Selected Correspondence Vineeto
Death – Self-Immolation vs. Immortality
VINEETO to Alan: Here things are going very well indeed. I encounter heaps of fear. But that is not all of it. There is so much thrill to it, I can hardly believe it. I have got tired of virtual freedom, of ‘just’ scheduling pleasures throughout the day and night, I am going for the ultimate prize. I want actual freedom, not just virtual freedom, but the genuine article. The name of the game is death, oblivion, obliteration, extinction, going all the way. The name of the game is 100%. And that is the thrill, that gives everything the sparkle, the magic, the depth in terms of richness, that gives every pleasure a single purpose: to add to the extinction of Vineeto, the psychological and psychic entity .
Irene’s letter came at the right time. She did me a great service. For the reply, I had to put myself under utter scrutiny because I know she would not let me get away with anything. She has scrutinized me unsparingly – but so do I. Questioning myself continuously is the essential ingredient of the journey to freedom. And the countdown started, I have left the safe plateau of the delights of virtual freedom and I am on the roller coaster. What a ride! I can recommend it absolutely, it is the crowning glory of the journey started long ago. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
VINEETO to Alan: I am currently attempting to understand the process of approaching death, the combination of self-immolation and doing what is happening. I have always been puzzled by the apparent paradox of the fact that only ‘I’ can bring about my demise and the question how the last bit of ‘me’ is going to disappear. This is how I experience it now –
Sometimes, in the course of a perfect day, ‘I’ have a more substantial experience of an emotion, usually felt as fear, tension in the head or/and in the stomach area. Over the period of the last weeks I have come to understand my own journey as less of a ‘psychic and psychological search and destroy mission’ and more of as a physical affair, where the brain is sorting out the necessary neuron-links to adjust to the dismantling of ‘me’. And the only thing that ‘I’ can do now to support my self-immolation process is to get out of the road, to not stand on the brakes. The process is happening and so, for freedom’s sake, Vineeto, get off the brakes!
I do that by neither dramatizing the fear nor pushing it away, by seeing it more as a by-product of this strange thing I am doing. I don’t ‘support’ a panic-attack by embroidering it, and neither do I let myself be numb, bored or dull. Then, by quietly noticing what is happening, without attaching any identity to an ‘observer’, apperception happens – with some rumbling going on in the background – while I get on with the pleasures of being here, be they food, sex, a walk into town, playing with the web-site, interaction with other people, going to work or watching television. And by ‘my’ stepping out of the way I am doing what is happening, any rumbling or grinding in the background included.
VINEETO: All ‘I’ am is my feelings, all ‘I’ am is my beliefs and all ‘I’ am is my instincts. ‘I’ consist of nothing else. And facing and acknowledging that obvious fact, ‘I’ knew that ‘I’ would never succeed to reach ‘my’ goal, ‘I’ would never make the 100% mark, ‘I’ would never attain the prized freedom. By the very nature of actual freedom that is an impossibility. ‘I’ would always be stuck at the 99% mark. ‘I’ cannot improve any further. ‘I’ can never claim the success. A feeling of failure struck me as ‘I’ realised ‘my’ limitations. ‘That is the end of the trying and achieving, the end of ‘my’ job and the end of ‘my’ mission.’ Acknowledging the obvious fact of not being able to succeed as ‘me’, I gave up – and ceased being in the road. Never mind the physical symptoms of the fear, they are just part of the drama. But there was a sense of redundancy and of relief that were both delicious and ambrosial. Here ‘I’ am, with nothing left to achieve, without a mission and a purpose.
ALAN: This is it, absolutely. And is what I meant, when I wrote ‘I suddenly realised (‘got’) that ‘I’ had to go in ‘my’ entirety to achieve actual freedom. Not almost all of ‘me’, not 99%, not just the beliefs, but every single smidgen of the personality which considered itself to be Alan. There would not be a trace remaining, not even a shadow of a shadow’ ‘I’ will never, ever get ‘here’ – and this is what I have been occupied with for the last few weeks.
VINEETO: So the next question is, what is it then that hinders you from finally enjoying ‘retirement’ as long as it will last? I am finding this redundancy the best part so far, the thrill of the ‘imminent inevitability’ (Peter’s latest favourite phrase) of the final destiny. And the satisfaction of having completed the journey so far. And the ‘lost the plot-bit’ as well. They ran out of stock in town. (...)
