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

Sense and Sensible

RESPONDENT: In the spiritual process (even if you have not achieved perfect control of the thoughts and feelings) once you’ve gotten the clue that you are not the things you are witnessing, you start looking for the witness itself or, I should say, the Witness Itself. If you are rigorous in your investigation, you will finally come to the conclusion that there is no Witness to be found. Then you are left with witnessing. The question is, will it be Witnessing or is there simply a flesh and blood body present with the capacity to be aware of its own awareness?

VINEETO: This is where Actual Freedom lies 180 degrees opposite to all spiritual belief. As an actualist I am not concerned about witnessing at all but about removing any belief, emotion and feeling that prevents me from being happy and harmless in this very moment. I don’t witness the Witness in order to remove him/her, I use awareness to scrutinize my accumulated beliefs, investigate the underlying causes of my emotions each time they occur. When this investigation is undertaken with sufficient intent and depth, a realization will occur such that action inevitably follows changing my behaviour towards becoming more harmless and happy. ‘I’ am my emotions and instinctual passions and the witness/Witness is merely a by-product of these emotions and passions.

Coming from spiritual practice I had to unlearn passive watching and undo the ‘dissociating from feelings and thoughts’ in order to apply sensible thought to question and eliminate beliefs and to experience and investigate emotions and feelings. Once you abandon the idea of a Witness, there is only one self, ‘me’, my identity, whatever hide-and-seek games we have been taught to play with it. It makes it all so very simple, practical and effective.

It’s a pleasure to have you on the list.

VINEETO to Alan: To come back to the story I wanted to tell –

Driving home last night after a full working day I wondered what was really the difference between me now and me some time ago. I felt as ‘normal’ as one can be; no outstanding events had happened in the day, there was just a quiet enjoyment of the different tasks I had to do. Was that all there was to life, a non-emotional, non-eventful pleasant day-by-day living, but without the sparkle and magic of a pure consciousness experience? Was I maybe missing the mark, was I a few degrees off course or overlooking something essential here? Doubt crept in – and the impatience I have known so well from the last weeks.

Coming home, Peter introduced me to the term ‘limbo’. There was a report about a film called ‘Limbo’ on TV and he had looked it up in the dictionary:

Limbo: 1 A region supposed in some beliefs to exist on the border of Hell as the abode of the just who died before Christ’s coming and of unbaptized infants. 2 An unfavourable place or condition, likened to limbo; esp. a condition of neglect or oblivion to which people or things are consigned when regarded as superseded, useless, or absurd; an intermediate or indeterminate condition; a state of inaction or inattention pending some future event. Comb.: limbo-lake the abode of spirits or tormented souls. Oxford Dictionary

Well, I definitely could relate to that description, I know the ‘place or condition of neglect or oblivion to which people or things are consigned when regarded as superseded, useless, or absurd’, and I also know well this ‘intermediate or indeterminate condition; a state of inaction or inattention pending some future event’. And some feelings of doubt, lost-ness or insecurity about the right direction are very normal when one is in limbo. Suddenly all made sense again – o.k., if I am in limbo, that must be par for the course. How could I ever think that anything could go wrong? It was a great relief to realize that nowhere can I go wrong or miss the mark – limbo is a place of no direction and no movement. My only responsibility now is to keep my foot off the brakes; all else is proceeding perfectly well.

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.

ALAN: Nor is there any sense of ‘the feeling is that one cannot survive this appalling emptiness without going mad’, as Richard described it.

VINEETO: Well, the issue of ‘going mad’ has been on my mind a lot for the last few months. I find it very reassuring that psychologists have classified Richard as mad in real-world terms, which is only logical as he has stepped out of the ‘sane’ world of wars, rapes, murders, tortures, domestic violence, child abuse, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide. However, it is quite a challenge to get used to leaving humanity behind and going mad – ‘mad’ according to my previous standards and to society’s standards. Sometimes there is an almost audible ‘clack’ in the brain, when an old synapse snaps, when I fail to understand how other people think and feel. More and more I fail to understand people’s emotional reactions, their psychological reasoning or the psychic vibes that I occasionally pick up, when people report that they are feeling insulted, misunderstood, threatened or when they are desperately defending some non-sensical belief. It is sometimes very strange and bewildering indeed.

The other aspect of going mad is that I am experiencing the limitations of sensible thought in comprehending the infinitude of the actual world. The other night, in a flash of a PCE, I looked at Peter and experienced the abundance of an exquisite intimacy with another human being in our mutual delight of being alive, while thinking at the same time – ‘I am glad that I don’t have to believe it, it is unbelievable and incomprehensible. It is simply too vast to understand.’ I can only sensately yield to the immensity of the experience of copious perfection and magical actuality.

Freaky stuff. My thinking has been, up to now, the reliable guide for making sense of the world, after I had abandoned feelings as dependable arbiters of understanding. Yet this experience was so stunningly obvious that it cannot be brushed aside anymore – the making sense of the world, that up to now gave me confidence and security, has very clear limitations. Beyond those limits lies the thrill of the coruscating (thanks for the word, Richard) abundance of the infinite and eternal universe, clearly experienced with my senses but beyond comprehension through thought alone.

As I see it, the first stage on the path to Actual Freedom was epitomized by questioning beliefs and eliminating emotions and feelings and making sense of the world by using thought, reflective contemplation and common sense. This exercise has been a major part of the journey out of the Human Condition, leaving belief, feeling, intuition, imagination and Ancient Wisdom behind. By applying common sense I could venture out of the restrictive and myopic self-centredness of my social identity and discover the underlying bare instinctual passions at the core of my being.

These passions can be experienced and sensibly understood by reflective comprehension but not eliminated. As Richard made it clear again in his latest correspondence –

Richard: Okay ... this is important, vital, pivotal: ‘I’, the thinker, know that ‘I’ cannot do it ... ‘I’ cannot disappear ‘myself’. Only the ‘utter fullness’ can, and the ‘utter fullness’ is ‘calling one’, each moment again, and it is only when ‘I’ fully comprehend – totally, completely, fundamentally – that to be living this ‘utter fullness’ is to be living ‘my’ destiny will one be able ‘to answer that call’.

This full-blooded endorsement means it then becomes inevitable. Richard, List B, No 25, 18.6.2000

Experiencing the limitations of thought and understanding in an undeniable obviousness created a ‘glitch in the program’ that floods me now with sensate experiencing without the usual stifling attempt or ability to categorize it or intellectually comprehend it. My brain is at times as though wrapped in cotton wool, stunned by the change of perspective and the immensity of the experiential understanding that nothing is merely passive. It is utterly thrilling to be alive.

RESPONDENT: Dear scholars :)

I have asked a group the question what is the Dzogchen definition of mind? And the following was returned to me. I can’t seem to make any sense of it. Especially how a human being comprehends a nature of mind (sems-nyid), which exists beyond time and conditioning. Is this Dzogchen mind the same as the pure conscious experience of Actual Freedom? Anyone’s help would be greatly appreciated.

VINEETO: For an intelligent, practical, down-to-earth human being to try to comprehend ‘a nature of mind (sems-nyid), which exists beyond time and conditioning’ is a contradiction in itself, because such a mind exists only in passionate imagination or in wishful thinking, particularly in the desire to be immortal. The ‘ground of being’ that the Buddhist glossary in your quote talks about is merely another name for God, one’s immortal soul, one’s innermost being, etc. As a mortal flesh-and-blood human being, I die when I die and my intelligence or mind dies with the rest of my body. The mind, the functioning of the brain in action, is firmly locked in this moment of time – it is only ‘I’, the psychological and psychic entity, who exists out of time and, being fearful of death, believes the fairy tales of an existence ‘beyond time’.

Therefore ‘Dzogchen mind’ can never be the same as a pure consciousness experience. A PCE is a sensate-only experience when the ‘self’ is temporarily absent. For a more detailed definition you can have a look in the library. It is the ‘self’, this alien entity inside the flesh-and-blood body, who desperately wants to believe in a life after death, an existence ‘beyond time’ and an imaginary freedom outside of the ‘limitations’ of the material world.

You quoted –

[quote]: from ‘Buddhahood Without Meditation’ (...)

‘Since this nature of mind, or sems-nyid, transcends the thought process (that is to say, Samsara) from the very beginning, being itself outside the temporal process and the causal sequence, it is said to be primordially pure (ka-dag). But simultaneously it is mnd, or sems.

Mind has the power or capacity to bring all thoughts and phenomena into manifestation in consciousness through its latent energy. Forms continuously arise as manifestations of mind (sems kyI snang-ba), and this is called spontaneous self-perfection (lhun-grub). Here there is no contradiction with the doctrine of Anatman (bdag-med).’

Reading the last paragraph makes it obvious, that the definition of ‘mind’ in Buddhist understanding is an imaginary energy, another name for God or the ‘ground of being’ , established with the phantasmagorical power ‘to bring all thoughts and phenomena into manifestation in consciousness through its latent energy’ . Whereas ‘mind’ in the world of people, things and events where we humans live, simply means the human brain in operation, and it has an astounding capacity both for sensible thought and for silly passionate imagination.

However, I don’t intend to comment any further, because I am not a scholar. What I know about and what I can comment about is why and how I have extracted myself from the world of ideas, concepts and fervent belief and how to live in the actual world of sensual delight and sensible thought.

When I read the text I was reminded of my university days when the communist and socialist students were expounding their very scholarly theories of how society should be run. I studied the first chapter of Marx’s bible, the Manifesto, and then gave up. Looking for other ways to assess the validity of the proposed theories, I checked out how the communist students were in their relationships, how much success they had in their political activities, how their relationship was to the working class that they allegedly represented. All this gave me a pretty clear picture that what they were proselytizing did not work, neither in their own lives nor in other people’s lives. Further, the more I learned about the putting into practice of communist belief in various countries, the more I was convinced that the theory did not work.

The same measure of investigation I applied to feminism, humanistic therapy, marriage and Christian belief. Strangely enough, with Eastern mysticism, particularly Sannyas, I was completely blind as far as the practicality of the teachings was concerned – in my own life, the life of the teacher and in the lives of the people of India, where Eastern mysticism had been on-going for thousands of years.

What I am saying is that I decided that I did not have to learn or understand all the theories in order to assess their validity, I did not have to trot my way through the seemingly endless possible theories, philosophies and concepts that human beings can invent – and Eastern philosophy and mysticism is particularly designed to be mind-bending and thought-twisting.

Now, it does not make any sense to me why people are often quite practical in terms of their livelihood, safety, comfort and pleasure, yet when it comes to religious values and spiritual belief, all those practical and sensible assessments are blatantly abandoned. Why? Why don’t we demand from our beliefs what we want from our cars – that they should work?

Which leads to the question – what is it that should work in life? What is it that one wants to achieve? To what goal should the theory lead?

RESPONDENT: The main point is that I don’t want to hurt anybody while resolving my issue. I have noticed that this tendency of mine has, in a subtle way, been used by my wife (or maybe it is used by women in general) to make it very difficult for me to break up with her by apparently denying the issue while simultaneously making me feel guilty.

I think that honesty and clear communication is crucial in any relationship, be it with a lover (this seems easy but not painless, however) or my wife.

So ... I will proceed the best I can in hope of a peaceful separation and maintaining a friendship with my wife. The separation which will allow me to cultivate the relationship with the woman I am attracted to and hopefully to live together.

Well, this is my update as to what’s happening in my life. There are some spontaneously peaceful and perceptive moments combined with some confusion and fear of making a painful decision.

VINEETO: As this is obviously your adventure and your exploration into depth of the Human Condition in you there is nothing much I can add. I myself had several complicated relationship situations in my life, so I know it is not an easy task. I have learned a lot from those situations, about me, about relationship and about the things that don’t work.

The most important point for me when starting on the path to Actual Freedom was to remember that it is always only me that I can change and that I can make free. I can never do anyone else’s job and nobody can do anything for me. That’s the very nature of an actual freedom.

One of the first things I had to learn and successively understand was that obeying the ethical and moral rules of society or religion was not going to help me to reach the purity and perfection so clearly experienced in a pure consciousness experience. As long as I oriented myself on the ideas of right and wrong it always left one party ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’ and neither peace nor equity were ever achieved.

