A.H. Almaas Transcript

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A.H. Almaas Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, and my guest today is Hamid Ali, whom you may know as he almost his pen name. Hamid was born in Kuwait in 1944. At the age of 18, he moved to the US to study at the University of California in Berkeley. I mean, it was working on his PhD in physics when he reached a turning point in his life and destiny, that led him more and more into inquiry into the psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature, needs interest in the truth of human nature and the true nature of reality resulted in the creation and unfoldment of the diamond approach. I think I’ll just read it, I’m sure you’ll be explaining a lot about the diamond approach. But here’s a quick summary of it. The diamond approach is a path of wisdom, approach to the investigation of reality and work on oneself, that leads to human maturity and liberation. Because of our particular vision of reality, it is not completely accurate to think of this approach as spiritual work for this work does not separate the spiritual from the psychological. Neither does it see these two as separate from the physical, everyday life and scientific investigation of the content of perception. However, because we live in a society where the prevailing thought is that of the separated facets of reality, the closest category recognized in this mentality to our approach is that of a spiritual path or exploration. So good. And incidentally, in preparation for this, I’ve listened to a number of interviews, you’ve done some very nice ones with the conscious TV folks in Renata Mcnay, and maybe I’ll even link to those on your on your page on my site, so that if people want some more variety or depth in terms of your personal background, yeah, they can find that. But as usual, let’s start if you don’t mind with as much of your history, as you feel, is, you know, relevant to the discussion that always fascinates people how, how someone kind of first gotten got bitten by the spiritual bug and what what kind of changes and challenges they went through as they on you know, as they moved into that direction, and began progressing? Where would you like to start?

A.H. Almaas: Interesting question, because when you ask, by my history, I wonder history of what, which, which part of me parts will have individual history, which probably what you mean, this part has the history of the universe? And which parts has no history? So it means probably the individual history?

Rick Archer: Well, I think sounds like it’d be interesting to talk about all three, especially if you’re implying that all three are part of your direct experience, like when you think of my history, is the history of the universe part of your experience, you know, that we refer to by that term?

A.H. Almaas: Yes, good idea is that what I am, you know, when you ask about your history, bring me back What am i right? So, good way to look at it is that I am both of formlessness. Right? That is at the same time, everything. Everything is all time and space. So that’s why includes the history of the universe, because all times bill, at the same time, an individual being through which the formless experiences and that individual being has a body and the mind and lives in time and space that has the particular history and earth. And then there is the indefinable the fact that I’m not anything. I’m not anything former formlessness and that you can’t speak of a history.

Rick Archer: I think almost everyone listening would understand and be able to relate to what you’re saying because the people most people listening to this show would tend to be familiar with such ideas, but for many people If not, most of those things you just said remain to a large degree ideas, as opposed to direct concrete experience. And often on the show I, I tried to emphasize that point that the kind of realization that we should really be interested in is not merely an intellectual understanding, it’s something much deeper than that much more experiential. And sometimes I think people mistaken intellectual understanding, for some sort of realization, but I believe you’re not referring to mere intellectual understanding.

A.H. Almaas: When I refer to intellectual understanding, I’ll be saying so Okay, good. Yeah. Sometimes I do and make clear. But yeah, I agree with you. And a lot of the things we’ll probably be talking about, some people understand, some people won’t understand. It is the nature of spiritual experience, that it is mysterious. And you don’t really get it until you have the taste till you have a direct encounter. Otherwise, you just form some ideas around it, which might be accurate or not. So I’m hoping, you know, some people understand this, you know, I’m hopefully will understand something and you not just hear something they’ve already hit.

Rick Archer: I always have a kind of a practical orientation to this stuff. I feel like spirituality is not just some pie in the sky realization, but it actually has nitty gritty implications in terms of one’s life. And, and that understanding something reading a spiritual book or listening to a spiritual interview, I hopefully would have actually have some practical outcome in terms of either inspiring a person to attain the same level of experience the interviewer is talking about or clarifying their experience, if they’re already having it, something like that.

A.H. Almaas: Was my orientation, I want people to benefit. Yeah, I want people to benefit. Benefits are different kinds, some people will get the direct experience. Some people will get confirmation, something we already know, some people will just get an intellectual level, right? They’re all useful in various ways, some fine with me. It depends on how deep we go. If we go pretty deep, we’ll lose most people. You know, if we stay on the general, more people, you know, I like to sort of get too much some real particular thing that you’re useful for people, instead of talking about generalities that people heard and read about all the time.

Rick Archer: I agree. So let’s backtrack a bit. So yeah, I heard in your interview with Ian, you were saying that, you know, you had you were a physics student, and you’re quite far along in your studies. And, and there was some story about when you went into the dining hall at Berkeley, and you saw these eggheads sitting around having lunch? And your feeling was? I don’t want to end up like that. That doesn’t do it for me.

A.H. Almaas: Exactly. Yeah. That was an interesting perception. I wasn’t expecting it. Realizing I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be just smart brain. You know, and not much life beyond that. Now, I didn’t know I was thinking that way. But that was my impression that turned me around. I realized that’s not where I’m gonna go for a long time, I thought, I’m just gonna become a physicist, be a research physicist or theoretician. I was studying general relativity, studying nuclear physics, and was really into it. Because that’s what I’m going to find out what the truth is. And then I found out some tools, but turned out, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. And that’s true. That turned around, then dividual mind.

Rick Archer: So that kind of relates to what we’ve just been saying last few minutes. So you, you realize that the truth that you were just the truth you were discovering through physics, didn’t go didn’t go deep enough into your own direct experience. They were merely conceptual, and that wasn’t satisfactory for you.

A.H. Almaas: Well, let’s put it this way. I just, I wasn’t expressing myself as an individual who’s going through school. Until at some point I recognize now I’m not really an individual. I’m this beingness that is at the basis of all of existence as well as experiencing itself as an individual. And it woke itself up at that point to the fact that not the right direction. Although It has taken itself through scientific training because that was necessary for the function of what was to come later. So all the time, it got spent. And science, studying math and physics and all that was very useful. It’s trained and developed the mind. And the discriminating intellect. So way so that the spiritual teaching that ended up being taught can be taught to the precision and the rigor of science.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I often wish I had been a better student myself, have us kind of flaky. I saw

A.H. Almaas: I see, are you interested in physics and science? And you use those metaphors on most ideas?

Rick Archer: Yeah, I interviewed John Hagel. And a few weeks ago, you know, John, from the conference, and this stuff is the stuff fascinates me. But I have a very rudimentary layman’s understanding of it all. But, but nonetheless, I think the point you’re making is valuable, which is that there certainly isn’t any conflict between the acquisition, the acquisition of relative knowledge and the sort of the training of the intellect in the end the discrimination in the regular academic context, and spirituality.

A.H. Almaas: Would you agree, not only not, there’s no conflict, it’s really useful. This can be useful, because many people who get into spirituality, they, they have fuzzy minds. And their experiences tend to be so vague and generalized, and not what no precise and clear insight into what or description of what the experiences because the mind hasn’t been trained that way. You say they can’t experience because the training of the mind doesn’t only make precise and clear the thinking and articulation, but the actual experience, the visceral experience, it can become precise and clear and delineated, with the whole consciousness become trained like a diamond.

Rick Archer: That’s an interesting point. And it’s one that I don’t think has come out too many times in this show, which is that the culturing of the capacity for fine, subtle discrimination is an essential, or at least very valuable quality on the spiritual path, it really talking about that

A.H. Almaas: many traditions. If you look at the Tibetan tradition, for instance, if you look like the look of a traditional Dalai Lama, part of their study is intellectual. They train the mind studying the strict debate debates between each other so that everything’s clear. And then when they did when they talk about very fine thing, discrimination, because awakening realization it has, he had to be very precise and clear to know what is true, what is not. Otherwise, you’re right, your subjective kind of emotion can overlay in a subtle way without you knowing it.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Shankara was famous for that, too. In fact, he wrote a book called The crest jewel of discrimination. And he went around the country debate having these deep debates with other spiritual teachers and scholars.

A.H. Almaas: That’s why I like him as a Vedanta teacher. He had a completeness that were in his in his Asian Yeah, it wasn’t just saying, I’m the ultimate, and that’s it.

Rick Archer: He also had a lot of heart too. I mean, he, you know, wrote all these devotional, you know, hymns and so on. So he’s kind of the complete package.

A.H. Almaas: I agree and reminds me of another Atman Atmananda. If I read the story of Atlanta Ananda, people always talk about the direct path that he taught. They’re not seeing that in his own biography, he had to go through the various organs, including bhakti, yoga, and Raggio did all of that before he his teacher told them do this, do this, do this, do this before you first get into the direct class. And he did it faithfully. So his, he got opened up in so many ways before recognizing what’s called the non dual. He teaches the non dual but great experience and so many things. These days, many people who call themselves non dual teacher, they only know that part. They don’t know the rest. But those masters they know a lot.

Rick Archer: It’s a good point. and it’s one that actually I’m very interested in and try to bring out in these interviews, which is that to my way of seeing things, spiritual development is really multifaceted. To us, again, that gem metaphor, and there are so many subtleties and nuances and avenues of development and avenues of exploration, that it’s kind of a shame really, that sometimes it seems to get over simplified and dumbed down, you know, to just one one thing and everything else is dismissed or rejected as frivolous or superficial or irrelevant.

A.H. Almaas: And while it becomes a dismissing many people’s experiences to true the soul, so much variety and experiences of a spiritual experience, so much variety is what’s called awakening and realization. So much variety is what’s going to Enlightenment. People think its own one thing isn’t one thing. Each tradition has their own path, they really experience something they call realization. It’s not exactly what the other path experiences, but there are humanization there are liberation, because the spiritual world is not that like the physical world war, were determined in the classical Newtonian sense. It is more likely the quantum world is not determined. It’s dependent on the observer. Right, the quantum theory, nothing is there until you observe it. Spirituality is like that. It is like the spiritual nature is indeterminate. Until you experience when you experience it, then it’s real. However, the other person next person next to you, they experience it, they experience something different. Have you ever thought about how come a Vedanta teacher to be sitting in Bombay and experiencing everything is pure consciousness? And they say that just the nature of reality Lama sitting in Tibet and experiencing reality, and it’s all emptiness. A Sophie someplace in Morocco experience a reality that says all love. Well, which one is it? And they’re all saying they aren’t actually using the ultimate.

Rick Archer: You see? So how do you answer that question?

