Selected Correspondence Vineeto
ALAN: I also found a great reluctance to examine the above two subjects (a sure indication they were of importance). Any distraction would do, just to get me away from looking closer. I had incredible difficulty focusing on (or even remembering) what I had been contemplating, just a moment before. Then the heart palpitations started, the sense of dread. Then the ‘am I thinking this because Vineeto mentioned it?’, ‘who am I?’, ‘what is real?’. Perhaps this is the ‘tumbling’ you described. Today, I wrote a mail to someone, which caused me tonight, while in the bath, to question what I am doing. In writing that mail, and the words above, what am I doing? – seeking approval, desperately wanting someone to say I am doing well, on the right track. Then an investigation into praise – a discovery that all praise achieves is to perpetuate and reinforce ‘my’ existence.
VINEETO: I can well relate to those experiences. The whole time of my ‘mad scientist’ period, I was trying to work out a scheme, a psychic map, symbols and strategies of where I am going and what I am doing. To discover that all those grand experiences were nothing but figments of my imagination was a great blow to the ‘self’ in general and to my orientation in particular. Since then, I think, I lost most of my contact with ‘reality’, at times drifting about in an apparent limbo, because none of the old measures of orientation apply anymore. Very strange indeed. Richard is right, it requires pure intent and nerves of steel, but then, who wants to go back and be ‘normal’ again? Now I seem to be standing firmly on the ground of my senses but with the head and eyes in the thickest fog, unable to locate myself. I have the choice to freak out about it, which I sometimes do, or to adjust to this new situation and enjoy it. I have no idea, if that ‘fog’ will ever settle or if I eventually will stop worrying about it. It’s just another picture of my imagination, after all.
I am not surprised that you are looking for approval and confirmation, that you are on the right track. Going mad all by yourself is a giant task, and I am full of admiration for your courage. I had and have Peter to go mad with together, so it did not seem so weird all the time. A bit like walking on your feet while everyone else is walking on their hands, getting blisters and headaches and finding it perfectly normal. It is weird. I think, from what I read, you are doing very well in your post office in good old England without even a dog to talk common sense to. Quite thrilling too, isn’t it?
ALAN: ... as this concurs with my own experience, which is in the current correspondence with Richard. I think all one can do to ‘warn’ another is to say watch out for this feeling of Love, which is definitely located in the belly, the seat of being. As we have both demonstrated it is possible to turn away from this blissful state, whether using ‘native intelligence’, ‘pure intent’ or whatever name.
VINEETO: Interesting that you talk about the blissful state. We found a book by Bernadette Roberts, a Christian mystic, called ‘What is Self?’ where she talks about no-ego and the no-self, only to describe that after enlightenment she gets even further lost into the fantasy of being one with Christ. And recently, when somebody asked me about Akashic Records, I experienced that bliss-state for about an hour, the state Mrs. Roberts seems to describe in her book. I finally got a grip on it – I could experience it and describe from the ‘outside’ what was happening. This blissful state seems unemotional, no love or compassion is felt in the heart, everything is a cool ‘oneness’. One feels all-pervading, ‘I am everything and everything is me and everything is divine’.
The experience can easily be mistaken as intimacy because the sense of ‘me’ is so expanded across the universe and spread so thin, so to speak, that ‘me’ is hardly noticeable. As ‘I am every thing’, one is of course ‘feeling’ intimate with the TV set or is able to intuit into someone else’s, in this case Mrs. Roberts, religious imaginations. (I had read Bernadette Roberts, a Christian Mystic’s book, ‘What is Self?’ prior to this experience). Fascinating and seductive and very eerie. I think this could be a bit like the parallel universe scientists fantasize about. One then lives in a universe where everything is a virtual replica of the actual, with the glow of divinity, unity and timeless-ness to it – and as it is virtual, it is controlled by the imagination of the one who makes it up. This ‘parallel’ universe ‘feels’ and is ‘imagined’ as intimate or not-separate, and yet it is twice removed from the physical body, the senses, this actual world. This ‘insanity’ of ‘feeling one with everything’ is the barrier that prevents one from experiencing the world as a flesh and blood body, with the senses. Boy, I really understand why these guys are so far out there, lost and locked in an imaginary space that has almost no return-ticket.