My ideas of what was morally good or ethically right would stop me inquiring, fearing to do something ‘wrong’, violating the moral code and ethical value of the tribe, the peer group and the spiritual / religious group I had belonged to. First I had to understand the workings of those moral and ethical rules in me before I could inquire further into the nature of my feelings, emotions and passions. (...)


Having experienced the purity and perfection of the actual world and the intent to live that pure consciousness experience 24 hours a day, every day I could safely begin to abandon the moral and ethical codes that society imposed on me. Thus I whittled away at my social identity and its ensuing notion of right and wrong, good and bad. Now I can dig into the feeling that arises, find the root cause and understand why, when and how I feel this way, without the fear of ‘being wrong’ or ‘being bad’. Knowing the actual world from the memory of my PCEs I can determine what is ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’ and act according to what is sensible and best for everyone involved.

I dug out some questions that Richard has answered on the subject of ethics and morals – the first obstacle to be tackled before one can really decide about silly and sensible action ...

Co-Respondent: I would ask you a question: In your post-enlightened state, is there a source of morality and ethics in the individual, or are they all artificial?

Richard: All morality and ethics (externally reinforced internal control systems) are artificial ... and are only necessary for those who still nurse the malice and sorrow (born of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire) to their bosom. When one is free from the human condition there is nothing that needs to be controlled by any society’s artificial mores.

Co-Respondent: What is the basis of ‘right action’?

Richard: Twenty four hour a day happiness and harmlessness ... which condition is the result of the total eradication of ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the entire identity who is the product of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire). Richard, List B, No 36, 1.10.1999

RESPONDENT: Will this ‘I’-less state result in being slow, lethargic or will our natural body system of being active – passive self-regulate into a balanced state? There will be no more ‘I’ to psychologically motivate us and to influence the body to ‘get up and do something’ rather then, for example, to sit and enjoy a sunset. Or is being slow and lethargic an emotional state that will be weeded out by then?

VINEETO: If in asking the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ I get the answer ‘ lethargic’, I know that there is a feeling to be looked at and investigated. In my experience, lethargy was a reluctance to investigate a scary issue, to question a deep-seated dearly held belief, to sort out peer-group pressure and explore what I had deemed to be the truth for many years. Lethargy, for me, is the same feeling that Alan calls ‘stuckness’, a seemingly non-feeling dull state where feelings are kept under the carpet because they are too scary to acknowledge and explore. Lethargy is simply another word for not wanting to be here, for whatever reason.

What got me out of lethargy or stuckness or denial or melancholy was always the sensible thought that it is my time and my life that I am wasting and that the issue will not go away by itself – nothing will change unless I change.

Enjoying being lazy is something different altogether. Doing nothing really well is an art that needs to be learned like every other ingredient of being happy and harmless. Doing nothing when there is nothing to do instead of running around frantically because ‘I’ need to add ‘meaning’ to life was an issue that I had to investigate over many months. For me, being capable of doing nothing involved exploring the fear and guilt of being useless, the need to belong to the group that was ‘doing something useful in life’ and the need of ‘me’, the identity, to assure my importance to others and to ‘myself’ with something that ‘I’ had produced. Additionally, there was the fear of boredom, the fear of being ostracized, the fear of loneliness, the fear of depression when there won’t be another meaningful task to get me out of bed the next day. All these fears were very real when experienced but none of them had actual validity for my physical survival.

The only thing I need to do is earn a living, pay the rent, fill the fridge and obey the laws of the land – the rest is a free choice of what pleasure to do next... There simply are no other rules as to what one has to do in life. And once I eliminated the need for, and the bondage of, the societal and religious morals and ethics, I am free to choose the best – which is to devote my life to becoming free from the Human Condition.

When I can enjoy doing nothing really well, I can also distinguish the difference between lethargy and laziness, guilt and hedonism, the feeling that I ‘should’ do something and the pleasure of getting my teeth stuck into an engaging project or issue. Investigating the Human Condition always boils down to ‘what feeling is preventing me now from being happy and harmless?’ – and then doing whatever is needed to change to becoming more happy and more harmless, until all of ‘me’ is eliminated in the final ‘pop’.

RESPONDENT: As a side note, according to Richard’s understanding of the egoless state of being, there is no imagination possible in an egoless state because one is totally busy living the life as it is happening moment by moment. As a consequence, there might be no concern about the future. If there is a total dis-concern for the future and one is living – as the body – in the world inhabited by other people, will not the physical safety be in danger? Or is the very idea of ‘danger’ emotionally driven and even when a dangerous situation occurs, the body will be busy living it and hence there will be no hard feelings against the situation.

VINEETO: (...) Richard lives in Actual Freedom, which is being here without any identity whatsoever. With the death of his identity the faculty of imagination disappeared along with his instinctual passions. Therefore whatever Richard writes is not a mere ‘understanding of the ego-less state’ but an accurate description of what he is living 24hrs a day, every day. Imagination for him is simply not possible because imagination cannot exist outside the feeling entity inside this flesh and blood body – it dies with the entity. And because there is no imagination interfering, he is ‘living the life as it is happening moment by moment’.

My ‘concern about the future’ goes as far as covering the basic necessities for my physical survival – a place to live, spending money, clothes, food and obeying the law of the land. For work I found it sensible to keep a car, so I take care that it is registered, insured and running well. Neither a fearful nor hopeful imagination about the future nor feelings, beliefs, morals, values and instinctual passions interfere with this simple and solely practical ‘concern about the future’ and life is easy and carefree.

As far as ‘the world inhabited by other people’ is concerned – there are some practical safety measures to be considered. When appropriate, I will keep my mouth shut and not talk about Actual Freedom, because people seem to get really upset when their dearly held beliefs are questioned. The Internet for instance, is a much safer place to have a conversation about Actual Freedom. But most of what is considered ‘danger’ is, in fact, merely emotionally perceive and disappears with the thorough investigation of one’s emotions, feelings and instinctual passions – the actual world is an imminently safe place to be.

A side-note – once you actively start investigating those hopes and fears whilst experiencing them, you will find out for yourself that they are very real but not actual. Thinking about one’s fears without thoroughly investigating what they are based on will on the other hand merely confirm the mother of all beliefs – that ‘you can’t change the human nature’.

Once I started to investigate a fear that arose from changing myself, the next time I found I could not take the fear as serious as before, for I knew that by exploring the fear it would eventually reveal its illusionary nature. With each fear removed, my brain was functioning better and clearer than before and was less restricted by chemically driven irrational hopes and fears. But it takes daring and initiative to start exploring one’s ‘ghosts in the cupboard’, as Alan and I used to call them. Freedom from the Human Condition does not happen by itself and it does not happen overnight. It needs persistent and bloody-minded sincere intent and thorough investigation – and then the rewards are beyond your wildest dreams.

I keep saying to Peter that if people only knew what they were missing ... all my dreams have come true, one by one.


RESPONDENT: It takes lots of vigilance to investigate this since often it is very difficult to makes sense of things. I think that labelling feelings helps a lot in the process.

VINEETO: Yes, ‘often it is very difficult to makes sense of things’ when one’s previous parameters of good and bad and right and wrong are falling by the wayside. Sometimes I had the feeling as if the ground was shifting under my feet. But then I could always stick to

  • what are the facts of the situation?
  • what is silly and sensible?
  • what prevents me from being happy and harmless now?

As you say, ‘labelling feelings helps a lot in the process’ and works to distinguish the feelings, beliefs and facts of each situation. In contrast to Eastern teachings like Vipassana, which teaches you to name the feeling and then disidentify from it, actualism goes much deeper than merely snorkelling of the surface. The making sense for me happened when I had detected the belief behind the particular feeling or emotion and was thus able to determine that it was part of my conditioning, my religious / spiritual conviction, my accumulated behaviour from my peer-group, my gender or my national identity, etc. This way I have been able to dismantle, one by one, my beliefs, feelings and emotions and my identity has become thinner and thinner. Now, without a social identity, it is a continuous pleasure to be here and life is easy, carefree and delightful.

VINEETO: How are you doing in hot New Jersey? We’ve had now almost a week of that heavy tropical rain that pounds on the roofs, splashes on to trees and roads in bucket loads, with the sound of waterfalls all around when it starts pouring. It makes me even more comfortable in the nice warm den at home. And whenever the sun comes out after these heavy rainfalls, all the leaves are strewn with dazzling rainbow-coloured drops and everything is shiningly green. The world is washed again sparkling clean.

There was some issue in your last letter that I have not answered fully and I thought it worth explaining it a bit more.

RESPONDENT: Is it easy for you to differentiate between the feeling of love and dependency and the sensation of fulfilment, freedom and happiness that comes when two people share intimacy?

VINEETO: Also you had asked No 8 a similar question –

[Respondent]: I am also working on my emotions. Recognizing them, labelling them, recognizing circumstances of their appearance. It is an interesting effort especially in light of the fact that feelings were regarded higher than thoughts in most religious systems of the past and thus regarded as untouchable. In my case, it has been quite challenging to differentiate between pure sensations and feelings constructed around simple sensations of the body. It seems that the mind is very eager to plaster an emotion on any simple sensation.

Please describe some of your sensate experiences. It is valuable to me to sharpen my discrimination skill to be able to clearly identify the moment when a sensation turns into a feeling. [endquote].

Sensation is the purely sensate message that the brain receives from the senses – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch.

The consciousness of perceiving or seeming to perceive some state or condition of one’s body or its parts or of the senses; an instance of such consciousness; (a) perception by the senses, (a) physical feeling. b The faculty of perceiving by the senses, esp. by physical feeling. Oxford Dictionary

And on senses from The Actual Freedom Trust Library –

Peter: The physical senses of the brain allow us the sensual feel of touch (the skin of another), the aromatic delight of smell (a frangipani at dusk), the complexity of sight (colour, light, movement, depth, focus), the variety, intensity and layering of sounds and tastes. Further, the human brain has an awareness of this sensorial input and can think, reflect and communicate with others. The brain, when freed of the dominance of ‘self’-centred feeling and thought and the chemical based instinctual passions, is able to function with startling clarity and common sense and the faculty of apperception – the mind’s ability to perceive itself – comes to the fore. This sensate-only experience is known as a Pure Consciousness Experience – a temporary state of ‘self’-lessness. The Actual Freedom Trust Library

My perception of sensations has drastically changed in the last few years. It has moved away from ‘sensational’ intense sensate experiences, which were mostly accompanied by emotions, to an overall increased and unpolluted awareness of pleasurable aliveness as a sensate human being. Sensation and sensuousness today is the more and more prevalent attentiveness of the ongoing delight that my senses exude – the temperature on the skin, the warmth in the stomach from the last cup of coffee, the remnant of bitter and honey taste in the mouth, the subtle ‘click’ of the radiator switching on, the hum of the fridge, the colourful scenes outside the window, cool fingers on warm face...

When one stops to observe, there is a myriad of sensations happening each moment and usually we don’t bother noticing because we are so busy feeling and thinking something else. But then, what can be more thrilling than sensately feeling alive, just sitting or lying on the couch, or tasting some food, listening to the sounds of the night, the clock ticking away ...

Our senses are usually strictly filtered by the censor in the primitive brain and one only perceives a small percentage of the incoming sensual information. Further, the preoccupation of ‘me’, the instinctual identity, with emotions and beliefs makes pure sensate experiencing a rarity. The psychological self in the neo-cortex and the instinctual self in the amygdala are programmed to give a feeling interpretation of all sensual input. In order to avoid merely suppressing one’s emotions one has to roll up one’s sleeves and progressively deprogram one’s brain so as to be able to more freely experience the delight of one’s senses without the suffocating layer of feelings and emotions.

RESPONDENT: Is it easy for you to differentiate between the feeling of love and dependency and the sensation of fulfilment, freedom and happiness that comes when two people share intimacy?

VINEETO: The feeling of love is clearly a feeling of the ‘good’ category. When in love, every sensate experience with the other is experienced and interpreted according to the pink glasses of romance, lust, need, longing, nurture, dependency and belonging.

