Selected Correspondence Vineeto
VINEETO: You mentioned two topics in your last letters that I would like to make comment on. The first is the topic of fairness and justice that you described in your recent letter to Gary –
RESPONDENT to Gary: Yes, so all my obsessing about what is just and fair for the world and also what is just and fair treatment from those beings close to me is just that, obsessing. How am I experiencing this moment?
Obsessing over justice and fairness, based on a feeling of sorrow, disappointed once again by the activities of man in general and in particular, causing me feelings of pain rather than the preferred pleasure. And what separates me now in this moment from experiencing pleasure, the air streaming in my nostrils, the bitter-sweet taste of tea, the tingling energy from the tea, the brilliant purity of the light all around, the comfort and safety surrounding me in multiple layers, well, just that, my obsession with issues of justice and fairness giving form to my feelings of hurt, and malice, calling up the images of my favorite enemies of justice and fairness at home and abroad. Respondent to Gary 24.4.2003
VINEETO: When you use the method of actualism then the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ needs to be asked with the clear intent to become more happy and more harmless. Without that intent any observation, however specific, remains just that – an observation. It is the intent to pinpoint, understand and eliminate the cause of malice and sorrow in me that ensures that my observation will result in appropriate action or appropriate change of action.
Therefore whenever my fervent belief in ‘justice and fairness’ causes feelings of pain and sorrow, then it is apparent that holding to the belief is obstructing me from being happy and harmless. Have you ever observed that all ethics, including the principles of fairness and justice, are always relative to the eye of the beholder? Ethical judgements as to what is right and wrong, just and unjust, fair and unfair have been established by human beings solely in order to curb the ‘self’-centred instinctual survival passions of fear and aggression, nurture and desire and because of this they vary according to different cultures. This means that justice and fairness mean different things to different people in different situations at different times. To fight for your version of what you see as justice and fairness in the world is simply blaming and controlling others in a futile attempt to impose your favourite world-order on others.
When I had my first major pure consciousness experience, in a single moment of clear understanding, I popped out of my own ‘self’-created world of affective thoughts and imaginations and saw and experienced the actual world for the first time in my life. In that clarity of ‘self’-less seeing, I also understood that all of my life I had lived in my own ‘self’-created private world, a world formed by ‘my’ beliefs, governed by ‘my’ ethics, ruled by ‘my’ morals and encapsulated as my world-view – all of which only serves as fodder for ‘my’ feeling of ‘self’-righteousness that is inherent to the instinctual survival passions. This clear understanding of a ‘self’-less experience was significant in that it meant I could never again believe with the same conviction in the rightness of ‘my’ beliefs, morals, ethics and spiritual views. There was a substantial crack in the walls and floor of ‘my’ private world – and from then on I took every opportunity and made every effort to widen those cracks.
RESPONDENT: Only got time for a quick response right now, but this little passage has turned on a huge light bulb for me:
Thank you! That this ‘invisible membrane’ actually is my psyche had not occurred to me. It has a genuine ring of truth about it.
VINEETO: This is excellent because now you know a bit more about the nature of the difference between a PCE and your second experience. This is good news indeed.
RESPONDENT: Yeah, I think so. Let’s see how this sounds ...
In a ‘normal’ state of mind, I walk around in the ‘real world’ that most people share. In this state, I experience the mind/psyche as a bundle of personal thoughts, memories, feelings, desires, fantasies, etc, all emanating from ‘my’ brain, all revolving around ‘me’ and ‘my’ world. This is ‘reality’. Walking out of this felt like walking through an invisible membrane, right out of the (comparatively) grim, grey, miserable world of reality and right into the sparkling clear, brilliant, wide open spaces of the actual world.
VINEETO: Yes. And as Richard puts it, in doing so, you leave your ‘self’ behind.
RESPONDENT: I’d always thought of ‘me’ as something contained wholly within the body; I didn’t realise that the miserable bugger actually creates a virtual bubble of ‘reality’ that encapsulates and distorts the whole of the ‘real’ world as I experience it – but it’s obvious now. When I walked out of that, I walked out of ‘me’. In hindsight it makes a lot of sense. (As Richard said, not ‘into a bubble of perfection’ but ‘out of a bubble of imperfection’).
VINEETO: Yes. Not that anybody did the ‘walking’. I would describe my transition into a PCE more as if a curtain rips, a bubble bursts, a shell breaks, and then suddenly I, this body only, am here in this sparkling actuality, which has been right here all the time. And when the PCE fades ‘I’ know that ‘I’ have work to do, the work of thinning, diminishing, weakening the shell that ‘I’ at the centre create and which in turn separates me, this body, from experiencing the sparkling ever-present actuality.
RESPONDENT: It also sheds some light on the ASC. In the ASC, the personal self, the ego, is gone – but the psyche remains. In that state, the psyche has a wholly different experiential character. It is experienced as something impersonal, something ‘I’ could never produce. And yet it is not actual, not physical, not available to anybody else’s gaze, therefore it is specific to this brain.
VINEETO: Yes, any ASC experience is ‘specific to this brain’ because it is produced by the affective/instinctual part of the brain, the limbic system.
RESPONDENT: It is experienced as a jelly-like medium in which thoughts and images arise. I think the images that arise from this ‘medium’ are probably what Jung called the archetypes of the collective unconscious, but Jung was mainly interested in their mythological meaning …
VINEETO: When I explored my instinctual passions, loosely classifiable as fear, aggression, nurture and desire, I recognized quite a few of what Jung described as archetypal features and a few more to boot – they are the basic emotional patterns that everybody has regardless of cultural differences or idiosyncratic predispositions. Given that in the altered state of consciousness only the ego is temporarily absent, the archetypal instinctual features come to the fore, stripped of the moral and ethical limitations acquired in one’s conditioning.
In an ASC the personal ego and its associated notions of what is right and wrong, good and bad is no longer functioning, which means that all of one’s instinctual passions are then perceived in a new light. With guilt and shame, fear of punishment and hope for reward no longer functioning, an ego-less person then re-interprets all of their instinctual passions as being good, beneficial, justified and/or glorified by the Divine. If you study the lives of people who permanently live or have lived in such altered states of consciousness – Ramesh Balsekar, Da Free John, Mohan Rajneesh, Jiddu and U.G. Krishnamurti or those who occasionally experienced an altered state by chemical stimulation such as Timothy Leary or other drug researchers – you will find that they not only espouse the tender instinctual passions but also defend their savage instinctual passions as not only necessary, but right and just – a clear indication that an altered state of being is within the grip of the passions that underpin the human condition.
RESPONDENT: …whereas, for me, any mythological meaning (including the whole ‘human drama’) was entirely eclipsed by the ‘psychedelic’, geometrical, mathematically perfect structure of the medium in which they arose, and of the actual world in which this body was moving about. (I am quite certain that these ‘structures’ are direct experiences of actual neural mechanisms that underpin perception and cognition; they are not produced by imagination. The similarity of ‘psychedelic’ experiences across cultures and eras tends to bear this out too).
VINEETO: Although your psyche felt itself to be impersonal, it nevertheless overlaid, tainted and re-interpreted the physical world ‘in which this body was moving about’ and thus actuality was as much distorted as it is in normal reality. ‘The similarity of ‘psychedelic’ experiences across cultures and eras’ is due to the fact that the psyche of all humans produces similar images and feelings in similar circumstances – the very basis for Jung’s observation of archetypal emotional patterns ‘across cultures and eras’. It might be useful to reflect on the fact that your PCE accorded with those that others describe as being a brief glimpse of being actually free from the human condition, whereas your psychedelic experience accords with those who take psychedelic drugs in order to temporarily escape grim reality. (...)
