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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done over 500 of them now. And if this newly if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to the past interviews menu on batgap.com, where you’ll see them all archived in various ways. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it, and we’d like to help support it, there’s a Donate button on every page of the site a Pay Pal button. I have a slight cold as regular listeners will notice so I sound more like an FM radio announcer than usual. Or maybe more sexy. I don’t know someone once said that last time I had a cold. Does it sound sick? Everyone says Well, I try to put a positive spin on it. Anyway, not to trivialize this. My, my guest today is Beth Miller. Hi, Beth. Hi, Rick. Beth is a longtime BatGap watcher and very much qualified guests to be on the show. As you’ll soon see. She was born in Brooklyn, New York. Not far from where I was born. Norwalk, Connecticut, went back to graduate school after raising two sons outside of San Francisco. She had a satisfying rich career as a psych psychologist working in private practice and teaching at the California Institute of integral studies, University of California at San Francisco, and leading national workshops on resiliency. She had been convinced throughout her lifetime, that there was more to us than meets the eye. And after decades of devoted searching, guided by spiritual teacher, Jen Fraser, who was on BatGap in 2013, she experienced the profound shift in consciousness at the age of 70. Beth calls herself a poster child for it never been too late. This shift sent her course in humbling and wondrous way too deep, set her course and humbling a number a wondrous way to deeper and further understanding, to embodying and most importantly, living what had been revealed. In the sweet presence of now she is along for the ride of in intimate contact with whatever life has in store from moment to moment and day to day. So that’s nicely written. Thank you, Beth.
Beth Miller: Thank you. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So I read a good part of your book, waking up on the couch. And when I first read it, I thought that was a reference to waking up on a psychiatrist couch, but you actually literally woke up on a couch. Not not no other psychologists.
Beth Miller: But I but I did do the I didn’t use that title for the plan as well. Okay. So double entendre whatever definitely taught, yeah. Being as being a psychotherapist, you know, and have any Have you spent a lot of my years on a couch? Yeah, but I but I did also wake up on the couch.
Rick Archer: True. You just have a thing, coaches, I have a thing. So your childhood started out a little rough. Your parents were you know, your father was a World War Two veteran as was mine and had probably had a fair amount of PTSD as did mine. Right. And you mentioned that you suffered from intergenerational trauma, abuse and oppression. And I guess you say it in your books, we can say it here. But you’re you’re actually raped by your father and pregnant and by him at the age of 12. So yeah, that’s, that’s pretty bad on the scale of, you know, good to bad.
Beth Miller: Yeah. Yeah. You know, I’m not to minimize that in any way, shape, or form, which I do not. I don’t have to say one of the more long lasting wounds that I experienced was one of being disconnected. I think it actually is harder to be disconnected than to even sounds so crazy. I know. It sounds so crazy. But there’s something more profoundly disturbing distressing, and retching did not feel connected.
Rick Archer: Would you say that your disconnection was a result of that trauma?
Beth Miller: I’d say it was. Well, you know I don’t think you can have that kind of trauma without a disconnect. There have there has to be some kind of disconnect for us to act out like that. But I’d say that, um, I don’t know it was 1942 was the Second World War. My grandparents were immigrants.
Rick Archer: Couldn’t have been 12 and 1942.
Beth Miller: No, I was born in 1942. Okay. taking you back, I’m thinking you back. Back to the beginning. Yeah, yeah. So my entire my early childhood living in that kind of oppressive atmosphere of the Second World War, we were Jewish, the Holocaust, immigrants. There was a sense of such powerlessness, I’d say that was probably the strongest feeling that I felt in the in the atmosphere of my home. Um, you know, it’s like, what do you do with powerless? What do you do with a whole collective of people that are powerless? It’s not an it’s not uncommon that you turned in on each other. And so there was just a lot of tempers, and outbursts, and unhappiness and bitterness. So that’s the environment. And in that kind of environment, I did not feel connected to my parents, for very many reasons, but I did not feel connected to my parents. And I think that was more shattering, then even the fact that I was so violated.
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, I’ve heard that people who suffer extreme trauma, often well, people who have multiple personality disorder often have suffered extreme trauma. And it’s almost like they’ve they’ve kind of disassociated and taken refuge in these other personalities in order to sort of get out of the personality that is experiencing trauma directly. So do you think although you don’t have NPD, do you think that you something had somewhat of the same influence
Beth Miller: that I was without it, without a doubt, I was dissociated. Without a doubt. In fact, for me, the telltale sign that actually was agonizing. And I knew this as an adult, is that my heart was completely closed. I was, I was so removed from myself, that it was that it was like painful, I mean, really painful, because I didn’t feel alive, I appeared alive, I appear to have a personality, I appear to be able to be functioning somewhat, but I felt I felt profoundly removed. And I’d have to say, this is in retrospect, when I look look at my own life, and I look at our, our human condition, I have to say that every single human being feels the trauma of separation. It’s, it’s a given. It’s an absolute given. And so I experienced it, like this was my own personal experience of it. And it was also a portal, it was absolute portal. Like, there’s got to be more than this. There’s got to be
Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I would agree with that. I mean, there’s that line in the Upanishad, which you’ve probably heard me quote, which is that certainly all fear is born of duality. And anybody who’s not in unity consciousness or better, is in duality, and therefore has this sort of root fear, kind of, you know, at a deep level in their life, basically functioning that way.
Beth Miller: Exactly. And I’d have to say, I’d have to say, looking back, one of the graves advantages is that I was very, that was very obvious to me, it was very obvious that I was unhappy, uncomfortable and out of sync. I also should say something else, because the other as much as that stream was profound. And it was a profound stream of like, this is what my life was like. Um, I always from the very, from early early childhood, I had a sense of there being something greater than ourselves. I never questioned it. I never wondered what to make of it. It just seemed like it was just a given. It was an absolute given.
Rick Archer: But I think it’s to your credit, it’s a blessing that you had those awarenesses because I don’t think I did and I don’t think most people do. I mean, sure people want more and you’re frustrated and you’re, you know, you’re you know, you’re not cool enough in high school or whatever, you know, you you but to have a sort of conscious recognition that there’s something deeper to life than then what you’re experiencing. Because usually when people feel lacking in some way, they’re the kind of externalizing it and thinking if only I could have this car, this girlfriend, you know, and you seem to have internalized it. They realize there’s something thing within,
Beth Miller: I’d say both is true I without a doubt externalize. But my dream life kept me this side of sanity. You know, when I was an adult, I read this somewhere Iliev le V Sol, when he was in the concentration camps, he speaks of his dreams. And he speaks of the joy and the well being that showed up every single night in his dreams that kept him this side of sanity through the camps. That that was my experience. That was actually my experience through childhood.
Rick Archer: Do you think that like him, you had an active dream life because your outer life was somewhat horrific, and that kind of forced you into a more internalized state and therefore more vivid dream life?
Beth Miller: I suspect that’s very possible. Very, very, very possible. You’re talking about a lonely child who had nowhere to go. So where do you where do you go? And I will tell you, you know, I think is probably worth saying giving details to one repeated dream. I was raised in a one bedroom apartment. And my and my bed was in the living room. My parents did actually both work. And so I did spend a lot of my time by myself and I did come home from school and I did have to do like housework, all that actually happen. But in the dream, I’m doing like housework, and I’m doing some carpet sweeper. You remember Carpet Sweepers. Yeah, we used to have one. Okay, so a carpet sweeping underneath the the what do you call it of the bed?
Rick Archer: The foot of the bed. Now? That roughly thing that hangs down? Right? Yeah, the curtain or the apron or something like that. Anyway, one of those things.
Beth Miller: So I pick it up, and I’d be putting the carpet sweeper underneath it. Okay. And I’d look under, and there’d be a mound of coins. And no matter how many coins I would take out and put in my pockets, the mound would replenish. It brought me oh my god, I cannot tell you the I cannot tell you the feeling of that dream. And I will tell you now, in retrospect, this is the experience of unbounded presence. Unconditional love the gold of that. It’s like well, here’s the dream that said, Look, this is the truth of the matter. Now, I had no idea as a child I had no I’m telling you what I’m putting on it way later. All I can tell you as a child, I felt held I felt cradled. I felt something prom I felt companion. I felt absolutely companion.
Rick Archer: And that dreams kind of symbolized it for you.
Beth Miller: I think so. Yeah. It’s not like
Rick Archer: you felt unbounded presence or being held in the dream. But somehow the the gold coins symbolize the promise of that. Is that what you’re saying?
Beth Miller: That but I also actually physically experienced the joy. Yeah, that wasn’t. I did. I did. I did. And that was a
Rick Archer: recurring dream. Right? You had it over? A recurring
Beth Miller: dream. Interesting. Yeah. And you know, the other thing too, I mean, I’ve thought about this a lot, because I think children do get glimpses and, and just sort of like, a bit of like, ha, ha, um, but it’s sort of like amazes me that I never mentioned anything to anybody. And somehow, somehow, um, I don’t know, I don’t want to put too much on it. But how to had a good strong enough feeling like this matters. It’s just really met. This really matters.
Rick Archer: It’s interesting. Yeah, I wonder if people listening would like to ponder whether they’ve had a recurring dream throughout their life. I’ve always had one that had to do with mount a mountain. And sometimes I’m hiking up it sometimes I’m just looking up at it. Sometimes I’m skiing on it. But there’s always this mountain. I’ve had it for decades. I don’t know what it signifies or symbolizes, but it’s always kind of beautiful and profound and meaningful in some way. I can’t articulate.
