Selected Correspondence Vineeto
(a Pragmatic, Methodological Virtual Freedom)
VINEETO to Alan: For the last two days I have understood and experienced close to the skin what it is to be ‘hanging in time’, to be nowhere in particular.
The memory of what happened to me an hour ago is just a memory, taken from the ‘filing cabinets’ of my brain. I found that memories are in fact just patches of faces, events and situations. Therefore they have no emotional relevance to what I am now, they only exists as a memory, like a movie replayed on the TV screen.
I just saw on TV Clive James’ ‘Postcard from Bombay’, his witty report about people living in Bombay in poverty, heat and overpopulation, but now there is no more emotional reaction when I remember my six or seven years that I had lived in India. The Vineeto then had quite a lot of personal and emotional reactions to ‘those Indians’, who never did the thing I wanted them to do or who were so poor that I didn’t dare look at their circumstances.
Similarly, when I walked out of the office today after seven hours of figures and telephone calls, accounting, sorting and filing, there was nothing to shake off from the day. There was nothing from the day that would stick as being of ‘vital’ importance or that created emotional disturbance. I walked out into the moist, warm night-air, fully alive and delighting in the drive home, the moonlight peeking through the cloudy night-sky. Absolutely delightful. Hanging in time, each moment fresh and crisp...
And ‘hanging in space’, living nowhere in particular becomes obvious to me when I look at our little cozy flat. It could be anywhere, anywhere in this town, anywhere in a country where it is sensible and comfortable to live in, anywhere on the planet, up or down-under. The planet itself is nowhere in particular in this universe anyway! If it were not this particular flat, it would be a similar comfortable one, non-descript without ‘home-y’ attributes. Lots of people have walked through this flat in the last weeks when it was up for sale, examining it and commenting about it in one way or the other. There was no sense of intrusion or disturbance of privacy, no pride or sense of ‘my’ flat, which I can remember having had in a similar situation 2 years ago. Our flat is, after all, just a nice place with a balcony where we put our favourite toys and couches. If it had been sold to someone else, we would have easily and with pleasure looked for another place to put our things. What a freedom.
So the ‘plastic between the stubbies’ – to refer to an earlier used allegory – is disintegrating and freeing the senses including the intelligence of the brain for even more intense pleasure in experiencing this moment of being alive.
VINEETO to Alan: I am reminded of a science-program we watched on TV. It showed how the brain’s long term memory operates: strings of neurons grow towards each other when stimulated often enough and finally merge in a synapse, a firm and lasting connection. As I see it, the stimulating input consists of various components:
All of these inputs are physically represented in neurons and their related synapse in the brain. Given that scientists are only at the very beginning of exploring the brain this might still be an inaccurate description. However, I conclude from this, that in the process of freeing oneself from the conditioning, from the feelings, beliefs and emotions, and finally eliminating the core instinctual passions there has to be physical equivalent happening in the brain. Perhaps millions of existing synapse are being disconnected, new neuron connections are growing, and the whole structure of the brain is reconstructing itself in a completely different way. I speculate that headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, etc. are all expressions and temporary symptoms of this physical re-wiring.
Altogether, it is good fun speculating and trying to make sense – and some of it might be scientifically proven in later years – but the real proof of the pudding is the taste of the pudding – life is eminently delightful, despite and even because of the weird processes that are going on in the brain. To live each moment at the cutting edge of being alive, the important thing becomes not ‘what’ I experience but ‘that’ I am living fully aware, being the senses, 100% alive and enjoying each moment again. It can be a spectacular romp, a sleepy afternoon on a cozy rainy day or a busy working day, meeting all kind of demands. The quality has been improving ever since I started this process 21/2 years ago.(...)
VINEETO: Virtual Freedom is when 99% percent of your time is spent in perfect peace and harmony with everything and everyone around you. When you wake up in the morning and know that you are going to have a perfect day and when you go to bed at night-time and you can say that you had had a perfect day. Virtual Freedom is when you are not bothered by petty worries, jealousies, competition, arrogance, grumpiness, sadness, boredom, and when you don’t get peeved, sad, bored, tired, annoyed, frustrated, impatient, uneasy, embarrassed, disgusted, angry, depressed or malicious. Virtual Freedom is when you very rarely come across an emotion in yourself, and when that happens you simply investigate into the root cause of the emotion and get on with enjoying life. Virtual Freedom is the firm basis one is falling back on when coming out of a pure consciousness experience, or when one is getting impatient, doubtful or fearful about freedom. Virtual Freedom is the proof of the pudding, it proves that cleaning up your grotty ‘self’ does actually work in everyday life with people as they are. Virtual Freedom is as close as ‘you’ can get to being actually free of the Human Condition while remaining a self. And Virtual Freedom is when you know with utter confidence that you are moving every day closer to the moment of ‘your’ final extinction.
ALAN: Now the proviso. I can say yes to all the above, except having a perfect day. I know it is not yet perfect because I have experienced what perfection is, in the PCE. So until I am living that perfection 24 hours of the day (ie actual freedom), I cannot say I have had a perfect day. And perhaps this further points to my (or is it ‘my’) ‘problem’ with Virtual Freedom. If I am worrying about whether I have had a perfect day, or am living in virtual freedom, I am never going to have a perfect day. Is this part of Zen philosophy? i.e. the change being sought can only be brought about by giving up the desire to change, or to put it more simply: And you are right, ‘it is the doing which is the business’. Ship ahoy.
VINEETO: Well, I can understand your objections now. But to define a perfect day as only experienced in a PCE or when the self has finally died is to keep postponing the doing of it by another trick of the ‘self’, a koan, that by its very definition has no solution – you say that you can only live in virtual freedom when you live in actual freedom...
Virtual freedom is as far as ‘I’ can go, is the best that ‘I’ can do with the ‘self’ somehow still alive. In that sense it is one step ‘below’ a PCE or actual freedom, but as perfect as can be with the ‘self’ still there. If you want to save the word ‘perfect’ only for PCE, then I am happy to use any other word that you propose that would represent ‘99% perfect with the acknowledgment of the ‘self’ being intact’. Virtual, by definition, means
In the meantime I will call my days perfect days, be they days in front of the TV doing nothing, typing a letter all day or going to work and selling a few hours of my time to pay the bills. They are perfect in that I am here each moment with my full attention, responding to each situation uncluttered by worries and other emotions, and enjoying myself thoroughly. Any upcoming problem is simply another challenge to be met, keeping me on my toes with thrill, working things out or observing the happenings with more and more apperception.
You said it in your letter to No 14: – ‘dare I say virtual freedom’. Yes, Virtual Freedom is a daring. Once you decide and declare to yourself and others that you are living in Virtual Freedom, you can’t slip back into not having a perfect day. You have to live up to your own standards. You pull yourself up on your boot strings. What a great tool! It’s another ‘lifting of the bar ‘on the wide and wondrous path to Freedom.
VINEETO to Alan: During the first year on the path to Actual Freedom I could clearly distinguish when a PCE started and when it ended. It was like a chandelier had been switched on in a very dim room, and suddenly everything was stunningly clear and obvious, the emotional problems from minutes before suddenly disappeared and – if I wanted to – I could also determine which problem and belief to tackle next.
In Virtual Freedom the situation is a bit different. The size of the ‘grey arrows’ diminished and the ‘green arrows’ – ‘what I am’ – becomes more and more prevalent and apparent. The days are filled with delight, hardly any emotions interfere with my happiness and life itself becomes more and more obvious, there are neither problems to solve nor insights to achieve. I simply know that every belief is wrong just because it is a belief – it is only a question of ‘where’ or ‘how’ this belief is false. At this stage, the instincts can be clearly seen for what they are – chemical surges of the dying entity. When the ‘who I think and feel I am’ becomes so weak and transparent, a pure consciousness experience is not as outstanding and not as sought after as in the beginning.
But PCEs are not my main concern now. My main concern is the ending of ‘me’. My main concern is sitting it out and enjoying the final jerks of the dying identity as much as possible, with as little emotional worry or fear as possible. Life is fantastic as it is, I know my direction as clearly as I can see the moon in a cloudless sky. Now there is no question of going off-track, which had been one of my biggest worries, and now there is no question about the inevitability of success. All the ‘grey arrows’ only point in one direction and that is towards the ‘pop’.
