A.H. Almaas Transcript

A.H. Almaas Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Hameed Ali, whom you may know as A.H. Almaas, his pen name. Hameed was born in Kuwait in 1944. At the age of  University of California in Berkeley. Hameed 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 inquiring into psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature. Hameed’s interest in the truth of human nature and in the true nature of reality resulted in the creation and unfoldment of the diamond approach. I think I’ll just read, 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, an 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 folk, Ian and Renata McNay, and maybe I’ll even link to those 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 relevant to the discussion. That always fascinates people, how someone first got bitten by the spiritual bug and what kind of changes and challenges they went through as they moved into that direction and began progressing. Where would you like to start?

Hameed: Interesting question, because when you ask about my history, I wonder, history of what? Which part of me? There are parts that have individual history, which probably what you mean is that this part has the history of the universe, and which part has no history. So you mean probably the individual history.

Rick: Well, I think it sounds like it would 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 as the history of the universe, part of your experience that we refer to by that term.

Hameed: Yes. Good. The idea is that what I am, when you ask about your history, bring me back, what am I? So a good way to look at it is that I am both a formlessness, right, that is at the same time everything, everything at all time and space. So that’s why it includes the history of the universe, because all time and space. At the same time I am an individual being through which the formless experiences, and that individual being has a body and a mind and lives in time and space, and that has the particular history in Earth. And then there is the indefinable, the fact that I’m not anything. I’m not anything, form or formlessness, and that you can’t speak of a history.

Rick: I think almost everyone listening would understand and be able to relate to what you’re saying, because the people listening to this show would tend to be familiar with such ideas, but for many people, if not most, those, the things you just said remain to a large degree ideas, as opposed to direct concrete experience. And often on this show I try 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 mistake an intellectual understanding for some sort of realization, but I believe you’re not referring to mere intellectual understanding.

Hameed: When I refer to intellectual understanding, I’ll be saying so.

Rick: Okay, good.

Hameed: Yeah, sometimes I do, and I’ll make clear. But yeah, I agree with you, and a lot of the things we’ll 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, until 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, and hopefully people understand something new, not just hear something they’ve already heard.

Rick: 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 that understanding something, reading a spiritual book or listening to a spiritual interview, I hopefully would 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. Is that your orientation?

Hameed: That’s my orientation. I want people to benefit. I want people to benefit. Benefits are a different kind. Some people get the direct experience. Some people get a confirmation of something they already know. Some people just get an intellectual level. They’re all useful in various ways. It’s fine with me, you know. It depends how deep we go. If we go pretty deep, we’ll lose most people, you know. If we stay in the general, more people, you know. I like to sort of get to some real particular things that are useful for people, instead of talking about generalities that people heard and read about all the time.

Rick: I agree. So let’s backtrack a bit. So I heard in your interview with Ian, you were saying that you were a physics student and you were quite far along in your studies, and there was some story about when you went into the dining hall at Berkeley and you saw all 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.”

Hameed: Exactly. 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 a smart brain, you know, and not much life beyond that. I didn’t know I was thinking that way, but that was my impression that turned me around. I realized that’s not what I’m going to do. For a long time I thought I’m just going to become a physicist, be a research physicist or theoretician, and study general relativity, study nuclear physics, and I was really into it. Because I thought I’m going to find out what the truth is. And I found out some truth, but it wasn’t exactly what I was, the truth I was looking for. And that’s true. That turned around the individual mind.

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

Hameed: Well, let’s put it this way. I just, I wasn’t experiencing myself as an individual who’s going through school until at some point I recognized, no, I’m not really the individual. I’m this beingness that is at the basis of all of existence was 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 in science, studying math and physics and all that was very useful. It’s trained and developed the mind and and the discriminating intellect to a way so that the spiritual teaching that ended up being taught can be taught with the precision and rigor of science.

Rick: Yeah, I often wish I had been a better student myself. That I was kind of flaky.

Hameed: I see you’re interested in physics and science and you use those metaphors and those ideas.

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

Hameed: Yeah. There’s no conflict. It’s really useful.

Rick: Useful

Hameed: because many people who get into spirituality, they have fuzzy minds and their experiences tend to be sort of vague and generalized and with no precise and clear insights into what or description of what the experience is because their mind hasn’t been trained that way. You see, 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’t become precise and clear and delineated but the whole consciousness becomes trained like a diamond.

Hameed: 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. You don’t hear too many people talking about that.

Hameed: Many traditions do it. If you look at the Tibetan tradition for instance, if you look at the tradition of Dalai Lama, part of their study is intellectual, they train the mind, studying the scripture and they do debates between each other so everything is clear and then when they debate, they talk about a very fine thing discrimination because awakening and realization, it has to be very precise and clear to know what is true what is not otherwise you write your subjective kind of emotion, overlay it in a subtle way without you knowing it.

Hameed: 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 having these deep debates with other spiritual teachers and scholars.

Hameed: That’s why I like him as a Vedanta teacher. He had a completeness that way in his realization.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: He wasn’t just saying I’m the ultimate and that’s it.

Rick: He also had a lot of heart too. I mean he wrote all these devotional hymns and so on so he was kind of the complete package.

Hameed: I agree and it reminds me of another Vedanta, Atmananda. You probably have heard of Atmananda. 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 yoga including bhakti yoga and raja yoga. He did all of that before he his teacher told him do this do this do this do this before you first get into the direct path and he did it, faithfully. So he got opened up in so many ways before recognizing what’s called a non-dual. He teaches a non-dual but he’s pretty experienced in so many things. These days many people who call themselves non-dual teachers they only know that part. They don’t know the rest but those masters they know a lot.

Rick: 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 use again that gem metaphor. 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 oversimplified and dumbed down you know to just one thing and everything else is dismissed or rejected as frivolous or superficial or irrelevant.

Hameed: Well it becomes dismissing in many people’s experiences too. There’s so much variety in experiences of spiritual experience so much variety is what’s called awakening and realization so much variety is what’s called enlightenment. People think it’s all in one thing. It 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 realization there are liberation because the spiritual world is not like the physical world where it’s determined in the classical Newtonian sense. It is more like the quantum world is not determined it’s dependent on the observer right in the quantum theory nothing is there until you observe it and 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 person next to you when they experience it they experience something different. Have you ever thought how come a Vedanta teacher could be sitting in Bombay and experiencing everything as pure consciousness and they say that is the nature of reality. a Lama sitting in you know in Tibet and experiencing reality and it’s all emptiness. A Sufi someplace in Morocco experiencing reality, this is all love. Well which one is it? And they’re all saying that I’m experiencing the ultimate. you see?

Rick: so how do you answer that question?

Hameed: they’re all correct and they’re all different they’re all different

Rick: so is it a blind man in 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.

