Selected Correspondence Vineeto
VINEETO: Tigers are not a representative example of animals in the wild. They are exceptional in that they are at the top of the food chain in many places and therefore need to be less constantly vigilant than the general population of animals that not only need to hunt but are hunted as well.
Most people who make romantic videos of playing and romping big cats and other ‘cute and lovable’ animals passionately believe in a Garden of Eden-type ‘natural paradise’ which is supposed to have existed before humans roamed the earth and these people have a vested interest in presenting animals as being innocent and happy – a natural state that was supposedly corrupted by the very presence of human beings. Nature documentaries, while appearing to be visual evidence of the leisurely and playful life of wild animals, is nevertheless information tainted by the beliefs and feelings of the people who researched, filmed, edited, produced and annotated it. (see )
RESPONDENT: Also, I don’t know about you, but I interpret their hunting activity as probably quite enjoyable – much like people enjoy the hunt as well.
VINEETO: People who are nowadays hunting animals for sport do it for pleasure and entertainment, not for survival – they enjoy the temporary unrestrained expression of the instinctual passions to hunt and kill. Animals in the wild need to hunt and kill in order to survive and most animals fear becoming a meal for some other predator.
Speaking personally again, I like it that we humans have risen to the top of the food chain – that I don’t have to worry about being eaten by a tiger outside the supermarket or having to shoot a crocodile out of the garden.
RESPONDENT: Oh, and to not be concerned about guilt when killing another animal – that sounds pretty good to me too.
VINEETO: Everyone is instilled with a social conscience and it is an age-old dream to free oneself from the shackles of this societal conscience by returning to one’s natural state, the so-called innocence of the wild and uncultured, to a state before one’s feeling of guilt ever existed. The idea that animals are both happy and innocent because they don’t know or feel guilt is based upon the belief that if it weren’t for guilt one would be happy and carefree.
RESPONDENT: Of course, they are driven by their instinctual passions which does put a damper on things – but I wonder why you don’t see a tiger’s life – just as one example, as at least somewhat enjoyable?
VINEETO: If you want to contemplate how animals feel in the wild it is useful to pick an example that characterizes the broader range of animals – a tiger has no competitor to fear but his own kind in many places and is therefore not representative. For a general picture of how animals possibly experience life you could compare their life to that of the Stone Age humans whose life was an ongoing battle of grim survival.
In days of old, with the dangers and unreliability of hunting, enough was always only temporary; hence the constant drive for more and the constant fear of too little. It was necessary to compete and fight with other animals and humans for scarce food, shelter and territory and it was also necessary to physically protect the women and helpless offspring. Indeed, survival was a grim business – an instinctual obsession.
When you have experienced in yourself the full force of bare instinctual fear or instinctual aggression you will know that there is nothing enjoyable at all about being overcome by instinctual passion.
VINEETO: It would appear that you are arguing the case in support of the human condition again because within the human condition malice and sorrow are often synonymous with enjoyment.
There are many, many people who find it enjoyable to watch violent movies or brutal boxing matches, who delight in ridiculing and denigrating their peers, who take glee from plotting revenge and who find relaxation in playing video games where one murders as many opponents as possible. There are others who find it highly enjoyable to jump out of an aeroplane for thrills. Their enjoyment is derived from feeding and yielding to their instinctual passions.
This is not the enjoyment of life I am talking about as an actualist. Enjoying this moment of being alive directly pertains to my freedom from being driven by my social-instinctual programming. No other animal can make such a choice – it needs an awareness of being instinctually driven to be able to choose not to be driven.
RESPONDENT: I should say that I certainly am not defending the view that animals are ‘innocent.’ They can be vicious and cruel – but they are also tender and docile and playful. I also cannot claim to be able to ‘get into their heads’ enough to definitively say that they are ‘happy.’ But being that ‘happy’ has many possible definitions, it would be hard to be definitive when thinking about ‘animal happiness.’ About all I can say is that it is obvious to me that animals experience a good deal of enjoyment as well as the struggle for survival and the suffering involved. They obviously have a good deal of vitality and in many a capacity for much playfulness. Also, it should be noted that even as each species is different and has its own set of challenges, for the most part – each animal is somewhat different and has something of a personality of its own – as any animal owner can attest to.
VINEETO: I am reminded of your recent correspondence with Richard only four month ago in which you presented the following question
And you now want to conduct an inquiry into the ‘worthwhile, valuable, and at least somewhat happy’ life of animals. Why?
RESPONDENT: As a final observation, we recently made our two cats outdoor cats. I was a bit concerned at first that this might put them in danger from other cats, traffic they could run into, etc. yet they have survived quite well and are always ready to enjoy being held and rubbed – responding with quite satisfied purrs. One of them is more fearful in general than the other – so I’m not sure whether she is enjoying herself more or less outdoors, but the other cat is quite adventurous and is thriving outdoors – on the hunt or taking a relaxing siesta. We still provide their food and water – so they don’t have to ‘worry’ about that, but they still stalk and kill birds – apparently for the ‘fun of it.’ Now, they are certainly not in the wild, but there are plenty of threats out there (other cats and dogs that roam the neighbourhood) so it is certainly a simulation of the wild – probably as much as a farm would be. Anyway, I would be hard pressed to say that cat is ‘not enjoying life.’
Back to you...
VINEETO: Last week you wrote to No 53 a succinct description of the human condition –
Yes, ‘human beings are already in their natural state’, as are all other animals. By my own experience as a human I know that this ‘natural state’ is not enjoyable – otherwise I wouldn’t be in the business of practicing actualism in order to leave the natural state permanently behind.
RESPONDENT: I’d like to point out something regarding the ‘birthright’ issue that is part of your current discussion.
In your current discussion:
Vineeto, I’m not sure if you are distinguishing between the feeling of happiness and an actual freedom – since on the homepage of the Actual Freedom website, it is stated –
I don’t know for sure who wrote those words, but it appears that ‘birthright’ is being used interchangeably with ‘destiny.’ Here’s an exchange with Richard about the subject of AF being a birthright.
Since it has been unequivocally stated that one’s birthright is an actual freedom, I’m wondering whether you, Vineeto, are disagreeing with that statement – or whether you are merely saying that ‘happiness’ – as in the feeling of happiness is not a ‘birthright?’ Or possibly you are saying that happiness is not a birth-‘right’ in a legal sense?