A.H. Almaas: They’re all correct. They’re all different. They’re all different.

Rick Archer: So is it a blind man and the elephant situation where they’re all actually experiencing different qualities of the same thing? Or? And so, you know, to step out of the metaphor, there is an ultimate reality. But according to one’s makeup, one’s nervous system, one’s culture, one experiences different flavors of it? Or are you saying that there isn’t an ultimate reality and that each of these guys is experiencing something deep and fundamental, yet somewhat different. In its essential nature,

A.H. Almaas: I don’t think the blind man the elephant applies. Because we these are realized people are no reality and are liberated, they see the seeing the full reality, then, however, they’re seeing it in one of his manifestations. You see, the ultimate is not a determined truth that has only one way of experiencing it. It’s more mysterious than my experience, my view of it, because I experience in many ways, myself, experiences the Vedanta way experience of the Soviet way. Buddha’s work in many ways, and all of them are real, and they all say something about reality. And the liberation is complete and beautiful, all that, but then I’ve gone to the next one, it’s really completely, completely different. And it’s completely different views like I have to use different part of my brain or something. So, for a long time, I sort of a feeling of trying to find a way to have it have me first I thought somebody must be the right thing, the other approximation, but further learning, I realized, no, they are all approximations. Because the ultimate cannot be defined, cannot be defined and cannot be known entirely by one experience, because the ultimate is like a chameleon. It presents itself and what I call the different phases. We can express experience one face at one time and face, another face or another. And you could keep saying well maybe experience what’s behind face, what’s behind the faces another face and it keeps moving like that. So yeah and up for me as, as a result, the realization is not the realizing one of the phases, the realization of the freedom for beings to move itself from one phase to the next without impediment.

Rick Archer: So, from that, could we summarize or conclude by saying that human beings aren’t capable of experiencing some ultimate universal reality, without any kind of flavoring of it based upon their individual makeup that there’s always going to be like reflections of this son of different colored, you know, reflectors, there’s always going to be some, some quality or some influence in imparted into the experience by the individuals makeup.

A.H. Almaas: I won’t blame it on the individual. Okay. It’s not because the individual, that’s the relativistic postmodern way of looking at the thing. I don’t agree with the postmodern thinking, I think they don’t know what they’re talking about. The individual is not what determines experience, but determined experience is through nature itself.

Rick Archer: So the true nature, true nature,

A.H. Almaas: through nature, through nature, or spiritual nature, whatever you call it, or the truth, the fundamental truth is experiences itself in different ways. experience itself through those individuals. So it manifests itself through a particular individual particle way, because it’s through that individual allows it to create itself that way. So like, like, let’s call a being you use you are being somebody being is experiencing itself as wreck right now. So wreck is giving Bing the opportunity to experience itself as wreck and your office. See? So it’s being who actually experiences itself in different ways through different divisions, then dividuals that’s when you ask me what is my history was your history? Right? You know, there is the history the individual, which we can talk about, which is useful, everybody is an individual, besides being the fundamental right. And the individual is the lens through which Yang or the spiritual nature experiences itself, but it is. Being is really what manifests the individual anyway. But it gives the individual it’s the individual particular proclivities and the capacities and it is the being that gives them dividuals history. Like, how did I choose to study physics? You think I thought was a personal choice? No, it was being that put the individual through that course. So that that individual will become honed as a particular instrument for being to manifest a certain way, but knows itself and can express itself.

Rick Archer: So what you’re saying then, if I understand you correctly, is that being if we want to use that word manifests itself in forms, through which it can experience itself? Am I right so far?

A.H. Almaas: Well, yeah, I was gonna be right.

Rick Archer: Okay. And obviously, there are millions of different kinds of forms and, you know, varying degrees of complexity and varying degrees of ability through those forms for Bing to experience itself. Am I right to that point?

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, okay. Right, according to my views want

Rick Archer: to give you I want to make sure we’re on the same page. And and so then when you get to the human level, you have a fairly sophisticated form with a complicated brain and so on. And so the the experience of being it seems, of deeper realities be begins to become really significant. And so what we’re what we’ve been sort of batting around, is, you know, can that experience become so ultimate through this form? Or can maybe put it this way, can the form be so refined and modified as to a Allow that experience to become so, so clear that being experienced is itself in its fullness as it is without any coloration or distortion whatsoever.

A.H. Almaas: That’s what spiritual realization is about. Yes. Okay. However, it is true. But that doesn’t mean is only one way of experiencing being in his fullness. As I said, the Vedanta way of experience being its fullness, it is being its fullness, by there’s not the Buddha’s were experiencing being in its fullness. So one heads around,

Rick Archer: yeah, but it’s fun to try. Yeah. So you’d say the Vedanta way and the Tibetan Buddhist way and the Sufi way, they’re all experiencing being in its fullness, but they, there’s a different flavor to it somehow based upon that particular path or that particular culture.

A.H. Almaas: It’s not based on the particular path and particular culture being created the culture and the path to manifest itself in that particular way.

Rick Archer: And to experience itself in that particular way,

A.H. Almaas: that particular way. So far as the Vedanta experience, the realization is being the pure consciousness satchidananda, right? Being consciousness bliss, for the Buddhists, that sounds good, but that is only a step for them being is clear, empty awareness, transparent and non existent at the same time. And hence, nothing has through existence, only the parents appearance of existence. So they call that pure awareness, characterized by emptiness, which is a very different, we know new experience, it’s a very different flavor, very different. I mean, everything is transparent, everything is really empty, there’s no gravity, everything is sort of nothing, nothing exists. When I say nothing, I mean, everything has the nature of non being the emptiness of Buddhism, which is rarely understood what Buddha’s Dalai Lama says in the absence of inherent existence, the meaning you experience the thing, but you realize it doesn’t exist, that its nature is a non being. Vedanta doesn’t go there that much, they mentioned it once in a while, but for them existence is the real thing. You say, exist as a non exists are very different ways of experiencing existence has a fullness has richness, right? And has an emptiness, non being is more a spaciousness, more nothing. And that nothing is brings out the luminosity, the clear luminosity of everything. But they’re both non dual. Non dual, yeah, but they’re different. And I appreciate both, as all reports are good contribution to, you know, reality.

Rick Archer: I did too, but I still, well, I’m gonna pursue this with you a little bit more. Like, you know, on a superficial level, you have religions fighting each other. And that’s been going on for a long time, wars and arguments, even within particular religious groups, like the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, you know, and that that, to me, is pretty superficial level, because none of them are real mystics. They’re just, they’re just battling over, you know, cultural differences and belief differences and so on. But then even when you get to the mystics, and people who are actually focused on experiencing this stuff, you see these sorts of differences that you and I have just been discussing. And so the question that keeps coming to my mind is, and actually, even among the mystics, some of them will say, Well, we’ve really got the fuller truth. And those guys, you know, they only took it so far. And now we’re taking it farther to realize these things. So what I’m wondering is, is that true? Are there sort of qualitative differences between different experiential schools or approaches? Or is it really as we’ve been suggesting, just you know, there, you can’t say one is deeper, more complete than the other. They’re just different ways of experiencing based upon whatever causes those differences.

A.H. Almaas: Men good question, and I’ve worked with it for many years, and I have my own solution, my own understanding and realization around it, which is through the different schools of different religions adhere to their truth as the true truth that this is and others may be good, but there are approximation. And they all say it is a lie Lama says I’m Buddhist, because I think it’s the best path. Yeah. You see, he says that. And in some sense, they have to, you see, he has to well, he has a position. But the thing is, there are differences. And that is where the postmodern philosophy comes in about the identity and difference. Religion, the spiritual teaching, they haven’t integrated the postmodern view, where there can be difference and identity at the same time, we can be different. And we can be different. And to realize people are friends, even though they know they are different. When you get outward to the religious part, we don’t have the experience, they don’t have the realization so that their hearts are not open, their minds are not open the prejudiced. You see, but that prejudice can seep even into the mystics to some degree, if they have parts of them that are not clarified. So they get to stick to their way of looking at better than the other, then realize her truly realized person, they don’t care who’s better than the other. They’re happy for what they are, what they know. They’re happy with their path did it worked. I’m free. The other person, they’re free, great. They’re free, different from the web frame. Be good friends, we’ll learn from each other. And fact, I liked that there are differences, otherwise, there’s always going to be the same thing boring. You see, there’s the fact that, in fact, you might have noticed, I’ve been having dialogue with different teachers from different traditions. Because I think there needs to be dialogue between these people, because they can learn from each other. I don’t want them to have dialogue, so that they come to see them or talk about the same thing. Oh, my, but I think people should have bring out their similarities, and also differences. The similarities makes them friends, the differences make them, give them something to talk about. That’s interesting. Yeah. See. So spirituality is pretty rich, you see, and we are living in a world where many spiritual teachings are here, before they were all isolated, each one in their place. So they could say we are the faith as a historical relic, from those times when each teaching, then have really much competition, but now they’re all here, hundreds of them. And everybody’s saying, I got it. So we have to find a solution for how to deal with all of that, especially if you’re exposed to many of them, like the way I have been.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Or me to talk to somebody different every week. And

A.H. Almaas: yeah, you talk. So how do you make peace with it? You say,

Rick Archer: I make peace with it by just feeling that. You know, as Jesus said, In my Father’s house, there are many mansions, that the, the path, the path of spirituality is multi dimensional, and that everybody is progressing in their own way. And, you know, but I do sort of have a bias, which I’ve been kind of hinting at here, which is that it’s like, you know, rivers all coming to the ocean, eventually, they all merge in the same ocean. And I wonder if you were to get Jesus and Buddha and Krishna and all, you know, all these great spiritual founders in the same room together. If they don’t say it, after some conversation, they’d realize, yeah, we’re totally experiencing the same thing. It’s all we’re just from different cultures. But it’s really only one reality that we’re all living and experiencing and teaching.

A.H. Almaas: I think they’ll say more or something like, wow, reality appearing through this individual in a different way than you. But it has the same principle, the same basic, like they all have compassion and love and clarity and intelligence and, and selflessness and all, they’re all the same. But there are also significant differences. So I think they will, if they all get together, they’ll have very interesting conversation for a long time, because they’re all going to be learning from each other. They’re not just going to get together and say, Oh, we’re all talking about the same thing. Well, what they’ll do that?

Rick Archer: Well, I agree. And now you just said reality appearing differently through all these different people. Yeah, but then the question is is the reality itself different? Or is it just appearing differently through the different people?

