Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT: [At some point I told myself that I was going to take the risk of being called a fool in admitting that everybody got it wrong – that helped to be rid of the fear (is this fear of stepping out of ‘humanity’?) and proceed with the investigation.]
VINEETO: Yes, I can relate to that from my own experience – my pride and my loyalty to the spiritual group I belonged to were tough obstacles to overcome. Pride stands in the road of admitting that one is wrong because the last thing a proud person wants to feel is to feel foolish. When I understood that it was not me who had got it wrong but that everyone has got it 180 degrees wrong, it became clear to me that it would be foolish to keep looking in the wrong direction just because I didn’t want to feel a fool in having done exactly what everyone else was doing.
Loyalty was a similar issue – when I realized that what was keeping me being a spiritualist was a feeling of loyalty to my dead master and my then spiritual friends I was confronted by feeling to be a traitor whenever I thought about leaving. This continued on for months until I finally found that I had decided that being happy and harmless and living with a man in utter peace and harmony was more important to me than being a loyal spiritualist and the feelings of being a traitor disappeared as if by magic. Now, that my former friends consider me to be both a fool and a traitor, I can delight in the freedom of having no spiritual beliefs and of not belonging to any group whatsoever.
I think you are more talking about the fear of stepping out of society and it certainly requires bold determination to dare to step out of one’s social bondages and leave the various groups that form and maintain one’s social identity behind in order to become an anonymous and carefree human being. The process is incremental, the changes are palpable and the rewards of becoming more harmless is a continual raising the bar of feeling more happy. The final stepping out of humanity happens with the ending of ‘me’.
RESPONDENT: And based on our current understanding of quantum physics we cannot say that something that is not perceived by the senses is actually existing. There is only ‘sense data’ and what is outside of sense data cannot be termed as ‘existing’ in the proper sense of the word. And that is not claimed by Eastern Spirituality. That is claimed to be a fact by modern physics. Quantum physicists calls it ‘probability wave’ or whatever, but that is altogether different from how you understand of ‘matter’ and ‘energy’.
Modern physics doesn’t support you case.
VINEETO: Yes, I know, nor do I take many of the current theories of theoretical physics to be facts.
Despite your denial, modern physics has been heavily influenced by Eastern Spirituality, as has a good deal of what passes for scientific thinking for more than a century now.
And given that you keep quoting quantum physics to support your case, you might want to contemplate on the fact that quantum physics is a theory based upon a mathematical device (Mr. Max Planck’s ‘quanta’) initially designed to solve the hypothetical problem of infinite ultra-violet radiation from a non-existent perfect ‘black-box’ radiator – in other words, a lot of hot air about nothing …
RESPONDENT: Physicists have actually coined a term for your world-view [and it is a world-view regardless whether Richard defines it away or not]. They call it ‘naïve realism’.
VINEETO: Ah, you hit the nail on the head – naiveté is the key that allows you to slip out of the armour of your social identity and become unstuck from the grip of your instinctual identity and discover the actual world with a child’s eyes (but with adult sensibilities) – a prerequisite to stepping out of the real world into the actual world where you belong and leave your ‘self’ behind.
VINEETO: As well as Richard’s experiential report there is also the option of inquiring into why you are now doubting the sincerity of the information supplied to you to the point of suggesting that Richard might still have an ‘ego/soul/affect’ and is possibly ‘simply unconscious of same’. (Being verballed by Richard, 29.1.2004)
RESPONDENT: I don’t doubt the ‘sincerity’ of the information supplied to me, but I sometimes do, and no doubt will continue to, question the ‘factuality’ of it. There is a big difference, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
VINEETO: Nowadays I am able to take everyone’s words at face value, which is possible only because ‘me’, the doubting, fearing, defensive, aggressive, suspicious identity hardly ever interferes with reading or hearing the actual words that are conveyed. Whether or not the person is sincere or genuine will either become clear in the course of the conversation or by the person’s actions, and if the person is sarcastic or cynical it does not affect me as they only shoot themselves in the foot. I also keep my wits about me when taking someone’s words at face value in that I take into consideration all the information available to me in order to determine what background or motivations a person may have in saying what they are saying – in short, a naiveté based on adult sensibility and sensitivity.