And so everything is perfectly perfect, and utterly normal, deliciously excellent and thrillingly delightful – with sometimes the curious experience that I want to stop being here because it gets all too much – but that seems to have become impossible. So I go for a walk, jump up and down and then ‘give in’ to enjoying the thrill of it all.(see diagram for illustration)
VINEETO: I have stopped writing a few weeks ago because I seem to have written about and reported everything I know so far about Actual Freedom, and any further attempt so far appeared to me a mere repetition of what I have already talked about, available on the website.
ALAN: I wonder if you are going through the same as I have for the past several months? I have not even been reading the mailing list much and am about 5 weeks behind (looks as though it has been quite lively!). I certainly have had a sense of, there is nothing new to write or report – and maybe that, in itself, is worth reporting.
VINEETO: I don’t know what you have been ‘going through’, but I can tell you a bit about my recent life. Last October my correspondence on the Krishnamurti mailing list came to a conclusion, and apart from it being great fun, the conversations gave me valuable insight into the teachings and following of a yet another spiritual master. (...)
Since October there was simply no incentive to explore the Human Condition via writing on mailing lists and instead I have been exploring experientially the fact that I am utterly and completely redundant – in short, I have been practicing ‘doing nothing really well’ for the last several months. In this time I found that I am redundant as a ‘useful member of society’ and as a ‘friend’ to other friends, and by stopping writing on the Actual Freedom Trust mailing list I was able to examine in hindsight the role that I had played other than sharing useful information. I deliberately abandoned polishing my ‘baby’, the website, and did nothing of meaning or consequence that could give ‘me’ any importance in any way whatsoever.
A training course in ‘doing nothing really well’ includes examining various shades of boredom, resignation, avoidance, feelings of redundancy and meaninglessness – doing bugger all day after day (apart from the obvious task of making a living) and sensately enjoying the simple fact of being alive for no other reason than being alive. To discover that I am already here anyway and that I don’t need to do anything to justify and prove my existence is not just the adventurous practice of whittling away the unwanted bits of ‘me’, it is ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ as the complete redundancy of ‘me’ altogether. (...)
ALAN: Other than that, it has been a pretty unremarkable few months – almost zombie like and maybe it is now coming to an end, as I have noted in my post to Richard. Perhaps it has been a time of R & R for the troops, a mustering of resources for the final assault on ‘my’ psyche, eh! As you see, I have not yet lost all my Prima Donna abilities!
VINEETO: It’s good to have you back writing, Alan. And there is not much ‘R & R’ when you discover that there is no hiding from being here because the faculty of hiding is disappearing into thin air. A few weeks ago I went to the dentist for a tooth extraction and, being a bit acquainted with Eastern spirituality he suggested that during the treatment I could go ‘somewhere else’ so as to avoid the discomfort and apprehension that usually comes with dental surgery. But there was nowhere else to go, the spiritual realm of imaginary peace and pseudo-security simply does not exist in actuality. I lay back in his comfortable chair with local anaesthesia while he wiggled my tooth out of the bone and was fascinated by the sensations in my jaw and the surprising absence of fear.
In the face of fear, desperation and aggression the idea of a spiritual ‘somewhere else’ has been such an alluring promise that some people have even managed to reinterpret Actual Freedom as a promised land ‘somewhere else’. Making the practical method of actualism into a spiritual belief is merely another attempt to avoid being here as a flesh and blood body only. For me it was essential to investigate and eliminate all of my reasons for wanting to go ‘somewhere else’ – my aggression, my dread, my dissatisfaction, my desperation and my dependency on others – in order that I can enjoy being here in this moment of being alive. The daily ‘practice’ of enjoying being here over a considerable period of time – Virtual Freedom – weakens, and eventually eliminates ‘me’ and with it the insidious tug of wanting to go ‘somewhere else’ that has given rise to all the different spiritual beliefs and practices on the planet.
RESPONDENT: Reading the AF site, I’ve found out that yourself, Peter, Alan and Mark have been exposed to the AF system for quite a while now, reporting that in a matter of months you have discovered what Virtual Freedom is. How many years it takes until one becomes actually free?
VINEETO: You will need to ask that to the person who is actually free.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t AF supposed to work?
VINEETO: Given that ‘AF’ is the acronym for Actual Freedom (an actual freedom from the human condition), I suppose you are asking if the method of actualism is ‘supposed to work’.
Personally I can report that the method of actualism has worked in that it has delivered a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow and that is has enabled me to live with my companion in utter peace and harmony 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I know of no other method that delivers such results.
RESPONDENT: It seems from the reading that Peter and others were so close from the final result already years ago, so why still there’s no report about a second human being being free?
VINEETO: To experience life as excellent for 99% of the day is indeed close to the final result and the reason why there is no report about a second human being free is because it simply has not yet happened for a second person.
When I started the process of actualism I knew that I had a long way to go before I would be actually free and I happily proceeded in leaps and bounds. Now that I am certain that there is only one single step to take – the step to ‘my’ extinction – simply because I stood at ‘the edge’ a few times, I naturally dither and dally, particularly as life in virtual freedom is pretty excellent anyway. It now seems to be a matter of the right circumstances and the right intensity of intent that will bring about the final event.
Until then you will have to make do with what you’ve got – the report from one man’s way to an actual freedom and a few people’s report that the actualism delivers a virtual freedom … and if that is not enough for you to start the process of becoming free yourself, then so be it.
RESPONDENT: Maybe actual freedom is only one human being’s luck and it will stay that way?
VINEETO: Ha, it takes a lot of cynicism (or blatant ignorance) to consider an actual freedom from malice and sorrow ‘one human being’s luck’ and the firm conviction that life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering to believe that ‘it will stay that way’.
RESPONDENT: Maybe actual freedom is only one human being’s luck and it will stay that way?
VINEETO: Ha, it takes a lot of cynicism (or blatant ignorance) to consider an actual freedom from malice and sorrow ‘one human being’s luck’ and the firm conviction that life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering to believe that ‘it will stay that way’. Are you perhaps Buddhist by faith?
RESPONDENT: No, I’m UG Krishamurtian by faith which I consider worse, hah. It also has the ‘one human’s being luck’ element in it.
VINEETO: Did it ever strike you as odd that someone who considers himself an unrepeatable ‘sport of nature’, who says that he has nothing to offer to advance humankind’s knowledge about itself and who called what happened to him a ‘calamity’ has so many loyal and enthusiastic followers?
RESPONDENT: Hi cyber Vineeto:
Yes, what exactly are we trying to communicate here. Is it that you are trying to coach me and I am saying I know already.
VINEETO: So, you think there may be a coaching contract with cyber-Vineeto. I don’t remember signing such a contract and I certainly wouldn’t want to, nor does my alter ego of cyber-Vineeto. I don’t even know what you want to achieve, how could I possibly coach you? Freedom is something everyone has to do for themselves. But you are welcome to pick my brain if you want to know about living in virtual freedom. Peter and I are certainly experts on the ongoing experience of it and the way to reach it. We have both followed the path to actual freedom for two years with overwhelming and obvious success and enjoy a continuous virtual freedom from sorrow and malice. I am certainly interested in giving information if anyone wants to be as happy and harmless as I am.
As Peter has stated in his letter to Alan, and it is my experience as well, Virtual Freedom is an essential prerequisite for Actual Freedom. Actual Freedom does not happen over night. It is the result of whittling away all the layers of emotions, feelings, beliefs and instincts that one comes across in daily life until there is hardly any disturbance happening and hardly anything left of what used to be the ‘self’. Virtual Freedom can be described as perfect days, day-in, day-out, and heightened senses delivering ongoing pleasure and delight – be it a cup of coffee, the saxophone playing next door, the whistle of a chain-saw, the twitter of the birds, the soft breeze of the fan in may back. Virtual freedom is when the ‘feeling’ of time has disappeared, when the days have no names and the hours have no numbers – I am simply here living in this perfect moment each moment again. It does not matter if I go to work or stay at home, if it is day or night, rainy or hot, if I am meeting people, on my own or with Peter at home, I simply have a perfect time.
