Selected Correspondence Vineeto
ALAN: All of these boiled down to an examination of me being ‘responsible’ for others (which is, of course, nonsense) and underlying that, the fear of being on my own and of being different. As Richard has often said, it takes nerves of steel to break free from the safety of the herd and I was often accused of being obsessed, having a ‘one track mind’ and ‘twisting her words’. Another favourite was being ‘clever-clever’. As more emotional ties were severed and these taunts began to more and more miss their mark, so their frequency diminished – with nothing to hook into, there is little point in ‘casting’, as mentioned above.
VINEETO: Yes, the other ‘bummer’ for me was moving away from the herd, being on my own, moving away from the group of Sannyasin I knew and the women’s circle. It is another instinct, and it was accompanied with lots of fear – hence the nerves of steel.
The longer I am writing on the sannyas list, the more I understand the meaning of ‘twist’. I am looking at the world in a different way than they are (180 degrees, in fact) and they see it as me twisting reality, while I know that the Human Condition is twisting everyone’s perception. I have ‘untwisted’ myself.
‘Clever-clever’ is one of the typical male-female issues, I know it well from my past relationships. And women are often right in their accusation, when men go off into their cerebral world of logic and theoretical conclusions. But then, when the ‘hooks don’t catch’, you know that you experience the world neither cerebrally (more male territory) nor emotionally (more female territory), but sensually. And that’s where the male-female battle ends. Utterly fascinating!
RESPONDENT: What your readers need to know (in case they did not realise this from your post) is that the Work as outlined by Byron Katie (www.thework.org) is a tool for self investigation. It’s common for beginners to think that the Work is something you use to simply make your beliefs, thoughts and feelings wrong. It’s also common to see people use the Work as a rhetorical tool to ‘turn around’ the argument and attempt to discredit their opponent with a barely concealed suggestion of hypocrisy. It’s a favourite sport of some to play the ‘mirror game’ which degenerates to ‘I know you are but what am I?’ This is not what the Work is about. The Work does not invalidate concepts – it simply allows you to examine the effect they have on you.
VINEETO: According to your explanation the investigation of one’s concepts is merely for the purpose of ‘self’-knowledge, to see ‘the effect’ your concepts have on you and not for the purpose of seeing their harmful effect on others. As such my suggestion to apply Byron Katie’s method to ‘look inside rather than outside’ was misinformed in that her teaching doesn’t include the intent to become harmless and happy and as such her method is purely ‘self’-serving and utterly useless for bringing about peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT: Yes, you would say that. You have an interesting discursive logic that pulls conclusions from your own agenda. You lock down what I say and let your imagination runaway.
VINEETO: No, this is neither logic nor imagination but common sense based on my own extensive experience with the traditional practice of ‘self’-knowledge’ and ‘self’-investigation, both from years of doing new-age therapy groups and spiritual techniques. I know that investigating one’s ‘inside’ for the purpose of acquiring of ‘self’-knowledge is purely ‘self’-serving, i.e. it is done for the purpose of becoming more ‘self’-assured, more ‘self’-confident, more powerful and more holy than others. Whereas when I investigate my beliefs, feelings and emotions with the intent of being less antagonistic towards others and toward myself, I inevitably diminished my identity because the identity thrives on maintaining ‘a vigorous response to the world’ at large. (...)
RESPONDENT: I chose to use the Work without knowing where it would take me.
VINEETO: And yet you have just made it clear that you already know where ‘the Work’ is not going to take you –
Personally I never placed any such conditions on my self-investigations otherwise I would never have questioned, let alone become free of my vainglorious spiritual beliefs.
RESPONDENT: Just to amuse me with your surrealist logic –
VINEETO: Sorry, no amusement – I don’t use much logic, certainly not ‘surrealist logic’. Logic is the domain of men in ivory towers who theorize, philosophize and rationalize about their concepts and most the time their musings have nothing to do with reality, let alone actuality. I much prefer common sense; it is far more reliable, accurate and also far more practical and beneficial. (...)
RESPONDENT: Who really knows? I certainly have my doubts.
VINEETO: I wonder why you wonder. From what you have written thus far on this mailing list you come across as an avid supporter of spiritualism and an equally avid dissenter to the possibility, let alone desirability, of human beings becoming free of malice and sorrow. If you are wondering about an actual freedom from malice and sorrow then it doesn’t manifest in what you write.
RESPONDENT: I’m an avid doubter of your crackpot logic.
VINEETO: There was one passage in your post about relationships from a few days ago that I’d like to respond to –
RESPONDENT: Over the past year on this list, the subject of relationships resurfaces periodically, and there has been a flurry of postings on that subject lately, so clearly it is presently in the forefront of other’s processing. There has been a great deal of churn in my primary relationship lately, not due in small part to my pursuing this actualism business. For me, the man/woman relationship is one of the hardest areas to understand, hence a cornucopia of opportunities for investigation of the subtle emotions.
