Selected Correspondence Vineeto
RESPONDENT: I was practising Vipassana with the intent to be as happy and harmless as possible while facing the numerous feelings of both hardship and bliss that were revealed by the scrutiny of attentiveness, in order to eliminate those feelings and end up more happy and harmless... and what followed was a period of genuinely feeling really good, and then of naiveté and felicitous sensuousness, and then that resulted in a PCE!
RESPONDENT No 60: Sounds like actualism with your eyes closed!
RESPONDENT: Yeah that’s what I thought too, and it worked.
VINEETO: Given that you have asked for my input let me say that I found it exceedingly useful for clarity’s sake to exactly label what I was feeling and what I was doing. In this case, going by your description you were not doing Vipassana as taught by the authorities in the field but an adaptation that was more like No 60 said, ‘actualism with your eyes closed’ and it had a very different effect than the original Vipassana.
This is not to say that a PCE cannot occur doing the original Vipassana or anything else for that matter – I had a PCE whilst helping in a ‘Fisher-Hoffmann’ emotional release process, during a ‘Who-Am-I’ group, during an Avatar technique session and even during a discourse of Rajneesh, all of which I only recognized as PCEs in hindsight. A PCE, being a glitch in the generally operating control-program of ‘me’, can happen any time in life under the most ordinary or extra-ordinary of circumstances. However, if I want to not only have PCEs occur on a regular basis but also use them as a tool for becoming free from the human condition then it makes sense to stick with the process of actualism so as to avoid slipping into altered states of consciousness or getting hooked on the experience only whilst ignoring the process of becoming increasingly free from malice and sorrow.
RESPONDENT No 60: (Or does it have ... ‘spiritual’ ... side-effects in your experience perhaps?)
RESPONDENT: It has in the past, yes. I should point out though that my attitude towards it was different then. I considered the dissociated ‘I’ a stepping-stone toward a PCE. I didn’t recognise the basic, subtle resentful attitude that is in operation often, and so I rarely did anything about it, choosing instead to tranquilise the things it gave rise to… basically, controlling the instincts instead of eliminating them.
On that course, I didn’t notice any spiritual side effects. I haven’t really sat much since because I just haven’t felt like it. My life’s been markedly better than before since I started with actualism in November last year. Sitting does make me feeling good, and I’m thinking of doing it from time to time as a way of giving myself a kick-start and activating delight… but I want to talk to Richard and the gang about it too.
VINEETO: I am not surprised that you ‘haven’t really sat much since’ as I had the same experience. Why waste my time sitting in the corner with my eyes closed when I can instead be out and about enjoying being alive doing everyday things!
Besides, I found that the trouble with wanting to integrate some old (spiritual) practices into the practice of actualism was that this would generally blur the distinction between the spiritual goal of dissociation and transcendence to a higher ‘Self’ on one side and the actualist’s goal of ‘self-immolation or ‘self’-diminishment as in a virtual freedom on the other. And going by my own experience, particularly in the beginning of practicing actualism I needed all the help for clarity that I could give myself.
Two things I particularly remember that helped me ‘kick-start and activating delight’ in the beginning – one was to deliberately change my habit of only being focussed on my plans and worries of the day the moment I awoke, and instead pay attention to my surroundings, the delights of the ever-changing weather and the many little sensate delights whenever they happened. The other was to regularly take time out, look around me, enjoy the weather, notice my fellow human beings, the delightful interactions that do occur and then, especially after an eventful day, put up my feet and contemplate about the specific events of the day, about the human condition in me and the feelings that occurred, why they occurred, and how I could prevent me from getting upset the next time round. Inevitably having worked out some emotional problem that had surfaced in the day would automatically re-activate delight and make me aware of how good life really is when all the petty worries of the day are neatly left behind.
RESPONDENT: I think Vineeto (and perhaps Richard) do not know what they are talking about when they speak of Vipassana: SC ‘Body’ –
From what I have been taught, the teaching of Vipassana is to go beyond both body AND consciousness, or mind. The goal is not to react to sensations, because that is what you actually are. ALSO, if properly seen, a ‘sankhara’ does NOT arise again once it has been seen.