A.H. Almaas: It is one reality, right? But the reality does not show it’s through ultimate essence. It, it doesn’t have through ultimate assets that can be that is experience of unknowable. What is knowable is one of the ways that manifests itself. See, I know that I know reality in many ways, but I feel there are still many other ways I can, I can see it, and none of them will be the final one. To see one thing about this perspective I’m giving you is that there is no endpoint. It removes the endpoint, removes the goal, as matter of greater maturation, openness, and freedom. So that life becomes a life of discovering, discovering being the well being, and that is not discovering being beings using this individual as a lens through which to discover itself was being loved to know itself.

Rick Archer: I think you just nailed it in that in that last thing, you pretty much answered what I’ve been getting at, I don’t think I could do justice to reiterating it. But you know, you basically just said, you know, reality is ultimately one reality. But there’s never going to be sort of any kind of final universal experience of it that everyone could agree on, because we all experience it. Different flavors of it according to our makeup, or whatever it is that causes us to experience. There’s always and there’s always going to be exploration and discovery. I think that’s, that’s really valuable

A.H. Almaas: too, depending on the makeup that being itself has created for Yeah, and in order for us to experience that particular flavor, right? You see being functions in both time and, and space. So because we have the now but there was the now of two minutes ago, the now 100 years ago, it’s always being being contains all those times and it is as intelligence is unimaginable.

Rick Archer: Let’s move on to talking about intelligence since you just brought up that word. So far, we haven’t really dwelt on that quality. But I think it’s really important rather than even just asking a question here within which I might start pontificating, let me let me just ask the invite you to say a bit about intelligence.

A.H. Almaas: Well, first of all, the way that being manifests itself through this individual is you’re talking to, that Ferriss showed beginning has particular qualities, particular flavor, as you said, I call them essential qualities or aspects. And each one of them reveals something about being and these are qualities that human beings can relate to. Human being those still not realize can relate like compassion. Right, people can relate to love, people can relate to love, right? Power, people can relate to power, clarity, people can relate to clarity, people cannot relate to consciousness or emptiness easily. But tell them love is I want love I want to be loved. But tell them emptiness most people that sounds uninteresting, tell them consciousness, because consciousness was the big deal. But if you tell them love, you tell them compassion, you tell them strength. You say you tell them power, tell them intelligence. These are a stuff that human beings need to live their life. So being has quote, these are what I call the perfections of being implicit and being better can manifest them specifically in one’s individual experience. So one of the things one of those qualities that manifests is intelligence. And shows that because each one of them shows something about being throughout all of manifestation of being when it shows conscious mean. Compassion doesn’t mean only at that time, it’s compassionate to whichever way it finances itself. However, it can manifest itself as pure compassion. With tenderness and softness and empathy and attunement. You see, and sensitivity that can manifest itself as intelligence and then it’s brilliant. It’s a QAnon Um we go and the way it operates, you know, is is like, the whole system is become sort of oil, your brain is oil, your nervous systems are everything moves smoothly, like silver, like not silver, like mercury, super fluid, super fluid. And you recognize what is intelligent intelligence is a quality of being, which means characteristic of being. And that intelligence kind of manifests as a quality that a particular human being manifests as a as a human being taught. When you when a person is being intelligent, you look at them, their face is shining, their forehead is shining. Because intelligence is brilliance, pure brilliance of light, like people sometimes see brilliant light. What is that? Why is the brilliant light, different from love golden light. brilliant light has to do with intelligence, intelligence of being a pure brilliance that is, like it’s a fluid brilliance, the way Mercury is like super fluid. But that’s being manifesting as intelligence and an explicit way for it to know it through a particular individual individual, which shows that being is characterized by intelligence, your intelligence, it’s beyond the intelligence of what human being called intelligence, what human being call intelligence, is the outer expression of that intelligence.

Rick Archer: It’s way beyond it. I mean, yeah, all the technologies in the world couldn’t create a single human cell from the raw ingredients that make up a cell. And all the all the computers in the world combined couldn’t govern the functioning of that cell once it’s been created. And yet, we consist of trillions of cells, all all sort of functioning properly, within themselves and among themselves. So what level of intelligence would have to exist for for that to happen?

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, and it’s not only that it’s an unthinking intelligence. Nonetheless, deliberative intelligence. It’s organically spontaneously functions and is functioning, spontaneous without deliberation, is totally intelligent.

Rick Archer: Just thinking and deliberation are human faculties, right? Yes. Yeah.

A.H. Almaas: Thinking. That is one of the ways human beings experience intelligence, thinking and deliberation, and insight, and research and all of that. But the intelligence of being is behind that is invisible, usually, to most people. But we can experience it. We can experience intelligence, as intelligence, I can express myself as pure intelligence. My being can be all intelligence, pure intelligence. See, and when that I’m experiencing being then it’s not the intelligence of the mind or the heart or the body. It’s just the pure intelligence that is non conceptual, that is non deliberative, that is more very organic, very. You know, it’s organic in the spiritual sense. totally spontaneous totally in the moment, but it also considers all time and all space. It’s the intelligence of being hat has the knowledge of everything, everywhere, everyone. Think of it that way.

Rick Archer: So it’s omniscience

A.H. Almaas: it is, um, it is an untouchable? omniscience. So its intelligence. Its upper intelligence because it knows everything. Now, when I’m intelligent, I’m not knowing everything. I don’t have the capacity. The brain doesn’t have the capacity to know everything, but the intelligent underlying intelligence is informed by everything that ever happened that will ever happen. So it operates in amazing, an infinite, let’s call it infinite intelligence.

Rick Archer: And it’s also omnipresent, right? And it’s omnipotent. It can do anything. It’s obviously doing everything. So it sounds like we’re talking about God here.

A.H. Almaas: It does close to the idea of God. It is doing everything. If it is not doing everything then who is doing the other things, right. You see, that’s the one thing I sometimes think some of the non dual teachings don’t address, which is they say, there’s only non duality is only one reality that how over when they talk about enlightened people they say was their ignorance. They are ignorant, well, who’s the ignorant? If there is, there’s only one being? How can they be another person who’s ignorant? You see, they blame their ignorance difficulty on individual. In fact, the moment they say, your ignorance, that’s why you’re not enlightened, they have ratified you as a separate individual mean they have abandoned their non duality. Non duality is an experience has not pervaded the mind has not pervaded the thinking and the philosophy. So, unreality is always done by the same beingness. Including the mistakes, including the ignorance, being is ignorant and Satan location. And through in time through certain practices or life circumstances, it wakes up that location is always being nobody’s fault. And even when you practice and you put your heart into it, and you think you’re doing it yourself, which being unless you believe that, that says its way, when you wake up, you realize that you haven’t done any of it, because you never existed that separate individual beings been doing it at all all the time.

Rick Archer: Would you, in your own experience, distinguish between self realization and God realization would Self Realization perhaps be the sort of the cognition of the abstract unmanifest pure Being or consciousness, whereas God realization is a more advanced or more rich appreciation of the intelligence that we’ve been talking about and almost an observation of its governing activity in the universe.

A.H. Almaas: I don’t use the word God that much.

Rick Archer: Okay. It’s a kind of a simple three letter words. Some

A.H. Almaas: it sound like we’re talking about God and I think many people they will call it God realization. And some of the Indian tradition talk about God realization, you know, like Maha Baba was not only God’s realization, He was God incarnate, for instance. And he even said, I make the stars move. I’m the one who’s making you think those thoughts and all that. So, I think there is I it is true there is because there are many kinds of realizations. So, even realization of consciousness or awareness, there are many kinds, and there is a realization of realizing how things happen. Like for instance, and dual, non dual realization, when you realize everything is one, right? The one no one was no separation. How do we explain changes? How do we explain that somebody is walking? It was all one, how can they be movement in it?

Rick Archer: Yeah, well, some people use funny terminology, they’ll say like, the Bing is walking or the Bing is walling or the Bing is flowering. In other words, it’s just taking on this appearance of different things happening, but it never loses its nature as being it just kind of puts on this illusory show that is ultimately insubstantial and unreal.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, some people say that, why will being needs an illusory show? If it is the Master of Creation?

Rick Archer: I can’t answer that question.

A.H. Almaas: To see why I mean, I know some of the Vedanta say, then dividual is a convenient fiction needed by prime and realize the seller said Brahman, the ultimate needs affection to know itself. Isn’t that in Western philosophy, that would be considered a logical you see, but there are many people believe it. The fact of it, there are two kinds of realization. I don’t know if you’ve read some of my books, a Calvary lizard non duality, where you see how things happen. Being and its beingness is manifesting everything as all at the same time. The Big Bang didn’t happen only 3 billion years, it just continues to happen. Every instance, creation is happening. So being is creating everything and all dimension all students all simultaneously as one big picture. Just like you’re looking at the movie screen, movie screen look like anything happened. But the light is real. Creating all of it, right? And it looks like somebody is walking and somebody is fighting. So there’s a car, Chase and all of that. That’s all the the light that is manifesting all of that realization, where you see everything is being manifesting at this moment. And as being basically manifesting all these, its own appearance, it’s changing his own appearance as a manifestation of the world. So that’s how we see one way of understanding how change happens. The change happen from one frame to another, one frame of perception to another. That’s the real change. So there’s really nobody walks, there’s no car chases. There’s only one frame followed by another frame. That’s how Bing functions. So then you could say, maybe that’s God, God creating them. I’m fine with that language, but I tend not use the word God because everybody got their idea what God is.

Rick Archer: Two questions come to mind. One is, can you ask the question, why without getting into a Can you answer the question? Why without getting into just metaphysical speculation that nobody can really answer authoritatively? And the second is, you know, when you say being manifest the world does it really, if you look closely enough at the world that is apparently manifested, you know, and analyze it, you know, deeply enough? Is there actually, anything there other than being Are there really particles and forces and so on? You know, if, as a physicist, you you look at those closely enough and take them down to more fundamental, fundamental levels, do you end up with the conclusion that actually, nothing ever happened, although it appears to have done

A.H. Almaas: well, at whatever level of perception, you look at it with a microscope or a telescope being is creating that is manifesting that is manifesting the telescope or the microscope, elementary particle and whichever it basically being is manifesting experience. That’s what’s manifesting. We don’t say it’s manifesting the stars manifesting our experience of the stars. We don’t know where the stars look the way they we see them.

