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


VINEETO: You commented on Gary’s post to me –

I often can’t laugh about black humour. There is something to it that is too close to the bone. It’s sometimes a real exercise in attentiveness to catch myself when I become affectively involved in the needless violence and endless suffering of humanity.

GARY: I can’t think of an example of ‘black humour’ that I find funny right now and I am not familiar with this ‘Black Adder’ program. Political satire may indeed be funny, depending on the quality of the delivery. Some things in movies and on TV are funny but the things that are the most fun, as far as I am concerned, are some of the moments that my partner and I enjoy together which are spontaneously mirthful, just downright funny. These things may seem nonsensical to someone not acquainted with the situation and not even funny. But I don’t how laughing at most of the things that we do can ever cause anyone any harm at all. Re: Humour, 1.4.2002

RESPONDENT: Humour definitely has an odour to it – it’s mean-spirited, or it’s not. If you pay attention to your reactions, it’s usually quite obvious. This goes for black/ white/ purple-stripe humour. The show Richard refers to falls in the black humour category, but it’s hardly pain-inflicting. There was a story a while back comparing the brands offered by David Letterman and Jay Leno. While they both poked fun in similar fashion, Leno invites you to laugh with him, while Letterman is laughing at you. Humour done right can convey a lot of information about the human condition in a small package, and you do have to admit, we’re really a silly lot.

VINEETO: Yes, human behaviour is often silly and it is fun to laugh about it once in a while. But all this laughing about the human silliness did not change my outlook on life until I began to examine how and why I was behaving just as silly as the other people I laughed about.

When I began to practice actualism, I began to ‘get the joke’ of how I was trapped within the human condition and that is when humour takes on a whole new quality. When one begins to observe one’s own automatic and senseless emotional reactions then humour ceases to be cynical or malicious at the expense of others or an antidote to one’s own sorrow. Observing and examining my own beliefs and feelings enabled me to study my own emotional reactions and behaviour from a scientific observer’s point of view and what I saw was often irrepressively funny. And the more I am stepping out of the human condition and the less I am part of humanity’s woes and conflicts, the more I can see the joke of defending and holding on to an identity that brings nothing but pain and misery to myself and others.


RESPONDENT: As I said, there’s a ‘taste’ to the humour, and if one is paying attention, it’s clear what’s malice-causing and what’s not. Certainly the former is rooted in the basic human situation.

VINEETO: The problem with human beings is not their humour but their malice and sorrow and to question humour in general is to start the investigation at the wrong end. In the process of actualism the question for me was which feeling in me made me react to certain jokes and not to others, why did I like to laugh about others’ misery, why did I feel as if I was above everyone else’s stupidity. I also began to pay attention to my own intentions and feelings when I made a joke or a funny comment. I wanted to find out if I was being malicious, when I was letting off steam, when I was trying to hurt, put down, fend off the other or skip over an uncomfortable topic before it could get under my skin.

I wanted to find out about – and change – the ‘basic human situation’ in me.

RESPONDENT: I’m sometimes pondered why the latter is ‘funny’.

VINEETO: The method of actualism is to increase the felicitous/ innocuous feelings while investigating both the good and bad feelings. Therefore I was not concerned about humour as such – pure humour is simply delightful – but whether my humour contained elements of malice, hate, cynicism, satire, detachment, superiority or plain ridicule. My focus of attention is how to become free from the human condition, i.e. I question my beliefs and my good and bad feelings, and at the beginning I also noticed that my humour was full of those beliefs and feelings. As I whittled away at my beliefs and as my good and bad feelings diminished, humour became not only pure but also far more prevalent than it used to be. Life is not a vale of tears. Life is utterly delightful and pure humour, that is devoid of malice and sorrow, is an integral part of apperceptive awareness.

RESPONDENT: There’s no denying the silliness of humans (have you ever seen them make love – what a hoot!), but why that makes us smile and laugh is not clear to me.

VINEETO: The most common form of laughing at the silliness of others is cynicism and the feeling of superiority that they are stupid but I am not. There might also be a dose of unadmitted embarrassment in it, knowing that we humans are all alike when it comes to being driven by instinctual passions. Personally, I found I had to step down from my lofty heights of moral and ethical superiority and admit with crumbling pride that I was just as mad and as bad as everyone else and that my years of training in spiritual detachment had only served to increase my arrogance and my blinkers.

