Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT: Everywhere I go on these lists it’s all males, and every man is convinced that he is right, and expends all this energy proving it, often by trying to show their opponent’s ‘faulty intellect’ or stupidity. Me included. Personally, I began this search in order to try to learn something of value and try to reach out to people. Instead it was like a chess game from the very beginning, and the ‘deeper’ the topic, the more subtle the resistance. All I see is Ego Ego Ego in all these places. But I suppose that makes sense in retrospect.
VINEETO: Have I understood you right in that you are saying that because of this male attitude of yours you are handicapped to ‘learn something of value’, to discuss anything in a sensible way because you only see ‘Ego Ego Ego in all these places’?
I do agree that ego, the male ego as much as the female ego, can be a great hindrance to sincere inquiry. However, I have found that it is possible to observe, examine and inquire into both my obstinate ego and my passionate soul so that they won’t interfere with my intelligence such that I can make sense of what it is to be a human being. The ‘self’ – both ego and soul – can be transformed in such a way that it agrees to and facilitates its own demise because ultimately that is the most satisfying thing to do in one’s life. It’s the only game to play in town, as we say around here.
There is no need to have an ego-fight or a soul-fight, defending one’s precious beliefs and convictions. I found it much more rewarding to question my every belief and conviction and investigate into the facts of the situation, because facts don’t need the confirmation or belief of anyone, including me – they are self-evident.
RESPONDENT: To assume can be to egotistically presume superiority.
VINEETO: The other day I had a pure consciousness experience where I understood once again that the Human Condition of malice and sorrow is indeed the particular flavour of human beings on planet Earth. I experienced a broadened awareness that gave me an overview of planet Earth floating in space, observing all that is going on and seeing its common flavour of humanity, whatever the place, race, gender or age. Human beings, by their very nature are inflicted with the genetically-encoded instincts that produce malice and sorrow. They pervade every thought and action, are the fuel for every emotion and passion and make ‘life a bitch and then you die’. The social identity and the instinctual ‘self’ are intrinsic to and a result of the evolution that took place on this fair planet, the third rock from the Sun, in the Milkyway galaxy, in the infinite universe. Yet now the evolution has reached a point where humans can free themselves from the now unnecessary ‘appendix’ of the social identity and the animal survival instincts. What serendipity!
In this PCE I could also see that even though a staggering six billion people think, believe, feel and act within these parameters of the Human Condition, the actual world is nevertheless infinite, eternal, perfect, silent and magical. The actual world is always and everywhere present underneath the doom and gloom of our ‘self’-centred perception and can be discovered any moment. In such a PCE I can see that it does not matter that right now there is only Richard who lives in the actual world 24 hours a day, every day. This blithesome, magnificent and benevolent actual world exists always and everywhere around us, it is always here, always now and immediately experienced when I leave all of humanity behind.
Out of this and similar experiences, I don’t need ‘to assume’ – I know the Human Condition in its totality, in myself and therefore in everybody, because I can see it from not being afflicted by it for a certain period of time. Such experience is the opposite of ‘egotistical’ because a PCE is only possible when the whole ‘self’ is absent – in spiritual terms, both ego and soul. And yes, such an experience, even for a short period of time is vastly superior to any experience within the Human Condition. That’s why I want to live it every day, 24 hours a day. I don’t need to ‘presume superiority’, I simply write from the memory of the superior state evident in a pure consciousness experience and from the ongoing experience of Virtual Freedom.
RESPONDENT: How to ‘eliminate’ ego? I do not know. Is it the source of suffering? Absolutely.
VINEETO: During my spiritual search, it has never been easy for me to locate this ego, to completely understand what it is I have to get rid of in order to become happy (enlightened). Once I came across Richard’s explanation, derived from his being enlightened and seen through the delusion it was, things suddenly made shocking sense: getting rid of the ego means wanting to keep the good bits and throw away the bad bits. And the sorting out the good bits from the bad bits made it so confusing.
Slowly I began to understand that the good bits – love – are only there to heal, cover up and balance out the bad bits. Once I really get rid of the bad bits, the good bits are redundant as well. They both colour the seeing of a tree as a tree, of a dog as a dog and of a human being as a human being. And once those both veils are taken off my eyes I can see the magnificence and magic in every tree, dog and human being. No emotion is needed to glorify it. It is already perfect, it doesn’t need any enhancement by what I call the ‘self’, the very sum of all human instincts, emotions and beliefs both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Once I stop doing, feeling, proposing, interpreting, in short messing around, with the world as-it is, then everything is simply perfect. It is ‘I’ who is at the core of all the trouble. And this ‘I’ consists of ‘ego’ and ‘soul’, concepts and emotions, everything that is not touchable, visible, audible, tastable or smell-able. Pretty radical, isn’t it!