Rick Archer: Right? You’re gonna look to a moth or two, yeah, no giraffe or whatever? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

A.H. Almaas: So the most we can say, that being is manifesting our experience of the world at the present time.

Rick Archer: So it seems that being creates, appears to create a manifestation and, and to create and creates beings through which that manifestation can be experienced. And yet, when we look closely enough, is there really a manifestation? And are there really such beings? Or is it all really just being functioning within itself kind of creating these apparent phenomena with within itself, but which consists ultimately of nothing other than itself?

A.H. Almaas: You can see it either way, or both at the same time, in the sense that, as I said, being manifest experience that can manifest experience such a way that there is only being and all these things are simply how being appears, or being can manifest itself as somebody walking down the street and driving a car. They’re all accurate ways of how big is manifesting itself? That’s how big is manifest that time? How else could it be? Yeah. So they’re all true all like it being manifest itself in many ways. Dual non dual and otherwise.

Rick Archer: Or at least it appears to

A.H. Almaas: know, that’s the way it’s manifesting itself, it appears to itself. You say, Yeah, being appears to yourself, and you say, what we do as human beings is that we have a thinking minds and we remember and we say, well, my experience then was this way now this way I was doing well. Now it’s non dual, non dual feels better than the dual. So the dual wise delusion. From the perspective of non dual dual was delusion, from perspective of being both of them are expressions of being It doesn’t say one is deluded one is not, because non duality accurately there are other forms of realization, where non duality is seen as a delusion. Because the basic premise of non duality, and that there is no separateness, right? There is no separate thing. Well, but there are realization wreck, where the question of separateness is irrelevant. I’m not separate from you, but I am separate from you. Yeah, I’m neither separate, no, not separate. But non dual says, We’re not separate, we’re one. We’re connected somehow through this medium of consciousness. That is one way of realization, another way of realization, there is you there’s me. The question whether we are separate or not, is irrelevant. It, it might happen or not happen, the fact that that reality who’s going to judge it. So separateness is a concept. Non separateness is a concept, the polar opposite of separateness. So the reality is a way of experiencing thing. Non duality is the opposite way of experiencing that. Both of them our conceptual reality can experience itself completely, not conceptually, when it is not conceptual, doesn’t say anything. There is you there is me, are we separate, are we not? Who cares? The fact that we’re talking and we’re enjoying each other, and I could feel the heart is happening, because the openness, you see, separate and separate. It’s good to create non separateness to be to be free from the fixation of separateness. But after that, if you stay there, being as constrained as not free, can only manifest non separateness that there are other ways of treating reality was present. Now, Sabrina irrelevant. There are other ways also experiencing non separateness. For instance, you see, that’s the view I’m trying to bring. You know, Rick, because there are many teaching, each teaching as a way of realization, and thinking all of them are useful, each contributes, and each situation might or might require the response of a particular realization. So some situations require a non dual response. Some situations require what I call a non local response. Some situations require a non conceptual response. These are different kinds of realization. Some situations require a theistic response. So why not have all of them available for being to manifest? That’s why I call freedom being is free to manifest itself whichever way appropriate, necessary for the situation.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that that whole perspective really resonates with me. And I like the word paradox, because you can take that, you know, if you take all the different realities and perspectives and vantage points, and just put them all into one big basket, if the baskets big enough, they will manage to coexist in there, even though, you know, if you look at them and compare them, you can see, well, this is the complete opposite of that, how could they coexist, but in the great wholeness of things, they do very comfortably, all these different levels and perspectives and paradoxical realities, ultimately, all get along just fine.

A.H. Almaas: That’s what I call the view of totality. Yeah, the view of totality is the total view that allows all possible views and then recognizes that they’re all real, and they all have a contribution without having to adhere to any one of them.

Rick Archer: Exactly. You know, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. And, you know, I’ve actually heard spiritual teachers say they maybe they’ve been asked about global warming or something, and they say, Well, that doesn’t. That’s not relevant to me. You know, and the world obviously, ultimately doesn’t exist. It’s like a speck of dust. So why should we concern ourselves about that? But, you know, there’s a beautiful quote I came across recently as by Buddhist, Padma Sun bhava, or something, and he said, even though my view is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour. You know, so it’s like every every little thing has significance every little Bagua. Seeing across the street and the vast view doesn’t in any way obviate or contradict or render insignificant, that particular view.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, I agree with you. I think from the perspective, the view of vastness to experience oneself as the vastness seem, all these things are so not only is it they’re all the same. They’re called equal, you know, wisdom called one taste or even as everything is the same. However, that doesn’t consider that the differences between things are significant. That brings in another loss because that’s another realization, not the realism vastness. This is the realization of what I call radical. nonlocality, which is that radical, nonlocality is a view that is known by some teaching ancient time, it’s not that prevalent these days, which is a kind of non duality, but not exactly, which is not that you and I are not separate. But more like, you and I are inside each other. I am in you and you are in me. That thought that what it does, it eliminates the concept of space. The main thing about conserve space right is distance. There are distances between thing. So the usual, non dual view, preserve distance. Even though we are connected, there is somebody in Bombay and I’m here in Berkeley, the radical nonlocality is no Bombay is right here in my heart. See, because there’s the distance between them has been completely obliterated. Because the spiritual nature has no distance. And it is not small, it’s not large. So, when you have that view, the individual or particular come into prominence, which doesn’t, and then under what have you come to prominence, so the individual you becomes important because you’re, you’re different and unique than me and everybody else. And you express being in a different unique way. So the human being consciousness is different from the consciousness of an elephant or a bag. Although from the non dual view, they’re all equal, they all appear as manifestations of the same reality. But from this perspective, you are different than your uniqueness is important. And that is something I’m always trying to bring to the spiritual discourse, the importance of the individual. See, like the individual, the uniqueness and how they experience thing is really seen as true. That being is the experiencer and experiences through this individual. However, we cannot experience without having an individual to experience through. So then dividual is indispensable to being has a particularity I saw some of your interviews from the non dual people that talk about it. And he said, No, you’re not the individual, you’re you’re the formless. And then don’t say anything more about the individual. Now realize this person doesn’t have the knowledge of the individual. Simply because there is a whole knowledge about the individual, a whole realm of spiritual teaching. If you go to the Sufism, for instance, Christianity, Kabbalah, the individual soul is a big, major part of their teaching. And it’s a it’s a infinite ocean of knowledge. And people who just most individuals don’t know that knowledge as simple as that.

Rick Archer: And ironically, I mean, it’s by virtue of their having an individuality, that I’m able to have a conversation with them. If the individuality were completely dissolved, there would be you know, nothing going on. No conversation.

A.H. Almaas: No, it’s not only no conversation, no experience, no experience, no life, because because if you look at the experience in that’s one thing I’ve been thinking about. It’s an interesting, let’s go the Phenom phenomenology of experience, that our experience is always characterized by a first personal givenness experiences all as your experience and it’s happening within a particular space time context, even though it is being experiencing it, but it’s experiencing it from that space time, context, and it is always your experience, not my experience right now. How does the non dual view account for that difference? How does it doesn’t? doesn’t account for it? It’s just ignored, gloss over. And I included that Vedanta suction Mahamudra all the non dual teaching, they don’t address because they’re residing in this ocean of non duality and every, all the particulars seem unimportant. From that perspective, it’s really not important. However, I’ve learned that other realization, where the individual is there’s a whole development for the individual, he didn’t talk about that. There has to be maturation. What matures them

Rick Archer: certainly not being that’s, that’s already gonna change. Well, what matures would have to be the individual? Right? Or the house? Yeah. And the various components and faculties of it? Yeah, no,

A.H. Almaas: and we have to find out then the size in the western individual.

Rick Archer: I think Kashmir Shaivism deals with this somewhat more materially, but I’m not really familiar with, but that’s what I’m told.

A.H. Almaas: I think it does. Yeah. From what I know, let me let you call it talk about Jeeva. The Jeeva Atman. You see the Nanda will the Vedantists. They say, Oh, the difference is just mind your mind make a difference? They answer what is mind? Do they mean the thinking apparatus. Then they’ll giving mind and independent existence. However, you know, Kashmir, Shaivism, and Sufism, whatever they say, being or God manifests its truth through organs of its own, being Oregon through which the proceeds of experiences and those organs learn, develop and mature, and they’re through May through their maturation, they become more transparent, more capable. So that being can experience itself more completely.

Rick Archer: Yeah. I think that’s very exciting, really. And as you said earlier, I don’t think there’s any end to it. And that really would be a should be, or could be. The next horizon. The next frontier for many people who feel they’ve had non dual realization is, in a way, that might be seen not as the end to the whole thing, but as the beginning because you’ve, you’ve kind of established a beachhead, or a foundation. And now, a much more refined exploration can ensue.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, that’s a good way of saying it. Because really non dual brings freedom from the constructions of the self, because the self fixates being a particular way of experiencing just like Danwon. Remember, and Don Juan and Castaneda has done one, talking about the bands of emanations. And that the ego just has stays in certain band, and you want to expand the bands of reality. So that’s what happens, the ego is focused on Satan band, which we call dualistic experience, it is not an illusion, it’s just one way being can experience itself. But the ego keeps it and that band that doesn’t allow being to shift perception to a non dual view. And then to shift perception to other views that are not dual, what I call the non local, non local, by the way, is the experience. Not that everything is one. But everything is singular. Meaning, each point of time and space includes all points of time and space. here that

Rick Archer: will Yeah, I was thinking that a little while ago when you were talking about something very similar. And it kind of reminded me of that notion of the holographic universe, which Yeah, you know, if if being is if the container of everything, and then you know, Bing doesn’t have kept being can’t be sort of, you can’t say take a handful of Bing Bing is, is just one solid block, so to speak, one solid, the president massive big. And so the handful, so to speak, if you could take one contains the whole universe as much as being in its entirety contains the whole universe.

A.H. Almaas: And that’s the importance of the individual. Yeah, as an individual you can take as an individual without getting bigger or smaller. You have the totality of being

Rick Archer: Yeah, I have a friend named Jerry Freeman, whom I interviewed, you might want to watch that one, but he he’s had this experience of being a walking universe. That’s kind of the nature of his experience that the totality is contained. Within his individuality,

A.H. Almaas: yeah. That is what I mean by a non local experience, because being has no size or shape. So, I mean, not all they say is beyond time and space, but then they bring in space they experience. You see, they’re not beyond space, because they’re the metaphor are spatial. They say it’s everywhere. And from the non local, there is no everywhere. Everywhere is a concept.