But then, you only have to pinch yourself and where it hurts, that’s actual.
It is good not to be trapped by this complete insanity. It is the same type of dis-association that people suffer from who are in an insane asylum. The film ‘Awakening’ depicted some of those people. There was one woman who could not walk to the window because the checker pattern on the floor was interrupted by a black line – until the doctor painted the black line into checkers. In her ‘world’ the black line was dangerous. The religious insanity is being locked into another type of fantasy-world, where one isn’t really the body and one’s True Self will be free only after death – it is an altered state of consciousness, i.e. mentally deranged, forever cut off from common sense.
VINEETO: I think it would be a great idea to write down a longer description of those outstanding events on the path to freedom. <...>
ALAN: OK, here is last night’s instalment. I went back to work in the office I was in 5 years ago. My office no longer existed and although many of the people were the same none of them recognised me and I wandered around feeling very lost and scared and lonely. This dream followed on from my further enquiries yesterday into the ‘waiting’ I previously mentioned. Behind the ‘waiting’ I discovered the fear of leaving the herd, which we have also been discussing. So, the broom is out for another rooting about in the dark corners.
VINEETO: I sometimes suspect that my fear of leaving the herd is actually the fear of having left the herd!
Whatever tool or means, it’s good to find the reason underneath ‘not feeling good’.
Leaving the herd has been an ongoing theme for me. It started with leaving the woman’s camp, leaving the Sannyas fold, the work place and closest friends there, leaving the group of seekers, friends and well-known ways of relating. Now, when writing to the Sannyas list, whiffs of fear sweep through, sometimes for minutes, sometimes longer – it becomes so very clear that I am not only leaving one particular religious group, I am leaving the whole of the psychic world behind. By ‘psychic world,’ I mean the ability to ‘feel’ where the other is at, to intuit his or her position, to understand them psychically and psychologically. It is like speaking a different language – the language of emotions vs. the language of common sense and facts. Very often there is no communication possible. But, as I told you before, whenever I go back into the psychic world of feelings and emotions, I only get confused, and then I can’t communicate clearly at all. It is an old rut, a habit that I am determined to eradicate along with its accompanying fear.
ALAN: And yet it is not a joke, for this is what I have been struggling with the last few days – ‘who is it who is knowing?’ – ‘who is it who is puzzling?’
VINEETO: I have always found the question ‘who’ would confuse me, distract me, re-create psychic dramas and keep imagination and feeling alive. While asking ‘what am I’ always brings me to my senses because ‘what’ I am can only be experienced by the senses. The actual world can only be experienced by the senses. Neither belief nor imagination nor feeling can answer ‘what I am’, but they can easily make up a lot of ‘who’s’.
I have found that by living in virtual freedom I have shifted my whole focus and emphasis from solving emotional problems and debunking beliefs to sensually and sensately enjoying ‘wee-things’ (as Billy Connolly said), the everyday things that life consists of – breakfast, rain, typing, coffee, walking, shopping, talking, sex, shower, watching TV and going to bed at night-time. And maybe half an hour of the day was spent pondering about ‘fear, death and deep matters’ of ‘me’. And thus the perspective changes, the focus changes from the imaginary to the actual, from the dramatic to the ordinary, from serious introspection to delightful hedonism – gay abandon, as Peter calls it. So it has been literally a turning away from giving importance to the ‘metaphysical’ to focussing on the actuality of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. And what a delight that is, each moment again, just to be alive, breathing and listening, tasting and seeing, smelling and touching. And then you get to do things on top of it – sheer delight.
VINEETO: Hi Richard,
RICHARD: I cannot help but prick up my hears where you say ‘strangely enough no form’. I am presuming that physical objects were still extant as you say that you were seeing without fear and the psychic world ... and thus by ‘no form’ you do not mean the metaphysical ‘formlessness’. Do you mean that there was no form to an ‘I’ as in an on-going identity ... like you write about in your next paragraph? Are the ‘stubbies’ the days gone by since birth – all events and occurrences – and the ‘plastic that would keep them together’ is this ‘me’ that is the ‘form’ that was missing in this experience?
