Please note that Vineeto’s correspondence below was written by the feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ while ‘she’ lived in a pragmatic (methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom.

Selected Correspondence Vineeto


GARY: I don’t know what to say to my partner now when she tells me ‘I love you’. My most recent response is a kind of uncomfortable silence. I then sometimes respond with such endearments as ‘I care for you’, ‘I want to be with you’ (which is true). I do not feel what is called ‘love’, which, as you point out, is an emotion-laden and hormonally-saturated substitute for actual intimacy. Love is certainly not all it is cracked up to be. It seems lately too that all around me I perceive the enormous investment that human beings have made in the ideal of Love. It is written into all our most cherished ballads, stories, movies, songs. It is there as the ultimate pinnacle to which human beings can attain, either in its secular setting in male-female and (not to alienate gay/lesbian friends) male-male and female-female relationships, in short, in terms of coupling sexually and emotionally with another human being. Love, the antidote for sorrow, has such a powerful hold on humanity.

VINEETO: The other night we watched a program on animal emotions. Although they had the issue upside down, trying to prove how ‘human’ animals are rather than how animal humans are, it was interesting to learn that female mammals seem to release a hormone called oxytocin when they give birth. The release of this chemical is believed to be responsible for parenting behaviour, like feeding, protecting and taking care of newborns, whereas another chemical, dopamine is considered to stimulate the pleasure centre both in mammals and in humans. In my twenties and thirties I had often wondered how much of ‘love’ was merely a chemical reaction of varying hormones and how much was so-called true love – now the more I learn about the function of hormones, the more I understand that love is nothing but a feeling produced by hormones that are triggered by our instinctual reactions.

It is one thing to not let oneself be ‘overtaken’ by a feeling of love because one has rationally understood its reasons and implications, and quite another to deliberately and consciously allow the feeling to happen in order to fully understand and explore it experientially. I needed to observe myself many times when being overtaken and overwhelmed by affection and love to detect ‘me’ who was producing and maintaining this sweet feeling of being connected.

I wrote in ‘A Bit of Vineeto’ about the later stages of investigating the offshoots of love –

[Vineeto]: Even after dismissing love as a concept or an option of relating, I still had to be watchful of my ‘love-attacks’, as I called them. They would come through the backdoor, seduce me with a rose-colored mood and appear so nice and cosy – such a temptation to surrender back into loving Peter instead of meeting him directly. However, I had understood and experienced often enough that any feeling for the other, howsoever sweet and soothing, would only make him a projected imaginary figure on my own screen of emotions, which can so easily change at the slightest whim. It had nothing to do with the actual person or situation. Being vigilant and persistently nibbling away at my habit of falling back into love proved to be a long process. After all, love and empathy are praised as woman’s greatest virtues!

Later, love changed into the subtler version of feeling ‘connected’ to Peter, of having, through him, some kind of identity in my life. I caught myself wanting to use him as an outline for my own existence, as an anchor to define me as ‘person-in-relation’, a ‘self’. Examining it closer I discovered that this need for an anchor derives from the female instinctual need for protection. Only when I feel ‘connected’ to a person can I keep up the illusion that I can rely on this person for ‘bad times’.

However, whenever I managed not to fall into the trap of love – what a delight then to discover the actual person, thrilling, alive, meeting for the first time and not knowing what either of us is going to say or do next! Love was then replaced by this delicious state of crisp and exquisite awareness, where I am utterly by myself, there is no relationship between us whatsoever, and the next moment is unpredictable and without continuity to any past or future. Remembering again and again the joy of those wonder-filled moments always gave me the necessary intent and courage to keep removing any feelings that the ‘self’ kept producing. A Bit of Vineeto

GARY: To question it is one thing, and I am sure that most people do that to some extent. But to reject it totally is almost to proclaim oneself to be apart from humanity. Then again we get into the outcast thing again. But to get back to what is happening in my partnership relationship, I am aware at times of stirrings of insecurity, the feeling of needing reassurance, of seeking comfort, or desiring nurturance, etc., and I look at these things and see instead of ‘Love’ the claim and demand for what the very self is made of – affirmation and validation of its existence, in other words, that there is a ‘me’ present that needs these supplies and either coyly or quite brazenly goes about pulling or teasing these things from her.

VINEETO: For me it was not that I rejected love – it was that I came to understand experientially that feeling love is in the way of meeting the other as the human being he or she is. Love is always self-serving; it is to supply me with the nice feeling that I belong, that I am a loving person – that I am not alone, that if I give I shall receive. Intimacy is the very opposite – I am interested in the other and in what is happening this moment between us, not for my security or gratification, but for the sake of meeting a fellow human being as he/she is in this very moment.

GARY: I read about Sorrow in the AF glossary pages. One thing that rang my bell, in particular, was when it said:

This instinct [of the need to belong], implanted by blind nature to ensure the survival of the species, pumps the body with chemicals that induce the feeling of fear whenever one is straying too far away from the herd, abandoning other members of the family or group or being on one’s own. The Actual Freedom Trust Library

Oh Boy, does that hit the mark. That seems exactly like what is happening. I feel like I have done something wrong and am being corrected, disciplined in no uncertain terms, brought back into the fold. I have strayed far, far away from the herd. Whilst I haven’t abandoned my family completely, I maintain considerable distance, and I am unaffected by any feeling of loyalty to my family or tribe. I also am on my own a good deal. I do not see myself as keeping any friends at work or being concerned to make any allies. That does not mean that I am blatantly unfriendly, but I just don’t seem to have the kind of relationship with co-workers that I see others having.

So what I am seeing here, from the reading in the glossary and thinking about it on my own, is that sorrow is a pre-birth programmed instinct to keep one in line with one’s group, tribe, work group, family group, etc. It is a way to insure that humans will conform with the wretched status quo even if that means being peevish, unhappy, or malevolent.

VINEETO: I found it useful to make a clear distinction between sorrow and the need to belong although they have common aspects. Leaving the herd created fear in me many times, popping up at regular intervals whenever the immensity of becoming actually free hit home.

The first layer of sorrow was closely linked to my social identity, to being a social being. I found that questioning common beliefs, i.e. how I should be and how things should be, and particularly questioning my spiritual beliefs, i.e. we are all here to suffer because it is God’s will, were essential to leaving the sticky sorrow-soup that is the glue holding humanity together.

Later I discovered the second layer of sorrow – compassion. Once my personal sorrow had disappeared out of my life and everything was running smoothly due to my rapidly diminishing social identity, I became more and more sensitive to, and aware of, the immensity of human suffering and sorrow. Compassion, the bittersweet feeling arising out of the nurture instinct, is very seductive in that is fulfils the need to belong without the tedious self-centred struggles of day-to-day sorrowful relationships. One simply lies on the couch and, watching the stark news in the world, feels connected to all the suffering people out there. Of course, nobody but me receives any benefit from this feeling – which proves, despite common belief, that compassion is an utterly selfish feeling.

When all is said and done it is simply so much more sensible to be happy and harmless – even if stepping out of the human program is frightening at times.

GARY: Everything about sorrow says to me ‘You will never leave us. You will always carry this sadness around with you. You cannot be happy. Whatever you do in life or no matter how far you travel, you will always have me to remind you of who you are’.

A little further on in the glossary, it says the following:

From my investigations and experiences it is obvious that ‘who’ I think and feel I am – ‘me’ at the core – encompasses both a deep-set feeling of separateness from others and the world as perceived by the senses as well as a deep-set feeling of needing to ‘belong’.

This over-arching feeling of separateness – of being a ‘separate self’, who is forever yearning to ‘belong’ – is the root cause of personal sorrow and the all encompassing ‘ocean’ of human sorrow in the world. The Actual Freedom Trust Library

It is hard for me to admit that I want to belong, that I am not free from this herding instinct.