In some ways, it’s the most difficult of relationships as there is the element of choice... we have some measure of responsibility for our children that is not negotiable (IMO), but life with our partners damn well better be pleasurable as there is no biological necessity. Without going into gory details, recently we arrived at a place that seemed to me to be an irreconcilable impasse. In the past, I’ve been able to wriggle out of these types of situations by ‘logicking’ my way out. I could patch things up crudely by coming up with a plan: If I do this or that, or say this or that, I can escape the painful situation and come out only limping, with my beliefs still held relatively intact.
VINEETO: I like how you describe the traditional male role in the man-woman relationship – ‘‘logicking’ my way out’. Usually when I wanted to talk about ‘the relationship’ with my partner, it meant I wanted to talk about my feelings, the unhappy, unsatisfied feelings and expectations that were not being met by the man. Generally, the conflicts were not about particular practical situations that needed solutions but they were about a range of diffuse disgruntled feelings I had that I thought were his responsibility to fix. Apart from the proverbial exceptions to the rule, it is usually the women who play the role of indulging in their feelings in a man-woman relationship, while the men tend to repress their feelings and look for a rational approach to the unpredictable and confusing world of emotions.
When I started to practice actualism I broke with that tradition. One after the other I acknowledged my responsibility both for the outspoken charges and, equally important, for my silent accusations. Every wish to find fault with the other was a red flag indicating that I automatically considered my partner responsible for my happiness and my sadness, which in turn meant that I either consciously or unconsciously blamed him for my aggressive vibes and fearful moods. As an actualist I came to realize that it is solely up to me to be happy and harmless and that blaming anyone else for causing my own unhappiness is me being anything but harmless. The one-to-one relationship has been the largest field of inquiry into my beliefs and my passions in order to become free from their miserable grip.
RESPONDENT: With this recent episode however, my tools let me down – the situation was so dire that I knew that I was just fooling myself (and her) with this chicanery. So, apparently there was this vast gap between her and I, and no way to bridge it. I spend about a week in this excruciating place, trying to figure out how to engineer my way out, always to come up against the same wall. While my guts were churning away, I couldn’t help but think that somewhere in this impossible struggle lay a very important bit of information, and I was determined to fish it out. Eventually, the clouds parted, and the veils of that third entity, the ‘relationship’ and all its attendant accrued characteristics, dropped away, leaving simply two discrete beings, completely separate. Everything stood out clearly, all the emotional interactions, the unmet needs, the resentment, the control issues. Particularly, I saw in myself an element that Peter captured nicely.
I had been ‘holding back’ in an effort to maintain some sort of sanity in this chaotic relationship. It is obvious that it takes as much of an iron grip to hold someone at arm’s length as it does to clutch them tightly to one’s breast. Each is rigid and controlling.
VINEETO: Personally, I found ‘holding someone at arm’s length’ particularly tedious as I not only had to fend against the other’s attempts to come closer but also against my own yearning to have a more intimate relationship. I knew that by trying to hold back I was impairing myself as much as the other, depriving myself of the opportunity to find out and to learn something new about how to live in peace with a fellow human being. So when I met Peter and he introduced me to actualism, I jumped in with both feet – I wanted to get to the bottom of why I had never been able to achieve the peace and harmony in a relationship I so yearned for. This meant not only experiencing all the feelings that the relationship brought up but also tracing them deep to their instinctual core – the good feelings as well as the bad feelings, the desired feelings as well as the one’s I used to deny – the whole lot.
RESPONDENT: The concept of the abstract is not debated so much, perhaps because you all understand the concept better than I do. But anyhow, the question: In an actual perspective, where are the abstract. In the physical world, or just in our imagination? Is the abstract actual/ real or not? What do you say?
VINEETO: Abstract means: ‘Separated from matter, practice, or particular examples; not concrete; ideal’ Oxford Dictionary
Actualism is the very opposite to being ‘separated from matter’ – it is about discovering what lies underneath all our concepts, abstract ideas, passionate beliefs, affective feelings and fervent imagination that continuously separate us from experiencing the purity and perfection of the actual world.
The other night Peter and I went out for dinner and by chance met a couple we knew from our spiritual days. As we started discussing about life, the universe and what we have discovered in about being a human being, Peter talked about the difference between actualism, reality and spiritualism. The man responded that you could never really know what is actual. He touched the table we sat on and said ‘this is not a table – it is just the word ‘table’. For Australian Aborigines it would be a pile of firewood and not a table at all.’ Therefore, by his abstract thinking, he can never really know if what we call a table is really a table or in fact something completely different.
