Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT to No 66: Of course, there is some personal hostility from time to time too, and actualists do cop plenty of flak. (Some of the attacks on Vineeto are quite beyond the common protocols of decency, but she can obviously handle herself).
VINEETO: Are you really suggesting that it is ok to off-load ‘flak’ – ridicule, fabrications, lies, mendacity, sexual innuendo and verbal abuse – on people if they ‘can handle [it]’?
RESPONDENT: Depends what you mean by ‘ok’. I thought the relevant categories for an actualist were silly and sensible, not ‘ok’ or ‘not ok’, but I’ll answer in the old fashioned way.
VINEETO: Oh, to offload ‘flak’ as a means of discussing facts is silly all right, but my question specifically related to your apparent condoning of attacks (‘personal hostility’) on the basis of ‘she can obviously handle it’.
RESPONDENT: Do I approve of these things? For the most part, no. Would I do them myself? Ridicule, yes.
VINEETO: Personally, when I committed myself to become as happy and harmless as humanly possible and consequently became more aware of my feelings of being hurt by others and my thoughts and actions of wanting to pay-back those who I felt hurt me, I discovered that indulging in malicious gossip and ridicule are ill-intended means of pay-back and cutting people down to size.
RESPONDENT: Fabrications, no – not unless they served a rhetorical purpose, in which case I’d acknowledge them as fabrications. Lies, no. Mendacity means pretty much the same thing, so no. Sexual innuendo, not unless I knew the correspondent well and there was no likelihood of offence.
VINEETO: And yet the question I asked was – ‘Are you really suggesting that it is ok to off-load ‘flak’ – in this case, sexual innuendo – on people if they ‘can handle [it]’? As the question obviously relates to this mailing list – given that that is what you were referring to – I still can’t make out if you are saying yes or no?
RESPONDENT: Verbal abuse, ... depends where you draw the line.
VINEETO: Personally I draw the line at abuse – whether it be verbal, acted out or feeling abusive is simply a matter of degree.
RESPONDENT: Personally I find the malicious and/or ignorant abuse of (il)logically contorted arguments far, FAR more damaging and more reprehensible than harsh or vulgar words, so if I were to be guilty of either one (and sometimes I am, as you know), I’d rather it be a tongue-lashing than a quietly and politely delivered mind-fuck. (Neither would be preferable).
VINEETO: If neither are really preferable, why do you express a preference for one over the other?
Again, I personally draw the line at the intent to hurt, and the actualism method is an excellent tool to become aware of such intent (as well as of all of one’s other emotions) before they are acted out.
VINEETO: [Are you really suggesting that it is ok to off-load ‘flak’ – ridicule, fabrications, lies, mendacity, sexual innuendo and verbal abuse – on people if they ‘can handle [it]’?] By your standards does it then follow that those who break down and beg for mercy should then be spared?
RESPONDENT: The only way this would ‘follow’ (by my standards) is if I’d said it’s OK to abuse Vineeto because she can handle it. I didn’t say that, or mean that. What I meant was that I find some of the hostility directed at you quite over the top, and you seem to get more unprovoked shit than most. And no, your being able to look after yourself does not make that ‘OK’, in the old-fashioned way.
VINEETO: Your use of the phrase ‘OK, in the old fashioned way’ reminds me of what is often deemed to be OK in the new-fashioned way, as in New Age spiritual way, whereby people fondly imagine themselves to be ‘free’ by rejecting the conventional morality and ethics of society and letting their resentments and hostility out on other people. To imagine that this petty act of rebellion is freedom is a nonsense as all one is doing is blindly following yet another social convention.
RESPONDENT: I added the ‘but she can obviously handle herself’ for a rather pathetic reason: I did not want it to seem as if I was making out that you were weak and in need of special treatment on account of being female.
VINEETO: The irony is that I in fact do receive the ‘special treatment on account of being female’ by those old-fashioned (or New Age) misogynists on this list for whom actualists, especially when female, are considered ‘fair prey’. This may well be the reason that I am still the only female actualist who choses to write on this list – the others I have talked to regard much of the behaviour of the naysayers on this list to be male-troglodytic.
VINEETO: There is a big difference between the two [the critics and the nay-sayers]. Of course the way to tell whether or not your opinion is correct is to dare to stick your head above the parapet and declare yourself to be a committed actualist (as distinct to being a materialist or a spiritualist) … and then see how your friends react.
RESPONDENT: I’ve never kept my head down or declined to show my hand for fear of persecution, and I don’t intend to. I’ve never been big on wearing the tribal colours either.
VINEETO: It’s not ‘wearing the tribal colours’ I was talking about because actualism is not a group or a tribe one can belong to. What I suggested was to see how your friends react when and if you *commit* to dedicating yourself to peace on earth.
VINEETO: When I think back I also realize how fearful I had been before I began to practice actualism – a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was not harmless in my relating to other people, which inevitably increased my fear that they would hurt me in some way. When I realized that there was no point in waiting for everyone else to become harmless I began to become astutely aware of how often I had wished to hurt others, be it by words, gestures, or actions. And the outcome of being unremittingly aware of my own antagonism is that I now can be considerate of others while not being fearful of what I imagine people think and feel about me.
RESPONDENT: Vineeto, here in Mexico people are #1 at seeing words as having double meaning … this is mainly how humour is expressed here, it is even seen as a desirable quality, and there are contests where people try to convey the best hidden meaning in words which imply something else. I have seen that taking words at face value gives others the impression of me being innocent but in an ignorant way … and thus they sometimes try to take advantage of me; however, at the same time, most feel they can trust me.
The thing is, I have seen how Actualists always take words for exactly what they mean, should I continue strictly attending to the words of others without ‘imagining’ or trying to find out what the hidden double meaning is? What others are really thinking? I am still distrustful of the words of some but because of several past and present experiences.
VINEETO: I remember that in the early years of writing about actualism I tried to figure out ‘the hidden double meaning’, the emotional agenda, the context of feelings and beliefs in which the post was written and I got hopelessly entangled in the psychic web of other people’s malice and sorrow and was consequently unable to give a clear response. I found I first had to untangle myself from the emotional web in order to be able to think straight and write clearly about my experience of freeing myself from my spiritual beliefs and emotional burdens.
Taking people’s word’s at face value has nothing to do with trust or mistrust, but is a matter of a simple and straight-forward way to communicate. A ‘hidden double meaning’ is almost always an emotionally charged meaning and trying to second-guess what this is in any situation does nothing to enhance sensible communication. Nowadays I always assume that if people find it important that I take notice of any ‘hidden’ meaning then they will tell me – it is not my responsibility to discern what another is trying to convey through unmentioned hints and allusions.
As for being ‘distrustful of the words of some’ – the good news for me was that by examining and understanding my own social and instinctual identity I had less and less reason to fear that people would emotionally hurt me with insinuations or outright sarcasm – identity-slashing intimations from others now rarely reach a target. [...]
VINEETO: And who knows, your ‘refusal to get angry and blame them’ might one day inspire someone to consider the possibility to be more happy by being less angry.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I can indeed confirm that people see me as having an unusually positive attitude … similar to how I use to be before the depression hit me. I never sincerely thought I would regain my naiveté.
VINEETO: To balance what I said in my last post a warning may be appropriate at this point. Some people might see ‘an unusually positive attitude’ as an invitation for their pranks, frustration and aggression – so it is useful to keep your wits about you. Actualism is not to be confused with pacifism otherwise the bullyboys and bully girls would get to rule the roost. And, as you may have discovered, naiveté has nothing to do with either gullibility or trust – only when you take both the rose coloured glasses and the grey coloured glasses off can you begin to facilitate the felicitous/ innocuous feelings necessary to get to the stage of being virtually free of malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: The other day the front-page newspaper of the newspaper had a story of 5-year-old girl shot in the head by a terrorist. I asked myself, how I am experiencing this moment of being alive? Mostly what came up was the thought of how can anyone do something like that, but I was aware of a significant lack of emotive valence. I would appreciate comments from Richard, Peter, Vineeto or anyone who has been involved with actualism for awhile as to what’s it like when they read or experience adversity.
VINEETO: One reason I joined the spiritual search was because I was appalled by what human beings do to human beings. By becoming spiritual, I tried to distance myself from my emotional reactions by sticking my head in the sand and dis-associating myself from my unwanted feelings, and by practicing meditation as in ‘you are not your body, you are not your emotions’ I was able to achieve a certain ‘lack of emotive valence’.