But what you call the ‘sensation of fulfilment, freedom and happiness’ is also a feeling, not a sensation. Those feelings are the felicitous/ innocuous feelings of the ‘happy and harmless’ category that we actualists aim for whenever possible.

As Richard explained in his recent letter to No 8, no-one with a self still intact can live without feelings – so we actualists opt for and concentrate on the felicitous/ innocuous feelings whenever possible and remove the obstacles to enjoying those felicitous/ innocuous feelings. As such, to ‘differentiate between pure sensations and feelings constructed around simple sensations of the body’ is particularly significant, when one’s sensations are accompanied by either the ostensibly ‘good’ feelings like love, gratitude, longing, bitter-sweetness or beauty, or ‘bad’ feelings like resentment, fear, disgust, aversion, complaint or apprehension. The aim is to incrementally free one’s experiencing of the sensual input from the shackles of emotions and instinctual passions and to facilitate a sensate-only experience known as a Pure Consciousness Experience.

This is where the diagram of the grey and green arrows – ‘What am I’ vs. ‘Who am I’ – comes in. ‘What am I’ is experienced through the senses and through ‘self’-less thinking and reflection. To free one’s senses of any distorting restriction created by feelings and emotions increases the possibility for experiencing ‘what’ I am. To investigate each emotion when it occurs, to question its underlying moral, ethical and spiritual principles is to decrease the impact of ‘who am I’ on the sensual experiencing. The same goes for reflective and contemplative thought. The more I investigate and eliminate my emotions, the less impact they have on my thinking and the more clear and sensible thinking will become.

The serendipitous cycle of decreasing the identity and increasing sensate delight...

Aaah, if only people knew what they are missing!

RESPONDENT: Thank you for expressing yourself in relation to my posting, Ms Vineeto. I read some of what you wrote, and may read some more later. If you change your mind and want to come to the workshop; I will give you a discount.

VINEETO: You didn’t get it, did you? Maybe it is due to not reading the whole of the message. I will post the last paragraph for you:

[Vineeto]: Actualism, the game that is played on this mailing list, is iconoclastic and completely down-to-earth. Once you experience in a pure consciousness experience the superiority of being without emotions and without an alien entity in operation, be it even for a short period of time, you might understand why I abandoned the spiritual path and can never ever again settle for second best. [endquote].



And now for something completely different. You may be wondering how actualism works in daily practice – how one can, as a third alternative, deal with sexual issues so as to eliminate the problems that prevent the continuing free enjoyment of sex instead of repressing or expressing, compromising or dis-identifying from the symptoms of social taboos and the instinctual drive. I’ll post a description of what I wrote at the time when I sorted out my gender issues and sexual problems in the first three months of my relationship with Peter –

[Vineeto]: (...) Digging deeper, stepping outside of the realm of sexual conditioning and beliefs I then discovered their underlying force – the sexual instincts. This inheritance from our animal past is simply installed to blindly ensure the continuity of the species. It has nothing to do with my happiness and inhibits any sensible behaviour. Those blind instincts cause, among other troubles, possessiveness, jealousy, rape, murder and overpopulation. Identified and seen as what they were, these instincts eventually lost their significance and their grip over me. Now I can enjoy the sensibility and pleasure of sex without being driven, free of the need and dependency that used to be the inevitable consequence. I now don’t need to reinforce my female sexual identity or practice my manipulative power over men – hence the need for flirting has disappeared. Relating to men without the restriction of sexual flirtation is indeed a freedom to meet them in a new and fresh way.

Stripping away the ideas of ‘who’ I am supposed to be, leaving behind the identity of both the virtuous girl and the sinful whore leaves the pure physical sensation of sex. This pleasure I can now easily and delightfully share with a man who also has no idea of ‘who’ he is supposed to be. I remember one evening early in our relationship when Peter suddenly stopped in the course of foreplay and said, ‘I don’t want to feel like I have to pleasure you or be giving! Something is wrong here!’ We discussed and explored his objection and looked behind the habit of sexual role-play. The man usually thinks he has to give a good performance, please and pleasure the woman, and the woman thinks she has to make the man happy, either by surrendering to his wishes or – in the modern version – to have to ‘act’ super-sexual and have multiple orgasms. We investigated the whole scenario of these strange defining roles and inhibitions, with their expectations, bank-balances and hidden resentments, and considered them silly and unnecessary.

Since then giving and taking, right and wrong, pleasing and selfish is of no concern, each simply enjoys the physical pleasure of sex. Now sex is a dance with a wonderful mutual rhythm that evolves each moment, ever changing, thrilling, sensational, delicious and exquisite. Riding the waves of pleasure – each time off the scale. The freedom to leave behind the identity of being good or bad, loving or receiving and to follow and enjoy the rhythm of the bodies without any restriction of the ‘self’ whatsoever is an unsurpassed delight. No apprehension, fear or worry pales the intensity of this very tangible exquisite sensual delight. A Bit of Vineeto


RESPONDENT: (...) I was playing with you a bit when I called you Ms Vineeto. Perhaps you did not pick it up.

Because you called my friend Veeresh Mr Veeresh. I sort of chose to assume that you are into formal politeness,

 and I chose to sort of categorize you in the same way that you categorize people. That tendency towards categorization is a characteristic of the virtual freedom stage.

VINEETO: I think there is some confusion when you say that I am ‘categorizing people’ and this being ‘a characteristic of the virtual freedom stage’. Maybe you do not understand as yet about virtual freedom.

Categorizing people is something that everyone does – it is an activity that arises from the Human Condition. As a lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity we think and instinctually feel it to be necessary to categorize people, things and events not only in terms of dangerous or friendly but also according to our cultural moral and ethical conditioning, according to our spiritual beliefs and psittacisms and according to our individually acquired personal prejudices.

Just a side-note for No 7 – psittacism is derived from ‘psittacosis’ which literally means ‘parrot fever’ and it is a perfect description for the way people passionately hang on to and repeat the opinions and convictions they have picked up from others without ever bothering if they are factual at all. The dictionary defines psittacism as

‘The mechanical repetition of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither true reasoning nor feeling; repetition of words or phrases parrot-fashion; an instance of this.’ Oxford Dictionary

In actualism, virtual freedom is defined as the state that you live in when you have rid yourself of most of your social identity, which consists exactly those morals and ethics, beliefs and psittacisms and the individually acquired personal prejudices. What one encounters after removing the cover of the social identity are the raw instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire that come to the surface – but by then one is well equipped for this next adventure on the road to freedom. Because the outer layer of the social identity is removed, one is able to see and meet people as they actually are without the need of categorizing them in moral and ethical terms. Now, with my guard down, with no identity to defend, I can meet and talk to people as they are, relate to what they are actually saying instead of feeling, intuiting, assuming or imagining what they might mean. It is an intimate, refreshing, satisfying, utterly simple and enjoyable enterprise, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Of course, sensible judgement, common sense and clarity function better than ever, now that the fearful feeling part of relating to people has all but disappeared. I can sensibly assess what someone says by his or her very words. I don’t have to revert to prehistoric means like feeling, guessing, intuiting, assuming, inventing, imagining and assessing them by their star-sign, appearance or gender. There are also certain facts due to the Human Condition that apply to every single human being – the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, overlaid by the social identity of their particular tribal, religious and cultural upbringing. Having explored the Human Condition extensively and exhaustively in myself, I know about it intimately in everyone else as well, because ‘I’ am humanity and humanity is ‘me’. On the way to an actual freedom from the Human Condition you firstly explore this humanity and then leave humanity behind. What thrill. (...)


RESPONDENT: Great that your friend Richard encouraged you to set this list up so that you would be – in many different ways, including this one – be confronted with your own personal conditioning that keeps you trotting around the circuit.

VINEETO: Just for the records – Richard has set up this mailing list for a sincere and thorough discussion about an actual freedom from the Human Condition. You yourself have corresponded with him about a year ago on this very mailing list, so you are well aware of this fact. And yes, I welcome ever opportunity to be confronted with my remaining ‘ghosts in the cupboard’, my instinctual passions, whenever they occur – it is always a splendid opportunity to get rid of another passionate illusion, another notion of ‘me’ and it all brings me closer to the day of my final destiny. And there seem to be many people who make it their business to confront me for whatever motive.

What for you might look like ‘trotting around the circuit’ is for me an ongoing investigation and the key to the ultimate freedom that I have searched for all my life. Yes, all my dreams are coming true. Funny, today I consider everyone else trotting around in useless circles of their ‘self’-maintained passions and I am glad that I haven’t missed the bus to freedom.

You know, I never thought going mad could be so sensible.

VINEETO: Hi Everybody,

(...) Contemplating further I realized that to stop pushing away and stop grasping might at first look similar to the Buddhist practice of ‘neti-neti’, ‘neither this nor that’. The approach of Buddhists and all other meditators is to remove the self from the source of trouble which at the same time removes one from the experience of the sensuousness of being alive. Spiritualism moves away from sensate and affective feelings in order to not be here while an actualist questions and eliminates affective feelings because they prevent me from being here, being the senses-only experiencing the delight of being alive in this actual perfect abundant magical world.

But Buddhists are exercising a technique to remove themselves, to dis-identify and finally to dissociate from either this or that feeling, implying that there is a true self, which they want to keep, that can remove itself from this or that feeling or thought. In actualism the emotion is experienced by neither repressing nor expressing, neither pushing nor grasping and thus one is able to examine it in reflective contemplation so as to explore the very nature of this emotion. One does not remove the self from the emotion but whittles away at the self which is the very program producing the emotion in the first place. This process, if undertaken diligently and persistently, will inevitably lead to self-immolation.

Actual Freedom lies 180 degrees in the opposite direction to all religious practice and belief.

RESPONDENT: I agree that the task for ‘me’ is to push the button to start the process of self-immolation. The truth for me right now is I am dedicated but I am not 100% committed. I have intent but it is not pure intent. What would it take for me to make the leap to be 100% committed with pure intent?

Can I make this leap? Can I become 100% committed with pure intent? What is stopping me? Obviously it is the ‘me’ that is stopping me and like you said it is up to the ‘me’ to keep the question ‘how am I’ going. As you said it is up to ‘me’ and ‘I’ to bring about the process of ending themselves. The best that ‘I’ can do right now is to keep the question ‘how am I’ going. I am dedicated to that.

VINEETO: To understand my intent for freedom I firstly had to take an honest and extensive stock of my life so far. I reviewed all the paths that I had tried, all the adventures I had taken as well as my intentions behind them. I found that as a youth I had marched for peace, freedom, equity and various ideas of a better world. I had been involved in Women’s liberation, only to find women as incapable of living in peace and harmony with each other as men. I then turned to changing society by education, studied social work and was full of ideals to ‘heal’ society. Yet, working as a social worker for heroin addicts I quickly discovered that I had no solution to offer for any of these ‘drop-out’, on the contrary – I could understand their reasons for turning their backs on a society that I saw as corrupt and hypocritical, restrictive and compromising. (...)


You see, intent does not grow in a day or is instantly 100% at the start, it gets bigger and more and more purified with increasing discoveries about the Human Condition in oneself. To acknowledge malice and sorrow in action in oneself, day by day, gives one the firm intention to factually do something about it, to actually and irrevocably change oneself.

And then, with persistent and honest investigation into one’s beliefs and feelings, with rocking ‘the boat’ of one’s identity to the limits, there is bound to be a pure consciousness experience. Asking myself the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of beings alive?’ never had a calming effect on me – on the contrary. To investigate a surfacing emotion, to label and define it and trace its root and underlying belief usually intensified the thrill until I triumphantly got the bugger by the throat and bingo – there lay dead another dearly held ‘truth’ or conviction, value or loyalty. To break through to the very core of one particular emotion leaves me with the actual and that often brings about a PCE.

To give you an example of what I mean I post you a bit that I wrote at the time of one particular discovery –

[Vineeto]: ‘Finally one evening, when talking and musing about the universe, I fully comprehended that this physical universe is actually infinite. The universe being without boundaries or an edge means that it is impossible, practically, for God to exist. In order to have created the universe or to be in control of it God would have to exist outside of it – and there is no outside! This insight hit me like a thunderbolt. My fear of God and of his representatives collapsed and lost its very substance by this obvious realisation. In fact, there can be no one outside of this infinite universe who is pulling the strings of punishment and reward, heaven and hell – or, according to Eastern tradition, granting enlightenment or leaving me with the eternal karma of endless lives in misery.