VINEETO: Did you enjoy your Easter holidays with some time of leisure and pleasure?
RESPONDENT: No, not much time for leisure which is usually when I do my best digging into ‘me’. I can’t complain though, my life style is probably far better than most, considering that I work from home and all. And what about you, does your routine change in the holidays?
VINEETO: My ‘routine’ changes – if I have any, apart from getting up some time in the day and going to bed at some time in the night, having a meal and paying my rent. But change of routine has not much to do with public holidays as I only work occasionally. I am working from home as well as going out to assist people sorting their financial business, and thus I can work sometimes at weekends or do nothing in the week, whatever seems best and whatever happens next.
Having set out to do nothing really well I decided to keep my expenses as low as is sensible and only work as much as I need to meet those basic needs. This gives me free time to explore and enjoy, laze around and investigate the Human Condition or write and play on the ever-growing website. But going out for work is always a great opportunity to see if I am without malice and sorrow in every situation as much as at home. And increasingly I hardly find any qualitative difference between spending my time working for people or playing at home.
RESPONDENT: Do you mean that since one’s sense of self is totally absent there is no possibility of any planning for the future in this state? (the planning entity gone)?
VINEETO: Good, you are taking up the investigation of what this ‘life without self’ means.
It is not that I don’t plan when I need to – for earning money, or going shopping – but the feeling of worrying is gone, planning is simply a practical and delightful activity of my brain. So most planning does not happen, it has become redundant when the fear about the future disappeared.
RESPONDENT: Also, do you feel like the body is doing something and there is no entity controlling, censoring your actions?
VINEETO: With the body it is curious – the difference for me becomes most obvious in sex. The pleasures of the senses lead me on to the next movement or holding still or shifting position or pace – and there is neither a controller nor an examiner in the head, supervising the event. In the beginning it was quite uncanny and I went back into control and then out from control many times, until I dared to just be the senses. When there is no sorrow or malice nor any sex-drive happening, there is no need for a controller – nothing can go wrong. Further, there is always awareness about what I am doing, so there is no danger that I could be hurting Peter or myself.
RESPONDENT: And so you don’t know what will you do in the next moment. In a sense, are you constantly surprised, bewildered by your daily activities which become fascinating due to the novelty of life (or is the entity who could possibly be fascinated also gone).
VINEETO: Very often I don’t know what I am going to do in the next moment. Some things need to be done in the day, like food, sleep, or work. Some other things I usually do in the day like writing, having sex or enjoying several cups of coffee. But there is no schedule other than a sensible time – like don’t go shopping at 10 o’clock at night. Sometimes I am surprised, hardly ever bewildered – the bewilderment then is due to a remnant fear – but usually it makes perfect sense what I am doing next – toilet, coffee, TV, writing, talking, walking, eating when hungry... The fascination comes from every moment being fresh, never been here before, not playing a repetitive ritual but a fresh living each moment.
I found that boredom is an emotion which has a lot to do with not wanting to be here in the first place. Once I had dismantled and eliminated the cause of boredom, life has been fresh and thrilling, sometimes a bit scary with all the re-wiring of the brain, but never boring again.
RESPONDENT: I am just trying to put myself in your shoes to understand 100% what you are talking about. I think that even a small amount of misunderstanding in these matters could make a difference like between day and night. Thanks.
VINEETO: Yes, I like that you are so thorough. We have but words to communicate and by now there are quite a lot of words that convey the same thing – actuality. And with a brain wired the way it comes out ‘of the shop’ (the inbuilt software from the DNA, the womb, family and school) it takes a lot of re-thinking, re-investigating, re-questioning to remove the layers of ‘who’ we think and ‘who’ we feel we are.
RESPONDENT: Actually, I often then find myself in love, in peace with the world as it is. It is not unlike the love for a woman because I have the need, the desire to be here, to enjoy it right now; the way it is. There is a certain feeling of intensity, sensual perceptiveness. There is also the sense of being undisturbed by hostile people or events. It makes me very comfortable and happy. I think it is what you refer to as a PCE.
VINEETO: Richard writes about a PCE –
My first major pure consciousness experience happened after 3 months of emotional turmoil while I was trying to figure out how I could live with Peter and partake in his new discovery of actualism and at the same time not give up my spiritual beliefs and friends of the spiritual community I was involved in. It became more and more obvious that this was impossible, as I increasingly felt torn between two opposites. Within my ‘normal’ way of thinking, feeling and believing there was no solution to my dilemma, and the need for a solution became increasingly vital for my mental sanity. Further, my intent to not settle for less than the best made any compromise with myself impossible. Then, one evening while reflectively contemplating upon my conundrum, my whole belief system crashed – I popped through the fog of beliefs and saw the actual world for the first time in its – at first shocking – purity and simplicity.
In a PCE I am not in love with the world. In a PCE ‘I’ am temporarily in abeyance, thus freeing this body for a short period from the impact that my instinctual passions together with my beliefs have on sensory and reflective perception. There is no ‘me’, an instinctive feeling entity, assessing the situation and dividing the world into friendly and hostile people or events. Rather, I can look at the Human Condition in toto and I understand how it is operating in its totality, as myself and therefore in everybody, because I can see it from not being afflicted by it for a certain period of time.
A pure consciousness experience is vital for an actualist in order to experience the actual world in one’s own right so as to not have to rely on merely believing what any of us says or writes. A PCE is the touchstone by which I ascertain my direction towards my goal – to live a PCE 24hrs a day, everyday.
However, for me the path to actual freedom so far has always been about ‘the meantime’ – what do I do when I don’t have a PCE? In the meantime is where life is happening and this moment is the only moment I can experience being alive. To waste this moment of being alive by being grumpy, miffed, miserable, vindictive, dreamy, ‘out-of-it’ or fearful is simply wasting this moment. If I want to become actually free from the Human Condition then in the meantime I have a job to do. Actualism is certainly not an effortless path.
In the meantime I examine what prevents me from being happy and harmless right here, right now, whatever the circumstances. In the meantime I dig into my belief systems, my social conditioning, my automatic instinctual program whenever it interferes with feeling excellent. In the meantime I am using all the insights I could gain from my pure consciousness experiences in order to tackle the Human Condition in me. In the meantime I am virtually happy and virtually harmless 99% of my time. In the meantime I am now having the time of my life.
RESPONDENT: Maybe someone could answer the following:
Is it that one is first ‘virtually free’ from the ‘human constitution’ (ego) followed by a ‘virtual freedom’ from the ‘human condition’ (soul)?
VINEETO: I don’t use the term ‘human constitution’ nowadays – I have come to understand experientially that the human condition is basically an instinctual condition varied only by an overlaid social/cultural conditioning, as is each and every human psyche of course. I certainly had to first loosen the grip beliefs, morals and ethics had on me in order to even allow the deeper instinctual passions to come to the surface. In my experience, focussing too much on a ‘freedom from the ‘human constitution (ego)’’ would only bring me to the brink of, or let me fall into, an Altered State of Consciousness. Because of this I soon learnt to avoid the trap of Enlightenment by being attentive to both the seductive good and the repulsive bad passions that surfaced after I had loosened the restraints of the socially conditioned morals and ethics.
For clarity’s sake I would say that being virtually free means being virtually free from malice and sorrow which is only possible when all of the instinctual passions are substantially diminished.
VINEETO: I can well relate to this as I remember my own my fear of being an outcast. When I decided to become free from malice and sorrow it naturally followed that I stopped supporting other’s malice or sorrow. In hindsight it is not at all surprising that ‘I’ react with feelings of alarm and worthlessness (to humanity) because I increasingly stop supporting ‘humanity’ at its very core.
Here is what I wrote to Gary a few years ago on the topic –
And a year later I responded to another correspondent –
RESPONDENT: All those who have been practising actualism for some time, has their a been a positive change in your behaviour and fundamentally in your character?