However, it was not until I discovered, and was ready to admit, that I was capable of violent thoughts and feelings myself to the point that I was ready to kill and die for my spiritual teacher and ready to kill my boyfriend in a fit of jealousy, that I knew I was as bad and as mad as everyone else. In other words, I came to understand that deep down inside I had feelings of malice that, when push came to shove, could lead to the willful killing of others as well as feelings of sorrow that when push came to shove, could lead me to kill myself.
This understanding led me not to focus my attention on the malice and sorrow of others, and to have the sincere intent to devote myself to expunging these feelings in this flesh and blood body. If this meant ‘self’-immolation, then so be it.
Actualism is the method to pay attention to your own feelings of sorrow and ‘adversity’ and bring them to the light of awareness so as to render them impotent. Actualism is the method to eliminate the identity, ‘me’, who harbours those feelings and instinctual passions. I don’t distance myself from my feelings but I recognize and experience that ‘I’ am my feelings and my feelings are ‘me’. In order to examine my emotions I have to experience them in detail and pay obsessive attention to whatever prevents me from being happy and harmless. (for more information see The Actual Freedom Trust Library, Affective Feelings and related correspondence).
RESPONDENT: For example in my repair work I have this fear of jobs being returned; the feeling is one of personal failure and even after carefully looking at this I realized I could not control what people thought and that much of the time what they thought was grossly misinformed. This was helping with understanding but not the fear. You see, the fear was about their actual response the expression on their faces etc, the put down at that moment. What I really objected to was their deliberate put down, but my conditioning, based on punishment, disallowed any defence of my position.
Hmm, I don’t know if I have come any closer to determining what a bad habit is. Lets see... if someone uses punishment to condition you, it does not constitute on your behalf a belief. It is just that you have learned, ‘Do this or else’.
VINEETO: A good example. One can never change or control what people think, so one might as well stop trying and tackle one’s own feelings about their thoughts. The practical situation is that when I sell my time, I am dependant that people like what I sell in order to make money. The other, usually bigger, part of the situation is the fear that I won’t be liked, that I will be rejected by the group, that I won’t belong – and this fear is a totally different ballgame.
When I started on the path to Actual Freedom I noticed that my own value standards as to what I wanted to achieve became vastly superior to the general accepted version of ‘good’ and ‘right’ – because my standards are derived from the pure consciousness experience when the perfection and purity of the universe becomes overwhelmingly apparent. Now I don’t want to be ‘good’ or do it ‘right’ in other people’s eyes, I want to remove the obstacle, my very ‘self’, that stands in the way of the purity and perfection of the actual world.
Out of this intent, I do the best I can in everything I do, I actively care about my fellow human beings and thus I become more happy and harmless. This change has given me a confidence that made it then comparatively easy to leave the world of morals and ethics behind and to regard other people’s opinions as what they are – opinions of people who are unavoidably, and through no fault of theirs, afflicted with the common disease of the Human Condition. The only difference between me and the people I meet and interact with is that I serendipitously came across someone who had managed to free himself of malice and sorrow ... and I took up the challenge.
Since I know that I investigate my own malice and sorrow in order to eliminate it, other people’s put-down reveals simply their affliction by the Human Condition and is therefore not my problem. So I only take care of my own malice and sorrow and investigate why I insist on wanting other’s approval. It is a fascinating journey to explore the need to please, the need for approval, the need to belong to a group – however lose or undefined that group may be. In short, I get rid of the ‘me’ who feels offended and who needs to belong.
Being in the world as it is with people as they are gives ample opportunity to examine my very instincts until the complete understanding causes them to wither away – and with it one’s very identity. What remains is superb confidence, overweening optimism, genuine caring and ever-increasing delight.
RESPONDENT: Months after the shock wore off and I began to explore the amputation, I discovered there were two very different components to what I had previously thought of as ‘love.’ I now think of them as ‘ego attachment’ and ‘real love.’ We have discussed the ego attachment part in previous exchanges and I think we are in basic agreement about the nature of it, give or take a few terms and minor differences in word usages and definitions. The ‘real love’ that I saw left after all the elements of ego attachment were identified, is something completely unconditional, something that does not care whether she does or does not do as I wish, an awareness and regard that does not measure, assess, judge, possess, or expect. I believe it to be connected in a direct way to the kind of observing you describe as ‘my full attention and bare awareness each time we communicate.’ It is what I believe to be ‘real love.’ (Or ‘actual love’ if you wish!) What you and Peter are experiencing when you are free to interact this way.
What do you think?
VINEETO: See, you make a difference between ‘ego’ (something to get rid of) and ‘real love’ (something you want to keep). And then you say, ‘clarity does not arise’. How can it arise? Throwing away the ‘bad’ and keeping the ‘good’ has not worked for thousands of years. Humanity is still waging as many wars as 2000 years ago. Every Enlightened Master created yet another religion, and the religious wars are the most horrific ones.
Last night I saw a re-run of ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’, a black-humour musical about the First World War. Seeing the soldiers in the trenches, used as canon-fodder for the game of numbers that the generals were playing was devastating, and all the soldiers were dying and killing for love. Men die for love of country, love for the family, to protect the ones they love, unconditionally. And after the war is over, the surviving men don’t talk about the horrors they lived through so as not to upset the ones they love. A continuum of malice and suffering – and it is called ‘real love’. No one ever puts these facts in one line and acknowledges that they are interrelated.
I could still feel the impact of the horrors those men went through. They stand for all of the suffering and devastation humans go through in the course of the centuries. Seeing the facts of what causes the suffering made it clear once again that I want to do something about this horrendous situation, which is continuing today as horrendously as in the First World War. And the only thing I can do about it is to eradicate every trace of ‘self’ in me, and that includes the instinct of love, eliminate every reason why I would kill, hurt or even insult any other human being. And I know, as long as there is a trace of ‘me’ inside, I am still capable of violence when ‘push comes to shove’.
RESPONDENT: If the self cleans the self up, and mine is fairly presentable just now, perhaps a little sad, what is left, after all is said and done, is still a self, a ‘me,’ an ‘I.’ Just dressed up real nice.
VINEETO: You described it very well – this is as good as it gets within the Human Condition. The trouble is, in order to get rid of the ‘bad’ you have to throw the ‘good’ out first, which is created in the first place to keep the ‘bad’ under control. One only needs Love to counter-balance malice and sorrow, hate, jealousy, sadness, fear, greed... so something grand and good is aspired for to keep the lid on the ‘bad’, the animalistic instincts that are intrinsic in all of us.
RESPONDENT: There is a question I would like to ask you. I didn’t feel that I was acting out of malice with my last reply to you. Mainly I was reacting to your attitude when you came blasting in here and causing a big stir to get attention which I think is something else you have learned from Richard. It didn’t feel like malice at the time I was replying because I felt what I was saying was the truth and I still do. However, I definitely felt sorrow afterwards.
So, my question is: If there is sorrow does that mean there was malice involved even if it didn’t seem like malice?
VINEETO: Nobody but you can know with certainty what you felt the moment you wrote. I have no way of knowing if you were acting out of malice or not.
RESPONDENT: Upon further reflection I see that there was malice even though I felt what I said was true.
VINEETO: It’s a great opportunity to get the bugger (the emotion) by the throat while it is happening. Because when you are feeling malice you have the best chance of finding out what lies hidden underneath.
VINEETO: When I took the plunge and decided that I wanted to eradicate malice in me I had to sharpen my awareness as to the nature of my malice. I became aware that aggression and malice are not only contained in the wish or intention to physically hurt or verbally abuse, but I started to notice the subtler, more refined versions of aggression and malice in me. This included the desire to get the upper hand, to gloat over another’s failure, to cut others down to size, to use facts or so-called ‘truths’ to denigrate others, to pass the buck, to impose my bad moods on others and to feel resentment, blame, arrogance, ill-wishing, contempt or repulsion.
RESPONDENT: In this case with you it was most likely resentment.
VINEETO: The common acting out of resentment towards others are snide remarks to others, taking revenge, sulking, retreat, etc., etc. What I did was stop blaming others for my feelings simply because I cannot change six billion people, not even the two thousand or so that I come in contact with in my lifetime. I wanted a life free of resentment and the only way to achieve this was to become free of the emotion of resentment in me regardless of what others said or did. Naturally that included investigating the biggest resentment of all – the resentment at having to be here in the first place as in ‘I didn’t ask to be born’ or ‘why do I have to do all this?’ (...)
