Please note that Vineeto’s correspondence below was written by the feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ while ‘she’ lived in a pragmatic (methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom.

Selected Correspondence Vineeto

Pure Consciousness Experience

ALAN: Also, what is it that actually happens to cause a PCE?

VINEETO: As for your question how to make a peak-experience happen I can say that I started to approach it the other way around. Given that peak-experience is our actual state when no emotion or belief is in the road, I am going for whatever obstacle I find at the time whenever I don’t experience this moment of being alive as perfect as I remember those moments of the peak experience. As you may know, I have been finding lots of interesting ghosts in my cupboard, often unexpected, expressions of pride, fear, impatience, annoyance, competition, love, loneliness, boredom and yet again another fear.

Whenever I am taking the bull by its horns and dig around in that specific emotion, explore, understand and eliminate it, what’s left is the perfect experience of the world as it is, delightful, safe and imminently fascinating – there it is, the searched-for peak-experience or PCE! So my approach is kind of indirect, being busy with the obstacles rather with the outcome. Of course, my intent and my goal is to eliminate those obstacles and each time round it becomes more easy and more of an adventure and a scientific enquiry rather than a ‘having-to-do-thing’. This way I am becoming more and more confident, I stop believing in my own emotions and I know that absolute everything will be examined under the microscope. By now, the ‘cupboard’, which was packed full of ‘ghosts’ is getting pretty clean...

ALAN: No, I did not mean ‘I know the truth’ by ‘knowing’. I meant a ‘getting it’ – an experiential (as opposed to intellectual) understanding that this is correct, obviously so, factually evident, blindingly obvious. I think this is the same as Peter was talking about with ‘serendipitous discoveries’ – one does not seek the discovery. There is just a sudden ‘click’, an ‘of course, how interesting and obvious’.

VINEETO: There was a time when I would miss not having those blindingly obvious ‘getting its’ and stunning insights, which were so diametrically opposite to everything else I had believed at the time – and I would measure the ‘truth’ of the insight according to the degree of surprise, newness and stunning-ness of my first startling insights. Then I noticed that the more my life got easier, less emotional and more perfect each day, that and similarly the peak experiences themselves became something almost ordinary, utterly simple, adding a tinge more clarity and intensity to the experience of the tangible actual-ness of every day life. The extreme experiences were disappearing out of my life, and at first that left me with an uncertainty as to not knowing if I had gone back to being normal.

But then I only had to compare my life with how I had been before, with the problems I observe in other people around me or with what is presented on TV, to know that I have actually and clearly improved my quality of life to such a degree that I forget what ‘normal’ looks or feels like. In interaction with others I forget that they could get offended, insulted, or be self-condemning for little mistakes, and only by their behaviour I deduct that an emotion must be surfacing in them – then a faint memory comes back to how it has been for myself not so long ago.

Now, as I see it, putting a retrospective story together of what the brain was doing with all this wiring, programming and reprogramming, is not a matter of sudden insight like the spiritual insights, where one taps into the collective ‘Knowledge’ (read imagination). Further, making sense in hindsight is not a matter of replacing a belief one has cherished before and acknowledging an obvious fact for the first time – for instance, seeing that this universe is infinite and that there is physically no ‘outside’ for a god to sit, pulling the strings. Putting together a story in hindsight of how the human brain functions is collecting the data that are available about scientific research – which is not much as far as actual facts are concerned – and comparing them to one’s own experience of how the process has been. It leaves room for speculation and for more accurate adjustments when more data are collected, both by us actualists and by practical scientists. It is a continuous collection of and an investigation into facts rather than a blindingly obvious insight replacing a former belief. Those insights are more an insight into the falseness of a belief or ‘truth’, a disappearance of a dearly held conviction, be they religious, spiritual or pseudo-scientific. Like your report when you said that you ‘got it’ that there is no life after death, 100% sure.

Does that make sense to you?

In a PCE I can see the world as it is, people as they are, my emotions and beliefs and my ‘self’ for what it is – a passionate illusion – and thus I can easily discriminate facts from ‘truths’, beliefs, convictions, instincts and fears. I will only know what I have investigated so far, there is no magical all-knowing or all-understanding, no god-like wisdom. But because during a PCE the brain has no ‘sand’ ie emotions, beliefs and instincts in the system, it can function smoothly and I can see the facts for what they are. Old synapses have been severed, so the neurons can engage in free-flowing brainstorming. Mark described this kind of brainstorming really well in his last two letters.


ALAN: I like your description and am sure it is an accurate description of what is occurring. What it does not explain is how a PCE occurs – any ideas? Perhaps some temporary pathways are formed, or maybe part of the substantial unused part of our brain is temporarily ‘fired’ into action? In the PCE, it appears to me that, for the first time, I start to use my brain to its full capacity. I know that part of the reason for the ‘lightning speed’ of thought is because one is operating without any inhibitions whatsoever – no feelings or beliefs to slow one up. Hence also the absolute clarity. I just remembered ‘I’ used to believe that the unused part of the brain could, if activated, enable ‘me’ to become telepathic and have all the other ESP abilities – too much science fiction reading, I guess. <snip> That is the great thing about it – the results are more or less immediate and continually incremental, apart from the occasional ‘backslide’.

VINEETO: How a PCE occurs? Peter called it a ‘glitch’ in the program, the ‘self’ goes in abeyance for a certain period of time. That would explain that many PCEs happen after near-death experiences, after a shock, during an intense period in life or as a result of a drug experience. After my first PCE I knew what to look for, I intentionally searched for the alternative to my normal programming and thus created new ways to think in the brain, functioning better each time. But I think that originally a PCE happens when the normal functioning of the program in the brain comes to its limits and ‘crashes’ – and then the actuality of the world without the program of the self becomes apparent. But there is always the possibility that a certain chemical in the brain is triggering this ‘crashing’ on normal thinking and maybe scientist will one day be able to produce it for everybody who wants it...