Beth Miller: But it is in fact, the point. Yeah. Isn’t that the point? And the fact that it would be unique to our own preferences or you know, experiences but the same things being said? Thank Good luck. Wow, there’s a whole lot more than meets the eye here.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Getting esoteric for a minute what what makes you What do you think causes dreams like that? What is it some just something all within our own neural network or something? thing being conveyed to us by some higher intelligence or what
Beth Miller: I have always felt it was a message from God from God. And I will tell you that there was not much mentioned, if any mentioned at all in my household of God. So I didn’t I didn’t come to this with any kind of schooling or conditioning or being taught anything. But it but I always felt like I was being that it was, I felt it was a message from God. Yeah. It’s nice and to the end to this day. And the other thing that was all that also means a lot to me about dreams, is the issue of our ego wanting to be in control. What I’ve always loved about dreams is that I had no say in the matter, this this this ego, I had no say in the matter. I think that’s partially why I what I mean by it comes from God. It’s like it comes from some place that I’m not having a say in the matter. I’m not controlling. And there’s something if I pay close enough attention, if I listen, if I’m open and receptive. There’s something being said here.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s why dreams can sometimes be so profound, because we’ve released the grip, you know, we’re innocent and open in a way and able to be receptive to deeper levels that we might be otherwise close to.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Rick Archer: I’ve had the most profound experiences in my life during dreams are maybe they weren’t even there. I mean, I don’t even think they were dreams. They were some these sort of things that happen, but the body was asleep. Wow. It’s beautiful. Yeah, I mean, some of them would sometimes involve higher beings. And other times, I’d find myself sitting in lotus in Samadhi, and then discover that my body was lying on the bed and things like that. Yeah. Anyway, talking about me.
Beth Miller: Yeah. Well, the other thing, too, about dreams that maybe you’ve had this experience to, I can actually differentiate when it’s more like a visitation. And I think partially what you’re talking about, is there some way that we are being visited. And I don’t make a whole lot of it, meaning I don’t I don’t try to interpret it. But I get I, I like, everything in me sits up and takes notice. Oh, okay. Okay, yeah, I’m listening. I’m really listening.
Rick Archer: When you were a psychotherapist, were you doing dream analysis or anything like that?
Beth Miller: Yeah. Yeah, I most of my work as a as a therapist was any which way to give room and safety for the unconscious to speak any which way for our natural inclination to integration for it to happen? So be it.
Rick Archer: During most of your therapist years, did you already have a spiritual orientation? And that was kind of the emphasis of your therapy or did that Dawn later on both a little bit of both some of the
Beth Miller: child love each, some of each, depending on how conscious the whole thing was? You know, going back to I’ll go back to what you said about the externalization of like, what’s out there that will make me feel better when you come come out of a childhood? A rough, a rough childhood? I want to say two things about that one, I’d say that, that set me up. Or if you if you can believe it, or not a fun pneus for disillusionment. Really, because it was actually so I left my childhood. It’s like, Oh, my God. Finally, I don’t have to be there anymore. Got married, got married early. Actually a very lovely, lovely life. Really lovely life. Got home, two lovely children. We had resources. I wasn’t abused. I wasn’t mistreated. It was everybody was kind. My husband was gentle. He is a gentle man. Um, and I wasn’t happy. It’s like, Oh, my God. Okay. So I have that in the back of my mind is one of the first and biggest disillusionments, which at the time felt awful, felt absolutely devastating. But it hit me over the head. I can tell you in retrospect, like, oh, it’s not out there. It’s, it’s not out there. So the next thing we did what made me think about it when you just asked me this earlier question is that I got my whole family got involved in a organization community of people that were Looking for higher consciousness?
Rick Archer: Let me just comment on that before we get into that, because I read about that in your book. But you know, when you think about it, the word disillusionment can have a positive connotation. Because if we want to come out of illusion, which is one of the things that enlightenment is supposed to be, then we then we should, in a way, welcome disillusionment. And that is not to say that one has to leave a happy family life or anything in order to, you know, wake up or attain enlightenment, one can do that within the context of such life, sir, and maybe it’s even more conducive to it than a troubled one. But nonetheless, you know, I’ve gone through some disillusion, it’s in my life, and, you know, I’m happy for them in retrospect, because even though they might have been a little uncomfortable at the time, they enabled me to step back, reassess all my assumptions, and, you know, re kind of rethink things and move on.
Beth Miller: That’s why I say I have a fondness for it. Yeah, that is exactly what and I will tell you it’s carry through my life. And even at the moment of awakening this, this, this feeling of like, ah, that’s it. That’s it. And it’s like this memory of like, it’s alright to be disillusioned. It’s really all right.
Rick Archer: Is this remember that song? Is this all there is to the surface? Exactly.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So I yeah, I’m glad you said that. I’m glad you bring it up. Because that was that was my experience, even though the actual disillusionment feels terrible? Because there’s so much banking on ah, I’m okay. Now.
Rick Archer: What do you think about though there’s a, there’s an evolutionary momentum to life and ever evolutionary trajectory. And if that were not, so then perhaps we would end up being content with same old, same old for decades on end. But there’s some there’s a reason why you get the new car, whatever. And after a while, you feel like, Hmm, this isn’t really gonna fulfill me. Because you know, God or nature, whatever is telling us that there is a deeper fulfillment than don’t don’t satisfy. Don’t be satisfied with trifles.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. And may we be listening? Yeah. Maybe.
Rick Archer: We’ll come louder, you clear out. Okay, so you’re about to get into the story about the spiritual group.
Beth Miller: Well, so it was another profound illusion. And because again, I thought, I thought it was out there. And it was this ongoing, like, something out there is going to make me feel alright. And make me feel okay. And not surprising, giving the rough background I had, um, there was this ongoing stream of wanting to belong in this dimension. And a chronic not even chronic, like an ongoing question of what else is there? There’s I know, there’s more. I know, there’s more. I don’t know how to touch it in a deeper, I don’t know how to make it more alive in me. I don’t even know what exactly it is. So there was this, like, me meandering through.
Rick Archer: I’m just laughing because when I hear you talk, I’m reminded of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you know, with Richard Dreyfus, and he, you know, he knew there was more. Just I just saw it was on TV recently. Yes, of course, I saw it years ago, but that that movie is such a perfect metaphor for the spiritual path. You’ve seen the movie, right? You remember it? And it’s like, he just couldn’t rest and you know, he’s trying to eat dinner and he starts mounting up his mashed potatoes. He says, this means something. Anyway, he just couldn’t, he just couldn’t rest. And all these people were weeded out who didn’t make it to Devil’s Tower, you know, because they they doubted or they got discouraged. Or they believe the people that said it was just a gas leak or something. And they, they shouldn’t go there. But he just didn’t believe it. He kept piercing through the illusions and the deceptions and the smoke screens, and eventually got he was the one that got to go up on the ship with the aliens. Amen. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It’s such a metaphor.
Beth Miller: I have to go watch it again. It’s been years since I’ve seen it. Yeah. worth checking out again.
Rick Archer: Anyway, I’m sorry. I interrupted my train of thought, but it’s kept chuckling as he was talking. Yeah.
Beth Miller: Yeah. Um, well, let’s see the two trains the two trains the two like streams here. So here I am in this community, confused because part of me wants to belong, that’s all. And part of me is very interested in what are we really searching for? Maybe there’s some kind of clue here. So again, it was a, it was a big disillusionment because it was not where I was going to rest my head, it was not home for me. But I will say that I discovered and I discovered Jesus there. Now being raised Jewish, I couldn’t have told you. And I remember, even during this time of studying the teachings of Jesus, I remember thinking, I don’t know why it was so not kosher. I don’t know why it wasn’t supposed to be studying this, this man. But I knew it wasn’t supposed to. And I’d have to say, in retrospect, he was my very first teacher. Because the community and the folks that were running, it had the presence of mind to separate out his profound being and teachings from interpretations of what he has said. And so again, being Jewish, I came to him fresh, and something very big, communicated, to me something very big registered, still couldn’t do anything with it. But it’s like, Ah, here’s, I can tell you now, this is what I could have thought is that this is what it looks like. This is what it looks like. But it was another that the community itself was not where I was going to stay. And so yeah, yeah. Yeah,
Rick Archer: it’s funny how just about all spiritual groups are quirky, you know, I mean, some of them really are careful to keep some, you know, constructive criticism lively, and to keep introspecting. And, and, you know, fine tuning and tweaking their direction. And they managed to remain pretty healthy. But it’s funny how things can go off the rails with many different groups. Somehow, it’s this is my myopia sort of closes in cut when you’re in your own little thought bubble with like minded people, and egos come into play and whatnot. But anyway, with anything like that, you know, you you take what you didn’t you leave the rest?
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And I don’t know if this is where a good point for us to get into it. But it brings to my mind, you and I had a very brief conversation before we got started here about shadow, shadow material. And I think that’s partially what you’re referring to,
Rick Archer: it’s like to do it, we can always be around.
Beth Miller: Okay. Um, because I’d say that I’m meant for many reasons, turning to psychology made such a vast difference for me. And one of them is because it was a safe enough place to become absolutely radically honest with myself, radically honest with myself. And I don’t know how you can be radically honest with yourself without looking at places you don’t want to look. You know, and so I don’t care whether it’s the individual or religious organization, the collective at large our political system, our globe, there’s, there’s some there’s something singularly about, what about what we don’t want to see. What about what we don’t want to feel? Because if you don’t look, and if you don’t feel it, we all know it gets projected out. It gets played out. We know what that looks like. All too well. All too well.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve been involved with this association for spiritual integrity, which you may be aware of. And with, along with Jac O’Keeffe and Craig Holliday and Mariana Kaplan, Jack, Craig and Mariana are both therapists of some sort. Yes. And they’re convinced just upon their, their experience that, you know, I’ve heard others say this too, but that some sort of therapy is almost a requirement for spiritual seekers, at least at certain phases of their lives, that it would be a it could be a you experienced or a catalyst for their growth if they could work through the stuff more directly rather than let it sort of simmer on some Sasa my conscious level and trip them up from time to time.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. You know, it makes me want to fast forward for just a minute I think, um, and then come back to this, um, how to say this. Clearly and grounded way, on a fast forward to I want to talk about integration. That’s where I got from what you just said this this business business of integrating this profound unbounded presence and our very humanity and what we’re talking about, okay, hold that for just a minute. Okay. So that that integration let me see, I think I want to start with what how I experienced that right now. Um this is this intersection of being human and being pure presence. I you know it, it’s still to this day I, it makes me weep. It’s so gorgeous. It’s It’s so gorgeous. God, it’s so beautiful. It’s so beautiful. And the place of like, getting to be human getting to have the experience of like sitting here speaking with you, getting to be intimate with life. In a human dimension. Oh my god, I mean, my God, okay. And to have it all permeated and animated, completely permeating completely animated by pure presence, I mean, consciousness, awareness, God consciousness, whatever we want to call it, intelligence, whatever you want to call it. It’s like it had, it gives Oh, my God, it’s such a hard thing to talk about.
