Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RICHARD: ... hundreds of people have been poking away at what is on offer, especially since coming onto the internet, trying to find the flaws they are convinced must be there – which is one of the reasons why all correspondence is archived – and this only goes to show how badly people have been sucked in for millennia by the many and varied snake-oil salespersons.
RESPONDENT: Richard, this is well said. It’s why I am unsatisfied with your claims of being historically unique in being actually free from the human condition. That said, I’m finding your site useful and insightful. I’m grateful for the content and the attractive interface as well. Kind Regards
VINEETO: Do I understand you right that when you say ‘it’s why I am unsatisfied’, you mean the reason you are unsatisfied is because you have been badly ‘sucked in’ ‘by the many and varied snake-oil salespersons’? If so, then you have arrived at the right place because actualism is an opportunity and a method to root out any and all beliefs that you have inadvertently taken on in the course of your life.
RESPONDENT: Hi Vineeto. Thanks for your reply. You’ve got it right. Children have little defence against virulent mind viruses such as Christianity.
VINEETO: Oh, and not only Christianity but the whole range of Eastern religion and spirituality as well. The monotheistic religions have a person-like god whom they worship while the pantheistic religions largely found in the East have many gods, so many that everyone is invited to join the ranks of the gods by becoming one themselves. I know, enlightened Zen Buddhists are a bit coy about calling themselves god but ‘the Eternal’, to quote from your other post, is but a synonym of an immortal amorphous divinity. Investigating Christianity is only a small step in the direction of getting rid of all of one’s beliefs. (...)
VINEETO: The final realisation that finished my problems with authority forever is recorded in Peter’s Journal –
RESPONDENT: Mine was dissolved over longer periods of time, intellectually at first, on an emotional/reflex level more slowly. Churches know how to condition their followers.
VINEETO: When the belief in the God of the Churches is dissolved, then one can begin to question the God by any other name, such as the autotheism of the Enlightened beings, the pantheism of Advaita and Jiddu Krishnamurti, the geotheism of modern environmentalism, the belief in an amorphous existence of an eternal all-pervading divinity, the belief in the wheel of Karma, the belief n Nirvana, Samadhi, Mahaparinirvana, etc., etc.
Most Westerners believe that by abandoning Christianity and taking on Eastern spirituality they have eliminated their belief in God whereas they have but moved from the frying pan into the fire, from a clear-cut belief into beliefs and teachings that are so amorphous and chameleon-like that any Tom, Dick or Martha can hang up a shingle and gather a crowd. Abandoning Christianity is merely scratching the surface of the over-arching human belief that Someone or Something has created and/or is running this physical universe.
God not only exists in people’s passionate imagination because of the conditioning of the priests – the belief in some kind of a protective and guiding higher power arises from a deep instinctual need in every human being for a Big Daddy or a Big Mummy to look after them. Some choose to be aloofly agnostic about the existence of god, but in order to root out from one’s guts this ultimate need to rely upon, or rebel against, a higher authority one also has to eradicate the archaic passionate belief that there is a soul, or non-physical life force, within each and every human body – a soul or spirit that desperately craves union and unity, meaning and purpose in a mythical spirit-ual world populated by spirits and Higher Beings. This might give you a hint as to what a down-to-earth non-spiritual freedom implies.
RESPONDENT: The whole God concept is so loaded up with preconceptions.
VINEETO: Yes, ‘the whole God concept’ is pure fantasy, all of it, from beginning to end.
RESPONDENT: I prefer the term ‘nature’ or ‘universe’ in which case physical matter would be a significant subset contained within ‘God’.
VINEETO: ‘Physical matter … a significant subset contained within ‘God’’ is still a concept ‘pertaining to a spirit’, i.e. a spiritual, whereas actualism is utterly, completely, absolutely, totally, without exception non-spiritual. God by whatever name and by whatever preference is a spiritual fairytale invented and kept alive by passionate minds and contumacious souls. In other words there is no such thing as an actual physical God. To believe that the physical universe is Divine is subscribing to Pantheism –
This physical universe is experienced as far, far more extraordinary when stripped of the veneer of being relegated to ‘a significant subset contained within ‘God’’. (...)
RESPONDENT: So far my investigations have not led me to invalidate my misgivings about the anti-guru guru Richard’s self proclaimed status of being the one and only human being to have ever achieved an actual freedom from the human condition.
VINEETO: Given that you make no distinction between a spiritual freedom and an actual freedom your ‘misgivings’ are based on voluntary ignorance and as such irrelevant. You could just as well have ‘misgivings’ that Rome has no Eiffel Tower because you insist to ignore the many road signs that say that Rome is not Paris. You are driving by the wrong map.