VINEETO: The change is so fundamental, not only in my character but in all that is entailed in being an identity, that I can confidently say I am not the same person I used to be before I started with actualism. I have written about the experience in my section of Peter’s Journal and you will find more descriptions in my correspondences about virtual freedom, if you are interested.
RESPONDENT: Do the others around you feel that as well (about you i.e.)?
VINEETO: People who I meet regularly, in my work for instance, often comment that I am always happy and Peter finds me excellent company for 24hours a day. Many of the people, however, who knew me well before I started practicing actualism, initially considered my change as being negative, i.e. disloyal, irreverent and iconoclastic, because I did abandon my spiritual beliefs and practices whilst they still cherish them. Apart from what people tell me, the main difference is that I now like people-as-they-are as fellow human beings, I have no arguments or fights with them and in any interchanges I always look for a mutual win-win situation if possible, I enjoy their company, I am good company to myself so I make no demands on others and I no longer create an emotional atmosphere with either antagonistic, surly or gloomy vibes.
RESPONDENT: Are you more happy, harmless and feel delightful during your daily activities, in your day to day life?
VINEETO: Definitely, that’s the whole idea. Contrary to what some may imagine, the process of actualism is not an all-or-nothing, life-will-be-miserable-unless/until-I-am-free approach – it is a day-to-day increase in attentiveness, the very tool to progressively dismantle ‘me’, the spoiler who stands in the way of the sensate experiencing of being fully alive in the actual world.
RESPONDENT: Also has it has had any effect on the body, I mean more energetic etc…?
VINEETO: Particularly in the first year of practicing actualism I noticed a significant change in my physical well-being as my psychosomatic symptoms disappeared one after the other. As I incrementally abandoned my fears and beliefs about all sorts of quackery, pseudo-medicine and fashionable health-scares, and even more importantly as stress disappeared out of my life, I am definitely a healthier person with a vital interest in life and the universe.
RESPONDENT: … and in light of a post today (R: Case <name deleted>) does this method throw up such risks?
VINEETO: The disclaimer on The Actual Freedom Trust homepage clearly states, that actualism is for normal people, sensible human beings who understand what a word means, who have learned to function prudently in society with all its legal laws and social protocols, and who are a reasonably ‘well-adjusted’ personality who have a deep-seated interest in finding ultimate fulfilment and complete satisfaction.
As for risks – there are, of course, risks that one might loose courage on the way to becoming free and choose to remain trapped in one or the other mental-emotional states that pass for being ‘normal’ or ‘spiritual’ but by far the greatest risk in practicing actualism is what Peter has called ‘grounding on the Rock of Enlightenment’. To be seduced off the path to an actual freedom into the institutionalized delusion of a permanent altered state of consciousness is a real risk and a warning that I did not discard lightly. Whilst practicing actualism and investigating the root of the so-called ‘good’ emotions I experienced a few altered states of consciousness, some of which lasted for several hours and one for more than a day. After these experiences I made it a point to become acutely aware of the ‘self’-aggrandizing symptoms of this passionate trap in order to be able to recognize the warning signs and nip any onsets in the bud.
Be that as it may, the risk that most people I have spoken to or written to seem to fear most is to commit themselves wholeheartedly to something, particularly if this something will result in irrevocable change.
RESPONDENT: Have your memories undergone a change?
VINEETO: Yes, most of my emotional memories have faded or disappeared completely once the emotional issues that sustained these memories – and that these memories in turn sustained –were dealt with at their core.
RESPONDENT: Since actualism, is the attention to the experience of the moment, ‘here’, you won’t be ‘roaming’ mentally, emotionally much; how is your emotional memory now? Are you always ‘here’?
VINEETO: Yes, I am always here in that daydreaming has stopped completely, neither do I imagine scenarios in the future nor waste this moment by indulging in past memories.
I remember when I realized the fact I am always here I was shocked – I desperately tried to ‘leave this moment’ and go somewhere else and I even stuck my head under the blanket trying to imagine myself somewhere else but it proved impossible. With imagination having lost its seductive and convincing power I found I am here, no matter what the situation, and consequently I decided that I might as well do whatever it takes to enjoy being here, in this, the non-imaginary world-as-it-is with all the other non-imaginary people-as-they-are.
RESPONDENT: What’s the first thought when you wake up?!
VINEETO: Something like: ah, it’s time to get up. Mmhmm, what’s the weather like? I wonder what will happen today…
RESPONDENT: Do you have to rmbr to practice attention first thing upon waking?
VINEETO: Not any more. The on-switch for attention stays on permanently nowadays and should an emotion interfere with my being happy and harmless, investigative questions automatically kick in. In the meantime when nothing is ‘going on’, as it were, and I am feeling excellent, attentiveness automatically ensures an on-going awareness of all of the sensate pleasures that simply being alive has to offer.
RESPONDENT No 32: Yes, I taste this freedom from time to time as I gradually let go of the various social protective masks and aspects of my identity. I begin to get a taste of the powerful instinctual passions, especially fear (habitual response to ‘losing’ something) and anger (habitual response for not ‘getting’ something) and the self-centred perspective they automatically create even when operating as a background noise.
VINEETO: What I found was that the ‘background noise’ is actually the engine of ‘me’ running all the time ready to flare up at any given opportunity. Although the opportunities to ‘flare’ become more and more rare, given that I am no longer bait for most of the usual follies and passions, the engine noise will only stop when ‘I’ am finally extinct. to No 32, 13.3.2005
RESPONDENT: Wow, Vineeto. Just by reading this and other recent posts by you have I been able to realize some important things, and had questions answered. I say, how much of this ‘engine noise’ do you still experience these days?
VINEETO: When I try to compare the current ‘engine noise’ to the level I experienced before I started practicing actualism I can only vaguely remember what went on in my head and heart back then as the process of dissolving one’s ‘self’ leaves no scars. What I do remember though is that I had an uninterrupted stream of mostly worrying thoughts and feelings, which dominated my day-to-day life and that I felt a desperate need for feel-good ‘holidays’ in order to recover from my constant worries and sorrows.
When I began practicing actualism I naturally became more and more aware of the feelings that were driving those worrying thoughts and after I experienced the stillness of the absence of ‘me’ in a PCE it became all the more urgent to do something about the non-stop ‘noise’ of ‘me’.
Nowadays I feel excellent almost all the time, i.e. the ‘noise’ of ‘me’ is no longer interfering with me being happy. However, the presence of my ‘self’ is noticeable enough for me to know that the virtual freedom I enjoy is not the end of the path. The stillness that is always here and that becomes apparent when ‘I’ temporarily disappear in a PCE is bait enough to entice me to go all the way.
RESPONDENT: And to what extent do PCE’s pervade your life?
VINEETO: As guiding lights the memories of PCEs pervade every moment of my life but PCE nowadays do not happen very often. At the beginning of practicing the actualism method I had many stunning insights into the human condition and quite a few of them stunned me into pure consciousness experiences. In the years of practicing attentiveness I have developed a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the human condition and of actuality and as a consequence those PCE-triggering insights have become less frequent. Once in a while a PCE sneaks up on me when I am the least expecting it but what I am more concerned about is the quality of my life between PCEs for this is when the real work happens.
When all is said and done a PCE is not within my control, certainly not ‘my’ control, but how I experience my daily life is something I can do something about on a moment-to-moment basis, and that is what the method of actualism is all about. To put it differently – the job that ‘I’ need to do can only be done by ‘me’, in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are. And the moment I uncover the last bond and untie the last knot that connects me to humanity, ‘my’ demise will happen on its own accord.
GARY: I am indeed on my own. That has become increasingly obvious to me in past months.
I don’t look to anyone else for advice on how to live my life or what to do with myself.
Any such advice usually only amounts to the regurgitated ‘wisdom’ of humanity anyway, so it is doubly important to go one’s own way. It seems to me that in the past I was always depending on someone or something as an anchor to keep me from running amok. It is curious what happens when one keeps one’s own counsel. Additionally, I always thought someone had the ‘answer’ to life’s problems... I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t think Richard has the answers anymore than you or anyone else on this list has the answers to ‘life’s persistent questions’. To be on one’s own ... rather than being frightening, it is rather liberating.
