562. James Finley

As a contemplative practitioner and clinical psychologist, James Finley helps seekers who desire to live a contemplative, whole life. Drawing from his experience as a former monk and spiritual directee of Thomas Merton, Jim offers trustworthy guidance for the spiritual journey through his website, online courses, occasional retreats, and the Center for Action and Contemplation where he serves as a core faculty member of The Living School for Action and Contemplation with Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr. Jim is the author of several books, including:

James’s podcast, Turning to the Mystics is for people searching for something more meaningful, intimate, and richly present in the divine gift of their lives. A clinical psychologist, James offers a modern take on the historical contemplative practices of Christian mystics like Teresa of Avila and Thomas Merton. Leaning into their experiences can become a gateway to hope, healing, and oneness. In each episode, Jim reads an excerpt from a mystical text, unpacks the meaning and symbolism, and then concludes with meditation and prayer. Together with Kirsten Oates from the Center for Action and Contemplation, they explore listener questions and examine their own paths as modern contemplatives in this beautiful and broken world.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded August 1, 2020.

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

559. Aaron Abke

Aaron was born and raised as a pastor’s son in Silicon Valley. At 23 years old he was serving as a full-time worship leader when he felt a strong conviction to leave his church and religion behind to pursue a deeper spiritual understanding. At 27 years old, Aaron had a dramatic awakening experience of sudden enlightenment which lasted for 2 weeks. After returning back to his ordinary state of consciousness, Aaron left everything in his life behind to pursue returning to that state of consciousness again. Years of tireless seeking led him to A Course In Miracles, through which he quickly discovered the cosmic joke that there is no seeker and no “person” whoever became enlightened. Today, Aaron teaches Non-Duality, Self-Realization, Inner Healing, and a myriad of other topics on YouTube, Live Workshops, and his new 8-week Online Course called, “Master Your Mind”.

Website: aaronabke.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded July 11, 2020

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

552. Lars Muhl

Lars MuhlLars Muhl is a Danish author, mystic, and musician, born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1950.

Already as a 10-year-old, Lars Muhl had experienced glimpses of another reality. The shock following the sudden death of his younger sister, caused painful kundalini-like experiences, giving access to the ethereal worlds and a hypersensitive insight into other people’s pain. This lasted for three years.

A turning point came when Lars was 15 and received a book anonymously in the post. Hazrat Inayat Khan’s ‘Gayan Vadan Nirtan’ became the start of a lifelong esoteric study.

Like Paulo Coelho, Lars was for many years a successful singer/songwriter who, concurrently with his music, studied the world’s religions and esoteric knowledge. Then in 1996, he was struck down by an unexplained illness, which neither doctors nor alternative therapists could diagnose. For three years he lay in bed without being able to move or think straight.

Through a close friend’s intervention, Lars was put in touch with a seer who, via the telephone, brought him back to life. That was the start of a completely new existence and the beginning of that quest he has so grippingly described in his trilogy book ‘The O Manuscript: The Seer, The Magdalene, The Grail’.

Other books:

Movie Lars referred to during the interview: The Gate of Light by Lars Muhl

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded May 30, 2020

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