ALAN: You say ‘More and more I fail to understand people’s emotional reactions, their psychological reasoning or the psychic vibes...’ I think I understand what you are saying – that you can no longer ‘empathise’ with others. I have found that the actions of others becomes more and more easy to ‘understand’, when one is lacking this ‘empathy’. Being driven by the human condition means ‘their’ actions and responses are very obvious and, oft times, very silly – and one is not thanked when one points this out!
VINEETO: Yes, I automatically empathized with people as a main tool of communicating, whereas now I am rather bewildered about certain actions or reactions of people. I can say that I understand the Human Condition in principle, how it works and how it worked in me, but I cannot understand anymore why someone wouldn’t apply intelligence and awareness instead of getting angry, sad, silly or spiritual. I cannot put myself into ‘their’ shoes anymore, so to speak. The advantage of this experience is that I have to actually inquire what is going on, instead of attempting to assume, guess, intuit or fill in the details myself.
I also noticed a change in how I perceive information about human beings, how they cope and try to make sense of their lives. Watching reports on TV, for instance, I more and more fail to understand what is going on in their minds and hearts and I have given up trying. Watching the different aspects of people’s lives all over the world I am amazed, astounded, astonished and impressed by the variety, the complexity, the wide range of human life on earth.
On one side there is this amazing technology that is galloping in many areas such as computer technology, engineering, medical science, biochemistry etc. and I see the intelligence, the effort, the altruism and heroism that people show. On the other side there is immense suffering and violence, brought close up through TV with story after story from all over the world. Every single human being suffers, in one way or another, all six billion of them. I am only able to fully acknowledge this fact because I know and pursue the only sensible way out. Seeing the immensity of the unnecessary, instinctually driven suffering only intensifies my intent to make my contribution for peace-on-earth
Another outcome of not being able to empathize with others is that I start seeing the funny side of beliefs and emotions, particularly when I read Richard’s correspondence on other mailing lists. There is definitely a learning curve how not to be stumped by doubly twisted stupidity soul-d as deep wisdom, the latest spiritual insight, silly psittacisms and atavistic humbug. How is this for a sample –
Spiritual Mailing list
Or this one from Richard’s latest –
There is no point in trying and understand this, it is simply a load of fervent imagination. The only way out is common sense –
RESPONDENT: First Up – Thanks Richard, Vineeto, Peter for the referrals to the sections on I As Identity, I As Being, the sections on feelings, calentures. Thanks 1000x...
Today when I was reading the section mentioned above, ‘I’ as Identity, ‘I’ as Being, there was a passage where Richard made the point that a detached self is still a self. I starting questioning as to whether what I was thinking was a PCE or Apperceptive Awareness, was in fact a guised ‘Feeling Self’. I surmised that in fact as long as I remain with some form of ‘being identity’ that I didn’t have an ego, but was in effect ‘an ego’.
VINEETO: Yes, it is more accurate to say that ‘I’ am ‘an ego’ rather than I have an ego, and ‘I’ am a soul as well, as long there is an identity thriving within the flesh-and-blood-body called No. 39. To recognize that this identity permeates all that you think and constitutes all you feel and tints all of your sensate perception is a great step towards recognizing this identity in action. In actualism you do the opposite to common spiritual practice, which consists of dis-identifying and distancing oneself from one’s unwanted thoughts and feelings – in actualism you identify the feelings as ‘you’, label them and milk them for all the information you can get about how ‘you’ tick.
RESPONDENT: I started thinking that close only counts in horseshoes. I started thinking that if Richard was the only one free of ego, how could any of us ascertain the terrain accurately. Even if 0.00001 ego remained, wasn’t missing by an inch missing by a mile? Hmmm. Now I hope this is all clear because I was going over this with innocence, earnest but not with deadly seriousness.
VINEETO: In a pure consciousness experience you know without doubt that you are, albeit temporarily, utterly free from both your ego and your soul. As long as there is a doubt that ‘I’ might be about, it is not a pure consciousness experience. But once you have had a PCE you can ‘ascertain the terrain accurately’ because you then know by your own experience the difference between normal experiencing, spiritual delusion and the perfection and purity of the actual world.
RESPONDENT: I surmised the PCEs that I described were in effect PCEs as nobody made any commentary to the contrary.