As for ‘have you ever seen them make love – what a hoot!’ – I am reminded of Mohan Rajneesh making endless jokes about the silliness of humans having sex. His teaching of free sex was aimed at reaching true celibacy when we would finally be fed up with the silly sex. The sexual drive has always been the toughest obstacle for those who aspired to the purity of divine spirituality and, going by the numerous reports about many enlightened masters and their mistresses, they have yet to succeed to overcome this obstacle.

Nowadays, for me sex is not silly at all, but utterly delightful and sensuously scrumptious and it is worth all the effort of having investigated my gender indoctrination, shame, guilt, detachment, denial, greed and fear that used to spoil the fun.

RESPONDENT: So, could that be some sort of genetic programmed response?

VINEETO: One could consider the human body as an array and interaction of genetic programs – the immune system, the motoric functions, the nervous system, the digestive system, the blood circulation, etc., etc.

The genetic program I am interested in as an actualist are the instinctual survival passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that give rise to the ‘self’-centred entity inside this flesh-and-blood body. Just as thinking is usually polluted and distorted by these instinctual passions, so is humour. In a pure consciousness experience one can experience for a short time how both thinking and humour function brilliantly without the interference of the passionate ‘self’.

RESPONDENT: If so, then is AF being selective about the programs it suggests we eliminate?

VINEETO: I don’t suggest anything. Unless you are discontent with the human condition in you there is no need to change.

The aim of the actualism method is to extinguish the ‘self’, the psychological and psychic entity inside this body, – not all the physical programs, as you seem to suggest. It is the imaginary identity, ‘who’ you think and feel yourself to be, that an actualist aims to eliminate in order that what you are can emerge.

I can report from my experience that the actualism method has been a very successful tool that allows me to question and eliminate my social-spiritual programming and investigate and observe my instinctual passions in action such that they are incrementally diminished to the point where the ‘self’ will eventually collapse.

RESPONDENT: Note that an answer of ‘yes’ is reasonable here.

VINEETO: Note that it is always useful to ask a genuine question when you want to learn something you don’t already know.


RESPONDENT: A while back there was the thread on humour. I puzzled then and since. Richard, as the only person living in actual freedom, expressed a fondness for darker humour. How does a sense of humour fit into a fully apperceptive universe? It seems to me that a sense of humour is a program itself, with the brain responding to a certain external stimulus, resulting in a predictable response. That sounds like a program to me. Maybe I’m missing the point... if one of the stated goals is to eliminate all the programs, how does one rationalize this apparent humour program? And if humour is a running program, then actualist are not eliminating the programs, and merely selecting the programs they prefer.

VINEETO: Yes, here you are ‘missing the point’. The stated goal for me is to become free from malice and sorrow, not to ‘eliminate all the programs’. Although the ‘self’ consists of a social programming and an instinctual survival program, the process of becoming free from my ‘self’ does not equal (¹) questioning all programs per se. Actualism, the process of becoming free from my ‘self’, it is the practice of observing and investigating ‘me’ in action, and the way to do this is to examine my beliefs, feelings and emotions when and as they occur. In this process humour only enters as an issue of investigation if it contains malice or sorrow.

As is evident in a PCE, the sense of the humour intrinsic to many of life’s situations and events is not eradicated but is magically bereft of any trace of malevolence, pathos or pity. An actual freedom is squeaky clean but far from humourless.

MARK: So before I go ... some rather black humour...

[quote]: Quasimodo has quit his job at Notre Dame cathedral and identical twins have come to apply for the position of bell ringers. They are having a lesson atop the bell tower – Quasi is demonstrating ... ‘you push – then you duck (as the bell swings back toward him) you push – then you duck, ok’. So the first twin has a go – he pushes but forgets to duck, the bell hits him in the face and he plummets 160 feet to his demise below just as the head priest is showing a visitor around the place – the visitor looks at the body and says to the priest ‘who is THAT?’ The priest replies ‘I don’t know but his face rings a bell’.

Meanwhile the other twin is trying his hand at the top of the tower. Quasi shows him again the push and then duck method – the twin takes the bell and pushes hard but, like his brother he forgets to duck and he too plummets to earth.

The visitor looks to the priest again, ‘so who is that?’ the priest replies ‘I don’t know but he’s a dead ringer for the other one’.

VINEETO: For ‘death’ I found your black humour joke very apt. Typical German, it took me three days to get it, but then it was worth 30 minutes rolling on the couch laughing.

See, I finally understood that ‘I’ am one of these bell-ringer twins, I don’t know which one, but definitely standing there to be hit by the next ring of the bell – and ‘I’ won’t duck – what a hoot!