VINEETO: I found that the need to belong was slowly, slowly replaced by my judgement of silly and sensible and the obvious tangible benefits I gained from not belonging to a miserable group, race or battling gender. Of course, it is invaluable to have someone to talk or write to and share common sense and the experience of success without being continuously cut down to size, a behaviour directly linked to the herding instinct. Everyone who is not aware of his or her instinctual need to belong can only judge you as a competitor to the present leader or leaders or a lonely madman the moment it becomes apparent that you are walking tall in the world. Watching herding behaviour in animals has been very useful research material for understanding my own feelings and behaviour and that of other people towards me.

GARY: Perhaps outwardly I behave as if it does not affect me that much, but the fears that I experienced when ‘I’ am under scrutiny for apparently not ‘fitting in’ are telling a different story. I think that it will be important for me to investigate this instinct. So, the basic thrust of the instinct, as I understand it so far, is to ensure loyalty and conformity to the group? Is that it? Or is there something that I am missing? I would welcome feedback from anybody who has dealt with or is dealing with this sort of thing. I have wondered if what I am experiencing is the ostracization or rejection by the group that others talk about, you know, the ‘you just don’t seem like everybody else here – what’s the matter with you?’ How have other people dealt with this?

VINEETO: I have found two aspects to ‘ostracization’ – one was my own fear of being on my own and the other was the actual withdrawal, resentment and sometimes attack from others for leaving the commonly agreed terrain of malice and sorrow.

I could eventually tackle the fear of being on my own, because of the memories from my pure consciousness experiences where any separation magically disappears the moment the ‘self’ goes in abeyance. In a PCE it is clear that I have always been on my own and lived my own life without great problems. It is the feeling of separation, fear and worry arising from a ‘self’ that makes the feeling of ostracization a common reaction. In the end it was not so much that others avoided me but I who lost interest in belonging to a Humanity that ardently insists on keeping the status quo of malice and sorrow. One can do nothing about the sceptical, disinterested or outright aggressive reaction from others except being practical and sensible and such reactions are an inevitable by-product of being a pioneer.

But then, peace on earth, in this lifetime, is worth overcoming such obstacles, isn’t it?


VINEETO to Gary: It’s been a while since I wrote to you last. I was quite busy with my own process of investigating where I am connected with Humanity and I was yet again trying to understand the workings of the psychic web called Humanity. Investigation into an issue is like a scientific research whereby I collect enough relevant data both in my emotional reactions and in observations of the facts and workings of a situation – and then the brain does the evaluation on its own accord. I experienced the stepping out of the psychic web of Humanity as a bewildering loss of interest in other people’s emotional or spiritual issues because my emotional/ spiritual faculty has almost stopped functioning. The other strange experience was that thoughts have stopped running automatically and only switch on when needed, like for working, shopping, driving or writing. I find it hilarious that what I desperately wanted to achieve in 17 years of the spiritual approach of no-thought, now happens as a result of investigating emotions, instinctual passions and the psychic web of humanity’s passions. And, at least for now, it is a very strange experience indeed.

GARY: I myself have been beset by bouts of anger and aggression which are most disturbing.

When this happens, I tend to go through periods where I castigate myself, doubting the method, but then invariably rally and re-commit myself to the goal of self-immolation. It is not an easy thing to rid oneself of malice and sorrow. If I practice the Actualism method diligently, it seems like I invariably run up against pockets of malice deep in the bowels of ‘me’ that are still there, lurking in the shadows. It doesn’t mean that the method doesn’t work, and it doesn’t mean that I am misapplying the method. I think in some ways it is evidence that the method is working because these pockets of malice and sorrow then become available for an intelligent investigation. Clinging to malice and sorrow is not the way I want to live.

VINEETO: I also occasionally discover pockets of anger, sorrow and fear, sometimes triggered by what I watch on television but mostly occurring for no particular reason at all. The onset of menopause with its sporadic hormonally triggered emotional spurts is yet another great opportunity to observe bouts of intense feelings that don’t have any other rhyme or reason than to show that ‘I’ am still around.

For me attacks of anger or grumpiness pass quickest, whereas sorrow can hang around longer sometimes. Just the other day I had trouble shaking off a deep sadness about the senseless slaughter between human beings, past and present alike and the fact that there is no end in sight. I was reminded of a conversation I had with Richard three years ago on the topic of ‘my’ connection with humanity that runs bone-marrow-deep.

He wrote –

Vineeto: … there is no difference between me and the hundreds of thousands who have suffered and died and those who have, without success or effective change, tried to help – for ‘umpteen hundreds of thousands of years’. On an overwhelming instinctual level ‘I’ am ‘them’ and ‘I’ have had no solution and never will have a solution.

Richard: There is no cure to be found in the ‘real world’ ... only never-ending ‘band-aid’ solutions.

Vineeto: The devastation is enormous and the only way ‘out’ is ‘self’-sacrifice.

Richard: Yet it is the instinct for survival that got you and me and every other body here in the first place. We peoples living today are the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes ... we are the product of the ‘success story’ of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Is one really going to abandon that which produced one ... that which (apparently) keeps one alive?

Do you recall those conversations we had about loyalty (familial and group loyalty) back when you and I first met ... and what was required to crack that code?

That was chicken-feed compared with this one. Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Vineeto

‘Is one really going to abandon that which produced one …?’ My occasional bouts of intense feelings give evidence that I have not yet abandoned ‘that which produced me’ but I can also see that I have come a long way since I started on the path to freedom. The more experience I gather the more it becomes clear that belonging to humanity through love and fear, malice and sorrow, is not the ‘way I want to spend my life’, as you say.

ALAN: (...) I suppose if millions had investigated actual freedom and it had only been achieved by a handful, then there would be some justification. Until then – and knowing from the PCE what is possible – it would be logical to continue the investigation.

VINEETO: For me nothing justifies ‘a cessation of investigation’, until the fat lady has sung. That is my aim in life and it does not matter how long it takes because for me there is no other game to play that is worth playing. I left the real world behind when I found that it sucks and I left the spiritual world behind when I found it to be a shallow fantasy and a hypocritical delusion.

ALAN: Having come this far, surely it would be worthwhile continuing a bit longer?

VINEETO: An actualist is investigating issues that are at the forefront of human evolution, pursuing something that has never been done before in human history, penetrating not only ancient beliefs commonly-held truths and superstitions, but also exploring experientially sacred feelings and the core instinctual passions themselves. By examining the whole range of the ‘good’ emotions and socially sanctioned feelings as well as those deemed bad and unacceptable, one is venturing beyond the universal human threshold – beyond humanity itself. In actualism one is reprogramming one’s brain that has been genetically programmed for survival and procreation as well as socially and spiritually conditioned to ensure that each new member born fits in with the existing status quo of humanity – given the all-inclusive scope of this reprogramming, it is certainly not a small thing we are doing. Therefore it is not only ‘worthwhile continuing a bit longer’, but to me it is the obvious only thing to do – to pursue this task until it is done.

ALAN: And therein lies the problem. Having stepped up to the brink, so to speak, in the first half of last year, ‘I’ know there is nothing more to investigate, no more discoveries to be made. The only thing left is the final step, the complete elimination of ‘me’.

VINEETO: How can you say that ‘you’ ‘know there is nothing more to investigate’, when ‘you’ are the very entity that is to leave the stage in order for you, the flesh-and-blood body, to be free? How can you say that there are ‘no more discoveries to be made’ when you just reported discovering a belief ‘that it seems to be just as difficult to attain a condition of actual freedom as it is to ‘achieve’ enlightenment’?

I know at times I was as impatient as you seem to be and I consequently got upset when I still discovered another bit of ‘me’ and then another, until I realized that it was the very expectation that freedom should fall into my lap tomorrow that was preventing me from continuing to sincerely question every little bit that ever keeps me from being happy and harmless 24 hours a day.