This insight presupposes, of course, that there is no place other than the physical universe, no celestial, mystical realm where gods and ghosts exist. It also implies that there is no life before or after death and that the body simply dies when it dies. I needed quite some courage to face and accept this simple fact – to give up all beliefs in an after-life or a ‘spirit-life’. But I could easily observe that as soon as I gave up the idea of any imaginary existence other than the tangible, physical universe, everything, which had seemed so complicated and impossible to understand became graspable, evident, obvious and imminently clear.

When the enormous consequence and implication of slipping out of this insidious belief in any God or Higher Being dawned on me, I was at the same time free of anybody’s authority. I was free of the fear that had been spoiling every relationship with every man in my life: father, brothers, male friends and boyfriends, employers, teachers and Master.

Now I am my own authority, deciding what is silly and sensible, using the common and practical intelligence of the human brain. I am responsible for every action in my life and I can acknowledge that now. However, this means that from now on I cannot blame anybody for making me jealous, miserable, grumpy, afraid, angry or frustrated over any petty issue. Now there is no more excuse, no more hiding place. They are my reactions and my behaviour, which I have to face and change in order to be free.’ A Bit of Vineeto

Daring to question ‘God’ by whatever name had eliminated one of the major columns my identity-structure was based on and caused the whole construct to tumble – for a few hours. Then I could experience the actual world as it is, without the restricting and fearful guardian of the ‘self’ in operation – which in turn fuelled my intent for more such discoveries. The serendipitous spiral of actual freedom is set in motion. On the path to actual – as opposed to imaginary – freedom I found that the only way to end fear was to face it and investigate it, and the only way to end pain was to find and eliminate its cause, for ever.

And it works.

‘Knowing full well the cost’, as No. 3 said, which is ‘me’ in my entirety, it is gloriously delicious to be amongst the forerunners of human evolution. To be able to successively and irrevocably free oneself from the ancient animal heritage of the instinctual passions that are but a redundant remnant of thousands of years of malice and suffering is the best I can ever do with my life. Living at the cutting edge of the discovery to a new, non-spiritual, down-to-earth and actual freedom from the Human Condition takes on an exquisite momentum by itself that makes life exquisitely thrilling and wondrously delicious, day after day. And it all is available by sincerely asking the question of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’


VINEETO: Love and compassion, sympathy and empathy are our usual ways of relating to family and friends and through the same emotional ‘channel’ we also invite their fears and worries, sorrow and resentment, anger and hatred. There is only one way when one relates to people affectively and that is within the rules and ways of the Human Condition. The moment I feel sympathy for someone I am also swamped by their fears, the moment I am empathic for someone’s suffering I plug into the collective misery of mankind. The need to belong makes one susceptible to everybody’s feelings, be it anger or fear, greed or suffering.

RESPONDENT: I saw yesterday what you are saying about sympathy and empathy. By not buying in to her suffering I was relieved of my suffering and I was better able to take care of her. Also have seen that ‘I’ am rotten to the core because a lot of my suffering has been worrying about ‘me’ having to take care of her.

VINEETO: To examine the so-called ‘good’ emotions of nurture, affective care, sympathy, friendship, duty, love and compassion is a fascinating subject and can only be done by questioning and examining at the same time the morals and ethics of society that forms one’s very social identity. If one wants to be actually free of the Human Condition, one has to examine and recognize that ‘good’ simply means ‘morally acceptable’ and ‘right’ is just another ethical value, both of which vary from tribe to tribe and from society to society. The ‘good’ is a much a bondage as the ‘bad’ – even more so because it seems much more desirable. As humans we don’t want to lose the other’s affection and reassurance, the appreciation of our peers, the cozy safety of being part of a family or group, the comforting knowledge of doing what everyone considers the ‘right’ thing or the ‘good’ deed.

Freedom lies in the opposite direction. On the path to actual freedom I did not bother to try to solve the moral or ethical problems of what is ‘good’ or ‘right’ but focussed my attention instead on discovering my own ethical and moral values – my social identity in action. ‘Ah, I’m trying to find out what is right? I’m upset that someone did the ‘wrong’ thing? I’m aiming again to be a ‘good’ person?’ These were indications that my moral identity was in action and I used my awareness to examine this very identity and learned to step out of it. What is now left is a simple sensible solution – and mostly my worries were seen to be an S.E.P.-situation, Someone Else’s Problem.

Once I understood that it is only me who can set myself free I also understood that everyone has to do it for themselves as well. What perfect arrangement. It for sure saves one saving people.

VINEETO: While in the land of freedom everything is already always well, nothing can go wrong because everything is actual. Without emotions and instinctual passions I simply respond to what is happening, choose what is sensible and enjoy every moment as it lives me. It is all so easy once the ‘self’ is not in command and the instincts are but a faint rumble sometimes before they will finally wither away completely.

RESPONDENT: This says it all and my ‘belief’ about it is I don’t have it. I am choosing more sensible solutions but it seems as if the ‘self’ is still in command. I know the actual is always here now but the ‘self’ is keeping me from it. The ‘self’ is a barrier between me and the actual. I can see that this is just a belief and all I have to do is give up this belief and the actual will be revealed. The question that arises is ‘why can’t I give up this belief?’ What am ‘I’ hanging on to?

VINEETO: If the ‘self’ was ‘just a belief’ , as you say – and as all the Eastern religions say – one could simply believe that one is not the ‘self’ and every problem would be solved... But the Human Condition in each of us is not just a belief. At the core, ‘I’ am the instinctual passions.

Peter said it very well in his rave to Alan the other day ...

Peter: The chemical surges that cause us to automatically feel and act fearful, nurturing, aggressive and desirous are primary, ‘quick and dirty’, thoughtless and instinctual-emotional and, as such, are ultimately uncontrollable by moral and ethical training or by denial and imaginary transcendence. These chemical surges that arise from the instinctual passions are most definitely not an illusion that one can deny or pretend that one has overcome them – they are very real – readily measurable in response times, sourced from a particular location in the physical brain and empirically observable in action. It was only when this chemical flow ceased that Richard became actually free of the Human Condition. To quote Richard from the ‘Introduction to Actual Freedom’ –

Richard: ‘My’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence. I have always been here, I realize, it was that ‘I’ only imagined that ‘I’ existed. It was all an emotional play in a fertile imagination ... which was, however, fuelled by an actual hormonal substance triggered off from within the brain-stem because of the instinctual passions bestowed by blind nature.’ Richard’s Articles, A Précis of Actual Freedom

An actualist will not skip over the ‘however’, for in that one word is the key to the difference between an actual freedom and an illusionary freedom from the Human Condition. Peter, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Alan, 10.1.2000

It is not a matter of giving ‘up this belief’ but a matter of ‘self’-immolation. The ‘self’ is not ‘a barrier between me and the actual’, the ‘self’ is all that ‘I’ am and ‘I’ am ‘hanging on to’ dear life. ‘I’ know that in order to live the perfection that I have experienced in numerous Pure Consciousness Experiences, ‘I’ have to disappear in toto. This ‘clear eyed view of the obvious’, this understanding of the inevitable then gives enough drive to actively pursue the investigation and elimination of the social, emotional-instinctual entity. What a thrill!


RESPONDENT: I’m up against the mother of all beliefs that I can’t do anything about it. I can’t change the instincts. This belief is so strong that it looks like a fact so what looks best to do is accept the fact that I am my instincts. This seems like the only possible relief.

VINEETO: Your reply shows that you are taking this ‘mother of all beliefs’ as a reality that you won’t question and therefore you accept that you cannot change. Fair enough, it is a deeply ingrained insidious belief, not only repeated for thousands of years by millions of people as the only wisdom but also deeply rooted in our genetic instinctual heritage. It needs sincere intent, courage and awareness to start questioning the ‘truth of our ancestors’.

The moment I questioned anything that I had believed all my life I was up against a whirlpool of fear, belief being the very substance of my identity. There are only two ways to respond to that fear – to go back to being miserable without possibility for change, or to stop running, face the fear and start investigating. The first was not a long-term option for me – knowing about Actual Freedom and not pursuing it meant that I would never be able to face myself in the mirror again with dignity.

Whenever I gathered enough courage to stop running and face the fear I was up for a surprise – the biggest part of fear was being afraid of fear itself. The moment I stopped avoiding fear, the remaining fear was substantially reduced. Still big enough to make me shake – but I had understood enough to know that I could not run forever. Fear, the very core of our software, the Human Condition, will only disappear as that software is being eliminated, anything else will only be a postponement or an avoidance.

So whenever fear hits me I ‘hold on to the mast and let the storm pass’, not make any decisions because of fear but sit it out. It always passes.

Of course, one has to acknowledge that ‘I am my instincts’. But serendipity has it that we are not only inflicted with instinctual passions but are also equipped with intelligence and the ability to be aware of what is happening. It is these very qualities that have the potential to separate us from the other animals. These are the tools to re-wire the brain, to slowly, slowly shift the balance from passionate beliefs to clear facts, from automatic instinctual reactions to considered, sensible, appropriate action and sensual delight.

I leave you with a recipe from Richard to get out of stuckness, Alan’s favourite piece of writing – by the way, Alan, how are you doing?

Richard: To get out of ‘stuckness’ one gets off one’s backside and does whatever one knows best to activate delight. Delight is what is humanly possible, given sufficient pure intent obtained from the felicity/ innocuity born of the pure consciousness experience, and from the position of delight, one can vitalise one’s joie de vivre by the amazement at the fun of it all ... and then one can – with sufficient abandon – become over-joyed and move into marvelling at being here and doing this business called being alive now. Then one is no longer intuitively making sense of life ... the delicious wonder of it all drives any such instinctive meaning away. Such luscious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté – the nourishing of which is essential if fascination in it all is to occur – and the charm of life itself easily engages dedication to peace-on-earth. Then, as one gazes intently at the world about by glancing lightly with sensuously caressing eyes, out of the corner of one’s eye comes – sweetly – the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is ... and one is the experiencing of what is happening.

But refrain from possessing it and making it your own ... or else ‘twill vanish as softly as it appeared. Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, Alan, 13.12.1998

RESPONDENT: I am not accepting that I cannot change but I don’t know if I can change. This leaves the possibility open. I have awareness but pure intent and courage seem clouded by doubt.

VINEETO: Doubt is an interesting phenomenon. The other day I talked to a woman who confided in me that she was continuously tortured by doubt if she was doing the right thing. When I asked who it was she ultimately needed to please, she said, ‘my mother’. I was rather surprised – the woman has grown-up children herself and her mother has been dead for many, many years. When she asked what was my solution to doubt, I simply said that I follow my own – very high – standards and that doubts have disappeared out of my life.

I then realized that in order to follow my own standards of silly and sensible I first had to get rid of the emotional issue of authority, I had to investigate and abolish every belief in authority that had ruled my life until then, including the Almighty, All-knowing and punishing God. At the time, that was quite an amputation by itself! The other implication of following my own standards is that I am always ruthlessly honest, so when I find some feeling lurking beneath the seemingly smooth surface, I have to ‘get off my bum’, on to the couch to contemplate and root around until I have investigated the emotion in question.

My guiding light is the purity and perfection of the actual world experienced in a PCE and the way to live in the actual world permanently is to whittle away at the ‘self’ until it self-immolates. In the clarity of a pure consciousness experience I could see doubt for what it is – my ‘self’ scurrying for cover.

So again, intent and courage grow and multiply by taking action and gathering confidence from the ensuing success. One simply has to start somewhere – to merely think about possible victories and failures only feeds doubt. Courage only happens in the doing of the action, not before, and intent grows out of the determination not to settle for second best.

Of course, one can use the method also to do some minor adjustments to one’s social identity, clean out some bad habits, get rid of some particularly troubling problems and then stop further investigation. I know quite a few people who have done exactly that and who are now a little bit happier with their lives than before. The outcome is not Actual Freedom, but a little bit more sensibility, less gullibility and a little bit more freedom from one’s burdening social role-play.

It is purely a matter of what you want to do with your life.