Rick Archer: Yeah, we use words to try to talk about it and concepts to try to, you know, talk about it. But obviously, what you’re just saying is very apt, you know, that we, we dumb it down by we immediately begin to give it spatial and temporal qualities, which it really doesn’t have.

A.H. Almaas: That brings in another point, which is Enlightenment, always has delusion.

Rick Archer: Elaborate on that, please.

A.H. Almaas: Not actually the first person who said that or Dogon, you heard of Dogon, I’ve heard the founder, founder of Soto Zen. He said, Enlightenment has delusion. Always delusion. Just look at it this way. Not the illusion in the sense you believe yourself. That’s the you main delusion. But the illusion for instance, you have a new you haven’t thought of you haven’t yet known that. You can go through the wall from perspective of being that delusion, because you haven’t known that. That’s ignorance. Because it’s possible it is part of your potential to be able to go through the wall. Yeah. So are you saying one can’t be realized and enlightened and free? But hasn’t actualized? All the possibilities of being? Yeah,

Rick Archer: right. So I guess it sort of depends on how we want to define Enlightenment how how superlatively we want to use that term. What you’re saying is that the way in which it’s ordinarily used, does not necessarily include all kinds of possibilities that could unfold. As evolution continues,

A.H. Almaas: their way is defined as the beginning. Yeah, is a big Enlightenment is the beginning. But then how does life happen after Enlightenment? Does the lighting condition to continue to be the same forever and ever?

Rick Archer: I don’t think so.

A.H. Almaas: I mean, people talk about how do you bring a light element to life? That’s what brings the question. That’s how I found out when I experienced the non dual the vastness and all of that and was living in it for a few years, then that came the question, how do I walk? How do I talk? And how do I talk from that place? And how do I interact with other people, my wife, with my family and friends and my students from that place? And so in the process of learning that the realization itself changes?

Rick Archer: Was it a little difficult to learn that?

A.H. Almaas: Yes, there were difficulties because I didn’t know. So there are difficulties they were. Basically, the delusion appears as an obstacle for a while. When you are attempting to go to the next step. When you feeling the need to go to the next step, and you don’t know it, it appears as an obstacle operation, and you have to see through the obscuration before you go to the next step, and then realize that to be able to function from that place. First of all, is incorrect. You don’t function from that place, the place itself changes for functioning to happen. That place that vastness liquefies and becomes like liquid that flows. Remember the Terminator movie?

Rick Archer: Yeah, he becomes like he melts t 1000.

A.H. Almaas: Mel’s son shapes? That’s what happens.

Rick Archer: Next thing comes governor of California. Yeah, so

A.H. Almaas: that vastness shapes itself into a body that is always changing its configuration. So I saw to learn to move. The relationship itself has to show more of its implication of its possibilities.

Rick Archer: So, there’s two components here, there’s the vastness and then there’s the the individuality through which the vastness is lived. And and I would tend to have thought of it in terms of the vastness or pure consciousness or whatever, getting more integrated into the physiology so that you can function in a more normal way in ordinary life. But what you’re saying is that the vastness itself? Well, you just use that example from the Terminator. Or maybe initially, what you’re saying is the the vastness is experienced in a certain way being is experienced in a certain way. But then as the experience matures, it does become like liquid and flows and thereby permeates the mind, the physiology, the intellect, and so on, so that it can be a living reality. Is that what you’re saying?

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, because first of all, vastness is not the ultimate condition of reality. Right? It is one of the ways. It is one of the ways of experiencing being asked. And there’s vastness and vastness includes the concept of space. Right? Right. If you exclude the cost of space, what will you say? About being? What do you call it vast, vast means pretty big, infinite. But if you eliminate the console space, what is it?

Rick Archer: You can’t really say then?

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, it changes. Sometimes it’s fast sometimes isn’t. Sometimes it’s particular. Sometimes it’s not. Depending on the situation being is like, the magician comedian keeps changing depending on the circumstances. And that’s why we have many tradition, many realizations, because each one of them gets captures some of those manifestations. That’s it. And it’s true that says that is reality. Pure reality is not the creation of the individual mind. But being has infinite ways of Express experience itself. It has not yet revealed all its secret. People say Buddha’s Upanishad knows everything. Now, it knows what Buddha knows, there’s a lot more to know. Even in Buddhism, they have learned things the Buddha himself didn’t know. Yeah, you see, and we were sort of someplace I don’t know, we might be at the beginning of discovering the spiritual universe just like our we are at the beginning of discovering the secrets of the body.

Rick Archer: It strikes me at this point in the conversation that you are an example of someone who has proven that it can be very valuable to be eclectic, you know, to be open minded to explore all sorts of different things and not let yourself get locked into just one tradition or path although I’m sure that has its value and to for people to do it that way. But you know, what, the way you’ve gone about it has made you very multifaceted, well rounded, realized person, I would say who is just comfortable, kind of with every expression of spirituality and who has kind of extracted the nectar from a great many of them.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, it’s more like I didn’t really extract the nectar is not the individual who did it being expressed itself in all these ways, showed itself in all these ways, because it’s it wanted to develop a teaching. It’s bringing a teaching to this world appropriate for our times. So chose this individual that’s called Hamid to manifest it through it. You see, I am both the Bing and Hamid at the same time. Sometime I am all being sometime I’m hammies. But you do and both but the most interesting thing I also don’t have to be either one of those

Rick Archer: what are you have gotten

A.H. Almaas: a freedom I’m not anything. Think about that? I’m not anything.

Rick Archer: So let me probe you on that. So is that you’re saying that that is the nature of your experience at certain times sometimes you need sometimes you being sometimes you both and other times you’re not anything that’s basically what you just said

A.H. Almaas: one of them dominates at one time or another but it’s always all of them they’re okay yeah. I don’t one of them dominate sometime I’m not anything dominates. So there is reality is everything. I’m nothing. I’m not the totality I’m not the individual. I’m not anything, not anything mean there is no me. No me whether for more formlessness is something that most people are very uncomfortable with. Everybody wants to be something even if that’s something is Non dual

Rick Archer: teachers seem to make that the cornerstone of their teaching. They keep emphasizing, there’s no one here, there’s no one here. There’s no me. There’s no you know, they go on and on like that, that that’s the whole focus

A.H. Almaas: that people talk about no one here, but they say they will say I am the non dual. I am formless. And I know that experience that there is another one which is a little subtler, which is I’m not formless. And I’m not form I’m not formlessness I’m not anything zero. Although all the rest exist and can be experienced. You see, I am the individual is one realization, I am the formlessness another realization I am everything is a realization, right? I am nothing by it is a realization. I am nothing is not the same, I am not anything. You see, I have nothing, you still nothing, you experience, nothing you said was nothing. I’m not anything you’re not experienced. So that’s nothing.

Rick Archer: And you’re saying that these different things sort of come to the foreground and recede to the background? You know, they rotate, so to speak, according to

A.H. Almaas: my condition. Yeah. I think it’s possible for all human beings. But in this teaching, that’s how reality manifests itself as possible to be that way.

Rick Archer: Or there’s certain flavors of it tend to come to the foreground, under certain circumstances, like if you’re driving your car, then the I Am, Hamid thing comes more of the foreground. And if you’re sitting in meditation than the I Am, nothing thing may be more predominant, is sort of correlate with what you’re actually called to do.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, it has a response to situations, right. So the definitely the response to situation, although it’s not one to one correspondence, like sometimes I’ll be driving the bridge, for instance, Bay Bridge. And I the experience is

Rick Archer: nobody here driving.

A.H. Almaas: Not Not that it’s more like the bridge and the car and all of them are floating in me. The whole bay area, that one beautiful view at night. And I see the hands that our driving, I’m just observing all of it, none of it. So that can happen. But sometime No, I’m the individual expressing being man driving a car. And especially if there is no difficulty, whatever, I have to pay more attention to the individual compared to the for sure.

Rick Archer: Do you also have one sometimes where you are in a situation where even though you see the bridge in a car to use that example, at the very same time you have this sense that nothing is happening? There is no bridge? There is no car, there’s nothing? Not only am I nothing, but there’s nothing going on here?

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, yeah. That’s the realization of nothing. Right? Another flavor of i The way to put it is a response to liveness famous question. He asks, Why is there something and the scientists philosophers have been trying to grapple with the why is there something and the response to this realization is, there isn’t. That’s when you realize there’s nothing there, because everything is the nature of nothing. But that is a self realization of emptiness, a certain kind of emptiness. You see, Buddhists will call the emptiness although it’s not exactly the Buddha’s emptiness of which is the lack of inherent existence. Yeah, I am aware some people experience that there is nothing and nothing is happening. I remember the story of the for the 16th Karmapa. When he was on his deathbed, and he had one of his main students with him was Dr. Evil saw crying, is it done? Why are you crying? He said, Well, no, you’re that he said. I’ll tell you something. Nothing happens.

Rick Archer: Yeah. So I also I have a feeling that a lot of the people who emphasize that point and who say there’s no one here and all that stuff. Their experience is probably a lot more like what you just described, which is when they’re driving their car across the bridge, there is someone there you know, there has to be to do this. It’s like different circumstances. We’re like a camera lens that focuses in and out according into what the situation is. And sometimes certain realizations are predominant. And other times they’re more in the background.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah. Well, I mean, there are people whose who establishing that one realization or another, I think you interviewed with his name, Tony Parsons, who talks about there’s not Zoli not nothing, nobody and nothing. And I understand his experience is totally valid. But as he does just one kind of realization, and he doesn’t want to go to another way, he’s a one trick pony. Yeah, he’s, he’s very good that he’s a good example of exemplar of that realization. But I know also, I can be completely physical and be a body and experience the visceral, muscular bardenas. And that itself is a delight being wants to experience itself that way, sometimes. See, and that makes, say them interaction like sexuality, wonderful. See, if I have nothing, you know, Why eat? Why do anything? I mean, everything becomes irrelevant, which is freedom. You know, but sometimes I’ll be sitting at the table and eating my salad. And all there is, is the taste of the salad. I’m not nothing. There’s only the taste of the salad is no body, no restaurant, nothing except the taste of this Caesar salad. That’s really

Rick Archer: interesting. So in that circumstance, there’s not even any visual input, you don’t see the other diners and the waitress, and so on. It’s just a taste of salad and nothing else. If I

A.H. Almaas: close my eyes, right, I if I open my eyes, I will see them. But there’s a feeling that nothing there with the focus is more the taste. So the eyes are closed. There is no upper and then all of a sustained sensation disappear. The only sensation will be left is a taste of the Caesar salad. Yeah. Is this. It’s wonderful realizations to have when you’re listening to music. Yeah. Because there’s only the music. There is no listener. We say no, somebody’s thinking simply the music going on.