ALAN: I particularly liked ‘when the programmed ‘you’ has a little glitch and crashes’. It is something that I have considered from time to time. Where do ‘I’ go in a PCE – and this is the best description I have yet seen and, I think, accurately describes what happens – ‘I’ run into an overload, or something ‘I’ cannot handle, and the ‘fuses blow’. Until they are replaced ‘I’ cannot function. So all that is necessary is to smash the fuse board!
VINEETO: Again, here my experience is different. ‘I did not smash the fuse board.’ ‘I’ cannot kill ‘myself’. But ‘I’ wither away with each belief dismantled, each emotion investigated, each psychic phenomenon uncovered. Therefore, I simply checked out every single belief and doubt, feeling and instinct, and by finding out the particular facts about them, those emotions and beliefs became redundant, one by one. In the light of facts emotions and beliefs simply wither. It takes courage to face facts, to seek them, to acknowledge the full impact of them – but then the rest happens of its own accord. In the face of facts ‘I’ shrink and shrink, until ‘I’ face the last of beliefs (or instincts) ... and that’s it. For me, a vital drive has been the – instinctually driven – searching for the ultimate achievement, for someone else it might be a different issue. But the process has been the same for the whole journey – finding out the facts, acknowledging their consequences and then I could never believe that particular belief again nor feel that particular feeling again.
ALAN: What I meant by ‘smash the fuse board’ was – let go of the controls – give up ‘trying’ to be ‘here’ – let go! And if ‘I’ cannot kill ‘myself’ who can? As Richard intimates, all one can do is press the ‘self’ destruction switch and ‘keep your hands in your pockets’, for it is a mighty thrilling ride!
VINEETO: I have been quite suss about expressions of ‘letting go’ and the likes. They sound too identical to the spiritual teaching of letting go into the ‘Greater Reality’. It is ‘self’ letting go into ‘Self’, somebody quite substantially stays alive. I have experienced the process towards an actual freedom not as a ‘let go’, but as a thorough understanding that left no room for imagination and belief, trust and surrender. After all the understanding is done, the facts are so obvious, they simply make the believer redundant.
The same goes for ‘killing’ and ‘self’ destruction. Maybe you find it nit-picking words but I have been trained through and through with all the spiritual rubbish and I want to make the difference as clear as possible. One doesn’t kill Santa Claus, but one day the evidence will be undeniable that he has never existed.
ALAN to Peter: I understand completely the ‘deciding to do something was the end of the deciding phase and all its thinking and feeling and the start of the doing of it’ . This is what, I think, I have done over the last couple of days. One cannot be absolutely certain, as this is unknown territory we are exploring, but there is a different ‘flavour’ to the experience. It is as though all the preparatory work has been done – the elimination of the beliefs and feelings – and now one is getting down to the ‘nitty-gritty’ – the actual doing of it.
This is what I went through today. I have been contemplating on ‘‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’’ with quite incredible results. I experienced fear not as an emotion but, as stark fear simply as an experience – without being frightening, somehow. The only physical sensation, other than what was going on in the head, was incredible heart palpitations (and this is where I suspect the experience takes on a ‘personal’ flavour). At one stage I was convinced I was about to physically die – but when the palpitations ceased (on doing something physical) and started again when contemplating what was occurring, the ‘game was up’ and the symptoms have not re-appeared.
... My experience today was not, similar to yours, brought about by any thoughts or emotions about dying – no heroism, no imagination, as you say – completely ‘uninvited’ and a, matter-of-fact, sense of ‘ahh!, the moment has come – ‘I’ am about to expire’.
VINEETO: I can easily relate when you and Peter say that ‘the doing of it’ has started. There is a clear determination that has an altogether different quality to the previous phase of imagining death and then finding out what thoughts and emotions happen out of it. Now, there is more a sense of standing in the frontline, so to speak, and the command ‘jump’ can happen any moment. When it became obvious to me that death had stopped being an imagination which I could turn on and off at will, I was flooded with all kinds of physical symptoms of the instinctual fear of death. And it has been and still is fascinating to explore them with as much common sense as I am capable of.