My first major peak experience happened after 3 months of emotional turmoil while I was trying to figure out how I could live with Peter and his new ‘philosophy’ and at the same time not give up my spiritual beliefs and friends of the spiritual community. It became more and more obvious that this was impossible. Within my ‘normal’ way of thinking, feeling and believing there was no solution, and the need for a solution became increasingly vital for my mental sanity. Further, my intent to not settle for second best made any compromise within myself impossible. Then, with the help of a mild joint and some wine, my whole belief system crashed – I popped through the fog of beliefs and saw the actual world for the first time in its – then shocking – purity.

Last night we were invited for a dinner party and one of the men described a peak experience he had when he was 19 years old. He had been diving off the West Australian coast when he got caught in the high surf while looking for an interesting ship wreck and, being completely exhausted after one hour in the cold water, did not know how to cover the long distance through the wild surf to the beach. He decided to take the risk to be smashed unto the rocks which were closer by – and just survived. His brother helped him out of the water unto the cliffs. Coming out, he experienced the world as pristine, perfect, without emotions, without a personal self and was simply astounded to be still alive. This remarkable PCE, which lasted for several hours, unfortunately later got diverted into the spiritual search and ‘translated’ into the ‘non-dualistic reality’ of Advaita Vedanta, where you are supposedly already ‘here’ and only need to stop believing in your ‘imaginary’ ‘self’. There is more in a Library about this spiritual version of complete insanity, 180 degrees in the wrong direction – if you are interested.

ALAN: The findings of LeDoux are, indeed, serendipitous and I have read them with great interest, though have not yet visited his website. The diagrams are extremely useful and one question which arises (to which I do not have an answer) – what happens in the brain when a PCE occurs?

VINEETO: That is a fascinating question. I have also wondered how it might work in the brain. Mind you, whatever I say is mere speculation and still has to be explored and verified in the laboratories.

My speculation is that in a Pure Consciousness Experience the connection from the amygdala to the neo-cortex is temporarily out of order, like when you get a numb foot from an interrupted blood circulation. Very often this temporary interruption is caused by drugs or brain-sourced chemicals in intense situations, be they near-death experiences, shock, intense fear, or overwhelming sensual input like sex or nature. Also a PCE can occur after contemplating on a vital issue, while gaining a sudden insight, or just as an accidental short-circuit. With this temporary disconnection of amygdala and neo-cortex there is no input from the instinctual self, and the psychological self becomes fleetingly redundant and keeps quiet until something triggers both the ‘selves’ back into action.

ALAN: It is a delight to be discussing these matters with you,

VINEETO: For me too, Alan, tumbling thoughts and glittering insights, crazy stories and a slow circling of the issue. ‘It has all the elements of a thriller’, like Peter says about his FreeCell games sometimes.


VINEETO: Now to our ‘issue’ on hand, no PCE and the ever-ending of ‘me’...

ALAN: I have felt nary a trace of fear for the last 2 weeks or so. I am very aware of ‘my’ attempts to ‘grab’ for actuality, in a futile attempt for survival – and simply ‘note’ them. It is as though I am living constantly ‘on the edge’ of a PCE, without having a PCE and is quite delicious. So, I am just enjoying each moment and have (largely) stopped attempting to ‘get there’. I suspect there will not be any more PCEs and the next time I experience this moment of being alive will be permanent.

VINEETO: And to Peter you wrote: [Alan]: One thing I cannot explain is why I have not had a PCE for some time. My life now is, continuously, very close to a PCE, in that there is no (or very little) ‘self’ in existence. I experience my life as being 99% perfect. Every activity is a pleasure. What is missing is that extra sparkle and vivacity – the 360 degree awareness. Can one little connection in the brain make all that difference?

ALAN: Do you still experience PCEs?

VINEETO: I noticed that PCEs are different to the stunning delightful surprises in the beginning, which were full of tumbling realization, psychedelic-like experiences of my surroundings. They lately seem to be more rare and short minute-long flashes, just long enough to recognize the sparkle and the absence of ‘me’, before ‘I’ appear back on the scene. I put it down to the fear of the ‘real’ thing that might just ‘accidentally happen’ while ‘I’ am temporarily in abeyance, and also to the fact that my continuous persistent obsession with the final event is keeping fear close at hand and thus prevents the ‘extra sparkle’. Since you brought up the question I thought about it and figured that this fear is actually part of me keeping death at bay, as much as I may be convinced that I don’t do it – ‘I’ am verily lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning through and through.

But we have lots of very ordinary moments of living together, Peter doing his thing – being an architect or watching cricket or whatever else he takes pleasure in – and I do my thing – playing with pictures or on the website – and then we share lots of delightful pleasures of cooking, eating, a walk into town, a talk on the couch or a rompacious romp. These times seem so normal and ordinary that only in hindsight I recognize their innocence and particular taste of well-being. And then there are these moments, often hours of being excellent, but not quite experiencing a PCE, obsessed with the conundrum in my head of what is in the road of me disappearing. And while I am searching for and finding more and more blinding evidence that there is really, really no solution whatsoever within the boundaries of the ‘self’, there is this deliciously sweet and thrilling ‘taste or smell’ of the approaching inevitability, what Richard calls one’s destiny and I call ‘the proof of the pudding’. And, admittedly, that’s what I am more fascinated with than inducing a PCE.