Hameed: I don’t think the blind man the elephant applies because these are realized people who know reality and are liberated they see they’re seeing the full reality then however they’re seeing it in one of its manifestations. you see yeah the the ultimate is not a determined truth that has only one way of experiencing it. it’s more mysterious than that. my experience, my view of it, because I experienced in many ways myself I experienced it the Vedanta way, experience of the Sufi way,  Buddhist way many ways and all of them are real and they all say something about reality and the liberation is complete and beautiful and all that but then I’ve gone to the next one it’s really completely different completely different and it’s a completely different view it’s like I have to use a different part of my brain or something so for a long time I sort of was dealing with trying to find the way to how do you how does that mean? first I thought somebody must be the get 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 in what I call different faces we can express experience one face at one time and face another face at another and you could keep saying well maybe I’ll experience what’s behind the face what’s behind the face is another face and it keeps moving like that so you end up the for me as as a result the realization is not the realizing one of the faces, the realization of the freedom for to move itself from one face to the next without impediment.

Hameed: 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 the sun off different colored you know reflectors there’s always going to be some some quality or some influence in imparted into the experience by the individual’s makeup um

Hameed: I won’t blame it on the individual

Rick: okay

Hameed: it’s not because the individual that’s the relativistic post-modern way of looking at things I don’t agree with the post-modern thinking I think they don’t know what they’re talking about the individual is not what determines experience but determined experience is true nature itself

Rick: through nature or true nature

Hameed: true nature, true 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 true that individual allows it to experience itself that way so you’d like like let’s call Being you use your Being something being is experiencing itself as Rick right now so Rick is giving Being the opportunity to experience itself as Rick in your office you see so it’s Being who actually experiences itself in different ways through different individuals the individuals that’s when you ask me what is my his what’s your history right you know there is the history of the individual which we can talk about which is useful everybody is an individual beside being the fundamental right? and the individual is a lens through which Being or the spiritual nature experiences itself but it is Being is really what manifests the individual anyway what gives the individual it’s the individual particular proclivities and capacities and it is the Being that gives the individual this 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 It knows Itself and can express Itself

Rick: 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

Hameed: well yeah how else can it be

Rick: right 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 being to experience itself am I right to that point

Hameed: yeah okay well right according to my view

Rick: according to your view I want to make sure we’re on the same page 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 and of deeper realities begins to become really significant and so 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 allow that experience to become so so clear that Being experiences Itself in its fullness as It is without any coloration or distortion whatsoever

Hameed: that’s what spiritual realization is about yes

Rick: okay

Hameed: however it is true but that doesn’t mean there’s only one way of experiencing Being in its fullness. As I said, the vedanta way of experiencing being in its fullness it is being in its fullness but it’s not the buddhist way of experiencing Being in its fullness

Rick: so you would say

Hameed: the typical thing to wrap one’s head around

Rick: yeah but it’s fun to try

Hameed: yeah

Rick: so you’d say then the vedanta way and the 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

Hameed: it’s not based on the particular path or particular culture Being created the culture and the path to manifest itself in that particular way and to experience itself in that particular way that particular way

Hameed: so for us the vedanta the experience the realization is being is a pure consciousness satchitananda right Being consciousness place 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 not nothing has true existence only the appearance appearance of existence so they call that pure awareness characterized by emptiness which is a very different i mean when you experience it a very different flavor the 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 when buddhist Dalhi Lama says the the the absence of inherent existence they mean 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 mention it once in a while but for them existence is the real thing. You see existence and non-existence are very different ways of experiencing existence has a fullness has richness right and has emptiness non-being is more spaciousness more nothing and that nothing is brings out the luminosity the clear luminosity of everything but they’re both non-dual both non-dual.

Rick: yeah

Hameed: but they’re different and i appreciate both i thought they’re both a good contribution to you know to reality.

Rick: i do too but i 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 particularly 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, 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 um and actually even among the mystics some of them will say well we’ve really got the a fuller truth than those guys you know they they only took it so far and now we’re taking it farther to realize these things so what i’m wondering is um 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

Hameed: yeah good question you know i i’ve worked with it for many years and i have my own solution, my own understanding and realization around it, which is true, the different school of different religions adhere to their truth as the true truth that this is and others may be good but they’re all approximation and they all say it you know the Dalhi Lama says, “i’m buddhist because i think it’s the best path”

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: 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, um, 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 friends, and and the true realized people are friends even though they know they are different when you get outward to the religious part who don’t have the experience they don’t have the realization so their hearts are not open their minds are not open they’re prejudiced you see but that prejudice can seep even into the mystics to some degree if they have part of them that are not clarified so they get to stick to their way of looking at better than the other. The realizer, 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 it did I’m free, the other person they’re free great they’re free different from the way I’m free be good friends we’ll learn from each other in fact I like that there are differences otherwise it’s always going to be the same thing boring. You see, if the fact, that in fact, you might have noticed I’ve been having dialogue with different teachers from different traditions because I think there need 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 they are talk about the same thing. No. I think people should bring out their similarity and also differences the similarities make them friends the differences make them give them something to talk about that’s interesting.

Rick: yeah

Hameed: see so spirituality is pretty rich, you see, and we are living in a world where many spiritual teaching are here before they were all isolated each one in their place so they could say we are the thing, it’s a historical relic from those times when each teaching didn’t 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: Yeah, well me too. I talk to somebody different every week and

Hameed: yeah yeah you talk with so how do you make peace with it

Rick: You see 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 and that everybody is progressing in their own way and you know but I do sort of have a bias which I’m 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 if 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

Hameed: I think they’ll say more something like well 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 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.

Rick: well what they’ll do then well I agree and now you just said reality appearing differently through all these different people

Hameed: yeah

Rick: but then the the question is is the reality itself different or is it just appearing differently through the different people

Hameed: it is one reality right but the reality does not show its true ultimate essence, it it doesn’t have through an ultimate essence that can be that is experienceable or knowable what is knowable is one is the ways it manifests itself. see I know that I know reality in many ways but I feel there are still many other ways I could I could see it and none of them will be the final one you see one thing about this perspective I’m giving you is that there is no end point it removes the end point, it removes the goal as a matter of greater maturation openness and freedom so that life becomes a life of discovery, discovering Being in the way Being and it is you know I’m not discovering being you know Being is using this individual as an lens through which to discover itself because Being loves to know Itself.

Rick: I think you just nailed it in that in that last thing you 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 too

Hameed: depending on the makeup that Being itself has created

Rick: for it yeah

Hameed: in an order for it to experience that particular flavor

Rick: right.

Hameed: 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 of you know  it’s always Being. Being contains all of those times and it is its intelligence is unimaginable, you see.

Rick: 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 and rather than even just asking a question here which I might start pontificating let let me just ask invite you to say a bit about intelligence.