VINEETO: With the stubbies I meant in this incident my actual senses including the brain, fully functioning, better than with the ‘plastic’ of emotional interpretation around them, but they had no definition or identifiable form, hence the description ‘strangely enough no form’. It is more the idea of there having to be a form that was missing. I seemed to consist of the pieces of information that the senses gave me, the seeing, hearing, thinking, but there was no continuity, no person as such, no identity.
RICHARD: Your use of the word ‘definition’ brings me back to your ‘strangely enough no form’ description above and I relate ‘definition’ with ‘outline’ ... as I wrote in Article 9 of ‘Richard’s Journal’.
VINEETO: Yes, Richard, I agree with your term ‘outline’, it is a very good description of this fictitious entity. It seems to come on so silently, that if I don’t turn my attention to it I hardly notice that it has slipped in yet again, pretending to be someone, while only the experience of the particular bit of the universe is happening. Right now it takes a lot of remembering and awareness to discern it, or better, to focus on the actual experiencing of coffee, food, sound, or whatever I am doing.
RICHARD: It would appear that the experiential study of fear is germane to any examination of the ‘plastic between the stubbies’ so as to ensure a life beyond ‘being’ .
VINEETO: Yes, I agree, although often it does not appear as fear, rather a certain hesitancy to fully enjoy the moment, to lash into the sparkles and to become yet more alive – a safe place of ‘this is already enough happiness and pleasure, let’s not rock the boat!’ But since I have nothing else important to do, I might as well rock the boat and become entirely mad!
VINEETO: Was great fun to read your rave the other day. It demonstrates wonderfully how the brain moves from one subject to the other, opening questions, answering some, leaving some for later enquiry and research, and so on. I followed your trains of thought and kept thinking for a bit after your letter was finished and just want to tell you about the delightful understanding I have come up with so far.
MARK: And how does one delete a part of one’s DNA (personally speaking my gene splicing skills leave a lot to be desired). I still don’t understand how one is to undo the deepest layers of instinct – but I do feel instinct and its grip weakening as my personal reality is exposed for the mirage that it is.
This adds a little to the notion that the whole thing (the self) is an integrated package and a reduction in one area is a reduction across the board. Hence, as we chip away at our belief system (the seemingly ‘most visible’ layer of the ‘being’, the outer most layer, so to speak) then there are repercussions in our emotional and instinctual arenas as well. With all belief systems abandoned, no way to imagine new ones, no trigger for emotions and incumbent feelings, the last days, hours, moments, of the self, (and this is obviously a conjecture on my part) must be extreme in the poignancy of their primal and purely instinctual nature. As to the question of the instincts (and indeed the selfs) only toehold on the body (that seemingly undeletable interface between the body and instincts that I spoke of earlier, that possible DNA connection) – is it not possible that the ‘physical turning over of something in the base of the brain’ that Richard speaks of in his last moments as a being, is the final unlocking of some physically encoded something in the ... somewhere!
VINEETO: The serendipitous thing in the process is that the brain – more and more cleaned up from the debris of emotions, beliefs and instincts – seems to know exactly what it is doing in terms of gene-splitting, altering the DNA, building synopses and cutting other false connections. The physical part is as much happening by itself as are digestion, heartbeat and breathing. The ‘only’ thing I have to do is make sure that beliefs, emotions and instincts don’t interfere in this perfect functioning mechanism, and then I can enjoy its workings to the max. The senses are heightened, the emotional-caused malfunctioning like tense stomach, indigestion and other imaginary ailments are diminished and disappear, and clear thinking is easily available and not restricted by boundaries, no-no’s, morals and fears.
So, it’s perfectly appropriate to enjoy the expertise of our brain and ‘get my head out of the metaphysical and psychological and pay attention to the actual for a while ... mmmm ... coffee!’ I’m going to have croissants with ham and cheese and a fresh-ground, freshly brewed cup of Caddie’s coffee!
RESPONDENT: I have been spiritual in my life but I am not spiritual now. Truth to me is what I am actually doing, thinking and feeling from moment to moment. I’m sorry if I have wasted your time. I will continue to look and see if I have any spirituality.
