Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT No 32: (...) Speaking of movies (so much can be done in this realm), is the lady in the video admiring Richard... or is it just my impression?
RESPONDENT: The lady concerned seems to have a slight German accent. Is it you Vineeto?
VINEETO: Yes, it is me.
As for your correspondent’s impression that ‘the lady in the video [is] admiring Richard’ – if one actually turns on the sound and listens to the first sentence ‘the lady’ says, her accompanying facial expression is self-explanatory.
Regardless of others’ impressions the experience I had at the time, and still have, is not of admiration but of dedication – not to Richard, of course, but to an actual freedom from the human condition and I am vitally interested in what Richard has to say on the topic as he is the only person who can give qualified experiential information about how to reach this freedom.
One has to have experience of such a dedication, however, in order to recognize it as such in another – else one falls into ‘the intuition trap’ of ‘reading’ into the video conversations something that is not.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I recognise the look of dedication. It had not occurred to me to interpret your facial expressions, posture, gestures or mannerisms as admiration or adulation. Before the German accent gave clues to your identity I had an intuitive impression of a serene and sincere person who has spent a long time on the spiritual and/or humanitarian path and has now gone beyond it. Not a bad intuitive guess for once.
VINEETO: Given that it is no secret that I know Richard personally and that I am also the only woman writing about actualism on this list, wouldn’t you agree that your ‘intuition’ is not intuition at all but rather an easy to establish educated guess?
RESPONDENT: <…> It is interesting – more interesting than I would have expected – to put a face on actual freedom / happiness and harmlessness. It should not matter to any great extent what an actualist looks like, but I can’t help being somewhat relieved that neither you nor Richard are like this :- <snipped link of Simpson cartoon character> Of course, Peter hasn’t made an appearance yet so there remains some cause for concern, but things are looking good so far ... touch wood.
VINEETO: I have noticed the tendency on mailing lists for many people to not consider other correspondents as flesh and blood human beings, let alone as fellow human beings and they consequently don’t treat their correspondents the same way as they treat people whom they meet in person.
Additionally, a person being actually free from the instinctually passions is not something ‘I’ as a passionate identity can imagine, let alone fully grasp, because being free from instinctual passions is, and will always be, outside of ‘my’ experience.
A video may provide some additional information such as ‘facial expressions, posture, gestures or mannerisms’ but as you can see from the numerous comments made on this list, when one retains a sarcastic and cynical attitude, ‘my’ intuition will easily find even more reasons to not embark on the path to becoming happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: I like your post Vineeto.
A side thought: Non-emotional but deeply intimate life in a sensuous relationship is a great way to live as a couple. But what would you do if your partner was both sensuous and very emotional?
VINEETO: (...) The way men and women are raised in our society is that women are allowed and encouraged to have and express emotions and instinctual passions, particularly the tender ones like nurture and desire but also the fierce emotions like fear and aggression. Men on the other hand are taught to be tough and rational, stay level-headed and in control. This is where the method of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ is really effective in both bringing men fully into their feelings, maybe for the first time in their life and getting women to examine their feelings one by one instead of being run by a basketful of them all at once.
Once you understood that it is the emotions and feelings and the underlying instinctual passions that prevent you from experiencing the actual world, then every situation and everybody that triggers an emotion gives you another opportunity to contemplate, examine and explore this emotion in order to be able to get rid of it. Once the emotion is eliminated in yourself, nobody can trigger that emotion in you again, however emotional that person may be himself or herself. Here is what I wrote at the time of my first year of exploration into the gender battle and into the nature of my emotions and feelings. You might be able to ‘translate’ the issues as to how they apply to the male gender conditioning and the male biological instincts.
RESPONDENT: Is it easy for you to differentiate between the feeling of love and dependency and the sensation of fulfillment, freedom and happiness that comes when two people share intimacy?
VINEETO: (...) The following quote describes how I tackled love at the time and might be useful when you investigate the trap of love. It needs great courage to fly in the face of the highest human values and step out of the seductive feeling of love, again and again. But once you have experienced an actual intimacy, even for a brief moment, you can never be contented with the synthetic substitute of feeling intimate instead of actually being intimate.
RESPONDENT: 1. In dismantling the ‘feeler’, I found that ‘Feeling is not a fact’ to be useful; i.e. when the feeling is rampant, to realize that ‘what one feels to be true’ requires the ‘feeling’ to be true – i.e. when I question – ‘will what is felt be true if the feeling were not there to support it?’
