Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. And this is a show in which I interview people who have had a spiritual awakening are in the process of having spiritual awakenings and so on. Cheryl Abram, today’s guest is my 300 guests, so send her a cake or something. Cheryl is a mother of four from southern Louisiana. She’s a graduate of Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and holds a master’s degree in social work and, and quality systems management. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and works as a learning and development specialist in a federal agency in DC. After an undeniable experience that reminded her of our inherent value without the need of a quote, Savior, Cheryl is now passionate about spreading the good news that belief is not necessary. We are already innocent, eternal and free. Cheryl has written a book called firing God, which I’ve read twice now. First, when you know a few months ago, when you first sent it to me, and then again just this week. It’s a nice short little book can tell Cheryl’s whole story, but we’re going to cover it here in this interview. So let’s do the usual thing share let’s let’s kind of go back and talk about you growing up period and all that a little bit just so people get to know you. And then we’ll get into all kinds of other things. So you grew up on a pecan plantation? Was it in southern Louisiana?
Cheryl Abram: Yes, it was a plantation, it was called pecan grow. Because we had a lot of pecan trees on the plantation. And when they fall off the tree, we pick them off the ground and my grandfather, and my uncles, they put them in these huge sacks, and we’d sell them at the side of the road. And, you know, folks use them in everything, especially pecan candy, which is absolutely delicious. So yeah, so I had an awesome childhood. I really, really did just being on the plantation with my mother’s side of the family. My father’s mother lived in a city called Houma, which was not as rural as as Berg was. So but both I enjoyed both I enjoyed being with my father’s mother and, and with my, my mom’s parents. So, I grew up with all my cousins, aunts, uncles around, went to school, everything was really, really great. Religion was a huge part of my upbringing. My uncle’s right now are ministers. A lot of people in my family, both male and female, are our ministers and everyone goes to church, basically. So all of that was great. It really was good when you’re young and you feel like you are special, that God really loves you and pays attention to you and favors you and things like that. Those things. That’s lovely. That feels really good. Of course, as I got older, I saw that wasn’t as true as I believed it was.
Rick Archer: What made you think God loved you and favorite you?
Cheryl Abram: Because the Bible said he did.
Rick Archer: That’s what I thought you were gonna say. Yeah.
Cheryl Abram: Because I was told he did. And, and when good things happened, it was the reason was because, you know, I was favored and I was a good girl. I was obedient, you know, and all those things and when bad things happened that’s because I wasn’t those things. I wasn’t good. I wasn’t obedient.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I want to throw in a philosophical But even now, which is that it’s, I get the impression that a lot of different religions kind of pander to you know, our innate need to feel special. You know, I’m special. My religion is the bestest. My God is the best Your God is worse. And so there’s a lot of kind of ego boosting that goes on and in terms of make you feel like you know, you are kind of one of the chosen and everybody else going, you know, where, yes, yes, not exclusive to Christianity
Cheryl Abram: now. And that’s another important part of it, too. So, it is that I’m chosen and I’m special. But what may Is that even more yummy? Is the fact that my enemies are going to be punished? Right? You know that that, that those two together make it so appealing?
Rick Archer: Yeah, a win win situation right?
Cheryl Abram: Oh, yeah. When I found out that that’s not gonna happen I was pissed. I mean I really was that was hard. Yeah, very hard to to admit it really really was. We’ll get
Rick Archer: on a little bit later to how you how you found out that wasn’t going to happen. And so I kind of got mixed messages from reading your book and listening to your interviews. On one hand, it sounded like you were saying church was boring and it kind of made you tired and you fall fell asleep. And then you went once a week. On the other hand, I thought I thought I heard you say you went every day. So what was it?
Cheryl Abram: Well, when I was little, I mean church was not exciting. When I was little, the only exciting events were Christmas and Easter when I got new clothes and shoes and you know, stuff like that. So I would fall asleep a lot and be very happy when it was finally over. And they were saying certain praying and benediction. When I got into my teen years, I moved to Houma. And we went to another church, a very, very fundamental fundamentalist type church couldn’t wear pants or makeup or jewelry, you know, couldn’t go to dances, watch certain shows on TV, all of that stuff, you know. And this is really where the fear of God was instilled into me. We would watch I remember a video, I think it’s called thief in the night or left behind something like that. Something like that Left Behind series. Yeah, yeah. And it basically said, you know, you’re gonna get left here and your life is going to be miserable, like even more so than it is now if you don’t accept God and His unconditional love. So that that’s where it was in that church where we went a lot. But I didn’t mind. Because what I came to see was that I needed a Savior. So everything I was doing was going to help me in the long run, right. And what I also came to see was how important it was for me to really, really believe that I was unworthy and undeserving. And if I was deserving of anything. It was, it was pain and suffering. You know,
Rick Archer: so this was instilled in you by the Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, but But I needed it. I mean, I had to be less than if I was going to get salvation. I don’t need salvation, if nothing’s wrong with me, you know? So So both of those had to be had to be in place.
Rick Archer: Does it also have to do with humility, supposedly, that you consider yourself kind of a lowly bit of pond scum and therefore, you know, therefore you were worthy of salvation. You’re not kind of boosting yourself up in any way. Well, yeah,
Cheryl Abram: so pond scum, the lowliest lowliest pond scum possible. I mean, unworthiness was a virtue. It really, really was. And we sang songs Rick about I’m so unworthy Lord, you know, and a lot of songs like that we sang every time we went to church.
Rick Archer: That’s funny, reminds me of a joke. I have to interject here there was there was a pastor and in the church, and he was like, really into this thing of Oh, I’m so unworthy. And he would be heard say, you know, oh, Lord, I am nothing. I am nothing. And then the deacon sort of overheard him saying that he got into it, you know, I am nothing, nothing. And then and then the janitor heard him saying that and so the janitor started saying, I have nothing. I have nothing. And then the pastor and Deacon looked at each other and said, Look, who thinks he’s nothing.
Cheryl Abram: And that is funny. I’m gonna have to tell ya, yeah. It’s like a competition. I mean, the most unworthy.
Rick Archer: Hello, can you go? That’s
Cheryl Abram: exactly. Yeah, exactly. But, um, but all of that was necessary. Yeah, I see that all that was needed.
Rick Archer: I mean, in the grand scheme of your life, it was all part of the puzzle.
Cheryl Abram: Yes, it brought me here.
Rick Archer: Because it was the point a lot of people say that, you know, regardless of what they have been through, and in some cases, it’s been horrific. I mean, I interviewed a woman not long ago that was raped by her father from the age of nine for at least five years and then became a serious drug addict. It’s very hard drugs. And she even looks back and says that was on that. Syria, you know, brought me to where I am,
Cheryl Abram: right? I remember this incident I had with my son, I have four kids. And my oldest son, he’s in the military now. And my baby, still my baby. He wasn’t doing what he needed to do as far as his homework, and you know, cleaning his room and you know, things like that teenage boys, right, you know, typical stuff. So, I’ve been given him a chance to do better. And I will say, Jared, you know, when you go in your room, this is what I need you to do. And I need you to, you know, bring me your homework when you’re done. So I can see that, that is complete. That wouldn’t happen. You know, I would go back a while later and say, Well, you know, let me see this, or let me see how you’ve cleaned your room. Because you said you were in here doing that. So you know, let me see that. And he, it just wasn’t getting to him, right? This is what Mommy was asking for. So one day, I decided, okay, this is what I’m gonna do. So he came home from school that day, he went back to his room, and he almost hit the ceiling. I mean, he just went ballistic. He was so upset. Mom, why did you do that? I mean, he was just he posted it on Facebook. And so what did you do? What I did was I took his door down. So his door was wide open, FiVER, and I unhinged the you know, the hinges on the door, and I took it down, he didn’t have a door, right? Because what I said, as a mom, okay, the the main thing that I need is I need to know, I need to know what you’re doing. Okay, you’re in this house, you know, there are things that need to be done, and Mommy needs to know. So I and I told him, everything that has occurred has brought me to this point to take him down your door. So that I can know. And I see this as the same, you know, everything that has happened in my life, brought me to the point to where I had to take down the door and look and see what was going on. No, that’s what mommies do. You know. And for the first few years after this happened, it was just, you know, marveling at the fact that this that this happened, and trying to reconcile that with what was going on in my life, which was a whole bunch of shit. I mean, it was horrible, right? And now that that reconciliation has happened somewhat, I’m now in this other phase, where, okay, mommy’s taken down the door, and I see what’s going on. And now I’m asking, you know, what the hell were you doing in here the whole time, right? You know, when the when the cat’s away, the mice will play, right. And so I feel like I really need to start taking down some more doors. So that so that I can so that I can see what’s going on, especially in the non dual community, right, which is a community that was I mean, I knew nothing about it at all. But now that I’ve come that I’ve come into it, I’m, you know, I’ve got my mommy face on, like, what’s going on here?
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, we’re jumping around, but that’s okay. Because we’re going to talk about I mean, the, the way I first became aware of you was you start popping up on Facebook, and, you know, saying some pretty clear and coherent things and some, some non dual group on Facebook, that Well, this looks interesting. Because I mean, as you ever since I’ve heard you say, you know, there aren’t that many black women and non dual circles. And, and so it’s a bit of an anomaly. You know, you might not otherwise have caught my attention. But but you know, there was that, and then there was this tremendous clarity, you’re talking about your, you know, your foray into non duality, and knocking down doors. And so, but But let’s go back a bit more, let’s, let’s get to that. But let’s go back. So, you know, you’ve been through a lot over the years, and we’ve been alluding to that. And, you know, you grew up in Louisiana, and we haven’t gotten much farther than that. And then, I know, you went to school here and there, and you joined the military and got married, and you’re over in Europe, or Kuwait, or someplace. And, and, you know, life was throwing curveballs at you. So let’s go into some of those details a little bit.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, life really was throwing some curveballs at me. And it wasn’t that it wasn’t what I was taught. Okay. I really expect it to be treated better than I was being treated
Rick Archer: by the universe by people.
Cheryl Abram: By God. Yes, I really expect it to be favored. And I got a little I really felt some type of way about seeing people who are not for Christians not going to church not praying, like I was, you know, and just being happier than me, that didn’t make sense to me, you know, but I had to keep going back to, it’s your fault, Cheryl, you know, there’s something that you’re not doing God really, really wants to help you. But his hands are tied behind his back, you know, because of something that you’re not doing. Alright. So over the years, it was me trying to be better, so that I can get better, I can get more and be happier. Because the ultimate search was just to be happy, I was miserable, you know, the relationships that I had been in some of the jobs that I’ve had, it just I was miserable, and nothing was was working. So it came to a head, I guess you can see once I finally in my second marriage, and when I was living here in Maryland, I had been searching for church again, again. And I finally found one, it was a very, very small church that was being held in a school. There are many, you know, like churches that do that, that they start off in a school or storefront or something like that, until they grow bigger.