VINEETO: Personally, I was never attracted to J. Krishnamurti or his teachings as I considered them too dry and theoretical at the time of my spiritual involvement. Instead, I got sucked into the emotional indulgence and the escalating esoteric extravagance of Mr. Mohan Rajneesh. Yet the relationship that I had to him as my master differs not from the relationship that other followers have to their particular master – is it invariably epitomized by unquestioning adoration, deep felt loyalty, a love that excuses and defends the master’s every word or deed and the pride of being a disciple of such rare outstanding and powerful personality. Krishnamurti’s claim that he did not want to be a master nor want his followers to be devotees only created an apparent intellectual coolness but it never altered the fervent emotional ties that each of his followers had, and still has, with him. If you take the time and read through some of Richard’s correspondence with mailing list B you will quickly understand what I mean.
Before I could learn, explore or even consider that there was any new approach to life I had to question this highly emotional relationship to the one teacher that I had considered to be the only authority and fountain of wisdom. My worldview was coloured and measured against the authority of his words and teachings. If others stated similar views and ‘wisdoms’, I considered them right, if not, they were wrong. My judgements had nothing to do with my personal investigation of facts at all; it was solely a ‘feeling right’ decision according to my preconceived convictions solely derived from the master’s viewpoint – and the fact that he had been dead for 10 years did not change my emotional dependency on his authority at all.
An honest and in-depth investigation of the facts of the situation was only possible after I ‘tore Rajneesh out of my heart’, became a traitor to his message and his ‘sangha’ and thus became independent of his imagined approval or condemnation. Only then was I able to listen to his discourses and judge with my newly freed intelligence instead of ‘my heart’ and to discover his mindless twaddle and ‘compassionate lies’, his manipulation and deceit, his outright distortions and underlying ancient rotten Indian belief-system. Now I could start the long and fascinating journey of unravelling the intricate web of the psychic world – the Eastern spiritual fears of endless karma, the hope for transcendence, the reverence for intuition, love, compassion, bliss and enlightenment. Once one starts to see the psychic world and how it functions, the word ‘spiritual’ is revealed in its fuller and more comprehensive meaning.
You felt moved to defend your teacher the moment I quoted him in order to prove that he is concerned only with the spiritual and the divine and not with the actual. This reaction indicates where to look when you want to ‘see if [you] have any spirituality’. So in order to ‘continue to look and see if [you] have any spirituality’, you will first and foremost have to consider and investigate your affective relationship to your ‘previous’ teacher and teachings. Otherwise any factual discussion about what Krishnamurti said or meant will be distorted by the emotions that are instigating automatic instinctual (or, as LeDoux calls them, ‘quick and dirty’) reactions rather than considered intelligent responses.
RESPONDENT: I wonder though, if attempting to re-create these peak experiences isn’t a little bit like a kid who had an ice cream cone, and when it is gone, wants another one, and imagines she might have one all the time. How could one not want this? But the wanting itself seems to me to be a statement of the problem.
VINEETO: When I started my spiritual journey, my driving force was to get out of this miserable world I was living in. The promise was that I would be able to live in the land of bliss, once I am able to get rid of the ego – die as an ego. But then at the same time the rule was not to want anything, to surrender my will, and I ended up being dependent on the Master to tell me what to do and what to aim for. Also I ended up going round in circles because to get what I want I had to give up wanting to get it...
After meeting Richard and Peter it took me a few month and a mind-shattering peak-experience to understand that Actual Freedom is in fact something completely and diametrically opposite to the spiritual path. It is not even an expansion of the spiritual. It is slowly, slowly seeing through the immense web our psychic world is made of, understanding and seeing (getting) that ALL of the psychic world is nothing but an enormous collective passionate belief-system. And that there is an actual world beyond imaginary belief – the peak experience.
Living in a peak-experience everything is perfect, everything is obvious, already happening without me having to control or direct it, in fact it can only happen if ‘I’ am not there. This memory I take back when I become ‘normal’ again, this then works as the thread, the sincere intent to move further into scary enquiries.