Two days ago I re-discovered something that I had known before in a PCE but experientially ‘forgotten’ since. I was busy watching a report on National Geographics where several guys were chasing and filming a big tornado in Colorado, US, in order to get more accurate data for weather predictions and also for the thrill of the adrenaline rush of being so close to danger. Suddenly something in me snapped and an ever-so-subtle tension of feeling a part of their adventure disappeared when I realized that I was here safely of my couch, while they were there, on the other side of the globe, in stormy and rainy weather. With the absence of this subtle tension I also realized that a thin thread of emotional connectedness with humanity is almost always latently present, ready to become apparent at the tiniest trigger. My receiver for psychic currents is almost always automatically switched on, connecting ‘me’ to humanity, and it is these subtle psychic currents that I am going to be watching now more closely in order to ween myself away from these insidious bonds to the passions that exemplify human-ness.

I found again and again that it is not enough to discover something once and then rest in the assurance that ‘I know it now’ but I also have to put this understanding into practice until it is part of my daily experience, actual and tangible, an obvious and undoubted fact, an implicit experience on a cellular level. That’s what takes time, and constant practice. There is a constant leaning forward, as it were, inherent in being a practicing actualist, which means one is actively and increasingly progressing towards one’s goal.

And to round it up to what I said at the top – writing is part of this practice because when I am forced to put my understanding into coherent words and explain my understanding to someone else, then a mere mental understanding won’t do, I’ll have to have walked the talk in order to be able to know and have experienced what I am talking about.

RESPONDENT: I have a new situation to deal with since talking with you last. My Mom is in the hospital and I am spending most of my time taking care of her. This subject of fear is still appropriate in relation to how I am dealing with this situation. The second I start thinking about it I am overwhelmed with fear, worry, etc.

However, I find that running the question ‘how am I’ is helping me to deal with the situation. Asking the question has helped me to stay in the moment and what I find is everything is ok in this moment right now. All my fears are in regard to how am I going to manage taking care of her at a future time. Right now at this moment in time she is taken care of.

VINEETO: Life seems to have given you a serendipitous opportunity to have a closer look at the instinctual passion of nurture, its correlating feelings of love and belonging and the implications of being a social identity as a family member. Quite an exciting range of possible discoveries that could help answer your earlier question of ‘How do I become intimate with the instincts?’

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.

This is not just a poetic expression, it is my very experience. In order to become happy and harmless I had to examine my every relationship – to Peter, to my peers, to my work-mates, to my parents and relatives. Whenever I ‘reached out’ emotionally, understanding someone’s sorrow, fear or anger, I could not help being affected – that’s the very idea of ‘sharing’ and the common remedy against feeling lonely in the first place. But there is no choice of feeling just the nice, good feelings with or for someone and disregarding their negative feelings – by the very nature of emotions I am being hooked into the emotional web the moment I choose to go along with affective feelings.

The alternative was to consciously and deliberately decide to leave the cozy nest of bitter-sweet feelings, to abandon the ‘squabbling and miserable humanity’ and examine and then eliminate feelings and emotions in myself. I have found that the ‘good’ emotions were even more insidious than the ‘bad’ ones. Many people would like to get rid of anger, sadness and fear, but who would want to abandon love, compassion, beauty and bliss? But once I understood the intrinsic connection between love and fear, compassion and sorrow, empathy and suffering, I decided to get free of the lot.

When I love someone I am afraid to lose him or her. In order to have compassion for someone the other needs to be ‘in the pits’ emotionally – otherwise there is no use for my compassion. Empathy is even more insidious – the suffering creeps under the skin and one never quite knows what is happening. And all this sorry-go-round for the sake of not feeling lonely, bored and fearful? I discovered that by examining and eliminating my very identity as an appreciated and valued member of society I eliminated loneliness and boredom at the same time. And not even the closest friendship can ever take away one’s fear of death – for fear to stop the very ‘I’ that generates this fear has to become extinct.

Love is not the solution, love is the problem. With love disappearing I could for the first time live in peace and harmony, ease and equity with another human being, day-in, day-out, 24 hrs a day, without bicker or quarrel, crisis or boredom. Without love, actual intimacy and genuine benevolence became possible for the first time. What a serendipitous trade-in!

It seems mad to everyone else but they don’t know what I’ve got!


VINEETO: What a perfect arrangement actuality is, I am still astounded every day about the perfection of it all.

RESPONDENT: I’m not experiencing the perfection of it all right now. I feel close but ‘I’ am getting in the way. What is it? What is keeping me from it right now? Ok, I see what is in the way right now and it is worry about someone else’s problem. An S. E. P. as you stated above. Worrying about my mom’s problem is not going to help her or me. Without worrying about it I can simply make sensible choices.

VINEETO: In order that all the S.E.P. can really be someone else’s problem, I had to incrementally disentangle myself from the psychological and psychic web of peers and relatives, friends and acquaintances. I had to step out of humanity itself. For this I traced each feeling that someone would evoke in me back to its source and investigated the emotion and instinctual passion in me. Brought to light and understood the psychic connection lost its mysterious power.

Feeling for someone always has its source in me and that’s what I can change. Nurture is as much part of our instinctual survival package as are desire, fear and aggression. Deciding to stop feeling for someone was often not enough. I had to dig into the reason why those feeling would occur again and again and find the underlying cause, my own survival instincts and my fears of being alone.

In the actual world I am already always alone and it is simply a fact. Yet there is neither any feeling of loneliness nor any need for love because loneliness and love are inevitable attributes of a separate ‘self’. Richard described it perfectly well:

Richard: As this flesh and blood body, I am most definitely on my own (unless I am a Siamese twin), but I am not alone. This physical world of animal, vegetable and mineral is the self-same stuff as this body ... indeed this body is the very stuff of this material universe. As this body, I am walking through a magical paradise of veritable similitude. But as an ‘I’ inside this body (either in the head or in the heart), ‘I’ am indeed alone ... ‘I’ am lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning. ‘I’ will do anything in order to end ‘my’ aloneness whilst staying in existence, nevertheless. ‘I’ will invent all manner of psychic adumbrations with which to seek union with and thus create an illusion of ending separation through oneness. In fact, ‘I’ will go to extraordinary lengths to perpetuate ‘my’ very ‘being’ for all eternity. ‘I’ will realise ‘my’ ‘True Self’ and thus gain a spurious immortality and some relative fame or notoriety. ‘I’ desire confirmation, endorsement, recognition and – ultimately – adulation.

‘I’ am a bit of a berk, actually.

There is no ‘me’ inside this body to be alone or to seek unity. With ‘my’ complete demise – ‘I’ as both ego and soul – ‘unity’ vanishes. ‘Oneness’ was merely a concept created by ‘I’ to perpetuate ‘my’ existence as a soul ... now transmogrified into a ‘Timeless Self’.

It is delicious to live freely in this actual world of sensual delight. Richard, List B, No 12, 5.3.1998


RESPONDENT: I have a sense of abandoning humanity but I have no energy left for investigating. I have doubt like all of this investigating is what is bogging me down. <snip> I get the message loud and clear that my own survival instincts are the underlying cause but I feel helpless and hopeless to do anything about it. It even seems right now that the effort to do something about it is the cause of the problem.

The actual world of sensual delight seems like the memory of a fairy tale. I have lost it.

VINEETO: No 3 says it perfectly well: ‘Do these feelings really serve you in any real beneficial way, what are the practicalities of doing away with this, that says this is your limit you will not venture past this. The main thing is, if it is controlling you, then you are believing it. Let’s face it, emotion is truth but not fact, truth is not freedom, fact is, as can be directly perceived or deduced with reason.’ [endquote].

RESPONDENT: I’m up against the mother of all beliefs that I can’t do anything about it. I can’t change the instincts. This belief is so strong that it looks like a fact so what looks best to do is accept the fact that I am my instincts. This seems like the only possible relief.

VINEETO: Your reply shows that you are taking this ‘mother of all beliefs’ as a reality that you won’t question and therefore you accept that you cannot change. Fair enough, it is a deeply ingrained insidious belief, not only repeated for thousands of years by millions of people as the only wisdom but also deeply rooted in our genetic instinctual heritage. It needs sincere intent, courage and awareness to start questioning the ‘truth of our ancestors’.