Rick Archer: When you say you’re searching for a church, it must not be that hard to find a church, they’re all over the place. But you must have had certain criteria that you were looking for.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, I mean, it the message, you know, of some, for some reason, a lot of ministers right now are really into the prosperity thing. Fighting for money, or you know, whatever. Yeah, yeah, I didn’t I don’t really like that. You know, I like more the traditional
Rick Archer: spiritual nature of it.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah. Yeah. So I was looking for something like that. And this guy, I really liked him. He’s very personable. He was a young man. He had a very small congregation, but he really seemed down to earth. And he was talking about things that were going on today, you know, in today’s world, he would take the Bible and you know, try to apply it to, to the current time. So I liked that. He gave me a book to read, I love discussing things and, you know, asking and answering questions. So Bible study is something that I’ve always enjoyed, because I love learning, you know, so he was having a Bible study, he gave me a book to read, pertaining to that said, I don’t remember what the book was, but I was very excited about it. When I got a chance to read it, I was going to do that. But it was about a week or so, you know, before I was able to get to the book, because I come home one day, and I went to my kitchen. And I saw all kinds of correspondents in the kitchen bad stuff, like, you know, bills and a foreclosure notice. There was a summons to go to court, all of this stuff. And I was like, oh my god, what am I going to do? And at the same time, my marriage is falling apart. And I was tired, like, I was just so tired. So I said, let me go in my bedroom. And just and read this book, I gotta read something, some story of somebody who’s been where I am right now, and you know, came through it. Okay. So I sat on my bed. And I started reading the book. And what I read in the book was, I have to take all the Stephen King novels out of my house, because of the demons, you know, associated with stuff like that. Even the Shawshank Redemption, even the Shawshank Redemption, demons. I love he wrote that. Yeah, yeah. So all of them had to go to Stephen King was in my house, you know, those books. So I heard that before, that was nothing new, you know about taking dolls and you never go to a garage sale, because spirits are on some of the things or whatever. You know, I’ve heard that before. This was nothing new to me. But at this particular time, being as low as I was, and as helpless and hopeless. Fear was not doing it for me. You know, and this scared me. It really scared me. And I was so upset at the anger. It was It was unbelievable. I mean, it was white hot anger. Right. So I said, I’m done. I am so finished with this because every time I’m talking to God at this point, every time I come to you, it Cheryl, you’re not good enough. You got to do this. You got to do that. I really want to help you. But I can’t because you know, you didn’t pray enough. You really not tithing like you should. And of course, all of this is coming through the man of God. You know, I’m not hearing this directly from God, you know, so, so something is always wrong with me. And I’m like, I’m finished. I’m not going to do this anymore. And at that moment, I decided, You know what, let me just be honest. I don’t love you. I don’t even know you. And you know, you can fuck off. Now, I was very afraid of saying that. But I really felt like I had to be honest at that moment, because not nothing else was happening, nothing else was working. So honestly was my last resort. It was my last resort. And with that it literally felt like chains were just lifted. Like, I’d been chanting been chained, and they were gone. Just with admitting that, that I didn’t love God, I never did. You know, and I didn’t know him either. So almost immediately after that, there was a very, very strong compulsion for me, to read the story of Adam and Eve, I don’t know where that came from. It was just a feeling of, you know, something that was felt, I didn’t hear voices and nothing like that. I just felt like I needed to read that story, which I refused to do. Because I just, you know, told God’s a fuck off. And I wasn’t having anything to do with the Bible or anything else. I was done with that. But the compulsion kept coming, you know, and it was after a couple of days that I decided, okay, let me read the damn story. And just get rid of this. So I read the story. Nothing happened. You know, what the next day? All kinds of questions just started coming up. You know, why are there two stories? Why was that tree there questions I’d never asked before, because I just accepted the story. This is the way we came, you know, to be and this is why I have to suffer right now. Because Eve ate that Apple when she shouldn’t have and, you know, Adam didn’t stop her. And that was just what it was. There was no reason why would I question that? I’ve been told this by all kinds of authority figures, there was no reason for me to question it.
Rick Archer: I heard this really funny comedian the other day. In fact, our friend Phil Ascot turned me on to this. But the guy was going on about how, you know, here’s the story, and there’s a talking snake and they get you know, they they do them all of humanity to perdition, because she ate a particular piece of fruit. And, you know, she came out of Adam’s rib and all this stuff. And then he kind of concludes by saying, and this is the book that we put our hands on, promising to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Cheryl Abram: Exactly, I mean, that’s exactly it. But like I said, I had no reason to question it. Why would why would the minister lie? Like, why would my family lie? No, no, so it had to be true?
Rick Archer: Well, and so you wrote a book called firing God, let’s examine this whole thing now of truth and belief and experience and everything else. I mean, here’s my take on things. And that is that religions all start out pretty good. They start out with some sage, who has, you know, some SEER who has a profound, deep experience of what we might call truth or reality, or, you know, the deeper dimensions of life. And you know, and very often that that realization is so profound and so deep, that no person really makes an impact and stands out. And then, you know, over time, the, the message is lost, it’s usually lost, even in his lifetime, you know, that. He’s saying stuff, people don’t know what he’s saying. And then certainly, after he dies, and generations go on, the thing is lost more and more and more and more, to the point where you have, you know, hundreds of millions of people killing and torturing each other in the name of what was once what started out as the most sublime experience that person can have. So there’s this huge loss of, of the original essence of what gets a religion going. And they become religions become like these empty shells, which bear no resemblance to the original thing. So that’s kind of my orientation to the thing. And since there’s no experiential basis, left, the experiential essence left, or at least not in any general sense, maybe there are some exceptional individuals here and there, the whole thing hinges on belief. And, you know, what is believed for you? I mean, you and I could stand on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant starving to death, arguing about, you know, what the food was, like inside without actually experiencing it. And so that, and I believe it’s good, you believe it’s bad, who cares? You know, we’re starving, we should go in and eat. But you know, religions for the most part, have lost the ability to provide that access to that restaurant, so to speak. And so people are left hanging on believing stuff, and without, and we’ll say one more thing and then let you take it. Without the kind of experiential anchor or verification for all these beliefs, the beliefs can get more and more and more out there, you know, more and more weird because there’s no kind of check and balance in terms of There’s no kind of even understanding that, that this the beliefs should at best be kind of like hypotheses. Okay, we believe such as such is true. Let’s find out if it is. And there’s never that second part, let’s find out if it is, it’s more like, you know, you have to believe this or else. Yeah, so take it from there.
Cheryl Abram: So the way I see it is that in my experience believe, was so important. And part of the reason was because of where I come from and who I am as an African American woman. I remember when I went to salve a, Regina, I was in a class, I forget which class it was, but I was one of two black people in the class. That’s a college in Rhode Island. College of Rhode Island. Yes. And the instructor asked the class, he said, I want you all to go around the room, like we’re gonna go around the room, and I need you to tell me where you came from. How did you get here? You know a little bit about your heritage. So they went around the room, you know, some folks, their great grandparents were from Ireland or England, a couple of folks from South America, you know, they knew where they were, where they came from, where they originated, so they got to me? And I had no answer. I just I was like, Louisiana. I don’t know, you know. And Rick, that was so I was so embarrassed. And I was so hurt. Because I don’t know,
Rick Archer: what are you saying that you just didn’t know, your genealogy? You didn’t know? Very far back?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, I don’t know. And it’s, and I feel bad about that.
Rick Archer: No records were lost of all that. And you just don’t know what country your original descendants came from, or anything
Cheryl Abram: at all, nothing at all. And for those who do know, I think they have such a gift, you know, they really, really do have such a gift to know that. And, you know, so so when I think the purpose of that he was talking about that I and you know, Native American peoples and we’re like some of the, if anyone was American, then then it was us. Right. But you know, that’s a whole nother subject but, but belief, gave me that belief gave me my genealogy. This is where I come from, you know, Adam and Eve are my you know, my origin. And God is my Father. And you know, all of this, it filled in the blank, there was a huge blank there and belief filled in that blank, right. And that is my route. Those are my roots. So I’m good. Now. Now I can move from there. And when I finally saw that, that is not true. It was it was it was like a death, like I died. To let that go to let go of where I thought I came from, left a huge open space again. But you know, I saw it for what it is. But it was painful. It’s very hard.
Rick Archer: Now that with your current orientation to things. I mean, the way I look at my ancestor was English, Irish and Scottish, but I don’t particularly care. I never paid much attention to it. And I tend to think of myself more as an evolving soul who might have had lives in India or China, or who knows, I don’t know. But that’s kind of like, really my lineage. And then if we want to kind of transcend the individuality, then we are all the same person. And there’s that sort of eternal self, you know, and that and that’s who I am. So that there’s kind of, if I want to make sense of things, those two things make more are more meaningful to me than my actual genetic heritage. You kind of feel that way now that you have this newer orientation to things.
Cheryl Abram: No, no. I mean, I still would, I would still like to know, you know, eventually, but, but the this new orientation, as you say, is it’s okay. I mean, it’s not so critical. It’s not so imperative. It’s not life or death, you know, if I don’t know, but it would be nice to know, you know, and I’m no longer holding on to something that’s not real. To take the place of what is real. Yeah. You know,
Rick Archer: so, if, as a Christian you you derive solace from the sense that you know, Adam and Eve were your ultimate ancestors, and it gave you a sense of belonging. And now you no longer believe that Do you feel a little bit rudderless now? Or do you feel like something more meaningful has actually replaced that kind of concept you used to take solace in?
Cheryl Abram: I did at first, it was it took a long time to let go. Right. So let me Okay, so I’ll get to the point to where everything happened. And, you know, then then go from there. So, as I was saying, Before, you know, in my room, I read Adam and Eve, now the questions start to come up. So with these questions, I went to people in my family who, you know, they’re well versed in the Bible. So there were questions about the Bible. So I’m going in, I’m asking things like, why are there two stories? You know, what’s up with that tree? Why would he do that? And, you know, and I wasn’t the answers I was getting were the same old thing always got, and I wasn’t satisfied with that. So that’s when I went to Google. Right? And I was like, and I was looking for commentary on the Adam and Eve story. And I started to read things that I’d never read before. Like the possibility that that story is just a metaphor, like, it’s not even real. It just represent I never heard that before.