Thus Vineeto’s statement of anger arising again is not valid, and her understanding of Vipassana is in err. It must be Osho’s understanding, which also was in err. When the suffering is seen, it does not rise again because experiential wisdom is gained about the cause of the suffering. Then the body knows not to enact this cause again and there is no more suffering. Are you sure actualism is 180 degrees opposite?
Maybe you guys just know vipassana as taught by quacks...
VINEETO: But then again, maybe not? I practiced Vipassana daily for many years including several retreats led by Goenka-trained Vipassana teachers but I only understood what Vipassana and all of the spiritual practices were really about after I had several pure consciousness experiences. When the ‘self’ is temporarily absent it is very easy to recognize all the silly things one does in order to rearrange the deck-chairs on the Titanic, as I used to call it – to rearrange one’s ‘self’ from normal ‘self’ to ‘true self’ to ‘higher self’ to ego-less ‘self’ and so on and Vipassana is but one of many spiritual practices designed to achieve this ‘rearrangement’.
RESPONDENT: Hello Vineeto, Your response was very helpful to me. It is clear to me that you do know what you are talking about...
VINEETO: A few days later you have apparently changed your mind –
RESPONDENT: Yes, also, what can explain the TREMENDOUS increase in happiness and harmlessness that occurred directly after (continuing to now) the first Goenka course that I sat about 1.5 yrs ago? I have practiced very diligently and received many benefits from regular practice, but I have also seen people that have practiced many years that I would not even be able to tell were practitioners. I have seen people repeatedly take courses with no improvement, I just think they are not practicing correctly. Furthermore, if one moves to OSHO style meditation after taking a Goenka course, one truly did not understand the technique being taught at the Goenka course. I myself do not buy much of the theory handed down from tradition, but the technique works and it is not at all what Richard or Vineeto describes it to be. THAT is why I say they do not understand the technique.
VINEETO: I do wonder why you want to discuss your practice of Vipassana meditation when there is no doubt for you that you ‘received many benefits from regular practice’? You gave a reason in your latest post –
In this case I can only say that you have yet to understand that the practice of Vipassana (together with its desired outcome) and actualism are 180 degrees in the opposite direction. I can recommend some reading on this particular topic in The Actual Freedom Trust Library.
RESPONDENT: After considering Vineeto’s response to my post I found that YES, I did indeed benefit from these courses and NO her experience was not the same as mine.
VINEETO: Your experience of Vipassana is not the same as mine because I now understand that Vipassana is but one of many spiritual practices designed to achieve a ‘rearrangement’ from normal ‘self’ to ‘true self’ to ‘higher self’ to ego-less ‘self’ and so on. Once I clearly understood this there was no point in me ever again quietly sitting with my eyes either closed or open, trying to go ‘somewhere else’.
RESPONDENT: Vineeto, did you ever question any previous Vipassana teachers you knew about actualism? If so, how did they respond? What did you gather from their responses? I’m quite certain your experiences would be helpful to hear.
VINEETO: Whenever I have talked to convinced spiritualists, be it to former friends and acquaintances, to those who make their living out of spiritualism, or to spiritualists on mailing list, it became obvious that they were not interested in even considering questioning their own beliefs and practices – after all, they had invested the major part of their lives in Eastern mysticism/religion. In the early stages of my investigation into the human condition I listened to their arguments and objections in order to explore any remaining questions and doubts I had myself about spiritualism vs. actualism. However, I soon learnt that unless someone is utterly discontent with their belief system and spiritual practice, any facts I present would fall on deaf ears.