So I know what I want and I need exactly this will and intent to overcome the fears and doubts which appear when I start cleaning myself up. ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ is the only question I need to check out what is happening now. Nothing else counts. Half an hour ago or tomorrow don’t count. And if I am not happy now, then there is something to do, to find out, to clean up. Which doubt, which objection, which emotion is preventing me from being happy now. It look so simple one thinks there must be a catch. But this is all there is to it. This method is so devastatingly effective and that is the scary bit – it works!
And once you see that it works, you become more daring and question yet another threshold of a dearly held belief or ‘Truth’. You will discover that however dear and proven those ‘Truths’ seem, that they are never based on facts.
VINEETO: The so-called insights of the spiritual and psychic world are nothing but passionate fantasies, picked up intuitively from Ancient Wisdom (Akashic Records). Once someone has removed himself from the real world through meditation and other spiritual practice, imagination can run riot. So, you can consider yourself lucky not to have had those spiritual insights. You must be a reasonably practical and down-to-earth person despite your years of spiritual search.
The insights that happen when one starts investigating into the Human Condition are another matter, and they usually don’t come spontaneously. They are the result of sincere and persistent inquiry into the facts of a particular situation until those facts become blindingly obvious. Take the belief in God or Existence or whatever other name He goes by. Every single fact points to that God does not exist in actuality as verifiable by the senses, and that ‘He’ is but a mere collectively produced projection of a fearful humanity. Take away the fear and it becomes so obvious – you would not even call it an insight, it is simply an acknowledgment of the case. But in order to see it so clearly, it takes a persistent digging into one’s beliefs – and fears – to dare to undertake an investigation that people regard as blasphemous and iconoclastic. The main tricks are not to let anything stop you from finding out the facts, and never to settle for second best.
VINEETO: Hi everybody,
I took a few days off writing to find out my own position in this ‘show’, what it does to me and where I stand.
I found that I had tried to understand psychologically and psychically from where everyone was coming from, what the underlying motivation or story was for whatever comment, question, objection – because I considered it essential for communication. The results were tight shoulders and tense thoughts, no way to respond or see clearly. I had gone into the collective psychic world of fear, the instinctual fear which is the core of the Human Condition, that surfaces when a familiar and safe setting of one’s conviction is shaken up. Trying to understand what’s going on from ‘feeling’ it out, the feelings of so-called empathy and intuition had only stopped me from being here, from noticing the delight of the fan blowing at my back, the cars driving by, the taste of coffee in my mouth, the sound of the ocean and the play of my fingers on the keyboard...
Well, I also found out that it does not need a psychic intuition or empathy to come to that conclusion. I could have reached there by straight forward common sense. Once I saw with apperception – the mind’s perception of itself – what I was doing, joining this ‘real’ world of feelings and concepts, this ‘real’ world disappeared with a ‘pop’. Now, being back here , I can communicate again about this so wondrous, fairy-tale-like, sensuous, obvious and corporeal actual world...
Reading the different statements I was reminded of a particular outstanding experience during the Anti-Fisher-Hoffman-Process in Pune. It was the second time that I did the group, the first time that I was a staff-member. The AFH, as we called it, is a 10-12 day process of looking at childhood issues and overcoming fear, resentment, anger, attachment by using intense bio-dynamic methods. By the third day, with lots of ‘work’ and little sleep, everybody hit their limit. I dragged myself forward, fantasizing about the time when I could sleep again as long as I wanted, if I only made it through the next ‘hellish’ days. Suddenly it dawned on me that what I was doing was waiting. I was wasting my time for ‘redemption’. And I realised that there was no difference from ‘waiting for heaven’ or for enlightenment, or for the right man, or...
With this insight that there is only now, that I live only now, and that there is no heaven to go to – I woke up into full awareness and aliveness. Postponement only brings more misery, hope is for the hesitant one who does not want to take the first step to freedom. This peak-experience lasted for several hours, and while everyone else was tired to the bone I bounced in refreshed aliveness. Later on the event got filed into the category of ‘group-highs’ and the memory of it soon faded away. But for those few hours I had lived in the actual world, here, now, without God, heaven, authority, love, hope and postponement. I had actually experienced that this moment is the only moment we have got, the only moment we can experience being alive, to be either miserable or happy, complaining or fully alive.