If you become totally abstract in your thinking and feeling you can even get to the stage where you really-truly believe that the table and everything else that is actual is only an illusion and only ‘you’ are real, or should I say ‘Real’.
This belief that one cannot know what is actual is only possible because he was removed from the direct sensate experience, his experience was totally coloured by his abstract thinking combined with his spiritual ideas. He didn’t acknowledge his sensate experience of the piece of furniture we were resting our elbows on. He preferred to question the actuality of the table rather than questioning his own ideas, beliefs and feelings. His stated position was that we cannot know anything as a certainty and he had made that into his prime spiritual belief. Thus he made the sensual concrete experience of a simple wooden table into a spiritual experience of ‘Not-Knowing’ – another word for connecting with the Divine Unknowable.
The conversation made it clear to me again that any belief, including the generalizing belief that you don’t know, casts a distorting veil over our senses and sensibility and thus prevents the direct experience of the actual.
I don’t know if these explanations make the difference between real, spiritual, abstract and actual any clearer to you.
For me, the process of understanding the difference happened by extensive reading, thinking and talking about actualism as well as finding out experientially – investigating my own emotions and questioning my spiritual beliefs. This more and more opened the door to a direct sensate experience of the people and world around me.
‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ always works to bring my attention to how I am in this moment and what feelings and beliefs are preventing me from experiencing this moment to the optimum, to becoming more happy and harmless.
RESPONDENT: Thanks for the response, it was very interesting, especially the part where you discuss real and spiritual. My concern though was about abstract concepts and if they exist in the real or actual world.
VINEETO: The real world is chock-a-block full of abstract concepts and passionate imaginations, whereas by stepping into the actual world any abstract cerebral-only concepts are instantaneously supplanted by sensuous and sensual information and the sensibility of reflective thought that is stripped of social morals and ethics and freed from instinctual passions. And when it comes to understanding and experiencing the vastness of this infinite and eternal universe or the fact that we are speeding on a rotating globe in the middle of nowhere, then abstract concepts fail miserably – one can only stand in wonder at the endless delight and perfection, abundance and sparkling diversity.
RESPONDENT: Another question I have if it is possible for the human brain to operate without these concepts.
Our brain works with information, it’s a computing organ. Not at all similar with a computer in design or internal operation, but still it’s some sort of computing device. The brain is processing information and information is in some sense abstract. Even if information needs some kind of physical entity to exist it is still not physical in its nature. All our senses are detecting information from the nature surrounding us.
VINEETO: The information that the brain processes is information that is obtained by the physical senses and, as such, the information is directly related to the physical material world – smell, touch, sound, vision and taste. The brain works like a big fast biofeedback computer, processing the sensual information about the physical world via millions of neural connections and switches. The process of clear and pure thinking, i.e. without an interfering and ‘self’-centric interpreting identity, is remarkably simple, straightforward and effective.
The reason why our sensual information is not being perceived in such a pure and clear way is because of our animal instinctual passions and the culturally imposed ethical and moral conditioning – the Human Condition. The way human beings usually process sensual information is primarily instinctual and the result is that the information is ‘abstracted’, separated from its physical sensual source, generalized, theorized, symbolized, conceptualized, intellectualized, idealized, scanned by moral/ethical evaluation and topped up with plenty of intuition and imagination. As such, the initial sensory information is, usually without noticing, removed from physical facts, edited, twisted and adjusted to the rules of our cerebral-abstract and affective-metaphysical world of belief, opinion, viewpoint and theory. To illustrate the nature of the physical process that gives rise to the emotionalising of incoming sensory input it is useful to look at the findings of empirical science –
What LeDoux has investigated is valid for every sensory input – the information is already filtered and distorted at the gateway, causing us to instinctually react to our sensory experience before we are aware of what has happened. This split-second later awareness is then experienced as an emotion or feeling, leaving scant opportunity for any sensible thought-process to even begin to happen.
The actualism method of asking oneself ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ is designed to dismantle the social and instinctual programming that interprets and distorts, imagines and conceptualizes, and, given diligence and perseverance, one then starts perceiving things as they are, and, even more wondrously, starts seeing people as they are. Then the sensual information is not distorted by a fearful, sorrowful and malicious program, our identity, but is very concrete, direct and intimate, ever fresh and utterly fascinating. Reflective thought, as opposed to abstract concepts, will always instil practical application and down-to-earth sensibility into the biofeedback loop of the information and thinking process and therefore integrate a constant flow of physical sensual information.