Hameed: Well first of all the way that Being manifests Itself through this individual you’re talking to that first it showed Being 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, they’re still not realized 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, oh yes I want love, I want to be loved, but tell them emptiness, most people, that sounds uninteresting. Tell them everybody got consciousness what’s 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 the stuff that human being need to live their life so Being has quote “these are what I call the perfections of being” implicit in being but can manifest them specifically in one’s individual experience. So one of the thing, one of those qualities, that manifests is intelligence and shows that it because each one of them shows something about Being throughout all of manifestation of Being when it shows conscious, I mean, compassion doesn’t mean only at that time it’s compassion it’s whichever way it’s experiences itself however, it can manifest itself as pure compassion, with tenderness and softness and empathy and attunement you see and sensitivity but can manifest itself as intelligence and then it’s brilliant it’s economical and the way it operates you know and it is like the whole system is it becomes sort of oiled your brain is oiled your nervous systems or everything is moves smoothly like silver it’s like not silver like mercury

Rick: super fluid

Hameed: super fluid and you recognize what is intelligence intelligence is a quality of Being which means characteristic of Being and that intelligence can manifest as a quality that a a particular human being manifests. Let’s say this human being has intelligence, 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 pure brilliance that is like it’s it’s a fluid brilliance the way mercury is like super fluid but that’s a being manifesting its intelligence in an explicit way for it to know it through particular individual individual and it shows that being is characterized by intelligence. Pure intelligence, it’s beyond the intelligence of what human being called intelligent. What human being called intelligent is the outer expression of that intelligence.

Rick:It’s way beyond it, i mean yeah, all the technologies in the world couldn’t create a you know 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 and all all sort of you know functioning properly within themselves and and among themselves so what level of intelligence would have to exist for for that to happen?

Hameed: Yeah and it’s not only that, it’s a non-thinking intelligence, non-deliberative intelligence. It’s organically, spontaneously, functions and it’s functioning spontaneous without deliberation is totally intelligent.

Rick: Just thinking and deliberation are human faculties right?

Hameed: yes

Rick: yeah

Hameed: Yeah thinking delivers human, but that is one of the ways human being 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 experience myself as pure intelligence my Being can be all intelligence pure intelligence you see and when you have 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 intelligence of Being has the knowledge of everything everywhere and everyone. Think of it that way.

Rick: So it’s omniscient

Hameed: It is on, it is in touch with omniscience, so it’s intelligence, it’s operating intelligence because it knows everything. Now when i’m intelligent i’m not knowing everything i don’t have a, the brain doesn’t have the capacity to know everything but the intelligence underlying intelligence is informed by everything that ever happened, that will ever happen so it operates in amazing and infinite, let’s call it infinite intelligence.

Rick: 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.

Hameed: It is 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 teaching don’t address which is they say there’s only non-duality there’s only one reality, then however, when they talk about unenlightened people they say what’s their ignorance they’re ignorant. Well who’s ignorant if there is there’s only one being? How can there be another person who’s ignorant. You see they blame the ignorance the difficulty on the individual, that in fact the moment they say, you’re ignorant that’s why you’re not enlightened they have ratified you as a separate individual, means 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 in reality is always done by the same Beingness, including the mistakes including the ignorance. Being is ignorance in certain location and through in in time through certain practices or life circumstances it wakes up in that location but it 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 lets you believe that because that’s Its way. When you wake up you realize that you haven’t done any of it because you never existed as that separate individual. Being has been doing it at all all the time.

Hameed: 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

Hameed: I don’t use the word god that much.

Rick: it’s a kind of a simple three-letter word to kind of summarize a lot of what we’ve been saying here

Hameed: it sounds 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 mehar baba was not only god 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, 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, in dual, non-dual realization, when you realize everything is one, right, the one no no separation, how do we explain changes, how do we explain that somebody’s walking? it’s all one. how can there be movement in it?

Rick: Yeah well some people use funny terminology they’ll say like the being is walking or the being is walling or the being 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.

Hameed: Yeah some people say that why will being needs an illusory show if it is the master of creation

Rick: I can’t answer that question

Hameed: Yeah, you see why I mean I know some of the Vedanta say the individual is a convenient fiction needed by brahman to realize itself. I said brahman the ultimate needs a fiction to know itself isn’t that in western philosophy that would be considered illogical, you see, but there many people believe it. The fact of it there are kinds of realization, I don’t know if you read some of my books, a kind of realism non-duality where you see how things happen. Being in its Beingness is manifesting everything as all at the same time. The big bang didn’t happen only three billion years, it just continues to happen, every instance creation is happening, so Being is creating everything and all dimension, all all simultaneously as one big picture. Just like you look at the movie screen movie screen look like when anything happened but the light is really creating all of it, right, and look like somebody’s walking, somebody’s fighting, so there’s a car chase and all that but only the light that is manifesting all of that, the realization where you see everything is being manifesting as this moment and is being basically manifesting all these its own appearance it’s changing its own appearance as a manifestation of the world so that’s how we see one way of understanding how change happens. The change happens from one frame to another, one frame of perception to another, that’s the real change. so there’s so there’s really nobody walks there’s no car chases there’s only one frame followed by another frame, that’s how being functions, so then you could say maybe that’s God God creating, I’m I’m fine with that language but I tend not to use the word God because everybody got their idea what God is.

Rick: two questions come to mind one is can you ask the question why without getting into or 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 manifests 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 and forces and so on or you know if as a physicist you you look at those closely enough and take them down to more fundamental levels do you end up with the conclusion that actually nothing ever happened although it appears to have done

Hameed: well at whatever level of perception you look at it with a microscope telescope being is creating that, is manifesting that, is manifesting the telescope and the microscope the 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 whether stars look the way they we see them

Rick: right they’re going to look different to us than to a moth or to a you know giraffe or whatever.

Hameed: yeah yeah yeah, so the most we can say that being is manifesting our experience of the world at the present time.

Rick: 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 in a these apparent phenomena with within itself but which consists ultimately of nothing other than itself?