It has been very fascinating to put together the page on death – reading the respective writings and correspondence on death, afterlife, extinction, intent and demise from Richard, Peter and me. People would probably call me morbid, being obsessed with death, but I am more alive than ever, enjoying the thrill and enjoying everyday as if it was the first day – or the last – and further, being completely fascinated and absorbed in setting up the website.

The plan is to set it up so that anybody can find his or her way in and then get lost, if they want to, link upon link, topic after topic, definition and correspondence ... and when one comes out again one wonders what silly things everyone is still believing, after all, it is 1999! And then, the website can do the job of informing people and then they do what they want with it...

So Mark, thank you for your post. Great to hear from you and that you enjoy the writings.

PS. You are welcome for a cup of coffee any day.


MARK to Alan: Now – on to some business – The town where I and Peter, Vineeto, Richard and Grace live is full of cars with bumper stickers that say things like ‘The Goddess is Dancing’, ‘Truth Is’, ‘Thou Art That’ and so on. So I have this plan to make actual freedom bumper stickers that say things like ‘I am not’, and my favourite ‘I want to be reborn as worm’s poo’. With the funds raised from the sale of the bumper stickers we could open a plot shop where we sell second hand plots, recycled lost plots, plots handed in voluntarily by actualists. This could be the beginning of an empire!!! You-being head disciple and all, I thought I’d run it by you first and see what you thought

VINEETO: Grace and I were busy thinking about more phrases for your bumper stickers but we haven’t come up with a sensible and sellable sentence – if there is one! How is ‘happy and harmless’ for a start? With the second line of ‘It’s as simple as falling off a log’. All pinched phrases, but I like them.

I like your plot-shop very much. It will really be a great business. When I thought about it I realised that we are already running a substantial plot shop here on the Actual Freedom list – people hand in all kinds of plots. It would probably need a shop-keeper to keep stock and sort them by subject and sizes and do the advertisement. What do you think?

From what I can remember from the last few mails there has been ‘imagination’ handed in twice, ‘lust’ once, someone lost the plot of a well-balanced house of cards of a triangle relationship, Peter wanted to shop for a plot, and I am sure there are others who just haven’t reported in about their own lost plots. It’s literally raining plots here.

RESPONDENT: hope AF allows humour,

VINEETO: When humour is freed from its malicious and sorrowful components it’s absolutely delightful. Or to put it another way – when one is free of malice and sorrow, being alive is great fun.

RESPONDENT: … or is it to holy already?

VINEETO: What part of the word non-spiritual is it that you do not understand?

There is nothing holy nor sacred nor blessed nor consecrated nor hallowed nor revered nor sacrosanct nor devotional nor sanctified nor divine to be found in actualism. It would make for a far more interesting conversation if you could bring yourself to get off the one-way single-minded spiritual track you are fixated upon and actually take notice of what your correspondents are saying.

RESPONDENT: I am serious when I say I am interested in knowing more about your ‘goods’ [PCE or whatever name you like] …

VINEETO: Let me remind you what you wrote about ‘PCE or whatever name you like’

[Respondent]: Don’t be so concerned with ‘pces’, ‘supreme intelligences’ or whatever names are given by those who believe have attained something. You are envious of them and their extraordinary experiences – you want to be as ‘special’ a being as they are. At last you’ve found the ‘mother-of-all-methods’ and its creator ‘the father-of-all-non-gurus’? Your enlightenment will always depend on someone else. Haven’t you had enough? Re: Permanency, 30.9.2003

Why should I think you are serious about wanting to know more about something you already claim to know about and have already scorned? You obviously make a distinction between being serious and being sincere.

RESPONDENT: … and the method to get them.

VINEETO: This is what you wrote about ‘method’ only a few days ago –

[Respondent]: You want a method? Try this: slow down. Slow down until you stop completely. No more desires, therefore no more frustrations and fears. No one to enjoy the peace. And in that quietness nothing is, the new inevitably is, ‘nothing’ is always new. You don’t have to beat your head trying to find the correct meaning of ‘new’; simply put: it’s the unconceivable. There is nothing mysterious or spiritual on that, is there? ‘You’ have to die for the new to be. Is there a method at all? Any method will give continuity to ‘you’. To die to memories, to the yesterday and the tomorrow, is surely to live with death, and in that state there is no fear and all the absurd inventions which fear creates. Re: Permanency, 30.9.2003

Why should I think you are serious about wanting to know more about the actualism method when, whilst championing your own method, you have already dismissed any and all methods?

RESPONDENT: I am not kidding.

