596. Richard Tarnas

Richard TarnasRichard Tarnas is a professor of psychology and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He teaches courses in the history of ideas, archetypal studies, depth psychology, and religious evolution. He frequently lectures on archetypal studies and depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara and was formerly the director of programs and education at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern widely used in universities. His second book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network and is the basis for the upcoming documentary series The Changing of the Gods. He is a past president of the International Transpersonal Association and served on the Board of Governors for the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.

Website: cosmosandpsyche.com

Interview recorded April 25, 2021.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

590. Theresa Cheung

Theresa ChungTheresa Cheung was born into a family of spiritualists. She has a Masters degree from Kings College, Cambridge, and has written numerous bestselling dream, angel, afterlife, ritual, and spiritual titles and Encyclopedias, including two Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers. She has been a guest on Russell Brand’s Under the Skin and Coast to Coast AM and featured in numerous newspapers and media.

Main points discussed:

  • Theresa’s bio and background
  • Movies can be a powerful means of popularizing spiritual knowledge.
  • Supernatural experiences are part of the human experiences. We should not idolize those who have them but investigate the possibility of having them ourselves.
  • Dreams inspire interest in spirituality.
  • The pandemic “lockdown dream phenomenon”.
  • “Dreams are your intuition, your internal therapist”
  • The inner guide is switched off in the modern busy world, but the pandemic switched it back on.
  • Night visions and how they may be much more than dreams.
  • Lucid dreaming
  • Confronting difficulties in dreams can prepare one to deal with difficult situations in waking life.
  • Theresa’s investigation of mediumship.
  • Discussion of cults and the importance of spiritual integrity.
  • The importance of humility on the spiritual path.
  • We’re all ordinary people who have extraordinary experiences from time to time.
  • Everyone’s path is unique.
  • It can be tempting to follow a teacher and intoxicating to amass followers.
  • An extensive discussion of angels.
  • The importance of kindness and caring for others.
  • The importance of a scientific approach to spirituality.
  • The importance of open-mindedness and not knowing all the answers.
  • When someone dies, there is a relationship in spirit not limited by space and time.
  • Heaven on earth. The life we live here determines the quality of the afterlife.
  • The importance of forgiveness.
  • Theresa mentions that ‘forgiveness’ is somewhat neglected in contemporary spirituality.
  • Relationships with animals.
  • The importance of curiosity.

A few of Theresa’s books:

Website: theresacheung.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded March 6, 2021.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

586. Cynthia Bourgeault, 2nd Interview

Cynthia BourgeaultCynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and theologian. For thirty years she worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating as a student, editor, and colleague and has taught and written extensively on Centering Prayer. She is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation and founding director of an international network of Wisdom Schools. In addition to her work on Centering Prayer, she is the author of numerous other books on the Christian Mystical and Wisdom tradition, including The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind–A New Perspective on Christ and His Message, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, and her most recent, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm.

Websites:

Other Books:

Main points discussed in this interview:

  • The Imaginal Realm is an objective reality belonging to the spectrums of consciousness within the Great Chain of Being which transcend, surround, and penetrate the denser realities. “Imaginal” does not mean “imaginary”.
  • Heaven and Hell represent opposites on the spectrum of consciousness which runs from freedom and connectedness on one end to constriction and alienation on the other. Both are experienced here, too.
  • Our important task is to become cosmic servants integrated into earthly reality.
  • Our work done in this realm feeds and informs the subtler realms which then process it and pour it back into our realm so that all realms evolve as a single reality.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven can be interpreted as seeing ourselves as wormholes that act as portals into the wholeness of the cosmic matrix. Encountering the Kingdom of God opens us up to the holistic nature of reality that informs and invites us to walk within the congruity of our individual will and the will of the Wholeness that seeks to become manifest.
  • Developing discernment requires equanimity and open-heartedness grounded in humility so that the ego doesn’t take the lead by creating roles that toxify and stagnate the path towards love and understanding.
  • Remaining teachable while being willing to risk self-exploration is essential to balanced development.
  • Creation is God’s way of communicating Love that gives, receives, sees, and is seen. This relational field has as its telos the eternal generation of diversity held together and protected by Love.
  • The great work is to fully show up in the laboratory of our lives and awaken into higher stages of consciousness. We courageously and graciously accept the presence of “tough grace” which comes to us packaged as apparent obstacles and even suffering.
  • From the depth of humility and spiritual maturity, we learn how to appreciate pinnacle spiritual states without getting attached to them.
  • Our emotional transactions have an energetic signature. We can learn how to “sniff the odor” of the energy in events, places, the dynamic between people, and even in concepts and ideas. This “sniffing” is an encounter with the Imaginal Realms.
  • We are in the birth canal of the collective emergence into the integral but the labor is difficult due to divisions between the “structures of consciousness.” We need to honor and re-engage with the magical and the mythical, ritual, the spirit of repentance, a lifestyle of moderation, and heart-centered living in order to create the spaciousness needed for global metanoia.
  • Jesus came to “line the anguish [of our human experience] with love.” The entire cosmos, from the dense to the subtle, is set up to experience burning restlessness—which becomes the driveshaft propelling the whole thing forward. Through Jesus, God tells the universe that love reaches all, forgiveness is eternal, nothing is lost, and the Universe is for you.

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 6, 2021

First BatGap interview with Cynthia.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.