The moment I questioned anything that I had believed all my life I was up against a whirlpool of fear, belief being the very substance of my identity. There are only two ways to respond to that fear – to go back to being miserable without possibility for change, or to stop running, face the fear and start investigating. The first was not a long-term option for me – knowing about Actual Freedom and not pursuing it meant that I would never be able to face myself in the mirror again with dignity.

Whenever I gathered enough courage to stop running and face the fear I was up for a surprise – the biggest part of fear was being afraid of fear itself. The moment I stopped avoiding fear, the remaining fear was substantially reduced. Still big enough to make me shake – but I had understood enough to know that I could not run forever. Fear, the very core of our software, the Human Condition, will only disappear as that software is being eliminated, anything else will only be a postponement or an avoidance.

So whenever fear hits me I ‘hold on to the mast and let the storm pass’, not make any decisions because of fear but sit it out. It always passes.

Of course, one has to acknowledge that ‘I am my instincts’. But serendipity has it that we are not only inflicted with instinctual passions but are also equipped with intelligence and the ability to be aware of what is happening. It is these very qualities that have the potential to separate us from the other animals. These are the tools to re-wire the brain, to slowly, slowly shift the balance from passionate beliefs to clear facts, from automatic instinctual reactions to considered, sensible, appropriate action and sensual delight.

I leave you with a recipe from Richard to get out of stuckness, Alan’s favourite piece of writing – by the way, Alan, how are you doing?

Richard: To get out of ‘stuckness’ one gets off one’s backside and does whatever one knows best to activate delight. Delight is what is humanly possible, given sufficient pure intent obtained from the felicity/ innocuity born of the pure consciousness experience, and from the position of delight, one can vitalise one’s joie de vivre by the amazement at the fun of it all ... and then one can – with sufficient abandon – become over-joyed and move into marvelling at being here and doing this business called being alive now. Then one is no longer intuitively making sense of life ... the delicious wonder of it all drives any such instinctive meaning away. Such luscious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté – the nourishing of which is essential if fascination in it all is to occur – and the charm of life itself easily engages dedication to peace-on-earth. Then, as one gazes intently at the world about by glancing lightly with sensuously caressing eyes, out of the corner of one’s eye comes – sweetly – the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is ... and one is the experiencing of what is happening.

But refrain from possessing it and making it your own ... or else ‘twill vanish as softly as it appeared. Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Alan, 13.12.1998


RESPONDENT: I have a strong sense of abandoning humanity.

VINEETO: In order to abandon humanity as an actuality and not as a feeling or fantasy one needs to know one’s humanity, one’s beliefs, emotions and instinctual passions through and through because ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’. ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is the way to come to know all the ingredients of this ‘humanity’ in oneself. Whenever I am not happy there is something to investigate and this ‘something’, these emotion-backed thoughts and vague feelings are the stuff that constitute ‘I’ and ‘me’. ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul are nothing other than all the beliefs, emotions and instinctual passions that, in due course, one will encounter and discover in oneself on the path to becoming happy and harmless. Investigating one’s beliefs and emotions, one by one, will enable one to leave them behind, one by one. Then, without a social identity, life is a pleasure and a delight and the ongoing experience of Virtual Freedom gives one the necessary backbone to encounter the underlying instinctual passions.

Abandoning humanity is only possible after one has rid oneself of one’s social identity first and thus has the confirmation and confidence that the method works. Moreover, without experiencing the purity, magnificence and perfection of the actual world in a pure consciousness experience one’s abandoning humanity can only lead to feelings of dread and despair or the grand delusion of Oneness.

RESPONDENT: I even feel as if I am abandoning Actual Freedom.

VINEETO: Okey, dokey, that seems to be more likely and it surely is easier than ‘abandoning humanity’. For obvious reasons Actual Freedom is not everyone’s cup of tea and it requires – as Peter wrote to someone earlier –

Peter: ... a pioneering spirit to challenge Ancient Wisdom and the set-in-concrete mother of all beliefs – that ‘you can’t change Human Nature’.

Not to mention a good dose of bloody-mindedness, a touch of rebel, a sprinkle of panache and a dash of daring. Peter, List C, No 43.2.1999

It is everyone’s freedom and choice as to what they want to do with their lives and only a few seem to be dissatisfied and frustrated enough with the results of their spiritual search to be vitally interested in the Third Alternative. Being vitally interested in Actual Freedom and peace-on-earth will give one the courage and sincere intent to actually and irrevocably change one’s direction of thought, and one’s actions, in order to become happy and harmless, 24 hrs a day, every day.


VINEETO: Now we are getting into the nitty-gritty of the matter of what is spiritual and what is actual and what is the difference between the two. You wrote –

I don’t know what ‘never-never land’ represents for you, but I am reminded of Peter Pan’s dreamland for children, where one is transported from the misery and dullness of the ‘real’ world into the unreal land of imagination, where one never has to become a grown-up.

RESPONDENT: Never-never land was not a good description to use because you have no way of knowing exactly what I meant. It did seem like an unreal land but it is more of a void or not-knowing. Kind of a disconnected feeling which is what I meant by a feeling of abandoning humanity.

VINEETO: ‘Abandoning humanity’ in Actual Freedom terms stands for gaily taking the pen-ultimate step before self-immolation. After one has removed one’s social identity of being a son or daughter, a man or woman, an American or Englishman, a seeker, a writer, a doctor, etc. and has become an utter non-identity, one is then able to investigate the collective psyche, the result of the instinctual passions that all human beings have in common. Applying attentiveness and awareness to the instinctual passions as they arise enables one to stop acting as per the instinctual software in the brain and thus one can slowly, slowly reduce the automated reactive and emotional impact that instincts have on our feelings, thoughts and behaviour. In doing so one not only becomes happy and harmless but also stops being part of the biggest fold of all, humanity itself. One is no longer a member of the species that ‘nourishes malice and sorrow in their bosom’ to quote Richard’s expression.

Whereas ‘a disconnected feeling’ is clearly an affective feeling, arising out of the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. To have a ‘a disconnected feeling’ has nothing at all to do with ‘abandoning humanity’; it is, on the contrary, common to all human beings and arises out of the Human Condition in each of us.

You see, in order to communicate about the possible advantage that Actual Freedom could have for your life, it is essential to not mix up the terms that we use with emotional or spiritual terms. For instance, ‘not-knowing’ is used by Buddhists and other Eastern religions as an expression for the highest achievable wisdom when one enters the ‘Unknowable’, synonymous for the ‘Truth’. Aspiring to or succeeding in achieving the ‘Truth’ and reaching a state of ‘not-knowing’ is well accepted in the ‘book of rules for humanity’. When achieving a state of ‘not-knowing’ one simply exchanges the illusion of the ‘self’ for the grand delusion of a higher ‘Self’.

RESPONDENT: Hi Vineeto, I feel like I totally don’t belong here and don’t want to be here and that I am not welcome here as I have no intention of being a bonafide actualist. However, I am curious about this belonging issue. Can you shed some light on belonging such as which instinct that it is associated with, etc.?

VINEETO: Since asking me about instinctual passions, you have posted the following to the list. Vis:

[Respondent No 23]: Hi No 16, is it true that you only want to talk to the head of the cult?

[Respondent]: I wouldn’t say I only want to talk to the head of the cult. I thought I would try and talk to Vineeto until I read her reply to Gary just now and she sounded like a complete robot. It made me realize why I don’t feel like I belong here. [endquote].

I do find it intriguing that, first asking me about instinctual passions, you now consider me ‘a complete robot’, as a real robot, being just a machine, does not know about feelings, emotions and passions. However, as you have asked, I will give you my two cents on my experience with ‘this belonging issue’.