VINEETO: O.K., ignoring your previous responses and taking your curiosity at face value I suggest going to the map of the Actual Freedom Trust website and clicking on the revolving multicoloured ball. You will then arrive at a page devoted to the topic of how to become free from the human condition, replete with multiple links to correspondences from Richard and practicing actualists.

VINEETO: Just a short comment on your letter to No 23 about humour before I answer your other post –

GARY: I did mean to say to you that our little interchange on the list recently, you know, the one where I said ‘you’re incredible’ and left the little smiley faces, did have me wondering about what is commonly called mirth, laughter, and good humour. I really did find your ‘brain showering’ suggestion extremely funny, and I had a side-splitting good laugh when I read it that morning. But I find myself wondering to what extent having a good laugh is an affective experience.

It has been said by some great comedians and satirists that humour stems essentially from sorrow (Mark Twain being one). Being truly happy and harmless does not seem to involve anything that in any way, shape, or form stems from sorrow and unhappiness. Maybe I am beating a dead horse here, but I wonder what other list contributors have discovered about mirth, laughter, and good humour. To what extent are feelings involved? If feelings are involved, is it not then an affective experience? Based on my own PCEs, I do not seem to remember any side-splitting laughter or similar emotions running in me at the time.

Any comments?

VINEETO: Mark Twain is only partially right in saying that ‘humour stems essentially from sorrow’. Human beings are mostly occupied by malice and sorrow and therefore most humour stems not only from sorrow but even more so from malice. When I took up actualism I found that I incrementally began to loose interest in malicious humour, i.e. humour that is predominantly based on tearing others to pieces but I do enjoy those comedians who are able to poke fun at themselves or the absurdity of the human condition in general. I also noticed that with far less sorrow and misery, disappointment and frustration in my life, hysterical laughter as a vent for tension disappeared almost completely.

But I can say that overall I am laughing more than before in my life for the simple reason that I am happier than ever. As I am far less occupied with my own problems because they have pretty much disappeared, I am also far more aware of the many, often hilarious, absurdities of human behaviour in general and of the various forms of social conditioning in particular. Given that there are so few things that engross me emotionally, I can now really ‘look at the bright side of life’ ... and its very sensuous deliciousness makes me often chuckle for no particular reason. So yes, there is a lot more ‘mirth, laughter, and good humour’ in my life than ever before.

Richard once said in a correspondence that to his surprise he developed a taste for black humour, which he didn’t have before becoming free from the human condition.

Richard: Ever since I became capable of appreciating ‘black humour’ (thanks to the TV series ‘Black Adder’) I sometimes have a difficult job to not roll about the floor laughing. What makes it black humour is that such hypocritical duplicity perpetuates all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides forever and a day. Richard, List B, No 20e, 11.1.2001

Richard: Humour is not a waste of time and I laugh a lot ... there is so much that is irrepressibly funny about life itself. Strangely enough I find that I enjoy black humour; whereas the ‘I’ that I was could not ... ‘he’ found it repulsive and sickening. Nevertheless, the humour I enjoy most is that which lampoons puffed-up power and its authority. Richard, List B, No 25d, 20.9.1999

I often can’t laugh about black humour. There is something to it that is too close to the bone. It’s sometimes a real exercise in attentiveness to catch myself when I become affectively involved in the needless violence and endless suffering of humanity.

However, here is a piece of information whose black humour really tickled me, considering the general fashion to believe that life in ‘the good old days’ was far better than the safety and comfort of today and that the materialism of technological progress per se is the cause of all evil –

[quote]: We often tend to think that prehistoric societies were gentle and non-violent. Of course, we have little or no records left, but comparing with the anthropological record, we now suspect this to be a gross idealization – for most band or tribal societies studied in the 20th century, murder actually turned out to be a leading cause of death. Bjørn Lomborg, ‘The Sceptical Environmentalist’, Ch. 6

So much for the ‘good old days’.


VINEETO: Mark Twain is only partially right in saying that ‘humour stems essentially from sorrow’.

Human beings are mostly occupied by malice and sorrow and therefore most humour stems not only from sorrow but even more so from malice. When I took up actualism I found that I incrementally began to loose interest in malicious humour, i.e. humour that is predominantly based on tearing others to pieces but I do enjoy those comedians who are able to poke fun at themselves or the absurdity of the human condition in general. I also noticed that with far less sorrow and misery, disappointment and frustration in my life, hysterical laughter as a vent for tension disappeared almost completely.