Rick Archer: Google must have demons in it. In mice,
Cheryl Abram: you know, and I would look over my shoulder, like, you know, maybe this is the devil trying to, you know, do something. But yeah, so I really, I started to read those things. I started to listen to folks like Christopher Hitchens. And I felt so guilty listening to him, because I’m like, Man, I really shouldn’t be listening to this guy. You know, the stuff he’s saying, but I just, I just needed to hear other things. You know, because I’d been in this box of, you know, Southern Baptists speak for so long that I needed to hear somebody else’s store. So that went on, and one day at work. So this was, I don’t know, like a month or so after that. I was at work one day. And it was early in the morning. It was it was in May, it was still kind of cool up here. So I had my heater on, but I had my heater on all the time, because the building is freezing. So I had my heater on, I had a cup of coffee next to me, and I’m checking my emails. That’s the first thing I do. Every morning when I get into work. I check my emails and answer them and things like that. Well, all of a sudden, I’m terrified out of my mind. My heart is beating so fast, My palms are sweaty, I’m breaking out into a cold sweat. And I do not know why. I’m looking at myself wondering what the hell is going on here, you know? And then I’m thinking, Am I having a heart attack or something, which was crazy, because you know, I’m very healthy. And I’ve never had any heart problems or anything like that before. So finally, as this goes on, and I’m just getting more and more terrified. I thought, Oh, my God, I’m dying. Like, I am seriously dying right? Now. This makes no sense at all. And the terror just kept increasing and increasing. And I’m like, Oh, my God, you know what? What’s going to happen to my kids? Because I know now there’s no question in my mind that I’m about to die. I see it coming. And I’m like, what about my kids, you know, who’s going to care for my babies? I’m not gonna be able to tell them by and when there was nothing I could do. So I just had to say, Okay, I mean, I’m just going to die right here in my chair at work. And I just let it go. I was like, Alright, let’s do this. So once I just said, Okay, that’s the way it’s gonna be. That’s just how it has to be. The terror was replaced by something that I have absolutely no words for at all. None. And it was so beautiful. And freeing and and the thing that made it so amazing, was the fact that whatever I was knowing, right, then, I was knowing it for everybody. Every single person, even my ex who I was going through the divorce with and I hated with every fiber of my being. I knew it for him too, you know? And that just made me so happy isn’t even the word. I’m telling you. It’s not so that is that feeling lasted for a while and while it was going on, like strange things were happening. I’m looking at my computer like what the hell is a computer doing here? This This makes no sense, right? What was happening made all the sense in the world, but the stuff around me was just weird. Like, what is this? You know? So it lasted for less than a minute, you know, I would say and then you know, wore off a little bit and man, at the end of the day, like I don’t remember what I did that day at all I remember is sitting at my computer Are that happening, and I remember walking home, at the end of the day going to the train station. But I was like, I gotta know what this is, like, I know, I can’t have been the only person who’s experienced who’s experienced this. So soon as I got home, I was on my computer, typing up stuff like already in eternity already in heaven, you know, those sort of things. And this is when folks like Osho started popping up in my search and Rupert Spiro popped up and you know, some other people that I’ve never heard of, you know, Osho was saying stuff that was totally weird. I just didn’t get it at all, you know, I had nothing to hinge it onto. It just didn’t make any sense. You know, Rupert Spiro was just speaking another language and like, Who is this guy? You know, he reminds me of that guy with the afro, who paints. And he’s so nice. Like, he paints these awesome pictures. And the clouds are happy and stuff like that, you know, I’m talking about, Yeah, somebody who’s watching this will know what I’m talking about. But he’s very, like, you know, relaxed. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And, and then, you know, the Tony Parsons was another person, and I just wanted to punch him in the face, because he wasn’t giving me anything. I’m like this guy is. So all these folks aren’t, and I’m listening. I’m listening, but I’m not getting it. Like I don’t, it was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I know what you’re talking, you’re talking about what happened, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was really weird. You know, it really was. And then I found the Course in Miracles. And I started reading that which Oh, my God, the second I picked up that book and started reading it. I’m like, This is literally demonic. There is no way that I, Cheryl, the Son of God, come on, you know, but I and I wanted to put that stuff down. I want I didn’t want to do all that. First of all, because I had a lot of shit going on in my life. You know, I didn’t have time for universe stuff. Finding out who I was. I mean, you know, I’ll later I can do that later. Right now I have bills, I got court dates I got, you know, my kids need me all that stuff. But I couldn’t stay away. I couldn’t just put it on the side and go back. Something just kept, kept drawing me drawing me back there. As much as what was going on, was telling me what you experienced was not so you are not good. You know, you are not already here or you know, whatever. So the chatter that was going on over here was kind of there was a battle there almost, you know, trying to get me to forget this.
Rick Archer: Like the this was going on double unders. Yeah,
Cheryl Abram: exactly. That’s exactly what it was. Right. But this wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t No, not at all. And it took a while for me to grow into that. You know, I had to kept keep going back to it. Because, man, the chatter is so convincing. You know, it really, really is
Rick Archer: what you just said, first of all, it might interest you to know, and you probably already do know that a lot of people go through this fear thing on the verge of an awakening. Have you ever come across other accounts of that? Yes. Yeah. And it reminds me of, I don’t know if you’ve ever read the right stuff, or saw the movie. But when, when Chuck Yeager first was the first man to break the sound barrier, as he was sort of approaching the speed of sound, there was all this turbulence and he was holding on to the stick of the plane and, and when he finally broke through, it just became totally smooth. So there’s like this kind of, yeah, transition point that he had to go through and after, which became smooth. And there’s a verse from the Upanishad. It says, Certainly all fear is born of duality. And it’s almost like there’s this kind of fear membrane we have to pierce as we transition from duality back into unity. And then if we go the other way, Unity back into duality, then then there’s sort of the opportunity. We’re in sort of a fear based orientation, because there’s, it’s dual, there’s awesome, there’s them. And there’s this and there’s that and there’s vulnerability. So you kind of pierce that membrane and the transition to a unit a unity kind of experience seems to me.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, same. So yeah. And it was it was it was funny, because as I was looking for others who’ve had this experience, I was I really wanted to hear from someone who looked like me. You know, that was very important to me. I didn’t want to listen to Rupert’s fire. I did it. I’m like an English white dude. What does he know about anything that I’ve
Rick Archer: experienced? About Mooji Mooji comes close. Yeah, he’s comes close,
Cheryl Abram: but he dresses weird and he’s got you know, the He has the thing on his lap. I mean, he was so good rooting for me, you know. So I wanted to find a normal person, you know, that that I could really talk to and who I could relate to. And I didn’t find that. And but I, I needed to know so badly that I pushed that aside. I said, Okay, fine, whatever. Let me just listen to what these folks are saying. And of course, eventually, none of that matters, you know, in the end, but, but But that experience has resonated with me throughout because
Rick Archer: the experience you had in the office? Yes, yeah. And
Cheryl Abram: and search for somebody who looked like me. So what I did was in, in my research, I looked at this guy, and Jerry Katz isn’t sure
Rick Archer: I listened to your interview with him.
Cheryl Abram: And I read that it seemed like he’d been in non duality game like forever, right? So I emailed him. And I said, you know, Jerry, my name is Cheryl, this is who I am. This is what’s happened to me. And in the email, I said, so we’re all the black people, you know, because I really thought he’d been in the game so long, that he would know where we were housed, or something tells me you know, oh, well, they, you know, the non, the black non duelists have a thing in Detroit every year or whatever, you know, I was hoping he’d know if anyone would know, he’d know. And he was like, Oh, no. So we did the interview and things like that. So now that as I said, I’ve started to over the years, grow into this, I see that now, this stuff never stopped the chatter and all the problems and all that stuff. And I talked about that in my book, like, I was still going through crap, you know, I was still feeling shitty after my court date. And I, you know, still hated my husband and all that stuff. All of that was going on still. While I was growing into this, this other, this other, you know, whatever that is, and now that I feel like, I’m no more stable, I guess I don’t ignore the word for it. It’s a good word. I’m, I’m, I’m starting to focus more on this on on the chatter and, and what’s going on over here. And again, Jerry, he’s started this group called the Universal Consciousness. And it’s about how you mentioned before, you know, either or, it’s about either or not being the only option, right? There is another one. Yes, both fan is also there. And this is leading me in my talks, and with my book, and you know, last weekend, I went to Atlanta to talk to the black nonbelievers to really introduce this to, to my community, to the community, because Rick, when I have that experience, in, in, in my office, it was so to grow, to grow up feeling like you don’t belong, you don’t know who you are, and you deserve every horrible thing that happens to you, is an awful way to grow up. And to see that the people around you, they feel the exact same way. is really hard. I mean, I know I’m sorry.
Rick Archer: That’s okay. This is sweet.
Cheryl Abram: I know some beautiful, beautiful people. And they’re so afraid. Because the belief that they’re holding on to it, they feel like that’s all they have, there’s no other option. And I just want to do what I can to let them know.
Rick Archer: That’s a good No, you can cry, just don’t slap your microphone. No, it’s very, very sweet. And it’s such a, and I’m sure you will, I mean, I’m sure you’re gonna do a lot you are doing a lot and this interview will help you do more. But the whole thing about, I mean, you know, to me, to my mind, the experience you had in your office, you know, beautiful experience. And there are people who kind of live in that state all the time, and I’m sure you have to a much greater degree now than then you used to. And so we’re talking about something really wonderful and sublime. And, you know, what’s fear got to do with it. To paraphrase Tina Turner, you know, there’s it’s such a shame that there’s been so much nonsense in the name of spirituality and that generations of people have been kind of condemned to fear over something which should be the act, the polar opposite of fear. And you know, it’s funny, I had you listen to my interview with Michael Dowd. He mentioned that, statistically, in the, in the sort of the Bible Belt areas of the country, there’s a much higher incidence of, you know, porn and spousal abuse and, you know, alcoholism and all kinds of creepy stuff, then there is in this in the sort of non religious parts of the country like the east and west coast. So, you kind of wonder what I mean, I personally, I think there’s a kind of a, a nugget of truth and goodness in religion, ultimately, but what’s it doing for people, if that’s the society that that tend that it tends to build, you know, and it just creates hordes of people who are out of touch with reality and are dominated by fear?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, and, you know, I’m glad you say, you know, what, what’s it doing for people? Because one of the things, you know, after, after I was able to process all of this, and I talk a little bit about it at the end of my book is, so what? Yeah, okay, we’re all one. We’re already in eternity. You know, so what, I’m still hurting, I’m still suffering, I’m still you know, all this stuff is still going on. So now, what do we do with that? Like, because now I feel like from this from where I am now, now, I can begin to evolve, right? Because I, because with belief, I felt stuck. You know, I could only go so far this is, I can’t go any further than this. Right? But now I see that. So it’s kind of like, change is possible now, because of what I see. Because I see that I cannot change. Now that I see that I cannot change, I can do it. Finally.
Rick Archer: Clarify that
Cheryl Abram: I can get out of because I feel like what I see is I was using belief. Belief was taking the place of permanence, yeah, it was taking the place of stability, and safety, right, because I could not see who I really was. I couldn’t see that. So I was making this thing up, because I thought I was missing that. But now that I see that I’m not missing that. I don’t need this anymore. I don’t need this, this faux stability, this faux peace, this, you know, this fake permanence. Now I can change, I can get rid of that stuff, and go ahead and change the way the way I need to change the way I want to change, you know, because I see that I can’t, yeah, and they have to work together, not changing and changing, have to rise together and happen at the same time, which is what di yuga. natality is about, you know, now we get into the real stuff, you know, and I really want to see, because I don’t see. And this is just my opinion, from what I’ve observed. Like, how is the non dual community showing up? You know, how I looked at the sand conference stuff last year, and I went back to Jerry, like he knows, right? Question, where are the black people? I mean, who? Because I’m like, I’ve never heard this. I’ve never heard this, why can anybody tell anybody this stuff, you know? And so now I feel like, okay, I’m in mama mode, I gotta take your door down. Now that I’m here, you know, you brought me here, you know, you brought me to this place. So now I feel like, you know, we need to be more open, you know, and out there just telling everybody about it. You know,
Rick Archer: so there’s a few threads in what you said, I want to wrap up and care and elaborate and get your feedback on. First of all, to reiterate what you’re saying about belief and change in non changes to make sure I understand what you’re saying and that the audience does. I think you were saying that, you know, prior to this shift that you’ve undergone, you know, belief was you’re hanging on belief, belief was your rock, but it wasn’t actually a rock it was it was a sort of a unstable, tenuous kind of thing because it had no foundation. And then with the shift, there was an actual element of permanence, that it was introduced into your life, something that actually is intrinsically permanent, and stable. And then with that, you know, you could kind of come back and deal with the changing stuff more effectively. You know, there’s, I think, as you said, this diurnal thing, they’re sort of the dual and the non dual together. There’s a verse in the Bhagavad Gita which goes established in yoga perform action and yoga means union, so established in a certain established in being in Being in permanence, it’s the ability on that, on that foundation perform action. Yeah. And then it says yoga is skill in action, another verse, which means that your your action is going to be more skillful if you have this foundation. So I think that’s what you’re saying about that. Right?
