Selected Correspondence Vineeto
VINEETO: Ah, Buddhism, the most heady of the religions, maybe also the most removed from everyday life ... and you wonder if they know about pure consciousness experience?
RESPONDENT: Dear scholars :)
I have asked a group the question what is the Dzogchen definition of mind?
And the following was returned to me. I can’t seem to make any sense of it. Especially how a human being comprehends a nature of mind (sems-nyid), which exists beyond time and conditioning. Is this Dzogchen mind the same as the pure conscious experience of Actual Freedom?
Anyone’s help would be greatly appreciated.
VINEETO: For an intelligent, practical, down-to-earth human being to try to comprehend ‘a nature of mind (sems-nyid), which exists beyond time and conditioning’ is a contradiction in itself, because such a mind exists only in passionate imagination or in wishful thinking, particularly in the desire to be immortal. The ‘ground of being’ that the Buddhist glossary in your quote talks about is merely another name for God, one’s immortal soul, one’s innermost being, etc. As a mortal flesh-and-blood human being, I die when I die and my intelligence or mind dies with the rest of my body. The mind, the functioning of the brain in action, is firmly locked in this moment of time – it is only ‘I’, the psychological and psychic entity, who exists out of time and, being fearful of death, believes the fairy tales of an existence ‘beyond time’.
Therefore ‘Dzogchen mind’ can never be the same as a pure consciousness experience. A PCE is a sensate-only experience when the ‘self’ is temporarily absent. For a more detailed definition you can have a look in the library. It is the ‘self’, this alien entity inside the flesh-and-blood body, who desperately wants to believe in a life after death, an existence ‘beyond time’ and an imaginary freedom outside of the ‘limitations’ of the material world.
You quoted –
Reading the last paragraph makes it obvious, that the definition of ‘mind’ in Buddhist understanding is an imaginary energy, another name for God or the ‘ground of being’, established with the phantasmagorical power ‘to bring all thoughts and phenomena into manifestation in consciousness through its latent energy’. Whereas ‘mind’ in the world of people, things and events where we humans live, simply means the human brain in operation, and it has an astounding capacity both for sensible thought and for silly passionate imagination.
However, I don’t intend to comment any further, because I am not a scholar. What I know about and what I can comment about is why and how I have extracted myself from the world of ideas, concepts and fervent belief and how to live in the actual world of sensual delight and sensible thought.
When I read the text I was reminded of my university days when the communist and socialist students were expounding their very scholarly theories of how society should be run. I studied the first chapter of Marx’s bible, the Manifesto, and then gave up. Looking for other ways to assess the validity of the proposed theories, I checked out how the communist students were in their relationships, how much success they had in their political activities, how their relationship was to the working class that they allegedly represented. All this gave me a pretty clear picture that what they were proselytizing did not work, neither in their own lives nor in other people’s lives. Further, the more I learned about the putting into practice of communist belief in various countries, the more I was convinced that the theory did not work.
The same measure of investigation I applied to feminism, humanistic therapy, marriage and Christian belief. Strangely enough, with Eastern mysticism, particularly Sannyas, I was completely blind as far as the practicality of the teachings was concerned – in my own life, the life of the teacher and in the lives of the people of India, where Eastern mysticism had been on-going for thousands of years.
What I am saying is that I decided that I did not have to learn or understand all the theories in order to assess their validity, I did not have to trot my way through the seemingly endless possible theories, philosophies and concepts that human beings can invent – and Eastern philosophy and mysticism is particularly designed to be mind-bending and thought-twisting.
Now, it does not make any sense to me why people are often quite practical in terms of their livelihood, safety, comfort and pleasure, yet when it comes to religious values and spiritual belief, all those practical and sensible assessments are blatantly abandoned. Why? Why don’t we demand from our beliefs what we want from our cars – that they should work?
RESPONDENT: It is only necessary for the mind – the ‘me’ or ‘you’ of the mind – to totally grasp the absolute futility and meaninglessness of its own incessant reactions.