All my life I wanted and needed to belong – to a family, a country, a group of mates, a boyfriend, a political movement, a therapy group and, most dedicated of all, a spiritual movement. When I had a strong sense of belonging to one particular spiritual group – Rajneeshees – I began to question other groups, religions and tribes I had belonged to before, thinking I was doing great liberating investigation.

However only when I questioned the act of believing itself, which is the cornerstone of belonging to any spiritual movement, did I come to realise that all my questioning of belonging so far had not even scratched the surface of my identity. Investigating the act of believing itself, of course, brought up all kinds of fears, the strongest of which was that then I would not belong to anyone or any group – I would be on my own.

As I said to Gary, when I was questioning my spiritual belief of being a Sannyasin there was great concern that I did not replace one belief with another – I wanted something tangible, stable, permanent, something that I would never ever have to question again, something that did not depend on me believing in it to be true. Therefore I had to investigate my emotional reactions to stepping out of that protective group as I was leaving behind all my friends, my spiritual identity as a Rajneeshee and the security of feeling as though I belonged to a close-knit community.

Those emotional reactions were not only my fear of being lonely and unprotected, but I was also haunted by my own adopted spiritual morals and ethics – was I doing the ‘right’ thing?, would I be punished if there was a God or an afterlife?, what if I was wrong and Rajneesh was right?, who am I to decide the ‘right’ path? ... and so on. It was just as well that I did not blame Richard or Peter – or actualism per se – for these fears and distressing emotions that arose from my own questioning, otherwise I would have never been able to investigate my own spiritual values and my need to belong to a protective spiritual tribe.

Now I belong to no group and to no one and by investigating not only my social identity of beliefs, morals and ethics but also my instinctual survival passions, I am leaving behind ‘who’ I thought and felt I was. For me, the notion that practicing actualism is the equivalent of belonging to a cult is complete and utter nonsense because by taking apart my social identity I am free from the debilitating need to belong to any group, family, nation, race and gender, and by investigating my instinctual passions I am free from the biggest club of all – humanity itself.

Actualism is about becoming autonomous for the first time in one’s life.

VINEETO to No 38: As for the empathy issue that you mentioned in your letter to Gary –

[Respondent to Gary]: The empathy issue is one of the nubs, for myself. I have an internal resistance to AF because it feels like I would be failing my fellow human beings. [endquote].

U.G. Krishnamurti gave an excellent example that even the feeling of ‘true’ empathy does nothing to alleviate another’s pain and discomfort and he explains how this feeling prevented him from responding in a sensible manner to a situation –

[quote]: This actually happened to me when I was staying in a coffee plantation: a mother started beating a child, a little child, you know. She was mad, hopping mad, and she hit the child so hard, the child almost turned blue. And somebody asked me ‘Why did you not interfere and stop her?’ I was standing there – I was so puzzled, you see. ‘Who should I take pity on, the mother or the child?’ – that was my answer – ‘Who is responsible?’ Both were in a ridiculous situation: the mother could not control her anger, and the child was so helpless and innocent. This went on – it was moving from one to the other – and then I found all those things (marks) on my back. So I was also part of that. (I am not saying this just to claim something.) That is possible because consciousness cannot be divided. Anything that is happening there is affecting you – this is affection, you understand? There is no question of your sitting in judgement on anybody; the situation happens to be that, so you are affected by that. You are affected by everything that is happening there. The Mystique of Enlightenment

If one believes, as U.G. Krishnamurti does, that ‘consciousness cannot be divided’, then this means one believes there is no way out of the collective mess that is humanity.

I found that the best I can do for my fellow human beings is to relieve them from my malice and my sorrow – this way, not only do I stop bludgeoning and burdening everyone I come in contact with but I actually reduce the amount of malice and sorrow in the world in the only person I can change – myself.

As for ‘failing my fellow human beings’ – yes, I have become a traitor to the ‘real’ world as well as to the spiritual world, giving up finding solutions and admitting to failure. But it is important to note that an actualist fails humanity and not his or her fellow human beings. Given that an instinct-driven humanity is, always has been and always will be, a failed institution, it makes eminent sense to bail out, as it were. The only way out of the madness of the ‘real’ world is to get out and that means that I stubbornly and persistently decline to play the game of passionate survival that everyone else is playing. I am abandoning humanity and humanity’s problems and, as such leaving my ‘self’ behind.


RESPONDENT: My sister-in-law (who has a visceral revulsion to religion) stayed up to until 2am yakking about these matters. Her mother has been diagnosed with ALS and will need a lot of care for the remaining year of her life. This of course is a difficult matter to deal with as it brings up all sorts of issues, those of her mother, and those of the other family members. She wondered how to deal with the specific issues and I was at a loss to offer much concrete help. The next day it dawned on me that these sorts of predicaments don’t have ‘answers’, and all we can do is attend to the moment. Humans (including myself) by and large have a need to ‘fix’ pain and suffering as it comes up, and this is an impossible task.

VINEETO: When I ask myself how am I experiencing this moment of being alive and get the answer that I suffer or empathize with someone else’s physical or emotional pain, then the next question for me was why. From whence comes this, seemingly automatic, connectedness with someone in distress that makes me want to fix him or her up in order to ease my own co-suffering. Consequently I searched for the hook in me that ties me to other people’s feelings.

One significant reason for my empathy I found in the deeply ingrained belief that life is essentially suffering – and that the best one can do is alleviate the suffering. Every single religion and spiritual pursuit is built upon the basic premise that ‘life is a bitch and then you die’. I had to find this deep-seated conviction in me and deliberately root it out, discovering that I had indeed a choice to change and become incrementally free from the human condition of malice and sorrow. And if I can become free then anybody has that choice as well – human beings are not inextricably trapped in misery, as they so fervently believe.

RESPONDENT: Hence we ask ‘how am I...’ and things turn out the way they turn out.

VINEETO: How am I experiencing this moment of being alive? is not to be confused with a mantra that bridges bad moments until luck changes – this question is designed to be a piercing tool, an excavator, a well-digger and I apply it to uncover deeper and deeper layers of my unhappiness and my unfriendliness until I reach to the core of my identity. My suffering with the poor and downtrodden, the victims of war and violence, starvation and corruption was a longstanding issue – whenever I saw a contemporary report on television I would either be angry or sad and I had to look closely into my feeling connection with humanity in order to become gradually free from ‘my’ empathy and compassion, ‘my’ righteousness and idealism.

I experienced my psychic connection with people as emotional strings consisting of thousands of single strands – beliefs, values and instinctual passions – which I had to unhook one by one. Sometimes a whole bunch of them were loosened at once, and what a realization, but often it was a matter of tracing one feeling to its core and finding all the little ties and knots that connected me with the feelings and beliefs of other people. Often I was shocked when such a tie broke, particularly when I ‘unhooked’ my affective connection to a person close to me such as a family member or formerly close friends.

To become free from being connected with people is not a matter of cool detachment – as in ‘it doesn’t concern me’. What I discovered as I questioned my spiritual beliefs was that many suppressed feelings came to the surface, and I particularly became aware of the suffering of others as I no longer hid behind my feeling of righteous detachment. I began to understand that another’s feeling, when it resonates in me, is my social-instinctual identity in action. ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’ and there is no way of escaping the fact as long as I am an identity. To step out of humanity is to leave ‘me’ behind.


VINEETO: I experienced my psychic connection with people as emotional strings consisting of thousands of single strands – beliefs, values and instinctual passions – which I had to unhook one by one. Sometimes a whole bunch of them were loosened at once, and what a realization, but often it was a matter of tracing one feeling to its core and finding all the little ties and knots that connected me with the feelings and beliefs of other people. Often I was shocked when such a tie broke, particularly when I ‘unhooked’ my affective connection to a person close to me such as a family member or formerly close friends.

To become free from being connected with people is not a matter of cool detachment – as in ‘it doesn’t concern me’. What I discovered as I questioned my spiritual beliefs was that many suppressed feelings came to the surface, and I particularly became aware of the suffering of others as I no longer hid behind my feeling of righteous detachment. I began to understand that another’s feeling, when it resonates in me, is my social-instinctual identity in action. ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’ and there is no way of escaping the fact as long as I am an identity. To step out of humanity is to leave ‘me’ behind.