VINEETO: Nobody but you can be the arbiter of your experiences and that includes pure consciousness experiences. Only you can determine if your experience was non-affective and ‘self’-less or an experience of feeling excellent with heightened awareness or a delusionary altered state of consciousness. There are some guidelines and descriptions on the website but in the end it is you who assesses your own experience.
RESPONDENT: I thought of the days when we use to say I’m trying to find my self. How would you know you were lost? How would you know you were found, since you didn’t have a self in the first place?
VINEETO: This body knows when it is free from the inhibiting and pernicious self – it is such an exuberant experience of liberation when the ‘self’ temporarily disappears – one’s senses are perceiving with unprecedented intensity and the brain is functioning with exceptional clarity.
However, once the ‘self’ returns, the first thing that often happens is an attempt to dismiss, belittle and question the experience of purity and perfection in order for the ‘self’ to regain control. With practice you become experienced enough in your ‘self’-awareness to recognize these doubts as the very survival mechanism of the ‘self’.
RESPONDENT: As a side note, according to Richard’s understanding of the egoless state of being, there is no imagination possible in an egoless state because one is totally busy living the life as it is happening moment by moment. As a consequence, there might be no concern about the future. If there is a total dis-concern for the future and one is living – as the body – in the world inhabited by other people, will not the physical safety be in danger? Or is the very idea of ‘danger’ emotionally driven and even when a dangerous situation occurs, the body will be busy living it and hence there will be no hard feelings against the situation.
VINEETO: There are a few distinctions that are vital for an actualist –
1. In Spiritualism, particularly in Eastern Spirituality, one is taught and encouraged to get rid of the ‘I’ or ‘ego’ in order to reach a permanent ‘ego-less state’ or altered state of consciousness aka enlightenment. In an ‘ego-less state ’ there is no little man in the head as the controller, but one’s feelings, the soul – fuelled and maintained by the instinctual passions – are now without a controller and rampantly expand to a feeling-state of ‘I am One with Everything’, ‘I am not the body’, ‘I am That’, and ‘I am the Divine’.
Actualism is firmly based on the fact that the animal instinctual passions are at the core of the Human Condition, which has an additional layer of societal conditioning, morals, ethics and beliefs that have been developed down the ages in order to control extreme outbreaks of the instinctual passions. Therefore a freedom from the Human Condition includes the elimination of both one’s social identity, which consists of the morals, ethics and societal conditioning (in Eastern spirituality called ‘the mind’ or ‘the ego’), as well as the underlying raw instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
So when I was writing –
... I was talking about ‘me’ as who I think I am and who I feel I am, both ego and soul.
2. Richard lives in Actual Freedom, which is being here without any identity whatsoever. With the death of his identity the faculty of imagination disappeared along with his instinctual passions. Therefore, whatever Richard writes is not a mere ‘understanding of the ego-less state’ but an accurate description of what he is living 24hrs a day, every day. Imagination for him is simply not possible because imagination cannot exist outside the feeling entity inside this flesh and blood body – it dies with the entity. And because there is no imagination interfering, he is ‘living the life as it is happening moment by moment’.
My ‘concern about the future’ goes as far as covering the basic necessities for my physical survival – a place to live, spending money, clothes, food and obeying the law of the land. For work I found it sensible to keep a car, so I take care that it is registered, insured and running well. Neither a fearful nor hopeful imagination about the future nor feelings, beliefs, morals, values and instinctual passions interfere with this simple and solely practical ‘concern about the future’ and life is easy and carefree.
As far as ‘the world inhabited by other people’ is concerned – there are some practical safety measures to be considered. When appropriate, I will keep my mouth shut and not talk about Actual Freedom, because people seem to get really upset when their dearly held beliefs are questioned. The Internet for instance, is a much safer place to have a conversation about Actual Freedom. But most of what is considered ‘danger’ is, in fact, merely emotionally perceive and disappears with the thorough investigation of one’s emotions, feelings and instinctual passions – the actual world is an imminently safe place to be.
A side-note – once you actively start investigating those hopes and fears whilst experiencing them, you will find out for yourself that they are very real but not actual. Thinking about one’s fears without thoroughly investigating what they are based on will, on the other hand, merely confirm the mother of all beliefs – that ‘you can’t change the human nature’.
Once I started to investigate a fear that arose from changing myself, the next time I found I could not take the fear as serious as before, for I knew that by exploring the fear it would eventually reveal its illusionary nature. With each fear removed, my brain was functioning better and clearer than before and was less restricted by chemically driven irrational hopes and fears. But it takes daring and initiative to start exploring one’s ‘ghosts in the cupboard’, as Alan and I used to call them. Freedom from the Human Condition does not happen by itself and it does not happen overnight. It needs persistent and bloody-minded sincere intent and thorough investigation – and then the rewards are beyond your wildest dreams.