ALAN: Could it be that the ‘continuous persistent obsession with the final event’ is what is keeping it from happening? This has been my experience of the last few days. I have (largely) given up the attempt to get ‘there’ and by concentrating more and more intently on what is happening and activating ‘delight’, the ease and palpable perfection, which Peter speaks of, has become more and more evident.

VINEETO: On further observation re ‘how PCEs and PCE-like times changed for me’ I can say that what I used to call a PCE in the beginning of my exploration into actual freedom is now only ‘PCE-like’. This has to do with the fact that I am well aware of the thin, condom-like layer of the ‘self’ separating me from the universe and thus preventing the 100% direct experience of the magical actual perfection. Life is nevertheless pretty magical, much more than ever before are my days filled with delicious deepened sensuous experiences, an easy well-being, a delightful doing what I am doing; but the ‘self’ is hardly ever completely absent. It seems that my observation has become sharper with there being less difference between ‘normal’ and ‘magical’.

The second thing is that I wasn’t quite accurate when I said: ‘I put it down to the fear of the ‘real’ thing that might just ‘accidentally happen’ while ‘I’ am temporarily ‘in abeyance’. I know that ‘it’ won’t happen ‘accidentally’ but that it might soon happen by deliberate choice – and I have been toying with, observing closely and trying to understand the feelings and instincts about this death of ‘me’. No big realisation has come out of it but a gradual deepening of understanding the term ‘in concurrence’ that Richard used in the correspondence below. I am finding subtle objections, smug and cunning excuses, impatient pushing or worry that sometimes surface and need to be examined, and I have now developed a thorough knowledge about, and a familiarity with, my fears and survival mechanisms like one does with pet-dogs. I reckon that I won’t be likely to be surprised or overtaken by any of them any longer.


VINEETO to Alan: While contemplating upon where I could possibly stand on the brakes, I noticed a slight shift in my determination. How long am I going to play in this safe ‘sandbox’ called Virtual Freedom, and when will I finally grow up and actually do what I have been thinking and talking about for two years – to be free, irreversibly, without leaving a backdoor open to revert to ‘normal’ or slip back into having an identity should being free become too scary? It was like straightening from a hunched position of playing in the sandbox, leaving the well-known safe area behind and standing upright. Virtual Freedom has become a nursery and it is becoming too small a playground. And it seemed immensely sensible to move on, just like leaving home when I have grown up. When leaving my parent’s home there was no regret, not much fear but an immense excitement to explore the big wide world. Now the situation seems similar. Just the next sensible thing to do. Just doing it. Stop imagining it, stop desiring it, stop thinking about it, and, for heaven’s sake, stop feeling about it. Just doing it. I don’t mean repressing any upcoming thoughts or feelings, but to stop feeding the ‘engine’, whenever I have a choice.

In my head the line of the American folksong was playing over and over again: ♪ ‘The night, they drove ol’ [Vini] down, and all the bells were ringing...’ ♫ I went to the couch to follow up on this hot trail of contemplation and there it was – the sudden recognition and experience that the universe was breathing me, I was part of the big rhythm of life in its infinite variety, just one of 6 billion people, one human being out of the vast and boundless immensity and magnificence of this infinite, eternal, alive, magical and perfect universe, being breathed, being lived, being here, moment by moment. And it is safe, utterly safe, because this experience also makes clear that the physical universe is benevolent. As much as there is no fear in a rock or a tree there is no malice in a rock or a tree. There may be volcanic eruptions or earthquakes as part of earthly events, but there is no malice in that the rock is directed at me to destroy me. The universe is not out to get me, on the contrary, it is supportive and benevolent; the idea of danger was simply part of my chemically-supported instinctual imaginary identity.

In this moment I understood that survival instincts are indeed redundant. With no identity there is no threat and no need to fight for survival. The instinctual survival program has done a great job to facilitate evolution, species by species, to this point in time. Now sensate and reflective human beings are the peak of this development so far – and the next opportunity for evolving has come into reach – life without the instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, life without identity, life without the feeling of separation from the rest of the universe.

While having these realizations, I had to check if there was possibly some grand ‘me’ lurking around the corner, someone wanting to claim the merit of this insight – but no, I was simply acknowledging the facts and delighting in the experience that the universe is breathing me, as it has always done. It is only throughout my life that ‘I’ had an altogether different story going in my head and heart.

Using the opportunity, I looked around for the remaining ‘self’. It was but a shed skin, twitching and jerking like a headless chook, pretending to have a life on its own, pretending to be actual. A very strange experience, while the stomach was trembling with thrill and the chemical hormones did their number, I could see the non-actual-ness of ‘me’, the passionate yet imaginary player that plays its part very convincingly. It will never have the same convincing effect again.

And all the while I am thrilled to the bone and rolling in the pleasure of being alive, each moment again.

VINEETO to Alan: The green arrows: During Pure Consciousness Experiences one is taking short excursions into the actual world, for minutes or hours, experiencing life as a kind of holiday stripped of the restricting, burdening, agonizing selfish and self-centred worldview of everyday life. In the beginning those PCEs open one’s eyes to a world never experienced before, never considered possible. On the path to freedom those PCEs are vital, absolutely necessary to determine the direction, to kindle one’s naiveté, to tap into pure intent. The actual world is seen for what it is, and everything is self-evidently clear and obvious, and one recognizes that ‘what I am’ has always been here, I just never got a word in edgeways.