Personally, I function differently. I can’t stop halfway down the road when I know what is possible. Whenever I have encountered fear, I also experience a stubborn bloody-mindedness that has initially surprised me. When I looked back on my life from where I drew the strength and courage to pursue I recognized that all my major turning points had to do with one desire – to be free. Freedom had different notions and definitions in the course of the years, but the desire to discover the best freedom possible always kept me going. Now that I know what I want and how to get there, any obstacle is turned into a challenge, a research and an adventure – the adventure of a lifetime.


RESPONDENT: I would say that I am doing ok which is a relative term. I wouldn’t call it good but I would call it ok. When I look at my total situation it seems that I ‘have it made’ except for the problem with my mother. I realize that the real issue is the instincts because if this problem didn’t exist then I am sure that other issues would most likely arise.

VINEETO: People’s automatic response is always to see their own fear, aggression, sadness or misery as being caused by the other person or the particular circumstances. I considered it a great step in my exploration when I could see that, whatever the ‘problem’, it had to do with me. And you are absolutely spot on – ‘that other issues would most likely arise’ – so best to examine the one that is so readily presenting itself...

Whenever I had an issue that bothered me and that I wanted to get rid of, I would dig into the cause of the disturbance layer by layer with the question of ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ The first response was usually a superficial one like: ‘I don’t want to do what the other wants me to do’ or ‘I don’t like what the other just said’ or a similar resentment. Prodding further I’d come across stronger emotions such as anger, guilt, duty, shame, authority, pride or fear – or a mix of several ones. Each such emotion was worth a deeper inquiry as to the underlying rules, beliefs, morals and ethics that triggered and constituted those emotions and distorted my relationship to the particular person. It was often scary but always a great adventure to question my fixed perception and behaviour and explore a solution 180 degrees in the other direction to my familiar reactions. By being suspicious about my automatic belief of what is ‘true’, ‘good’ and ‘right’, I was then able to start assessing the facts of the situation rather than indulging in, or fighting against, my emotional reactions to what was happening.

Facts are what is actual, tangible, discernable, provable, practical, and by knowing the facts one can consider what will be the best for everybody involved. Emotions, by their very nature, are always ‘self’-centred and always non-factual – however, the physical symptoms that often accompany the appearance of the emotions make them very real, and it needs great attentiveness and persistent observation to disentangle oneself from their convincing instinctual grip.

In your investigations you might come across ancient scary tales, collective superstitions, nonsense disguised as ancient wisdom, hoary psittacisms, moralistic no-no’s, ethical taboos, fear of ostracism, weird inner psychic horror movies ... With all those possible ‘ghosts’ emerging from the depth of one’s psyche it is important to clearly distinguish between fact and feeling. Facts are tangible, constant, reliable, whereas feelings will invariable fade if one stops feeding them.

By tracing each of the upcoming emotions to their very roots I was then able to determine that they had nothing to do with the practical facts of the situation, but were the chemically induced and socially established reactions of the instinctual survival system. It was, however, essential that I gained this insight experientially in order to replace the emotion with contemplation and sensibility rather than merely suppressing it. Suppressing emotion is sheer postponement and a sure way to accumulate problems until they become unbearable. Once I had extracted every bit of necessary information by experiencing the emotions I could then make sensible judgements and appropriate changes in my behaviour such that I could resume being happy and harmless again.

RESPONDENT: I have been wondering what’s missing for me? I completely understand how all this works yet there is some missing ingredient. For example, I am involved in a situation that is causing constant fear and worry in my life. I see what is causing the fear right to the core but it still doesn’t go away. I am working on the cause by seeing what my options are and taking appropriate steps. The only way the fear would stop is if I extricate myself completely from the situation but that is not something I want to do.

What I am trying to get at is: Is something missing because the fear won’t stop unless I stop what I am doing or in a situation like this is it better to just stop even though I don’t want to stop? Iow, if I see the cause of the fear and the fear doesn’t stop is it better to stop the cause altogether?

I know what’s not missing are the instinctual passions including fear as ‘me’ but in the meantime how do I best deal with a situation like this? Do I keep working on the fear (‘me’) or do I get myself out of the situation that is causing the fear? I guess to answer my own question I would do what’s sensible. Obviously I don’t want to do the most sensible thing because of greed which is tied to the fear (‘me’). If I see that it is greed which keeps me in this situation and is causing the fear then it would be prudent to stop.

However, I’m back to square one which is ‘I’ don’t want to stop. Can I stay in this situation and use it to get free of fear (‘me’) or is it better to cut and run?

VINEETO: You might recall that you had a conversation with both Gary and me about this same topic on this list some 18 months ago –

[Respondent to Gary]: On a personal note I am looking at making additional investments in the stock market and there is fear associated with this because I know there is a risk of losing as I have lost a lot before. I know that if I do lose again there will be sorrow and grief. Hence, my fear of losing may lead to sorrow and grief if I actually do lose.

[Gary]: Nothing is absolutely without risk. I myself do not invest in any stocks or what-have-you, preferring the relative security of bank deposits. If you lose, there doesn’t necessarily have to be any sorrow or grief about it, does there?

[Respondent to Gary]: This is true. There doesn’t have to be any sorrow or grief about it but based on my past experience there could be sorrow or grief about it. That is why I am looking at the fear associated with the possible loss in order to rid myself of possible suffering that may occur.

[Vineeto]: Did you ever pause to question what might be the practical cause for your anticipated loss and subsequent sorrow or grief in the above-mentioned situation? Did you ever wonder what might be the driving passion behind an expectation to win in a gambling situation where reportedly about 75% of the players lose, subsequently suffering disappointment, sorrow and grief? You seem to be asking for fearlessness in a situation where the odds are heavily stacked against you.

I am only asking because when I investigated my expectations and desires that I knew by past experience would inevitably lead to disappointment and sorrow, I was then able to chuck both my expectation and disappointment, both my desire and sorrow out the window. And once I stopped doing what caused me to feel sorrowful, then the fear of this sorrow re-occurring also disappeared. Given that my aim was to become free of malice and sorrow, it became obvious to me that I also had to become free from the dreams, hopes, desires and greed that were the cause of my sorrow. Vineeto, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No 16, 10.12.2001

If you already know that the most sensible thing would be to stop doing what you are doing –

[Respondent]: ‘obviously I don’t want to do the most sensible thing because of greed which is tied to the fear (‘me’). If I see that it is greed which keeps me in this situation and is causing the fear then it would be prudent to stop.’

– then why do you ask what to do? To stop being silly is a DIY project – doing what is sensible is in your hands and in your hands alone.


RESPONDENT: I was asking myself and also looking for any helpful feedback. There is no need for anyone to answer.

VINEETO: Was the feedback helpful?

RESPONDENT: If I run from every sticky situation or jam that I get myself in then I don’t see how I am going to make progress toward eliminating the ‘me’ that is causing the fear. As you said above I was in a similar situation some 18 months ago and it has come up again although the current situation is much more dangerous and could have much more dire consequences.

VINEETO: If you examine the situation you find yourself in then you might notice that it was greed that brought you into this situation in the first place and it is greed that keeps you in a situation that ‘is much more dangerous and could have much more dire consequences’. Vis –

[Respondent]: ‘obviously I don’t want to do the most sensible thing because of greed which is tied to the fear (‘me’). If I see that it is greed which keeps me in this situation and is causing the fear then it would be prudent to stop.’

If you want to ‘make progress toward eliminating the ‘me’ that is causing the fear’ you will have to take into account that greed is as much an instinctual passion that constitutes ‘me’ as fear is. If you want to ‘make progress’ then you need to make the same progress ‘toward eliminating the ‘me’ that is causing’ the greed.

The way I made ‘progress toward eliminating the ‘me’ that is causing the fear’ was that I stopped trying to suppress, sublimate or eliminate my unwanted feelings, and hoping for a world as-I-wanted-it-to-be as I had in my spiritual years, and set my goal in life at being happy and harmless in the world-as-it-is, with people as-they-are. I made the effort to become aware of my beliefs and my good and bad feelings when and as they were happening and I emphasized my felicitous feelings to the point that I could actually begin to enjoy be here for the first time in my life. With resentment gone from my life I found that I stopped blaming others for my moods and stopped using them as an excuse for my malice, which meant that I also found myself becoming more benign.

Becoming aware of what I feel and believe each moment again gives me the option of making a choice each moment again – away from automatically opting for actions determined by my instinctual programming (fear, aggression, nurture and desire) towards a sensible and intelligent decision as to how to avoid dangerous or stressful situations, and how to be at ease and enjoy life so as to be more happy and to be more harmonious with other people.

RESPONDENT: You said above ‘And once I stopped doing what caused me to feel sorrowful, then the fear of this sorrow re-occurring also disappeared.’ I am not sure about this because stopping what causes fear in a given situation is not going to eliminate the fear from reoccurring. It will stop the current fear in the current situation but it won’t end fear (‘me’). This sounds more like an avoidance of fear (‘me’).

VINEETO: We’ve been at this point before. If I may remind you of the discussion in question –

[Respondent]: The point is that there is substantial risk. It looks like confronting fear itself is the way to overcome fear and not to avoid situations that cause fear.

[Vineeto]: It is, of course, entirely your choice and your business how you are assessing the odds – I was simply reporting the general figures of stock market gambling which are evaluated at 75% or more losers compared to 25% or less winners.

As for ‘confronting fear’ – people have tried for centuries to tackle their fear of physical danger by confronting it and many of the early pioneers discovered remote and dangerous areas of the planet only because they confronted their fears and left home despite their fears. Nowadays, in the absence of sufficient real physical dangers and explorations, highly dangerous adventure sports are promoted for people to satisfy their need of boosting their adrenalin and their ego – activities such as car and motorbike racing, Everest climbing for tourists, wild water rafting, cave diving, meeting man-eating sharks in plain dive suits, parachute and bungee jumping, etc., etc. There are also those who seek the same rush from other less physically dangerous activities such as playing video games, gambling or watching other people performing dangerous or violent activities.

What I am saying is that the idea of confronting one’s fears is nothing new, it is part and parcel of the human condition and has not resulted in any change towards more benevolence and happiness in human behaviour. People who confront their fear are in no way less malicious or less sorrowful despite the sometimes-enormous effort and time they invest trying to get rid of their fear. In your specific case you seem to want to tackle fear with more risk-taking, i.e. with greater desire, whereas in my experience it is the desire to ‘hit a homerun’ as you say further down, that generates the fear of loss in the first place.

The way I tackled fear was firstly to be sensible in practical situations thereby reducing the risk of actual danger or loss, which served to stop fuelling the fires of passion. Then I set about enquiring into the reasons that lay behind my various fears. My aim in actualism has never been to be free from fear only, but to become free from my malicious and sorrowful feelings and behaviour – and this enterprise initially generated a lot of fear. As I questioned my dearly held beliefs, my spiritual loyalty, my friendships, my role as a worker, as a woman, as a part of a social group – in short my entire social conditioning – the fear sometimes seemed completely overwhelming.

This fear I overcame by simply doing what I had decided to do despite my fears. This is not confronting the feeling of fear itself but simply setting oneself a goal in life and getting on with doing it. This way I did something useful with the fear by turning the feeling of fear into the thrill of discovery. I also did a similar thing with desire – I used it as the desire to succeed in my newfound life’s aim. Nurture was similarly utilized in wanting to be part of the ending to human suffering, and aggression was channelled into a quiet stubbornness and determination to succeed.

To only seek to become fearless is in itself a selfish aim and only serves to enhance and embellish the ‘self’, the lost, lonely and cunning entity inside this body. Those who pursue fearlessness without also investigating their aggression, nurture and desire often succeed in attaining a self-enhancing and self-aggrandizing altered state of consciousness, known in the East as Satori, or if the state becomes permanent, spiritual enlightenment. Vineeto, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No 16, 13.12.2001

The actualism method is about becoming happy and harmless – this means sensibly avoiding causing sorrow and harm to oneself as well as to others. This would make sense to anyone but a compulsive masochist.

RESPONDENT: PS: As I said above, what’s keeping me from stopping is ‘I’ don’t want to stop. ‘I’ want to keep doing what I am doing without the fear and worry. Iow, I want to have my cake and eat it too.