VINEETO: Human mind is a human brain in action in a human skull. The ‘mind’ that is ‘the ‘me’ or ‘you’ of the mind’ is your highly affective spiritual idea of ‘Intelligence’ or ‘Consciousness’ as Divine Energy. Spiritual language is so conveniently slippery – mind in the first half of your sentence means something else than mind in the second half of your sentence. In this way you can easily blow with the wind, or with the mind...
What you suggest is that the mind inside your skull has only to grasp the reality that any worries, concerns, doubts, fears, or feelings of loneliness, sadness, anger, depression, melancholy, etc. are not ‘me’ at all – they are just futile and meaningless. Your teachings are that there is a real ‘me’ inside my skull, which feels very real and has meaning, especially because I can feel this ‘me’ in my chest – I get enormous chemical rushes whenever I think about how real and good this other ‘me’ is. Eventually if I carry this practice on long enough with sufficient intensity this real ‘me’ becomes so strong, so big and so grand, it can even blot out the other ‘me’ totally, and in a blinding flash of light I suddenly realize I am God after all – which was something I always felt all along but never dared to say out loud. (...)
VINEETO: To discover the actual world beyond my beliefs, feeling and instinctual passions I don’t merely observe what I think, feel and do from moment to moment, but I actively and unconditionally investigate into the cause, the core, the root, the why and how and when of ‘who’ I think, feel and instinctually know ‘I’ am. When I arrive at the root of an emotion or emotion-backed thought and see the passionate investment of my identity wanting to stay in existence through feeling and emotion, I can then deliberately abandon my investment and step out of this particular aspect of ‘me’.
RESPONDENT: You see, the ‘I [who] actively and unconditionally investigate(s) into the cause, the core, the root, the why and how...’ is nothing other than the core, the root itself, projecting itself as the ‘investigator’. What else can it be but that, but conditioning itself calling itself ‘you’ or ‘me’? If that was not so, there would already be total clarity. So if there is something to investigate, there must be an investigator, which is projecting that ‘something’. Perhaps that is the most difficult of all illusions that the mind has to comprehend. Also, a ‘deliberate’ erasure of the root of psychological existence is a contradiction in terms. Again, that implies a movement of consciousness, which is separate from itself, is divided, and through the illusion of that division, imagines itself as capable of erasing itself.
VINEETO: Wrong, in fact. When I actively and unconditionally investigate I make use of the brain’s ability to be aware of itself and therefore I can, with sincerity, persistence and diligence, become aware of my brain’s own programming.
The modern scientific empirical discoveries of neuro-biology and genetics, with regard to the human brain and how it functions, have revealed that the brain is programmable in the same way a computer is programmable. The program is formed by physical connections or pathways between neurons, and this program is mostly formed after birth. These pathways (synapse) are capable of being changed at any time. The old connection simply ‘dies’ for lack of use and a new one is formed.
Further, the human brain is programmed, via a genetic code, with a set of instinctual or base operating functions, located in the primitive brain system which causes automatic robot-like animal reactions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire to be transmitted via chemical messages to various parts of the body including the neo-cortex. Physiological alterations as an adaptation to changed circumstances are well documented even within the lifetime of individual members of a species.
‘Self’-awareness is possible in human beings in that we have the ability to develop and cultivate an awareness of both the social conditioning of beliefs, morals and ethics and the feelings and emotions that result from the chemical surges of the instinctual passions in operation. What one is ultimately attempting to do is to achieve a pure ‘self’-less state and this involves observing, investigating and eliminating ‘who’ one thinks, one is ‘who’ one feels oneself to be and ‘who’ one instinctually knows oneself to be – a radical procedure, to say the least.
It is possible, after all, to change human nature and erase one’s instinctual programming.
RESPONDENT: The mind can dwell in that illusion and even affect the nervous system with the singularity of focus such an illusion requires, even to the extent that there is some experience which seems to be free of self-centeredness. Such an experience may last for an hour or for years. But it is not a PCE, as a PCE is not an experience. It is the unseparated, uncorrupted consciousness that is the universal consciousness itself moving as human consciousness. So there is never anything that is formed and limited as such, which can experience what is not limited. And this is not a ‘spiritual’ account by the mind of itself. It is the consciousness of a brain unclogged with the mechanical and arbitrary reaction of self-centeredness. It is the human brain at its fullest point of development within nature.