GARY: The Mark Twain quotation or remark was lifted from a PBS television production on the life of Mark Twain. It may not be exact or verbatim, but it was something like that. I found the program interesting in one respect as it showed the ‘private’ side of this great humorist and satirist and world-renowned author. Despite his enormous public appeal and worldwide notoriety, he appears to have been a very unhappy camper, controlling his wife and children and erupting in titanic rages from time to time. In that respect, he would certainly personally know something about how humour is a salve for sorrow. Since I cannot remember the exact quotation, I might have erred in presenting it the way I did.

VINEETO: This is what I found about Mark Twain –

[quote]: He was a gruff but knowledgeable, unaffected man who had been places and seen things and was not fooled by pretence. He talked and wrote with contagious humanity and charm in the language of ordinary people. At the same time, he scornfully berated man; evolution failed, he said, when man appeared, for his was the only evil heart in the entire animal kingdom. Yet Mark Twain was one with those he scorned: what any man sees in the human race, he admitted, ‘is merely himself in the deep and private honesty of his own heart.’ Perceptive, comic, but also bitter, Twain seemed to be the mirror of all men. <snip>

In the fall of 1903 Twain and his family settled near Florence, Italy. His wife died six months later, and he expressed his grief, his loneliness, and his pessimism about the human character in several late works. Encyclopaedia Britannica

I don’t think you erred much in your quotation because Mark Twain’s outlook on life was indeed sorrowful and resentful and humour was therefore a tool to make the burden of life bearable. This type of humour is like crying with one eye while laughing with the other.

Just as an aside – when I watched the honour given to the Queen Mother at her funeral, I think that Tom Sawyer, one of Mark Twain’s characters, got it right. He had staged his own death at age 10 so that he could receive the honour at his funeral while still alive.

GARY: To summarize what I think about humour and laughter at this point: It does sometimes stem from sorrow and malice, but not always. There is such a thing for me as laughing and being humorous simply because I am in a good mood, I am joyous, and I am taking delight in being alive, and present in this moment. Such laughter and humour lacks the emotive force, as I have termed it, that laughter and humour stemming from sorrow have, what you term the ‘hysterical’ quality of laughter. ‘Hysterical’ laughter can erupt at times of great danger, as a kind of tension release. ‘Gallows humour’ may be of this sort. The kind of laughter and humour I am describing comes from the extremely enervating and refreshing experience of being alive and present in the moment, and is in juxtaposition to laughter and humour that stems from nervous tension or impending danger. Essentially, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with humour and laughter, and the enjoyment of it does a body no harm at all, as long as its malicious or sorrowful elements, if present, are recognized by an alert intelligence.

VINEETO: I just watched a re-run of an interview with Billy Conolly, one of my favourite comedians, and he admits using the stage as his place for therapy. He says he tells the truth in his funny and often absurd little episodes about life and he only exaggerates them for the humorous effect. I have always liked this kind of humour best when people are able to take the mickey out of themselves, and thus out of everyone else as well, and it’s a great way of not taking oneself too seriously. While Mark Twain was a passionate pessimist who resented the ugliness of human nature, Billy Connolly is an avowed optimist. Nevertheless, within the human condition laughter is usually despite sorrow, comparable to putting on rose-coloured glasses clipped on over the top of the grey-coloured glasses everybody normally wears.

However, as long as I am alert to my feelings of malice and sorrow, there is certainly ‘nothing wrong with humour and laughter’, on the contrary, the less you take yourself seriously, the faster the ‘self’ diminishes due to malnourishment and this process leaves you with the laughter of pure delight.

GARY: In short, I am concluding that even the ‘feel good’ experience of laughter and humour can be tapped for information about what makes ‘me’ tick – in other words, ‘my’ feelings and emotions, moods and complexities. The discussion on the list recently about laughter and humour reminds me of the difficulty I have had, and likely still have, in understanding precisely what is meant by ‘the felicitous feelings’, as described in AF writings. I had thought that AF was on about a purely sensorial enjoyment of the present moment, devoid of any trace whatsoever of feeling and emotion. What then are ‘felicitous feelings’ if not emotions? Having been confronted with this apparent contradiction, I have looked into the so-called ‘positive’ emotions, including of course love and sentimentality.

VINEETO: Given that ‘I’ am a feeling being, there is no escape from feelings as long as I am a ‘self’. In order to diminish and eventually eliminate the ‘self’ I started my journey by shifting my emphasis towards those affective feelings that don’t feed the ‘self’, which are the felicitous feelings – feeling good, feeling at ease, feeling happy, etc. Therefore the main emphasis in questioning and investigating my feelings has been focussed on examining the ‘good’ feelings of love, hope and trust and the ‘bad’ feelings of malice and sorrow. When I am happy, even when I am affectively happy, ‘I’ have no problem with being here and consequently the ‘self’ has little or nothing to do.