VINEETO: Yes, a feeling is not a fact, but feelings are experienced to be very real, and that sometimes includes heart palpitations, sweaty palms, a change in the tone of your voice, a dry throat, a tightening in the stomach, etc. – in short, you can be palpably aware of a feeling when it is happening.
In spiritualism one is taught to become aware of one’s thoughts and feelings in order to dissociate from one’s unwanted feelings or thoughts and associate only with the desirable feelings and thoughts. The point in actualism, however, is to become aware of your feelings and thoughts in order to investigate their source. When this aim is clear, then the acknowledgment that ‘feeling is not a fact’ gives you the key to label and investigate your feeling, trace it back to what triggered it, what maintains it and what was the underlying reason that caused it to arise in the first place – you examine the beliefs, morals and ethics connected to your feeling until you arrive at the part of your identity that is creating and maintaining the particular feeling in question.
If ‘what is felt be true’, be it a belief, moral, ethic, or psittacism, is not examined and replaced by fact and common sense and if the particular feeling itself is not investigated and traced to its source, the same-same feeling will arise again and again in similar situations because the identity of the ‘feeler’ itself has not been dismantled and thus remains unchanged.
RESPONDENT: I found this working for me rather than going through the whole structure of what caused this feeling etc. as it seems to become circular in my case.
VINEETO: When feelings seem ‘to become circular’ I found it helpful to find out the reason why particular feelings were so ‘sticky’, why it was important for me to feel this way, why I was afraid to question the particular part of my identity that was related to these feelings.
For instance, at the time when I was busy with my feelings of ‘intuition’, I was at first very irritable whenever the subject came up in a discussion with Peter. Rather than being interested in questioning the veracity and sensibility of my intuition, I was busy defending my belief that intuition was an essential part of my survival and wellbeing. It took a couple of weeks until I grew weary of my irrational behaviour and then I started to look into why I was so desperately defending something that was obviously a passionate belief. I began to understand that my very resistance to search for verifiable facts gave evidence to the passionate nature of my belief in intuition. Once I had understood this much about the matter, I gave myself a kick in the bum and began to inquire into the issue with renewed intent.
RESPONDENT: ...‘few ‘want’ to understand because they have a vested interest in ‘being’’.
VINEETO: This brings me to the next point that is absolutely essential if one ever wants to make a step on the path to Actual Freedom – pure intent. Without pure intent, and without the understanding that the only solution to the Human Condition in oneself is ‘self’-immolation, every attempt to catch a bit of happiness will remain polluted by one’s lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity.
For me, before I even considered to convey anything to anyone about actualism I dug deep inside myself, investigating every mood, feeling, emotion and passion that became apparent in my interaction with people, things and events. I examined every truth, belief, moral conviction and ethical certainty until I discovered the self-evident facts for myself and eventually got rid of the very act of believing itself. I questioned love, intuition, female conditioning and instinctual behaviour, my relationship to my peer group, my spiritual beliefs, my attitudes and feelings about authority, my old and new religious principles, my ideas about environmentalism, about politics, about right and wrong. My whole inner world was taken apart and eventually thrown out and often times it was not only an exciting and rewarding but also a scary and terrifying enterprise. But I had the honest intention to stop at nothing less than the undeniable actuality – I simply had had enough of all the beliefs, lies and self-deceptions that failed to make me both happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: Labels are not needed except as you say, ‘as a starting point for further inquiries into the Human Condition.’... and it is good fun.
VINEETO: I have never talked about ‘labels’ ‘as a starting point for further inquiries into the Human Condition’. I said – as you have quoted at the very top of the letter:
Label according to the dictionary means: ‘...to put in a certain class, to describe by a certain label’. Macquarie
When you say ‘labels are not needed ...’, I take it that you don’t mean words or descriptions, but use ‘label’ as in making a moral judgement. Personally, I find that both precise descriptive words and accurate judgments based on facts are essential for the inquiry process. How else is it possible to distinguish silly from sensible, malicious from harmless and sorrowful from happy? The important thing is what one’s judgement is based upon – and most people use their feelings and intuition to judge a situation, a person, a statement or an event. But to base one’s judgement on facts, common sense, pure intent and the memory of a pure consciousness experience is the only way to find one’s direction in the maze of old wisdom and NDA beliefs, ancient psittacisms and self-centred emotion.
So, labels are very much needed, for fruitful communication, for clarity and for in-depth investigation into the substance and content of the Human Condition. Once one gets rid of the moral and ethical judgements (usually the self-recriminations are the hardest) of good and bad, right and wrong, then the clarity that comes with sound judgement is all good fun.