VINEETO: At the top of the page I said that
and you agreed. I find it cute that now you are trying to tell me that a Pure Consciousness Experience (PCE) is not an experience and further that it means something else all together. I am beginning to grasp the absolute futility and meaninglessness of having a conversation with someone who has a mind that vows it should never, ever try to ‘analyz[e] itself, not attempting to affect itself, to even understand itself’.
You are talking about ‘universal consciousness’, another word for God, which is but a passionate fairy-tale created by a lonely ‘self’ imagining itself to be connected to a ‘universal consciousness’ or, if fully deluded, to be universal consciousness (God) itself. If you indeed believe that this state ‘is the human brain at its fullest point of development within nature’ then that is where your investigation necessarily begins and ends – as in going round in circles – and then you stop questioning ‘who’ is this entity called No. 8, who believes, feels and ‘instinctually knows’ to be this universal consciousness.
I am curious as to why you would want to use actualism terms to describe your own teachings – like ‘pure consciousness experience’, ‘the purity and perfection of the physical universe’, ‘genetically and socially based reactions’? Can what you teach not stand on its own two feet or be described by its own terms? What is it that attracts you about this third alternative that now you seem to be trying to clip on to your outdated wisdom?
After 17 years on the spiritual path I simply became dissatisfied with having to maintain and defend my spiritual universe with my beliefs, feelings and occasional spiritual experiences, and I inquired into that which lies beyond my beliefs and beyond my impassioned feelings, both personal and universal. What I found was mind-blowing and beyond my wildest dreams.
VINEETO: Once you do this with diligence, honesty and persistence for a year or so, there is not much left of ‘you’, neither the loving ‘you’ nor the condemning ‘you’. Already this much is a truly remarkable freedom.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps the honest facing of the mind as confused and anxious, which is what it usually is, ‘may’ lead to a more deep comprehension of selfishness; however, I don’t feel that the journey to organismic freedom can be gauged as ‘not much left’ etc. That is because consciousness that is uncontracted as ‘me’ or ‘you’ can only occur instantly, as this moment – which is the only moment possible. If it takes time or is gradual, it is ‘dependent’, that is to say, it is cumulative – the past building on itself towards a future, which is obviously nothing but thought trying to establish itself as ‘free’. That is the height of self-deception. And it is that height of self-deception which characterizes all organized religion, philosophy, and the various ‘isms’ of human imagination.
VINEETO: When you say that ‘you don’t feel that the journey to organismic freedom ... can be gauged’, you are talking about the journey to spiritual freedom which has been written about as a blinding flash of God-realization by countless sages, shamans and Gurus over millennia. I am talking about an actual freedom where the ‘self’, both ego and soul, has to be dismantled incrementally, step by painstaking step.
Further, ‘uncontracted consciousness’, as in a mind unbounded by any common sense whatsoever, where the ‘feeler’ is very much alive and strutting the stage, has nothing at all to do with a pure consciousness or an apperceptive awareness that is free from feelings and instinctual passions – in fact they are 180 degrees apart.
Hence with your judgement of ‘self-deception’ you are only shooting yourself in the foot, as you have built your teachings on an Eastern religious philosophy that has accumulated and been widely promulgated for over 3,000 years. Your teachings may be unorganized, but they are nevertheless Eastern religious philosophy.
First you must carefully read what is written rather than rewrite what is written so that it suits your own teachings and wisdom. Your carelessness keeps you stuck to the Tried and Failed methods of Krishnamurti’s teachings and prevents you from carefully considering the third alternative that is being offered. I do understand that you might still not quite understand what is being offered for it took me months and months of careful considered word for word reading and a good deal of reflecting, contemplating and nutting out to begin to get a glimpse of the vast poles-apart difference between what is spiritual and what is actual. But the rewards of abandoning the Tried and Failed spiritual path and applying the method has resulted in a freedom, peace and happiness that is already beyond my wildest dreams. The result far surpasses anything offered or achieved in the spiritual world, for this freedom, peace and happiness is actual, palpable, tangible and eminently liveable in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are.