I keep saying to Peter that if people only knew what they were missing ... all my dreams have come true, one by one.
RESPONDENT: Another side note: in the ego-less state there might be no planning and ‘control’ executed by the ‘I’ but it might nevertheless happen because of the brain’s instinct (??) of the body-preservation? Or is the instinct of the prolongation of the life also gone in the ego-less state and one is not concerned when death approaches?
VINEETO: I don’t know and I don’t really care. ‘Body-preservation’ without the instincts is none of ‘my’ business because ‘I’ won’t be here anymore...
Once the ‘self’ is as weakened as it is now, I am simply doing what is happening. ‘I’ am not needed to keep this body alive, on the contrary, ‘I’ had been continuously interfering with my physical well-being by worrying and fighting, dieting and indulging, being stressed or depressed, fearful or driven. My health and well being are now better than ever, I have stopped worrying about vitamins or minerals, starch or protein, vegetarianism or health-dieting, natural or homeopathic medicine long ago. Also I take it that the medical technology in this country is so advanced as to give me a good chance of staying healthy as long as possible ... and when my time is over I can surely say that I had had a perfect life, every day, 24 hrs a day, for years and years and years.
With the ‘self’ the fear of death also dies. Once ‘I’ am gone there won’t be anybody left to be afraid of death. Of course I can still jump out of the way of an approaching car or an attacking dog. Intelligence and apperceptive awareness together with the physical startle-response are enough to keep this body alive as long as is possible. It is the psychological and psychic fear of death that casts shadows of fear and doubt into our lives and prevents us from experiencing the safety, magnificence and abundant perfection of the actual physical universe.
So, don’t let your doubts and fears take over and stop you from investigating your psyche – there is much magic to be discovered.
PS: I found a little quote from Richard that might give you further encouragement ...
RESPONDENT: Yes, the situation with my mother has brought me face to face with my instincts. The question that arises now is ‘am I 100% committed to eliminating them?’ The answer is I am not 100% committed to eliminating them because I have doubt as to the possibility of doing it. Can I become 100% committed? What would it take?
I have survived the ‘attack of the instincts’ and am now feeling pretty good. I am not stopping the inquiry. I am now inquiring into can I become 100% committed to eliminating the instincts now that I have become intimate with them?
VINEETO: I like your approach. First you make an experiential enquiry into the nature of your ‘adversary’, the core of the Human Condition, and then you move on to the next question – ‘do I really want to take up the adventure of eliminating this ‘adversary’?’
In fact, there are two questions that you have raised:
Personally, I can answer the first question in the affirmative – for me Actual Freedom works, every day, incrementally and increasingly and irreversibly. And that is probably what scares most people. One really changes oneself, not just one’s ideas about oneself. Doubt is, in fact, part of the protection scheme of one’s ‘self’ in order to stay unscathed, unchanged and unquestioned.
In order for you to find out if it works you will have to give it a go. You take the tool of asking the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ and apply it to a simple issue in your life. It is better to start with a small issue and be successful than to want to tackle a major instinct right away and get scared and doubtful. Peter suggested to No 3 last year to start with one issue like driving a car without getting irritated.
Only by experiencing that the method works can you be confident that Actual Freedom is possible. Then you will have to neither believe nor doubt, it will simply be your own experience. One turns a theory into a fact only by proving that it works with observable, verifiable and repeatable experimentation.
Answering the second question of commitment needs some ‘soul-searching’. As I have written before, I needed to take honest stock of my life and acknowledge that all my past effort to be happy and harmless had failed. Already in my spiritual years I had made it my goal to get rid of the source of the problem in me – then I believed it to be the ego. Once I fully comprehended that the problem consisted of both the social identity (the ego) and the instinctual passions (the soul), I went full steam ahead with the investigation. I simply refused to settle for second best, now that a clear method, pioneered by Richard, was available.
I know many people who are on the spiritual path because ‘normal’ life in society was unbearable for them, so they left it behind. But now they are contented with imagined solutions, feeling ‘good’, feeling ‘spiritual’ and feeling compassionate when, in fact, their behaviour has often only changed from selfish to superior selfish, from sad and grumpy to detached and ‘above it all’. Such imagined solutions are available cheap and easy but they do not produce actual happiness and actual harmlessness.
Actual Freedom, on the other hand, produces actual change – one actively and incrementally changes one’s outlook on life and one’s actions such that one becomes more happy and more harmless every day and thus finds one’s ‘self’ diminishing with every problem, belief or emotion disappearing.