Nevertheless, once the PCE is over and the ‘self’ takes control again, there is only a faint memory left. The world of ‘grey arrows’ and the world of ‘green arrows’ never meet. Given that during a PCE one is without beliefs, feelings and emotions, there is consequently no emotional memory to draw from when one comes back to the ‘real’ world, and the experience can vanish without a trace unless one is very aware. Likewise, back in the world of beliefs, feelings and emotions, the faint memory of the purity and perfection can only be vaguely remembered but not relived or imagined. That’s where naiveté and pure intent are absolutely essential if one wants to experience an actual freedom state for 24 hours a day.

One other important point – spiritually inclined people, and that is almost everyone who is on a search for freedom, peace and happiness, usually confuse the ‘green arrows’ with some sort of spiritual higher ‘self’, Satori, god-experience, beauty, love, bliss or enlightenment. The ‘green arrows’ have clearly nothing to do with any emotion- or feeling-based experience, any Altered State of Consciousness or anything happening in the head or in the heart. ‘Green arrows’ is the sensate-only, sensuous and pure experience of the actual physical universe in its pure, magical, delightful and sparkling perfection.


The grey arrows: Due to the intrinsic quality genetically built into the physical fabric of the universe to be the best it can be, every human being has the potential to evoke naiveté and intent – the innate drive to look for a way out of the grim everyday experience of life. Given that Richard has discovered that one can totally eliminate one’s identity, conditioning and instinctual passions, and has also devised a practical and effective method to do so, it is now possible to use the experience of a PCE to reach to a permanent actual freedom from the Human Condition.

It is no longer necessary to interpret one’s glimpses of the perfection and purity of the actual world as some kind of ‘god-given Grace’, thus degrading and distorting the experience of pure magnificence into a feeling-based self-centred interpretation of beauty, love or ‘the divine’. Out of those moments of a pure consciousness experience one can dare to acknowledge ‘what I am’, a living and apperceptive organism, lived by this splendid and perfect universe, without any sense of ‘being’ whatsoever – and take the first step in direction of an actual freedom.

In order to get closer to one’s avowed aim, the living of a PCE for 24 hours a day, one then has to get off one’s bum and dismantle the ‘grey arrows’ – who one thinks and feels one is. The change that needs to happen can only happen in the ‘grey arrows’. The only thing ‘I’ can do is actively diminish ‘me’ – examining and investigating my social and spiritual conditioning and my set of survival instincts – all my passionate beliefs and my affective imaginations. So when I get confused, or impatient, or fearful, or greedy for more PCEs or discouraged, or, or, or ... this is where I have to look, this is where I can change something. This is where ‘I’ can speed up ‘my’ demise. When I am emotional, slightly off-track or very disturbed, I am the ‘grey arrows’ – and I can only do something about the ‘grey arrows’. That means, ‘I who I think and feel I am’ is the thing that needs to be taken apart, the thing that needs my full attention, intent and concentration. The ‘grey arrows’ is the only thing I can do something about, because that is ‘me’, obstructing and preventing the perfection that is already here from becoming apparent. In that sense the ‘green arrows’ don’t really get bigger, ‘what I am’ becomes more and more apparent.


VINEETO to Alan: And I found another line of Richard’s writing – a benefit of my extensive playing with the web-site:

Richard: The ‘I’ that was inhabiting this body, empowered with pure intent, deliberately, consciously and with knowledge aforethought, altruistically self-immolated so that I would be freed to be here. Richard, List B, 25e, 19.10.1999

There it was again – ‘altruistically self-immolated’ – and this time I could see the word from another angle. It has nothing to do with being altruistic for other people – whether they get something directly out of my becoming free or not. It has to do with being unselfish as in my ‘self’ getting out of the way, so that the perfection can become apparent. ‘I’ won’t even get a medal for my altruistic behaviour – ‘I’ will simply not exist anymore. And thus my hang-up with the Christian – and spiritual – morality of being selfish or un-selfish has finally been resolved.

Now I can see the sparkling morning, the dewdrops glittering thousand fold on the thin tea-tree leaves, moving and shining like river stones, the birds chirping their birds-sounds and the air moist and warming for another glorious spring day. Everything is perfect when I stop insisting of keeping my ‘self’. Suddenly it is all easy and I am back on the wide and wondrous path – and the pain in the neck is just a signpost for the right direction. Ah, fantastic.

Since I finished this letter I had another discussion with Richard about being here now, in this moment in time, with having a past or a future, and I experienced again the eerie wonderful and odd thing of being here now without a ‘self-induced’ story that keeps the moments together like pearls on a string. From this point of view, from simply being here each moment again there is no question whatsoever that Actual Freedom is what I want, 24 hrs a day.

And, being back in having a bit of a past and a bit of a future, I am still determined to make it happen, no other reason needed. The continuing oddness of not really knowing where I left the ‘meaning of life’ that had tied my life together so nicely before, can only be a good sign. Ahoy.

ALAN: Pure Consciousness Experience: A PCE occurs when ‘I’ as ego is temporarily ‘stunned’ and ceases to have any control. It is more than a difference of degree when compared to the peak experience, it is almost as if one has stepped into a different dimension. One can no longer even recall the problems one had, but a moment ago. Everything seems alive, sparkling, as if one has eyes in the back of one’s head; there is a three hundred and sixty degree awareness and all is self-evidently clear. This is knowing by direct experience – one knows that life is actually perfect.

The affective content of the PCE varies according to the extent to which ‘me’ (as soul) is prevalent. At one end of the scale is the ‘epiphany’, the mystical experience, the Satori experience. Feelings of love, bliss and rapture are common and one can even imagine oneself to be the saviour of mankind. This reaction is largely caused by the person’s environment, upbringing, social conditioning and experiences. It is this experience which gives rise to the ‘Awakened Ones’ and, should (rarely) the ego be permanently expunged, the ‘Enlightened Ones’.