VINEETO: Yes, one’s birthright, in the sense of one’s destiny, is to be free from the human condition, but one’s birthright, in the sense of one’s fate – genetic fate – is to be malicious and sorrowful. In order to avoid the trap of pedanticism, Richard has also put it this way –
And yes, I do distinguish ‘between the feeling of happiness and an actual freedom’.
The reason I responded to No 38 the way I did was because he said ‘animals appear to thoroughly enjoy life’ … ‘is being happy our birthright’…? No 38 appeared to link the way he thinks animals experience life with ‘our birthright’ to be happy. But this is not the birthright Richard is talking about – the birthright ‘to be living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this eternal and infinite universe actually is’.
No 38 used the word ‘birthright’ directly after stating his idea that ‘animals appear to thoroughly enjoy life’ which points to the word ‘birthright’ being used as meaning one’s natural, as in genetically-endowed, heritage rather than one’s destiny. This is why I went on to explain that our heritage is the animal survival passions, whereas our destiny, ‘the next step in human evolution’ is to become free from this animal heritage.
Maybe this is the opportunity to have a closer look at the widespread belief that ‘animals appear to thoroughly enjoy life’. Animals do not have a conscience, i.e. they are not instilled with certain morals and ethics that impel one to reject, control and suppress the savage instinctual passions and encourage one to embrace and aggrandize the tender instinctual passions. Animals, with the exception of those trained by humans such as dogs or horses, blindly follow their instinctual drive whenever it occurs – they express both their tender and their savage urges without any inhibitions whatsoever.
This ‘natural freedom’ of instinctual action, unmitigated by the constraints of a social conscience, has been hailed as a desirable freedom for humans throughout the centuries. In the West it has given rise to the religious and quasi-religious movements of ‘going back to your roots’ and living ‘naturally’ – be it living in the bush, eating ‘pure foods’, being self-sufficient, using traditional medicines and shamanic cures, and so on. All of these pursuits have one thing in common – they assume that the solution to mankind’s problem lies in returning to one’s original animal nature … to the time of an imaginary golden age, a time before ‘the original sin’, a time before humans were laden with guilt, a time when humans were ‘happy and innocent’ like animals.
The Eastern religious view of the world is the concept that all humans are born ‘innocent’ and have only been corrupted by ‘evil thoughts’ since birth. It is further believed that it is possible for a chosen few to regain this mythical ‘natural’ innocence and to become ‘Who You Really Are’, hence the search to find one’s ‘original face’ or Divine Self. In order to achieve this state one is advised to give full reign to one’s ‘good’ instinctual passions while ignoring and denying the ‘bad’ or evil thoughts. If you believe this it is only a small step to revering all animals as pure and innocent because they haven’t been corrupted by ‘evil thoughts’.
Actualism quite obviously is 180 degrees in the opposite direction. An actual freedom is a freedom from the instinctual animal passions themselves.
RESPONDENT: According to actualism, being happy and harmless is precisely the method to achieving one’s birthright – not in the sense of being inborn, or some legal ‘right’, but as one’s destiny.
VINEETO: You wrote in response to my letter to No 38 and No 37 –
RESPONDENT to No 38 and No 37: I don’t blame anyone for not being extremely interested in animals as I happen to be. But to say that even prey animals don’t have a fully rounded emotional life seems to come from lack of interest/ observation.
VINEETO: What I said in response to No 38’ post was –
If by a ‘fully rounded emotional life’ you mean the same as ‘driven by the survival instincts of ‘what can I eat, what can eat me’’ then I agree with you. I have seen many animals cowering in fear, being aggressive, looking sad as they licked their wounds or missed their prey and so on.
RESPONDENT: I’ve watched rabbits play. And they play a lot and very enthusiastically. I even heard of a rabbit eaten by a coyote after he/she spent too much energy playing.
VINEETO: This anecdote seems to verify substantiate my comment that ‘in the wild animals are constantly on the alert, vigilant for predators and scanning for attack on prey’ – if they don’t they aren’t fit for survival.
RESPONDENT: In fact the amount of time most animals, even prey animals, spend sleeping, mating, courting, playing, and eating tasty tidbits is greater than the amount of time they spend fleeing. The animals don’t have the thinking reasoning neocortex, but to assume that that denies them pleasure as well as pain in life seems silly to me and flies in the face of my own observations of both wild and domesticated animals. Similarly the tribal peoples who are still living pretty much in their natural habitat today spend most of their time in what would be considered the simple pleasures of life. I don’t see why it is necessary to assume that instinctively ruled beings constantly suffer in order to justify actualism.
VINEETO: I did not say that ‘instinctively ruled beings constantly suffer’ – I said that they do not enjoy life. And before we head off in a discussion about what enjoying life means let me make it clear that the enjoyment I am talking about in the context of actualism is the awareness of the intrinsic enjoyment of being alive when not being driven by instinctual passions.
I have no interest in philosophizing about the subtleties of the degree of enjoyment that both animals and humans derive from satisfying their instinctual urges. This type of enjoyment is mostly achieved at the expense of others and is both conditional and fickle. My understanding of enjoyment in the context of actualism is a pure enjoyment – the sensate enjoyment that is possible only when one is either temporarily or permanently free from being an instinctually driven ‘being’.
RESPONDENT: For me actualism stands on its own as the next intelligent, reasonable step in the unfolding of the experience of the universe as an aware being. It’s not possible for us as individuals to comprehend all the myriad facts of existence, even those on this one planet. For that reason I welcome factual information that comes from others as well as challenging questions that bring about increased understanding.
VINEETO: The ‘facets of existence’ that we are talking about in this post are the instinctual passions, both in humans and in animals – and these are possible ‘to comprehend’ as one proceeds to experientially understand the animal survival passions in oneself. Just as the instinctual survival passions are instilled in every human being so they are present in all animals that have a reptilian brain. When I experience the bare instinctual passion of fear or aggression or nurture or desire in me, then this experience arises from the reptilian part of the brain, and this has been clearly and repeatedly demonstrated my Joseph LeDoux and other researchers.
Because I have experienced these passions in action in myself I know that animals experience the same kind of bare fear, aggression, nurture and desire – bare means a direct experience of the raw instinctual passions when the restrictive layer of one’s social morals and ethics is not sufficiently established, inadvertently fails or has been sufficiently dismantled via the actualism practice.