Rick Archer: You want me to chime in for a second and give you a break?
Beth Miller: Even maybe whisper something on? Yes, sure.
Rick Archer: Well, as you said that I just thought, you know, the divine went to a lot of trouble to get to this point. First, there was the Big Bang. And then they were there was a lot of hydrogen and helium. And then at a certain point, it started to congeal into clouds, and those some of those clouds became stars. And the stars lived out a multi billion year lifespan and exploded, and that gave us some heavy elements. And then that that formed the second generation of stars. And eventually, you know, we ended up with rocky planets, and then biological life. And, and then, you know, eventually, well, you know, as Brian Swimme says, you know, leave hydrogen alone for 13.7 years and 7 billion years, and you end up with giraffes and rose bushes and opera. So there’s been this evolutionary project going on for billions of years, into greater and greater complexity, and greater and vehicles capable of fuller and fuller expression of the divine as a living reality or embodiment of the Divine is a better word as a living reality. And here, you and I are a couple of them talking about it. And there’s something there is something extremely profound and beautiful about that. It’s not just some meaningless, random, accidental thing, as Some so called scientists would suggest, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s the play of God of omnipresent intelligence, doing something remarkably mysterious and profound, in order to for for that deep intelligence to enjoy as a living embodiment is living reality, rather than just flat on manifest being, actually. So that’s one way of putting it
Beth Miller: and to know that, to know that viscerally to live that,
Rick Archer: to know you are that living as a human being,
Beth Miller: to know that I am that and me are not separate. To know that viscerally. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my God. And to have this experience of like, this is the instrument. The music is not mine. There is a particular song to this personality and to be able to completely enjoy that. Completely enjoy that. And I think what not only because it’s beyond, beyond anything you or I could possibly understand. So that brings me to my knees. But also to remember for me to remember where I came from, what my life was like, when it was so constricted when I was so locked, or to service locked into, and dissociated from to be in this experience, it’s like, Are you kidding me? Yeah, real, really, really. And you know, I like, Why did I write the book? Like, just for that to say, look, there is a lot going on here, folks. There’s a lot going on here. You know, yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Can you remember back to when you were a lot younger? And you said, you realize there was something more? But yeah, which is great. Because that, I don’t know how, how clear that is with a lot of people. But can you remember a time when life looked sort of dead, the world looks sort of dead and flat and meaningless, and kind of, you know, devoid of sentience of any kind. And continue to contrast that with the way the world looks to you now?
Beth Miller: Do I know the former experience you’re talking about? All too? Well, all too? Well, I will tell you, I can remember even having the conscious awareness of like, I do not know how to live. How to love I feel dead. I feel dead. I am going through motions here. Just going through motions. Like so am I do I know that experience? Oh, my God, oh, all too well, all too well. And, you know, I mean, people say this all the time. And it’s hard to make enough of this. Of we see the world through our filters. So to see the world now through awareness. And because I am a human being and my mind will get active, and I will have backslashes I even in that moment of that exact experience right there. This, this is what it feels like. When I’m constricted. This is what it feels like. And all the time, it doesn’t have the same. It doesn’t have the same charge to it. Because everything in me knows that it’s a momentary constriction. But I can’t but I don’t forget that there were most it was most of my life, where it was not seen as a momentary constriction. It was seen as this is the way it is. This is true. Well, you
Rick Archer: have a foundation now, you know, I mean, if someone has, let’s say, $20 to their name, then gaining or losing $10 is a big deal. If someone is a multimillionaire, then gaining or losing $10 is you still getting losing the same amount of money? But it’s really not a big deal, you know, because you have this ocean of, of wealth. speaking metaphorically, and so that’s just a little ripple on it rather than a huge crashing you know, event.
Beth Miller: Exactly. I mean, you bring me back to my dream. I think that’s exactly what the dream was saying. The coins there’ll be replenished. One coin. Yeah. One coin is not going to make or break you.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think the things that Buffett us in life do so too. make us stronger? Wasn’t that Nietzsche who said whatever it doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. It’s like you know, the I don’t know the the blacksmith pounding the horseshoe or something. He’s seems to be hurt hurting the horseshoe. He’s actually pounding it into the right shape, or the metalwork or whatever, the molding something. It might seem cruel to say that in some cases, because people experience such catastrophic events. Yeah, but I don’t know if we go zoom out to big enough picture. You know, they we can see the wisdom in it.
Beth Miller: My experience is that both are true. If you come if you zoom in, it’s like it’s agonizing, absolutely agonizing. And I think the pain is like, the sorrow or the grief. Like yeah, you zoom out. It’s like, wow, I mean, look at the childhood I came through, and it’s like your horseshoe. It’s like your horseshoe. You know, I, I don’t I cannot make a cause and effect here. But I have to tell you. It feels to me like, a lot of my compassion comes from having felt so awful. You know, it was pretty bad and like, my heart goes out my heart goes out to the experience I had my heart goes out to anybody hurting. Yeah,
Rick Archer: there are a lot of stories like that in literature, like the prints in the popper, you know, where you can’t really appreciate what it’s like to be a popper until you’ve gone through it yourself. And so yeah, in a way, having gone through rough times in our lives, makes us a better helper, for other people. And it’s it’s rather unfortunate sometimes that some spiritual teachers are so glib about people suffering like, Oh, it’s just an illusion. Oh, you know, it’s not the real you. It’s it’s very real to them. And while you don’t want to give them the sense that that is the reality, you do want to convey that there’s something more to just brush it off, I think is unkind and it could occur encouraged disassociation or spiritual bypassing.
Beth Miller: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So you say, unlike many who sought and found an ultimate truth through through meditation, and our spiritual inquiry, I fell into my true nature by shedding defenses, mostly in psychotherapy, being in the room with the loving presence allowed the deep surrender that is common to every spiritual communication or practice. So like, you know, how many years of psychotherapy did you do?
Beth Miller: 250. Now, the first time around was eight years. And the second time around was three and a half. But the second time around was three times a week. Wow. I know.
Rick Archer: And you really found it transformative. Obviously.
Beth Miller: I did. I did. I want to say two things about that. Let’s start with how transformative it is, it was. The case I make the things for me in psychotherapy is that there was something about sitting with another person, and a person that was not judgmental. A person that had enough skills that was kind and could look me in the eye and hold me in a way that they reflected how I was feeling no helped me in a way that I could start to understand what I felt, understood what I was thinking, I didn’t know these things, understood my own opinions, gotten gotten to the history of my thing of my background. Um, I think too, we often say the problem is our belief system. The problem is our history. The problem is our identification. It’s all true. But it can be it can be dealt with on a superficial level. And it can actually enhance spiritual bypassing, because like we said earlier, it’s like, well, that’s not me, so I can go do whatever I’m being in an ongoing presence of, it’s safe to keep looking, gave dimension to beliefs, gave dimension to history, gave dimension to my motivations, even meant dimension to the very fact like, wow, there’s nothing else here but self centeredness. Wow, okay. I needed that safe environment, I needed that kind of contact connection, in order to be that transparent with myself, without a doubt. And I think that that’s one of the reasons whether it’s before during or after awakening, um, without that kind of work. You never know when and how it will come up and bite you in the bud or bite somebody else in the butt.
Rick Archer: There’s a lot of backbiting going on. There’s a lot of financial community.
Beth Miller: Exactly, exactly. Now, that being said, I will tell you that it’s no surprise to you at all, that there’s a major limit to psychotherapy, a major limit, not the least of which it’s based on a belief Something is broken, something needs to be fixed, something needs to be made whole, something needs to be transformed. So to begin with, that perpetuates itself, and it perpetuates in the person sitting there in the office, something’s wrong with me. actuates you
Rick Archer: think it can not only perpetuate it, but reinforce it.
Beth Miller: And that’s the other thing I have it. The second point is that it’s all it’s pretty much around the ego. So it’s to make the ego stronger, to make the ego more functional, which please do not get me wrong. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this service, for what I received and what I give, thank you. Well, you
Rick Archer: know, as many have said, you have to develop a strong ego before you can relinquish the ego transcend the ego, the ego is damaged and broken and dysfunctional, then, you know, you can’t really just transcending a dysfunctional ego may be difficult, and it also may not fix the ego. Back in or, and in, I used to not think that because, you know, my teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi always used to say, well just don’t water, the leaves of the tree, what are the root and if you want, the whole tree will flourish. But then there have just been so many examples of, you know, I won’t name names, but people who appear to be highly enlightened, and who genuinely did have an obvious, profound degree of conscious realization of realization, really screwed up in certain relative behavioral ways, which they never had the proper opportunity, or feedback or circumstances, to look at and to correct. So you know, some would say, you know, you can, if you’re an asshole, and you get enlightened, you’re gonna be enlightened. So, so try to fix it, you know, before before then.
Beth Miller: Sort of my appreciations of Ken Wilbers work? Yeah, grow up, right, wake up, grow
Rick Archer: up, wake up. Yeah. And the whole thing of lines in development lines of development, and how tightly correlated these various lines are, and that they’re, you know, like a big stretchy rubber band, they’re just not that tight. And so you have to kind of attend to all these things. Yes, for your own benefit, not just for others, I mean, it especially if you’re going to be take on the role of a spiritual teacher. Yeah. But even if we’re really concerned about our own enlightenment and development, to have it be as profound as possible, then, you know, becoming a better human being in every sense of that phrase, is part of the package. It’s not enough to say you’re not a human being, you’re just pure consciousness and forget about being a human being, because like it or not, you’re going to continue to be on some level, and it’s going to cause you trouble as we’ve seen so many times, if, if you don’t address that stuff,
Beth Miller: absolutely. And conversely, what a marvel to be a human being, and to be able to be as keep cleaning up and enjoying that humanity. What Why miss that? Why is that?