Hameed: you you can see it either way or both at the same time in the sense that as i said being manifests experience. It can manifest experience in 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 in the street and driving a car, they’re all accurate ways of how being is manifesting itself, that’s how being is manifested at that time how else could it be

Rick: yeah

Hameed: you know so they’re all true, all accurate, being manifests itself in many ways, dual, non-dual and otherwise

Rick: or at least it appears to

Hameed: no that’s the way it’s manifesting itself, it appears to itself you see yeah being appears to itself, and you see 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 was dual now it’s non-dual non-dual feels better than the dual so the dual was delusion from the perspective non-dual dual was delusion from perspective of being both of them are expressions of being. It doesn’t say one is deluded and one is not because non-duality actually there are other forms of realization where non-duality is seen as a delusion because the basic premise of non-duality and that there’s no separateness. right? there’s no separate thing. well but there are realization you know like where the question of separateness is relevant. i’m not separate from you but i am separate from you. yeah, i’m neither separate nor not separate, both non-dual says we’re not separate we’re one. We’re connected somehow through this medium of consciousness but that is one way of realization another way of realization there is you and there’s me, the question whether we are separate or not is irrelevant. It it it might happen or not happen the fact of the reality who’s going to judge it so separateness is a concept non-separateness is a concept the polar opposite of separateness so duality is a way of experiencing thing non-duality is the opposite way of experiencing them both of them are conceptual reality can experience itself completely non-conceptually when it is non-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 we’re enjoying each other and i could feel the heart is happening because of the openness. You see separateness separateness you know it’s good to experience non-separateness to be to be free from the fixation of separateness but after that if you stay there being is constrained is not free can only manifest non-separateness but there are other ways of experiencing reality where separate and non-separate are relevant there are other ways also experiencing non-separateness. For instance, you see that’s the view i’m trying to bring uh you know rick that because there are many teaching each teaching has a way of realization i’m thinking all of them are useful each contributes and each situation might might require the response of a particular realization so some situations require an non-dual response, some situation require what i call a non-local response, some situation require a non-conceptual response. These are different kinds of realization. Some situation require a theistic response, see, 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: Yeah that that whole perspective really resonates with me and it’s 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 basket’s big enough they all 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.

Hameed: that that’s what i call the view of totality.

Rick: yeah

Hameed: 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: exactly you know one man’s meat is another man’s poison. and uh, 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, uh, you know and the world obviously ultimately doesn’t exist like a speck of dust so why should we concern ourselves about that but um you know there’s a beautiful quote i came across recently as by a buddhist Padmasambhava 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 its significance every little bug walking across the street and the the vast view doesn’t in any way obviate or contradict or render insignificant the particulate view.

Hameed: Yeah, i agree with you. I think from the perspective the view of vastness to experience oneself as a vastness seem all these things are not only they’re all the same, they’re called equal, you know would called one taste or evenness everything is the same, however, that doesn’t consider that the differences between things are significant, that brings in another that’s because that’s another realization not the realism vastness, this is the realization of what i call radical non-locality which is that radical non-locality 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 that what it does it eliminates the concept of space the main thing about concept of space rick is distance there are distances between things so the usual non-dual view preserve distance even though we are connected there’s somebody in bombay and I’m here in Berkeley, the radical non-locality is no bombay is right here in my heart you see because there’s the distance between them has been completely obliterated because the spiritual nature has no distance in it it’s not small and it’s not large so when you have that view the individual or particular come into prominence which doesn’t in the non-dual view come into prominence so the individual you becomes important because 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 bug, although from the non-dual view they’re all equal they all appear as manifestation of the same reality but from this perspective you are different and 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 things is really it’s true that Being is the experiencer and experiences through this individual however being cannot experience without having an individual to experience through.

Rick: Right

Hameed: So the individual is indispensable to Being has a particularity i i saw some of your interviews from the non-dual people that you talk about and they say no you’re not the individual you’re formless and then don’t say anything more about the individual. Now i realize this person doesn’t have the knowledge of the individual,

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: 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 dismiss the individual don’t know that knowledge as simple as that.

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

Hameed: No no it’s not only no conversation

Rick: no experience no life

Hameed: Because because if you look at the experience you know that’s one thing i’ve been thinking about, it’s interesting what’s called the phenomenology of experience, that our experience is always characterized by a first personal givenness, experience is always your experience, and it’s happening within a particular space-time context even though it is being experiencing it but experiencing it from that space-time context and it is always your experience not my experience.

Rick: Right

Hameed: Now how does an non-dual view account for that difference?

Rick:How does it?

Hameed: It doesn’t, doesn’t account for it it’s just ignored glossed over and i included that vedanta, mahamudra, all the non-dual teaching, they don’t address it because they’re residing in this ocean of non-duality, in everything all the particular seem unimportant from that perspective, it’s true, it’s not important. However, i’ve learned that other realization where the individual is there’s a whole development for the individual they talk about that there has to be maturation. What matures then,

Rick: Certainly not being, that’s uh,

Hameed: That being is already

Rick: Yeah, that’s not going to change.

Hameed: Well what matures

Rick: Would have to be the individual, right?

Hameed: What else

Rick: Yeah, and all the various components and faculties of it.

Hameed: yeah and we have to find out then the science in the what’s the individual.

Rick: I think Kashmir Shivism deals with this somewhat but more maturely but i’m not really familiar with but that’s what i’m told

Hameed: I think it does.

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: Yeah, from what i know is Kashmir Shivism they do that they’re called they talk about jiva the jivatman, you see the non-dual, the vedanta they say oh the difference is just mind, so your mind make a difference but they don’t say what is mind. Do they mean the thinking apparatus, then they’re giving mind an independent existence. However, you know, kashmir shivism and sufism whatever they say being or god, manifests its truth through organs of its own being, organ through which it perceives and experiences and those organs learn develop and mature and they’re through me through their maturation they become more transparent more capable so that being can experience itself more completely.

Rick: Yeah, i think that’s very exciting really and i, and as you said earlier, i don’t think there’s any end to it and that really would be or 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.

Hameed: Yeah i think it’s a good way of saying it because it really non-dual brings freedom from the constrictions of the self, because the self fixates being on a particular way of experiencing, just like Don Juan, remember Don Juan and Castaneda’s Don Juan, 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 in certain band which we call dualistic experience. It is not an illusion, it is just one way being can experience itself but the ego keeps it in 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 non-dual, what i call the non-local. The 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. You ever hear that?

Rick: Well 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 you know if being is the container of everything and then you know being doesn’t have, being can’t be sort of you can’t say take a handful of Being, Being is is just one solid block so to speak one solid on the present mass of being 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.

Hameed: And that’s the importance of the individual.

Rick: Yeah yeah yeah. A

Hameed:As an individual,

Rick: you can take

Hameed: you are as an individual without getting bigger or smaller you are the totality of being. R

Rick: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.

Hameed: Yeah that is what i mean by a non-local experience because being has no size or shape, so i mean not only they say it’s beyond time and space but then they bring in space of their experience, you see, they’re not beyond space because they’re their metaphor are spatial they say it’s everywhere and from the non-local there’s no everywhere. Everywhere is a concept.

Rick: 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.

Hameed: That that brings in another point which is enlightenment always has delusion.

Rick: Elaborate on that please.

Hameed: That’s actually the first person who said that. Dogen, you hear of Dogen?

Rick:I’ve heard.

