537. Roger Walsh

Roger WalshRoger Walsh MD., Ph.D. DHL graduated from Queensland University with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine, came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar, and is currently a professor of psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology, and religious studies at the University of California. His research interests include psychological health and wellbeing, virtues such as love and wisdom, practices such as meditation that foster them, and the psychological roots of our current social and global challenges.

Roger’s books include Paths Beyond Ego, The World of Shamanism, and Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind, and he recently edited the modestly titled volume, The World’s Great Wisdom. His research and writings have received over twenty national and international awards. He was formerly a circus acrobat, held world records in trampolining and high diving, and recently graduated from the San Francisco Comedy College and had an extremely brief and unsuccessful career as a standup comedian.

For more information, see drrogerwalsh.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview

Interview recorded February 15, 2020.

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

530. Rick Archer at the 2019 SAND Conference – Knowledge/Reality is Different in Different States of Consciousness

Rick ArcherOpening points:

  • People get polarized in different perspectives. The more they focus exclusively on their perspective, the more justification for it they find.
  • Learning to appreciate paradox; accommodating different viewpoints within a broader perspective.
  • Enlightenment as Totality. Only Totality can realize Totality.
  • Totality has no difficulty reconciling paradoxes.
  • Getting comfortable with paradox might be conducive to our realization of Totality.

Examples of contradictory realities:

  • free will vs. determinism
  • personal self vs. no-self
  • Are we already enlightened, or must enlightenment be attained?
  • Is practice an aid or an obstacle?
  • Is the guru model dead?
  • Does non-duality imply that there are no stages of spiritual growth?
  • direct vs. progressive paths
  • patience vs. determination on the spiritual path

Additional points covered:

  • Acting in accordance with your own experience, not a concept of someone else’s.
  • Absolute reality does not negate relative realities.
  • Radically different realities at different levels of nature’s functioning are perfectly compatible with one another.
  • Incorporating universal and individual perspectives – ocean and wave, boundless and boundaries.
  • My experience in doing BatGap.

Recorded at the Science and Nonduality Conference, October 27, 2019.

Transcript of this talk.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Previous talks on BatGap:

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

482. Panel Discussions on Ethics and Spiritual Teaching

Ethics and Spiritual Teaching Panel at the Science and Nonduality Conference

  • Questioning whether higher consciousness and ethical behavior are tightly correlated.
  • The founding of
    the Association for Spiritual Integrity (formerly the Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers).
  • The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might apply universally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven an understanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greater confidence in their own discernment and discrimination.
  • Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach and students surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settings but generally does not work today.
  • Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.
  • Power hierarchies should not be an essential part of spiritual development and can lead to abuses.
  • Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person to offer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
  • Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honored traditions.
  • The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritual organizations.
  • Entering the teaching profession prematurely.
  • All too often, when teachers are challenged on their behavior, they ignore the challenger or become defensive.
  • How do we offer the possibility for redemption and atonement?
  • Moving away from a culture of competition to one of cooperation.
  • The importance of humility.
  • The importance of teachers not identifying with their role and thinking that students’ devotion is about them.
  • South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.

Discussion of this panel in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this discussion

Recorded October 27, 2018

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

 

The Ethics of Teacher-Student Romantic Relationships

  • The Association for Spiritual Integrity does not have a moralistic, judgmental orientation. It’s a community endeavor. We don’t agree among ourselves on certain points. We’re trying to balance our subjective perspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.
  • A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-student romantic/sexual relationships. None of us are rigid or adamant in our opinions. We’re trying to work it out.
  • There are exceptions to every generality. In graduate school, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapists and their clients to become partners.
  • Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspect of people’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teaching activities.
  • When a teacher/student or therapist/client relationship transitions into romantic involvement, the potential for growth is undermined.
  • Sometimes “divine compulsion” arises in your spiritual path, shattering your conception of appropriate behavior.
  • The problem with teachers who haven’t transcended desire and explored their own shadow.
  • There can be a huge disparity between the apparent enlightenment of a teacher and their behavior.
  • Isolation and being closed to constructive criticism can be very dangerous for a teacher.
  • If a teacher doesn’t have friends other than his students, he might want to ask why. If he doesn’t have regular relationships and is always on a pedestal, he won’t get real-world feedback.
  • The culture is changing anyway. We’re just trying to give voice to values that are becoming lively in collective consciousness.
  • There can be a lot of practice involved in having your actions be a reflection of your deepest understanding.

Discussion of this panel in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this discussion

Recorded October 26, 2018

Other BatGap episodes with these participants:

Recorded October 26, 2018

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