When I first started to come face to face with the deeper instinctual passions in me that were lurking underneath my initial emotional reactions, I realised why no one has dared to fully acknowledge this instinctual animal heritage both in themselves and in every human being. The power and rawness of my bare instincts was so overwhelming at first, that had I not known that it is actually possible to eliminate these instincts, I would not have dared to let them come to the surface in their full repellence. Only because I know that I can, and want to, get rid of ‘me’, the root of these survival instincts, has it been possible to face this atavistic evil force. With the knowledge that there is life beyond instincts I was able to sit out the turbulent storms of fear without scurrying for safety, acknowledge my instinctual lust to kill without denying it and experience the dread and sorrow of humankind without wallowing in it or grasping for the ‘redemption’ of enlightenment. It is all very real when it happens, but once the storm abates, which it inevitably does, there is not a trace of it left in the delightful clarity that follows.
It is perfectly understandable that most people have a romanticised view about the happy and carefree lifestyle of animals because they rarely dare to become aware of their own passions in action. All of human wisdom so far has only blamed social conditioning for human suffering and the instinctual passions have come away scot-free.
VINEETO: It is perfectly understandable that most people have a romanticised view about the happy and carefree lifestyle of animals because they rarely dare to become aware of their own passions in action. All of human wisdom so far has only blamed social conditioning for human suffering and the instinctual passions have come away scot-free.
RESPONDENT: What I’m trying to say about animals is that since they do not have the same brains as we do they can neither suffer nor enjoy life in the same way that we do. I agree that we share nearly all the same survival oriented instincts that animals have, both the pleasurable ones and the painful ones. I don’t assume that I know exactly how they experience their lives. I can only speculate based on observation and study.
VINEETO: The thread on the topic of animals started with me answering a question from No 38 –
To which you responded –
The point of the discussion that is relevant to actualism is not how animals experience their instinctual passions but that they are instinctually driven, exactly as humans beings are. The discussion then lead on to the widespread romantic notion that animals, having no social identity – no moral or ethical constraints – lead a happier and more carefree life than humans do. It is interesting to observe that most discussions begin with someone presenting an observation to which a response is made and then the discussion often degenerates if participants insist on maintaining their moral stance or beliefs about the particular subject, which in turn usually results in the end of discussion.
If nothing else, discussions such as these demonstrate that the only way to determine the facts of the matter is to experientially discover for oneself the facts of the matter – in this case to experience the full range of the raw instinctual passions in operation in oneself, as one’s ‘self’. And yet this is impossible to do whilst one insists on holding on to one’s moral stance or romantic beliefs about the instinctual passions themselves – insisting that some passions are so good that one could never do without them and begrudgingly acknowledging that whilst others may be bad they are nevertheless necessary to maintain.
In order to find out about animal instinctual passions it is necessary to experience them in oneself – only then you know with certainty if being instinctually driven is a pleasant lifestyle to be envied. And only when you know with certainty can there be action and change.
Connected to the romantic notion that animals lead a more enjoyable life than humans is the idea that less cultured or less civilized peoples lead a happier life –
This notion is derived from the fashionable belief that it is thought and social conditioning that are responsible for human malice and suffering and all people would be happy if only we all returned to live like in the ‘good old days’.
RESPONDENT: I have a question for you and Peter and Richard. What is your definition/understanding of instinct? I have looked for it in the AF glossary and I was surprised not to find it there.
RESPONDENT: Do you think instinct is something we receive in the DNA?
VINEETO: There is substantive evidence that animate life on this planet blossomed during what is known as the Cambrian period and there is speculation that this burgeoning of complexity coincided with the emergence of predation – animate life feeding on other animate life. If this is the case, then it is reasonable to infer that predation also coincided with the emergence of a rudimentary instinctual cunning – the constant need to be on alert based on a ‘what can I eat-what can eat me?’ survival scenario.
Regardless of when they emerged, these instinctive survival reactions are to be seen in all current animate life on the planet that is an integral part of the animate-life food chain. The current species are the successful survivors of this battle and from what we now know, it is reasonable to assume that it is mutations in the DNA structure which have produced the successful survival strategies and life forms whilst other mutations that have produced less successful survival strategies and life forms have perished.
I say ‘reasonable to assume’ because the only objections to this scientific explanation of the evolution of animate life on this planet that I have discovered comes from those who see it as a threat to their spiritual/ religious beliefs.
RESPONDENT: If so, are you saying that one can learn to supersede it by cerebral action?
VINEETO: This query is best answered by a piece from the Introduction into Actual Freedom –
RESPONDENT: I don’t think you are saying that one gets rid of the physically inherited instincts, but one changes the emotional charge attached to the instinct. Is that correct?
VINEETO: It is not the instincts, such as the startle reflex, the swallowing reflex or other reflexes controlled by the central nervous system that are under scrutiny in actualism but the instinctual survival passions such as fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Instinctual passions are ‘the emotional charge attached to the instinct’ and there is no t way to change the ‘emotional charge’ because the emotional charge is inherent to the instinctual passion itself.
Further, as ‘I’ am my instinctual passions and my instinctual passions are ‘me’, it is impossible to get rid of one’s instinctual passions whilst remaining a ‘self’. The result of trying to do so would be a stripped-down rudimentary animal ‘self’ (seemingly) divested of feelings ... somewhat like what is popularly known as ‘psychopath’.
The only way to get rid of one’s physically inherited instinctual passions is to ‘self’-immolate … which is what the method of actualism is all about.
However, actualism is not an all or nothing business as the process of actualism is about being as happy and as harmless as one can be – right here and right now. The very process of actualism involves dismantling one’s social identity and dis-empowering one’s instinctual passions such that one can become virtually free of malice and sorrow, the essential first stage if one at all aspires to becoming actually free of the human condition of malice and sorrow.
VINEETO: By maintaining this conviction he paints himself into a corner making it then impossible to investigate the deeper feelings and genetic instinctual passions, which automatically arise before thought even has a chance to operate. LeDoux and others have done extensive empirical research that shows that the sensory input stream to the amygdala – which produces the feeling response – takes only 12 milliseconds as opposed to the 25 millisecond that it takes to reach the neo-cortex – which then produces the thought response.
RESPONDENT: If you could invent something that stretches that 12 msec out to 50, and put it in pill form ... I wonder if serotonin uptake inhibitors have an effect on this value. It’s on my to-do list to rummage through this LeDoux’s material.