IRENE: What I would like to suggest is that we both write down what the nature of our relationship is with each other and give a name to our own game and the other’s, plus what we see as the common purpose, if there is one. I’ll be the first!
The game I am playing is living an authentic life, i.e. making use of all my faculties which I have learnt to understand over the years and which I enjoy calling my own, like thinking, feeling, sensing, harmonizing all of them in a well-developed understanding and expressing this in the most authentic way to others. You see that I certainly include feelings and intuition (sensing) in the whole package, as I do not see them as perverse or contrary at all, unlike Richard, as you well know. < ... >
Now, although you may be convinced that Richard is not an authority for you (‘because he says so himself’) why don’t your words and attitude bear that out? Why do you put into practice his methods, aim for the state he is in, defend him and criticize others using his words and phraseology and prove him to be right by your own experiences?
Is it possible that you may not be aware that this is actually the classic indication of following an authority? The ‘born-again’ Christians show the same behaviour, so did most of the German subjects of Hitler, or Sannyasins or ‘students’ of Barry Long, A.Cohen, Adida (or whatever his name is this week!) etc. < ... >
So, to come back to my proposal in the beginning of this email, I would like to call my game ‘being natural and authentic’ (with the understanding and wise use of feelings, intuition and instincts). I suggest that we call your game ‘extirpate the natural and the authentic’ (with the emphasis on feelings, intuition and instincts).
As I said before this is something that I suggest in order to come to an agreement between you and me, so your agreement or disagreement or your choice of names to our games is equally valid as mine, as long as we can agree both!
What we have in common in this is not yet clear to me, but I hope that you can detect something in this email to which you can say: ‘Yes, I do see that myself too’ or ‘Yes, in this respect Irene and I see eye to eye’. I sincerely hope that we find something more in common than living in the same town and the few people we both know, but if that proves not to be the case then that is how it is, isn’t it?
VINEETO: The reason I write is to ultimately to find out about myself. If I get upset about something, annoyed, repulsed or angry, it means there is something in me that is not squeaky clean. And my game is called ‘actual freedom’ and that means being free of anything that prevents me from experiencing the actual world as-it-is. And as long as there is any feeling or emotion triggered in me, I will never experience how this actual world really is! Therapists have found a part of this understanding – they call it ‘projection’. Projection means, I see something in someone else that I have in myself. The say, ‘forget about the other.’ Why does it annoy me? Oh, because I reject it in me. Aha, I am dishonest, that’s why I am annoyed that the other is maybe dishonest (or a Hitler, or authority-fixed, or proselytizing, etc.)? So then, what I do is search in me for the reason for feeling dishonest. In what terms am I dishonest with myself? Am I believing something that I have already experienced to be otherwise? So then, why do I want to hold on to this belief, which I have already experienced as false? Fear? Yes, of course, fear! All my fear is fear of death. Fear that denies the fact of death. One day ‘I’ will have to die. Full stop.
See, Irene, this is how I deal with what you call might ‘intuition’. I turn it on myself. ‘I’ am the only person I am interested in because it is this ‘I’ that stands in the way of my happiness. It is ‘I’ who has to be eliminated. Full stop.
And that fear of death creates all the tricks, throwing up issues, ‘truths’ and beliefs, emotions and disharmony. It can be traced down to that basic fear. Always!
So I have decided to be free of that fear. I have decided for the unnatural solution, 180 degrees away from the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. All of them are based on the fear of death. And those instincts are the fundamental corner stone, the very reason for all of humanity’s values, be they ethical, moralistic, religious or spiritual values. In their very nature those instincts are destructive. The instincts only ‘care’ for the survival of the species, the strongest, the most aggressive, the crudest.
I have experienced a lot of time without this destructive ‘I’, the self. I know that there is something vastly better than this petty life of fears and deceit that I have lived during most of my life. There is no destiny in this picture of petty morals. There is no freedom.
The only freedom there is lies outside of instincts. And for that freedom ‘I’ have to die. Full stop!
Then I can taste the sweet as-is-ness of the actual world, the as-is-ness of people, events and things. That ambrosial, magical, magnificent sweetness pulls me further and further into what looks like death on the side of ‘self’. But in the face of that delicious sweetness all objections slowly, slowly melt into insignificance...