RESPONDENT: Wrong map? Depends where you want to go.
VINEETO: Looks like you are still a few country miles away from understanding the difference between spiritual and non-spiritual. To understand the diametrical opposite requires a weariness of the empty promises and haloed wisdom of spiritual teachings, a non-antagonistic attitude from the reader, a suspense of his or her suspicion, cynicism, sarcasm, doubt and pride and a good dose of naiveté. But above all, in order to understand what actualism is on about, one needs the intent to do so – and this intent is none other than the intent to be harmless towards others in order that one can be happy.
RESPONDENT: I certainly don’t want to go to planet Vineeto where the mental ecology has been clear felled and replaced with a dogma.
VINEETO: It’s not the ‘mental ecology’ (whatever that is) that ‘has been clear felled’ but the whole fantasyland of spiritual ideas, sacrosanct concepts, dearly-held beliefs, sacred psittacisms, venerated truths, ancient superstitions and so-called wisdom. Of course, for someone who still holds the pantheistic notion that ‘physical matter’ is ‘a significant subset contained within ‘God’’ any description of a god-less physical universe appears like a ‘dogma’ or worse.
I remember that at some point in my investigations into my spiritual beliefs the world seemed terribly bland and bleak without the comforting assurance of the shared-by-all fantasy that a divine force is looking after things. But I soon came to realize that this was an image solely created by my fears and with the encouragement of Richard’s report that there is an actual world hidden by my beliefs and feelings I proceeded to question my cherished ideas and feelings and eventually discovered the vibrant splendour and the vivid abundance of actuality in a stunning PCE.
RESPONDENT: I don’t give a toss whether Byron Katie is spiritual.
VINEETO: If you ‘don’t give a toss’ then why do you make the comment that actualists are placing a ‘spiritual’ scare tag’ on Byron Katie? Either her teachings are spiritual or they are not. Which is it?
RESPONDENT: Byron Katie can be as spiritual as you like and I don’t give a toss.
VINEETO: I’m not making Byron Katie spiritual – by her own words she declares herself to be spiritual. It was you who made a very clear statement that she is not spiritual and that you believe she has attained actual freedom.
One of the main thrusts of your argument that Richard is not the first to be free from the human condition in toto was that others, Byron Katie included, had also attained an actual freedom. Yet when it was made clear that her method of self-investigation is diametrically opposite both in intent and in practice to the actualism method then suddenly is not important at all that she is spiritual and you toss it aside as irrelevant – ‘I don’t give a toss whether Byron Katie is spiritual’. You made the claim she ‘attained actual freedom’ – a freedom that includes freedom from spiritual belief and calenture – and now you are busy fudging the issue and/or attempting to avoid it.
Given that you yourself maintain the pantheistic belief that –
… you are not likely to want to clearly distinguish between what is spiritual and what isn’t because pantheists are renowned for having a vested interest in keeping the distinction between spiritual and non-spiritual blurred. Many Pantheists think of themselves as being non-spiritual because they have turned their back on formal organized religions such as Christianity and they choose to remain unaware of the fact that they have only landed themselves in a more nebulous but no less virulent religious belief system.
RESPONDENT: The Work itself isn’t. Here are the four questions for the Work: 1. Is it true? 2. Can you be absolutely sure it’s true? 3. How do you react when you think that thought (believe that belief etc)? 4. Who or what would you be without the thought or belief? Turn it around. Where is the spiritual component in this?
VINEETO: What you have done is taken Byron Katie’s method and stripped it of all of its spiritual and religious intent and presented that as proof that the Work itself is not spiritual, which only means that you take snippets from here and there in order to fit your pantheistic all-inclusive agenda. You separate the milk from the yoghurt, so to speak, in separating Byron Katie’s God-hood from her method that came to her in her God-hood so that other people can become as free as she perceives her God-hood to be.
If you strip the context and the intent of the method you are using, I am wondering when you use Byron Katie’s technique from which direction you ‘turn it around’ and into which direction you ‘turn it around’ and what’s the purpose of this effort. (...)
RESPONDENT: Just to clarify, in those quotes I was suggesting that it was unimportant as to whether BK is getting all spiritual and fuzzy on us or not. I was, however, asserting that the Work itself is not spiritual (it’s just four questions and a turnaround) and I will add right now that you can combine the Work with any agenda or intent you care to, spiritual or not.