VINEETO: Yes, you are making it very clear that you’re not aiming for eliminating ‘me’ but you want remain an identity without the inconvenient painful side effects, namely worry and fear – in other words, you do not want to change.

Given that even enlightened people do not manage to eliminate anger and anguish – they merely sublimate it and designate it as being ‘Divine Anger’ and ‘Divine Sorrow’ – I do wonder what plans you have and what method you want to use in order to accomplish your aim of having ‘the cake and eat it too’?

Personally I can report that it is absolutely marvellous whenever I am not being a feeling being – pristine and pringling – something that can never be experienced when being a ‘me’.

VINEETO: And then, how does ‘the direct approach of discarding it’ actually work? Again, I am not sure if ‘discard’ means throwing it away – and does it stay away? Or is it more a ‘disregard’ because you already know everything about this particular emotion and it just keeps coming back as a bad habit? For instance, I have found my ‘sticky self-doubt’ coming back again and again despite extensive investigation until I realised that is consisted of nothing more than a bad habit.

RESPONDENT: It seems that the support for the keeping of emotions in general has diminished to the point that I have no argument for keeping them. Even Love and Compassion have a sweet but painful attachment to bad emotions about them. When one arises an automatic check is made to see if there is any reason for keeping it, if no but it persists then it is regarded as a bad habit. It just occurs to me that I have not looked into what exactly constitutes a bad habit as opposed to a belief habit. Is it only a bad habit when it is found to have no supporting belief or are there other identifiable qualities?

VINEETO: It is a great start when investigating affective feelings and emotions to know that there is no practical reason or sensible argument for keeping them. This understanding surely helps to explore the emotions on a deeper level in order to become permanently happy and harmless.

However, having emotions is not just a ‘bad habit’ that one could reject like an unwanted behaviour pattern. Emotions have their roots in the instinctual passions that constitute our very being, the one ‘who we feel we are’, the core of our identity by whatever name. Therefore a mere ‘rejection’ on the basis of ‘rational analysis’ is helpful in reducing and removing the top-layer of emotional disturbances and irritations as well as the unwanted habitual behaviour patterns that one has accumulated since earliest childhood. Yet a deeper exploration is needed in order to uncover and experientially understand the underlying instinctual passions.

I had a simple rule of thumb – those emotions and feelings that didn’t go away by rational reasoning and sensible practicality surely had their root in social conditioning, atavistic fears, the need to belong or other basic survival instincts. Those emotions needed repeated exploration, talking, reading, inner search-and-destroy missions and clarifying insights. I found such exploration beyond my former surface snorkelling of spiritual practice and therapy such a fascinating and exhilarating enterprise!


  1. your mother needs to be ‘mothered’, ie; professionally cared for, nursed and hospitalized etc.

VINEETO: I can go along with your statement that the mother needs to be ‘professionally cared for, nursed and hospitalized etc.’, if that is the case, but there is also the issue that people want to be taken care of in the emotional sense of the word. It is usually the demand for emotional care, the pressure to ‘give back what I have given to you’, etc. that creates conflict and stress.

An actualist will deal with this conflict like with any other conflict – not trying to change the other (which is impossible), but changing oneself in that one removes the stranglehold of the Human Condition in oneself and thus becomes un-afflicted and un-affected by the emotional demands of others, be they mother, doctor, brother or peers.

Then one can, with ease and delight, sort out the practical necessities and find the best and most sensible solution for everyone involved.


RESPONDENT: Labels are not needed except as you say, ‘as a starting point for further inquiries into the Human Condition.’... and it is good fun.

VINEETO: I have never talked about ‘labels’ ‘as a starting point for further inquiries into the Human Condition’. I said – as you have quoted at the very top of the letter:

[Vineeto]: I would like to take the offer and investigate the presented points for what ‘they are worth’ for an actualist and in what way they can be used as a starting points for further inquiries into the Human Condition.

Label according to the dictionary means: ‘ put in a certain class, to describe by a certain label’. Macquarie

When you say ‘labels are not needed ...’, I take it that you don’t mean words or descriptions, but use ‘label’ as in making a moral judgement. Personally, I find that both precise descriptive words and accurate judgments based on facts are essential for the inquiry process. How else is it possible to distinguish silly from sensible, malicious from harmless and sorrowful from happy? The important thing is what one’s judgement is based upon – and most people use their feelings and intuition to judge a situation, a person, a statement or an event. But to base one’s judgement on facts, common sense, pure intent and the memory of a pure consciousness experience is the only way to find one’s direction in the maze of old wisdom and NDA beliefs, ancient psittacisms and self-centred emotion.

So, labels are very much needed, for fruitful communication, for clarity and for in-depth investigation into the substance and content of the Human Condition. Once one gets rid of the moral and ethical judgements (usually the self-recriminations are the hardest) of good and bad, right and wrong, then the clarity that comes with sound judgement is all good fun.

VINEETO: Hi Richard,

[Vineeto to Alan]: When I finally laid down on the floor and ‘surrendered’ to the option of being unconscious and was actually getting interested and thrilled by the possibility of observing the experience, it very quickly disappeared like a ghost. It left me astounded about the power of ‘reality’, the vividness of the experience that fear created with all the ingredients of a ‘serious’ disease, becoming unconscious.

Only by accepting it as an adventure and at the same time doubting its actuality it lost its power over me, leaving me battered but proud like after a victorious, well-fought battle. The next night it happened again but was all much less dramatic, the temptation was there to delve into the fear, the physical symptoms were ready to emerge again, but this time I didn’t believe in the actual danger and it quickly went.

Then appeared another temptation – to divert into a journey into the psychic world, with all its ‘deep and meaningful’ insights and glorious ‘enlightenments’. But I had explored that area enough, I wanted to see what actuality there is without fear and beyond or beneath the psychic world. What I found is a magic, a stillness, unemotional, without excitement and strangely enough without ‘form’. The best description I could come up with is the definition we have here for an idiot: ‘All the stubbies are there for the six-pack, but the plastic between them is missing that would keep them together!’

Senses are operating but nobody is seeing or hearing, and then there is no difference between me and the desk that I am seeing, no distance, no ‘I’. Last night I experienced life beyond ‘being’, in a strange way hollow, but very alive and sensate. Now I can slowly and diligently examine the ‘plastic between the stubbies’, what it consists of, because recognized and understood it disappears. Sometimes it consists of fear, sometimes a vague feeling, sometimes a sense of continuity, of having past and future and definition... to Alan, 28.7.1998

RICHARD: I cannot help but prick up my hears where you say ‘strangely enough no form’. I am presuming that physical objects were still extant as you say that you were seeing without fear and the psychic world ... and thus by ‘no form’ you do not mean the metaphysical ‘formlessness’. Do you mean that there was no form to an ‘I’ as in an on-going identity ... like you write about in your next paragraph? Are the ‘stubbies’ the days gone by since birth – all events and occurrences – and the ‘plastic that would keep them together’ is this ‘me’ that is the ‘form’ that was missing in this experience?

VINEETO: With the stubbies I meant in this incident my actual senses including the brain, fully functioning, better than with the ‘plastic’ of emotional interpretation around them, but they had no definition or identifiable form, hence the description ‘strangely enough no form’. It is more the idea of there having to be a form that was missing. I seemed to consist of the pieces of information that the senses gave me, the seeing, hearing, thinking, but there was no continuity, no person as such, no identity.

RICHARD: Your use of the word ‘definition’ brings me back to your ‘strangely enough no form’ description above and I relate ‘definition’ with ‘outline’ ... as I wrote in Article 9 of ‘Richard’s Journal’.

VINEETO: Yes, Richard, I agree with your term ‘outline’, it is a very good description of this fictitious entity. It seems to come on so silently, that if I don’t turn my attention to it I hardly notice that it has slipped in yet again, pretending to be someone, while only the experience of the particular bit of the universe is happening. Right now it takes a lot of remembering and awareness to discern it, or better, to focus on the actual experiencing of coffee, food, sound, or whatever I am doing.

RICHARD: It would appear that the experiential study of fear is germane to any examination of the ‘plastic between the stubbies’ so as to ensure a life beyond ‘being’ .

VINEETO: Yes, I agree, although often it does not appear as fear, rather a certain hesitancy to fully enjoy the moment, to lash into the sparkles and to become yet more alive – a safe place of ‘this is already enough happiness and pleasure, let’s not rock the boat!’ But since I have nothing else important to do, I might as well rock the boat and become entirely mad!

IRENE: ...there is a huge part of human enjoyment that is deemed invaluable and therefore to be rid of, exterminated, extirpated etc. In other words these aspects of human life, decreed by Richard as worthless (have nothing to do with it), perverse (malicious) and needlessly painful (sorrow) are all wrong. He blames the actual human organism, that what is naturally manifested by the universe (and specifically by the earth), an absolutely magical phenomenon that can not only have sensual and sexual experiences (like all animals and even plants to a certain degree of intensity) but comes also with an exquisite capacity for thinking, feeling, sensing, and communicating all these capacities. To Richard this natural humanness is the cause of all problems in the world, and especially the feelings and instincts, as you well know. He is therefore anti-nature: preposterous.

VINEETO: Richard does not blame the human organism, but the Human Condition. The human organism is the body complete with senses and brain and the innate intelligence to be ‘sensible’. The Human Condition, the collection of beliefs and underlaying instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, is exactly what spoils the unimpeded use of our innate intelligence. I admit, nobody before Richard has ever considered the possibility to separate the two, but they are definitely two different things. I can vouch for that with my own ongoing experience. (...)


IRENE: Living with Richard. made it eventually clear to me that it is not nature that is to blame but the overlaid male interpretation of human life; how it should be instead! In other words knowing better than nature, the universe itself. I don’t have to explain to you how every culture and religion (all invented by male minds, based on their interpretation of how life should be organised and regulated for women as well) denigrates particular aspects of our natural faculties and have tried to suppress them, repress them, to forbid them and demand that they must be changed into unnatural behaviour and beliefs, in order to keep the male supremacy intact.

In most cultures and religions we can observe, for instance, that sex was the culprit – it had to be either repressed completely (like the catholic priests) or limited to the wishes of the man only. In both scenarios a shocking amount of victims were created: repressed sexuality reveals itself in perversity, as is more and more exposed in the use of young children by grown men for their own benefit only and to the detriment of many, many children, as they were made helpless and guilty by intimidation and threats. The other alternative was the licence granted to men over women and girls by cultural and religious authorities, whereby women and girls are seen as just cattle, for the men to use as they please.

VINEETO: I find it curious that by living with Richard you have observed all those described atrocities about male repressive interpretation of life, because I have come to know him as the most peaceful and benign man ever. Nevertheless, what you say is partly true. Men have caused a lot of suffering for everybody, including women – but so have women. Both genders are victim of those insidious instincts that you seem to defend as natural. Every sensible and honest woman knows she has caused as much suffering to boys and men and her own ‘sisters’ as she claims to have received. Out of this stock-take and understanding I decided to stop malice and sorrow completely at least from my side. Waiting for a paradise when everyone will be de-conditioned from the ‘male minds’ conditioning’ equates to me waiting for Santa Claus.

RESPONDENT: Vineeto says ‘ can either focus on sensate experiencing, thereby avoiding undesirable affective experiencing – trying to become an un-feeling ‘self’...’ Is ‘coming to your senses’ an avoidance technique? What are the differences and similarities between haietmoba and ‘coming to your senses’?

VINEETO: As No 108 (R) and No 66 have already pointed out, coming to one’s senses is not the same as focussing (only) on sensate experiencing whilst simultaneously neglecting, avoiding, denying, repressing or dissociating from whatever affective feelings are going on at the time. This makes no sense.