This is how Richard has described the impediments that prevent a believer from recognizing, let alone acknowledging facts and my experience fully concurs with his observation –
The only thing that I needed to do to gain absolute certainty and unwavering confidence about the actual world Richard was talking about was to actively question all the truths, beliefs, philosophies, psittacisms and spiritual techniques I had taken on board and in doing so I too had to confront the issues of loyalty and intellectual pride. I also knew that having been a believer all my life, I now had to make the effort to find out the facts for myself. This was after all the only way that I could ascertain, without the smidgen of a doubt, whether or not actualism was yet another belief or whether there indeed existed an actual world that was independent of any human belief – an objective reality, so to speak.
Eventually my rigorous questioning of my own beliefs allowed a crack to form in the armoured plate of my beliefs which, after a period of intense confusion, resulted in a pure consciousness experience in which the world outside of my beliefs became stunningly apparent for the first time. I have described the lead up to and the experience itself in ‘A bit of Vineeto’.
RESPONDENT: Wow, I think it’s just wonderful I have the opportunity to talk with someone who has already undertaken this AF path from a similar place that I have (i.e. Vipassana).
VINEETO: Just so there is not confusion – it does not matter from which spiritual tradition you begin to look into actualism – actualism is always 180 degrees opposite to all spiritual beliefs and practices.
RESPONDENT: Anyway, lately I have been very attentive to all (emotions, feelings, sensate, and especially attentive to HAIETMOBA, and it’s been pretty fun. Something you said about problems really clicked with me – in SC Serendipity about when you have a problem ‘make it bigger’ in order to see what’s really going on. So it’s been great.
VINEETO: I take it that this is the quote you are talking about –
What I suggested in this particular conversation was related to the co-respondent’s specific ‘problem’, i.e. the problem that he could no longer go back to his ‘ordinary happiness’. In other words I suggested that he not settle for second best. No way was I suggesting ‘when you have a problem’ to ‘make it bigger’ – artificially inflating one’s problems and the associated feelings can only serve to increase ‘self’-centredness.
In this context the following conversation is more to the point –
RESPONDENT: I was most confused about Richards responses to my inquiries about Vipassana – I mean, I know that this body is watching this body, the central nervous system is being aware of itself, but Richard (and everyone) thought I was talking about becoming the watcher or some such nonsense.
VINEETO: This is what Richard said to you –
When you say ‘this body is watching this body’, are you indicating that whilst practicing Vipassana you are the flesh and blood body only and that the social-instinctive identity (both the thinker and the feeler) is completely absent? Are you saying that when you practice Vipassana your social-instinctive identity is temporarily absent and you are then having a pure consciousness experience?
Or do you, whilst practicing Vipassana, practice being an observer of the ‘sensations’ coming and going – the ‘sensations’ being a catch-all phrase for both the affective feelings as well as sensate experiencing? If so, then you might ponder that ‘he’ who is doing the observing at these times is not the flesh and blood body but is a psychological/ psychic entity who thinks and feels himself to be separate from the flesh and blood body.
I do realize that this can be confusing, but the whole of spirituality and spiritual practice is predicated upon the notion that ‘who you really are’ is a spirit – a spirit being who happens to inhabit this flesh and blood body whilst the body is alive. ‘You are not the body’ or ‘you’ have a body or ‘you’ have to look after your body’ or ‘you have to treat your body as a temple’ and so on are common spiritual refrains. To suggest that any of the spiritual teachings or any of the associated practices are taking about ‘this body is watching this body’ is patently non-sense.
This is how the body is described and defined in Buddhist scriptures – and Vipassana is the oldest of Buddhist meditation practices –
RESPONDENT: So many of my posts to this list come from my take of what I learned in those Goenka courses, which is to constantly pay attention (to sensations, and to everything that is going on), and when Richard says that AF is 180 degrees opposite, I really wondered what he meant. Of course he was referring to the goal, and the intentions one has. Anyway, responses are below...
VINEETO: Perhaps if I put it this way – when you board a bus or a train or an aeroplane, the first thing you inquire is where it will take you. And if its destination is not the same as your intended destination, don’t you leave the bus or the train or plane and find another vehicle that will ensure you reach your destination?