Irene, if you don’t see it this way, then you will do something else with your life. If you don’t remember and rely upon your own peak-experiences because of what they implicate, then this is what you choose to do. Most other people I know would agree with you. But the actuality of my own sensuous experience is too obvious, too tempting, too delicious.
If you say you do not want to acknowledge or follow that taste of your peak experiences because Richard has experienced actual freedom first – a man in general and Richard in particular – then that is your personal objection. I have smelled, tasted, seen, heard, touched it so often myself, and so closely, that I am now obsessed with it ... the delicious is-ness of it all, because there is nobody inside is separate, who objects...
RESPONDENT: Let’s say I’ve seen this is true, as indeed I have, with a few definition differences here and there not of much importance ...
VINEETO: It is not merely ‘definition differences’ we are talking about. It is worlds apart. This is something nobody has ever dared to question before. Or have you found any kind of Guru or teacher who dared to question Love and Compassion, who dared to put his grand wonderful identity as ‘One-with-the-Whole’ at stake? Not a single one! All the Enlightened Ones keep their BEING in tact. They know WHO they are. So this conversation is not about definition differences. It is about a completely new understanding and approach to the human feelings, emotions and instinctual passions. It is about eradicating them, not merely transforming them. Actual Freedom is based on the acknowledgment that those feelings and passions are only software, not hardware – they can be deleted.
But to eradicate my beliefs, feelings and instinctual passions means that everything that I know I am ceases to exist, and everything anybody ever claimed to know or to be ceases to be of any reference. This includes my beliefs in an immortal soul, a life after death or before birth, a god-like energy of the universe and a belief in the meaning of life. I am not surprised that hardly anybody has dared to take up the inquiry. It is a ruthless operation. But also it is the very best I have ever done in my lifetime. And it works. That may be scary because one really watches oneself dying, having less and less substance and identity to fall back on for one’s definition and reference.
When I started to investigate Richard’s findings I had thought I was quite cleaned up, having been a moral girl and a spiritual seeker for years. So the first step on this new journey was to actually acknowledge the malice and sorrow I was still carrying – like everybody else. It was not easy to discover that I was as bad and as mad as everybody else, hanging on to my emotional identity, my feelings, my intuition, my beliefs.
After 17 years of meditation and watching intently I was still neither enlightened nor happy and harmless. So I really had nothing left to lose – except the very idea of who I was, instincts, beliefs, emotions, superiority, the whole lot.
RESPONDENT: The reason that you felt so much relief and freedom after you could break away from your earlier beliefs both at the time of meeting Osho and Richard, was perhaps you had very strong beliefs both the times. So the contrast made it so surprising (180 degrees opposite). But I don’t find such a contrast, because I don’t have such strong beliefs. I am always in doubt whether my beliefs are true. And I owe this attitude to Osho and my eastern background and that is why I feel gratitude towards them.
VINEETO: Are you saying you feel gratitude to Rajneesh because he taught you to doubt? Or did you have the tendency to doubt already before you met Rajneesh? And is doubt enough for you to be happy?
I was a strong believer, already as a Christian girl. I believed in authority and replaced one authority with another. The change for me was radical – and obvious. But as long as you have beliefs, you will have doubts. The very presence of doubt points to a belief. Peter wrote a definition of ‘doubt’ and of ‘intent’ in his glossary.
Only facts can make you confident and certain, they are evidenced by the physical senses, they are actual. Actual Freedom is to replace beliefs by the actual experience of the physical senses and common sense.
Most part of my investigation has been to find where I believed – once I could see a belief as a belief, it was already dissolving. But most beliefs are disguised as truths, so-called facts, gut-feelings, intuition and trust. One has to remove that blanket first to discover underneath that it is just a belief.
RESPONDENT: ‘I am not an expert on spiritualism. In fact I know very little of it compared to you.’
VINEETO: First I had to understand my own spiritualism, my own complex belief-structure that existed in my brain. First, I had to acknowledge that, yes, I am full of unquestioned beliefs, assumptions, vague feelings and intuitions. You see, nobody thinks he believes. Everybody is convinced that they ‘know’, that they ‘see the truth’. A passionate conviction, a belief fed into us with mother’s milk is never seen as a belief – it is conceived as being the very truth. Why would people kill for what they consider a mere belief, an idea – no, it is the bloody truth for them, and they are ready to defend it with their lives and kill for it. So, first of all, one needs to acknowledge that there is belief. And believing is being spirit-ual, non-factual, substantiating ideas with one’s spirit. Every idea, every assumption, every opinion is spirit-ual, produced in the head – or in the heart.