You can also look at the problem of abstracted thinking and feeling this way. ‘Who’ I think and feel I am is not a physical entity – ‘I’ experience myself as a meta-physical, psychological and psychic entity dwelling inside the flesh and blood body, looking out through the eyes, hearing through the ears, tasting with the tongue, feeling by touch, smelling through the nose. ‘Who’ I think and feel I am, as opposed to what I am, therefore always thinks and feels he or she is isolated from, and different in nature from, the physical world I actually live in. ‘I’ therefore can only gain a second-hand abstracted impression, via the physical senses of ‘my’ body, of what actually exists. ‘I’ am therefore always lost, always lonely, always frightened and always rely on cunning to get ‘my’ way.
In a pure consciousness experience there is no abstraction or disconnection between the sensorial input and what is being seen, heard, tasted, touched or smelt. In a pure consciousness experience the vibrant physicality of the universe becomes immediately apparent and the sensuous actuality of its perfection and purity is such that ‘I’ am not only made temporarily redundant but ‘I’ can be clearly seen for the spoiler ‘I’ am.
Actualism is the method and the process of coming to one’s senses, both literally and figuratively.
RESPONDENT: Information is perhaps best described as difference. Scientist is saying difference, which makes a difference. Information have a peculiar intrinsic abstract property, you cannot always pinpoint where it is in time or in the room. Consider that I am holding one red book in one hand and a blue in the other, the difference is information, and the information is in the relation between the books. But we cannot say where in the room the information is, it is in the abstract relation between the two items. Looking at something, the light carries the abstract relations of the physical world to our brain, through the eyes and mirrors it in the brain.
VINEETO: The ‘intrinsic abstract property’ that you ascribe to the sensual information itself is added by our totally ‘self’-centred thinking about the information we receive. There is nothing abstract about a tree, its green leaves or needles, its massive or slim trunk, its tall or sturdy figure.
In your example of the blue and red book, the subject of your sensorial information is clearly in your right hand and in your left hand – demonstrably in space, in your hands, and in time, now. I cannot see anything abstract about the information of the objects being books or the fact that one is red and the other is blue. If you think the book in your hand is abstract, you only need hit your head with it to confirm that it physically exists in fact – that despite whatever metaphysical theories your mind may conjure up, the books do physically exist. Abstract conceptualizing means separating the information from its sensual context – the observable physical object. Our psychological and psychic entity is inevitably prone to feel it is a mirror, reflecting, distorting and tainting the actuality of the world around us.
To discover what is actual, one needs to question one’s psychological and psychic entity – the distorter, separator, spoiler. To maintain an abstract concept or meta-physical belief of people, things and events that make up the physical world will only serve to prevent you from experiencing the perfection and purity of the actual world we live in.
VINEETO: The other night Peter and I went out for dinner and by chance met a couple we knew from our spiritual days. As we started discussing about life, the universe and what we have discovered in about being a human being, Peter talked about the difference between actualism, reality and spiritualism. The man responded that you could never really know what is actual. He touched the table we sat on and said ‘this is not a table – it is just the word ‘table’. For Australian Aborigines it would be a pile of firewood and not a table at all.’ Therefore, by his abstract thinking, he can never really know if what we call a table is really a table or in fact something completely different. <snip>
His stated position was that we cannot know anything as a certainty and he had made that into his prime spiritual belief. Thus he made the sensual concrete experience of a simple wooden table into a spiritual experience of ‘Not-Knowing’ – another word for connecting with the Divine Unknowable.
RESPONDENT: I also understand your friend’s statement at the dinner, that the table is, in some sense, a table because we compare it with an abstract concept in our brain. Without this comparison, and recognition, the table would have no meaning for us at all. Most scientists also believe that most of the processing in the brain is pure pattern recognition. But instead of storing all patterns and then try to compare all new ones with all previous stored, the brain works with abstracts and ideal ideas. We have a concept of the table stored, the concept is not necessarily associated with a certain physical table.
VINEETO: By accident Peter and I met the same couple a few days later in another restaurant. They had finished their meal and, as the restaurant was full, they insisted that we should take over their table when they left. We had a short amicable chat and then they left. The man, who had previously said that he did not know if a table existed in fact or not, was now, by his very actions, neither questioning the function nor the existence of this table – he rested his elbows on it, he confidently placed his wine and meal on the table, he also without questioning communicated to us and the waitress about passing the table on to us for our use.
His theories of ‘not-knowing’ were merely philosophical, conceptual and disconnected from his daily actions. His stated position of ‘Not Knowing’, derived from Eastern Spiritualism, turns the world upside down – everything physical is a mere concept and the only real thing is ‘Me’, the one who makes those concepts. No 22’s philosophy reflects this Eastern spiritual concept, he is an expert in this field of [No 22]: ‘I create what is by becoming what is’.
By asking ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ you can, one by one, discover and strip away your abstract and spiritual concepts in order to free your senses so you can directly and intimately perceive the world and people around you.