In this way I validate or invalidate the ‘factuality’ of what is being said by assessing the sensibility/silliness of the statements, by cross-references from outside sources and, particularly in the case of actualism, by comparing it to my own ongoing experience of what works and what doesn’t work.
RESPONDENT: It strikes me as a little strange that in everyday life I’m pretty much like this myself. I take people at face value and tend to expect the best in people until they prove me naive.
VINEETO: Here you are using the word ‘naïve’ as meaning ‘gullible’ and ‘until they prove me naïve’ as meaning ‘until I get disappointed’ which is not the way naiveté is used on the Actual Freedom Trust website. Love, trust, hope, expectation and gullibility go hand in glove and one needs to develop a maturity based on self-reliance and adult sensibilities in order to be able to be naïve again.
There is an alternative to either being cynical, sarcastic, world-weary and resigned or being gullible, trusting, hopeful and having faith and that is to be naïve with adult sensibilities and to be able to wonder while keeping one’s wits intact. Sincerity of purpose and action is what uncovers naiveté, which is the key to entertaining that peace-on-earth is possible in this lifetime and this sincerity and naiveté are essential to tap into pure intent.
VINEETO: Now at last to your first question – ‘Is Actual Freedom a quirk of nature located in Richard.’
An actual freedom from the human condition is neither esoteric nor unrepeatable. Speaking personally, the reason why Richard is still the only one to be actually free is that I simply do not have the courage yet to become permanently free from the human condition – there is always this last bit of ‘me’ hanging onto ‘my’ precious existence. ‘I’ am tethering on the edge, toying with my thoughts of, and my longing for, ‘my’ extinction but I am putting off the final, irrevocable, jump. Lately I have experienced the beckoning of sweet oblivion whereupon ‘I’ will finally resolve the conundrum that ‘I’ can never be perfect by disappearing forever – but so far I’ve been too scared to take the plunge. Yet I know by my experience of the utter perfection of this actual physical universe that it is only a matter of time until one of the practicing actualists will dare to take the final plunge and prove to all the doubters and cynics that Actual Freedom is possible for everyone on this fair planet.
Until then second place is still up for grabs.
RESPONDENT: Called again on my cynicism. It’s a defence mechanism – the citadel of fear and cynicism, the last stronghold of myself. Thinking of giving up cynicism makes my head spin. This should be interesting.
VINEETO: When I said ‘all doubters and cynics’ I did not mean you in particular. The comment alluded more to the common-to-all belief that humans should forever live in misery, fear and aggression, which is a deeply cynical worldview, one that is firmly entrenched in the human condition and one that underpins all of religious and spiritual belief.
Cynicism is indeed a major defence mechanism and everyone in one way or another holds the belief that ‘life is a bitch and then you die’. In the real world this defence mechanism is apparent as criticism, sarcasm, doom and gloom beliefs and eternal scepticism and in the spiritual world it manifests as the passionate conviction that life on earth is essentially suffering and peace and true salvation can only lie elsewhere.
In my spiritual years I had shied away from the world and refused to read newspapers, watch television or listen to the radio – I stuck my head in the clouds and did not want to see suffering and aggression. I built an imaginary castle of inner peace and attempted to set up permanent residence ‘inside’. But as years went by I had to admit that my ‘defence mechanism’ failed because suffering and aggression was still present in me as it was in my fellow spiritual seekers.
When I came across Richard, I learnt that I could actually become free from malice and sorrow and that I could become free from taking offence and free from aggression. I decided to take up the challenge. I began to investigate what it was that I was defending with my cynicism and aloofness, with my imagination and denial. What I was really defending – for the sake of ‘me’ staying in existence – was the conviction that there will never ever be an end to misery and mayhem amongst human beings. In the course of my inquiry into my defence mechanisms I discovered that these very mechanisms are responsible of locking me out of the wonder, peace and perfection of the actual world.
To abandon cynicism in all its forms and rekindle one’s naiveté is a deliberate choice that one needs to make if one is ever to be happy and harmless and it is the only way to overcome, as you say, this ‘stronghold’ of the ‘self’. The question I asked myself was what did I have to loose? I had abandoned life in the real world when I was 26 and when I took stock of my life at age 45 I found that the spiritual life did not deliver the peace it promised. So I threw in the towel once again, abandoned my spiritual beliefs and decided to start afresh – wholeheartedly , as I had done with the other two previous options.
