Virtual Freedom vs. Rapid Method

My recent reply to @henryyyyyyyyyy got me thinking about the differences between becoming actually free via an out-from-control VF vs. doing it via the so-called rapid method.

The homepage of the AFT recommends this:

The way of becoming actually free is both simple and practical. One starts by dismantling the shadowy social identity which has been overlaid, from birth onward, on top of the innate self until one is virtually free from all the social mores and psittacisms (those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning). One can be virtually free from all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams. One can become aware of all the socialisation, of all the conditioning, of all the programming, of all the methods and techniques which were used to produce what one feels and thus thinks oneself to be: a wayward identity careering around in confusion and illusion. A ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity. However, it is never too late to start in on uncovering and discovering what one actually is.

One can become virtually free from all the insidious feelings – the emotions and passions and calentures – which fuel the mind and give credence to all the illusions and delusions and fantasies and hallucinations which masquerade as visions of The Truth. One can become virtually free of all that which has encumbered humans with misery and despair and live in a state of virtual freedom … which is beyond ‘normal’ human expectations anyway. Then, and only then, can the day of destiny dawn wherein one becomes actually free.

So essentially VF first and then actual freedom after. But that isn’t the method that Geoffrey and myself used - or Craig if he is considered actually free. Also I wonder who else became actually free through virtual freedom apart from Vineeto and Peter? Did Pamela, Tom, Grace or anyone else also go through virtual freedom? Anyone who knows the answer do let me know.

Technically we got free using the ‘rapid method’. I can’t say I’m a fan of that name for all sorts of reasons. I simply think of it in terms of going through to actual freedom without becoming VF first.

Essentially when I look back at it ‘I’ dismantled social identity just enough to become happy and harmless relatively constantly and to have regular EE’s and PCE’s. It got me to a point where self-immolation presented itself as an option and ‘I’ took it. Upon actual freedom though there has been cleaning up to do of social identity - which logic would tell you should have been easier for Vineeto as she had largely eliminated this prior to AF and her journey to a full freedom relatively quickly bears this out. But it didn’t work that way for Peter or anyone else, so who knows maybe it’s not that simple.

Reflecting on all of this my advice would still be the same. To focus on being happy and harmless each moment again, gradually separate purity from ‘you’, have EE’s and PCE’s galore, get a feeling of being as a totality and don’t overdo the investigation and attempt to eliminate social identity as it is quite tricky to do when one has feelings because of the noise factor. Once you are free, social identity is all that remains so cleanup is straight-forward. By all means investigate if that’s what you are interested in and getting something out of it while keeping eyes on the prize.

I think VF is a tricky goal. Peter and Vineeto did have fairly relaxed lives it seems (some conjecture here) and round the clock access to Richard. This may be a little controversial but just my opinion.

I’d welcome your thoughts and comments about all this!


@Srinath You said to "gradually separate the purity from ‘you’ ". Do you mean to see the purity outside of ‘you’ or what do you mean exactly?

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@jamesjjoo when ‘you’ are in abeyance in a PCE or minimised in an EE, you can experience yourself as this body together with the actuality all around as pure. This purity stands out in contrast to ‘you’ as a feeling being.


Yes thanks, I do see what you mean: The purity of the universe is not ‘me’ and I do have a clear memory of that purity from a pce.

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This subject was little discussed openly in your terms, and I think it is important that you brought it up. Thanks

If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been thinking about/working with this for more than a year now, it would seem like an incredible coincidence that yesterday I was thinking about Virtual vs Rapid (“direct” is how I refer to it, although I think that direct route was used in AFT as getting to AF without going through enlightenment…). But it happens that more and more often I have been thinking about this topic; even more since Alan’s death.

It’s because these thoughts are not abstract: they are based on the practical problems I have had over the years in getting closer to VF, even considering that my general condition tend to be good or very good and my investigations have led me to weaken my social identity quite a lot.