To stay with the metaphor, there is no way that you can take the aeroplane called Vipassana, designed to carry you to Parinibbana, the mystical end of suffering, and expect to arrive at an actual freedom from the human condition. It is simply not possible. In order to change course, you will have to land, leave the plane, orient yourself when back on the ground and make yourself acquainted with the new destination in order to find out if that is what you want and how you will get there.
VINEETO: Eventually my rigorous questioning of my own beliefs allowed a crack to form in the armoured plate of my beliefs, which, after a period of intense confusion, resulted in a pure consciousness experience in which the world outside of my beliefs became stunningly apparent for the first time. I have described the lead up to and the experience itself in ‘A bit of Vineeto’.
RESPONDENT: So yeah I guess I can relate to your period of confusion you mentioned.
VINEETO: Would you care to describe in what way you can relate to my period of confusion?
RESPONDENT: Maybe I can’t after reading your responses, my confusion seems to stem from my misunderstandings of AF, not from questioning beliefs at this point.
VINEETO: Maybe this helps to understand actualism – one starts the process of actualism by freeing oneself of all of one’s beliefs, morals and ethics that make up the bulk of one’s social identity. Therefore it is practically impossible to do that while following the instructions of a spiritual teacher whose method originated from spiritual beliefs he cobbled together from others, a method designed for a specific spiritual end-point, in this case Parinibbana, the mystical end of dukkha.
RESPONDENT: I am just having a hard time not paying attention to sensations. I mean I am aware, when I see, hear, touch, whatever there is always sensation.
VINEETO: I don’t see where the problem should lie in paying attention to sensations. Personally I found it far more difficult to get an on-going awareness of my feelings and emotions when and as they were occurring – and particularly the unwanted and undesirable ones that I had been busy denying or repressing for years.
RESPONDENT: Am I supposed to ignore sensation?
VINEETO: No. Sensate experiencing doesn’t interfere with being happy and harmless … unless you are confusing bodily physical sensations with the affective feelings and emotions that have their roots in the animal instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT: I most certainly am not. Sensate experience does not cause misery, affective experiencing does.
VINEETO: OK. Then the question then surely is: what do you do when you become aware that you are feeling miserable?
RESPONDENT: I mean this is the message I get from actualism, …
VINEETO: If that is ‘the message [you] get from actualism’ then you have thoroughly misunderstood actualism. I can recommend ‘Introducing Actual Freedom’, accessible from the Actual Freedom Homepage, as it lays out very simply the whys and hows of actualism.
RESPONDENT: I know, I thought I knew the in’s and out’s until Richard told me there was something wrong with enjoying sensations in my body...
VINEETO: If you re-read what Richard said you will find that he did not say what you made it out to be. This seems to be the quote you are referring to –
What Richard endeavoured to explain to you is that ‘enjoying sensations in my body’ is incorrect practice according to the teachings of Mr. Ba Khin and Mr. Satya Goenka. In other words, if you are enjoying sensations in your body you are not practicing Vipassana but some technique of your own making.
It helps to read all the words, if necessary several times, and then ask specific questions, before jumping to conclusions thereby adding to your confusion.
RESPONDENT: … but if I am not aware of sensation I am really not aware, if you catch my drift... Any comment anyone has will be appreciated.
VINEETO: There is much more to be aware of than sensation. Given that the aim of actualism is to eliminate the affective faculty in order that thoughtful-sensate experiencing is free to operate, paying attention to sensate experiencing whilst neglecting to be attentive to one’s feelings and emotions makes no sense at all.
RESPONDENT: I completely agree, but I have never said I pay exclusive attention to sensations.
Given that you did not talk about affective experiences but only about ‘sensations’ I found it relevant to point out that the real job in actualism is to pay attention to one’s feelings and emotions and discover the underlying beliefs, morals, ethics and values because it is these feelings that initially prevent one from even considering setting off down the path to becoming happy and harmless.
VINEETO: If I can ask, what is your intent when you are ‘aware of sensation’?