Rick Archer: Also, if we’d like to think of ourselves as instruments of the Divine, if we have a sense of sort of wanting, wanting to serve the divine, then we want to be nice, effective instruments, you know, we don’t want to be sort of like dirty glasses or, you know, broken, you know, hedge clippers or whatever kind of tool metaphor we want to use, we want to be in good working order so as to actually really be of service.
Beth Miller: That’s lovely. That’s really, really lovely. Especially since the Divine is so treats us so well. You know,
Rick Archer: in love, you know, to, to anthropomorphize it, I think the divine really needs effective instruments or servings or whatever term in especially in this day and age where there’s sort of a dire kind of situation in the world. And that is, and the fact that there are so many people waking up teaching and so on is probably in response to the, the, the Dire Straits of the world situation. But we all want to be sort of, when I was at my teacher training course become a TM teacher, marshy said, he said, when there’s a war on, there’s no time to train sharpshooters just give him a rifle and send them out. And so we were a bunch of bozos, you know, they gave us a rifle, so to speak, and send us out, but I think now 50 years later, you know, we can train sharpshooters pardon the military metaphor. You know, we want to be sort of effective marksman spiritually speaking, rather than just shooting wildly and having who knows what kind of mixed effect
Beth Miller: makes me think to it that after the awakening, I’m so glad that some wisdom arrived in me is like, there’s more There’s more. And this whole period of embodiment is is as important or maybe even more important, maybe even more important, you know, cleaning up the instrument.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Describe what led up to your awakening, how we’ve so far I’ve only gotten as far as psychotherapy, really, and the sort of an inkling when you were a child that there was something more, but how did it get more explicit in your life that there was this spiritual attainment to be had? You know, what were the steps and practices or teachers or whatever that led you to that attainment? Yeah.
Beth Miller: So go back again to the psychotherapy because basically what it did over the years is it helped shed defenses. And so much of my experience seems to center around my heart closed and then just keep opening and opening and opening. up I’m, by the time I’m actually a therapist, myself, I’m no I’m, I’m single, my kids are grown. And there’s this kind of inkling, I have to tell you, I’m in such better shape, such better shape, but there’s this background inkling of. And I don’t even know what the home is. But there’s Uh huh. And one day I’m, I have a break in my office. And I get this I have the sun magazine on my desk. And there’s a picture of Adi Shanti on the cover. And I read the interview, and I am I am actually throw the pages like, like, you know, sit back like this, like, whoo, not only his presence, which came right through the pages. But he put words to something that had been in the background my whole life, and he put the words spiritual awakening and enlightenment, I’d never heard the words. My my ink, my intuition all the way through my life is like, I would say to myself, I want a personal relationship with God. I had no idea what that meant. I had no idea where to even look for it. And then when I heard those words, it was like, ah, the thing Thing, Thing, Thing, Thing thing. Bing. Okay, so and then I make a joke of myself, because I didn’t know that Adi Shanti was well known. I just go, Oh, look. Like I feel like I just found somebody that nobody else knows about. And he’s local. I live in you know, he’s I live in San Francisco. So he’s local. So that was the beginning of a more concerted? Oh, let’s go check things out.
Rick Archer: What year was that? Just out of curiosity?
Beth Miller: Um, I want to say, I don’t know, maybe 2008. I’m making it up. I mean, I’m guessing I don’t know. I and so my experience with him was very remarkable. Because having been physically and sexually abused, my body was tight, just tight. I’ll tell a story on myself. I gave a talk several times because of my first book on cultivating resilience. And three times when I was speaking, three separate times, a body worker came up to me and said, I’ve been asked, I mean, this is unbidden that. Have you ever thought about doing bodywork? Because it’s only in retrospect that I’m aware of what they were looking at, or what they were saying. So I’m just giving you a sense of how come it was so remarkable to me to be sitting in the audience, and I just Shanti and feel everything in me, my entire body just open wide. And I’m looking at myself going, who’s this? And what’s this? And recognizing, being able to recognize that I was in a presence that was familiar to me. And I didn’t even know what the meant I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew it was familiar to me. So, um, I went to his songs for set for oh, I don’t know. I’m going to guess a year. I’m going to guess a year. And I, a friend gave me Jan Frazier’s book, when fear falls away. I read her book and I had the same experience with the presence like it, it communicated off the page off the page, and my body did the same thing. reading her book that I felt when I was with Artha. And Ida wasn’t taking any individual people at the time. He was only working in in groups and thoughts on. And so and having read Jan’s book, I contacted her. And then I started working with her. And that’s when things started to get like, wow, quick and quick and Quicken. And it’s a fascinating thing to me, because my understanding my experience of how transmission works, is like being in the presence of I mean, intimate close contact in the presence of unconditional love. And complete openness. What it did is it activated something that had been known in me, but not accessed. And so the more time I spent with her, and the more time I stayed quite attentive, I watched it grow. And so there was this kind of dance that went on, because the more the love, and the more that pure presence started to grow, the more the defenses could fan out, dissolve, and actually really, actually disappear. To work with to a large degree,
Rick Archer: then there’s an interesting cart and horse question here, which is, you know, does presence grow? Because we’re dropping defenses or defenses drop? Because presence is growing? Right? Or? Could it be either or both? Or combination? Or maybe it depends on circumstances?
Beth Miller: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know exactly that. But I will tell you there is a relationship, there is a relationship. And I’d say that’s one of the reasons I still feel that being intimate contact with people who are open and defended awake, alive, makes a difference. It makes a difference contagious. is contagious. For real. For real. Yeah. Thank God.
Rick Archer: That’s why I still got to see ima after all these years, you know, it’s like, what is it a 32nd hug or something? And you know, but after three, four days of getting a few of those, and just being in that atmosphere, you feel totally shifted?
Beth Miller: Yeah. And yes, yes, exactly. And then speak, and then going fast forward to the actual awakening, the thing that is still pinch me, Mark, pinch me like feeling like a marvel, is that that’s what we are. That’s what I am. That love that. Like, yeah. So it’s like, then it goes from? It’s no longer out there. Only. It’s only here. Okay, wow.
Rick Archer: That’s important shift, you know, because you can get addicted to Shakti experiences, you know, this teacher is radiating this and this teacher is radiating that, you know, but at some point, it has to shift to the point where you realize like, that’s what I am, you know, it’s everywhere.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And that’s when it becomes so real and so grounded in so, like, no matter what, for real, no matter what,
Rick Archer: well, I’m gonna use the example of, you know, if a burning law, if a log that’s not burning is placed next to a log that’s burning, then eventually the other log would be burning just as much as the first log. So but there’s a value to that proximity until the other log gets ignited, you know?
Beth Miller: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly.
Rick Archer: Okay, so then you’re, you’re with it for a year. And then you met Jan and Mitch, and what did you do? Did you have to like commute to Vermont, from San Francisco or what?
Beth Miller: I went, I did go once I did go, I sell. I gave myself the gift for my 70th birthday of going and spending a week in Vermont to sit with her for about two, three hours every day for five days. Um, and it was wonderful God, it was wonderful. And it left me in a state of bliss came home. It’s like, wow, that’s why I don’t know. But when I said it to you, it’s like I could I really can’t understand that. The temptation to stay there. I get that. I get that. Because Wow, it’s so blissful. It’s so blissful. It’s So easy. It’s so lovely. It’s so absolutely lovely. And I get the shadow side of that, too. I get the shadow side of being stuck there. And, and so anyway, so there was that period of time. And then, and I spoke to her on the phone frequently, very frequent
Rick Archer: and send a lot of emails back and forth, there’s just a major part of the book.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Right. Right. That was the other thing I wanted to I wanted to offer and communicate is like, what that kind of being seen does for us. Yeah.
Rick Archer: It’s, it’s nice to be able have a relationship with a personal teacher like that, which, which, again, is I think, maybe one of the blessings of the current culture where there are all these teachers, you know, maybe none of whom are the most enlightened beings ever to walk the planet, but still have something valuable to offer. And, you know, you don’t need you know, a Nobel Laureate in physics to study, you know, physics to have as a high school physics teacher or college physics teacher, you know, you can move up the line as, as needed as the need develops.
Beth Miller: Yeah. Yeah. And we are fortunate, though, that there are people like that. We are very fortunate. Yeah. Well, then, um, Jan came out for a retreat. I know, there were made a bit maybe about eight of us in a home for three days to the West Coast. Yeah, she came to came to California. And we were together for three days. So sweet. And on the very last day, the very, very last day of our three days, we’ve been together. Several things happened. Um, I don’t think it was in this order. But I’m going to start here anyway, because it still tickles me. Because there was this spontaneous prayer that came up into up to me is like, Wouldn’t it be something to awaken with in the midst of other people, like with folks here? And the reason I say it to you that way is because again, given my personality and given my conditioning, being alone, was a Grand Canyon falling off the Grand Canyon kind of feeling. Okay. And so the period of this thinning of defences, I have to say there was some harrowing harrowing experiences of my ego going. No way. No way. No way. No way. No way.
Rick Archer: Is that what you mean by the falling off the Grand Canyon thing? What was it about being alone, that was like the Grand Canyon.
Beth Miller: So like three o’clock in the morning, I would imagine myself letting go fully. And it would feel as if I was going to fall off the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Rick Archer: It’s like scary. Sort of like that’s, that’s an understatement. vastness was scary.
Beth Miller: Oh, my God. The vastness was scary. The unknown was scary. And there was there was this part of like, I know, I’m all by myself. I’m all by myself. Okay. So given that was in the background, I thought it was absolutely hysterical. That that would be the prayer because I could I could appreciate like, oh, maybe it could be in company. This profound, ultimate, letting go, here’s one last veil, may it be with other people, okay. The actual experience of being there that day. There were several things that happened. One was, I lost all sense of boundaries. All sense. And because we were in a room and because we were all together, it showed up with each other. It’s like, there was no there was no separation between you and me. None. None whatsoever. And it wasn’t about being empathic for you. It was like, I am you. I am you. I am you. I am you. I am you. I am you. And what got my attention about that is that it couldn’t have been more natural. There was nothing extraordinary about it. It couldn’t have been more ordinary like, right, right, right. Okay. So that was one of the things. The other thing is that there was something very real burning in my gut to such a degree that I would have assumed it would be visible Like you would have seen red hot all over me because something was burning was burning so intensely. Um, the, the biggest the most I’m probably hardest to put into words was the the love that showed up from within me, it was uncontainable inexpressible, beyond immense. Like, to my knees and familiar, like so, so, so familiar. so familiar.