Cheryl Abram: Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. It’s exactly what I’m saying. I really feel like now I can, I can do something, you know, where but where before belief just had me locked in this thing. And I just couldn’t, couldn’t get out of it. You know,
Rick Archer: I’m reminded of Christ referring to Peter as the rock, you know, on this foundation that will build my church, he was talking about some something kind of substantial and solid that he saw in Peter that Peter had apparently experienced there was experiencing. Yeah, and you know, this, the diet wasn’t die you
Cheryl Abram: Tality Yeah, it’s
Rick Archer: not too familiar with the word, but I guess we’ll have to get used to it. But um, I think
Cheryl Abram: Join Gary’s group he’ll, you know, you can you can learn a lot.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I don’t have time to read groups too much. But I get the emails, I think maybe I glanced at the titles, but um, there’s, I think the non dual world has, to a great extent, come around to this. I’m seeing it, I see it over and over and over again, where people start out, you know, with kind of a Tony Parsons orientation, or you are not a person, and there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go and all that stuff. And there’s an emphasis on the transcendent, impersonal stuff. And then, you know, but then people begin to, hey, what about my life? You know, I mean, I’ve got all this stuff going on, how do I deal with that, you know, my children, my children illusory, or. And so there’s a, you might like, enjoy watching this talk that I did. Shanti and Francis Bennett gave together, I can send you a link to it. In fact, I have it on my website, but they’re kind of addressing this at great length. And, in a nutshell, the way Francis puts it, he says, you know, of course, your person, you’re just not only a person, you know, so your pores your wave, you’re just also an ocean. So it’s not like, I am just the ocean, I am not a wave. And it’s not like I am just a wave, I am not an ocean, you’re both and being both, there’s, there’s tremendous sort of advantages to then trying to be overturned to be one or the other.
Cheryl Abram: There is there is and in, in a growing up, you know, in the black community, there’s such a sense of lost identity, you know, because of this double consciousness, right? We don’t know, we belong here. I mean, do we belong there? How’s that going? You know, and I actually wrote to, in the group that Jerry has, you know, I was very, very open and very honest, because I felt like, I felt like, you know, where race relations are in this nation,
Rick Archer: right? In the US, they’ve got a long ways to go still, and
Cheryl Abram: a very long, long way to go. So like I said, in my book, how I was, I became free. Once I was honest, like, the honesty was like, the, the last resort I had was the last tool I had in the box, right? So being honest about what’s going on and not, you know, just Pooh poohing it away, or what happened 100 years ago, and you know, all this other kind of stuff, because that stays with you. It stayed with me, you know, stay with me worshipping this white dude on a cross. I felt like, every white person was like that,
Rick Archer: you know, who wasn’t actually that? What did you see that thing I posted on I did see, that’s probably more what it looked like was
Cheryl Abram: in all of my aunts, and grandparents homes, he looked like that, you know, he had blond hair and blue eyes and all that stuff. So I took that, and I attributed that to everyone who looked like that, you know, God loved them the most, you know, and I was secondary, you know, so if they looked at me touched me talk to me, if he wanted to be friends with me in school, you know, I felt real special. I really did. And I feel like I needed to be honest about that. And we all need to be honest about what’s happened. And then we can move on, you know, then we can move on from there.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Of course, you know, there’s this popular saying these days black lives matter. But, and it’s a little bit of a cliche, but but really, obviously, all lives matter. You know, polar bear lives matter. white lives matter. tree lives matter. It’s like everything is to my way of thinking everything is God incarnate, and every being every every form of life. And so if we, you know, if we treat if Well look what Christ said. He said, You know what, so ever you do unto the least of these you do unto me, and least of these could mean any race any animal any anything. You know, so if we’re if we clear cut the rain for For us, we’re destroying our own lungs, you know, if we pollute the oceans, we’re poisoning our own blood, if we, you know, if we kill off species, we’re lopping off our own fingers and toes. So there’s just this kind of that, to me, the Divine is imminent, and all life and all expressions, and it all needs to be treated with reverence and respect.
Cheryl Abram: Right? That is true. And what I can say is, if you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that he has there, you know, when, look looking at where I came from, and the way we grew up, and you know, the struggles and you know, the things like that, I don’t give a shit about rain forests, and GMOs and all this other kind of stuff. Because I’m just trying to live Yeah, you know, right, right now, walk into the store. I’m trying to survive, you know, so
Rick Archer: your personal life, you’re not at that point in Maslow’s pyramid, you’re sort of dealing with a set, you know, critical things.
Cheryl Abram: Right. And I think a lot of us are, are dealing with that. And it’s not until we can feel safe. Yeah, that is not until we can feel safe, until I can be here with you, Rick, and know that I am completely safe, that I can you know, that I can engage you and have good relationship with you and move and evolve so that we can do all that other stuff, rainforests and the food, you know, and all these other things. But if I don’t feel safe with you, you could forget about that. I mean, I’m gonna do I’m gonna do what I need to do to survive. Yeah. All right.
Rick Archer: Hopefully you feel safe, feel safe. With you. I remember, somebody was giving me a ride one time and I was telling him about how I used to hitchhike a lot as a teenager and all people used to pick me up and she said, Well, you probably never looked very sinister. boyish, look about right. Yeah, so. So in terms of like, what you what got you crying a few minutes ago, this feeling of, you know, a need to help your brothers and sisters. Yeah, who are kind of in fear mode, and have had that drummed into them for for so long. How did it I mean, how, what sort of inroads Have you made so far with that? How, how do you see yourself playing that role?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, no inroads at all? None.
Rick Archer: Well, how about when you went to that thing in Atlanta? Well, those are the black non believers. They’re already kind of over that hurdle.
Cheryl Abram: Oh, yeah. There? Yes. I believe Mandisa. Thomas is the head of the founder of that group. And I believe it started in 2009. So yeah, so they’ve kind of gotten over that hump a little bit, you know, but what I, what I say, when I go out, and I speak to people is that I’m not, I’m not attacking beliefs. I mean, keep your beliefs, don’t let them don’t let them go. Hold on as tightly as you can, you know, whatever you believe, when you came in the room believe that exact same thing when you leave. All I’m saying is, look at what you’re believing. You know, that’s it, just look at what you believe, because there’s nothing I need to do the same thing that allowed me to see what I saw is in everybody, sure. You know, I don’t need to do anything about that. So I’m just asking, you know, if you feel inclined to do so, you know, you might want to look at what you’re believing. And from there, just from the looking itself from there. They’ll figure it out. Yeah. It’ll it’ll come to
Rick Archer: you know what the Rose said. He said something like, go ahead and build your castles in the air. That’s where they belong. Just put foundations under them.
Cheryl Abram: Mm hmm. And something that I know that you’re interviewing Robert Robin. Yeah. And as I mentioned to you, Roberts, my speaking my public speaking coach,
Rick Archer: oh, I didn’t know that. I forgot.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, he’s, he’s awesome. He’s so one thing that he says in in speaking is look at what you’re doing, like pay attention to how you’re moving your hands, you know, your your head, how many times you’re saying I’m just pay attention, you know, just give attention to it because you cannot change what you don’t give attention to if I don’t even know I’m doing it, you know, how am I going to, you know, I you know, do something else, right. So it’s all about looking and just paying attention to what’s going on?
Rick Archer: Yeah, and more fundamentally, it’s about, you know, where you’re at. Be I mean, you can be to Polish public speaker and not really be living the message, and it’s not going to have the same effect as if you were somewhat green as a public speaker, but, you know, actually really imbibing the message that you’re trying to convey exactly.
Cheryl Abram: And, you know, he talks about being authentic, that’s his whole being authentic. And that’s it, you know, how can I not be myself, the work comes in, and I try not to be myself, you know, that’s where all the effort comes, as being myself that’s just just comes naturally. So this whole thing
Rick Archer: about firing God, I mean, I don’t feel like you actually fired God, I feel like you fired his crazy uncle, you know, that, you know, God is a bit embarrassed about being associated with. And, you know, I very much believe in God, but we could perhaps define, we could talk about what that means, you know, and, and I have a feeling that maybe you do, too, or maybe you will, and you’ll hire him again. But it won’t be the same guy. And I want him to be a guy. So you want to talk about that a little bit? Or you can even tell me what, what what your orientation is to what I just said, before we proceed?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, so in the book, what I what I say is, God, was my system of beliefs, like the whole thing. And it wasn’t just belief, and Adam and Eve and all that stuff. It was belief in in the fact that this is a computer belief in the concept of a cup of a tree of air, you know, all that stuff. That entire system was was God, you know, because there is no sun unless I believe there’s one. Right, there is no air unless I believe in air, which is what belief, you know, once you know tends to do you need this belief in order to have something, you know, belief is about getting more about more stuff, you know, and, you know, religion is all about promising more stuff mansions and milk and honey and tin virgins, and you know, all this other
Rick Archer: 72 Is it 72 For the Muslims anyway? Wow. Except they’re all nuns. And they’re carrying rifles? Oh, yeah. Oh, they don’t find that out until they go there.
Cheryl Abram: Okay. Yeah. But, um, yeah, it was just a system of beliefs, right? So the system of beliefs is there, you know, it’s still but I’m not so invested, I don’t value it. And I don’t use it to try to get me something, you know, because there’s nothing more for me to get.
Rick Archer: Okay, so what you just said about, you don’t believe in I mean, you don’t, Sun doesn’t exist unless you believe it in or something. Gotta help me out on this. I mean, there were there have been cultures who thought that the sun was a fiery chariot going across the sky, and who kind of had no idea where it went at night, or went into some Nether land or something, and then came out again, in the daytime, and there all sorts of mythological beliefs about astronomy, and, and all kinds of other things. Now, obviously, even before even when people were believing those things, the sun, and its motions are the Earth’s motions, were exactly the same as they are now. Now we just have a better understanding of it. And so we’ve kind of cast aside, you know, strange or mythological notions about astronomy, as a case in point. So what I’m getting at is, seems to me that there is a reality to the laws of nature to the way things work, which is not subservient to our understanding. It works the way it works. Whether or not we understand it, gravity did just fine before Sir Isaac Newton came along, doing the same thing now. So it’s not like nature hangs on our opinion, or our understanding of it. It is what it is.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, exactly. And that’s what I’m saying. Like the example you said earlier about being at the restaurant. Yeah. And me believing one thing up. I mean, it makes absolutely no difference at all. Right. So that’s what I see now, like, with my system, I believe it really doesn’t make a difference. And I don’t have to imprison myself in those beliefs, thinking that there is no other way. There is no other option. This is the way it has to be.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So. So I guess the point I’m making is that you know, if we’re the spirituality should be about arriving at truth, you know, arriving at reality. And, and beliefs are only useful in the service of that, if if they are kind of pointers, or AIDS aides toward the actual experience of that truth, the reality. We don’t want to sort of remain with them merely as beliefs for A lifetime without substantiating them through experience. Okay, okay. Okay. Maybe it’s not okay. Here’s here’s something Carl Sagan, he said. He said, How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, This is better than we thought. The universe is much bigger than our Prophet said grander, more subtle, more elegant. Instead, they say, No, no, no, my God is a little God and I want him to stay that way. A religion older knew that stress, the magnificence of the universe is revealed by modern science might be might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by conventional faiths.
