634. Anne Sweet

Anne SweetI came across the writings of a well-known Indian guru in my early twenties and thus began a twenty-five-year odyssey that would uproot me from my normal life and see me living in ashrams and committed spiritual communities around the world. The answers I sought were not easy to find, however, and the promises made by the teachers in whom I placed my trust were rarely kept.

Exhausted and disillusioned I left my last teacher and abandoned spiritual life in 2004, and during the intense and all-consuming crisis that followed I finally realized the truth of my own unchanging nature beyond the personal identity. The questions that had haunted me for so long dissolved and I was astonished to find that all seeking had ceased. Over time the shift of identity stabilized and became normalized and permanent. Grateful and content with what I saw as a private internal matter I rarely spoke or thought about spirituality and for the next fifteen or so years focused instead on my long-neglected art career. I began to establish myself as a visual artist exhibiting firstly in the UK and later internationally. I now collaborate with my partner, scientist Dr. Jesse Shore, producing artworks as Sweet+Shore, as well as my individual work as Anne Penman Sweet.

About eighteen months ago I confided in my friend, author, and researcher Amir Freimann about what had happened and he immediately invited me to participate in his research project Living Transcendence: a Phenomenological Study of Spiritual Exemplars. I was very surprised as I had no sense of knowing anything or of having arrived anywhere in particular. However, over the course of a dozen or more formal interviews skillfully conducted by him, I experienced an outpouring of spiritual insights and understandings that I had no idea I contained. It was revelatory and transformative and since then I have spoken freely and publicly about these matters.

Not long after, I started to feel a deep inner prompting to begin sharing what I had learned and understood, not as a teacher but as a friend and advisor. I created the End of Seeking website as a free resource to help simplify and demystify the spiritual search for others and to give seekers the tools and knowledge they may need to independently navigate the often confusing and at times hazardous terrain of the contemporary spiritual marketplace.

I am currently working on a book of spiritual insights illustrated with Sweet+Shore artworks which I hope to publish by the end of the year.

Key life points:

  • Born in the UK, raised in Perth, Western Australia
  • Studied Fine Art at Claremont Technical School of Art (Perth), Saint Martin’s School of Art (University of the Arts) London
  • 1978 disciple of Osho (Rajneesh) for next 15 years including 4 years living in India at the ashram and at the Ranch in Oregon for the final year as it was imploding
  • Spontaneous channeling began after the Ranch and became a full-time channeler for 2-3 years.
  • Studied with Barry Long in Australia for 3 years
  • 1996 became a committed student of Andrew Cohen, living in his London and US communities for 8 years.
  • 2000-present: exhibiting internationally as a visual artist (painter)
  • Left Andrew Cohen in 2004 and spent time with Lee Lozowick and his community.
  • 2004 Shift of perspective to Self-knowledge/Natural State
  • 2020 began speaking more publicly about my experience/understanding after participating in Amir Freimann’s study Living Transcendence: a Phenomenological Study of Spiritual Exemplars.
  • 2021 created The End of Seeking website and began compiling a book of artworks and spiritual insight and inspiration.

Website: theendofseeking.org

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

Recorded February 12, 2022

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

628. Betty Kovacs

Betty KovacsDr. Betty J. Kovacs’ understanding of consciousness and spirituality is based on both scholarly research and symbolic, visionary experience.  In fact, she has written two books concerning these subjects.  Her first book is about her family’s profound visionary experiences surrounding multiple deaths in their family.  Her second book relates to our ancestors’ experience of a vaster consciousness, Cosmic/Christ Consciousness.

Within a three-year period, Dr. Kovacs experienced the deaths of her mother, her son, and her husband in separate automobile accidents.  While she had studied shamanism before her son’s accident, she and her husband actually experienced their son’s consciousness after his death for an extended period of time.  These experiences completely changed their lives.  Her first book, The Miracle of Death: There Is Nothing But Life, is about these altered states of consciousness.  After her retirement, she began an intensified period of research into our ancestors’ experience of a vaster consciousness, Cosmic/Christ Consciousness, which she relates in her new book, Merchants of Light: The Consciousness That Is Changing the World, winner of the Nautilus Silver Book Award and The Scientific & Medical Network 2019 Book Prize.

Dr. Kovacs’ extensive research tracked the existence of a shamanic-mystic-scientist culture from at least 40,000 BCE.  Our ancestors had developed symbolic language and various shamanic techniques to trigger altered states of consciousness.  Some of these ancestors achieved great skill as visionaries, mystics, and scientists, while others, it is not known how many, achieved the ability to experience Cosmic Consciousness.

Their Gift, the blueprint for our evolution, is the knowledge that we are all immortal, divine, and creative.  This blueprint is revealed in the heart wisdom of the mystic and the new science of quantum physics.

Unfortunately, in the West, this sacred tradition was suppressed by both Church and State and lost to mainline culture, but it survived underground in the Hermetic arts, Alchemy, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Mystic Christianity.  This powerful tradition emerged four times in European history in an effort to integrate this larger consciousness into mainline culture.

Each time the tradition emerged, the culture experienced a renaissance, as in the High Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, the Rosicrucian Enlightenment, and the German and English Romantic Period.  Each of these attempts was suppressed.

The consistent suppression of this ancient wisdom is the root cause of our current planetary crisis.  And it can only be healed through the consciousness of the heart that births a just and feeling world.  This same tradition, on which our survival now depends, has once again emerged today—and it can change the world.

Website: kamlak.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded December 19, 2021.

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

626. Nipun Mehta

Nipun MethaNipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace, a global community at the intersection of technology, volunteerism, and the gift economy. Most recently, ServiceSpace’s pandemic response has showcased the unique beauty of its global ecosystem. Nipun has catalyzed a global social movement of community builders grounded in their localities and rooted in practices for cultivating love, nonviolence, selfless service, and compassion. The ecosystem has reached millions, attracted thousands of volunteers, and mushroomed into numerous community-based service projects as well as inspiring content portals. ServiceSpace harnesses the collective power of networks and our deeper interconnectedness to create a distributed social movement founded on small, local individual acts of kindness, generosity, and service that ignite shifts in individual and collective consciousness. Nipun was honored as an “unsung hero of compassion” by the Dalai Lama, not long before former U.S. President Obama appointed him to a council for addressing poverty and inequality in the US. Yet the core of what strikes anyone who meets him is the way his life is an attempt to bring smiles in the world and silence in his heart: “I want to live simply, love purely, and give fearlessly. That’s me.”

In his mid-twenties, Nipun quit his job to become a “full-time volunteer”. One of his most formative experiences was a walking pilgrimage across India, with his wife of six months, whose profound lessons also became the subject of his widely-read address at UPenn commencement. Over the last twenty years, he has addressed thousands of gatherings around the world, speaking next to wide-ranging leaders from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to author Elizabeth Gilbert to civil rights legend John Lewis. Germany’s OOOM magazine named Nipun one of the Top 100 Most Inspiring People of 2020.

See links to these ServiceSpace websites at the bottom of their website.

 

 

 

 

And for some of Nipun’s talks and articles, visit his personal website.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded December 4, 2021.

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