RESPONDENT: Only if I am aware can I be certain I am not causing harm to anyone else or myself. My problems stem from my blind actions/ reactions I have found. The level of direct sensation is the deepest level of experience, and to be aware each moment how I am experiencing that moment is essential for my own well-being and the well-being of others.
I know that I am partly experiencing the actuality of this universe, and if I can connect to this part of experiencing and widen it there will surely be peace in my life.
VINEETO: I don’t know what you mean by ‘partly experiencing the actuality of this universe’ – ‘partly’ as in some times or ‘partly’ as in half-and-half? I am asking because the first would be a pure consciousness experience and the second would be self-deception.
RESPONDENT: From my experience, certain emotions like anger can be dealt with by plain common sense. Just by understanding (and I am talking of only intellectual understanding), that anger is not going to improve or help the situation and on the other hand, it is going to harm yours and others’ mental and physical peace, the anger vanishes. I have tried and tested it and it works. It is not repression so it doesn’t come back even in long run. Not that the anger does not arise, but as soon as it arises, you can see it vanishing in the light of your understanding.
VINEETO: What you are describing sounds like more than just intellectual understanding and more than the method of ‘positive thinking’ that [ Respondent No 1, List C] was proposing. You say you are using ‘common sense’ and ‘not repression’. And you say, anger about that issue does not come back? Not even in the long run? It does not hang around, maybe as being peeved or annoyed? Or an expectation for a reward, a righteousness, a better-than-you-feeling?
RESPONDENT: Yes, I also think that it is more than intellectual understanding. Till I find a more appropriate word for it, I would prefer to use ‘common sense’. It is not positive thinking and it is not in expectation of reward. But I guess this common sense is the result of good old Vipassana. The difference after getting introduced to actual freedom is that now I know that ‘I’ am not different from anger, whereas in Vipassana I am the witness watching the anger passing away.
VINEETO: I don’t see how it 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 transcends it.
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
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 –
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.
VINEETO: And now to your second question.
VINEETO: Vipassana has to be seen within the whole context of Buddhism to understand its intentions and implications. Vipassana is the particular method to reach to the Buddhist’s highest goal – Nirvana. The idea in Vipassana is to become conscious of the sensations in the body, of the ‘stress’ of the sensations, feelings, desires, attachments etc. in order to extract one’s self from those stressful feelings. You are supposed to learn consciousness in order to become the Consciousness, thus removing your ‘self’ from the content of what you sense, feel and think. Have a careful read through the following discourses on ‘feelings’ and ‘mind’ by Buddha in the ‘Satipatthana Sutta’ (MN 10; PTS: MN i.55) and you might understand their emphasis. You will also note that Buddhists don’t make a distinction between sensations and feelings.
Essentially, they say, that you are not the body, not the mind, not the sensations, not the feelings. They say you are the ‘soul’, you are Consciousness. This is 180 degrees opposite to Actual Freedom. In Actual Freedom you are the flesh and blood sensate and reflective body only, no ego, no soul.
But, if you get lost with their many words of going round and round and round then you know that the method is just to hypnotize oneself out of one’s normal way of thinking and feeling to end up in a pleasant drug-like state of no-mind, somewhere else, numbing one’s intelligence as well as one’s feelings and sensations. Spiritual practice is to numb your feelings and emotions while for actual freedom you need to dig into them, feel them, explore them, investigate them and trace them back to the root instincts of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.
In the above article the expression of ‘not clinging to anything in the world’ is the give-away. The whole meditation consists of turning away from something considered ‘unwanted’ to something considered ‘wanted’ – which is a moral evaluation of good and bad. The whole Buddhist religion is a very moral code of ethics.
Here is a bit more of Mr. Buddha’s teachings of how to get out of their physical senses and retreat into an imagined reality or fabricated peace and tranquillity. Of course, practicing Vipassana is like being drugged by an overdose of pain killers – when you don’t feel anything, see anything, hear anything, it is kind of peaceful – I would rather call it numb and dull! And then, removed from the world of physical senses there are no limitations to the full range of imagination – one imagines being peace, light, love, compassion – take anything from the ‘feeling-shop’ whatever you want, nothing is actual anyway.