Two weeks ago, when this bare instinct of survival arose for the first time in its full gamut, I was feeling sick and throwing up, with the stomach like a stone, numbing cramps in the heart area and dizzy in the head. When those physical symptoms reappeared the next day, I wondered where I was going wrong. It seemed an odd and arduous way to end ‘me’ – and I started to look for a way to be happy and healthy while continuing the ending of ‘me’. The question for me was, where did ‘I’ add to the drama, where did ‘I’ interfere or exaggerate? It became obvious that the primitive self, this silly, ancient survival mechanism, is pumping chemicals into every organ, and is actually jeopardizing and endangering my physical well-being – quite the opposite of what it was designed to do in the first place.
A week later I had another strong fear-attack, which I observed fascinated and rather unemotionally. My whole upper torso became numb, blood drained out of my head, heart, chest and arms. There wasn’t enough blood in the brain, so my vision had blind stripes, very curious. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening. I went along with it at first, thrilled and fascinated by the prospect of watching myself, my body, die, but a short while later common sense started to set in. If this was the beginning of a physical heart-attack then this was the wrong way, a ‘dead-end’, as Peter just said. Upon this understanding, the symptoms slowly subsided.
Trying to understand those experiences in hindsight, I would say that on both occasions I had a certain pushy-ness, an almost violent attitude to progress at all costs, no matter what will happen, ‘I’ want freedom now and ‘I’ want to make it happen. I can see that this urging only increased the fear, making the obstacle bigger than before. I understood that the ending of ‘me’ has to be 100% voluntary, ‘I’ have to agree boots and all, and doubt or hesitancy cannot just be brushed over. So I took another look around for my possible objections.
In the last days we have been busy with comprehending the role of the primitive brain in the process of virtual freedom and actual freedom. The schematic model helped me very much to not only visualise what is going on but to understand the physical ramifications of altering the selfish programming of the neo-cortex and the instinctual wiring of the primitive brain. It seems clear that only after dismantling the social identity can the functioning of the instincts become apparent and more and more obvious. This awareness seems to stop the chemicals of the amygdala (primitive brain) flooding the rest of the brain – I can keep common sense, check out for actual danger and then get on with the business of being alive. The link from the amygdala to the modern, thinking brain may be weakened. Or, as you say,
I know that the less I support this rush of hormones and chemicals with any ‘self’-identification, the more I ‘whittle’ away on the connecting link between the old and the new brain. Then the hormones will be like a barking dog – they eventually stop.
The willingness to disappear has now taken over and turned every moment of the day into a thrilling, almost pleasant anticipation, the magnanimous gift of ending ‘me’ that ‘I’ am willing to make for everybody who might be interested in an actual freedom in this lifetime. Fear with a lumpy stomach is still happening, but it is not the main event. The quality of approaching death has noticeably changed from a single-pointed determination at all costs to a benevolent purposeful and steady moving in the only direction left. It becomes more and more clear that the main event is not fear, not even thrill. The main event is freedom, which throws its glittering sparkle into each moment of the day as I am getting closer to the final event. The days are filled with a joyous surety, a jingle, a delight. Physical symptoms of fear and the experience of excellence and perfection are happening side by side. A truly fascinating combination!
I am well aware that we are going to be ‘the proof of the pudding’, and me-as-this-body will have a bloody good time when I am free. You are very welcome to be the first, Alan. After all, you are the ‘chief disciple’ and, as such, bear great responsibility, don’t you agree? Let’s see, who pops.
ALAN: Great fun – our explorations of the ‘primal self’ – the instinctual passions – seem to indicate that the predominant instinct is for ‘my’ survival, though ‘nurture’ can over-ride this on occasion – to give up one’s life for one’s children, for example. Threatening this ‘primal self’ causes the instinct of fear (the ‘flight or fight’ response) to be triggered, with its consequent release of various chemicals, mainly adrenaline. It appears to be our common experience that a ‘frontal assault’ on this ‘primal self’ is likely to result in physical death, probably brought on by a heart attack. So, what is necessary is to ‘weaken the connection’ (speculation – brain cells dying), by simply enjoying this moment of being alive, paying less and less attention to ‘my’ enfeebled demands and letting the ‘process’ complete its work. And none of this matters one little bit because life is actually perfect and nothing ‘we’ can do can interfere one iota with that perfection.