Rick Archer: Sounds like you’re pretty ripe. You know? I don’t know if everybody else in the room was having that experience, but you were ready to ready to pop.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Right.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But there is definitely something to be said for a, you know, an assemblage of people on the same wavelength like that a higher higher wavelength. It’s, there’s a synergistic effect, you know, and it’s extremely conducive to everyone’s awakening. And there’s so many different verses from various scriptures that emphasize that. And that, and that warn against the opposite of hanging around, you know, darker or more incoherent and the crowds, situations. If your instant spiritual awakening,
Beth Miller: that’s actually very lovely. I hadn’t thought about it hadn’t thought about that experience in that context. It’s actually very lovely. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: There’s a whole beautiful thing from the end of the Rig Veda, I’ll send it to you later. I don’t want to interrupt the interview by looking it up. But um, it’s just a beautiful thing about the assemblage is significant in unity and know your know your minds to be functioning together from a common source. And, you know, it’s a nice quote, but it’s just a case in point because almost every Yeah, every spiritual tradition emphasizes the value of being with like minded people, spiritual aspirants. It’s like, you know, if you’re in a perfume factory, you’re, you’re gonna come out smelling like perfume, you can’t help it. But if you’re in a, let’s say, a coal mine or something, no matter how careful you are, you’re going to come out with cold soot on you. So the company, when keeps is considered to be extremely important for spiritual aspirants.
Beth Miller: And don’t you know that inside out? I mean, can’t you just feel it?
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, I’ve experienced it both ways.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Which is not to say one should be snobbish and avoid people who are suffering, I mean, that some of the most wonderful people in this world, like Mother Teresa, and many others plunge right into the, to the suffering and give of themselves all they can to help to ameliorate it. But it’s not like you’re, there’s, I think people get the point of the difference between that and just sort of hanging out in bars and hoping to somehow get enlightened.
Beth Miller: Yeah, yeah. However, we might stay. However, we might be staying unconscious. I think that’s part of the point to like,
Rick Archer: yeah. Yeah. So. So anyway, so you’re on this retreat with Jan, and you’re having this kind of unity experience. But that wasn’t, that wasn’t the the watershed moment that you later experienced. So let’s take us on to that.
Beth Miller: What are you thinking? Is it really?
Rick Archer: Oh, there’s something on a couch where you were alone, and you’re sitting on a couch, and all of a sudden, oh, quietly, okay. Okay. Quiet as genderless thing, but that was the shift.
Beth Miller: Okay. So yes, so that what I just described was the last day of the retreat. We all went home. I thought it was very, I mean, I actually I don’t even know whether I gave any thought to it at all. got up the next morning, lay down on the couch. And it’s like, Oh, my God. Oh, my God, because it was but a dawning of like, the shift just happened. It happened. I think that’s partially what you’re talking about
Rick Archer: how it happened the day before the retreat and had you hadn’t recognized it, but then the next morning, you thought, oh, yeah, I’ll be done. There. It was.
Beth Miller: Exactly. And what then got clear, because what got clear is that the shift had gone on is what was looking through my eyes. eyes was radically different.
Rick Archer: Okay, here it is, I really just sent me the quote I was looking for. I’ll read it just for fun. And let’s go together speak together, no your minds to be functioning together from a common source, in the same manner as the impulses of creative intelligence in the beginning, remain together united near the source, integrated as the expression of knowledge and assembly is significant in unity, United other minds well full of desires for you and make use of the integrated expression of knowledge by virtue of United sadness, and by means of that which remains to be ignited. I perform action to generate wholeness of life. United be your purpose, harmonious be your feelings, collected, be your mind, in the same way as all the various aspects of the universe exist in togetherness, wholeness. There you go. Thank you.
Rick Archer: That’s kind of the crescendo grand conclusion of the Rigveda 10/10 model of the Rigveda.
Beth Miller: out of out of many, there is one
Rick Archer: yeah. There’s all these, you know, you see all these Vedic pictures of all the rishi sitting around together, or the master sitting there with all these disciples and all. So I don’t know why we’re talking about this so much. But, you know, it looked what effect it had on you. You just actually, you know, there you were in this assemblage, and I don’t think you would have had the same shift. Otherwise.
Beth Miller: Who knows? But, you know, I’m sure glad it worked that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So that’s the value of satsang.
Beth Miller: Well, that’s what I was thinking. As you’re reading this. I was thinking about retreats and satsang. No wonder Yeah, no wonder. Yeah. And even when you’re saying about, um, about the you didn’t say you didn’t say horse? What did you call it? Would you say what’s activating another?
Rick Archer: Oh, like logs? One log getting another one burning?
Beth Miller: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So that’s the value of these things. And, you know, there’s, there’s a downside to it. There could be in terms of group things and cultish stuff, ways of thinking that develop them, you know, need to kind of get outside the box and kind of keep keep your balance and keep your perspective and not let yourself get all sorts of weird. But, you know, don’t don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, either.
Beth Miller: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, we have to stay real with ourselves.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And integrate, there we go with the word integration again, you know, right. And integration isn’t like, you know, nothing is happening for 20 years, then you have an awakening. And then you’ve got to integrate, it happens every step of the way. You know, yeah, there’s there incremental degrees of spiritual development or development of consciousness, and each increment needs to be counterbalanced or integrated as it Yes. Yes. Yeah.
Beth Miller: That’s my, that’s, that’s actually my experience. Yeah, very, very much, very much. And you’re going back to like, and so how does presence enhance that, and it does, you know, the deeper and more present, the easier that kind of integration, it’s like, I don’t have to do anything anymore, it is actually happening on its own. My job is to stay honest with myself, you know, to stay real with what’s going on?
Rick Archer: Well, this line I just read, you know, by virtue of United pneus. And by means of that, which remains to be united, I perform action to generate wholeness of life. So the Wow, the means of that, which remains to be united will be the whole relative world, which may not yet appear united. But you interact with that you engage in that, and and continue taking resource to the unified value, the presence, and the presence gets more and more infused into that which appears, or may have appeared to be disunited that just permits it more and more Bakley. Exactly. Yeah. And so you’re saying it
Beth Miller: that way, cuz that’s my experience.
Rick Archer: Right. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And so it’s interesting to know that you had this experience, and then his awakening experience on that weekend with Jan, and then you realize that the next morning, but then, you know, in the ensuing years, you realize that there was still stuff to work through. And this is sort of a recurrent theme, but I don’t know if everybody quite realizes that because a lot of times people think they’re going to be home free once they have some sort of awakening and, and, you know, never have to deal with anything again, or something. So,
Beth Miller: so let’s talk about that. That’s how I that’s what I thought. Yeah, imagine my surprise. Like, oh my goodness, I’m
Rick Archer: gonna be perfect and Yeah,
Beth Miller: well, I’m gonna be just that I’m gonna be all right. Especially remember how many years of psychotherapy, it’s not like I didn’t understand this human condition. Okay, so imagine my shock. Um, and in retrospect, again, looking back at the whole thing, it’s it makes so much sense to me because there was an embodiment, that wasn’t going to happen. conceptually. Partially, what I think were my illusion was is that it would just clean, I would just be cleaned out.
Rick Archer: Awake and you be cleaned. No,
Beth Miller: I’d be cleaned out. So it wasn’t even I can’t, I can’t fault myself for like, I’m missing a boat here is like, I just thought I’d be cleaned out. And I’m at the risk of delineating something that is not really accurately delineated. I’d say, the next five years was about the body waking up. And again, maybe because of the trauma, who knows? Who knows what, but I can tell you that there was an ongoing processing of this realization through the body. And the body had a mind of its own. I often bow to and say, Thank you to Scott killaby. I think you interviewed him as well, a couple times. Yeah. Goes he said, the body did not get the good news. And I could have kissed him because that’s right. The body did not get this good news. But the point being is like, Oh, my goodness, of course, of course. Now, I have to say there’s also the part that I reveled in almost like a child discovering something I had not ever known. And that is like, what’s it like to walk in the woods? What’s it like to do yoga? What’s it like to be sick and not be afraid? What’s it like to move? All this was like it from this state. This kind of like, Oh, I’m not removed any longer. I’m not associated any longer. There is a congruent. See that’s going on here. That means I feel things I’ve never felt before. So easy. No, but something about it was like, wow,
Rick Archer: so you’re experiencing everything for the first time in a way with fresh eyes. Yeah,
Beth Miller: exactly. Exactly. Really nice. Really nice. Like, okay, very, very nice. So I went to yoga, I went to cranial sacral work, I went to Feldenkrais. I did hiking. I did full body meditation, I just like, began a whole process of becoming familiar with and friendly, not to underestimate friendly with, with my body. And deaf. You know, because one thing, there’s almost again, it’s not a, it’s not a real thing to delineate. But there was a way that my psyche had died, there was a way of a profound surrendering and letting go over time, have a mental construct. And now there’s this kind of like, letting go of a body of this body.
Rick Archer: Yeah, about the body. I mean, obviously, the body is the instrument through which anything is experienced, including awakening. And you know, the body is the temple of the soul. And I think there’s a certain degree of opening or purification that would be necessary for awakening to dawn, or that would at least be conducive conducive to it and make it likely. But that’s not necessarily a complete transformation of the body to the extent it can be transformed. But having done that, remember, remember peace, pilgrim? Did you ever read her book? No, she was this great woman who just sort of walked around the United States with just basically a sweatshirt and sneakers and just totally trust no possessions, no money, no, no nothing, and just completely threw herself on the mercy of the Divine. But she was at a very high state of consciousness. And I remember this chart she drew where she said, you know about how evolution sort of goes but then once awakening happens, it sort of takes off like the hockey like the global warming hockey stick. And because you have that sort of foundation of pure consciousness, that’s which is a solvent for cleaning, cleaning up everything much more then it can otherwise be cleaned up. So and that’s what you did, you know, you just sort of engaged in all these things for to accelerate the, the purification of the body.