VINEETO: I don’t think that a pill will ever be able to replace self-awareness and pure intent. But through self-awareness it is certainly possible to stretch ‘12 msec out to 50’ or more, and for Richard there seem to be no chemicals triggered by the amygdala at all. There is a growing body of evidence that the brain is programmed by a series of connections between nodes called synapses and that these connections are capable of change. If this is the case then deleting this programming can be explained in the following terms –
When you follow an emotion back to its origin as it arises and pin it down to an event, a memory, a belief, a fear, a part of your identity and finally the instinctual passion – then you can see it in the bright light of awareness and the emotion will lose its urgency and conviction and is seen for what it is – a bit of the software programming in the brain that can be deleted. The next time, when the same emotion arises, it will be less convincing, the synapse in the brain will slowly weaken and each time you investigate a particular feeling or belief, it will become weaker until the relevant synapse that may well form that program will eventually be broken.
VINEETO to Gary: As I don’t know much about what chemical reactions happen in the brain, I looked up the Encyclopaedia Britannica –
From the word ‘effects’ I conclude that an increased output of adrenalin and other chemical neuro-transmitters does not necessarily require feelings of anxiety for ‘increased mental alertness’ to occur. In other words, the effects can be two separate effects and it is quite apparent that in a dangerous situation one functions better if the affective reaction can be eliminated. Richard’s report about his response to an emergency situation – ‘necessity provides all the calorific energy required’ – seems to confirm my hypothesis.
RESPONDENT: I’ve said it before, but it’s one of my favourites, so ... The number one drug of abuse in the world today is adrenaline. It’s a natural food of the human condition.
VINEETO: The number one ‘abuse’ is the animal survival programming, the very source of the production of adrenalin. Therefore the salient point for an actualist is not about abuse of adrenalin, but tackling the drug-factory – one’s very ‘being’ rooted in the instinctual survival passions.
Richard’s recently related story makes it very clear that the hypothesis I was offering above was wrong and that the instinctual passions and the production of adrenalin are inextricably intertwined – no passions, no production of adrenalin.
VINEETO: Therefore I do not need to ‘ever accomplish the hard-wiring’ as you suggest – what I do in the continuous process of increasing attentiveness is to become aware of and remove the redundant software programming. Then the hard-wiring, human intelligence, can function undisturbed and undistorted and the senses perceive unfiltered delight.
RESPONDENT: Regarding your last sentence above... the implication is that the underlying human intelligence (including the unique personality components) by its very nature is ‘happy and harmless’, sensately revelling in the universe. Is that a general case or could there be instances of specific human intelligences that do not have that nature, but revel in e.g. causing misery to others? Animals appear to thoroughly enjoy life, unless they’ve been damaged psychologically. Is being happy our birthright, which we typically squander?
VINEETO: Human intelligence is indeed an ‘underlying’ function of the human brain, underlying in that intelligence is subordinate to, and hence crippled by, the instinctual survival passions emanating from the now-redundant primitive or archaic brain. This is the ‘general case’ in that survival instincts are genetically encoded in each and every human brain. The experience of the actualism practice is that intelligence, when freed from the instinctual passions, is by its nature benevolent, sensible and intelligent.
I don’t know which kind of animals you have in mind, but animals on farms or in the wild do not enjoy life – they are driven by the survival instinct of ‘what can I eat, what can eat me’. In the wild animals are constantly on the alert, vigilant for predators and scanning for attack on prey. Animals that are provided with shelter, food and security become domesticated such that the survival instincts are not as pre-eminent but when push comes to shove the wild animal instantly re-surfaces – exactly as it does in the domesticated human animal when push comes to shove.
Animals are not aware that they are cruel, in panic, pining or bored but some are nevertheless are run by feelings and all of them are driven by instinctive imperatives. The idea that animals are innocent or happy is a myth.
Spiritual teachings have always maintained that one only needs to dissociate from one’s social conditioning in order to be ‘who you really are’ – the feeling ‘self’ which is none other than the animal instinctual passions. In contrast, actualism recognizes that the root cause of human malice and sorrow lays in the animal instinctual survival passions and not, as ancient wisdom has it, in conditioned thought and cultural socialization. A freedom from the human condition can only be achieved via ‘self’-immolation, which is both, the death of one’s ego (the social identity) and the extinction of one’s ‘being’ (the instinctual identity).
As for ‘is being happy our birthright’ – it does not make sense to call happiness our ‘birthright’ because there is no court where you could claim your ‘right’. I would rather describe it that the animal survival passions, universally manifest in humans as malice and sorrow, are our biological heritage – ‘me’ being as old as the first human – but a path to freedom from this software programming is now laid out. You can jump right on with both feet and complete the next step in human evolution.
RESPONDENT: Wouldn’t the social conditioning be the software programming, and the instinctual passions be the hardware programming? I’m mincing words here, but I am an engineer after all and tend to go a bit overboard on deconstructing things. Or maybe you hadn’t noticed ;-)
VINEETO: The idea that ‘the social conditioning be the software programming, and the instinctual passions be the hardware programming’ is instilled by spiritual teachings and psychological theories that lay the blame of all the ills of mankind on social conditioning.
The uniqueness of Richard’s discovery is that he proved by example that one’s instinctual passions are permanently deleteable and therefore as much software as one’s social conditioning. One need not trust Richard that this is so because everyone has had a PCE at some time in their life when both ‘I’ as ego – one’s social identity – and ‘me’ a being – one’s instinctual identity – are temporarily in abeyance. In a PCE both ‘software programs’ crash simultaneously, leaving this body free of any identity whatsoever – as such, a PCE is experiential evidence that the instinctual passions are not hardwired.
VINEETO: The issue of the instinctual passions also relates to your question in the second post –
RESPONDENT: Isn’t self-preservation one of the instinctual survival passions? I recall reading Richard (who has lost those passions) stating that it would not be a problem to defend himself from bodily harm. Why did that not go with the other instincts? Does it simply resolve to choosing to live... I can die, or I can live and enjoy the universe. Simply a matter of preference?
VINEETO: Your question appears to be induced by instinctual ‘self’-preservation which cannot conceive that this body would be able to survive, or maybe not even choose to survive, without ‘my’ instinctive survival program.
I as this flesh-and-blood body do not ‘resolve to choosing to live’ – I am already alive. The ‘preference’ to not be alive for a body sans identity would presumably only ever arise if one was incapable of enjoying being alive as in the case of a debilitating incurable disease that caused chronic pain. To defend oneself from bodily harm is pure common sense – you cannot ‘enjoy the universe’ when you are dead.
Here is an excerpt of Richard’s response to a similar question –
VINEETO: Once you begin to practice actualism and begin to de-program your belief in the supposedly unknowable nature of the universe, then the nature of actualism becomes easily apparent.
RESPONDENT: Practicing actualism has two key elements: unravelling the accrued conditioning, and experiencing the actual universe directly. I’ve been diligently doing the former for some time, with great results, but have certainly been tripping over my own feet with the latter.