Hameed: the founder, the founder of soto zen? He said enlightenment has delusion

Rick: What did he mean by that?

Hameed: There’s always always delusion. Let’s look at it this way, not delusion in the sense you believe you are a self, that’s the humane delusion, but delusion, 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 being that’s a 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.

Rick: Yeah,

Rick: So are you saying

Hameed: One can be realized and enlightened and free but hasn’t actualized all the possibilities of being yet.

Rick: Right, so i guess it sort of depends on how we want to define enlightenment, how how superlatively we want to use that term. uh 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 um as evolution continues.

Hameed: The way it’s defined is the beginning.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: Is the beginning, enlightenment is the beginning but then how does life happen after enlightenment?

Rick: Right

Hameed: does the lighting condition to continue to be the same forever and ever?

Rick: I don’t think so.

Hameed: Well, i mean people talk about how do you bring an enlightenment to life that’s what brings the question that’s how i found out when i experienced an non-dual, the vastness and all of that, i was living in it for a few years then there came the question how do i walked, 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 i saw in the process of learning that the realization itself changes.

Rick: Was it a little difficult to learn that?

Hameed: Yes, there were difficulties because i didn’t know.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: So there were difficulties, there basically the delusion appears as an obstacle for a while when you’re attempting to go to the next step when you’re feeling the need to go to the next step and you don’t know it it appears as an obscuration and you have to see through the obscuration before you go to the next step and then i realized 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: Yeah he becomes like he melts

Hameed: the t-1000, he melts and shapes that’s what happens next thing you know.

Rick: He becomes governor of california.

Hameed: Yeah so that vastness shapes itself into a body that is always changing its configuration, so i saw to learn to move, the realization itself has to show more of its implication of its possibilities.

Rick: 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 um 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 know, you just use that example from the terminator, 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 and thereby permeates the the mind, the physiology, the intellect and so on so that it can be a living reality? is that what you’re saying?

Hameed: Yeah, because first of all vastness is not the ultimate condition of reality,

Rick: Right.

Hameed: it’s just one of the ways of it it is one of the ways of experiencing Being, being as vast and there’s also vastness and vastness includes the concept of space

Rick: Right right

Hameed: If you exclude the concept of space what will you say?

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: About being, will you call it vast. Vast means pretty big infinite but if you eliminate the concept of space what is it?

Rick: You can’t really say then.

Hameed: Yeah, it changes, sometimes it’s vast, sometimes it isn’t, sometimes it’s particular sometimes it’s not, depending on the situation Being is like a magician a chameleon keep changing depending on the circumstances and that’s why we have many traditions many realizations because each one of them gets captures some of those manifestations say that’s it and it’s true that’s it that is reality pure reality it’s not the creation of the individual mind but being has infinite ways of experiencing itself it has not yet revealed all its secret people say buddha’s omniscient knows everything now he knows what buddha knows there’s a lot more to know even in Buddhism they have learned things buddha himself didn’t know

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: You see and we’re sort of some place i don’t know we might be at the beginning of discovering the spiritual universe just like we are at the beginning of discovering the secrets of the body.

Rick: It strikes me at this point in the conversation that you were 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 too for for people for a call 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 and who has kind of extracted the nectar from a great many of them

Hameed: Yeah, it’s more like i didn’t really extract the nectar, it’s 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 it chose this individual that’s called Hameed to manifest it through it you see i am both the Being and Hameed at the same time. Sometime i am all being sometime i’m hameed but usually i am both but the most interesting thing i also don’t have to be either one of those.

Rick:What are you

Hameed: That’s the freedom. I’m not anything.

Hameed: Think about that, I’m not anything.

Rick: So, I, 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’re hameed sometimes you’re Being sometimes you’re both and other times you’re not anything? That’s basically what you just said.

Hameed: One of them dominates at one time or another but it’s always all of them there.

Rick: Okay, yeah.

Hameed: One of them dominates. 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 form or formlessness. it is it is something that most people are very uncomfortable with. Everybody wants to be something even if that something is non-dual.

Rick: Alot of 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 you know they go on and on like that that that’s the their whole focus.

Hameed: The 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 but there is another one which is a little subtler which is i’m not formless. i’m not form i’m not formlessness, i’m not anything, zero. Although, all the rest exists 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, right, is a realization. I am nothing is not the same i’m not anything. You see, i am nothing, you’re still nothing, you experience nothing, yourself as nothing. I’m not anything you’re not experienced so that’s nothing.

Rick: 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 the circumstances?

Hameed: That is my condition.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: And 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: Are there certain flavors of it tend to come to the foreground under certain circumstances, like if you’re driving your car then the i am Hameed thing comes more to the foreground, and if you’re sitting in meditation then the i am nothing thing may be more predominant, does it sort of correlate with what you’re actually called to do?

Hameed: Yeah, it is a response to situations.

Rick: Right.

Hameed: So definitely a response to situation, although, it’s not one-to-one correspondence like sometimes i’ll be driving at the bridge for instance bay bridge and i the experience is,

Rick: Theres nobody here driving

Hameed: Not that, it’s more like the bridge and the car all of them are floating in me. The whole bay area, that one beautiful view at night, and i see the hands that are driving, i’m just observing all of it, i’m none of it. So that can happen but sometime, no, i am the individual expressing being man driving a car and especially if there is you know difficulty whatever i have to pay more attention there’s the individual comes more to the fore.

Rick: Sure. Do you also have one sometimes where you’re in a situation where even though you see the bridge in the 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

Hameed: Yeah, yeah, that’s the realization of nothing.

Rick: Right another flavor of it.

Hameed: The way you put it is a response to Leibniz famous question. He asked “why is there something?” and the scientist philosopher has been trying to grapple with it why is there something and the response of 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 certain realization of emptiness certain kind of emptiness, you see. buddhists will call it emptiness although it’s not exactly the buddhist emptiness of which is the lack of inherent existence yeah i i am aware some people experience that there is nothing and nothing is happening. I remember the story of the for the 16th karmapa uh when he was in his deathbed and he had one of his main students with him was doctor and he was sort of crying he said don’t, why are you crying, he said well no you know he said i’ll tell you something *nothing happens*

Rick: Yeah.

Rick: 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 we’re like a camera lens that focuses in and out according to what the situation is and sometimes certain realizations are predominant and other times they’re more in the background

Hameed: Yeah, well i mean there are people who establish in one realization or another i think you interviewed with his name Tony Parsons

Rick: Right

Hameed: Right who talks about there’s not nothing nobody and nothing

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: and i understand his experience is totally valid but i see it as just one kind of realization.

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: and he doesn’t want to go to another way.

Rick: He’s a one-trick pony, as they say.