However, the more I investigated my malicious and sorrowful feelings as well as all the beliefs that compose my social identity, the more I noticed gaps in my affective reaction to the world around me and consequently more and more often I feel neither sad, nor worried, nor angry, nor needy and nor do I feel affectively happy. By this I mean the feeling of happiness that normal people experience – happiness concocted or contrived as an antidote to grim boring everyday existence. I just remembered an experience I had which first made me aware of this.

On New Years Eve of 1999 Peter and I walked home from dinner in town at around 10.30 pm. The streets were filled with people celebrating the coming millennium, several music bands were playing in the streets and people were dancing to the music. As we traversed one of the dancing areas I felt as if I was dipped into a pool of intense frantic happiness that disappeared as soon as we entered quiet streets again. I had almost forgotten the feeling – this was affective happiness, multiplied by hundreds of people, all being happy for this one night of the year, eager to forget the misery and worry of their normal days. This affective happiness is conditional – one is happy about some event, some achievement, some person. I also noticed that most often this feeling of happiness is dependant on other people joining me in my happiness, because it’s more difficult to be happy when alone.

The happiness I experience today is rather an absence of any feelings of sorrow and malice, coupled with an increasing sensitivity for the sensuous delights of simply being alive, whether in the company of others or when alone. (...)


VINEETO: But I can say that overall I am laughing more than before in my life for the simple reason that I am happier than ever. As I am far less occupied with my own problems because they have pretty much disappeared, I am also far more aware of the many, often hilarious, absurdities of human behaviour in general and of the various forms of social conditioning in particular. Given that there are so few things that engross me emotionally, I can now really ‘look at the bright side of life’ ... and its very sensuous deliciousness makes me often chuckle for no particular reason. So yes, there is a lot more ‘mirth, laughter, and good humour’ in my life than ever before.

GARY: Your paragraph here about sums up my present experience of humour. I too am ‘happier than ever’, and less preoccupied with ‘my’ troubles and woes. Spontaneous laughter and seeing the humour in simple, everyday commonalities is not only good fun but need not stem from, as No 13 had termed it, ‘duplicitous stupidity’. Given that the sorrowful and malicious entity in this body has progressively and incrementally shrunken to an exceedingly small percentage of its original size, this then leaves me free to (as you say) look ‘at the bright side of life’, not as a state of denial of my sorrowful state, but because ‘my’ sorrowful state has evaporated, leaving me enjoying, indeed revelling in the present moment. There is only then enjoying the journey, as No 13 had termed it.

VINEETO: The only way I could apply the word ‘duplicitous’ is that I have been disloyal and unfaithful to all the clubs I used to belong to – the women’s camp, the German people, the family ties, the bleeding-heart liberalists, the passionate environmentalists, the loyal spiritualists and being a member of a fighting and suffering humanity. There is indeed a cornucopia of humour, including black humour, to be found when one abandons all loyalty for these camps, but this is not ‘stupidity’ but sheer common sense.

RESPONDENT: People are brainwashed with teachings, religions, conditionings and lots and lots of words that do not mean anything at all (like the THREE EGGHEADS – Peter, Richard and Vineeto).

VINEETO: Yes, I agree, I am definitely an ‘egghead’ in a ‘square’ world, continuously saying that the solution lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction to where everybody else is seeking it. But 5.8 billion people insists that their particular belief must be the right one, ‘they are just not trying hard enough’ – and they don’t seem to notice that their supposed only true solution has not eliminated the malice and sorrow of the Human Condition.


RESPONDENT to No. 8: Usually when I find people uninteresting, boring or too serious (like my wife and mother) I make fun of their words or a joke. I put some ‘juice’ into them and that makes them laugh and become less serious. Do you call that ‘being vindictive’?

You say that you don’t find my jokes funny where I used the names of Peter and Vineeto. Have you forgotten? Osho used to make fun of his sannyasins and everyone used to have a good laugh. Nobody was offended.

No wonder you like those two dried-up old fossils, Peter and Vineeto.

P.S.: I find that Vineeto still has a little humour left in her. I loved those two pictures she sent. They were funny.

VINEETO: It is such a curious business writing to people on the internet. I was convinced you were a woman (I knew a woman with the same name, that’s why) – now, suddenly – for me suddenly – you have a wife.