VINEETO: No wonder, you’ve ‘been tripping over my own feet with the latter’ – you have omitted the most significant part in your first ‘key element’ – the instinctual survival passions, which are a layer deeper than ‘accrued conditioning’. The ‘accrued conditioning’ is always first impediment to freedom, peace and happiness to be tackled and once there is a sufficient dent in the armour of one’s social identity, then it is possible to become more and more aware of the underlying crude instinctual passions. To believe that ‘I’ am a product of an accrued conditioning only is to remain ensnared in one’s spiritual-philosophical conditioning – the very first thing that has to go if one is to even begin to become a practicing actualist.
You may remember the piece from Peter’s ‘Practical Guide for Actualists’ –
I always found that my attempts at ‘experiencing the actual universe directly’ were putting the cart before the horse. Whenever I ask the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ and I am not happy, then I explore and remove the cause of not being happy – only when I am happy, can sensate experiencing have a chance of happening on its own accord. And whenever in the process of letting go of my spiritual beliefs I eradicated a cornerstone of my identity – a core belief, a deep-seated feeling, a bit of ‘me’ – then the crack in the door bought about a pure consciousness experience.
RESPONDENT: I am not clear on how one eliminates the instincts. Does this happen on its own or is there something that ‘I’ need to do?
VINEETO: As for eliminating instincts, I found that the method works as effectively for discovering, experiencing, investigating and eliminating instincts as it does for investigating the beliefs, morals, ethics and values that shape our social identity. Personally, I had to get rid of my moral, ethical and spiritual restrictions first in order to be able to admit to, acknowledge and recognize the ‘gross’ instinctual passions that lie at the core of my ‘self’. First I had to question my ideas about right and wrong, good and bad, before I was able to recognize and investigate my own raw survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
A week ago I discovered in a National Geographic magazine from 1989 an article from Jane Goodall about the life of chimpanzees in the wild. She observed them over years and describes in detail their social behaviour. I found the article very relevant to the Human Condition. Being busy with the topic for a few days gave me plenty of time to ponder over the remarkable similarity between humans and chimps, which are our closest genetic cousins with their DNA-structure being 98% identical to humans. One night the realization hit that at ‘my’ core that ‘I’ am the same makeup as a chimp, an instinctually driven creature, but fortunately equipped with the capability of self-awareness. I can now see that the instinctual program in humans is no different to the instinctual survival program of chimps or gorillas. The understanding has been stunning, to say the least. I suddenly saw how simple it all is. ‘Me’, the chimpanzee, ‘me’, the instinctual survival program is the very core of my identity. This is what has to die.
Guided by pure intent and self-awareness I have removed the imprinted ethics and morals of my social and spiritual identity that kept the lid on those primary instinctual passions, and now I am able to see those bare instincts operating in me. Neither expressing nor repressing any emotions really does the trick and sets the magic in motion that carries me through again into the actual world of delight and perfection.
Does this answer some of your question?
RESPONDENT: I understand the part about neither expressing or repressing the emotions. As I stated above I’m trying to actually understand what it is to be intimate with the instincts. This may be what I have been calling the thing itself which is what’s left when I stay with the feeling without naming it.
VINEETO: ‘Neither expression or repression emotions’ is not a question of ‘not naming’ a feeling. I personally found it very important to name, distinguish, judge, discriminate, evaluate and investigate each feeling and what has triggered it, in order to get to the source of that feeling. The aim of the game is to replace feeling with actuality, belief with fact and discover ‘who’ one thinks and feels one is. In this way, more and more beliefs have evaporated into thin air as being simply silly and the accompanying feelings of fear, guilt, loyalty, worry, sorrow, etc. disappeared with them. It takes courage, persistence and bloody-mindedness to not only watch one’s affective feeling rise and fall, but to actually investigate and eliminate them. They constitute the major part of our identity, ‘who’ we feel we are.
Then, and only then, your instincts will come to the surface.
VINEETO: As for eliminating instincts, I found that the method works as effectively for discovering, experiencing, investigating and eliminating instincts as it does for investigating the beliefs, morals, ethics and values that shape our social identity. Personally, I had to get rid of my moral, ethical and spiritual restrictions first, in order to be able to admit to, acknowledge and recognize the ‘gross’ instinctual passions that lie at the core of my ‘self’. First I had to question my ideas about right and wrong, good and bad, before I was able to recognize and investigate my own raw survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
RESPONDENT: My understanding of what you have said is to keep using the method and deal with issues as they come up. Although I have been working on beliefs and emotions for a long time this area of instincts is new to me so I don’t know exactly where I’m at with it. For instance, if I don’t name a feeling and stay with it there is an energy that seems to be in the area of the old brain. Is this an instinct that is producing this energy? How do I become intimate with the instincts?
VINEETO: Having been programmed first with the Christian and later with Eastern religious belief, the fact that humans are born with a set of instincts – and not born ‘innocent’ – has been quite a new discovery for me. Christians say that one is born with original sin because of Adam’s disobedience, and in a way they come close to the fact that without moral and ethical restraint, we humans behave no differently than wild animals, instinctually driven.
Slowly, slowly, after I removed the layers of moralistic and ethical values I could dare to acknowledge and experientially discover that ‘me’, at the very core, consists of nothing else but crude and cruel survival instincts – fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Discovering and seeing in action each of these instincts was an adventure by itself, thrilling, fascinating and very revealing into the human nature.
First one removes the ‘truths’, convictions, intuitions and feelings that were instilled in us to make us a fit member of society – a man, a woman, a wife, a husband, a scientist, a clerk, an American, a follower or a ‘true’ believer. And it is great fun to dismantle those identities and eventually become an anonymous nobody. Then, on honest investigation, you will be able to recognize these instinctual passions as ‘you’, all of ‘you’. It is not a matter of having an ‘ intimate ’ relationship with one’s instincts, but to acknowledge, feel and experience that ‘I’ am my instinctual passions, nothing else. ‘I’ am rotten to the very core.
That experiential acknowledgment that underlying one’s precious feelings are the animal instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, gives one the motivation and sincere intent to actively devote one’s life to irrevocably changing oneself.
VINEETO: Although it is common belief, particularly on this list, that it is thoughts and conditioning which are the cause of the problems in the world, there is overwhelming anecdotal, empirical and personal observational evidence that it is the genetically-encoded instinctual passions that produce feelings, i.e. emotions-backed thoughts, of fear and aggression in each and every human being.