These are the two options – spiritual pseudo-freedom and actual freedom – and they lie 180 degrees in opposite directions. It is purely a matter of what you want to do with your life.
In order that you can have a taste of what is possible, I suggest reading about Pure Consciousness Experience in our library, particularly the respective correspondence as well as Richard’s descriptions of Actual Freedom. It might help you remember or induce a PCE, which is the essential guideline for an actualist.
RESPONDENT: Facing the reality of my own demise has been one of my favourite obsessions in the past.
VINEETO: I am somewhat confused as to what you mean by ‘facing the reality of my own demise … in the past’ – are you referring to the demise of the ego that leaves the soul intact, as taught in each and every branch of Eastern mysticism, or are you referring to facing physical death?
RESPONDENT: I was referring to the death of the body, and by implication my identity, the traditional existential angst. I have never quite ‘got’ the soul. It always seemed a fabrication purely to assuage the visceral fear of one’s physical death. If you’re good, your soul gets to go to heaven, and in the meantime, here’s the tithing basket. The whole soul/ afterlife/ eternal energy scenario just never added up, when I applied common sense. So, the interesting characteristic of AF is this dismantling of the identity, the very thing that has the dread. Having abandoned any notion of an afterlife, it seems the only game in town.
VINEETO: The ‘soul’ is not dissolved by dismissing ‘any notion of an afterlife’ nor by maintaining an agnostic view about a life after death. The soul – ‘who’ I feel ‘I’ am deep down inside – is apparent in every belief, every mood, every emotion and every affective reaction that one experiences. To find one’s soul in action is the essential task for an actualist because the very action of recognizing my soul in action is paramount to dismantling it. The soul is the deepest core of my being, the seat of the instinctual passions, the very substance of ‘me’ – that which you once called ‘the actual being’. Vis:
This perception that ‘who I really am’ is a non-personal ‘actual being’ who is ‘palpably distinct from’ my personal identity is pure Zen. The ‘self’ plays hide and seek by dividing itself into two apparently separate identities – a personal identity, or ego, and a non-personal actual being, or soul – with the aim of humbling the first identity in order to glorify the second identity. Actualism is not to be confused with Zen because both the method and the aim are radically different – diametrically so in fact. The aim of actualism is the extinction of both identities, as becomes stunningly apparent in a pure consciousness experience where both parts of ‘me’ – the personal ‘I’ and the non-personal ‘being’ – are temporarily absent.
VINEETO: Or are you talking about the recent past since taking up actualism – your contemplations about your own demise of your identity in toto, both ego and soul, something that is entirely new to human history?
RESPONDENT: One curious difference between that form of demise and the one I was referring to is that slaying one’s identity is a deliberately undertaken process, rather than just waiting around to get bonked on the head by some meteorite.
VINEETO: The ‘curious difference’ is that in actualism I am recognizing that all ‘I’ think and all ‘I’ feel myself to be – both ‘the watcher’ and the ‘watched’ in the traditional spiritual pursuit – is the sum total of ‘me’ as an identity. Therefore there is nobody else who can do the job of dismantling ‘me’ but ‘me’. In actualism ‘I’ as the watcher or ‘actual being’ am not slaying ‘me’ as the personal identity or ego – ‘I’ have deliberately and with aforethought agreed to facilitate ‘my’ demise for the benefit of this body, that body and every body. There is no ‘slayer’ that will win the war between the opposing identities – as in a battle betwixt good and evil – ‘I’ am taking myself apart all of ‘my’ own accord.
RESPONDENT: Initially, the AF goal is disturbing, with visions of a zombie like existence. Clearly that is nonsense, based on the distinct personalities found on this list. I still do not understand some of the more subtle distinctions between ‘personal predilections’ (re. recent posts with Richard), and learned behaviour. I figure that will all become clear when I get there
The ‘visions of a zombie like existence’ is a well-documented objection to actualism and is rooted in the fact that human beings consider their emotional-instinctual heritage as their greatest virtue and most-prized treasure. The fears of a ‘self’-less experience being a ‘zombie like existence’ are readily dispersed by a pure consciousness experience when you experience for yourself what life is like when your affective faculty temporarily ceases to broadcast and the actual world we flesh and blood bodies called human beings live in reveals itself as the sensate wonderland and squeaky clean paradise that it has always been.