RESPONDENT: I am still not 100% sure, but I suspect that being outside the ‘yolk’ is sufficient to enjoy the same results with fewer compromises (and perhaps even some as-yet-undiscovered benefits).
VINEETO: With this assessment you are in agreement with all of Eastern mysticism, Western mysticism, Sufism and the secular branches of human consciousness studies. The search for ‘some as-yet-undiscovered benefits’ of altered states of being within the human condition has been going on for at least 5000 years of human history, so you will find the supposed benefits listed in the literature of spiritualism and mysticism as well as in the results of psychedelic experimentation.
As is apparent from the way human beings, nations and cultural and racial tribes relate to each other, peace-on-earth is not amongst the benefits of ‘being outside the ‘yolk’’.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me, and this is the key point, that the instinctual passions are operative only within the ‘yolk’, but I need more experiences to make sure.
VINEETO: What is not operative ‘outside the ‘yolk’’ are the morals and ethics that one normally uses to assess one’s instinctual passions and this is what causes the deception that the instinctual passions themselves are not operating. However, the more you become attentive to, and familiar with, the cunning disguises of the identity and the more you become sensitive to the feelings hiding beneath denial and transcendence – a well-known toxic side-effect of an altered state of being – the more you will come to experience for yourself that the instinctual passions are fully operating ‘outside the ‘yolk’’.
Richard has lived an altered state of consciousness –‘outside the ‘yolk’’ – for eleven years without interruption and he was able to step out of the ‘Self’ into the purity and perfection of actuality only by systematically investigating the instinctual passions, particularly the tender instinctual passions.
VINEETO: I would like to comment on something you recently wrote to No 39 –
RESPONDENT No 39: I’m not an advocate of any spiritual teacher or practice! Since this is something unique here-to-fore unexperienced in the annals of humanity I have had some difficulties. When I first encountered the works of Rajneesh, either of the Krishnamurti’s etc. and so on I was initially very excited about the potentiality for myself. <snip>
RESPONDENT to No 39: I’m as sceptical as they come (except for a couple of embarrassing minor detours), and have to say that this bunch is about as ego-less as they come.
VINEETO: With reference to your expression ‘embarrassing minor detours’ I found that my initial embarrassment over discovering that I had been on the wrong track only served to prevent me from investigating further so as to find out exactly what had attracted me to the spiritual path. In order to proceed to examine the nature of my spiritual beliefs, I first had to have a good look at my feeling of embarrassment, which was based on ideas and feelings of what is right and wrong according to my moral and ethical codebook.
This codebook is what acts to prevent an in-depth investigation of spiritual beliefs because this very investigation itself is held to be a taboo under spiritual codes. On the spiritual path, ‘I’ wanted to be good, ‘I’ wanted to be right and ‘I’ wanted to be perfect, whereas in actualism ‘I’ learn how to get out of the way so that the already existing perfection can become apparent.
RESPONDENT: Regardless, the next day it was completely obvious to me what had happened, which really sat me upright. And it was a relief to see it, and for a moment be free of it. Now I just have to get the time delay down to something less than 12 hours.
VINEETO: Once it began to filter through that my behaviour did not at all match my idealized picture of me – or as you put it ‘it wasn’t the way ‘I’ was telling myself’ – I was appalled by my often rude and uncaring behaviour towards others, which in turn fired my intent to do something radical about really changing myself. In spiritualism I had done nothing but change my ideals, in actualism I finally had the necessary tools to change my actions by eradicating their underlying causes. All I needed to provide was the passionate intent. The time delay of 12 hours will lessen as you gradually remove the moral and ethical safeguards that are instilled by the process of socialization. These safeguards are meant to curb the bare instinctual passions and consequently they act to shield one from discovering the instinctual passions in action.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I see. I’m amazed sometimes at the subtle complexities ... there are many layers to this onion. It’s a funny process this, at once abhorrent to stare into the muck, and yet exhilarating to root out and dissect the little beasties.
VINEETO: Yep, you described it well. Discovering ‘the little beasties’ becomes easier with two factors. One factor is obviously discovering and dismissing one’s pride at being different and better than others. The second factor is the clear understanding that what you are investigating is the human condition, i.e. the aspects of your identity are not your personal flaws or shortcomings but the default setting for every human being born on the planet. Then the ‘abhorrent … stare into the muck’ becomes the scientific enterprise of studying the human condition in action.
RESPONDENT: It’s somewhat scary to consider removing the ‘moral and ethical safeguards’, which presumably exposes the ‘bare instinctual passions’ in all their power. I can only presume that if/when I reach that point, I have adequate tools gained during the initial dismantlement. The contributors to this list don’t strike me as being particularly monstrous.
VINEETO: The only tools that you muster, polish and apply ‘during the initial dismantlement’ are pure intent coupled with attentiveness and reflection. An actualist’s values are far above normal societal morals and ethics – as an actualist I want to become perfectly happy and completely harmless 24 hours a day, whereas normal societal rules only aim to curb the instinctual passions, not to eliminate them.
I incrementally replaced all my judgements of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ with the keen assessment of what is silly and what is sensible. In the process of questioning these moral and ethical safeguards, I soon hit upon the very source of all moral and ethical codes – the belief in a God or Higher Power who enforces good and bad, rights and wrongs by a system of divine reward and punishment. Being good and right brings the reward of good karma, good fortune, respectability and a permanent berth in Parinirvana or Heaven, and being bad and wrong brings punishment of bad karma, bad luck and condemnation to suffer endless rebirths or to plunge into the abyss of Hell.
When I began to replace these fear-ridden spiritual beliefs with facts, most of my fears began to permanently disappear. My emotion-based and spiritual-based values were gradually replaced with intelligent judgement of facts and practicality, which was an excellent standpoint to observe the instinctual passions when and as they occurred, neither expressing them nor repressing them.
RESPONDENT: It is interesting that I’ve become less and less horrified when looking wide-eyed at those yucky internal bits (this was going on before I ran across you guys). The realization that those are the manifestations of the ‘I’ is helpful, though somewhat difficult to accept fundamentally (so far) as I have a strong ‘personal responsibility’ streak. Which I am very tired of maintaining. I do like your reference to it being a scientific enterprise ... pleases my engineer brain.
VINEETO: I found Gary’s description of the instinctual passions very explanatory as far as ‘personal responsibility’ for one’s instinctual programming is concerned.
I am not responsible for being instilled with instinctual passions because this is the way every human brain is programmed by blind nature. The best ‘responsibility’ one can take, i.e. the way one can best respond to the situation one finds oneself in, is to incrementally become aware of one’s instinctual passions – firstly in order to be able to keep one’s hands in one’s pocket by not expressing one’s feelings and secondly to instigate the immolation of the instinctual ‘self’ by bringing ‘me’ out of hiding, as it were.
I had a good chuckle, esp. ‘‘slipping’ and telling my partner ‘I love you’’. I’ve been there quite a few times, the words pop out, then I’m something like the deer in the headlights, trying to make sense of what I just said. I’ve been considering love a no-no too, so perhaps taking his tack would be an interesting approach. (Was it, Gary?)