RESPONDENT: I agree that the instincts produce feelings (emotion-backed thoughts). Is the thought added to the feeling when we translate the feeling or does the thought associated with the feeling exist in the old brain also?
VINEETO: The amygdala comes with a genetically-implanted, instinctual self, ready and primed to develop. This primitive self we share with our closest genetic ‘cousins’, the primates, and a self has been well documented in both chimpanzees and apes. This primitive self is part and parcel of the survival instincts – they are an integral inseparable package. The survival instinct is first and foremost for the survival of the species, hence the willingness of the adult to sacrifice his or her own life for the offspring. A close second comes self-survival, the survival of one’s self – a physical-only act of fear and aggression, flight or fight, in non-cognitive animals – which is translated into psychic and psychological fear and aggression in humans.
With the unique ability of human beings to think and reflect upon their own mortality, this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary ‘self’ is transformed into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. This process is aided and abetted by those human beings who were already on this planet when one was born ... which is conditioning and programming. It is part and parcel of the socializing process.
According to studies from Joseph LeDoux and others, the sensory input to the brain is split at the thalamus into two streams – one to the Amygdala (the instinctual brain) and one to the neo-cortex (the thinking brain). The input stream to the Amygdala is quicker – 12 milliseconds as opposed to 25 milliseconds to the neo-cortex. Less information goes to the Amygdala – it operates as a quick scan to check for danger. Indeed LeDoux regards the Amygdala as the alarm system, although its function is perhaps better described as being concerned with bodily safety – hence a quick scan. This has been described as the ‘quick and dirty processing pathway’ and results not only in a direct automatic bodily response, but the Amygdala has a direct connection to the neo-cortex – causing us to emotionally experience the danger – i.e. we feel the fear a split-second later than the bodily reaction.
These scientific findings also substantiate the fact that no matter what degree of thought-control is exercised by the neo-cortex in terms of morals, ethics, good intentions, etc., when ‘push comes to shove’ we revert to type – and reverting to type means animal-instinctual. This is clearly verified by the being ‘overcome’ by rage, fear or sadness and being unable to stop it.
What Richard has discovered is a way that one can weaken the ‘signalling’ from the amygdala to the frontal cortex to such an extent that eventually the ‘signalling’ ceases altogether. With the cessation of this ‘signalling’, the chemical flows from the amygdala, comes the extinction of the instinctual ‘self’ – one’s very ‘being’ and its associated instinctual passions. Reference: The Actual Freedom Trust Library, Our Instinctual Passions
VINEETO: Therefore, this ‘common thought-sphere’ that UG Krishnamurti speaks of is, in fact, a collective feeling-sphere.
RESPONDENT: If this is true that might explain our subconscious reactions in that the instincts are reacting to this collective feeling-sphere.
VINEETO: What is your personal observation and experience of your ‘subconscious reactions’ ‘reacting to this collective feeling-sphere’?
RESPONDENT: I was referring to the old brain (‘me’) reacting to someone or something as a threat which is not a threat at all.
VINEETO: Yes, that is one of the most obvious situations, when by our automatic thoughtless instinctual reaction we perceive someone as an ‘enemy’ or a threat, when a later considered investigation of the facts reveals that the perceived threat is altogether non-substantiated. This is the effect of the instinctual ‘self’-survival program that translates into psychic and psychological fear and aggression.
RESPONDENT: However, my most recent personal observational evidence is that thought does control the instincts.
VINEETO: Indeed. The only way up to now has been thinking and acting in accordance with a strict moral and ethical code in order to control one’s instinctual passions. These morals and ethics are socially and spiritually conditioned thoughts, underpinned by peer instilled feelings of guilt, fear and shame – ‘this is good’, ‘this is bad’, ‘this is right’, ‘this is wrong’, ‘you are bad’, ‘you are wrong’, ‘you will go to hell’. This straight-jacketed restraint and training is so strong that one can control one’s instincts to a certain degree, until push comes to shove and control is temporarily lost – a flare of anger, a sexual flash at the ‘wrong’ moment, an overwhelming fear, a feeling of desperation ... everybody knows those moments when control is lost or overcome or even in some cases readily abandoned.
RESPONDENT: This could be related to the ‘switch’ that you previously mentioned.
VINEETO: In order to find the ‘switch’ to permanently rid oneself of a particular emotional reaction one needs to first become aware of it in order to explore the origin of this reaction. That origin is very often related to one’s social identity like national pride, gender identity, religious, spiritual or philosophical viewpoints, belonging to a family, a professional self-image, etc, etc. Finding the source of one’s emotional behaviour, i.e. finding the part of identity that is related to this particular emotional behaviour, is not merely a thought activity, one will have to conduct an experiential dig into the psyche, a ‘feeling it out’ while being aware of one’s feelings at the same time. A control via thought will repress (stop) the instinctual reaction for the time being and thus avoid its investigation and prevent one from eliminating the cause of the reaction.
RESPONDENT: I think there are times when we still need this ‘flight or fight’ response from the amygdala even in this modern world. For example: I was walking along a trail across some abandoned property. While looking down I noticed scratch marks in the ground along the trail. As I looked up there was a large vicious looking dog coming at me full speed in attack mode. My instant reaction was ‘flight’ and I turned and began running but I had no chance as the dog was already on me. At the last instant, having no other choice but to ‘fight’, I turned and faced the dog as I began growling ferociously. The dog stopped in its tracks with a surprised and frightened look and then turned and ran away. I then grabbed a large ragweed and started swinging it back and forth and strutting around while yelling at the dog to come back and fight.
VINEETO: My aim in pursuing Actual Freedom is to eliminate ‘me’, the genetically-encoded instinctual passions together with the social identity developed after birth. The physical startle reaction that we have in moments of actual danger stays intact even after the ‘self’ is eliminated, as confirmed by Richard’s experiences. That means, when a car is fast approaching, there is an automatic physical reaction of jumping back but no fear, resentment, aggression, shock, etc. In Actual Freedom the non-affective part of the brain, the neo-cortex, is freed to find the quickest and best solution for the situation after the immediate danger is averted – and often there is nothing needed after one has jumped out of the road or, in your case, chased the dog away.
Your story is a brilliant example to observe both the immediate physical reaction that saved you from being hurt and the following emotional response. Do you remember any passions in the situation of fleeing or facing the dog, or did you experience emotions only after the immediate dangerous situation was over?