RESPONDENT: Interesting analogy re thousands of strands, that’s really what it’s like. They connect us and constrain us.

VINEETO: Yes and I had to recognize and examine both the ‘strands’ that ‘connect us and constrain us’ or, in other words, both the desirable and the undesirable feelings that bound me to other people. Personally, I found love and loyalty amongst the hardest to let go of.

RESPONDENT: I’ve been down the detachment path too, but found it didn’t cut the mustard at all either. Seemed like the baby with the bath water.

VINEETO: Cute that you should use this analogy for the practice of detachment, as Richard has often been accused of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The reason is that in actualism one not only investigates one’s ego (the little man/woman in the head) but also one’s soul (the little fellow in the heart) and almost no one is willing or even interested to question one’s passionate identity, one’s soul. On our website we used an adapted illustration from P. Livingston to demonstrate this radical procedure.

VINEETO: Hi Richard,

Reading through your correspondence on mailing list B I have come across something that I cannot grasp.

Respondent: If the many are reduced to one, what is the one reduced to?

Richard: When it is understood that the one is the epitome of the many and that ‘I’ am the ‘many’ and the ‘many’ is ‘me’ ... ‘I’ self-immolate at the core of ‘being’. Then I am this material universe’s infinitude experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being.

A desirable side-effect is peace-on-earth. Richard, List B, No 12b, 20.7.1998

What does it mean, when you say ‘‘I’ am the ‘many’ and the ‘many’ is ‘me’’?

There was another quote in your correspondence with Alan, where you said:

Richard: Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen hundreds of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future. Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Alan

I have taken it simply that ‘me’, my instinctual programming, is as much part of my DNA as it has been the case in every human being on the planet since ‘the beginning of time’. Yet I cannot identify with being ‘so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... ’ Do I need to in order to understand something vital? Does this instinctual ancient ‘me’ have something to do with the ‘many’? I do have a hunch that understanding this could be essential.


VINEETO: Last night serendipity provided the answer to my question to you, which had been going on in my head since I wrote to you. The experiential answer to ‘I am many and many is me’ presented itself in the form a TV program on International Humanitarian Aid Organizations and their role and accountability. For one and a half hours there was ample footage presented on human suffering and devastation in war, famine, genocide and racial ‘cleansing’ on one side and the helpless, well-intentioned, yet almost useless effort of people in the aid organizations on the other side.

The presentation was enough to make it utterly and unquestionably clear to me that there is no difference between me and the hundreds of thousands who have suffered and died and those who have, without success or effective change, tried to help – for ‘umpteen hundreds of thousands of years’. On an overwhelming instinctual level ‘I’ am ‘them’ and ‘I’ have had no solution and never will have a solution.

The devastation is enormous and the only way ‘out’ is ‘self’-sacrifice.


VINEETO: Hi Richard,

to continue the exciting issue of the core instincts – (...)

RICHARD: As I understand it, in the on-going study of genetics the germ cells (the spermatozoa and the ova) have been classified as being of a somewhat different nature to body cells. This has led to speculation that each and every body is nothing but a carrier for the genetic lineage ... that the species, therefore, is more important than you and me or any other body. Now, whilst that theory is just a typically ‘humble’ way of interpreting the data, it did strike me, some years ago, that this genetic memory could very well be the origin of the immortal ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ (as contrasted to ‘I’ as ego who will undergo physical death). Hence it occurred to me that the source of ‘who ‘I’ really am’ could very well be nothing more mysterious than blind nature’s survival software.

I have always had a bent for the practical explanation ... and solution.


VINEETO: The devastation is enormous and the only way ‘out’ is ‘self’-sacrifice.

RICHARD: Yet it is the instinct for survival that got you and me and every other body here in the first place. We peoples living today are the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes ... we are the product of the ‘success story’ of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Is one really going to abandon that which produced one ... that which (apparently) keeps one alive?

Do you recall those conversations we had about loyalty (familial and group loyalty) back when you and I first met ... and what was required to crack that code?

That was chicken-feed compared with this one.

VINEETO: The subject of the instinctual software package is indeed a fascinating one and the sufficient understanding is crucial and instrumental in cutting the cord both from ‘humanity’ and ‘me’. In the last days I started to understand about the nature of the instinctual programming that is ‘me’ which I would classify as ‘having glimpsed the end of the tunnel called the Human Condition’.

Peter had described to No 5 very accurately the process of examining one’s feeling, sliding deeper and deeper into emotion, then into instinctual passion until, with persistence, one is able to ‘dispassionately observe’ the very functioning of the particular core instinct in action. This method had always served me when I explored feelings and their underlying beliefs, emotions and their underlying ‘truth’, including the above mentioned ‘loyalty back when you and I first met’. Yet up until now I had only felt and experienced a particular emotion, sometimes it in all its devastation like the universal sorrow I described in my last letter, suffered it through, so to speak. I had not yet dared to stay with a surging instinctual passion all the way without objection, looking it straight in the eye to recognize and experience the naked ‘me’ in action in a dispassionate way.

While reading through your latest correspondence I found two paragraphs that enticed me to try out where you described what to do with fear:

Richard: Whilst the word ‘fear’ is not the feeling itself, the feeling is very, very real whilst it is happening (like ‘I’ am). Speaking personally, what ‘I’ would do, all those years ago, was to ‘sit with it’ as it were (being with it), whilst it was happening. By ‘being with it’ – without moving in any direction whatsoever – ‘I’ would come to experience ‘being it’ (‘I’ was fear and fear was ‘me’). Thus ‘I’ came to experience ‘myself’ in all ‘my’ nakedness. All ‘I’ was, was that fear ... and fear is but one of the instinctual passions that blind nature bestows on all sentient beings at birth (at conception). Instincts are genetically encoded in the genes ... ‘I’ am the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes. ‘I’ am the product of the ‘success story’ of blind nature’s fear and aggression and nurture and desire.

Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future.

In other words: ‘I am fear and fear is ‘me’ (and aggression and nurture and desire). [...]

May I suggest, that the next time fear happens that you ‘be with it’ without moving in any direction whatsoever until it becomes apparent that ‘you are fear and fear is you’? It is so much easier than all this intellectualising ... and far more rewarding.

Because it will be the end of ‘you’. Richard, List B, No 31a, 3.10.1998

Of course, the last sentence got my full attention.

I took the emotion at the time – fierce frustration about not ‘getting the point’ – and lay on the couch for experimenting and contemplating. The outcome was fascinating, to say the least. Digging myself to the very core of the feeling I discovered frustration as just being a cunning distraction from the underlying fear and, even deeper, found the mother of all instincts: ‘I don’t want to die’, which includes ‘I as species have to perpetuate. So here I found again what you said, Richard, that ‘I’ am ‘the many’ and ‘the many’ is ‘me’.

Ignoring all the flashing stop-signs I reached to the stunningly clear perception of what ‘I’ consist of – a software survival program, causing emotion-producing chemicals and kept alive through the notion that this is me, all of me. The process of seeing the program of ‘me’, the ‘self’, in action was like lifting it from its nourishing soil, airing it, so to speak, and thus depriving it from its very life-source – even if only for a short time. That alien entity ‘me’ that I had been taking examining since so long was finally seen and experienced as something other than this physical body. These moments of apperception, of the bare awareness of ‘who I am’ now rock the boat and create all kinds of mental and physical nuisance like headache and angst, only to confirm that this experience was not just a dream.

What an exciting and fascinating set-up, being my own lab, my own guinea-pig and my own scientist all in one – and getting describable, repeatable and comparable results. Factual. Actual. And great fun.