RESPONDENT: Dear Night, If your offering your head and I don’t in any way believe you really are, I will take it for you, love and piracy
VINEETO: No, I don’t offer my head, I appreciate my brain, my intelligence and my apperception. I have got rid of my heart, my conditioning and my instincts, but it is too late to offer them to you. The garbage man has emptied the bin already. You will need to hunt somewhere else.
RESPONDENT: When the garbage man came he missed your mind, either that or he replaced it with one you think does not exist! Mind is mind, whether it is a nice mind or a not so nice mind, mind is mind!
VINEETO: Mind is a fascinating word. By using it the way the East has used the word, it means you are to throw out your whole thinking capacity, stop thought in whatever form and then, one day, you will be in mind-less bliss and live on forever in Union with the Universal Mind as an eternal spirit.
And yet, there was something in the understanding that ‘mind’ should be the problem that appealed to me – that’s why I searched for enlightenment. ‘Mind’, our brain is also wired with the social and cultural conditioning, with belief-systems, with fixed thinking patterns, self-centred behaviour and self-centred outlook and this part of the brain (mind) is certainly an essential reason for unhappiness and violence. This part of the mind we identify with as the ‘self’ and it certainly needs to be tackled.
But ‘mind’, our brain, consists of much more – it is also the capacity for common sense, for intelligent reflection, for practical investigation, for in-depth contemplation. But in order to ascertain the clear functioning of the brain you have to remove the psychological and the psychic entity residing within yourself.
The self-centred neurosis of Human Nature is identified in the East as the problem with human beings but the Eastern religions attempt to eradicate only half of the problem. They aim to eradicate the ego, the ‘mind’, who we think we are, while ignoring the soul, who we feel we are. The resultant attack on, or repression of, all thoughts and thinking (and not just the self-centred neurosis) eventuates in the complete denial of intelligent thought such as can be readily seen by the East’s lack of technological progress, appalling poverty, repression of women, theocratic empires, and a disastrous standard of health and environment.
RESPONDENT: Next time you see this garbage man give him a good piece of your mind for frauding you!
VINEETO: The garbage man was only a figure of speech. There is nobody needed, nobody to be relied on and nobody to blame if you fail. You can actually fix yourself up. Just as the body repairs itself, so can the brain be re-wired. As it becomes re-wired – free of the primitive brain and its instinctual fear and aggression – by applying generous doses of bare awareness, common sense and practicality, a vast and actual freedom becomes increasingly apparent. The brain is the tool: I apply liberal doses of common sense to the affected areas and watch the beliefs fade away. Facts replace beliefs. It is so simple – and it works.
RESPONDENT to No 14: Just because these two, Vineeto and Peter, have awakened you to something ‘you’ could not see in the way Osho did his awakening, does not mean they have come any further than anybody else!
These people appear to be total mind fuckers, I may be wrong but I don’t think so. They are just in the process of exchanging one type of mind for another. This new mind is just a little more supple and sly, it appears to be a very nice mind, kind and patient and in love with its own sweetness! The taste of no mind has a different taste, like the ocean it is always salty, remind you of anything?
VINEETO: Maybe this is how it appears to you, that Peter and I are total mind-fuckers, because that’s how you define the opposite of Universal Love. But Universal Love is as much part of the problem as the ego.
To be the universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being is such a delight and perfection, that it leaves Universal Love far, far behind. The freedom and simplicity of simply doing what is happening, the intimacy of meeting other human beings without the burden of any identity – both ego and soul – is deliciously fulfilling. No love (human or divine) can offer anything of that quality.
So, even if it looks so from your side, it is not mind-fucking. The word ‘mind’ is too hackneyed by the spiritual people and thus too confusing to be of any use. I prefer the words common sense, practical intelligence, clarity and reflection.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.