VINEETO: This is a good example of how an ‘ethical safe-guard’ can prevent you from becoming aware of and acknowledging a feeling. By considering the feeling of love a no-no, you might ignore, deny or avoid the feeling of love whenever it occurs and thus you are hampered in investigating it further. For a successful investigation you need an honest and all-inclusive stocktaking.
RESPONDENT: In some ways, it’s harder to be aware of and dig into the ‘good’ feelings. The painful ones pop right into your face and make it obvious of the need to explore, but it’s easy to get swept along by love etc. and not notice that these need just as much attention. 24 hour determination, huh?
VINEETO: The more you discover and examine your ‘personal responsibility streak’, the more your attentiveness to your thoughts and feelings becomes an all-inclusive scientific adventure rather than a reaction arising from bad conscience. Given that the ‘painful [feelings] pop right into your face’, they are the ones that you investigate and learn to understand first. In my determination to become harmless, anger and resentment were the most obvious feelings to explore. In the course of examining anger I then came to encounter the so-called good feelings, because love, hope and desire were the breeding ground for demands and expectations, which inevitably lead to disappointments and resentments, which then inexorably bread sorrow and anger. Therefore whenever you investigate what ‘pop[s] right into your face’ you will over the passage of time encounter all of your feelings and all of your beliefs.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I think I do understand that Actualism is quite a radical break from what’s traditionally known as ‘expressing emotion’. Maybe I can change a bit what I’m trying to say... I suppose I don’t have to use any ‘expression of emotion’ as an ‘interim solution’. Looking into the matter, I find that the reason I find that is important so that I don’t feel ‘run over’ by others. I do see now that my preferences can be stated non-emotionally and that any sort of emotional language (and expression) can be effectively deleted. And all the better for it. Maybe what I’ve been calling a ‘crutch’ or ‘interim solution’ can be better expressed by saying that I’m not perfect. I do realize that even though I now have the intent (and a method) of becoming happy and harmless, I’m not perfect – that inevitably an emotion will occasionally slip out. Yes, I welcome those as opportunities to apply attentiveness.
But, at times, I have basically castigated myself for the expression of an emotion and was looking for some way of recognizing that ‘slipping up’ is inevitable. I don’t mean to justify ‘slipping up’ – only to say that it is going to happen – but that gives me opportunity to investigate the emotion that slips. I don’t really mean to ‘condone’ emotional expression or say that it is ‘vital’ in some sense. What is ‘vital’ is that we not castigate ourselves (myself) for the inevitable slip-up – rather investigate that particular emotion.
VINEETO: Okay, this is where it is useful to make a clear distinction between one’s social conditioning of needing to be perfect according to some set of social rules or standards and one’s sincere intent to become happy and harmless.
By becoming an actualist you set becoming happy and harmless as your aim in life and by doing so you set your own standards of what you want to achieve. These standards are far beyond the normal moral and ethical values of what society considers being ‘good’ or ‘right’. Social standards are variable, what is good for one social or spiritual group is bad for another, what is right for one group is wrong for another, what is perfect for some is flawed for others, what is true for some is false for others. Not only do these standards vary from group to group, but they are also subject to vagaries – what is deemed to be socially appropriate behaviour changes cyclically according to cultural fashions and whims. The variations and vagaries of social standards are the cause of so many differences of opinion, debates, arguments, conflicts, public machinations and self-flagellations that it is a wonder these standards have any credibility left at all.
It goes without saying that the aim of becoming happy and harmless is not reached in a day or a month but that it takes a pioneering attitude, stubborn determination and diligent application to find your way through the maze of your social conditioning and your instinctual programming and all the emotional confusion that this process entails.
VINEETO: The third requirement of learning something new becomes apparent in your response when I described the nature of this list –
Before you have even begun to find out and investigate what actualism is all about, you propound the borrowed wisdom of Eastern spiritualism, already absolutely convinced that we actualists have got it all wrong. If you want to insist that ‘the self is not an actor’, then that is entirely your business. But if you already know, why do you make-believe that you are ‘trying to understand’?
Obviously, in order to learn something new you will have put aside the insistence that you already know and that you are right and maybe consider the possibility that you have been on the wrong track all along. This is, of course, a devastating blow to one’s pride but, then again, the question is ... would you let pride stand in the way of learning something new about the human condition? In order to understand actualism it is vital that you are open to the possibility that all of humanity has got it 180 degrees wrong.
It is vital to understand that the word ‘wrong’ has nothing to do with a moral or ethical judgement as in ‘you have been a bad person’ but that it is a simple statement of fact that none of the traditional real-world methods or spiritual beliefs and teachings has brought peace on earth, i.e. they are wrong in that they don’t work. Despite their perpetual promises, none of the religious and spiritual movements, none of the self-help-therapies and none of the revered philosophies has come up with a practical down-to-earth, workable solution to eliminate malice and sorrow in human existence. Their solutions do not work, pas du tout. (...)
VINEETO: When I started on the path to Actual Freedom I noticed that my own value standards as to what I wanted to achieve became vastly superior to the general accepted version of ‘good’ and ‘right’ – because my standards are derived from the pure consciousness experience when the perfection and purity of the universe becomes overwhelmingly apparent. Now I don’t want to be ‘good’ or do it ‘right’ in other people’s eyes, I want to remove the obstacle, my very ‘self’, that stands in the way of the purity and perfection of the actual world.
Out of this intent, I do the best I can in everything I do, I actively care about my fellow human beings and thus I become more happy and harmless. This change has given me a confidence that made it then comparatively easy to leave the world of morals and ethics behind and to regard other people’s opinions as what they are – opinions of people who are unavoidably, and through no fault of theirs, afflicted with the common disease of the Human Condition. The only difference between me and the people I meet and interact with is that I serendipitously came across someone who had managed to free himself of malice and sorrow ... and I took up the challenge.
Since I know that I investigate my own malice and sorrow in order to eliminate it, other people’s put-down reveals simply their affliction by the Human Condition and is therefore not my problem. So I only take care of my own malice and sorrow and investigate why I insist on wanting other’s approval. It is a fascinating journey to explore the need to please, the need for approval, the need to belong to a group – however lose or undefined that group may be. In short, I get rid of the ‘me’ who feels offended and who needs to belong.
Being in the world as it is with people as they are gives ample opportunity to examine my very instincts until the complete understanding causes them to wither away – and with it one’s very identity. What remains is superb confidence, overweening optimism, genuine caring and ever-increasing delight.
RESPONDENT: The main point is that I don’t want to hurt anybody while resolving my issue. I have noticed that this tendency of mine has, in a subtle way, been used by my wife (or maybe it is used by women in general) to make it very difficult for me to break up with her by apparently denying the issue while simultaneously making me feel guilty.
I think that honesty and clear communication is crucial in any relationship, be it with a lover (this seems easy but not painless, however) or my wife.
So ... I will proceed the best I can in hope of a peaceful separation and maintaining a friendship with my wife. The separation which will allow me to cultivate the relationship with the woman I am attracted to and hopefully to live together.
Well, this is my update as to what’s happening in my life. There are some spontaneously peaceful and perceptive moments combined with some confusion and fear of making a painful decision.
VINEETO: As this is obviously your adventure and your exploration into depth of the Human Condition in you there is nothing much I can add. I myself had several complicated relationship situations in my life, so I know it is not an easy task. I have learned a lot from those situations, about me, about relationship and about the things that don’t work.