Yes… Part of my reflections have originated precisely in the very difficult challenges that my daily life has presented me for many years. Basically what I have been observing is that as long as my self is here (as long as I am a feeling being) it’s enough being presented with challenges/problems greater than the previous ones to reveal that its weakening has not been enough to mantain my state and thereby negatively affect other people.

What has increased in the last year or so, is a kind of conviction not in the impossibility of getting to VF and from there to AF, but in the increasing improbability that such a path is possible for me (because of my challenges, of my age, etc. -doesn’t matter-). And, then, the need to follow another route…

But that route is also tricky, precisely because I already know how to keep myself in THIS [good enough, in general] state which, let’s be honest, is seductive when you don’t manage to be in EEs or PCEs.

That is why the other theme that has been dominating my reflections has been that of altruism, on which you and others have elaborated recently.

But for now I can’t add much more… it would be just talk for the sake of talk

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I remember asking Richard (via Dona) about the significance of the “then, and only then” in that paragraph so adding it in as a reference:


Can you ask Richard about this:

From the AFT front page:

One can become virtually free from all the insidious feelings – the emotions and passions and​​ calentures – which fuel the mind and give credence to all the illusions and delusions and fantasies and hallucinations which masquerade as visions of The​​ Truth. One can become virtually free of all that which has encumbered humans with misery and despair and live in a state of virtual freedom … which is beyond ‘normal’ human expectations anyway.​​ Then, and only then, can the day of destiny dawn wherein one becomes actually free. One will have obtained release from one’s fate and achieved one’s birthright … and the world will be all the better for it. [Emphasis added]

Does he mean a virtual freedom is required before one can self-immolate?

Dona: no, there is no pre-requisite to becoming actually free from the human condition.

Though, while you are waiting to​​ become actually free, why not live it as closely as humanly possible? That is virtual freedom.​​


This is very interesting to read, I have wondered about these things for a while and reading your post @Srinath has made we wonder to what extent have I dogmatically taken on a certain way of becoming free as set in stone. It seems to make sense that with actual freedom being so new and with such a small data pool, the understanding of what is the optimal way for all to become free is ‘in progress’.

I am not Virtually free and I have not had EE’s/PCEs by the bucketful yet so speaking from limited experience but what I have observed in myself so far is that I have applied the ‘traditional way’ to whittle myself down enough that I am relatively happy and harmless and have much more clarity in general vs when I first started.

However the limitations of continuing to apply the same sort of approach have been becoming apparent lately as continuing to whittle myself down seems difficult and maybe counterproductive considering there is a slightly different way to go about this.

The slightly different approach which you have mentioned recently is what I have been applying and it is still working very well. In short the focus has been on seeing myself as a totality and moving towards purity. Where investigation has come in is that firstly it helped to whittle myself down enough that I can be relatively happy and harmless secondly it helped to demarcate ‘me’ as a feeling being enough that this other approach became possible in the first place. I don’t think I could have moved towards purity when I first started this because I was truly careering around in confusion and delusion.

So to sum up the approach (and please let me know if I am misunderstanding anywhere) that you are suggesting 1 - Whittle the social identity enough that I am relatively happy and harmless and I have demarcated ‘being’ enough so that the next step is possible. 2 - See ‘myself’ as a totality and continue moving towards purity, eventually have bucketfuls of EE’s PCE’s (these EE’s, PCE’s will continue to show the difference between ‘being’ and purity). 3 - Having experienced purity enough and having an acute understanding of the difference between ‘me’ and this purity, the possibility of Actual freedom via self immolation becomes an option.

Investigation may still continue to be applied whilst doing all this but it is not the main driving force, I actually had a cool example of this the other day which I wrote about in my post - Seeing/accepting the ground of being and allowing pure intent - #2 by Cub933.


A few thoughts…

From where I currently am now, it seems like the only way to go is the most straightforwardly direct one. Find purity. Experience that purity. Get as close to it as I can. Be that purity on occasion. Contrast the purity with ‘me’. Recently I find I don’t even necessarily need to work through from feeling bad to neutral to good to build up momentum and then try to experience purity, rather I can more directly go in that direction.