Hameed: Yeah he he’s very good at that, he’s a good, you know exemplar, of that realization, but i know also, i can be completely physical and be a body and experience the the visceral muscular bodiness and that itself is a delight. Being wants to experience itself that way sometimes, you see, and and that makes certain interaction like sexuality wonderful. You see, if i am 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. There’s no body, no restaurant, nothing, except the taste of this caesar salad. That’s another realization.

Rick: Interesting, so you mean 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 taste of salad and nothing else?

Hameed: If i close my eyes.

Rick: Right.

Hameed: If i open my eyes i will see them but there’s a feeling that nothings there.

Rick: Right

Hameed: The focus is more the taste, so the eyes are closed there’s no and then all the sensation sensation disappear the only sensation that would be left is the taste of the caesar salad.

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: It’s this it’s wonderful realization to have when you listening to music

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: because there’s only the music there’s no listener, you see, no somebody’s singing simply the music going on.

Rick: I used to have that on marijuana in the  first time i heard sergeant pepper’s lonely hearts club band

Hameed: Exactly tell us that way it gives you that possibility yeah you knew that there was that way of experiencing things

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

Hameed: It’s like the transformer

Rick: Yeah yeah.

Hameed: it’s always transforming from one thing to another.

Rick: And yet as 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 uh that may or that may be more or less in the foreground now 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 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 and is that a apt analogy?

Hameed: Yeah. I think that’s a good way of saying it and but also our discussion, points is important to the individual because the changes happen through the individual.

Rick: Right.

Hameed: Individual, I call it individual consciousness because people talk about consciousness not knowing that consciousness can individualize itself. There is the ocean of consciousness, right, whether has a size or not another point but that consciousness can individualize 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 is no individual consciousness there is no experience of the death, you see, you have you have to explain, if there is no individual consciousness, then the first personal givenness of experience, the fact is orient time and space has to be explained by the physical body, when the physical body is gone there’s no experience then,

Rick: Right.

Hameed: but we know that’s not true.

Rick: Yeah, you mean people near death experiences things like that?

Hameed: Yeah, and even experiences after death.

Rick: Sure, 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 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 jiva or some subtle essence which could reincarnate. You can call it illusory, ultimately, if you want to but

Hameed: Well the thing, the one who was talking was Tony Parsons.

Rick: Yeah,

Hameed: so what’s he talking about? what’s Tony Parsons talking like that not the chair in front and he beside him?

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

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

Rick: I don’t know if he has to do anything well and i hope i’m doing well i mean no disrespect to Tony Parsons, i hope i’m doing justice to what

Hameed: He’s established in his realization which is wonderful it’s a freedom

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: 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 has many stages of development

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: which makes being be able to manifest different of its possibilities.

Rick: And i agree with you i’m just using his perspective as i understand it to play devil’s advocate and uh you know and i would argue that whereas what he’s saying is is true on one level and ultimately maybe uh 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 jiva that that could in fact reincarnate from one life to another or astral travel or any of these possibilities that of experience that people in fact have

Hameed: That experience continues beyond the physical body because the physical body is just one way Being expressing itself. Being will continue expressing itself after the physical body is gone and whether it’s a reincarnate or continues in different realm it will continue, to have for it to have an experience, it will have to have an individualization, individual kind of manifestation

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: because individual manifestation is the organ of perception, without it there’s no no perception

Rick: You know what’d be interesting to do sometime is set up a a two-way conversation interview with you and Tony Parsons have you on, i don’t know if you’d want to do that but to have you on both at once and that

Hameed: Might be interesting yes

Rick: Yeah, well think about that

Hameed: I I liked his view I mean I and I’m familiar with it you know and i can be with him there and agree with him and all of that at the same time i have other perspective

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

Hameed: Yeah, because Being is really the the truth, there’s only Being you could say but Being brings out all this variety that we call experience see

Rick: Yeah. um, i know you’ve in previous interviews like with Ian and so on you have talked about the various stages of practice and 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 um, do you have a spiritual practice now and as 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 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.

Hameed: I take the view of Dogen again, which who says realization is practice, practice is realization. realization realizes further realization by practicing so practice continues because practice is the way Being lives its life truthfully, so practice can 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 there are infinite possibilities for Being to manifest Itself, so to say well i’m enlightened i don’t need to practice, i did that for a while actually, you know

Rick: How’d that work for you?

Hameed: and and didn’t work very well because it’s like i realize that’s true but the thing becomes static you see becomes and would become static they become stale. See, so practices, my main practice is inquiry. i just inquire into whatever the experience is happening to find out do i understand it? By understand it I mean do i feel it completely, do i sense its nuances, do i perceive it and what’s in the way of and perceiving it and knowing it completely, that’s what i mean by understanding. There’s an 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 and there’s no end to developing those capacities.

Rick: Some people, i can mention, i heard you mention with ian that uh 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?

Hameed: I don’t, I don’t, I haven’t practiced it for some time. I did for a few years I learned it when I was in college

Rick: Right well

Hameed: and got my mantra and did it that’s good i liked it and once in a while i sort of get into it but my 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 uh inquiry meaning there’s something i don’t see don’t experience don’t understand i question it and i question even the truth i’m experiencing well i am experiencing thing non-dual non-dually 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 it’s just a luminosity or is it spaciousness and if it is spaciousness what does that mean i realize oh spaciousness mean there is a concert space and if i see the concert space that develop experience oh the space has disappeared, the moment space disappeared i realize everybody is here. That inquiry for me, that’s the practice and continues.

Rick: So um, what is the outcome of that inquiry do you have experiential breakthroughs as a result of that and i 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 is automatically running in you but 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.

Hameed: As the central most effective practice i know it is the socratic inquiry developed to include spiritual qualities so spiritual qualities express themselves as inquiry that includes heart, mind and body. So the mind with its capacity to discriminate and  and know, the heart and its feeling and responsiveness and the body with the sensation activity are all involved in the inquiry as a process of investigation, process just openness curiosity you 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 you 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 and then it’s like jumping from one universe to a parallel universe sort of and seeing reality through a different eye so that continues and for once in a while i thought i arrived at the end you know right just like everybody looking for the end i arrived at so many ends after a while i gave up about the question of end it’s really just my mind

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: to think about ends, there’s no no end. The idea of end is a human construct.

Rick: in the beginning of the interview we were talking about how your education cultured in you a 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 would it doesn’t really require a more kind of intellectual or discriminative nature and for others other paths would be more appropriate

Hameed: Well it helps if you have intellectual discriminator but you do need training just like any other practice you know, i teach i,t i train people in it, i have teachers who train in it and so students learn how everybody come and say 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 than most people think inquiry is because most people think inquiry is intellectual. Inquiry, the way i see it is a soul inquiry, the consciousness inquiry, the consciousness questioning itself, questioning its experience to see is that what the truth is, this the truth, whatever i’m seeing is there some falsehood, there’s some beliefs, is there 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 and the experience keeps deepening and revealing more of the possibilities of Being, at the same time i do practice meditation regularly meditation is like a support is a pillar of stability that supports the rootedness in Being where inquiry can take off as forays into different realms.