VINEETO: A little addition about what I found out today – I consider the psychological death as real as a physical death because ‘I’ am going to lose importance, substance, life and this body. The logic is right – from the viewpoint of the ‘self’. In the clarity of a PCE or of those excellent moments I know that this logic is only the self-centred viewpoint of the ‘self’.
VINEETO to Alan: ‘Being obsessed with the final event’ provides me with the force to disengage from the magnetic-like gravity of the survival instincts, and to venture in the opposite direction of Human Nature. This obsession consists of sincere intent, stubbornness, bloody-mindedness and a – sometimes grim – determination not to settle for second best. Of course, it can also border on worry, impatience or anxiety but, then again, investigating these feelings is part of ‘doing what is happening’ as well – finding the reasons for the emotional ripples and eliminating them. Mulling it over thoroughly, I have come to the conclusion that it does not matter if my obsession prevents a ‘real PCE’ or not, what matters is that I am charging with full speed ahead into my demise and that I enjoy each moment of it. If nothing else, the description of my obsession is good material for anybody who can make use of it in one way or the other.
On second thought I may be simply obsessed with catching up with you guys...
Here is a particular bit from Richard about ‘how do ‘I’ do it’, that I found significant and inspiring –
And in another post he described such the outcome –
VINEETO to Alan: That brings me back to ‘not to be’, self-immolation – the door to the actual world and the only solution I find worth pursuing after my experiments with the normal and the spiritual world. Once in a while I get hit by bouts of self-doubt with questions like ‘have I fallen off the path to freedom’, ‘have I gone comfortably numb with no emotions happening’, ‘am I overlooking something essential’, ‘how come it takes so long’ and similar mental churning. Often, after a period of a really good time without feelings or emotions, this nagging doubt appears again to drag me down. Trying to think it out leads nowhere, it only spoils the enjoyment of this moment. Having explored the doubt exhaustively before, to now go deeper into the feeling of it for exploration’s sake only leads to more doubt, guilt and pointless frustration.
Finally it dawned on me that this self-doubt, like other repetitive feelings before, is simply a bad habit and needs to be treated as such – not to be given any attention at all. Gee, it took some repetition to find out that one!
The other story I wanted to report to you started with that familiar feeling of fear and thrill, surging through the back of my neck, pounding in the heart area and then down into the belly. The ‘self’ in action was distinctively felt and easily identifiable, yet had me fully in its grip. I was contemplating Richard’s latest correspondence with No 3, the self-acclaimed enlightened teacher on mailing list C and thinking particularly about Richard’s description and classification of enlightenment as the mental disorder of dissociation. It is a fascinating reading to have enlightenment perfectly explained in psychiatric terms and not as a religious achievement. Richard’s scientific explanation makes perfect sense, as I have seen (and admired) this mental disorder, aka enlightenment in action for years on the spiritual path, and several times I have experienced it myself ( detailed description). I now understand that my 17 years of spiritual practice have been a training course in how to dissociate, how to develop a mental disorder, how to become insane. ‘Close your eyes and repeat after me: I am not my body, I am not my mind and the world is an illusion.’ What a hoot!
The question running in my head now was how to self-immolate without dissociating – the well-known spiritual practice of ‘this is not me’. When I told Peter he laughed and thumped me on the shoulder. The hit immediately changed my perception – from thinking and feeling as all there is to experiencing the physical sensation of the thump. Right, I am this flesh-and-blood body, I forgot! The difference between these two experiences was so stunning, so obvious – and the thinking and feeling entity inside of my body, ‘me’, was once again revealed as just that, an alien entity.
The fascinating question is how to facilitate this shift of attention? It doesn’t happen through thinking but it can be stimulated by contemplation. But most of all it is a memory job, experientially, sensately remembering to not believe the emotion and to step out. I had found another piece in the puzzle of how to move from ‘to be or not to be’.
It just occurred to me that immolation, the final ‘stepping out’, will happen out of a situation of a distinctly felt emotion when the ‘self’ in action is clearly experienced. It won’t be a soft glide from happy to more happy but a deliberate tearing away from the grip of the instinctual entity. I will have to be experiencing at the time exactly what it is that I am stepping out of.
VINEETO: Hi Alan,
I followed up a few thoughts the other day, which might be useful to you or others.