Rick Archer: I used to have on marijuana in the 60s. And I remember the first time I heard Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

A.H. Almaas: Exactly. Tell us that gives you that possibility. You knew that there was that way of experiencing thing?

Rick Archer: So you know, if we summarize what you’ve been saying, now, for last few minutes, it would be to my mind that the realize state is not static. It’s not just one flavor, one condition all the time. It’s fluid, it’s malleable, it’s adaptable, it shifts in its quality from one moment to the next, according to what is going on what one is experiencing and so on. It’s like

A.H. Almaas: a transformer. Yeah. So it’s transforming from one thing to another? And yes,

Rick Archer: it does. So is it not true that there’s a certain fundamental consistency, it’s not like everything completely changes, but there’s certain fundamental components or basis to it. And that may or that may be more or less in the foreground, or background, but still, it’s there, kind of like, if, let’s say, if consciousness were like a tone that was playing, and it was going all the time. And you know, sometimes we’re focused on something, we’ll get used to it. We don’t even hear the tone. But the tone is still there. If we turn our attention to it, there it is. Is that a apt analogy? Yeah,

A.H. Almaas: I think that’s a good way of saying it. And also our discussion points to the importance of the individual. Because the changes happen through the individual, individual, I call it individual consciousness, could people talk about consciousness, not knowing that consciousness, individualized itself, there is the ocean of consciousness, right? Whether it has a size or not another point, but that consciousness can individualizes and appear as an individual consciousness which then can appear as an animal or a human being, right, and that individual consciousness can develop or can mature. And that explains what happens after death and beyond death. If there was no individual consciousness, there is no experience of the death. You see, you have to you have to explain if there is no individual consciousness, then the first person I givenness of Besides, the fact is oriented time and space has to be explained by the physical body. When the physical body gone does no experience then, right. But we know that’s not true.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, people near death experiences things like that.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah. And even experiences after that. Sure.

Rick Archer: And past life memories and all kinds of things that people have. Well, you know, you brought up Tony Parsons a little while ago, his contention is that, since there is no person ultimately here, there’s no one here that reincarnation doesn’t happen. It’s a it’s a it’s a crock, because there’s no one to reincarnate. And, you know, I would counter and if I ever interviewed him, again, I’ll bring this up that, you know, there certainly is a level there is a level in which there is no individual fine. But there’s also expressed levels, as you and I have been discussing, and there’s some subtle Jeeva or some subtle essence, which could reincarnate can call it a loser, if you want to, but but

A.H. Almaas: the thing, the one who was talking was Tony Parsons. Yeah. So what’s he talking about? Tony Parsons don’t like knock the chair in front of me beside him.

Rick Archer: Well, he would say there is no Tony Parsons, that it’s just Tony Parsons, and it’s appearing as a Tony Parsons, but there really is no ultimate substance to

A.H. Almaas: it. Okay, appearing as Tony Parsons. Okay, but that is consistent and consistent through time, and that he has the same accent and all of that there’s a continuous it to that manifestation. And that continue to move through time and space. If you really talk with him and use logic, just logic, you don’t even have to have experience, he would have to see that has to be an individual. Now,

Rick Archer: I don’t know if he has to do as well. And I hope I’m doing. I mean, no disrespect to Tony Parsons, I hope I’m doing justice

A.H. Almaas: is establishing his his realization, which is a wonderful, it’s a freedom. Yeah. which I appreciate. But I’m trying to bring the importance of the individual consciousness, because individual consciousness, just like, being itself can manifest itself in different ways. individual consciousness, it has many stages of development. Yeah. Which makes being be able to manifest different of its possibilities.

Rick Archer: And I agree with you, I’m just using his perspective, as I understand it, to play devil’s advocate. And, you know, and I would argue that, whereas what he’s saying is, it’s true on one level, and ultimately, maybe it doesn’t negate the possibility of all sorts of like, we say, the individuality and all the sort of subtle strata of the individuality, including some subtle body or essence, or Jeeva, that that could, in fact, reincarnate from one life to another or astral travel, or any of these possibilities that have experienced that people in fact, have.

A.H. Almaas: That experience continues beyond the physical body, because the physical body is just one way of being expressing itself, being able to continue expressing itself after the physical body is gone. And whether it’s a incarnate or continuous in different realm, it will come into force to have an experience that will have to have an individual as a individual kind of manifestation. Yeah, because then dividual manifestation is the organ of perception. Without there’s no no perception.

Rick Archer: You know, the interesting to do sometime is set up a two way conversation interview with you and Tony Parsons. I don’t know if you’d want to do that. But to have you on both at once. And that

A.H. Almaas: might be interesting. Yeah. Yeah. I’ll think about that. I liked his view. I mean, I’m familiar with it. You know, and I can be with him there. And I agree with him and all of that at the same time. I have other perspective.

Rick Archer: Yeah. I’m the same way. I mean, I really enjoyed his book and it was very clear and you know, really enliven something in you as you read it, you know that that perspective, but I just feel like there’s more dimensions to it.

A.H. Almaas: Because being is really the truth. There’s only being you could say, but Bing brings out all this variety that we call experience.

Rick Archer: Okay, yeah. I know you’ve in previous interviews, like with the and so on, you have talked about the various stages of practice and teachings you studied. And I don’t want to go through all that in great detail, because we don’t have the time and people can watch Ian’s interview on conscious TV. But do you have a spiritual practice now? And as the part of the reason I ask is that some people have insisted to me that if one is really realized, that spiritual practice becomes irrelevant, it becomes superfluous. There’s nowhere to go therefore or why would you sit to meditate for instance, or, or do anything you just live it maybe sometimes you close your eyes and enjoy a little silence, but spiritual practice drops off. They say,

A.H. Almaas: I take the view of Dogon again, which who says, realization is practice, practices realization. Realization, realizes further realization by practicing. So, practice continues because it practices the way being lives, its life truthfully. So, practice can’t be sitting and meditating can be just the way I am the way I am living my life is a practice. Because so practice continues, because our infinite possibilities for being to manifest itself. So just say, Well, I’m enlightened, I don’t need to practice. I did that for a while, actually, you know how that didn’t work very well, because it’s like, realize that’s true, but the thing becomes static is a becomes an will become static, they become stale. See, so practice is my main practice is inquiry. I just inquire into whatever the experience is happening, to find out do I understand it? By understand that mean? Do I feel it completely? Do I sense it’s no answers? Do I perceive it, and what’s in the way of, of perceiving it and knowing it completely? That’s what I mean by understanding. There’s ongoing inquiry and experience. But I also meditate, I do certain meditation and I teach certain meditation, which are useful meditation are useful to develop certain capacities of the consciousness. Because there’s no end to developing those capacities.

Rick Archer: Sorry, you mentioned heard you mentioned within that you learned Transcendental Meditation at one point and you still like it, does that mean you still practice it, or you just think that was a good thing?

A.H. Almaas: I haven’t practiced it. For some time I did for a few years, I learned it when I was in college. And got my Mantra and did was good. I liked it. And once in a while, I sort of get into it. But my meditation and my inquiry are two sides of the same practice. Meditation one is when I’m sitting still. And inquiry is when I’m living my life and things happen. Inquiry, meaning there’s something I see, don’t experience. I understand. I question it. And I question even the truth I’m experienced while I’m experiencing thing, non dual non duality. Well, what does that mean? What is? Is this non duality? And what does that mean about my dual experience? That’s inquiry. And even if I’m experiencing non dual, what is the nature of non dual? What is the consciousness is it’s just a beingness is just a luminosity, or is a spaciousness and evidence spaciousness? What does that mean? I realize Oh, spacious mean, there is a concept of space. And if I see the concept of space, that developable experience, oh, the space has disappeared, the moment space disappeared, I realize everybody’s here. That inquiry, for me, that’s the practice and continues.

Rick Archer: So what is the outcome of that inquiry? Do you have experiential breakthroughs as a result of that? And I infer from what you’re saying that you’re this is a kind of a 24/7 process, you might be doing it while driving down the freeway or eating lunch or something. It’s just something that was automatically running in you. But what is the outcome? I mean, do has that proven to be really significant in terms of progressing to deeper, more comprehensive levels of experience?

A.H. Almaas: As a central most effective practice? I know. It says the Socratic inquiry, develop to include spiritual qualities, spiritual qualities, expressed themselves as inquiry. That includes heart, mind and body. So the mind with its capacity to discriminate and do and know the heart and his feeling of responsiveness and the body with a sensation activity are all involved in the inquiry as a process of investigation, process, just openness, curiosity, wanting to know what is reality and There are breakthroughs. I’m like, what people call awakenings. I call them breakthrough, quantum jump, quantum leap. And they happen every once in a while. There is an ongoing experience, there’s always developing, there’s always evolving, there was what people call the gradual path. But every once in a while there’s a quantum jump, that people call sudden realization, then it’s like jumping from one universe to a parallel universe, and seeing reality through a different eye. So that continues and follow up. Once in a while, I thought I arrived at the end, you know, recovering just like everybody looking for then I arrived so many ads, after a while I gave up about the question of and it’s really just my mind to think about and there’s no, no and the idea of end is a human construct.

Rick Archer: In the beginning of the interview, we were talking about how your education cultured in you discriminative ability and so on, that you found very valuable on your path. Do you feel that this kind of inquiry you’ve just been describing is something that just about anybody could do or when it doesn’t really require a more kind of intellectual or discriminative nature, and for others, other paths would be more appropriate?

A.H. Almaas: Well, it helps if you have intellectual discursive later, but you do need training just like any other practice. You know, I teach it to train people in it. I have teachers who train and, and so student learn how everybody comes to Oh, inquiry, I know how to do inquiry, but it’s not really what we mean. Because it is much more in depth much more inclusive. The most people think inquiry is because most people think inquiry is intellectual inquiry the way I see it is a soul inquiry is a conscious inquiry, the consciousness questioning itself question is experience to see is that what is the truth? What am I seeing? Is there some false? There’s some believes there’s some cultural programming, is there some trauma there, for instance, so the inquiry opens up all these things and as you understand them, meaning, see the meaning of them both experientially viscerally, and intellectually, they usually open up to what else is there. So as the experience keeps deepening, and revealing more of the possibilities of being, at the same time, I do practice meditation regularly. visitation is like a support is a pillar of stability, that support the rootedness and being where inquiry can take off as forays into different rounds.