VINEETO: Indeed, the ancient Eastern and Western male chauvinistic wisdom is regurgitated even on this atheistic mailing list as there seem to be now more masters and teachers on the internet than willing followers. I remember that most of my life I kept looking for the perfect phrase of wisdom to hang on the mirror, the right quote at first from the bible and then from Rajneesh to live by and eventually I found them all to be hypocritical and unliveable teachings. I am completely disinterested in books or films for wisdom or entertainment these days because most simply reiterate or glorify the Human Condition in one form or another. But I enjoy a good comedy and factual reports, although even with these reports one needs to be wary of bias and twists.
‘Life’s persistent questions’ have now turned into ‘what’s the weather like?, any specific appointments today?, what’s for dinner?, did I pay the rent? is there any new mail?’, and such like. Life has become so easy and simple with no soul to take care of and no afterlife’s rewards and penalties to worry about. When I think back, I realize that most of my adult life I was busy pampering and worrying about my soul – did my ‘wounded sensitive self’ receive enough attention, respect and healing and what was the right path to the right afterlife?
To be free from the belief in an Almighty God, Christian or otherwise, has rendered all soul-catchers impotent and all soul-searching and soul-saving unnecessary and has freed me to increasingly do what life is about – to enjoy each moment of being alive.
GARY: This pleasant anonymity is delightful. It is release from obligations, affiliations, and identifications. I come and go with complete ease, whether about town, in the food store, at work, or in the neighbourhood, freed from anxieties about who I am going to meet, what they might think of me, etc. I am ‘another Bozo on the bus’ so to speak, a phrase used by Albert Ellis. With identity effectively diminished, although not eliminated in entirety, there is not that evaluation and comparison with others that stems from the social identity.
VINEETO: Yes, and not only that – my instinctual reactions to previously dangerous or fearful encounters have also greatly diminished and if they should occur for some reason, I can observe them, analyze them if necessary, and keep my hands in my pocket until the impassioned inner assault is over.
GARY: ‘Greatly diminished’ is a good way to describe it and goes for me as well. Driving to work one morning this week, a car quickly backed into the road between two large snow banks, causing me to rapidly swerve. The car narrowly missed barging into me broadside. I muttered some curse words under my breath and experienced some anger. But I must say the reaction itself was curiously diminished and in a moment vanished. Although the swerving, defensive driving was there, naturally in order to avoid a collision, and an accompanying feeling of outrage or indignation for a split second, I am enough practiced at attentiveness to be able to nip these reactions in the bud.
VINEETO: Recently Peter and I were talking about this very quality of virtual freedom – after sufficient explorations into the human condition I am now able to ‘nip these reactions in the bud’ shortly after they appear and many events that usually would have triggered an angry or sad response in the past now fail to do so.
At my stage of the process the job now is to remember to stop the once essential but now redundant habit of rummaging around in my psyche in order to regurgitate issues that I have already explored, resolved and understood so as to get on with being happy and harmless as soon and as uninterruptedly as possible. Strangely enough that leaves ‘me’ increasingly with nothing to do, which in itself sometimes stirs the uncomfortable feeling of being redundant – a sure sign that my efforts of actively diminishing ‘me’ have had tangible effect.
RESPONDENT: To assume can be to egotistically presume superiority.
VINEETO: The other day I had a pure consciousness experience where I understood once again that the Human Condition of malice and sorrow is indeed the particular flavour of human beings on planet Earth. I experienced a broadened awareness that gave me an overview of planet Earth floating in space, observing all that is going on and seeing its common flavour of humanity, whatever the place, race, gender or age. Human beings, by their very nature are inflicted with the genetically-encoded instincts that produce malice and sorrow. They pervade every thought and action, are the fuel for every emotion and passion and make ‘life a bitch and then you die’. The social identity and the instinctual ‘self’ are intrinsic to and a result of the evolution that took place on this fair planet, the third rock from the Sun, in the Milkyway galaxy, in the infinite universe. Yet now the evolution has reached a point where humans can free themselves from the now unnecessary ‘appendix’ of the social identity and the animal survival instincts. What serendipity!
In this PCE I could also see that even though a staggering six billion people think, believe, feel and act within these parameters of the Human Condition, the actual world is nevertheless infinite, eternal, perfect, silent and magical. The actual world is always and everywhere present underneath the doom and gloom of our ‘self’-centred perception and can be discovered any moment. In such a PCE I can see that it does not matter that right now there is only Richard who lives in the actual world 24 hours a day, every day. This blithesome, magnificent and benevolent actual world exists always and everywhere around us, it is always here, always now and immediately experienced when I leave all of humanity behind.
Out of this and similar experiences, I don’t need ‘to assume’ – I know the Human Condition in its totality, in myself and therefore in everybody, because I can see it from not being afflicted by it for a certain period of time. Such experience is the opposite of ‘egotistical’ because a PCE is only possible when the whole ‘self’ is absent – in spiritual terms, both ego and soul. And yes, such an experience, even for a short period of time is vastly superior to any experience within the Human Condition. That’s why I want to live it every day, 24 hours a day. I don’t need to ‘presume superiority’, I simply write from the memory of the superior state evident in a pure consciousness experience and from the ongoing experience of Virtual Freedom.
RESPONDENT: I note you describe yourself as, ‘virtually free’.
For me, Virtual Freedom includes being happy and harmless 99% of the time and being guided by pure intent in order to leave the ‘self’ behind permanently, to ‘self’-immolate. Implicit in Virtual Freedom for me is that there is no backdoor, no return possible into the normal or spiritual world where everybody lives. From here, the anti-chamber to ‘being no more’, the only jump possible is into an Actual Freedom. Virtual Freedom is living in peace and harmony with Peter without the slightest quarrel ever and being in peace with my fellow human beings. This is only possible because I have investigated all the components of my social identity, be they gender, culture, race, nationality, profession, belief, religion, peer-group, etc. including their particular values of right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. Leaving the social identity behind is the first and most essential step before one can begin to inquire about the instinctual passions that lie beneath our social conditioning.
I have written about Virtual Freedom earlier:
RESPONDENT: Does this mean that you either expect to arrive, or believe that you will also arrive, (like Richard), some day if you continue to search and investigate verbally and experientially?
VINEETO: On the spiritual path one can either become enlightened, like 0.0001% of the people who have conscientiously lived the spiritual teachings, or one is among the millions who merely follow the Eastern morals and ethics of right and wrong, good and bad. In my experience, even after years of sincere and diligent application of the spiritual methods, life was essentially not better, neither more happy nor more easy – and I was definitely not more harmless, since that is not the aim of the spiritual path. The spiritual path is not concerned about this life at all, but about turning away, transcending and denying this world in order to attain eternal bliss and fame in some after life.
The path to Actual Freedom has the advantage that I have a very clear knowledge of what I want to achieve through the experience of selflessness in a PCE. Also, after a relatively short time I can see the actual, tangible and ever-increasing success of a life more and more free of malice and sorrow and eventually reach a state of Virtual Freedom. If everyone lived in Virtual Freedom, there would be peace on earth, even if nobody else managed to become actually free. So Virtual Freedom is not to be dismissed lightly as ‘arrive ... some day if you continue to search and investigate verbally and experientially’. For me, anyway, it is a point of no return.
If, however, someone writing from the experience of Virtual Freedom is not enough of a proof that the method to Actual Freedom works, there is always Richard’s writing, if you want to verify or clarify what it is I am saying.
RESPONDENT: As you and your partner have stated, you are at the stage of virtual freedom ... it is great that you have the opportunity to hang out with Richard who, I feel (affectively) exists (existentially and experientially) in a state of Actual Freedom that you clearly do not know as yet. You state as much yourself. I recall a few days ago you wrote about your unhappiness...