It is an act of daring to let one’s cynic guard down and re-engage one’s own naïve curiosity. At first I was sometimes overwhelmed by the sorrow, fear and aggression that I had tried to escape from when I retreated into my inner world. I began to feel and observe not only my own feelings of fear and aggression, but also the malice and sorrow in others – I began to grasp the enormous scope of the human condition in action. Compassion is a good example of such a universal feeling. It sometimes overwhelmed me to the point that I seemed to drown in sorrow, swallowed in a feeling of never-ending human misery. One time I went to the very edge of this feeling of overwhelming compassion and I dropped into a bottomless abyss of dread the likes of which I hadn’t encountered before. This is what I wrote at the time –
Because I remained attentive as the experience was happening, I could clearly see that there is no solution inherent in feeling compassion – nobody is being helped by my own feelings of sorrow, however deep, and all I am doing is wasting this moment of being alive by wallowing in sorrow to the point of experiencing the deep feeling of instinctual fear, or dread, that is the very root of human sorrow. I also understood that no matter how many people I felt compassion for and whatever violence I felt revulsion about, these were still my own feelings. They arise out of my own psyche and therefore it is in my hands, and my hands only, to do something about those feelings in me.
There is an inherent propensity within the human condition that one can call on to counter the human propensity for cynicism and that is naiveté. Naiveté is the closest thing to an actual innocence within the human condition and it is absolutely essential to muster in order to counter any fear and its subsequent defence mechanisms that arise. With pure intent garnered from the perfection and purity of the PCE acting as a golden thread and with naiveté as a constant companion, one pulls oneself up by one’s bootstraps and discovers, step by step, that becoming free of the Human Condition of malice and sorrow is indeed possible.
Since writing this a later post has arrived in which you appear to have demonstrated by your experience how it is that naiveté can circumvent fear as you invite the benevolence of the actual universe to become apparent. You will notice – and I can confirm it by my own experience – that the longer you dare to weather the storm of such intense emotions as fear, the more their grip will weaken.
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.
VINEETO: You are already offering them the best there is – an ongoing genuine demonstration that one can be happy and harmless in the world-as-it-is with people-as-they-are and live in peace and harmony with one’s fellow human beings.
It is a pleasure to hear from you. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and your humour, namely when you said – ‘Ha! Try bonding with an Actualist.’ Isn’t it so much more gratifying to stand on one’s own two feet?
RESPONDENT: I feel as if I were just learning to walk again.
VINEETO: Yes, but in a totally different way. The naiveté of childhood that prompts pure consciousness experiences is based on a sheltered ignorance, whereas the naiveté required to be an actualist is rekindled by choosing to deliberately shedding any cynicism accrued from materialist doctrines and spiritual beliefs and by beginning to be fascinated with the business of being alive in the world-as-it-is, with people as-they-are – in other words, a naiveté not based on childhood ignorance and gullibility but a naiveté based on adult sensibility and sensitivity.
RESPONDENT: Indeed, his defensive stance added to my suspicion.
RESPONDENT: From www.dictionary.com
So I’m defending myself from knowledge of Richard’s uniqueness? How then am I to be illuminated? Shall I rub bullshit in my eyes? Will the scales on my eyes fall off on the Road to Byron Bay?
VINEETO: No. Automorphism suggests that when you engage in a conversation in an adversarial, suspicious, aggressive and sarcastic frame of mind then you automatically conceive the other to have the same attitude. The ability to recognize that the other is entirely sincere only eventuates when you yourself cease being adversarial. Then you can really begin to benefit from what actualism has to offer.
VINEETO: Here is your eagerly awaited answer, ready for consumption. Enjoy.
RESPONDENT: You could win any contest in matters of ‘enlightenment’!
VINEETO: As I said to you ‘I have found something far superior to spiritual enlightenment’ – it seems strange you could come up with this response. Has it ever occurred to you that you and I are talking about two different things? You talk about spiritual enlightenment, an illusionary freedom from an illusionary reality, and I talk about an actual freedom from the human condition.