I started my investigation about the feeling of impatience. Impatience has always been one of the driving forces in my life and kept me going, counteracting the innate inertia to get me back on the track of what I wanted to achieve. But the more I am actually here and enjoying life, the more the feeling of impatience becomes a nuisance and is, in fact, preventing me from enjoying what is happening here in this moment.
Of course, for most of the process on the path to an actual freedom I need a lot of impatience, a burning discontent and dissatisfaction with life as it is and with the second rate compromise of living that both real-world and spiritual-world solutions have on offer. But with the incremental dismantling of all the emotions that constitute my self I come to understand the role that impatience is playing now – preventing ‘me’ from disappearing.
The main fuel for this feeling of impatience comes from the notion that there is something better ‘out there’, in the future – that magic ingredient that will then make life as perfect as the ending of children’s fairytale – and then they lived happily ever after. And yet it is this very feeling of impatience, that particular bit of my ‘self’, that prevents me from the sensate-only experiencing the perfection of this moment.
Impatience is the ‘self’ telling the ‘self’ to go away in order for life to be perfect thereafter. What a furphy! Who am I trying to fool? This is what cunningness in action looks like. It is fascinating to see the self splitting itself into two yet again in order to pretend that there is change happening without really having to change anything. Seeing through the charade, I experience the thrill that accompanies the shift from a furphy to an actual experience, from ‘feeling impatient’ to actively dismantling the ‘self’, from stepping out of the ‘real’ world to arriving here. I understand that the only way to approach self-immolation is by welcoming the death of ‘me’ with free will, open arms and a full YES. It is a magic formula, that turning around 180 degrees again, a yes to immolation rather than a no to life as it is.
When death is welcome with the same thrilling anticipation as a sexual playmate then I know I am on the right track.
So impatience gets replaced by an understanding of redundancy – the more I experientially understand about the human condition the more ‘I’ become redundant because life in the actual world is utterly safe and already perfect. ‘I’ am not needed to stay alive. The more I understand the chemical, psychological and psychic programming of the brain, the more I can see that this programming is outdated, faulty and redundant in every single aspect – ‘I’ am not needed at all. Virtual Freedom is the ongoing increasing experience of ‘my’ redundancy, kind of getting used to not interfering with perfection. The way I see it now is that death is simply an extension of this continuing discovery of ‘me’, the spoiler, being redundant, turning 98% redundancy to 99% and 99% to 100% ... ... pop.
The only way I can reach this 100% redundancy is by being here all the time, doing what is happening without emotionally interfering – and if there is an emotion, then investigating it, nutting it out, sitting it out, thinking it through, understanding its follies and furphies. In the end, every emotion is understood as nothing but an objection to and fear of being here – and an objection to being redundant as an entity.
I am reminded of Richard’s writing:
To begin to experience embracing death is exquisitely delicious like an orgasm.
A death sought after, because of frustration with being here, can only lead to an Altered State of Consciousness because a strong negative feeling can only produce a strong good feeling as a chemical balancing act. A similar balancing act happened when my frustration with real life had lead me to fall in love with a spiritual master twenty years ago – I was desperate to escape the ‘real’ world, eager to seek a feel-good recipe to get out of ‘real’ life.
Self-immolation is different in quality, a more and more dispassionate, yet utterly sensate and thrilling experience. In the process of experientially understanding my tender and savage instinctual passions in operation they lose their grip, fire and reality ... and finally their credibility, until I simply observe a process of chemicals rising and subsiding.
GARY: I watched a TV program recently on the Robert Scott expedition to Antarctica. Robert Scott is the British explorer who raced to the South Pole, only to find that Raoule Amundsen and his men had gotten there and planted the Norwegian flag there first. In any event, I was fascinated by this story because it illustrated what people will do in service of an ideal, and in service to their country. These men, owing to a tragic mistake and miscalculation of the weather forecast, sacrificed their lives in the most needless fashion, enduring incredible suffering before they died.
When they reached the part where the men knew finally that they were going to die and in their last letters to their loved ones, I was struck by how they spoke of an afterlife and their souls continuing on after their demise. I did, however, at this point in the program feel some tears jerking inside, so I think there is something there to look into. It was a story about a hero’s journey, in much the same way that people approach going to war, but it was also a story of ruin and waste, of dreams unfulfilled, of hopes shattered. In much the same way that you did, I ‘followed with interest’ this account of a heroic endeavour that went tragic.