Once I understood that the word ‘spirit’ describes the passionate yet imaginary entity inside of me, I could also understand that Spirit-ualism – Eastern Religion – is merely aiming to enhance that entity into glorious grandeur. Actualism is to get rid of one’s ‘spirit’ in total in order to experience the actual world that is already here.
It’s a great journey discovering facts, facts verifiable by the senses, repeatable, explainable, describable, non-emotional, non-affective, simple and actual – facts. As Peter has already mentioned in his letter to Alan, in the library you will find a good detailed description of ‘fact’ by Richard.
RESPONDENT: Here are some questions that I have:
VINEETO: The main question, that works for all of the Human Condition is ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ We composed a whole page, called ‘How to Become Free of the Human Condition’ on the topic with many links of writing and correspondence of how to apply this ongoing question in your daily life.
I started with the understanding that it is only me who I can change, and that very understanding applies to everybody I meet, live with, work with and to the world at large. So, if anything in the day evoked an emotional reaction, I would start digging around and look for the cause in me, what belief, feeling and instinctual passion caused me to feel annoyed, fearful, angry, righteous, insecure, disgusted, loving, elusive, tired, etc.
The first beliefs that I had to investigate were about male and female conditioning, my female identity, the belief in the ‘right to be emotional’, the ‘truth’ of intuition etc. Along with gender-issues came the problem of believing or fighting a supposed authority, which had been an emotionally charged topic since my early years.
Usually under every emotional reaction I would find a firmly held belief in some ‘truth’ which I then, in due course, questioned and replaced with actual facts, investigated through reading, contemplating or talking with Peter and Richard, instead of simply taking on what others had told me to believe. It can sometimes be a fascinating and sometimes be a frightening adventure, after all, it is your very identity that you are taking apart, who you believe and feel yourself to be.
When one belief was seen in its complexity with all its implications on various areas in my life, when I understood it to be merely a passionate thought and not factual, this belief disappeared. It’s like the fairy story of Sinterclaas (or Father Christmas) – once you know that he is only the neighbour with a false beard, the whole myth falls to pieces and you are never able to believe it again. But each belief has to be investigated on its own ... there is not a mathematical magic formula that deletes them all at once. Eventually you see through the whole lot – and what a relief and liberation that is!
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 to No 16: Personally, it took two months and a lot of discussions with Peter until I finally understood experientially, what the term ‘spiritual’ stands for. For me, ‘spiritual’ had implied the ‘godly’ way of life, following the highest aspirations of mankind, a dedication to be good, to be part of the group of people who also aspire to the same goal. The day I finally understood the literal meaning of the word ‘spirit-ual’, a whole new world opened up. Suddenly the spiritual world was not the only alternate world to the ‘real’ world, not even the best world. Suddenly I understood that I – like everyone else – was producing this world in my head and heart – with my very spirit, so to speak – and this world consisted of spiritual morals, ethics, ideas, beliefs, emotions, loyalties, pride and the belief in the immortality of the soul.
A major distinguishing factor between the spiritual approach to life and the path to an actual freedom is that spirituality teaches one to enhance the ‘good’ affective feelings. One is to indulge one’s intuition, trust, belief, faith, hope, guesswork and is encouraged to sense (as in feel out) a situation. Whereas, on the path to Actual Freedom, one explores actuality by applying thought, common sense, contemplation, practicality, intelligence and undertakes an investigation into verifiable facts of the situation.
RESPONDENT: I have been spiritual in my life but I am not spiritual now. Truth to me is what I am actually doing, thinking and feeling from moment to moment. I’m sorry if I have wasted your time. I will continue to look and see if I have any spirituality.
VINEETO: Personally, I was never attracted to J. Krishnamurti or his teachings as I considered them too dry and theoretical at the time of my spiritual involvement. Instead, I got sucked into the emotional indulgence and the escalating esoteric extravagance of Mr. Mohan Rajneesh. Yet the relationship that I had to him as my master differs not from the relationship that other followers have to their particular master – is it invariably epitomized by unquestioning adoration, deep felt loyalty, a love that excuses and defends the master’s every word or deed and the pride of being a disciple of such rare outstanding and powerful personality. Krishnamurti’s claim that he did not want to be a master nor want his followers to be devotees only created an apparent intellectual coolness but it never altered the fervent emotional ties that each of his followers had, and still has, with him. If you take the time and read through some of Richard’s correspondence with mailing list B you will quickly understand what I mean.
