. There are many good reasons for questioning the ‘tried and failed’ and I have explained most of them. But it is completely up to you which belief you want to question. The good thing about investigating not only your ego but also your feelings, emotions and instincts is that you arrive. The search ends and the entity inside dies, a complete and irreversible death. One arrives in the magical perfection and delightful aliveness of here, in the actual world.
But if one single man can live outside of imagination, can live without love and emotion, then emotions and an eternal soul are not facts but merely the collective products of our fertile imagination and instinctual programming.
VINEETO: But if one single man can live outside of imagination, can live without love and emotion, then emotions and an eternal soul are not facts but merely the collective products of our fertile imagination and instinctual programming.
RESPONDENT: Really now, so what. That proves absolutely nothing, just that Richard has developed himself into another type of human being, and obviously one you admire. Again, so what is the big deal here. Enjoy it, revel in it, be it but don’t come up with just another belief system you are trying to convince others is TRUTH.
VINEETO: Truth has to be believed, facts can be verified. I have verified that it is possible to live with a man in utter peace, harmony and equity, and I have verified that one can clean oneself up to be happy and harmless. No believing needed. No truth found. Everyone can do the same if they wish to.
RESPONDENT: I’m just bored with the underlying assumption that your belief system is somehow superior to others. All belief systems are bogus, yours included.
VINEETO: You are bored with your own assumption.
As long as you want to believe, everything that anybody presents is seen as a belief system. You could also start investigating. You could, for instance, try and remember a pure consciousness experience – and almost everybody has had at least one in their lives. Then you can experience for yourself the facts of what Peter and I are talking about. In a pure consciousness experience, where the ‘self’ is in temporary abeyance, everything is self-evident and obvious, including the fact, that it is only the ‘self’ that is in the road of experiencing the perfection of the infinite universe.
The objection that most people have is that in the actual world, verifiable by the physical senses, there is neither love nor a soul nor divine energy.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.