Cheryl Abram: Possibly, yeah, yeah. But what I know is that when when I was in the church, devout Christian, whatever I believed, I that was it. I mean, it couldn’t get any bigger, it couldn’t get any smaller. Because if it did, then that means I was wrong. I needed to be right. In my more than anything in the world, I need it to be right. I will ignore what I needed to ignore. You know, I will do all kinds of acrobatics. As long as I can remain, right. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Which again, harkens back to a point we made in the beginning, which is that a lot of if religion is belief based, and not experiential base, then there’s all kinds of acrobatics, as you just said, trying to, you know, how cats like to get into boxes and sit in them. I don’t know if you’ve had any pet cats, but we used to have this cat that would be hilarious. And trying to fit itself into a little tiny box that it could, you know, it would have to be like a quarter of its size to actually fit into, but it would be trying this way and that. And so that’s kind of what I see religion doing in the sense that they, you know, various evidence comes along, and rather than expanding its perspective and saying, Well, yeah, God is greater than we thought, it’s more like, wait a minute, I have to shoehorn this into my little understanding. So, you know, the world was created only 6000 years ago, and people used to ride around on dinosaurs. And you know, God put fish bones in the Himalayas to test our faith. It just gets crazy.
Cheryl Abram: And like I said before, it’s not just that, it’s like, at least for me, it was my, in where I came from, this was these were my roots, you’re not gonna mess up my roots. This is what they are. Okay, and you can’t change that. Right? Yeah.
Rick Archer: So this whole to me the whole key about what you hope to do for the black community, and for people who are caught in, in a world of mere belief, the whole key to it, is to get them to understand that, that what they so fervently believe in and have dedicated their lives to is it actually refers to an experience, you know, not just a belief that you can, that you hang on to, but a living experience, like you had in the office that day, and that you are growing into more and more now. And that should be the orientation that, you know, I can actually experience what Jesus was talking about, or whoever else. And you know, and Jesus said many things which substantiate that he didn’t, he didn’t just say, believe me, as far as I’m concerned, if he said, believe me, it was just more like, okay, believe that this is possible. And now I’m going to show you how to actually experience it, not just believe. But here’s the first step, this is a possibility for you. Now, let’s get on to experiencing it.
Cheryl Abram: Well, well, right now, I’m not going that far. What I’m, what I’m trying to do is right now, if if I see someone with a hammer hammering their hand, you know, I just want them to look at what they’re doing. Because right now, they’re, they’re crying, they’re complaining about the pain, something’s going, you know, they’re blaming other people, all this other kind of stuff. I’m saying, just look at what you’re doing, you know, and whatever. And once you realize what you’re doing, then whatever happens happens, I’m just trying to get them to see. Just Just look, just see what you’re doing.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But you know, it’s, it’s hard to take something away from somebody, you know, if if you’re kind of like, living in a little hut, let’s say, and you’re attached to your hut, and someone tries to get you out of the hut. It could be a struggle. But if someone comes along and says, you see that beautiful house over there, I want you to move into that. And all you have to do is leave your HUD but don’t worry, keep your eye on the house, you know, you’re gonna get into the house and it’s gonna be you’ll forget all about the HUD, it’s gonna be much better, then it’s a lot easier to accomplish your aim than it is to just wrench them away from the HUD.
Cheryl Abram: Right, right. And then also what what I saw was, as I mentioned before, my whole my goal was not to On Fire God, I was not looking to not be a Christian anymore. That is not what I was looking for. I just wanted to be happy. I was miserable. You know, I wanted a good relationship. I wanted to be a good mom, you know, because I felt like I was ruining my kid’s life because I couldn’t get my shit together. You know, I wanted my financial situation to be awesome. My job to be great. I just wanted to be happy. I saw it was possible. Other people were happy to be happy, too, right? So what I saw was that using the example I just used with the hammer on the hand is for me, to me being happy first started with me stopping what I was doing. Stop hammering your hand, Cheryl. Okay, it starts there. Yeah. Okay. So that that’s, and which led me to all this other stuff. Yeah. Just seeing what I was doing to myself to myself, led me to all this other stuff.
Rick Archer: I think everybody wants that, you know, I think that’s the most fundamental human desire is for happiness. And it’s just that we have all kinds of, we look in all the wrong places for it. And basically, we look outward. And we never find it outward. Lee, which is not to say that we should totally stop looking outwardly because we, we want relationships, we want a comfortable place to live, we need money and all that stuff. But like you said a little while back, if it’s not, if there’s no foundation of sort of the inner experience, then the outer is just always going to be unstable.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, exactly.
Rick Archer: So I have another little theme I want to introduce, but do you have anything on your mind that I haven’t, that we’ve been skirting around that you haven’t had a chance to elaborate on? No. Okay. Well, let’s talk. Oh, thanks. Let’s, let’s talk about God a little bit more. I mean, what is your Do you believe in God now? No, I don’t. Okay. And you certainly don’t believe in the crazy uncle? Oh, no, you dropped him. And so you don’t believe that there’s kind of anything anywhere on any level of reality that the word God might pertain to?
Cheryl Abram: Possibly, but I mean, I don’t. I, I don’t know. That’s it’s really hard to answer. I know, sometimes what I see is, I imagine, like what’s going on right now is happening within this vast universe. Right. And it’s just amazing. All I feel is amazement. You know, I think it’s just, it’s awesome. I remember one time I was in my kitchen frying some eggs for breakfast, and I’m looking at the eggs. And they’re like, shining or something like there. And I was I was giddy, like I was, I felt like a child. You know, like, Oh my God, these are eggs. Like, where the hell did that come from? What is that? You know? And yeah, that. So it’s kinda like that, like, and I don’t know, if it’s God or whatever. I just, it’s just so amazing. Yeah. So amazing. You
Rick Archer: know, think about what’s actually going on with those eggs. I mean, we can start anywhere, we can start with a chicken, which, you know, is a conglomeration of billions of cells, literally billions. I mean, we in our own body have 10,000 trillion cells. Chicken probably has several, quite a few trillion. And, and each of those trill cells, if you examine them microscopically, is about as complex as Tokyo. I mean, it has like it’s an incredibly complex mechanism. The DNA inside the nucleus of a cell is about six feet long, coiled up in each cell, and each of those DNA strands contains all the information necessary to make another chicken or another human being. And, you know, and then taking it down to the molecular level, there’s all these little molecules buzzing around and to the atomic level, all this stuff going and it’s it’s so obviously not just a chaotic random billiard ball kind of arrangement with things just sort of without any order, or, or, or intelligence producing chickens, you know, or human beings or eggs. There’s there’s a vast intelligence completely permeating and orchestrating everything from the subatomic through the galactic and, and everywhere in between without a gap anyplace and I Scientists generally acknowledged this, but they kind of stopped short of saying what that intelligence might be. I mean, they, they define 1000s of different laws of nature and identify so many different mechanisms of you know how amino acids work and how DNA works and all this stuff. They just don’t kind of like, asked or if they do ask the question, they don’t answer the question of, how is all that happening? What’s behind what’s behind that? You know? If, if that’s the clock, then who’s the clock maker? And so, to me, the notion of God is that intelligence, which obviously permeates everything, it’s not just sort of far removed off at a distance like a clockmaker might be it’s it’s, it’s at the heart of every phenomenon and creation. And I’m the president, omniscient, omnipotent, all those all those adjectives that are used to define God traditionally, but that are completely glossed over and misunderstood by by traditional religions. But when one can attune oneself to the experience of that level of nature’s functioning, and then it begins to become very real and very vivid and very felt. Okay, so I’m just it’s that sounds like a bit of a rant. But I’m just saying that because, you know, we who was it? What did Einstein say? He said, We can no longer he who can no longer pause to wander and stand wrapped in awe is as good as dead. And, you know, most of us just don’t go through our days wrapped in awe. But we’re actually looking at and participating in something that’s incredibly profound and beautiful. And, you know, we just sort of take it for granted.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, and I think Einstein also said, The only thing that gets in the way of my learning is my education. That’s a good, yeah, yeah. So it is just about, you know, going with the flow, yeah. It’s all changing.
Rick Archer: So sort of me, the whole thing I just said is actually relevant to the whole non duality thing, and the whole diurnal thing, or whatever you call it, that unitive. Because and it’s even relevant to what you said about your life, having had a kind of an orchestration to its to its unfoldment, that seems to make sense, in retrospect, as difficult as it may have been, as you went through it, there’s, you know, there’s some kind of intelligence that governs the universe, not only in terms of mechanical things, like I was just describing, but in terms of the course of our lives. And, and, and, you know, you say that you were talking earlier about God loving you or not loving you, and what not, and what does that really mean? That God loves you? Or doesn’t love you?
Cheryl Abram: Welcome to me, it meant in the beginning, it just meant, you know, if my father loves me, he’s gonna give me stuff. Yeah, I’m not gonna suffer. You know, that’s what it meant to be in the beginning. Now, it just, it’s love is just everything. It’s just whatever it is, it’s no boundaries.
Rick Archer: So as a mother, if you were scrubbing dirt from behind your kid’s ear, when he was three, four years old, you know, he probably thought I hate this, stop it. Mommy doesn’t love me, leave me alone. And I don’t want this. And, you know, so, you know, all the stuff we go through in life. That’s not quite the way we would have it be. Could be seen as scrubbing dirt from behind our ears.
Cheryl Abram: And like I said, with my son, you know, when I when I took his door down, and I said, you know, mommy’s job, mommy’s job is to know, yeah, that’s it. I need to know. You know, and you know, I love you. So I know you. You know, Mommy needs to know everything. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So I’m talking too much. I mean, says I’m getting a little philosophical, but I just wanted to bring these sort of themes into the conversation, because I don’t know if they’re emphasized enough in the in the so called non dual community. A lot of it kind of stopped short of considering what I’ve just been saying. And I think it’s extremely relevant and you know, in some spiritual traditions, and appreciation of God, experiential appreciation or cognition of God is said to follow eventually, from cognitive from self realization. You know, that we get to know who we are but then having come to know who we are Our ability to appreciate what’s actually going on here begins to become enhanced. And that appreciation grows to the point where they begin to sort of desire to know and appreciate and cognize that the intelligence behind all this are intrinsic to all this.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah. And as far as getting, you know, philosophical, and, you know, explaining it in various ways, I have to admit, I was so lost, I mean, reading some of these books, and I needed a PhD to get through some of this stuff, which I don’t have. Oh, so that that was hard, that was hard to try to learn about it. And because I felt like, you know, I’m excluded again, because I don’t understand what this is saying. To me, the language wasn’t simple enough, you know, so what I, what I did, and what I’m trying to do is like, with my blogs, I don’t know if you’ve looked at any of my blogs, but I, I take very, very common things like the the game words, with friends, I have a blog about that, and tying it into into this scene, right? I have a blog about the Terminator, or I’m talking about the movie, you know, with Sarah Connor, and all that. So I try to make it very readable, and late and relatable. You know, I talk about orgasms and stuff like that, and death and things that people are just familiar with, and make it try to make it as short as possible, which is one reason why my book is so short. And you know, to the point, because I see, there’s another audience out there, who and they’re looking, you know, they’re tired, too. They’re just as exhausted as I was. But like I said before, I don’t know that there is another option, I don’t know that there’s anywhere to go except to another belief, which is in all beliefs are the same. So you’re just going to keep you know, putting those walls up putting those walls up around yourself. So, so communicating this in a more inclusive way, it’s would be is really helpful, I think,
Rick Archer: I think it is, I think it’s great. And if we think if we come back to the thing, I was just saying about God being in everything, then and everything is in God, we can put it both ways, then God being that sort of all pervading intelligence, then we are representatives of that we are sense organs of the infinite, you could say. And so you know, you’re a sense organ. I’m a sense organ. Rupert Spiro is a sense organ. And, you know, everybody expressing anything is doing it through their own capabilities, you know, through their own orientation. And there are going to be people out there who resonate with this, that or the other orientation, and one size does not fit. All
Cheryl Abram: right, you’re right. You’re exactly right. Yeah. So I’m the one. Black female.