VINEETO: When I investigated sorrow in me I found many variations of being sad – resentment, guilt, regret, shame, fear, closing the door to my fellow human beings, unfulfilled desires and expectations, powerlessness etc, etc. At the core of each investigation I found ‘me’, who I think and feel myself to be, who was responsible for creating sorrow in my life.
RESPONDENT: I am perfectly clear that ‘me’ is at the core of it. When one is clear that this instinctual ‘me’ is at the core of it then are you saying that the only way to diminish it is through experiential understanding?
VINEETO: From my personal experience and from what others are reporting, only experiential understanding and deliberate action can diminish and eradicate ‘me’, because each single aspect of ‘me’ has to be brought to light, investigated and made redundant. The first thing for me was to decide to stop being malicious, whatever happens. For that I had to investigate the causes of my malicious feelings, whenever they occurred – otherwise stopping malice would have only resulted in repressing the feeling.
The urge to feel and act malicious most often occurs when ‘I’, the identity, feel threatened, attacked, ignored, denigrated, misunderstood, etc. The social identity is nothing but an emotion-based image of ‘me’, learnt and developed since childhood which overlays the animal instinctual passions. When I become aware of that identity by questioning the cause of my anger, resentment, bad mood, annoyance, etc., I can then become aware of the contents and program of this social identity – ‘me’ who I think and feel I am. Becoming aware of my multi-facetted identity bit by bit, combined with the clear intent to eradicate my malice and sorrow, allows me to diminish my feeling-fed social identity as each particular aspect is being explored and understood. This understanding, however, is far more than an intellectual-only understanding or mere reasoning, for one digs deep into the emotion itself and experientially and pragmatically follows its trace from trigger to the root cause in order to discover the instinctual ‘me’.
What makes this enterprise more challenging is the fact that the automatic survival program of the ‘self’ doesn’t easily reveal its secrets. It needs great determination and courage to persist and search beyond all kinds of ‘smoke-screens’ that ‘I’ produce in order to stay hidden and in existence. ‘I don’t feel it anymore’, ‘it’s not so bad after all’, ‘it wasn’t my fault’, ‘I have something important to do now’ – there are literally hundreds of schemes to evade oneself – this is all part of the same discovery game.
GARY: I have, since I was young, been concerned with personal protection. I used to be unable to sleep unless I had a loaded gun nearby. During my ‘nerve wracking’ periods of facing fear, I seem to be very concerned with keeping myself fully armed. When I am really fearful, I stockpile ammunition and it gives me a feeling of safety and protection, albeit a false sense of safety. I realize that in a shooting war there is no place of safety, that bombs and planes can wipe you out in a second.
In any event, the statement ‘You would not be in such a hypothetical situation to begin with unless violent thoughts of your own, faced or unfaced, had attracted it to you.’ This seems particularly true. I wonder if I have really faced the violence that is at the core of such an exaggerated concern with personal safety and protection. I don’t think getting rid of my guns is the solution, for the problem lies with the beliefs, values, and instinctual passions that provide the fuel for such fear and aggression. I have noticed of late that I am not interested in the guns or ammunition stockpiling. I have more of a sense of safety. Your posted material, while extensive, attracted me because this portion of it leapt out at me. Last night I awoke from a nightmare. I was howling in my sleep because something or somebody was killing me, I am sure. It takes a while to realize its’ just a dream...
VINEETO: Unlike Jane Roberts, who imagined herself to be a conduit for an ancient mythical Jewish wise-guy called Seth, I know that mere thoughts do not attract violence, but one’s actions can certainly attract violence or malice. In the course of becoming happy and harmless, my main concern was that I, for my part, do not inflict suffering on other people through my carelessness or malice. In order to become free of malice I had to examine my behaviour as well as my feelings and to find the roots of how and why I think, feel and act maliciously towards others. The first and most important thing for me was to stop acting on any impulse of violence towards others (and myself) and then, in due course, trace the cause of these impulses.
I found anger and fear inextricably interlinked – there is anger resulting out of fear and then there is fear produced by repressing anger. To be able to investigate and eliminate one’s underlying beliefs, morals and ethics it is vital to experience, examine and understand one’s ‘self’ in action as those different emotions.
Facing fear was and still is an ongoing issue, but it has become a breeze compared to the early months. The more I understood the workings of ‘me’, my ‘self’ in action, the more my intent grew to self-immolate in order to be free from fear, the core survival instinct in every human being. Many of our fears are closely related to the social identity of beliefs, morals and ethics and with investigating and removing this layer most of my social fears have disappeared. Tackling fear sometimes meant sitting out the storm of a fear-attack with stubborn determination before I could explore the triggers and causes, and sometimes, after extensive examination, a simple tasty cup of coffee could redirect my attention from a silly repetition of fearful thoughts. In the end it is the altruistic, unselfish willingness to sacrifice what ‘I’ hold most dear, that wins over the fear born out of psychic and psychological self-preservation and keeps one going on the path to a permanent freedom from fear.
RESPONDENT: I agree that the task for ‘me’ is to push the button to start the process of self-immolation. The truth for me right now is I am dedicated but I am not 100% committed. I have intent but it is not pure intent. What would it take for me to make the leap to be 100% committed with pure intent?
Can I make this leap? Can I become 100% committed with pure intent? What is stopping me? Obviously it is the ‘me’ that is stopping me and like you said it is up to the ‘me’ to keep the question ‘how am I’ going. As you said it is up to ‘me’ and ‘I’ to bring about the process of ending themselves. The best that ‘I’ can do right now is to keep the question ‘how am I’ going. I am dedicated to that.
VINEETO: (...) You see, intent does not grow in a day or is instantly 100% at the start, it gets bigger and more and more purified with increasing discoveries about the Human Condition in oneself. To acknowledge malice and sorrow in action in oneself, day by day, gives one the firm intention to factually do something about it, to actually and irrevocably change oneself.
And then, with persistent and honest investigation into one’s beliefs and feelings, with rocking ‘the boat’ of one’s identity to the limits, there is bound to be a pure consciousness experience. Asking myself the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of beings alive?’ never had a calming effect on me – on the contrary. To investigate a surfacing emotion, to label and define it and trace its root and underlying belief usually intensified the thrill until I triumphantly got the bugger by the throat and bingo – there lay dead another dearly held ‘truth’ or conviction, value or loyalty. To break through to the very core of one particular emotion leaves me with the actual and that often brings about a PCE.
VINEETO: But if you prefer to stay ‘with the ‘feeling being’ and quit trying to change it’, at least you are not alone – six billion people prefer to stay with the Tried and Failed. Being a ‘feeling being’ usually means feeling ‘miserable’, ‘bogged down and stuck’, ‘helpless and hopeless’, not to mention anger, hate, malice, resentment, jealousy, insecurity, fear, neediness, greed, loneliness and sorrow.
RESPONDENT: I did experience a lot of anger. This was not a pleasant thing.
VINEETO: The only two options up till now to deal with anger have been to either express or to repress it. Neither way do you get rid of anger, it will surely come up at the next opportunity.
Now there is a third alternative – one neither expresses, nor represses, but experiences it, observes it, investigates it and keeps one’s hands in one’s pocket. Such strong emotion like anger is always an excellent opportunity for an actualist to dig deeper into one’s psyche and discover and uproot another bit of the ‘self’. Some of Peter’s writing might be useful –
RESPONDENT: I even feel as if I am abandoning Actual Freedom.
VINEETO: Okey, dokey, that seems to be more likely and it surely is easier than ‘abandoning humanity’. For obvious reasons Actual Freedom is not everyone’s cup of tea and it requires – as Peter wrote to someone earlier –
It is everyone’s freedom and choice as to what they want to do with their lives and only a few seem to be dissatisfied and frustrated enough with the results of their spiritual search to be vitally interested in the Third Alternative. Being vitally interested in Actual Freedom and peace-on-earth will give one the courage and sincere intent to actually and irrevocably change one’s direction of thought, and one’s actions, in order to become happy and harmless, 24 hrs a day, every day.
The first time I discovered that it is, in fact, possible to change one’s action I was rather shocked.
Peter and I had just started our relationship and Peter had discovered that he had been battling me to change according to his ideas. Peter wrote about it in ‘Living Together’ –
When Peter decided to stop battling me I reacted in disbelief. Everybody, particularly spiritual authorities and famous group leaders, had emphasized that it is not possible to change one’s behaviour in such a radical and irrevocable manner, just by mere decision. One would need long meditative practice or extensive therapy experience that could possibly ‘heal the wounds’ which supposedly caused such behaviour in the first place. Furthermore, Eastern spirituality teaches that it is entirely unnecessary to change one’s behaviour because one merely needs to transcend one’s ego and ‘realize’ that all is but a dream.