VINEETO: In the interest of having clear, definable terms, a pure consciousness experience is just that – an experience of pure consciousness, where the ‘self’ is temporarily absent, completely. This means that there is no affective experience in a PCE whatsoever, no ‘love, bliss, rapture’ or the imagination of being ‘the saviour of mankind’. Whenever there is any feeling or emotion experienced whatsoever, it is not a PCE. For most people, the experience may well start as a PCE, but invariably ‘I’ will step in and seize the experience as ‘mine’ and interpret and feel it to be a spiritual experience. One needs to understand and practice actualism to be sufficiently aware of one’s beliefs, feelings and instinctual passions in order to avoid the trap of Enlightenment on the path to Actual Freedom.

The way the Human Condition works, ‘this reaction’ of ‘love, bliss and rapture’ is not merely ‘caused by the person’s environment, upbringing, social conditioning and experiences’, but it is the instinctual passions – ‘me’ at my very core – that inevitably cause ‘me’ to grab the experience as a way of ensuring not only my survival, but also my immortality and my ultimate power. On the path to Actual Freedom, those instinctual passions need to be investigated deeply and thoroughly because they constitute what ‘I instinctually know myself to be’. These instinctual passions are the core ingredient of the ‘self’ whereas one’s social identity of ‘environment, upbringing, social conditioning and (life) experiences’ is merely the outer layer. Unless these instincts are seen through, understood and weakened by experiential investigation, ‘I’ will seize every opportunity to re-establish my identity, particularly after the ‘time-out’ of a pure consciousness experience.

ALAN: If the social conditioning and beliefs are reduced or eliminated, the PCE takes on a new meaning. One no longer interprets the experience as religious or spiritual and can see that ‘I’ am all that is standing in the way of the perfection and purity being evident. Then, one has the opportunity to avoid the pitfall of ‘enlightenment’ and heading straight ahead for an actual freedom.

As you know, I have had difficulty reconciling the experiences I had, before encountering actual freedom, with what I have subsequently discovered, because they were very, very, similar to what Richard was calling the PCE (indeed that was what first attracted me to his site). Yet, I could recall no sense of ‘‘I’ was all that was standing in the way’ in these previous experiences. And this would explain it. A PCE is when ‘I’ as ego ceases to have any control, but the affective element of the experience will vary according to the extent that ‘me’ is extant.

What do you (and anyone else) think? Magnificent adventure this pioneering business, is it not?

VINEETO: ‘The opportunity to avoid the pitfall of ‘enlightenment’ and head straight ahead for an actual freedom’ only presents itself when one has experientially explored and understood the role that our instinctual passions, ‘me’ as soul, play in the whole spiritual scenario of enlightenment. The difference between PCE and ASC is not merely a matter of religious or spiritual interpretation and conditioning; a pure consciousness experience is 180 degrees opposite to a spiritual experience. In order to become actually free, it is not enough to reduce one’s social conditioning and eradicate one’s spiritual belief system, one then needs to dive deep into one’s psyche and investigate the core of one’s being – ‘me who I instinctually know I am’, the animal instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire. Any shortcut at this point would inevitably lead to Being – ground on the Rock of Enlightenment.

As Richard wrote earlier about PCEs –

Richard: In order for a PCE to happen one’s identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) go into abeyance and perception becomes apperception (which is the mind’s awareness of itself being conscious as distinct from ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious). Apperception is an unmediated awareness ... a pure and clean consciousness unpolluted and uncorrupted by any identity whatsoever. However, it is very common for the feeling of ‘being’ (identity as ‘me’ as soul) to re-establish itself whilst the sense of ‘doing’ (identity as ‘I’ as ego) permits an interregnum. This is where the PCE devolves into an ASC. This happened to me in 1980 (as described in the second paragraph of ‘Appendix One’ in my ‘A Brief personal History’) and – Lo! and Behold! – a year later, I was to become enlightened for the next eleven years. It is the instinctual feelings coming rushing in to take over the experience that does the damage ... and self-aggrandizement reigns supreme. Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Alan, 1.12.1998

As for ‘reconciling the experiences [you] had before encountering actual freedom with what [you] have subsequently discovered’ – I can only say that, after investigating all of my past beliefs and my spiritual conditioning, any reconciliation of my former outstanding experiences with a PCE is impossible. Before encountering Actual Freedom I simply did not know that one could eliminate one’s emotions, that there is more to extinguish than my ego and that there is more to the Human Condition than social conditioning.

However, it has been of great benefit to remember in detail some of my outstanding experiences of my spiritual days in order to investigate the cunning entity in action. For this exploration I was more interested in the differences between my former experiences and the pure consciousness experience in order to determine at what point of the experience ‘I’ was taking over and what were the reasons that a stunning experience turned into an indulgence of feelings.

Now, having become familiar with the intensity and power of my instinctual passions, I agree with Peter’s theory that atrophying them in a period of ongoing excellence experiences is the most promising approach of success –

Peter: My experience is that sufficient time is needed living and experiencing a state of virtual freedom such that the fuses don’t blow when the whole ‘signalling’ system collapses or atrophies. In practical terms, this is a period of virtually no ‘signalling’ from the amygdala and virtually no personal ‘self’-centred thoughts. When one checks out by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ and there is no ‘signalling’, no sadness, no being peeved, no boredom, etc. and no mental worries or anxieties and no desire to go looking for them, then one simply ‘cruises and grooves’. Just a note that I am talking here of the latter stages of the process – in the early days one’s life is so full of discoveries, investigations and insights into the Human Condition and how one functions that one can barely catch breath with the often tumultuous excitement and pace of events.