I have thought quite a bit about humour lately and about your statement that there is a little humour left in me. I might be a bit handicapped by my German upbringing – and with English being my second language I am not good with puns. But there is more to it than that.

Most jokes I can’t laugh at. Most jokes are built on either the suffering of people or them being malicious. I just can’t find the joke. Also, there is neither boredom nor any other emotional tension that needs to be ‘healed’ or relieved with a joke. Living in delight, laughter is simply part of the day, as are interesting conversations, thrilling investigations, juicy sex and tasty food. Humour may not be something you find much in my writing – but then, my intent to writing something is different. When I write here on the list, my intent is to convey something of the magic I experience being free of beliefs and emotions, and to describe how I got here.

And as for boredom, I found that since I eliminated boredom in me, nobody can bore me anymore – I can spend days of doing nothing, hanging out by myself or with Peter and never be bored. Being alive is thrilling, sensuous, bubbly, delicious, enjoyable, magical, sensational – and then you get to do things on top of it!

But since humour is the language you seem to know best – here is a fairy story that I have found funny:

[quote]: Cinderella wants to go to the ball, but her wicked stepmother won’t let her. As Cinderella sits crying in the garden, her fairy godmother appears, and promises to provide Cinderella with everything she needs to go to the ball, but only on two conditions.

‘First, you must wear a diaphragm.’

Cinderella agrees. ‘What’s the second condition?’

‘You must be home by 2 a.m. Any later, and your diaphragm will turn into a pumpkin.’

Cinderella agrees to be home by 2 a.m. The appointed hour comes and goes, and Cinderella doesn’t show up. Finally, at 5 a.m., Cinderella shows up, looking love-struck and very, very satisfied.

‘Where have you been?’ demands the fairy godmother. ‘Your diaphragm was supposed to turn into a pumpkin three hours ago!’

‘I met a prince, Fairy Godmother. He took care of everything.’

‘I know of no prince with that kind of power! Tell me his name!’

‘I can’t remember, exactly ... Peter Peter, something or other ...’

RESPONDENT to No. 23: I was wondering why SANNYASINS were getting so worked up and angry at my teasing Peter and Vineeto with some jokes and comments? They don’t seem to be bothered by it, at least I still haven’t heard any comment from them. When I teased Vineeto by calling her ‘egghead’ she responded very well. I appreciate her for it. It seems Peter and Vineeto are more ‘sporty’ then some sannyasins. I wonder if she and Peter have anything to say about the jokes?

VINEETO: So you are asking about my response to your jokes?

I am not responding to your jokes aimed at Peter and Vineeto (the ones with our names put in) because I find it plain silly. A joke is neither a question nor an objection, so why should I reply?

As for ‘sporty’ – it was one of the first things I learned when meeting Richard, that one can become un-insult-able by investigating and removing the ‘me’ who takes offence. This possibility appealed very much to me from the very beginning. What an awful hindrance for communications it has always been for me when I would get insulted by what someone said, and then I could not continue being at ease with that person. And then I was the one who was suffering, feeling insulted, being resentful and withdrawing into loneliness. Actual freedom for me meant that I investigated and in this way eliminated the cause and the root of emotions in me, and after removing the cause they simply don’t occur any more. Whatever the other says, or does, is then his or her business only.

What a freedom to be able to be un-insult-able, un-offend-able, completely harmless and without resentment. What a joy to know that I can rely upon myself 100% that I won’t harm anybody, won’t kill anybody for whatever passions or beliefs. I admit, one loses one’s ‘self ‘on the way – but it is well worth it.

RESPONDENT: I am a man, hehehe... SURPRISE!!!

I remember Osho saying that German’s have a hard time getting a joke because of what happened to them during Hitler’s time. He said that Germans are very intelligent people but somehow Hitler was able to fool all of them to believe in his stupid idea that Jews were the cause of all the misery and suffering in Germany.

Osho used to joke that it takes Germans a few days before they get a joke and start laughing ... is that true, Vineeto? hahaha.

VINEETO: What your master said about Germans and what I found out about being conditioned as German is a hell of a difference. Yes, I found the ‘Hitler’ in me after I realised that I would have killed for defending my master and my devotion for him with the same passion that Germans had when they marched to conquer and ‘save the world’. Hitler simply played on the instincts of Germans in a way that they followed him and that they were ready to die for him, for their country, for their Christian belief, for their Arian race – exactly as Osho played on my – and everybody’s – instincts so that I was ready to kill and die for ‘Him’ on the Ranch.