And this is where I see one of the main differences between the freedom, Peter and I talk about, and the teachings of the enlightened masters of all ages: the concept of life after death. ‘Eternity’ was a good attraction at the time, improving on the notion of the Christian heaven and hell. The idea was that the soul was eternal, and would live on forever and ever, evolving and in bliss, or, re-appearing in endless re-incarnations, sorting out one’s so-called karma. Enlightenment offered the dream of ‘me’ living on for ever – even after physical death ‘I’ would continue ... and this very dream lead to the most insidious postponement – everything will be fixed with enlightenment or otherwise in Nirvana after death... This belief in eternity comes in many forms and disguises, but if you take a closer look, you will always find that the Divine, the Melting with the Universe, the Dissolution into the Greater Whole – life after death – are an essential part of Eastern teaching.
The dream of the eternal, undying soul spoils the game of living now as the only moment of being alive. That’s where Richard shocked my out of my socks: He proposed that there is no life after death. You die when you die, full stop, basta, finito, extinct.
‘Well, yes, maybe’, I thought, ‘nobody knows, and it could be that he might be right. But I will only know when I die ..’ (one can see the postponement at work!). I did not want to let the fact come close enough to admit that I have only a very limited life-span left – I don’t know how long it will be.
When I asked Richard why he is so confidently positive about no life after death, he replied: ‘Because there is nobody and nothing in me that could live on, I am only this flesh and blood body, there is no soul, no entity inside this body which could live on.’ That statement really hit. Here was a man, without imagination, without emotions, living happily in everyday life, as ordinary as anybody, and he says there exists no entity in him which survives! For me, that meant, that everybody else, including me, imagines their soul, imagines an inner world, imagines life-after-death, imagines the Divine and keeps feelings alive by feeding them with imagination.
But if one single man can live happily and harmlessly outside of imagination, if he can live without love and emotion, then our emotions and soul are not facts but products of our fertile collective imagination and instinctual programming. Then, the concepts of ‘divine energy’, ‘eternal soul’, ‘Existence looking after us’, etc, are suddenly understood as concepts, built and refined over the centuries to keep the fear of death at bay, to reconcile us with the awareness of the terrifying fact of approaching death.
If a single man has rid himself of all beliefs, and of the very act of believing, those beliefs are exposed for what they are – non-factual.
Recognizing this fact was a shock and it was not easy to look the fear of death in the face, but it brought me here. Not knowing if I am alive tomorrow, I can only live this moment – there is, as a fact, no afterlife. If I don’t like life now, I am the only one who can change it. To say, as I often heard quoted, that ‘everything is perfect as it is’ or, ‘one gets on with life and life will take care’ are just more disguises for the same postponement.
RESPONDENT: When I studied psychology some years ago, for only about three months because it’s really dry stuff, the main psychology course was taught by a professor who didn’t believe in the psyche. The book he warmly recommended to us was titled ‘Der Geist Fiel Nicht Vom Himmel’ (The Spirit or Psyche didn’t Fall from Heaven). The professor surely was a man of common sense, wasn’t he. He really believed that the Psyche is created by biochemistry of the body. It was a socialist university. In Louvain, at a catholic university, the psychology professor believed a soul or psyche exists, of course. Socialists tend to be materialistic, don’t they, maybe because of their long struggle against the church-supported governments, and they tend to be physical because of belonging to the working class, using their body a lot.
VINEETO: What do you want to prove by giving me the example of two professors believing opposite theories? But then, what were your conclusions of their teaching? What facts did they give you, what were your investigations? You are presenting opposite beliefs, not facts.
As I see it, psychology in itself is based on one assumption after the other, and the different schools are all unable to produce valid empirical facts to prove their theories. This is because psychology itself – I have studied it for four years – is trying to conceptualise, understand and change human emotions and behaviour. Behaviour is one thing, one can produce some empirical data on behaviour. But Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Gustav Jung, Erich Fromm and others were trying to conceptualise something that is part of the collective psychic construct, produced in the head (or heart), feed by the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. From within the Human Condition, influenced by their current concepts, beliefs, upbringing or environment the particular psychologist is as trapped in his belief system as are his clients. Psychology tries to produce maps for the psychic world, whereas the fact is that the psychic world is a huge construct of imagination and instincts, and can be eliminated entirely (both ego and soul).