So I observed Peter very carefully for the next few days to see if he was merely suppressing the desire to ‘battle’ or just changing his manipulation-strategy. To my shock and surprise I had to acknowledge that he had actually changed his behaviour, by one definite and radical decision. The ‘bad’ news was that now I had no excuse to postpone putting my ‘good intentions’ into action instead of wanking about how nice it would be if one could only change oneself. The good news was that I finally had ‘live’ proof, through Peter’s changed behaviour, that one can indeed change Human Nature and thus can begin to put an end to all the sorrow and malice that is going on in the world – in one person, myself. It was now simply a matter of confidence and courage, because changing oneself based on intelligent thought, insight and subsequent action is irrevocable – and it irrevocably diminishes one’s ‘self’ each time, bit by bit.
VINEETO to No 13: I see it that I have come into the world with the Human Condition of malice and sorrow like a car that comes out of the factory already with a faulty engine – and everyone tells me to polish the outside in order to fix it up and make it look all right on the surface. No one considers looking under the bonnet where the problem is, and instead of screwdrivers, spanners and mechanical instructions one gets offered different brands of paint and polish.
To translate the metaphor: no one acknowledges the core-problem, the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire and therefore the only ‘tools’ that are passed on from generation to generation are rules of moral, ethical and spiritual behaviour, varying from tribe to tribe, which is only a cosmetic fix of hypocritical ‘feel good and do good’. Why not, for a change, inquire into the root cause of the dilemma and fix up the problem itself?
That’s what Richard’s method has been for me – the tool to get under the bonnet and fix up my brain, re-wire the synapse, and change the course of brain-activity – from feeling to thinking, from intuiting to contemplating, from meditating to researching, from passionate imagination to clear-eyed observation and from ‘self’-centred myopia to 360 degrees vision. The question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ has been the spanner to fix the engine, so to speak, and I have used it to investigate and research how the brain works in order to incrementally eliminate its software.
The bugger in the engine is the ‘self’, this entity in each of us which is not only lost, lonely and frightened but is also very, very cunning. The challenge and the fun has been to find the many tricky ways the ‘self’ disguises and deceits, hides and pretends, delays and objects to exposure – because ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul will do anything to avoid death.
RESPONDENT: To assume can be to egotistically presume superiority.
VINEETO: The other day I had a pure consciousness experience where I understood once again that the Human Condition of malice and sorrow is indeed the particular flavour of human beings on planet Earth. I experienced a broadened awareness that gave me an overview of planet Earth floating in space, observing all that is going on and seeing its common flavour of humanity, whatever the place, race, gender or age. Human beings, by their very nature are inflicted with the genetically-encoded instincts that produce malice and sorrow. They pervade every thought and action, are the fuel for every emotion and passion and make ‘life a bitch and then you die’. The social identity and the instinctual ‘self’ are intrinsic to and a result of the evolution that took place on this fair planet, the third rock from the Sun, in the Milkyway galaxy, in the infinite universe. Yet now the evolution has reached a point where humans can free themselves from the now unnecessary ‘appendix’ of the social identity and the animal survival instincts. What serendipity!
In this PCE I could also see that even though a staggering six billion people think, believe, feel and act within these parameters of the Human Condition, the actual world is nevertheless infinite, eternal, perfect, silent and magical. The actual world is always and everywhere present underneath the doom and gloom of our ‘self’-centred perception and can be discovered any moment. In such a PCE I can see that it does not matter that right now there is only Richard who lives in the actual world 24 hours a day, every day. This blithesome, magnificent and benevolent actual world exists always and everywhere around us, it is always here, always now and immediately experienced when I leave all of humanity behind.
Out of this and similar experiences, I don’t need ‘to assume’ – I know the Human Condition in its totality, in myself and therefore in everybody, because I can see it from not being afflicted by it for a certain period of time. Such experience is the opposite of ‘egotistical’ because a PCE is only possible when the whole ‘self’ is absent – in spiritual terms, both ego and soul. And yes, such an experience, even for a short period of time is vastly superior to any experience within the Human Condition. That’s why I want to live it every day, 24 hours a day. I don’t need to ‘presume superiority’, I simply write from the memory of the superior state evident in a pure consciousness experience and from the ongoing experience of Virtual Freedom.
RESPONDENT: Oh Vineeto, I read more of your writing I see you would like me to call you Vineeto.
That is fine. 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. If you get my drift. I am playing with you a bit. Do you pick that up? ... I know you pick up a lot, but perhaps you have forgotten how to play?
VINEETO: Oh, you meant, you were teasing me? Is that what you call ‘play’? I remember you wrote to me on the Sannyas list 18 months ago that this is how you like to play with your wife –
I gave up that kind of ‘play’ years ago because I could see the power game and malice in it, which inevitable would come back to me. I gave up wanting to change the other and instead focussed on changing the only person I can change – myself. Also, I understood from examining my actions and emotions that the giver always suffers from his own malice – as guilt, separation, fear, defence and cynicism. Richard put it well in a recent correspondence –
As for calling your friend ‘Mr. Veeresh’ – I usually refer to people that I don’t know personally or don’t talk to personally as ‘Mr.’ I understand it to be a non-intrusive, polite way of referring to someone unknown, like you would call the woman next door ‘Mrs. Smith’. No offence intended at all. The other thing is that I don’t hold anybody in awe or veneration, everybody is simply a flesh and blood human being. (...)
RESPONDENT: Great that your friend Richard encouraged you to set this list up so that you would be – in many different ways, including this one – be confronted with your own personal conditioning that keeps you trotting around the circuit.
VINEETO: Just for the records – Richard has set up this mailing list for a sincere and thorough discussion about an actual freedom from the Human Condition. You yourself have corresponded with him about a year ago on this very mailing list, so you are well aware of this fact. And yes, I welcome ever opportunity to be confronted with my remaining ‘ghosts in the cupboard’, my instinctual passions, whenever they occur – it is always a splendid opportunity to get rid of another passionate illusion, another notion of ‘me’ and it all brings me closer to the day of my final destiny. And there seem to be many people who make it their business to confront me for whatever motive.
What for you might look like ‘trotting around the circuit’ is for me an ongoing investigation and the key to the ultimate freedom that I have searched for all my life. Yes, all my dreams are coming true. Funny, today I consider everyone else trotting around in useless circles of their ‘self’-maintained passions and I am glad that I haven’t missed the bus to freedom.
ALAN: At one point, I tried to make a ‘guru’ out of Richard, but he would not play.
VINEETO: In the first few months with Peter I sometimes tried to land a sarcastic or snide remark on him. He simply didn’t ‘get it’. He just said, ‘I lost you here, what do you mean’ – and it was a sincere question. I then would only feel embarrassed and investigate my outbreak of malice.
ALAN: What I find so useful, in talking with Richard (and you), is that I know there is no hidden agenda, nothing ‘going on’, so whatever reaction I have, I know it is ‘me’. Do you understand what I am saying – I have not put it very well. All of the passions require a ‘reflection’ and if that ‘reflection’ does not exist, then one knows that all that is occurring is in one’s own head.
VINEETO: Yes, I know what you mean. It is indeed very helpful in sorting out one’s projections and emotional reactions to know that the other has no hidden agenda except sharing delight. But then later, I came to a point where I am only concerned with my own reactions regardless of what anyone’s hidden agenda could have been. That’s what is so good about writing on the sannyas-list and now here – whatever is thrown at me is not my concern unless I have a reaction to it. I sort out my reaction – should there be any – and then answer to the facts. An invaluable exercise!
Now, I often can’t recognize hidden agendas anymore. The other day I got a reply on the sannyas list which didn’t make sense to me. Two days later I suddenly said to Peter: ‘Maybe it was sarcasm, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense!’
VINEETO: You seem to have an axe to grind, the gloves are obviously off. I do wonder, what the name of this axe is, why you seem to want to attack me and prove me wrong so passionately. Is it because I said I have left the women’s camp and dare not to be a woman, but a human being? You have expressed your interest in my conversation with Konrad, that’s why I have sent you the full mail. The interest was obviously to collect ammunition and make it a point how much you feel attacked by me?