As for ‘personal predilections’ – they are the sensual preferences of every body, due to genetic quirks, experience, familiarity, custom and comfort. What Chinese Opera is for one, classic guitar is for another. ‘Learned behaviour’ on the other hand are the morals, ethics and values that society teaches every newborn child in order to keep the animal survival passions in check and to make the child a ‘fit’ member of society. This learned behaviour becomes redundant when the survival passions no longer rule the roost – virtually so in a virtual freedom from the human condition and actually so in an actual freedom from the human condition.
There is simply no shortcut to eliminating fear without eliminating the ‘identity in toto’ and the identity in toto consists of the outer layers, one’s social identity, including one’s dearly held spiritual beliefs, that have been imposed in a vain attempt to keep under control one’s inner core of animal instinctual passions. Should you ever come to the conclusion that your current methods don’t work to free you from instinctual fear, there is always the option to take a fresh look at something you have not yet explored – the method of actualism.
RESPONDENT: I am a beginner to actual freedom reading, understanding and trying; May I ask a question, which is basically a clarification: when you say ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as the feeler in heart, does not the ‘me’ as the feeler still reside in the head? Is not ‘me’ as a feeler is just a special conditioning (the eastern, the soul etc.) of the ego who gives more credence to the feelings in the heart than the thoughts in the head?
My question is because as I can distinctly see an entity ‘I’, the ego in the head, fictitious or otherwise, I do not seen any distinct entity in the heart; the heart seems to be a place for feelings; and I see that a part of me, still the ego, trying to give exalted interpretations of this feeling (particularly a good feeling :) when felt without other thoughts.
VINEETO: Gary has excellently described that the feeler is not ‘a special conditioning’ of the thinker, or ego, but that the feeler is one’s instinctual identity, or one’s true self or soul, made real by the feelings that arise from the instinctual passions which are operating independent from and mostly prior to the thinker or ego.
It may be useful for clarification to study the page on animal instinctual passions in the library where it is clearly laid out that
On the same page you can also find a link to LeDoux’ website (http://www.cns.nyu.edu/home/ledoux/) should you want to investigate further studies that LeDoux and others have conducted re animal instinctual reactions, particularly on fear. On a practical level, when you use the actualism method and begin to question and investigate what feelings are fuelling your own thoughts, beliefs, values and psittacisms then you can find out for yourself that it is affective feelings that more often than not are in control of what you think and do.
By conducting an investigation into your own psyche in action you quickly discover that it is instinctually fuelled feelings that are preventing you from being happy and harmless and not thinking per se as Eastern religious belief would have it. Thinking when freed of ‘self’-centric passions allows a free benign intelligence to operate and this intelligence then allows you to come to your senses for the first time in your life.
RESPONDENT: The pleasant surprise is on my side, when I found out that I am not alone being working to rid me from the human conditioning. In my case: I am long time aware that I am the creator of my own reality and that it is thinking itself which is the link to that reality. In time, like a detective, I figured that not only the negative feelings but also the positive feelings are my own creation and for that can be dropped.
Through a very intense experience of annihilation I scratched the bottom of all belief systems concerning family, friendship, love etc... and although painful it was a most ecstatic experience, like shedding off a second skin and in the same time expanding, stretching and breathing better in a more natural way.
Well, that’s how I also found your web site and I am supported by your sharing your insight’s. Cool.
VINEETO: You might find, when you read more into Peter’s and Richard’s Journal and our correspondence, that Actual Freedom is not only about ridding oneself of the Human Conditioning, which I understand to be the socialisation and beliefs one accumulates in the course of one’s life, but also the elimination of feelings, emotions and instincts, the whole of the Human Condition.
Only at first sight it might look similar to the spiritual approach – spirituality talks of ego and mind as the problem but it leaves the soul, being, watcher and Consciousness intact. It never questions the identity of who one ‘feels’ one is. Spirituality believes in the ‘spirit’, in an inner world of feelings, love, compassion, with an inner identity, ‘the watcher’. What is usually completely overlooked is that there is not only an ‘ego’ controlling our thoughts, but also a ‘soul’ producing our emotions. They both have to be eliminated in order to experience actual freedom. Only without the constructs of instincts, emotions and beliefs can the magnificent perfection of actuality be experienced, and then it is self-evident and obvious. No devastating truth or a mystery to be lost in – just this abundant life in this infinite universe, experienced through the physical senses.
When both, the ego and the soul, the ‘self’ and the ‘Self’ (as in Love, Bliss, Consciousness, Compassion, Oneness) are eliminated, one is only this flesh and blood body, being the eyes seeing and the ears hearing, being the universe experiencing itself as a human being.
You seem to have experimented with questioning love and the positive feelings. I am intrigued to hear more about your discoveries.