Once you have stepped out of the real world of emotions and beliefs into the actual world, with the ‘self’ in temporary abeyance as in a pure consciousness experience, you can see the root cause of human emotions and beliefs very clearly. No psychology needed. (...)
VINEETO: Once I saw with apperception – bare awareness – what I was doing, that I was joining this ‘real’ world of feelings and concepts, it disappeared in a ‘pop’. Now, being back here, I can communicate again about this so wondrous, fairy-tale-like, sensuous, obvious actual world...
RESPONDENT: hmmm, sounds really Osho-like
VINEETO: It is very hard to talk about something outside of beliefs to a believer. And I am still new in this business of describing actual freedom. I only know how I got out of my spiritual beliefs and that it rocked me to the very core. I have seen the psychic world from the outside like planet earth from a space-ship. Once you dare not to assume or imagine anything and only rely on your physical senses, this psychic world is seen as the imagination it is, woven by all of humanity since humans have lived on earth... quite a challenging thing to question or leave behind.
Or do you say that Osho was not talking about transcending the body, transcending sex, in order to become enlightened? ‘Sensuous’ includes all physical senses – but definitely not the sixth sense, which is imagination.
RESPONDENT: I don’t think you read Akashic records, do you?
VINEETO: Yes, I have been tapping into those Akashic Records when ‘I’ still lived in the psychic world, and I have been studying the phenomenon as such on my way to freedom. It is a fascinating subject. As I have seen it, ‘Akashic Records’ is another word for the whole of humanity’s beliefs, the whole of Ancient Wisdom. For some reason this collective belief is accessible to whoever expands his or her ambition and search in the direction of collective beliefs and feelings.
Nevertheless, those ‘Akashic Records’ are nothing but humankind’s collective imagination with millions of details and variations. They are the whole of the atavistic beliefs and, as such, an intrinsic part of the Human Condition. In that collective psychic world one finds Universal Sorrow with its opposite – Compassion and Universal Dread with its opposite – Bliss. Those feelings, when one taps into them, are very powerful and convincing. You have probably experienced them yourself. They seem so all-encompassing as if there has never been anything as compelling and true as this experience. So powerful as to be convincingly real – one feels that one has discovered the Hidden Secrets of Humanity – that All has been revealed! That is simply due to the nature of the collective.
And yet, these compelling feelings and thoughts are not actual. They only exist in the head (or heart). The moment I become aware of what is happening and, as a result, stop feeding them, they shrink into normal size emotions and eventually die away. Here is a bit that I wrote when I had an experience of Universal Dread – if you are interested... The desperate feeling of being forever trapped in the psychic world that I experienced during that dread is summed up in the saying that you keep quoting: ‘There is nothing new under the sun’.
This drama was one of the many that I encountered when dismantling the psychic entity in me, the very ‘who’ I thought and felt I was. It is an enormous drama, played out on the stage and along the script of humanity’s past. The more the ‘self’ felt exposed and threatened, the more the drama changed from being personal into being felt as the vastness of the collective psyche. It was an incredibly fascinating time, discovering the emotionally compelling, yet dreamlike fantasy world that the Human Psyche is capable of producing. As one piece after another of the psychic construct fell off ‘me’, it simultaneously removed another layer of the dampening and distorting veil that had covered my physical senses. The colours are now more vivid, the sounds multi-layered, the skin awake to feel the temperature and consistency of the air, the tiny hairs on the forearm being touched by the soft breeze, everything is alive, throbbing, delighting in the smorgasbord of the unending sensual pleasures that this world presents.
Everybody teaches, believes and hopes that love and compassion are the remedy for misery and hate, and nobody told us that those ‘good’ emotions are as much part of the disease as the ‘bad’ emotions. To free oneself from the whole disease of the Human Condition, the Psychological as well as the Psychic World, is to arrive in the actual world of people, things and events. A flesh-and-blood body innocent of any ‘being’ whatsoever is benevolent, free of both good and evil, delighting each moment in the infinite magnificence of being here and being alive.