Beth Miller: Yeah. I like that word solvent.
Rick Archer: Yes. Yeah, that is like that. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, if you think of, in a water as being a solvent, yeah, you’ve heard me use this example, you dump the mud into a glass of water, and it can’t really handle it. There’s not enough water to dissolve the mud, but through sort of the same handful into an ocean, or even a swimming pool, and it kind of dissolves, because there’s enough vastness of the solvent of the water to dissolve the mud. And so once your consciousness dawns, or even if we can have momentary access to it, it’s very conducive to the purification of all these Samskaras. They’re called these impressions.
Beth Miller: I bet you anything. That’s why it feels so effortless. Because it’s hat. It’s happening on its own in that regard. Yeah, it’s just it’s
Rick Archer: your back and you’re not
Beth Miller: exactly a natural process. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, as a matter of fact, how could we do it? It’s too complicated. You know, I mean, we couldn’t keep ourselves alive for two seconds if we had to manage our heart and our breath and our blood flow, and all that our liver and all that stuff. But there’s a sort of a natural process for all this that we actually fully turn on. Once awakening takes place.
Beth Miller: Yeah, it’s not a relief. Yeah. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Exactly. Exactly.
Rick Archer: A question came in from your namesake in Spokane, Washington. Beth. She wants to know, in your experience, do you think that we slash humans, try to overanalyze enlightenment and try to interpret spirituality from the limited intellectual part of our mind, instead of experiencing the universal loving force that manifests life all around us, spontaneously, and for no other reason than unbounded love?
Beth Miller: It certainly is certainly something we do do. Absolutely something we do until we don’t. Until we don’t, and, you know, who knows that what, what force or purpose it does, in the meantime, to try to get some kind of grokking of what this is all about? I don’t know. I mean, you know, people wake up like that people have my experience, like plotting, like, I don’t know, you know,
Rick Archer: I think different people have different proclivities, you know, some are Giannis. Some are Buck does some, you know, some are more intellectual, some more emotional or devotional. But I think there’s nothing wrong with any of those things, according to your inclinations. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with an intellectual understanding of all this. As long as you don’t mistake it for the actual realization.
Beth Miller: Exactly. I think that’s a very good point. And let me add to that, too. I don’t know whether I’m just making this up or not. But I would say for someone like myself with a level of trauma I had, there’s a way that I had to trust life over time. And part of that trusting was trying to comprehend something. And so it’s like, this is so big. It was a bit much too without any kind of understanding. Just go. Okay. I don’t know if it’s true or not. But it’s possible. Yeah, also,
Rick Archer: without understanding, there have been cases of genuine realization, which terrified the person, they didn’t know what it was. I mean, the classic example is that book collision with the infinite by Suzanne Siegel, where she shifted into this awakened state. And although she had a background in this kind of stuff, she’d sort of left that behind a few years ago. And she, she didn’t know what this was, and it just totally terrified her, she couldn’t find a personal self anymore. And she spent 10 years trying to find one. And until she finally relaxed with some help from John Klein, and came to realize that she had actually shifted to an enlightened state. So intellectual understanding is important. It’s and not only inspires us on the path to realize there’s something more as you felt since childhood, but it also supplements and can, it can safeguard the path and make us realize that something good is happening, which might otherwise be interpreted as something bad.
Beth Miller: Horrifying, horrifying, horrifying. And to Beth’s point, I’m in Washington, as you said also, until that’s no longer needed. And then it’s and then it’s in the way and then it’s in the way, big time for any kind of direct contact with whatever is going on right here right now.
Rick Archer: You don’t need the crutches once the leg is healed, you don’t need the boat, the river is lost. Right? That a follow up question which is, is suffering due to our lack of awareness of this love of all things? Or a feeling that we are not worthy of this love?
Beth Miller: Can you repeat the question, please?
Rick Archer: Sure, yes, is suffering due to our lack of awareness of this love of all things? Or a feeling that we are not worthy of this love? And I’m not sure that necessarily is an either or question. Maybe those are two facets of why suffering occurs. Go ahead and see what you can do with it.
Beth Miller: Yeah, no, I think it is both. I really do. I think it is both. I think this business of feeling unworthy. Oh, my God, I can is so ubiquitous, it is. So I wanted to discuss is so ubiquitous. And I understand I really do. I mean, I don’t know how we would not considering that we are taught that we are puny. We’re taught that we’re not connected. We’re taught that we’re not anything. We’re not whole. I mean, so how can we not not? How can we not? That’s that’s an inadequate set. That’s a short handed way of saying that. So without a doubt, that is stuff we suffer as a result of that, my God, we suffer, we suffer because we think we are inadequate, we suffer because we think we are unworthy, we suffer because we think we are alone. And I also think we do suffer because we are disconnected from the depths of what we really are, which is where the profound or rightness is. Yep. So I think both are true.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s just what I was gonna add, we suffer because we’re constricted. And, you know, we’ve, we sort of if we, if we think of ourselves or experience ourselves as only being this isolated little thing, then that is very conducive to suffering. Whereas if we realize that we are the field, you know, we’re the vastness, then things can happen to the little thing that individuality, which might have been devastating. But if we, if we’re sort of grounded in that in being, then we can take them in stride so much more easily.
Beth Miller: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I’ll add one other thing to suffering. We suffer when we interpret our pain, we suffer when we interpret our discomfort. So the very pure sensation of pain, the very pure sensation of grief or whatever any emotion is not suffering. It that it doesn’t it does not. Oh, feel like something is so massively wrong. And there’s a I think we I think that’s a big, big misunderstanding about that. I don’t suffer, I don’t feel. And it to me the opposite. The exact opposite. The more awake I am, the more I’m feeling,
Rick Archer: I guess, yeah, not shut down any more like you were saying?
Beth Miller: Exactly. Or removed. Yeah, exactly. And yet
Rick Archer: you have the capacity to feel. So if a person doesn’t have the capacity, then you don’t want to just impose feeling on them too. And it may be maybe it’s a healthy protective mechanism that we shut down if we haven’t developed the capacity. But once the capacity is developed, then the the armor can be taken off, we don’t have to lug it around anymore.
Beth Miller: Well, you say that I go back to one of the advantages of sitting with somebody is that you you can somebody can be there with you as you increase your capacity. You know, you’re not alone in this kind of this feels really bad.
Rick Archer: And spiritual practices can also increase capacity, you know, you you meditate regularly or something and it just you just get more and more deeply grounded in being and therefore more invulnerable in a way but not because of your being closed down. But because of being oceanic. The
Beth Miller: oceans. Yes, I think more vulnerable and invulnerable all at the same time.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, I remember seeing some verse about, you know, the sensitivity of Yogi is like that of the eyeball or something, you know, just acute, acutely sensitive, but, so feeling everything but having the sort of vastness to let it flow through and not be overwhelming.
Beth Miller: Exactly. Exactly.
Rick Archer: A question came in from someone whose name is going to be very hard to pronounce. I’m sorry, I won’t do it right. I don’t think it’s from Kosh or Dean backto, toke or something like that from an even harder to pronounce place in Sweden anyway. So if you live in a kind of a ghetto, or literally in a low energy place and meditate every day, is there any help? Is there any hope? Yeah, I mean, I interviewed a guy a few months ago who was on death row for 18 years and kept himself saying through intense spiritual practice doesn’t get much worse than that.
Beth Miller: Wow. Nothing to add to that. Yeah. Wow.
Rick Archer: Yeah, look up that interview. Gosh, it’s Damien Damien Echols. It’s a genial find it in the in the past interviews menu on BatGap, he was wrongly accused of murder and spent 18 years from the age of 18 for the ages of 18 to 36. In horrendous conditions in prison in Arkansas on death row.
Beth Miller: Wow. Can I add one more thing to that it also there’s something about breaking, letting our hearts break open? That is a gorgeous portal to so I mean, it isn’t in conducive to be in a place where it’s so heartbreaking as you meditate, and you can let yourself be open to it. The beautiful thing? Yeah, yeah, I
Rick Archer: have a friend, not not a close friend. But someone I’ve known over the years in the Dama group, and I just saw in New Mexico, and she has been doing spiritual practices childhood, and she is a nurse now. And she, she started out her first nursing stint in the emergency room in, you know, a bad part of Albuquerque, you know, with all the sort of shootings and drug overdoses and everything coming in. And she just felt like, she just had the capacity, you know, having all kinds of people who don’t do spiritual practice who have that capacity. But burnout is a problem among teachers and nurses and policemen, I mean, look at all the police violence stuff that happens when they’ve just gotten to us and soldiers. I mean, all these people, they don’t necessarily have a way of releasing all the stress they encounter. And so it bottles up and eventually some something that runs
Beth Miller: well, especially if you’re giving from an ego rather than from vastness. We’re more prone to being burned out, you know, there’s so far you can go,
Rick Archer: you really have to recharge your batteries do
Beth Miller: really do.
Rick Archer: Okay, here we go on to the next point, if been very helpful in providing some good talking points here that we’re working our way through. Okay. Well, maybe we’ve covered this, let’s just see if there’s anything more to say about it. There’s an important conversation going on right now that I would love to be involved in, not only from the awakened perspective, but also from my decades of being a depth psychologist, I’m looking at the importance of facing, being with and feeling our very real human pain, suffering and experiences, instead of the ubiquitous spiritual bypassing, and not getting bogged down or stuck in the psychological inquiry and healing, missing the deeper essential reality of our true nature. The space between this eternal openness that melts the paradox of we, we are not here and we are fully here. So we’ve kind of covered this, but I bet you there’s a bit more we can say about it before we move on.
Beth Miller: Do you want to say more before I’m thinking about it? No, I
Rick Archer: want you to oh, well, you’re gonna think, yeah. Let’s see if I come up with anything, just the stuff we’ve been saying about developing the capacity to feel pain, because perhaps, being shut down as a protective mechanism that we were wired to do and we can’t help doing and maybe it has its purpose. You know, I mean, the, the snail has its shell for a reason the turtle has its shell. But if we really want to become I mean, the notion of Brahman, or the totality is that encompasses or engulfs absolutely everything. And when when the Upanishad say, you know, talk to amasi they’re saying you are that Brahman, you you encompass or incorporate everything within your being. So imagine the the depth of strength as well as delicacy that one would have to have to really live that.