It really is amazing what humans will do to achieve an imagined immortality ... all the loftiest dreams of humanity as well as the most crushing degradations seem contained in the desire for immortality.
VINEETO: Yes, I think you are right – the desire for immortality is woven into most of what humans do. I have come to experience the instinctual part of the drive for immortality – the inbuilt program of fighting for the survival of the species, a genetic programming we naturally share with all animate life. The fact that humans are conscious of this programming has caused a thinking and feeling identity to evolve – ‘I’ and the act of being conscious become one and the same. Given that ‘I’ am an integral product of this instinctual programming whose only purpose is the ongoing procreation and preservation of the species at-any-cost, ‘I’ therefore imagine my ‘self’ to be ongoing and never-ending – i.e. eternal and immortal.
As such any hint or innuendo of the fact that what I am is a flesh and blood body only, with a definitive physical beginning – the fertilizing of an egg – and an inevitable physical end – the rotting of the body – is too daunting a thought for most people to even contemplate.
IRENE: What I am actually most interested in you is what you described in your very first paragraph:
I know doubt, fear and frustration in myself, but could you describe to me, Vineeto, what your doubt is precisely to do with? What are the 2 alternatives that make up the dilemma and cause the doubt? What exactly has happened to make you doubt? And the same with fear?
Because I have always found it imperative – to use your words – to investigate and identify the nature of each emotion (doubt and fear and frustration etc.) and describe precisely what it is made up of. Because doubt is a very important feeling to find out, after all it is – like pain – an indication that there is something not clear. No use to steamroll over it by telling yourself off for not doing it right, because it will creep up as long as it is not addressed deeply and you have finally made up your mind about who or what is correct (your adopted way or your innermost sense of correct or incorrect).
Otherwise you are just a follower of someone else, no matter how convincing he/she is.
VINEETO: Doubt as opposed to scrutiny is a very destructive emotion. This is what I have come to in my latest investigation. Understanding that to reach my potential, I as an identity have to die, I have faced immense fear, naturally. After all, dying is truly an unnatural process, going against every single one of our animal instincts. I checked out every surfacing doubt for its content and finally came to understand that the act of doubting itself was a psychological trick to avoid the imminent fear of death – the very, very cunning bit of ‘me’. Doubt simply turned out to be the coating around fear, to protect me from its impact. This faculty of doubt has disappeared simply by my understanding its very function. Now there is no personal doubt left, only the instinctual fear of the impending discovery that the whole powerful experience of enlightenment is but a delusion, ie that there is no life after death.
Fear in the face of impending death is what potatoes are for a potato-soup, its very ingredients. There is no potato soup without potatoes, there is no death without fear. The only way to deal with that fear which I found after many days of going around in circle like a headless hamster is a suggestion from Richard:
Accepting the fact of death made me stop and welcome it. I see this as the only way to proceed. Only psychological death can free me from the psychological fear of a personal death (ego), and psychic death can free me from the instinctual fear of an absolute death (obliteration). The Enlightened Ones clearly avoid the second death. Having come that far in my understanding I just have to act accordingly...
VINEETO: ‘Worth looking at’ is a term you can only define for yourself if you know what you are aiming for. What are those ‘releases’ that you are you aiming for?
RESPONDENT: Those ‘releases’ is a dissolving of the divisiveness normally associated with an emotion. No, I was not talking about what is worth looking at, I was talking about the usual human response of not wanting to face the stuff of ‘self’ by saying ‘its not worth looking at’.
VINEETO: Yes, I understand the ‘not worth looking at’. In me, I have identified it as fear. In the beginning it was possible to put issues aside when I did not want to deal with them, but the more I understood experientially that I have only this very moment of being alive, it more and more was like an awful waste of time to avoid the surfacing issue. The real kick came when I ‘realised’ that there cannot be a God to help and therefore no afterlife to wait for. Afterlife has been an option that I will discover when I die, but then I realized with certainty that I had been sold a dummy. I wrote about it at the time:
And not only free of authority but free of postponement too. Knowing as a certainty that this life is all I have then every minute not lived in perfection is a waste of time. The best I can do with such time is to turn it into the inquiry to make this moment perfect. And then, everything that hinders my happiness is worth looking at.