RESPONDENT: I is not a singular pronoun. It is a collective pronoun. It is THE collective pronoun. The only I is the I we are. Present-centered consciousness is the God-realized activity of Self. I’m wanting to avoid esoteric sentences. That last one was too far out. We never find God because we look for God outside ourselves or in ourselves and God is neither outside or inside but is the us. Never mind. I won’t go on. Maybe I’ve provoked something for us to talk about.
VINEETO: I must admit I had your letter sitting in my Inbox for a few days, looking at it and being completely baffled as to what you mean by your statement.
Do you mean, that with whatever you say you speak for everyone else? Do you mean, when I go to the toilet, everyone goes to the toilet? If ‘God is the us’, as you say, why do you then call ‘us’ God. Why not just call us what we are: human beings. If all 5.8 billion people are God, what’s the point of calling them God? The outcome is, as you admitted, ‘esoteric sentences’. Why do you have to bring the concept of God into the matter? But then, you have given the answer in the first part of your letter:
RESPONDENT: I want to simply comment on your ‘I am the body, aren’t I? What else could I be?’ questions. I don’t think those questions, however, can be answered with the logical brain as you are attempting to do. You seem to be leaving out all magic, all shamanism. Maybe you’re not and I’ve missed it.
VINEETO: There are three ways to experience the world: cerebral, affective and sensate. In the spiritual teaching there are usually only two ways mentioned – cerebral and affective. The cerebral is condemned, which leaves only one accepted way to experience the world – the affective. So if I am not affective, feeling – I must be cerebral, logical. And you seem to say that affections have the magic, love has the magic.
I have known both the powerful emotional ‘magic’ and shamanism (a very appropriate word!) of Divine Love and the pure magic of Actual Freedom in various peak-experiences. An actual freedom from both the ‘self’ and the ‘Self’ reveals the magical fairy-tale-like innocence, purity and perfection of the physical universe. This physical universe is already perfect as it is – only human beings, acting out their different constructs of instinctual passions, feelings and imaginations, are not perfect. They kill each other every day, for exactly those instincts, feeling and imaginations! Once you discover or re-discover the actual world as a sensate human being, the magic is obvious, self-evident and actual. And it is pure – pure because there is no ‘self’ or ‘Self’ present or ‘present-centred’ to mess things up, to control, interpret, distort or pollute. I am simply doing what is happening, like now, I am typing and listening to piano-lessons in the background. Delicious, thrilling, alive, sparkling and wonderfully simple.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that most of your ideas were based on your own projections/expectations rather than on the ideas set forth by Osho – My understanding of his words was more along the lines of understanding that the search was for ‘where is this ‘self’?’ And given enough introspection trying to find where this ‘self’ was – one comes to the conclusion that there is no self – (have you been able to localise this self through your indoctrination into Peter/Richard’s way of looking at life? If so, where does it end and the ‘other’ begin?
VINEETO: Yes, I have been able to localize this self many times, both in experiencing times without the ‘self’ in operation and from observing the details of its components operating in me. First I will give you the dictionary definition and then tell you about my discoveries.
As I see it, human beings have a rudimentary sense of self (as do other primates with larger brains) which is expanded by our ability to think, reflect and communicate with others. The combination of both results in an individual self, our ‘social identity’, underpinned by our instinctually driven animal-self, the innate instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. The self is very real, especially when interacting with other people and it usually becomes apparent through our emotional reactions to people and situations. It consists both of ‘who we think we are’, usually called ‘ego’ and ‘who we feel we are’, usually called ‘soul’. (See The Actual Freedom Trust Library)
Once I understood that the ‘self’ includes beliefs, emotions and instinctual passions, it was much easier to get a handle on it. Still, in the beginning it has been very scary to investigate emotions and beliefs, and the ground under my feet seemed to disappear many times. To explain to you how I came to understand ‘self’ in its complexity I will post you the description of my first peak-experience in our journal, where I left the realm of the ‘self’ for several hours and experienced the world without its distorting layer of emotions, beliefs and instinctual passions.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.