Beth Miller: Yeah. And to develop that capacity seems to me requires a very strong willingness. feel. And I think for the most part, I think most people, most of us, we don’t want to feel bad. We don’t want to feel bad. And I think part of part of the spiritual bypassing Is this, like, maybe I don’t need to feel bad, or feel hurt or feel grief or crumble because somebody I love died. Like, you know, I’m
Rick Archer: there hoping that the bliss of enlightenment will sort of overshadow any pain or suffering that might arise in life, perhaps.
Beth Miller: I think so. And is also as, as I’m sinking into it even more, it’s like, there’s also something about becoming very transparent and clear with ourselves about our motivations, and our biases. And what an even just this kind of humility of, there’s more, I don’t know, about myself, there’s more about being human than I don’t know. So there’s kind of, um, the, again, back to that intersection of, there’s no where to hide, I think that’s really basically like a big bottom line, there’s nowhere there’s nowhere to hide, there’s nowhere to hide in the denial of our humanity, and there’s nowhere to hide in the blissfulness of enlightenment. We are all here as beings, viewing feeling beings with a certain sense of movement and energy that both hooves us to be familiar with. It just behooves us. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I have a friend who was on BatGap years ago, who says that, um, you know, decades ago, he awakened, and he’s been living in that state ever since. But it’s his, he says, you know, still, he, he always had a gnarly sort of personality, didn’t get along well with people. And he was prone to depression, and all. And after awakening, he still had an early personality and was prone to depression, he actually has been going to a counselor and trying, trying various, you know, medications in rather microscopic quantities, because he seems to be very sensitive. And he finally found something which actually shifted him and he feels like his whole behavior and his depression has has changed for the better. But, you know, if we take him at his word that he has, you know, shifted is in some enlightened state for the high and yet experienced this stuff, it sort of might shift our conception of what enlightenment is or can be, right be, you know, exactly. Maybe this kind of stuff is not necessarily wiped out. By Exactly. And certainly we’ve seen, so I’ve seen certain enlightened people, I would say, get angry. shed tears. Yeah, you know, all that stuff.
Beth Miller: But you know, what, I think I think where the profound shift is, is our Orient is our orientation to that. Right. Like, I don’t identify with it. Yeah, but it’s going on. And I don’t judge it. And I’m not hard about it. Like, and so there’s something about and there’s where to me unconditional love works. It’s magic. But the but the idea of like it not being there. I don’t know that’s that can really talk about gnarly, that can be that can be pretty gnarly. You know,
Rick Archer: a question came in from Gloria in El Campo, which I presume is California doesn’t say. She said, Hi, Beth, you are going to speak of what you noticed, looking out of your eyes after their tree, but we’re interrupted, probably by me. Sorry about that. I wonder what did you know? What did you notice looking out of your eyes as you sat on the couch after the retreat? Thank you.
Beth Miller: Uh huh. I Lovely. Lovely. So let’s say this is a very subtle experience, because actually where it was mostly noticeable, I got up off the couch and I walked down to Fillmore Street, which is about a 20 minute walk from my apartment. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked down to that street. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked on that street. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen the stores the people that have that. So that was what was so remarkable to me is like I’m walking down and I’m seeing the same trees, the same stores, the same sidewalk. In some case, maybe even the same folks who are still walking, you know, walking the street and it’s like, but I’m seeing everything in this kind of direct contact that I can only Say his like awareness is looking at it. Not this kind of like, Oh, I like that or like, whoops. Yuck. All that. All that kind of like, oh, maybe I’ll get back. All that kind of I don’t mean this pejoratively ego chatter. Yeah, I was just gonna say chatter. Yeah. All that kind of ego chatter that would go on that would indicate, interpret, perceive comment on everything was gone. Just it just wasn’t there and it was just sort of like this breath of fresh air like a cool breeze, a cool breeze and I think what made it so cool is that it was everything that was so familiar. So So I couldn’t say, Oh, of course, I’ve never seen this metaphor before. And isn’t it gorgeous? No, it’s everything familiar? And it’s really lovely. Simple, simply. Just, there it is. So like that. Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. Jesus talks about, you know, being like little children, except to be as little children shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. So it’s, it’s kind of, you know, you were looking at things with innocent fresh, without all the overlay of interpretation, conditioning and stuff. Exactly. And did that kind of has that persisted? Or did you get back into more of a chatter mind?
Beth Miller: Now it persisted? Meaning that when the the mind starts chattering is like this awareness watching it, yeah. It’s another, it’s another, it’s another lamppost on Fillmore Street. Right. And even if I do get caught, even there, it’s like, there’s a knowing of like, oh, so pay attention. Maybe there’s something that needs to be revealed here. But again, I cannot emphasize enough. What how different is to not judge myself. To not have that kind of like both interpretation and judgment and shame. Oh, my God, he had that I take it. Oh, my God. So just this like, Oh, okay. Okay. And not that it feels necessarily good. I’m not, I’m not trying to make it, you know, like, sanitize it. But the orientation to it. Is a to me a game changer.
Rick Archer: It’s nice. Yeah, it’s well put. How many years ago was that awakening on the couch?
Beth Miller: Five and a half and half.
Rick Archer: That’s pretty impressive. You’re, like, almost 76, you really look great.
Beth Miller: I’m almost 77 Thank you so much, Evan. Yeah, you
Rick Archer: look fantastic.
Beth Miller: Thank you consciousness and good genes,
Rick Archer: good genes. Yeah. I never would have guessed. So, you know, if you could sort of track the past five, five and a half years, you know, do you see and a kind of a course that that your life has taken? I mean, maybe it’s the same thing at deeper and deeper levels. But do you know, I mean, let me ask it another way and see if this helps, you know, if you look at the way your life has gone over the past five years, you could perhaps tell us about that a little bit. But then if it continues to go in this way, what how do you see it going over the next five years? Or is that is that sort of do not think in terms of so much outside the present?
Beth Miller: I don’t think outside of the present, but I think I can actually respond to where I think you’re asking. Because I’ll tell you something that has happened recently that got my attention. Big time, big time. It started about January of this year. Let me give you a little bit of background, I had breast cancer twice. Um, the second time was 10 years ago. Um, so this January, I developed a pain that got my attention and did not go away. It was in my back. And I said, and I had this like, huh, I have to wonder, I just have to wonder, my Frisbee cancer. So I called my oncologist and it was about a two or three week period of time before I could get get an appointment. And the first thing that I noticed is that I didn’t push that. I didn’t call back and say, Oh, my God, do you have anything sooner? Okay. That was the first thing in that period of time. Whether it was two weeks or three weeks, something went on that actually was completely delightful again, unbidden. Absolutely unbidden. It was this ongoing, deepening, deepening, deepening of me being gone. Gone, I mean, gone. And so real, I mean, this really real. And then I started looking around my apartment at the different things that I have, and almost everything that I have, has some kind of association to someone I love, or somewhere I’ve traveled or something that has meant something to me in my life. And I found myself again, unbidden, and it’s a very kind of sweet, rhythmic process of saying goodbye. Okay, and goodbye to this and goodbye to that. Getting to my kids, and oh, my God, just like, that was heartbreaking. I mean, that was just heartbreaking. On and on, and on and on. Time comes for me to go to the doctor, it’s so this this one again, this went on. And I think maybe I’m able, maybe I’m being able to communicate to you how real this was. And I think the reason I keep saying it that way is because it was like, I’m going, this is really real. Okay, that oh my god. Okay. So I go to the doctor, she tests my lungs, she tests my back, and I am cancer free. And I find myself disappointed.
Rick Archer: I went to all that trouble saying goodbye to everything and now I’m not gonna die.
Beth Miller: And that was part of it. Part of it. Because it feels so real. It felt like okay, this is what’s happening. Okay, this, but then the other thing that it occurred to me is like, there are some way I feel finished. Like I came, if this is how it feels to me, I came to Wake up. Okay. Yeah, meaning in a very, very, very deep way. Okay. And I don’t mean this in any kind of light way. There’s nobody in my life. That cannot be alright, without me. And I’m not talking. I’m not talking about not missing me. I’m not talking about oh my god. But I’m talking about am I leaving anything unfinished here? And I’m leaving anyone in the lurch. No, no. Okay. So, I sat with that, like, that was I sat with the disappointment. I sat with like, huh, and, um, I often hear, like, like, what might be needed. And what I heard at that time is like, Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am God. And I must have spent hours I have a very lovely state park close to my home and there’s a Eucalyptus grove. I call I call it my cathedral. I must have sat there for hours and hours and hours. I wasn’t sleeping. Well, I was very tired. And I just sat still still still still still. One day, shortly after that, I got up for breakfast, I started cutting up a strawberry. And I look at the strawberry. And I’m like, I see if I can even capture what that moment was like I can’t capture the moment but I will tell you the the knowing that came out of that it’s like, oh, I’m here to eat stronger. Nothing else, nothing else. And I can I’m going to say something like almost conceptual in retrospect. It’s like some kind of doing some kind of like, here for a purpose must have just dropped away. Because it’s not like being in direct contact is new for me. But it’s a it’s a depth of being indirect contact with nothing else mattering nothing else mattering. That sort of like went Oh, okay. That’s it. There’s nothing else And so it brings me in the present into a here and now in a deeper way, in a deeper way. So to respond to your question. It’s like, I could almost make a case for a five, almost six year process of embodiment, and a realization in an embodied kind of way. And then this kind of like, oh, okay, nothing, there’s nothing needed. But right here, this right now, that’s it. That’s it. And not conceptually, you know? Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, you know, all’s well and wisely put, and there was a song by jazz guy who years ago that I think might have been Miles Davis, or cannonball out earlier, somebody said that the Creator has a master plan. That was the name of the song. And, you know, it’s like, it’s not in our hands. And I Yeah, and also your, you know, even if you’re just eating strawberries, the very presence on Earth of an awakened person is quite a rarity. And I think it makes a tremendous contribution to humanity to have such people around, even if they’re just living ordinary lives out of the public eye in every respect. You know, we’re all linked. We’re all we’re all interconnected. And every single awakened person is undoubtedly stirring or enlivening something in the collective consciousness which very much needs enlivening.