There is no point blaming somebody else for my misery or suffering, I am made of the same stuff as any other human being, I am equipped with the same software of instincts, conditioning and sense of ‘self’. And I can do something about it. After I recognised and acknowledged the ‘Hitler’ in me as well as the ‘follower’ in me, it left such an impact that I was determined to eradicate these aspects of the Human Condition in me.

And I succeeded. There is not a trace of nationalistic or religious conditioning left today. And I can see this conditioning and the underlying instinctual passions operating in everybody – the Human Condition – with different labels, for different reasons, but nevertheless as power and aggression, fear and willing obedience. When it comes down to the animalistic instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, there is no difference between a German and a Jew, an Indian and a Muslim, a Serb and a Rajneeshee. Everybody, without fail, is inflicted with this disease – the Human Condition.

This is what Osho omitted in his discourses.

RESPONDENT: I personally think that Humour is a good sign of Intelligence. If a person can laugh at himself and make fun of his mistakes and shortcomings (who doesn’t have any?) then he makes his world somehow lighter and free. Osho himself used to make fun of himself (and I learned this too). There were jokes where Osho dies and goes to heaven and sits on God’s throne, or a joke where Osho scares Saint Peter in heaven. He used to say that he was going to hell because there were more juicy and alive people there. Heaven is boring, full of saints and serious people.

I am very happy to see that you have a sense of humour and unlike some sannyasins you don’t seem to get offended or angry at jokes.

VINEETO: Yes, I also think that it is a sign of intelligence when one can see the ridiculousness of what one is doing. But most jokes point at others and are at the expense of the shortcomings of others. It is called fun but is almost always badly disguised plain malice. The impression of ‘lighter and free’ comes from a temporary distraction from the misery all around, but jokes do nothing to actually free you from misery. After a short time it hits back with full force.

For me, being a seeker has always been about finding out about myself, first about the ego in Sannyas and now about the whole of the Human Condition, the ego and the soul. Searching, for me, is about establishing peace-on-earth in me, and for that, the ‘I who I think I am and the I who I feel I am’ has to die. Only when ‘I’ am completely demolished will I be reliably happy and harmless, all the time.

Just making fun of one’s own and other’s shortcomings is nothing but a nice coating over the ‘self’ that wants to stay as it is – and be liked by others on top of it. It has never really appealed to me. I preferred to find a way to be free of being the nice girl, free of needing love, free of any dependency on other people’s opinion about me. Then I am also free to say what is the case instead of being anxious about what others would have liked me to say.

It is a wondrous and delightful freedom to be an autonomous, happy and harmless human being. It beats every single joke in the world. Jokes – if they are really good jokes – can only be the cherry on the cream on the cake. (I don’t like icing).

PS: Here is a cherry for you –

[quote]: Y zero K Problem. (Translated from Latin scroll dated 2 BC)

Dear Cassius

Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven’t much time left. I don’t know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards.

You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at this last minute.

I spoke to Maximus Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn’t done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty. We called in Consultus, but he simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won’t work and as usual charged a fortune for doing nothing useful. Surely we will not have to throw out all our hardware and start again? Micronius will make yet another fortune out of this I suppose.

The money lenders are paranoid of course! They have been told that all usury rates will invert and they will have to pay their clients to take out loans. Its an ill wind.

As for myself, I just can’t see the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards.

We have heard that there are three wise men in the East who have been working on the problem, but unfortunately they won’t arrive until it’s all over.

I have heard that there are plans to stable all horses at midnight at the turn of the year as there are fears that they will stop and try to run backwards, causing immense damage to chariots and possible loss of life.

Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition. Anyway, we are still continuing to work on this blasted Y zero K problem. I will send a parchment to you if anything further develops.

If you have any ideas please let me know,


VINEETO: I just wanted to interrupt and distract you from what you are up to right now for a little giggle.

May you enjoy it as much as I did.

Almost actual, but factually virtual...


RESPONDENT: ‘A pity that the List server doesn’t accept pictures, isn’t it. Pictures say more than a thousand words, hence enable one to be brief.

And yes, the ladies made me giggle too, laugh actually. I already forwarded it to a friend in need...’

VINEETO: Oh, good, aren’t they cute?

Yes, I agree, and a pity also that I cannot send you the smell of the night-jasmine from outside my window or the dripping sound of raindrops on palm-leaves and tin-roof, the smoothness of night air, perfect temperature, moist and soft...

So I use words to convey a little bit of it, to describe this very paradise we are living in. You might experience very similar smells, sounds, sensations where you are... or different ones, but with similar delight.


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