But, apart from me being stunned by such a passionate attack – as I perceive it – you are doing me a great favour. Coming to the next stage in my journey to freedom, I did want to muster all my remaining doubts and ‘ghosts’ in the cupboard. You saved me the work to list them. I will answer you accusations one by one:
IRENE: It does not mean though, that I could ever go back to seeing all people who are not following Richard’s way as basically malicious and sorrowful. They are not, at least not all the people I have contact with, on the contrary!
As I said above, looking within myself I found the Human Condition applies to everyone, it being the disease we come into the world with. I don’t see it as the personal ‘fault’ of anybody in particular and therefore don’t make the mistake of blaming others for my misery and anger. But as I have found that it is possible to eliminate the Human Condition within myself, to become happy and harmless, I consider everybody capable of doing something about their malice and sorrow, if they so desire. And to state that most people are happy and benign is plainly denying facts and not looking below the surface. To get rid of a disease firstly one has to acknowledge that one is sick. Most people don’t want to do this. Fair enough. But that does not stop me from expecting a possible outbreak of malice or fear or sorrow from anybody, having seen how ingrained it has been within me. You yourself said that in order to keep love in your life you would welcome the sorrow that comes in its wake.
Without aggression and malice operating there is no necessity to keep anything under control as there is neither aggression nor need for defence.
IRENE: Sorry to disappoint you but in my own experience with you there is plenty of both, your imagined images are not very objective obviously (and I am not the only one apparently who thinks so).
Now, you need to specify this. Where did I actually attack you. My not agreeing with your opinion does not mean I am attacking you. And telling you that my experience is different to what you say is not being defensive. I have never done anything other than talking to you about my experience. If you feel attacked because I don’t agree with you, that is another matter. I, for my case, enjoy a lively discussion about life.
IRENE: A basically malicious person is intensely interested in self-gain, appearance and power, usually at any cost to save his/her own skin and only appreciating of another person if it results in strengthening his/her personal image of being the very best, since sliced bread.
I take it that you mean me. Otherwise why would you write it to me? Self-gain: my very aim is to totally demolish the ‘self’ in me as in ‘self’-ish or ‘self’-centred. So the ‘self’ can only lose in that situation, not gain. Only the ‘self’ is interested in appearance and image, and that is the very thing that I am in the process of eliminating. As for power, I don’t have any power at all, no position, nothing anybody would want, nothing to manipulate somebody with. So if I did seek power I have utterly failed. ‘The very best since sliced bread’ – yes, absolutely, that’s my conviction. For me, getting rid of my ‘self’ without becoming enlightened is the very best discovery since sliced bread!
VINEETO: Your ‘permanent solution’ of ‘no objection at all’ sounds a pretty dry experience to me. Freedom from the churning emotions, feelings, beliefs and instincts, which is freedom from ‘me’, results in a delicious, sensuous continuous enjoyment moment after moment, fresh each time, rich and magnificent, crisp and perfect. An ongoing delight to be alive.
RESPONDENT: My ‘permanent solution’ is not a final statement as such it is just that I realised that any revealing investigation will not proceed when there is an objecting ‘I’. So that is a prerequisite.
VINEETO: It has been one of the spiritual and new-age therapy devices to split up the ‘I’ into various parts – the male and female side, the child, the angry ‘me’, the vulnerable ‘me’, the indifferent ‘me’, observer, the judge, the loving ‘me’ etc. ad nauseam. The outcome is utter confusion and merely rearranging the furniture on the Titanic in endless variations. Whereas the path to actual freedom is characterized by determination and pure intent born out of one’s peak-experience which drives one to simply get on with the business of eliminating malice and sorrow because one wants to get rid of malice and sorrow. No psychologising needed. Once it became clear that ‘I’ am in the road of experiencing the already existent perfection and purity of the physical universe it became also obvious that it is the whole of ‘me’ that would have to disappear, the objecting, the feeling, the believing and the instinctually driven ‘me’, the whole bucket. It is all so devastatingly simply, obvious and apparent.
VINEETO: When you say you must be doing something wrong because you are ‘stuck’, it might also be that you did something ‘right’ and then hit a major issue which might generate fear.
RESPONDENT: You have got this one right, Vineeto. There is an undercurrent of fear/sadness still there. I am going against it head on two ways: first, going to the daily life situations in which I would have dreaded to go into, 3-5 years ago, and apprehensive of going for them about 1-2 years ago. Second, keeping my eyes open to look for causes which brought this fear in the first place.
This one is a difficult one as, to best of knowledge, I cleaned myself of fears arising from the incidents from the age of 3 years-now. But I remember I had this undercurrent of fear/sadness at the age of ~4 years too. So, the causes for this fear/sadness must have their origins before the age of 3 years. The best I can think of is that my mother might have beaten the crap out of me before the age of 3, but I cannot have any memory of that. I am not sure how to go about it but I am working on it.
VINEETO: In my spiritual years I believed that I was ‘cleaning myself of fears’ by doing lots of Dynamic Meditation and lots of therapy but I gradually noticed that fear had only shifted to other issues, but it never disappeared or even diminished. I would not be afraid of one particular situation, but nevertheless apprehensive of another, fearful of change, of being alone, of being raped, of not getting what I desired or of not being appreciated by others. Yet, knowing no other alternative at the time, I kept going.
So, from my experience, I can say that digging into the past will never wipe out the causes of fear. Only when I met Richard was I able to understand the reason for it. It is a common belief that human beings are born innocent, ‘tabula rasa’, a clean slate, without any malice and sorrow, and that all evil – fear, anger, sadness – is only created by bad treatment in our childhood years – or maybe by ‘repressed memories’ of bad past lives. The very premise of that belief is wrong.
Human beings are born with certain distinguishing instincts, the main ones being fear, aggression, nurture and desire. These instincts are blind Nature’s rather clumsy software package designed to give one a start in life and to ensure the survival of the species. So despite our good intentions and moral codes, we are relentlessly driven to act instinctually in each and every situation in our lives and this is the base cause of all our angst, suffering and confusion. We, as human beings, also have a highly developed sense of self, overlaid with a social identity, consisting of the beliefs that had been instilled in us from the time when we were first rewarded for ‘good’, or punished for ‘bad’, behaviour. This identity includes the morals, values and ethics that ensure that we are a fit member of the particular society into which we are born. We then take on these beliefs and develop them as our ‘own’ identity. This innate sense of self, reinforced by our social identity, is the very ‘guardian at the gate’, sabotaging any well-meaning, but inevitably futile, attempts at fundamentally and radically changing the Human Condition of malice and sorrow within us.
When I put away my pride and dared to question this emotional, therapy-enhanced, yet utterly useless and harmful identity, I had to acknowledge the reason why the concept of therapy had never worked. One never gets to permanently experience the ‘innocence’ of a baby after digging into one’s memories of birth- or childhood-traumas – because the baby has never been innocent and without fear in the first place! Geneticists are now finding neurological evidence of those innate instincts, yet nobody except Richard has devised a method to get rid of those insidious buggers.
RESPONDENT: I was thinking about ‘spiritualism versus actualism’. I think the reason why I still can’t differentiate between these two is perhaps a lack of a PCE. To me both Satori and PCE look same. I have no experience of either. I practiced Vipassana irregularly and found that it made difference in my ordinary life. It did help to make me reasonably happy. I don’t care about what is the exact philosophy behind it. I don’t think that the spiritual practices are useless. Were I not spiritually inclined I might not be interested in the Actual Freedom web pages.
VINEETO: The sole reason for drawing up the diagram of ‘Actual Freedom lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction of spiritual beliefs’ was exactly because, as you write, the beginning of the spiritual path and the path to actual freedom look alike and seem to go in similar directions. The diagram is well worth thorough contemplation as it makes things clear in visual sense. You’ll find it on the The Actual Freedom Trust website in the ‘Library’.
When I met Peter, and a little later Richard, and heard them say that Actual Freedom was something completely different and new, I first took it to be just another spiritual approach. I could only perceive the world with spiritual or ‘normal religious’ eyes. But the more I understood where the path to an actual freedom was heading to I became utterly bewildered for quite some time. In the first few months I was desperately trying to match and marry actual freedom with my spiritual practice, ie. I wanted to stay in the sannyas belief and the community of friends as well as experiment with this thrilling new adventure.