VINEETO: Yes, I am living in virtual freedom. Virtual Freedom is when 99% percent of your time is spent in perfect peace and harmony with everything and everyone around you. When you wake up in the morning and know that you are going to have a perfect day and when you go to bed at night-time and you can say that you had had a perfect day. Virtual Freedom is when you are not bothered by petty worries, jealousies, competition, arrogance, grumpiness, sadness, boredom, and when you don’t get peeved, sad, bored, tired, annoyed, frustrated, impatient, uneasy, embarrassed, disgusted, angry, depressed or malicious. Virtual Freedom is when you very rarely come across an emotion in yourself, and when that happens you simply investigate into the root cause of the emotion and get on with enjoying life. Virtual Freedom is the firm basis one is falling back on when coming out of a pure consciousness experience, or when one is getting impatient, doubtful or fearful about freedom. Virtual Freedom is the proof of the pudding, it proves that cleaning up your grotty ‘self’ does actually work in everyday life with people as they are. Virtual Freedom is as close as ‘you’ can get to being actually free of the Human Condition while remaining a self. And Virtual Freedom is when you know with utter confidence that you are moving every day closer to the moment of ‘your’ final extinction.
If, however, someone writing from the experience of Virtual Freedom is not enough evidence to provoke your interest in Actual Freedom, there is always Richard’s writing, if you want to verify or clarify what it is I am saying. But obviously up to now neither Richard’s nor my words have had sufficient impact on you so as to start a closer investigation into the nature and purpose of actualism. (...)
RESPONDENT: It must be wonderfully virtually free for you in there... Ms Vineeto.
VINEETO: It is indeed. Virtual Freedom is available to everyone and achievable for everyone who wants it.
Not everyone wants it, though.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t it great that this forum exists for you to read the input of others so that you personally – yes you, Ms Vineeto – can slowly slowly move towards a state of Actual Freedom. Now I am going to read the rest of your writing. Thank you for the time and effort you put into writing it.
VINEETO: Yes, it is great. I’m having the time of my life. It is great that I can tell my story about what I found out about becoming happy and harmless, without malice and sorrow. It is me, after all, that gets to reap the rewards of my efforts in investigating all the remaining ‘ghost in my cupboard’ and it is me who can hold my head high in dignity because I am aiming for the highest goals of all – the purity of an actual freedom from malice and sorrow.
It is such good fun to test myself out each time when I meet people, or write, and it gets easier each time. Actual freedom is not a popular enterprise, there will be many a controversy coming up, so I appreciate every opportunity to sharpen my skills for the ‘Peace on earth vs. God in heaven’ game, as Peter so perfectly called it.
Ain’t it a ball. (...)
RESPONDENT: ... 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
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: How long was it for you to dispense with the haietmoba for a ‘wordless’ approach? And do you think a haietm or even ‘how am I feeling?’ could work as well?
VINEETO: The moment I fully committed myself to the aim of actualism – the extinction of my ‘self’ in toto, ego and soul – the method became an ongoing wordless approach.
RESPONDENT: Sometimes (like No 60) I find the whole haietmoba tiring. No 37 claims to be using a wordless approach but he has not given us any details so I don’t know what exactly he is doing. I am determined to dig, but sometimes I wonder if my shovel is just too heavy for me to wield. I just can’t comprehend how you and Peter became virtually free in a scant 2 years doing this.
VINEETO: Yep, it’s all about the strength of one’s intent and commitment to the task at hand. Once I comprehended what was at stake it was all systems go. To merely try the actualism method on for size for a year or two in order to see if anything happened was never an option for me.
RESPONDENT: I also wonder about the fact that you and Peter were virtually free around 1999 and seemed close to actual freedom. Yet 5 years later and no dice.
VINEETO: My explanation is – and there is really no precedent to this direct route of becoming actually free via avoiding enlightenment – that it was relatively easy to get rid of my negative feelings such as anger, resentment and sadness, the freedom from which resulted in a virtual freedom, while the good emotions such as compassion, sympathy, empathy, loyalty and belonging to humanity at large are far tougher nuts to crack and as such take far longer to identify, understand and become free of.
Plus, to take the final plunge into oblivion is, when all is said and done, is a very scary thing for ‘me’.
RESPONDENT: Are you more VF now?
VINEETO: Virtually free? Yes, definitely.
RESPONDENT: Have the last 5 years been a stalemate? No changes?
VINEETO: A stalemate? Not at all, although sometimes, when I grow impatient, it may feel that way. In hindsight, not only my understanding of the human condition has steadily increased but also the implementation and living of this understanding has increased … and along with it my appreciation and enjoyment of being alive.
RESPONDENT: Do you still think, believe, know that one day you will be actually free, like Richard?
VINEETO: Yes, I know I will, because I’ve burnt all the bridges and there is no turning back to be whoever I was. I’ve literally painted myself into a corner and the pressure to keep proceeding is on at all times.
RESPONDENT: And what about the only other people that seemed to be near a virtual freedom? Where the heck is Alan, Mark, Gary? Dead, insane?
VINEETO: You will have to ask them yourself. I only know of what they have written to the list.
Whilst it is understandable to look for allies on the way, particularly when one takes on the task of questioning *all* of the so-called wisdom of humanity, actualism remains a do-it-yourself-by-yourself business and the desire for allies, friends, collaborators and such like is yet another of the ‘self’-perpetuating instinctual passion to be recognized, understood and disempowered.
Personally, I have found the need to belong to some group, any group, one of the most persistent instinctual forces that time and again caused me to procrastinate from stepping out of humanity.
I am reminded of something Richard said to me once when I asked him about the topic of belonging to humanity –
RESPONDENT: I am beginning to suspect that when I attain a virtual freedom (and at this point, its only a question of time/when) I will be unable to say seriously that there ‘may be a spirit world or after life.’ Though, as actualism is a path with integrity and is all about one’s own discoveries I wont be saying I’m 100% certain before I really am. And yet, I see the beliefs in an after life as absurd superstition, so perhaps I’m close. At this point, it’s all about attaining that now very graspable goal of virtual freedom.
VINEETO: In my experience it was the other way round – when I was ‘unable to say seriously that there ‘may be a spirit world or after life’’ I was then free to get on with being happy and harmless almost all of the time.
RESPONDENT: 180 degrees opposite, eh?
VINEETO: I meant it rather in the sense of not putting the cart before the horse.
VINEETO: … when I was ‘unable to say seriously that there ‘may be a spirit world or after life’’ I was then free to get on with being happy and harmless almost all of the time.
RESPONDENT: This does make sense to me. I can sense how this would free one (me) to really start to fully enjoy life.
VINEETO: Virtual Freedom is not some mysterious state that is one day bestowed upon you – to be virtually free from malice and sorrow means to increasingly enjoy being alive to the point that only very rarely something occurs that prevents you from feeling excellent. This is how Richard described a virtual freedom –
RESPONDENT: Yes, this is great for anyone who thinks the afterlife to be study-able by ‘science’ but what about the ‘thinkers’ who say the ‘otherworld’ is not study-able by human methods?
VINEETO: Can you see the cunningness of humans inventing something that is ‘not study-able by human methods’ – no-body will ever be able to empirically analyze it and no-body will ever be able to refute it as a theory.
RESPONDENT: Very, very, very cunning little philosophers indeed! And humanity has taken these fairy stories ‘seriously’ for so long, …
VINEETO: Isn’t the reason we are having this conversation about 100% certainty that the proposals of those ‘very, very, very, cunning little philosophers’ still seem, if not believable, at least ‘remotely possible’ to you?
RESPONDENT: … that anyone who points out the obvious (that they’re fairy stories) is considered intolerant (you) and crazy (Richard).
RESPONDENT: I was wondering if you could ‘break down’ how you experienced life at the beginning of virtual freedom … year by year … to the present.
VINEETO: I found some correspondences where I have described how I experienced life in the last few years and dated them for your convenience.
RESPONDENT: I was wondering if you could ‘break down’ how you experienced life at the beginning of virtual freedom … year by year … to the present.