MARK: So before I go ... some rather black humour...
VINEETO: For ‘death’ I found your black humour joke very apt. Typical German, it took me three days to get it, but then it was worth 30 minutes rolling on the couch laughing.
See, I finally understood that ‘I’ am one of these bell-ringer twins, I don’t know which one, but definitely standing there to be hit by the next ring of the bell – and ‘I’ won’t duck – what a hoot!
It has been very fascinating to put together the page on death – reading the respective writings and correspondence on death, afterlife, extinction, intent and demise from Richard, Peter and me. People would probably call me morbid, being obsessed with death, but I am more alive than ever, enjoying the thrill and enjoying everyday as if it was the first day – or the last – and further, being completely fascinated and absorbed in setting up the website.
The plan is to set it up so that anybody can find his or her way in and then get lost, if they want to, link upon link, topic after topic, definition and correspondence ... and when one comes out again one wonders what silly things everyone is still believing, after all, it is 1999! And then, the website can do the job of informing people and then they do what they want with it...
So Mark, thank you for your post. Great to hear from you and that you enjoy the writings.
VINEETO to Mark: In his chapter on Death Peter has reported of the work of some researchers, and that they found five significant stages that everyone seems to go through when dying. They are denial, anger, bargain, depression and acceptance (although the last is better called resignation). I looked back on my process of the last 12 months investigating and approaching the death of ‘me’ and wondered if there are similar stages when the ‘self’ dies.
Denial is obvious. The first task was to admit that something was fundamentally wrong with human beings and with me in particular before I could proceed in investigating any solution.
The anger was less obvious since I was culturally and spiritually trained to hide the ‘bad’ emotions but every squiggle and squirming, every blame I cast on somebody else – or the weather – could go into the account of anger.
Bargain is the most familiar. The whole path to actual freedom, the whole process of dismantling the ‘self’ I could call one bargain after the other. Although it was clear right from the beginning that the end-prize for freedom would be all of ‘me’, all along I have been bargaining – a little belief here for more time, an emotion there for another bit of time. Once I ran out of beliefs and emotions to trade, I had to take from the stock of instincts. I’m almost running out of things to bargain – uaaaah – now what?
At this point in making up the story I thought about the metaphor of the cinema again, which I used when writing to Alan:
It occurs to me that not only do I become aware of me-as-this-body ‘going on a ride’, as you say, but I am also the movie-maker. I am writing the script, when and how this movie is going to end. And as nobody has ever gone to actual freedom without going into and out of enlightenment I have all the freedom in the world to write a perfect-measured script, as I would like it best. And you see, Mark, with this insight I am now throwing the whole bargaining out of the window. Enough is enough, enough of the haggling.
Depression is also not in my script anymore.
This leaves resignation, I prefer the word resigning. O.K., what’s a nice, worthwhile way of resigning? Since I am playing the whole drama on stage – or in the movie – I take my visualisation from there: ‘a deep bow to the audience, thundering applause, another bow, and I walk off stage. The curtain falls and the applause slowly subsides.’
How do you like that, hey? In the meantime, until I figure out how to actualise the script, I have walks to town, steaming, tasty cups of coffee, lazy television, fascinating playing with the web-site or writing letters to the list, delightful chats with Peter, rompacious sex and delicious food. I am pleased with the discovery that I am my own scriptwriter, the only thing fixed is the ending of ‘me’ – the ‘how’ is entirely up to me. And equally up to each of us, each to their own temperament. Bloody fantastic freedom on the wide and wondrous path! After all, life was meant to be easy. Why should not death be easy as well?
RESPONDENT: When my mother who is currently experiencing difficulty caring for my father, (who has Alzheimer’s disease), asked me; ‘do you think I will be reunited with my mother in death?’ I hesitated as to whether I should tell her my true opinion.
After we honestly explored together the possibilities of returning to a state similar to that experienced prior to conception ... everything seemed OK for we are all in this business of living and dying together ... ‘together’ seems to be the operative word ... investigating together ... both living and dying. Not for the faint of heart and weak of knee, but truly amazing. Not unlike marvelling at the universe, (Peter and Vineeto), of stars and people and everything. There can be no time or room left for useless worry, or sympathy, or illusive love and common pathos, (compassion).