The most important point for me when starting on the path to Actual Freedom was to remember that it is always only me that I can change and that I can make free. I can never do anyone else’s job and nobody can do anything for me. That’s the very nature of an actual freedom.
One of the first things I had to learn and successively understand was that obeying the ethical and moral rules of society or religion was not going to help me to reach the purity and perfection so clearly experienced in a pure consciousness experience. As long as I oriented myself on the ideas of right and wrong it always left one party ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’ and neither peace nor equity were ever achieved.
My ideas of what was morally good or ethically right would stop me inquiring, fearing to do something ‘wrong’, violating the moral code and ethical value of the tribe, the peer group and the spiritual / religious group I had belonged to. First I had to understand the workings of those moral and ethical rules in me before I could inquire further into the nature of my feelings, emotions and passions.
Having experienced the purity and perfection of the actual world and the intent to live that pure consciousness experience 24 hours a day, every day I could safely begin to abandon the moral and ethical codes that society imposed on me. Thus I whittled away at my social identity and its ensuing notion of right and wrong, good and bad. Now I can dig into the feeling that arises, find the root cause and understand why, when and how I feel this way, without the fear of ‘being wrong’ or ‘being bad’. Knowing the actual world from the memory of my PCEs I can determine what is ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’ and act according to what is sensible and best for everyone involved.
I dug out some questions that Richard has answered on the subject of ethics and morals – the first obstacle to be tackled before one can really decide about silly and sensible action ...
VINEETO to No 13: It is always a surprise to me to hear once in a while that someone is interested in pursuing Actual Freedom and is appreciating what we write about it. Almost everyone I have met and talked to about Actual Freedom seems stubbornly convinced that the traditional solutions of ethics and morals or spiritual transcendence must be the sure way to cope with life.
I see it that I have come into the world with the Human Condition of malice and sorrow like a car that comes out of the factory already with a faulty engine – and everyone tells me to polish the outside in order to fix it up and make it look all right on the surface. No one considers looking under the bonnet where the problem is, and instead of screwdrivers, spanners and mechanical instructions one gets offered different brands of paint and polish.
To translate the metaphor: no one acknowledges the core-problem, the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire and therefore the only ‘tools’ that are passed on from generation to generation are rules of moral, ethical and spiritual behaviour, varying from tribe to tribe, which is only a cosmetic fix of hypocritical ‘feel good and do good’. Why not, for a change, inquire into the root cause of the dilemma and fix up the problem itself?
That’s what Richard’s method has been for me – the tool to get under the bonnet and fix up my brain, re-wire the synapse, and change the course of brain-activity – from feeling to thinking, from intuiting to contemplating, from meditating to researching, from passionate imagination to clear-eyed observation and from ‘self’-centred myopia to 360 degrees vision. The question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ has been the spanner to fix the engine, so to speak, and I have used it to investigate and research how the brain works in order to incrementally eliminate its software.
The bugger in the engine is the ‘self’, this entity in each of us which is not only lost, lonely and frightened but is also very, very cunning. The challenge and the fun has been to find the many tricky ways the ‘self’ disguises and deceits, hides and pretends, delays and objects to exposure – because ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul will do anything to avoid death.
VINEETO to No 13: For me, before I even considered to convey anything to anyone about actualism I dug deep inside myself, investigating every mood, feeling, emotion and passion that became apparent in my interaction with people, things and events. I examined every truth, belief, moral conviction and ethical certainty until I discovered the self-evident facts for myself and eventually got rid of the very act of believing itself. I questioned love, intuition, female conditioning and instinctual behaviour, my relationship to my peer group, my spiritual beliefs, my attitudes and feelings about authority, my old and new religious principles, my ideas about environmentalism, about politics, about right and wrong. My whole inner world was taken apart and eventually thrown out and often times it was not only an exciting and rewarding but also a scary and terrifying enterprise. But I had the honest intention to stop at nothing less than the undeniable actuality – I simply had had enough of all the beliefs, lies and self-deceptions that failed to make me both happy and harmless.
Actual Freedom is about changing oneself, not others, it is about honestly investigating oneself, not teaching others and it is about admitting to and finding the workings of the Human Condition in the only person one can do something about – oneself. Although one can mix any Eastern or Western belief or religion, for they are of the same ilk, a clip-on of Actual Freedom will never work. Actual Freedom lies 180 degrees opposite to any spiritual/ religious belief whatsoever.
VINEETO: Yes, that’s right. One has to be careful, though, because there is a vast difference between the actualism practice and the spiritual teaching of ‘you are all right as you are right now, no need for change’ à la Paul Lowe and company.
The question is what is this ‘your best’? By what standard is ‘your best’ measured? How do I determine what is my best? In spiritual years my best was measured according to the dream of ‘good’ and ‘bliss’, the morals and ethics of Eastern religion, and my failures were excused by the obvious ongoing failures of most human beings to achieve the goal of enlightenment. ‘That’s life’ or ‘Existence wants you to be like that’ are two of the common excuses for not being the best, for being sad, worried and malicious.
As an actualist I have a different aim and a different evaluation of what is the best I can be. Having experienced the actual world in its purity, perfection, magic and benevolence in PCEs, my best is always oriented on this experience and my effort to change is always directed to eliminating the ‘self’ that is preventing me from experiencing this perfection 24 hours a day, every day. Then instead of ‘self recriminations’ I examine my errors in order to stop repeating them, investigate what caused them in the first place and aim to be as happy and harmless as I can be.
VINEETO: Personally, my best would be to learn how not to be affected by someone else’s feelings and demands such that I can make an appropriate and sensible response to the situation and enjoy the other’s company when we are together.
RESPONDENT: Does this mean that you either expect to arrive, or believe that you will also arrive, (like Richard), some day if you continue to search and investigate verbally and experientially?
VINEETO: On the spiritual path one can either become enlightened, like 0.0001% of the people who have conscientiously lived the spiritual teachings, or one is among the millions who merely follow the Eastern morals and ethics of right and wrong, good and bad. In my experience, even after years of sincere and diligent application of the spiritual methods, life was essentially not better, neither more happy nor more easy – and I was definitely not more harmless, since that is not the aim of the spiritual path. The spiritual path is not concerned about this life at all, but about turning away, transcending and denying this world in order to attain eternal bliss and fame in some after life.
The path to Actual Freedom has the advantage that I have a very clear knowledge of what I want to achieve through the experience of selflessness in a PCE. Also, after a relatively short time I can see the actual, tangible and ever-increasing success of a life more and more free of malice and sorrow and eventually reach a state of Virtual Freedom. If everyone lived in Virtual Freedom, there would be peace on earth, even if nobody else managed to become actually free. So Virtual Freedom is not to be dismissed lightly as ‘arrive ... some day if you continue to search and investigate verbally and experientially’. For me, anyway, it is a point of no return.
If, however, someone writing from the experience of Virtual Freedom is not enough of a proof that the method to Actual Freedom works, there is always Richard’s writing, if you want to verify or clarify what it is I am saying. (...)
RESPONDENT: Labels are not needed except as you say, ‘as a starting point for further inquiries into the Human Condition.’... and it is good fun.