VINEETO: Let me introduce to you some direct quotes from Byron Katie herself about her method in which she makes it unequivocally clear that her method is about Love and God and Truth and nothing else –
And just a last one because it is so explicit –
Her teachings are a true expression of the Pantheism that has become the religious flavour of the decade –
RESPONDENT: This topic of actualism versus spiritualism is becoming more and more important for me. I remember, in the very beginning you warned me that unless I understand this difference, it will be useless to proceed. At that time I brushed aside your advice, thinking that it was not important as long as I experiment with the method. Now, I realise that it is important to settle this issue before any other thing.
To be honest, I consider, actualism as another spiritual path which
Of course, there are certain differences that it doesn’t believe in re-incarnation and maintain that the death of the body is the final end.
But then there are always differences of approaches among different paths. Being brought up in a liberal Hindu culture, I deeply believe that all paths are right and all lead to the same goal.
I think it is important to be honest, so that I can start from where I am.
VINEETO: Yes, I think ‘it is important to be honest’ and to ‘start from where you are’ and then move on. It looks like all you have done up to now is substituting a few words from actualism into your spiritual language, and you have listed them very honestly and clearly:
And a ‘liberal Hindu culture’ is the perfect fertile climate to simply integrate another ‘Guru’s teaching’ into the ‘vegetable soup’ of Hindu Pantheism. If you are happy with the ‘liberal Hindu culture’, and you want to spend your life ‘deeply believing that all paths are right and lead to the same goal’, then there is no reason why you should question your concept of spiritualizing everything and everybody.
There is a Christian saying that ‘all paths lead to Rome’ and if you want to go to Rome, then that is great advice. All spiritual beliefs may lead to ‘Truth’, but there is only one way to experience the actual world – through the physical senses without an obstructing self, Self or Being. If you want to experience the actuality of life, the delight of the unfiltered senses and the perfection of the actual world, then simply substituting a few terms is nothing other than cheating yourself.
I suggest you read what No 8 wrote on ‘beliefs and facts’; the difference between belief and fact is worth an extensive study for a ‘deep believer’.
As for your 5 points –
But these are only a few point of the 180 degree difference between the actual world of the senses and the spiritual world of beliefs and passionate imaginations. Why not, for a change, look for the differences rather than the believed similarities, otherwise you will never get out of the sticky Pantheistic viewpoint ‘that all paths are right and all lead to the same goal.’
RESPONDENT: Were I not spiritually inclined I might not be interested in actual freedom web pages. I think spiritualism also promises the same thing (being happy and harmless) as actualism. Whether it delivers or not – I don’t know. But neither do I know if actualism does.
VINEETO: For me, it was my search for freedom, peace and happiness that made me enter the spiritual world in the first place and not the other way round, in that the spiritual teachings led me to be interested in achieving freedom. When this search for freedom, peace and happiness was not fulfilled with my shallow success of 17 years of meditation I then became interested in actualism. I think you are crediting the wrong account here.
RESPONDENT: I think there is some confusion in my usage of the term spiritualism.
In my mother tongue, the corresponding word is called ‘adhyatma’ which literally means coming to yourself. ‘Atma’ in adhyatma doesn’t mean soul or spirit, it means ‘I’. So for me when I am searching for who/what am I, it is adhyatma. And it is this search which brought me to actual freedom. Don’t you think actualism is also focussed on realising the true I and eliminating ‘I’. I understand that in actualism, the true I is realised as this physical body and nothing else.
VINEETO: Here is another example of using the trick of a superficial substitution. You say ‘who/what am I, it is adhyatma’. ‘Who’ points to ‘I’, the being, the passionately imagined identity, while ‘what’ is simply this flesh-and-blood-body without any identity whatsoever. Adhyatma is ‘coming to yourself’ or your ‘self’, who your believe yourself to be, feel yourself to be, want to be, hope to become and, lo and behold, you discover your Higher or True Self – God by any other name.
Actualism goes in the opposite direction. An actualist chisels away at the being, dismantles the being, takes it apart, exposes it for the mirage it is, investigates the emotions and instinctual passions that force one to desperately want to be somebody, a higher self, ‘me at the core of my being’, an advanced being, anything. Actual freedom is freedom from being any identity whatsoever. What remains is ‘what’ one is, this flesh-and-blood body only, not ‘who’.
It is all very simple. Whenever I have been hurt by something or someone, this was my ‘self’ being hurt. This ‘self’ is what we actualists investigate, dismantle, lay bare and eliminate. It includes investigating ALL emotions, including love, compassion and bliss. When you uncover and eliminate the underlying instincts, there won’t be anybody left feeling hurt or even peeved.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.