RESPONDENT: The amount of experiences you have had over the years are impressive.
VINEETO: Well, it was never my thing to sit on the fence and watch or criticize what others are doing. When I was a spiritualist I jumped in boots and all and thus gained a lot of valuable experience – mainly insights about what doesn’t work.
RESPONDENT: You are superior; you deserve a Phd.
VINEETO: If you think that I am superior, that is between you and yourself but I am curious as to why you think I ‘deserve a PhD’ in matters of ‘enlightenment’? Are you a dean of the university of Mysticism or the honorary professor in the College of Enlightenment staging ‘contests in matters of ‘enlightenment’’? Besides, as far as I know, a Philosophy Degree is not given for practical hands-on experience but only, as the name indicates, for philosophical and theoretical elaborations.
RESPONDENT: You have been everywhere!
VINEETO: No, not everywhere but I have gained enough experience both in real world enterprises and in the spiritual world to know that the answer to the meaning of life is not to be found there.
RESPONDENT: What a burden you are carrying!
VINEETO: I wonder where you got that idea? My life-experiences have taught me what doesn’t work, i.e. each time I discovered that a line of pursuit didn’t work I dropped it – a sensibly lived life is a process of diminishing burden, not accumulating it.
RESPONDENT: However, you have to sweep all that load from your brain –
VINEETO: So much for winning any contest and deserving a PhD, hey.
RESPONDENT: – be an innocent child again –
VINEETO: This advice is strangely at odds with something you wrote earlier to Richard –
RESPONDENT: – if you want to enter ‘the kingdom of the heavens’.
VINEETO: You too quickly dismissed something that I wrote in my first letter to you –
To spell it out more clearly – ‘the kingdom of the heavens’ has no existence outside of people’s passionate minds.
RESPONDENT: You must stop putting labels in everything you see.
VINEETO: As I don’t ‘want to enter ‘the kingdom of the heavens’’ I have no use for Jiddu Krishnamurti’s method of denial and dissociation. Besides, it is such a liberation in being able to call a spade a spade and a not man-made, manually-operated, leverage-principled digging machine. (...)
RESPONDENT: Could you kindly explain to me in simple words? Simplicity is the communication’s key in any type of relationship.
VINEETO: You had a similar request to No 50 –
Actual Freedom is so explicitly simple that most people fail to understand it, and seemingly particularly hard to understand for those trained in Eastern Mysticism. Yet there is one simple key that can open the doors to understanding, and experiencing, all Richard conveys, but most adults have lost touch with it. Unless you rediscover this quality first even ‘simpler, lesser sentences’ won’t do the trick. It goes without saying that sincerity and integrity are prerequisites to rediscovering this magic quality.
RESPONDENT: Practicing actualism has two key elements: unravelling the accrued conditioning, and experiencing the actual universe directly. I’ve been diligently doing the former for some time, with great results, but have certainly been tripping over my own feet with the latter. No 37’s recent missives have been very helpful in addressing my scepticism and understanding the crucial necessity of that facet.
VINEETO: It is amazing how much can be achieved by a good dose of naiveté combined with the determination to change radically and irrevocably.
RESPONDENT: I’ve mulled a bit recently on the notion of naiveté. I’ve read and understood the definition, but I must admit there is a lingering association in my mind with ‘foolishness’. I do see how elemental it is to this whole process. I think it would be interesting to explore this in the context of the universe thread.
VINEETO: Yes, that’s it. In actualism, the first thing that takes a bashing is one’s pride because the pursuit of becoming happy and harmless means to set off in the opposite direction to what society regards as being intelligent and wise. From the real-world point of view scepticism, cynicism, criticism and denigration are considered intelligent behaviour, while from the spiritual point of view dissociation, detachment and not-knowing are deemed the peak of wisdom.
Consequently the pursuit of becoming unconditionally happy and unconditionally harmless, i.e. giving up battling it out in either the real world or the spiritual world, is seen as a sign of foolishness … and the fear to appear foolish is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to beginning the journey to an actual innocence.
As you say, naiveté is ‘elemental’ to the actualism practice – without naiveté you cannot even consider that human beings can possibly live in peace and harmony, let alone that one can free oneself from one’s genetically encoded instinctual programming. To allow naiveté to replace scepticism and cynicism is a big step towards leaving the safe haven of resignation and never-ending uncertainty and dropping out of the day-to-day combat in the grim battle of survival.