From my own experience and from reports from others I found that when physical danger is imminent, emotions and passions would only get in the road of efficiently saving one’s life or health. The emotions, which kick in afterwards, are then stored in the emotional memory, situated in the amygdala, and then cause us to fearfully avoid or aggressively confront such situations in the future. However, this emotional memory prevents me from responding appropriately to the actual situation in this moment – for instance, it might be a completely different and non-aggressive dog this time.
What we are talking about is eliminating the instinctual passions, the psychological and psychic responses of fear and aggression. The instinctive non-passionate bodily response to danger remains fully intact.
The actual world is utterly safe because ‘my’ own fear for ‘my’ psychological and psychic survival is what makes my life insecure, stressful and complicated. As your story has evidenced, in an actual threatening situation one is acting upon facts, not feelings, and can therefore usually find a safe and sensible solution.
VINEETO: When Richard answered that ‘at root fear is the most basic of all the instinctual passions’ you have somehow concluded that your theory of ‘sorrow comes from fear’ was now a fact for you and everyone else. But your theory is still a theory built upon Richard’s answer that ‘at root fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions’. <snipped>
VINEETO: At root, fear may be the most basic of all passions, but one has nevertheless to work at peeling away all the outer layers in order to reveal the root and then be able to eliminate it.
RESPONDENT: I have been peeling away the outer layers for a long time. How are you saying the root is to be eliminated once it has been revealed? That is what I am trying to get at.
VINEETO: I fully go along with Richard’s experience, as it accords with my own pure consciousness experiences – ‘only elimination will do the trick’, elimination of ‘me’. <snipped>
Once you have ‘revealed’ the root of a particular feeling in its totality, i.e. once you brought into the bright light of awareness, then that complete exposure and experiential understanding is at the same time the elimination of that feeling. If a feeling has not disappeared, then it has not been totally understood in all its aspects, and you then have another opportunity to look at it and examine it. Given that ‘I’ am all I think and feel myself to be, then the day I understand all of my emotions and instinctual passions in their totality, ‘I’ will disappear forever, never to return. It’s an incredibly exhilarating adventure.
RESPONDENT: Ok, it sounds like what you are saying is that once the root is revealed and understood completely then it disappears. This does make sense to me. This answers my question clearly and completely. Thank you.
VINEETO: Given that you still seem to hold to the conclusion that ‘sorrow comes from fear’ you now jump to a further conclusion that once ‘the root is revealed and understood completely’ then fear ‘disappears’. You are therefore not concerned about eliminating what you call the ‘superficial emotions’ of malice and sorrow but that your sole aim in life is to become fearless. The aim of eliminating fear without aiming at eliminating one’s malice and sorrow is well-established in all the spiritual teachings – becoming fear-less by realizing ‘who you really are’, a process also known as Self-Realization. <snipped>
Maybe it will further clarify the difference between spiritualism and actualism by describing the process of examining a particular feeling – a process that, if thoroughly completed, can lead to the virtual elimination of that feeling together with that part of my identity who harboured and was nourished by this feeling. I will use sorrow as the example, given that the thread of our conversation initially started with the topic of exploring the causes of sorrow.
Whenever I experienced sorrow, the examination began right at the moment when I first became aware that I was experiencing the feeling of sorrow. Due to our social upbringing, every human being is taught to cope or deal with these undesirable feelings in very specific ways, amongst them being repressing one’s feelings, expressing them, accepting them or indulging in them in socially-acceptable ways, seeking solace and protection from some mythical God, Divine Intelligence or Divine Teacher or denying and transcending undesirable feelings by becoming a Higher Self. <snipped>
So when you find that what you understand to be the root of a feeling does not result in the elimination of that feeling, then you might have to go back to the ‘outer layers’ and investigate the traditional beliefs, values and conclusions that you are unwittingly taking for granted. Unless you question everything – and find a definite unambiguous factual answer to each of your questions – there is no way of ever experientially understanding the root of an emotion, let alone an instinctual passion.
RESPONDENT: The only thing I concluded was that fear is the predominant instinct, which I had already said to Peter before I ever talked to Richard so it wasn’t based on what Richard said.
VINEETO: Your conclusion, regardless of what it is based on, is non-factual. If you look at Richard’s quote, he said that ‘at root fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions’, which is certainly not the same thing as ‘the predominant instinct’. The basic instinctual survival passions, common to all animal-life on this planet, are determined by the principle of ‘what can I eat and what can eat me’. However, historic and present day evidence makes it glaringly obvious that the predominant passions in the human animal are those of malice and sorrow.
Though it is certainly easier to admit to experiencing fear than to admit to being as malicious and sorrowful as everyone else, a remedy can only be applied successfully if the patient firstly admits to being sick. As long as one’s every emotion is explained or excused as being the sole result of being fearful, one cannot address, examine and eliminate malice and sorrow in oneself. And unless you eliminate your instinctual malice and sorrow, you can never be actually free of fear, for they are part and parcel of a single package.
RESPONDENT: Dorothee Sölle, [representing the so-called liberation-theology] sees in the ‘Third World’ the better starting-point for an effective and convincing Christianity than in our Western welfare-society. Those people have fundamental claims that their lives get changed, but they have to be the operators. They trust in God and in themselves.
VINEETO: I agree that everyone has to be the operator of one’s life, and the more one wants to accomplish, the more one needs confidence. But that confidence is then jeopardised by their belief and trust in God, because ‘He’ should help them and ‘He’ doesn’t exist. So where they could do something themselves, they trust that God will do it. God’s protection has never worked, not for all the peoples who have put their faith and hope in God. In war, every nation prays to God, and in the end one party is the winner and one party is the loser – this is usually the fact of a conflict: one wins and one loses. Evidently God then answers the prayers of some and not of the others.
Well, you can see I am not one to discuss subtleties of faith with, I am throwing the baby out with the bath-water. But then, I am in a position to confidently do so, because I have eliminated the very program that facilitates the invention of god and religion in the first place – the instinctual passions of fear and aggression, nurture and desire. Without these instincts operating as the basic software, one has no need to play the game of enhancing the ‘good’ emotions to balance the ‘bad’ emotions, nor a belief in God’s moral rules of right and wrong via reward and punishment. Then the universe is seen as perfect, as it has always been. It is only the software-program in human beings that is desperately out of date. It had been necessary to bring about evolution from the stone-age to now, but now we have enough awareness and intelligence to live without those basic survival instincts. And this basic programming causes us to still ‘battle it out for survival’ and as such is responsible for war and suffering, fear, hope, jealousy and anger, as well as for the fairy-stories of gods and demons, souls and life-after-death.