Rick Archer: You got a monopoly? I do. You could cash it. cornered over here on. This is big. You should totally cash in before you get any competition. You need an agent? Oh, my God. Actually, you know, you do have some pretty big competition and Oprah. OPRAH Yeah. Because she’s been talking about this stuff for a long time. She’s really into spirituality. She meditates she had she’s always doing things with Deepak. And you know, she, you know, she does her best to get this message out there. She hasn’t, you may have seen her show. Super Soul Sunday. Yeah, yeah. She’s interviewing Adi Shanti. And Byron, Katie and all these different people. Yeah, so I think you missed the boat.
Cheryl Abram: Oh, did I? Yeah, maybe I did. Maybe? Yeah.
Rick Archer: No, I’m just kidding. But
Cheryl Abram: yeah. Can I ask you a question?
Rick Archer: Do you get it now?
Cheryl Abram: I think so. Is it just like, you know, Buddha being in an ordinary place with like Buddha? Art or
Rick Archer: Yeah, could be Buddha at Walmart. It could be you know, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus at the you know, the Baskin Robbins or whatever.
Cheryl Abram: I know one thing though, Buddha at the DMV, if he comes to Virginia, he will lose his Buddhahood really quickly. The data at the these people We’ll take you there, but ya know, I get it. I do I get it, I get Yeah.
Rick Archer: And I actually can’t even take credit for that title. I was thinking of something much more trite and you know, boring as a title. But a young friend of mine in his 20s, like, spewed out about a dozen ideas, you know, just in a minute, and that was one of them. Everybody said, Oh, my friend said, Yeah, that’s what you should call it. So I did.
Cheryl Abram: It is catchy. It’s like, Paul Hedeman been Zen bitch slap. Right. Right, right. Yeah, that’s good. I like that. Yeah. I’ve been wanting to ask you that for three years now. So yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah, that’s the deal. And I really didn’t like it. She thought it was a dumb name. But most people kind of like it.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, if I ring there,
Rick Archer: she went out of the room, but she’s around, she’s coming and going. You can meet her later if you’d like. So let’s see. I took some notes. When I was reading your book. Let me just see if this gives us something that we haven’t talked about yet. So there’s one section in your book, where you talk about you have a chapter for each of the following sin, responsibility, belief, and perfection. You show you chat about each of those for a few minutes. Sure. Let’s start with sin. Incidentally, Something opened the door to your room back there. So the end? Were okay, lightning. So Okay. Let’s keep going. So what are you saying in the chapters of the book that we could talk about?
Cheryl Abram: So those things are, when I first came into the realization, there were a lot of beliefs that were just you know, they dug themselves in there, you know, and they were not just gonna be let go, right. And those were the ones that were more entrenched, I guess you can say, sin. I mean, sin is just the thing. You know, sin is, you’re doing the disobedient to God’s word, everything is a sin every single day, I was a Christian, I went to bed at night, when I said my prayers, please forgive me for any sin that I’ve committed. Because, you know, if I died that night, I wanted to go to heaven. And I want it to be, you know, fresh, freshly forgiven, you know, before I went to bed, so sin was a huge, huge thing, and just entertaining the idea that it’s not what I thought it was, was hard. You know, so it’s not what you thought it was, yeah, that sin is not, you know, maybe it’s something that just happens not just like a reflex or something, maybe it’s just a natural thing that that happens in nature, you know? And it’s not something that I do, you know, and and have control over, like, I can send or I can’t send, maybe, maybe it’s something else. And in all these chapters, it’s more like, you know, possibly could it be something, something else, you know, and with responsibility, I was never never responsible for anything. Either God did it, or Satan did it
Rick Archer: before you bust through all of them. Let’s take them one at a time. So I mean, I think we can safely assume that whatever religion understand sin, or responsibility, or any of these things to be, is probably not what was originally intended by the use of the term and not actually what the founder of the religion was referring to. And so the sin thing comes from that. What is that that term? That means to miss the mark? Yeah, I think it’s an archery term. And it means you’ve missed the mark. And so, you know, I guess the question is, there’s the whole philosophy of karma, you know, that Eastern religions hold and even Western, I mean, as you sow, so shall you reap. Isn’t that in the Bible someplace? So, you know, it raises the question, Can are there consequences to our actions? Do we have freewill? Do we have control over or any willpower to do things this way, as opposed to that way? And if we do things in such a way that it’s going, they’re going to harm people are called suffering to people or, you know, retired their their spiritual progress or something? Does is does that matter? Is that any different than if we do things that help them and make them happy and so on? What do you think?
Cheryl Abram: So in the book, so missing the mark, I do mentioned that in the book, and also, I have a chapter that’s called making what’s missing, right? Because there is no mark. The mark is a belief like whatever the belief is, and we know that that’s not true, right? We that’s something made up you know, and so there really is no mark to miss. Right. And that’s on this side. Now, back on this side, and we’re back into like the di unit or thing again, we have created these marks. They’re here. You If they’re right here, and they are past, it’s possible to miss them. And but it’s from seeing that at the place where there are no marks where I can now move on to make change in the world and whatever way I think change needs to be made. But it can only happen effectively from what I see from seeing that change is not necessary. Right? Yeah, that makes sense.
Rick Archer: It does make sense. And my former teacher always used to say that one can only act from one’s level of consciousness, whatever that may be. And and if the level of consciousness is not very developed, then inevitably one is going to behave in certain ways that create suffering for oneself and others. And if the level of consciousness is higher than spun again, spontaneously, without a whole lot of browbeating and effort one is going to behave in such a way as to, you know, spread to help people flourish to spread, you know, to have an evolutionary beneficial influence on others. Yeah, I think that’s kind of what you’re saying is, you have to kind of depends on where you’re coming from, and you, your first priority. priority should be to be in the right place from which to act.
Cheryl Abram: Right. Exactly. And I love how you say it happens spontaneously, like with no effort. Yeah. So I don’t have to try to be nice to you, or kind to you. And that’s just the way the weights playing out the way
Rick Archer: you roll naturally. Yeah, exactly. Right. And I mean, let’s say it’s not your natural inclination to be nicer, kind and you’re straining to be nice and kind, because you want to be a good Christian and all, you know, then what happens when you get home or something. There’s this pent up, you know, frustration or something, and you lash out, because you’ve been straining?
Cheryl Abram: Exactly right. I have a friend who, who is, you know, just such a liar. That just that they tell everything I want, you know, I can’t I can’t say a thing without getting back to somebody else. Right. So, you know, trying to not be that way is hard, you know, for this person, because that’s not what they do. That’s not how they roll. So what I what I know this about them, they’re very honest about it. So I’ve actually, they’re honest, that they’re a liar. Oh, yeah.
Rick Archer: I didn’t know they’re telling the truth about that.
Cheryl Abram: Exactly. But also that they cannot keep a secret. There’s no way I can say, I’m going to tell you this, but please don’t tell anybody else he can get that. Right. But because I know that, and there’s honesty there, I can go to this person and say, if I want some, if I don’t want to say something to someone, but I want them to know it. You just tell them go to this person. Yeah. So you know, so if she’s useful, she’s very, very, because she’s being who she is, you know what I mean? So being who you are, is all that’s necessary. That’s it just being exactly who you are. And you fit in exactly where you’re supposed to fit in and things work the way they need to work. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And I would say that, you know, speaking hypothetically, I don’t know this person, but in general, in the, in the course of one’s evolution as a soul, and I do believe souls evolve as we go along. This person isn’t always going to be a liar. You know, that’s, that’s a character flaw of some sort, that one way or another will eventually be worked out. And, and she, she may, if this is women, she may encounter, you know, some slabs here and there, as God or nature tries to correct that tendency in her. Possibly, yeah. I mean,
Cheryl Abram: I’m glad you said that. Because something. When I went to black nonbelievers, this past weekend, there was a lady there who, who had a disability. And what she said was, this was very interesting, because I’d never heard this before, is that she talks and possibly writes about disabilities in the Bible, and how every time you see someone with a disability, it’s because they’ve been infected with a demon or something, or it needs to be cast out, like being disabled is wrong. You know, when what she says is, that is totally not true. You know, being disabled is perfectly fine. You know, we’ve just labeled it disability, you know, like, they’re like, they’re lacking something, but disabled people, they’re not lacking a damn thing. They’re really not. And to see that like to really see that is hard when you’ve seen it when you when you feel like if somebody can’t see that they need operations, or they can see if they can hear they need those cochlear things or whatever, you know, to be just like everybody else, you know, so that’s something very interesting to me that I’m really interested in finding out you know, finding out more about
Rick Archer: Yeah, If I totally agree with that, I mean, if I were deaf and some operation could restore my hearing, I’d want to get it. Possibly, you know, if I break my leg, I want to have it set properly. So I’m not, you know, limping for the rest of my life, the bone can be set in a certain way. So, don’t we do our best to sort of overcome handicaps? If, if we can? And then what’s that alcoholics pledge, you know, the the ability to, you know, change the things you can change, not change, not worry about the things you can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, but my question is, though, like, for individuals who are born with certain with certain things, you know, is it a handicap? I’m calling it a handicap? Because I’m comparing it to me and saying, I can do this and you can’t. So you’re handicapped in some kind of way? Yeah. So my question is just, is that really what that is? Is it a handicap for real?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, we’re all handicapped. You know, compared to somebody else, who has greater abilities in this, or the other, this, that or the other way than we do, we’re all handicapped. So we are who we are. And we’re just kind of going along, doing the best we can. Yep. And, again, we’re evolving. I really think that I mean, there’s some kind of paths or traditions that dismiss that notion, they just say, Well, you know, you’re enlightened, or you’re not, and you just you are, what you are, and, and so on. But as I say, there’s a there’s a sort of an evolutionary tendency in the whole universe. And all All beings are kind of not only not only evolving biologically through various species, perhaps, but evolving as souls into greater and fuller expressions of the Divine. You can tell that I kind of interject a lot of my own philosophies and opinions into these interviews. It’s, that’s fine. Some people hate it. Some people like it, and it is what it is because I, you know, I can’t help it because I’m just me. Like, you’re just saying, yeah, it’s your handicap
Cheryl Abram: your handicap. You evolved from that, to given?
Rick Archer: The devil made me do it. So what about responsibility?