RESPONDENT: To understand new things, for example in physics, we can learn from books and create images of a reality, which we cannot see, smell and touch. These abstract concepts or models are absolutely essential for us to be able to grasp scientific ideas about nature.
We are learning about the world by experience, which includes the creation of abstract concepts and ideal ideas. This is true when we learn to understand the nature of the physical world, but also true when we learn about ourselves and about our fellow man.
VINEETO: ‘Creating images of a reality’ happens via the affective faculty in our brain. An example might help you to experience this fact rather than thinking it out theoretically –
When someone talks about cars and you create a particular image of a car in your mind, upon closer examination you will find that this particular image of a car, the brand, its colour, size, speed, etc. is directly linked to a feeling. In this case it would most likely be a desire, a liking, or a favourable memory. If there is no particular liking of this or that car, you won’t produce an image when hearing the word ‘car’ but nevertheless you will know what the generic term ‘car’ stands for.
As for ‘scientific ideas about nature’ – scientific ideas are but working models or theories for exploration purposes that will have to be proven to be verifiable, objective actuality in order to be considered scientific facts. And a fact is –
RESPONDENT: Just recently, scientists discovered something they call mirror neurons. These mirror neurons are used when we learn by copy or mimic someone we are observing. Another peculiar thing is that the mirror neurons make it possible for us to understand the feeling or mood of another just by looking. A similar pattern of neurons firing, representing a mood or feeling, in the brain of the person we observes fires in our own brain. You know the saying, smile and the world smiles with you, it is some neurological explanation for this.
VINEETO: ‘Mirror neurons’ discovered by G. Rizzollati, M.A. Arbib and others in the ventral premotor area were first studied in macaque monkeys and from these findings deductions were made for human beings and their possible evolutionary development of mimicry and language. Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran says in his essay about mirror neurons:
His deduction in the second paragraph is purely conceptual guesswork (as in ‘might fire’) and has not yet any factual scientific evidence. His theory is still hotly debated in university circles. Marc D. Hauser from the Reality Club discussion group comments on it –
In my own experience, the recognition of feelings in other people not only transmits via ‘looking’, as you say, but via an invisible psychic net of vibes that emotionally connects all human beings together. Anybody with strong enough feelings can trigger those feelings in others and some people are particularly receptive to those ever-present psychic transmissions.
One is affected by other people’s vibes and feelings because of one’s own psychic entity, an entity that both creates and receives those vibes and feelings, be they sorrow, aggression, fear, nurture or desire. In my spiritual years I had learned to suss out other people via my psychic antennas and I used this knowledge to guard myself, as well as to manipulate others.
However, when I came across Actual Freedom and learnt that one can become actually unaffected by any psychic influence whatsoever, it seemed a much more sensible solution rather than continuing the psychic power game. Whatever the pattern of neurons firing in our brains may be, I now know by experience that it is possible to investigate and successively eliminate the psychic entity and thus to be genuinely free from receiving and sending psychic vibes, moods and feelings.
RESPONDENT: So my concern really is, if our brain works with abstract ideal ideas or concepts, represented by neurons working with different patterns when firing. And if these abstract concept represents knowledge of the physical world intermingled with concepts representing experiences and knowledge about feelings, both our own and our fellow man, and also about accepted social behaviour. Is it then possible to separate or remove all of this or even parts of it and still have an operational brain?
VINEETO: Neurons do fire when emotions are triggered in the brain, this is something you can experience yourself quite easily the very next time you are emotional. However, just because there is more and more detailed physical evidence that maps some of our emotional and instinctual behaviour does not mean that this behaviour is unchangeable. Human beings can in fact learn to stop being a malicious and sorrowful entity by starting to investigate the entity in action. Eliminating the entity, and with it the automatic instinctual reactions, frees the brain for sensible and intelligent functioning when needed.
There are three ways we experience the world –
Cerebral interpretation and affective reaction are the only ways ‘I’, the psychological and psychic entity, can respond to the sensory information of the world around me. In order to directly experience the world around me, unimpeded by ‘my’ meta-physical concepts and emotional interpretations, it was vital that I inquired into the underlying emotions that were producing those elaborate concepts and beliefs in the first place. In order to make sense of the world around me, I developed a keen awareness towards my then permanently triggered emotional reactions and my uninterrupted flow of beliefs and imaginations. Slowly, slowly I was able to poke holes into this intricate web of emotions, affections, imagination, intuition, spiritual beliefs, truths, rights and wrongs and get glimpses of the astounding perfect actual world that lies beneath the human-made world of suffering, malice, fear and love.