RESPONDENT: Me not into discussions. You not human to share from yourself as you are beyond humanity, becoming a dictionary parrot instead. Me not want to bla bla with parrots.
VINEETO: What has been considered human up to now is this: Every human is born with a set of instincts (fear, aggression, nurture and desire) meant to ensure the survival of the species. Further we are imbibed with a social identity from early age consisting of the particular morals and ethics of the tribe or culture we are born into. We further develop an individual identity within the tribe consisting mainly of the particular beliefs or customs that appeal to us for whatever reason. This collection of hard-wiring and programming we fondly call ‘me’, and we then proceed into the world to make our way as best we can. No wonder everyone feels lost, lonely and frightened and develops a very cunning nature. Thus our personal view of the world is so dense, so thick, so instinctually perceived as to be real, that it is taken to be ‘set in concrete’ as it were.
Someone who has freed himself, or herself, from this entire set of beliefs, emotions and instincts must look ‘unhuman’ to everyone else who is still trapped in the Human Condition. I think I have shared more about myself than many others here, but not in the emotional way you are used to, or expected me to.
VINEETO: Good that you ask about the self. It has always been an elusive issue and everybody has their own particular version of understanding it.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that most of your ideas were based on your own projections/expectations rather than on the ideas set forth by Osho – My understanding of his words was more along the lines of understanding that the search was for ‘where is this ‘self’?’ And given enough introspection trying to find where this ‘self’ was – one comes to the conclusion that there is no self – (have you been able to localise this self through your indoctrination into Peter/Richard’s way of looking at life? If so, where does it end and the ‘other’ begin?
VINEETO: Yes, I have been able to localize this self many times, both in experiencing times without the ‘self’ in operation and from observing the details of its components operating in me. First I will give you the dictionary definition and then tell you about my discoveries.
As I see it, human beings have a rudimentary sense of self (as do other primates with larger brains) which is expanded by our ability to think, reflect and communicate with others. The combination of both results in an individual self, our ‘social identity’, underpinned by our instinctually driven animal-self, the innate instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. The self is very real, especially when interacting with other people and it usually becomes apparent through our emotional reactions to people and situations. It consists both of ‘who we think we are’, usually called ‘ego’ and ‘who we feel we are’, usually called ‘soul’. (See The Actual Freedom Trust Library)
Once I understood that the ‘self’ includes beliefs, emotions and instinctual passions, it was much easier to get a handle on it. Still, in the beginning it has been very scary to investigate emotions and beliefs, and the ground under my feet seemed to disappear many times. To explain to you how I came to understand ‘self’ in its complexity I will post you the description of my first peak-experience in our journal, where I left the realm of the ‘self’ for several hours and experienced the world without its distorting layer of emotions, beliefs and instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT: The following words you wrote are the base assumption underlying all that you (Peter, Vineeto, Richard) are spewing – take that one basic premise away and what have you got?... NOTHING!
Obviously your temperament and world view fit in quite well with the idea of ‘original sin’. THAT is your biggest error.
VINEETO: Good that we are starting to discuss malice and sorrow, because understanding this point is essential for understanding what it is to be a human being. Isn’t it great that we have the opportunity to discuss these matters with someone on the other side of the planet!
I don’t know how you regard human beings as to their primary equipment at birth. I know from myself and from watching others – TV reports are a very good source of information – that every human being comes with a software package called the Human Condition. This software is made up of nature’s survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. It is a fact that we are born with 2 legs and 2 arms and also, that we are born with the basic animal instincts. Early humans would not have survived without those primary instincts. Only now, with such giants development in technology and economy, there is no need to hunt and kill one another for food and survival, but human are still, like in ancient times, operating according to this instinctual software. Now the time has come that we can consider those survival-mechanism as not only redundant but understand and eliminate the very cause of malice and sorrow in each of us.
When you watch small kids you will notice their behaviour sometimes being quite angry, without a particular reason. One kid takes another’s toy, and there is screaming and hitting until an adult sorts out the situation. I have observed these primary emotions within myself, being possessed by rage, jealousy, greed, desperation or paralysed with fear. You are right, Christians call it ‘original sin’, Eastern religions call it ‘Karma’. But scientist have found and have experienced it in myself that everyone equally has this software-package and as software it is also delete-able.
In the beginning it was hard to admit all my ‘bad’ emotions, but, being honest, there was no chance to deny them, and after years of meditation and therapy I knew myself too well. I had dealt with it by blaming my ‘bad’ emotions as ‘somebody else’s fault’ who had supposedly triggered them or ‘some bad incident’ that had annoyed me.
Admitting that the problem was within me was already part of the solution. There is actually a way to investigate and eliminate beliefs, emotions and instincts, one by one. I find this method instantaneously rewarding and much more reliable than hoping for a mysterious redemption by something like ‘divine grace’.
What a freedom to be able to be un-insult-able, un-offend-able, without resentment and completely harmless. What a joy to know that I can rely upon myself 100%, that I won’t harm anybody, that I won’t kill anybody for whatever emotions or beliefs, whatever the situation may be. On the way, one loses one’s ‘self’, but then it is only going one step further than I had set out anyway when I ventured to lose my ego.
VINEETO: Benevolence is the quality of the physical universe, it is neither love nor compassion, neither ‘feeling’ nor ‘being’. When everything of ‘me’ is eliminated, the actual world becomes apparent. Benevolence is intrinsic to the actual world.
RESPONDENT: Benevolence is a quality of the physical universe’, you say. According to my dictionary ‘universe’ means ‘the totality of all the things that exist; creation; the cosmos’. So we can assume that anything physically limited in space such as a rock, a door, a car, the moon, the sun is not benevolent. But, according to you, as soon as we take it all together, as the physical universe, suddenly there’s benevolence. How can that be? This is a mystery isn’t it? Can this magical and sudden appearance be explained or understood by your common-sense?
VINEETO: There is no malice and sorrow in the physical universe. There is no such thing as right or wrong, good or bad, sadness, grief, compassion, love, or any other feeling in the physical universe. These are feelings that are in human beings only (and in a rudimentary form in some animals). Feelings and instincts are both the product and the very substance of the psychological and psychic entity within the human body. So when you rid yourself from this alien entity within the human body, when there is no malice and sorrow in this human body, the perfection and benevolence become apparent. It is the Human Condition that prevents human beings from being as pure and perfect as the physical universe and thus from experiencing the purity, perfection and benevolence of this infinite magnificence of the actual world.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.