Cheryl Abram: Responsibility, that’s about like, I was saying, I, as a Christian, a believer, I am not responsible for anything. You know, it’s either God or the devil. You know, God did something good. Or the devil did some bad or God allow the devil to do something so that I would fall into this hole to teach me a lesson. I mean, there was no responsibility at all ever. For any. That’s the
Rick Archer: way you used to see it. Oh, yeah.
Cheryl Abram: Oh, yeah. So but then
Rick Archer: how could you feel so guilty and stuff if you weren’t responsible?
Cheryl Abram: I don’t know. i The guilt was, was just the guilt was there before I could walk almost, I mean, the guilt was just was just there. It was just constantly there, there was no reason for the guilt. It was just there. You know. And, I guess, the fact that God and the devil and my enemies were there around me, I could try to get rid of it, you know, by blaming them or something like that, like, I shouldn’t feel bad about this, because it’s for whatever. But yeah, I don’t know where that guilt came from. I really don’t and that’s a good question. Because responsibility, I didn’t want to be responsible for anything, you know, I want it to be blameless. Yeah. You know, for for anything, right. So with this, seeing, that was really hard to let go. Because that the belief is like a buffer, you know, it really is like a buffer. And with that buffer gone, man, everything is just raw. And there, you know, and that hurts. That’s real. It hurts, it hurts to feel pain and not be able to just give it to somebody. Like all this stuff that was happening when I was going through my divorce all of the feelings I was having, man it was so hard to not just give that to him and say this, it’s your fault. You know, this is why I feel this way
Rick Archer: to give it to Jesus or to you know, to my husband, ex husband, okay, yes. In other words, you had to take responsibility for it.
Cheryl Abram: I had to I had to I had to hold that pain close to me and just be with it. Do that I mean, that you know, it was it was it was tough, because it got easier course you know, it did get a lot easier but but it’s hard to do. You know, I don’t I don’t want to I don’t want it. I don’t want
Rick Archer: so is your orientation to life now that you pretty much take responsibility for what everything that in your life and everything that happens to you.
Cheryl Abram: I take When I say I take responsibility, while I see while I see what’s what’s going on in life, so it’s not like I say, something happens, like you hit me with your car, right? Like that was, you know, don’t worry about it, Rick, you know, you know, you want to pay for my car. But I see that, you know, if I feel some kind of way about that, if I’m angry at you, and all this other times, and I’m doing that all you did was hitting my car, that’s the end of the story, you know, and all that other stuff is gonna happen. But anything that causes me to suffer for that, if two weeks later, I’m still thinking about it, you know, you should have paid me more for that. Or he didn’t have to do anything or, you know, why was that’s on me. You don’t have anything to do with that. You know, I car that was it done?
Rick Archer: Yeah. So in other words, you don’t spin big stories out of No, I
Cheryl Abram: mean, it’s too time consuming. I got other things I need to do.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I was driving along with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and on the highway, and some car pulled out right in front of us. And I hit the brakes and didn’t hit him. And my friend was like, Okay, love, forgiveness. And we drove along for a little while, and I said, You know what my reaction in that car was, and I wasn’t saying this to brag. It was just it was my reaction I was I said, Well hit the brakes. Keep keep driving. And like, you know, there’s a Zen story where two Zen monks are walking along and older monk and a younger monk. And they come to a stream, and there’s this pretty young girl standing at the stream, and she can’t get across, right? And so the older monk picks up the pretty young girl and, and carries her across the stream and puts her down so she can be on her way, and they keep walking. And a couple hours goes by and the young monk has been very silent. And finally he says, I can’t stand it anymore. I just have to say this to you. You know, we’re monks, we’re not supposed to touch women. Why did you pick up that girl and carry across the stream? And the older monk says, Oh, are you still carrying her? I put her down a few hours ago.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, exactly. Right. That’s exactly it. You know, whatever I’m still carrying. That’s on me. Yeah. You know, and I can’t blame that on anybody.
Rick Archer: Yeah, good. All right. So that’s responsibility. Belief. We’ve already talked a lot about Yeah, we talked a little bit about perfection.
Cheryl Abram: Perfection. So the Bible says, What does it say? Therefore? Perfect. Yeah, as your Father in heaven. So we see that I let me speak for myself, I saw that I was taught to see that as a race to the finish line. I’m not perfect yet. Oh, hitting the mic. But I’m going to get there. Right. You know, so I got to do all this stuff to get to perfection. Right. So I’m proposing maybe this could just simply mean, you’re already that be perfect. You are perfect. Because I am. You know, I’m your father. You know, we’re the same. We got this thing going here. Perfect. And you are already, you know, that you’re already at the finish line. Yeah. So anything you’re doing has nothing to do with the finish line? Because you’re already there.
Rick Archer: And you would apply that universally. Yes. So that guy in Lafayette, Louisiana who shot up some people in the movie theater the other night, he’s perfectly
Cheryl Abram: he doesn’t have to go to the fan. He’s already at the finish line. Now all that other stuff he’s doing has nothing to do with who he is. It may have something to do with what he sees, like, what he understands how he’s seeing himself, you know, but that’s got nothing to do with the reality of who he is.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Let me give you my spin on this. You know, that has nothing to do with the reality of who he is, like you just said. And ultimately we are and all this is that reality. What else can it be? You know, how could the there’s a verse in The Gita, it says the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be. The final truth about them both has been known by the seers of ultimate reality or something like that. And that last bit is irrelevant, the seers of ultimate reality. So just because there’s an ultimate reality to things, and that’s what we always are, and have been and will be eternally that doesn’t mean we see it, you know. And so to me, the notion of be there for perfect is really an injunction to see the level of perfection in a deep, cognitive, experiential way to know it experientially, because the vast majority of people are estranged from that, you know, that if we kind of want one of just draw a diagram, that reality is down here at the foundation of things and they’re just kind of floating around on the waves without any contact with that. And so the recommendation in that verse is to actually make contact with that too. merge with that to become that to consciously know yourself is that and then you’ll be living perfection, not just philosophizing about it.
Cheryl Abram: There was some we’ve had several discussions in one of my groups about about veganism. Right? And they’re very interesting, and I’m not a vegan, but I joined a vegan group, right? Just because I want to see like, I really want to see perspectives, that are in contravention to mind the kind, you know, so I’m in Christian groups, I mean, all this stuff, because I’m just looking at the conversations and just falling, I’m seeing how these
Rick Archer: really cool trade about you that you just want to expose yourself to other perspectives. Yeah, I
Cheryl Abram: absolutely do. So. You know, so there’s lots of discussion around that folks, sort of some folks are really passionate about it, some are passionate on on the other side. And what I see there is that kindness is a big thing, you know, being kind not just to animals, but to you know, all of life, you know, just income. And what I see is that, I feel like the being kind is already taken care of, you know, it’s more about seeing kind, right? I, my vision is obscured, right? So I’m not seeing what’s there, I’m really not seeing what’s there. So it’s working on that. And I can only see kindness from, as I said before, from this realization, you know, because that’s really what takes the veils off my eyes, you know, and the more that I can see kind, okay, then the bn QAnon, which is already i, which is already there, I feel just is able to be more exposed, I guess, you know, so the more I can see it, the more we can, the more can be. Does that make any sense at all?
Rick Archer: It makes total sense. Yeah, I know what you’re saying. It’s like we were saying earlier, you can only act from your level of consciousness. Yeah. And so if you’re in sort of kindness, consciousness, so to speak, then your actions will flow spontaneously from that. Yeah. And there’s some, there’s some wiggle room in that. I mean, you know, I know people who are very kind and ethical and enlightened, who still eat meat and stuff. And that really freaks some people out. And they think, Well, how can they do that? They’re not walking their talk. And I don’t know, I can’t really speak to that. But I, but I try not to judge it. And hey, chicken and fish ones after decades of vegetarianism. And I get flack for that from people. Because I mentioned it before, and people say, Well, you’re not really there yet, Rick. You’re not there yet? Yeah. I don’t know. It’s like, you have to sort of you can intellectualize and talk and discuss about all this stuff. And a certain point, yeah, you just have to give people some latitude and not not judge them. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Besides which, I mean, they’re just as a bit of a tangent, but there are people who are, you know, in health advocates and so on, who say that, you know, if your whole life and I also, you know, generationally going back for hundreds of years, there has been meat consumption. It could be really bad for your health to just quit cold turkey and try to adopt a completely different diet for which you’re not naturally constituted. Yeah. All right. Well, we talked about perfection. Few more little tidbits here. For one to be delivered, all must be delivered, because we’re all Gods one son. I’m taking these little things from your book that jumped out talking about that.
Cheryl Abram: I hated that. I mean, that that was a huge hump,
Rick Archer: because he got kicked out of the exclusive club. i Yes,
Cheryl Abram: yes. And like I said, In the beginning, yes, I was special and favorite and all that stuff. But that was made even sweeter, because I had enemies who were going to inhale forever, you know, and I loved that there. Yeah, so there’s a documentary called waiting for Armageddon. And I posted this once in my group, but looking at I watched that documentary, like eight times in the line, like eight times I watched it and because the, the way they talk about it, you know, there’s going to be blood as high as a horse’s bridle. You know, whatever, whatever the Bible says about that, you know, God’s going to come back and destroy it, and this is how he’s going to do it and The ground is going to be soaked in blood. I mean, blood was mentioned, like 1000 times in this thing. And it was mentioned with such glee. Yeah, you know, like, I no one guy was like, you know, it’s going to be so exciting to see, you know, I? Oh, not that I want to see, you know, but you know, I really want to see this happen because the prophecy will be coming, you know, fulfilled? Because I will be right. Yeah, I think I’ll be right, you know, and that that it was, it’s so fascinating to me, because I used to think that way too. Like, it was very comforting, extremely comforting to believe that God was going to kick somebody’s ass for me. And I would say, so you know, God is gonna get you, if you don’t mess with a child of God. That’s what we say, you don’t do that, like, Don’t Mess With Texas type thing. You know, really don’t mess with a child of God, because he’s going to get you. And now that I’m saying what I’m saying, in the in the Christian community, what I’m hearing is Cheryl, you know, you better be careful. You know, you’ve got to be really careful about what you’re doing and what you’re saying. Because, you know, God’s not going to tolerate that. Yeah, he’s, he’s not gonna go for you. Telling people you know what you’re telling them. So, you know, watch out for your kids watch out for yourself. So it’s all this you know, if you’re not on the side of the goodies. You know, if you’re on the side of the baddies, I’m sorry for you. But you know, you had it come in, and I’m glad to see it anyway. Because I’m right.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s just all ego aggrandizement. As far as I can see, they can try to compensate for one’s felt sense of inadequacy by making oneself feel special and, and making others feel less special helps even more, you know, it’s not enough to just feel special oneself, but feel even extra special if the other people are all going to hell.
Cheryl Abram: Exactly. Right. So letting go of that, like seeing that that is that my enemies will not be punished forever in like a fire and all this other kind of stuff. I was very upset. I was extremely upset about that. Oh, you’re
Rick Archer: not upset anymore, though. Let them live.
Cheryl Abram: But that was hard to get over. I mean, it really, really was. Yeah, yeah. Well, I
Rick Archer: mean, you had a lot of things that were deeply ingrained. We all do. You know, but you’ve really had you really had that stuff drummed into you for a long time, a long time. And, you know, you don’t, there’s probably one useful point here, which is that our conditioning doesn’t just go in a flash. If it ever does for anybody, it must be very rare, but it’s like, layer after layer after layer after layer. And it all has to be sort of examined and routed out.