VINEETO: It is a fact that when one dies one dies, irreversibly, irretrievably and irrevocably. Any other opinion of death is only a belief.
To find out about death as a fact I needed to investigate my belief in anything meta-physical and explore the emotional reasons for wanting to believe in something other than what can be sensately experienced. This investigation is verily ‘not for the faint of heart and weak of knee’ , for one may encounter fear and dread the likes of which are ‘truly amazing’ . Those fears are the very reason that all the ancient humbug beliefs in numerous silly fantasy-heavens have survived for thousands of years despite the scientific advancements and technological developments. But to proceed beyond the limits of one’s survival fears is an adventure I wouldn’t want to miss for anything. It gives me the freedom to live here on this earth, each moment fully alive, delighting in being this flesh and blood body, and no hold barred.
VINEETO: Hi Richard,
Reading through your correspondence on mailing list B I have come across something that I cannot grasp.
What does it mean, when you say ‘‘I’ am the ‘many’ and the ‘many’ is ‘me’’?
There was another quote in your correspondence with Alan, where you said:
I have taken it simply that ‘me’, my instinctual programming, is as much part of my DNA as it has been the case in every human being on the planet since ‘the beginning of time’. Yet I cannot identify with being ‘so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... ’ Do I need to in order to understand something vital? Does this instinctual ancient ‘me’ have something to do with the ‘many’? I do have a hunch that understanding this could be essential.
VINEETO: Last night serendipity provided the answer to my question to you, which had been going on in my head since I wrote to you. The experiential answer to ‘I am many and many is me’ presented itself in the form a TV program on International Humanitarian Aid Organizations and their role and accountability. For one and a half hours there was ample footage presented on human suffering and devastation in war, famine, genocide and racial ‘cleansing’ on one side and the helpless, well-intentioned, yet almost useless effort of people in the aid organizations on the other side.
The presentation was enough to make it utterly and unquestionably clear to me that there is no difference between me and the hundreds of thousands who have suffered and died and those who have, without success or effective change, tried to help – for ‘umpteen hundreds of thousands of years’. On an overwhelming instinctual level ‘I’ am ‘them’ and ‘I’ have had no solution and never will have a solution.
VINEETO: That’s where Richard shocked my out of my socks: He proposed that there is no life after death. You die when you die, full stop, basta, finito, extinct.
RESPONDENT: This is not a fact at all. It’s a good method to become more concerned about living now but it is not a fact. It’s as you say, a proposition.
VINEETO: Could you explain, why this is not a fact to you? Have you talked to any dead people who have physically returned to earth and reported evidence of life after death? Have you seen photographs of spirits when they returned to earth? Spiritists over centuries have tried to provide factual evidence of what they ‘see’ ie. imagine, but none has been able to come up with satisfying material. Life after death has never been actually proven, and I see no point in taking your belief as a fact. It remains a belief. To believe is to ‘fervently wish to be true’. And there is no doubt that humans fervently and desperately wish for an after-life, an immortality of some kind.
VINEETO: You have now sent me a copy of your letter from 2 days ago, this time you left out the following sentence:
RESPONDENT: But why don’t you ‘FUCK OFF’ and die somewhere else!
VINEETO: This was a sincere statement. Why did you leave it out?
You say ‘die somewhere else’. Is it that you don’t want to hear about the subject? An honest statement. Who would want to? No ‘self’ wants to die. Every single ‘self’ of the 5.8 billion people on this planet wants to survive, as somebody, as ‘nobody’, as a heart-felt ‘being’.
‘I’ will do everything to hinder the investigation, to obstruct ‘my’ death. It is a very natural and instinctual fear. So much to loose...
But then, on a closer look I found that what I thought I wanted to keep was not really worth much. A miserable, lonely life, meditating my head off and becoming more and more remote from a world that I had set out to enjoy. When I left Germany for the East to take Sannyas, I had set out to become more happy, more at ease with myself and with the world. But it was only after I questioned the normal world as well as the spiritual world, am I now able to be really at ease. And for that not only my ego but also ‘me’, my soul and my very being have to die.
That’s just how it is. One can say ‘fuck off’ and avoid the facts or face them, finish the search and finally arrive.
As Richard says it to the point:
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust:1997-. All Rights Reserved.