The adventure is to find out that ‘I’ am not needed for the brain to think, and that the brain is perfectly equipped for the job it does – the sophisticated biofeedback process of thinking, reflecting, planning, communicating and also of being aware of itself in operation. ‘I’ am not needed to process information through eyes, ears, skin and nose – the senses and the brain are perfectly equipped to collect, process and make sense of that information, if required. The human body and brain is, as far as we know, the pinnacle of the development of animate life in the universe and everything operates wondrously and perfectly without ‘me’, the instinctually driven entity that is continuously interfering in the ongoing perfection with ‘my’ fears and desires, aggression and nurture, morals and ethics, concepts and imagination.
Yes, the more you remove parts of this ‘abstract ideal ideas or concepts, represented by neurons working with different patterns when firing’, the better the brain can operate and the more sensible you become. When you remember a Pure Consciousness Experience, as everyone had at least once in their lives, you will know, by direct experience, what clarity a non-cerebral, non-affective brain in operation is capable of. Freed from the crippling effect of instinctual passions and their resultant spiritual beliefs and meta-physical concepts one is able to be aware of the delightful process of the brain in operation ... ... or at rest, which I will do now.
KONRAD: You see, my orientation is only indirectly social. By studying all of these things control is in the focus of my attention. Control over existence. This control over existence includes the control over my own brains. From this capabilities and products emerge that are also interesting to others. And that makes people to take notice of me. Not because they are interested in me as a person. Far from it. No, they are interested in what I can do to enrich THEIR lives. And the activity to do this gives me an opportunity to learn, to expand my skills, etc, without the question you have asked is ever asked. They do not think about asking about me as an individual, as a person, because that aspect of me is not their primary interest in me. This has suited me fine, because in this way I could keep ‘the process’ hidden from my environment for many years. And, to answer your question, this is also how logic functions in the social domain. For logic makes the brains powerful. And in this way it transforms the individual into something that has a lot to offer to his fellow men.
VINEETO: Interesting to note that you only seem to talk to fellow men – as you also addressed me as Peter and not by the name I signed my letter with. Logic is the male weapon to tackle life, but it has utterly failed – as you can see in the way human beings treat each other on the planet, which ever system of logic they follow. Those fellow men do not ask you about your life as a person or an individual, because they themselves fear scrutiny. They want, like you do, a theory that explains all nicely and avoids all ‘practical’ problems. Your theory therefore does not get tested in actual life and that is exactly where it fails. Just an example for you (I pinched it from Peter): the rockets that scientists were sending to the moon 40 years after Einstein’s theory of relativity were still built by Newton’s laws of physics, not Einstein’s. His grand theories still remain theories and have spawned whole schools of theoretical fantasies. Any practical benefits of his theories are yet to emerge. That’s why I have asked you how you are in your daily life, with your fellow human beings, with your wife. If your theory can’t even produce equity, then what possible value is it?
KONRAD: Let me go a little deeper into this. Once people believed in a God. (Many still do, of course, but let us not go into that.) Now there was a man, called Thomas Aquinas, who asked the following question: If God is almighty, can he make a stone he cannot lift himself? Then he said: If he can, he is not almighty. And if he cannot, he is also not almighty. So if God is almighty, he is NOT almighty. Or, to say it differently, to be almighty is self-contradictory. Therefore it cannot exist. Now how come that almighty cannot exist? Because it goes against logic. Therefore this example shows clearly, that God himself has to bow for Logic.
His followers then concluded: ‘Well, if even God has to bow for logic, let us study logic instead.’ Of course, this conclusion took a couple of centuries before it became more prevalent. But now there are many people who consider being religious as plain stupid.
VINEETO: It looks now that LOGIC is the new God, because God has to bow to him. Logic can prove or disprove anything, depending on the thesis – especially if the issue is a metaphysical one. Didn’t you know that something that does not exist cannot be proved wrong? How for instance would you want to prove that you don’t carry your dead grandmother in you aura? Impossible! Because in the first place there is no such thing as an aura! Quod erat demonstrandum.
KONRAD: You know what? I stop here reading you. Probably the rest you write is just one huge attack on what I represent, and probably there is nothing good you can find in me, now that your mind is set. So I do not want to waste any more energy on you. Not again such a stupid exchange of misunderstanding upon misunderstanding. The basic problem with our communication is that you have drawn far-reaching conclusions from some honest mistakes. How could I know whether you were a man or a woman, when your e-mails begin with ‘Peter’? And then again, how could I know that Vineeto is a woman’s name? I just thought it to be some name Osho Rajneesh has cooked up.
VINEETO: I took some time to let your letter sink in and to mull about the response. I usually like to let some clarity emerge before I answer, especially when the letter is as emotional as yours has been.