And now I face an apparent wall, a seeming impossibility, of how self-immolation can actually occur. It seems impossible, yet I know it’s not, so for me it’s like just keep prodding, poking, contemplating, looking around, etc., etc., until it happens.

What I would say is that this is the only thing or way to do it, really. To actually go for it and do it.

That being said, this entails, first finding the purity (thanks trip to Australia :smiley: ), then getting closer to it, which is about enjoying and appreciating being alive, which is what the actualism method is… which is done more and more via gradually dismantling the social identity, etc. So in the process of the above I gradually become free relatively-speaking. But it’s not a prerequisite to have any short or extended period of feeling or being one way or another, to become free.

Looking back, what changed is Peter & Vineeto and the rest becoming free via the direct route in late 2009/early 2010.

To clarify, the “rapid method” looks to be something Richard talked about but nobody ever used, and it’s not what we are doing now. Note the “rapid method” related to invoking destiny specifically contemplating that “as physical death is the end of ‘being’ anyway, it [the end of ‘being’] might as well happen sooner rather than later.” and as time has no duration/doesn’t move, “the keep-it-safe extinction of ‘being’ (cunningly projected into some future moment) will be happening now when it does take place”… which then leads to the “Bingo!” of self-immolation: "As now is the way, then now is the means; as now is the means, then now is the end … !Bingo! … " [Frequently Asked Questions – Rapid Way to Actual Freedom?]

And in 2013 Richard wrote it is “no longer necessary to even contemplate any such invocation of a rapid (and sudden) way”:

So to summarize:

  • When Richard was the only actually free person, it seemed a period of acclimatization was recommended, and written as to indicate it is required, but still not strictly required (“One has to become acclimatised to benignity, benevolence and blitheness, because the purity of the actual is so powerful that it would ‘blow the fuses’ if one was to venture into this territory ill-prepared.” yet “There is a rapid (and sudden) way to actual freedom and a gradual (then sudden) way … and the rapid (and sudden) way does by-pass self-examination. There are certain dangers inherent:” [link)
  • After others became actually free via the direct route, there is no period of acclimatization necessary before-hand any more, as the “minimalist version of an actual freedom” now allows for the period of acclimatisation, that previously Richard had done before he was actually free.

Interestingly even in 2006 (before Peter & the rest became free), Richard said becoming virtually free is what you do “in the meantime” (The Actual Freedom Trust Mail Out - Subscriber 24), i.e. indicating it doesn’t lead to self-immolation in and of itself…

All that is to say that what you did and what we’re doing now is the “direct route” not the “rapid method”.

With that being said, it does look like the homepage of the Actual Freedom Trust website should be updated, as the way it is written does indicate that you first have to become virtually free, and only then can you become free, which we now know is not the case, thanks to the pioneers who have become free in the meantime. I wouldn’t disagree that “one starts by dismantling the shadowy social identity”… one has to start somewhere… but I think it would be better to emphasize the ‘no pre-requisites’ part of it.

@Srinath maybe it’s worth e-mailing Vineeto and Richard with all this for them to update the site? We can do a group e-mail.



From what Richard told me, Grace never became virtually free nor did she ever practice the method. She spent a lot of time in Richard’s company, picked up things here and there from him and others, and Richard would sometimes talk things out with her when he noticed she was struggling with something.

Then one day she decided, “actually I would like to become free,” and she shortly thereafter became free in Richard’s company having made the choice to.

They actually made a sort of date to make an attempt and it worked.


@claudiu Okay that makes sense. Rapid method was something quite specific that none of us attempted. Got it. Direct route without VF, is the way to think of it then - and it was my way of thinking about it anyway. Yes, I will ask Vineeto and Richard about this, and potentially changing the homepage. I’ll also need to change the language about this on Simple Actualism. As @solvann says the wording on the AFT makes VF sound compulsory.