Beth Miller: Amen, right. Amen. Amen. Exactly.
Rick Archer: I mean, we’re not no man is an island. And no, we’re not isolated as we may appear to be. So we radiate and influence all the time. A question came in from Erin in the neediness in New Zealand. Aaron asks, Where is the knowing of your experience? Does knowing of what is happening right now? Shifts? Is your Is it your personality that shifts?
Beth Miller: Wow, great question. Great question. Um, I’d say it’s awareness that’s knowing. And it just depends upon what awareness is attuned to. And it just moves from that, to that, to that to that, you know,
Rick Archer: so I mean, if, if awareness is object oriented, or object referral, then that’s one thing. But if it’s self referral, that’s another thing. And that and that’s, that’s how, that’s how the self is known by my self self referral sort of mechanics?
Beth Miller: I don’t quite get that question. And maybe I didn’t get his question. Well, so
Rick Archer: Well, it’s like, there’s a verse in The Gita, which says, the self knows itself by itself. So what else can know the self because it’s, you know, if we could step apart from it and know it, then it couldn’t be the Knower. Just as the eye the eyeball cannot perceive itself. So what is the knowing of your experience? And your answer, I think kind of addressed it in that way. So awareness. Thank you. So for all awareness kind of thing.
Beth Miller: Yeah. Yeah, but yes, I guess I’m gonna say the same thing, again, maybe a little different way. It’s like, if awareness was awareness, attending to that’s what it’s knowing. So like, right now I’m knowing our conversation. I’m sitting by myself, I might be knowing how I feel I might be knowing the sunshine coming through, you know, but it’s, it just depends upon what’s being attuned or attended to in this moment, in this moment, that’s what’s known.
Rick Archer: And would it be true to say that, you know, you’re, that living presence is not a matter of reminding yourself of it or keeping checking in to make sure it’s there or any such thing. It’s, it’s kind of like breathing or any really automatic process after a while it just, it just abides, regardless of whether you think about it or not.
Beth Miller: I think that’s the gift of awakening. That’s the remarkable gift of awakening is that it’s effortless. It goes, it goes. Presence is on its own present 100% of the time.
Rick Archer: And obviously, it’s not a thing that can be thought about anyway, that would just be a concept. So what it actually is, is, you know, something which would have to be spontaneous and automatic once realized, you know, because otherwise you’d lose it when you fell asleep. Or when or when you You know, burned your hand or something it would just be and if there’s that, quote in here, but there’s that saying, the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be. So how could that how could the reality actually come and go? If it could then the university be on very shaky ground?
Beth Miller: Yeah. I think that’s also the, the humbleness of the whole thing I have to say when you say that I think back about not knowing that. When it was, it was true all along. Even when I didn’t even when I didn’t know it. It was still true. So there’s something very, I find it deliciously humbling, like, yeah.
Rick Archer: Was that part of the realization when it dawned which often people say, which is like, oh, yeah, this has always been here. I just didn’t notice it. That kind of thing.
Beth Miller: Honest. Honest to God. Honest to God. Right. I, you know, to uncommon that was my my association when he found the tomb was true what he had been looking for all those years.
Rick Archer: That’s how I the archaeologists defined that tombs that yes, yeah,
Beth Miller: yeah. Yeah, sorry. Yeah. Unclear. Yeah. But from childhood, I’ve had this like, I’m I know, I know, I don’t know what I know. But I know, I know. And so there was that moment, like, I’ll be thrown through. Yeah. And I have to tell you, I still feel I still feel a little bit of a pinch me kind of like, it’s really true. It’s really true. And, you know, you you might relate to this living in the world we live in. It’s like, this is not what people are, this is not the currency. So that, so that, to me makes me even more like, and look, it’s true, even though nobody’s talking about well, most people are not talking about it. And it’s often put into some kind of pejorative lens, or, you know, box. So that’s also makes me pinch, it’s like, pinch myself like, it’s true. It’s true. And thank God, like you said, it’s others like, right, it’s like, oh, okay, the many singing the song many singing the song, thank goodness, right
Rick Archer: and have been for 1000s of years, or ever, and have sometimes been crucified or burned at the stake for singing it. You know? Exactly. Because people were expecting a different song, you know, they thought, well, our books tell us the song should go this way. And you don’t sound like you’re singing that one. So let’s kill you.
Rick Archer: I mean, that’s very true. If there was an age only a few 100 years ago, were you and I would have been killed for talking this way publicly. So fortunately, we live in a more enlightened age.
Beth Miller: Well, one of my ongoing reflections over the years has been at the crew is Jesus’s crucifixion, for that reason, for many, many reasons. But it’s like it was it was in the back of my mind for years and years and years and years. What is that? Really? What is that? You know?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, one thing it is pertains to something we’ve been talking about, which is, you know, could that could could that realization be maintained in the, in the midst of such dire circumstances in the midst of such a horrific experience? Did he have the depth of realization to maintain it? And if so, did he actually suffer? Or was he actually residing in a realm that was beyond the reach of suffering?
Beth Miller: eautiful Well, I mean, who, who knows? Just a, no, no, but I can tell you for myself, personally, that’s been the question. I mean, that’s definitely a question. And it’s like, I think that’s the other pinch me, it’s like, oh, yeah, it is real. Even in the midst, it is real. It is even in the midst. And even in the depth of feeling and the mission gossin this crazy, chattering mind, like, you know, um, it’s still real. It’s still real.
Rick Archer: And, you know, we may hopefully reach a time when people would listen to this, you know, maybe this maybe this interview will be online for 100 years or more, and people listen to it and say, Isn’t it weird that the way they thought this was such a big deal back in those days? You know, it’s like, isn’t it obvious, doesn’t everybody know this now? You know, no society. To that extent.
Beth Miller: May I be so yeah, God, may it be so. Yeah. May it be so?
Rick Archer: I really hope it will be. And yeah, you know, there are various predictions who say it will that we’re going to ship into some a much brighter age and presumed and they’re ancient records of ages that were like this, you know, when when when it was more common knowledge. So things move in cycles and hopefully we’re on the upswing
Beth Miller: seems let’s say, let’s see. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I mean, actually, they’re contending forces, it seems like we could be able to be on the downswing for and look at it that way. So, yeah. Well, I think we’re on the right team. This team, I want to be on nature. Well, Beth, it’s been great talking to you. Your your website, which I’ll be linking to is Beth Miller, PhD, comm. And what what do you have to offer people? How do you interact with people?
Beth Miller: Um, I do see people one to one in my home, I do sue people on Skype. I probably, I think, thought about this before you and I spoke. Um, I think it will be obvious from our conversation, that, that there’s a way that I can help people psychologically, but I also think, especially as a integration embodiment of awakening, from the perspective of like, what’s still happening in the human condition, what’s still happening? I would like to offer myself there. Okay.
Rick Archer: And it says on your website, that you actually offer a free half hour consultation to begin with, and then people can take it from there. If they want, right? That’s true. Yes. Yeah. Well, that’s nice. Yeah, you may find yourself a little bit overwhelmed with those free half hour consultations for a while.
Beth Miller: I’ll be bowing to you.
Rick Archer: Say, Oh, my God, I should have taken that off the website.
Beth Miller: I’ll be bowing to you, or I’ll be calling you at three o’clock in the morning.
Rick Archer: Edit that out, please. Oh, good. That’s nice. Alright, so for those who have been listening, or watching, you know, who I’ve been speaking with Beth Miller, and have, as always have a page up on that gap about Beth and with a link to this interview linked to the audio podcast of it, and the link to her website, which you can go and explore. And, you know, if you feel so inclined, perhaps take her up on that offer? And do you ever do retreats or anything like that, or
Beth Miller: I do writing retreat, I do writing retreats. And I actually, I can well imagine doing retreats. It’s it could evolve into that. I think it could evolve. I think it could evolve into back. Yes. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Good. All right. Well, we’ll see how it goes. But anyway, stick around. I’m glad that you decided not to die. It’s good to have you here. I mean, you had done your BatGap. And if you were that has to be on your bucket list.
Beth Miller: Right. I’d so I so thank you for your service. So thank you. So thank you. It’s a joke. You know, I mean, it’s Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s what makes it such a pleasure for us to for us to
Rick Archer: write. And, and you’re thanking a bunch of us. You’re thanking Irene. Without Yes. And Dan, and Jerry and Angel and various people who help with all this, it’s couldn’t couldn’t do without them all.
Beth Miller: Thank you. I had some lovely encounters with Jerry. I think we’re fast friends.
Rick Archer: Oh, good. Yeah. A lot of people say that about Jerry. Jerry is the guy who helps ahead of time getting people set up technically, with their camera and their microphone and all that stuff. And, and, you know, so often I hear from people Wow, what a great guy Jerry has, you know, really enjoyed meeting him. Sometimes they end up with having long philosophical conversations with him and stuff.
Beth Miller: Oh, he was a godsend. He couldn’t he couldn’t have been sweeter. And he couldn’t have been more helpful. And I and I don’t know anything by technology. So he took me from zero to this. Yeah. Great. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay. Well, thanks so much, Beth. Thank you really been nice getting to know you better hope to see you. Maybe we’ll see out of the science non duality conference or something if you feel like going there. But in any case, we’ll stay in touch and thanks. Yeah, thanks. I just want to thank those who have been listening or watching. Next week, I’ll be interviewing a woman named in Israel named Georgie Johnson. And so stay tuned for that. And if you’d like to be notified of future interviews, or have new interviews whenever they’re released, there’s a mailing this signup thing on batgap.com. And I mentioned the audio podcast, which you can do some people don’t have time to sit in front of the computer. And also, I mentioned the Pay Pal donation thing. If you feel like contributing, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. So thanks for watching. You’re watching and we’ll see it for the next one.