Upon an honest and extensive stock take it was impossible to say that the spiritual path had lead me any closer to realizing my initial goals of freedom, peace and happiness. I had experienced moments of bliss and peace in meditations but I had also experienced their fickleness and the necessity to have a perfectly quiet and safe surrounding. Consequently, as soon as the ‘right’ conditions changed my period of bliss changed into frustration, abandoned until the next opportunity, and this conflict resulted in an ever-increasing resignation – that’s how life’s gonna be, unless I become enlightened. The goal of enlightenment was very clearly born out of the hope of escaping from this terrible seesaw – brief and conditional experiences of peace on one side and the long and tedious struggle of ‘living in the marketplace’ on the other side. I was trying to be as ‘removed’ from my bad emotions as possible, yet ever fearful that someone would upset my safe little set-up. I knew that my life was nowhere near perfect, and the more I meditated and retreated from the world the more difficult it became to live in that very same world of people, things and events. And as for harmless ... I had ample opportunity to watch my thoughts and deeds, words and schemes to know that I was far from being without malice.
This sincere acknowledgement of the sad compromise of the ambitious plans of my youth made me interested in Peter’s proposal – to commit to living together in utter peace and harmony and to look at every issue that would come up. It also gave me enough interest and intent to inquire into Richard’s personal story and the possibilities of an actual freedom from feelings, beliefs and compromises and the burdening obligations and restrictions of believing in a spurious afterlife.
And, best of all, in actual freedom I found the only ‘teaching’ and method that I had ever come across which fully included sex as a perfect and innocent sensuous pleasure between man and woman, without any ‘buts’ and ‘ifs’ or hints of a later necessary transcendence. Here I finally glimpsed the opportunity to combine my desire for happiness with my search for purity and perfection that had set me on the spiritual path 17 years before.
RESPONDENT: Well I’ve spent enough time reading the site to know that my letter will be blocked by Richard’s ego as No. 4’s was or replied to ‘predictably’ with Richard’s usual over excited egotistical arrogance, feigned harmlessness, cut and paste laziness and of course those impressive ‘big words’ that make him look like an inconsiderate idiot. Then one of his parrots will come to their guru’s defence using his cloned vocabulary and corrupted aggro attitude. Yet after all this ridiculous ‘get out’ my question is; why do none of you have the intelligence to work out why the list only gets 2 letters a day! Why does it not dawn on your thick skulls how alienating your exaggerated attitudes are and why on earth is Richard trotting out a May [Mailing List B] post? To keep something already dead, alive and wanking???
VINEETO: I am one of Richard’s parrots, called Vineeto. He feeds me weekly with bits of actualism, and I have grown very tall and tame from that, and in return I am willing to proselytize about His method and message on His Actual Freedom list. This time, as you have already so well predicted, you are to be the receiver of my ‘cloned defence’ of the guru. It is so much fun writing about actual freedom that it far exceeds everything I have ever done in my life, including 17 years of worship and meditation with the Indian self-proclaimed God-man Rajneesh and heaps of New Dark Age therapies that teach you how to be more surrendered and more loving with your inner man and inner woman, with the suffering souls of humanity and in tune the Higher Self of Existence. Now at least I am having the fun of doing something so unpopular that there are only 2 mails a day because nobody is actually interested in changing, in becoming happy and harmless themselves – let alone willing to make any effort in this direction. Are they so busy in needing to being loved or are they trying to lovingly save the rest of the planet, including endangered species of tigers, elephants, sharks and blue-dotted beetles?
I am happy that you started writing because I had opportunity to read your writings on the Mailing List B and enjoyed them very much. At last, I thought, a woman who is standing on her own two feet and interested in finding out about herself and about the actual world. Why you chose to empty a drawer of dirty socks on this list is a bit of a mystery to me – Richard must have stepped on a sore toe or a whole sore foot of yours. Isn’t it strange how easy it is to accuse someone of not being harmless because one is feeling hurt, and to fire off a whole volcano of hurt feelings to everybody on the list who are actually doing something about their own malice? It has always amazed me how sincerely hypocritical spiritual seekers can be without even blinking an eyelid. In America they call it ‘venting’ nowadays and consider it to be of great therapeutic value. Not that I don’t know this attitude from my own spiritual years, but I can claim that I have seen the uselessness and stupidity of it and have turned around, stopped blaming the whole world and started to actually investigate my own root-causes for emotional eruptions. What I found was very fascinating indeed. It has brought the inner volcano to a halt, and for the first time in my life I am reliably free of emotions.
RESPONDENT: You are very energetic and mechanical. It’s for me fucking unbelievable. Energetic and Mecanicallllll??????? You both fucking mind-fuckers are like unbelievable human-like computers!!! If you are human-beings. You are beyond my imagination. I suspect there is sure to be someone who have written these Marvellous computer programs called Peter and Vineeto. I am no kidding in this part. hehehe.
I am really suspecting very highly. BTW, I am fucking jealous of your descriptions of the Actual Freedom state. I wanna get it. But I don’t want to eliminate fucking egoistic selfish arrogant, harmful, full of anger and sorrows and depression and love and hate and fear and pain and boredom and darkness, doubtful, heavy, serious, believing, prejudiced, lonely, fucking full of craps of desires, relentless, tense, cowardice, ugly Ego, miserable psychological entity... In short I love my nut-mind, hehehehe. (But shit! I wanna fucking this Actual Freedom without eliminating ‘I’) (UUUUU I wanna drugs, uuuuuuuuuu UUUU Help me Osho. If you still have power after your death, secretly. uuuuuuuu).
If in case of miracle you really are humans, I am really fucking surprised and exited to see and be friends of you. I wanna fucking say to my friends very proudly that I KNOW Persons like Spock really! They are not imaginary but real. I found them, I know them. I met real aliens who look very much the same as humans. My friends will be sure to envy me and many around me only frown.
VINEETO: What a funny way to say ‘I don’t wanna change’. Are you from Sirius, or the Plejades or maybe the Little Prince from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who tends his rose and his monkey-bread-tree on his faraway little planet – and now you are waiting for an other-worldly power to help you to be happy with your ego that you so excellently described?
It seems to me that Peter and I are the only Earthlings here on the list, saying what a wonderful planet this can be without the shackles of the Human Condition.
It would be all very amusing, if it wasn’t for the fact that people continuously fight and kill each other. I take it that your passionate writing is in response to the book review of ‘Zen at War’ (http://www.darkzen.com/) that Peter mentioned to No 13, because in subject heading you wrote: No 13 re Zen.
Reading of the extensive and systematic involvement of Zen masters and monks in war-crimes has shocked me – and I guess it has shocked you as well. Here there is another description of what humans do to humans, always calling the other one the inferior race, an animal, inhuman, heathens, fiends and dangerous enemies to justify the ferocity and cruelty that is displayed in wars, collective acts of instinctual aggression. 160 million people were killed in wars this century alone, and those 160 million include the 350,000 Chinese of Nanking, the 6 million Jews of WW II, the 800,000 German and 1.1 million Russian soldiers in Stalingrad, the 800,000 Tutus in Rwanda, the 100,000 Muslims and Serbs in Bosnia, the hundreds of thousands dead on both sides of the 40 years of Cold War and all the others that died for country, religion and ideology.
Watching on TV the ongoing fighting and suffering in shocking pictures and learning about the enormous numbers of victims, I cannot turn away any more from the facts as I could years ago, I cannot invent a ‘karmic reason’ for all the suffering, or pretend it is only the fault of the leaders – it is all too obvious that these ongoing atrocities are due to the survival instincts of fear and aggression, which resides in each of us. Just feeling guilty or sorry for the people is a hopeless, useless and gutless avoidance, a ‘head in the sand’ attitude.
The moment I dared to acknowledge these bare shocking facts, I had only one solution and that was to find the source of fear and aggression in me and to eradicate it in me utterly and completely. This is the only way I can make sure that I will never participate in violence, no matter what the circumstances, and that I, for one, can be a non-contributor to the pervading violence on the planet. I investigated and eliminated in myself the very source that drives human beings to be so horrendously cruel, devotionally obedient and desperately aggressive – the very survival instinct that prevents people from acknowledging and treating each other as fellow human beings.
As I have said to No 1 before:
I remember you writing that you visited the City of Peace, Hiroshima. You wrote:
RESPONDENT: When I walked around the Atomic Dome, I felt so much energy of peace. After the total disaster, which was the culmination of Man’s tendency of fear and fighting, Hiroshima has resurrected again. <...> I think we are now under the World War 3rd. Love and peace vs. fear and aggression. We vs. we and they.