Cheryl Abram: And there was a lot of fear in there. And I’m not talking about I’m talking about real life stuff I felt in my body. Fear, you know, for no reason, like I’m sitting somewhere on a sunny, beautiful day. And just like what happens in you know, on my job, just terror. You know, when I think about something like, you know, people aren’t going to hell, whatever. Just just simple thoughts like that. Will
Rick Archer: it stir up fear?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, let’s start off, you know, horrible. Here.
Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s almost like, you know, you’re kind of like, it’s almost like, what comes to mind when you say that is that each time you felt or feel a wave of fear like that it’s a signal that some nice purging has just taken place or is about to, you know, it’s like kind of the smoke, something burns off just giving you a signal that the thing is being burned.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, maybe that’s what it is. I remember that. I emailed Rupert to ask about that. Because in the SOT songs that I’ve been listening to, I really hadn’t heard that a lot. It was all about, you know, beauty and bliss and light and all this other kind of stuff. Nobody sold my house. They wanted to piss their pants throughout this process. So I was like, what’s up with that? And he was fine. I don’t remember what he said. But, um, but I did hear after that. One lady mentioned something about that. And one of the and which I was happy to hear because, you know, I, it was good to hear that someone else was going through that too.
Rick Archer: Well, you remember what Yoda said to Luke Skywalker? Right? Why? Well, Luke said, I’m not afraid. And Yoda said you will me that’s what Rupert said in his in his email. Yeah, no, I Yeah. Yeah. It was nice line. You said, I can love my neighbor as myself because my neighbor is myself. We are not separate. I think that’s the key to loving your neighbor as yourself, by the way.
Cheryl Abram: And one thing that I said in, in this group as a unit or group yesterday was when and I use I use the interviews that I’ve done as an example. I’ve done interviews with white folks and black folks. Okay. And because of you know, What I believed and the way I grew up and things like that, I really felt that in those interviews with the white interviewers, I had to be somebody else. You know, I had, my voice had to be different, I really paid a lot more attention to what I said and how I said it. You know, I was a lot more cognizant of what was going on, because I was trying, I wanted to be like, my interviewer, you know, I want to be like them. But when I’m with someone who’s black, I feel like I can just be me, I don’t have to be like you, you know. And again, what I said was, because the question I asked in that group was, Do you have enough? You know, because Jerry and Greg, good, he’s in this group, too. So it’s, you know, two white dudes talking about di universal consciousness, which is something that comes from Black Studies. And you know, and that community was kind of weird to me. I’m like, and all the commentary, all the decisions, I mean, all that stuff is coming from these guys. So, Mike, but I’m, I’m an admin on this group, too. But so my question was, you know, don’t y’all have enough? No, really? Don’t you have enough? Because I feel like, the reason why I do that, and probably, you know, other other black people is that
Rick Archer: Obama was criticized for that. I mean, you know, when he was campaigning, he would be speaking to Black groups. And he’d sort of take on a different way of speaking, you know, to the brothers. And then when he was speaking to white groups, he’s speaking so he was criticized for it. So maybe it’s a natural thing that we just,
Cheryl Abram: well, what I said was die unitil like this the die, you don’t know, consciousness, you know, the Mi this? Or am I that type thing is about survival, right? So if I feel like I can take on your mannerisms, if I can be like you, then there’s nothing for you to take from me. Okay, because I’m like, You, we got the same stuff, right? And when I’m with someone who is like me, you know, I feel more comfortable, because, you know, they, they’re not going to take any, I can still leave that conversation whole, going back to you know, all the stuff that’s happened with slavery and the Native Americans and all that stuff, you know. So in that conversation, it was it was about it was about seeing that and acknowledging that, that this is what I’m, this is what I’m doing. Like right now. This is what I’m doing. And now that I see what I’m doing, I can pay more attention to it and see what that’s all about.
Rick Archer: So in this interview, do you feel like you’ve conducted yourself differently than if I were a black man interviewing you?
Cheryl Abram: I don’t know. I feel comfortable with you, Rick. But I mean, I don’t feel like I’m being anything other than who I am. Seem to be,
Rick Archer: as far as I can tell. I’ve listened to a bunch of your interviews, I listened to one where a black woman was interviewing you on some internet radio show, and she kept calling and I found different in that one. She did not so much, you You sounded kind of like you sound now but she kept calling you my sister and things like that.
Cheryl Abram: You haven’t said that. One
Rick Archer: said that. You know, I would be phoning if I were to talk that way. Because I don’t talk that way. Yeah. It’d be like I would be sort of reversing the roles and doing the same thing you just described?
Cheryl Abram: Yeah. Yeah, maybe, you know, but But that goes back to me feeling safe. Right? I cannot have a relationship with you. If I don’t feel safe with you. You know, and we can’t evolve together unless that back to the hierarchy of needs, unless that safety is there. Yeah. No,
Rick Archer: yeah. already? Well, let me read a paragraph here. That was towards the very end of your book, and we’ll see if there’s any commentary on that on this. And if, if there’s not maybe this is a good point on which to wrap it up, but we’ll be able to make some wrap up comments to you said the thing I hated, despised and wanted to punish was not my enemy. It was my judgment of myself as separate. As a Christian, I forgive others and know that I am simultaneously forgiving myself because there are no others. Ultimately, it’s seen that there is nothing to forgive, and this is true forgiveness. comment on that at all?
Cheryl Abram: Yes, there was our comment with a story that I read this story where this little girl she did not know her dad was born and he left and he went and had another family and more children, you know, things like that. And, you know, the mother was was a little disturbed by that. But you know, she was always honest with little girl to let her know, you know, this is your father. He’s not here right now. He’s there. He has another family. You know, he come to visit her every now and then. Whatever. So one day the little girl she goes to her father’s house and meets the family. You know, the chill. He’s a good father. The kids love him. You know, everything is Going well, so when the mom picks her up, he she asks the little girl, Well, how’d it go? And she said, Well, Mom, you know, I’m very happy to see that, you know that he’s, he’s a really great dad, you know, and they really love him. And, you know, the little girl had no animosity or anything like that, you know, she was just very happy to see that her dad was finally able to be a dad, you know, the way he should have been. So when it comes to seeing that there’s nothing to forgive, you know, you were being exactly who you are right now. How can I condemn you for that, for being exactly who you are, you know, there’s nothing to forgive you for you haven’t done anything. You haven’t affronted me in any kind of way, you know, by being exactly who you are.
Rick Archer: Gonna say something in the Bible about, you know, you’re already forgiven or something, there’s this kind of like, as if sort of a constant flow of forgiveness was I don’t know whether that was Jesus or wherever reference that came from, but it’s sort of like if you’re actually in that state, you know, you constantly, you spontaneously forgive everyone, you know, well, on the cross, he said, Forgive them Father, for they know, not what they do. They knew not what they did, because they knew not what they were or are. And so and he saw that and forgive forgive them, even in the act of crucifying Him, and undoubtedly Forgive Forgive everyone else throughout his life, who were doing much less heinous things to me or to to one another.
Cheryl Abram: Right. And I see that forgiveness, like forgiveness happens before. Forgiveness is what allows all this stuff to occur in the first place. Yeah, it is what I see. So I don’t have to forgive you. It’s already been done. Yeah. You know, which is why I can even be here with you now. It’s because of forgiveness.
Rick Archer: That’s nice. Good, well, that’s a good thing to end on, I suppose. So you live in DC, you work for the government, that’s just about everyone in DC does.
Cheryl Abram: Pretty much our contractor, it’s one or the other? Or the government. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And you would kind of like to do more public speaking. So if people are hearing this interview, wherever they may be, and would like you to speak, they can get in touch with you through their website, through your website, or my website, which I’ll be linking to. And it’s just Shara labrum.com. Right? Yeah. Shara labrum.com. So I’ll be linking to it. And you’d be happy to fly around and talk here and there.
Cheryl Abram: I’m more than happy. Yeah, definitely.
Rick Archer: And, yeah, maybe you could come to this to the science and non duality conference sometime. I think you’d find it fun and have a good time sort of meeting Rupert and all these people in person. Yeah, that’d be really cool. Yeah, you could speak at it. Probably not this year, because they’ve already, you know, not taking more speakers. But next year, you could do that. Be great. Is there anything else you’d like to sort of tell people about, you know what I mean, do you sort of have individual Skype chats with people or anything like that? A lot of time, but
Cheryl Abram: no, yeah, I haven’t done that. In the past. And you know, I work full time. I have four kids so busy. Yeah. So but you know, I could squeeze one or two people in
Rick Archer: if they want to email you about something. Yeah. Like
Cheryl Abram: in the evenings after the kids go to bed or you.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. Well, thanks. I really enjoyed this conversation. Oh, I really did. Thank you. Yeah, it would go well, because you just so articulate and clear and the things I’ve seen online and just, and it’s really cool that you just have kind of a voracious appetite for understanding this stuff better and exposing yourself to new perspectives. And I think that will serve you well throughout your life. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s always so good to kind of enrich one’s frame of reference to enrich oneself bikes, by kind of, you know, looking at things in fresh ways. I remember speaking of Obama again, I remember him, someone asked him whether he watched some particular news show or something. He said, No, I don’t watch that. Because I’m not gonna learn anything new on that, you know, I always I always want to spend my time doing something that’s going to teach me something new.
Cheryl Abram: Yeah, yeah. I’ve always loved school. I love learning new things and, and I’m on the path that I really want it to be on and in terms of I love speaking, and I love writing. I love doing all that stuff. But I knew I was gonna write a book I just thought was going to be like a erotic romance novel.
Rick Archer: rejected that one
Cheryl Abram: totally. Is not erotic at all. So well, it could be I don’t know. But um, But yeah, I mean, this is really great. I mean, I’m really enjoying enjoying this.
Rick Archer: Yeah, life is fun, isn’t it? Yeah. Okay, so let me make some general concluding remarks. I’ve been speaking with Sherif labrum interview number 300, and the series Buddha, the gas pump. So if this is new to you haven’t seen any others, you can go to batgap.com. And you’ll see under the past interviews menu, you’ll see them archived and categorized in about five different ways. And under the future interviews menu, you’ll see what’s upcoming. There’s a place to be known sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. If you’d like to be notified, we finally got the podcast fix. I’ve been saying for months that the podcast is broken, it’s finally fixed. So if you’d like to sign up for the audio podcast, you should be able to do that successfully. And there’s a page for that and a link under every interview. And there’s a Donate button. I didn’t mention that in the beginning. But I wouldn’t be able to do this anywhere near as much as I’m doing it if people hadn’t been donating all these years. So if you really appreciate the show and feel like helping to support it, and your donation large or small, one time or ongoing is appreciated. And there are both those options there on the button. So thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next week. As Cheryl mentioned, Robert Robin is that’s how I pronounce it right is my guest for next week. And now I’m going to spend the next week plunging in and learning all about Robert Robin because I don’t know much about him yet.
Cheryl Abram: He’s amazing. He’s hot too. So you know. Okay, great.
Rick Archer: Hot in the sense of good looking. Yes. Oh, that’ll appeal to me too much. Whatever To each his own All right. Well, thanks sherif.
Cheryl Abram: Okay, thank you, Rick. I really enjoyed it. Yeah, talk to you later. Okay, bye.