This latter period of ‘nothingness’ can be daunting at first but gradually an existence devoid of any ‘real’ world and ‘spiritual’ world meanings and values becomes delightfully delicious and sensually rich, not as a feeling but as a magnificent and overwhelming actuality. This ‘nothingness’ can be seen as a milder version of Richard’s angst or mental anguish period when all ‘signalling’ had ceased. Peter to Alan, 4.1.2000

Finally, to emphasize a clear distinction between an ‘excellence experience’ and a pure consciousness experience, I endorse Richard’s latest correspondence –

Richard: The rule of thumb is to ask oneself: is this it; is this the ultimate; is this the utter fulfilment and total contentment; is this my destiny; is this how I would want to live for the remainder of my life ... and so on. It is up to each and every person to decide for themselves what it is that they want ... as I oft-times say: it is your life you are living and only you get to reap the rewards and pay the consequences for any action or inaction you may or may not do. <snip>

It may be relevant to report that my companion, who is exacting when it comes to grading herself/her experiences, has classifications ranging from good, very good, very, very good, excellent ... and PCE. She is most particular to not confuse an excellence experience with a perfection experience ... and the most outstanding distinction in the excellence experience is the marked absence of what I call the ‘magical’ element. What I describe as ‘magical’ she prefers to call ‘entering into the fourth dimension’ (not to be confused with the Hindu fourth state known as ‘Turiya’). This is where time has no duration as the normal ‘now’ and ‘then’ and space has no distance as the normal ‘here’ and ‘there’ and form has no distinction as the normal ‘was’ and ‘will be’ ... there is only this moment in eternal time at this place in infinite space as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware (a three hundred and sixty degree awareness, as it were). Everything and everyone is transparently and sparklingly obvious, up-front and out-in-the open ... there is nowhere to hide and no reason to hide as there is no ‘me’ to hide. One is totally exposed and open to the universe: already always just here right now ... actually in time and actually in space as actual form. This apperception (selfless awareness) is an unmediated perspicacity wherein one is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being; as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

In a PCE one is fully immersed in the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence – the ‘actualness’ of everything and everyone – for one is not living in an inert universe.

It is one’s destiny to be living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this eternal, infinite and perpetual universe actually is. Richard, General Correspondence, No 9, 5.7.2000


ALAN: This is the nub of what I am getting at – the affective response during the experience. I agree with you that, after the experience, ‘‘I’ will step in and seize the experience as ‘mine’ and interpret and feel it to be a spiritual experience’. I am discussing what happens during the experience – when ‘I’ am not extant. It may be that we need another definition for what these experiences are and you went on to define ‘peak experience’:

VINEETO: The affective response during the experience’ proves that the experience is not a PCE. Affective means there is the feeling ‘me’ present, alive and kicking as in. ‘When ‘I’ am not extant,’ when there is no ‘self’ whatsoever, there won’t be any affective response.


VINEETO: Peak Experience is obviously a generic term used for a wide variety of exceptional experiences, which can range from being very happy to feelings of great love or beauty, from pure consciousness experiences to epiphanies, Satoris or full-blown Altered States of Consciousness.

ALAN: But, this is too wide a definition for what I am talking about.

VINEETO: Exactly, it is because the term is so wide – that’s why we no any longer use the term peak experience. For actualism, I found it enough to make the distinction between any affective experience with the ‘self’ in action and a PCE with the ‘self’ in abeyance.


My sole interest is to eliminate all of my ‘self’, both the normal ‘I’ and spiritual ‘I’, in order to be the actual I, ‘what I am’, this flesh-and-blood body brimming with sense organs. As such, any experience that is not a PCE, however unusual or seductive, needs to be thoroughly investigated. That’s what makes the pursuit of Actual Freedom so simple.

The difference between the spiritual search and actualism is that spiritual people give great significance to a temporary absence of the ego in a out-of-the-ordinary experience, Satori or ASC, while for an actualist such absence of the ego only signifies the unabated and uncontrolled presence of the soul, the animal-instinctual part of the identity. Whenever one removes only one’s personal ‘self’, the ‘ego’, with one’s ‘soul’, the animal-instinctual ‘self’, still intact, this will result, by its very nature, in the ‘soul’ running amok, unfettered by a personal ‘self’, inevitably evolving into an impersonal ‘Self’.

RESPONDENT: I just finished reading Richard’s Journal, finally got some time and spent the weekend reading it, so now I feel like I can talk with you again. I can hear the freedom he describes singing to me. I can feel the intention too, it has always been there, but I have only recently recognized it.

I’ve had the PCEs Richard describes. Quite a few of them actually, this past year especially. Have seen in them that in spite of what I usually believe, there is nothing to fear in the universe, that it is utterly and completely friendly, including death.

VINEETO: Yes, that is how I experience it too. The peak experiences are feeding my intent, the urge me to do something about the time when I am not having a peak experience. The memory of these perfect moments, hours or days have always been driving me forward, to investigate further, to face fear, pride, embarrassment, loneliness, doubt and dread. And these peak experiences have been my reference point, the lively proof, that it is a fact that the solution to all my problems lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction than I had always searched for. The fact of experiencing the moment of being alive as a direct intimacy with everything around me made it impossible to turn this into another belief-system. With that clarity one can face and investigate any ghost in one’s cupboard until it is eliminated.


RESPONDENT: My experience with PCEs is that they are a rather sudden, intense, seeing all the way through to the heart of the matter, cutting through all fear, all identity, all sense of ‘me’ and its associated purposefulness and with them there is a sense of completeness and belonging to the universe, just as actually I am, without any resistance whatsoever.