VINEETO: It is the ongoing suffering and fighting that gave me the intent to eradicate the ‘self’ which is responsible for fear and aggression. The only way to change the world is to change ourselves, individually, to become happy and harmless, freed from instinctual passions, beliefs, feelings and emotions. Nothing to fight for, nothing to suffer about, I can have peace-on-earth for myself and, as such, contribute to world-peace in the only way possible.
RESPONDENT: I’m sure you noticed I was a bit disingenuous with No 33, or did you take me literally? T’was playful malice to match her energy.
VINEETO: There was a stage in my search for freedom where I had to admit that even playful malice was malice. And it was not agreeable with my aim of being perfect. In opting for removing the very cause of malice in me, the ‘self’, I decided for the best. The challenge for me was that nobody would make me hit back, feel annoyed, feel irritated, feel hurt, peeved, insulted, offended or withdrawn – and what a wonderful freedom that is.
RESPONDENT No 20: Thank you for such a wonderful refreshing wind of energy. Wow...
Your words to me, were from the heart, something that seems to be missing a lot around here, with all this ego bashing...
Thank you so much...
VINEETO: As far as I am concerned, my words are not from the heart, they are simply without malice. Without malice and aggression one needs no love to cover it up. Love has been an attempt to soothe and restrict the instinctual passions of malice and fear in human beings and it has failed to stop the fighting both in relationships and on a global scale.
To rid oneself of malice is nothing ‘special’, it is something that everybody can do with sufficient intent and courage. The intent stems from the peak-experience, when one experiences the world without the identity of ego and soul, as a perfect and magical place. And further, sincere intent is fuelled by being discontented and despairing about the ‘self’, the alien being that one is, and despairing about the way human beings behave with each other.
Once I had recognized that aggression is an innate instinct within me and within everybody, once I had recognised that it is not just caused by other people – who are then blamed – or bought on by particular circumstances, I decided to eliminate this ‘self’ in me and this became the main focus of my investigation.
As for the ‘ego bashing’ – I don’t see any point in it. I think it is simply a ‘spiritual’ disguise to be malicious to other people. Why else would one try and change other people instead of oneself? Seems such a waste of time...
RESPONDENT: The following words you wrote are the base assumption underlying all that you (Peter, Vineeto, Richard) are spewing – take that one basic premise away and what have you got?... NOTHING!
Obviously your temperament and world view fit in quite well with the idea of ‘original sin’. THAT is your biggest error.
VINEETO: Good that we are starting to discuss malice and sorrow, because understanding this point is essential for understanding what it is to be a human being. Isn’t it great that we have the opportunity to discuss these matters with someone on the other side of the planet!
I don’t know how you regard human beings as to their primary equipment at birth. I know from myself and from watching others – TV reports are a very good source of information – that every human being comes with a software package called the Human Condition. This software is made up of nature’s survival instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. It is a fact that we are born with 2 legs and 2 arms and also, that we are born with the basic animal instincts. Early humans would not have survived without those primary instincts. Only now, with such giants development in technology and economy, there is no need to hunt and kill one another for food and survival, but human are still, like in ancient times, operating according to this instinctual software. Now the time has come that we can consider those survival-mechanism as not only redundant but understand and eliminate the very cause of malice and sorrow in each of us.
When you watch small kids you will notice their behaviour sometimes being quite angry, without a particular reason. One kid takes another’s toy, and there is screaming and hitting until an adult sorts out the situation. I have observed these primary emotions within myself, being possessed by rage, jealousy, greed, desperation or paralysed with fear. You are right, Christians call it ‘original sin’, Eastern religions call it ‘Karma’. But scientist have found and have experienced it in myself that everyone equally has this software-package and as software it is also delete-able.
In the beginning it was hard to admit all my ‘bad’ emotions, but, being honest, there was no chance to deny them, and after years of meditation and therapy I knew myself too well. I had dealt with it by blaming my ‘bad’ emotions as ‘somebody else’s fault’ who had supposedly triggered them or ‘some bad incident’ that had annoyed me.
Admitting that the problem was within me was already part of the solution. There is actually a way to investigate and eliminate beliefs, emotions and instincts, one by one. I find this method instantaneously rewarding and much more reliable than hoping for a mysterious redemption by something like ‘divine grace’.
What a freedom to be able to be un-insult-able, un-offend-able, without resentment and completely harmless. What a joy to know that I can rely upon myself 100%, that I won’t harm anybody, that I won’t kill anybody for whatever emotions or beliefs, whatever the situation may be. On the way, one loses one’s ‘self’, but then it is only going one step further than I had set out anyway when I ventured to lose my ego.
PETER: I had a conversation with someone yesterday, who said that how I talked and wrote was offensive...
RESPONDENT to Peter: Of course it is – you are continuously spitting around in subtle ways.
PETER: I have no religious tolerance whatsoever, so all call me evil, ...
RESPONDENT to Peter: except you. You BELIEVE you are HARMLESS, hahaha
PETER: ...but given that I was a Sannyasin,
RESPONDENT to Peter: at least you BELIEVE you were, isn’t it?
PETER: ...particularly the followers of Mr. Chandra Mohan call me evil.
RESPONDENT to Peter: Right, they will, ’cause you want to destroy their ‘leader’. The LOVERS of Osho, however, will call you simply an asshole. I do. (An asshole is one who spits at love, in case you don’t know).
In fact, to call an asshole an asshole is such a joy, thanks for the opportunity, guy. And don’t forget to do what you said on top of your first reply: get lost sometime soon – the endless repetition of your happy and harmless number is getting too boring man.
VINEETO: As far as I know, your Indian name means ‘peace’. Does it mean you are looking for peace in you, with others and for the world at large? That had been my main reason why I took Sannyas.
But to be a LOVER of Osho for you means obviously calling everybody who isn’t an asshole. The consequence of love is obviously that you have to hate everybody who does not love who you love.
Isn’t that what the Jews do to the Muslims in the Middle East, what the Catholics do with the Protestants in Ireland and the Hindus do with the Muslims and Sikhs in India. Tell me, where is the difference? Aren’t you simply defending your love of Osho, your belief in him as the Master, against another belief? You attack the ‘wrong-believer’ like all get-out and have great glee doing it. So your love is just another opportunity to wage war, something human beings have developed into a great art or entertainment over the centuries.
Just calling someone an asshole is not enough of a fact to refute anything he says, you have to give more evidence to your opinion. Otherwise I cannot see any difference to all the other religious warriors who are simply sending missiles when they disagree with their neighbour’s country’s religion.
When I met Peter and he said he wanted to live with a woman in peace and harmony, I took the opportunity. I had to question and eliminate a lot of my dearly held beliefs in the course of the search for such daily and permanent peace, but I considered those beliefs as part of the ego that I had set out to leave behind when I started on the spiritual path.
My primary aim was peace. And being practical I realised that the challenge was to live in peace with one person. That was and is my contribution to peace in the world. If I could not live with one other person in peace and harmony, how could I realistically expect to be peace on the planet? Whatever was in the road between us I would investigate according to what was factual and what was a belief. Based on facts, we could always find a sensible agreement in whatever situation, something that has never been possible on the basis of believing something to be right or wrong, good or bad. Sticking stubbornly and passionately to my beliefs had only resulted in endless fights about opinions in my previous relationships.
This is how I came to question one belief after the other, and one of them was the belief in authority. Without the belief in authority I can confidently stand on my own two feet and can examine whatever somebody says according to the content and not to who says it – a man, a woman, a guru, a ‘newcomer’, a heathen. That confidence gives me peace with everyone, I don’t need to attack or defend authority, and I can simply examine facts.
You replied to what I wrote to No. 18:
I think you don’t consider it a possibility that somebody can actually get rid of anger, greed, jealousy etc. You can only interpret it as another mask. I think it is a bit short-sighted, that’s all. I am simply saying that it is possible because I did it, and why not give it a try? My life now is well worth living and so much more fun than with all the problems that the Human Condition in me, like anger, fear, greed, sorrow etc. used to produce.
You seem to get rather annoyed when we use the words ‘happy’ and ‘harmless’. I could also call it ‘not miserable’ and ‘not vindictive’. But you can always press ‘delete’ in case you enjoy your life as it is and yourself as you are.
RESPONDENT: I do not appreciate you cutting down Osho. This site is for sannyasins and friends of Osho. I personally am not interested in ‘converting’ but you guys seem to be forcing your issues on those that are here.
VINEETO: When I started to write on this list, and talked about my experiences, I stated that I had found the Eastern teachings lacking in delivering solutions for me personally and for the world at large. After thousand of years of teachings about enlightenment and meditation people are still killing each other for their beliefs, their territory and many other petty reasons.