Rick: 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 since practices are something that one does they’re only going to reinforce the sense of a doer and therefore they’re counterproductive?

Hameed: Yeah, that’s because they haven’t done a practice completely. You see you know some teaching like Dzogchen for instance, the original text of Dzogchen, the Kunjed Gyalpo, said all practices delay realization and goes through brings out all the buddha prayers, this one delays you, this will have many lifetime if you practice this one delays you 10 lifetime, if you practice this one delays you 20 lifetime, that’s how it looks at practices, that’s how Dzogchen started but since then Dzogchen developed many practices

Rick: How do they reconcile that?

Hameed: Oh, because nobody could get it, the way it was first formulated, if you’re really mature and developed enough in your consciousness, yeah, you hear the word it happens, you get the transmission, you get it, but most people are not developed that way so they developed old-time practices now, the real practice, the way you know practice works, is a practice has inherent in it a self-destruct mechanism. So at some point the practice becomes just living life. That is a real practice otherwise it becomes something isolated separated from life and then that can constrain the development, can fixate it in some way but true practices are developed by the genuine traditions, they have inherent in them a self-destruct mechanism where the practice takes the consciousness to a certain degree of maturation to reveal to the consciousness that the practice now is not needed.

Rick: So do

Hameed: You go beyond it it becomes part of living

Rick: 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?

Hameed: They have self-destructed many times

Rick: Oh.

Hameed: They have self-destructed many times but what am I going to do with my life?

Rick: So you pick them up again right because they seem to have some utility

Hameed: Inquiry continues not because I have to do it but because you know I’m living life and discovering new things

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: and there is interest to taste different things inquiry just like you know with food you want to taste new things you don’t have the same thing all over every time the same thing with experience things change as part of that the dynamism of Being is a dimension of Being that’s rarely mentioned which is very important dimension Dzogchen has it they call it energy or or they call it display. Being is always displaying and I think Kashmiri Shaivism has it as Shakti that always creating thing which is experiencing that being is a dynamic with creative force with infinite potential infinite intelligence and infinite possibility and always manifesting new things and it is always enjoying or reveling in 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 in new ways discovering new ways and to get a new experience so the path I am on is ongoing living living path some people use the word living to mean it’s not dead it still has a use in it and I use it that way but there’s another meaning of living living meaning is always growing there’s all the new possibilities because the dimension of being is creative 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 species and it just seems to be the way intelligence governs this universe and we don’t know whether the human body will continue to be that way or evolve chances are it will evolve it will evolve we don’t know what’s it going to be like in a million years and we and the inner body the individual consciousness also a constant evolution and that can outlast the body by millions of years see with all possible kind of possible 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 you see many people don’t think of that that’s possible you see and I don’t want to just leave the school I’ve taught them well and many of them have love realization we have many teachers but I can see that I could continue being a force of influence and but that requires a skill certain development of the consciousness if you leave caution as it is it won’t have that capacity well there are traditions which talk about that and and you know teachers such as Yogananda and 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 not only that I’m going to talk to Babaji, I’m going to talk to Padmasambhāva and ask them how they did it, how they continue to do it, because in that realm there is communication, there is meeting and learning

Rick:Yeah I interviewed a woman last week Kristen Kirk who clearly remembers that her life before this one was one in which she was some sort of I don’t know spirit guide or you know what do they call them you know that just some sort of celestial 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 then this experience is very clear to her and I tend to I tend to get people to benefit of the doubt and she seems very sincere and I’m also open to all possibilities so kind of sounds like what we’re talking about.

Hameed: 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 a whole universe.


Hameed: Just like our physical universe has many galaxies and many planets and all spiritual universes the like it has many realms many dimensions many ways of manifestations and you know different universes within the spiritual realm.

Rick: Yeah, and I sort of get the feeling 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 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 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

Hameed: I agree with you and I think one should focus on their present condition

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: And work with that with whatever practice so they can come to know what is them what is reality and experience that freedom that liberty that’s fundamental all the other thing they’ll come in time

Rick: icing on the cake

Hameed: we we don’t need to think about them

Rick: Right they’ll come when they’re when they’re meant to come.

Hameed: Yeah, because there are probably for certain stages but not at the stage of practice

Rick: Right

Hameed: See

Rick: And so I want to just pick up 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 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?

Hameed: It requires training, I mean some people can pick up some of it, you know I’ve written books in it, like I’ve written a book called “Space Cruiser Inquiry” which is all about that inquiry, the principles of it, and however, you know it depends on the person some people can’t pick up something but for most people some training from a teacher proximity of a teacher who practices that and some kind of supervision and learning how it is done is usually important. It take some years for people to learn it

Rick:Yeah, that’s true with 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 studying under real experts.

Hameed: Exactly it’s the same thing,

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: the same thing and you do need to a person need to follow a genuine path with a real teacher yes I don’t believe in the 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, you need a path, need a teacher. It’s a rare individual who can do it on their own.

Rick: Yeah it’s

Hameed: And most people, most people want to be the exception.

Rick: Right,, no it’s the it’s the as you say it’s rare. Yeah.

Hameed: It’s better to err on the side of humility

Rick: Yeah yeah yeah

Hameed: because 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 a real teaching, a real teacher, a 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 it’s a seven eight years training. You know after being in the school for years to have some experience or realization then there is rigorous training and then when they teach they teach the way they were taught

Rick: Right.

Hameed: before they branch out find their own way, you see then it becomes spontaneous that they do it the way it comes through but first they need to do the way they learned it because otherwise their mind can take it in all kind of odd ways and they might have tendencies that’s still not worked out.

Rick: 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

Hameed: What do you do Rick? You do this in the weekend what do you do as work?

Rick: I do search engine optimization which means getting more traffic to people’s websites and so you know I’ll spend my days you know getting people to sell more widgets and things like that and it’s not ultimately what I’d like to be doing my time but it’s paying the bills yeah that’s my livelihood and 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 we’ll see what happens.

Hameed: You’re meeting all kind of interesting people.

Rick: It’s fabulous I just love having these conversations. it’s I’m the prime beneficiary just having a conversation with someone 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 perspectives 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 that you know it’s an interesting situation you have.

Rick: Well, I think there was a time when it would have confused me now it doesn’t and you know a certain amount of it goes in one ear and out the other but but I have this attitude that you’ve described which is that it’s all everything has its appropriate place and 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 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 my perspective I try 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

Hameed: I imagine sometimes it’s quite a stretch.