Before I could learn, explore or even consider that there was any new approach to life I had to question this highly emotional relationship to the one teacher that I had considered to be the only authority and fountain of wisdom. My worldview was coloured and measured against the authority of his words and teachings. If others stated similar views and ‘wisdoms’, I considered them right, if not, they were wrong. My judgements had nothing to do with my personal investigation of facts at all; it was solely a ‘feeling right’ decision according to my preconceived convictions solely derived from the master’s viewpoint – and the fact that he had been dead for 10 years did not change my emotional dependency on his authority at all.
An honest and in-depth investigation of the facts of the situation was only possible after I ‘tore Rajneesh out of my heart’, became a traitor to his message and his ‘sangha’ and thus became independent of his imagined approval or condemnation. Only then was I able to listen to his discourses and judge with my newly freed intelligence instead of ‘my heart’ and to discover his mindless twaddle and ‘compassionate lies’, his manipulation and deceit, his outright distortions and underlying ancient rotten Indian belief-system. Now I could start the long and fascinating journey of unravelling the intricate web of the psychic world – the Eastern spiritual fears of endless karma, the hope for transcendence, the reverence for intuition, love, compassion, bliss and enlightenment. Once one starts to see the psychic world and how it functions, the word ‘spiritual’ is revealed in its fuller and more comprehensive meaning.
RESPONDENT: (...) I was playing with you a bit when I called you Ms Vineeto. Perhaps you did not pick it up.
Because you called my friend Veeresh Mr Veeresh. I sort of chose to assume that you are into formal politeness,
and I chose to sort of categorize you in the same way that you categorize people. That tendency towards categorization is a characteristic of the virtual freedom stage.
VINEETO: I think there is some confusion when you say that I am ‘categorizing people’ and this being ‘a characteristic of the virtual freedom stage’. Maybe you do not understand as yet about virtual freedom.
Categorizing people is something that everyone does – it is an activity that arises from the Human Condition. As a lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity we think and instinctually feel it to be necessary to categorize people, things and events not only in terms of dangerous or friendly but also according to our cultural moral and ethical conditioning, according to our spiritual beliefs and psittacisms and according to our individually acquired personal prejudices.
Just a side-note for No 7 – psittacism is derived from ‘psittacosis’ which literally means ‘parrot fever’ and it is a perfect description for the way people passionately hang on to and repeat the opinions and convictions they have picked up from others without ever bothering if they are factual at all. The dictionary defines psittacism as
In actualism, virtual freedom is defined as the state that you live in when you have rid yourself of most of your social identity, which consists exactly those morals and ethics, beliefs and psittacisms and the individually acquired personal prejudices. What one encounters after removing the cover of the social identity are the raw instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that come to the surface – but by then one is well equipped for this next adventure on the road to freedom. Because the outer layer of the social identity is removed, one is able to see and meet people as they actually are without the need of categorizing them in moral and ethical terms. Now, with my guard down, with no identity to defend, I can meet and talk to people as they are, relate to what they are actually saying instead of feeling, intuiting, assuming or imagining what they might mean. It is an intimate, refreshing, satisfying, utterly simple and enjoyable enterprise, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Of course, sensible judgement, common sense and clarity function better than ever, now that the fearful feeling part of relating to people has all but disappeared. I can sensibly assess what someone says by his or her very words. I don’t have to revert to prehistoric means like feeling, guessing, intuiting, assuming, inventing, imagining and assessing them by their star-sign, appearance or gender. There are also certain facts due to the Human Condition that apply to every single human being – the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, overlaid by the social identity of their particular tribal, religious and cultural upbringing. Having explored the Human Condition extensively and exhaustively in myself, I know about it intimately in everyone else as well, because ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’. On the way to an actual freedom from the Human Condition you firstly explore this humanity and then leave humanity behind. What thrill.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for your words, Vineeto.
I will read them again later and perhaps respond as appropriate. On a first scan I have the impression I have upset you. And it seems it is because I have claimed Actual (fuckin’) Freedom for myself; thus seemingly surpassing your (self-avowed) state of Virtual (actual) Freedom.
VINEETO: Well, your first scan and your impression are non-factual. You have not upset me.
I, for one, have given up scanning, guessing, intuiting and forming an impression from first glimpses a long time ago because it makes communicating about facts and actuality impossible. A conversation based on feelings and imagination can only lead to more feelings and more imagination. Whereas living in Virtual Freedom and pursuing the path to an Actual Freedom is firmly built on factual information, sensible thought and reflective contemplation in order to investigate and eliminate beliefs, feelings and emotions so as to become free from the animal instinctual passions.