Naiveté has two purposes in actualism – firstly, moving on from the initial analytical process of making a prima facie case as to the sensibility of actualism to beginning the experiential hands-on exploration of one’s psyche – the process that leads to irrevocable change. And equally importantly – awakening one’s dormant naiveté is vital to be able to remember, or induce, a pure consciousness experience.
As Richard’s sum it up –
VINEETO: … if you are sufficiently discontent with life as you experience it right now, to want to change fundamentally and irrevocably then this quote from Richard explains in detail how to conjure sensual delighting –
RESPONDENT: I have read this piece from Richard earlier and tried following this but could not get out of ‘stuckness’. I have not even intellectually understood what does ‘delight’ mean or what is ‘naiveté’. May be I need to try more.
VINEETO: I appreciate the honesty and sincerity of your introspection. A good bout of sincere introspection can be very revealing, a bit like taking stock as to what you have done in your life and what you want to do with the rest of your life. The mere fact that you are taking stock indicates that you have some doubts about your stock and that you would like your stock to be better.
The way I discovered naiveté was to actively rid myself of cynicism, and the first step was to become aware of the fact that I had cynical thoughts and feelings – i.e. to experience how cynical I was and to recognize the maliciousness of cynicism. The next step was to stop feeling cynical because a cynic is someone who despises being here, is not someone who can delight in being here and is not someone who likes his or her fellow human beings – a cynic being ‘one who sarcastically doubts or despises human sincerity and merit’. Oxford Dictionary
Delight is the joy of being here for no reason at all and naiveté is the innate quality of encountering life in wide-eyed wonder and amazement. If you want to re-awaken your dormant naiveté and rekindle your capacity for delight it is vital to recognize and abandon the cynicism and the resignation that is inherent in all Eastern religions – there is no other way.
GARY: Does the intent lead to a PCE or do you think something else is happening?
VINEETO: There are the spontaneous PCEs that everyone experiences at some point in their lives, which I explain as a spontaneous temporary glitch in the instinctual programming that allows the perception to be purely sensate and thinking to be free from any affective influences. These PCEs seem to be more frequent in childhood when the identity is not yet set in concrete, so to speak.
However, when a person has a good dose of sincerity, sufficient enough to re-awaken his or her naiveté, then he or she may develop an intent to live the purity, peace and wonder they have experienced in such rare moments of ‘self’-lessness as often as possible – i.e. it takes naiveté to devote one’s life to becoming happy and harmless. Only then, the memory of a spontaneously occurring PCE spurs me on to demolish the elaborate and firmly consolidated edifice of my ‘self’ in order to facilitate pure consciousness experiences happening again and again.
You could compare it to living in a securely air-tightened bunker when suddenly a crack appears in the wall and brings in some pure sweet fresh air … and suddenly the whole bunker disappears along with ‘me’. The bunker eventually reassembles itself and the crack is automatically repaired – a process due to the ‘self’-sustaining nature of the social-instinctual programming. It is then up to ‘me’, the one who thinks and feels to be in that bunker, to either wait for another accidental crack – akin to waiting for Godot – or to actively do something so as to experience the magical actual world again. In other words, when the PCE fades, ‘I’ then have to get on with the moment-to-moment business at hand – to demolish the very structure that is ‘me’.
A weakened and less ‘self’-centred structure of ‘me’ certainly provides more opportunities for ‘cracks’, i.e. PCEs, but all of ‘me’ needs to be extinguished in order that those ‘cracks’ don’t automatically ‘self’-repair and yet again shut out the splendour and purity of the actual world.
RESPONDENT: I am, of course, not naive enough to believe that you will take up my offer of a discount...
VINEETO: It is a pity that you dismiss naiveté so lightly because naiveté is the closest you can get to innocence, the intrinsic quality of the actual world. In order to even consider that one can free oneself from the Human Condition, that one can change human nature, one has to get out of real-world or spiritual-world cynicism and rekindle one’s naiveté. Here is a bit that Peter has written on this essential ingredient of naiveté on the path of actualism –
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.