Re: the wall, it’s there until it isn’t. Essentially what happened for me there was a figure-ground reversal, where ‘me’ suddenly seemed far less substantial than actuality - one is then on the other side of the wall to redeploy a phrase from Vineeto. What seems so solid - ‘me’, feels very gappy and incomplete, virtually hanging on by a thread.

@Kub933 Yes, you got it. That would be my advice to anyone who wants to become actually free.

But that route is also tricky, precisely because I already know how to keep myself in THIS [good enough, in general] state which, let’s be honest, is seductive when you don’t manage to be in EEs or PCEs.

@Miguel well this is an incredible achievement in itself. I was first drawn to actualism because with it, I was able to feel pretty good, in difficult circumstances. I would say to forget about altruism and focus on gradually getting up your baseline to great and excellent levels - even if for short periods of time. What might help is to slooooooow right down and get very detailed e.g. say allocate an hour where moment to moment you appraise your mood and get back to feeling good, once you find the reason why you felt bad. Then you can slowly lengthen the amount of time spent doing that. Even if you are quite experienced, I think its always good to regress and go back to basics from time to time.


@Srinath you alluded to how Vineeto & Peter had relatively chill / easy life-situations, and I think that a factor here as well may be that they were in eachother’s and Richard’s company, the same is relevant with Grace becoming free as well.

We humans are so sensitive, we are all influencing eachother’s vibe constantly and it stands to reason that being around others with a happy / harmless vibe (or no vibes at all!) is the most conducive to becoming free.

Similarly, those of us who are around non-free people might have trouble stabilizing an extended period of virtual freedom because our companions are not as happy & harmless. Vineeto and Peter describe it as being so easy, so pleasant, that when it came time to become free they sort of had to ‘get off their backsides’ and do it because everything was already so easy and good.

I’ve even noticed such strange occurrences as moments where I have experiences of immanence to purity and freedom, the humans around me have experiences of feeling panicky and chaotic. Partly because I would excitedly share my experiences, producing a sense of threat in them. This has caused disturbances in me in the past, which prevented me from inhabiting happiness and harmlessness.

All of this is to say, that similarly I am seeking the ‘rapid method.’ I think for me it’s also a good match for my personality: I’ve always been a rather intense person, and so taking the ‘intense’ way is complementary to me. But it also requires less stability of my surroundings.


Again super interesting stuff @Srinath :grin: This figure-ground reversal which you mention I can really relate to as I have had glimpses of it recently. It has been coming on and off, I was experiencing it for a while today when at work. I was watching a video online (hope my boss does not read this :joy:) and I began to clearly experience the ‘real’ as nothing but a fading dream world, barely any substance and the actual was clearly seen as what genuinely exists, the only world that actually exists or ever existed. It’s like what you wrote in your report of becoming free, that the ‘real’ is nothing but a dream and the actual is the real (as in the genuinely existing world) and that we have it all back to front.

The experience kinda came on and off for 10/15min and each time it came back there was a delight at discovering it but also a sense of I have always known this. It seemed completely accidental as in I wasn’t doing it and I wasn’t sure how I could prolong it or make it happen, so I just let it play out, I’m still not sure how I could get back there, I guess it’s this whole getting back to purity business.


We should call it the ‘directer route’ (because it’s even more direct than avoiding enlightenment) :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: :wink:


@Kub933 Yes Cub, I am looking at getting back to purity also. srinath says its the purity that exists outside of ‘me’ and that makes sense. I have a clear memory of that purity from my last pce. My understanding now is one can experience this purity w/o having a pce. I am thinking that a good way to start is to calm my mind and allow the purity.

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You mean “more” stability?

Just to make sure, do you mean “investigation” by “self-examination”?

I do mean less, as in ‘it demands less stability / does not require stability’

Where it may be that virtual freedom is complimented by having more stability

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It’s Richard who wrote that, not me - but yes in this context that’s what he meant

I see the homepage was updated – much better now!!

Yes, I wrote to Richard and Vineeto who agreed and acted pretty promptly!