Rick Archer: What would you say to those who argue and there is a certain school of people who argue this, that problem with practices and the reason they dissuade people from doing them is that practices practices are something that one does, they’re only going to reinforce the sense of a doer and therefore they’re counterproductive

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, that’s because they haven’t done a practice completely. You see, you know, some teaching like sock jam for instance, the original text absorption the kanji Java said all practices delay realization and it goes through brings out all the Buddhist practice this one delays you this love any lifetime. You’ve practiced this one delays you 10 lifetime, you practice this one delays you 20 lifetime. That’s how it looks at practices, that’s how blockchain started, but since then, such a developed many practices,

Rick Archer: how do they reconcile that?

A.H. Almaas: Because nobody could get it the way it was first formulated. If you really mature and develop the novel your consciousness Yeah, you hear the word that happens, you get the transmission you can, but most people are not developed that way. So they developed all GM practices now. They’re real practice. The way you know practice works is a practice has inherent in it self destruct mechanism. So at some point the practice becomes just living life. That is a real practice otherwise it becomes something as a leader is separated from life. And then that can constrain the development can fix it in some way. But it’s true practices are developed by the genuine traditions they have inherent in him. A self destruct mechanism will where the practice takes the Cogito search One degree of maturation to reveal to the consciousness the practice now is not needed. So, do you go beyond that it becomes part of living.

Rick Archer: So do you anticipate that at some point, the meditation you do and even the inquiry you do will self destruct because you will have gone beyond them?

A.H. Almaas: They have self destructed many times. They have self destructive many times, but what am I going to do with my life?

Rick Archer: So, you pick them up again, right? Because they seem

A.H. Almaas: inquiry continues not because I have to do it. But because I mean, I’m living life, I’m discovering new things. And there’s interest to taste different things, inquiry, just like you know, what food do you want to taste new things that don’t have that same thing. Every time and same thing with experience things change, as part of that, the dynamism of being is a dimension of being that is rarely mentioned, it is very important dimension. zakian has they call it energy or, or they call it display, being is always displaying. And I think Kashmir Shaivism has it as Shakti that always creating thing, which is experiencing that being is a dynamic, creative force, with infinite potential Infinite Intelligence and infinite possibility, and always manifesting new things. And that is always enjoying, revealing and what is manifesting. And also part of the enjoyment is imparting that to other and seeing them discovering thing, and getting turned on to it. Because this is the same being the being is awakening itself in different locations, by inventing new ways to see and discover new ways and to go new experience. So the path I’m on is ongoing, living living path. Some people use the word living to me, it is not dead, it still has us in it. And I use it that way. But there’s another meaning of living living means always growing. There’s always a new possibilities. It could because because the Dinos are being as creative.

Rick Archer: It is, isn’t it I mean, if we look at nature is things never stay the same. There’s always proliferation and morphing of evolution of species. And that’s just seems to be the way intelligence governs this universe.

A.H. Almaas: And we don’t know whether the human body will continue to be that way it

Rick Archer: will evolve, chances are live off, it will evolve, we

A.H. Almaas: don’t know what’s going to be like in a million year, and we and the inner body, the individual consciousness, it also causes the evolution and that can outlast the body. By millions of years, see you all possible kind of positive experience and communication with other people. Like one of the things I’ve been interested in, for instance, inquiring into is how to communicate and and guide my students after the body dies. See, many people don’t think of that, but that’s possible. You see, and I don’t want to just leave the school. I’ve told them well, and many of them have loved realization, we have many teachers, but I can see that I could continue being a force of influence. And but that requires a skill set and development of the consciousness. If you leave caution as it won’t have that capacity.

Rick Archer: There are there are traditions which talk about that and in, you know, teachers such as Yogananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who said that their teachers are still guiding them, you know? Yeah. And, you know, I don’t know if I would suggest that to you that the best way to be able to do that after you die is to just keep doing what you’re doing. And when you get to the other side, you’ll know what to do. But the more progress you’ve made now, the better you’ll know what to do, and the better.

A.H. Almaas: Not only that, I’m going to talk to Baba Ji, I’m going to talk to Padmasambhava and ask them how they did it. How they continue to do it. Because of that round. There is communication. There is meeting and learning.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I interviewed a woman last week. Kristin Kirk, who clearly remembers that her life before this one was one in which she was some sort of You know, spirit guide, or you know, whatever they call them, you know that some sort of celestial, a subtle being, and there was a whole group that she was working with. And now she’s a human being. But she actually is in communication with those other beings that she was associated with them, this experience is very clear to her. And I tend to, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, and she seems very sincere. And I’m also open to all possibilities. So that kind of sounds like what we’re talking about.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah. And people can’t delude themselves about that. It’s easy, but there is some truth to it. It’s more like recognizing that spiritual is not one monolithic experience or ground. It’s the whole universe. Yeah, just like our physical universe has many galaxies and many planets and our spiritual universe as the like, it has many realms, many dimensions, many ways of manifestations, and in different universes within the spiritual realm.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And I sort of get the feeling when with different people, you know, sometimes it seems that people just get a little caught up in all this more esoteric stuff, and it becomes a distraction, or it becomes a way of, you know, drawing attention to themselves and so on. But others, you know, they just have this very genuine matter of fact, sincere feeling about them. And, you know, you’re more inclined to accept the reality, or at least the possibility of what they’re saying. So I would just throw that out there. For those who might find the last few minutes of this conversation to be a little far fetched.

A.H. Almaas: I agree with you. And I think one should focus on the present condition. Yeah. And work with that whatever practice, so they can come to know what is them? What is reality? And experience that freedom, that elaborate that’s fundamental, all the other thing? They’ll come and tie? I think we don’t we don’t, we don’t need to think about them.

Rick Archer: Right? They’ll come when they’re when they’re meant to come?

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, because there probably is for certain stages, but not at the stage of practice. Right? See.

Rick Archer: And so I want to just pick up on one more thing, before we wrap up, about something you said a few minutes ago about how this discrimination or inquiry that you consider to be, you know, the cornerstone of your own practice and your own teaching, how it’s not likely something that people are just going to pick up on their own, from listening to a conversation like this, or maybe even from reading your books. It’s, it’s something I gather, that needs some more rigorous training, is that right?

A.H. Almaas: requires training. I mean, some people can pick up some of it, you know, I’ve written books in it, like, written a book called spaced cruiser inquiry, which is all about that inquiry, the principles of it. And however, it depends on the person, people can pick up something but for most people, some training from a teacher proximity with teacher who practices that and some kind of supervision and learning how it is done, is usually important takes some years for people to learn that.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s true in most things. I mean, you can probably learn a fair amount of physics just by reading physics books, but you’re probably better off going to Princeton and studying under real experts.

A.H. Almaas: Exactly. It’s the same thing. Yeah. Same thing. And you do you need to a person need to follow a genuine path where the real teacher is, I don’t believe and what people talk about, everybody got their own path, just follow your, you know, your own thing. Most people will be lost if they do that. Most people really need a teaching neither path. Neither teacher, it’s a rare individual who could do it on their own. Yeah, it’s most people. Most people want to be the exception.

Rick Archer: Right? Now, it’s the as you said, it’s rare.

A.H. Almaas: It’s better to err on the side of humility. Yeah. That’s, that’s a spiritual quality, humility, that make us see that we have our limitation. And this is really important. Why waste my time? Let me find the real teaching real teacher, that real practice so that I can really get into commit myself to until I begin to have some freedom, some light, some realization, then I could think of the possibility maybe doing doing it by myself. Like that’s the way we train our teachers, for instance, our school, we give them it’s seven, eight years training. You know, after being in the school for you yours to have some experience or realization, then there is rigorous training. And then when they teach, they teach the way they were taught, before they branch out farther on way, you see then becomes spontaneous due to the way it comes through. But first they need to do the way they landed, because otherwise they’ll, their mind can take it and all kinds of odd ways, and they might have tendencies, that’s still not worked out.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I really respect that. I was a teacher of Transcendental Meditation for 25 years. And I’m no longer in the TM movement, although I have good feelings and respect for everything I went through. And I’m not a teacher. Now. I just feel like I’m doing a more appropriate, useful role doing what I’m doing right now. But I think it’s definitely good to

A.H. Almaas: what what do you do? You do this in the weekend, what do you do as work,

Rick Archer: I do search engine optimization, which means getting more traffic to people’s websites. And I’ll spend my days, you know, getting people to sell more widgets. And it’s not ultimately what I’d like to be doing my time, but it’s paying livelihood. And this interview show thing is morphing in the direction of being able to do it full time, I would love to be able to do it full time. And it’s moving in that direction. So see what happens.

A.H. Almaas: You’re meeting all kinds of interesting people, that’s

Rick Archer: fabulous. I just love having these conversations is I’m the prime beneficiary, just having a conversation with someone,

A.H. Almaas: I wonder, because I was thinking because you’re taking talking to so many people, everybody got their perspective, and you’re so flooded with all these different perspective, it must take you some kind of process to how to grapple with all of those and integrate them and, and your mind is probably trying to integrate this and that and, and some of them are very contradictory and different. It’s an interesting situation you have,

Rick Archer: well, I think there was a time when it would have confused me. Now, it doesn’t, and you know, certain amount of that goes in one ear and out the other but but I, I have this attitude that you’ve described, which is that it’s all everything has its appropriate place, and it’s all good. It’s all useful, all these different teachings and perspectives, and so on, are each well and wisely put for that person, and for those people who resonate with it. And so I just have a little bit like a chameleon, when I do all these interviews, I just kind of adapt to the perspective of the person I’m talking to and try to understand where they’re actually coming from, rather than squeeze it into, you know, my perspective, I tried to expand my perspective and allow it to mature and become more rich and multifaceted. So it’s a real evolutionary thing. I feel from my own experience.

A.H. Almaas: I imagine some time it’s quite a stretch. Yeah.