I did not mean to attack you when I said: ‘Logic is the male weapon to tackle life, but it has utterly failed.’ It is simply my experience. For instance, I have seen you discuss with Richard for pages and pages as to whether there is anything worthwhile in his approach to freedom. Now, if someone offers me a key to a prison door, like he does, I don’t think up reasons why it should not work, compare it to other keys with a different colour or form – I try it in the lock. Only then I can decide with the confidence of the experience, that the key opened the lock or not. His key to the prison door of the Human Condition is the simple question, asked with intent and honesty over and over again: ‘How do I experience this moment of being alive?’ and then examine the upcoming emotions, feelings, beliefs and passions.
Now, this is what I call using common sense instead of logic: logic in this case is used to defend an old pattern and not look at its mis-functioning, common sense is trying something new. And in my life I have mainly come across men who were very good in finding excuses with abstract logic not to try something new, neither to examine nor feel their emotions, let alone get rid of them. It could be scary but it may well be successful. I have seen logic being used to wander from the subject, to build castles in the clouds, to create theories that don’t hold any water when it comes to actual situations of daily life.
Women, on the other hand, generally use emotional outbreaks to distract and divert from an issue or subject that scares them. They are conditioned to swim in emotionality rather than sort things out, i.e. eliminate the cause, with a strait-forward intelligence. Accordingly, I had used sulking, guilt, stubbornness, being paranoid or angry to not give up my dearly held familiar beliefs and behaviours – often unconscious – even if those beliefs had failed for years. In order to live in peace and harmony, instead of using my well-practiced defence mechanisms, I had to put exactly those female ‘weapons’ under scrutiny and cast them aside.
Only without the clouding of rationalizing, emotions and instincts can COMMON SENSE – our innate intelligence – start functioning to solve our practical problems. It has been this very common sense that brought us all the comfort, technology and communication that we are enjoying today.
In the first place I am not attacking you, I am questioning your theories. I for myself know there is a vast difference between the two, because I can easily function and live without theories or beliefs. But it seems that you don’t see a difference between your teaching and your person or ‘self’.
Your response has exactly proven the point I was making about feeling insulted. Having cleaned myself up of emotions I never feel insulted, annoyed, attacked or even bored by anyone’s statement. Therefore I can examine the given argument for its contents and check out the facts. This is where I found Richard’s method invaluable. I can look at the issue rather than the personal feelings. If the issue evokes an emotion in me, then that has to be checked out first. Usually I would take some time and examine why this particular point brushed me up the wrong way. Given that every emotional response is a defence mechanism of the ‘self’ – which I consider harmful and redundant – it was then obvious that these very emotions were the substance of the ‘self’ and had to be eliminated.
My main question to you has been and still is: Does the concept that you are teaching change the person in his behaviour to other fellow human beings, or does it avoid exactly this frightening, but so vital issue. Neither logic nor the controlling of emotions has ever succeeded in eliminating malice and sorrow, wars and ‘domestics’, suicide and murder from the world. I understand that this is exactly what you are trying to do with your concept. I just doubt that it works, and further, you have actually proven in your response to me that it doesn’t work. Your concept of logic and tautology does not appear to change your behaviour to fellow human beings, ‘when push comes to shove’ (as the Australians say).
KONRAD: Again, I do not deny that there is something in the way Richard says the world can be experienced. Only what I see is that it destroys a capacity within us that has taken no less than one million years to develop, and is even now not yet completed in its development.
VINEETO: Richard’s method destroys the psychological and psychic entity , that has taken no less than one million years to develop. But now it is redundant and harmful to be driven by blind nature’s instincts and it is time to be replace them with intelligence and apperception. Konrad, it is time for pioneers, and I thought you may be one, but it seems as though you are gripped by logic and the failed solutions of the past. Logic is a good tool to find the proportion of white and red wine in those two glasses, but it is utterly hopeless and useless to question and remove sexual instincts.
KONRAD: Consider that in Africa malaria is so prevalent, that a certain blood type is developed that make people immune to exactly that type of disease. So why should ‘evolution’ react to an immunizator against such a disease, and not reacting at such a major mental crisis in a similar way? That is illogical. Therefore I suspect, that within the three of us this ‘organ’ has been developing as a reaction to the constant wars, and has become dominant.
VINEETO: Now, don’t fool yourself, Konrad. This thing does not just happen at random out of some mystical evolution. It requires pure intent, a lot of it, and the sincerity and honesty not to escape some cheap ‘shortcut’. This ‘I’ has to die and each one has to find it in him/herself and induce it to die – self-immolate. The measuring scale is delight. The more free, the more delight. The less fear, the more delight. Not the spiritual, cerebral bliss, but the delight of experiencing the senses without the mantle of the ‘I’.