To give you a ‘compressed’ idea of what Actual Freedom is about I copied a nine point description from Richard:
VINEETO: Thank you for your post. It is great to hear that you are ‘on the freedom path’.
RESPONDENT: Yes I am still on the freedom path, actually it’s not a path anymore, it’s more are highway, quite fast in those days, and reading your lines about what it means to you, I don’t have to add or subtract much of it, to stand for myself.
I am also gone through everything to find some thing else, to add on, to escape from misery, malice and sorrow. Looking for the teacher, the religion, the spiritual path, which would get me out. Only a few years ago I started to realize that I have to let go, rather than achieve and add.
So, meeting you guys was a helloooooo, I am not alone, like it could have seemed. And I got a big boost from the web site and from the mailing list. Because it’s really what matters to me.
VINEETO: You say, from what we are writing, you ‘don’t have to add or subtract much of it to stand for yourself’. I am very interested how that translates in day-to-day life for you, how an actual freedom from feeling, emotions, beliefs and instincts is showing results and success in your daily life. I am always interested to share notes with the few intrepid pioneers that dare to experiment with something new and non-spiritual, something unheard of in the familiar world of spirits and beliefs, hopes and fears. How is life with the world as-it-is and with people as-they-are?
Living and working ‘out in the world’ has always been the thermometer for me, so to speak; it is the test to find the various remainders of my cunning self, of my objections and complaints to being here, appearing as ‘if’s’ and ‘if only’s’. And what a pleasure to be alive it is now, and those if’s and only’s have almost completely disappeared, and I can simply enjoy things as they happen and people as-they-are.
Actual Freedom, for me, is distinctly different from the spiritual people ‘letting go’ of their ‘worldly’ ambitions, failures and achievements. In the process of becoming free of my instinctual programming and my social and religious conditioning I have achieved happiness beyond my wildest dreams, and I have fulfilled all the goals that I dreamt of in my youth – and much, much better and much, much more. I had fought for peace, hoped for a peaceful relationship, devoted most of my adult life to eliminating the ego, which I was told was the cause of fear, anger, greed, self-consciousness and of my continuous ups and downs. And I had always wanted to explore sex and enjoy it without guilt, fear or pretence.
Starting the journey to an actual freedom meant taking my life back into my own hands, abandoning the idea of surrender and devotion and the hope that someone else is going to fix me up, be it God, Guru or ‘Existence’. I re-defined my goals and set them higher than ever, seeing in Richard that being happy and harmless is indeed possible.
So, you see, I am really curious what you mean by ‘letting go’, the expression being so dangerously close to the spiritual expression of letting go of the worldly desires, only to strive to achieve eternal bliss ...
Freedom for me is first and above all questioning everything I have ever been told to believe, investigating the underlying emotions and fears and changing my life in an active, actual and tangible way. And the ensuing success has proved the method right. In this process I have lost a lot of fears, beliefs, emotions, conditioning, not as a result of letting go but rather as a result of an overall new understanding of the very makings of ‘me’ and of my sincere intent to sacrifice that ‘me’ for freedom and peace.
RESPONDENT: Only an ego needs to defend its words.
VINEETO: I got news for you – I am not enlightened and only enlightened being are without ego. (…)
RESPONDENT: This is simply not true because Richard says he is without an ‘I’ (ego) or a ‘me’ and he certainly does not claim to be enlightened.
VINEETO: After all these years being subscribed to two mailing lists Richard has been writing to, do you really still not know the difference between the extinction of the soul – an actual freedom – and the death of the ego – enlightenment?
The difference between the two is the fundamental difference between actualism and spiritualism and not being cognisant of it would easily explain why for you God and a PCE are so easily interchangeable.
RESPONDENT: If you want to become actually free why would you say that ‘only enlightened beings are without ego’?
VINEETO: Death of the ego is not on the agenda for an actualist, as it would only lead to ‘self’-aggrandizement. Enlightenment only happened to Richard, the first actualist, because there was nobody who could have warned him of its dire consequences.
You know, you are a funny fellow. When I look at the sequence of this threat then it is plain to see that it is you who keeps flogging spiritual beliefs and platitudes in order to prove your case that I am a religious worshipper –
RESPONDENT: Wow, this is a shocking revelation that you don’t even know that actualism is about the extinction of the ‘I’ (ego) and the ‘me’ (soul). Here is what Richard says on the first page of ‘The Third Alternative’ : ‘The day finally dawns when something irrevocable happens inside the skull. In an ecstatic moment of being present, ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul expire. ‘I’ the personality and ‘me’ the being ceases to exist, permanently.’