VINEETO: I found that I had tried to understand psychologically and psychically from where everyone was coming from, what the underlying motivation or story was for whatever comment, question, objection – because I considered it essential for communication. The result were tight shoulders and tense thoughts, no way to respond or see clearly. I had gone into the collective psychic world of fear, the instinctual fear in the Human Condition, when a familiar and safe setting of one’s conviction is shaken up. Trying to understand what’s going on from the inside, the so-called empathy and intuition had only stopped me from being here, from noticing the delight of the fan blowing at my back, the cars driving by, the taste of coffee in my mouth, the sound of the ocean and the play of my fingers on the keyboard...
Well, I also found out that it does not need a psychic intuition or empathy to come to that conclusion. I could have reached there by straight forward common sense. Once I saw with apperception – bare awareness – what I was doing, that I was joining this ‘real’ world of feelings and concepts, it disappeared in a ‘pop’. Now, being back here, I can communicate again about this so wondrous, fairy-tale-like, sensuous, obvious actual world...
RESPONDENT: I guess that you assume that the intellect or common sense is generated by biochemical processes within the body?
VINEETO: How else? Do you assume there is a Divine Source that puts intelligent thoughts into our brains? Intelligence is part of the normal functioning of the brain. The problem is, that this innate intelligence, which humans have applied to create, for instance, all the technological progress, is distorted by the malice and sorrow of the Human Condition. With emotions and feelings operating one cannot think clearly, considerably and benevolently, everybody experienced this. Beliefs and concepts stifle intelligence because we prefer to believe and trust an authority rather than investigating facts for ourselves. Fear and the resulting self-centredness are the main hindrances for common sense.
RESPONDENT: I actually missed you from the sannyas list. I must admit that yours and Peter’s posts were interesting and educational. I still have a problem with negating the idea that there is a God ... to me all is God or Existence or All That Is ... whatever you want to call it. Negating that is really negating yourself.
VINEETO: (...) I can see the point that it is not easy to negate the idea that there is a God. Because negating the idea of God is negating your ‘self’.
For me, the idea of taking Sannyas in 1980 was to find a solution to the troubles I found in myself and in everyone around me. I had explored politics, women’s liberation and social work and found all of them lacking to provide a solution. Then Osho offered the solution to the problems both personal and global by dissolving the ego, becoming enlightened. I went for it full of enthusiasm and devotion, determined to find the answer. After 17 years I still had achieved no substantial improvement in my life, nor could I see it in other seekers.
When I met Peter (and Richard) and they talked about a new approach, to question all the beliefs and eliminate not only the ego, but the soul, I was very hesitant. Really? But, everybody believes, and everybody feels. What about life after death, what about the bliss forever and ever in enlightenment? I wanted eternal reward for my efforts, for my suffering, not just here-now. And I was very afraid to lose my ‘self’.
But then, I had already started to question my conditioning, my primary beliefs in sannyas, I had already started to doubt my behaviour as part of this insidious ‘self’ or ‘ego’. Could it be that my very limited success was due to that I had not done it totally, that I had not questioned the second part of me, the soul, the ‘Self’? To question not only the bad emotions like anger, sadness, jealousy or rage, but also the good emotions like love, friendship, intuition, unselfishness and compassion was a radical step.
But one thing I had already understood in sannyas, that everything that I create in my head – or heart – is part of me and not to be relied upon. So I gathered all my courage and stopped to believe the stories my head produced without interruption. The effect was enormous. I literally came ‘here’ for the first time that I can remember. ‘Here’ meaning, the filter of the ‘self’ was temporarily not functioning and I saw the world as it is, without the story we usually create out of what we see, hear, taste or smell. Everything just existed in its own right. Clear, perfect, magically alive, thriving, wondrous, pure, obvious and self-evidently here without needing any God or force or love to be able to exist. Just here. Just this. And I am conscious of it without being separated and without having any kind of connection with it either.
And I had come ‘here’ by stopping to believe anything, stopping to create anything. That’s what made the experience so pure. There was no ‘me’ polluting the perfection of it. Because anything that I create is only created by ‘me’, the ‘self’, produced by instincts and conditioning, emotions and beliefs. It is unreliable to give the actual picture of what is, it is filtered, distorted, interpreted, formed, mutated.