VINEETO: I have never talked about ‘labels’ ‘as a starting point for further inquiries into the Human Condition’. I said – as you have quoted at the very top of the letter:
Label according to the dictionary means: ‘...to put in a certain class, to describe by a certain label’. Macquarie
When you say ‘labels are not needed ...’, I take it that you don’t mean words or descriptions, but use ‘label’ as in making a moral judgement. Personally, I find that both precise descriptive words and accurate judgments based on facts are essential for the inquiry process. How else is it possible to distinguish silly from sensible, malicious from harmless and sorrowful from happy? The important thing is what one’s judgement is based upon – and most people use their feelings and intuition to judge a situation, a person, a statement or an event. But to base one’s judgement on facts, common sense, pure intent and the memory of a pure consciousness experience is the only way to find one’s direction in the maze of old wisdom and NDA beliefs, ancient psittacisms and self-centred emotion.
So, labels are very much needed, for fruitful communication, for clarity and for in-depth investigation into the substance and content of the Human Condition. Once one gets rid of the moral and ethical judgements (usually the self-recriminations are the hardest) of good and bad, right and wrong, then the clarity that comes with sound judgement is all good fun.
ALAN: My investigations, so far, lead me to ‘guess’ that I am touching on the basic instinct of nurture (though I am only seeing it as compassion or empathy, at the moment) and I am finding it very difficult to ‘get the bugger by the throat’ – hence my writing of this mail, to further my deliberations. I also have a sense that it is very much tied up with ‘belonging to humanity’ – and the mere act of writing these words has produced the ‘slight tug on the heartstring’ Vineeto mentioned, above. So, I guess I am on the right track. Yep, what I have been experiencing is a ‘pathos’ for humanity, a desire to see the ‘good’ and ‘loving’ in the actions of others – a desperate attempt to cling to the belief that humanity is not all bad and is worth holding on to. ‘I’ believe that there is something worth saving, that there is something ‘noble’ in sacrifice for others, that humanity is ultimately ‘good’.
VINEETO: Sometimes I was looking for indications that I could share others’ ideas of ‘good’, of ethical values, and of similar goals so as to stay part of the great family of Humanity. I noticed tucks on my heartstrings when watching ‘good’ events experienced by a large group of people like the ending of WW II or the fall of the Berlin Wall, times of immense relief after long periods of suffering. Also I noticed sometimes an emotional reverence for outstanding human achievements like a breakthrough in medical science or engineering triumphs such as the building of the London Underground in the 19th century. Human beings are indeed capable of amazing achievements despite the lead-weights of the Human Condition but beneath my honest respect for such accomplishments there lurked a desire to belong – just for a few seconds, but long enough to be noticed.
What I have discovered is that if ‘I’ can find any reason to feel that Humanity is ‘good’, then there is no reason for me to leave it behind. The more I meticulously questioned those ‘good’ feelings whenever they get triggered and I investigated the facts of the so-called ‘good’ intentions, ‘good’ deeds and ‘good’ morals, the more I noticed that I cannot hold on to the feeling of belonging. This stepping out of humanity sometimes makes me feel estranged – as if I belong to a different species altogether.
Films, particularly the American goody-goody type are a great source of investigation. The other day I had an opportunity to look into the feeling of love in a movie depicting the tumultuous friendship between a pregnant young woman and her gay ‘best friend’ who is living with her. ‘The Object of My Affection’ describes the romantic disaster of mixed up relationships with possessiveness and jealousy, loneliness and insecurity, social mores and old hurts, both from the heterosexual and gay point of view – very transparent. One can easily see that love is nothing other than a combination of loneliness, insecurity, sexual attraction and nurture instincts – the woman was looking for a man to protect her baby, the man was doing his moral duty. Recognizing yet again what love consists of is a good anchor point when bitter-sweet feelings of ‘caring’ responsibility, love for all, compassion or empathy are triggered. These feelings ain’t nothing but a failed remedy for loneliness.
VINEETO to Alan: That’s the fun about actualism, the wide and wondrous path – the adventure is my life and my life is an ongoing adventure and exploration – and everyone does it differently according to what is happening and what issue they are tackling at the moment.
Looking back there were always issues that I explored, feelings and beliefs that I was deeply involved in, experiencing and exploring. Initially, the exploration was highly twisted and obstructed by morals, ethics, spiritual beliefs and social conditioning; torturous straightjackets that made every move seem wrong or bad. But only because I had experienced the failures of those beliefs, morals and ethics, could I then apply the understanding that the solutions offered are in fact not leading to a happy and harmless life, let alone peace on earth. On the contrary, they all lead 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
One of the later explorations was experiencing time. By exploring the emotions and instinctual passions that prevent me from being here, I am more and more able to simply be here, in this moment. First I realised that the future is slipping away. The past had been gone with all the emotional issues resolved that had tied me to past memories. It is fascinating to notice how by being here the notion of ‘real’ time – this imagined web of ideas and feelings about past and future and their supposed implications for this moment – is falling by the wayside and disappearing with alarming speed, leaving me at times disoriented as if a fairytale has turned into a pumpkin. But as I recovered from the confusion and its ensuing insecurity the ‘pumpkin’ turns out to be utterly delicious – each moment is a delight because it is actually happening, it is neither felt nor imagined but happening right this very moment – whatever is happening is actual. There is such an innate pleasure and satisfaction in the experience of the very actuality of this moment that whatever I do is a bonus on top of it – what abundance.
The other thing that I discovered is the seemingly inexhaustible persistence of ‘me’ inventing myself all over again after hours of happily doing what is happening. Spoiling the fun ‘I’ start furphies such as self-doubt, worry, comparison, impatience, fear or begin looking for some other self-centred emotional issue. Sometimes I wonder if my female-tinged emotional conditioning is particularly sticky or if male conditioning provides a similar fertile affinity to being an emotional being.
VINEETO: Love and compassion, sympathy and empathy are our usual ways of relating to family and friends and through the same emotional ‘channel’ we also invite their fears and worries, sorrow and resentment, anger and hatred. There is only one way when one relates to people affectively and that is within the rules and ways of the Human Condition. The moment I feel sympathy for someone I am also swamped by their fears, the moment I am empathic for someone’s suffering I plug into the collective misery of mankind. The need to belong makes one susceptible to everybody’s feelings, be it anger or fear, greed or suffering.
RESPONDENT: I saw yesterday what you are saying about sympathy and empathy. By not buying in to her suffering I was relieved of my suffering and I was better able to take care of her. Also have seen that ‘I’ am rotten to the core because a lot of my suffering has been worrying about ‘me’ having to take care of her.
VINEETO: To examine the so-called ‘good’ emotions of nurture, care, sympathy, friendship, duty, love and compassion is a fascinating subject and can only be done by questioning and examining at the same time the morals and ethics of society that forms one’s very social identity. If one wants to be actually free of the Human Condition, one has to examine and recognize that ‘good’ simply means ‘morally acceptable’ and ‘right’ is just another ethical value, both of which vary from tribe to tribe and from society to society. The ‘good’ is a much a bondage as the ‘bad’ – even more so because it seems much more desirable. As humans we don’t want to lose the other’s affection and reassurance, the appreciation of our peers, the cozy safety of being part of a family or group, the comforting knowledge of doing what everyone considers the ‘right’ thing or the ‘good’ deed.