Rick Archer: Well, I could use more stretching, you know? I mean, the more the merrier. Yeah. And I think a lot of times, I don’t really get it. I mean, when I talk to somebody afterwards, I sometimes have a feeling like, I didn’t really do justice to that person. I didn’t go deep enough. I didn’t. I was too much translating them into my own terms, and not understanding them on their terms. But I do my best with the time I have, you know, preparing for these interviews and

A.H. Almaas: what I like about your way of interviewing, I think one of the strengths you have, which I think can develop further. Is the probing. Yeah, you don’t just let the person speak their view of rubber. Well, just, they’re used to speaking like that. You probe and ask about this, focus on this and that and try to find out. What are the specifics that this person is contributing to the field?

Rick Archer: Yeah, thanks. It’s kind of the way my mind works. I mean, I really actually do like you, I guess I have a sort of inquiry going on, because I think about this stuff all the time. And even while I’m taking a walk or skiing in the woods or whatever, I my mind just sort of dwells on these questions. It would almost seem obsessive, but it feels healthy. And it feels like it’s a way of furthering my own progress.

A.H. Almaas: You know, Oh, yeah. Good to Maharishi. I think, from what I understand total love things. He was he was full of wisdom. He had a whole tradition behind them, and then it would allow no because I, I know a bunch of people have been with Ramana Maharshi. I mean, with Maha Maharishi for a long time and start with him and learn. He wasn’t just teaching TM he was teaching all Nothing.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. And and he was a human being. And you know, as I kind of moved distance myself from the thing a little bit, I began to be more accepting of certain shortcomings that I perceived. But nonetheless, I fundamentally have nothing but respect and appreciation. And, you know, I can’t really criticize

A.H. Almaas: a human being a human being is always incomplete. Yeah. Did you know that anybody tell you that from those the the human being is always incomplete?

Rick Archer: I think I’ve noticed it.

A.H. Almaas: Regardless how realize they are, they’re incomplete, because their potential is infinite. Yeah. So there cannot be Complete Completion mean, closing the book, means you’ve reached the end the mean, there is no more development, no more learning. So we are bound to be incomplete and then complete, this can show itself in various ways. So as a human being I mean, complete. I know what, what I know, what I experienced is still minuscule to the possibilities.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s a really good attitude.

A.H. Almaas: So I’m contented and happy where where I am, I’m not looking. I’m not searching. People talk about that another seeking that happened, you know, a few decades ago, I’m not having been seeking. But I’m interested, I’m the turned on kind of guy to life. Yeah. Find out what is life? What is reality? What is God what is being, and keeps going? I think

Rick Archer: seeking morphs into an attitude of exploration and adventure, you know, I mean, the seeking word kind of implies a, an emptiness, a craving, I’m not going to be happy until I have this. Whereas that kind of melts, doesn’t it and one becomes

A.H. Almaas: it’s one that one does when the self as dominant self is seeking. Because the sense of self is empty. And it’s not real. So it’s always seeking. So but then that falls away, and is no more seeking, and you sort of found or at least disappeared, and the finding, and then what happened is that just unfoldment Yeah, unfoldment of reality, says the learning continues and learning and service, myself I learned and service is giving, giving and helping others in whatever way possible. Because just the nature of being that is full of heart. That’s one way you know, somebody is really realize that they got heart. They don’t have heart that follow sweetness and generosity, and joy and gratitude and humility. There are what I call one centered being instead of multicentre of being

Rick Archer: nice. Well, you’re a good example of that I made.

A.H. Almaas: I’m, I’m on my way. Yeah.

Rick Archer: I really, really appreciate your perspective, your attitude, your your whole orientation, I think, you know, some might interpret a statement like I’m on my way, and I’ve just, you know, realized only a small fraction, but some would interpret that as sort of a kind of a beginner’s perspective, but that’s actually in spiritual circles, you know, mature ones considered to be valuable attributes beginner’s mind, you know, we’re all we’re all just beginners, in the big scheme of things. And I think, you know, if we have that perspective, I think it’s much more conducive to growth.

A.H. Almaas: As a human being, I’m always on my way. I was how I was gonna be because the human consciousness is, is what expresses being, and being an infinite in its possibilities. The human culture can never know it all. We can’t I mean, how can we I mean, the, just what happened throughout the history, for instance? God No at all. There is the knowledge of each human being the billions of people, each one had experiences and knowledge. Right? I understand how does knowledge Newton has knowledge Galileo has his knowledge, Thomas Aquinas has had knowledge, Aristotle had his knowledge. Each one has a universe, we don’t know them all. We could know a little bit of some of those. But we have the potential of learning. That’s the interesting thing. We have the potential of actually, human being has the potential of really, if we let go of some of the delusion that we still don’t know we have of going into Plato’s mind and seeing how he felt for us and learning the Platonic ideas the way he meant them, not through the interpreters. So knowledge is Endless, which means experience, Discovery revelation. And the freedom and the true realization that this is happening in his own. Yeah, it’s freely happening.

Rick Archer: Good. Well, I guess we better wrap it up. So we we’ve alluded to the possibility of future interviews. And I would like to do that you and I were talking before this interview, but my doing one with Karen Johnson, who is your associate and and then maybe you and Karen, we’re doing one together sometime. And we we’ve also brought up the possibility of maybe you and Tony Parsons having a little group interview, that’d be interesting.

A.H. Almaas: If I liked dialogue, they organize dialogue each year, actually different people. Yeah, I like to bring different point of views and have them interact and inform each other. It’s a nice wave. Because each teacher goes on goes off of their own, you know, niche. There aren’t people do their teaching. They don’t communicate, don’t talk to each other. And traditions are like that. And I’m thinking because we’re all here. Wouldn’t be interesting conversation.

Rick Archer: It would be cross pollination or something. Yeah, yeah. Something in yogo kind of hybrids can come out of it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, I

A.H. Almaas: think it’s possible. I think QAnon, as I mentioned, I talked to her she’s open, sure. willing to do it, you could interview her. And then after that, we’ll see whether we could organize something. For tours, the girl says, we collaborate. Most of this development of this teaching this, the amazing thing is, people have this idea about teaching, somebody gets awakened, or get realized, and they go on teaching. It’s not how it happens on this path. This path is being evolved. Some human beings, and through them revealed more or more of itself. There are many awakenings many realization, but there’s a continuing revelation, and expression of reality, it’s a different way that this teaching has happened. I’m not just teaching, I had an awakening, I’m teaching my awakening. That’s not the story here is a path that’s been unfolding. Where that addresses many people in different places of where they are. There’s a lot of knowledge about how to teach this person and that person and the differences between them and, and different stages they get through and what are the obstacles? And what is how do you deal with obstacles in the correct in a way that’s more optimal, more efficient?

Rick Archer: That’s good. And we haven’t really done justice to teaching in this interview, I don’t think so that could be more something for a future discussion. But obviously, people can look into it. And, you know, look

A.H. Almaas: at the judging books, you’ve

Rick Archer: got your website, you’ve got your Ridwan school out in the Bay Area. And I’ll be linking to your website from mine so that people can and listing some of your books so that people can explore all that you’ve written about 20 books, we’ll list a few of them. So let me thank you for this interview and, and make a few wrap up points. Really enjoyed speaking with you. We could probably go on all day doing this because we both enjoy it so much. But

A.H. Almaas: we haven’t haven’t. Don’t you know, I’m experiencing something I wanted to know. What are you experiencing? Which is, which is we have the same heart?

Rick Archer: Yeah.

A.H. Almaas: I don’t feel my heart and your heart or two hearts.

Rick Archer: I don’t know if they experienced it as clearly as you do. But I feel a connection. A kind of a

A.H. Almaas: I feel it’s the same heart. And it’s full of actors.

Rick Archer: Yes. Yes.

A.H. Almaas: She’s like, I don’t know. It’s my heart or your heart or it’s a combined one, because we’re talking sort of about thing we’re both interested in. So there’s a meeting of the heart.

Rick Archer: Yeah.

A.H. Almaas: Yes. Some people is meeting of the mind here, the scenes meeting of the heart somehow.

Rick Archer: That’s the way I, I think I do think experienced that in most interviews. And even in daily life situations, you know, going in the supermarket checkout line, there’s this sort of you for you experience some deep connection with the person you’re interacting with. Yeah. It’s not just what you’re saying or anything, there’s a resonance on the level of being or something or on the level of the heart as you say. Good. Okay, so let me conclude. I’ve been speaking with you,

A.H. Almaas: we We have done that interview. And it is good. It is good. Remember the Bible.

Rick Archer: Yeah.

A.H. Almaas: That said, it is good, it is good. And so we say our interview is good. It didn’t

Rick Archer: take us seven days and seven nights, either

A.H. Almaas: couple of hours.

Rick Archer: Well, maybe our universe isn’t completely built yet. We’ll have to see. Yeah. So I’ve been speaking with AMITA Lee, perhaps better known as, ah, almost, that’s his pen name. And he is based in the Bay Area, but he’s got books and website and all sorts of ways you can interact with him if you’d like to do that. This interview is one in an ongoing series, as you’re probably aware, they’re well over 200 of them. Now. You can find them all on batgap.com Bat gap. And there are several different indices is a chronological alphabetical and or even working on a geographical one where you could like look in Bay Area, and you’d find her me listed. And so also there, you’ll find a few other things, there is a discussion group forum, which we’re in the process of perhaps moderating a little bit more strictly than we have much to the chagrin of some of the participants. But I want to keep it a little bit more civil than it has been at times, there is a place to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. There is a donate button, which I appreciate people clicking that that’s my sole means of support in doing this. And there is also a link to an audio podcast, which you can subscribe to through iTunes. There’s that someone who just got contacted me this week and couldn’t find that link. It’s on every interview towards the bottom, you’ll see you’ll see it there. It says in the podcast, and you can click on that, go to iTunes, subscribe. And then you can get all these interviews in audio format. So there’s all that check it out. Thank you very much. See,

A.H. Almaas: when you say discussion group, their online discussion. Yeah, it’s like

Rick Archer: a forum where people can go in and chit chat about the interview, this particular interview. And each Forum has its own little section for each interview, have

A.H. Almaas: discussion back and forth, kind of just go Yeah, you know about things

Rick Archer: that were discussed, hopefully. And a lot of times it veers off topic and becomes completely irrelevant to the to the interview that was done, but we try to keep it on topic as best we can.

A.H. Almaas: Yeah, that’s interesting. So so people can’t follow up. Discuss it between

Rick Archer: Yeah, and if there’s some interesting questions that come up, you know, if you have the time, you could even come in there and answer some questions or whatever. That’d be good. Okay, so that’s about it. There’s one each week and so stay tuned, and we’ll see you then. Thanks. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks me. Great talking to you. Yeah, good. Talk to you.