I just saw a report about an emergency hospital in Chicago where kids of 9 – 18 years are brought in with 13 or more bullets in their bodies, not only once, but often returned a second or third time ... and the reasons were often a fight over a Hamburger, a stereo-recorder, a missing apology, a misunderstanding. You may say, they are not Sannyasins, but is there really such a difference? Haven’t we all experienced rage, blinding jealousy or despair? I know that, until a year ago, I could not rely on myself that I would not ride on the lust for power or the thrill of being malicious to someone. There was always this doubt, ‘would there be a situation that would trigger me’? In the end, I couldn’t be sure of myself.
Then people on the list said, this list is not about Eastern teaching, what about Osho. So I became more specific in my replies. Being a ‘friend of Osho’ does not mean for you that you are not allowed to check out facts, or does it? When people ask specific questions, because they want to investigate, I answer. If you don’t like the answer you can always investigate, find out for yourself and discuss it further, if you like.
Is this list only for the loyal ones who don’t question Osho’s authority on anything he said, and represented, or is this list also for those who would like to find out about life on earth, who are searching for a solution to their own and humanity’s problems?
I had loved and followed Osho for seventeen years and I was in this Sannyas-world for half of my life. I have now found something that works 100%, that makes me completely happy and harmless, and that is possible for every human being on the planet. It is simple, obvious and straight-forward, it is actual and factual. Naturally, the first people I am sharing it with are the people I have spent all those years with, searching together for an answer, investigating and experimenting together, living, longing and laughing together... I don’t see how this inappropriate?
RESPONDENT: Speaking for myself, how would you like it if we went to your site and started to push Osho on you...
VINEETO: I would appreciate it very much. You are very welcome to discuss this on any list you want to. I don’t have a perception of ‘my’ site or ‘your’ list, I simply enjoy talking to people where ever and when ever they write to me.
RESPONDENT to No 8: Usually when I find people uninteresting, boring or too serious (like my wife and mother) I make fun of their words or a joke. I put some ‘juice’ into them and that makes them laugh and become less serious. Do you call that ‘being vindictive’?
You say that you don’t find my jokes funny where I used the names of Peter and Vineeto. Have you forgotten? Osho used to make fun of his sannyasins and everyone used to have a good laugh. Nobody was offended.
No wonder you like those two dried-up old fossils, Peter and Vineeto.
P.S.: I find that Vineeto still has a little humour left in her. I loved those two pictures she sent. They were funny.
VINEETO: It is such a curious business writing to people on the internet. I was convinced you were a woman (I knew a woman with the same name, that’s why) – now, suddenly – for me suddenly – you have a wife.
I have thought quite a bit about humour lately and about your statement that there is a little humour left in me. I might be a bit handicapped by my German upbringing – and with English being my second language I am not good with puns. But there is more to it than that.
Most jokes I can’t laugh at. Most jokes are built on either the suffering of people or them being malicious. I just can’t find the joke. Also, there is neither boredom nor any other emotional tension that needs to be ‘healed’ or relieved with a joke. Living in delight, laughter is simply part of the day, as are interesting conversations, thrilling investigations, juicy sex and tasty food. Humour may not be something you find much in my writing – but then, my intent to writing something is different. When I write here on the list, my intent is to convey something of the magic I experience being free of beliefs and emotions, and to describe how I got here.
And as for boredom, I found that since I eliminated boredom in me, nobody can bore me anymore – I can spend days of doing nothing, hanging out by myself or with Peter and never be bored. Being alive is thrilling, sensuous, bubbly, delicious, enjoyable, magical, sensational – and then you get to do things on top of it!
RESPONDENT: (...) I remember Osho saying that German’s have a hard time getting a joke because of what happened to them during Hitler’s time. He said that Germans are very intelligent people but somehow Hitler was able to fool all of them to believe in his stupid idea that Jews were the cause of all the misery and suffering in Germany.
Osho used to joke that it takes Germans a few days before they get a joke and start laughing ... is that true, Vineeto? hahaha.
VINEETO: What your master said about Germans and what I found out about being conditioned as German is a hell of a difference. Yes, I found the ‘Hitler’ in me after I realised that I would have killed for defending my master and my devotion for him with the same passion that Germans had when they marched to conquer and ‘save the world’. Hitler simply played on the instincts of Germans in a way that they followed him and that they were ready to die for him, for their country, for their Christian belief, for their Arian race – exactly as Osho played on my – and everybody’s – instincts so that I was ready to kill and die for ‘Him’ on the Ranch.
There is no point blaming somebody else for my misery or suffering, I am made of the same stuff as any other human being, I am equipped with the same software of instincts, conditioning and sense of ‘self’. And I can do something about it. After I recognised and acknowledged the ‘Hitler’ in me as well as the ‘follower’ in me, it left such an impact that I was determined to eradicate these aspects of the Human Condition in me.
And I succeeded. There is not a trace of nationalistic or religious conditioning left today. And I can see this conditioning and the underlying instinctual passions operating in everybody – the Human Condition – with different labels, for different reasons, but nevertheless as power and aggression, fear and willing obedience. When it comes down to the animalistic instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, there is no difference between a German and a Jew, an Indian and a Muslim, a Serb and a Rajneeshee. Everybody, without fail, is inflicted with this disease – the Human Condition.
This is what Osho omitted in his discourses.
RESPONDENT: I personally think that Humour is a good sign of Intelligence. If a person can laugh at himself and make fun of his mistakes and shortcomings (who doesn’t have any?) then he makes his world somehow lighter and free. Osho himself used to make fun of himself (and I learned this too). There were jokes where Osho dies and goes to heaven and sits on God’s throne, or a joke where Osho scares Saint Peter in heaven. He used to say that he was going to hell because there were more juicy and alive people there. Heaven is boring, full of saints and serious people.
I am very happy to see that you have a sense of humour and unlike some sannyasins you don’t seem to get offended or angry at jokes.
VINEETO: Yes, I also think that it is a sign of intelligence when one can see the ridiculousness of what one is doing. But most jokes point at others and are at the expense of the shortcomings of others. It is called fun but is almost always badly disguised plain malice. The impression of ‘lighter and free’ comes from a temporary distraction from the misery all around, but jokes do nothing to actually free you from misery. After a short time it hits back with full force.
For me, being a seeker has always been about finding out about myself, first about the ego in Sannyas and now about the whole of the Human Condition, the ego and the soul. Searching, for me, is about establishing peace-on-earth in me, and for that, the ‘I who I think I am and the I who I feel I am’ has to die. Only when ‘I’ am completely demolished will I be reliably happy and harmless, all the time.
Just making fun of one’s own and other’s shortcomings is nothing but a nice coating over the ‘self’ that wants to stay as it is – and be liked by others on top of it. It has never really appealed to me. I preferred to find a way to be free of being the nice girl, free of needing love, free of any dependency on other people’s opinion about me. Then I am also free to say what is the case instead of being anxious about what others would have liked me to say.
It is a wondrous and delightful freedom to be an autonomous, happy and harmless human being. It beats every single joke in the world. Jokes – if they are really good jokes – can only be the cherry on the cream on the cake.
VINEETO: Benevolence is the quality of the physical universe, it is neither love nor compassion, neither ‘feeling’ nor ‘being’. When everything of ‘me’ is eliminated, the actual world becomes apparent. Benevolence is intrinsic to the actual world.
RESPONDENT: Benevolence is a quality of the physical universe’, you say. According to my dictionary ‘universe’ means ‘the totality of all the things that exist; creation; the cosmos’. So we can assume that anything physically limited in space such as a rock, a door, a car, the moon, the sun is not benevolent. But, according to you, as soon as we take it all together, as the physical universe, suddenly there’s benevolence. How can that be? This is a mystery isn’t it? Can this magical and sudden appearance be explained or understood by your common-sense?
VINEETO: There is no malice and sorrow in the physical universe. There is no such thing as right or wrong, good or bad, sadness, grief, compassion, love, or any other feeling in the physical universe. These are feelings that are in human beings only (and in a rudimentary form in some animals). Feelings and instincts are both the product and the very substance of the psychological and psychic entity within the human body. So when you rid yourself from this alien entity within the human body, when there is no malice and sorrow in this human body, the perfection and benevolence become apparent. It is the Human Condition that prevents human beings from being as pure and perfect as the physical universe and thus from experiencing the purity, perfection and benevolence of this infinite magnificence of the actual world.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.