Freedom lies in the opposite direction. On the path to actual freedom I did not bother to try to solve the moral or ethical problems of what is ‘good’ or ‘right’ but focussed my attention instead on discovering my own ethical and moral values – my social identity in action. ‘Ah, I’m trying to find out what is right? I’m upset that someone did the ‘wrong’ thing? I’m aiming again to be a ‘good’ person?’ These were indications that my moral identity was in action and I used my awareness to examine this very identity and learned to step out of it. What is now left is a simple sensible solution – and mostly my worries were seen to be an S.E.P.-situation, Someone Else’s Problem. Once I understood that it is only me who can set myself free I also understood that everyone has to do it for themselves as well. What perfect arrangement. It for sure saves one saving people.
RESPONDENT: It is clear that the only one I can change is me.
VINEETO: What I was trying to clarify is that the first thing to change was my perception of what had to change. All my life I had tried to change for the better, first according to the Christian standards of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ –heaven and hell – and later according to the spiritual standards of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – nirvana and bad karma. What I needed to understand was that both are only slightly different standards of morals and ethics, and to shift one’s inbuilt instinctual passions from aggression to compassion, from sorrow to devotion, from fear to hope and from bondage to dis-identification is nothing other than rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. The structure of one’s being is not changed – the ‘feeling being’ itself needs to be questioned and investigated, uncovered and eliminated.
RESPONDENT: I would say that I am doing ok which is a relative term. I wouldn’t call it good but I would call it ok. When I look at my total situation it seems that I ‘have it made’ except for the problem with my mother. I realize that the real issue is the instincts because if this problem didn’t exist then I am sure that other issues would most likely arise.
VINEETO: People’s automatic response is always to see their own fear, aggression, sadness or misery as being caused by the other person or the particular circumstances. I considered it a great step in my exploration when I could see that, whatever the ‘problem’, it had to do with me. And you are absolutely spot on – ‘that other issues would most likely arise’ – so best to examine the one that is so readily presenting itself...
Whenever I had an issue that bothered me and that I wanted to get rid of, I would dig into the cause of the disturbance layer by layer with the question of ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ The first response was usually a superficial one like: ‘I don’t want to do what the other wants me to do’ or ‘I don’t like what the other just said’ or a similar resentment. Prodding further I’d come across stronger emotions such as anger, guilt, duty, shame, authority, pride or fear – or a mix of several ones. Each such emotion was worth a deeper inquiry as to the underlying rules, beliefs, morals and ethics that triggered and constituted those emotions and distorted my relationship to the particular person. It was often scary but always a great adventure to question my fixed perception and behaviour and explore a solution 180 degrees in the other direction to my familiar reactions. By being suspicious about my automatic belief of what is ‘true’, ‘good’ and ‘right’, I was then able to start assessing the facts of the situation rather than indulging in, or fighting against, my emotional reactions to what was happening. (...)
VINEETO: Talking to Peter later on I realized that there is only one solution to any problem that occurs – only when I have enough of it am I ready to get out of it, I simply stop feeding the feeling and, bingo, the problem disappears with the bit of identity that had kept it in place. It might take a long time until one has had enough – and some people are obviously tough and stubborn sufferers – but once the limit is reached, a curious decision can be made and then it is only a matter of minutes to be free of the burdening feeling. If the understanding and decision is total, that feeling won’t come back. And then, one is able to make sensible responses to the situation, free of affective feelings.
RESPONDENT: If this is true then obviously I haven’t had enough. I am suffering right now.
VINEETO: Actual Freedom is not a miraculous event that will one day appear all by itself and then all suffering will be over. Actualism, the process to becoming actually free, is a verified method which provides one with the means and tools to investigate the nitty-gritty of the Human Condition in oneself and – when applied with persistence, sincerity, diligence and pure intent – one can successively and permanently free oneself from one’s social identity and then from one’s instinctual passions.
The first thing to investigate is one’s social identity. Unless one has freed oneself from the social mores and ethical rules, from the various role-models that we have learned and adopted throughout our life time it will be impossible to tackle the deeper layers of the instinctual passions. Richard has outlined the social identity in his last letter to No 13 –
VINEETO: Personally, it took two months and a lot of discussions with Peter until I finally understood experientially, what the term ‘spiritual’ stands for. For me, ‘spiritual’ had implied the ‘godly’ way of life, following the highest aspirations of mankind, a dedication to be good, to be part of the group of people who also aspire to the same goal. The day I finally understood the literal meaning of the word ‘spirit-ual’, a whole new world opened up. Suddenly the spiritual world was not the only alternate world to the ‘real’ world, not even the best world. Suddenly I understood that I – like everyone else – was producing this world in my head and heart – with my very spirit, so to speak – and this world consisted of spiritual morals, ethics, ideas, beliefs, emotions, loyalties, pride and the belief in the immortality of the soul. (...)
RESPONDENT: I’m not having PCEs but I am having direct experiences. I will write when I have more to say. That’s all for now.
VINEETO: As I said above, in order to understand what Actual Freedom is about it is essential to remember a pure consciousness experience. It is vital to investigate precisely those ‘direct experiences’, and determine when and where and how the experience is being polluted by the ‘self’, by the feeling and spirit-ual interpretation of the actual sensate, sensuous experience.
It is a fascinating adventure to explore one’s sensate experiences with the magnifying glass of attentiveness and heightened awareness and to discover the ingredients that invariably occur to stop or prevent one’s direct experience of the actual world. Particularly in the beginning I would often be thrown into a turmoil of fears and ‘bad’ feelings when trying to remove the ‘good’ feelings of love, beauty, spiritual meaningfulness or virtue from a sensate experience. Suddenly all hell broke lose, the ‘bad’ feelings of loneliness, starkness, dread or vice would come to the surface. Moral and ethical values would appear as noisy and frightening doubts in my head calling me traitor, whore, evil, animal. But remember, those feelings – as scary as they may look at first – are nothing but the flipside of the coin called morality and can confidently be dismissed along with all the good feelings. The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings are the rose-coloured and grey-coloured glasses one has to remove from one’s eyes in order to experience the actual world as magnificent as it is.
RESPONDENT: The only thing I concluded was that fear is the predominant instinct, which I had already said to Peter before I ever talked to Richard so it wasn’t based on what Richard said.
VINEETO: Your conclusion, regardless of what it is based on, is non-factual. If you look at Richard’s quote, he said that ‘at root fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions’, which is certainly not the same thing as ‘the predominant instinct’. The basic instinctual survival passions, common to all animal-life on this planet, are determined by the principle of ‘what can I eat and what can eat me’. However, historic and present day evidence makes it glaringly obvious that the predominant passions in the human animal are those of malice and sorrow.
Though it is certainly easier to admit to experiencing fear than to admit to being as malicious and sorrowful as everyone else, a remedy can only be applied successfully if the patient firstly admits to being sick. As long as one’s every emotion is explained or excused as being the sole result of being fearful, one cannot address, examine and eliminate malice and sorrow in oneself. And unless you eliminate your instinctual malice and sorrow, you can never be actually free of fear, for they are part and parcel of a single package.
RESPONDENT: You have completely overlooked that and put your spin on it to show that you are right and that I am spiritual. The rest of your reading of me is also so erroneous that I see no use in trying to continue the conversation.