KONRAD: But, again, this is just a superficial difference, and no essential difference. It seems, that the only thing that is different in Richard and in me is that he has focused his attention on the outside world, while I have focused my attention to abstract thinking. Or, to say it a little differently, his ‘toy’ is the actual and factual world, while that of me is logic and thinking.
VINEETO: No, you are wrong there. It is not only a superficial difference. It is very essential. You cannot think your way to freedom, you have to live it. You have to experience every bit of the instincts, feelings, emotions and beliefs that you are intending to eliminate. Otherwise you won’t be able to get rid of them. I know that as well as I know that I have 10 fingers.
KONRAD: Peter and Vineeto
In this mail you can see what kind of’ trap’ actualism is. It contains a full confrontation between me and Richard, and it shows clearly how the both of us differ.
Especially why I say that enlightenment is something beyond apperception, and not the converse has been made clear in this mail. [snipped for brevity].
VINEETO: I could find only one trap when reading your 2-mile-epistle to Richard and all the other people that you try to convince is your own reasoning – whenever I read mail from you I am reminded of a joke:
Mummy, mummy, I don’t want to go round in circles anymore!
Be quiet, kid, otherwise I will nail your other foot to the floor too.
The way you use thinking is exactly this, tying one leg to a false premise and then going around in circles. I have not found anything new or radical or even fresh in your writing, because you seem to be too proud – or too scared? – to experiment with anything you have not logically produced and concluded yourself. Fair enough, it is your choice, but then don’t think you have got a great wisdom to spread. A confused man calling someone else a liar is not very convincing.
From my experience it takes a certain innocence and courage to put aside one’s pride and try something new. Also I was really tired of ‘who’ I was and what I had been doing before I came across Richard’s method. Therefore I could put my pride aside and admit that I had not reached my goal in life. My intent to be the best I can be urged me to experiment, instead of arguing endlessly and thus wasting my life with ‘going round in circles’.
I cannot find any argumentation in your 2-mile-letter that would invalidate the exquisite way I am experiencing my days and the improvement that happened in my life after eliminating malice and sorrow in me. What’s the point of reasoning and arguing with someone else’s conviction, who does not seem to be happy and harmless himself, when my life is a proof that I can actually rid myself of emotions, beliefs and instincts?!
If you don’t want to know about it and continue the way you have always thought and acted, that is your own business. But to keep up a silly ‘tis-tisn’t’ conversation trying to prove that you are right is simply pride and competition and thus part of the Human Condition, which you claim one cannot get rid of. It is one thing to stay unhappy yourself, it is another to try and drag other people into it by re-teaching the old. I don’t see what ‘good sense’ you have to offer, Konrad. You could try Richard’s method and if it doesn’t work, dismiss it once and for all and get on with your life. Unless you even begin to try it you stay stuck with forever arguing something you can never understand by simply ‘thinking hard’ about it. It is a waste of life.
By the way, you have quoted me saying: ‘Richard is an absolute expert in the matter’ and deducted from this that I am a blind follower. You don’t even seem to know the difference between expertise and belief in authority. I can understand that you, trying to be an authority in your own right, only can see other people being supposedly inflicted with the same disease (believing in authority and not thinking for themselves). I have never had a conversation with someone who quoted and relied on so many authorities for his conviction as you do. Still, you go to a doctor in the hospital to get yourself fixed up and don’t consider yourself a blind follower of this doctor. He is simply an expert to you.
And then you claim you have found the explanation for what emotions are in human life, jumping proudly and condescendingly up and down in your living room, happy as Larry but not telling anyone what it is. This is the behaviour of a five-year-old. You are not even aware what emotions you exude writing this, how can you claim you found the answer to what emotions are as the very first in human history if you can’t identify them in yourself?
Don’t bother to prove me wrong, Konrad, by quoting old and failed philosophies and gurus. I am very happy and content with the way I live. But I am interested if you set your goal a bit higher and come up with experiences that are not based on the premises of failed authorities, philosopher and gurus of the past. I’ll be interested when you are willing to take the ‘nail’ out of your foot that makes you go round in circles and walk the first steps, freely, on your own, with your own common sense, into the unknown.
KONRAD: The potential of growth is implicitly denied by every position whereby it is assumed that an end point is possible, and can be reached. This applies to Osho Rajneesh’s vision, to that of J. Krishnamurti, and it clearly applies also to actualism. Since all of the good of humanity arises from our potentiality, actualism, by just this position is a form of evil in the same manner as drugs are a form of evil. Drugs destroy the biological base of the functioning of the brains, no matter how much it makes you feel good. In the same manner, actuality destroys the psychological base of growth. No matter how much it makes you feel good, this alone makes it a form of evil.
VINEETO: I wonder really, how you passed your exam in logic. Just in this single paragraph there are three illogical statements.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.