RESPONDENT: Richard, at you say

[Richrd]: ‘With attentiveness one sees the internal world with blameless references to concepts like ‘my’ or ‘mine’. Suppose there is a feeling of sadness. Ordinary consciousness would say, ‘I am sad’. Using attentiveness, one heedfully notices the feeling as a natural feeling – ‘There is human sadness’ – thus one does not tack on that possessive personal concept of ‘I’ or ‘me’ ... for one is already possessed.’ [endquote].

at: Vineeto says:

[Vineeto]: …acknowledge to myself that ‘I am angry’ or ‘I am pissed off’ or ‘I am feeling scared’. [endquote].

The quote from Vineeto here was not the one I was looking for but it will have to do for now.

Basically, it seems your saying think: ‘there is sadness’ and Vineeto is saying ‘I am sad’ or ‘I am feeling sad.’ I know there is no ‘right or wrong’ here but these two ways of thinking seem different enough to leave open the possibility that one would be more useful or sensible than the other. Somewhere I could swear Vineeto says that saying: ‘There is sadness arising’ is a Buddhist disassociative technique. This seems very close to ‘there is human sadness’ or ‘there is sadness.’ I just want to make sure I’m not practicing Buddhism rather then actualism. It makes since to eliminate answering with ‘I’ in the sentence, but would that not also apply to the ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ question two?

Looking forward to some clarification.

VINEETO: Although you have addressed this question to Richard you followed up by saying –

[Respondent]: ‘Lets see – to take the ‘I’ would one could say: ‘sadness is being experienced’ Hmmm ... I’m wondering what Richard, Peter, Vineeto and others who practice actualism think about this.’ [endquote].

So I’ll endeavour to answer your question.

If you read Richard’s article in full you will find that it is impossible to confuse the method described with ‘a Buddhist disassociative technique’, as you suggest. The paragraph immediately above the one you quoted is explicit in itself –

Richard: To enable apperceptiveness to haply occur it is essential to allow a reflective attention – attentiveness – to one’s psychological and psychic world. It is impossible for one to intelligently observe what is going on within if one does not at the same time *acknowledge the occurrence of one’s various feeling-tones* with attentiveness. This is especially true with the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful). *In order to observe one’s own fear, for instance, one must admit to the fact that one is afraid. Nor can one examine one’s own depression, for another example, without acknowledging it fully. The same is true for irritation and agitation and frustration and all those other uncomfortable emotional and passionate moods. One cannot examine something fully if one is busy denying its existence.* Whatever feeling one may be having, a fascinated attention – attentiveness – freely divulges it ... it is looking with discernibleness. All affective feelings are – quite simply – an hereditary occurrence, an inborn factor to be acutely aware of. No pride, no shame, nothing personal at stake ... what is there, is naturally there. There is no clinging to the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) and no fleeing from the hostile and invidious, either (those that are hateful and fearful). A contemplative attention views all feelings as commensurate – nothing is suppressed and nothing is expressed – as attentiveness does not play favourites. [emphasis added]

And only three paragraphs down Richard again emphasizes the importance of acknowledging one’s feelings –

Richard: The actualist who is allowing attentiveness is concerned with the habitual superimposition of the inner ‘reality’ onto the world of people, things and events. It is there in all peoples, but in actualism, one’s field of study is one’s own feelings, one’s own perceptions, one’s own thoughts and one’s own experience. In actualism, one is one’s own guinea-pig because attentiveness is participatory observation ... the actualist is both participant and experimenter at one and the same time. If one examines one’s emotions attentively one is feeling them at that very same moment – attentiveness is not just an intellectual awareness – for it is an existential experiencing. Richard, Articles, Attentiveness Sensuousness Apperceptiveness

Isn’t it obvious that I am saying nothing different to what Richard is saying?


VINEETO: If you read Richard’s article in full you will find that it is impossible to confuse the method described with ‘a Buddhist disassociative technique’, as you suggest. The paragraph above the one you quoted is explicit in itself – <snipped for length>

RESPONDENT: Actually, I have printed out Richard’s article and have read it ‘in full’ 3 times. I’m not saying the method is a Buddhist disassociative tech, rather I’m concerned that my mind might use the words ‘there is sadness arising’ to twist the purity of the awareness.

VINEETO: I personally found it very useful to remember that ‘I’ am my feelings and my feelings are ‘me’. This simple acknowledgement of fact dispensed with any tendency whatsoever to dissociate, be it head-in-clouds variety or head-in-sand variety. The other thing I always kept in mind was that what I was being attentive to was the human condition in action – that ‘I’ am not unique, that ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’.

I found that whenever I kept theses two facets in mind, I was able to make a clear-eyed study of the human condition in action as ‘me’.


RESPONDENT: I also wonder about the fact that you and Peter were virtually free around 1999 and seemed close to actual freedom. Yet 5 years later and no dice.

VINEETO: My explanation is – and there is really no precedent to this direct route of becoming actually free via avoiding enlightenment – that it was relatively easy to get rid of my negative feelings such as anger, resentment and sadness, the freedom from which resulted in a virtual freedom, while the good emotions such as compassion, sympathy, empathy, loyalty and belonging to humanity at large are far tougher nuts to crack and as such take far longer to identify, understand and become free of.

Plus, to take the final plunge into oblivion is, when all is said and done, is a very scary thing for ‘me’.

RESPONDENT: Basically, while so far my experience of actualism mirrors your own, I am holding onto a bit of skepticism/ agnosticism (for many reasons perhaps: for sure one is that it is a ‘non-offensive’ view, and seems ‘respectful’ to others of different views).

VINEETO: To remain ‘respectful’ to others’ views is to want to remain a respected member of society/ humanity.

RESPONDENT: Indeed, and it’s based in fear of losing ‘security’. Me leaving humanity. I’m all alone. No 32 is right – this is daunting stuff. Even terrifying at times.

VINEETO: And yet despite the sometimes terrifying moments and daunting prospects you also report that you have already changed to such a degree that your own mother made comment on it. The process of leaving humanity is quite apparently already in full swing.


VINEETO: Being an atheist yet tolerant of all religions (as one ethicist explained his fence-sitting stance in a recent TV program) is bound to interfere with one’s being happy and harmless because remaining open to the probability of there being a God (and God begets a Satan) is remaining open (as in susceptible) to the fear of divine punishment should one do something that any of the Gods has supposedly deemed to be wrong – after all, underpinning the belief in God by whatever name lies the fear of His/Her/Its wrath if one dares to irrevocably cease being a believer.

RESPONDENT: I see – it is leaving yourself ‘open’ to that, even if that is not happening right now.

VINEETO: What one leaves oneself open to are the myriad psychic tentacles of others in the form of imaginary scenarios and probabilities, not to mention ridicule and threats, to pull one back into the fold … that is until a clear-cut decision is made that I will let go, once and for all, of whatever nonsense I am toying with at the time.


RESPONDENT to Richard: While wishing to know why another is having problems with the method may seem unrelated to my own practice of actualism, in this case I’ve had some experiences that mirror No 60’s.

VINEETO: As you probably know from experience in your line of work – sympathizing with a bad habit, someone else’s or one’s own, only serves as an encouragement for maintaining it.

RESPONDENT: I have witnessed that before. Empathizing with a common problem on the flipside often creates the opportunity to move past it.

VINEETO: I am reminded what you wrote to me in another post –

[Respondent]: No, being a social worker, I’ve gotten a ‘double dose’ of ‘love is the answer’ conditioning. Re: 100% Certainty, Wed 25.5.2005 8:14 AM AEST

To feel empathy for someone’s problems is the very core of ‘love is the answer’, in fact empathy is considered to be the highest form of love one can feel and love, empathy and compassion are highly prized for being the cure to all the problems of humankind.

What I found was that whenever I made the effort to understand someone else’s problem emotionally I always ended up only feeling their feeling (empathize with them) but not understanding the problem. Furthermore, I lost my happiness, my clarity of thought and my previous understanding of the human condition in direct proportion to the depth of my empathy.