This experience gave me the courage to question everything I believed, including God. Because in that experience I knew, there is only this very physical universe, perceived through our physical senses and the consciousness of this physical experience. Everything else I could see as the outcome of a psychic construct, imagined and built by all of humanity since time memorial.
Having experienced the world, the actual world without me in the road, I knew what I had to do. I had to remove my ‘self’ with all its implications, with all its beliefs, with all of ‘me’. Because only ‘I’ am in the road of the perfection of the physical universe, ‘I’ and my beliefs in God, Love, All There Is, or whatever else idea we heap unto the vastness and purity of what is. And then there is no grandness, no bliss, no life after death and it is utterly unnecessary too. Because without the filter of instincts and conditioning, without the Human Condition, each moment is experienced as magical, utterly fulfilling, delightful and fulfilling. Without separation there is no need for God or Love to unite.
I had tried to get rid of the ‘bad’ emotions. But the trick is to free oneself of all that we continuously create in our heads and hearts – of the good and bad emotions, of the whole ‘soul’. Then, and only then – without the ‘self’ or ‘Self’ – can we experience this vast physical universe including ourselves in its magnificence and benevolence which is its very nature.
Does this explanation make it more understandable what I mean by living without God. It is not negating, it is stopping to produce Him or It in the first place. There never existed anything like God except in our fertile and collective imagination, created out of the fear of being alone in this world – and ancient people have had good reasons to perceive it as dangerous and threatening, it was dangerous then with all the wild animals, the scarcity of food and hostile neighbours.
RESPONDENT: Or is it that because your main project in life is self investigation, you don’t mind self investigation no matter how many black clouds are coming your way? You remember a PCE as a reference point which lets you endure? Or maybe is it like you recognize how precious this life is and enjoy the journey from nothing to nothing?
VINEETO: You asked what kept me going? Yes, the first and the following peak-experiences were very important. I understood from these experiences that it is ‘me’ who is in the road, all of ‘me’. And so I set out to dismantle ‘me’, made up of beliefs, emotions and instincts. I developed a fine nose for what is ‘me’ and what is simply the body and its senses, what is conditioning and what is the brain’s intelligence and apperception. And I mistrusted every ‘believing’, every ‘feeling’. I dusted my brain off, got it out of the cupboard where it had been put away as the ‘mind’ – in spiritual circles responsible for all evil – and I started to use my discriminating and inquiring capacity to discover the actual facts under the rubbish heap of ‘gut-feelings’, intuition, ‘truths’ or general accepted conviction.
Sure, it raised a great deal of fear to strike off on my own from the group that I ‘believed’ and ‘felt’ I belonged to. But with every discovered fact my confidence grew, with every dismantled belief my dependency on others diminished, morals were replaced by ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’ and I could use my own intelligence to make that choice.
Investigation and an actual freedom are my main project in life. It is the only sensible thing to do with my life. I became vitally concerned with my own happiness and eliminating malice in me. The PCE as the reference point showed me how easy and perfect it is, so why not have it 24 hours a day, every day? And since it is only this moment that I can experience the delight of being alive, it would be a waste of time not to experience the perfection of this moment. I have only this moment – it is as precious as anything. Without an after-life to look forward to or worry about, I have maybe 30 more years and then that’s it. I didn’t want to waste those 30 years in misery, doubt, depression, jealousy, hate or even a bad mood. That’s what kept me going through all the dark clouds of fear, doubt or laziness.
It is not a journey from nothing to nothing – it is a journey from misery to delight, from malice to harmlessness, from identity to not being separate, from ‘self’ to freedom.
VINEETO: You are just kidding, are you? You wrote to Peter:
RESPONDENT to Peter: So, here we go again. Btw, It just occurred to me that you and Vineeto might be the same person. No difference in writing styles. Anyone else notice this? Any photos of the ‘two’ of you?
VINEETO: Your intuition must have changed. Just lately you wrote to me:
RESPONDENT: I have perceived your care, which with pure love is compassion by the way, in most of your posts. So my next question is How did you get stuck with a head-fucker like Peter? ;-)
VINEETO: Should you care to investigate the facts you will find that Peter and I have very different writing styles, as we had different experiences on the path to freedom. What you perceive as similarity is that we both write about our discoveries based on facts, about the actual world. While you write about ‘knowing’ and ‘vision’ based on imagined feelings or intuition – a common practise in the ‘higher levels’ of the spiritual world.
Furthermore, I have sent you a photograph, don’t you remember – you had even asked me which of the girls was me.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.