VINEETO: My letter was simply meant to give you some information so that ‘the root is revealed and understood completely’ – so that not only will it make sense to you as a proposition, but also that you might understand how to do it in practice. You may say that you are not spiritual but you give every indication of continuing to see the world with spiritual eyes. One indication for spiritual eyes is that you divide the world into terms of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and that you hold to the notion that it is important to be right. Ethical values as to what is right and what is wrong are implanted into us with mother’s milk, so to speak, and any additional spiritual training of adult years only adds to our relentless habit of evaluating people, things and events according to what we have learnt to be right or wrong.
For instance, as a catholic Christian I was told that only obedient Catholics could go to Heaven – they were ‘right’ – and that all non-Catholics were heathens – they were ‘wrong’. That was an awful lot of people who were supposed to go to hell – even for the gullible mind of a six-year-old. Later, when I was a Rajneeshee, I was taught that all organized religions were ‘wrong’ and only Rajneesh had the right and true spirituality that would lead to liberation. Who and what was ‘right’ and who and what was ‘wrong’ had changed as my beliefs had changed, but the imperative to categorize things and people by ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is common to all spiritual-religious teachings.
As I began to question all my beliefs and values in order to discover what is actual, I examined my loyalty to, and belief in, Rajneesh and eventually discovered what a sham Eastern mysticism was. It was, however, a much longer process to completely reveal and understand my numerous spiritual notions, beliefs and values – all that I considered ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘higher’ and ‘lower’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Every time I became aware of robotically thinking that ‘this is right’ or ‘this is wrong’ I stopped to examine the underlying value that I had been taught – either in my spiritual career or in my childhood socialization. I learned to question every single one of my ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ and began to look for what were the facts, what worked and what made sense.
Spirituality not only consists of a belief in God or a belief in an afterlife – spirituality pervades every inch of our thinking and feeling. It takes months of honest and meticulous self-investigation to find and root out all the connotation of one’s emotion-based beliefs and moral and ethical values that actively conspire to prevent a clean intelligence from emerging.
VINEETO: Without the Human Condition, without the overlaying fear, aggression, nurture and desire this world is experienced as-it-is, benevolent, friendly, easy and magically delightful.
RESPONDENT: Absolutely. And I understand the need to share this with others. Just – the responses you get, both positive and negative, can tell you something if you are willing to stay open in an communication, without any defences, which it seems to me you put up in front of the truth you have found. You want to share it, with NO objections what so ever. You put the truth upon people by telling them they are wrong, who is interested in listening to your truth when you come from that perspective? We are all, ALL, on the search and we are all, ALL, wrong from time to time. But when we are right, we are right according to ourselves only, no one can confirm that for us. Be more tolerate, more compassionate (which has nothing to do with emotions), more understanding. I know you would have been, if you came from the Source. I don’t think you do.
VINEETO: I have not found ‘the truth’, which is indeed different for everyone. I talk about facts, about experiencing the world without notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, true and false. You can be maybe ‘right’ according to your affective experience, but the physical senses without emotions and feelings give a clear experience of the world-as-it-is. You cannot call a coffee-cup a chewing gum. This is where actual freedom differs from spiritual truth in that it is definable, describable, factual, physical, obvious and perfect, as evidenced by the physical senses.
RESPONDENT: But the physical senses differ from human to human, so everybody have their own facts, their own obvious perfection., so it occurs to me you are deluding yourself here.
VINEETO: Exactly, our physical senses are not fit to respond to the divine, and there is no need to. The ‘divine’ is a product of our imagination, like everything else that cannot be evidenced by the physical senses. God is a mere fiction of the human psyche, the ignorant human invention based upon the dualistic need to explain anything and everything in terms of cause and effect. And what human energy is powerful enough to give birth to this imaginary god? Passionate human energy, of course, all in a desperate search for immortality, a denial of physical death.
RESPONDENT: To become enlightened and to go beyond enlightenment doesn’t mean that the personality stops working. Being inside a body, being earthy requires a personality. Another thing is to be able to distinct yourself from your personality.
VINEETO: For communicative purposes I first want to agree upon a common understanding of what ‘personality’ means. So I use the dictionary:
I, as a human being have been wired or programmed in a certain way. This wiring consisted of the beliefs that had been instilled in me from the time when I first was rewarded for ‘good’ or punished for ‘bad’ behaviour, and it included all the morals, values and ethics that would make me a fit member of society. On top of it, and developing from the age of about seven were the beliefs and traits I would take on and develop as ‘my own’ identity. At the core, inherited from ‘Mother Nature’s’ survival package, are our animal instincts of aggression, fear, nurture and desire.
In the process of becoming free from the Human Condition the emotional and social characteristics are being eliminated by thorough investigation. What (not ‘who’) is left are foibles, talents, preferences, interests which are different in everyone – as in definition No. 1. You can see the difference in Peter’s writing and my writing, and if you go to Richard’s web site his style is very different again. But there is no emotional, social or instinctual personality remaining.
VINEETO: A short response about what you wrote to No 23:
RESPONDENT: You know, it is unbelievable that minds can be so thick. I haven’t given up hope that there must be a gap, a small slice of openness for communication to peep through, but it seems not so. I’ve never before in my life come across someone so totally brainwashed, and it makes me a bit curious – how is it possible? But you’re right, it is poison and it doesn’t do good.
VINEETO: Good to hear that you have not given up yet. Maybe there is indeed something we can agree upon. I am a very sensible and down-to-earth person, so who knows, there might be a chance.
You are right with the term of ‘totally brainwashed’ – I have washed not only my brain clean of all conditionings, beliefs and social psittacisms, but I have also washed my heart or soul clean of any emotions and underlying animal instincts. With neither a psychological nor a psychic entity one can experience the actual world as it is, magnificent, sensuous, benign and perfect. It is possible, and it only took me 18 months of intense and honest investigations into my ego of conditionings and beliefs and into my heart and soul, and it was utterly worth it. Life is now so easy, so carefree and so simple as I always wanted it to be but could never achieve through meditation and Eastern spiritualism.
Maybe you have no choice but to call it poison, because it has no nectar (love) in it. But the actual is neither nectar nor poison, it is simply experiencing this moment of being alive without separation by any ‘self’. Moral eyes may see that as poison. The same applies to your perception that I am not human:
RESPONDENT: Me not into discussions. You not human to share from yourself as you are beyond humanity, becoming a dictionary parrot instead. Me not want to bla bla with parrots.
VINEETO: What has been considered human up to now is this: Every human is born with a set of instincts (fear, aggression, nurture and desire) meant to ensure the survival of the species. Further we are imbibed with a social identity from early age consisting of the particular morals and ethics of the tribe or culture we are born into. We further develop an individual identity within the tribe consisting mainly of the particular beliefs or customs that appeal to us for whatever reason. This collection of hard-wiring and programming we fondly call ‘me’, and we then proceed into the world to make our way as best we can. No wonder everyone feels lost, lonely and frightened and develops a very cunning nature. Thus our personal view of the world is so dense, so thick, so instinctually perceived as to be real, that it is taken to be ‘set in concrete’ as it were.
Someone who has freed himself, or herself, from this entire set of beliefs, emotions and instincts must look ‘unhuman’ to everyone else who is still trapped in the Human Condition. I think I have shared more about myself than many others here, but not in the emotional way you are used to, or expected me to.
VINEETO: I take it that your passionate writing is in response the book review of ‘Zen at War’(http://www.darkzen.com/) that Peter mentioned to No 13, because in subject heading you wrote: No 13 re Zen.