Rick: Yeah, well I could use a little more stretching you know.

Hameed: Yeah.

Rick: I mean the more the merrier

Hameed: Yeah.

Rick: 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 and preparing for these interviews and

Hameed: 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. You don’t just let the person speak their view everybody will 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: Yeah, well 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

Hameed: Yeah, well you had a good team Maharishi I think from what I understand taught a lot of things.

Rick: He was a remarkable guy.

Hameed: He was full of wisdom. He had a whole tradition behind him and allowing all because I I know a bunch of people who’ve been with Ramana Maharishi, i mean Maharishi for a long time and studied with him and learned he wasn’t just teaching TM he was teaching all kinds of things

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

Hameed: The human being is always incomplete.

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: Did you know that, did anybody tell you that from those the human being is always incomplete?

Rick: I think I’ve noticed it

Hameed: Yeah regardless how realized they are they’re incomplete because their potential is infinite

Rick: Yeah yeah yeah

Hameed: so they cannot be complete completion means closing the book means you’ve reached the end I mean there is no more development no more learning so we are bound to be incomplete and then completeness can show itself in various ways.

Rick: Yeah

Hameed: So as a human being I’m incomplete. I know what what I know what I experienced is still minuscule to the possibilities.

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

Hameed: So I’m contented and happy, where I am I’m not looking, I’m not searching. People talk about the end of the seeking, that happened you know a few decades ago. I’m not haven’t been seeking but I’m interested, I’m the turned on kind of guy, to life.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: Find out what is life, what is reality, what is God, what is Being and keeps going.

Rick: I think 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 that kind of melts doesn’t it and and one becomes it’s

Hameed: When that one, this when the Self is dominant the self is seeking because the self is empty and it’s not real so it’s always seeking so but then when that falls away and there’s no more seeking you saw found or at least disappeared in the finding and then what happened is that just unfoldment

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: the unfoldment of reality and so learning continues and learning and service myself I learn and service is giving what you’re also giving and helping others in whatever way possible because it is the nature of Being that it is full of heart. That’s one way you know somebody is really realized, that they’ve got heart.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: They don’t have heart that full of sweetness and generosity and joy and gratitude and humility they are what I call one-centered being instead of multi-centered Being.

Rick: Nice, well you’re a good example of that, Hamid.

Hameed: I’m on my way yeah

Rick: No, 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 of it 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 a valuable attribute, a 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

Hameed: Yeah, as a human being I’m always on my way I mean how else how else can it be because the human consciousness is is what expresses Being and Being in infinite in its possibilities and the human consciousness can never know it all, we can’t, I mean how can we, I mean there’s just what happened throughout the history, for instance, you can’t know it all. There is the knowledge of each human being there are billions of people each one had experiences and knowledge, right, Einstein had his knowledge, Newton has his knowledge, Galileo has his knowledge, Thomas Aquinas has his knowledge, Aristotle has his knowledge, each one is 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 thought 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 on its own.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: It’s freely happening, see.

Rick: 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 about my doing one with Karen Johnson who is your associate and then maybe you and Karen 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 if Tony

Hameed: I like dialogue, I organize dialogue each year actually, with different people

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: I like to bring different point of views and have them interact and inform each other, it’s a nice way if because you know each teacher goes on goes off on their own you know niche, their own people do their teaching, they don’t communicate and they don’t talk to each other traditions are like that and I’m thinking because we’re all here it would be interesting conversation.

Rick: It would be it’s like cross-pollination or something.

Hameed: Yeah yeah something new can arise

Rick: Some hybrids can come out of it.

Hameed: yeah.

Rick: Good, yeah.

Hameed: Yeah, I think it’s possible I think Karen, as I mentioned, I talked to her she’s open.

Rick: Sure to it, we’ll do that.

Hameed: She’s willing to do it. You can interview her and then after that we’ll see whether we could organize something for two of us together since we collaborated

Rick: Yeah yeah.

Hameed: most of this development of this teaching this is amazing thing, see people have this idea about teaching somebody get awakened or get realized and they go on teaching. It’s not how it happens in this path. This path is being evolved some human beings and through them revealed more on more of itself there were many awakenings many realization but there’s a continuing revelation, an 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 where they are. There’s a lot of knowledge about how to teach this person and that person and the differences between them and different stages they get through and what are the obstacles and what is how do you deal with the obstacle in the correct in a way that’s more optimal more efficient.

Rick: 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 they can look at your books, you’ve 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  a few of them. So let me thank you for this interview and and make a few wrap-up points. I really enjoyed speaking with you, we could probably go on all day doing this because we both enjoy it so much but um we’ll

Hameed: Haven’t you, don’t you know, I’m experiencing something I wanted to know whether you experiencing

Rick: Which is?

Hameed: Which is we have the same heart.

Rick: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hameed: I I don’t feel my heart and your heart are two hearts.

Rick: I don’t know if I experience it as clearly as you do but I feel a connection a kind of a I feel it’s the same heart and it’s full of nectars.

Rick: Yes yes.

Hameed: He’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 things we’re both interested in so there’s a meeting of the heart.

Rick: Yeah.

Hameed: Yes that’s not just sometime some people is meeting in the mind here, it seems a meeting of the heart somehow.

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

Hameed:We’ve done the interview and it is good.

Rick: It is good what was that that’s from some movie

Hameed: Remember the bible

Rick: Yeah yeah yeah they would say the

Hameed: one that said it is good

Rick: It is good

Hameed: And so we say our interview, it is good

Rick: And it didn’t take us seven days and seven nights either

Hameed: couple of hours


Hameed: Not bad

Rick: Not bad well maybe our universe isn’t completely built yet we’ll have to see

Hameed: Yeah.

Rick: So, I’ve been speaking with Hameed Ali perhaps better known as A.H. Almaas, 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 if you’d like to do that. This interview is one in an ongoing series as you’re probably aware, there are well over 200 of them now, you can find them all on batgap.com b-a-t-g-a-p and there are several different indices there’s a chronological, alphabetical and or even working on a geographical one where you could like look in bay area and you’d find Hameed listed in so also there you’ll find a few other things there is a discussion group, a 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 we 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 just got contacted me this week and couldn’t find that link, it’s 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 you go into iTunes subscribe and then you can get all these interviews in audio format. So there’s all that, check it out, um thank you very much and see what

Hameed: What when you say discussion group the online discussion

Rick: Yeah, it’s like 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

Hameed: To have discussion back and forth kind of discussion

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

Hameed: Yeah, that’s interesting so people can follow up discuss it between them

Rick: Yeah, and if there’s some interesting questions that come up you know if you have the time you 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.

Hameed: Yeah, thanks rick.

Rick: Thanks Hameed, great talking to you.

Hameed: Yeah, good talk to you.