VINEETO: So if you know that an actual freedom is about the extinction of *both* ego and soul then why did you trot out the spiritual platitude of ‘only an ego needs to defend its words’ in the first place?
Extinction of the ego only results in enlightenment and Richard made this clear on the same page from which you quoted yourself –
And Richard often said in hindsight that if he had known in 1981 what he knows today, he could have been able to avoid becoming enlightened and he wouldn’t recommend anyone following his footsteps in this regard. Vis –
By the way, given that you have apparently no problem presenting Richard’s words as something you accept as fact, let me remind you that this thread started by you saying that the words I use for a PCE (‘touchstone’ and ‘guiding light’) are those of a religious worshipper –
Here is how Richard describes the role of a PCE is for someone aspiring to becoming free from the human condition –
VINEETO: I don’t know where you got your definition of ‘EGO’ from, because it is neither from the dictionary nor from Mr. Rajneesh’s teachings. I’ll give you the Macquarie definition here: the ‘I’ of self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, willing and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
Ego is much more than just unawareness of unawareness! It is the little man in the head that controls our thoughts and actions. It is who we think we are.
RESPONDENT: I agree with your definition, however, I was not defining ego, but using the word ego to label a level of consciousness. According to my insights into this matter, the vast majority are unaware that their ego is operating according to the definition. They are unaware of their unawareness.
VINEETO: The question for me here would be, ‘who’ is the one that needs to state other’s unawareness of their unawareness to define one’s own ‘awareness’ of ‘unawareness’? Isn’t it the same ‘ego’, now merely feeling a bit superior to those ‘more unaware’? I found this spiritual superiority just another trap of the cunning entity inside of me to keep me firmly locked in the ‘self’.
RESPONDENT: It’s very interesting. These guys No. 1 and No. 10 really hate you! Human condition or what?
VINEETO: Yes, the Human condition is interesting. We are very, very good in watching and observing it in other people. We are not so good in observing or watching it in ourselves. It’s like learning to twist one’s head around and apply everything that one sees in others to oneself, it takes a bit of training.
But that’s how I have learned about the Human Condition. Whenever I watch anything in others that would evoke some kind of emotional reaction in me, be it spite, hate, jealousy, comparison, inferiority, superiority, pity, anger, annoyance or anything else, I would turn my attention around and look at me. The Human Condition applies to everyone, including oneself. It is the software of instincts and social programming we are equipped with. It is delete-able.
RESPONDENT: Ha, ha, ha ...
If you are noticed my real intentions in my previous post, you are actually worth of anybody’s respect. My previous post was full of shit. Pure egoistic exercise.
Sorry but how can I resist the opportunity to be a great, wise one from time to time.
If my intentions were totally honest that post would be for your eyes only, not for the mailing list crowd.
VINEETO: I like your sincerity about yourself. It is a good start to take stock, and see what you want to change in you, isn’t it?
RESPONDENT: Still I expected an answer from you, but I am very much surprised with your reply. I expected something like ‘Go to hell’ or one sincere and juicy ‘Fuck you asshole’...
VINEETO: What you call a ‘sincere and juicy fuck you’, I call spite. This re-labelling with the new-age language is really designed to confuse everyone.
RESPONDENT: ...and I expected it directly to my e-mail address, but what we have here: a very kind intelligent and loving person or a person lost in the sea of his own thoughts. So much lost that he isn’t able to see a simple provocation when is there!
VINEETO: What’s the point of answering a provocation with a ‘fuck you’, as you suggest. It was a good question of yours, after all. Provocations don’t have any effect on Peter or me – and we had a great deal of provocation in this business of trying to ‘tickle’ people into being happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: My ego is 100 tons weight. I want to make it perfect cause it hurts, man. It hurts very much! So sorry, man. Most things you said in your reply make sense. I’m honest now. The exercise is over now. Why should I lie to you. I will probably never see you. You probably know very well that everybody has a very unique and very complex personality, and if I want to know something about your personality, your ego, it is only to forget at least for few minutes my own monster.
VINEETO: Part of those 100 ton-ego is also that you beat yourself up for it. It is of no use. Much better, to see your actions, what you said, done or thought, and do it better next time.
The trouble with the ego is that you can never make it perfect. You can only dismantle it bit by bit and eliminate everything it consists of. And not only the ego, but the soul, the emotions and instinctual passions as well. Then you are as perfect as the rest of the universe. This is exactly what we are discussing on this list now – to live one’s life happy and harmless, perfect and pure.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.