The reason is obvious in hindsight – I was not only empathizing with the other having this particular problem, I was in fact re-feeling my own problem of the past (in order to be able to empathize), which means that I then felt as sad, angry or confused as the person with whom I was empathizing with, which in turn reinforced the validity and the apparent value of having this particular feeling. This habit of being hooked into feeling sad, angry or confused because someone else is feeling sad, angry or confused often happened despite the fact that I had previously recognized and tackled the particular problem and seen the senselessness of it.

Rather than nipping the feeling in the bud I was, over and over, seduced by the lure of feeling empathy for another’s woes to take yet another dive into sorrow or anger or worry or whatever feeling the other person was stricken with. Over the years I gradually learnt that I was doing neither myself nor the other person a favour when I empathized with their problem (which is but one form of patting each other on the back for feeling bad), because the solution to each and every emotional problem is to do whatever it takes to become free from its grip and then do whatever it takes to remain free from its grip.

Incidentally weening oneself off feeling empathy is also the way to become free from humanity at large.

VINEETO to No 8: As you can see, I lost interest in the t’is / t’isn’t that our conversation has turned out to be. As I pondered about attentive, naïve and fascinated listening, I have come to see that the major impediment to such listening is the conviction and instinctual feeling of ‘we are all basically the same’. This worldview is prevalent without exception in all the Eastern religious pursuits that are on offer today and stops people from considering or desiring anything outside of the all-encompassing Human Condition. It plugs the receiver into the sender, so to speak.

When I say ‘explore’ I talk about me exploring the feeling experience of ‘we are all basically the same’ and at the same time being aware of what feelings, thoughts and sensations are happening in the brain and in the guts. I found that however seductive and soothing the overwhelming feeling of ‘we are all basically the same’ was, it was nevertheless a feeling and not a fact and as such observable in operation in me. This passionate belief of ‘we are all basically the same’ or ‘We Are All One’ acts as the very glue that holds the psychic web of humanity together – the fervent belief and passionate hope that we as humans are not lost, lonely frightened and very cunning, struggling for survival and desperately hoping that there is a Divine Intelligence, a caring Earth, and a nurturing existence that knows what It is doing.

When I lived in the Rajneesh Ashram in Poona, the feeling of ‘We Are All One’ was based on the love for and devotion to one single man – the director of the psychic orchestra, Rajneesh himself. During the day in the ashram there were so many factual proofs that we were not one at all, that all had different aims and desires, that we were continually engaged in a psychological and psychic battle fighting each other, resenting and complaining about each other. At night-time however, when the great psychic show, the evening discourse, started, we were blissfully back in the feeling that We Are All One. Today, ten years after the death of Rajneesh, his cult is a well-established New Dark Age religion with the usual religious squabbles and legal battles between numerous parties who claim to have the right interpretations or application of the teachings.

The experience of writing on this list has been valuable research for me into the legacy of spiritual teachings. I have learnt how the ‘Friends of J. Krishnamurti’ interact with each other, what they believe, cherish and fiercely defend, how they live their lives, how the Enlightened Ones on this list write, act and live and what solution they offer for malice and sorrow in the world. The solutions offered by various teachers and Gurus may vary at first glance and, as such, cause much dispute and fight amongst their respective followers, but I discovered that every Eastern spiritual advice, teaching and method is about stopping any sensible thoughts and changing how one feels oneself to be – ‘Realize who you Really are’.

Writing has also been a valuable experience about sticking my neck out and proposing something so unpopular as an actual, practical, down-to-earth freedom. It has certainly desensitised me as I discovered yet again that except verbal abuse there is nothing to fear about being a heretic.

Well, No. 8, in these last two months I have had yet another thorough examination of the seductive and, at times, overwhelming feeling of ‘We Are All One’, both as an experience in me and as an active observation of how that feeling manifests in others. It was also fascinating to observe how my fear of psychological and psychic death floods the brain with dopamine and other euphoriant chemicals that can readily bring on the oh so famous Altered State of Consciousness that can turn into a permanent state of Enlightenment. But as my intent lies in the actual, sensate and ‘self’-less experience only possible through ‘self’-immolation, I resisted succumbing to the feelings produced by the euphoriant chemicals and ancient seductive teachings and kept observing the workings of the grand Self in action.

Only by having this overview of spiritual passion in action can one eventually see the psychic web as a whole structure, with all the ongoing psychic interactions, bonds and power fights and collective longing for Love and Oneness. By being fully aware of all the ingredients of this emotional-spiritual psychic web I am now no longer part of it and all the emotional, psychological and psychic bonds with humanity ceased to exist and have no more effect on me. First I expected that the ‘connection’ would come back as it is quite bewildering to experience oneself outside of humanity’s woes and hopes, loves and hates, fears and bliss. My head is empty of feelings and neurotic thoughts and my brain often kicks into action only when I need it for work, shopping, driving or writing. The peace of mind that I had sought to attain through anti-thought meditations, has now eventuated through investigating and eliminating the beliefs, feelings, emotions and instinctual passions – the tentacles of the psychic web within humanity.

And now, being outside of the human psychic web, epitomized by the passionate belief of ‘We Are All One’ or ‘we are all basically the same’ , I can see that matter-of-factly, actually and physically, every human being is different, nobody is the same at all. Everyone is the product and combination of a different sperm and egg (except identical twins) and every human face is distinctively different. Everyone’s life is unique and completely different. It is only within the Human Condition that ‘we are all basically [programmed and conditioned] the same’ – driven by the same desires, the same fears, the same urges to nurture and the same aggression. Stepping out of the psychic web of instinctual passions one becomes an autonomous individual for the first time – able to be what you are rather than who society and blind nature fated you to think and feel you are.

RESPONDENT: I find it strange that you, talking from your clarity, need the support of the definitions from dictionaries. I have an instinctive mistrust to quotes, if you can’t speak for yourself, from yourself, don’t speak at all.

VINEETO: There is no other clarity in me than simply relying on facts, and not following beliefs. This clarity exists because no beliefs and emotions are clouding my head. The actual world consists of what already exists, without the interpretation or creation of anyone’s psychic effort.

Definitions from dictionaries are generally agreed on meanings of words. I am not making my own individual meaning of the words I use – otherwise communication becomes impossible, as it is quite apparent in the world of beliefs. Every religion has its own interpretation of ‘God’, ‘soul’, ‘good’, ‘bad’, etc., and people are ready to kill for those interpretations. What then is so bad about investigating generally agreed upon definitions and proven facts? Otherwise I would become yet another guru creating yet another religion by convincing others of my individual inner ‘Truth’.

Actual is what is left when all beliefs and emotional interpretations are taken away. Then a tree is a tree and a human being is a flesh and blood body with physical senses and awareness.

RESPONDENT: Because there is nothing as facts working when it comes to individual living. What is a fact to you, may not be so for me.

VINEETO: I would like to know which facts you are talking about. Could you give me an example how facts can be different for everybody? I still can’t see how ‘what is the case’ – the dictionary meaning for a fact – can be different for everybody. A car is a car, some people might have different preferences about cars but it does not change the actuality of the car.

RESPONDENT: A quote, a definition from a dictionary says nothing about you.

VINEETO: That is the idea. I am eliminating ‘me’, the personal and instinctual self inside this body to be able to experience the actual, which becomes apparent when this ‘me’ is not operating. This ‘me’ is not only utterly irrelevant, but it is the very thing preventing me from experiencing the universe as the benevolent, magical and pure perfection it is.

RESPONDENT: In this respect both you and Peter seem to me a bit unhuman, you have reduced yourself to – I don’t know what – denying every human aspect working, feelings, thoughts.

VINEETO: Yes, freedom leaves Humanity behind, that giant club with all variations of individual, collective or instinctually-atavistic beliefs, with all feelings and emotion and instinctual passions. The strange thing is, when one leaves everything behind that is considered ‘human’ one becomes human for the first time because one’s animalistic heritage is being investigated and eliminated for the first time in human evolution.


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