RESPONDENT: I appreciate you arranging this. While it does seem that virtual freedom ‘deepens’ as time goes on, it is consistent enough, that I can tell that I’m not there yet. I walk around in virtual freedom land quite a bit on a daily basis, but I’m not there ‘99%’ of the time for sure. Thanks
VINEETO: Two things come to mind that might be relevant. One is something I wrote to Alan way back in 1999 –
When I took up actualism there was no one to compare my own progress with on the wide and wondrous path because Irene had already made her turn-around and Richard’s path to an actual freedom led through enlightenment and I therefore had to forge my own path and go by my own assessment. What I had as a guide, however, was the comparison to the time before I started to apply actualism, before I made it my goal in life to clean myself up as much as humanly possible so as to facilitate an actual freedom from the human condition. And this comparison became more and more startling as the months went by until the time came when I could no longer even imagine how people manage to insist on perpetuating the emotional and actual turmoil that is called ‘normal life’ when there is such an easy-to-follow alternative on offer. Nowadays I often think I am normal while everyone else is busy being mad.
In other words, at some stage, based on my comparison to life before actualism I made Virtual Freedom my standard and I was then bound by my own integrity and supported by my intent not to slip back into not having a perfect day. Or, to use one of my mixed metaphors Peter finds so confusing – once you lift the bar you have something to hang your hat on.
The other thing that comes to mind is that after cottoning onto my bad-mood-habits I found it relatively easy to be happy when I was by myself, at home, or in nature. What was not so easy was to maintain this happiness when I was interacting with other people, be it sorting out male-female issues and/or spiritual beliefs with Peter, being stuck in traffic, being challenged at work or feeling confronted/ lost/ bored on social occasions. Interactions with people brought up a plethora of real challenges to my beliefs, my convictions, my habits, my gregarian/ territorial/ aggressive/ defensive instincts, my prejudices, my pride, my worries and fears, my taboos and emotional hurts and so on. Sometimes an irritation over a small thing, such as a high-pitched voice, a screaming child or a driver cutting in on me proved to be but the tip of the iceberg of deep-seated emotions that were there for the investigating. I found that nothing is too small to investigate, particularly when it happens repeatedly – being emotionally upset, no matter how trivial it might seem, is always an indication that ‘I’ am throwing the spanner in the works.
Writing to the mailing list was a particular challenge to ‘not let the buggers get me down’ given that putting me down was often their sole intent in communicating. But my aim was to become un-irritable, to become aware of all the things that caused me to become angry, peeved, sad, down on myself, iffy, doubting or outright hopeless. I found discovering how I tick and keeping my innocuity in an often adversary climate more exciting than climbing Mount Everest or bungee-jumping … to make peace-on-earth one’s number one priority is not only the best meaning ‘I’ can give to my life, it is also highly challenging and extremely rewarding.
RESPONDENT No 58 to Richard: You are most certainly a probity cop when it suits your agenda. i.e., your previous companion Irene, got her virtually free license revoked upon the demise of your relationship. T’wasn’t that true? It is written somewhere in your voluminous petty archives … I will not search for it … if you deny it, you lie only to yourself & your flock of sheep who await the very next breath you fake.
VINEETO to No 58: Such ploy is akin to me saying that it is true that No 58 masturbates all day and buys his companions at www.realdoll.com … it is written somewhere in your 1057 emails written to this list … I will not search for it … if you deny it, you lie only to yourself & your audience who await the very next breath you fake.
RESPONDENT: Vineeto, Your prejudices are showing.
VINEETO: No … it seems to be you who turns my example of unsubstantiated allegations into moral judgements. I simply pulled up No 58 on his ploy to first make unsubstantiated allegations and then to call the other a liar should they either decline to provide evidence to the contrary or volunteer to provide evidence to the contrary. I have no bias as to how No 58 chooses to spend his time when he is not vocally objecting to there being an alternative to his own no-change-do-nothing-solution.
RESPONDENT: Why would you consider masturbation and related activities reprehensible and worthy of defense?
VINEETO: Where did I say anything about being ‘reprehensible’ and ‘worthy of defense’?
RESPONDENT: And disinclination to search the voluminous AF archives is distinctly separate from an allegation which is not even based on memory, as is your example.
VINEETO: I clearly admit that my allegations were meant as a humorous example (in order to demonstrate a modus operandi) which is distinctly separate from blatantly making an outright allegation that has nothing to do with fact.
RESPONDENT: Let me see if I can find the in-question quote from Richard:
VINEETO: Given that you have taken it upon yourself to do No 58’s legwork for him and have posted a quote that you think No 58 is referring to when he says –
– then let me point out that the above quote does not provide any evidence of Richard either giving Irene ‘her virtually free license’ nor of Richard ‘revoking’ ‘her virtually free license’. The quote above makes it clear that Richard is saying that it is entirely Irene’s business to put a different slant on her past experience.
You might have to do some more legwork if you really want to prove No 58’s point.
In case you are in agreement with No 58’s assessment that Richard is being a probity policeman then this assessment is entirely at odds with the facts presented in Richard’s Journal wherein Irene freely contributed descriptions and comments about her experiences of being virtually free only to recant and change her mind just as the book was about to be published. Rather than rewrite the whole Journal, Richard added another article in which he succinctly and without any hint of blame whatsoever described the reasons for Irene’s leaving. After she had left Richard then encouraged her to write about her change of heart and provided her both with a computer + modem and a paid-for internet connection and spent many hours setting it up for her and teaching her how to use it. He also subscribed her to the Actual Freedom mailing list in case she felt inclined to write about her change of heart. He then published all of the mailing list correspondence with her on his website so as to ensure that any readers who were interested could read all of it.
VINEETO to No 66: Two things come to mind that might be relevant. One is something I wrote to Alan way back in 1999 –
RESPONDENT: You mean otherwise you would not be inclined to be happy and harmless, unless you set yourself up as a virtually free person who has to adhere to certain expectations. Sounds pretty contrived to me.
VINEETO: Where in the above paragraph did I say that otherwise I ‘would not be inclined to be happy and harmless, unless you set yourself up as a virtually free person’? If I had not been inclined to be happy and harmless I would not have started the actualism practice at all, nor would I have participated in the Actual Freedom Trust, nor would I have written on the Actual Freedom Trust mailing list.
Did you not read what I wrote further down in my post to No 66? –
This is what I mean by the word integrity –
Let me give you a real-world example what I mean when I talk about ‘lifting of the bar on the wide and wondrous path to Freedom’ –
A person watches people climbing the top of Mount Everest and is greatly inspired by their achievement. Wouldn’t this person first find out everything there is to find out in written documents and video reports about mountain climbing in general and climbing the highest mountain on earth in particular in order to establish if that is what he/she wants to do with their life? And if they then decide that they still want to do it, wouldn’t they then buy some climbing gear and go out on the weekends and practice a bit of mountain climbing in the near-by area. Then, when they find out that they still have the burning intent to climb Mount Everest, would they not eventually lift the bar and decide to devote their life to becoming a first-rate mountain climber in order to succeed in such an ambitious and challenging enterprise? And wouldn’t it make sense to then practice mountain climbing as much as possible while slowly increasing the level of difficulty upon their increasing skills? Now if this person chooses to tell others that they have developed an expertise in their chosen field of endeavour, does that suddenly turn their sincere enterprise into something contrived?
Well, the process of changing oneself to becoming increasingly free from the ingrained habits, pitfalls and insidiousness of the human condition works in a similar manner – after having managed my bad-mood-habits I found it relatively easy to be happy when I was by myself, I then stepped up the pace and focussed on becoming happy and innocuous in my living with Peter, and with the confidence of having succeeded in living with one person in peace and harmony, I proceeded by applying attentiveness to my interactions with other people, and upon managing to live peacefully in my day-to-day activities with people (also known as a virtual freedom from malice and sorrow) I then had sufficient confidence to dare to expose myself to even more challenging situations such as the often adversary climate of internet mailing lists, and so on.
VINEETO to No 66: Two things come to mind that might be relevant. One is something I wrote to Alan way back in 1999 –
RESPONDENT No 66: Yes, even merely stating that I experience good parts of my average day in a virtual freedom ‘puts me out there’ in a way. I would not declare myself virtually free until I was quite certain, and it would be after months of such certainty.