‘The Mahasatipatthana Sutta’ (DN 22; PTS: DN ii.290; http://world.std.com/~metta/canon/digha/dn22.html)
Can you see the intense effort that goes into changing one’s sensitivity, and into fiddling with the perception of the senses. Everything perceived in the physical world is considered stress and bad, and one has to work hard to dis-associate oneself from it. And yet, they want to call it ‘choiceless awareness’! Give me a break!
Now, back to Richard’s expression:
You see a flower, you become conscious that you see the flower; you become conscious of its form, colours, smell, moving in the breeze and then you become conscious of the delight of your perception, of you being able to see, smell and know about it too. You are conscious of your being conscious. That’s it.
When the Human Condition is in operation, when ‘I’ interfere in the pure seeing of the flower, there is evaluation, feeling, choice, complaint, desire, hope, sadness, anger, etc. You can slowly, slowly become aware of all those emotions in operation, interfering and destroying the pure delight of living in this perfect universe. This ‘I’ is nothing but feelings, beliefs, emotions and instinctual passions, filtering everything that you see, hear, smell, touch, taste and think. When you dismantle the ‘I’ by examining everything that is not actual then you can be here, in this moment, in this place, eyes seeing, ears hearing and brain thinking. Everything else is but a passionate fantasy and imagination.
VINEETO: I practiced Vipassana daily for many years including several retreats led by Goenka-trained Vipassana teachers but I only understood what Vipassana and all of the spiritual practices were really about after I had several pure consciousness experiences. When the ‘self’ is temporarily absent it is very easy to recognize all the silly things one does in order to rearrange the deck-chairs on the Titanic, as I used to call it – to rearrange one’s ‘self’ from normal ‘self’ to ‘true self’ to ‘higher self’ to ego-less ‘self’ and so on and Vipassana is but one of many spiritual practices designed to achieve this ‘rearrangement’. (…)
Vipassana is not flawed because some teachers are quacks – it is the whole institution of spiritual enlightenment that is rotten to the core.
RESPONDENT: If I may I ask respectfully, Vineeto as you seem to claim expertise/authority in the Vipassana-field. Have you ever been a leader of a Vipassana-group if so, when did you lead that group? How many times did you lead that group? Where was the location how many people participated? Who were you assistants/co-workers?
VINEETO: In my spiritual years I have assisted leaders in several Vipassana groups although I have never lead or wanted to lead a group myself.
RESPONDENT: I see, that was in your pre-virtualfree-stage.
VINEETO: No, it was in my spiritual years, well before I had even heard of the possibility of an actual freedom – the discovery of which now makes enlightenment redundant.
VINEETO: However, one does not need to lead a Vipassana group in order to have expertise in the field.
RESPONDENT: However me thinks, one who does lead a Vipassana group needs to have that authority though.
VINEETO: As I explicitly stated that I never lead or wanted to lead such a group, I wonder what relevance this statement has with the issue at hand?
RESPONDENT: Now, that authority being that self-assigned or having been assigned this authority by somebody who has the authority to do, that I think is a matter of relevance, however not in this case, as you have only claimed to be a Vipassana expert.
VINEETO: There are two meanings to the word ‘authority’ and the one that causes all the troubles is the one connected with power. (The power of the authority to enforce obedience; the power of the authority to enforce moral or legal judgements; the power of the authority to command or give the final decision; the power of the authority to control; the power of the authority of a governing body; the power of an authoritative holy book; the power of the authority to inspire belief and so on). The second – less used – meaning is: an expert on a particular subject.
Apparently, as in your use of the word ‘only’, you consider authority given by someone else to be of greater value than expertise due to someone’s substantial practical experience and insight into the matter.