RESPONDENT: I have heard about the book, and I wanna read it. I am very curious. Coz now I am learning about the Japan’s history of the W.W. II. What a shit!!! Fuck the Japanese emperor, fuck the Japanese military, fuck the Japanese politician! And fuck the Zen monks!
VINEETO: I take it that you found the address on the web: http://www.teleport.com/~zennist/zenholy.htm
It would be very easy, and not factual, when one simply believes that it was the fault of the emperor, the military, the politicians and the monks. It was the whole country that loved and supported the emperor, the emperor was supported by the people, the monks were trained according to a thousand year old tradition. To blame a particular individual is to miss the point entirely. War and cruelty has happened in every country, it happened in every century, in every religion. The history of humanity is a continuous history of war, of horrendous wars, of tremendous killing, cruelty and suffering. Most of the technological development happened to be able to attack and defend better and to be able to kill more efficiently.
To acknowledge these facts on a global scale makes one aware of the instinctual root of all the wars. Every single human being is equipped with the basic instincts for survival – aggression, fear, nurture and desire. This includes the need to be a member of a group and the will to sacrifice for kin, country and belief. The various ethics and morals keep the lid on those drives for a while, but when it comes to war, those lids are off – the bare instincts take over and our animal nature becomes horrifically obvious.
The more I became aware of those very instincts in me, the more I became determined to eliminate them in me. This is the only way peace-on-earth is possible, for me, and for everyone who wants to do it for himself or herself.
RESPONDENT to No 14: Awakening is devastating.
VINEETO: Do you mean to say that it is an ongoing devastation for the ‘self’, for who we think and feel we are?
RESPONDENT: It is always shocking to see what assholes we really are.
VINEETO: I don’t agree with you here. Once I got rid of my ideas, beliefs, emotions – in short all of my identity – there is no-one there to be an asshole or call anyone an asshole. This is not pretended humility. When there is no asshole in me, I also see no asshole outside of me.
As long as I swanned around like one of the Enlightened Ones I felt superior, and everyone else needed my compassion or wisdom. It took me a week to fully get out of that seductive delusion. It is part and parcel of becoming enlightened; it comes with that ‘energy’ filling one’s heart, one is being swamped with ‘wisdom’, the greatest imagination the Self can produce. One is hooked into the collective ‘wisdom’ of humanity and thus perpetuates the suffering and morals that have been our heritage from the very beginning. ‘Good’ is only the backside of ‘bad’.
The name of the game is to throw the whole coin of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ out the window. The name of the game is freedom from good and evil, right and wrong.
Once I got rid of ‘who I am’ and simply live ‘what I am’, this flesh and blood body, there is only silly and sensible, a practical, down-to-earth, delightful enjoyment of the perfection of this benevolent universe. This is when peace on earth is possible.
RESPONDENT: Vineeto, you remained in the duality of good/bad emotions. And right/wrong beliefs. All, throughout 17 years of sannyas!!!
VINEETO: Are you saying, you didn’t? You write on your website:
Don’t you guide people out of their ‘bad’ emotions and out of their ‘wrong’ beliefs? If you don’t, then why would they come to you in the first place? Or do you prefer to call it ‘the wrong level of consciousness’? Don’t you guide them from bad feelings into good feelings, from the ‘normal’ world into the ‘spiritual’ world, from the secular into the Divine?
‘Going beyond duality’ in Eastern philosophy and in Osho’s teaching translates into ‘transcending the secular dualities of good and bad, loneliness and belonging to a group, greed and generosity, love and hate, etc’. One transcends this duality by the feeling of Bliss, Compassion and Divine Love, but duality is only transcended by creating another identity, the ‘watcher’.
I am talking about the third alternative – removing the root cause of the problem, ‘me’, the ‘self’, the instinctual programming, not just transcending it into ‘feeling’ one with the divine. Actual Freedom means eliminating not only the secular duality of good and bad, but also the spiritual duality of ‘the watcher’ and the ‘illusory world’, of soul and body. In the actual world there is no duality because there is no imaginary alien entity of ‘me’, the soul, the core of one’s being. In Actual Freedom this instinctual sourced being has been extinct.
VINEETO: So, you are saving your ‘pearls of wisdom’ because I don’t appreciate them?
I am willing to learn anything that is new, but not re-hashed old wisdom that is an obvious failure. If you can present me with something that is sound-proof and water-tight, meaning that it works such that it makes people happy and harmless, free from the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, I am more than ready to listen.
RESPONDENT: You couldn’t begin to appreciate anything I would say, because first you will judge it by your filters that you so conveniently listed below. You will either block the meaning or choose to misunderstand whatever is said that you don’t immediately agree with. This is called being close minded, btw.
VINEETO: So no pearls of wisdom from No 12, because it wouldn’t pass my filters? Don’t you judge what people say by your own filters?
I would be interested as to what your filters are. How do you distinguish or judge what you agree with or disagree with?
‘Close minded’ is another one of those ‘dirty’ labels in New Dark Age language, used to put someone in his/her place. Being a seeker, one should not be ‘close minded’. But, you know, since I uncovered my common sense by removing all the over-riding restrictions of feelings, emotions, beliefs and instincts I don’t need to be open-minded or close-minded, I can simply be sensible. What is usually termed ‘open minded’ is nothing but gullibility born out of a confusion as to who and what to follow. One is then ‘open minded’, taking on board any belief or superstition that ‘feels right’. This is giving continuous credence to the very thing that is the problem, the lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity called ‘self’ with its lost, lonely, frightened and cunning feelings.
By removing this alien entity inside of me bit by bit, the innate intelligence and common sense have replaced this dubious open mindedness, confusion and gullibility. And I can tell you, my life is so much more sensible now, it is immense fun, easy and delightful. And, it makes me independent of all sorts of authority figures, their morals and ethics that I had believed and followed in the past. It makes me capable to re-spond to each situation afresh, according to the circumstances, using my common sense, humour and intelligence to sort things out.
RESPONDENT: First of all, I’d like to thank you for your straight forward manner. It is refreshing to see that you are patient with people even though they rebel.
VINEETO: Good to talk to you again.
Rebelling has been a strong issue for me in my life. When I lived at home with my parents, I rebelled against my father. Later I extended that rebellion against my university professors, my employers, the government, the police and men in general. Beneath all my rebellion I was still relying on authority for comparison, orientation and approval, while rebelling against it at the same time.
Interestingly, I could only get rid of authority by tracing its cause to the very root: What do I want or need authority for in my life? Why do I create authority? What do I get out of it? What was the ultimate authority behind each representative of power? Which version of good and bad, right and wrong was I to follow? Could I consider living without an external or internal authority in my life? And what would be the consequences?
But I can say, I had to tackle my belief in the ultimate authority before I was able to stand upright and autonomously on my own feet. Now I am my own authority, deciding what is silly and sensible, using the common and practical intelligence of the human brain. I am responsible for every action in my life and I can acknowledge that now. However, this means that from now on I cannot blame anybody for making me jealous, miserable, grumpy, afraid, angry or frustrated over any petty issue. Now there is no more excuse, no more hiding place. They are my reactions and my behaviour, which I have to face and change in order to be free.
So, in my experience, it is worth rebelling, but rebelling against someone else does not lead anywhere. For freedom, I rebelled against everything that I have been taught, every thought, every truth, every teaching, every feeling – and it is damn worth it.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.