RESPONDENT: Hmmmm. I think you might be missing Vineeto’s hint here. Maybe Vineeto missed it too, somewhere along the line. The basis of that little bootstrap operation is to fake it until there’s no evidence that you’re faking it.
VINEETO: No, the point is not about faking anything, a point which is obvious from my explanation in the next part of my post to No 66 that you snipped –
I have always been clear that my intent always was and still is to become free from the human condition in toto and as such it would be utterly silly to lie to either myself or to others. The reason why there is ‘no evidence that you’re faking it’ is because I am not faking it and I never have.
It is indeed possible to effortless live virtually free from malice and sorrow. Have you not thought it odd that within the human condition it is par for the course that to be happy and harmless is considered a mark of insincerity yet to feel sad about being here and to be antagonistic towards one’s fellow human beings is regarded as the hall mark of sincerity?
RESPONDENT: Let it become such a good act that it might as well be genuine, as far as anyone knows. No-one else can know what you’re experiencing. And, besides, who the fuck are ‘you’ to judge? Voila. You’re ‘virtually free from the human condition’, because you’ll be damned if you’ll let that mask slip, publicly OR privately.
VINEETO: Your derogatory opinion about becoming and/or being virtually free is well publicized –
As such it comes to no surprise that you are now inventing a ‘faked’ virtual freedom in order to cast aspersions on what others have chosen to do with their lives.
Here is how Richard answered your previous concerns regards virtual freedom –
Your current derogatory remarks only demonstrate that you have obviously decided to take no notice of the first-hand reports from the expert on becoming actually free but that you prefer to continue to rely on your feelings and be guided by your imagination as to what the process of becoming free from the misery and mayhem of the human condition may involve.
RESPONDENT: I wonder if Richard endorses this little bit of ... ummm ... applied sincerity?
VINEETO to No 66: Two things come to mind that might be relevant. One is something I wrote to Alan way back in 1999 –
RESPONDENT: (…) The basis of that little bootstrap operation is to fake it until there’s no evidence that you’re faking it.
VINEETO: No, the point is not about faking anything, a point which is obvious from my explanation in the next part of my post to No 66 that you snipped –
I have always been clear that my intent always was and still is to become free from the human condition in toto and as such it would be utterly silly to lie to either myself or to others. The reason why there is ‘no evidence that you’re faking it’ is because I am not faking it and I never have. (…)
RESPONDENT: You say: I made Virtual Freedom my standard and I was then bound by my own integrity and supported by my intent not to slip back into not having a perfect day. I say: Virtual Freedom must be constantly policed ... maintained affectively and cognitively by a constant barrage of actualist ideation.
VINEETO: Your idea that happiness ‘must be constantly policed’ is nothing new, it can be found in many proposed strategies for happiness. To name but a few –
The traditional secular ways of being happy always involve constant self-policing in that any outbreaks of anger or sadness must be either ignored or denied or kept under control via repression and fear of punishment – it implies a moral imperative, a set of ideals, morals and ethics that need to be met and maintained – whereas living in virtual freedom is nothing like that at all because being guided by pure intent makes morals and ethics altogether redundant.
Virtual Freedom means that I have learnt via the simple method of being attentive to how I am experiencing this moment to live with ease and in peace – there is hardly anything that can upset me and as such I don’t need to keep myself under control. In fact life becomes so deliciously out from control that it would be more accurate to say that life is increasingly living me instead of ‘me’ trying to direct my life, let alone control and police myself. Even when there is an occasional situation that causes fear or irritation to arise, the ongoing habitual attentiveness allows me to swiftly return to being at ease.
In other words, being happy and harmless is the consequence of having become free from the emotional problems arising out of my beliefs/ ideas/ opinions/ worldviews and the mayhem arising from my instinctive drives strutting the stage and as a result I am able to tackle any practical problems that occur with an unimpeded down-to-earth intelligence.
RESPONDENT to Richard: You are most certainly a probity cop when it suits your agenda. i.e., your previous companion Irene, got her virtually free license revoked upon the demise of your relationship. T’wasn’t that true? It is written somewhere in your voluminous petty archives … I will not search for it … if you deny it, you lie only to yourself & your flock of sheep who await the very next breath you fake.
VINEETO: Such ploy is akin to me saying that it is true that No 58 masturbates all day and buys his companions at www.realdoll.com … it is written somewhere in your 1057 emails written to this list … I will not search for it … if you deny it, you lie only to yourself & your audience who await the very next breath you fake.
You might as well admit that your genre is cyber fantasy and poison pen fiction – it would solve the mystery as to why you are always so way off the mark in your allegations.
RESPONDENT: Vineeto to Irene: ‘while I am still in the process, living in Virtual Freedom, a state which, as you know well from your own experience, is not irreversible.’ http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/vineeto/list-af/irene.htm
VINEETO: It was Irene (as Devika) who had described her experience of life in Virtual Freedom and it was again Irene who scorned Virtual Freedom when she found something she felt to be superior (an altered state of consciousness aka Love Agape) and even redefined the virtual freedom as meaning something entirely different.
RESPONDENT: So actualism sacrifices the error-prone, suffering/malice inducing measurement device called feelings for happiness/ harmlessness and a possibly less aware state?
VINEETO: First, feelings are not a ‘measurement device’, they are directly arising from the instinctual survival passions which every human being is endowed with by blind nature for the sake of survival at any cost of the individual and/or the species.
RESPONDENT: Aren’t they ‘sixth sense’ (albeit error prone) that senses the external world (hence a measurement device)?
VINEETO: Intelligence unimpeded by instinctual passions beats your ‘error prone’ ‘sixth sense’ by a country mile. I know because I’ve been doing the switch for years now and it works like a charm.
RESPONDENT: Has this intelligence unimpeded by instinctual passions been able to ‘actually’ help another person come out of his/her suffering? How many?
VINEETO: For a start, my becoming free from malice and sorrow has freed the people I live with, work with, socialize with and casually interact with from the capriciousness and trouble of my fickle moods, my graceless demands, my ‘self’-centred behaviour, my avarice, competitiveness, melancholy, jealousy, guilt, shame, fear and so on. I am no longer an emotional burden to anybody in any way and neither do I need or expect anybody to do something to help me alleviate my suffering. If everyone became virtually free from the human condition there would be no need for anyone to help anybody and all the millions of missionaries, social workers, therapists, psychologist, psychoanalysts and do-gooders would be out of a job.
Apart from that I have no idea, nor do I want to know, how many people have gained an understanding from reading about my experiences with the actualism method, thus helping them to become more free from the human condition themselves. Sharing my experience about the success I have is a pleasure to do but not the main event.
RESPONDENT: Have you ever felt aggression, hatred, condescension or any other negative feelings at all when you read correspondences of No 16, No 65, No 58, No 60, No 23, No 71 or anybody else? None of the above mails triggered any negative feelings at all?
VINEETO: As I am not free from the human condition I do have feelings from time to time, although ‘aggression, hatred, condescension’ are not amongst them. That said, I do find some posts from correspondents rather silly when they waste their time concentrating on red herrings or fighting against imaginary windmills instead of talking about the issues at hand, namely how to become free from the human condition. On many occasions I understand the reasons for this behaviour as I too had to struggle in the early days with similar resistance to looking at my own feelings and beliefs rather than blaming others for my feelings and instinctively defending my beliefs.
RESPONDENT: If not, do you have a ‘feeling’ when you read/reply? What is the ‘feeling’?
VINEETO: No, not when I reply. Even when I occasionally have one or the other feeling when reading a post, I never write, let alone click ‘send’, when I am in any way emotional. Very early on in actualism I understood that the way to deal with one’s emotions is to neither suppress nor express them and since then I have always made it a point to keep my hands in my pocket, so to speak, until I have investigated/abandoned any emotional issues that may have arisen.
RESPONDENT: Is it that of caring, friendliness?
VINEETO: The reason I reply to correspondence on this mailing list and share my experience with the actualism practice, which often involves correcting misunderstandings and misrepresentations, is that of fellow-ship regard which is different to the feeling of ‘caring, friendliness’ in that it is actual rather than affective.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.