Perhaps I can put it this way – there are those who teach others what hey have leaned form others and there are those who set about finding out whether what they have learnt from others works or not. What I am reporting is my experience in the practice of Vipassana – it is not meant to be a philosophical debunking nor a learned dissertation on the subject. As such my report would be better regarded as a bit of heresy from one who has delved into Eastern religion and is now a whistle blower.
RESPONDENT: On the other hand as No 73 has suggested that [Maybe you guys just know Vipassana as taught by quacks...] this would imply if – that has been the case, those quacks (i.e. teaching a new age variant from the Poona-kitchen) indeed lacked the authority to teach Vipassana and thus you may have been as well assisting people who where not qualified (aka unauthorized/certified) to teach Vipassana as well as practicing it in a way that it was not intended to be practiced. Consequently the results will likely not have been satisfactory. So… after all there may be some relevance to that case with respect to the aspect of authorization/certification. It is somewhat as if I hear you say that you have done your theory and have also practiced and more or less have learned how to drive a car, but blaming the car for not going where you want to go. Just to go by that analogy, imagine somebody practicing (Vipassana as taught to instruct by Osho and this was designed to come to arrive at a certain kind of understanding what genuine enlightenment means). Now, as that understanding seems to not have happened for you hence there are three possibilities the technique was wrong the teacher was not adequate. Vipassana was not your thing. It is one thing to bash/demonise a teacher/guru, to do that to an entire category/program is another thing. I.e. suppose the car is i.e. a <whatever brand> then by my dimlogical reasoning when I take in account your [it is the whole institution of spiritual enlightenment that is rotten to the core] would you then conclude that the whole <whatever brand> car industry is rotten to the core?
VINEETO: I gave the specific information that the Vipassana teachers were Goenka-trained – I knew them quite well because I worked in the same department. As you keep suggesting that this may not be the case, could you tell me if you have any factual information to the contrary before you fabricate more conjectures and draw any further conclusions based upon these conjectures?
VINEETO: All it takes is to know and understand the theory and to have practiced it sufficiently so as to understand how it works in practice. The other expertise I have is that I have the insight not only of an ex-spiritualist but, more far significantly, the insight of the self-delusionary nature of all things spiritual that only a ‘self’-less pure consciousness experience can provide. In a PCE, when the believer is temporarily absent, one has the unique opportunity to fully understand that all beliefs are ‘self’-generated and as such non-actual.
RESPONDENT: So… Are you implying that this institution also includes the Vipassana teachers as well as their techniques? or is [it is the whole institution of spiritual enlightenment that is rotten to the core] Intended to function as a metaphor (perhaps a somewhat hyperbolic expression) in which the part [whole institution of spiritual enlightenment] refers to anything that is not in accordance with the actualist doctrine? So… My question to you is (bear in mind I’m speaking in a metaphoric manner: Do you think that the whole institution of Vipassana stinks? I am asking this because something that is rotten usually spreads a not so pleasant odour.
VINEETO: Given that you have been a participant on the Actual Freedom mailing list for nigh on four years now, what part of the sentence ‘it is the whole institution of spiritual enlightenment that is rotten to the core’ do you not understand?
RESPONDENT: If indeed such is the case then naturally your allegation to the Goenka organization needs to be somewhat more substantiated (others then having been displeased/dissatisfied as to expected achievement of benefits) in order to prove that indeed the Goenka-institution ‘stinks’ (again still metaphorically speaking).
VINEETO: I have no specific allegations against the ‘Goenka organization’ nor any other particular spiritual organization for that matter other than that they have all failed to manifest peace on earth, despite the fact that millions upon millions of devotees have diligently practiced the teachings for thousands upon thousands of years. When I sat down and contemplated the extent of this litany of failure as well as drew upon my own experiences as to the reasons for this failure (whilst temporarily setting aside my own beliefs about the subject) it one day suddenly dawned upon me that the whole institution of spiritual enlightenment is rotten to the core, a description of which I posted in my last post (in the section you snipped).
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.