Here is the text you quoted in context –

[Vineeto]: ‘How’, not ‘what’ is indeed the clue to the difference between attentiveness with pure intent and the passive awareness of Eastern tradition. It had never occurred to me that it is this word that signifies the vital difference, but now that you said it is perfectly obvious – ‘how’ inquires into the quality of the experience and then the sincere intent to improve the quality of this moment to be both more happy and more harmless indicates what needs to be done. Whereas ‘what’ simply takes stock of the content of one’s experience and by doing so one can either focus on sensate experiencing, thereby avoiding undesirable affective experiencing – trying to become an un-feeling ‘self’ – or one can focus on desirable affective experiencing, thereby regarding what one sensately experiences as being secondary or even illusionary – trying to become a non-thinking, dissociated ‘self’. Vineeto, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No 37, 12.5.2004

As becomes obvious when the quote is read in full, I was talking about the danger of slipping into a non-thinking, dissociated and un-feeling ‘self’ by mistaking the actualism method as being yet another version of the passive/selective awareness of Eastern mysticism – passive as in evoking no fundamental change and selective as in avoiding the dark side that is present in every instinctual being. More than a few people have mis-interpreted the actualism method as a tool for ignoring or dissociating from one’s affective feelings by focussing on and identifying with one’s senses and then wondering why this scheme did not work to evince the desired happiness and innocuousness. As Richard only recently pointed out –

Richard: ‘The phrase ‘nipping them in the bud’ is not to be confused with either suppression/ repression or ignoring/ avoiding ... it is to be consciously and deliberatively – with knowledge aforethought – declining oh-so-sensibly to futilely go down that well-trodden path to nowhere fruitful yet again.’ Richard Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No 75, 4.3.2006

When I ask myself how am I experiencing this moment of being alive then this question automatically focuses my attention both on my senses and on the feelings and emotions which prevent me from fully enjoying the sensate delights of being alive. By being constantly aware what it is that is preventing me from enjoying being alive now I am actively coming to my senses, literally and figuratively. Or to put it another way – actualism does require that you engage brain to come to your senses, as in not being so silly of wasting this moment by not being happy while doing whatever you happen to be doing and/or by not being harmless towards your fellow human beings.

VINEETO: The The Actual Freedom Trust Library is designed to clarify and differentiate the various terms used on the Actual Freedom Trust website. Peter has written about affective feelings –

Peter: ‘Usually we divide emotions into groupings of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and try either to repress or deny the bad ones – fear and aggression – while giving full vent and validity to the good ones – nurture and desire. Unfortunately this attempt to curb fear and aggression has had no success as is evidenced by the all the wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, corruption, suicide, despair and loneliness that is still endemic on the planet. Love and hate, compassion and selfishness, etc. come inseparably in pairs as is testified by the continual failure of humans to live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony.’ The Actual Freedom Trust Library, Affective Feelings

RESPONDENT: I have read this, yet to see it again in this context does help me to ‘get it.’ they do come in pairs – they both go or both stay – it’s that simple

VINEETO: It is ‘that simple’ in theory … however as I proceeded to put this insight into practice in my daily life I encountered a lot of obstacles such as cognitive dissonance, feelings of fear, indecision and confusion and repeatedly a stubborn holding on to my old and familiar ways. I discovered the truly tenacious and very cunning nature of ‘me’ that could only be overcome by determination, diligence and persistence.


RESPONDENT: This was hard to admit – but it seems sensible now.

VINEETO: It is good to understand the theory of what ‘seems sensible’ because this will help you in your experiential observation of the good emotions and their consequences in action in yourself.

RESPONDENT: This sensible exercise is really shedding lite on how I tick. I figured before that most emotions were sensible for they evolved to protect us – now I see that so far every emotion I have investigated has been UNNECESSARY at BEST.

VINEETO: The very passions that were necessary in the early stages of human evolution to ensure the survival of the species have now not only become redundant but their continuance does nothing but endanger the survival and well-being of human beings. You only need to switch on the daily news in order to see, over and over, how emotions and passions drive people to bicker, quarrel, fight, rape, murder and wage war as well as scoff, lament, despair and commit suicide and prevent people from living in peace with their fellow human beings anywhere on this verdant planet.

As for ‘this sensible exercise’ – what is sensible was not all that obvious when I began to practice actualism. Not only was I influenced by the opinions of my peers and the cultural values of society but even more was I driven by my ‘self’-centred survival instincts that by their very nature position ‘me’ at the centre of ‘my’ universe. Often what seemed to ‘me’ to be sensible at first glance turned out to be, (with the benefit of clear-eyed investigation, aided and abetted of course by reading the words someone who is actually free of the human condition) tainted by my ‘my’ moral, ethical and spiritual views, one-eyed, myopic and ultimately ‘self’-serving – in other words silly.

In my experience, the only way that I was able to eventually succeed in cracking and changing this centrifugal perspective was to be attentive to the fact of whether or not I was really being harmless, i.e. if I considered other people’s wellbeing equal to my own. This ‘am I being harmless’ aspect of attentiveness expands one’s field of attentiveness from being ‘self’-centredly exclusive to overarchingly inclusive and this widening of attentiveness is the precursor to having an experiential understanding of what you actually are, as opposed to perpetuating the illusion of being a psychological and psychic ‘being’ parasitically residing in a physical body.

RESPONDENT: You also said

[Vineeto]: ‘These ‘scientific facts’ are all examples of spiritual belief, the belief that proposes that the physical world is merely a by-product of ‘my’ consciousness, the belief that ‘I’ am the creator of all that ‘I’ see. [endquote].

I never said that for the simple reason that I don’t know what consciousness is. I said that the brain is co-creator of what we see hear etc. I will insist on that because I see it like one axiom, not theory, but axiom. It is a fact also now with the new science, neuroscience.

VINEETO: As far as I can ascertain, you have not used the word ‘co-creator’ before, what you have said is –

[Respondent]: ‘We are the universe creating its own self and experiencing its self.’ For Richard, 4.6.2003

If you prefer to live your life thinking that you are the ‘co-creator’ of all you see and consider this to be an unchangeable unquestionable axiom, then that is your personal choice. Personally I found that it makes no sense to discuss the content of others’ beliefs unless they themselves are interested in questioning and investigating their own beliefs in order to become free from the grip of ancient superstition.

RESPONDENT: I am really puzzled why I can not convey it.

VINEETO: You are conveying your views very clearly. What you fail to understand is that you are trying to convince actualists that there ‘really truly is something else’ other than the actuality that human beings sensately experience. In short, you are busy flogging your beliefs to those who are upfront that beliefs are the bane of humankind.

RESPONDENT: Lets begin again. What I see out there, is a soup of energy.

VINEETO: If I may interject. What one sees with one’s eyes is not ‘a soup of energy’, but forms, colours and movement of physical objects. To call the specific qualities of the matter of the physical universe ‘a soup of energy’ is an affective interpretation. This is readily evidenced by the fact that the ‘energy’ experienced varies according to a person’s particular belief system – some feel Jesus, some feel Love, some feel Existence, some feel Mother, some feel Consciousness, some feel Intelligence, some feel the Devil, and so on.

RESPONDENT: Now I perceive whatever through my senses. This thing to be perceived needs my senses. Without my senses it exists but in one unknown way (mode existence) not the way I perceive it.

VINEETO: If I may interject again. If you are talking about a ‘soup of energy’ then this energy does not need your physical senses in order for you to perceive it. Many people feel this ‘energy’ sitting in a quiet place with their eyes closed – in fact it is well known that the best way to feel this ‘energy’ is to deliberately practice sensory and sensual deprivation.

If you are talking about a ‘whatever’ it is best to take a specific down-to-earth ‘thing’ as an example. Take for instance this symbol (#) – it maintains its qualities, its colour, form and size, no matter who reads it on his or her computer screen. Anybody on this mailing list will see the same symbol, just as they will read any letter of the alphabet in the same order I typed them. Your eyes, your brain on stalks, only recognize the already-existing qualities of the particular symbol (#) or the mutually agreed meanings of a particular string of letters. If your brain gave each symbol or letter its own particular unique-to-you quality it would be impossible for a conversation like this to happen.

RESPONDENT: This thing is sending light (photons) we are speaking for the sight now, but the same is applied in all senses to my retina. This products certain electromagnetic effects and through the optical nerve etc products certain activities in a small area of the brain about 1cm2, which is in the dark in the skull. If I see something green then the light wave sent from the green object has a certain wave length, but until it hits the brain part is colourless. If another light length hits the brain then the brain products a different colour. May be a dog will see another colour for the same object because is different interpreted from his brain. That’s all.

VINEETO: You had a lengthy conversation with Richard on this topic. Continual repetition of your belief in an ‘unknown way (mode existence)’ of actual physical objects will not turn this belief into a fact.

RESPONDENT: We will never know what is out there, lets call it underlying reality.

VINEETO: The identity parasitically inhabiting the flesh and blood body superimposes an affective ‘underlying reality’ over the actual universe. This ‘underlying reality’ created by the identity inhabiting the flesh and blood can be observed, questioned and investigated and the identity thus weakened – this is the process of actualism.

To defend the ‘underlying reality’ as unchangeable is to resign to being trapped within the human condition of malice and sorrow for the rest of one’s life.

RESPONDENT: Is like the TV unless we have the receiver nothing can take place. The TV signals that exist now in my room are silent and colourless. Lets say the TV receiver is the brain.

VINEETO: This is a good example.

[quote]: A television’s audiovisual signal begins with the conversion of an image and accompanying sound into an electronic code by a television camera. The resulting electronic signals are usually recorded on tape, and for transmission, or broadcasting, they are impressed on high-frequency radio waves that act as carriers. After transmission by a broadcasting antenna, the carrier waves are picked up by a receiving antenna, which carries them to the television receiver. Encyclopaedia Britannica

The high-frequency radio waves acting as carriers for the transmitted images and sounds exist independently of the TV screen that displays image and sound. Both the transmitter and the high-frequency waves exist as an actuality and the signals and images are being simultaneously converted into identical images on many, many TVs regardless of whether your own TV is switched on and is converting the signal into an image. This fact is contrary to your philosophy of ‘unless we have the receiver nothing can take place’ – a completely ‘self’ centred viewpoint.

‘Lets say the TV receiver is the brain’ – even without your brain ‘creating’, the universe is continuously taking place.

RESPONDENT: So I arrived in the logical (at least for me) that the perception is a syntheton (composed) phenomenon.

The perceiver and the perceived are one thing.

VINEETO: You have mentioned in an earlier post that you have read J. Krishnamurti for 10 years.

I wonder what logic came first – J. Krishnamurti’s teaching that ‘the perceiver and the perceived are one thing’ or the logical-for-you conclusion ‘that perception is a syntheton (composed) phenomenon’.

RESPONDENT: That what I was trying to say to Richard not where is due the green colour in the chlorophyll etc. So the universe without our brains has really no meaning. There is no interaction in it.

VINEETO: Yes, I can see that this is a logical conclusion due to J. Krishnamurti’s teachings. However, it is a subjective, anthropocentric and utterly ‘self’-centred perception of the universe. To make oneself so important that ‘the universe without our brains has really no meaning’ is to dismiss the splendour and magnificence that is already always here, was already always here before homo sapiens first trod the planet and will be so long after homo sapiens cease to exist as a species.

RESPONDENT: Forget about consciousness there is no need for consciousness in what I am saying.

VINEETO: Given that consciousness is the state of the body being conscious, you need to be conscious in order to have this conversation. Rather than ‘forget about consciousness’, it has been vital for me as an actualist to investigate consciousness as it is used in philosophical and spiritual circles –

4 The totality of the thoughts, feelings, impressions, etc., of a person or group; such a body of thoughts etc. relating to a particular sphere; a collective awareness or sense. Oxford Dictionary

What I discovered is that it is people’s precious consciousness, as in the ‘totality of the thoughts, feelings, impressions, etc., of a person or group’ which prevents human beings from living in peace and harmony.

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: I don’t have 21 or 17 years of experience with a spiritual journey or 11 years of ‘enlightenment’ (whatever that is, and I truly don’t know, but I suspect it isn’t real).

VINEETO: To judge ‘Tried and True’ as ‘Tried and Failed’ you don’t need 17 years of spiritual journey but common sense. When I heard Richard or Peter say for the first time, ‘why don’t you judge the religion – Eastern or Western – by the outcome’, it hit me like a brick. Never even once had I looked at the factual outcome of what I was aiming for – how people are living in India, how Indians, especially enlightened ones treat women, how religious wars are raging in many parts of the world – to judge the workings and sensibility of what I was trying to achieve. At that time I felt quite stupid, clumsy, thick and thought I had wasted my time. But then, there had been nobody pointing it out to me and it seemed the best solution on offer at the time for the misery and desperation I felt about life.