VINEETO: PCEs are the flashlights in a basement of rubbish. One can enjoy being relieved from the misery and confusion, which is a wonderful thing to have. But when you have the PCE you can also look at the Human Condition from the clarity you have then and find out which particular bit stands out and needs to be tackled next. The clarity from the PCE always helped me to work out in which way I am obstructing perfection and that understanding then became my work-line.

RESPONDENT: If ‘I’ knew of a button to push to bring it about continuously, I would push that button right now.

VINEETO: There is no button, sorry. I found only heaps of rubbish obstructing this pure consciousness perception of the actual world on a permanent basis and that rubbish needed facing, questioning, abandoning, changing behaviour, losing identities, losing friends, losing the very ground I thought and felt I was standing on. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice, someone could push the button and then it’s all over? But the satisfaction from each belief I freed myself from was such a joy that it made every day of the journey fascinating and still does.

RESPONDENT: And that is the problem. While there is any button pusher left, there can be no PCE.

VINEETO: It is much more than just the ‘button pusher’ that is in the way. It is all that humanity has believed in up to now that needs to be investigated and eliminated – it is the very psychic and ‘self’-ish world we are living in, the way we see, feel, imagine, evaluate, reject everything we perceive.

RESPONDENT: One would seem to be left with watching it intently. As I do now.

VINEETO: Watching intently is not enough. One needs to investigate into each and every belief and why one wants to keep it, when this perfectly functioning world does not need any belief for growing trees, raining, thundering or turning carrots and potatoes into blood and bones. Why do we human think we cannot live without making everything into a picture or our own making? Imagination in its very nature is madly unlimited – and the very obstacle, for the world is already perfect – except for human beings, that is.

‘What is my objection to being happy and harmless?’ was one of the most effective questions that I would continually ask myself.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps freedom will occur. The intention is certainly present.

VINEETO: Freedom does not simply occur. You go about on the journey into yourself with a torch and a scalpel. It is an amazing and thrilling enterprise, I can tell you that. And each time you have operated successfully, there is a joy, a dance, an outbreak of freedom and perfection which makes it all worthwhile. In my experience it is so much more exciting and gratifying than just watching intently. And for a change – it works.

RESPONDENT: Whilst I have no memory of a PCE, I do remember that I used to sit outside my parents’ house and contemplate the beauty around me until I one day came to a point where there was, for a split second, no ‘me’ there. Unfortunately the feeling function kicked in suddenly I felt the ‘tremendous love’ for the universe and ‘God’. This unfortunate incident led me down the path of the spiritual seeker who is trying to attempt to ‘make sense of it all’.

VINEETO: I know from my own experience how tempting this grand feeling of ‘tremendous love’ for all is. I am glad that Richard had warned us not to ground on the ‘Rock of Enlightenment’, so I did not have to get lost into that passionate fantasy for too long. But it is good that I had the experience of that tremendous love so clearly because I know now from my own experience, where not to go. It only leads to power, sorrow for all and the whole enlightenment-saga.

That ‘split second’ of your experience is, as Alan points out, a fascinating bit, a split second of a PCE. When such a moment comes around the corner next time, you could stay with the physical – with the actual – with the senses. Then feelings of love and beauty have less chance to overtake the pure consciousness experience.

RESPONDENT: Vineeto, I agree with you that living is the challenge for the growth into the freedom, working out there with people is challenging but only if there is anything to loose, then it is a miracle of creation. Yes, really, it is creating life. If there is anything to loose, it is reacting. My own observation with it is that reaction still happens, but it is more like watching a stream flow.

To give you an example: My issues are success and failure with all the emotions there are going by with it. Being employed for the first time in my life I am working in a team of therapists. It happened that I became very successful and that triggered emotions in them. Very feel-able, the vibes were all around and triggered all the programs in my own conditioning. All the habits of reacting and responding came up. Locking at them, understanding and identifying them as software programs, like pushing an icon with the responding software, it was running in the mind, many times unconscious, just as physical sensations. Looking at it closely, letting go, {there comes the letting go} of the habitual identification with the software program called conditioning and the intent not to go with it, is the most amazing thing I ever experienced, letting it peel away, not being for it, not being against it, just realizing its nature and the choice to step out of the stream. Well, for me it’s like opening my eyes. I guess, I had this experience many times before that you realize, you where blind all the way, had your eyes closed but created the image, that you see, that you know and even fight for it. Till one comes to the next step in evolution and so on. To make the story short, I am facing a lot of bullshit, not out there, no, looking in my own face.

VINEETO: It looks like you are having a good time investigating and exploring your different ‘software programs called conditioning’. The technique as you describe it – ‘not being for it, not being against it, just realizing its nature and the choice to step out of the stream’ is exactly the definition for meditation, particularly for Buddhist-based Vipassana. As you are describing, it works to the extent of not getting entangled into tight ideas of how things should be and in ‘letting go’ of one’s former conditioning – it makes things look all right on the surface, but it doesn’t touch the core issue of our inherent animal instincts at all.

Actual Freedom turns 180 degrees in the opposite direction from the normal and spiritual approaches to life’s problems. I am not only investigating my conditioning, which is part of the ego, but I am questioning and eliminating the soul, the core of my being, the ‘higher self’ as well. Actual freedom is to strip yourself from all of your ‘self’ – your ‘Self’ included.

To understand what that means it is vitally important to remember or induce a peak experience. Richard, Peter, Alan and I have written a lot about peak experiences or Pure Consciousness Experiences to explain its nature and its significance. A peak experience gives you the opportunity to experience life without the otherwise ever-present self for a brief period of time. It is like breaking through a layer of thick clouds of one’s beliefs, emotions and inherent instinctual passions and seeing the actual world, as-it-is, for the first time. My first major peak experience happened after intense questioning and heart-churning investigations into my spiritual belief system of being a follower of Rajneesh – and it gave me the first glimpse that I was on the right track, finding the actual world that lay underneath all my constructs of fears and hopes, notions of right and wrong, good and bad. I have described it in ‘A bit of Vineeto’.