It does not take 20 years of spiritual experience to look, for a change, at the facts of the particular belief-system instead of the promised solutions that it never delivers. So you are not missing any ‘time done’ here. Everyone who dares to look further than the herd can find out the facts for him/herself. Maybe the frustration of having had so little success after so many years of effort helped me to get over my pride and fear so that I started looking in another direction.

VINEETO: I don’t see how [anger passing away] can be ‘the result of good old Vipassana’, where you were ‘the witness watching the anger passing away’, if you say that at the same time you ‘know that [’you’ are] not different from anger’. Either you know that ‘you’ are the anger, that ‘you’ are the emotion, which is not what is taught in Vipassana – or you practice Vipassana and merely witness the anger passing away until it arises next time. But that does not eliminate the emotion, as ‘you’ remain intact, and at the most ‘you’ only transcend the emotion.

To really grasp the fact that ‘you’ are emotions and emotions are ‘you’ results in you being willing and eager to investigate into the deeper layers of ‘you’ to eliminate the very cause of anger arising in the first place. To really face the fact that ‘you’, and only ‘you’, are the cause and reason of anger arising – as well as all the other emotions – is the first and essential step to do something about this emotion rather than merely witness it. The acknowledgment of the fact that the Human Condition in you is preventing you from being happy and harmless creates the burning intent and necessary guts to investigate further into the very substance of ‘who you think you are’ and ‘who you feel you are’. That’s when common sense starts to come to fruition.

RESPONDENT: I am now seeing Vipassana in a different light. It is very helpful in putting me at ‘this’ moment ‘here’ and it also puts me back to this physical body. Vipassana is not limited to watching of breathing only. It can be extended to watching any sensation in the body. In the beginning, of course there is a watcher, but I was told that gradually watcher goes away and there is only watching happening. I have, though, no personal experience of the watcher going away. But I could do away with emotions like anger with the help of extended Vipassana where apart from watching you also understand anger. The term ‘watching’ is used to be non-judgmental. That means I did not try to fight with anger, In fact I did not even wished that it should go away, but that doesn’t stops me from investigating. And just by understanding it and understanding the reason behind it, it goes away. It becomes foolish to get angry. That’s why I said it gives rise to common sense. As I have said earlier I did not try this method for all the emotions. Perhaps I never thought of listing down all the emotions and worked on them one by one.

VINEETO: Vipassana, according to its ‘home-place’, Theravada Buddhism, is practiced so that

[Mahasi Sayadaw]: ‘the view of self will then be totally removed and security will be finally gained against the danger of rebirth in the realms of the hells, animals and petas. In this respect, the exercise is simply to note or observe the existing elements in every act of seeing. It should be noted as ‘seeing, seeing’ on every occasion of seeing. ... If not, based on this act of seeing there will arise sakkaya-ditthi, which will view it in the form of a person or as belonging to a person, and as being permanent, pleasurable, and self. This will arouse the defilements of craving and attachment, which will in turn prompt deeds, and the deeds will bring forth rebirth in a new existence.’ from: ‘Satipatthana Vipassana, Insight through Mindfulness’ by The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw

What you call extended Vipassana is still Buddhism with its understanding that who you really are is your ‘consciousness’, ie the ‘watcher’ as distinct from body and senses and from the bad emotions and thoughts, which then are merely ‘seen’ or ‘observed’. Upon enlightenment, as you were told, the ‘watcher [is] going away’, but only because you then dissolve into being ‘one with everything’.

Anger passes away, not because you ‘understand the reason behind’ it but because you become the watcher and remove yourself from your anger. In the same way you can remove yourself from any feeling or emotion without ever having to investigate into the substance of your very ‘self’. To really face the fact that ‘you’, and only ‘you’, are the cause and reason of anger arising – as well as all the other emotions – is the first and essential step to do something about this emotion instead of merely witnessing it.

Further, Buddhism, and therefore Vipassana, is clearly based on the understanding that –

[quote]: ‘one usually experiences many painful sensations in the body, such as tiredness, heat, aching, and at the time of noting these sensations, one generally feels that this body is a collection of sufferings. This is also insight into suffering.’ from: ‘Satipatthana Vipassana, Insight through Mindfulness’ by The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw

You see, their aim is to ‘get out of the body’ and ‘into consciousness’, because the ‘body is a collection of suffering’. Similarly, you ‘get out of anger’. But ‘you’ remain intact. That’s why anger arises again. Looking back I can see that at some point early in my relationship with Peter I made the decision not to let emotions come in the road between us and prevent a peaceful living together. Peace was the priority and for that I was ready to sacrifice everything – I was even ready to change, radically, completely, drastically.

RESPONDENT: But I wonder where a figure like Jesus does or doesn’t fit in. What is the message? How about the bible? Is there nothing true about it? Are there only fairytales in it?

VINEETO: This is ‘where a figure like Jesus does fit in’. He, exactly like all the other Gurus and Messiahs, provides us with a set of messy guidelines to live your life by. These guidelines, enforced by the greed for heaven and fear of hell, are meant to protect us from the consequences of our innate animal instincts. They do keep a lid on things, but when push comes to shove, those guidelines always fail. Covering up loneliness with love, sorrow with compassion and anger with worship is, when you take stock, a messy job. But once you apply ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’ rather than ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ you will notice that it works, that you can rely on your observation and intelligence rather than on the atavistic belief system of ancient fools and Dead White Men. The trick is to get rid of the problem, the whole ‘self’, instead of attempting to repress or transcend the instinctual passions.

Jesus was, after all, just a Jewish carpenter with a mental aberration, thinking he was the only begotten Son of God. The collected myths around Jesus make so little sense that one should be surprised they have survived this long. A virgin birth and walking on water – how more non-actual can one get! If you like, you can look at an in-depth research that someone has undertaken to prove that all the mystical features attributed to Jesus are the same for Krishna and fourteen other major saviours of Mankind. It is a big document, but in skimming through you might get picture that Jesus was a mystical character and not an actual person, born at year zero. The myth about him is nothing but an expression of the collective need for a certified saviour, and one can find his type mirrored in every major religion of the world.

This need is part and parcel of our instinctual heritage of fear and aggression, nurture and desire, and harks back to the time when early humans worshipped to appease the powerful forces of nature and the planet-gods in the sky. In order to dismantle this instinctual heritage we actualists investigate our beliefs, feelings, emotions and instincts. And none of the ‘saviours’ and ‘wise men’ has even mentioned the possibility of getting rid of this instinctual self. They all got stuck in the grand and glorious ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ of being one with god, one with everything and having love for all. That this love for all and feeling one with everything hasn’t produced the solution to eliminating malice and sorrow is blindingly obvious when one dares to acknowledge the facts of history and one’s personal fleeting and fickle happiness and harmlessness.


RESPONDENT: I mean is there nothing practical to get from.

VINEETO: Is there anything practical that you get from the bible? Does it give you something that works in your life, something that makes you happy and harmless, reliably, all the time, in every situation? Are the stories and rules sensible or are they silly? Are they applicable? Have they brought peace for humankind, or at least for Christians?

For me, where it starts is that all these mystical tales require believing – an imaginary god-father, a miracle-working ancient prophet, an ascension to heaven, etc., etc. And then it begs the question why do I feel the need to believe something? What hinders me from acknowledging the facts and living my life accordingly? What makes me hold on to something that I consider silly? Then the investigation becomes really interesting...

VINEETO: I remember well when you described to Richard a few weeks back a pure consciousness experience that you had:

[Respondent]: To this description of PCE, I would say I have had very much the same experiences. I could hear engines of all the different cars and the buses passing by. I could hear them clearly and distinctly. And my capacity to do that increased from pretty much zero to hundreds. The leaves on the trees were lot more colourful than usual, the bricks on the old hospital building were brighter and distinct from the grout in between them. I was observing all of these things but did not care for a particular item under observation. And many of these things happened pretty much at the same time, actually in a continuous stream one after another. Oh, the clay pots which held the plants were lustrous and so were the moss growth on the outside of those pots. In addition, I could see each of those tiny ‘blades’ on the moss clearly. There were lots of people on the street but I was not looking at them individually but instead collectively. In fact, I did not want to focus at them, I kind of looked towards the horizon but not really. On a normal day, I like to watch all the young nubile women, at their beautiful faces, at their round breasts, but not that day. I just wanted to sort of look towards the horizon. In addition, there was plain wholesome happiness, not the feeling of happiness which I get after a ‘pat on the back’ from a fellow scientist, but simple wholesome happiness without any worries and everything was just great. There was no Euphoria, Bliss, Ecstasy or Rapture. There was no Love, Compassion, Beauty or Wholeness. [endquote].

No 5, I just wonder if, in the heat of your discussions about dearly-held beliefs and loyalty and everybody’s supposed ‘beef’, this memory of the exquisite and delicious purity of your experience, the magnificence and perfection of this actual physical universe has been forgotten. I take it that the memory of this event, or of similar experiences, was what has attracted you to this list in the first place.

Why defend the indefensible, why not start at the other end and begin to discriminate your own beliefs from verifiable facts, thus removing the hybris and rubbish that prevents one from experiencing such delicious purity over and over again? I found that there are so much more sensible things to do with one’s time and intelligence than fighting a petty competition instead of investigating what creates the need to fight and deny in the first place. Don’t you want to find out how to become happy and harmless?

This mailing list can be an immense support in examining one’s beliefs, feelings, emotions and instinctual passions that every human being is inflicted with. Once one has taken the first hurdle of overcoming one’s pride, the investigation can become a sport and a delicious and thrilling discovery journey that beats every other adventure there is on this planet.

In my letter to Alan I have just mapped out again how the path to Actual Freedom is paved with facts and success, when one successively and incrementally diminishes one’s social identity, eliminates all of one’s beliefs and examines one’s instinctual passions. From being driven and troubled by emotions, feelings and instinctual rages I have now succeeded, in a remarkably short time, to disentangle myself from the psychological and psychic web of Humanity’s beliefs and feelings, from ‘who I thought and felt I was’, and live now in an almost permanent PCE-like state of Virtual Freedom.

Is that not something that could intrigue you to try the same?


RESPONDENT: I have no proof that what you are writing is wrong even if I do not like it. So I have to keep quiet about that.

VINEETO: That brings me to the second part of your comment – of course, one does not like such a situation. The trick for me was to move on from the emotional barrier of ‘disliking’ to being curious to find out the facts, then to fascination, exploration, discovery, thrill and obsession. I decided to replace ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ with ‘oh, isn’t that interesting’ and move from there into the deeper investigation of my psyche. I wanted to find out the root cause of my objection and work on removing that very cause. And that’s what I have been doing ever since.

And instead of ‘keep quiet about’ what you ‘have no proof ... is wrong’, why not investigate the facts for yourself, read and distinguish, judge by silly and sensible, judge by what works and produces results, instead of settling for an intuitive, emotional, moral or spiritual like or dislike. That will relieve you from having to believe what Peter, Richard and I say about life, the gurus, the universe and the world we live in but your own investigation may give you the confidence you need to instigate action.

Some two years ago I said to Peter: ‘If it is really the case that Rajneesh had got it all wrong and I have believed the wrong man, then I don’t want to throw him out just to take on another belief, another guru. I will only give up my favourite conviction if there is something that is more convincing than belief.’ At the time I decided to go slow on questioning my spiritual belief but went full steam in investigating issues like male-female conditioning, the cause of power battles, my need for and conflict with authority and my belief in love. These issues were plenty to rock the boat, to send me into a whirlwind of confusion, anxiety, fascination and exciting discoveries. I found that I gained confidence by discovering facts for myself instead of believing the pre-chewed wisdom of others. I enjoyed questioning my own gullibility, however embarrassing the discovery sometimes was.

To break the insidious and generally accepted fashionable habit of complaints, power battles and attempts to fix my problem by changing the other person I needed a burning discontent with my present situation, a dash of naiveté, a good handful of intent and a fierce determination to not continue in my old habitual way.


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