It was such a life-shattering experience in that it made it blindingly obvious that the world runs perfectly well without my so dearly held beliefs and emotions, in fact, it made it clear that with all of my instinctual passions ‘I’ am but a dangerous disturbance, yet another loose cannon, to the peace and perfection of the physical universe. In the peak experience I could experience the world as it is and thus experience ‘me’, who I think and feel I am, as the alien entity inside my body, messing everything up. From this I understood and determined my aim in life, and born out of this pure consciousness experience was my intent to sacrifice this alien ‘self’, boots and all, in order to join the perfection that is already existent in this wondrous magical and perfect universe.

VINEETO: I just woke up from one of those wonderful light after-dinner naps and the memory is still so remarkably fresh that I thought of describing this little PCE to you. It was fascinating and delightful to have thoughts and half-thoughts while drifting in and out of sleep like in and out of water and at the same time the brain was aware of itself being half asleep and doing its fluid thinking. What an extraordinary thing our human brain is, I thought while dreaming along, that it can unwind its thoughts from the day, be aware of it at the same time and this all while I am on the couch taking a nap, and listening to Peter clicking away on the keyboard! Such a nap beats any sort of meditation by a country mile!

RESPONDENT: I agree, there is nothing like a good nap.

VINEETO: I did not talk about just having a good nap. I was trying to describe to you a pure consciousness experience that happened while I was in that hypnogogic state where one is asleep and aware of being asleep at the same time. From this utter relaxation it is very easy to watch the brain thinking – or, as Richard put it:

Richard: This brain, which is what I am (‘what’ not ‘who’) has this amazing ability to not only be able to be consciousness being aware but to simultaneously be consciousness being aware of being consciousness (without an ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious).

This actual world is truly wondrous ... no need for any imaginative/intuitive metaphysical mystique whatsoever. Richard’s Journal, Appendix 5

VINEETO to No 16: When I look back to see what it was that gave me the first glimpses of the actual world as opposed to my only-known world of thoughts and feelings, I can say that it was a repetitious reading of Richard’s journal, extensive discussions with Peter to find out what his words actually mean and the desire to find out exactly what it was different to the spiritual teaching that I knew. I was looking for the difference, not for any seeming similarity. I was not satisfied with the outcome of my spiritual search, I was looking for something that worked – and Richard obviously had discovered something that worked.

The next vital and essential break-through in understanding was my first major peak experience (PCE). What had started off one evening as ‘a roaming in the vast chambers of my mind’, psychic experiences and an expanded state of consciousness suddenly took a turn from ‘inner reality’ to actuality. It happened when Peter looked at me and said ‘hello, how are you doing?’ I popped out of my inner world of feelings and imagination and, questioning the very validity of all I felt and thought, entered the world beyond beliefs and feelings – the actual world. Here was another human being, a flesh-and-blood person without any particular identity and he wanted to talk to me. And here I was, also a flesh-and-blood person without a particular identity, sitting on an old couch and curious to talk to this man that I was meeting for the first time.

I had never met the actual Peter; I had only related to him through the curtain of my expectations and classifications, through the filter of my social identity, through the grey or rose-coloured glasses of my ‘self’. What was initially a shocking surprise quickly turned into fascination and delight to have discovered something so simple and so pure – actual intimacy with another person and the perfection of the actual world. Here we were, two human beings, meeting for the first time, without past or future. No grand feelings, in fact, no feelings at all, but the pleasure of mutual undivided attention as to what the other is going to say next...

All my churning questions from the weeks before as to what was right and what was wrong had disappeared from my tortured head and heart; the experience of the moment was all that mattered. In the course of the evening and the following night, insight upon insight occurred as the edifice of my beliefs system tumbled – the actual world, the world beyond belief opened up. Unbeknown to me it had been here all the time, a world where everything was simply obvious, perfect, pure, delightful, actual, factual and ‘wysiwyg’ (what you see is what you get). No deeper meaning, no God, no soul, no philosophy – meaning and significance abounds when living this moment without the burden of the ‘self’. A complete description of this PCE here.

This pure consciousness experience became my reference point for what I wanted to achieve. It was also an essential reference point to understand what Richard was saying and writing. After all, this actual world is the very world he is living in all the time, and my PCE had just demonstrated how this world is usually tucked away behind the normal/ spiritual worldview.

When you wrote to Richard on mailing list B, you related an experience of the actual –

[Respondent to Richard]: I experienced the actual today and it is so clear that it is always right here right now because it is what actually is. The closest description I can give is that it was a direct experience of everything as it was happening. Everything was perfect as it is and I was where I should be. There was perfect clarity. Respondent to Richard, List B, 30.10.1999

The remembrance of this ‘self’-less perfection is the starting point to the dismantling of the ‘self’, first the outer layers of one’s social identity and then the core of one’s being, the instinctual passions. From the reference point of a PCE one is able to distinguish the actual from normal or spiritual, facts from beliefs and sensuous experience from affective feelings. One starts from an experience of the actual and daringly questions every truth, belief, faith, hope, trust and feeling. The clarity of a PCE is vital to distinguish facts from ‘truths’, and the PCE reveals feelings of fear and pride as unnecessary stumbling blocks and exposes the ‘self’ in action that is spoiling the already always-existing perfection.

What adventure, what delight, what serendipity.


This Topic Continued

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